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Poliziotto Sprint


More than the proverbial "breath of air" we have to talk about a mouthful of exhaust emissions, for the belovede "poliziottesco". A change that comes from a fast movie since in the title and in which the canons of the genre are replaced by those of "action movie."

Gino Capone screenwriter very active in genre cinema, writes a story for Stelvio Massi with whom he works in other movies (not only poliziottesco), inspired by the story of Armando Spatafora, Roman policeman, former mechanic, who in the sixties gave thread twist to the "bad" driving a Ferrari through the streets of the Rome. Ferrari, maybe a gift to the police in those years and used (some in a good way, some in a bad, says chronicles) in the fight against crime or, as  the version of the Police, requested by Spatafora during a visit of Prefect at the central police stazion of Rome.

In any case the one used by Spatafora it is the protagonist of this film, recovered from a police's warehouse and dusted off and driven by Marco Palma, played by the usually monumental Maurizio Merli.

Unbalancing all on the action is simple to image that the main characterists of the police and of the "bad" are less important and here we see them more human, more nuanced, quite romantic. The reference to a crime world with a honor code of the sixties, seems more an excuse to justify a simpler structure, leaving the field open to many scenes "on the road". Many, many, even too many scenes, but undoubtedly very well done by the great stuntman Remy Julienne the best of the period, that from France brings some Citroen affecting, probably, the character of the bad, a french.

A long list of pursuits and great scenes, with so many police cars, that seem diminish other movies with less cars. Two of these scenes strike the audience: the one with a descent from the famous staircase of "Campo Dei Fiori" in Rome, only for the rof ruining the staircase and the various impossible jumps to 130 km/h.

"Poliziotto Sprint" is a challenge between two men, a duel of chivalry, because unlike other poliziottesco, the two protagonists esteem each others, they shoot little and that little is by men outline. Many times there are paradoxical moments, ease in performing certain actions (such as infiltrate the gang) all always secondary to the action desire of Massi.

Marco Palma, Merli without his famous mustache, is a cop lover of cars and great driver. Famous for his pursuits, not all successful, a day he face the gang of "Nizzardo" or Jean Paul Dossena, who robs banks fled then by car through the streets of Rome. Elengant criminal, absolutely non-violent, is a familiar face to law enforcement and especially to Marshal Tagliaferri with which in the past was already a battle to the sound of rumble of the engine.

Tagliaferri no longer on patrol, a sort of Spatafora, sees in Palma a talent man that can catch the "Nizzardo". Following long workouts, tips, plans to enter into the gang of Dossena and finally an open challenge between the two. To take more distances from the genre there is a surprise ending.

Merli out of character of the iron Commissioner is good in the role of Palma, a man of action which partly repeats in "Un Poliziotto Scomodo" always by Massi. Tagliaferri played by Giancarlo Sbragia is for us not credible in the role of wise and experienced police officer, especially for its individual mask. Angelo Infanti tries to give depth to "Nizzardo" and he succeeds quite well, just enough to create the contrast with Palma. The cast is completed by the presence of good Glauco Onorato, a great actor of genre cinema and the useless character of Francesca Palma's girlfriend, played by Lilli Carati (in an interview she said that wasn't good to work with Merli)whose the only "merit" is to blow the cover of Palma.

Roaring engines, screeching, destroyed cars, with the soundtrack of the ever valid Stelvio Cipriani in a film not to be missed for the genre lovers and for Armando Spatafora was supposed to help, if done right, to "overturn the current attitude among young people of coldness towards of the competitions that invite you to join the police. "

Fact Sheet


Original Title: Policeman Sprint

Alternative Titles: Highway Racer (International), Highway Racer - vauhtipaholainen veressä (Finland), SOS jaguar, opération cases gueule (France), Stan's snabbaste Snut! (Sweden), a Venganza de Policía (Argentina), Volida stin asphalt, assos'm GUNS! (Greece)

Year: 1977

Country: Italy

Directed by: Stelvio Massi

Starring: Maurizio Merli, Angelo Infanti, Giancarlo Sbragia, Glauco Onorato, Lilli Carati, Orazio Orlando