Shoot First, Die Later (1974)

FERNANDO DI LEO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  

Original title:  Il Poliziotto E Marcio

Italy/France, 1974.  Cinemaster S.r.l., , .  Story by , Screenplay by Fernando Di Leo.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

 is a Milanese detective who happily takes payouts from the mob.  He feels no moral compunction about his position as a dirty cop, deciding that there’s no harm in making a good living while gangsters do whatever they’re going to do anyway, especially if it means having something to put aside for later.  When covering up a minor infraction for one of his benefactors exposes his corruption to his less successful father, Merenda has his eyes opened to the actual responsibility he faces for his actions.  When the bad guys turn out to be part of a much bigger and dirtier situation than the one he thought he was facilitating, he decides he’s had enough and, true to what we expect from this hard-staring, lock-jawed star, he decides to unleash his assured vigilante justice.  Exciting car chases and a cynical conclusion make for a high-octane drama from Fernando Di Leo, based on a true story and, along with his following year’s even better Kidnap Syndicatemaking for a great glimpse into the violence and kidnapping-riddled headlines of 1970s Italian life.

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