La polizia chiede aiuto
The title might be a mouthful but Massimo Dallamano’s What Have They Done To Your Daughters? is an extremely efficient and energetic mixture of giallo and poliziottescho. By 1974 the giallo had seen its share of the domestic marketplace eroded and the poliziotteschi cycle, with its elements of conspiracy and vigilantism was finding favour with audiences. Dallamano was one of the first filmmakers to see the potential in combining elements of the two and had achieved a notable creative success with his earlier effort What Have You Done To Solange? (1972). Although Daughters recycles the thematic substance of the earlier film, this second attempt ups the quotient of action considerably and focuses its attentions on the police investigation. The films attitude to its law enforcers and detectives marks the first notable shift from the territory of the giallo. This is very much a celebration of dogged detective work, and the principal investigators are imbued with charm, charisma and intelligence. There are no ineffectual bunglers here. Instead the cops emerge as powerless as the public in the face of the mysterious authoritarians that prowl the corridors of power. Our sympathies lie with the police because they are an unusually frustrated bunch - good men and women trying to do the right thing for the public, but unable to mete out justice because the reins of power are held firm by those who abuse power and privilege.
© Shaun Anderson 2011