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Battle of the Godfathers (1973)

Zinksärge für die Goldjungen (original title)
R | | Crime, Drama | 12 July 1974 (Italy)
Mafia hot shot comes to Hamburg with the main intention of taking it over. However, the local German crime lord isn't particularly down with his plan and a bloody gang war ensues.


Jürgen Roland


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbert Fleischmann ... Otto Westermann
Henry Silva ... Luca Messina
Patrizia Gori ... Sylvia
Horst Janson ... Erik
Véronique Vendell ... Kate
Raf Baldassarre Raf Baldassarre ... Sergio
Ermelinda De Felice Ermelinda De Felice ... Luca's Mother
Sonja Jeannine Sonja Jeannine ... Tilly Mautz
Uwe Carstens Uwe Carstens
Dan van Husen ... O'Brian
Wolfgang Kuhlman Wolfgang Kuhlman
Peter Lehmbrock Peter Lehmbrock ... Dutschke
Victor Oto Victor Oto
Jack Carmen-Paxton Jack Carmen-Paxton ... (as Jack Paxton)
Denes Törzs Denes Törzs ... Guy


Mafia hot shot comes to Hamburg with the main intention of taking it over. However, the local German crime lord isn't particularly down with his plan and a bloody gang war ensues.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »



West Germany | Italy



Release Date:

12 July 1974 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle of the Godfathers See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany


Box Office


DEM 3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original music score by Coriolano Gori is featured only in the Italian version of the film which differs significantly from the German cut (i. e. it features more action scenes and less plot / character development while running shorter). The score of the German version consists solely of archive music from other films, including The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse (1964), Death and Diamonds (1968), Hard Women (1970) and Jungfrauen-Report (1972). See more »

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User Reviews

Heil Silva!
13 January 2018 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

Henry Silva kicks down Hamburg's brown door and paints it white on the way out in this German-based gangster film. Silva plays Luca Messina, an American/Sicilian mob boss who has picked Hamburg as his new territory, much to the annoyance of German mob boss Otto Westermann,

Silva arrives in town with his gangsters, his mistress, his daughter and his overbearing Sicilian mother and gets right on everyone's case by muscling in on all the whorehouses, gambling dens, and mob-run Greggs. He also just brazenly walks into one of Otto's meetings and declares himself boss of all, which for some reason doesn't go down too well with the German lot, many of whom are literally waving sausages about when they speak.

Complicating matters further is the burgeoning romance between Henry's daughter and Otto's son, which is fuelled by their kid's hatred for the life their father's having chosen. This is the only part of the film that slips a bit but I guess they had to inject some sort of sub plot into things instead of just having mobsters blow each other way for an hour and a half. Also, any hopes you might have of this romance uniting the two families should be dashed when Henry murders Otto's other son - via two Kung Fu masters, this being 1973 and all...

I love the way that almost the entire plot is thrown out of the window when Henry does something completely stupid near the end of the film and we go into a car chase followed by a speed boat chase. In fact, I don't know why but I get the feeling the whole film was a bit of a rush job, as quite a lot of the cast are dispensed with rapidly, and I wasn't even too sure of the sub plot with Henry's mistress and one of his mobster friends, but then by that point things were snowballing so I didn't dwell on it.

For those looking for a quick fix, this one will do - there's plenty of sauce for those interested in naked women who are now drawing a pension if they are still alive at all, and it makes a change to see a bunch of German mobsters smoking and drinking beer instead of Italian gangster smoking and slapping women around.

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