Any film starring the late great Oliver Reed is a winner in this humble reviewers opinion and Revolver is no exception. Reed, the charismatic drunkard was known for attacking difficult roles with relish. From his early days with Hammer Films in The Curse of the Werewolf to his long-standing association with Ken Russell in the likes of Women in Love and The Devils, Reed exuded a rugged charm that won him many fans. In fact Russell was the only director who truly let the actor run riot on set
He brings his tough guy persona to the fore in Revolver as the cop who will stop at nothing to find his kidnapped wife. Joined by Italian heartthrob Fabio Testi, star of Four Gunmen of the Apocalypse and The Big Racket, the duo make an unlikely alliance that makes for a winning cinematic combination. Both actors seem to enjoy the challenge and director Sollimo keeps Reed’s tendency to over act to a minimum. Revolver joins a series of tough cop thrillers that proved to be box office gold in the 70s and 80s in Italy.
Every Italian director worth his salt tried his hand at the genre. Lucio Fulci inevitably hit the screens with the ultra gory Contraband and the genres stalwart Enzo. G. Casterelli gave us The Heroine Busters. Sollimo became an expert of the harsh city streets with such thrillers as Run Man Run and Violent City. The interesting thing about the Italian approach to the cop thriller was that the good guys were often as corrupt as the criminals they hunted. Revolver draws a very fine line as the Warden engulfs himself into the criminal underground and that’s what makes the film so interesting. The Warden is just as corrupt as the prisoners he spends his life incarcerating. The pounding soundtrack by maestro Ennio Morricone is the icing on the cake on this highly recommended thriller.
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