This film was inspired by a news item from the 1970s and a novel on the same subject called Le notte di Arancia meccanica. The heroes are a bunch of criminals from the suburbs of Rome who earn their living robbing the richer neighborhoods. They attack their victims on the street and force them to go to their homes. This proves to be a very effective technique. Remo Guerra, a tough and angry young man, has a regular job as a policeman alongside his criminal activities, which causes a personal crisis. He also has difficulties getting along with the other members of the gang. As he can't stand his own face anymore, he begins to contemplate plastic surgery until he comes to the realization that he can change his face but not his conscience. The film mixes hard-core realism with symbolism, trying to reflect the psychology of the criminals. L'odore della notte was screened at the 1999 International Film Festival in Rotterdam.