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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT284-BR

THE VALACHI PAPERS (1972) (SPECIAL PROMOTION) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Amadeo Nazzari, Lino Ventura, Joseph Wiseman, Walter Chiari, Gerald O'Loughlin
Directed By:  Terence Young
Composed By:  Riz Ortolani

“A hard-hitting, violence-ridden documented melodrama of the underworld covering more than three decades. Terence Young, who directs forcefully, hits a shock note.”
– Variety

“Young’s direction is solid and eye-pleasing (thanks in no small part to the slick cinematography by Aldo Tonti)… When the action hits, it’s ugly and gritty and violent and Bronson manages to accomplish his climb up the mafia ladder with style and that cold sense of menace that's so easily and rightfully associated with many of his performances.”
– Ian Jane, DVDtalk.com

Adapted from Peter Maas’ best-seller, The Valachi Papers (1972) tells the true story of Mafia informant Joseph Valachi, superbly incarnated here by Charles Bronson. A low-level gangster associated with the Genovese crime family, Valachi moves from punk to full-fledged gangster over the course of the brutal narrative, handsomely directed by Terence Young. Also starring the great Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, and Joseph Wiseman, and featuring an effective score from Riz Ortolani.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1972 / Color
125 MINUTES
RATED PG

Special Features: Partial Isolated Music Track

Limited Editions of 3,000 Units

  
Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on August 28, 2017 3:32 AM
When I heard that Twilight Time was going to release THE VALACHI PAPERS I was ecstatic. As a fan of Charles Bronson it was one of the few films of his I hadn’t seen in some time. Not only that if you wanted to see it you had to pay an arm and a leg for a copy of the film since it was out of print. Before this release I’d seen copies going for around $50 online!

To start with the odds are pretty good that a number of viewers aren’t even aware of who Joseph Valachi was. In the sixties Attorney General Robert Kennedy was aiming at taking on organized crime. The problem was most members of the organization kept quiet. Until Joe Valachi, after an attempt was made on his life in prison, came forward willing to tell all. It changed history as it presented the structure used by the organization and helped create a data base for law enforcement. His story was then told in book for by author Peter Maas who also wrote Frank Serpico’s autobiography.

With this in mind the story was ripe to make into a film. The movie opens with an older Valachi in prison where he is given the “kiss of death” by mob boss Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura). When he fears he is being attacked, Valachi defends himself only to discover the man he killed was not part of the mob. Sentenced to life with no hope of parole and fearing another attempt on his life, Valachi agrees to inform on the mob and contacts federal agent Ryan (Gerald O’Loughlin) to tell his tale.

The movie progresses in flashbacks to the early days of Valachi as a young man on the streets committing crimes like burglary. When it becomes apparent he’s willing to do what it takes to make his bosses happy, he is recruited to become a member of the mafia. But it is also around this time that things are changing and a mob war is going on with two different factions wanting to take control. He survives this battle but comes out of it in the bad side of his boss, Tony Bender.

The film shows various crimes Valachi was involved in, his romance and marriage to the daughter of his boss (played by Bronson’s real life wife Jill Ireland) and how things in the mob itself changed over time. It’s never a deep rooted film based so much in facts and figures as it is the story of one man and the things seen through his eyes. Low budgeted and filled with a number of Italian actors since this was a film made in Italy, the movie is more of a glossed over slice of history rather than a dead on depiction.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t an entertaining film with plenty of story to tell. Bronson shines here, allowed to not only play the aging gangster but to play him in all parts of his life. This was something he rarely had the opportunity to do and one of the main reasons he agreed to play the part. There is enough action and bloodshed to keep people happy but Bronson has a chance to act rather than just be the tough guy here. The movie is interesting and moves at a steady pace that holds your interest from start to finish.

Twilight Time has done a solid job, as always, of offering a well-made presentation of this movie. The picture quality is fine and presents the movie in the best possible quality. The extras are limited to a single item, a partial isolated score track. The odds are that nothing was made to help promote the film when it was originally released making anything else non-existent. As with all Twilight Time releases this one is limited to only 3,000 so if you want this one at an affordable price then by all means pick one up immediately before they’re all gone. If you’re goal is to collect all movies starring Charles Bronson act fast.

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