From Corleone to Brooklyn / Da Corleone a Brooklyn (1979)

3.5 out of 5

Mobster, Michele Barresi, now residing in New York, has his main rival gunned down back in Sicily. A contract is taken out on the only two people that know of Barresi's involvement. One of them is the assassin, himself. Commissioner Berni is able to save the killer, Salvatore Scalia. In an effort to nail Barresi to the wall, Berni must get Scalia from Palermo to New York to testify against his employer. The only problem is getting him across the Atlantic alive.

Umberto Lenzi kisses the hand of the Italian crime genre and bids farewell with this tight and occasionally taut action thriller starring then popular leading man, Maurizio Merli. Slightly different from Merli's other cinematic escapades led by Lenzi, Berni is more a by-the-book inspector this time out. There's little to no political preaching here, just a modestly budgeted chase picture with a 'point A to point B' styled script. Wherever our heroes end up, an ambush, shootout, or car chase isn't too far behind them.

Both the rotund Mario Merola and the formidable Merli had starred and shared much screen time in the political crime thriller, Hunted City the same year. Director, Lenzi avoids much of the extreme violence that gave his previous 'cops & robbers' epics so much notoriety deciding instead on a simpler approach that still maintains a certain degree of comic book brutality. Lenzi loves New York and this is likely his crime film love letter to the "city that never sleeps". Ending on an ambiguous, yet somber note, this is one of both Lenzi's and Merli's more entertaining efforts.

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