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The Big Racket (1976)

Il grande racket (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 12 August 1976 (Italy)
Nico Palmieri is a police inspector who battles against hoodlums terrorising a sleepy Italian village, extorting cash from the locals.


Enzo G. Castellari


Dino Maiuri (story) (as Arduino Maiuri), Massimo De Rita (story) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Fabio Testi ... Nico Palmieri
Vincent Gardenia ... Pepe
Renzo Palmer ... Luigi Giulti
Orso Maria Guerrini ... Giovanni Rossetti
Glauco Onorato ... Mazzarelli
Marcella Michelangeli ... Marcy
Romano Puppo ... Doringo
Antonio Marsina ... Giovanni Giuni
Sal Borgese ... Salvatore Velasci (as Salvatore Borgese)
Joshua Sinclair ... Rudy (as Gianluigi Loffredo)
Daniele Dublino ... Commissioner
Anna Zinnemann Anna Zinnemann ... Anna Rossetti (as Anna Bellini)
Edy Biagetti Edy Biagetti ... Chief
Salvatore Billa ... Fabrizi
Giovanni Bonadonna ... Cuomo


Nico Palmieri is a police inspector who battles a criminal gang terrorising a sleepy Italian town, extorting cash from the local merchants. With the threat of violence, no one dares to act, except for a restaurant owner who is forced by Palmieri to tell the truth. As a result, the owner's young daughter is raped, and the violence continues. Discovering that the gang is associated with drug dealers, Palmieri is forbidden to continue investigating his case by his superior - so he takes matters into his own hands. Palmieri recruits a couple of men who have become victims of the gang and sets out for a bloody revenge. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Someone's gonna pay...


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Even though American actor Vincent Gardenia spoke Italian fluently, all of his lines in the film - which was shot in Italian - were dubbed by an Italian actor. See more »


Luigi loads a fresh clip into his MP-40 but does not chamber a round before he shoots himself. See more »


Luigino: [gesturing with a doll he is holding to the storekeeper] Is this the kind that makes water?
Storekeeper: Yes, everything, it's the latest model from Japan.
Luigino: One of these days they'll make one that bleeds real blood... when you cut its throat!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was rejected for a UK cinema certificate in 1977 by the BBFC. It was finally released on DVD in 2002 after 14 secs of cuts for 'violent rape focusing on forcible breast exposure and female nudity'. See more »


Referenced in Escale à Nanarland: Le Justicier de New York (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Stunning Italian crime flick!
22 April 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

My interest in Italian cinema is usually limited to horror films, but I made an exception for this crime flick - and I'm certainly glad that I did! Actually, The Big Racket isn't a world away from the popular Italian Giallo styling, only instead of having a vicious murderer on the loose; we have a small town at the mercy of a group of organised thugs. For a film with this sort of plot, it's surprising just how good The Big Racket is. Italian films from the seventies have a bad reputation for not making a lot of sense, but not only does this one make sense - it benefits from a great, multi-angled story as well. The film sees a bunch of criminals sabotaging local businesses and asking for protection money from the owners to make them stop. The police presence in the town is largely ineffective, with the exception of one man - Inspector Nico Palmieri. Of course, you can't go around intimidating people and destroying their property for long before someone is going to fight back - and as the justice system isn't working, our hero has to find other ways to bring law and order back to his town.

The Big Racket benefits immensely from a strong leading performance courtesy of Fabio Testi (star of What Have They Done to Solange). Testi's portrayal of the angry police officer is perfectly judged to fit the movie, and I don't think there is an actor who could be better suited to playing the lead in this movie. He heads a strong Italian cast, who all do well in bringing their characters to life, as well as providing the movie with the Italian style that it revels in. The script is really good, and finds time to flesh out its characters as well as deliver witty dialogue that is always a part of this movie's bigger budget American cousins. The plot builds well throughout as there's always enough going on to keep things interesting. It all boils down to a fabulous conclusion which serves in ensuring the movie gets the bloody end it deserves, as well as rounding off the story perfectly. The Big Racket features a great sleazy atmosphere, in which the story is able to flourish, and the catchy music score helps to make sure that the film is technically sound. Overall, The Big Racket is a must see film for both crime fans and cult fans and comes with high recommendations from me!

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Release Date:

12 August 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Racket See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Telecolor)
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