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Label:
Name: ARROW VIDEO
Number: MVD7121BR

DAY OF ANGER (1967 / 3 DISCS) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Lee Van Cleef, Giuliano Gemma, Walter Rilla
Directed By:  Tonino Valerii

When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including this one from Leone's former assistant Tonino Valerii that genre aficionados rank amongst the best ever made. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby's own skills. But what is Talby doing in Clifton in the first place? This lively, intelligent western, notable for the chemistry between its charismatic leads, some memorable action set-pieces (including a rifle duel on horseback that has to be seen to be believed), and a jazzy Riz Ortolani score, is presented here in an exclusive high-definition restoration from the original Techniscope negative.

Run Time: 114 mins
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: STEREO
Language: Italian with English Subtitles

Bonus Materials

Brand new restoration of the original 35mm Techniscope camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of both the Italian and International versions of the film
Original uncompressed mono audio
Newly translated English subtitles for Italian audio and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English audio
Brand new interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
Brand new interview with Tonino Valerii's biographer Roberto Curti
Previously unreleased 2008 interview with Tonino Valerii
Deleted scene
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by spaghetti western expert Howard Hughes, illustrated with original archive stills

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on July 28, 2017 1:36 PM
HOW DID I EVER MISS THIS ONE!

While I wouldn’t say I’m a die-hard fan of Lee Van Cleef he’s always been an actor that if I saw one of his movies playing on TV I’d make an effort to stop and watch it. He seemed to me to be one of those actors that always carried off whatever role he was playing with ease. So when I saw he had a starring role in DAY OF ANGER I couldn’t believe that I’d not only never seen the film but had never even heard of it. And after watching it I was even more surprised seeing how good a movie it was. Why doesn’t this one get as much attention as the films of Sergio Leone?

Here again we have a movie you won’t find at imdb.com under this title. Instead try GUNLAW. The movie opens in Clifton, AZ, with young Scott (Giuliano Gemma) making his daily rounds, picking up buckets of human waste and emptying them into his wagon barrels to be dumped at the stable where he works. Scott is the town bastard, the son of a prostitute mother and unknown father, who is treated poorly by everyone he knows from the local bar owner to the judge. Scott Ekes out a living under the watchful eye of stable master Murph, the only person who treats him well other than the owner of the local brothel. Murph taught him how to draw a pistol even though the only thing he has is a wooden one.

Into town rides Talby (Van Cleef). Well dressed and well-armed it’s apparent that he’s a gunslinger. Talby impresses the young man who he immediately takes a liking to. After Scott takes his horse to the stable, Talby asks him to join him for a drink. Of course the locals aren’t happy with this due to their opinion of Scott. When they get in the middle of things a gunfight follows with Talby the man left alive. A quick trial finds him innocent and he heads out of town with Scott tagging along.

As they travel to the next town Talby takes Scott under his wing, giving him a series of lessons on survival. These include everything from how to handle a weapon to not trusting anyone. All of these lessons will come into play before the end of the film.

In the next town Talby confronts a man about a debt he is owed. It seems that for 10 years Talby has waited for the man to be released from prison after the man lost the money he took from a robbery they did together. When the man explains that the folks of Clifton took the money and framed the man to go to prison. The judge, bar owner, barber and banker were all in on it. With that information Talby sets out to return to Clifton but not before the man draws on him and dies in the street.

Before heading back Talby and Scott visit another town where they pick up a sidearm for Scott. Choosing along barreled pistol Scott is thrilled. On their way back to Clifton Talby continues to train Scott on how to use his weapon. Surprisingly Scott turns out to not only be quick on the draw but an accurate shot as well.

The two ride into town and Talby begins with the banker, letting him know why he’s there and taking a small payment to begin with. From there he finagles a part ownership in the local saloon. When someone tries to keep him from moving forward with his plans a gunfight follows and Scott begins to become the enforcer for Talby. It’s his chance to repay the fine folks of Clifton for their treatment of him over the years.

But plans never turn out quite like those who formulate them would like them to. Talby becomes more and more a presence in the town, pushing things to limits that even Scott isn’t pleased with. Murph warns Scott that Talby is only using him because he’s aging and an eventual faceoff between the two will be the end result. Just who walks away and with what is the question.

The movie has a wonderful story that unravels and reveals so much of the town’s past and those who live there. While it may seem like I’ve provided too much the truth is there is more to these people than what I’ve written. Those are the juicy parts of the film that make the writing of this movie so good. It’s not a surprise to learn then that the director and writer of this film later went on to make MY NAME IS NOBODY, a movie I consider to be a crown jewel of the spaghetti western genre.

The acting here is smooth for all involved. There was a question about Gemma playing the part of Scott since he was 30 at the time and the role called for a much younger actor. But he does a great job. Of course Van Cleef does his utmost best here in the role of Talby. His character starts off as a well-intentioned guide for a young man only to be revealed as the killer he is before the end of the film.

Arrow Video has done an amazing job with this release. The picture quality is stunning to look at, restored from a 35mm Techniscope camera negative. Extras include interviews with both the director and writer of the screenplay. On top of this the movie is offered in three versions: a shortened English version, the longer Italian version and that last version dubbed in English as well. After watching this I’m sold on the quality that Arrow Video has to offer. While I’ve never been a fan of most extras on movies, they provide just enough to add to the feature without making the extras more than the movie (unlike newer movies that seem to provide 4 hours of extras for a 90 minute feature). I read someone reply to their releases as Criterion worthy and I would have to agree. The biggest difference though is that Arrow seems to make their releases more affordable.

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