StoryLong before reality shows took over the TV airwaves and violent parodies like Series 7 and Battle Royale hit international screens, Elio Petri made this campy social satire of a future in which the bored, the ambitious, and the just plain violent can sign up for a deadly game of cat and mouse. "The Big Hunt is necessary as a social safety valve," explains one TV personality. "Why control births when we can control deaths?" Marcello Mastroianni, who plays the womanizing Italian media darling with a gift for ingenious assassinations, becomes the target of sexy champion Ursula Andress, a New York Amazon with a wardrobe as deadly as it is chic. She'll pocket $1 million if she can successfully kill Mastroianni, her 10th and last victim, but on the side she concocts a deal to do the deed in concert with a live song-and-dance extravaganza mounted by a tea company.
Directed with tongue firmly in cheek, Petri lampoons the whole media obsession with high-risk contests and games of chance with cool style, absurdly chic fashions, a bouncy score of organ riffs and funky lounge sounds, and a comically blasé performance by Mastroianni. It's like Fellini gone ballistic with a hint of Divorce, Italian Style: a battle of the sexes in a world where spontaneous shootouts are forever erupting in the fringes of the frame. --Sean Axmaker
|Marcello Mastroianni||Marcello Poletti|
|Ursula Andress||Caroline Meredith|
- Genre: Crime Movies
- Theme(s): Mob/Organized Crime
- Director: Elio Petri
- Producer: C.O. Champion
- Length: 92 min.
- Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical Release North America Dec 20, 1965
Ratings Europe U
Blu-ray Release North America Aug 30, 2011 Europe Sep 13, 2011
DVD Release North America Jun 12, 2001