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EUROCRIME

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THE CORRUPT ONES (1967)-BEAUTIFUL WIDESCREEN PRINT. "The Corrupt Ones" is a Cold War-era adventure story about a chase for the Peking Medallion, which is the key to an ancient Chinese treasure. The stars are Robert Stack and Elke Sommer, but, as is usual in this type of film, the villains, of whom Nancy Kwan is the chief, are more colorful. The film starts with a fight for the medallion on board a train, and the pace rarely lets up from there. It's a great time waster, if you've got the time to waste. Of course, this particular genre was done practically to death by the Indian Jones series, but, if you can get past the low budget, there's a lot to enjoy here, not the least of which is Dusty Springfield's singing of the title tune.

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The Evil Trap

Yves Boisset1975

Tomas Milian, Marlene Jobert, Michel lonsdale

Excellent thriller by director Yves Boisset about a former mental patient (Marlene Jobert) who is

hired as a governess. Before long she becomes the focal point of a kidnap and murder

conspiracy plot masterminded by her supposed benefactor (Michel Lonsdale) who uses a

vicious killer (Tomas Milian) to carry it through. Filled with black humor, this one keeps you on

the edge of your seat throughout.

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The Final Contract

Romolo Guerrieri1992

Fabio Testi, Burt Young, Carol Alt, Rod Steiger, Philippe Leroy, Michael Nouri

The Dellacroce brothers (Burt Young and Philippe Leroy) are head of Milan's crime syndicate.

Detective Calarno (Fabio Testi) has one of their accountants in hiding as a key witness. Sloane

(Michael Nouri) is a hit man hired by the Dellacroce to knock off the blabber mouth. Nouri is not

what he appears to be in this slick, violent well-made crime film directed by Romolo Guerrieri

with a score by Simon Boswell. Carol Alt co-stars.

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THE GANG (1977)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. Jacques Deray directs Alain Delon and Laura Betti. In 1945, as World War Two comes to a close, five small time crooks unite to form a gang. After several bold robberies they become notorious as "the front-wheel drive gang". The police attempt to stop their crime spree with little success, but how long will their luck last ?

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THE GOLDEN CLAWS OF THE CAT GIRL (1968)-Letterboxed print. Director: Edouard Logereau, Stars: Danièle Gaubert, Michel Duchaussoy, Julien GuiomarLa Louve Solitaire, which I saw as "Golden Claws of Cat Girl" (a title worthy of ten stars alone), stars stunning redhead Danielle Gaubert as trapeze artist turned cat burglar Françoise. There's more than a little hint of Nikita in the way Françoise is forced to work for the government after being caught red-handed on a job and one can't help but wonder whether Luc Besson saw this before making that movie. Assisted by undercover agent and gifted lip-reader Bruno (Michel Duchaussoy), Françoise undertakes a daring heist to help nail a drug trafficking gang. Complications inevitably ensue. The heist sequence is reasonably well-done and is the highlight of this fairly obscure little movie which suffers badly from an uneven tone. Whereas Françoise has all the makings of a comic book heroine ; a sexy, catsuit-clad superthief with remarkable acrobatic abilities.

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GREAT GANG WAR (1969)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. The main character is a kind of lawman out to crack down on bootlegging who puts together a team of tough guys, and one tough gal, to do the job. The team is assembled in the mode inspired by "7 Samurai" that a lot of action movies imitated. Perhaps more directly inspired by "The Untouchables" TV series (this is long before the movie version of the Untouchables). I remember there was the black guy and the racist guy who came around at the end. The black guy says something about how maybe the world is finally growing up. They were looking in a whorehouse for a girl to be in the team, and not liking what they saw, till one customer got chased out of a room by a girl who refused to do what he wanted of her. (Naturally they don't say what it was he wanted.) But the team decides she's the one for them. Wayde preston and George eastman star.

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GO GORILLA GO (1976)-Finally a beautiful widescreen version of this Fabio testi crime film. The film focuses on Marco; an undercover police officer who is also working as a body guard for a shady underworld figure. He's also got a brother who is not exactly squeaky clean and has contacts with a few other 'Gorillas' who are in the same line as he is. It's not long before our hero gets involved in a kidnap plot along with his brother and his underworld boss and this plot is ran parallel with a load of others and the whole thing gets rather complicated. Directed by Tonino Valerii and co-starring Renzo Palmer and Claudia marsani.

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The Inheritor

Philippe Labbro1976

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Carla Gravina

Jean Paul Belmondo is a rich playboy who has to take charge of his father's vast holdings after

the elder's mysterious death. He's under attack from all sides as he not only tries to remodel

the business to suit his needs, but also reveal his father's murderer. Belmondo is great in this

and no doubt had a ball playing a smartass stud who takes no shit from fools. Carla Gravina

co-stars in this excellent film by Director Philippe Labbro (WITHOUT APPARENT MOTIVE).

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The Insolent

Jean-Claude Roy1974

Henry Silva widescreen print

Henry Silva stars as The Insolent, a sullen gangster who breaks out of prison and plans a

major gold robbery. He makes a deal with some thugs to get rid of the stuff and then both

sides try and figure out how to fuck each other over. Silva plays a tough bastard who takes no

shit in this excellent French crime film directed by Jean Claude Roy.

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The Last Desperate Hour

1977

Antonio Sabato, Silvia Monti widescreen print

The film opens with the brutal gang rape of a prostitute as rival crime organizations fight for

control of the city. Antonio Sabato stars as one of the leaders who ends up catching the bubonic

plague (!) and causes both the police and criminals to hunt him down and kill him before he

infects the entire city. Also stars Silvia Monti.

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The Left Hand Of The Law

1975

Leonard Mann, Janet Agren, James Mason, Stephen Boyd

Letterboxed print. Italo-crime films from the seventies, I LOVE EM!! Inspector Muri (Leonard

Mann) is in charge of the Special Squad and vows revenge on a gang of ruthless kidnappers

who killed several of his men in cold blood. He believes the ransoms are being used to finance

anti-government terrorists. When his girlfriend is massacred, Muri goes nuts and starts his

bloody retribution: He blows out brains, tortures suspects and uses a machine gun to blast a

houseful of scumbags. James Mason, Stephen Boyd and Janet Agren co-star.

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THE MAGNIFICENT DAREDEVIL (1973)-Letterboxed print. Uneven and overlong but generally enjoyable thriller with tongue firmly in cheek, an engaging Hitchcockian premise, and plenty of action and stunts (as befits the rather misleading international title). Popular "Euro Cult" star Giuliano Gemma is a racing-car champ who suddenly finds himself embroiled in a murder case while at the same time pursued by thugs (from two different factions!) in search of a drug consignment; regular starlet Susan Scott (the director's wife) appears all-too-briefly as Gemma's shady lover and the murder victim involved.

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The Masters

Luigi Zampa1977

Franco Nero, James Mason, Jennifer O'Neill

Rare letterboxed print! Offbeat Crime film starring Jennifer O'Niell, Franco Nero and James

Mason, directed by Luigi Zampa and scored by Ennio Morricone. O'Niell comes to an isolated

Italian village and in just a few hours is implicated in a murder! Can Nero help her and what of

Mason, a mysterious Patriarch who is manipulating the entire village to suit his selfish needs.

There are a bunch of wonderful surprises in this film that I won't give away. The film was made

during that time in Italy when every film was a revelation and this one is quite remarkable to

the very end with images that will stay with you for a long time!

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THE MERCILESS MAN (1976)-LETTERBOXED PRINT IN ENGLISH WITH SWEDISH SUBS. Euro-Crime film directed by Mario Lanfrancia and starring Tony Lo Bianco, Maud Adams, Sirpa Lane and Adolfo Celi. The city suffers and succumbs unarmed, but an ex secret agent succeeds in winning the struggle against the gangsterism. Intrigue and violence grip a society victim of the crime. A disgraced American cop (Tony Lo Bianco) sets up a detective agency in Genova, Italy. His only client is Dr. Marta Mayer (Maud Adams) who has hired him to find out who kidnapped and killed her father. It isn't easy as villains pop up ever 10 minutes to kill him and he has to contend with cantankerous Italian cop Lo Gallo (Adolfo Celi). This is a really odd thriller from director Mario Lanfranchi. I say that because stuff happens at random in the flick. For example, Lo Bianco just shows up at places where major plot moments are going down. How did he know to be there? Am I just supposed to assume his amazing detective work brought him there? The strangest moment has Lo Bianco shooting himself up with heroin to get inside a fancy rehab facility that actually wants to distribute more street drugs. It is interesting to see Adams post-THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and pre-OCTOPUSSY. Lo Bianco, obviously cashing in on his fame with THE FRENCH CONNECTION, seems to be having fun as the wise ass detective and does a lot of his own stunts.

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THE NEW GODFATHERS (1979)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Alfonso Brescia, Stars: Mario Merola, Antonio Sabato, Gianni Garko. The Poliziotteschi genre is mostly populated by maverick cops and sadistic criminals; so The New Godfathers is something of an original addition to the genre. As the Italian title suggests; this film focuses on contraband - which a popular focus for this genre, but rather than focus on one side of the war; the film is instead bolstered by a working relationship between a customs officer and a top criminal as they work together for mutual gain. It has to be said that the film has some problems in terms of plot pacing and it's not exactly a thrill a minute; but some good characters and interesting plot development at least ensures that the film remains decent for the running time. The New Godfathers begins with a heroin shipment in Iran being halted by a revolution. Naturally there's people intent on getting this heroin to the USA; and so decide to run it through a small group of smugglers in Italy. However, Italian customs get wind of what is going on and seek to strike a bargain with the local criminals.

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The Outsider

1985

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Henry Silva widescreen print

Jean Paul Belmondo plays a tough as shit cop who shoots first or runs you over with his bullet-

proof Shelby GT before he reads you your rights. He's on the track of drug czar Henry Silva.

Features one of Ennio Morricone's most popular scores.

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THE PROFESSOR (1986)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUB, LETTERBOXED UNCUT 164 MINUTE VERSION!! Director: Giuseppe Tornatore, Stars: Ben Gazzara, Laura del Sol, Leo Gullotta. Vaguely inspired to the real story of boss of the Camorra's bosses Raffaele Cutolo, this is the story of the criminal career of "Il professore" (the professor). He is in prison, and by there he is able to build, step by step, an empire founded on murders and drugs. He starts a war to destroy all the old Camorra bosses and becoming the new "boss of the bosses". With his sister's help he manages to evade from prison and escape in New York. Here he starts immediately a new relationship with "Cosa Nostra" (Italian American Mafia). He is going to seat on the peak of the most powerful criminal organization, and the Italian authorities are almost impotent.

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THE REBEL (1979)-Letterboxed print. THE REBEL is an Italian-German crime drama co-production from 1979, filmed mainly in the snowy winter of bleak West-Berlin. Italian cop Nick, played by gangster movie veteran Maurizio Merli, goes to Berlin to find the head of an International European blackmailing gang who has murdered several people. He investigates undercover as a contract killer for the gangsters, but of course becomes immediately the target of his enemies and has to fight hard to save his life... The cast is fine, too, with Merli being a very good Franco Nero lookalike, combining the sarcastic humor of Terence Hill with the hard avenging edge of Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery. German actors Jutta Speidel and Arthur Brauss have some supporting roles. There's a nice and groovy disco synthesizer jazz funk score, and the director continued doing all kinds of Italian b-movies until his death in March, 2004. A well-made and entertaining "spaghetti mafia movie"!

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THE RUFFIAN (1983)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directed by Jose Giovanni and starring Lino Ventura, Claudia Cardinale and Bernard Giraudeau. "Le Ruffian" begins with Lino Ventura working at a gold mine in British Columbia. It's beautiful mountain country and the film takes advantage of it as we follow a truck up a narrow mountain path to the mine. It's payday, it's mail day, and there's lots of camaraderie among the men. This is interrupted by a shockingly violent robbery and action scene. Ventura and two Indians manage to survive and kill the gang. Ventura makes it back to the city where he sets about recruiting his friends to go back to recover the gold.

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THE SECRET (1974)-RARE ENGLISH DUB PRINT, LETTERBOXED. Director: Robert Enrico, Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Marlène Jobert, Philippe Noiret. A stranger enters into and forever alters the life of a couple. He claims to be pursued by certain authorities who intend to prevent him from disclosing a secret that only he holds, whence the title. Is he lying, or insane - or is he telling the truth? Who, if anyone, is after him? And what *is* - the secret? Want to see a movie that leaves you uneasy, paranoid, makes you question the reality you're presented with? Scared to go out and scared to stay in? But at all cost, distracts you from mundane reality? This is one film that does that. Forget movies that rely on lavish helpings of gore and blood, gratuitous violence, habitual screaming and endless repetition of expletives. That's not scary any more. It was only ever shocking, really, and nowadays people seem to have become used to that. No, this is a French film. No clichéd devices such as explosions of discordant noise to startle you when you least expect it. Instead, something excruciatingly sinister somehow manages to silently creep out from this film, like a miasma. A chilling, clammy, atmosphere that's reinforced by subtle but compelling acting and directing.

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THE STRANGERS (1969)-Letterboxed print. Director: Jean-Pierre Desagnat and starring Julián Mateos, Michel Constantin, Senta Berger & Hans Meyer. Film begins with a sleek heist scene, notable for its Melville-styled gangsters in their suits and skimpy-brim hats (including Mateos) as well as its ruthlessness. Mateos gets away with a bag of diamonds, which he plans to fence in Hong Kong, but after a well-staged car chase he ends up in the desert, finding refuge in the remote cabin of Constantin and Berger. Movie quickly becomes a war of wills -who will get and keep the upper hand. Constantin knows from press coverage that Mateos is the criminal on the run with the diamonds and he insists on splitting them 50/50, or else. Flies in the ointment are a dogged local sheriff Blade anxious to catch Mateos (well-played by Hans Meyer) and various hit men being dispatched by the Syndicate to get Constantin for a years-ago misstep on his part, which caused him & Berger to be hiding out.

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BARBAGIA (1969)-UNCUT LETTERBOXED PRINT.  D: Carlo Lizzani. Cast: Terence Hill [Mario Girotti] (Graziano Cassitta), Don Backy, [Aldo Caponi] (Miguel Lopez), Frank Wolff (Spina, the lawyer), Rossana Krisman (Peppino’s wife), Hélène Ronée (Anania), Gabriele Tinti (Nanni Ripari), Clelia Matania (Graziano’s mother), Rosalba Neri (Girl at the party). Graziano Cassitta, a young shepherd in the wild Sardinian region of Barbagia, was educated, according to the custom of his people, to consider honor more important than life. After avenging the death of one of his brothers by killing the murderers, he is jailed, but manages to escape from the prison. While the police and special unit troops chase him to no avail, Graziano—who justifies their deeds with the purpose of taking money from the rich, thus repairing centuries-old injustices suffered by the shepherds—becomes extremely popular, and even dreams of becoming the head of a separatist movement. During one last attack, Miguel—the only one who has remained faithful to Graziano—is killed. Graziano is able once again to avoid being captured, but not for long. Lizzani’s next project after Bandits in Milan was a similar effort: to tell the true story of the Sardinian bandit Graziano Mesina (here renamed Cassitta, while his sidekick becomes Miguel)—who, after escaping from prison with a Spaniard accomplice, formed a gang and became one the region’s most feared kidnappers —and his personal war against the Italian armed forces.

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THE BOXER (1972)-FIRST TIME UNCUT, LETTERBOXED ENGLISH DUBBED WITH NO FOREIGN SUBS! Director: Franco Prosperi, Stars: Robert Blake, Catherine Spaak, Ernest Borgnine, Tomas Milian. Tomas Milian really plays a rat bastard in this one! Boxer Teddy Wilcox (Robert Blake) leaves his manager and relocates. He finds Nick, a manager/trainer. Before Wilcox's first fight, Nick receives a threat-- Wilcox loses, or Nick will die. Despite Nick's efforts to sabotage the fight, Wilcox wins. Enraged, Wilcox orders Nick to keep away from him. Later that night, Nick is murdered. Of course, Wilcox is the primary suspect. Wilcox then tries to clear his name and find Nick's killer.

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