Bodyguard, The / Io ho paura (1977)

5.0 out of 5

Gian Maria Volonte's sensible, by the book, policeman is assigned the task of bodyguard to a high ranking judge after several of his colleagues fall foul of assassins. As complications arise and the root of the murder attempts slowly start to become apparent the lowly cop becomes increasingly fearful for his own safety and the line between whom he should or shouldn’t trust becomes increasingly blurred.

Director Damiani is at the top of his game here turning in a taut, suspenseful film that lacks any real high brow action set pieces but makes up for that in spades with genuinely realistic and emotional characters that hook you into the story. There are no Alfa Romeo Polizia cars crashing through stacks of burning boxes in this one or chases down streets ending with fruit stalls being knocked over. What we have here is equally as entertaining but much more subtle, though it isn’t without the occasional burst of surprising violence.

Gian Maria Volonte shows that he truly was a world class actor with a highly affecting turn as the fearful policeman who sticks to his job despite his genuinely founded fears. Erland Josephson, Mario Adorf, Paolo Malco and Volonte's long time companion Angelica Ippolito round out a stellar cast that simply can’t be faulted. In fact the entire film cannot be faulted.

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