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Damiano Damiani
Tony Musante, Claudia Cardinale, John Steiner
Writing Credits:
Damiano Damiani, Nicola Badalucco

An agent's plot to overthrow an African nation is jeopardized by his friend's interference in the country's politics.

Rated NR.


Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Italian DTS-HD MA Monaural
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min. (Italian Cut)
102 min. (English Cut)
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 2/13/24

• Both Italian and English Versions of Film
• Audio Commentary with Film Historian Nathaniel Thompson and Filmmaker Howard S. Berger.
• Interview with Editor Antonio Siciliano
• Interview with Actor Wolfango Soldati


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Goodbye & Amen [Blu-Ray] (1977)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 10, 2024)

When I saw Goodbye & Amen in my mailbox, I thought it offered the final episode of TV’s M*A*S*H. Nope – that program came with the title “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”.

Oops! Instead, 1977’s Goodbye & Amen offers an Italian thriller.

CIA Agent John Dannahay (Tony Musante) gets an assignment that places him in Rome. From there he receives orders to lead an operation to overthrow an African government.

However, matters change when Dannahay’s colleague (John Steiner) takes up a spot on top of a hotel and begins to shoot random passersby. After this man takes hostages, Dannahay needs to address this crisis before he can deal with his job in Africa.

Amen became my third experience with the films of director Damiano Damiani. I first saw 1982’s Amityville II: The Possession, a laughably bad stab at a scary movie.

However, I later viewed 1966’s The Witch. It proved significantly more effective and delivered a moody and atmospheric horror experience.

This left Amen to break a tie, I guess. It does so on the positive side of the ledger, as it brings an effective effort.

Amen comes with some of the cynicism typical of the era’s thrillers. In particular, the film’s depiction of various governmental factions shows this attitude.

In a standard story, Dannahay would act as a true-blue hero who saves the day in the usual way. Instead, it becomes clear that he only bothers to intervene with the violent affair because it gets in the way of his intended coup attempt.

I like that spin, and Amen manages to subvert expectations in additional ways as well. I left the name of Dannahay’s colleague blank for a reason, as the movie toys with us there as well, and it comes with a semi-satirical tone that also adds spark to the proceedings.

This doesn’t mean Amen acts as a spoof of thrillers, and it largely plays things straight. Still, it acts tongue in cheek at times, and it likes to tamper with the formula in various ways.

These all mean that Amen keeps us both off-guard and engaged. It maintains a vagueness that musters intrigue but not confusion, and this tone helps sustain attention.

Nothing here quite elevates Amen to the level of classic. Nonetheless, it delivers a solid genre effort with enough cleverness and twists to ensure we stick with it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio C/ Bonus B

Goodbye & Amen appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer gave us a good representation of the source.

Overall delineation seemed good. Due to the nature of the photography, some mild softness occurred, but most of the film offered reasonable delineation and accuracy.

I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors leaned toward a subdued feel, with a lean toward the blue side. Though the hues didn’t impress, they felt adequate for the image as intended.

Blacks were fairly deep, and shadows demonstrated reasonable clarity. Nothing here excelled, but this still seemed like a solid presentation given the nature of the original photography.

Don’t expect a whole lot from the blah DTS-HD MA 1.0 soundtrack of Amen. Not that I expected much from a mono mix created 47 years ago, of course.

Like many Italian films, all the dialogue got dubbed later. The disc came with both Italian and English soundtracks – more about the latter later.

The looped results never felt especially natural. The artificial nature of the dialogue left the lines as awkward and stiff, though they always remained intelligible.

Music showed decent reproduction, though the score seemed a bit flat and dull. Effects fell into the same domain, as they showed acceptable but restricted range. Some clumsy foley work created minor distractions, mainly because the rustle of characters as they walked became too loud.

Some light hiss/background noise cropped up at times during the film. This became a passable mix for a movie from 1977.

A few extras appear, and we open with an audio commentary from film historian Nathaniel Thompson and filmmaker Howard S. Berger. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of cast and crew, story and characters, themes, cinematic techniques and interpretation, and genre domains.

It feels odd to see Thompson without his usual partner, fellow historian Troy Howarth. Indeed, the publicity materials that came with this disc credited Howarth as half of the commentary!

With Berger in tow, we spend more time on discussion of the film itself and less on nuts and bolts. To some degree, that seems fine.

I think we do get some good insights from Berger, though I feel he overestimates the film’s satirical side. However, I’d like more about the actual production, so this ends up as an enjoyable but not great commentary.

Two interviews follow, and the first comes from editor Antonio Siciliano. Recorded in 2023, this chat goes for 38 minutes, 49 seconds.

Siciliano discusses how he got into films as well as aspects of his career and his work on Amen. We find a pretty solid chat.

Next we get an interview with actor Wolfango Soldati. From 2013, his conversation lasts 23 minutes, 49 seconds.

Soldati talks about his career and his work on Amen. He provides a blunt and informative conversation.

We get two versions of Amen here. While the movie review as well as picture/audio comments reflect the Italian Cut (1:49:33), we also get an English Cut (1:42:17).

Because you can read those running times, you can tell that the English edition doesn’t simply offer an alternate dub of the same version. I was unable to find concrete comparisons of the two online.

I also felt that my one screening of the Italian cut left me unprepared to offer a clear comparison. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention the presence of the shorter English edition.

Note that a disclaimer warns of an English soundtrack that was ‘severely damaged”, so expect issues in that domain. Indeed, this text regards the English presentation as nothing more than a “curio”.

A slightly satirical take on the thriller genre, Goodbye & Amen provides a pretty solid ride. It shows the cynicism typical of its era but still delivers a fairly engaging tale. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and supplements as well as acceptable audio. Expect a generally positive experience here.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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