Reviewed byshawnblackmanVote: 6/10/10
A political thriller involving secret plans to re-create a fascistgovernment in Italy. This film is chocked full of stars likeChristopher Lee, Anthony Quinn, Eli Wallach and the whole parade is ledby Franco Nero who does a top notch job as high ranking officerinvestigating the murders involved in trying to obtain these documents.
They had some cash to spend on this film as you can see how elaboratelyfurnished the interior shots are and most everything else.
The film mostly has Nero obtaining facts from interview to interviewand there is a few chase scenes but its not a tense thriller justreally interesting. The actors were amazing. If you get a chance giveit a watch.
Reviewed byMARIO GAUCI (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vote: 5/10/10
Peter Zinner won an Oscar for editing THE DEER HUNTER (1978); for hisonly directorial effort, he chose this adaptation of the Morris Westbest-seller which was shown on local TV back in the day (actually, thatis how I first heard of it). He did manage to assemble an impressiveall-star cast: Franco Nero plays the hero carabiniere in a throwback tosome of the political thrillers he had made in his native country such as DAY OF THE OWL (1968), in which he co-starred with ClaudiaCardinale, and CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN (1971), also featuringMartin Balsam; both actors also appear here, the latter as Nero'sclosest collaborator who eventually falls in the line of duty. AnthonyQuinn is the titular figure (a wealthy industrialist and ex-legendaryWWII partisan), Sybil Danning the mistress of a dead army officer(whose apparent suicide sets events in motion) but also serving asNero's unconvincing love interest, Eli Wallach the General leading aproposed coup d'etat, Christopher Lee as Nero's superior (actually aprince[!] who is unsurprisingly inextricably related with theGovernment takeover plot interestingly, his on-screen wife was playedby Lee's own real-life spouse in an infrequent appearance), CleavonLittle as a Black American ex-colleague of Nero's (whom the lattercalls upon when he is in a fix) and Paul Smith (as a sadistic"surgeon"). There are, however, also a number of Euro-Cult regulars:John Steiner in the role of Wallach's aide as well as lover of hisneglected wife Cardinale, Renzo Palmer, Marino Mase' unenviablyplaying a corpse! and Nello Pazzafini. While tolerable asentertainment (though there is less action than I had anticipated) andfeaturing a decent score by the great Ennio Morricone, the film isultimately too superficial and uneven to make a ripple in the circlesit professes to denounce; nevertheless, the clever climax issurprisingly (but effectively) handled in the style of the "Thin Man"movies! Besides, one particular scene nearly turns this into a campclassic i.e. when the hero, caught and about to be tortured by Smith,attacks the latter clad only in a harness along his waist (which givesunwarranted prominence to Nero's groin while leaving his buttockscompletely exposed!) but ends up slammed against the wall hangingupside-down instead!!
Reviewed bydinky-4Vote: 3/10/10
The ingredients are here for a passable political-thriller but theapproach used to tell the story is numbingly routine. InvestigatorFranco Nero pursues his case simply through a series of interviews,thus allowing the movie to present its roster of marquee-names --Christopher Lee, Eli Wallach, Claudia Cardinale, etc. -- in asuccession of talky, static scenes that lack interest and vitality.(Though these interviews provide an opportunity to show off a series ofimpressively furnished and decorated rooms.) And then, when it comestime for Nero to present his solution to the case, he does so byshowing to a group of people a movie which simply re-caps informationgleaned from his interviews!
Attempts to liven up the proceedings with spurts of action merely serveto emphasize the overall dullness of the movie. For example, when Nerofalls into the clutches of a villain known as "the Surgeon" who isdetermined to torture information from him, we only see Nero --stripped to a jockstrap and strapped to a chair -- being given aninjection with a hypodermic needle. Surely this is one of the mostboring forms of torture ever shown on the screen.
An Italian policeman investigates a series of murders involving people in prominent positions. Left behind at each murder scene is a drawing of a salamander. The policeman begins to suspect these murders are linked to a plot to seize control of the government.