Frankie Dio (Lee VanCleef) is a high-ranking mobster who turns himself in to the police or illegal gambling (for reasons that seem unclear to me). Tony (Tony Lo Bianco) is a low-level thug who frequents a pool hall and...展开spends his free time envying Frankie. By being in the right place at the right time, Tony gets arrested with Frankie and is sent to jail... where they form a bond that may not quite be friendship, but it will do for now.
This film came to me under the title of "Frank and Tony", which is disappointing because I see an alternate name is "Mean Frank and Crazy Tony", which would have helped sell the film more effectively. I presume that's an homage to "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" but what do I know? I watched it shortly after another Italian crime film, "Violent Professionals", and I must say the two complement each other very well.
Italians have always lagged behind Americans in their budgets and production values, which is a real shame with this film. It is considered a "grindhouse" film, which unfairly demotes it to a b-movie (or worse). With a cleaner sound and picture, this could have been a Hollywood hit, I suspect. I found the story very interesting, the characters (and actors) better than average and unlike "Violent Professionals" the plot is fairly clear -- not too many secondary characters.