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Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, History | 28 February 1962 (Italy)
The unclear and complicate twists between governal powers, independentist party and Mafia in the Sicily of the '40s culminate with the death of Salvatore Giuliano.

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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Salvo Randone ...
President of Viterbo Assize Court
Frank Wolff ...
Gaspare Pisciotta
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Storyline

In 1950, 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found gunned down in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and other reprobates were recruited by separatist politicians to do their fighting, and the days leading up to and following Giuliano's death. After Sicily's self-rule is declared, will the outlaws be pardoned as promised? And why does Giuliano order his gang to fire on a peaceful May Day rally? Police, Carabinieri, and Mafia have their uses for him. There's a trial after his death: will the truth come out or does the code of silence help protect those in power? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | outlaw | mafia | sicily | sicilian | See All (273) »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 February 1962 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Banditten Salvatore  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese credits this film as being one of his many inspirational sources for the look and style of his Taxi Driver (1976). See more »

Goofs

During the Portella della Ginestre sequence, a member of the Communist Party gives a speech. In reality the shooting in the massacre began before anyone had a chance to speak to deliberately stop the speech starting. See more »

Connections

Version of The Sicilian (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Matter-of-fact, yet punchy
21 December 2008 | by (bangkok) – See all my reviews

Filmed in the actual Siciilian locations, this film is a fair attempt to strip away the myth surrounding bandit-cum-revolutionary Giuliano. In fact, he doesn't appear except as a gunned-down corpse at the beginning. The film winds back to unravel the events leading to his death, and forwards to its consequence. This is a clever method of achieving objectivity while at the same time subtly emphasising the man's elusive and mysterious qualities. To show Giuliano would have either been either hagiography or iconoclasm. The film rose above that and broadened its inquiry into the wider social and political context, effectively belittling him as the puppet of various forces jostling for position in Sicily after the war: bandits, police, local aristocracy, the Italian government, communists, and the Mafia.

This sets quite a challenge for itself, partly because of the vacuum at its centre, partly because of the obscurity and complexity of the real events. We are delivered to a chaotic courtroom to try to piece it together. The film finally latches onto Giuliano's lieutenant –the only one who seems to know something of what is going on - but even he is silenced. It's all the more disturbing for the confusion.

Rosi is one of the best directors of crowds scenes and he gives raucous energy to any gathering of men, especially in the courtroom. He induces a kind of group hysteria in his actors; they are totally unaware of the camera and the result is an almost disturbing hyper-real feel (real crowds are dull in comparison) – it's really something to appreciate. To get into this film, you need to invest something in the passions of the various parties involved - if not sympathise with them, then at least understand them. Without this, the danger is that it all boils down to so much petty bickering. The same might be said of the Godfather, which clearly owes a huge debt to Rosi's style.

Influential then, somewhat brave, with some fine directorial moments, and an interesting history lesson. Hard to actually like, but hard not to admire.


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