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A dialogue heavy murder mystery whose story is just full of twists and turns, "Un Detective", a.k.a. "Detective Belli", a.k.a. "Ring of Death", is a reasonably entertaining, competently made movie that does provide handsome leading man Franco Nero with a good vehicle, based upon the novel "Macchie Di Belletto" (translated as "Make Up Stains" in the English dubbed version) by Ludovico Dentice. He plays police commissioner Stefano Belli, a shamelessly crooked individual who takes a pair of cases offered to him by prominent criminal lawyer Fontana (Adolfo Celi). The details of these cases include a provocative photograph, blackmail, and cheating partners. The first review on this page is certainly on the mark when it comments on the story's resemblance to the legendary "The Maltese Falcon", right down to the final showdown when Belli confronts the killer with the knowledge he's gained. (Of course, the denouement here is one that the viewer may NOT expect.) A fair amount of the screen time actually involves Belli confronting one character after another, so it gets kind of repetitive, and what with all of the exposition relayed throughout, it does require one to pay close attention. One standout scene features Belli intimidating British model Sandy Bronson (Delia Boccardo) into giving up information by driving dangerously through the city streets. There's a brief scene of delectable bare female skin but the scene is over a little too quickly. Still, it's nice to see an assortment of "Euro-babes" among the cast: Florinda Bolkan, Boccardo, and Susanna Martinkova (whose dubbed in French voice is ridiculous yet still rather cute). Uncredited appearances are made by the likes of Laura Antonelli, Geoffrey Copleston, Silvia Dionisio, and John Stacy. But the most fun to be had is in watching Nero play a man of absolutely no moral fibre who always looks out for number one while becoming intent on solving the cases. He's a real brute of a man, yet is very democratic about it, roughing up men and women alike. The movie is decent entertainment overall, if not particularly memorable, and may please plans of European crime stories. Seven out of 10.
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