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


Inspector Tanzi makes Dirty Harry look like Mr. Clean! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


A mostly complete 35mm print was located and reassembled by the Night Terrors Film Society in Calgary, Canada. Obtained from South Africa, it's thought to be the only remaining 35mm print of the film in existence. See more »


Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: You got a match?
[Punches Tony]
Tony Parenzo: [Grunts] Ow!
Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: Get in the car.
Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: [after arriving in the middle of a motorway, they stop] Don't fuck about! Get out!
Tony Parenzo: I'm not in this! She injected herself!
Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: You fucking scumbag! You killed her! You showed
[Close to yelling]
Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi: NO PITY FOR HER!
[Produces his Beretta M9 9mm and pulls the slide back and forth to chamber the clip and is ready to kill Tony]
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 »


Referenced in Brothers Till We Die (1978) 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
See more »

User Reviews

10 January 2005 | by loegendSee all my reviews

Recently I had the pleasure of watching both the Italian "Roma a Mano Armata" and the US cut "Assault with a Deadly Weapon." Lenzi's reputation as a filmmaker rests mainly on his Crime films from the mid-to-late '70s for good reason and this is an addictive and fast-paced brilliant piece of that work. Maurizio Merli is great as the quietly intense Leonardo Tanzi and deserves much more credit than the "Franco Nero wannabe" usually leveled at him. The US cut is missing the first 8 minutes of Merli's failed bust of an illegal gambling ring (at least that's what I gleaned from the lack of subtitles) and sets up his frustration of being under the law himself while desperately trying to rid the world of those who break it. Even with a different credit sequence that oddly doesn't actually credit anyone but actor Arthur Kennedy (as the director!), the US cut (available on VHS in the '80s as part of Sybil Danning's Adventure Video series with a bizarre introduction by Ms. Danning herself) is still highly highly recommended. Hopefully this will be available on DVD for more people to discover these series of films, which can easily appeal to the same fans of Italian horror and Eurocult cinema.

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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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