The Films of Tonino Valerii, Part 1: Day of Anger (1967) + Taste of Killing (1966)

June 14, 2015 | By


The release of Day of Anger / I giorni dell’ira (1967) from Arrow Video / MVD Visual brings back into circulation a fascinating spaghetti western by Tonino Valerii, a writer-director best known for the Sergio Leone-produced My Name is Nobody (1973). That film is regarded as one of the last major genre entries before comedy killed the genre, as Italian film historian Roberto Curti recounts in one of the Blu-ray’s interview featurettes.

According to Curti, it’s a natural progression when an original is followed by imitations, sequels, and then beaten to death with satires, leaving little to respect until there’s a resurgence. The western may not have re-blossomed much in the way the lasher genre returned and remains a mainstay on home video, but then the western is tougher to recapture, given its distinct period setting (post-American Civil War) and need for unique locations (mountains, sprawling vistas, rivers, and desert towns).

TasteOfKilling_posterI’ve reviewed Valerii’s first two films because they are very distinct in maturity, although there is a sense his feature film debut, Taste of Killing / Per il gusto di uccidere (1966), released via Wild East, was a project manhandled by producers. Day of Anger is more mature, technically proficient, and features a proper screenplay with dramatic beats and a compelling set of main characters – the last quality undoubtedly the result of Ernesto Gastaldi’s expertise as a skilled screenwriter in structure and dialogue.

In addition to reviewing Arrow’s Blu-ray, I compare the extras that remain exclusive to the Wild East DVD, since each edition features noteworthy goodies.

Coming next: one of my favourite transpositions of Shakespeare to a more contemporary setting makes its debut on Blu-ray – Richard Loncraine’s still deliciously morbid Richard III (1995), from Twilight Time.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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