Olive Films partnering with the UCLA Film and Television Archives program to restore the 1972 Samuel Fuller private eye noir film "Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street" for the April 19. 2016 Olive Blu-ray release of the film is a prime example of the Olive commitment to giving classic films a new life. On a less intellectual level, great anticipation exists regarding the May 2016 Olive release of the '80s Scott Baio/WIllie Aames teen comedy "Zapped."
"Pigeon" wonderfully starts by having the opening credits roll over a Mardi Gras style street festival in 1972 Germany and having the cast and several crew members appear as their names pop up on the screen. The film then gets right down to business with the gunning down of the titular deceased individual. This is turn leads to a wacky on-again-off-again hot pursuit that merits placing hard-boiled film auteur Fuller in a director's hall of fame.
These preliminaries in turn leads to American private detective in Berlin Sandy seeking vengeance for the killing and pursuing the related goal of solving the case associated with that incident. This effort leads to the proverbial making of strange bedfellows.
The underlying plot in both senses of the word is that Sandy is on the trail of a well-organized blackmailer who takes a revised page from the Bill Cosby playbook by drugging international power brokers and having these purely innocent individuals photographed in compromising positions. Getting his man requires that Sandy first ally himself with the woman who poses for the pictures and then adequately gain the confidence of both her and the proverbial Mr. Big to get a personal audience with the latter.
The intricate plotting, twist and turns, and hilarious capers all make for great entertainment. This culminates with one of the best ever climaxes and subsequent full-circle endings in any film.
The bonus feature in the set is a booklet with two short insightful essays on the film and its important role in film history.