The 10th Victim

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

The 10th Victim (1965, Italy/France) is a Science Fiction film directed by Elio Petri


Main Details

  • Released in 1965
  • Color
  • Running time: 92 minutes
  • Production Co: C.C. Champion/Les Films Concordia
  • Distribution Co: Interfilm (1965) (Italy) (theatrical) (dubbed)/Embassy Pictures (1965) (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed and subtitled) (as 'The 10th Victim')/Inter-Verleih Film-Gesellschaft (1966) (West Germany) (theatrical)/Planet Film Distributors (1966) (UK) (theatrical)/Anglo Embassy (1966) (UK) (theatrical)/Selecciones Fuster (José Fuster Candel) (1977) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Directed by Elio Petri
  • Produced by Carlo Ponti
  • Screenplay by Tonino Guerra, Giorgio Salvioni, Ennio Flaiano, Elio Petri, Mickey Knox (English dialogue) Robert Sheckley
  • Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress, Elsa Martinelli, Salvo Randone
  • Narrated by Jacques Herlin
  • Music by Piero Piccioni
  • Cinematography Gianni Di Venanzo
  • Edited by Ruggero Mastroianni


  • It's the 21st century and they have a licence to kill.
  • It's murderously funny!
  • The Fun Lies Dead Ahead!
  • She'd love to kill him - and kill... to love him!


The picture is based on Robert Sheckley's 1953 short story "Seventh Victim". It depicts a government-endorsed, televised Big Hunt, featuring contestants from around the world acting as "hunters" and "victims"; when Marcello Poletti and Caroline Meredith, the game's two top assassins, are pitted against each other, they find that love is the most dangerous game of all. Sheckley later published a novelization of the film in 1966,[1] and two sequels (Victim Prime and Hunter/Victim) in 1987 and 1988, respectively.[2] In the United States, the film was theatrically released by Joseph E. Levine's Embassy Pictures.[3]

The original short story was written from the point of view of a man hunting his seventh target, a woman, whereas in the movie she is the hunter. He finds her apparently defenceless sitting in a cafe. Talking to her, she tells him how she is new to the game but could not bear to kill her own target, and now expects to die. The hunter falls in love with his victim, as in the movie, and eventually reveals who he is. She has tricked him; she shoots him, joining the ranks of the "Tens".

The story was adapted for radio on X Minus One in 1957.[4]


  1. Di Filippo, Paul. "The 10th Victim". Science Fiction Weekly. Archived from the original on November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
  2. Frelik, Paweł; Mead, David G. (2007). Playing the Universe: Games and Gaming in Science Fiction. Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-83-227-2656-3.
  3. Bosley Crowther. "Screen: Mastroianni vs. Miss Andress:Futuristic '10th Victim' Opens at 2 Theaters". The New York Times.
  4. ON RADIO. (1957, Mar 06). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from [1]

  • Grindhouse Database Newsletter
  • Exploitation books
  • Kung fu movies
  • Giallo BluRay