The Sicilian


Gangster films

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Time Out says

In adapting Mario Puzo's novel, eschewing the political complexity of Francesco Rosi's classic Salvatore Giuliano, Cimino opts for silly and mendacious mythologising. Here the Sicilian bandit Giuliano (Lambert) becomes a heroic Christ figure, his acts of theft and murder prompted by sympathy for the peasantry, his death the result of a Judas-like betrayal manipulated by sinister and dishonorable figures of State, Church and Underworld; incredibly, he is even exonerated from responsibility for the notorious massacre of innocent Communists. Bathos abounds: American Duchess Sukowa falls head over heels for the noble savage; even Mafia capo Ackland sheds a tear for the brave son he never had. The dialogue is ponderously poetic, stilted and over-emphatic, characters are convenient cyphers, and both cutting and photography tend towards the bombastic. Folly, then, but gloriously inept and overblown.


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Release details

UK release:



146 mins

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