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interesting semi-documentary study of bank robbers in Milan, predates the classic 70s Italian crime film cycle
First of all, my review is of the English-dubbed version of this film, released briefly in the US by Paramount. I have a feeling that some of the subtleties of the Italian original were lost, especially in some of the initial scenes where Tomas Milian's character is being interviewed by a journalist. This film is quite in demand, due to it being directed by the legendary Carlo "Crazy Joe" Lizzani, and the action scenes are handled well as one would expect (the scene where the robbers, under the leadership of Gian Maria Volonte, shoot at civilians to get Milian's police to stop chasing them was truly shocking), but I would not put this in the top tier of Italian crime films, although it should get some bonus points for predating the classic wave of 70s Italian crime films. Those expecting an over-the-top Milian performance will be let down, as he is given "guest star" billing, and he is basically in the handsome leading man mold here, puffing a cigarette through a cigarette holder and looking in charge, but Volonte is the real star here, as well as the young Ray Lovelock, who does a great job as a teen with a taste for "success" who allows himself to be sucked into the world of crime. Margaret Lee's role is not major, and those expecting a meaty role from this great seductress will also be let down. I see that this film received a number of awards upon its release--it must have lost something in the dubbing, as it's competent and has interesting elements, but is nowhere near the level of something like, say, CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN or about two dozen others I could name. The completist should probably own this, but I wouldn't spend a lot of time or money tracking down a copy. Finally, the ending is quite odd--I rewound it three times to make sure I wasn't missing something. An American film would rarely end in such an ambiguous manner--thank goodness for Italians!!!
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