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Il giorno della civetta (1968)

Following a murder in a small Sicilian town, the new chief of the Carabinieri must fight corrupt officials, the frightened silence of witnesses and the local Mafia boss in order to solve the case.


Damiano Damiani

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudia Cardinale ... Rosa Nicolosi
Franco Nero ... Capt. Bellodi
Lee J. Cobb ... Don Mariano Arena
Tano Cimarosa ... Zecchinetta (as Gaetano Cimarosa)
Nehemiah Persoff ... Pizzuco
Ennio Balbo ... First Mafioso at the Banquet
Ugo D'Alessio Ugo D'Alessio ... Second Mafioso at the Banquet
Fred Coplan Fred Coplan ... Brigadier
Giovanni Pallavicino ... Police Sergeant
Giuseppe Lauricella Giuseppe Lauricella
Vincenzo Falanga Vincenzo Falanga
Laura De Marchi ... Daughter of Don Mariano
Brizio Montinaro Brizio Montinaro ... Son of Marshal
Lino Coletta Lino Coletta ... Young Moustachioed Man with Don Mariano
Vincenzo Norvese Vincenzo Norvese


Rosa Nicolosi is not the widow of Salvatore Colasberna, the man murdered in the beginning of the movie, but she is in fact the wife of Paolo Nicolosi, the only eyewitness of the murder. Paolo goes missing the same morning as the murder occurs. Written by Ave Tikkanen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What are 'friends' for...? Why, for murder, terror, extortion, violence and other profitable enterprises! See more »


M | See all certifications »



Italy | France



Release Date:

1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mafia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Version of Il giorno della civetta (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

May be too much of an 'acting' film for some folk
15 March 2018 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

I've always wanted to go to Sicily, but this tale of the law and the mafia clashing has now made me fear that an old woman might call me a whore from the window a passing car.

Just outside of a sleep Sicilian town, a construction manager is ambushed in his truck and shot dead while trying to escape. The assassin is spotted by a local man, and we forsee the problems the police are going to have as we as the audience witness people purposefully ignoring the corpse until a member of the Caribinieri forces the driver of the bus he is on to stop.

New hot-shot police Captain Franco Nero is straight on the case, being new to Sicily and naïve about the way things work there. He knows that the local Godfather Don Mariano (Lee Cobb) is behind it all, but in front of him there are endless underlings, hit men, liars and even the general public covering things up. It's all to do with building contracts for a new road, but how can Nero stop them when even the dead man's brothers are reluctant to help?

Hope lies in the shape of Claudia Cardinale, because it was her husband that witnessed the murder, but then again the husband has gone missing. Rumour and lies fly about the place trying Claudia's husband to the killing, claiming that Claudia had made him a cuckold. Claudia is adamant that she has been faithful to her husband, but what can one woman do against the might of the mafia, and their strange 'sweety wife' tactics that turn the public against her.

Those heading here from Andrea Bianchi's mental Cry of A Prostitute or Enzo Castellari's Big Racket will be wondering "Where's all the gunfights, car chases, and bitch slapping?", but they needn't worry. Yes, the only shots fired are at the start of the film, and the film is nearly two hours long, but the plot and the acting of those involved drew me into the story. Franco Nero comes across as a young, naïve and ambitious cop who will stop at nothing to get the biggest catch, but his faults also gradually start to shine through and erase his self-confidence. I'd say Claudia Cardinale stands out the most though, as the desperate mother who doesn't even know if her husband is still alive, with even the police trying to manipulate her, out on her own just trying to tell the truth. Lee Cobb was also good as the over-confident Mafia boss who struts around in front of the police like a rooster with his first hard-on.

Throw in a whole cast of supporting actors who also stand out and you've got an ever unfolding drama set in the sun that just shows you how difficult a job the police have in rooting out the mafia in Sicily. Damiano Damiani proves once again that he's a solid director. No trash here people.

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