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Un uomo in ginocchio (1979)

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Nino, a regular working-class guy, finds that a hitman has been hired to kill him. He discovers that a wealthy woman has been kidnapped and that everyone who was involved in it is being ... See full summary »



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Title: Un uomo in ginocchio (1979)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Giuliano Gemma ...
Nino Peralta
Eleonora Giorgi ...
Lucia Peralta
Antonio Platamonte
Tano Cimarosa ...
Sebastiano Colicchia
Ettore Manni ...
Vincenzo Fabbricante
Luciano Catenacci ...
Nello Pazzafini ...
Fabrizio Forte ...
Peralta's Son
Nazzareno Zamperla
Giovanni Giancono
Francesco De Mattia
Armando Zappi
Francesco Tranchina
Rodolfo Bigotti
Gianpaolo Saccarola


Nino, a regular working-class guy, finds that a hitman has been hired to kill him. He discovers that a wealthy woman has been kidnapped and that everyone who was involved in it is being killed off. However, Nino had nothing to do with the kidnapping and has to find out who has sent the killers and stop them before it's too late. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kidnapping | hired killer







Release Date:

13 April 1979 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Man on His Knees  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Mafia places a man on his knees, but will he stay there?
31 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Un uomo in ginocchio" means a man on his knees. This is a noir for certain, but since it's made in 1980, we call it neo noir; and this is a superb noir, way more than what I expected. By the end, I felt it was in the same class as the 1967 "A Ciascuno Il Suo".

What makes it great? The depth of being true to life, human actions that make sense in step with the characters, who are human and subject to the human frailties. There is a great amount of nuance in the writing, and the story goes in very surprising directions.

In the first part of the story, there is a natural humor side by side with the seriousness, and that's partly because the characters have to release tension, and their volubility is so typically Italian. But then it gets more and more serious, and all humor vanishes completely by the end. The film makers were in perfect control of their material, and they exercised a lot of intelligence. Only 1 movie in many is able to achieve this kind of result.

The plot is straightforward. In Palermo, Gemma operates a little kiosk with the help of Tano Cimerosa. Gemma has done time for car theft. He's married with several children. He gets his name placed on a hit list of 8 because a kidnapping has occurred nearby that upset the Mafia boss, Ettore Manni. A coffee cup with his kiosk's name on it was found at the scene. A killer has been hired in from out of town, played marvelously by Michele Placido. Cimerosa recognizes him. Gemma then tries to get off the hook, and that's what most of the action is about.

Since these characters are not stereotypes, the action is not stereotypical. There are many twists and turns.

I watched a widescreen version with excellent subtitles in English. The print was average, not remastered, with somewhat faded color, but not bad, certainly not anything that interfered with the enjoyment of the film.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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