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Milano Rovente

Gangwar in Milan
Burning City

Italy 1973
produced by
Giuseppe Tortorella (executive) for Telemondial
directed by Umberto Lenzi
starring Antonio Sabato, Philippe Leroy, Antonio Casagrance, Carla Romanelli, Alessandro Sperli, Marisa Mell, Franco Fantasia, Tano Cimarosa, Piero Corbetta, Vittorio Pinelli, Domenico Raccosta, Claudio Sforzini, Carla Mancini, Luigi Antonio Guerra, Vittorio Sancisi, Vittorio Joderi, Naiba Pedersoli, Lucio Como, Riccardo De Stefanis, Ottavio Fanfani, Idris Josuf, Marta Fabiani, Elsa Boni, Giancarlo Busi, Ugo Bologna, Filippo La Neve, Elena Pantano, Gabriella Lepori
story by Ombretta Lanza, screenplay by Franco Enna, Umberto Lenzi, music by Carlo Rustichelli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Toto (Antonio Sabato), a Sicilian by birth, runs a prostitution racket in Milan, and he's quite good at it too. But then his top prostitute is found murdered, and he makes the acquaintance of French drug kingpin Roger Daverty (Philippe Leroy), who has had killed the prostitute as a warning and who wants to use Toto's girls for his drugdealing operations, something Toto is very much against since he still has a code of honour - and that despite the fact that Daverty even plans to pay him for his services.

So Toto and Daverty soon start a gangwar, during which Daverty at one point has Toto's girls kidnapped by his men in the disguise of cops while Toto at another point catches Daverty in bed with a prostitute, and so on and so forth. Eventually, Toto gets help from Chicago, Billy Barone (Alessandro Sperli), like him a Sicilian (at least at heart), and the godfather of Toto's right hand man Lino (Antonio Casagrande), who gives him a few pointers how to win a gangwar - but on the other hand, he also tries to persuade Toto to join in the drugtrade which he considers the future.

However, Daverty is not one to gie up, quite the contrary, he tries to break Toto but good with a one-two-punch: First he sees to it that Toto's girlfriend Jasmina (Marisa Mell) - actually a girl in Daverty's employ - leaves him and steals quite a sum of money from him, secondly he abducts his right-hand-man Lino and tortures and castrates him before letting him escape. Toto though is far from being broken, because now it has become personal and now he is really out for revenge ... but when he finally makes it to Daverty's place, he has to realize that Billy Barone was quicker, and he has not only killed Daverty, he has also taken over Toto's operation and his men - including Lino. In shock, Toto shoots Lino before being machine-gunned to death by his former own men.

 

Milano Rovente is a straight-forward, compact and violent Mafia thriller that seems to pull no punches, and if you are in for that kind of entertainment and don't mind the occasional pulp cliché, this one's probably for you. However, the film is far from perfect, the plot is at times almost ridiculously convoluted and not always very convincing, at other times it's a bit too blunt to the point of being almost silly, Antonio Sabato is a bit too pale in this film to really carry the story.

Still, if you like action-filled Italian action thrillers from the pulpy end of the genre, you are bound to like this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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