7 user 25 critic

Shoot First, Die Later (1974)

Il poliziotto è marcio (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Thriller | 22 March 1974 (Italy)
A police lieutenant suddenly faces the consequences of his choice to part for the local mobs.


Fernando Di Leo


Fernando Di Leo (screenplay), Sergio Donati (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Luc Merenda ... Domenico
Richard Conte ... Mazzanti
Delia Boccardo ... Sandra
Raymond Pellegrin ... Pascal
Gianni Santuccio Gianni Santuccio ... Questore
Vittorio Caprioli ... Esposito
Salvo Randone ... Malacarne
Rosario Borelli Rosario Borelli ... Garrito
Monica Monet Monica Monet ... Barbara
Gino Milli Gino Milli ... Gianmaria
Elio Zamuto Elio Zamuto ... Rio
Loris Bazzocchi Loris Bazzocchi ... Killer
Marcello Di Falco Marcello Di Falco ... Killer
Massimo Sarchielli ... Raba
Marisa Traversi Marisa Traversi ... Nevio


A police lieutenant suddenly faces the consequences of his choice to part for the local mobs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Italy | France



Release Date:

22 March 1974 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Shoot First, Die Later See more »

Filming Locations:

Milano, Italy

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The two iconic car chase scenes in the film reportedly took up half the film's budget. See more »

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User Reviews

Papa's Got a Brand New Body Bag
1 August 2016 | by radiobirdmaSee all my reviews

Though generally a tad overrated (neither Milano Calibro 9 nor Il Boss are the transgressive "masterpieces" some Italocinema fetishists want them to be), so-called "cult" director Fernando di Leo manages to strike some grippingly dissonant chords in Shoot First, Die Later, the original title being less sensationalistic than bone dry: The Rotten Cop. While most poliziotteschi are essentially feelgood movies, the degenerates and lowlifes getting what they justly deserve, this one marches to an entirely different drum. At its core a father-son story – the excellent Salvo Randone playing Pops to the opposite of leading beau Luc Merenda –, it's a cynical morality play about a model cop appropriately named Malacarne (literally meaning "bad meat") who feels perfectly comfortable with being on the payroll of the mafia until things go terribly awry: Unlike the cheap-thrills roller coaster violence of other Eurocrime movies, the stark brutality here comes across as callous, pitiless, not even nasty, but unpleasant through and through; actually, the two car chases, skillfully done by stunt coordinator Rémy Julienne, feel like a concession to the regular poliziotto crowd. In its acidly sarcastic Weltanschauung and the complete lack of redeeming qualities, Shoot First, Die Later is doubtless more akin to the cinema of Rosi, Damiani or Elio Petri than to the staccato over-the-top action of Castellari or Lenzi: A doom loop of human failings.

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