I Saw A Film!

Also sometimes titled Wake Up and Die which is apparently not quite the direct meaning of “Svegliati e Uccidi”, is your basic sensationalized Italian crime film which just shamelessly portrays criminal personalities as driven protagonists not unlike some of our favorite Hollywood baddies ranging from Dillinger to Scarface and beyond. The Italian version, though, cares much less about the redeeming qualities of our personalities than it does in simply portraying the action. Someone mentioned that it took its cues from the French New Wave (Breathless, with Belmondo) and then obviously settled happily into both the outrage and joy of basic criminal fantasy. In this case, portraying a well known smash and grab jewelry thief called “the machinegun soloist” for his carrying of an automatic weapon in a violin case. In the sixties Lutring was responsible for hundreds of robberies, the majority of them being little more than show window smashing and grabbing of jewelry and then running from authorities.

This film mainly portrays a kind of romanticized version of his life, as a youth witnessing with glee the shooting and burning of an automobile, just to let you know he grew up in rough circumstances, and then falling for a bimbo lounge singer, we follow along from one incident to the next basically waiting for the hammer to fall.

In Danger: Diabolik we have the criminal hero/terrorist Diabolik who, in the terrific Bava film is basically a selfish Batman character fighting only for his own interests. I’m sure primarily appealing to young people’s fantastic desires in a world where servitude and the dull ache of poverty, fuel a rage extending beyond our common thick of troubles. In the Great Texas Dynamite Chase it’s a small clan of women who take lawlessness as their last but most productive resort, but it looses something in stylishness as it leans on the country / western atmosphere of American redneck southernism. Also the ladies are pressed by a common overbearing sexist attitude from the men in the film so you sympathize more easily. I imagine Europe has its rednecks as well, but I’d be hard pressed to recognize them. What’s the Italian equivalent of Bubba and ladies in cut-off denim shorts?

This is running Free on Prime in USA and is unfortunately not particularly compelling as it’s mainly just a series of smashed windows and upset girlfriends!

2 thoughts on “Wake Up and Kill (1966)

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