Rulers of the City / I padroni della città (1976)

3.0 out of 5

A film that goes under a host of English language titles Rulers of the City is a familiar feeling by-numbers effort from Fernando Di Leo that fans of the director's other works will immediately stylistically and thematically recognise and probably feel comfortable with.

Mobsters scheme and double cross each other, a familiar abattoir, one used in a number of Di Leo features, is the location for a shootout finale and a number of regulars including Vittorio Caprioli, who provides much of the lighthearted wisecracking and comic relief, are in residence. Even the flute laden score from Luis Bacalov provide a connection with earlier crime features from the director.

Top billing goes to Jack Palance and as always he is brilliant. Harry Baer and Al Cliver are great too.

Some of the fist fighting borders on slapstick, the tone seldom becomes especially dark and maybe the film will prove a little lightweight for those who like a grittier and edgier Eurocrime. It isn't too bad though and while certainly not a top tier crime film there are plenty of far worse titles within the genre.

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