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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to make a political thriller.
How to Kill a Judge deftly captures the creeping paranoia and corruption that afflicted all areas of political life in 1970s Sicily (and, of course, still does). The set up is a definite plus for cineastes: the charismatic Nero is the director whose 'fictionalised' account of a corrupt Judge's life causes a storm of controversy. Worse still, the ending, which predicts...
Published on 4 April 2010 by J. Hobbs

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Franco Nero movie
I love Franco Nero, to me he is one of the best european actors of all time and has starred in a number of good movies from the cult italian spaghetti western of "Django" and crime drama "Street Law" to more mainstream Hollywood fare like "Die Hard 2" I generally love a lot of italian movies and if Nero is in them so much the better but "How to kill a judge", in my...
Published on 18 Oct. 2011 by Mr. Russell C. Witheyman


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Franco Nero movie, 18 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: How to Kill a Judge [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I love Franco Nero, to me he is one of the best european actors of all time and has starred in a number of good movies from the cult italian spaghetti western of "Django" and crime drama "Street Law" to more mainstream Hollywood fare like "Die Hard 2" I generally love a lot of italian movies and if Nero is in them so much the better but "How to kill a judge", in my opinion, isn't a particularly good movie and certainly not one of Nero's best.

It's an average crime thriller in this genre, Nero's character is a film director who's latest work implies a top italian judge is in the pocket of the mafia, when said judge is murdered, Nero's character takes it upon himself to find out who the culprit is, potentially upsetting a fragile media and public who begin to turn against him during a revealing investigation.

It all sounds very interesting but somehow it isn't, the pacing is so slow the movie is almost in a coma by the end!, dialogue isn't in the least bit engaging, performances are average at best and by half way through the culprit blatantly obvious a mile off!

As for the dvd, the picture quality as per usual) by Blue Underground is very good and the sound come's in both italian and English dub - Nero dubs his own voice on the english language track, strangely, unlike other italian films he starred in (Street law, Hitch hike etc") he does not speak english on the italian track, presumably meaning this movie was made strictly for the italian market only? a lot of italian films were made with no sync sound whilst filming, with dubbing into various language's for the international market with particular attention and care paid to the english dub) Also the english dub is strangely incomplete, for about 30% of the film it reverts back to the italian track with english subtitles? Quite why i can't fathom? Maybe this is a longer cut for which no english dubbing took place.

I would only recommend this for Nero completists. There are far better italian crime thrillers out there.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to make a political thriller., 4 April 2010
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J. Hobbs (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Kill a Judge [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
How to Kill a Judge deftly captures the creeping paranoia and corruption that afflicted all areas of political life in 1970s Sicily (and, of course, still does). The set up is a definite plus for cineastes: the charismatic Nero is the director whose 'fictionalised' account of a corrupt Judge's life causes a storm of controversy. Worse still, the ending, which predicts his murder, comes true. As life immitates art, a guilt-ridden Nero investigates...
Given director Damiani's left wing leanings (his rabble-rousing Spaghetti western classic, A Bullet for the General, is a must see, by the way...), this engrosses because it treats the characters as real flesh and blood human beings, whatever their 'position' in the system. The crooked judge, for instance, is charming and witty, and obviouly tired of the corrupt system he has to operate in. Further kudos go to Damiani for subverting the usual mafia black suit and shades cliches (Nero's mafia contact is jovial and likeable yet obviously capable of violence). While the press, whom we'd assume Damiani would have the most sympathy with, turn on Nero when his unravelling of the truth runs counter to their political interests.
Very talky (but remember, it's good talk), even given the more languid pacing of 70s thrillers, this nonetheless delivers brief burst of violence that are shocking and believably squalid (it reminded me of the great Gomorrah in this respect). And the whodunnit aspect of the tale (you'll guess the killer, but it doesn't matter) gives How to Kill A Judge a powerful ironic kick that lingers long in the memory.
Blue Undergound are the premier label in this field and the transfer is excellent, with vivid colours well to the fore. My only minor beef relates to the subtitling: the occasional grammatical error is distracting (a dubbed version is available, if your head hurts from all that reading...). Interviews with Damiani and Nero are included, and their both on eloquent form. If, like me, you've practically exhausted the giallo and spaghetti western DVD back catalogue, this is well worth your hard-earned shekels if you're in the market for something different, especially as its going dirt cheap online from all good import retailers!
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