Small-time gangster Ugo Piazza has just been released from prison. He tries to convince the police, the mob, and his sadistic former associate that he wants to go straight. But everyone believes he has $300,000 of stolen money hidden somewhere…
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'When you see someone like Ugo Piazza you better tip your hat' Excellent Italian programmer from director Fernando Di Leo that finds a recently released con trying to keep himself alive when he's suspected by parties on all sides of stealing a significant amount of money before his incarceration. Performances are genre friendly but its the storytelling that makes this one and the political undertone as well.
This is the sort of terrific off-the-beaten-path discovery that makes me love MUBI. It's trashy in the very 70s kind of way, but it's also a lesson in how to shoot, edit, and score a film, with a sense of kinetic energy and vivid characterizations. Tarantino said that Di Leo was a master, and it's easy to imagine an impressionable Quentin watching this. It both warped his mind and taught him to how direct.
This movie has one of the best pre-credits opening of any Poliziotteschi, which is saying something. A drug deal goes bad and the result is that several people are blown up with dynamite. From there, the film calms down with Gastone Moschin playing a tough but frustratingly inactive protagonist. Look for Barbara Bouchet as his go-go dancing love interest - actually, you can't miss her thanks to her famous dance scene
First of all the style here is amazing, like Melville but even slicker, you have a sense that every crime flick that came after ripped this one, even if it's very probable they weren't aware of Di Leo's films. Di Leo makes it seem natural that the italians would make the better mafia movies, since they're the one who invented it. The performances are either almost wordless or overplayed, but always great.
One of the better Italian gangster films I've seen from the 1970s era. Snappy dialogues between police officials and gang members, witty and enjoyable in its extreme moments. And the hoodlums never relent in their fixated search for the stolen loot. The lead actor is a stereotype Milanese gangster, muscularly tough, stoic with a sparse vocabulary. And I liked the Communist-leaning reparte of the new police inspector.
Fantastic crime thriller. Loses a bit of steam in the middle section but the last 30 minutes or so more than make up for it. There's even mild political commentary! The performances are mostly very good and Mario Adorf is just a joy to watch. But the best thing is the score. Moody, mysterious, yearning - the perfect tone for this wonderful movie.