Here we have another Italian Crime film, though this one is extra special, for a few reasons. High Crime was one of the first Italian Crime films and its success was a huge catalyst for the many films that followed in the genre. Also it had the first pairing of director Enzo G. Castellari and Italian sensation Franco Nero, who ended up making six films together. Lastly, is Franco Nero himself, whose look in this film is that of perfection for the genre. His thick accent, over the top (in a good way) performance and stunning good looks. Hey, I am not too insecure to admit when a member of the same sex is a ladykiller. Nero just exudes a certain type of charisma and machismo here that is unrivaled.
Nero plays Vice Commisioner Belli who barely escapes the car bombing of a drug smuggler he has just captured. He goes to Cafiero (Fernando Rey), an ex crime boss, to see if he knows who may have been to blame for the murder. Meanwhile, as more trouble arises, Belli convinces Commissioner Scavino (James Whitmore) to turn over a file they have collected on the mafia but is killed and Belli takes his place. With this new found responsibility, Cafiero warns Belli that he and his family are in great danger.
High Crime, or The Marseilles Connection as is displayed on the screen in the opening credits, is a real treat. It is a very well thought out, exciting political caper that has a lot more to it than many of the later polizioteschi films. The first time I watched this I was very confused and a little bored but the second time I really enjoyed it. This is probably one of Nero's best roles and the supporting cast was great as well. There is a car chase in this film that is one of the best I've ever seen too. Though the story can get confusing at times, it is well developed and intelligent. If only this one (like many of Umberto Lenzi's eurocrime films) would get a good release, we'd be all set.