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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 himWritten by
After location work was finished, Michael Cimino took the footage straight to his editing room to begin cutting. Cimino did not report any of his progress on the editing as the months passed until he delivered a 150-minute cut of the film and declared that he was done. Under his contract with the producers, Cimino had the right to final cut as long as the film was under 120 minutes long. Cimino insisted that no more cuts could be made and pressed David Begelman and Bruce McNall to present the current version to 20th Century Fox, the film's domestic distributor. Before viewing the film, the Fox executives said to the producers that the film was so long that it limited the number of showings a theater could present each day. It had to be trimmed or Fox wouldn't release it.
When Begelman and McNall relayed Fox's ruling to Cimino, he exploded. "I've been cutting for six months. There's nothing more to take out!" he shouted. The producers responded that there had to be a way to tell the story in 120 minutes. Cimino answered, "Fine! You want it shorter, you got it." A few days later, Cimino delivered a new version of the film in which all of the action scenes were cut out. "In the script a big wedding scene in the mountains is followed by an attack on the wedding party." wrote McNall. "In what we saw the wedding was followed by a scene at a hospital, where all the people in nice clothes were being treated for their wounds. He just cut out the battle." Begelman did not wait till the film ended to get on the phone and immediately called Cimino. Cimino said that his contract allowed him final cut in a 120-minute film and what he gave them qualified. See more »
In the film Giuliano is seen smuggling grain to give to the starving. In reality he sold it on the black market. See more »
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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