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Uomini si nasce poliziotti si muore (1976 )

Stylish violent cop drama

Ruggero Deodato is a director known for making hard films, filled with violence and cynicism. His impressive cop thriller, Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man , is no exception. Alfredo and Antonio belong to a special branch of the Rome police department. They are given the hard cases, having to deal with the lowest criminal scum around. Their methods of dealing with the criminal element are certainly not standard procedure, as we see early in the film. The bad guys who have the utter misfortune of having to deal with Fred and Tony, do not get handcuffed and have their rights read to them. Deodato, most known for a contemptuous piece of cinema called Cannibal Holocaust , has fashioned a stylish crime drama, filled with interesting and unusual characters. The viewer gets to know the two vigilante cops, who seem to be operating on the same wavelength. They cruise around on a motorcycle together, kill and torture bad guys together, even live together. They share the same cynical attitude towards life and death. There is a real bond there, and that relationship elevates this to a higher level. It is fun to watch these two in action, cocky and sexist bastards that they are, but somehow likable. Filmed with a great deal of energy and style. The opening scene, a wild motorcycle chase through the streets of Rome, sets the tone for the rest of the film. And the music is worth mentioning, some great background music, typical of the 70 s time period, compliments the action. Deodato often had a strange habit of using the most inappropriate music to go along with the extreme violence happening on the screen. Soft ballads were often heard as people got beaten and murdered, or sexy disco music complimented a brutal rape, such as in House On the Edge Of the Park . It somehow makes the brutal imagery all the more sick and twisted. For Live Like A Cop actor Ray Lovelock who portrays Antonio, sings the main theme for the film. Great stuff. In America at this time, a TV show called Starsky Hutch was doing well. A cop show that featured two handsome partners, one blond and the other dark haired, much like the two heroes of this film. Perhaps that TV show was an influence, but the movie was made before Starsky Hutch was shown on Italian TV, so who knows? Up until recently Uomini Si Nasce Poliiziotti Si Muore was super-rare, almost impossible to find on video. Now there is a new DVD from an Italian label, Raro Video , that is well worth tracking down. Featuring a choice of original Italian language or a funny dubbed English track, and including an interesting interview with Ruggero Deodato and actor Ray Lovelock, who both discuss the film. Highly recommended for fans of 70 s exploit films and crime films. There were countless cop thrillers to come out of Italy in this time, but this stands out as one of the best, and certainly one of the most brutal.

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