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Il Poliziotto della Brigata Criminale
  • Composed by Ennio Morricone
  • GDM Music / 2013 / 75m

Il Poliziotto della Brigata Criminale is a 1975 crime thriller starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, directed by Henri Verneuil.  It was one of several of the director’s films scored by Ennio Morricone, and of course one of many films in this genre tackled by the composer over his long, prolific career.  The score’s highlight is certainly its stylish, unusual main theme, with a surprisingly chilled-out melody (whistled!) contrasting with more typical thriller stings and pulses underneath.  The main action theme is first heard in “Avvertire la polizia”, bass guitar and percussion used to add a kind of heartbeat to the music – a device the composer has used frequently, and it’s always highly effective at creating a tense atmosphere while adding a human link.  Later, in “Azione paranoica”, the composer adds wild jazz trumpet to the piece, which is particularly impressive.

As well as some considerably more difficult suspense music (which will test a few listeners’ endurance), the album also offers some highly pleasant lounge-style source music.  “Dolcemente ambigua” is the first of these, a really lovely, relaxing piece which works surprisingly well alongside the challenging suspense material.  “Minaccia telefonata” is an even more delightful piece, full of Gallic charm reflecting the Parisian locale.  Some sensual, unmistakably Morriconean female vocals are heard for the first time in the catchy “Sospiri da una radio lontana”.  This is a solid thriller score with several really fine moments.  To be honest, I’m not sure the 2013 expanded release from GDM – which more than doubles the length of the old album – really adds a great deal beyond slight variations on what was already there.  The exceptions to that are the wonderful “Notturno primo” and “Notturno secondo” late on the album, where the seemingly conflicting action and lounge styles of the score are combined to impressive effect.  Those pieces do make the album a recommended one for fans of the score, but I think some serious chopping is needed to get the finest playlist from this material.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. ItaloScores (Reply) on Tuesday 6 December, 2016 at 10:35

    An unsurprising crime thriller score by Maestro Morricone that includes enough of his trademark sounds to keep the listener interested:

  2. Nifoccer (Reply) on Saturday 27 October, 2018 at 16:41

    It’s a French movie so I prefer “Peur Sur La Ville”… I heard the score for the first time when I saw the movie in the cinema. All I remember is the city by night gliding by and the smoothly pulsing openings theme gliding along. This was shortly after I had discovered Morricone like a blast, the I Film Della Violenza double elpee compilation was an unbelievable cornucopia of film themes in many style variations. Although by now all tracks have appeared on CD and most in a full soundtrack ambiance, the double LP is still THE Morricone compilation for me (I would like to see a digitized release, though, there’s not much vinyl left on the longplays) This aside; the Peur theme isn’t on it..

    Peur Sur La Ville is one of the last scores from his Golden Era, and at the time the maintheme with Alessandroni’s whistle over an urban heart beat rhythm blew me away. It still does.
    I do not altogether agree with this review, the theme repetitions never get boring! (and I learned to appreciate EM’s atonal pieces). Although I can say that with the fragmented suite at the end, the album finally begins to wear out a bit. Yet the variations with Alessandroni are interesting because they seem discarded cues, try outs perhaps even. He whistles false!

    The CD version is certainly much more rewarding than the vinyl original. Who listens to vinyl soundtracks these days anyway. Half of the takes for the film, if not more, is absent. Thank the gods for bonus tracks.
    Peur Sur La Ville is not a clone of earlier Morricone thrillers, has quite a few enjoyable b-themes and musically unrelated tracks and is absolutely worth the buy. Don’t fall for the vintage vinyl release!