After cutting his teeth on a couple of spaghetti westerns (Django Defies Sartana; Death’s Dealer), director Pasquale Squitieri moved into the popular gangster genre with Gang War in Naples and Blood Brothers, this last film including the all-star cast of Claudia Cardinale, Franco Nero, and Fabio Testi. He then directed The Climber (1975) , a story about a young, cocky hood who climbs his way up the mafia ladder.
Cult actor Joe Dallesandro stars as the cocky hoodlum, Aldo. Dallesandro had just completed Warhol’s Dracula and Frankenstein films and had decided to stay in Europe. He was riding a crest of popularity and had no trouble finding work. Squitieri was happy to pick him up for this film, alongside co-star Stefania Casini (Warhol’s Dracula, Bertolucci’s 1900, as well as Suspiria).
The film opens with Aldo making off with a load of stolen cigarettes from the docks of Naples.