The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist

The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist (Italian: Il cinico, l'infame, il violento, lit. 'The Cynic, the Infamous, the Violent') is an Italian poliziotteschi film directed in 1977 by Umberto Lenzi. The film was described by Italian film critic and historian Roberto Curti as "a sequel of sorts"Lenzi's 1976 The Tough Ones, with Maurizio Merli reprising the role of Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi.[1][2]

The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist
Directed byUmberto Lenzi
Produced byLuciano Martino[1]
Screenplay by
Story bySauro Scavolini[1]
Music byFranco Micalizzi[1]
CinematographyFederico Zani[1]
Edited byEugenio Alabiso[1]
  • Dania Film
  • Medusa Distribuzione[1]
Distributed byMedusa
Release date
  • 3 February 1977 (1977-02-03) (Italy)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
Box office₤1.818 billion

The title of the movie inspired the book Cinici infami e violenti (2005), written by Daniele Magni and Silvio Giobbio, a book guide about "Poliziotteschi".[3]


Luigi Maietto aka "Chinaman" escapes from prison. As soon as he is free he assigns immediately two henchman to murder the inspector whose testimonial once led to his prison sentence. Inspector Tanzi is left for dead but survives. The local newspapers cover up for him and pretend the assassination had succeeded. When Tanzi gets better, his superior wants him to hide in Switzerland. But Tanzi defies him because he intends to make sure himself that Maietto is put back in prison. He goes for it.



Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi later spoke negatively on his work on the film "the story wasn't mine, and I just did supervising work on the finished script. Actually, I didn't even like the movie."[4] The film was shot at Elios film and on location in Rome.[1]


The Cynic, the Rat, and the Fist was distributed theatrically in Italy by Medusa on February 3, 1977.[1] It grossed a total of 1,818,523,920 Italian lira on its domestic release in Italy, an amount Curti described as "very successful at the box office."[1][4]


  1. Curti 2013, p. 211.
  2. Bondanella 2009, p. 466.
  3. "ANCORA... PIù CINICI, INFAMI E VIOLENTI". Nocturno. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  4. Curti 2013, p. 212.


  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765.
  • Bondanella, Peter E. (2009). A History of Italian Cinema. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4411-6069-8.
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