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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Salamander (1981)

After a high ranking General is assassinated, a special agent (Franco Nero) is assigned to investigate his murder. But what he uncovers is a conspiracy among right wing leaders of the government to overtake Italy. Can they be stopped in time? Based on the novel by Morris West and directed by Peter Zinner. This pulpy conspiracy thriller is quite enjoyable if difficult to follow at times. Outside of Nero's protagonist, you're never sure who you can trust and sometimes you're not even sure about him! The all star cast do well though Paul L. Smith's sadistic assassin borders on "camp". The cinematography by Marcello Gatti (BATTLE OF ALGIERS) benefits from the handsome Italian locations though major portions of the film are supposedly set in Switzerland and there's a nice underscore by Jerry Goldsmith. The large cast includes Anthony Quinn, Claudia Cardinale, Eli Wallach, Christopher Lee, Sybil Danning (used for more than eye candy for a change), Martin Balsam and Cleavon Little.

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