Blu-Ray Review: Day of Anger (Arrow Video USA) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, July 12th, 2020  

Day of Anger

Studio: Arrow Video USA

Jun 04, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Sometimes branded as an “Oedipal Western,” Toninio Valerii’s Day of Anger is one of the best Spaghetti entries not directed by Sergio Leone. Stable boy Scott Mary (Italian heartthrob Giuliano Gemma) plays the illegitimate son of a brothel worker. He’s regularly kicked around by the townfolk of two-horse Clifton, until aging gunfighter Frank Talby (venerable genre staple Lee Van Cleef) rides into town and teaches the young man to stand up for himself. Talby takes Scott Mary under his wing and tutors him in the unspoken rules of gunfighting, but as the old outlaw takes over the town and his hidden intentions are brought to light, the pupil is eventually forced to turn on his mentor for the good of the people.

While Day of Anger certainly isn’t on the same level of artfulness as Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West or Dollars Trilogy, Western fans should find it every bit as satisfying.  Day of Anger relishes in the genre’s more bawdy clichés, from tawdry saloon floor shows to duels at dawn. The film, however, is tipping its hat to the genre’s expected tropes—each of the ten “rules” that Van Cleef recites to his young student feels like a not-so-subtle wink to the audience. (For example, the third rule is “Never get between a gun and its target;” the final rule is the ridiculously cool-sounding “When you start killing, you can’t stop.”) The movie is stylishly-shot—Valerii was assistant director on For a Few Dollars More before helming his own feature—and Riz Ortolani’s brilliant score—particularly the oft-repeated “Il giorni dell’ira”—stands up alongside Morricone’s better-known soundtracks. (It’s no surprise that Tarantino borrowed Day of Anger’s theme song to use in Django Unchained.) Perhaps most notably, Day of Anger runs a lean, mean 95 minutes, making it a far tighter viewing than some of its more famous contemporaries.

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray transfer of Day of Anger looks spectacular, with a crisp and vibrant restoration. Both the English and Italian language versions are included—the film was overdubbed in post, as per usual practice for these international productions—which feature a few editing differences in addition to the audio. Also present are vintage interviews with the director, screenwriter, and genre scholar Roberto Curti, as well as a collection of trailers for the film. All in all, Arrow has put together quite an admirable package for this unduly under-celebrated Spaghetti Western, which receives our immediate recommendation for the genre’s fans.

Author rating: 7/10

Rate this DVD


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

iuliancezar cezar
May 13th 2019

Anger arises from thinking. Because you have been treated badly or experienced painful events, the ego in you feel like its being crushed. You feel like the «me» is shrinking. So you compensate - with anger. In anger the «me» feels stronger and you can learn how to cope with this at john school. When this repeats over and over it becomes a habit. It becomes a part of your character.