8 user 5 critic

Italia a mano armata (1976)


(as Franco Martinelli)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An uncompromising cop gets transferred to Naples on account of this city's atrocious crime levels. His no-hold-barred police methods are considered to be the perfect anti-dote.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Barry Sullivan
Violent City (1975)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Marino Girolami
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Richard Conte, Silvano Tranquilli
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A tough, violent cop who doesn't mind bending the law goes after a machine-gun-carrying, hunchbacked psychotic killer.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Arthur Kennedy, Giampiero Albertini
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Luigi Maietto (Chinaman) escapes from prison he then orders two henchman to murder the inspector whose testimonal led to his being jailed. Inspector Tanzi is left for dead but lives. The ... See full summary »

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Tomas Milian
Napoli spara! (1977)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Fast paced Italian crime movie with the various action scenes revolving around bank robberies, street violence, car chases, cops verses the underworld at its greatest. If you have ever been... See full summary »

Director: Mario Caiano
Stars: Leonard Mann, Ida Galli, Henry Silva
Street Law (1974)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Carlo Antonelli, an engineer from Genoa, gets mugged and decides to take justice into his own hands. At first the muggers seem to get the upper hand, but then he's helped by Tommy, a young robber who takes his side.

Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Stars: Franco Nero, Giancarlo Prete, Barbara Bach
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Milano police lieutenant Giorga's chief is murdered by an organized crime ring, he vows to avenge his boss's death. Going undercover to continue the chief's investigation, he plans to ... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Luc Merenda, Richard Conte, Silvano Tranquilli
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young prostitute is found brutally killed and is up to detective Germi (Claudio Cassinelli) the investigation of the case, as the search progress he uncovers a girls trafficking ring with connections to powerful people.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Claudio Cassinelli, Mel Ferrer, Lia Tanzi
The Boss (1973)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A bomb attack in a cinema in Palermo kills all the fellows of Attardi's clan a part from Cocchi. He immediately understands that the author of the bomb attack is Daniello from Don ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Di Leo
Stars: Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Gianni Garko
Almost Human (1974)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A small-time homicidal maniac kidnaps the daughter of a rich man, prompting a hardened detective to work outside the law to pursue him.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Laura Belli
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A retired cop is visited by his former partner who wants him to be a bodyguard for established clientele. At first declining the offer, Nick quickly accepts and joins his friend for the job... See full summary »

Director: Stelvio Massi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Jutta Speidel, Arthur Brauss
The Manhunt (1975)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a crook gets framed as a drug kingpin, the mob decide to "off" his wife. Revenge is the name of the game, and the manhunt is on!

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Henry Silva, Luciana Paluzzi, Silvano Tranquilli


Credited cast:
Toni Ucci ...
Sergio Fiorentini ...
Franco Borelli ...
Dino Mattielli ...
Rocco Oppedisano
Carlo Valli ...
Marcello Monti ...
Fortunato Arena ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Enzo Andronico ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Thriller | Action | Crime





Release Date:

27 November 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Special Cop in Action  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final part of police commissioner Betti's trilogy, also including Violent City (1975) and Violent Naples (1976). See more »


Follows Violent City (1975) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Beware of the merciless mustache!
15 July 2014 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Call me sick or call me sadist, but nothing makes me merrier than watching a raw and excessively violent Italian cop thriller from the 1970's! These so-called "Poliziotteschi" flicks simply have everything that avid cult fanatics could possibly be seeking for, and more! And also this "Italia A Mano Armato" (a.k.a. "A Special Cop in Action") features incredibly massive doses of hard-boiled action, nail-biting suspense, dazzling car chases (and rooftop chases), badass characters, nasty plot twists, controversial political/social themes, gritty atmospheres and a sizzling soundtrack. Director Franco Martinelli is perhaps not the most prolific name in this genre, but he is clearly playing in the same league as the genuine experts (Umberto Lenzi, Stelvio Massi, Fernando Di Leo…) in terms of quality and sheer entertainment. In good old Poliziotteschi tradition, there isn't much of a stable plot, but the pacing moves forward like a derailed train and something new & exciting happens approximately every one and a half minutes. Maurizio "Mustache" Merli returns for the third and final time as commissioner Betti, the unorthodox and relentless copper with fists of steel and an allergy for political injustice. Betti is up to his neck in crime scenes again, including violent bank robberies, heroin smuggling and – most repugnant of all – the cowardly kidnapping of six defenseless school children in exchange for a giant ransom. Betti is convinced that all the separate crimes lead back to one major gangster kingpin, namely the sly Albertelli. But Albertelli is a widely respected businessman and uses all his political power and influence to keep Betti out of his way. You needn't look for style or visual elegance in this type of cinema, as this certainly isn't similar to the works of contemporary Italian A-list directors like Fredrico Fellini or Michelangelo Antonioni. The Poliziotteschi films were initially inspired by Hollywood blockbusters like "Dirty Harry" and "The French Connection", but they gradually evolved into a fully unique genre that also perfectly illustrated the depressing social and economic climate in Italy at that time. You'll notice here in this film as well that the tone and atmosphere are continuously grim, the good guys embittered and even a happy ending is out of the question. The performances are terrific, with Merli as the unstoppably fit copper. You can even throw him out of a speeding car or lock him up in a prison amidst hundreds of personal enemies, and still he never gives up! Cult deity John Saxon is fabulous as the slimy and sardonic villain Albertelli. He only appears on screen after half an hour, but he plays an essential part in the outrageous climax. Sadly enough there's always a shortage of strong women in these movies. The only noteworthy females here are Merli's insignificant love interest and a squealing rape victim. The extended car chase forms the highlight of sheer adrenaline (look out for the little black car that gets rammed into the river) and the shootout in the harbor is unforgettable as well. My hat off to the stuntmen and camera operators that literally risked their lives in order to provide this cult gem with genuine action sequences, shot from imaginative angles and viewpoints.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show