Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 18th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, March 3oth, 2012 (Atlanta Film Fest)
Director: Mike Malloy
Cast: Franco Nero, John Saxon, Henry Silva, Luc Merenda, Antonio Sabáto, Fred Williamson, Richard Harrison, Chris Mitchum, Enzo Castellari, Leonard Mann, Joe Dallesandro, Michael Forest, Claudio Fragasso, John Steiner Ottaviano Dell’Acqua, Mario Caiano, Nicoletta Machiavelli, John P. Dulaney, Greg Stephen, Sal Borgese, Ted Rusoff
DVD Release Date: October 14th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 127 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English / Italian
Subtitles: English subtitles are only for Italian dialog
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Encoding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Italian cinema from the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s was known for its cycles. These genre cycles often originated when there was a Hollywood film that was hugely successful at the box office and from there the Italian’s would make clones of these Hollywood films that they were liberally borrowing from.
After the decline of the Spaghetti western genre, which is arguably the most successful genre in regards to how well it performed here is the USA. Home grown action scene looked like it had all but run its course in Italy. Outside of a few scattered action films involving crime and the police. The bulk of action cinema coming from this era was a more toned down version of Spaghetti western that exchanged humor for violence. Fortunately there were better days just around the corner.
In the early part of the 1970’s a new kind of action film emerged in Italy cinema and these films are often referred to poliziotteschi films. And though the original inspiration for this genre can be linked back to such Hollywood films like Dirty Harry and The God Father. These films often drew from real life events that were unfolding in Italy at the time they were made. A few of the subjects that these films explored include under world crime, police corruption, terrorism and kidnapping. And unlike their Spaghetti western counterparts there was an added level of realism when it came to depiction of violence.
Content wise, this documentary is broken down into several subsections, which cover the origins of Italian cinema being inspired by Hollywood films, the decline of the Spaghetti western genre, how films were often shot on the cheap and quickly, car chases and how dedicated the stunt men in Italian cinema were, dubbing, this genre’s unflinching depiction of violence, especially the brutally towards the majority of women in these films, this genres lasting legacy and so much more.
Ultimately Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s, a first rate documentary that tells the story of the poliziotteschi film and to guide us on this journey is a wide variety of contributors who helped shaped this genre which includes actors, directors and stunt men.
The main feature Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and the audio is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English / Italian with English subtitles. Quality wise the audio / video presentation looks and sounds very good throughout.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (5 minutes 9 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in English / Italian with English subtitles), additional footage that didn’t make the documentary (3 minutes 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in English / Italian with English subtitles and 3 minutes 24 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in English / Italian with English subtitles) and an interview with actor Tomas Milian (14 minutes 57 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) who discusses the three major characters he portrayed in poliziotteschi films and why he eventually walked away from the genre, he also talks about developing characters that he portrays and how he had to start all over again when he returned to America after working for forty years as an actor in Italy. Overall Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s is an exceptional release that fans of Euro crime should thoroughly enjoy.