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Violent City (1975)
"Roma violenta" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 320 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 8 critic

A detective sick and tired of the rampant crime and violence in his city, and constantly at odds with his superiors, is finally kicked out of the department for a "questionable" shooting of... See full summary »


(as Franco Martinelli)


(screenplay), (story)
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Title: Violent City (1975)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurizio Merli ...
Lawyer Sartori
Silvano Tranquilli ...
Capo della Squadra mobile
Ray Lovelock ...
John Steiner ...
Franco Spadoni 'Chiodo'
Daniela Giordano ...
Lover of Betti
Attilio Duse ...
Mar. Antinori
Giuliano Esperanti ...
De Rossi (as Giuliano Esperati)
Marcello Monti ...
The Chink
Consalvo Dell'Arti ...
Luciano Rossi ...
Delivery Man
Pippo Pollaci ...
Marco Stefanelli ...
Grocery Store Robber
Brunello Chiodetti ...
Ruggero Diella ...
Boy Killed on Bus


A detective sick and tired of the rampant crime and violence in his city, and constantly at odds with his superiors, is finally kicked out of the department for a "questionable" shooting of a vicious criminal. However, he is soon approached by a representative for a group of citizens who themselves are fed up with what they see as criminals going unpunished, and they make him an offer he may very well not refuse. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime


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Release Date:

13 August 1975 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Violent City  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Richard Conte. See more »


In the police station, a officer is handed a pistol said to be Russian. In actuality it is a Japanese Nambu 14. See more »

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User Reviews

A great portion of delicious and nutritious grindhouse salad with loads of bloodily-red tomato sauce
4 May 2013 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

Commissioner Betti (Maurizio Merli), upon beholding a motivelessly slaughtered boy on a bus robbed by some thugs, vows to find the murderers, punish them for what they did, but also appease his desire of vengeance entailed by the demise of his brother who was killed in familiar circumstances. The violence begins to expand in the whole Rome…

It is virtually inescapable to succumb to this wonderfully pulpy film which is filled with ruggedly crafted action sequences and swift pace. No wonder why it was a huge commercial success on the day of its premiere and Maurizio Merli became a star. Notwithstanding, but for the neat direction by Girolami, it would not have been so effective since the script itself is not anything specific, invariably appears disjointed and towards the end the ensemble is not even concerned about clarifying why another outburst of violence embarks on. Likewise, the material lacks a strong antagonist who could emerge out of the shady streets of Rome and eventually face Betti. Another element which might not be utterly engaging is a socio-political commentary on the situation in the Italy which feels a sort of out of place and somehow contrasts with the mindlessly action-packed remainder of the flick. Instead of pushing the boundaries of pastime into the same directions as unabashedly entertaining Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1975) by Ruggero Deodato, it aspires higher, but it's impossible to render something serious, if it's basically this kind of actionier. Thus, making allowances for those aspects, Girolami allows it all to flow and generally focuses on shootouts and fistfights, on account of which obtains an imposingly electrifying atmosphere reminiscent of a collage consisting of gliding bullets, enormous squibs and outstanding Merli ceaselessly ready to utilize his gun in the midst. The simplicity of rendition is one of the biggest benefits of this motion picture that makes it all so compelling. The best moment of Violent Rome might be the car chase when commissioner Betti pursues one of the villains played by John Steiner. The climax is so stimulating that one is capable of smelling exhaust fumes as well as the reek of burnt tyres. The execution is superb – the editing is sharp, but it never distracts and one is likely to agree that it's an extraordinarily riveting scene which stays in one's mind.

Maurizio Merli is very strong as commissioner Betti. He conveys a lot of charisma to his character as well as succeeds in creating a respectable and tough cop, the one who a delinquent wouldn't like to deal with. Ray Lovelock plays an undercover policeman who invariably comes in handy and provides Betti with multiple indispensable pieces of information. He is quite likable and believable in his role as a young, smug blonde. There are also numerous faces which all film buffs keen on Euro-cult cinema are familiar with. The soundtrack by Guido & Maurizio de Angelis is absolutely terrific and it's difficult to conceive another composer who could be able to replace this duo. Brothers de Angelis, grasping the point of the movie and their task as musicians, compose a fast, aggressive and catchy soundtrack which contextualises with this action flick phenomenally.

While certainly imperfect, Violent Rome is well-paced, ruggedly crafted and stunningly scored. It serves its purpose perfectly and it's genuinely hard to remain indifferent to its charm. Though it structurally isn't the most impressive work of all time, it's a great portion of delicious and nutritious grindhouse salad with loads of bloodily-red tomato sauce which is bound to leave its viewers satisfied.

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