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Reviews & Ratings for
The Boss More at IMDbPro »Il boss (original title)

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21 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A hidden gem of Italian crime cinema

Author: Alistair Carnell from Kobe City - Japan
30 October 2003

I agree with the only other individual who has commented on this movie, it's a real 'mafia-action' classic from the early seventies and is gritty, well plotted and acted and has a very high body-count !

Our hero (or rather anti-hero), is a hit-man for the mafia, who proves his worth by rubbing-out half of a rival gang, whilst they were enjoying a private screening of some Scandinavian porn, launching grenades from the projection room- into the auditorium.......

I don't want to give away too-much but this film has enough twists and turns -double and treble crosses to keep any fan of the genre glued to the screen.

Also has a great score by Luis E. Bacalov - the main theme comes in times of action and thunders by like an express train carrying an angry Keith Moon, backed with fuzz-guitar, then flips into frantic jazz piano (has to be heard to be appreciated).

Has to be seen too !

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

the best and most realistic mafia movie ever

10/10
Author: Giovanni rossi (lidia.miroglio@alice.it) from torino, Italy
18 January 2000

This movie shows it like it is. In this movie Ferdinando di Leo was brave enough to use real unofficial incidents that were happening at the time,he even used some real names, or changed some by changing only a letter from the name, After this movie came, Ferdinando became paraniod that someone was going to "take care of him" for the content of this movie but nothing happend. This movie is great because, Di Leo doesn't make out the characters to be charismatic role models, but the cold blood assassins they really are. I give this movie 2 thumbs up. Plus and the end of the movie it sais to be continued, but not because theirs going to be a sequel, but becuase he just did a piece of mafia history, and the mafia continues, no good endings or bad endings, just a piece of history.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Brutal Italian Crime Masterpiece

10/10
Author: Bensch
30 April 2008

The third and final film in Fernando Di Leo's excellent Millieu trilogy, "Il Boss" of 1973 is an absolute masterpiece that easily ranks among the most brilliant Mafia films ever brought to screen. Director Di Leo had created one of Crime Cinema's all-time highlights already with "Milano Calibro 9" in 1972, and while the succeeding "La Mala Ordina" (aka.) "Manhunt" from the same year was still excellent, but slightly inferior, "Il Boss" equals the brilliance of the first film. Unlike its two predecessors, which played in Milan, "Il Boss" takes place in Palermo, Sicily. The film which begins with a memorably brutal opening sequence already, delivers raw action and excessive violence as well as a very realistic insight into corruption and organized crime. The film is tough-minded and uncompromising from the very beginning, and the characters, all of which are brutal, immoral and violent differ not in their moral values, but just in their toughness. The stone- faced Henry Silva in the lead alone makes this film an absolute must-see for every lover of crime cinema. Silva makes the toughest and most charismatic Mafia hit-man ever to have appeared on screen in his leading role of Nick Lanzetta, and the doubtlessly greatest role ever played by Silva, generally one of the greatest actors in Italian crime cinema.

This film, which revolves around power struggles and a kidnapping within Sicily's organized crime, delivers tons of raw action and sadistic violence as well as fine portion of criticism of social circumstances and corruption. Apart from that, it also has a unique atmosphere and gives a stunning and immensely realistic portrayal of the power struggles within the mafia. "Il Boss" is a film of superb, ruthless characters, and equally superb performances. As mentioned above, Henry Silva is one of my favorite actors and he is absolutely brilliant in the leading role of Nick Lanzetta here. Lanzetta is arguably THE toughest Mafia-hit-man character in Cinema-history, and Silva is the perfect, no, the ONLY choice to play the role. Yes, this truly is a film that makes it hard not to talk in superlatives all the time. The other performances are entirely great too, be it Richard Conte as a Mafia Boss, Pier Paolo Capponi, or Spaghetti Western star Gianni Garko, who is excellent in the role of a sleazy corrupt police detective. The ravishing beauty Antonia Santilli is also superb in the female lead as a seductive mobster's daughter, for unknown reasons she sadly didn't appear in too many other films. The brilliant score by Luis Enríquez Bacalov contributes a lot to the film ingenious atmosphere and general mood. Brutal, Tough-Minded and absolutely brilliant "Il Boss" is a personal favorite of mine that easily ranks among the greatest Mafia-flicks ever made! I could go on praising this film for a long time, but I will just finish my review with a recommendation: Watch this film as soon as you can! This is Italian genre-cinema at its finest, and an absolute must see for every lover of Cult-cinema!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Tough characters, rough action … Brilliant Italian cinema!

9/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
25 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The other reviewers are right. It may be an incredibly statement to make, especially since there are so many classic and legendary milestone titles in the genre, but "The Boss" may very well be one of the greatest mafia films ever made! This movie is strictly 100% hardcore-to-the-bone excitement, with ultra-sadistic characters, nasty double-crossings, merciless executions and explosive vendettas that require urgent and bloody settlements. There are no good or loyal characters in Fernando Di Leo's depiction of Palermo's mafia… There are only vicious and emotionless gangsters that would butcher their own parents in order to climb one small step up the Sicilian ladder of power & influence. Even the main character, flawlessly portrayed by Italian cult icon Henry Silva, is a totally relentless bastard that violates women and betrays his closest relatives in exchange for more money and power. Watching this film in all its gritty and violent glory, it's almost depressing to realize that large parts of the script were based on factual events as they occurred in crime-infested Italy during the early 70's. The DVD's commentary track even states that some of the situations were so damn realistic that director Di Leo and other members of the crew had to live with fear for acts of retribution by the local mafia. "The Boss" easily surpasses the status of entertainment and it's even more than just a cult film; this is essential revolutionary cinema!

The movie opens insanely brilliant, with Sicilian mafia pawn Nick Lanzetta (Silva) executing most members of a rivaling clan inside a pornography theater. But he doesn't use normal artillery, oh no… He uses a genuine grenade-launcher which turns his targets into steaming little piles of humanoid waste! The pace naturally slows down a bit after this terrific intro, but the dialogs and the story remain utterly compelling and the cast of vile characters that gets introduced is nearly endless, including a sleazy attorney, a nymphomaniac crime lord's daughter and – my personal favorite - a sarcastically venting chief of police. Following the bloody massacre at the cinema, the last remaining leader of the other mafia family wants revenge and he kidnaps the only daughter of Don Giuseppe Daniello. Lanzetta is sent to free her, but treacherous deals are closed everywhere, even within the eminent Daniello family and with the local commissioner of police. The plot is – as usually the case in Italian cult cinema – very convoluted and occasionally difficult to follow, but the action sequences are delicious and several of the plot twists are unpredictable and downright shocking. Henry Silva is phenomenal in his role of relentless killer. His facial expressions never change (he never even smiles) and he's ultimately cruel and professional when it comes to doing his "job". Gianni Garko, playing the commissioner, is splendid as well, particularly when he aggressively shouts at the relatives of dead gangsters because their crying and mourning upsets him! How tactful! The music adds an even grimmer atmosphere to the story and the roughly edited cinematography makes the wholesome appear even more realistic. "The Boss" is the final entry in Fernando Di Leo's trilogy revolving on Italy's circle of organized crime, and the other two "Milano Calibre .9" and "Man Hunt" are supposed to be even better than this one. Personally I haven't seen them yet, but if the rumors are true then Di Leo deserves a statue for his accomplishments in cult cinema.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One Massacre After Another Mob Style with Henry Silva Pulling the Trigger!

10/10
Author: zardoz-13 from United States
5 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Mister Scarface" director Fernando Di Leo has a high-ranking Italian police official compare Mafia gang wars with the Vietnam War in "The Boss," the final explosive chapter of his "Milieu Trilogy" that began with "Caliber 9" (1972), aka "Milano calibro 9" (1972) with Frank Wolff and followed with "Manhunt" aka "La Mala ordina, " (1972) co-starring Henry Silva and Woody Strode. If you're looking for no-holds-barred violence on a grand scale, "The Boss" antes up more than enough mayhem and murder during its 100 minute running time to satisfy your thirst for blood. Skull-faced heavy Henry Silva delivers another monosyllabic performance as a cold-blooded Mafia executioner. Veteran Hollywood star Richard Conte lends strong support as the top-most Mafia chieftain.

"The Boss" covers several weeks of action. It begins inconspicuously enough with a guy carrying a package under his arm who enters an anonymous building. Di Leo shrouds this uneventful activity with composer Luis Enríquez Bacalov's slightly paranoid jazz soundtrack and create a modicum of tension. An entirely different guy in a red shirt delivers a film reel to the projectionist upstairs so we now know that the building houses a movie theater. Downstairs, a well-dressed, loud-talking mobster leads a group of mobsters in business suits into an auditorium. He proclaims that they are about to watch a Danish porn movie with "the best looking broads in the world." Meanwhile, the man with the package, Nick Lanzetta (Henry Silva of "Ocean's 11"), relieves the projectionist of his duties, clobbers him over the head, and get him out of his way. Nick assembles a rifle with a grenade launcher. He turns the auditorium where the mobsters are sawing the porn movie into a inferno. The implicit message that pornographic films are bad for you is unmistakable.

Commissioner Torri (Gianni Garko of "Bad Man's River") runs the Mafia types out of the police morgue where the charred remains of the burned bodies lay on slabs. Torri explains his theory to his boss, Il Questore (Vittorio Caprioli of "Mister Scarface"), that the government is to blame for the bloodshed. "It's the fault of the government," Torri argues, "The results of a policy that is a failure. Since the government forced the old bosses into exile, their families have been left fighting for position. That results in complete disorder. All your newer families begin to feel impatient—I'm talking about the oldest ones they suddenly get the ideas that they can start grabbing for power because their own coppo was around to keep it under control." Torri argues that everything is liable to explode if they don't bring back the old dons. Tension exists between Torri and Il Questore because the latter knows that the former receives bribes from the Mafia. Il Questore cannot make any charges stick against Torri and he cannot transfer him out of his department.

The massacre in the movie theatre was triggered when an outsider, Cocchi, (Pier Paolo Capponi of "My Name is Pecos"), who is not a Sicilian, wanted to get into the family. Cocchi wants to deal in drugs. Don Corrasco (Richard Conte of "The Violent Professionals") doesn't want drugs in Sicily. Hmn, sounds like "The Godfather." Anyway, Do Corrasco refuses to have anybody in his family that has survived for 40 years who isn't a Sicilian. Fifteen minutes later in the movie, the remaining members of the crime family that Nick wiped out in the porn movie abducts the daughter, Rina Daniello (Antonia Santilli), of Don Giuseppe Daniello (Claudio Nicastro of "A Man Called Magnum), who set Nick on them. The abductors specify their demands: "We don't want money and we don't want the girl. Nothing is going to happen to her, if we can have you, your life for hers. We figure that's a fair exchange." Meanwhile, Cocchi's perverted hoodlums ply poor Rina with liquor and rape her with gleeful abandon.

The Don refuses to let Don Giuseppe exchange himself for his daughter. "They would torture you first, would just kill you, they would torture you first. They'd eventually make you tell them who the family contacts are. I'm not thinking of myself but the family it existed for forty years, Giuseppe. We've built it up and defended it together. Nothing is yours not when it interferes with the family." Nick suggests that they offer Cocchi money to stall for time. He insists also that they tell the kidnappers that Don Giuseppe has suffered a heart attack.

When Don Giuseppe wants to buy his daughter back without Don Corrasco's permission, Nick shoots Giuseppe and has his body cremated. Nick is an orphan who Don Giuseppe Daniello was raised as his own son, but he has no qualms about killing Giuseppe and Giuseppe's right-hand man. Nick arranges a deal with another gangster, the brother of the Mafia chieftain that he exterminated in the movie theatre. The guy reveals the whereabouts of Rina. Single-handedly, Silva rescues her as two thugs are raping her and kills them without a qualm. He drives through a wall and smashes another car into three pieces.

By this time, all the bloodshed has upset Mafia leaders in Rome. They want to see Cocchi and Don Corrasco strike a deal so the killing can stop. Don Corrasco dispatches Nick to finish off Cocchi's gang. The Mafia liaison from Rome urges Don Corrasco to eliminate Nick. According to Don Corrasco, Nick is a man of "infinite resource." Nevertheless, the Don arranges a deal with Torri to arrest Nick and find incriminating evidence that Nick was behind the movie theatre massacre. Torri confronts Nick at his apartment. Nick turns the tables on Torri and forces him at gunpoint to call up Cocchi and invite him to visit him.

"The Boss" chronicles one bloodbath after another with double-crosses galore in a Mafia power struggle over territory. This is one of the very best Mafia melodramas to come out of Italy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A solid Italian Mafia crime thriller winner

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
5 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rugged and vindictive gang leader Cocchi (surperbly played with live-wire brio by Pier Paolo Caprioli) survives a bombing at a movie theater and vows revenge on both cold, ruthless hit-man Nick Lanzetta (a deliciously vicious and remote portrayal by Henry Silva) and steely, formidable Don Carrasco (a fine performance by Richard Conte). This sets off a chain of violence which threatens to destroy everyone involved in this fierce dispute between two warring rival Mafia factions. Writer/director Fernando Di Leo once again proves that he was one of the most capable and underrated filmmakers to ever work in the Italian crime thriller genre: the hard, gritty and uncompromising tone never gets remotely silly or sappy, the outbursts of raw brutality are truly jarring, the action set pieces are staged with considerable skill and flair (the bombing which opens the picture is especially exciting), the surprise ending is quite powerful, and there's a pleasing amount of tasty sex and yummy female nudity to further spice up the already engrossing proceedings. Moreover, we even get some pointed social criticism about prejudice against non-Sicilians in the Italian mob and how the lack of order and discipline creates chaos within the Mafia. The super acting from the top-rate cast also warrants praise: veteran supporting bad guy thespian Silva excels in a rare substantial lead, Gianni Garko marvelously snivels it up as wormy corrupt cop Commisario Torri, Claudio Nicastro does well as the excitable Don Giuseppe D'Aniello, and the lovely Antonia Santilli steams up the screen with her sizzling turn as D'Aniello's jaded, yet alluring junkie whore daughter Rina. Franco Villa's crisp cinematography gives the film an attractive glossy look. Luis Enriquez Bacalov's groovy, moody, syncopated score totally hits the funky pulsating spot. A bit too talky and a tad sluggish in spots, but overall a most worthy item.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I'm growing soft over a nymphomaniac drug addict!

7/10
Author: Ben Larson from Leesburg, FL
29 January 2013

Henry Silva again appears in this, the final part of the Mileau Trilogy (along with The Italian Connection and Caliber 9). Three great films by Fernando Di Leo.

While this is the weakest of the three, it is the one closest to my heart as my family comes from Palermo and Camporeale in Sicily. It's a mafia war, and has a heavy influence from The Godfather.

In fact, the top Godfather in this film is Richard Conte, Don Barzini from The Godfather, Antonia Santilli plays Don D'Aniello's daughter, who is kidnapped in the battle. She is a wild child that bonds instantly with the kidnappers.

The one thing I cannot figure from the translation is how Italian police talk about "wankers." Did a Brit do the translation?

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Violent Italian gangster film featuring an ice cold Henry Silva

7/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
12 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another blazing mafia movie from Fernando di Leo, the ace who brought us CALIBRE 9 and MANHUNT, THE BOSS is a cold and violent film that purports to "show it how it is", ie. depict the everyday life of members of a small-town mafia without glossing over any of the hard facts or making it a sentimental family movie. Indeed the characters are unapproachable and unlikable, the film doesn't offer us one sympathetic person in the whole film. Instead we are asked to identify with Henry Silva's stone-faced leading character, a ruthless killer who doesn't think twice of bumping off the father figure who adopted him fifteen years previously for "the family" and who spends his time massacring people or beating women.

Silva is great in the lead, by the way. You definitely would not mess with this guy if you saw him in the street. He's one of the hardest characters I've yet to see in a movie. What can you say when the opening set-up shows him offing a bunch of rivals at a porn cinema by using a grenade launcher to literally blow them into bloody ribbons? Di Leo's knack of blending engaging edge-of-your-seat action with gripping plot twists and plentiful betrayals keeps the film full of energy and the body count keeps rising and rising after the opening massacre. I'd say at least three dozen guys get killed during the course of this movie. The film itself is very drab-looking, with lots of dark greys and browns making up the sets and there isn't a lot of happiness in the movie. Instead THE BOSS focuses on themes of loyalty, friendship, loss, and the human determination to survive.

Richard Conte takes the role of the aged Don Corasco and is great in the significant role, as you would expect from a pro. There are also standouts from the supporting cast – Gianni Garko's slimy cop is really loathsome for instance, and Antonia Santilli makes an impact as the daughter of the Don, typically getting abused and used by the bad guys (Di Leo must really hate women judging by his movies). There are lots of great turns from stalwart supports like Howard Ross and Andrea Aureli who keep their scenes lively, and maximum amounts of suspense and tension are thrown in at keys points to give the movie a knife-edge atmosphere. The action scenes are dynamic and extremely violent. Cars and buildings explode, there are shoot-outs, flick knives in mouths, loads more hard-hitting footage. These elements make the film great addition to the Italo crime genre.

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Il Boss is the Mafia movie done right, and it should be seen.

6/10
Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
3 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in Palermo, Sicily, Il Boss is the third of Fernando Di Leo's trilogy (known as the "Milieu Trilogy") which includes Milano Calibro 9 and The Italian Connection. Here, Henry Silva plays Lanzetta, a cold blooded and, some might say, expressionless hit man working for mob boss D'Aniello (Nicastro). Lanzetta manages a "wipeout" of an entire mafia family...except one, a guy named Cocchi (Capponi). Cocchi is bewildered and wants revenge. Hence, they kidnap D'Aniello's daughter Rina (Santilli). Police Commissario Torri (Garko) is trying to get to the bottom of things but he just may have his own agenda - and yet another mob boss, Don Corrasco (Conte) seems to be running things, but is he? As all these various characters intertwine, what will become of them, and how will Lanzetta navigate these confusing and treacherous waters? Find out today! Il Boss is another winner from the amazingly talented Fernando Di Leo. Not wanting to ever repeat himself, this part of his trilogy is actually very different from the others. Not just that, it's very different from just about any Mafia movie out there. Because not only does it have the classic high-quality Di Leo shooting and editing, but it is also extremely well-written (if perhaps a tad over-written at times). It tackles social issues such as corruption, as well as another Di Leo trademark, the youth culture of the day. Starting with another absolutely killer opening sequence, you are immediately sucked into this world and it's very effective.

Henry Silva (or, more accurately, Lanzetta) isn't your average hit-man. Usually they use pistols with silencers so no one knows they were there. Lanzetta clearly doesn't care, as he uses a grenade launcher! Silva with a grenade launcher should be enough to recommend this movie right there. But while the violence intermixes with the serious-minded issues at work, we felt the movie was most effective during the scenes of mob violence set to Bacalov's amazing score. Bacalov's score absolutely rules here. He's a musical genius that's made a career out of excellent scores, but he outdoes himself this time. Taking his cues from the Italian prog movement that was huge at the time, Bacalov knocks this score out of the park. It gives you that intense feeling that the movie is working on all cylinders.

Di Leo's movies are so impactful because of a combination of technical mastery, music choices and social and psychological insights. This manifests itself especially interestingly in Il Boss with the Santilli's Rina character. So Di Leo's movies have withstood the test of time far better than a lot of his contemporaries. That being said, this movie is kind of talky at times and is arguably the weakest of the trilogy, but it's still a good movie that's well worth seeing.

Plus you have to see the Raro DVD. I (Brett) originally saw this movie on the VHS release by 3 Star Home Video. The Raro DVD not only is widescreen with subtitles, I believe it's significantly longer, at 112 minutes. The 3 Star tape obviously does not compare. There was another VHS release back in the day (also under the name Wipeout) but I'm not sure of the label. But it's a moot point, as this DVD is the clear choice for collectors and viewers.

Il Boss is the Mafia movie done right, and it should be seen.

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hard-boiled and explosive Mafiosi actioner

9/10
Author: Darkling_Zeist
23 January 2014

Typically hard-boiled and explosive Mafiosi actioner from, Fernando Di Leo, with the stoic to the point of rigidity, Henry Silva delivering yet another bravura performance as the ice-veined thug, Nick Lanzetta, with Hollywood icon, Richard Conte lending considerable gravitas as the Sicilian king pin, Don Carrasco. All this stylish retribution is served admirably by a funky and uber infectious score by long-time Di Leo collaborator, Luis Enriquez Bacalov. Il Boss remains one of the all-time great mafia flicks, and thankfully, Di Leo flinch's not a jot from the requisite ultra violence. If you have yet to witness any of Fernando Di Leo's meticulously crafted gangster oeuvre, one should start here, as, Henry Silva's Nick Lanzetta is the most Machiavellian and blood thirsty hit man to ever blaze a crimson swathe across the silva screen.

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