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OLIVER REED DOES ITALIAN CRIME IN 'REVOLVER' W/ FABIO TESTI

Oliver Reed in Revolver Year: 1973 Rating: ***1/2

A promising, clever premise of a government official, played by the genuinely tough Oliver Reed, who surreptitiously allows a prisoner to escape and quickly abducts him as exchange for his kidnapped wife... occurring between steely, intentionally claustrophobic scenes in dingy offices harboring dingier jail sells... almost succeeds...

The best moments of this action/crime/thriller hybrid involve polar opposites Reed ("a stray dog without a home") and prisoner Fabio Testi on the run, the latter's rogue territory... 

Testi teaching Reed to steal a car is a standout, and there needed more of this kind of Noir-inspired ambiguity combined with a two movie star teamup instead of the pretty boy musician connected to a powerful politician subplot... Leading to an 11th hour escape by use of hiking a mountain border. But Italian ingenue Paola Pitagora brightens up the joint, and Reed, using the same fake American accent he did in the Beatnik drama THE PARTY'S OVER (sans the goading irony) and THE SYSTEM, doesn't need to overact to show the audience his love for this woman. Any sane man would.  

Fabio Testi and Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Fabio Testi in REVOLVER
Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Fabio Testi and Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Paola Pitagora and Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Paola Pitagora and Oliver Reed in REVOLVER
Fabio Testi and Oliver Reed in REVOLVER

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