Il Cinico, l'Infame, il Violento
The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist
Luciano Martino for Dania Film, Medusa Produzione
directed by Umberto Lenzi
starring Tomas Milian, Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Renzo Palmer, Claudio Undari (as Robert Hundar), Bruno Corazzari, Gabriella Lepori, Gianfilippo Carcano, Gianni Musi, Gabriella Giorgelli, Marco Guglielmi, Guido Alberti, Brigitte Petronio, Dante Cleri, Riccardo Garrone, Claudio Nicastro, Rosario Borelli, Ermelinda De Felice, Massimo Bonetti, Salvatore Billa, Ennio Antonelli
screenplay by Ernesto Gastaldi, Umberto Lenzi, Dardano Sacchetti, based on a story by Sauro Scavolini, music by Franco Micalizzi
The Chinaman (Tomas Milian) has just broken out of prison, & within
a few hours, he announces police inspector Tanzi's (Maurizio Merli) death,
& makes true his announcement, too (or rather has his men do it for
him). Then he hooks up with the syndicate, running an extortion racket for
big boss Di Maggio (John Saxon) ...
Only that Tanzi is not really dead,
his death was only faked by the police to save his life, & he is told
to lie low in Switzerland for a while ... but nothing could be further
from tough cop Tanzi, who instead goes to Rome, into the thick of things,
& soon shakes up the Chinaman's operations a bit - even if it costs
his uncle (Guido Alberti) who had put up with him his life & puts his
girlfriend Nadia (Gabriella Lepori) - & everyone else around him -
into grave danger. But eventually Tanzi finds out about China's dealings
with Di Maggio, so he robs one of Di Maggio's money courier's (Gianni
Musi) & makes it look like China did it ... soon the alliance between
Di Maggio & China begins to crumble, but to really get them onto each
other's throats, Tanzi even goes one step further, when he, while Di
Maggio is in prison, ses to it that China gets a few pointers to break
into Di Maggio's safe, & to facilitate that, he & an aged criminal
called the professor (Gianfilippo Carcano) even turn off Di Maggio's
alarm. After the safe is robbed, Tanzi has Di Maggio released again, &
soon Di Maggio & China meet for a final showdown ... where pretty much
everybody turns on everybody, & more often than not the gangsters
shoot each other before the police can even intervene.
But Tanzi of
course gets his showdown with China, & kills him in the end ...
cop-vs-mafia film from Italy where the police is as brutal as the
gangsters (maybe even more so), a genre that was somehow inspired by the
immense success of Dirty Harry (which was by no means the first
violent cop movie, but the most successful one), but married the cop-movie
to the (much richer) organized crime genre, an Italian mainstay.
movie taken for itself, The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist offers
rather little in points of originality, but is a competently made little
actioner that moves along at a quick pace & even has some fun scenes
(like Tanzi breaking into Di Maggio's office with the aged criminal) ...
but it would probably be a mistake to take the movie, & its underlying
message that condones police violence, too seriously.