Eurocrime! The Italian Cop And Gangster Films That Ruled The ’70s

by The Acolyte/Blaise Bienvenue

Great documentary about the genre of Italian film inspired by the success of American movies like The French Connection, Dirty Harry, and Death Wish (though Enzo G. Castellari’s Street Law was released the same year as that last one, so which private-citizen-turned-vigilante thriller came first is actually a point of contention) as well as by the colossal levels of street crime and home-grown terrorism in cities like Rome, Naples, and Milan during the anni di piombo, or “years of lead.” The resulting style of film was a uniquely Italian mixture of anti-establishment paranoia, class warfare, violence, car chases, and recklessly zealous police work.

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Eurocrime! does an excellent job of explaining the context in which these films were made, the types of personalities behind making them, and the style in which these personalities worked. It is filled with striking poster art and footage of numerous interviews with actors, stuntmen, directors, screenwriters, voice-over actors, and dubbing directors of various nationalities, including Franco Nero, Henry Silva, Joe Dallesandro, John Saxon, Luc Merenda, and Enzo Castellari himself. All these men have tales to tell; the film is brought to life by their mannerisms and quirks. Silva, especially, is great. Eurocrime! is cleverly conceived and edited, being broken up into chapters, driving its points home using the poster art, bits of the interviews, and film clips as evidence. Runs 127 minutes. Very informative and entertaining. Being a person with a love for and knowledge of these movies, I learned a lot I didn’t already know. If you are new to the Eurocrime genre, I doubt that this film will bore you. Scored with original music by various bands and artists, including Calibro 35, that captures the spirit of the music in the 70s films.

– The Acolyte