Paolo, a journalist, has just arrived in Los Angeles from Italy for a new job when he is attacked by two men who want to know where his old childhood friend Giulio Lamberti is. When the two leave, Giulio shows up and tells that someone wants to kill him, that he has a diary and that the next day he will let him know everything. But the next day he dies in a car accident. Paolo begins to investigate, starting from his wife Luisa and discovers that Giulio was no longer the man he had known, idealistic and attached to the family. After being hired by International Chemical he had begun to lead a loose life, going so far as to blackmail some International Chemical executives when they wanted to fire him. Amidst a thousand difficulties, Paolo continues the investigation.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
An Italian journalist (Robert Hoffman) is roughed up by two hired thugs looking for his friend, who it turns out is hiding in his attic. A couple days later the friend dies in a fiery car accident, and the journalist suspects foul play. He goes to America where the friend had been working as a kind of celebrity spokesman for a sinister company called "International Chemical". With the help of an American journalist friend played by John Ireland (who hilariously restricts himself to checking out the guy's strip club connections), the protagonist begins to interview his friend's wife and various people he knew, worked with, and/or slept with in America in an effort to solve the mystery.
This film does indeed resemble the 1946 film noir "The Killers". But that film, in fact, owed a lot more to "Citizen Kane" with its multiple flashback puzzle-piece narrative structure than it did the original Hemingway story. This is thus kind of third rate "Citizen Kane" as much as a second rate "The Killers" , but it certainly has far more exploitative material (i.e. strip clubs, hippie orgies) than either of those two films. It also has an original and genuinely surprising ending.
Robert Hoffman was a pretty bland actor, but he is ably assisted here by a good supporting cast. Ireland is very good, as is Frank Wolff, who plays an effete homosexual corporate executive. Dorothy Malone and Romina Powers play a mother and daughter, both of whom the murdered friend was sexually involved with (Powers is surprisingly good here, considering this was the same actress who suffered the indignity of being supremely dissed by Jess Franco after she appeared in his film "Justine"). Former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi plays a secretary who falls in love with both men. She's pretty good too(even if she's the only actress here who seems to have used a body double for her gratuitous nude scenes). Then there's Ini Assman, who really doesn't have much a part, but what a great name for European exploitation actress!
This is pretty much like all of the films of director Alberto DeMartino's that I've seen, it's no great shakes, but it's definitely entertaining.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this