HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Climber, The Joe On The Go
Year: 1975
Director: Pasquale Squitieri
Stars: Joe Dallesandro, Stefania Casini, Benito Artesi, Ferdinando Murolo, Raymond Pellegrin, Tony Askin, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Marcello Filocito, Giuseppe Leone, Enrico Maisto, Edmondo Mascia, Lorenzo Piani, Pietro Torrisi, Franco Marino
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aldo (Joe Dallesandro) was a nobody when he moved into Italy from time spent getting nowhere in the United States, but he had ambition to be a somebody all right. He regarded the lavish lifestyle of the crime bosses with envy, and made up his mind to be their equal or even their better, but having no contacts he was forced to start small, deciding to turn a personal profit by marking up the price on the goods the gangsters were supplying to the locals in Naples and pocketing the difference. That did not last long as the criminals quickly got wise to what he was up to, and he received a serious beating as a result, but there was nothing for him to do, it was either make his name in the underworld or die...

The Climber saw former Andy Warhol Factory celebrity Dallesandro trying to establish himself too, but as a bona fide movie star and the Italians were happy to have him for a few years of mostly low budget thrillers and crime dramas where he could behave as badly as he liked on the silver screen and get paid for it. This was one of the early efforts in that vein for him, after moving across the Atlantic to make the trash horror double whammy of Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula with Warhol's highest profile director Paul Morrissey; they mutually lost interest in one another freeing Joe to pursue his career as a leading man. He may have been short, but he did have the looks and charisma to succeed.

Whether he really did is debatable, certainly he remains a cult star to this day but he was never going to be a major box office attraction in the big leagues, no matter that he headlined movies such as this one. Here he was not called upon to convey much in the way of a searing performance, as with most of his European escapades he was more or less present for the audience to project what they wanted his character to portray onto him, which in this instance was a gangster on the up who despite not having the most promising beginnings manages to get pretty far up the ladder of illegal profits and influence before his inevitable downfall, though writer and director Pasquale Squitieri was so enamoured of the climbing element that he left the drop to the last five minutes.

Before that, we had yet another Italian crime drama where we were invited to wallow in the ways of the lawbreakers, Dallesandro ideal antihero material as he was amusing to watch scrabbling his way to, if not respectability, never mind respect, then a position of power that he was not going to relinquish without a fight. For the first half hour he finds that a real slog as he keeps getting injured by those he seeks to usurp, but while many of this nation's seventies efforts looked to Hollywood thrillers to emulate, this had minimal police input into the narrative, so much so that Naples came across as a place where crime had effectively taken over with nothing to stop it. The blockbuster that Squitieri was patently following was Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, only not at quite such a length.

Mind you, the rise and fall of a gang boss was not a yarn exclusive to Coppola's classic, he in turn had been influenced by the classic Hollywood gangster movies of the thirties, only he lent them an epic sheen to make them more acceptable with the tastemakers, while remembering to include the sex and violence that would appeal across the board to the average moviegoer as well. This was what you had here with The Climber, or L'ambizioso as it was originally called, except as with many of the Italian works there was little try at being respectable - they knew their audience. What was maybe more notable was that the leading lady, Stefania Casini, had more to do in this context than a lot of her contemporary actresses. Sure, she took her clothes off a little and looked decorative, but she was able to give a proper performance as the character had a genuine arc that tragically mirrored Aldo's once she hooked up with him by chance. They played well against each other, though not quite distinguished enough to lift this very much above the routine. Not a bad try, though. Music (a shade repetitive) by Franco Campanino.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2513 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: