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Botched holdup leads to gang holing up at doctor's office-residence
"The Killers Are Our Guests" or "Gli assassini sono nostri ospiti" is a very good Italian crime film. For classification purposes, I'd call it a poliziotesschi because of the presence of the captain of police (Luigi Pistilli) and the absence of gory killings, plus the story is about a jewelery store holdup and its aftermath.
Being a film noir fan, I like these police movies and the giallos too. I view 1970 as a year that pretty much or conveniently divides classic film noir from neo-noir, with movies in the 70s making the transition. I realize that already in the 1960s, films were starting to shift so that this year is arbitrary. Just as "Dirty Harry" is a 1971 noir that links the older classic film noirs to the new generation, the Italian police/crime movies innovate but also continue and deepen the noir tradition of focusing on the underworld and under side of human behavior. These are not standard dramas.
This movie has very good music, photographic style and plot, with characterizations being shown more by action than dialogue. The latter is a plus. It's also suspenseful and filled with surprising developments. What more can one ask? It opens with a car theft. The getaway features a wonderful photographic sequence showing the city from many angles with accompanying music. The car is used in a heist. One gang member gets shot. This eventually leads to 3 gang members taking over the residence-office of a doctor (Anthony Steffen) and his wife (Livia Cerini). The wounded gang member dies. The other two are a thug (Gianni Dei?) and a woman (Margaret Lee).
The story cuts back and forth between the police pursuit and the tensions at the doctor's house, which are violent at times, psychological and sexual.
It's a good, rugged in its own way, serviceable story and film.
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