Dangerous Toy, A / Il giocattolo (1979)

5.0 out of 5

Occasionally in describing a piece of genre cinema the material demands the use of terms such as incredible and if ever such a term was to be uses then could it be more fitting than when describing Il giocattolo?

A mild mannered bookkeeper played by Nino Manfredi becomes attracted to guns as his marriage is a little moribund and weapons become symbols of virility as our erstwhile shrinking violet of an accountant discovers the power behind the wielding of pistols. A newly exuded confidence attracts the attention of women who hitherto seemed disinterested as our hero waves around his dumdum laden penis extension and a revenge shooting of the executioners of our hero's best friend a cop, who provides the story with a suggested latent homosexual bonding prior to his demise, results in a dramatic showdown with gangsters. The most obvious comparison for The Toy is no doubt Taxi Driver but it there is also traces of D-Fens from Falling Down or even Burt Lancaster's character in The Swimmer as midlife crisis is expressed in an ever so slight, and increasingly troubling, unhinged fashion.

Ennio Morricone provides the score and in a few self referential moments the soundtrack provides a discordant take on the Musical Pocket Watch from For A Few Dollars More and the lead character hums the Edda Dell'Orso vocal piece from A Fistful Of Dynamite, a potential date movie for accountant and cop. The likability factor in terms of the lead characters makes A Dangerous Toy a movie with which it is incredibly easy to engage and men of a certain age may see something of themselves within the recently empowered number cruncher. Incredible.

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