The Italian Connection

The Italian Connection ★★★★½

Fernando Di Leo's follow up to his masterpiece Milano Calibro 9 and second part of his loose "Milieu trilogy" is this thumping gangland thriller, about a small time pimp who finds himself the subject of an international manhunt after being made the fall guy for a load of missing heroin. The scene is set in the first third, before the real focus of the film comes into view. Mario Adorf's pimp is the beating heart of The Italian Connection and its a real show stealing performance; raw and emotional. The character becoming a slimy antihero, endearing for his sympathetic qualities and the fact that his situation is so unfair. The film really takes a dim view to innocence, with women, children and even animals falling foul of the web of corruption they live in. It's all fast paced and entertaining with a number of great action scenes - most notably a frenetic chase sequence that stands out as one of the highlights of the entire genre. Armando Trovajoli's jazzy soundtrack strikes just the right tone, and the film benefits from good supporting performances from Henry Silva, Woody Strode and Adolfo Celi. Superbly entertaining stuff all round.

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