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Oops, I did it again - Profondo Rosso commentary

Profondo Rosso

Well, it’s finally done: all 126 minutes of Profondo Rosso (or thereabouts - there are a handful of brief blank spots) have now been commented on, and the files are ready to be downloaded. It took a little longer to get another commentary up and running than I would have liked (over a year, to be precise), but I’m very happy with this one, and think it’s much better than its predecessor. On this track, I talk about everything from Jung to Michelangelo Antonioni to being scalded by espresso machines!

Once again, the commentary is split into two halves, to make it easier for people who want to burn audio CDs and not have to wrangle with chopping it in two to fit the 80-minute time limit themselves. Each half is accompanied by a “beep” sound to allow you to synchronise the track with the film. For Part 1, synchronise the beep with the first credit appearing on the screen; for Part 2, synchronise it with the first shot inside the police station (01:11:20 on the Anchor Bay DVD).

I would recommend running the film at a low level of volume in the background when you listen to this commentary.

  • NTSC version
    (use this version if you have the US Anchor Bay or Italian Medusa Film release)
    Part One (24.2 MB, MP3 format)
    Part Two (18.7 MB, MP3 format)

  • PAL version
    (use this version if you have the UK Platinum Media release)
    Part One (23.2 MB, MP3 format)
    Part Two (17.9 MB, MP3 format)

If you don’t have one of the three versions listed above, you may have to try pot luck. Broadly speaking, if the running time of your copy is around 126 minutes, use the NTSC version; if it’s closer to 122 minutes, go for PAL. Also, bear in mind that this commentary was intended to be listened to in conjunction with the full-length uncut version of the film rather than the shorter English export version.

Hopefully you’ll find something in this to enjoy, even if I don’t happen to come up with any wildly original interpretations or observations. I was inspired by a number of sources, including my own dissertation, from which I re-use a couple of passages (which, if you’ve read it, you’ll probably be able to spot). This one is filled with a lot less “ums” and “ers” than my Suspiria’s commentary, too, so it should be less of a headache to listen to.

Let me know what you think of it!

Warning: this track contains spoilers for The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Strip Nude For Your Killer! If you’ve not seen the former, you may wish to do so before listening to this track. If you’ve not seen the latter… well… don’t bother.

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 4:49 PM | Comments: 8
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Dario Argento | General | Gialli



I'd like to listen to your commentary and am downloading it at the moment, but currently I don't own the film and haven't seen it yet either.

Of course it's on my "to watch list" (among many other titles ;-)), but I'm not even sure which DVD version would be the one to get at the moment.

Apparently the Anchor Bay disc has the uncut version with English and Italian DD 5.1 sound on it. I don't know the original soundmix, but I would guess that this is probably an upmix. The Anchor Bay also doesn't have any subtitles on it, which makes the Itlian language track rather useless for me (I can only access closed captions on the PC).
There also seems to be some kind of featurette on it.

There's a German release with German, English and Italian DD 5.1 tracks and German subtitles. A Collector's Edition with a second disc with a 2h Argento interview and Luigi Cozzi's "Il museo degli orriori di Dario Argento" on it and with a soundtrack CD also exists (but could be hard to get now).

There's a French release with English and Italian Dolby Surround sound and French subtitles on it (which you can't turn off on most DVD players). It also includes the shorter export version in French Mono and "Il Mio Cinema - Le Cinema de Dario Argento" in Italian with French subtitles.

There's also a UK version, but I read that the uncut version is non-anamorphic on it.

So I really don't know which of those versions would be the best at the moment. I could read German or French subtitles, but I don't know which has the best image and sound quality. What is the original sound mix by the way? The IMDb says that would be Mono, but I don't if that information is reliable. And which language version (English or Italian) is usually regarded as the better one?

In addition to this I read that on the Anchor Bay the end credits are missing and some other minor errors in the soundtrack exist. The opening credits are also said to be digitally created for this DVD release. I don't know how the foreign DVDs compare to this.

Actually I would prefer someone like Blue Underground releasing some kind of Ultimate Edition, which would top all current releases. ;)

Posted by: BobaFett, November 29, 2006 6:57 PM


Downloading now. Great stuff Michael, I am really looking forward to listening to this. Profondo Rosso is one of my all-time favourite films and academically speaking I am a massive fan of Jungian Psychology (if fan is the right term?!) and shall be looking out for this in your analysis.

Well done fella for another sterling effort!

Posted by: Count Fosco, November 29, 2006 7:04 PM


Bravo, sir. I don't know when I'll be able to listen to this - I've got a packed weekend lying ahead - but I'll check it out as soon as possible.

The films arrived today, and I'm sure they'll cheer me up no end.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, November 29, 2006 7:11 PM


Finally! I really enjoyed your Suspiria commentary - considering that there is a dearth of supplemental material even on the 3disc AB R1 set. I've only watched Profondo Rosso once and enjoyed it but thought it ran a bit too long and could have had better pacing; since then I've seen many more Argento films and also films from Bava and Fulci. I'll have to sit down to rewatch it - then listen to your commentary. Thanks

Posted by: aw, November 29, 2006 7:22 PM



Actually, the Anchor Bay release does have subtitles. There are basically two ways of watching the film - entirely in Italian or predominantly in English with the extra material in Italian. You can either have the whole thing subtitled in English, or just the bits in Italian. Either way, I get the impression that the Anchor Bay release is the best version of the film. It’s currently out of print, I believe, but Blue Underground will be re-releasing it next year (not a remaster, just the same disc) at a fairly affordable price.

And yes, it’s true that the Anchor Bay audio is remixed from mono to 5.1 (and 2.0 surround). It’s not particularly intrusive, though, and I doubt it would bother you unduly. As for which language - Italian or English - is better, I honestly don’t know. The Italian has the benefit of maintaining the same language for the entire film, but you may prefer the English track for the correct lip sync, and the fact that David Hemmings speaks using his real voice in it.

Posted by: Whiggles, November 29, 2006 7:46 PM


That's good to hear, I think I will get the BU re-release then. I was under the impression that there were only subtitles for the non-English parts on the AB, but this way it might have the best image quality and the option of watching it in English or Italian. So it appears to be the best package. The most worrisome aspect seems to be the changed opening and end credits then...

In addition to that I might consider buying the UK release later on for the original end credits and for the short version in English, if I can get it for little money, that is.

Maybe I'll use the time till the end of February to get "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", as I don't remember much of the plot and could re-watch it before listening to your commentary. :-)

Posted by: BobaFett, November 29, 2006 9:19 PM


Decided to listen to the commentary this evening. Stylistically it's a bit obvious that you're working from notes rather than doing it off the top of your head. On the other hand, you make a lot of good points, some of which I honestly hadn't considered before.

For example, when you talk about Carlo and Marc mirroring each other in their dialogue after Helga's death. I suddenly noticed something that you don't mention but would fit in very well - look the colour of their clothing. Marc has a dark shirt, light coat and light trousers; for Carlo it's reversed.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, November 29, 2006 11:08 PM


Well, I’m afraid I have to work from notes - actually, I was working from a script, and deviated from it very little. I tried recording it using only a very basic outline, but it was incomprehensible: loads of umming and awing, and it took twice as long to say anything!

I must admit that I’ve yet to hear a “critic” commentary that sounds in any way spontaneous, barring those by Alan Jones. Apart from his, they’re all recorded from a written script, and some do a slightly better job of concealing this than others. It’s the nature of the game, I suppose.

Good point about Marc and Carlo’s clothing, by the way. I went back to that scene to watch it again, and it’s very striking once it’s pointed out.

Posted by: Whiggles, November 29, 2006 11:20 PM

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