When a deported gangster dies in Italy, the U.S. treasury dept. is very interested in the $1,000,000.00 Madigan owed the government, but managed to take to Italy with him. They send agent ... See full summary »
In Havana, Cuba in the late 1950s, a wealthy family, one of whose sons is a prominent night-club owner, is caught in the violent transition from the oppressive regime of Batista to the ... See full summary »
When a deported gangster dies in Italy, the U.S. treasury dept. is very interested in the $1,000,000.00 Madigan owed the government, but managed to take to Italy with him. They send agent Jason Phister over to Italy to nose out the million. His criteria for the job is that no one would ever guess he's an agent of the United States government. Written by
April M. Cheek <Aravis2713@aol.com>
Dustin Hoffman's debut feature isn't as bad as it's reputed to be; a Spanish/Italian co-production filmed in Italy with the director using the pseudonym "Dan Ash"(!), the film is uneven but generally diverting and deals with a plethora of shady characters in search of a $1,000,000 hidden by gangster Cesar Romero (who, despite being third-billed - after Elsa Martinelli and Hoffman himself - expires before the credit sequence has even rolled!).
Hoffman's performance, obviously, is nowhere near as nuanced as in later films but manages to dodge embarrassment by playing what basically amounts to an amiable klutz - an accident-prone American treasury agent of Sicilian descent (named Puzzu, which nobody seems to be able to get right!) sent out by his firm to retrieve the money and told to remain "inconspicuous" but, instead, is forever getting into trouble - though he ultimately proves surprisingly resourceful by finding the loot, foiling the crooks and winning the girl (Martinelli as Romero's daughter, who's somewhat wasted here)!!
Still, the film's best moments are provided by suave gangster Riccardo Garrone: apart from his would-be hard-boiled persona and the hilarious use of dialect, he's flanked by a trio of nitwits who more often than not prove a hindrance in the fulfillment of his various schemes! Also, in view of the story being set in Rome, it's odd that the police officer investigating the case is a Spaniard (doubtless an exigency of the co-production deal)!
Along the years, I've missed out on Hoffman's other Italian comedy - ALFREDO, ALFREDO (1972) - a number of times (I guess, mainly, because Leonard Maltin only rates it *1/2 in his "Movies & Video Guide"...but, then, MADIGAN'S MILLION gets a BOMB!); with Pietro Germi directing and co-starring the luscious Stefania Sandrelli, the credentials of that film are certainly more respectable, and I really hope it turns up again on Italian TV soon...
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