Saturday, April 03, 2010

Forgotten Films - Every Man is My Enemy - 1967

Qualcuno Ha Tradito, the memorable but little known 1967 Italian crime drama directed by Frank Shannon (Franco Prosperi) and released to English speaking audiences as Every Man Is My Enemy stars Robert Webber, Elsa Martinelli and Jean Servais. Webber plays Tony Costa a professional criminal who holds honor above all else. As the film begins Tony witnesses his partner being gunned down by the police as they try to capture him. He risks jail and his own life to make sure that the man who informed on his friend is paid back in full, that is the code that Tony lives by.Afterwards he leaves for Marseilles to meet up with old friend Jean (Servais) who wants him to take part in a high dollar diamond robbery he is planning. As he arrives tensions are already high as everyone prepares for the job. But further complicating the situation is the fact the mastermind of the criminal plan (Ennio Balbo) is a heroin addict and that a fellow team member, Coco Hermann (Franco Giornelli), is also secretly having a affair with Jean's wife (Marina Berti). As they make their preparations waiting for the big day Tony finds a new lady friend in Laureen (Elsa Martinelli), she knows nothing of his criminal life. At about the same time Tony runs into an old friend from the war. Gabriel (Pierre Zimmer) saved his life and Tony still holds him in high regard. Even though it has been many years since they saw one another he still admires him.The night of the robbery finally arrives and it doesn't take long before things begin falling apart. The police unexpectedly show up before the gang can break the safe and everyone must flee. During the ensuing gun battle the group all split up except for Tony who stays with Jean because he was wounded. Tony knows without help his friend will otherwise be captured. It is obvious that the police have an informant among them, Tony is sure that it was Coco that alerted the police and caused his friend to get shot. Tony must find his girl and get out of town fast, but before he does he will make sure that he finds the one that betrayed them, no matter what.If you like crime dramas this is a movie you must see. Robert Webber does quite a job in the lead part. Webber adds a coolness to the character of Tony Costa and really makes him believable as a dangerous criminal with his own code of honor. The supporting parts are also well done, especially Elsa Martinelli and Jean Servais who are always great to watch. A good portion of the film concerns itself with the planning of the crime while it's not until the last quarter of the movie that the consequences are shown. The resulting tension, continually escalating, leads us to a conclusion that the audience knows will not end well for anyone involved, even if the characters never see it coming. If there is any real flaw it would be the 1960s Jazz soundtrack which now seems somewhat dated and can be annoying at times. While not perfect, Every Man Is My Enemy is a worthy addition to any collection of crime films.

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