director Fernando Di Leo
A few months ago, Amazon Prime dumped a bunch of 1970’s Italian genre pictures out on their service, including Spaghetti Westerns, horror, gialli, and Poliziotteschi. A number of the movies are classics, but most, if not all, appear with generic images featuring the title of the film, rather than a film poster or other image. This is also with the zero fanfare that Amazon does this. This is why I say “dumped” even though this dumping is a good thing.
Of all these films and genres, one in particular, Poliziotteschi, is new to me. I’ve been meaning to watch a couple of the movies for a long while, but never got around to the genre/period. So many movies, so little time.
Director Fernando Di Leo is a prominent name for Poliziotteschi. The Italian Connection may or may not be the best place to start, but it’s an interesting one. Mario Adorf plays Luca Canali, a low tier pimp who has been pinned for assassination by American killers Henry Silva and Woody Strode. Adorf is a rather unusual-looking guy for what is essentially the lead, but that seems to be part of the character of the film, somewhat off-balanced from who the hero and the villains are, opening with the contract and the killers before we meet our anti-hero.
As many have noted, the best sequence is a prolonged chase scene, and it is interesting and cool. Same can be said about the movie itself. Not a masterpiece nor perhaps not overly compelling, but possibly an interesting springboard for the genre.