12 user 25 critic

The Tough Ones (1976)

Roma a mano armata (original title)
R | | Action, Crime, Drama | July 1978 (USA)
A tough, rule-bending cop pursues a maniacal, trigger-happy hunchback, a one-handed bank robber and their cronies in an effort to bring Rome's most powerful crime lord to justice.


Umberto Lenzi


Umberto Lenzi (story), Dardano Sacchetti (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurizio Merli ... Inspector Leonardo Tanzi
Arthur Kennedy ... Superintendent Ruini
Giampiero Albertini Giampiero Albertini ... Commissioner Francesco Caputo
Ivan Rassimov ... Tony Parenzo
Biagio Pelligra Biagio Pelligra ... Savelli
Aldo Barberito Aldo Barberito ... Detective Poliani
Stefano Patrizi ... Stefano
Luciano Pigozzi ... Moretto's Henchman
Luciano Catenacci ... Ferdinando Gerace
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Savelli's Lawyer
Carlo Gaddi Carlo Gaddi ... Oronzo / Theodore
Claudio Nicastro ... Fence
Valentino Macchi Valentino Macchi ... Franco
Alessandra Cardini Alessandra Cardini ... Sandra Moretto (as Sandra Cardini)
Gabriella Lepori ... Marta Assante


A tough, rule-bending cop pursues a maniacal, trigger-happy hunchback, a one-handed bank robber and their cronies in an effort to bring Rome's most powerful crime lord to justice.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He lives by the law - Tanzi's Law See more »


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Terry Levene distributed this film in the late 1970s, he replaced a few of the establishing shots with those of American locations. For an establishing shot of the Rome youth center where Tanzi meets Stefano, Levine used a shot of the Manhattan nightclub "Fascination". Strangely enough, in the later Umberto Lenzi film From Corleone to Brooklyn (1979) (which also starred Maurizio Merli as an Italian policeman), Merli drives by the club "Fascination" after he arrives in New York. See more »


Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: [Holds up a football score card] Is it yours?
Stefano: No, it's your sister's.
Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: [Beating him up] I'll make you forget women for the rest of your life, damn it! You fucking stupid son of a bitch! I'd like to see you do it again, you know!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are played while the camera in first person view mode (From a criminal's POV) drives through Rome looking at banks and building societies and leaves the city through a long, dark tunnel as the credits end. See more »

Alternate Versions

The American release by Aquarius Distribution entitled "Assault with a Deadly Weapon" is missing the first 10 minutes, the beginning credits, and the ending credits. The American version also has several of the scenes reshot so that the originally Italian words on buildings and on people's notes appear in English. Also, the beginning credits list a variety of made-up Americanized names and credit Terry Levene (the head of Aquarius Distribution) as the film's producer. See more »


Followed by The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist (1977) See more »


Se l'averebbe saputo (If he'd known)
Composed by Roberto Donati (as Donati) and Fiamma Maglione (as Maglione)
Sung by Fiamma Maglione
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User Reviews

Absolutely classic euro-crime
5 December 2000 | by AylmerSee all my reviews

Maurizio Merli and Tomas Milian star in probably the most typical, yet completely enjoyable Italian crime movie by Umberto Lenzi. With a blazing soundtrack by Franco Micalizzi and some exciting camerawork by Federico Zanni, this film is fast-paced and furious although the narrative makes relatively little sense. This reminds me of THE RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS, a film Dardano Sacchetti also penned, which was completely fun and enjoyable although it didn't make any sense whatsoever.

The best scenes in this movie have to be the extended car chases. Milian hijacks an ambulence and kills all the people on board for no reason. When it crashes in a crowded flea market, Milian jumps out of the ambulence and just starts randomly firing his sub-machine gun into the crowd to create enough confusion to get away. Another great scene has a gang of upper-class teenagers led by the baby-faced Stefano Patrizi who get bored of nightclubbing and proceed to rape a girl and beat up her boyfriend in a vacant lot. Patrizi is wholely unsympathetic as he punches the boyfriend in the gut repeatedly and knees him in the face, then making weird gestures with a nearby piece of wood. Merli later pops by their nightclub and smashes Patrizi's face right through a pinball machine and then simultaneously beats the tar out of the six or so members of the gang!

This film comes fast and furious. Good performances all around by a veteran cast (with Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov, and Luciano Pigozzi along for the ride). It's not the most coherent of Lenzi's works, but it's definitely a genre classic. Where's the DVD?

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Release Date:

July 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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