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  • Lengthy, convoluted but generally gripping mix of caper and espionage film – with so many clever twists of the 'nothing is what it seems' variety and double-crosses/shifts in allegiances to make even Hitchcock's head spin! From what I've watched of director Lupo's output (ranging from peplums to Spaghetti Westerns and comedy-adventures), this emerges as easily the most substantial – thus satisfactory – effort.

    Luis Bunuel regular Claudio Brook may be an unlikely action hero, but he's nonetheless wonderful here. Sydney Chaplin is the tough cop who finally supplies the biggest surprise of the film; Jess Hahn, naturally appearing as a thug, is involved in a surprisingly bloodthirsty fistfight with Brook's photographer sidekick); Anthony Dawson is sinister as always, while Andrea Bosic (from the "Kriminal" films) turns up as a corrupt diplomat. Luscious heroine Daniela Bianchi, again, plays an ambiguous character until the final revelation: she also proves that her role in FROM Russia, WITH LOVE (1963) was no fluke – incidentally, much of what little she did seems to have been in this vein! The equally gorgeous Tina Marquand is typically perky as an unwitting 'agent'; Harriet Medin, appropriately, appears as Dawson's stern-looking assistant; there's also a nice bit by Raymond Bussieres as a train conductor whose passengers are constantly vanishing.

    The film is stylish (given its Swinging London and fashion-house backdrops) and exciting (with an elaborate opening robbery sequence and plenty of chases around the dock area and in vast warehouses that are made even more tense by frequent use of odd/tilted angles). For the record, two cinematographers worked on this title – Franco Villa and Stelvio Massi (later a director of several poliziotteschi): the latter was only employed towards the end of the shoot because the former was contracted to start work on another picture; incidentally, the notorious Joe D'Amato (then still Aristide Massaccesi) served as camera operator on this one! Of course, there’s a lively Francesco De Masi score – even if it seems to have lifted its memorable main theme from KRIMINAL (1966)! – and gratuitous nudity involving a black girl (whose character unaccountably disappears thereafter) as well as Marquand (aka Aumont). The hilarious closing gag, then, provides a nice twist on the much-used 'history repeats itself' scenario.

    Interestingly, my two main sources for low-brow Italian cinema – the "Film.Tv.It" website and the "Stracult" book – offer contradictory opinions on YOUR TURN TO DIE: the former rated it "Mediocre", while the latter found it "ultracult" so, when it turned up on late-night Italian TV (which is how I became aware of it in the first place), I had decided to tape it, to be watched at some future date and then erased…but, now that I've gone through the recording and thoroughly enjoyed this delightful outing (despite a rather lackluster choice of titles – the original, by the way, translates to TOO MUCH TO LIVE…TOO LITTLE TO DIE), I've opted to keep the copy I taped for my collection!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A London fashion show which focused on the diamonds on display instead of the clothes, a well photographed diamond heist and a great Henry Mancini-esquire score by Francesco De Masi gets the viewer in the mood for this typically sixties caper. Produced in Italy but set in England, "Troppo Per Vivere... Poco Per Morire" stars Claudio Brook as intrepid newspaperman Robert Foster, stunning Bondgirl Daniela Bianchi as suspect fashion model and Charles Chaplin's son Sydney as Inspector Chandler. And for anyone interested in more six degrees of 007, Anthony 'Professor Dent' Dawson also appears and leading actor Brook went on to a supporting part in 1989s "License to Kill".

    During the daring diamond theft at the start, we are introduced to a whole bunch of nasty villains. Unfortunately, we don't get to spend a lot of time with after-wards as they soon end up stabbing each other in the back and worse. The one that gets away, Gordon Smash (Paolo Gozlino) hides the loot in a locker. Before succumbing to his wounds, Smashie manages to hand over the key and an important clue to John Kerry lookalike Robert Dawson (for opening the locker is only halfway there). Assisted by his own boy wonder, 'Flash' the photographer (Nazzareno Zamperla), Dawson ignores the advice from Inspector Chaplin and delves into the investigation, with the remaining crooks hot on his heels. Fashion models Arabella (Bianchi) and Katia (Stefania Careddu) also offer some clues. The former teams up with Dawson to infiltrate the practice of Dr. Evans (Professor Dent). Posing as Mr. and Mrs Brown, Claudio Brook does a nutty Jerry Lewis impression. Needless to say, this does not fool the evil doctor for long, who hires a dolly-bird called Dolly (Tina Marquand) to seduce the news hound on a train.

    Soon, Foster and Arabella are being held captive in a rather spacious warehouse full of the kind of medieval armor and stuff that always comes in handy when making an escape. Arabella gets to the locker first, but without the all important clue known the contents seem to be useless. Flash gets to do a bit of rescuing of his own when Dr. Evans decides to get rid of Dolly. Everybody converges on another warehouse (this time an empty and derelict one) for the big shoot-out finale. It is here where characters start switching sides like it never went out of style and Dawson finally figures out the meaning behind the late Gordon Smash's dying words.

    Also, in true sixties style, the film ends with an amusing 'here-we-go-again-tag' that would not seem so out of place if the preceding 100 minutes hadn't been so deadly serious.

    8 out of 10