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Mean Frank and Crazy Tony (1973)

Dio, sei proprio un padreterno! (original title)
R | | Comedy, Crime | August 1975 (USA)
This is a buddy film with a small-time thug (Victor Lobianco) meeting a high-profile gangster (Lee Van Cleef) while in prison. The pair team up to attempt a prison breakout.


Michele Lupo


Nicola Badalucco, Sergio Donati (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Van Cleef ... Frankie Diomede
Tony Lo Bianco ... Tony Breda
Edwige Fenech ... Orchidea
Jean Rochefort ... Louis Annunziata
Fausto Tozzi ... Massara
Mario Erpichini Mario Erpichini ... Joe Sciti
Jess Hahn ... Jeannot
Adolfo Lastretti ... Al
Silvano Tranquilli ... Sylvester
Nello Pazzafini ... Thug in Prison
Claudio Undari ... Assassin (as Robert Hundar)
Claudio Gora ... Director of 'Casa del Giovane'
Steffen Zacharias Steffen Zacharias ... Lawyer
Ugo Fangareggi Ugo Fangareggi ... Man in Café
Romano Puppo ... Assassin


There's trouble in Frankie Diomede's criminal empire in Genoa. A French gangster has moved into Frankie's territory, so Frankie flies home to take care of business. He promptly has himself arrested so that he'll have the perfect alibi when his top local associate dies, but then Frankie's life gets complicated: his enemies have enough juice to keep him in prison for awhile, his associates and allies are killed one at a time, and attempts on his life start. Help comes from an unlikely source: Tony Breda, a wannabe wiseguy who's a Milanese raised in Hoboken. Tony designs a plan to spring Frankie from jail, and then all roads lead to Marseilles. Is Tony a future Mafia don? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GET OUT AND GET EVEN! [U.S. re-release poster] See more »


Comedy | Crime


R | See all certifications »



Italy | France


English | Italian

Release Date:

August 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape from Death Row See more »

Filming Locations:

Genova, Liguria, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa #63444 delivered on 2-11-1973. See more »


During Frankie and Tony's escape to Marseilles,they are stopped on a bridge by a Police check point searching for Frankie,who hides under a blanket ,at which time a cameraman's reflection is clearly visible in the driver's side window. See more »

Alternate Versions

Simon Nuchtern added footage for American release in 1975. See more »


Referenced in Aislados (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome little film, but we demand a proper DVD release!
2 December 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Although I'm grateful this obscure gem of 70's Italian exploitation cinema features in the recently released "Grindhouse Experience" box set, and although it's also available on disc under the misleading and stupid alternate title "Escape from Death Row", I honestly think it deserves a proper and luxurious DVD edition, completely in its originally spoken languages with subtitle options (the dubbing is truly horrible), restored picture quality and a truckload of special bonus features! Heck, I don't even need the restored picture quality and bonus features if only we could watch the film in its original language. "Mean Frank and Crazy Tony" is a cheerfully fast-paced mafia/crime flick with a lot of violence, comedy (which, admittedly, doesn't always work), feminine beauty and two witty main characters. Tony Lo Bianco is terrific as the small thug pretending to be the city's biggest Don. When the real crime lord Frankie Dio (Lee Van Cleef) arrives in town, he sees an opportunity to climb up the ladder by offering his services. Frankie initially ignores the little crook, but they do eventually form an unlikely team when Frankie's entire criminal empire turns against him and a new French criminal mastermind even assassinates Frankie's innocent brother. Tony helps Frankie to escape from prison and together they head for Marseille to extract Frankie's revenge. The script of this sadly neglected crime gem funnily alters gritty action & suspense with light-headed bits of comedy, like the grotesque car chase through the narrow French mountain roads for example. The build up towards the typical mafia execution sequences (guided by an excellent Riz Ortolani score) are extremely tense and the actual killings are sadistic and merciless, which is probably why the film is considered to be somewhat of a grindhouse classic. The film lacks a strong female lead, as the lovely and amazingly voluptuous beauty Edwige Fenech sadly just appears in a couple of scenes, and then still in the background. On of the men behind the camera, responsible for the superb cinematography, was no less then Joe D'Amato. Great film, highly recommended to fans of Italian exploitation, and I hope to watch it again soon in its original version.

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