Intermezzo Media Records have recently released the ‘colonna sonora originale’ (that the original soundtrack to you and me) from Sergio Sollima’s 1970 crime flick ‘Violent City’ (GDM4218).
The score is one of Ennio Morricone’s finest albums and this expanded edition, with 21 tracks, is limited to 500 units. Previously tracks from this film appeared on a very good RCA ‘Cinematre’ album that paired the soundtrack with another classic continental crime film, ‘The Sicilian Clan’ (1969). This original release only included seven tracks from ‘Violent City’: Citta violenta (titoli), Rito finale, Momento estremo, Con estremo dolcezza, Norme con ironie, Sospensione sovrapposta and Riassunto. All these are included in this new release (as tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 17, 21), but there are 14 new tracks too, taking the total running time to over 60 minutes of the Maestro’s music. The orchestrations are excellent, from the pulsating, scything theme tune (and its many reworkings) to the oppressive moods of the incidental cues, from groovy nightclub psychedelics to delicate love themes. The CD is accompanied by a collector’s booklet featuring liner notes, a selection of great colour stills from the movie and original CD and poster artwork.
Click here to order ‘Violent City’ (billed as ‘City of Violence’) from Italian film soundtrack specialist Hillside CD Productions:
After Sollima’s spaghetti westerns with Tomas Milian – ‘The Big Gundown’, ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Run Man Run’ – ‘Violent City’ is the director’s most famous work. Also known in the wake of ‘The Godfather’ as ‘The Family’, it’s a tale of betrayal and revenge. Professional hitman Jeff Heston (Bronson) finds himself duped into knocking off key members of crime syndicate The Organisation by crooked attorney Steve (Umberto Orsini) and Jeff’s one-time girlfriend Vanessa Sheldon (Bronson’s wife, Jill Ireland). Violent City sees Bronson at the peak of his Euro-stardom. It was conceived with the working title Final Shot and was to have starred Tony Musante and Florinda Bolkan in the leads. Sollima shot the movie’s interiors at Cinecittà and exteriors in the US Virgin Islands, in New Orleans and at the Michigan International Speedway track at Irish Hills, for a memorable scene when Jeff makes one of his assassinations appear to be a tyre blow-out.
The film opens with a great car chase, staged by stunt driver Remy Julienne, from The Italian Job (1969) and the James Bond films.
The first version of this film I saw (on video) was considerably cut – as was all Sollima’s work for international release – to 92 minutes. The full uncut version of the film at 109 minutes is now available in various editions:
‘Violent City’ and Sollima’s other great crime thriller ‘Revolver’ (starring Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi) are discussed in detail in my book ‘Cinema Italiano: the Complete Guide from Classics to Cult’. This volume has received another positive review, this time from Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post, who hopes I write companion editions on French and German cinema: