Highway Racer (originally titled Poliziotto sprint) is a 1977 Italian poliziottesco film directed by Stelvio Massi. It was the first collaboration between Massi and Maurizio Merli, who worked together in six titles between 1977 and 1980.
|Directed by||Stelvio Massi|
|Produced by||Giovanni Di Clemente|
|Screenplay by||Gino Capone|
|Story by||Gino Capone|
|Music by||Stelvio Cipriani|
|Edited by||Mauro Bonanni|
|Box office||₤1.308 billion|
The plot of the film was partly inspired by the career of Armando Spatafora, an Italian "flying squad" police officer whose patrol car was a Ferrari 250 GTE. Many car chases in the film, such as bank robbers in a Citroen DS as well as cars rolling down the Spanish steps, mirror famous police chases in Rome during the 1960s.
Highway Racer was the first of six films starring Maurizio Merli that director Stelvio Massi directed between 1977 and 1980. When he was shooting his third film in the Mark the Cop series, Merli met Massi who was busy shooting Special Cop in Action for Marino Girolami. Highway Racer was shot on location in Rome.
Highway Racer was released in Italy on August 10, 1977 where it was distributed by Titanus. The film premiered at the Brancaccio cinema in Rome. It grossed a total of 1.308 billion Italian lira in Italy, which lead to Roberto Curti described as film being a "box office hit" in Italy.
From contemporary reviews, Italian critics were generally gave the film better reviews than the usual Italian crime films, with one critic describing it as "more amiable and astute than other films of its ilk, because it's more spectacular in its 'police and thieves on four wheels' game."
- Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765.