The Italian Connection

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The Italian Connection
Directed by Fernando di Leo
Produced by Armando Novelli[1]
Screenplay by
Story by Fernando di Leo[1]
Music by Armando Trovajoli[1]
Cinematography Franco Villa[1]
Edited by Amedeo Giomini[1]
  • Cineproduzioni Daunia 70
  • Hermes Synchron[1]
Distributed by Alpherat
Release date
  • 2 September 1972 (1972-09-02) (Italy)
  • 1 December 1972 (1972-12-01) (West Germany)
Running time
100 minutes[2]
  • Italy
  • West Germany[1]
Box office ₤852.404 million

The Italian Connection (Italian: La mala ordina, lit. "The mob orders"), also known as Manhunt in the City or Manhunt in Milan or Manhunt, is a 1972 poliziotteschi film directed by Fernando Di Leo.


Small-time pimp Luca Canali (Mario Adorf) is hunted by both local mobsters and two killers (Henry Silva and Woody Strode) sent by the New York mafia after a shipment of heroin fails to arrive. But it becomes apparent he is not as soft as he appears as a deadly cat-and-mouse game is played out on the streets of Milan, the film contains a dramatic chase scene where Canali pursues an assassin both on car and on foot.

The two American hitmen have contrasting personalities. Dave (Silva) is something of a playboy and loudmouth, while Frank (Strode) is quiet and professional, the concept of two hitmen teamed up, one black and one white, appears to have been a likely inspiration for the characters played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.[3]



Di Leo's original title for The Italian Connection was Ordini da un altro mondo (Orders form Another World).[4] It was filmed at Dear Studios in Rome and on location in Milan.[1]


The Italian Connection was released theatrically in Italy on 2 September 1972 where it was distributed by Alpherat.[1] The film grossed 852.404 million Italian lira on its theatrical run in Italy.[1] It was released in West Germany on 1 December 1972 under the title Der Mafiaboss - Sie töten wie Schakale.[1] The film received a release in the United States as The Italian Connection in 1973 with a 87 minute running time,[1] the film has since been released under the titles Hired to Kill, Black Kingpin, Hitmen, and Hit Men on American home video releases.[1]

The film was released by Raro on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States.[1]




  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765. 

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