Raro strikes again! We are fortunate to have a company like Raro in this day and age that brings to light these beautiful Italian films of the past. The quality of the blu ray, its packaging, and its one extra (a video introduction by Mike Malloy, an author) are all first-class, as usual. The film has suffered a few minor damage marks in one spot, but otherwise is remarkably preserved.
This film stars Ray Lovelock, who plays a policeman who goes undercover in part to avenge himself against a couple of thugs/robbers who shot and crippled his mother (while she is trying to prevent him from drawing his gun? Nice, mom!). He is ostensibly out to break up the drug ring that these thieves belong to, and Martin Balsam plays one of the drug bosses, and Ray gets into his gang during a prison breakout and subsequent doings. Down the road a bit (literally) we meet up with Elke Sommer as the "secretary" of another drug underboss, and she turns out to have more to do with the plot than one might expect.
This film almost got four stars from me, because frankly the plot is full of holes, but for once the folksy theme song is not completely horrible (kind of catchy, in fact), the action sequences made me realize the Italians were at least on par with Americans in this regard (but the collateral damage is much better! Machine gun innocent bystanders! Why not?), and the cinematography is first rate and of course you have Ray Lovelock in a starring role, and Elke Sommer always raises a film by one star for me, because she's beautiful and has a charm all her own.
Be sure to watch the "extras" to see the Mike Malloy interview/introduction. It's very funny, entertaining, and informative. He points out this was one of two films signing on Ray Lovelock as the star, since Ray was up to this point usually the sidekick or some other supporting player. He also gives a pronunciation guide for the term poliziotteschi and related terms, though of course I am still confused. Malloy points out as well that at this time there were, confusingly, two directors with the same name (Franco Prosperi!). This Prosperi's other best known film may be "Last House on the Beach," which also has Ray Lovelock in it (La Settima Donna - 1978).
You can't go wrong with a Raro film. Highly recommended.