Director: Damiano Damiani
Screenplay: Nicola Badalucco and Damiano Damiani
Starring: Tony Musante, Claudia Cardinale, John Steiner, John Forsythe, Renzo Palmer, Angela Goodwin, Anna Zinnemann, Fabrizio Jovine, Wolfango Soldati
Country: Italy
Running time: 110 min
Year: 1977
BBFC certificate: 15

Italian director Damiano Damiani is already becoming incredibly well served on Blu-ray by Radiance Films since the label debuted at the start of 2023. After their outstanding Cosa Nostra: Franco Nero in Three Mafia Tales by Damiano Damiani boxset, which packed in the excellent trio The Day of the Owl, The Case is Closed: Forget It, and How to Kill a Judge, one of Radiance’s first releases of 2024 is Damiani’s 1977 feature Goodbye & Amen.

Goodbye & Amen opens with CIA agent John Dannahay (Tony Musante) planning to overthrow an African government, and we’re seemingly set for a political thriller. But the plan is put on the backburner when a shooter starts killing people by targeting them from the top of a hotel, and then takes a couple hostage. From that, we are introduced to all of the main players, as well as the hotel itself, which plays a key role itself as the location where much of the action takes place. I’d recommend going in knowing no more than that as there are some twists and turns along the way.

What I liked most about the film was the way it leaned into some key tropes of several genres (crime, rogue gunman, espionage thriller and a little bit of political intrigue) but also subverted them and added in some satire at times, too. It bounces between genres – there’s a bit of a family drama here and there, and the occasional bit of comedy (though some of this doesn’t stand up in 2024) – but generally gets the tone right and feels like a cohesive unit. At its core it’s a great little espionage thriller.

At times, it felt like a disaster movie – The Towering Inferno sprung to mind – where you’re introduced to a large cast of characters, some played by famous actors or at least familiar ones, who you know something big will happen to. The cast is large and each play their part well; the central figures of Musante as the CIA agent and John Steiner as the shooter, ably supported by familiar faces including Claudia Cardinale, Renzo Palmer, John Forsythe and Wolfango Soldati.

The action is well choreographed and staged – the shootings often happen out of the blue, the killer moving around and changing where he bases himself before taking the couple hostage – and the finale is incredibly gripping and tense, building to a satisfying ending that makes you re-evaluate, to an extent, what’s happened before and leaves a strong lasting impression.

The score is also a strong one – particularly the opening and closing cues. It is by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, who also provided the score for Torso amongst other movies. Goodbye & Amen’s score is one that is very memorable and hummable.

In closing, Goodbye & Amen is an incredibly well crafted, entertaining and gripping thriller that’s left me well and truly on the Damiano Damiani band wagon; I’ve really enjoyed all four of the films of his that I’ve seen, all released by Radiance Films, and look forward to catching up on more of his filmography in the future.


Goodbye & Amen is released on limited edition Blu-ray by Radiance Films on 29 January 2024. The 2023 restoration is phenomenal, the film looking outstanding with the colours and details coming through very strongly. The Italian soundtrack is great, and the English language soundtrack is also included, albeit it has been provided as a “curio” as it very compromised due to the quality of the materials. The Italian soundtrack and subtitles are provided on occasion for the English version. Kudos to Radiance for including it, though. The English language export cut runs for 102 minutes, compared to the 110 minute Italian language version.


New 2023 restoration of the film from the original camera negative presented with Italian and, for the first time on home video, English audio options

Uncompressed mono PCM audio

Audio commentary by Eurocrime experts Nathaniel Thompson and Howard Berger (2023)

Interview with editor Antonio Siciliano (2023)

Archival interview with Wolfango Soldati (2013)

New and improved English subtitles for Italian audio and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English audio

Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters

Limited edition booklet featuring new writing by Italian crime cinema expert Lucia Rinaldi

Limited edition of 3000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip, leaving packaging free of certificates and markings

The disc’s extras kick-off with an audio commentary by Eurocrime experts Nathaniel Thompson and Howard Berger, starting with the origins of the film, and its place in Damiano Damiani’s oeuvre. They share how the film was shot in English and how the Italian version misses some of the cultural elements from the English version, making it a shame that the restoration of the English language track proved too difficult in places due to the quality of the materials. They look at the locations – and how it’s effectively a one location film (yes, other locations are featured, but much of the film plays out at the hotel, and a chunk of that in the room where the shooter takes hostages). Also covered are Damiani’s other films and the way they’re made, the actors and their performances. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s another outstanding commentary on a Radiance disc.

Editor Antonio Siciliano gives a fascinating overview of his career in a 39-minute interview which covers a lot of ground. He’s an excellent interviewee and a joy to spend some time with. Whilst he does include some recollections of the filming of Goodbye & Amen, it’s just a small part of a retrospective that features a number of other film memories, as well as how he got into the film business.

In the 24-minute archival interview from 2013, Wolfango Soldati, who played Harry Lambert in the film, shares a lot of memories about Goodbye & Amen, covering how he was directed and his thoughts on some of the actors (there’s a brief but memorable recollection of working with Claudia Cardinale). Soldati often references how he didn’t feel as though he was directed and you get a real sense of his take on how the film was made and what he felt he brought to the role. It’s a great addition to the set.

I wasn’t provided with the booklet. It features new writing by Italian crime cinema expert Lucia Rinaldi and, if it’s as strong as the previous Radiance booklets, it will be well worth a read.

I thoroughly enjoyed Goodbye & Amen – it both transcends and subverts a few genres, is well acted, has a memorable and hummable score, several strong set-pieces and a twisting and turning plot which has a humdinger of an ending. Radiance’s release continues their impressive run, with a strong transfer, great audio for the Italian language version (and a welcome, though understandably compromised, inclusion of the English language version), and three informative extras.


Goodbye & Amen - Radiance
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About The Author

Passionate about film, from the silents to the present day and everything in between, particularly 80s blockbusters, cult movies and Asian cinema.

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