Confessions of a Police Captain

Confessions of a Police Captain (Italian: Confessione di un commissario di polizia al procuratore della repubblica, also known as Confessions of a Police Commissioner to the District Attorney) is an Italian crime-drama film.

Confessions of a Police Captain
Confessions of a Police Captain.jpg
Directed byDamiano Damiani
Produced byMario Montanari
Bruno Turchetto
Written byDamiano Damiani
Fulvio Gicca Palli
Salvatore Laurani
StarringFranco Nero
Martin Balsam
Marilù Tolo
Music byRiz Ortolani
CinematographyClaudio Ragona
Edited byAntonio Siciliano
Release date
  • 26 March 1971 (1971-03-26)
Running time
101 minutes

The film won the Golden Prize at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival in 1971[1][2][3] and the Prix lntemational de l'Academie du Cinema at the Étoile de Cristal Awards in 1972.[3][4]


Police Captain Bonavia (Balsam) arranges the release of a criminally insane prisoner, Michele Lipuma, who immediately sets about settling a score with a local construction magnate, Ferdinando Dubrosio. As Bonavia follows Lipuma's initial movements, it becomes clear that Bonavia orchestrated his release for that outcome. Lipuma's attempt to kill Dubrosio fails—Dubrosio was tipped off somehow and left three gunmen in his place...all of whom, including Lipuma, end up dead. D.A. Traini (Nero), energetic and idealistic, takes over the case and is informed by Bonavia of the stranglehold Dubrosio has over the local construction industry, and how he and various government officials game the system for their own benefit. As the case unfolds, Traini realizes that Bonavia masterminded the events as intricately as any criminal, and vows to bring him down. Traini believes whole-heartedly in the system and its officials, refusing to accept corruption of any official, but is countered by Bonavia, who explains that all he has to do to derail Traini is muddy the water with slander.

Central to the overall case is the whereabouts of Lipuma's sister, Serena, who was once involved with Dubrosio and privy to many of the conversations held between Dubrosio and the government officials. As witnesses to Dubrosio's activities tend to disappear, when Bonavia finds Serena, he puts her in a safe house known only to himself. Traini finally decides to start the prosecution of Bonavia, prompting Bonavia to write a full confession, including the murder of Dubrosio, which he then commits while Traini is reading the confession. Bonavia immediately turns himself in, and when the arrest is mentioned on TV, Serena calls the courthouse to enquire...only to have Dubrosio's thugs arrive at the safe house, claiming to be sent by the court. She is unceremoniously killed, encased in a concrete, and incorporated into a local construction project.

From prison, Bonavia questions whether Traini will investigate how Dubrosio found out where Serena was it was only after she contacted the courthouse...but Traini refuses to consider any possible collusion between parties. He reassures Bonavia that the system has integrity and will serve justice in the end. Bonavia responds that prison is a different world, and one where Traini holds no influence. Bonavia is duly killed in prison, eliminating the last 'loose thread'. With that, Traini realizes that the word could only have come from the Attorney-General himself, who smugly smiles and asks "Is something wrong?" when finally confronted.



Wild East released this on a limited edition R0 NTSC DVD alongside The Summertime Killer in 2010.


  1. ^ "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2012-12-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Ministero degli affari esteri. Il cinema italiano nel mondo. Ediars-Oggi e domani, 2002.
  3. ^ a b Who's who in Italy, Volume 1. Intercontinental Book & Publishing, 2009.
  4. ^ "Confession d'un commissaire de police". Étoile de Cristal. Retrieved 12 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit