A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE ...
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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.
An Italian official's wife is kidnapped, and the kidnappers demand that a notorious prisoner be released in order for the man to get his wife back. He gets the man released--but then ... See full summary »
A psychotic small-time criminal realizes that the everyday robberies, rapes and murders he commits aren't making him all that much money, so he figures to hit the "big time" by kidnapping the daughter of a rich man.
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 »
Vincenzo 'hunchback' plans a robbery on a armored police van with his gang. Once the job is done, his gang try to kill him and absconds with the loot. Vincenzo hides in the sewers before ... See full summary »
A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE GODFATHER, but which really address Italian issues like the Sicilian Mafia and red terrorism. Perhaps even more interesting than the films themselves were the rushed methods of production (stars performing their own stunts, stealing shots, no live sound) and the bleed-over between real-life crime and movie crime. Written by
In 2012 when co-producer Michael A. Martinez met with Michael Forest in a Hollywood coffee shop to hand him an edit of the film, actress Barbara Bouchet (who is mentioned in much detail in the film) walked in and introduced herself, purely coincidentally. Bouchet and Forest casually knew each other as guest stars on episodes of "Star Trek" in addition to their work in Italian films. See more »
This is a genuinely interesting, well-researched and therefore informative documentary on the emergence, duration, and eventual decline of a very specific genre. Namely, the "poliziotteschi" that dominated the 1970s: those rough and raw Italian made cop and gangster films that only in more recent years have received something of a revival.
The Italians were always quick to capitalize on a fad, taking their cue from American cop films like "Dirty Harry" and "The French Connection" and gangster cinema such as "The Godfather" (which inspired American-made knock-offs as well). However, they really put their own distinctive flair on these stories, upping the ante in terms of the violence and sleaziness taking place on screen.
Writer / director Mike Malloy gives us a number of extremely enjoyable interviews with the actors - both Italian and American - and filmmakers who were prolific in this genre. Among them are Franco Nero, Enzo G. Castellari, Mario Caiano, John Saxon, John Steiner, Henry Silva, Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, Chris Mitchum, Leonard Mann, and Luc Merenda.
Divided into several sections, the film has enough animation and visual gimmicks to transcend being mostly a "talking head" sort of affair, and it's delivered with an obvious passion for the subject matter. Topics covered include the origin of Eurocrime, the men who made the movies, the way that women tended to be treated in them (they usually didn't fare too well, unfortunately), the way that real life Italian crime organizations always made their presence known, the political climate in which they were released, and the way that they hastened their demise by adding too much comedy.
It seems like an oversight that Fernando Di Leo would barely get a mention; even as a relative novice to poliziotteschi, this viewer knows that Di Leo was a big name in this genre. Actor Tomas Milian gets a prominent mention, but is not seen during the documentary; a separate interview with him is an extra on the DVD release.
All in all, if you're like me and know that you've done little more than scratch the surface when it comes to Eurocrime, Malloy's movie will make you aware of how much there is to discover.
Among the funniest tidbits of information: Umberto Lenzi being outed as one of the "screamiest" directors that some of the actors had ever worked with.
Eight out of 10.
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