13 user 32 critic

Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, History | 1 March 1962 (Italy)
The unclear and complicated twists between governal powers, independentist party and Mafia in the Sicily of the '40s culminate with the death of Salvatore Giuliano.


Francesco Rosi


Francesco Rosi (screenplay), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Salvo Randone ... President of Viterbo Assize Court
Frank Wolff ... Gaspare Pisciotta


In 1950, 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found gunned down in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and other reprobates were recruited by separatist politicians to do their fighting, and the days leading up to and following Giuliano's death. After Sicily's self-rule is declared, will the outlaws be pardoned as promised? And why does Giuliano order his gang to fire on a peaceful May Day rally? Police, Carabinieri, and Mafia have their uses for him. There's a trial after his death: will the truth come out or does the code of silence help protect those in power? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #228. See more »


When Savatore's mother visits him after he has been killed, and while she is kissing his face, you can see his eyelids move. (About 52 minutes into the movie.) See more »


Featured in The Filmmaker and the Labyrinth (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Quite Stunning
30 April 2004 | by n_m_mcnamaraSee all my reviews

Francesco Rosi's elliptical film about the notorious Sicilian gangster is quite stunning. This is not, however, a typical gangster film. This film is more about the lives of the people affected by Giuliano than about the gangster himself and this is given extra resonance by the casting of the real villagers in almost all cases. The fact that we never see Giuliano's face makes the director's intentions quite clear.

Giuliano began his professional criminal career when he was caught stealing at a young age and chased out of his village into the surrounding hills where he formed a gang and made a living from robberies and standover tactics. He became feared and respected by the locals and was eventually recruited by regional officials to help in the fight for independence from Italy. The first half of the film explores these events and manages to convey an extremely strong feeling for the time and place. The second half of the film deals with the trial of the surviving members of Giuliano's gang after his death and in doing so illuminates much of what has come before.

It is remarkable how well the film holds together considering the amount of different styles and techniques that were combined in its creation. There are elements of docudrama, courtroom drama, Italian neorealism, crime story and political tract. It is also surprising how well it holds up over forty years later.

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Release Date:

1 March 1962 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Salvatore Giuliano See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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