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Category:    Home > Reviews > Gangster > Foreign > Italy > Milano Rovente (Gang War In Milano, 1973)

Milano Rovente (Gang War In Milan, 1973)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: B-



Italian and French organized crime have it out in Umberto Lenziís Milano Rovente, one of a string of violent crime thrillers Antonio Sabato Sr. did that put his name on the map.He plays a wholesaler in the produce yards of Milan, but is up to more than just making sure the citizens eat their vegetables.He is the head of a Sicilian clan about to have their power challenged by French gangsters anxious to push them out of town.But Italy is their home turf and they will fight to the end in this still effectively graphic Gangster genre import.


When they are not shooting, strangling or stabbing each other, they are sexually assaulting or actually mutilating to damage the cash value of a group of hookers working for the Sicilians.It is the kind of violence that is graphic, though it sometimes looks phony and is not the hyper/surreal/fantasy we see too much of today.These are not nice people, though the film and its screenplay want us to sympathize with Sabato somewhat.This ultimately does not work, but it is visually interesting and not the same usual formula dreck we see today either.It is worth a look, despite it flaws and ineffective conclusion.


The DVD case says this is full screen, but the film is letterboxed.As for whether we can call this anamorphically enhanced or not is tricky.The entire Techniscope frame of 2.35 X 1 is windowboxed, but on regular 1.33 X 1 TVs, it will appear something like 1.78 X 1 however incorrect.Yet, if you have 16 X 9 playback capacity, you can reformat it to enjoy the true scope frame.Ion that case, it is anamorphically enhanced by default.Cinematographer Lamberto Caimi does a great job in his scope framing, which puts the viewer into the city and situations with ease.Unfortunately, this transfer has detail trouble, edge enhancement and print trouble, though there are shots were you could tell how good this must have been in original dye-transfer Technicolor prints.This may have been made with budgetary limits, but it is very ambitious and has energy to make up for some of its shortcomings.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound is the usually dubbed Italian common in their films from post-WWII to the mid-1980s and suffers accordingly, though the amusing Jazz horn-induced theme by Carlo Rustichelli is a hoot.Extras include four frames of stills, plus four trailers: one for this film, the Jane Birkin vehicle Seven Dead In A Catís Eye (1973), Secret Agent 777 (1965) and The Crimes Of The Black Cat (1972).Oddly, they do not have any English text except for the feature on this disc, while the English subtitles are smaller than usual.Fortunately, they are more articulate that expected.Check this DVD out for no other reason than for it just being so different.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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