Magnificent Dare Devil / Troppo rischio per un uomo solo (1973)

3.5 out of 5

Formula One driver Rudy Patti, Guiliano Gemma, finds himself trapped between a police investigation and two rival drug gangs, after his diplomat girlfriend Nina, Susan Scott aka Nieves Navarro, is revealed to have been a drug courier. Following her murder, a suitcase has gone missing, which may contain Patti’s dirty laundry or something completely different – like a missing shipment of heroin and the key evidence to clear his name. Patti, now the police departments prime suspect and constantly chased by two rival drug lords suspecting that he’s hidden the drugs, goes underground as he tries to clear his name and stay one step ahead of the criminals. But how does one of the most famous racecar drivers of all time do that?

Shot right after Ercoli's superb Giallo suite, Magnificent Dare Devil is a fun and entertaining thriller with another tight script by Ernesto Gastaldi. Whilst relying on some serious themes to drive the narrative forth, there’s also a couple of opportunities taken to poke fun at the archetypal Latin lover, which brings some lighter moments to the movie. Even in the midst of an almost impossible escape from his pursuers, Patti manages to make time for a quick rumble in bed with women who cross his path, and even cure Eva, Stella Carnacina, from her lishping.

Packed with plenty of car chases, by James Bond stunt driver Rèmy Julienne, some good old fistfights, hot ladies, sinister villains a great explosion scene and an classic cliff-hanger structure that makes up a decent little alternative to the poliziotteschi and gialli directed by Ercoli.

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