Monday, May 13, 2013
CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN (1971)
Most of these 70's Italian poliziotteschi, or cop dramas for you English speaking-types, are violence-filled action movies and a lot of them just rip-off DIRTY HARRY and American films and cop TV shows. This one, although it does feature a cop taking the law into his own hands played brilliantly by Martin Balsam, was released the same year as HARRY and takes an interestingly different slant on things. It's also really more of a drama than an action film although you do get some mafia hijinks including a kid tossed off a cliff and some lady-killing. Overall it takes a pretty nihilistic slant and dim view of the way society works. It touches on some deeper questions such as when servants of the law go outside the book to obtain justice should they now be viewed as criminals or heroes? How can an officer justify enforcing the law if it isn't entirely moral? Do ends justify means? etc. Franco Nero plays the opposing force to Balsam as a District Attorney who sticks to a strict code of conduct. He's not necessarily a bad guy here just a person doing their job. I like the fact that this movie isn't black and white at all, there aren't really any concrete answers given and even the ending is completely left up to the viewer to ponder the correct course of action. This will probably disappoint hardcore trash-fiends looking for heavy-duty bloodshed but if you want to see Nero acting his ass off this might be one of the best places to see that.