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Corrupt Lieutenant 
Written by: on August 31st, 2007


Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1983
Director: Roberto Faenza
Writers: Ennio De Concini, Roberto Faenza
Cast: Harvey Keitel, John Lydon, Nicole Garcia, Leonard Mann, Sylvia Sidney

DVD released: 2002
Approximate running time: 108 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: DML
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $3.95


Synopsis: Lt. Fred O’Connor (Harvey Keitel) and his partner Lt. Bob Carvo are corrupt police officers. They have secretly acquired an expensive apartment with the money they have made from stealing evidence and reselling it. Recently several police officers have been killed by a masked assailant. Enter a man named Leo Smith (John Lydon) who claims to be the notorious cop killer. Smith shows up at O’Conner’s secret apartment one day and threatens to expose him. So O’Conner fearing Smith will reveal all of his dirty dealings keeps him prisoner.

l’assassino dei poliziotti is an early 1980’s Italy crime thriller also known under various titles such as Corrupt and Copkiller. The film was directed by Roberto Faenza who is one of a handful of directors’ from his era still directing today in Italy. Like many Italian productions from this era Corrupt features several American actors Harvey Keitel, John Lydon and actress Sylvia Sidney in prominent roles to help sell this film to an international market. The films score while very good is middle of the road Ennio Morricone with many of the films musical motifs sounding recycled from Morricone’s past.

The premise for Corrupt is solid the execution in the pacing, direction and acting all fall short. I spent the whole film waiting for Harvey Keitel to show up with his usual bold and often menacing performances. If you want to see Keitel as a Corrupt Lieutenant watch him in the brilliant Abel Ferrara film Bad Lieutenant. Looking at John Lydon’s filmography on the IMDB it is sparse to say the least with only one other non Sex Pistols movie besides Corrupt on his resume. After watching Corrupt it is no hard to see why he didn’t do more acting as he spends the whole film basically being the Johnny Rotten persona. Ultimately if you are looking for a solid Italian Crime thriller then look elsewhere unless you are gluten for disappointment.

The DVD:

This release is strictly your typical budget label release of releasing a title via a VHS source and cropped from its original aspect ratio. The image looks worn and is very harsh looking at times. The Dolby Digital stereo English audio doesn’t far any better as it features hiss and various others audio defects. There are no extras and the menu design is very simple. The DVD while cheap looks worse than a VHS tape and the movie is a long tedious affair the rambles with no clear resolution.

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