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Il Cinico, l'Infame, il Violento

The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist

Italy 1977
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 ...


Typical 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.

As a 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.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD