Originally released in 1961, “The Assassin” aka “L’Assassino” in France, is an old fashion murder mystery directed by Elio Petri. The film stars Marcello Mastroianni as Alfredo Martelli, who is under investigation for the murder of his rich lover Adalgisa De Matteis (Micheline Presle), but when the authorities dig deeper in to Alfredo’s life, they discover there is much more to this antiques dealer.
From the onset of Commissario Palumbo’s (Salvo Randone) investigation, things are a bit sketchy for Alfredo. He was brought in for questioning without any reasoning and was thrown in jail without a trace of evidence. While behind bars, Alfredo searches for answers remembering everything about his beloved, but he also remembers his past lover Nicoletta Nogaro (Cristina Gaioni). Could she have something to do with the murder; is this a set up? Only time reveals the truth.
As an interesting side note, Micheline Presle was born in 1922 in Paris France and is still alive today. She made her film debut in 1937 and was in movies and television until 2014. In her 77 years of acting, Presle has appeared in over 180 films.
Also of note, “The Assassin” is director Elio Petri’s major motion picture debut. He went on to direct about 25 films and was celebrated for his innovative style of filming, but was never fully appreciated as one of France’s elite directors. With the deluxe Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Arrow Video, they are breathing new life into the film and Petri’s over all work. There is bonus material a plenty here in this offering which goes deep inside the making of “The Assassin.”