The Italian Connection

The Italian Connection (Italian: La mala ordina, lit. "The bad orders"), also known as Manhunt in the City or Manhunt in Milan or Manhunt, is a 1972 polizieschi film directed by Fernando Di Leo.

The Italian Connection
Directed byFernando di Leo
Produced byArmando Novelli[1]
Screenplay by
  • Fernando di Leo
  • Augusto Finocchi
  • Ingo Hermes[1]
Story byFernando di Leo[1]
Based on"Milan by Calibro 9"
by Giorgio Scerbanenco
Music byArmando Trovajoli[1]
CinematographyFranco Villa[1]
Edited byAmedeo Giomini[1]
  • Cineproduzioni Daunia 70
  • Hermes Synchron[1]
Distributed byAlpherat
Release date
  • 2 September 1972 (1972-09-02) (Italy)
  • 1 December 1972 (1972-12-01) (West Germany)
Running time
100 minutes[3]
  • Italy
  • West Germany[1]
Box office₤852.404 million


Small-time Milanese pimp Luca Canali (Mario Adorf) is hunted by both local mobsters and New York mafia killers (Henry Silva and Woody Strode) after a heroin shipment fails to arrive. It becomes apparent he is not as soft as he appears and a deadly cat-and-mouse game is played out.

The American hitmen have contrasting personalities: Dave (Silva) is a playboy and loudmouth while Frank (Strode) is quiet and professional. The concept of a team comprising a black and white hitman, may have inspired the characters played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.[4]



Di Leo's original title for The Italian Connection was Ordini da un altro mondo (Orders form Another World).[2] The film's premise is taken from the short story "Milan by Calibro 9" by Giorgio Scerbanenco, which had appeared in the book Milano calibro 9, the inspiration for di Leo's earlier film of the same name; unlike the previous film, Scerbanenco did not receive an onscreen credit.[2] It was filmed at Dear Studios in Rome and on location in Milan.[1]


The Italian Connection was released theatrically in Italy on 2 September 1972 where it was distributed by Alpherat.[1] The film grossed 852.404 million Italian lira on its theatrical run in Italy.[1] It was released in West Germany on 1 December 1972 under the title Der Mafiaboss - Sie töten wie Schakale.[1] The film received a release in the United States as The Italian Connection in 1973 with an 87-minute running time.[1] The film has since been released under the titles Hired to Kill, Black Kingpin, Hitmen, and Hit Men on American home video releases.[1]

The film was released by Raro on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States.[1]




  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765.

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