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Violent Naples (1976)

Napoli violenta (original title)
An uncompromising cop gets transferred to Naples on account of this city's atrocious crime levels. His no-hold-barred police methods are considered to be the perfect anti-dote.


Umberto Lenzi


Vincenzo Mannino (screenplay), Vincenzo Mannino (story)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurizio Merli ... Commissario Betti
John Saxon ... Francesco Capuano
Barry Sullivan ... 'O' Generale
Elio Zamuto Elio Zamuto ... Franco Casagrande
Maria Grazia Spina Maria Grazia Spina ... Gervasi's Wife
Silvano Tranquilli ... Paolo Gervasi
Attilio Duse Attilio Duse ... Antinori
Massimo Deda Massimo Deda ... Gennarino
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Superintendent
Pino Ferrara Pino Ferrara ... Don Peppino - Garage Owner
Carlos de Carvalho Carlos de Carvalho ... Albini
Enrico Maisto Enrico Maisto ... Poli, Commandante's Bodyguard
Tommaso Palladino Tommaso Palladino ... Head Racketeer
Carlo Gaddi Carlo Gaddi ... Brigadiere Silvestri
Gabriella Lepori ... Mugging Victim
Learn more

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An uncompromising cop gets transferred to Naples on account of this city's atrocious crime levels. His no-hold-barred police methods are considered to be the perfect anti-dote.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Thriller


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Did You Know?


Second part of police commissioner Betti's trilogy, also including Violent City (1975) and A Special Cop in Action (1976). See more »


Brigadiere Silvestri: You'll die in prison, you turd!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The video version released by Paragon Entertainment is shorn by a minute as many scenes are abbreviated to exclude most of the film's rampant profane language. See more »


Follows Violent City (1975) See more »


Man Before Your Time
Performed by Bulldog
See more »

User Reviews

Makes me want to beat your ears in!
21 June 2017 | by AylmerSee all my reviews

This film ought not to be good for several reasons.

For one, there's barely any character arc. These Italian crime movies follow an interesting pseudo-continuity from movie to movie. Side characters and villains die in one film but show up in another, sometimes played by other actors. Sometimes the same actors keep popping up but as different, though often similar characters. It's a kind of universe similar to the Toho Kaiju movies where the same actors would keep popping up as different people. Whether playing Inspector Tanzi, Betti, Berti, or Berni, Maurizio Merli is essentially the same character in all of these Eurocrime films probably owing most to his limited range. However he lights up every scene he's in with his undeniable intense charisma, making us happy he was typecast in an archetypal role that fit him so well.

Secondly, there's at least 4 different, very loosely connected plots to the film that the film skips in and out of with very little resolution other than some crook (or cop) getting jailed / killed. In what would make for a bewildering and chaotic viewing experience actually really works here in keeping up a breakneck and exciting pace from start to finish.

Merli takes to the scum-ridden underworld of 70's Naples like a duck to water, never taking any nonsense from anyone and performing a lot of impressive stunts without use of a double. This film brilliantly makes use of the crowded markets and cobblestone alleys in a way that no other Naples-centered Polizioteschi film (such as WEAPONS OF DEATH, which I also liked) manages. It's all brilliantly handled with surprising assuredness by Lenzi and Fabrizio De Angelis (in his first outing as a producer) to create a feeling of both classy filmmaking and rugged and violent exploitation simultaneously.

I haven't even mentioned the two American co-stars Saxon and Sullivan, here mainly for international marquee value but both giving memorable performances as a desperate crooked businessman and an untouchable crime boss respectively. Sullivan glides through the film in a part you'd usually expect to see Richard Conte in.

So what are the weaknesses? Well personally while I'm a huge fan of Franco Micalizzi's music, I find his main theme for this film to be a bit weaker than ROMA A MANO and CINICO scores this film is sandwiched between. I love the speed-bike chases but I think they run a little too long and with some goofy fast-forwarded footage that could have easily been cut around. Also on the English dub, a lot of the dialog comes off as quite awkward and poorly synced, but Michael Forest gives Merli's character the perfect voice intonations and emotion.

Honestly, if you're interested in Italian mob movies and want a place to start, this film is the perfect way to put your toe in the water. It fits in wonderfully with any of the other three Merli/Lenzi outings as the leaders of the genre in terms of pacing and fun.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

7 August 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Violent Naples See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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