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Il Sorpasso


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Editorial Reviews

The ultimate Italian road comedy, Il sorpasso stars the unlikely pair of Vittorio Gassman (Big Deal on Madonna Street) and Jean-Louis Trintignant (Z) as, respectively, a waggish, free-wheeling bachelor and the bookish law student he takes on a madcap trip from Rome to rural Southern Italy. An unpredictable journey that careers from slapstick to tragedy, this film, directed by Dino Risi (the original Scent of a Woman), is a wildly entertaining commentary on the pleasures and consequences of the good life. A holy grail of commedia all'italiana, Il sorpasso is so fresh and exciting that one can easily see why it has long been adored in Italy.

Special Features

DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew Bernstein
  • Excerpts from the director’s 1993 autobiography, A Siegel Film, read by his son Kristoffer Tabori
  • More!
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by coproducer Walter Wanger, and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Vittorio Gassman, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Spaak
    • Directors: Dino Risi
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: Italian
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 2
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
    • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2014
    • Run Time: 105 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00I116MZ2
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Hannibal on November 8, 2012
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This was and is one of the most unforgettable films of my life. Having lived in Rome for many years both in the sixties and seventies, it accurately captures what life was like for many back then in the spirit of "La Dolce Vita," only more realistically than one saw in the Fellini film.(Of course the American title, "The Easy Life," completely misses the irony of its original Italian one, "Il Sorpasso.")

    Vittorio Gassman unleashes his great talent in this film here far more than I ever saw him do on stage, and if for example your Italian is good enough to hear how he mirrors the regional accents of the other characters to make fun of them, in addition to relishing the dialogue of the riotously funny screenplay, you will marvel at true acting virtuosity.

    For the rest: Trintignant the perfect foil, and a brilliant cast of character actors, Contini's wonderful cinematography, and last but not least, Dino Risi's superb direction make this one of the truly great films of its time.

    Buy it, if you can find it. You'll never forget it!
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pamina on May 31, 2014
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This has got to be one of the 10 best releases ever from the Criterion Collection. The film is a major revelation crafted by a nearly unknown master, Dino Risi. (I am an inveterate film buff, and must confess with shame that I had never heard of Risi nor of this, his masterpiece.) The picaresque story, of a passive, naïve young man's (J.-L. Trintignant) awakening to life at the hands of a scoundrelly, maniacal--but somehow likable boor--(Vittorio Gassmann) is breathtakingly, meticulously directed, with deep-focus photography that lets us relish all the multitudinous, deliciously individualized peripheral characters and even extras----often scores of them in some scenes. The film's fast pacing and momentum, along with Gassman's perfectly executed non-stop chatter will sweep you on to the cataclysmic finish. There is everything in this relatively short film (just under 90 minutes): coming of age, almost every facet of human relationships, social commentary, comedy, tragedy, satire, danger.
    The four **important** extras (all interviews) are very aptly chosen and full of pertinent information on Risi's career and the actors, especially the Great Gassman.
    This memorable film has to be added to every film buff's collection!
    Let us all pester and nag Criterion for MORE DINO RISI FILMS!!!!
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MK on May 9, 2014
    Format: Blu-ray
    I saw the movie when it came out in New York in the early Sixties. One of the formative experiences of my life. Flawless, brilliant, hilarious, and devastating. Absolutely superb. Gassman's Hollywood career was as disastrous as his preposterous marriage to Shelley Winters, but he was one of the greatest Italian stage and film actors of all time. He and Trintignant were perfectly cast here, as was Gassman's Lancia and its inimitable horn. It doesn't get any better than this. I've been looking for this film on DVD for decades. Typical of how absurdly convoluted everything in Italy is that it has taken so long to be released. And typical of Italy how gorgeous it is once you actually get to see it. As usual with Italy, well worth the wait and endless frustrations.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Berry on June 29, 2014
    Format: Blu-ray
    A beautiful looking WS B&W movie from 1962. A road movie and off beat buddy film about two characters with different personalities and their interactions with one another and family members. Great performances especially from Gassman. A nice BR versin form Criterion with some interesting extras. My only complaint is the same one I have about many subtitled movies; white titles on scenes with lots of white are impossible to read. I would think CC could come up with a better solution. Maybe black outlines around the letters?
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Knowlton on May 4, 2014
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    I ordered this blu-ray blindly, thinking it was another B&W italian road trip movie I saw a long time ago but it was way better. What a great movie! The restoration is stunning on a large HDTV and the extras make it worth buying and showing to all of your friends who appreciate a wonderful story--original, funny, complex, and beautifully put together. You can see this on Amazon prime but then you'll miss the extras, including the booklet with excellent essays. I seldom write reviews on Amazon but this is one of best purchases I've made in a while.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Schoon on June 8, 2014
    Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
    Heard about this movie on NPR. We streamed it last night. It is subtitled so that can be a pain for some folks. The subtitles were actually very well done with a lot of carefully nuanced phrases, delivered in bite sized pieces, that I think someone took a lot of time to put together. This movie is one that you really need to sit down and focus on but it will reward you with an amazing, stream of consciousness experience of the Italian countryside in the sixties. It is pretty much totally g-rated except for some graphic language and vaguely sexual situations. I loved this move and want to see more like it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Oh, BTW, the cinematography is pretty amazing, as are the various cars and motorcycles and personalities presented.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lala Lady on May 11, 2014
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    I didn't want this film to end. Gassman is a charming rogue you'd have fun adventures with on the wild roads of Italy. I will not give the spoiler here. Buy it, savor it and the underrated Dino Risi as director. Trintignant (another fabulous talent) is just right as the young law student who goes along for the ride with Gassman's character, though they are virtual strangers- and enjoys the best days of his young life along the way. A gem of a movie.
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