5 December 2018 | Bezenby
An honest cop in it up to his neck
Ultra serious, moody police investigation film with a kind of giallo feel throughout the first half.
Umberto Orisini plays a journalist who hands over a wad of cash to a strange fellow in exchange for a ring, goes to a bar and leaves with a mysterious lady, then gets jumped by a bunch of guys and shot in the head. To clear up this mess, the police assign hot-headed cop Frederick Stafford to find the killer.
Stafford is a divorcee with a daughter he hardly sees because he's a cop. He also very loose with his fists so when he gets an anonymous phone call that points to the killer, he sets about extracting a confession the old way. The guy does confess, but it all seems a bit too easy for Stafford...
The plot, which of course involves Stafford digging deeper into things and not liking what he finds one iota, is generic. On the other hand, the way director Bazzoni makes things unfold is fascinating. We, like Stafford, aren't privy to what's going on as he finds more people involved and someone else starts bumping people off. There's a girl at a local bar who takes an interest in Stafford and keeps obliquely referring to her employers, and there's a few 'warnings' thrown Stafford's way, the best of which is when he's kidnapped, blindfolded and taken to a quarry, seemingly to be executed.
For those looking for action there's not much until the end, but the journey is what makes this one worthwhile.