DVD REVIEW: Hands Over the City

The Criterion Collection
Movie •••• Picture •••½ Sound ••• Extras ••••
You will never see a better movie about municipal corruption than Francesco Rosi's 1963 drama, in which Rod Steiger devours the screen as a Neapolitan developer who bulldozes his way through ethics, investigations, and fellow politicians. The black-and-white picture is finely detailed, all the better to show us the palatial homes of the party bosses. Dialogue on the mono soundtrack is clear and emphatic; the only problem is distortion in the brassy musical score. A second disc is devoted mainly to Neapolitan Diary, Rosi's 1992 nonfiction feature that shows much more of Naples than we see in the earlier film (but also how things have gotten even worse in the interim). There are some very nice interviews in which the aged director waxes as passionately about his work as he did when he was young. [NR] Italian, Dolby Digital mono; letterboxed (1.85:1) and anamorphic widescreen; two dual-layer discs.

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