- 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.