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Detective Montalbano: Episodes 1-3

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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(Jun 29, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Bohm, Cesare Bocci. Based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camilleri, Detective Salvo Montalbano uses his personal intuition as a valuable tool to shake down the likes of criminals who share a common denominator-they all come from Sicily. Includes The Snack Thief," The Voice of the Violin" and The Shape of Water." 3 episodes on 3 DVDs. In Italian with English subtitles. 1999-2000/color/5 hrs., 30 min/NR/widescreen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Bohm, Cesare Bocci
  • Directors: Alberto Sironi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MHz Networks
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 308 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003OXSRW8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the problems I find with books that are made into movies is that the directors and writers seldom remember the original plot, let alone the place and pace of the characters, which is happily not the case with this DVD series. The filming, plotlines and casting in these first three episodes are spot on and although it takes a little time to get used to the quick subtitles this, my friends, is very good entertainment and well worth the price. Luca Zingaretti in the lead role of Inspector (Detective) Montalbano is one of the best detectives you'll find on the big (or little) screen today and Zingaretti and the great cast of actors and Sicilian locations make it happen with convincing style. Zingaretti is Montalbano to the proverbial T and producer Carlo Degli Esposti and director Alberto Sironi have captured the heart, sweat and soul of Andrea Camilleri's three books; The Snack Thief, The Voice of the Violin and The Shape of Water that you'll find on these initial disks. Although one reviewer complained about the fast pace of the subtitles, I found it to be convincing enough since it falls in line with most Italian speakers I know and any conversations I tried in Italy.
The subtitle pace annoyed me initially too until I realized it matched the actual speech patterns. Then I chuckled. Besides, with DVDs what we miss, we can always go back and pick up with the rewind.
I've spent the last year turning some friends on to Camilleri's works because they're just well written and enjoyable so now I'll champion this DVD series for the same reasons. These are anything but the same old plots or whudunnit mysteries.Buy the books and buy the DVD collection. This is Italian (Sicilian) gold and friends, it shines!
Will other reviewers agree with me?
Read more ›
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At first the sub-titles were a little disconcerting but I got used to it quickly. The settings and the plot are excellent and the actors are a joy to watch. I had only previously read "The Shape of Water" (the third DVD in this first series) and I found the DVD followed the plot of the book with the added joy of watching a setting I have never visited. The detective novel "The Shape of Water" seemed very "wordy" to me while the DVD sub titles went to the heart of the matter. Again watching the supporting actors (like the "wronged" wife in DVD #2) was also real pleasure. The sub-plot involving Livia ties the separate plots together and gives a real humanity to the Detective that other detective plots often lack. Anyway, this is not Ho-Hum viewing. If you are up for an adventure, go for this Detective.
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Having read all of the translated versions of the Montalbano series, and knowing that there were movies of the stories shown on RAI, it was great to finally have the DVDs available in western format. After viewing the first three stories, it was well worth the wait--the cast is perfect and the scripts do complete justice to Mr. Camilleri's writing. Now we're looking forward to seeing the full set of the DVDs. Highly recommend them to Inspector Montalbano's many fans.
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Format: DVD
In our insatiable thirst for detective thrillers, foreign language productions have the benefit of introducing us to a different way of life in a setting which might well suggest the location of our next holiday.

In this case, the drama is set in the fictional Vigata, a quaint old stone-built town spreading over a hilly Sicilian coastline bathed in perpetual sunshine. Detective Montalbano occupies an elegant flat overlooking the Mediterranean where he can relax swimming at the end of each stressful episode.

We are introduced to a slow-paced (apart from the crimes, that is) way of life revolving round food - a man will put the enjoyment of a good meal before rushing to greet his lover - and the extended family, where relatives and workers gather on a sunny terrace to consume plentiful meals together.

Smartly turned out and astute, Montalbano somehow commands the respect of his staff despite the kind of volcanic outbursts which would have him sent on an anger management course in Britain. Like most detectives, he is on shaky terms with more senior officials, perhaps in part owing to his tendency to break the rules, but survives in his post, probably because he always seems to solve the crime in hand, usually through his ability to make deductions from very slim evidence.

The denouement is often unpredictable, partly because the very complicated plot tends to have a few twists which are hard to follow - and to be honest at times implausible. It's quite fast-moving, so with the sub-titles as an added constraint you have to concentrate.

Overall, it's worth watching as the characters are well-developed, the dialogue is amusing, the cases have intriguing aspects, and all does not end happily in every respect - there is a gritty undercurrent, say in the suffering of Tunisian immigrants in "The Snack Thief" or the continual hints at bribery and corruption amongst higher ranking officials, making the "honest" Montalbano a rarity.
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Acting, story, direction, production values, location, casting, EVERYTHING.
Freaking EVERYTHING about this entire series is wonderful. Entertaining and
fun. One of the best purchases I have made this year.
I have ALL of the entire collection of this series and there has not been one moment that
has disapointed. The most satisfying TV series that I have seen in a very long time. Wwhich does not mean that others are poor, just
that Montalbano is superior in every manner.
Five Star? Make it Ten.
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