The Climber (L'ambizioso, 1975)

UK Arrow Video Blu-ray and DVD combo edition

Reversible sleeve


Text below written 2018-08-10

 

Not a very good addition to the Eurocrime genre, bottom of the barrel stuff, but quite interesting to see the Warhol
legend Joe Dallesandro strut around as an unlikeable lowlife Naples gangster in an Italian version of Scarface.
Interesting? Yes, as Joe Dallesandro was a goodlooking guy who got his parts in erotic artmovies just due to that
fact, and to his willingness to appear in the nude, he plays this part as if he's a male bimbo ... Hey, i'm a good-looking
guy, look at me, i'm in an Italian movie playing a gangster, ain't that cool, huh ... sort of.

But, i'm not that mean as Joe Dallesandro himself, in the wonderful extras interview, admits he was a bad actor, and
somehow this posing style of his works out as his gangster feels very unlikeable, a slimy guy and rotten to the core.
A dark, if ineptly made, gangster saga without any glamour or heroes as opposed to the Brian De Palma masterpiece
that followed some decade later. The latter where Tony Montana, as brutal and bestial he may behave, due to Al Pacino's
enormous charisma make him decidedly .... likeable, we love Tony Montana and that grandiose demise of his, well i do
anyway. If the 1984 Scarface is a glossy crime saga fantasy film masterpiece this B or C grade version of the same story
is shady and gritty, but still quite bad though. But the Naples streets footage with the Rolls-Royce was kinda cool.

The Story: Aldo (JD) works as a cigarette smuggler in the Naples harbour but when he and his partner skims off some
profit to themselves his boss Don Enrico have him worked over and thrown out of Naples. Aldo goes to Rome, after
hiking a ride with beautiful Luciana played by gorgeous redhead Stefania Casini. For me she's forever the unfortunate
Sara, the school-mate of Suzy Bannion, that American girl ..., in Dario Argento's Suspiria, and meeting her demise
trapped in wire and by the knife of (probably) Alida Valli's Ms. Tanner.
In the interview Joe tells us that Casini and he had an intense love affair in real life, "she left Bernardo Bertolucci for me".

In Rome Aldo put together his own gang of scumbags and then returns to Naples to take over the business of Don Enrico.
I suppose the director Squitieri meant the Aldo Gang's members to be cool or something but, maybe he was drunk when
shooting this part of the film, they appear as nothing but slime .... Aldo and the Turds Takes Naples !

widescreen 1.85:1 with Italian DTS-HD MA mono with english subtitles or an english mono dub.
Extras: Little Joe's Adventures in Europe: a 2017 interview with legendary Joe Dallesandro (29 minutes) and this was
GREAT, one of the best interviews with an ex-filmstar i've ever listened to. If Dallesandro is somewhat annoying in the
film he's very, VERY sympathetic here. He's a bit sour that the english dub does not feature his voice, plus a Booklet
and a DVD version of the film in region 2

 

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