The 10th Victim

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The 10th Victim
The 10th Victim.jpg
Directed by Elio Petri
Produced by Carlo Ponti
Written by Tonino Guerra
Giorgio Salvioni
Ennio Flaiano
Elio Petri
Ernesto Gastaldi
Based on The Seventh Victim
by Robert Sheckley
Starring Marcello Mastroianni
Ursula Andress
Elsa Martinelli
Salvo Randone
Music by Piero Piccioni
Cinematography Gianni Di Venanzo
Edited by Ruggero Mastroianni
Compagnia Cinematografica Champion
Les Films Concordia
Distributed by Interfilm (Italy)
Embassy Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 1 December 1965 (1965-12-01)
Running time
92 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian
Elsa Martinelli in The 10th Victim (1965).

The 10th Victim (Italian: La decima vittima) is a 1965 Italian/French international co-production science fiction film directed by Elio Petri and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress, and featuring Elsa Martinelli in a supporting role. The picture is based on Robert Sheckley's 1953 short story "Seventh Victim". 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 near future, big wars are avoided by giving individuals with violent tendencies a chance to kill in the Big Hunt. The Hunt is the most popular form of entertainment in the world and also attracts participants who are looking for fame and fortune. It includes ten rounds for each competitor, five as the hunters and five as the victims. The survivor of ten rounds becomes extremely wealthy and retires. Scenes switch between the pursuit, romance between a hunter and a victim, with a narrator explaining the rules and justification of the Hunt.

Caroline Meredith (Ursula Andress) is a huntress armed with a high caliber Bosch shotgun looking for her tenth victim. Marcello Poletti (Marcello Mastroianni) is the victim. He is reluctant to kill Meredith because he is not sure that she is his hunter; later he is more reluctant because they have become romantically involved. To maximize financial gain, Meredith wants to get a perfect kill in front of the cameras as she has negotiated a major sponsor from the Ming Tea Company.



The 10th Victim received positive reviews from critics, and became an international hit. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it received a score of 83% based on 6 reviews (5 "fresh and 1 "rotten").

In popular culture[edit]

In the early 1990s, comedian and actor Mike Myers, along with musicians Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, started a faux British 1960s band whose members adopted personas from that era. The band named itself Ming Tea, after the company that sponsored Andress' character in the film. The band is best remembered as the first appearance of Myers' famous character Austin Powers.

See also[edit]


  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. 

External links[edit]