REVIEW: Flatfoot (1973) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Flatfoot (1973)


‘You hit me harder than Muhammed Ali!’

Bud Spencer stars as tough Inspector ‘Flatfoot’ Ritso in this action packed Italian detective film.  In the movie, Flatfoot has to tackle a hostile police commissioner, violent drug pushers and endemic corruption using only his fists and street smarts.

The movie opens with an African American sailor on top of a tall building, shooting haphazardly into the crowded street below, while screaming obscenities, death threats and racial taunts.  Just before a sharpshooter is about to fire at the raving sailor, a tall burly bearded man comes into view, and tells the other officer, he’ll handle the situation.

As Flatfoot walks to the building where the sailor is located, the opening credits roll.  Flatfoot is clad in a dark navy blazer with a splayed out light blue shirt underneath, exposing his hairy chest.  He also has a cigarette hanging from his mouth.  After the sailor runs out of bullets, Flatfoot rushes the man and knocks him down.  Flatfoot starts hitting him with some hard left hooks.  Despite his large size, Flatfoot is quite agile and athletic, ducking punches and blocking blows.   He eventually knocks some sense into the sailor, who snaps out of his drug induced insanity and allows himself to be brought in by Flatfoot with no resistance.

Flatfoot, by his own admission, does not fill out paperwork, he is an unorthodox lawman who hates using guns and prefers punching lawbreakers out instead.  He works in Naples, where it’s easier to bend the law than follow it.

The movie initially features his daily routine of beating up crooks, listening to informants and eating copious amounts of pasta.  Eventually, Flatfoot discovers that Naples is being flooded with heroin by criminals from Marseilles.

After being suspended by the police commissioner for beating up a suspect, Flatfoot teams up with local hoods.  Flatfoot works with the Naples underworld to beat up and drive out the drug peddlers.  He evens smashes up their distribution and manufacturing operations.  The drug lords in reaction, try to frame Flatfoot with murder, but he comes out on top with the help of some navy friends and a large frozen fish he swings around and uses as a melee weapon.

Flatfoot at times is a fun, action-filled picture, containing many brawling fights reminiscent of the style of wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes.  However, the film suffers from pacing and narrative issues, regardless, Bud Spencer carries the film and is an immensely likeable actor and a great hero to root for.

John Matrix


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