Combustible Celluloid
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With: Luc Merenda, Richard Conte, Delia Boccardo, Raymond Pellegrin, Gianni Santuccio, Vittorio Caprioli, Salvo Randone, Rosario Borelli, Monica Monet, Gino Milli, Elio Zamuto
Written by: Fernando Di Leo, based on a story by Sergio Donati
Directed by: Fernando Di Leo
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 0
Date: 07/30/2013

Shoot First, Die Later (1974)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Crooked Mile

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Fernando Di Leo's Shoot First, Die Later concerns a dirty cop, Malacarne (Luc Merenda), who takes payments from gangsters to turn the other way when black market cigarettes and coffee make their way into the city. His father, Marshal (Salvo Randone) also a cop, doesn't know about Malacarne's shady dealings and couldn't be more proud of his son. But when the gangsters receive a complaint from a crackpot local, Malacarne is asked to deal with it, which involves trying to deceive his father. At the same time, the gangsters decide they want to start running guns, which is too much for Malacarne.

This is one of Di Leo's crazier movies, swinging all over the place, with scenes set in a swanky art-gallery apartment to the crackpot's little house (where the bad guys suffocate a kitten in a plastic bag!), and including the obligatory chase scene. Merenda is fairly unappealing, but the rest of the movie comes together around him quite effectively.

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