Caliber 9 (1972)
"Milano calibro 9" (original title)

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Just out of prison, ex-con Ugo Piazza meets his former employer, a psychopathic gangster Rocco who enjoys sick violence and torture. Both the gangsters and the police believe Ugo has hidden... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gastone Moschin ...
Nelly Borden
Mario Adorf ...
Frank Wolff ...
Ivo Garrani ...
Don Vincenzo
Philippe Leroy ...
Mario Novelli ...
Pasquale Talarico
Giuseppe Castellano ...
Salvatore Arico ...
Fernando Cerulli ...
Clerk at Hotel Reception
Giulio Baraghini ...
Alessandro Tedeschi ...
Old Courier with Glasses
Franco Beltramme ...


Just out of prison, ex-con Ugo Piazza meets his former employer, a psychopathic gangster Rocco who enjoys sick violence and torture. Both the gangsters and the police believe Ugo has hidden $300,000 that should have gone to an American drug syndicate boss. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Thriller


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Release Date:

25 February 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Caliber 9  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fernando Di Leo admitted that, with a critical eye, the scenes at the Police Station among the "fascist" Commissioner and the "communist" Mercuri should be taken off because they take strength out of the main story. But the work of actors Frank Wolff and Luigi Pistilli was so good that he couldn't absolutely cut it off. See more »


Followed by The Boss (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Left me wanting more from Di Leo
19 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fernando Di Leo was a well-respected director who near-perfected the poliziotteschi genre during the 1970's, taking a genre spear-headed by the likes of Italian film-makers Umberto Lenzi and Carlo Lizzani and delivering tough-as-nails stories about brutish men in a brutish world. Milano Calibro 9, or simply Caliber 9, is one of Di Leo's most highly-regarded works, kicking off his Milieu trilogy (followed by Manhunt and concluded by The Boss) for which he is now best remembered for. And the film is terrific - inspiring future directors such as John Woo and Quentin Tarantino, Milano Calibro 9 begins with an explosion of violence that serves as a warning of what is to come.

After a heist that saw a wad of money go missing and the criminals behind it either dead or behind bars, shadowy mafia boss The Americano (Lionel Stander) is left fuming, turning his city upside down in search for his cash. Career criminal Ugo (Gastone Moschin), one of the participants in the robbery, is released from prison and is immediately reprimanded by his psychotic former boss Rocco (Mario Adorf), who fingers Ugo as the culprit. Denying any involvement and trying to go straight, Ugo finds himself pulled back into the criminal world he thought he had left behind by the mafia and the police, the latter trying to pressure him into turning informer. Hooking up with his friend Chino (Philippe Leroy) and girlfriend Nelly (the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet), Ugo plans to turn the tables on his former gang while he still has a fraction of leverage.

The film is not without it's problems - occasionally the narrative sags when the action is away from the city's violent underworld, and the sporadic political discussions between the veteran Commissioner (Frank Wolff) and his left-wing underling seem relevant but out of place - but Milano Caliber 9's quality lies within its tone and exhilarating brutality. The opening sees the manic Rocco beat up suspects, tie them together in a cave and blow them up with dynamite. Although the film doesn't maintain the excitement of this early scene, it truly comes alive when the characters - an ensemble of odd-looking barbarians - threaten each other with words, fists, knives or guns. Moschin proves to be a stoic anti-hero, but Adorf steals the show as the arrogant loud-mouth Rocco, resembling Super Mario in a tailored suit and a neater moustache. The twists and turns keep coming right until the end, and left me wanting to see more from a film-maker who has, up to now, completely evaded me.

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