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Lucky Luciano (1973) Poster

(1973)

Trivia

The film was made and released about twelve years after Charles 'Lucky' Luciano aka Salvatore Lucania died in 1962.
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The mass murder of forty mob bosses on 11 September 1931 depicted in the film became to be known as the ""Night of the Sicilian Vespers".
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A restored print of the film was selected to screen as part of the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.
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Along with a cast of actors, real-life former US Federal narcotics bureau agent investigator Charles Siragusa portrayed himself in the film. Siragusa did not play himself as the younger version of him reflecting the real life events in which he had partaken as a younger man but at the more seasoned age that he was in real life when the film was shot. The picture was Siragusa's only ever cinema movie role and he also acted as a technical consultant to the production.
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The film's title refers to the nickname of gangster Charles Luciano aka Salvatore Lucania ('Gian Maria Volonte').
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Actor Rod Steiger was cast as Gene Giannini in this gangster movie after having portrayed the title mobster character in 1959's Al Capone (1959) around fourteen years earlier.
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The picture was shot with post-synch sound for the English language version but for the original language version the picture was filmed in multi-lingual languages so the Italian sequences are in Italian and most of the New York sequences are largely in English.
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This French-Italian co-production cast American actors Rod Steiger and Vincent Gardenia who had been frequently cast in the past playing New York heavy tough guy characters in Hollywood movies.
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Some American movie posters for the film featured a long preamble that read: "The real story behind Lucky Luciano, the high priest of crime. The detailed account of the world's most powerful gangster who built an empire on a sea of blood. This motion picture dares to name the names . . . dares to show the places . . . dares to dig up the bodies and uncover the man no one could kill".
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Norman Mailer once described this film as being "the finest movie yet made about the Mafia, the most careful, the most thoughtful, the truest and most sensitive to the paradoxes of a society of crime".
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The title that Lucky Luciano got after he had wiped-out forty gangland heads was "Boss of Bosses".
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First of two back-to-back consecutive gangster movies for actor Edmond O'Brien who in the next 1974 year would appear in John Frankenheimer's 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974).
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Third of five collaborations of actor Gian Maria Volontè and director Francesco Rosi.
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The film's opening prologue states: "In 1946, America made a gift to the Mafia ! It deported to Italy (from where he came) one Salvatore Lucania, alias Charles 'Lucky' Luciano, kingpin New York racketeer. Sentenced to from 30 to 50 years imprisonment in 1936 on charges brought against him by District Attorney, Thomas E. Dewey, he was paroled - after serving only 9 years - for - 'special services rendered to the United States Armed Forces during World War two', by the same Mr. Dewey, who had since become Governor of the State of New York".
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The film's Lucky Luciano (1973) title refers to the nickname of gangster Charles Luciano aka Salvatore Lucania (Gian Maria Volontè).
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The movie's opening title card reads: "New York February 11, 1946".
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The name of the ocean liner was the "Laura Keene".
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Director Francesco Rosi said of Lucky Luciano in Senses of Cinema's translation of Aldo Tassone's 'Parla il cinema italiano' (1979): "This 'quiet man with the sad eyes' as the Head of the Narcotics Bureau used to call him, apparently lived the life of a pensioner: he was quiet, had his routine, went to the races, the theatre, to restaurants, his dog in his arms. What was in the head of a man like this? What is in the brain of a master criminal? This is what I asked myself as I studied the character of Luciano".
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The title that Lucky Luciano got when he had wiped-out forty gangland heads was "Boss of Bosses".
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In Senses of Cinema's translation of an interview with film critic Michel Ciment for 'Le Dossier Rosi' (1976), director Francesco Rosi said of Charles Siragusa's war against Lucky Luciano: "He feels like the victim of a conspiracy he can't quite comprehend . . . that someone or something is stopping him from carrying out his work the way he wants to".
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