7 user 2 critic

Time to Kill (1989)

Tempo di uccidere (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, War | 27 October 1989 (Italy)
In 1936, when Ethiopia is being invaded by the Italian army, Lieutenant Silvestri sets off for the nearest camp hospital to take care of a toothache. Enroute, he meets a young Ethiopian ... See full summary »


Giuliano Montaldo




Complete credited cast:
Nicolas Cage ... Enrico Silvestri
Ricky Tognazzi ... Mario
Patrice-Flora Praxo Patrice-Flora Praxo ... Mariam
Gianluca Favilla Gianluca Favilla ... Army Driver
Georges Claisse Georges Claisse ... Doctor
Robert Liensol Robert Liensol ... Joannes
Vittorio Amandola
Pao Pei Andreoli Pao Pei Andreoli ... Troops' Mascot
Mario Mazzarotto ... Army Clerk
Michele Melega Michele Melega ... Blonde Worker
Franco Trevisi ... Segeant
Giancarlo Giannini ... Major


In 1936, when Ethiopia is being invaded by the Italian army, Lieutenant Silvestri sets off for the nearest camp hospital to take care of a toothache. Enroute, he meets a young Ethiopian girl which leads to a tragic course of events that devastate and change his entire life. Written by 1felco

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Drama | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Filmed in Zimbabwe. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video version was cut by 17 secs by the BBFC to remove a scene where a lit cigarette is placed into a lizard's mouth. See more »

User Reviews

Tempo Di Uccidere
7 September 2008 | by D_vd_BSee all my reviews

Tempo Di Uccidere (Time To Kill) by Guiliano Montaldo is a bit of a strange film, but it's good in it's own way.

I won't bother with a summary of the plot. Most that I've read gives the wrong impression and makes me believe that most people who wrote those didn't really understand the film. And you need to understand it to some level, even if you cannot describe for yourself what it's actually about. This film is strange in a "Once Upon a Time in America" way- only shorter.

Many 'Hollywood' stars (whatever that may mean...) have played in lesser known Italian productions. It's known that many actors who are past their prime or slowly rising to it do this. Cage was not yet a real star when this was made. I'm not a fan of him. He's very good in some roles (Raising Arizona, Bringing out the Dead) and weak when he plays the hero. I don't really know what to think of him in this one, but he sure doesn't portray the typical hero main character. This film could have done without him, but the fact that he starred may be the only reason this one ever made it to DVD.

The supporting cast is good. Not one of them looks fake and they act as if they are really there. Solid support.

I have seen 3 films by Montaldo (Marco Polo, Sacco&Vanzetti and this one) and I think he is one of the greater directors of this time. Unfortunately, nobody knows him. This movie was his last in a long time (a break of 19 years). I think that this movie might have failed at the office, but from the way it is done I think that for Montaldo it was a personal project that he really liked.

The production is great. It's always enough. The dusty army camps, the claustophobic cities and the magnificent landscape all play a great part. It all feels very real. In some scenes you can almost feel the heat. The sound itself is nothing special, but the music by Ennio Morricone is very good. It's not a piece that you will whistle when in the shower, but it sure works great.

So this movie looks, feels and sounds just right. It doesn't serve the lessons learned from it on a golden platter, but that may be the biggest difference between Hollywood and euro-cinema all around. It might sound strange to give it an 8 and not recommend it to people, but that is what I do. If you are looking for action; avoid this one! If you are looking for a well made Apocalypse Now in a different time and setting, but with a bit of similar journey into a 'state of mind'(sorry if this sound corny but I don't know what else to call it) you just might enjoy this one a lot.

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Release Date:

27 October 1989 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Time to Kill See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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