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: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews  ( 66145 )
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« #180 : July 10, 2007, 03:00:51 PM »

MANHUNT- 1972 aka LA MALA ORDINA

Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Luciana Paluzzi

Two hitmen from NY are sent to Milan to take out Luca Canalli, a small time pimp. Only he doesn't know why the Mob wants him dead. The truth comes out late in the film and the finale between Canalli and the hitmen in a junk yard brings the proceedings to a close.

The sequel to MILAN CALIBRE 9 is just about as good as its predecessor. It doesn't miss it by much though. There is lots to like here. Silva (Dave) and his partner Frank (Strode) work very well together. At first it seems Dave has forgotten the mission as he spends his first few scenes trying to bed down various Italian women including Paluzzi, their guide. Later on, Dave becomes even more vicious than his partner. Make no mistake, Silva and Strode are the villains here in addition to the various mob characters.

Silva gets some great lines and Strode is damn HUGE here looking like a black terminator. This movie was marketed as a blaxploitation film in some markets back in the 70s.

Mario Adorf is really a very versatile actor. Having done a few westerns then his memorable turn as the sadistic mafia cronie in MILAN CALIBRE 9. Here, although he runs prostitutes, he takes care of his family. He is a rather interesting character. When he becomes embroiled in some dirty deals with the mob, he reacts about the way anybody else would in the situation especially when his family is threatened. You never find out just why he's wanted by both the Italian and the NY branch of the Mafia until near the end.

Adorf even did his own stunts. One especially dangerous car chase that ends up with Adorf first hanging from the door of the car then onto the front while it speeds down a narrow alleyway and the street. The violence is upped just a bit from last time as well. There's also a touching bit at the end in the junkyard when the hitmen are searching for Canalli and a small kitten he was petting keeps following him around.

There's also an unusually high amount of nudity on display although Paluzzi never gets undressed. Future wife of Ruggero Deodato Sylvia Koschina plays Adorf's wife here in a small role. This is probably the only movie I've seen with her where she also kept her clothes on.

Another exciting De Leo movie gets a great presentation from Raro of Italy. There's a documentary on the film but no english subs. The biography and filmography has both italian and english text.

I watched a bit of the third film entitled THE BOSS with Silva, Richard Conte and Gianni Garko. It starts off quite violently with SIlva blowing up a theater full of mobsters watching porn movies using rockets. Garko is the commissioner assigned to the case.

One thing I've noticed about De Leo's crime movies or at least this series, is that they are about the mob itself as opposed to just criminals or crime bosses as in numerous other polizios.
I've just finished watching MANHUNT and as good as Di Leo's movies are it was great for once to be able to watch this one through without having to keep pausing and rewinding(i'm gonna watch MILAN CALIBRE 9 through again before commenting).

Yes Mario Adorf (as Canalli) seems like a very unlikely hero/leading man  and at the start of the movie he comes across as this despicable slimeball pimp,and initially  i found myself hoping that Dave(Silva) and Frank(Strode) manage to nail him.But as it transpires that Canalli has been set up,loses his wife and kid and spends the whole movie frantically fighting for his survival whilst not knowing why he's a marked man,i found myself rooting for him in the end.

Dave and Frank are undoubtably the cool characters in this movie but unfortunately only really feature heavily during the beginning and finale.Adolfo Celi(Largo in THUNDERBALL) with dyed brown hair is excellent as the obnoxious Milan mafia Don who'll ruthlessly gun down his own men on a whim.

Out of the trilogy i'd say this is probably the least remarkable,though not to say its not excellent and its definitely contains the most action .The other two are considerably more talky with MILAN CALIBRE 9 possibly too much so.

I enjoyed the extra nude totty and i happily give this one an 8 out of 10 rating. O0

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« #181 : July 10, 2007, 03:03:57 PM »

I didn't find MILAN CALIBRE 9 talky at all. Maybe it was just my mood at the time. It's a shame that both discs of special features on the MILAN special edition have no subs.

Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?


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« #182 : July 10, 2007, 03:07:41 PM »

I didn't find MILAN CALIBRE 9 talky at all. Maybe it was just my mood at the time. It's a shame that both discs of special features on the MILAN special edition have no subs.

Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?
It may have seemed that way because i watched it very late two nights ago and i kept nodding off while trying to take in Frank Wolfs lengthy political exchanges with Luigi Pistilli,so a 2nd viewing may give me a completely different outlook on the movie.

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« #183 : July 10, 2007, 03:08:33 PM »

Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?
Hey now you mention it! ;)

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« #184 : July 10, 2007, 03:11:39 PM »

It may have seemed that way because i watched it very late two nights ago and i kept nodding off while trying to take in Frank Wolfs lengthy political exchanges with Luigi Pistilli,so a 2nd viewing may give me a completely different outlook on the movie.

I think the speeches between Wolff and Pistilli was to show there characters from the point of view of where they came from, one being from the 'North' and the other from the 'South'. Also the gradual transformation Wolffs character becomes towards the end in reference to the way he perceives Wolff.


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« #185 : July 10, 2007, 03:22:36 PM »

I think i need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed to appreciate this next time around. :-[

I actually found Wolffs ranting a little irritating and OTT and was more interested in seeing how the wrongly accused man(as we're led to believe) was progressing in tracking down the real culprit.


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« #186 : July 11, 2007, 05:48:08 AM »

Quote
Seems to me that you may be a closet fan of this genre

I saw them all at the theatre when they were released. Saw them again in the '80's on TV and no more since. Maybe now I'd find they are just as crappy as the italian ones, still I loved them at the time for the way they pictured urban realities, expecially NYC. The photography is what I liked most (which is strange, as in Italy we had the best operators but the photography of italian police movies doesn't come up as dirty as that of the american movies, though our cities are just as dirty as NYC was at the time). Now our cities are dirtier and NYC clean, after the Giuliani's years. They'd make a good scenary for police stories, but all we have is tv serials of clean looking policemen and, puah, policewomen. 


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« #187 : July 12, 2007, 07:00:16 AM »

I particularly enjoy the change of scenery Rome,Milan,Genoa,Naples etc in these films as opposed to NYC or San Francisco and all those small Italian cars. :)

Its a shame to hear that some of your cities are now geting a bit worse for wear now. :(

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« #188 : July 12, 2007, 07:49:33 AM »

Review for DAY OF THE COBRA(Enzo Castellari,1980)

Franco Nero is Larry "Cobra" Stanziani,dressed in a "Columbo" mack and matching beige hat, he's a struggling private investigator based in the USA.He is contacted by Goldsmith(William Berger) from the narcotics bureau to investigate the criminal activities of Serge Kandinsky,a mysterious limping black clad figure with a huge heel on one boot but we never see his face.In the opening scene we see a frantic chase involving two men culminating in Kandinsky stabbing the chased man with a blade hidden in his walking cane before extracting a key taped to the dead mans body.We learn that Stanziani has just come out of prison after being made a scapecoat resulting from a previous attempt to nail Kandinsky.

Stanziani is offered money and his old position back with the bureau so immediately flies over to Genoa .He soon finds out a bunch heavies are onto him as he's persues his old nemesis,and often ends up ducking and diving while being shot at or getting into various well choreographed fisticufs including a great violent scrap with a transvestite at a nightclub.

As Stanziani's investigations continues it seems that the motives of his employer and Genoa associates are not quite what they seemed,and that he and his son(Genoa is the Cobras hometown)
are being used as pawns in a very dangerous game.

Though nowhere near reaching the heights of either HIGH CRIME or STREET LAW,this movie still manages to deliver the all the suspense,action, and neat finale twist of a Castellari/Nero thriller .But there's also being plenty of humour thrown in for good measure including a scene with a half naked Nero standing in a dry cleaners after hitting the deck while being covered by tons of fish.And to cap it all, a pretty decent bass driven musical score.

My verdict,a recommended 7 out of 10. O0

« : July 12, 2007, 03:49:11 PM Banjo »
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« #189 : July 12, 2007, 03:10:59 PM »

La polizia ringrazia will be on TV next week, late at night. I'll try to make a recording and be back at you. In that movie there's a very pretty girl showing her tits which is the only scene I remember from the movie.


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« #190 : November 26, 2007, 03:03:41 PM »

For those who are interested I amended the EURO CRIME overview adding some additional info and correcting some mistakes I found. I had to break it up into two posts though.


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« #191 : November 27, 2007, 03:22:26 AM »

I PADRONI DELLA CITTA' 1976- aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Two young friends initiate themselves into a gang to get close to big time crime boss Mr. Scarface (Palance) to get revenge for a childhood murder and destroy his mob.

Fernando di Leo's third chapter in his second Euro Crime trilogy is a disappointing affair. The film starts out strong but slowly peters out after that and never regains steam until the final 15 minutes when the friend lure Scarface's mob into an abandoned factory where a ferocious gun battle complete with explosions takes place. There are very few action scenes other than numerous fist fights and nothing at all similar to other entries in the genre. Maybe I'll give it another view later but as of now, it's a big letdown considering reviews amp up the sleaze factor and aside from one brief bit of a gangster hanging by a meathook from his throat, the film is tame in comparison to other di Leo movies. No one even bleeds when they are shot.

The documentary on the Raro disc is very interesting (moreso than the film) including reminisces from di Leo himself. He says it is a film that gets regular play on Italian television.

Although Palance is featured prominently on the cover as well as the poster, he's barely in the movie. In fact, the US title of MR. SCARFACE is a bit of a misnomer. Palance figures in the nicely done opening but then disappears for large chunks of the film and is even killed off before the big confrontation.

Al Cliver is actually the films real star as he is the child that figures in the opening gundown. But it is Harry Bauer, a German actor, who gets the bulk of the screen time. One scene after another he engages in pseudo martial arts fights with various henchmen leading up to he and Cliver's big gun battle in the run down factory at the conclusion.

Edmund Purdom is also on hand but has even less to do than Palance. He plays Palance's lead rival and exits the film rather quickly and gets no time to shine.

Another beautful restoration from Raro with a fine documentary with subs. The film can either be viewed in Italian, Italian with english subs or the English dub itself. If only the numerous earlier releases from Raro had English tracks or subs.




AC I loved this film! I watched a 35mm print of Mr. Scarface last week with a sold out crowd and although not the quality of DiLeo's earlier films .... it defintely had everything that I needed to cheer! The issue with the film is that you have to like the buggy boy and get into his character ... otherwise you wind up hating the film!
A funny fact a friend of mine brought up was that they probably only had Palance for 3 days of shooting b/c throughout the film Palance only wears 3 different suits! No crime boss would wear the same suit twice in a month!


Frank: "So you're the one who makes appointments"
Harmonica: "And you're the one who doesn't keep em"
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« #192 : November 27, 2007, 04:26:22 AM »

Tony Arzenta -AKA- No Way Out- AKA- Big Guns

1973

Dir: Duccio Tessari

Italy / France

Alain Delon ...  Tony Arzenta
 Richard Conte ...  Nick Gusto
 Carla Gravina ...  Sandra
 Marc Porel ...  Domenico Maggio
 Roger Hanin ...  Carré
 Nicoletta Machiavelli ... Anna Arzenta


No Way Out's plot plays out like many films weve seen before, but this one comes attached with the over the top style of the genre great Duccio Tessari and the cool charisma of Alain Delon in it.

Delon plays international Hitman Tony Arzenta who After many years of working for Mob Boss Nick Gusto (Conte) has a change of heart and wants out.
This obviously doesnt sit well with the Bosses and after a meeting its decided to do blow up their former ice-cold  employee. 
Whoops! The bosses boff this one and Tony Arzenta now has a personal Vendetta against every one of his old bosses!

The death scenes in "No Way Out" are absolutely ridiculous! Each death is staged like a Giallo and youll find yourself shouting out loud with each action packed scene! But the best part of this film are the car chase scenes .... Fantastico!

Tessari was no slouch when he tackled this project as he had already made his mark in the Spaghetti Western genre (A Pistol for Ringo, The Return of Ringo)  and The Giallo  (The Bloodstained Butterfly, Death Occured Last Night) so he naturally stepped right into the uber popular Crime films of the time, but he did so with a mighty bang!

This was a big step in the Euro-Crime films as Italy and France teamed up for this co-production bringing international superstar Alain Delon to Italy!

WIth the fantastic supporting cast of  Nicoletta Machiavelli, Carla Gravina, Marc Porel, and Erika Blanc (Kill Baby Kill) This is one of my top 3 Italian Crime films of all time.


Frank: "So you're the one who makes appointments"
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« #193 : November 27, 2007, 04:33:15 AM »

I purchased a couple of 16mm Italian Crime films starring Antonio Sabato titled EYE OF THE SPIDER also with Klaus Kinski, and BLACK LEMONS. I have yet to watch these films, and was curious if anyone had seen either film before?

By the way AC .... fantastic thread! Its hard to find anyone that has even heard or seen most of these films.
For my taste ... I think that the 70's Italian Crime films are right on par with the American Film Noir's of the 40's and 50's!

« : November 27, 2007, 04:37:49 AM Franks Harmonica »

Frank: "So you're the one who makes appointments"
Harmonica: "And you're the one who doesn't keep em"
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« #194 : November 27, 2007, 06:29:56 AM »

I saw Black Lemons in a theatre at the time of release. Boring. And I hate Sabato.

I finally saw again La polizia ringrazia and found it too verbose and didascalic (the journalist bus scene is absurd). Still worth a watching for historic value and Salerno.


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