One of my favorite police movie subgenres is the Italian Poliziesco from the 60’s and 70’s. The very same genre dominated by directors such as Fernando Di Leo and Umberto Lenzi and with a nod to Dirty Harry and The French Connection has served as an inspiration to many directors including most notably Quentin Tarantino. The centerpiece of these movies is the chase scene in which the good guy does the impossible with tiny Italian cars to chase down the bandits. All of the feats performed way before CGI was available. What made these scenes even more spectacular was the music. Chase scenes would go on for seven or more minutes with screeching tires, roadblocks, one-way streets and multiple accidents along the way, usually with a unique soundtrack (much like Ennio Morricone’s scores that created the genre for Spaghetti Westerns) to keep up with the action. In homage to the genre and the period a group from Milan has based much of its sound around these movies. The Calibro 35 with a very apropos billboard that recalls the movie genre have been stateside recently and you can catch some of their music on their webpage. If you want to see a few chase scenes from these moves with names such as Bandits in Milan (Banditi a Milano, 1968), Manhunt (La mala ordina, 1972), Violent Rome (Roma violenta, 1975) and Colt 38 Special Squad (Quelli della Calibro 38, 1976) you can find many of them on YouTube. Just a friendly warning that these movies, although from another era, are surprisingly violent even by today’s standards so you will see blood, shooting and cars colliding and flipping. Luckily, you do not really need to know any Italian to enjoy the action.
December 22, 2010
Before CGI there were Italian chase scenes…