Paolo Mancuso is a gang boss whose rivals want dead. During a failed assassination attempt, he is bitten by an infected lab rat. In the short time he has left to live, he tracks down his enemies and kills them one by one.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Antonio Sabato ...
Paolo Mancuso
Silvia Monti ...
Laura Monachesi
...
The Inspector
Nicoletta Rizzi ...
Lidia Mancuso
Fred Williams ...
Dario Lippi
Mario Donen ...
Gino
Toni Ucci ...
Bellyache
Peter Carsten ...
Maraschi
Melù Valente ...
School Teacher
Giulio Baraghini ...
The Inspector's Assistant
Bruno Di Luia ...
Pino
Nando Marineo ...
Doctor
Mirella Rossi ...
Prostitute
Nicola D'Eramo ...
Transvestite
Elena Demerik ...
Liliana LaManna (as Elena De Merick)
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Storyline

Paolo Mancuso is a gang boss whose rivals want dead. During a failed assassination attempt, he is bitten by an infected lab rat. In the short time he has left to live, he tracks down his enemies and kills them one by one.

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Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

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Release Date:

29 November 1974 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

24 Epätoivon tuntia  »

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References O Lucky Man! (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Antonio Sabato, bitten by a rat, has only hours to live but he's trying to take his revenge
8 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Milano: il clan dei Calabresi" or "The Last Desperate Hours" is an outstanding poliziottescho, tense, dramatic, well-acted, and well-directed all the way. A prostitute overlord played by Anthony Sabato is being pushed out by other hoods. During one early chase scene he happens into a lab where he is bitten by an experimental rat carrying a contagious virus. He has but 24 hours to live unless he gets a serum. The police, headed by Pier Paolo Capponi, are trying to track him down and so are the hoods after him.

Although on the surface the action of the movie is one long pursuit broken into parts, beneath the surface it is an excellent character study of Sabato and an examination of his life. His reactions to the knowledge of his condition are not what you might expect, with his antagonism to the hoods after him taking precedence at first. But then as those who used to be close to him desert him or even betray him because he has fallen and because they fear his disease, their mutual hatreds and antagonisms are brought out. His ill-treatment of others in his path upwards comes back to haunt him. Only his estranged wife offers to help, and not out of love but out of her guilt for having helped him become what he is, which is a man bereft of ordinary moral sentiments.

The final scenes are really quite shocking. They are reminiscent of the mob fury in the 1950 "Sound of Fury" or "Try and Get Me", but they are stronger.

The way that this story unfolds is stronger and more intense than "Panic in the Streets" which had a similar central plot device. This film is not at all an imitation but stands on its own, based on a sharp script.

Sabato is very strong in his part. The rest of the cast is focused and intense, with some credit clearly owing to the director. The film editing doesn't slow the pace down and keeps attention on Sabato and his predicament.


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