A scientist working on a drug which will render atomic radiation harmless to humans finds out that he is secretly being used by higher powers who plan to weaponize his discovery.
According to Wikipedia; Italy started to produce nuclear energy in the early 1960s, but all plants were closed by 1990 following the Italian nuclear power referendum. As of 2018, Italy is one of only two countries, along with Lithuania, that completely phased out nuclear power for electricity generation after having operational reactors.
Given that the nuclear power referendum which eventually shut down all the reactors occurred in 1987, it’s quite possible that L’Uomo della Guerra Possibile was spared from a fate worse than death simply because it happened to touch upon what was fast becoming a hot topic at the time. Unfortunately, It is hard to say for sure because there is very little information available about the film or its seemingly troubled production and distribution history.
The following info is a rather muddled translation of the mymovies.it profile of director Romeo Costantini…
Class of 1944, Romeo Costantini was born in Rome (Italy). 76 years-old (as of 2019) Sign of the Zodiac: Aries.
His primary role in the world of cinema is as a director but, as an actor, his most interesting roles are in the films Anno zero – Guerra nello spazio (1977) directed by Alfonso Brescia. In 1978 he worked with Alfonso Brescia on Cosmo 2000 – Battaglie negli spazi stellari. Aside from his acting roles, Romeo Costantini worked as a set designer on the dramatic film by Alfonso Brescia Il mammasantissima (1979). He also served as the set designer on Alfonso Brescia’s I contrabbandieri di Santa Lucia (1979), and as the set designer for Renato Cadueri on La clinica dell’amore (1976), He was also the assistant director, screenwriter and writer on Giulio Berruti’s Noi siam come le lucciole (1976). Set designer on the film Lo scugnizzo (1978), directed once again by Alfonso Brescia. He was the set designer on the film Zanna Bianca e il cacciatore solitario (1976), again directed by Alfonso Brescia… and finally as the costume designer on La mafia mi fa un baffo (1975), this time directed by Riccardo Garrone.
The following review (minus the wonky translation) comes from filmitaliani.altervista.org
Based on the novel The Diary of a Provocateur by journalist Dario Paccino, a precursor to the environmental movement, published in 1977 in the “I libri del No – Serie verde” series. The film was shot in 1979 with the title Una Notte di Pioggia (One Rainy Night) and produced by the cooperative COALA Spettacoli Autori e Lavoratori Associates, it was eventually released in 1986 with a new title L’Uomo della Guerra Possibile. Despite being received positively at the Venice Film Festival, it only received a limited release in independent regional cinemas, a very limited release on VHS courtesy of Videa in 1989, and has never been screened on television.
Extremely well produced and boasting strong performances, despite the obviously low budget, Romeo Costantini’s film analyses and embodies the fear of nuclear power that agitated Europe in the period in which it was shot (the end of the 1970s, when there was talk of installing U.S. “Euromissiles” in Comiso. It was eventually released on the eve of the nuclear referendum which had been triggered by the catastrophe in Chernobyl) Its undeserved obscurity to which it has been condemned appears to be politically motivated. Worthy of rediscovery.
Notes: I cannot come up with a decent translation of the title which is why there’s no English title. I’m still scratching my head over this one. Although its not the one pictured above, I was able to buy the VHS release fairly easy on eBay where it does pop up from time to time. English subtitles available on request. You can find a low quality rip on YouTube (not my upload) in Italian only – no subs.