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Mean Frank and Crazy Tony (1973)

Dio, sei proprio un padreterno! (original title)
R | | Comedy, Crime | August 1975 (USA)
This is a buddy film with a small-time thug (Victor Lobianco) meeting a high-profile gangster (Lee Van Cleef) while in prison. The pair team up to attempt a prison breakout.

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, (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frankie Diomede
...
Tony Breda
...
Orchidea
...
Louis Annunziata
Fausto Tozzi ...
Massara
Mario Erpichini ...
Joe Sciti
...
Jeannot
Adolfo Lastretti ...
Al
Silvano Tranquilli ...
Sylvester
Nello Pazzafini ...
Thug in Prison
Claudio Undari ...
Assassin (as Robert Hundar)
Claudio Gora ...
Director of 'Casa del Giovane'
Steffen Zacharias ...
Lawyer
Ugo Fangareggi ...
Man in Café
Romano Puppo ...
Assassin
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Storyline

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? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Crazy enough to take on the cops and the mob... Mean enough to whip 'em! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

August 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from Death Row  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #63444 delivered on 2-11-1973. See more »

Goofs

During Frankie and Tony's escape to Marseilles,they are stopped on a bridge by a Police check point searching for Frankie,who hides under a blanket ,at which time a cameraman's reflection is clearly visible in the driver's side window. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: The Body Shop (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Really Fun Italian Crime Tale
5 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frankie Dio (Lee VanCleef) is a high-ranking mobster who turns himself in to the police or illegal gambling (for reasons that seem unclear to me). Tony (Tony Lo Bianco) is a low-level thug who frequents a pool hall and spends his free time envying Frankie. By being in the right place at the right time, Tony gets arrested with Frankie and is sent to jail... where they form a bond that may not quite be friendship, but it will do for now.

This film came to me under the title of "Frank and Tony", which is disappointing because I see an alternate name is "Mean Frank and Crazy Tony", which would have helped sell the film more effectively. I presume that's an homage to "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" but what do I know? I watched it shortly after another Italian crime film, "Violent Professionals", and I must say the two complement each other very well.

Italians have always lagged behind Americans in their budgets and production values, which is a real shame with this film. It is considered a "grindhouse" film, which unfairly demotes it to a b-movie (or worse). With a cleaner sound and picture, this could have been a Hollywood hit, I suspect. I found the story very interesting, the characters (and actors) better than average and unlike "Violent Professionals" the plot is fairly clear -- not too many secondary characters.

If you like Mafia movies or crime films you should give this one a try. A film about the mob that's actually from Italy (how much more authentic do you want?) is as much as you can ask. Sure, it's not "The Godfather", but it's not supposed to be. This isn't a drama, it's a light comedy, heavy action buddy film... like "Die Hard With a Vengeance" from the point of view of the bad guys. Well, okay, not really.

If nothing else, this film made me want to check out other films from the director and the principle cast. Films besides "Escape From New York" (where VanCleef plays "Hauk") and the usual cult movies. What's more fun than discovering a lost classic?


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