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The Sicilian (1987) - A Film Review




The Sicilian is a 1987 epic historical crime film directed by Michael Cimino, based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo. The film stars Christopher Lambert as Salvatore Giuliano, the notorious bandit who fought for Sicilian independence from Italy in the 1940s and 1950s. The film also features Terence Stamp, Joss Ackland, John Turturro, and Barbara Sukowa in supporting roles.


The film follows the rise and fall of Giuliano, who robs from the rich landowners and gives to the poor peasants, earning their admiration and loyalty. He also clashes with the Mafia, the Church, and the government, who all want to control Sicily for their own interests. Giuliano's ambition and ego eventually lead him to betray his closest ally and cousin, Gaspare "Aspanu" Pisciotta (Turturro), who is manipulated by the Mafia boss Don Masino Croce (Ackland) to assassinate him.


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The Sicilian is a film that tries to capture the complexity and tragedy of Giuliano's life and legacy, but fails to do so convincingly. The film suffers from a weak script, poor editing, and uneven performances. The film was heavily cut by the studio from its original length of 146 minutes to 115 minutes, resulting in a disjointed and confusing narrative. The film also deviates from the novel and historical facts in several aspects, such as omitting the references to the Corleone family from The Godfather, portraying Giuliano as a hero who tried to stop the massacre at Portella della Ginestre (which he actually ordered), and changing the fate of some characters.


The film does have some redeeming qualities, such as the cinematography by Alex Thomson, the music by David Mansfield, and the production design by Wolf Kroeger. The film also showcases some of the beautiful scenery of Sicily, where it was shot on location. The film also has some memorable scenes, such as the opening sequence where Giuliano escapes from a prison hospital, the confrontation between Giuliano and Prince Borsa (Stamp), and the final shootout between Giuliano and Pisciotta.


The Sicilian is a film that had the potential to be a great epic, but was ruined by studio interference and creative differences. The film is not a faithful adaptation of Puzo's novel, nor a accurate depiction of Giuliano's history. The film is only recommended for fans of Cimino or Lambert, who might enjoy it as a curiosity or a guilty pleasure.


For more information about the film, you can visit its [Wikipedia page], [IMDb page], or [Wikiwand page].


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