• No, The Case Is Happily Resolved

    Released by: Camera Obscura
    Released on: February 5th, 2016.
    Director: Vittorio Salerno
    Cast: Enzo Cerusico, Enrico Maria Salerno, Riccardo Cucciolla
    Year: 1973
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    The Movie:

    Making its proper English language home video debut with this Blu-ray release from Camera Obscura is Vittorio Salerno’s directorial debut, the oddly titled No, The Case Is Happily Resolved from 1973. The film starts off with a pretty grisly scene wherein a man named Fabio Santamaria (Enzo Cerusico), out in the sticks to enjoy some quiet time and some fishing, witness a half-naked woman chased down and beaten to death by a man with lead pipe.

    After the murder, he and Eduardo Ranieri (Riccardo Cucciolla) – the culprit – locks eyes before Fabio wises up to what’s actually happened and makes a run for it. He manages to get to his car in time to escape but rather than go to the cops with what he’s seen, he opts instead to keep quiet so that neither he nor his wife, Cinzia (Martine Brochard), wind up in any trouble. Meanwhile Eduardo, a well-connected university professor, uses this to his advantage and goes to the cops himself to report Fabio as the killer!

    From here on out, Fabio basically finds himself in a very Hitchcockian race against time, trying to figure out how to prove who the real killer was all while evading the police out to lock him up for a crime he didn’t commit.

    While it’s hard not to see the Hitchcock influence here, Salerno does a fine job of making this material his own, never aping the style of ‘The Master Of Suspense’ and instead putting some interesting local flavor into the picture. The Italian locations are beautifully photographed by prolific cinematographer Marcello Masciocchi (who not only shot a bunch of Spaghetti Westerns and quite a few Italian cop pictures but also lensed Jungle Holocaust!) and the whole thing is set to a quirky but really engaging score from Riz Ortolani. The political climate of early seventies Italy is also reflected throughout the movie in the way that a system that has clearly become corrupt affects the events that transpire in the picture. Augusto Finocchi’s script is actually quite clever in just how this plays out in the movie – it does occasionally play to predictability in this regard but more often than not, avoiding spoilers and being intentionally vague here, the twists are genuinely surprising.

    In the middle of all of this are Cerusico as the wrongly accused man on the run and Cucciolla as the devious murderer who put him in this position in the first place. Both men deliver really strong work here. Cerusico plays Fabio with the appropriate amount of nervousness and paranoia in a few key scenes, really working that aspect of his character’s being into a performance that is a lot of fun to watch and entirely in keeping with what Salerno was obviously going for here. Cucciolla is every bit as good and though his character is obviously quite different he too delivers some legitimately engaging acting. Supporting work from Martine Brochard as Fabio’s poor wife is also noteworthy, not just because her turn here is strong but also because she’s absolutely gorgeous (it’s no wonder Tinto Brass would use her, even after she’d aged a bit, in movies like The Voyeur and Paprika).


    No, The Case Is Happily Resolved arrives on Blu-ray in a beautiful AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on a 50GB disc framed at 1.85.1 widescreen. This transfer is on par with Camera Obscura’s other recent offerings. Detail is excellent, there are no compression problems here at all, grain is present and texture is film like but there are no problems with any noise reduction. We also get excellent color reproduction, strong black levels, lifelike skin tones and some very impressive depth to the image.

    Audio options are provided in German and Italian language DTS-HD Mono with removable subtitles available in German and English. Again, the quality here is rock solid. The score sounds nice and full, the dialogue quite natural and the levels are properly balanced. Hiss and distortion are never problems and there’s more range here than you’d probably anticipate from older, single channel audio.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary courtesy of Marcus Stiglegger and Kai Naumann that is in German with optional English subtitles and it’s quite comprehensive. They offer up plenty of information about Vittorio Salerno but so too do they provide some welcome background details on the cast put together for the picture. They make some interesting observations about the music in the film, offer some details on the locations featured in the picture and do a fine job of exploring its history, how Italian politics of the day worked their way into the storyline and quite a bit more at that.

    Additionally, the disc includes a forty-minute documentary called Mother Justice that interviews Salerno and actress Martine Brochard that covers a lot of ground only touched on or omitted completely from the commentary (so as such, this turns out to be just as valuable an addition to the supplemental package). Salerno gives us some great stories about his early days as a writer before discussing his directorial debut, casting choices, Augusto Finocchi’s script and what it brought to the movie. Brochard shares some stories about working with Salerno as a director, working with her fellow cast members in the picture and other interesting anecdotes about her career in front of the camera. Great stuff and very much worth watching.

    Also found on the disc is the alternate (happy) ending that the distributor’s made Salerno use for the film’s theatrical run, an Italian language theatrical trailer, a still gallery, menus (in German and English) and chapter stops. Housed inside the slipcase along with the Blu-ray disc is an insert booklet of liner notes (again in both German and English) from Christian Kessler that offer some insight and analysis for the picture.

    The Final Word:

    No, The Case Is Happily Resolved is as tense and well-made as it is genuinely obscure! This one finds the cast all in fine form and a director at the top of his game. It’s slick, suspenseful, tense and it’s even got a killer score from Riz Ortolani. Camera Obscura have rolled out the red carper for the film, presenting it in fantastic shape and with some great extra features as well. A great package and a pretty important release for anyone with an interest in vintage Italian thrillers.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Lalala76's Avatar
      Lalala76 -
      Really looking forward to this one now. Should be with me this week. Nice review.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      The opening is freaking amazing. Really fantastic.

      I enjoyed the hell out of this film. Kinda shocked I haven't seen a film use this premise. Love the ending.

      [spoiler] I would have been so pissed if they would have used the ending that was on the disc as an extra[/spoiler]