Slap the Monster on Page One (1972)

So this is kind of cheating, because Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina is more a drama or crime movie than a giallo, but it has enough elements of the form to warrant being included in the company of black gloved killers.

Il Giornale is a newspaper that may remind you of some other media sources in 2021: it has a strictly conservative and fascist audience and seeks to discover the right wing way of looking at every issue, no matter how silly they are, while ignoring the real issues that people are dealing with every single day.

Then a young woman is assaulted and killed, so the bullpen goes all in screaming for the return of the death penalty and actually goes so far as to get involved in the investigation. They believe that an idealistic student protester is behind the sex crime, which their readership is only too happy to get behind.

Gian Maria Volonté plays the editor who gets the fires burning. He always ends up in the more mindful and socially conscious giallo that don’t really fit the standard ideas of what makes one of these films, like Investigation of a Citizen Above SuspicionTodo Modo and, well, this one. Plus Laura Betti (A Bay of BloodHatchet for the Honeymoon) and John Steiner are in this if you’re looking for familiar faces. Plus there’s an Ennio Morricone soundtrack.

Sergio Donati, who wrote the script, was the original director but he and Volonté had artistic differences. He also wrote The Weekend MurdersThe Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers, the original Man on Fire and Almost Blue. And oh yeah — Raw Deal!

Life imitates art: two years later, a real right-wing newspaper named Il Giornale started up.

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