When Terry Levene distributed this film in the late 1970's, he replaced a few of the establishing shots with those of American locations. For an establishing shot of the Rome youth center where Tanzi meets Stefano, Levine used a shot of the Manhattan night club "Fascination". Strangely enough, in the later Lenzi film Da Corleone a Brooklyn (1979) (which also starred Maurizio Merli as an Italian policeman), Merli drives by the club "Fascination" after he arrives in New York. See more »
The opening credits are played while the camera in first person view mode (From a criminal's POV) drives through Rome looking at banks and building societies and leaves the city through a long, dark tunnel as the credits end. See more »
Another great crime flick from the great Umberto Lenzi!
If you ask me, Umberto Lenzi is the king of Italian crime flicks; the director worked in a lot of different genres, and while he has certainly had a lot of success with Giallo and zombie flicks, it's clear after seeing films such as Free Hand for a Tough Cop and the pinnacle of the genre, Almost Human, that crime flicks are where he is at his best. And when you add the fabulous Tomas Milian into the mix, you're never likely to hit upon a bad example of the genre! While it's clear that The Tough Ones is not his best crime flick, it's certainly a very good one and I doubt many fans will be disappointed with it! The whole genre takes most of its influence from Don Siegel's classic Clint Eastwood flick, Dirty Harry, and this one takes more influence from that than most. There isn't really much of a plot; the film merely focuses on Maurizio Merli's disgruntled police officer, Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi. Tanzi is tired of crime and even more tired of the way that the police are bound by restrictions on how to deal with it, and when hunchbacked maniac Vincenzo Moretto starts throwing his weight around, Tanzi has to take the law into his own hands...
The lack of plot is never really a problem in this film. Tanzi goes after a number of criminals and even if sometimes the plot doesn't get furthered by this endeavour, it's still great fun to watch. The Tough Ones is an extremely robust and action packed crime drama and plays to it's strengths at all times with a myriad of car chases, shootouts and fist fights; all of which is very enjoyable. Merli obviously took his inspiration from Clint Eastwood as the two performances share a lot in common, but the Italian actor makes the role his own and it never really seems like he's imitating Eastwood. The film also stars two other Italian luminaries in the form of Tomas Milian and Ivan Rassimov. Milian lights up the screen in all of his performances, and while he has done better work than what we see here and we don't get to see him enough; it's still another fine performance. Rassimov doesn't get a lot of screen time either, but any cast with Milian, Rassimov and Merli is unlikely to get a thumbs down from many cult film fans! Overall, this is a balls to the wall thrill a minute crime flick and should not be missed by fans of this genre!
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