Watch San Babila-8 P.M.
- 1 hr 38 min
San Babila-8 P.M. is a 1976 Italian crime drama film directed by Carlo Lizzani. The movie is based on the true events surrounding the disappearance of Milanese student Franca Viola in 1965. The movie stars Daniele Asti, Brigitte Skay, and Giuliano Cesareo in lead roles. The film is set in Milan during the mid-70s, precisely at San Babila metro station, where people commute daily. The film takes place over the course of one evening, which begins with an unexpected and unsettling event. A young girl named Giovanna (Brigitte Skay) is approached by two men inside the metro station, who give her a suitcase filled with a considerable amount of money. The two men are never seen again, and Giovanna refuses to go to the police, instead keeping the money for herself.
Soon after, the story focuses on various individuals who have arrived at the San Babila metro station at 8 P.M. that evening, each with their own agenda. One of them is a thug named Lino (Daniele Asti), who is ordered to carry out an assassination by his boss. Another is an aging patriarch named Armando (Giuliano Cesareo), who faces financial ruin and is desperate to save his family business. Other notable characters include a corrupt police officer, a taxi driver, and a group of students with revolutionary ideologies.
As the night progresses, the paths of these diverse characters intertwine in unexpected ways leading to a series of violent events, creating a thrilling crescendo of suspense. The consequences of their actions will not only affect the characters themselves but also the city of Milan, at a moment that is about to change the fate of Italy, leading towards the historic events of the Anni di piombo, historical period between the 1960s and 1980s, characterised by political terrorism, social conflicts, and violent crimes.
San Babila-8 P.M. is a movie that excels in both its style and substance. Carlo Lizzani's direction is top-notch and innovative, while the script is tightly paced. The close-up shots are used exceptionally, giving us glimpses into the intricate emotions of the characters. Talking mainly in jargon and slang, the script is realistic and concise, making it both credible and easy to comprehend despite the decades passed since its creation.
The film's soundtrack is one of its most remarkable aspects, with music by legendary Italian jazz musician Enrico Intra. The music often serves as the story's narrator, using different melodies to create an intense atmosphere for each scene, and stands out with a brilliant score that captures the essence of the story wonderfully.
The cast of San Babila-8 P.M. is exceptional, with each actor bringing their own unique style to their role. Daniele Asti plays the part of the villainous thug Lino flawlessly, while Brigitte Skay effectively captures the desperation and ambiguity of a girl endowed with enormous wealth. Giuliano Cesareo as Armando brings an impressive depth to a character that is both sympathetic yet ruthless, while the rest of the supporting cast is equally strong.
Overall, San Babila-8 P.M. is an excellent Italian crime drama that remains relevant even after decades of its original release. It is a film that captures the most iconic Italian style of storytelling, the famous giallo, blending it with social commentary and perfect cinematography, leaving a lasting impression on viewers long after the credits have rolled. While it might be less known than some other works of the giallo genre, San Babila-8 P.M. is a masterwork of Italian crime cinema that should not be missed by fans of the genre or anyone interested in the European film styles of the 70s.
San Babila-8 P.M. is a 1976 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.