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Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man (1976)

Updated on December 29, 2016

Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man
Ruggero Deodato

Brought to us in stunning HD for the first time in the UK, courtesy of 88 Films, part of their Italian Collection. This film really is a great addition to their library, and they have done an amazing job with the transfer, and what it lacks in extras it more than makes up for in quality, the picture and sound are outstanding.

This is a must have for any collector or fan of Italian cinema, as it is presented beautifully.

'Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man' (1976) is a poliziotteschi (Italo-crime) genre film directed by the cult favourite Rugero Deodato.
Rugero Deodato needs no introduction, yet i will indulge, the man's work is always interesting and exciting even at its lowest, with such entries in his extensive filmography as 'Waves of Lust' (1975), 'The House on the Edge of the Park' (1980) and the legendarily infamous 'Cannibal Holocaust' (1980).
Rugero Deodato has his own style and it does show through in most of his films, even when dealing with poor material he somehow manages to make something interesting, just look at 'The Washing Machine' (1993).

Now the blurb on the box describes this as "His most potent pot-boiler," I do not know if that is the case or not, however, it is clear that Deodato is on top form with this film, 'Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man' is one of the man's seminal achievements within his film career.
It is clear from the opening scene that this was not just a job, which he took on to make some easy money, NO, Deodato is experimenting with action, dabbling in realistic social comedy and exploring graphic violence.
Deodato is treading the waters of mainstream film and testing its boundaries, exploring its limits, venturing out into blockbuster territory.
And adding to all of this Deodato may have just created the prototype for the R-rated Buddy-Cop genre, that became popular in American cinema during the 80s.


Special squad police detectives Fred and Tony like to deliver justice their own way and live life dangerously.
After a colleague is killed by the local mob they are tasked with taking down a mob boss kingpin.

Ok, this is a 70's movie but it feels much more like a modern day Hollywood film, the formula is exactly the same as modern buddy-cop films, mixing comedy and action to near perfection.
However, this is a 70's film… The action is still good the comedy not so much, thankfully never reaching into camp comedy territory, the comedy at times seems a little chauvinistic.
But with only minor cringe-worthy gags, the film prevails in giving one of the best on screen bromance's ever depicted, even rivalling that of 'Lethal Weapon' (1987), 'Tango and Cash' (1989) or even more contemporary team-ups like 'Let's Be Cops' (2014).

The action is superb with the film opening in one of the best chase sequences in a film ever, as the protagonists dog two perps on a motorcycle around the streets of Roam.
The gunplay is fast and thrilling with plenty of gore, juxtaposing the light-hearted comedy, as the hero's give quirky one-liners after each kill, this works sometimes but others it feels morbid and tasteless.

The ending was a slight letdown, but this does not hamper the film in the slightest, overall 'Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man' is an underrated classic and much more fun than one can predict from the poster art.
It is obvious that Deodato was experimenting with genre and style, and it is a utter shame he never followed up with another buddy-cop film, as he seems to have a natural flair for this sort of material.

Overall 'Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man' is a fun exciting and underrated slice of exploitation genius, I give 'Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man' a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
It’s a little rough around the edges, but the action is great and the bromance is just adorable an utter treat for viewers.

4 stars for Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man


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