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The Salamander (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Katz (screenplay)
Rod Serling (adaptation)
View company contact information for The Salamander on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 May 1983 (USA) See more »
An Italian policeman investigates a series of murders involving people in prominent positions. Left... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
THE SALAMANDER (Peter Zinner, 1981) **1/2 See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Franco Nero ... Carabinieri Colonel Dante Matucci

Anthony Quinn ... Bruno Manzini

Martin Balsam ... Captain Steffanelli

Sybil Danning ... Lili Anders

Christopher Lee ... Prince Baldasar, the Director of Counterintelligence

Cleavon Little ... Major Carl Malinowski, USMC

Paul L. Smith ... The Surgeon (as Paul Smith)

John Steiner ... Captain Roditi

Claudia Cardinale ... Elena Leporello

Eli Wallach ... General Leporello
Renzo Palmer ... Carabinieri Major Giorgione
Anita Strindberg ... Princess Faubiani
Marino Masé ... Captain Rigoli
Jacques Herlin ... Woodpecker
Fortunato Arena ... General Pantaleone
John Stacy ... Concierge
Andrea Esterhazy ... Minister of Defence
Massimo Ciprari ... Assassin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Larry Dolgin ... Captain Roditi (voice)
Tony Brandt ... Gianni Bandanelli, Pantaleone's øawyer (uncredited)
Attilio Dottesio ... Party Guest at Manzini's (uncredited)
Tom Felleghy ... Man at Pantaleone's Burial (uncredited)
Alfonso Giganti ... Man at Pantaleone's funeral (uncredited)
Margherita Horowitz ... Wife of Minister of Defence (uncredited)
Gitte Lee ... Princess Baldasar (uncredited)
Nello Pazzafini ... Manzini's Bodyguard (uncredited)
Amedeo Salamon ... Banquet guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Zinner 
Writing credits
Robert Katz (screenplay)

Rod Serling (adaptation)

Morris L. West (novel)

Produced by
Erwin C. Dietrich .... producer
William R. Forman .... executive producer
Paul Maslansky .... producer
Renzo Rossellini .... co-producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Marcello Gatti 
Film Editing by
Claudio M. Cutry  (as Claudio Cutry)
Katina Zinner (co-editor)
Art Direction by
Giantito Burchiellaro 
Costume Design by
Fabrizio Caracciolo 
Production Management
Joe Pollini .... production manager (as Giuseppe Pollini)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Brandt .... assistant director
Art Department
Fernando Valento .... construction manager
Sound Department
Tonino Testa .... sound
Angelo Ragusa .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Stefano Marino .... electrician
Editorial Department
Patrizia Ceresani .... assistant editor
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Peter Zinner won an Oscar for his editing on " The Deer Hunter "See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in O aftakias (1982)See more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
THE SALAMANDER (Peter Zinner, 1981) **1/2, 25 March 2009
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

Peter Zinner won an Oscar for editing THE DEER HUNTER (1978); for his only directorial effort, he chose this adaptation of the Morris West best-seller which was shown on local TV back in the day (actually, that is how I first heard of it). He did manage to assemble an impressive all-star cast: Franco Nero plays the hero carabiniere in a throwback to some of the political thrillers he had made in his native country – such as DAY OF THE OWL (1968), in which he co-starred with Claudia Cardinale, and CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN (1971), also featuring Martin Balsam; both actors also appear here, the latter as Nero's closest collaborator who eventually falls in the line of duty. Anthony Quinn is the titular figure (a wealthy industrialist and ex-legendary WWII partisan), Sybil Danning the mistress of a dead army officer (whose apparent suicide sets events in motion) but also serving as Nero's unconvincing love interest, Eli Wallach the General leading a proposed coup d'etat, Christopher Lee as Nero's superior (actually a prince[!] who is unsurprisingly inextricably related with the Government takeover plot – interestingly, his on-screen wife was played by Lee's own real-life spouse in an infrequent appearance), Cleavon Little as a Black American ex-colleague of Nero's (whom the latter calls upon when he is in a fix) and Paul Smith (as a sadistic "surgeon"). There are, however, also a number of Euro-Cult regulars: John Steiner in the role of Wallach's aide as well as lover of his neglected wife Cardinale, Renzo Palmer, Marino Mase' – unenviably playing a corpse! – and Nello Pazzafini. While tolerable as entertainment (though there is less action than I had anticipated) and featuring a decent score by the great Ennio Morricone, the film is ultimately too superficial and uneven to make a ripple in the circles it professes to denounce; nevertheless, the clever climax is surprisingly (but effectively) handled in the style of the "Thin Man" movies! Besides, one particular scene nearly turns this into a camp classic i.e. when the hero, caught and about to be tortured by Smith, attacks the latter clad only in a harness along his waist (which gives unwarranted prominence to Nero's groin while leaving his buttocks completely exposed!) but ends up slammed against the wall hanging upside-down instead!!

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