Jean Paul Belmondo, Joanna Shimkus
Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a petty crook who wants to move on to bigger things. He ends up
getting caught while stealing a car and sent to prison. He escapes and his modelling girlfriend
(sixties icon Joanna Shimkus) discovers his true identity and kicks him out. He decides to pull a
big bank job to get even with his former associtaes. Episodic and colorful, this violent crime
film was directed by Robert Enrico.
I Am The Law
Giuliano Gemma, Claudia Cardinale
Cesare Mori (Giuliano Gemma) is a Magistrate sent to the most corrupt place in Italy, Palermo,
Sicily. He is given absolute power to wipe out all the Mafia influence in the area and he decides
to use their own methods against them (such as using a shotgun to blow the head off one
rebellious SOB!). A class film full of violence, one of the better Italian crime films that also
details how the Fascists came to power at the same time. Claudia Cardinale co-stars and Ennio
Morricone contributes one of his best scores. Letterboxed print.
I KISS THE HAND (1973)-NOW UNCUT AT 112 MINUTES (PREVIOUS RELEASES WERE 98 MINUTES). BEAUTIFUL WIDESCREEN PRINT, ENGLISH DUBBED WITH NEW SCENES ENGLISH SUBBED. John Saxon's dialogue reminded me of Pacino's SCARFACE! It would be a mistake to pass up this solid Mafia story set in Palermo mainly and with a few scenes in New York. The old capos have a way of doing things, a code, and rules of the game that keep the peace. But they cannot pass the culture on to the young, who have their own ideas, who are more impetuous and impatient, and who want more money. Arthur Kennedy heads the Ferrante family and he has several sons. John Saxon heads no family but he is ambitious and wants to be a capo. He wants a piece of land owned by one of Kennedy's sons, Stefano. Saxon will break any rules. He has Stefano killed and intends to kidnap his wife (Agostina Belli) to get her signature on the deed. Kennedy keeps the peace nonetheless. This does no good as Saxon makes further inroads, tricking Belli and her bodyguard. That's for starters. The story weaves its way onwards. Some of it may seem familiar, but most of it is not. There are a good many surprises along the way, and it is not clear who will be left standing or for those who will not, how they will meet their end.
Robert Widmark, Daniela Giordano in english with dutch subs
Sergio Garrone (SS EXPERIMENT CAMP) directs this sleazy tale of a man (Robert Widmark)
who is double-crossed by a local gangster (Victor Israel) after stealing some jewels for him.
The gangster's moll (Daniela Giordano supplies the flesh) helps his second in command to kill
Israel and escape with Widmark in tow. They find the loot but endless double-crosses leaves no
Killer On The Loose
Alain Delon widescreen print
Alain Delon plays a rich businessman whose son has shotgunned a policeman. The public wants
blood and Delon will do anything to save his son. Turns out Delon was in prison during his
youth and this information just creates more problems. So Delon does what any father would
do, he goes around beating the shit out of all those who were around during the shooting to find
out what really happened.
LADY DYNAMITE (1973)-LETTERBOXED HD PRINT WITH NO HARD SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME! Director: Giuseppe Vari (as Al Pisani), Stars: Lidia Alfonsi, Venantino Venantini, Mario Danieli. I'll say one thing for lead Lidia Alfonsi, she's a MILF and doesn't mind showing you why! Donna Costanza is married to a New Jersey mafia boss. During their 10 year wedding anniversary party he is shot and killed. His dying words to her are "Giarratana from Palermo". Costanza takes a trip to Palermo in order to avenge the death of her husband. Her target is Don Giarratana, a dangerous and influential Italian politician.
Tomas Milian, Eli Wallach widescreen print
For fans of the Nico Giraldi series (see ETC #11 for details), here's another entry that is
appearing in English for the first time. Nico (Tomas Milian) robs a racetrack and gets sent to prison. He's allowed to escape where he hightails it to America (Little Italy, NY to be exact) and works his way into the local Mafia. His undercover mission is to capture the local Don (Eli Wallach) and exonerate the bad reputation of the Italian police. Directed by Bruno Corbucci.
Jean-Paul Belmondo, Michel Constatine, Claudia Cardinale
Villanova is running the city with an iron fist. Roberto(Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his friend
Xavier (Michel Constatine) are Villanova's only rivals so they are setup for a crime and sent to
prison. Roberto's in love with Xavier's sister (Claudia Cardinale who plays a whorehouse
Madame) and all three plot escape and a way to take over Villanova's gang. There's even a
rival gang of Black Mobsters (Blaxploitation films were even influencing French gangster films!)
to contend with. There's an early bit part by Gerard Depardieu and the film was directed by
MANHUNT IN THE CITY (1975)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Umberto Lenzi, Stars: Henry Silva, Luciana Paluzzi, Silvano Tranquilli. A man's daughter is killed by thieves during a bank robbery. Due to the incompetence of the corrupt authorities, he decides to take to law into his own hands and track down the killers. Here, Silva impressively depicts the tormented and heart-broken father David Vannucchi whose innocent 8-year-old daughter relentlessly got killed by gangsters during a jewelry heist. Like all citizens of Milan, Vannucchi thinks that the police don't make enough efforts to reduce crime and capture criminals, so he starts his own private investigation to find his daughter's killers. His search leads to dubious vigilante organizations, sleazy night clubs and drug traffickers, but also brings him in mortal danger. His ex-wife Vera and the tolerant Police Inspector beg him to stop, but Vannucchi's urge for justice is unstoppable. In comparison to the vast majority of Poliziotteschi movies, "Manhunt in the City" features relatively few virulent car chases, brutish shootouts and general perversion. Instead of all that, Lenzi comes up with an intelligent script that touches upon several sensitive but socially relevant themes and a truly unexpected and perplexing end-twist. Seriously, the ending of "Manhunt in the City" can be used as evidence to state that Italian exploitation cinema is a lot cleverer than people (especially surly critics) think! Lenzi's direction is tight, the performances are excellent and Bruno Nicolai hits the exact right tone with a powerful score.
MEAN TRICKS (1992)- Directed by: Umberto Lenzi, Stars: Charles Napier, Stefano Sabelli, Iris Peynado. An alcoholic, drug wars lost his wife, an American ex-FBI agent Hornsby (Charles Napier) arrives in South America to investigate a former partner behind the mess left by soon and combine forces with a young detective Rodriguez (Stefano Sabelli) with a mysterious criminal jallittaakseen the Emperor, known as Cobra.
Nick The Sting
Fernando Di Leo1978
Luc Merenda, Dagmar Lassander, Lee J Cobb
Terrific gangster flick by Fernando Di Leo (MILAN CALIBER 9) made with a light touch but still
filled with violence, foul language and nudity (thanks to Dagmar Lassander). Lee J Cobb plays
an American who runs a smuggling racket on the Swiss border. Luc Merenda is set up as a fall
guy for a botched robbery and has to take severe revenge on Cobb just to survive.
PANIC IN THE CASINO (1981)- Director: Max H. Boulois, Stars: Peter Cushing, Claudine Auger, Hugo Stiglitz. Sir Thomas Bedford orchestrates the heist of a Spanish casino, with the aid of a singer performing there. The police are aware of their activities, and a hostage situation arises.
PROFESSIONAL KILLER (1966)-NOT ONLY AND HD PRINT, LETTERBOXED, BUT ALSO 5 MINUTES LONGER THAN PREVIOUS RELEASES! Director: Francesco Prosperi (as Frank Shannon), Stars: Robert Webber, Franco Nero, José Luis de Vilallonga . Mondo pioneer Franco Prosperi proved himself a more than capable director of narrative cinema with this intriguing suspense feature. Robert Webber stars as Clint Harris, a morose, high-paid New York hit-man sent on assignment to Paris to locate and eliminate the mysterious Frank Secchy, who's making a move on Manhattan's criminal underworld and was also responsible for the murder of Clint's brother. Compelled by his boss (Cec Linder, the original Felix Leiter from Goldfinger) to take along deadweight sidekick Tony Lo Bello (a very young looking Franco Nero), Clint runs into trouble with a heroin-addicted woman who holds the key to Secchy's whereabouts. There's lots of shooting, some great Big Apple location footage for the first couple of reels, a fine score by Robby Poiteven, a twist ending, and even a night club scene where Take A Heart, the great freakbeat anthem by The Sorrows, plays out in its entirety.
Ransom! The Police Are Watching
Lee J Cobb, Jean Sorel, Luciana Paluzzi, Enrico Maria Salerno widescreen print
For fans of Italian crime films, here's an obscure but excellent example of the genre! Enrico
Maria Salerno, Luciana Paluzzi, Jean Sorel, Laura Betti and Lee J Cobb star. A series of violent
high profile kidnappings are happening yet the police are prevented from interfering because
the rich victims don't want to jeopardize their safety. Cobb plays a weathered cop who decides
to take the law into his own hands to stop the madness.
SEAGULLS FLY LOW (1978)-Letterboxed print. Downbeat suspense thriller starring the one and only Maurizio Merli as an ex-Vietnam vet who is forced to become a hitman and gets caught in the middle of a conspiracy. The violence that one can expect from a Merli movie is missing although he gets the chance to unfold his unique acting talent. This obscurity is a must-see for fans of Maurizio. Excellent funky score by Roberto Pregadio. Nathalie Delon, Dagmar Lassander and Mel ferrer co-star.
SHOWDOWN (1968)-RARE ENGLISH DUB AND 5 MINUTES LONGER, BLURAY SOURCE, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Georges Lautner, Stars: Jean Gabin, Dany Carrel, Jean Gaven, André Pousse. Six months before his retirement from the criminal police, inspector Joss finds his colleague Gouvion dead, in a poorly faked suicide attempt. Joss loses his temper, and investigates on his own, which leads him through the bas-fond of Paris...Fast-paced, action-packed, cynical, violent, funny, a pretty damn exciting flick which can be seen as a forerunner of the hard-boiled European crime films of the 1970's...
SPEED CROSS (1980)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Stars Fabio Testi and Daniela Poggi, directed by Stelvio Massi. This one happens to be about racing motorcycles and stars Fabio Testi as an undercover cop who infiltrates the closed world of professional motocross racing to solve an old case and settle a personal score. This film has a lot of almost Gladitorial bike riding with competing riders trying to force each other off the road combined with a political corruption subplot, and may have been inspired by ROLLERBALL with James Caan. Such concerns are irrelevant -- The movie has a familiarity to it that is decidedly Italian in its proprietary nature. You don't have to see a lot of motocross racing movies to enjoy the show, and as offbeat, obscure macho man entertainments go this one is pretty good, even if it is all pretty silly after all is said & done.
SPEED DRIVER (1980)- Director: Stelvio Massi, Stars: Senta Berger, Orazio Orlando, Francisco Rabal. Rudi is an illegal street racer whose reputation in the area becomes so strong that he is hired to compete professionally on the circuit. What Rudi doesn't realize though is that the car's owner is also a drug trafficker. He soon finds out that his boss has ulterior motives to make him do deliveries and become the all-star drug runner. An American journalist named Suzanne tries to help Rudi get out of the situation he has got twisted into and unmask his boss in order to break free.
SWINDLE (1977)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Bruno Corbucci, Stars: Tomas Milian, David Hemmings, Anna Cardini. The third entry in the popular Nico Giraldi series, SQUADRA ANTITRUFFA aka Swindle is enjoyable, vulgar and highly politically incorrect Nico Giraldi flick. This time "undercover" inspector Nico Giraldi (Milian) is investigating an insurance fraud with the help of an English detective (David Hermmings) employed by "Loyd's of London" - the "most prestigous insurance company in the world". The investigation leads the unlikely team into the Gay underworld of Rome, which gave the filmmakers the opportunity to incorporate some low-brow "gay-bashing" as the ridiculously macho Giraldi visits a Gay club. In the second half of the film Milian and Hemmings follows a suspect to San Francisco, one of the funnier segments which of course has the obligatory car chase. As in the previous films, Giraldi has a romantic interest in the form of a highly educated girl who is fascinated by Giraldi's tongue-in-cheek brutishness. The girlfriend in Swindle claims to be a feminist and studies film and complains when Giraldi wants to watch Spaghetti Westerns...
THE BIG FAMILY (1974)-Beautiful letterboxed print. While some Italian crime films (particularly post-1977 ones) are just mindless violence (particularly violence against women), many pre-1977 ones are serious commentary on corruption and the justice system in Italy...and by extension to other Western countries. THE BIG FAMILY is such a film. The Mob is in charge at the film's beginning, the Mob is in charge at the film's end. Anyone who challenges it is killed or somehow taken out of the picture. A police inspector or prosecutor who is making progress may suddenly get the offer of a significant promotion...to another part of the country. Every branch of the government...and the church...is compromised. American businessman Richard Conte can come to Sicily hoping to do some construction projects and thinking that his friendship with the Don back in New York will help him here and that he doesn't have to play by the local rules. An honest cop works hard and makes countless sacrifices, and many good people die because he keeps on his quest. Eventually, he nabs the top man...and it turns out he has achieved nothing and he is back at square one. Even the top man is expendable to the overall survival of the big family.
The Bloody Hands Of The Law
Klaus Kinski, Philippe Leroy widescreen print
The Italian Mafia bring in a hitman from the US to knockoff one of their competitors. A woman
working at the airport recognizes him and she's quickly killed by a brutal (Klaus Kinski) killer.
Soon after, everyone who had any contact with the case is either shot, strangled or in the case
of one poor bastard, have their crotch blowtorched (he tried to rape a suspect before the Mafia
thugs interrogated her). Philippe Leroy plays a tough cop who shoots first and never bothers to
even ask questions!
THE BURGLARS (1971)-MAJOR UPGRADE IN QUALITY, LETTERBOXED AND ENGLISH DUBBED. Director: Henri Verneuil, Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Omar Sharif, Dyan Cannon and great score by Ennio Morricone. In 1970s Athens a group of professional burglars led by Azad plan a daring burglary. The victim is the rich gem merchant Mister Tasco. The treasure to be plundered is Mister Tasco's sumptuous emerald collection. The break-in team neutralize the villa's guard, enter the premises and locate the safe. Their sophisticated safe-cracking tools allow the burglars to break the safe open and steal the emeralds. During the caper a lone Greek policeman notices the burglars' car parked outside the Tasco residence and becomes suspicious. When Azad pretends to tinker with the getaway car's engine the Greek cop pretends he believes him. In fact, the Greek Police inspector Abel Zacharia suspects a burglary is taking place but decides to play along in order to allow the burglars to complete their mission. However, the corrupt Greek cop intends to arrest the criminals later and to steal the emeralds for himself. A cat and mouse chase ensues.
THE CONTRACT (1971)-LETTERBOXED HD PRINT. Director: Claude Mulot, Pornographer Claude Mulot once tried film making and liked it. So he didn't stop porn completely, but he shot a few "non-porno" movies during the 70's and 80's. This one is about a french guy who left his native village for obscure family reasons. He's been living in New York since then with a girl he doesn't love, and has survived being a table boy in a restaurant. When he witnesses a mob chief killing a bunch of people, he decides to run away and go back to his France. The mob chief sends a killer out to seek him. Now behind that common script lies a very unique directing, a few surprising scenes and an unusual atmosphere. Gabriele Tinti, as the killer, is very touching, and the story is overall gripping. There are a few times when Mulot's style gets in the way of the continuity, but this is a 70's gem I would not be shy to recommend to the genre's lovers.