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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
Cimino has created an epic, this is a very ambitious film, which unfortunately went exactly nowhere. Christopher Lambert plays Giuliano, a Sicilian bandit/revolutionary in post WW2 Sicily. Cimino effectively balances all of the powers that be --the church, the mafia, the nobility-- and presents a complex picture of the forces that were at work. Giuliano was a peasant hero, a kind of Robin Hood, whose heart was right but whose head lacked the smarts or the wisdom and ended up being destroyed. Watching this film, I thought of Visconti's The Leopard, it has the sweep of that earlier film, starring Burt Lancaster. Cimino has been in disfavor since Heaven's Gate, but with the Sicilian, he proves that he knows how to direct a film, even if no one ever sees it. BTW, this is one of the few films produced by the late David Begelman, who unfortunately blew his brains out, since he was in over his head legally and financially in 1995. Rent the Sicilian, it is on DVD.
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