by Anthony King
Growing up there was always an Agatha Christie novel lying around. She was my mom's favorite author, and I reminisce fondly on the days when Mom would tell me about the mystery she was reading at the time. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I picked up a Christie of my own (And Then There Were None). As much as I loved the whodunnit of the story, I loved the characters that populated its pages even more. As I reflect on the novels and films I enjoy the most, I realize I love a story full of interesting characters. The Sunday Woman (1975) is Luigi Comencini's adaptation of the popular Italian novel written by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini, and its full of an assortment of characters not unlike those Agatha Christie novels that littered nightstands and coffee tables in the King house.
It is then revealed that Garrone was bludgeoned to death with a sizable stone penis. As if this wasn't bizarre enough, Santamaria and his squad are assigned to busting a sex party being held at the house of Grinchy older woman and her mousy daughter. The architect, it turns out, was working with the older woman in order to sell her crumbling villa to land developers with the promise of a sizable payout. As Santamaria navigates the convoluted murder mystery that introduces new characters every other scene, it becomes clear to the viewer that the detective story is running parallel in importance to the examination of the drastic class divide between the upper crust Piedmontese and the lower class Turinos and Sicilians.
While Kenneth Branagh is updating Agatha Christie's classics and Rian Johnson delivers modern twists on detective fiction, forgotten gems like The Sunday Woman are out there, ripe for discovery. And thanks to fine work from the people at Radiance, we're treated to a beautiful presentation of this soon-to-be lauded murder mystery.
Blu-ray release date: May 2, 2023
109 minutes / 1975
1.33:1 / 1.85:1
PCM Mono (Italian)
Subtitles: English (SDH)
Limited edition 24-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mariangela Sansone and a reprint of an archival piece on the film Archival French TV interview with Jean-Louis Trintignant (1976, 4 min.)
Interview with academic and Italian cinema expert Richard Dyer (2022, 18 min.)
Archival interview with cinematographer Luciano Tovoli (2008, 22 min.)
Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters Removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings