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Tough Guys (1974)

PG | | Action, Crime | 29 May 1974 (France)
An ex-convict priest and a framed former policeman hunt a machine-gun killer behind a bank robbery.


Duccio Tessari


Nicola Badalucco, Georges Dutter (French dialogue) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lino Ventura ... Father Charlie
Isaac Hayes ... Lee
Fred Williamson ... Joe Snake
Paula Kelly ... Fay
William Berger ... Captain Ryan
Vittorio Sanipoli ... Mike Petralia
Lorella De Luca ... Anne Lombardo
Mario Erpichini Mario Erpichini ... Gene Lombardo
Jess Hahn ... The Bartender
Jacques Herlin ... Barfly
Guido Leontini Guido Leontini ... Sergeant Sam
Romano Puppo ... Hood
Luciano Salce Luciano Salce ... The bishop
Thurman Scott Thurman Scott ... Tony
Joel Cory Joel Cory ... Cammioneur


An ex-convict priest and a framed former policeman hunt a machine-gun killer behind a bank robbery.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Black Moses, The Hammer, and The Preacher Man. They've got their own kind of mean game.


Action | Crime


PG | See all certifications »



Italy | France | USA



Release Date:

29 May 1974 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Tough Guys See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Isaac Hayes' instrumental 'Hung Up on My Baby' is heard in the film twice - once in Lee's apartment, and during the final showdown with Snake. This instrumental piece has been sampled by the Houston, TX rap group The Geto Boys for their hit single 'Mind Playing Trick on Me' in 1991. See more »


Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 4 (1997) See more »


Run Fay Run
Written by Isaac Hayes
Performed by Isaac Hayes and The Memphis Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty good for what it is
15 March 2008 | by lemon_magicSee all my reviews

A film like this never gets any respect from the industry it bankrolls. Someone tacked the title "Three Tough Guys" onto the film when it obviously should have been "Two Tough Guys" (as the title sequence song by Isaac Hayes accurately reflects). But someone wanted to the public to think that the film featured as much of Fred Williamson as it did the actual "two tough guys", when in fact, Williamson is barely involved. I would be surprised if analysis revealed that he was on-screen for more than 10 or 12 actual minutes. So if you want to see this film just for Williamson, you probably will be disappointed.

But the film has a lot going for it - at least for a genre exploitation film.

I could listen to Hayes read the phone book and enjoy it.He's not really an actor, but he's relaxed and comfortable on camera and he's fun to watch. It's a shame that his film career didn't go further. I've never seen the Italian guy before, but he is pretty convincing here as the world's toughest crime-fighting priest; he has a forceful presence that lets him pull off what is essentially a ridiculous role. A lot of actors couldn't make this part work (even some pretty good ones), but he mixes piety and punching in a way that carries the movie quite well.

There isn't a lot of chemistry between the two leads, but the dialog is spare and unsentimental and it hardly ever seems forced. The screenwriter (and the Italian film industry) didn't indulge in their normal practice of having everyone talk way too much (especially in the English dub) for once, and the results are pretty good for American sensibilities.

There's lots of punching, lots of gun-play, a bit of actual suspense, and some fairly good characterization (for an Italian exploitation flick) even for the minor parts. (One exception is the "bishop", who is forced to play the exasperated part usually reserved for the rogue cop's chief in standard cop thrillers. He sucks on toast, but it's not really his fault - it's the weakest and most contrived role in the movie and there isn't much he can do with it.)

The DVD conversion in the "Grindhouse Experience" collection is pretty bad - lots of blurring, some scenes so dark you can hardly tell what's going on, some muffled sound here and there,etc. But I've seen worse conversions - even in this collection - and for once the English dub is pretty good.

If you can't find this movie, don't fret - you aren't missing all that much. But as a representative choice for a "Grindhouse Experience", this is actually a very strong entry in the collection, easily in the top 5.

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