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EUROCRIME

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THE BABY SITTER (1975)-In French with english subs, uncut version! Maria Schneider fresh from Last Tango in Paris and Sydne Rome, (Polanski’s What!) star alongside Robert Vaughn who plays a washed up cowboy actor. Vic Morrow is a psychotic stunt man and there are also Italian and Austrian actors in this multinational co-production set in Rome. The plot concerns the kidnapping of a rich industrialist’s son. Schneider, the babysitter, gets kidnapped as well and the two of them battle to get help and ultimately survive.

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DEAD IS DEAD (1972)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. Jean-Claude Brialy, Stephane Audran, Catherine Spaak, and Robert Hossein (who also directed). "In this French suspense drama, Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) is a decent man in an ugly situation. His wife (Stephane Audran), who was crippled in their second year of marriage, has become a bitter and unpleasant virago. Though he keeps company with a lovely mistress (Catherine Spaak), the wife is still a considerable burden. When she dies in an automobile accident, he is relieved. That relief is short-lived, however, because his sister-in-law (Stephane Audran, again) comes to live with him immediately. For reasons of her own, she re-creates his wife's shrewish persona and even uses her wheelchair. At the same time, someone tries to blackmail him by suggesting that he killed his wife...

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THE LONER (1987)-in French with English subs, letterboxed print. Directed by Jacques Deray and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Belmondo is looking for his friends' killer and chases cars, beats up and kills people in the process. All in all it seems like a tough and nasty version of a 60s Eddie Constantine film. It is interesting though that if you watch the film closely you'll notice that props and cast also feature in some other 80s Belmondo movies.

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LE MATAF (1973)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. When intruders interfere in the robbery of Le Mataf (Michel Constantin) and his gang and a girl is murdered, they are set up for blackmail by an underworld figure who wants them to do a job for him...Fantastic Eurocrime film by Serge Leroy. Michel Constatine, Adolfo Celi, and Anne Cordy star. Great score by Stelvio Cipriani.

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THIEF OF CRIMES (1969)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. WOW! Jean-Louis Trintignant, Robert Hossein and Florinda Bolkan star, directed by Nadine Trintignant. An unhappily married man with two children watches a beautiful woman kill herself when she ties herself inside a car and drives off a cliff. Jean (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tries to save the woman but is too late. After hanging out with his bohemian friends, he writes a letter to the local newspaper saying that he killed the woman. Jean is galvanized by the sensationalism of the headlines and becomes intoxicated with thoughts of murder...

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DEATH OF A KILLER (1964)-In French with English subs, letterboxed black and white noirish print directed by Robert Hossein. When Massa (Robert Hossein) is released from prison, he's sure that Luciano (Simon Andreu), an old friend, is responsible for his incarceration. Massa proceeds to keep watch on Luciano, who has been living with Massa's beloved sister Maria (Marie-France Pisier). Feeling doubly betrayed because of his unhealthy adoration for Maria, Massa is determined to get back at Luciano.

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PIG WITH A P.38 (1977)-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. Marc Porel, Laura betti, and Raymond Pellegrin star, directed by Gianfranco Pagani. Cops are even more sadistic than the criminals in this sleazy violent police thriller.

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THE WARNING (1980)-Beautiful letterboxed print! The Warning is a very serious film dealing with police corruption from Marxist filmmaker Damiano Damiani, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Best known for his contribution to the spaghetti western genre, Damiani has always had an interest in the corrupting tendencies of power, and this film is no exception. Guiliano Gemma and Giancarlo Zanetti play Baressi and Prizzi, a pair of honest cops looking to solve the murder of a fellow officer who may have had his hand in the till. The crooks repeatedly try to grease Baressi's palm in an effort to get him off their trail, with no success. Martin Balsam is also on hand but doesn't have a lot to do other than look grim faced, beautiful Laura Trotter is impressive as the widow of the dead policeman, and Alota Vagina herself, Fabiana Udenio, appears as a small time hoodlum.

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DEATH RAGE (1976)-Uncut version, letterboxed, a few scenes in Italian only. I found Death Rage to be a fun little Euro-crime movie that's much better than it's reputation would suggest (or at least better than many of the reviews I've read). Yul Brynner plays Peter Marciani, an aging hit-man hired to go to Italy to kill a mob boss. At first he refuses until he learns that his intended target is responsible for his brother's death. Along the way, he meets and befriends a young, overly helpful, wannabe mobster and a beautiful showgirl. Can these three pull off the job? Quite simply, Yul Brynner is the man! He brings a certain authenticity and coolness to Marciani and makes most of the film a blast. I bought into his hit-man persona completely. When confronted by two hoods wanting to take him to see their boss, Marciani calmly says "If I were you, I'd shoot." One of the hoods tells Marciani that he's worth more alive. Marciani's response – "If I were you I'd still shoot". How classic is that! Death Rage also features a number of exciting car chases and gun battles in the narrow street of Naples. Barbara Bouchet contributes plenty of nudity!

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THE TRUE AND THE FALSE (1972)-Letterboxed print. Luisa Latin, betrayed by her husband, is imprisoned for the murder of her husband's mistress - who is still alive. When Luisa is released from prison, she kills her. Lawyer Manin (Terence Hill) fights for her in court. After all, a person can't be condemned for the same crime twice...Martin Balsalm co-stars and directed by Epriando Visconti.

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POLICE PYTHON 357 (1976)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. A cop accidentally involved in the murder of his chief's mistress, decides to start his own investigation and discovers soon that the real murderer is his own boss. However, all the evidences and clues of the case are against him. Yves Montand, Stefania sandrelli, and Simone Signoret star and Alain Corneau directs.

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KIDNAP (1974)- Stars: Henry Silva, Rada Rassimov and Philippe Leroy, directed by Giovanni Fago. This crime drama follows Italian police commissioner Caprile (Henry Silva) as he races to rescue the 6-year-old daughter of an important businessman. Also hoping to save her is Frank Salvatore (Gabriele Ferzetti), the old-school Mafia don accused of the crime. Caprile leans on a low-level thug (Philippe Leroy) for information and is led to Salvatore, who considers children to be off-limits as targets and hopes to restore his reputation.

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COP OR HOOD (1980)-In French with English subs. When the local police inspector was found dead in a prostitute's house, police division commissioner Stan Borowitz (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is sent to investigate the situation. Posing as the prostitute's long-lost brother "Antonio Cerruti," he discovers a mare's nest of police corruption. In fact, in this comedy thriller the whole town is corrupt. If they were closely examined, Stan's methods for pursuing this investigation might embarrass the police. For instance, he drives into a criminal's house in a fancy, expensive race car. In another incident, he callously blows up a casino owned by Musard (Georges Geret), one of the town's crime bosses. On that occasion, he first forces Musard to remove his clothes, and the poor criminal watches his casino explode from across the square while standing naked in a phone booth. Meanwhile, Stan seduces the lovely Edmonde (Marie Laforet). This box-office smash was the first of four wildly successful collaborations between Belmondo and director Georges Lautner.

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125 RUE DU MONTMARTRE (1959)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. Lino Ventura gives one of his legendary tour de force performances in this intricate mystery-thriller, a compelling film which appears to have been influenced by both American film noir and the work of Alfred Hitchcock.  This is one of the better films to be directed by Gilles Grangier, who is perhaps best known for his light-hearted comedies – such as Le Gentleman d’Epsom (1962) and La Cuisine au beurre (1963) - although his crime dramas probably have greater merit.  

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MEAN FRANK AND CRAZY TONY (1974)-Full uncut widescreen version (some scenes eng subbed)-Awesome crime film with Lee Van Cleef, Tony lo Bianco and Edwige Fenech (incredibly sexy and some awesome nude scenes here!). There's trouble in Frankie Diomede's criminal empire in Genoa. A French gangster has moved into Frankie's territory, so Frankie flies home to take care of business. He promptly has himself arrested so that he'll have the perfect alibi when his top local associate dies, but then Frankie's life gets complicated: his enemies have enough juice to keep him in prison for awhile, his associates and allies are killed one at a time, and attempts on his life start. Help comes from an unlikely source: Tony Breda, a wannabe wiseguy who's a Milanese raised in Hoboken. Tony designs a plan to spring Frankie from jail, and then all roads lead to Marseilles. Is Tony a future Mafia don?

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BLOOD AND DIAMONDS (1974)-BEAUTIFUL LETTERBOXED PRINT. One of my all time favorite Euro Crime films! Guido Mauri (Claudio Cassinelli of MILANO VIOLENTA) is a professional robber who gets busted when a job goes wrong. A few years later he gets released and discovers it was a setup. Soon afterwards his wife (Olga Carlatos of ZOMBIE) is gunned down. His old boss (Martin Balsam) seems to be the guilty one and Guido sets out on a mission of revenge! Also involved in the case is a beautiful club disco dancer (Barbara Bouchet).

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MURDER AT 45 RPMs (1960)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. This print is 12 minutes longer than English dub version!  As a fan of murder mysteries, I must give this thumbs up. You are provided with a small group of suspicious characters, an interesting mystery that goes way beyond "who killed whom", and the usual French technical virtuosity and spiritual malaise. Serious mystery fans will probably place this on the same shelf with PLEASE MURDER ME and THE NIGHT WALKER, and it's as clever as either of those gems. I also like the fact that the writers of the film have constructed it in such a way that you really don't know if the victim is even dead until the film's final scene...which is AFTER the "resolution" of the crime! There are nice ironic twists throughout, but in unexpected ways. Overall, a nice little genre film that the serious murder mystery fan is sure to enjoy. Director: Etienne Périer, Danielle Darrieux ... Eve Faugeres, Michel Auclair ... Jean Le Prat, Jean Servais ... Maurice Faugères, Raymond Gérôme ... Le commissaire, Mathilde Casadesus ... Elsa

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BLOOD FEUD (1988)-In Italian with english subs. Rare Gordon Mitchell and tano Cimarosa Mafia film! One of the components of a mafia gang is killed by a young man whose sister was raped by them. Don Salvatore, head of the gang, he considers it a personal insult, an affront to her honor that can not tolerate without losing face in front of his men and the village of Aspromonte that dominates with terror.

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CALLING SHERIDAN 22-22 (1960)-In Italian with English subs. Director: Giorgio Bianchi, Cast: Ubaldo Lay, Umberto Orsini, Tilde Damiani, Carlo Alighiero. Very Obscure Italian thriller filmed in atmospheric Black and White. Cathrine has been sentenced to the gas chamber but Police Lieutenant Sheridan does not believe she is guilty of the murder she has been accused of. He has twenty-four hours to prove her innocence.

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NAPOLI : 5 FROM THE SPECIAL SQUAD (1978)-In Italian with English subs. In Naples, gangsters have seized the American ambassador. The authorities respond by assembling a special squad; to command it is Borri, a former commissioner who has a personal vendetta against the racket.Director: Mario Bianchi (also screenplay & story), Starring Richard Harrison, Enrico Maisto, Lina Polito, Franco Marino, Tommaso Palladino, Gianni Diana & Edmondo Mascia.

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SPECIAL SQUAD SHOOTS ON SIGHT (1976)-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. La Polizia ordina: sparate a vista AKA Special Squad Shoots on Sight is pretty rare and totally wild Italian/Turkish co-production. It stars Irfan Atasoy under his alias Tony Tiger (yes, that's right), a reporter/cop/hypnotist (woohoo!) blackmailed into working for criminals who are out to steal a precious artifact. The boss he's working for is played by Gordon Mitchell. The babe is Beba Loncar.

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 LE PACHA (1974)-Letterboxed print,  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...One of my favorie films by Georges Lautner, it stars jean gabin at his finest don't fuck with me attitude!

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MAIGRET SEES RED (1963)-IN FRENCH WITH ENG SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Maigret (Jean Gabin) is the detective who investigates a murder conspiracy. Gangsters from the United States try to kill a key government witness whose testimony could help land an influential mobster in jail. Maigret deals with the FBI and a series of shady underworld figures to save the life of the imperiled witness. The main character is a popular French detective taken from a novel by Georges Simenon. Francoise Fabian co-stars.

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