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Sicilian cop Giancarlo Prete aims to bring down mafioso Raymond Pellegrin
"The honored family" is how the title "L'onorata famiglia" translates. It's an ironic description of those who surround a mafioso (Raymond Pellegrin), including blood relatives, priests, confederates, lawyers, paid muscle men, and cops taking bribes. Everyone is deferential at the big man's birthday or any of their gatherings. He's treated like a lord.
The first 24 minutes introduce the protagonist cop (Prete), but mainly tell the story of Richard Conte, a businessman builder trying to build apartments. We see the various ways in which Pellegrin deals with an honest builder who won't participate in the corrupt building schemes that bring money to Pellegrin.
Cop Giancarlo Prete, of Sicilian origin, has returned to the region to be back near family and home. He has a superior who's very close to Pellegrin and warns Prete off. We now see, for most of the rest of the movie's 86 minutes, how Pellegrin deals with Prete and how Prete seeks to investigate Pellegrin.
Prete, whom I've not seen before in a major role handles this one well. Pellegrin is impressive. Conte's part of the story is compressed and he has less time and script to build his character. He's up to par here but nothing special.
Both parts of the movie are swift, realistic, unsentimental and hard-hitting. It has surprises. There is no sugar in this recipe, making this crime story a 70s style noir as well as a non-formulaic poliziottescho.
I'd rate it 7.5 if I could, which means definitely above average. It's a movie that fans of this genre will want to see.
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