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Sunday, October 11, 2015

UOMINI SI NASCE POLIZIOTTI SI MUORE / LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN (1976)

Pop schlock cop thriller, sloppily written by prolific Fernando Di Leo, but helmed in jangly, effective style by Ruggero Deodato. Flipping from violent mob tales to equally violent special unit detectives*, Di Leo can’t be bothered with niceties like clues, investigation or actual police procedure as he tags along with the prettiest pair of arresting dicks in Rome (Marc Porel; Ray Lovelock) who speed on motorbike to the site of the next upcoming crime scene. (They get advance word thanks to their boss Adolfo Celi of THUNDERBALL/’65 fame.) After witnessing a violent purse snatching, the boys piggyback on their bike and take off on a wild chase all over Rome, ancient monuments & decorative stairways be damned. It’s the best thing in the pic (and apparently partially ‘stolen’). The boys have a nasty habit of not bringing ‘em home alive (avoiding the courts via street justice is so much easier), coupled with their even more alarming sexual harassment routines that do little to hide the platonic bromance of model-worthy cops with windswept locks: one blond, one brunette. And you know it’s platonic because when they screw the same broad (as part of a case!), they take on the willing gal consecutively. Eventually, the boys track down Mr., Big (look!, it’s art house fave Renato Salvatori), but this is best seen as a fine little time-capsule of ‘70s Italian mores & B-cinema. And no doubt an acquired taste.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *Playing the same violent game, but switching from Mob protagonist to Cop protagonist was a tactic more or less forced on James Cagney back in the mid’30s. You have to wonder if something similar happened here.

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