Review: Property is No Longer a Theft
Blu-ray and DVD: Property is No Longer a Theft (1973)
Total (Flávio Bucci) is a lowly bank teller, living in borderline poverty with his father who was a bank teller before him. Total is frustrated by the way that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is exemplified by The Butcher (Ugo Tognazzi) who is a despicable character that uses the bank as his personal plaything, rips off his customers, defrauds insurance companies for millions and treats people like crap, especially his mistress.
Total decides he has had enough of working within the system and leaves his job to embark on a life of crime but, more importantly, make The Butcher pay for his greed and gluttony. This starts off with him stealing small items from The Butcher, making him more and more paranoid until his vendetta spirals into even more outlandish revenge.
Flávio Bucci plays Total as a twitchy malevolent phantom, nervously scratching himself at the sight or thought of money. He flits in and out of The Butchers life, taking personal items, including his mistress. Ugo Tagnazzi does a great job of making The Butcher utterly repellent as he demeans and beats his mistress whilst ripping off everyone around him. Some may balk at the treatment of women in the movie as they are grabbed, groped and slapped at every turn. I appreciate that times have changed but, I found it a little uncomfortable viewing, especially the suggestion that they enjoyed being mistreated.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that Italian cinema isn’t my forte, so I kind of dreaded watching Property Is No Longer a Theft. I hate to sound ignorant but, I just don’t get the style and it’s always in the back of my mind that I’m doing the subject matter a disservice. At the end of the day I can only write about my thoughts and feelings towards the film.
Saying all that, I enjoyed Property Is No Longer a Theft! I found that even though the movie was made in 1973, the subject matter is more relevant than ever. It reminded me of the revelations about the Members of Parliament expenses scandal a few years ago, and bankers making millions risking hardworking peoples savings, whilst they contributed to the global economic crisis.
Of course Property Is No Longer a Theft has tropes from Italian cinema that I still find a bit odd but, this didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment and maybe, just maybe, I might be finding a greater appreciation for this genre of movies.
If you like Italian Cinema then please also check out Tina’s great review of Night Train Murders which also features Flávio Bucci.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- 4K restoration from the original film negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- New subtitle translation
- Brand-new interview with actor Flavio Bucci
- Brand-new interview with producer Claudio Mancini
- Brand-new interview with make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Camilla Zamboni.