I vinti

(The Vanquished)


I vinti (The Vanquished)

Written by Michelangelo Antonioni, George Bassani, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Diego Fabbri, Roger Nimier & Turi Vasile

Cinematography by Enzo Sarafin

Produced by Mario Gabrielli

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni



Franco Interlenghi

Anna-Maria Ferreo

Eduardo Caiannelli

Evi Maltagliati

Peter Reynolds

Patrick Barr

Fay Compton

Etchika Choureau


Theatrical: Film Costellazione Produzione

Video: Raro Video USA


Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Codec: MPEG-2

Runtime: 113 min.

Chapters: 21

Region: All


French, Italian & English Dolby Digital Mono 2.0

Italian Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 (Dub)

Subtitles: English


Interview with Franco Interlenghi (10:45)

Interview with Turi Vasile (13:20)

Tentato Suicido (Attempted Suicide) (22:50)

Uncut Italian Episode (30:00)

Director Biography

Director Filmography

8-page booklet


Standard Clamshell w/ slipcase & booklet

Release Date: April 5, 2011


“I vinti” (“The Vanquished”) is Antonioni’s third feature film, and dates from 1953.  It explores post-war juvenile delinquency in three European countries.  Each episode is based on a true event.  Professor Stefania Parigi points out in the accompanying essay that the Italian segment was poorly received at the Venice Festival and subsequently and quickly recut, altering the intensity of the crime and his relationship with his family.


The Movie: 7

Three sketches, really.  Each one about a pointless killing.  The fact that each sketch is in a different language and setting, with different approaches to the audio mix - the looping of the English episode, for instance, is painfully out of physical context, while the French seems quasi-realistic. We get to know both victim and perpetrator, while Antonioni’s framing moves in and out claustrophobic and open settings like breathing.  Each segment stands on its own and the three together have a remote sense of building to the pointlessness of it all.  It’s hard not to see the English sketch as a rehearsal for Blow-Up.  Note where the body is left and, of course, the tennis courts in the background in the final shot.


Image: 6/5

While there is some expected variation in contrast in the outdoor scenes, with some of it bunching up at the dark end, and others a bit bright and thin, overall there is some of that familiar dimensionality we get from B&W photography by artists who know how to use light and shadow,  The print is in good shape - some blemishes and the occasional scratch for a few seconds, but overall sharpness is quite good, with most of its original grain intact, and edge enhancement is not obtrusive.



Audio & Translation: 4/7

Each segment is cast with native speaking actors of the country in question, but the English actors sound like they were all recorded poorly and looped in such a way as to make them feel completely detached from the actors and, to an extent, the effects as well.  There is a also an Italian language dub (for the Minerva Italy release, one assumes), but it’s quite dreadful for similar reasons, to say nothing of sync.  The English subtitles appear to have been derived from the Italian language dub. Not bad, just lazy.


Extras: 7

Raro provides some interesting extras: a couple of extended interviews with one of the featured actors and a writer/producer for the film; a 22-minute short film titled “Tentato Suicido” (Attempted Suicide) made by Antonioni in 1953 as one of seven episodes of “L’Amour in citta”, each by a then prominent or upandcoming Italian director; and an 8-page booklet with a readable essay about the movie (cut from the original 32 pages that was included with the Minerva DVD) by Stefania Parigi, a Professor of the History of the Italian Cinema in Rome.  Also of some importance is the full cut of the Italian segment of the movie that was shown at the 1953 Venice Film Festival.  Presumably it is not now folded into the feature film because some of the footage of considerably poorer quality.  The cover art on the slipcover is dreadful by any measure; however, the artwork for the DVD case itself is at least restrained even if it has nothing to do with the tone of the film.


Recommendation: 7

Despite the film’s somewhat awkward movement of the action and language, I have to say I remained in full consciousness and rather enjoyed the experience.  The imagery is superb and the performances and characterizations compelling.


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

April 18, 2011

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