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Giuliano robs from the rich conservative landowners to give to the poor, serf-like peasants, who in turn hail him as their savior. As his popularity grows, so does his ego, and he eventually thinks he is above the power of his backer, Mafia Don Masino Croce. The Don, in turn, sets out to kill the upstart by convincing his cousin and closest advisor Pissciota to assassinate him Written by
For entertainment value, Cimino's 'The Sicilian' does not deliver in the Hollywood sense. That's good in my opinion.
It viewed some where between documentary and romantic fairy tale. Maybe to many, the latter choice would be more appropriate. I'd place Sicilian, Salvatore Giuliano or Lambert's portrayal smack in the middle. That's because even after doing much research I'm still not sure who the real character was. Probably, no one really knows for sure.
The plot moves along fine except for the opening flashback from Turturro's cell. Cimino should have axed the scene first cut. The inclusion of the American governess did not help the story line either. In fact, she, the actress gave an unconvincing and unflattering portrayal of Americans (the rich ones) living abroad. At times she swore like a trooper. Most of the film she sounded and looked like a hooker in communist garb, designer that is. I was so glad when she fell off the reel.
The rest of supporting cast was complementary. Giuliano's accomplices were good enough and just bad enough to add intrigue. Even the crotchety old professor was a good fit as interlocutor between Giuliano, his loyal band of unhappy bandits, the fickle mob and the stripe changing church.
The film's one weakness is the behind the scene's love affair between the Mafia Don and Giuliano. I found it confusing. Do competing mobsters profess such unrequited love? Perhaps they do in Sicily.
If you're looking for something in the genre of the non-stop murderous mobster films, then give this one a miss. However, if you are fascinated with Sicily and their mysterious culture, 'The Sicilian' will give you some good glimpses of the stunning mountain terrain, cosmopolitan Palermo and its people both big and small, good and bad.
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