High Crime

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For the legal term, see high crimes and misdemeanours.
High Crime
High Crime.jpg
German-language poster for High Crime.
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Produced by Maurizio Amati
Written by Maurizio Amati
Tito Carpi
Enzo G. Castellari
Gianfranco Clerici
Vincenzo Mannino
Leonardo Martín
Starring Franco Nero
James Whitmore
Delia Boccardo
Fernando Rey
Music by Guido De Angelis
Maurizio De Angelis
Cinematography Alejandro Ulloa
Edited by Vincenzo Tomassi
Release dates
  • 1973 (1973)
Running time
100 min.
Country Italy
Language Italian

High Crime (Italian: La polizia incrimina la legge assolve), also known by its UK video title The Marseilles Connection, is a 1973 poliziottesco film directed by Enzo G. Castellari. The film stars Franco Nero, James Whitmore, Delia Boccardo and Fernando Rey.

High Crime was a big success at the time of its release, and helped popularize the Italian cop thriller genre.[1] The film was Castellari's first poliziottesco film, and it was followed by films such as Street Law (Il cittadino si ribella, 1974), The Big Racket (Il grande racket, 1976) and The Heroin Busters (La via della droga, 1977).


A Lebanese drug dealer arrives in Genoa and Vice-Commissioner Belli (Nero) soon tracks him down. After a long car chase, Belli manages to arrest him. However, when the prisoner is being taken to the police station, the police car is bombed before it reaches its target. The Lebanese and four policemen die in the hit, but Belli survives. Belli then goes to Cafiero (Rey), an old-fashioned gangster who claims to have transformed into a peaceful gardener, to question about the bombing and it turns out that there is a new player in town. Cafiero decides to take care of the new gang before the police get to them. His task turns out to be more difficult when his trusted man, Rico (Daniel Martín), turns out to be a mole working for the unknown new gangsters.

Belli's boss, Commissioner Aldo Scavino (Whitmore), has put together a dossier on the city's mafia connections, but thinks that there is not enough hard evidence to take down all the gangsters from top to down. After several discussions with Belli, he finally agrees to take the dossier to the district attorney. However, he is murdered and the dossier is stolen. Belli now takes over Scavino's seat as the Commissioner and eventually finds the murderer. The murderer names Umberto Griva (Duilio Del Prete) as his boss, as Belli expected. When Griva's brother Franco (Silvano Tranquilli) is found murdered, it seems that someone with even higher political connections is trying to take over the city's drug trafficking.

Belli then starts from square one and, after a warning from Cafiero, decides to send his daughter away to a safer place. However, his daughter is soon murdered and his girlfriend Mirella (Boccardo) beat up. With a helpful hint from Cafiero, Belli finds out about a large drug smuggling operation. As Belli arrives on the scene, a shootout ensues, and Belli survives while all the criminals are killed.


  1. ^ "High Crime". Teleport City. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 

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