Comparison between the US cut ("The Family") and the Original cut ("Violent City" aka "Città Violenta"), both included on the UK Blu-ray from 88 Films / released in identical format in the USA on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber
A few master errors with a duration of < 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.
The French-Italian co-production Violent City by Sergio Sollima (The Big Gundown) features Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas as well as an excellent soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. By 1970, the year the film was made, Bronson had slowly but surely risen to stardom in Europe, but he had yet to enjoy any major success in America. Probably because the Italian box-office results were not outstanding, the U.S. distributor only released the title in 1973 on the US market. In the meantime, The Godfather had been the movie event of the year.
With the new title The Family, an attempt was then made in the States to exploit this success. In the original version, the film spends a lot of time on landscape shots and a few supporting characters, as well as the relationship between Bronson and his real-life partner Jill Ireland. This is where the US cut cut tightened things up extensively, so they wanted to sell the audience on a stronger focus on the tensions within the gangster organization. Even if some great photographed shots have been lost, this admittedly works relatively well, so that one can definitely give the US version a chance - even though the original version is ultimately the preferred choice.
The Blu-ray, available since May 16, 2022 in the UK from 88 Films and in identical configuration since May 17, 2022 in the US from Kino Lorber, offers a good opportunity to do so. The US cut is available here as an unrestored 35mm scan on one disc with plenty of bonus material. On the other disc, there are even two new versions of the original cut. On the one hand one can find a 4K restoration with Italian credits from L'Immagine Ritrovata, which unfortunately, like so many restorations of classics from this studio before, has a massive yellow/green tint. On the other hand, with English credits, a 2K restoration is available which features the best quality overall.
Somewhat irritating are the English audio tracks of the original version, because here several scenes are in Italian with English subtitles, which are actually present in the US version with original English audio. It is therefore recommended to view the 2K restoration of the original version in Italian original audio with subtitles. The alternate version The Family can then be viewed again later individually to experience the longest possible English soundtrack and a different focus of the plot.
We start with a comparison between the two uncut HD masters on the disc. The 4K restoration was done by Cineteca Bologna / L'Immagine Ritrovata, which unfortunately once again resulted in a massive green/yellow tint. An additional text panel also points out this source at the start of the movie file, which explains the 22 sec longer running time. The rest of the film is frame-exactly identical, as we found out in a separate comparison - only the credits are in English vs. Italian.
As expected, the 4K option at least offers a more detailed image when compared in the full HD resolution. For the following comparison with our usual smaller screenshot size, however, we chose the 2K restoration with the more natural colors as the uncut counterpart. For the corresponding timecodes of the Italian 4K restoration, 22 seconds would have to be added, as already mentioned.
Again, here are comparative images between the US 35mm scan and the 2K restoration. The US has a very similar color pattern as the 2K restoration, but whites are overblown and it has several damages, as usual on 35mm scans (e.g. cracks in the image). To our knowledge, Kino Lorber's Blu-rays are 1:1 identical to the 88 Films version we used for comparison. Of course, such a "grindhouse look" also has its appeal, but it's quite surprising that the Blu-ray.com review of the Kino Lorber states the US version would have a better picture quality than the 2K restoration.
00:00 / 00:00-00:03
Right within the first two shots, there are some jump cuts.
00:15 / 00:18-01:14
After you've seen Vanessa from behind, the opening credits start right away in the US version. She actually takes off her bikini lasciviously and the two of them cuddle on deck for a while. Jeff opens her panties.
The opening credits also differ in the placement of the inserts and, of course, the different title. It's also noticeable that the US scan and the Bologna 4K scan show glaring color filters throughout. The English 2K uncut scan lacks these filter in some isolated shots in between.
13:55 / 14:55-17:21
Jeff can be seen for an insignificant moment longer, then the scene in the jail begins much earlier. The fellow inmate (Benjamin Lev) plays around with the doll and then grumbles to himself for a while. He is bothered by the fact that Jeff remains silent the whole time that he's in jail for a minor offense, while Jeff has done much bigger crimes. As Lev pulls the doll away, a tarantula is seen on his chest underneath. Lev gets scared, Jeff focuses on the spider. As it slowly crawled from his body down to the bench, Jeff pushes Lev aside and the tarantula continues to crawl on the floor. Lev fearfully jumps onto the bench and Carcerato admonishes Jeff to take care of the spider.
145.8 sec (= 2:26 min)
15:21 / 18:47-19:11
The tracking shot from the guard at the door to Carcerato was cut short. He first takes a few steps through the cell before he sits down with Jeff.
16:07 / 19:57-20:28
Carcerato's monologue is significantly longer. The follow-up shot of Jeff also begins a moment earlier.
17:51 / 22:12-22:47
Again Carcerato talks a little longer. Afterwards, Vanessa and Jeff romp around on the beach earlier.
18:31 / 23:27-23:28
After some damage already indicates the reel change in the seconds before, a small moment is missing here at the beginning of the shot of the landing airplane.
18:49-18:51 / 23:46-23:54
Also another error in the US master as a result of the reel change: Jeff walks longer towards the car. At the beginning of the following shot, there is also another bump.
Uncut 6.6 sec longer
19:12 / 24:15-24:21
Towards the end of the dialogue some lines are lost: "For God's sake, Jeff. For 50,000 dollars we can get anybody to press the trigger."
Note: Interestingly, this is available in English. Otherwise, the dialogue during the missing parts of the US version described here is in Italian with subtitles. (and also other scenes, which are in English in the US version, have Italian audio).
Uncut 5.2 sec longer
21:29 / 26:39-27:14
The scene at Killain's begins earlier. Jeff walks out of a room with a woman and sits with Killain.
25:16 / 31:01-31:19
More footage of the preparation for the race, for which the commentator can be heard off-camera throughout.
25:54 / 31:57-32:13
Some first shots of Jeff driving towards the traffic control.
26:08 / 32:27-32:44
Again, a few shots were removed from the preparation for the race.
26:47 / 33:23-33:40
After the longer aerial shot the scene was tightened again a bit.
27:16 / 34:09-34:57
Jeff walks calmly from the car across the field and observes the people before he settles down behind a bush. Of course, this is accompanied by Morricone's score once again. Finally, the shot of the opening of the suitcase starts a moment earlier.
29:00 / 36:42-36:51
Inconspicuous cut: Between two shots of the TV, you can actually see Jeff looking around briefly. Two people are walking across the field nearby.