The Italian Connection (1972)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Luca Canali
as Dave Catania
as Frank Webster
as Don Vito Tressoldi
Critic Reviews for The Italian Connection
When it strikes broader notes of criminal engagement, it's more animated and determined to serve up excitement beyond near-Olympic acts of brooding.
Audience Reviews for The Italian Connection
Mario Adorf is amazing in this as a pimp who is scapegoated to the mafia and finds himself on the run from hitmen. The violence is wild and over the top, with Adorf head butting everything from fellow criminals to inanimate objects, like the windshield of a car that is trying to run him down, a scene that has to be seen to be believed. Really fun, well worth tracking down. Recommended.
Manhunt aka The Italian Connection gets my award for being the best of Fernando Di Leo's lauded trilogy of 70's mob films. Mario Adorf [still active today] earns his reputation as a legend of Italian cinema with his portrayal of the good hearted pimp, Luca Canali - who merely wants to take care of his estranged wife and daughter, and is able to collect money from his girls without ever having to show his "pimp hand!" A shipment of heroin goes missing, Luca is framed by the local Don, and 2 mean mugging American hitmen arrive to take care of business. Henry Silva and Woody Strode are the perfect iconic thugs. They love their work, and proceed to set Italy on it's ear with over the top gangster machismo, raising hell in gangland, and in some jaw dropping early 70's discos. The Clockwork Orange meets Rodney's English Disco aesthetics are worth the price of admission alone. However, the action is top notch, on par with any of the greats, French Connection, Dirty Harry, you name it. One extended chase scene, first by car, then by foot was astounding. What I love about the Polizioteschi genre, is that it pulls no punches, and no one is safe from a sudden and brutal demise. However, Di Leo transcends exploitation, when his protagonist Luca takes a moment to play with a cat in a junk yard, banter playfully with his stable of prostitutes, or plead convincingly to have someone explain how he got into this predicament. Film obsession is like fishing, and tonight I caught a prize.
An extremely bad-ass crime film that knows it's Italian, it's cheap, and it's cheesy. But then goes and makes itself fun, cool, well-paced, not sluggish, and have one great chase scene! Mario Adorf is fantastic as the lead, lovable yet a scoundrel who many believe has reached the end of the road. Henry Silva & Woody Strode brood cool as two hitmen from America, Henry being the flamboyant player who goes into Hugh Hefner mode as soon as he gets to his hotel room and Woody Strode playing the total cock-block buzzkill with perfect precision and the best scowl ever. Worth seeing for Italia movie fans, especially those who dig crime films. Exploitation fare that rocks!
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