Caliber 9 / Milano calibro 9 (1972)

5.0 out of 5

From an incredible pre-credit sequence it becomes clear that Milano calibro 9 is going to be an amazing opening to a trilogy which represents one of the genre defining moments of Italian crime film. Directed by Fernando Di Leo the film features one of the strongest assembled casts of this genre of film who work with some incredibly written and tightly directed material.

Gastone Moschin is fabulous in the lead role as Ugo, a criminal who is released from jail to find he is suspected of double crossing the mob. He is supported admirably by the excellent scene stealing Mario Adorf along with such familiar names as Barbara Bouchet, the tragic Frank Wolff and Philippe Leroy.

The film, a tale of betrayal has ever so slightly the air of the much later Carlito's Way about it as an ex con seemingly gets drawn reluctantly back into a world of organised crime. But such comparisons can only be on a superficial level as Carlito's Way is very much its own movie. Though comparisons can be underscored somewhat by Ugo having hooked up with an exotic dancer old flame upon release from the slammer just as Carlito finds his Gail.

Twisting and turning like a twisty turning thing the film is capable of throwing up more than the occasional surprise. This stellar film is certainly one not to be missed!

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics