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I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia (1979) Online

I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia (1979) Online
Original Title :
I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia
Genre :
Movie / Crime
Year :
Directror :
Alfonso Brescia
Cast :
Mario Merola,Antonio Sabato,Gianni Garko
Writer :
Ciro Ippolito,Piero Regnoli
Type :
Time :
1h 28min
Rating :
I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia (1979) Online

With the American Mafia families pooling their resources to bring huge quantities of cheap heroin into the country, it's up to customs official Ivano Radevic to allow the authorities to intercept the drugs en route to the USA.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Mario Merola Mario Merola - Don Francesco Antiero
Antonio Sabato Antonio Sabato - Don Michele Vizzini
Gianni Garko Gianni Garko - Capitano Ivano Radovich
Jeff Blynn Jeff Blynn - Don Salvatore Gargiulo (as Jeff Blyn)
Edmund Purdom Edmund Purdom - Secret Service Chief
Sabrina Siani Sabrina Siani - Lucy Avallone
Lorraine De Selle Lorraine De Selle - Lorraine
Marco Girondino Marco Girondino - Gennaro
Nunzio Gallo Nunzio Gallo - Commissario di Finanza Martinelli
Lucio Montanaro Lucio Montanaro - Cassio Petrorio
John Karlsen John Karlsen
Marina Valadier Marina Valadier - Carmelina
Rik Battaglia Rik Battaglia - Don Calogero Avallone (as Rick Battaglia)
Hassan Hyber Hassan Hyber
Hassan Jaber Hassan Jaber - Vito

User reviews



The Poliziotteschi genre is mostly populated by maverick cops and sadistic criminals; so The New Godfathers is something of an original addition to the genre. As the Italian title suggests; this film focuses on contraband - which a popular focus for this genre, but rather than focus on one side of the war; the film is instead bolstered by a working relationship between a customs officer and a top criminal as they work together for mutual gain. It has to be said that the film has some problems in terms of plot pacing and it's not exactly a thrill a minute; but some good characters and interesting plot development at least ensures that the film remains decent for the running time. The New Godfathers begins with a heroin shipment in Iran being halted by a revolution. Naturally there's people intent on getting this heroin to the USA; and so decide to run it through a small group of smugglers in Italy. However, Italian customs get wind of what is going on and seek to strike a bargain with the local criminals.

The most interesting parts of the film focus on Naples' smuggler community and thankfully director Alfonso Brescia (who previously directed the disappointing Giallo Naked Girl Killed in the Park) spends a lot of time on this element. There's also a subplot involving two young kids in love that works better than it really had any right to. This genre is usually bolstered by high speed car chases and gunfights; although this one doesn't feature as much of that as other genres, which is disappointing; although it made up for by some superior characters and acting. The cast is lead by the pairing of Mario Merola and Antonio Sabato, who will both be familiar to Eurocrime fans; having starred in a number of these films between them. The second half of the film is more action packed than the first and the move towards the story's conclusion is carried off with style and verve; although the final sequences could have been better edited. Overall, I wouldn't exactly say that this film is at the pinnacle of its genre; but it's a more than decent watch and Eurocrime fans should give it a look.


As Alfonso Brescia movies go, this one isn't half bad. The worst thing about it is the pacing. The film goes through exactly 11 minutes of globe-hopping to Iran (accomplished largely via stock footage), New York, Italy, and Turkey before finally getting to the opening credits. After that roughly 40 minutes go by before the film gives us any action... but once it gets going it isn't half bad, if a tad chaotic. What's funny is that Gianni Garko is set up early-on as the protagonist of the story, but he's basically forgotten about as the film goes on in favor of Mario Merola's character "Don Francesco", a mafia bigwig who makes a deal with the cops. Lots of screen time in the last act is devoted to filler footage of a huge Italian wedding.

Also quite atrocious is the dubbing, which is particularly heinous in the case of Don Francesco's annoying son played by Lucio Montanaro. You'll notice a lot of familiar voices like Greg Snegoff, Ed Mannix, Larry Dolgin, etc. but they had a rush-job on this decidedly minor cheaply-made crime movie. Similarly the shootouts and car chase are quite poorly filmed with too little coverage and/or few transition-shots to make them make much sense.

Casting-wise the movie isn't half bad with good early roles for Lorraine De Selle, Sabrina Siani, etc. Antonio Sabato makes an okay idiotic villain and Jeff Blynn is on hand to try to capitalize off the fact that he looks like Maurizio Merli's lost twin brother. Amusingly Franco Diogene reprises his role from MIDNIGHT EXPRESS as a sleazy Turkish lawyer who gets blown up right as the beginning credits chime in. Considering the Turkish uproar over the prior film, I'm surprised Turkey allowed him into the country! Perhaps nobody made the connection? The two best points are the gritty photography and scene-setting music. A lot of the cinematography is real up-close in-your-face gritty establishing shots which do a good job promoting the seedy Neopolitan atmosphere. The music similarly is really infectiously Neapolitan with a mean-spirited sleazy undertone to it. Good stuff in an otherwise daft film which I'm sure was cynically churned out with a minimal amount of effort to make maybe a tiny profit.


Kudos to Alfonso Breschia for going all 'meta' as the kids say and including a scene in this film where Gianni Garko approaches a film poster for Breschia's Lo Scugzzino* and talks about how Gianni Garko is great in that film, followed by a member of the public who remarks upon Breschia's film skills (or lack off).

Anyone who has suffered through Breschia's sci-fi films will be glad to know that his crime films are a little easier to digest. He includes all the stuff you want to see in a crime film: gunfights, explosions, car chases and nudity. It's still not an amazing experience by any means, but a far cry from Star Odyssey, that's for sure.

A bunch of evil gangster fellows are in Turkey and want to ship a whole load of heroin over to New York, and are looking for a stopover on the way. Somewhere scuzzy where no one will notice. You know: Naples. Customs officer Gianni Garko makes the logical choice when he pinpoints Naples as the place the heroin is going to touch down, and heads off there to ingratiate himself with the local smugglers.

What Breschia nails here is the relationship between Garko and smuggler Mario Merola, as Merola relates his story that the impoverished people of Naples have to live by selling stolen cigarettes, and the whole community would collapse if this illegal industry dried up. He shows Garko how the people of Naples live in one room apartments (including the toilet and everything else) and are decent, friendly people. This convinces Garko to have the police not lean on Merola's gang in exchange for help tracking down the heroin.

What neither of them know is that local Mob boss Antonio Sabato is behind the heroin smuggling racket and intends to get it there without any setbacks, which leads to double crossings, massacres, shoot-outs and a cracking car chase that has one guy driving a car along a moving train!

The action also switches to New York where Sabato's goddaughter (a young Sabrina Sianni) is getting married, which leads to a sequence where Sianni leads in these surreal tributes to Italy (that also hold the heroin).

I'm not revealing everything here but I will say that Garko vanishes from the film for so long I thought they'd forgotten about him. Nevertheless, Breschia does manage to tie everything up quite nicely and I found, for a change, that I quite enjoyed the film. Eighth time's a charm, Alfonso!