Lucky Luciano

Film, Thrillers
Rosi's characteristic dossier on power and corruption tracks the enigmatic figure of repatriated Mafioso gangster Luciano through the web of political/criminal complicity that set the course of Italy's post-war 'recovery'. While specific judgment on Luciano himself is open-endedly reserved, the evidence adduced from a variety of sources (mosaic-style, with Siragusa, for instance, playing himself as a US Narcotics Bureau investigator) is damningly clear on the way the Americans established the Mafia as a 'friendly' buffer against communist influence, only to later have the worm turn vengefully with a flood of drugs back to the States. Film noir meets the conspiracy thriller in a flurry of masterful set pieces, operatic intensity segues into documentary-like observation of the complex machinery of manipulable power, and Rosi provides a context for the Godfather films which threatens to outdo their own cinematic forcefulness.

By: PT

Release details

Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Francesco Rosi
Screenwriter: Francesco Rosi, Lino Jannuzzi, Tonino Guerra
Cast: Gian Maria Volonté
Rod Steiger
Edmond O'Brien
Charles Siragusa
Vincent Gardenia
Charles Cioffi
Silverio Blasi
Jacques Monod
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