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Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

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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 ... See full summary »


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Title: Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

Salvatore Giuliano (1962) on IMDb 7.5/10

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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


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 <>

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Plot Keywords:

death | outlaw | separatist | 1950s | mafia | See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 February 1962 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Salvatore Giuliano  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A Portrait Of Confusion
19 March 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Salvatore Giuliano is the film Francesco Rosi -one of Italy's most political directors- is most famous for. At its 1962 release, it was highly acclaimed by its country, but elsewhere it was a bit snubbed, possibly because it's a very Italian movie, that reflects a certain time in the country that was significant and shook a lot of Italians. The film shows Sicily's political and social situation from 1942 to 1960, when the region wanted to separate from the rest of Italy. The group of people that sustained this cause were called the separatists. The film circles around a famous bandit named Salvatore Giuliano, who was an essential part of the rebellious movement.

The movie has a non-linear narrative, as it jumps back and forth in time, keeping as a still point of reference the finding of Giuliano's body. The actual film's structure can be divided mainly in three segments: the first is where we see the action, the open field attacks between the police (carabinieri) and the rebels, and an overall greater focus on the life in the rudimentary town that finds itself in the middle of the action. The second part, the briefest one, is the trial in which the more political assumptions are revealed, and in which the character of Gaspare Pisciotta is introduced, the right-hand man of Giuliano. The third part finds Pisciotta as the protagonist, as he unfolds why and how Salvatore Giuliano died.

As you might have noticed, Giuliano is the explicit protagonist of the whole story, but paradoxically, he is almost never seen on screen, and mostly as a corpse when he is. This allows to focus on the big picture, rather than a specific person: points of view are always shifting, all of them keeping a cold objectiveness to the movie, never letting the audience get too familiar with any character seen on screen. Instead, it's a film about the complex and still not completely understood relationship between bandits, organized crime (Mafia) and the police force during those years.

Because he never lets the big picture slip through his fingers, Francesco Rosi proves to be able to capture the film perfectly, and to be able to keep a certain solidity to the film even with the non-linear narration. This solidity is due to the fact that between time changes, there's no significant cut in the film that allows us to understand that we're in a different time frame: that we must figure out ourselves. Aesthetically, Rosi composes his frames like a painter, even if he has the role of a teacher, more than one of the artist.

It's a difficult film, of challenging nature, and it is expected that only more passionate, tolerant viewers would watch Salvatore Giuliano all the way through. While it's not the masterpiece some Italian critics claim it to be, it still remains a significant film in the country's cinema history.

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