A film that shows the real face of The Godfather: a hard-hitting crime film that narrates the connections between criminality and the forces of law and order in society
Gian Maria Volonté gives one of his most extraordinary performances
When asked about Coppola’s The Godfather, Rosi used to answer: “It’s a great film, but his Godfather is a mythical character, so well portrayed that people empathise with him. Whereas, in my films I have always strived to achieve the opposite: I don’t want the audience to empathise, I want them to concentrate on the truth.” The extraordinary aspect of Francesco Rosi’s greatest films (and Lucky Luciano is one of them) is the natural way in which accurate historical research is combined with extremely engaging and complicated narratives. His cinema takes a profound look at its subject matter without ever risking becoming pedantic, always maintaining the audience’s full attention. Lucky Luciano is a hard-hitting crime film that narrates the connections between criminality and the forces of law and order in society with extraordinary clarity, while also giving us an unforgettable and densely nuanced character portrayal. Gian Maria Volonté is a giant of cinema. Rosi used to say that when Luciano’s last lover saw the actor after he stepped into the role on set, she stared at him in wonder and exclaimed: “It’s him!”
Lucky Luciano has been the supreme boss of the Italian-American Mafia since 1931. Although arrested in 1937, thanks to his connections he helps the Allied Forces land in Sicily during the Second World War. As a result, in 1946 he is released from prison and sent back to Italy. He is subsequently accused of being at the head of an international drug trafficking cartel, but no one is ever able to convict him. He dies of a heart attack in 1962, and all his secrets die with him.
Digitally restored in 4K in 2013 by Cineteca di Bologna, in collaboration with Titanus, in association with The Film Foundation, Cristaldi Film and Paramount Pictures.