Serious-minded (i.e. not low-brow) yet obscure Mafia movie inspired by real events; I happened upon its Italian DVD at one of my local rental outlets. As expected, it's highlighted by extensive (and reasonably well-staged) shoot-outs 'interrupted' by (not exactly gripping) police detection and (all-too-familiar) domestic scenes.
The film does have has the benefit of a good cast led by Franco Nero as the Magistrate standing in for the real-life Giovanni Falcone (he had tackled a similar role in Damiano Damiani's CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN : here he's generally restrained apart from a dream sequence in which he's ambushed by gangsters) and Tony Musante as "Il Pentito" of the original title (an option suggested to him by Nero in order to put a stop to the ongoing gang war between two gangland factions: old-style/honorable and new/vicious).
The latter are typified by Erik Estrada who, at one point, is even sprung from jail but, at the end, is allowed to go free. Max von Sydow is both miscast and underused as the New York-based banker whose financial debacle blows the cover on the whole underworld operation, while the sensual Rita Rusic, future wife of tycoon Vittorio Cecchi Gori, plays his and Musante's contemporaneous lover. Ex-Bond Girl Claudine Auger is also briefly on hand as Musante's Sicilian wife, Marino Mase' appears as Nero's carabiniere sidekick, whereas Venantino Venantini turns up as one of the Mafia family heads.
The concluding moments are fairly interesting: Nero realizes that Musante had merely used him to get lawful revenge on his opponents with a nice final shot which has a series of doors closing in front of our hero, symbolically depicting him shut inside a prison of his own making!
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