Overshadowed these days by the popularity of giallo subgenre, Italian cinema was once the king of what was known as Eurocrime (or poliziottesco). Director Sergio Martino, now highly regarded for his entries into the former category, was also rather skilled in the latter too.
The investigation that kicks things off in Silent Action is the murder of a rich electrician. The prime suspect is the person who was seen visiting him on the night of his death, a high-class escort who is found with slit wrists. Her confession seems a little off and the enquiry links the death with a series of murders made to look like suicides.
Presented in the original language (a dubbed version is also available), Silent Action is a gripping, gritty, and quite nihilistic action film. There are some spectacular set pieces, and the opening montage is something else. Martino regular Mel Ferrer pops up as the DA, providing the compulsory Hollywood attraction. The movie is shot beautifully by Giancarlo Ferrando, but he suitably manages to keep an element of grit to the proceedings.
Luciano Michelini’s score is a thing of beauty on its own, which is why new boutique label Fractured Visions has included it on a CD that accompanies the features-backed limited edition Blu-ray. These special features are far from obligatory puff pieces. We get a real insight into the Italian politics that gave rise to reactionary cinema that was coming out of the country during the ‘70s. Couple these bonus items with a well-written and enlightening booklet and you have a release that is a must-buy for fans of Italian cinema. For those wanting to dip their toes into what the genre has to offer, it’s a nice place to start.
Release Date: April 12th. You can win a copy here.