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Kidnap Syndicate (1975)

La città sconvolta: caccia spietata ai rapitori (original title)
Based on an actual event "The Kidnap Syndicate" is the story of two boys, one from a rich family and the other from a poor family, who are kidnapped and held for ransom.


Fernando Di Leo


Fernando Di Leo (screenplay), Ernesto Gastaldi (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Luc Merenda ... Mario Colella
James Mason ... Filippini
Irina Maleeva ... Lina
Marino Masé ... Pardi
Daniele Dublino ... Lawyer Bonanni
Vittorio Caprioli ... Commissar Magrini
Valentina Cortese ... Grazia Filippini
Marco Liofredi Marco Liofredi ... Fabrizio Colella
Francesco Impeciati ... Antonio Filippini
Alessio Juso Alessio Juso ... Bambino
Enzo Pulcrano Enzo Pulcrano ... Labbrone
Giulio Baraghini Giulio Baraghini ... Brigadier
Renato Baldini ... Antonio Polieviti
Serena Bennato Serena Bennato ... Slava
Flora Carosello Flora Carosello ... Wife


Based on an actual event "The Kidnap Syndicate" is the story of two boys, one from a rich family and the other from a poor family, who are kidnapped and held for ransom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

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Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

User Reviews

Intense drama & raw revenge thriller in one!
5 March 2012 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Of all the multi-talented Italian cult directors of the 60's and 70's, Fernando Di Leo was the one who pleased us with the best and most adrenalin-rushing crime thrillers. His most famous "Italian organized crime" trilogy (existing of "Caliber 9", "Manhunt" and "The Boss") is downright brilliant, but Di Leo also made a number of flicks that are a lot less acclaimed but at least equally terrific and revolutionary. This "Kidnap Syndicate" is arguably his biggest hidden gem and I'm enormously grateful to the good people over at the Nocturno label for releasing the film in a splendid DVD-format. Cult collectors all around the world: if you come across ANY movie released by this label, never hesitate for one second to pick up a copy!!

"Kidnap Syndicate" is a lot less turbulent and 'in-your-face' explosive than the average Italian crime flick (usually revolving on rough unorthodox coppers chasing relentless criminals), but there's a strong focus on character drawing and story elaboration. Colella is a hard working but struggling mechanic who solely raises his son Fabrizio ever since the wife passed away. The boy is friends with Antonio, son of the extremely rich but incredibly repugnant businessman Filippini. When criminals kidnap Antonio in front of school, the brave Fabrizio tries to prevent this and the nervous kidnappers pull him into the car as well. They demand a huge ransom for the boys, but the pigheaded Filippini refuses to give in to criminals and put the lives of the boys at stake, whilst Colella and even the police commissioner can't do anything. The kidnappers eventually prove their seriousness, and the statement is obviously made via the "poor" child. Colella goes after them, but soon stumbles upon a very complex and well-protected network. The first half is, as to be expected, very talkative and with a vast emphasis on melodrama. There are some truly powerful sequences, most notably when practically the entire cast of characters literally begs Filippini (magnificent, though extremely ungrateful role of the brilliant James Mason) to stop playing with the lives of innocent children and just pay the damn ransom. The second half offers some bona fide Italian hard- boiled action, with wild car chases and grim, graphically shown executions. It's terrific how Colella purchases his targets, but also simultaneously humiliates and provokes them. His character is probably the vigilante/avenger that you sympathize with the most. The climax could have been a bit better and more imaginative, according to me at least, and I'm missing a more memorable soundtrack. Other than those minor remarks, "Kidnap Syndicate" is a truly exhilarating Italian cult film that I'm glad and proud to have seen.

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Release Date:

27 August 1975 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Kidnap Syndicate See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinemaster S.r.l. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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