» » La mano lunga del padrino (1972)

Short summary

A treacherous low-level mafioso greedily rips off a shipment of arms from his powerful godfather and tries to sell them to an especially dubious group of Arabs.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Quphagie
    This is my favorite kind of Italian "poliziani" because it has no police in sight! It is completely lacking in any kind of moral center considering that the "hero" (Peter Lee Lawrence) is a treacherous low-level mafioso who greedily rips off a shipment of arms from his powerful godfather (played by the excellent Adolfo Celi) and tries to sell them to an especially dubious group of Arabs--while the only other protagonist is his unfaithful, frequently naked and abused girlfriend, Sabine (played by sumptuous Italian bambina Erica Blanc). The movie is violent, deeply cynical, and totally lacking in any kind of redeeming social value, but that's what makes it all the more fun. It is kind of like the "deep noir" American movies of the 1950's like Jules Dassin's "Night in the City" or Billy Wilder's "Ace in the Hole", where the main character is amoral or sociopathic criminal and the people surrounding him are even worse.

    Celi is great as always as the old-style "moustache Pete" godfather. Blanc is fully exploited as a body, if somewhat underused as an actress, but frankly this movie could be considered a feminist treatise in comparison to many of the other films in this genre. The violence against women is certainly disturbing by today's standards, but the movie is downright restrained and tasteful in that respect when compared to similar Italian films of the era like Lucio Fulci's "Contraband".

    This movie definitely isn't for all tastes, but if you like violent action movies without the police-worshiping fascistic tendencies of the Hollywood variety, on one hand, or the stifling political correctness of the more modern-day movies, on the other, this is pretty alright.
  • comment
    • Author: Fohuginn
    A slick, exciting, and sometimes nasty little Italian crime thriller which benefits from an unpredictable plot for a change. The main thrust here is of a "cat and mouse" style chase movie in which the central character is being hunted through the streets and towns by a gang of sadists, presided over by a criminal boss. This has all the trappings of an Italian movie, and benefits from a sun-drenched location, some surprisingly strong acting from the principal players, and some well-shot scenes of action.

    Despite occasionally betraying the low budget through some cutaways in the action stakes, THE LONG ARM OF THE GODFATHER plays very nicely as a thriller and offers some competition to its big-budget rivals. Nardo Bonomi's direction is spot-on and enlivens the proceedings with tension and suspense in equal measure. All this and a great, stylish music score too. The best stunts include a spectacular car crash into a field, and the excellent finale which sees a shootout between Vincenzo, the lead, a group of Arabs, and the godfather and his men, proceeding to a brutal fight in a hotel room and a final chase by car and boat; good stuff to be sure.

    Imported lead Peter Lee Lawrence is surprisingly good as the edgy, sometimes nasty lead (in one scene he kills two men and a girl in cold blood!) who will do anything to get away with his money. Adolfo Celi (the Bond villain in THUNDERBALL) is laid back yet vicious as the godfather, lending his character a lot of charisma which makes him memorable. Erika Blanc (THE DEVIL'S NIGHTMARE) plays the love interest, is frequently naked, and gives a good performance to boot. The film is occasionally sleazy and hard-edged, like in a red-lit nightclub sequence or the scene where Blanc is tortured by a cigarette as the gangsters attempt to extract information from her. Otherwise it's a well-made crime thriller with some great action, like the Italians did so well back in the '70s.
  • comment
    • Author: Nalmergas
    Long Arm of the Godfather would probably be thrown in with the Italian 'Polizi' genre, although in actual fact the police presence in this film is minimal at best and the film prefers to centre on its cast of immoral criminal characters. While this does mean that there's no sympathetic character to root for, it does also mean that we get treated to plenty of entertaining violence and dubious situations, which somewhat makes up for it. The film has no point to make (apart from 'don't cross vicious gangsters') and like most of this genre, the plot is very simple and in this case we have a rouge gangster going up against his old boss. While working on transporting a shipment of guns, Vincenzo starts to get big ideas of his own and decides to hijack the cargo and sell it himself. As you would probably expect, this doesn't exactly sit well with the formidable Don Carmelo who, upon hearing of the treachery, sets out to find the man who dared to steal from him. Meanwhile, Vincenzo is gathering up his girlfriend and setting his plan into motion.

    Writer-director Nardo Bonomi (this his only film) manages to keep the proceedings interesting throughout despite the fact that the plot is not overly thrilling. Some time is taken to build up the characters and we are always aware of the central situation; although the fact that all the main characters have some link to immortality means that there's no actual hero figure, meaning that the only reason to care is simply the plot itself rather than the characters in it. The film does benefit from a strong central cast however, with German born actor Peter Lee Lawrence (who looks quite a bit like Ewan McGregor) convincing in the lead role and receiving good feedback from the beautiful blue-eyed Erika Blanc as his girlfriend and the brilliant Adolfo Celi, who is a standout in every film he's in; including this one. The plot really doesn't contain a great deal of surprises and indeed where the film is going is often announced by Adolfo Celi's Godfather character - but even so, the film does manage to entertain throughout and while I would not call this one of the best Italian crime flicks, it is at least a good one.
  • comment
    • Author: Ylonean
    'Long Arm Of The Godfather' is an slight, but entertaining Mafioso/heist yarn with the ever-reliable character actor, Adolpho Celi giving Don Carmelo all the necessary heft and gravitas a vengeance-seeking mafia kingpin requires. Vincenzo (Peter Lawrence) & Sabina (Erica Blanc) go on the lam after ripping off bruising gangster, Don Carmelo, who proves to be most persistent in his zealous, murderous and misogynist endeavors to reclaim his ill-gotten loot. 'Long Arm of The Godfather' is actually far better value than its current status as bargain bin curio implies. While not up to the lurid grandeur of an Umberto lenzi, or quite as entertaining as a Stelvio Massi effort, 'Long arm of The Godfather' would still merit a far nicer print than the one currently available.
  • comment
    • Author: Nightscar
    Spaghetti Western Star, Peter Lee Lawrence plays Vincenzo, a mafioso hood who double crosses his Boss, Don Carmelo played by Adolfo Celi,over an arms deal, a game of cat & mouse ensues.Lots of violence along the way.Lawrence gives okay performance in an otherwise shallow story of greed and betrayal. Strange film filled with brutal misogynists.A story with no redeeming characters where the women are treated like punch bags. Music score is dated by todays standard,very much a product of it's time.No element of genuine suspense on show here As a fan of the Euro-Crime genre I was drawn to watch this movie and is only recommended to other aficionados of the genre.
  • comment
    • Author: Dugor
    Who do you root for in a film like this? Vincenzo, the double crossing, woman beating hero who pawns his girlfriend's jewellery? Or the Godfather, the woman beating, smug crime lord? Or Erika Blanc, who's character absolutely never stops moaning during the entire film? Also, who described Erika Blanc as a 'sumptuous Italian Bambino?' More like a Ziggy Stardust era Bowie clone with boobs! Unnerving.

    So this is lower tier Euro Crime stuff, what with the double crossing and the arms shipments and a hero you don't care for. Story is very mild, rather a lot of violence directed towards women, not much in the way of gunfights.

    However, it looks very good, has a nice opening sequence, and most of it takes place in an Arab country which is a bit different from the norm. It's up to you what you think of the ending. Throw a couple of likable characters in here and it might have been better.
  • comment
    • Author: Androlhala
    "The Long Arm of the Godfather" has only one aspect anyone who has seen it will ever be able to remember, and hence has only one aspect anyone will ever recommend it for:

    The red-headed character, the main guy's love interest, is abused several times throughout the movie's run-time, punched, slapped, threatened with a rape at knife-point and burnt with a cigarette. The way the movie keeps showing scenes like these makes you wonder if the producers knew they were onto a total stinker and the only way they could generate any kind of response from the audience was via a shameless attitude toward violence against women.

    The character herself is, of course, pathetic - weak female characters are not exactly a rarity in Italian exploitation films - so it's hard to feel anything but boredom as she gets roughed up for the third or fourth time. The plot is also tedious and incomprehensible. The only part I remember aside from the above is a scene where the don fires at the "hero", if that's what he is, with a machine gun while he hides behind a wooden plank. Not a single shot hits anything, and the hero is able to fire back, successfully, with a gun that looks like a pea shooter in comparison, and what do you know? He doesn't miss.
  • Cast overview:
    Adolfo Celi Adolfo Celi - Don Carmelo
    Peter Lee Lawrence Peter Lee Lawrence - Vincenzo - 'Raffica'
    Erika Blanc Erika Blanc - Sabina
    Kim Dimon Kim Dimon
    Henriette Kok Henriette Kok
    Riccardo Petrazzi Riccardo Petrazzi - Don Carmelo Henchman
    Claudio Ruffini Claudio Ruffini - Tom
    Piera Moretti Piera Moretti
    Attilio Pelegatti Attilio Pelegatti
    Pietro Torrisi Pietro Torrisi - Gallo
    Bruno Boschetti Bruno Boschetti
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