Commedia all'Italiana (region-B 3-film box set)

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From a prestigious lineage in the ancient art of satirical theatre in commedia dell'arte, the Italian-style comedy distinguished itself in the late 1950s from the earlier broad comedies popularised by the likes of Toto and Vittorio De Sica with a ruthless approach to social satire focused on cynicism and the grotesque. An early example of the switch in tone can be found in Dino Risi's Il vedovo, in which Italy's preeminent comedy actor Alberto Sordi plays a philandering husband of a wealthy and successful woman who simply tolerates her husband's ineptitude. Until he sees a potential plan for her death, which would result in a great inheritance for him.

One of the greatest Italian actors of all time, Vittorio Gassman (Bitter Rice) known as Il Mattatore 'The Showman' earns his name from this film and his wonderful performance as an actor with the uncanny ability to mimic regional accents, allowing him to pull off a series of scams. Ingeniously plotted by screenwriters Ettore Scola and Ruggero Maccari who were behind some of the greatest films in the commedia all'italiana including Il Sorpasso and Ugly, Dirty and Bad. Alternately known as Love & Larceny, Dino Risi (Anima Persa) directs this classic comedy which was nominated for the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and makes its English-subtitled Blu-ray debut.

A career highlight for director Dino Risi and his star Vittorio Gasman, Il sorpasso isn't just one of the heights of commedia all'italiana but of all Italian cinema. Jean-Louis Trintignant (The Conformist) plays Roberto, a shy law student who meets Bruno (Gassman), a larger-than-life Roman playboy who convinces Roberto to join him on a road trip from Rome to the Tuscan countryside. Their travels teach them about each other and themselves, oscillating between comedy and tragedy with powerful and affecting commentary on the easy life. Long admired in Italy, the film has influenced comedic filmmakers including Alexander Payne (Sideways) and Aziz Ansari (Master of None). Radiance Films is proud to present this seminal film in the UK for the first time from a new 4K restoration. 

This limited edition Blu-ray box set also comes with a booklet and tons of special features.