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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"It's best to leave the dead buried".

4/10
Author: classicsoncall from United States
23 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It might have been better to leave the movie buried. The film opens in the year 1969, with totally cheap 1960's production values, so imagine my surprise when I look it up here on the IMDb and suddenly find it listed as a 1979 flick, AFTER Robert De Niro's starring roles in "Taxi Driver" and "The Deer Hunter". A little research helps, and it turns out this film started out as "Sam's Song", left unfinished and unreleased, presumably because it was pretty atrocious, with the intervening ten years not helping it much. If one didn't know better, you'd have to ask yourself how De Niro ever became a major star, much less get picked for another acting role after being seen in this. But of course he probably wasn't seen in this back in the late Sixties - gee, it's starting to sound like one of those time travel stories that wind up making my head hurt.

To give you an idea how bad this is, the female lead is portrayed by two different actresses (Jennifer Warren and Sybil Danning), and I constantly kept wondering why the film maker might have done that (now I know). I'd swear that Sam's girlfriend, later Andrew's wife Carol was also played by two different actresses, but the credits don't go there. To save you the trouble of going there yourself, De Niro's character is a maker of porn flicks, and an aspiring politician running for governor can't afford to have one of his productions see the light of day. I don't know about you, but I had the gov picked as the guy behind Sam's murder as soon as his personal assistant appeared on screen. The horny women were just a distraction to keep you guessing. Come to think of it, so was the title, because any swap that conceivably occurs in the picture turns out to be rather innocuous.

Even though De Niro's name heads the cast credits, the actual lead role for this one is handled by Anthony Charnota as Sam's brother Vito on the trail of his killer. By the time it's over, Vito leaves a trail of dead bodies behind him, even though he was being closely tailed by a detective named Benson; the cop never figured in the story's resolution. I had to laugh when the picture borrowed one of those gimmicks from 1940's Westens with an unknown person shooting the older Erica through a window and Vito giving chase. Who shot Vito? I don't know. Neither will you.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Poorly made and badly acted mystery/revenge movie...

2/10
Author: dwpollar from Evansville, Indiana USA
4 May 2010

1st watched 4/29/2010 – 2 out of 10 (Dir-John C. Broderick & John Shade): Poorly made and badly acted mystery/revenge movie billed as an early starring role for Robert De Niro but could have done much better with more of him. The De Niro character gets killed at the beginning of the movie and the rest of the movie involves his brother, Vinnie, getting out of jail 10 years later and trying to find out who killed him. The real star of the film is the actor who plays Vinnie but De Niro got the top billing even though he is in a lot fewer scenes. The acting was very bad for the most part in this movie coming from the main character. It was somewhat interesting trying to figure out where the story was going but it was pretty easy to piece things together at about the midway point of the film. The soundtrack was kind of strange in that it changed abruptly at different parts of the movie when it really made no sense. Before the movie was over it became laughable watching the cardboard actors say their silly lines and I was glad it only lasted 86 minutes(although it could have been shorter to take away my suffering). De Niro was fine in the movie but he wasn't the star and everyone has to start somewhere but I'm sure he'd even look at this film as a lowpoint in his career. Avoid this one – even with his name attached, the movie's not worth it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Have footage, will profit

2/10
Author: Chris. from Australia
18 May 2013

Incorporates scenes from the 1969 film "Sam's Song" of Robert DeNiro (as Sam) playing an aspiring director who meets a couple (Warren and Mickey) and an apparently single woman (Crawford) with whom he develops mutual bonds over one party-filled weekend at the beach. But when he's murdered, his fiercely protective brother (Charnotta) vows to avenge his death and ten years' later upon his release from gaol, he pieces together Sam's final days to seek retribution.

Neither DeNiro nor Warren - whose stars had risen in the intervening years between the 1969 footage and this 1979 re-edit - appear in the subsequently shot scenes, though naturally much is made of their names in the credits for marquee value. Both Mickey and Crawford reprise their roles, but Charnotta is essentially the central character here, his interrogations abetted by Lisa Blount as his frustrated chauffeur who once 'worked' for his brother. James Brown has a couple of scenes as a detective warning Charnotta not to dig too deeply into his brother's murder, and the sultry Sybil Danning playing the modern-day Warren role is entirely wasted sitting behind a desk.

Tedious attempt at a film noir, bereft of action and suspense, just a dreary series of one-on-one conversations interspersed with flashbacks of the melodramatic romantic quartet, making the most out of DeNiro's scant, unrelated footage. Though there's an occasional promise of something entertaining, it never eventuates. Even the film's climax is a non-event, hampered by a shoestring budget that teases, but fails to deliver.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Released from prison Vito Nicoletti tries to find his brothers murderer.

1/10
Author: matazel-1 from United States
21 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a re-cut from Sam's Song (1969) so this is like a redone re-release. I guess that's why some of the actors were dropped from the listing for this movie (e.g. Sybil Danning). No big deal as this was not a big movie. Bad acting, bad lighting, bad sound, bad movie.

Cut from a bad movie which was cut from some bad footage, I think from two different movies or something. Other than finding his brothers murderer I could find no plot, I'm still not sure if there's a good guy.

See the listing for "Sam's Song" for a better description of this movie.

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Only interesting as a curio

3/10
Author: arfdawg-1 from United States
15 May 2014

Vinnie gets out of jail after serving 10 years and tries to find out who killed his younger brother - played by a young Robert de Niro.

Some plot.

DeNiro is VERY young in this movie that looks like it was financed with mob money.In fact, his scenes are taken from a 1969 movie called Sam's Song!!!And when I say scenes, DeNiro is literally in the movie 90 seconds despite getting top billing!!!!

The crazy director went on to teach at City University in NY. Sybil Danning has blue hair. Why? We never find out. A couple scenes later it's brown.

The movie is pretty bad.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

oldie but not a goody

2/10
Author: jim boscariol from Canada
8 January 2012

Great material for some future SNL skit. This one was a real stinker even back in the day as I recall. There's not much good that one can say about this film however it does give a reasonably realistic feel for the times back then.... but "groovy" it is not. I think this movie could be redone as a comedy however several attempts may have already been tried (aka Starsky & Hutch, The Legend Of Ron Burgundy,and, well you get the picture). I'm sure Mr DiNiro still winces when this one is brought up in conversation....but hey, it was "the crazy sixties" and decent indie vehicles were just in their infancy back then. The plot is overly simplistic and the film quality is grainy and basically matches the content for quality, or lack thereof. I wouldn't consider this film as "awful" but it won't be on my next Saturday Night At The Movies list for sure. (terrible waste of good popcorn!)

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