7.5/10
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10 user 30 critic

Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, History | 1 March 1962 (Italy)
The unclear and complicated 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Salvo Randone ...
President of Viterbo Assize Court
...
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:

1 March 1962 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Banditten Salvatore  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the ten movies that was on Martin Scorsese's Sight and Sound 2012 Poll.. 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

Featured in Il cineasta e il labirinto (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who killed Salvatore Giuliano and why?
6 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My rating is really 7.5 for this one.

I like this movie a great deal. I like the fantastic use of real locations and people in Sicily. I like the mystery of it: Who killed Giuliano? Why? What did he stand for? What sort of man was he? All our questions are not answered. I like the revelation of the politics involved in this, and especially how the common people are taken in and become pawns when they start to deal with politicians. I like that the movie brings out about Sicilian separatism. The cinematography is excellent.

The structure of the movie is something like Citizen Kane. It begins with the death of Giuliano and then we go backwards in time and forwards in time. We do not get, however, a detailed biography of Giuliano at all. He is never really seen fully. He is the nexus of all that happens around him and because of him, but the truth of his influence and doings is shrouded in mystery.

At first, Giuliano is something of a "good guy". There is a Sicilian faction that wants to separate from Italy, and it realizes that guns will be needed, and it turns to Giuliano for that. This faction seems to succeed, but when the central government of Italy keeps changing, agreements are reneged on. The government sends in soldiers (carabinieri). Giuliano fights them from the hills, and he now impresses innocent men into fighting, which is not the behavior of a good guy at all.

But that is not the critical political focus of the movie. That focus is the 1947 May Day killings at Portella della Ginestra. The left-wing socialists and communists had gotten a large position (29%) in the autonomous Sicilian region. It's possible that the right wing elements (Mafia, Qualunquist, Monarchist) might do a false flag operation that would unite people behind the center-right. It's possible that an offer of clemency to Giuliano and his close confederates for their deeds (including kidnappings) was made if they'd attack the peaceful May Day celebration. It's possible that the shootings were supposed to be in the air and not into bodies. What actually happened is unknown. The movie reflects this confusion. It becomes something like a "Rashamon" scenario where there are conflicting interpretations.

The case for center-right involvement is strengthened because there were two subsequent assassinations of key figures and intermediaries who had information. One was Giuliano's right-hand man. He was poisoned in prison. Another was a Mafia intermediary.

Giuliano himself was killed in 1950, and the story of who did that is also shrouded in mystery.


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