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Fernando Di Leo
A psychotic small-time criminal realizes that the everyday robberies, rapes and murders he commits aren't making him all that much money, so he figures to hit the "big time" by kidnapping the daughter of a rich man.
Tony, a mob loan collector, is dissatisfied with his station in life. Though he dreams of one day being rich, he is stuck with the dead-end job of beating up borrowers who fall behind in their payments. After meeting up with Napoli, another mob enforcer who's just been fired from his job, the two hatch a plan. Together, they will con mob boss Manzari out of a fortune, after which they can retire and live in luxury. Manzari, however, is not about to let them go so easily. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fernando Di Leo's 1974 'Rulers of the City' is a delightful find among the gems of Italian cinema. The film is fast paced. It is, in hindsight, a gentle send up of the gangster genre. Remember took his treatment of spaghetti westerns to the urban turf, and, under all the grime and grit, he brings a comic turn. The cast is international: Harry Baer (Tony)is German; Jack Palance (Mr. Scarface)American; Al Cliver a Cairo-born Italian; and Vittorio Caprioli (Napoli) Italian. All things considered, it should come as no surprise that a German should appear in an Italian film. Remember, Visconti's casting of Alain Delon and his lover Helmut Schmidt. Italy was a haven for Americans: Italian directors brought out the hidden talent of some actors rarely seen in America. Richard Basehart in Fellini's 'la Strada'or Clint Eastwood who found an exit from a dead-end career in the US in Leone's spaghetti westerns as did Lee Van Clef. De Leo used well the image of Palance's face which incarnates the evil of loan sharks, and within he got an actor who could speak Italian. Baer brings the youthful elan of wanting to make it big and quick as a 'tax collector' though his fists and his intelligence. Cliver with a face of a fallen angel seeks revenge with a natural quickness and understanding of a finely tuned intelligence. And of course in Caprioli, he well used a finely turned the finely tuned sense of comedy and the wiliness of an old fox. The film opens up with a dreamlike sequence that as the quickly paced story is the key to its denouement. There is only one thing for you to do: rush out, find a copy of 'Rulers of the City', sit back and enjoy it!
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