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Italian Crime Film Night, oh yeah baby, this is what I’m waiting for… Last year, when Tarantino introduced Italian Crime Night to the QT fests, it was a night of pure splendor… A perfect night of intense friggin filmmaking.

I was hoping that this night would be no different.

Quentin charged the stage and called the Italian Crime movies, "Don" movies, because Don So-n-So was always out to kill you. Then he told us that when THE GODFATHER hit, it made the "Don" movies a really huge industry in Italy. But that in Italy, they didn’t see the Mafia as this romanticized Family for Family sake happy American Bullshit, to them it was no figment of the imagination, it was real, so when they made these movies there was no glorification, they treated the mafia like "a bunch of sick squirrelly dogs" and that there was no respect, they were rats to whom loyalty means nothing.


In its UK release it was known under the far better title, VIOLENT CITY. Quentin said, "In the trailer for the film, the tagline was, ‘THE GODFATHER made you an offer you couldn’t refuse… THE FAMILY leaves you no alternative’" The film stars Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland and Telly Savalas in what is essentially a remake of OUT OF THE PAST. "The Italians didn’t do fucking remakes, they just fucking steal it. ‘Hey you put it out there, its ours now!’ This is a paraphrase remake of OUT OF THE PAST." The big difference is Bronson is a Hitman, not a Detective, but otherwise… well… check it out for yourself…

The film is directed by Sergio Sollima, "Who was considered the greatest Spaghetti Western director outside of Leone" He directed Lee Van Cleef in THE BIG GUNDOWN and a ton of others.

"Now you are going to be seeing some dubbing and seventies styles, but just get over the dubbing and you’re going to be on a helluva ride. You know, people come up to me and ask, ‘Why you like those shitty Italian crime junk,’ and the reason is Operatic Elegance… Watch for the end of this film, I’m not going to spoil it, but it is grandiose. It is a Beautiful Auteur set piece and we just don’t get enough of those"

Quentin left the stage and the Trailers Began:

MANDINGO: "The only true epic of the Old South"

OPEN SEASON: This is a Peter Fonda and John Phillip Law flick that’s pretty disturbing… 3 friends kidnap a couple to torture up in a cabin… Pretty fucked up!

TEENAGE GRAFFITTI: "Nobody does it like the teens do it, and they do it all!" Wow, lots of pretty titties.

THE HAPPENING: Hippies kidnapping a Mafia Don played by Anthony Quinn… fun trailer

THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN: "In 1946 this man killed five people. Today he still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Arkansas." Creepy damn movie about a white hooded serial killer.

THE BIG DOLL HOUSE: "See What They Do For Thrills. See What They Do For Action" "Their bodies were caged, but not their desires. They would do anything for a man… or to him." Great great great Jack Hill flick

DRUM: "Mandingo lit the fuse, DRUM is the Explosion!" Man, Ken Norton is the man!

ANGELS – HARD AS THEY COME: "Big Men with Throbbin Machines… And the Girls that take them on!" This trailer is a biker trailer from hell, great font.

LAST EMBRACE: Chief Brody in an early Jonathan Demme flick!

THE McCULLOCHS: "1949. A Neat Time To Be Young! To Be A… McCulloch!" Didn’t really dig this one.

BOXCAR BERTHA: Cool friggin Scorsese trailer… Really love those L.B. Cole color frames. "America in the 30’s was a Free Country. Bertha was just a little big free’er than most!"

WHITE LIGHTNING: Burt Reynolds is a Sweaty God in this one!

THE ITALIAN CONNECTION - Oh cool we’ll see this movie next


CRASH – Looks like a helluvalot more car crashes than in Cronenbergs.

THIS IS A HIJACK – Adam Roarke is the man! "Stay in your seats and Don’t Anyone Move!"


Well, I prefer OUT OF THE PAST, but this is a damn fun film in its own way. My favorite bit in the film is when Bronson is in jail at the beginning and there’s this Black Cellmate that tells him:

"I once heard of a Good Husband… a good man. One day instead of going to work he bought himself an automatic machine gun… stood on a street corner and just started shooting as many people as he could. Some said he was crazy… That wasn’t it though… He’d just found his calling. He was just a NATURAL BORN KILLER!"

That is literally where Quentin got NATURAL BORN KILLER from and it is no wonder… What a wonderful little bit there. We never see that character again, but that’s fine because Telly Savalas and Charles Bronson are eating up the screen pretty fiercely.

There’s a scene in Savalas’ office where he makes some sort of weird coconut mixed drink in a half coconut shell and offers it to Bronson, who looks at it, as if he were saying, "I don’t want that sissy fucking drink! Do I look like I’m wearing satin undies to you gal?"

And about that grandiose operatic ending that Quentin mentioned… Oh yeah, yeah it is right there. Big as life. Man, listen I think it is just a really honestly terrible idea to try and screw over one of the world’s greatest hit men. Just one of those… ‘not to do things’.

Especially when said hitman happens to be CHARLES ‘I will get even’ BRONSON. Christ what are these people thinking.

This movie was good, but in no way prepared me for the next one.

As Quentin took the stage to introduce THE ITALIAN CONNECTION the audience, which was bigger than capacity, cheered… everyone had a really good feeling about tonight.

"Now for all of those that were here last year when I introduced the QT fest to Fernando Di Leo, he went over very well. Some friends of ours that are coming in from New Jersey, a Harry Guardo of Exhume films sent me his list, and when I saw he had THE ITALIAN CONNECTION in scope, I just had to bring it down here. This is Fernando Di Leo’s most famous movie. Being a video store junkie, I often walk into random cool looking video stores and You’ll find this title under a lot of different titles: HITMAN, MANHUNT, HIRED TO KILL, MANHUNT IN MILAN and so on.."

"Out in the lobby somebody asked me, ‘Where’s our Big Pimping Friday this year’ and I told him, ‘How many Pimp movies do you think there are?’ It isn’t like that’s a gigantic genre, it is a sub genre of a genre. But having said that, this movie is our BIG PIMPING FRIDAY movie this year!"

The film stars Mario Adorf as Luca Canali and as Quentin said, "He’s a bear of a man." Luca is a pimp that everyone in Milan is after. Woody Strode and Henry Silva as U.S. Hitmen… The Mob, everyone. "This is the A-Typical Personification of the Italian Crime Genre!" He left the stage with a strange grin… like he just knew what this film was and what it would do to us…


THE LAWYER: "I’d cheat on my wife if I had the time" This is a fantastic trailer… This is the sleaziest lawyer ever.

A LONG RIDE FROM HELL: Man I love the 1-Sheet for this movie, and my mom used to go on and on about the film, but then she was in love with Steve Reeves… Cool trailer

KILL THEM ALL & COME BACK ALONE: This title rules the earth. Chuck Connors is such a badass.

THE MAN WHO HAD POWER OVER WOMEN: I was disturbed by this movie something fiercely… Rod Taylor as the world’s greatest womanizer… disturbing.

THE LADY OF MONZA: This is an astoundingly cool nun exploitation movie trailer… Fantastic!

WEEKEND WITH THE BABYSITTER: A middle-aged husband falls for a teenage babysitter and discovers the joys of the evil hippie drug and screw lifestyle… at least that’s what I gathered.

MYRA BRECKINRIDGE: This trailer actually offended some in the audience…

PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW: Oh man, this movie is wonderful… I want to see this movie again. Quentin showed this last year and it’s classic.



Folks, find this movie. Find THE ITALIAN CONNECTION and watch it instantly. I friggin love the hell out of this thing. Mario Adorf is a God in this thing.

If you’ve ever seen the classic D.O.A. with Edmond O’Brien, this movie has that sort of tension and sense of urgency… Luca Canali is just plain screwed in this movie. Life is so not fair. He’s just an average good Pimp… He doesn’t beat his women. He pays child support for his wife and daughter and brings her cool robot Teddy Bears with twirling balls…

He’s about as good a guy as a pimp could ever hope to be, and he’s low on the radar. He doesn’t fuck anyone over, but one day he wakes up and everyone everywhere is trying to kill him.

In a way the movie reminded me of UNBREAKABLE… because Luca Canali ain’t a super super action hero, but he has the ability to just barely fucking survive. Accept the movie is so much harder than UNBREAKABLE… it is intense.

There is a chase scene that I would put right there with the great RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK truck chase scene. This movie rules!

You really can’t believe how cool this movie is. Luca Canali is a so cool. When he’s facing out with Woody Strode and Henry Silva… CLASSIC! Absolutely Classic!

When the film was over, Tarantino came over as if to say, "Now that was the shit wasn’t it?" And I just started spilling out praises for this flick. I mean Christ… what a film! He tells me that I should check out CALIBRE 9 (which is also known as THE CONTRACT) if I liked this one. Well, I will try….

Quentin takes the stage and tells how Linklater ran into Scorsese after last year’s festival and found out that Scorsese is doing a documentary on Italian film and the first thing Linklater said to him was, "You got a little section in there on Fernando Di Leo?" and Scorsese was like, "uh, um, No" and then Quentin injected his own personality with, "Yeah, Well WHY THE FUCK NOT!?!?!?!?!?"

Ok, then it was on to MACHINE GUN McCAIN… Now this Italian crime film has an amazing cast. John Cassavetes, the amazing Britt Ekland, Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands… Wow.

Quentin informs us that this is a Gangster/Heist Flick that vaguely reminds him of CASINO… and how Peter Falk is exactly playing the Joe Pesci character here. The director is Giuliano Mantaldo, who Quentin reminds all of us directed that amazing caper flick GRAND SLAM.

He starts enthusing that the film is Massively Violent like all Italian Crime flicks, but has a really groovy theme song, which he then began singing… Ahem… Ah what a lovely set of chords he has… hehehe…

The introduction wasn’t the fire and brimstone of the Di Leo flick, but this cast was just amazing and I was awaiting a great film to finish off a great evening.


This is the most non-Italian looking Italian Crime Film that I’ve ever seen. Vast portions taking place in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York. Cassavetes is such a bad ass in the flick. He’s an ex-con that has been locked up for 12 years, he’s released and his son has a plan for him.

To pull a heist on a Las Vegas casino that just went up. His son… well…

Jack, "This is my chance to no longer be small time!"

Cassavetes, "Son… you’ll always be small time!"

The film just has Cassavetes being THE MAN, he goes into a club, finds Britt Ekland, steals her away from two other sleazes and tells her that he’s been in prison for 12 years and needs someone Now. And Britt Ekland fucking gives it up! And she is soooooo hot in this film. The lovely lady next to me confirmed that she would be as vacuously wonderful to me as Britt was to Cassavetes… However, I’m convinced she was kidding, but I fully intend on telling her that I’ve been in prison for 12 years and need someone now!

And the plan… Cassavetes’ plan to knock over the casino… I LOVED IT! Man, he just friggin mad bombers Las Vegas… GOOD IDEA! Let it burn.

And what I love more is that the Casino doesn’t call the cops on the case, they decide to handle it… within the family. Putting out Cassavetes and Ekland’s pictures all over the ‘Family connections’ and man… If you ever thought a criminal had a hard time out running a Cop Dragnet, you should see this Mob Dragnet. Friggin SCARY SHIT!

Really great film.

And Gena Rowlands steals it with this line… "I hate to be an I told ya so….. But… you should have come home…." CLASSIC!

In all that ended the evening and set us up for SEX AND VIOLENCE NIGHT tomorrow. Whew… Tons of writing…

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 22, 2001, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by Blacket-Man

    YOu are making a nice lil list of movies for me to go out and find this weekend.

  • Aug. 22, 2001, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Where the hell does Tarantino find these movies?

    by Cash Bailey

    I suppose being a super-rich type of guy he can afford to spend years scouring the earth for these things. Sure beats making movies, huh, Quentin? Yes, that is the sound of the pathetic whining of someone who would love to be there.

  • Aug. 22, 2001, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Screw film history bring me hype...

    by Blacket-Man

    Why is there so lil talk back here. This a great forum for fanboys to see the roots of our geekdom. Why do we have to flock to the star wars and star trek sights? Lets quit bickering over another prequel. Why not start fresh and enjoy the next Star Trek and the next Star Wars? And in turn revel in the past. Fuck the details and let yourself get sucked back in to the magic that was there when we saw it and can still be there while we see it again and still there when we see other different takes on what we have already seen. Go for the story; and if it is weak let all Fanboys kill it, but if it is strong; silence all fanboys who oppose it.

  • Aug. 22, 2001, 10:34 p.m. CST

    I'm w/ you Phoney Bone... this IS what it's all about...

    by johnny ambulance

    I read a lot of talkback but never really contribute, usually because it's bickering and I'm not interested in too many of the current crop of long awaited films. I just don't see wasting energy when there is a plethora of little known films or films I've always wanted to see. My tastes are so broad that within the last couple of years I've begun compiling lists of films to see. I just can't remember them all. Best thing I ever did. Now I write down everything that interests me and why. I'm never w/out a newly discovered classic in my dvd or vcr. And I seek out films in theatres that I would usually pass on out of ignorance. I LOVE hearing Harry's reports from the festival front and I hope it encourages more talkback and discussions of classic cinema good and bad. The more you know the history of what you love the better...

  • Aug. 22, 2001, 11 p.m. CST

    Cassavetes on Cassavetes

    by rushmorebkeeper

    Everyone should go buy the new Faber and Faber book Cassavetes on Cassavetes edited by Ray Carney. It's amazing. Jared Irmas P.S. John Cassavete's gangster film, Killing of a Chinese Bookie, with Ben Gazzarra, is one of the greatest films of all time. If you haven't seen it rent it. It beats Woman Under the Influence by a hair.

  • Aug. 22, 2001, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Tarantino massively ripped off Italian Connection in Pulp

    by heywood jablomie

    I can't believe the guy has the huevos to show that movie. It's about two poker-faced hepcat hit men, one black and one white, who walk around together in synch...ridiculous. When you watch this movie, the Pulp Fiction-ness of it makes you laugh out loud. I guess this is QT's way of spilling his guts.

  • Aug. 23, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST

    That "The Family" vs "Violent City" thing has me thinking

    by Z-Man

    Q shows all these films with great titles like Shoot First, Die Later and The Great Texas Dynamite Chase. Kill Bill is supposed to be the exploitation flick to end all exploitation flix...shouldn't it have a better title? Not that Kill Bill isn't kinda cool, but it should be called something like Bride of Blood, or Raw Vengeance!, or To Kill Violence With Deadly Blades of Blood, or something like that. Quentin, I know you're reading this--think about it!