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"Dream of gold, my boy."
Hector Adonis[src]

The Sicilian is a 1987 action film based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo. It was directed by Michael Cimino and stars Christopher Lambert, Joss Ackland and Terence Stamp. It tells the story of Salvatore Giuliano, a Sicilian bandit who dreams of freeing his homeland from the opression of both the government and the Mafia.

Whilst the original book featured Michael Corleone and Peter Clemenza and was part of The Godfather franchise, the film eliminated these characters for copyright reasons and placed more focus on Giuliano. A number of character names also changed, for example Croce Malo became Masino Croce.

Synopsis

Salvatore Giuliano, the infamous bandit, has just been killed in mysterious circumstances. His godfather, Hector Adonis, visits his murderer, Gaspare Pisciotta, in prison.

A few years earlier, on the estate of Prince Sandro Borsa, Giuliano and Gaspare are caught stealing grain they have hidden a coffin. Giuliano is shot and in the process he kills a carabinieri in the escape. The two flee to Abbot Manfredi, where Giuliano is nursed back to health.

Union leader Silvio Ferra gives a speech criticizing Borsa and his minion, the Mayor of Montelepre, Guido Quintana, who knocks him aside. At the rally, Ferra's sister Giovanna, expresses her concern for Giuliano to Aspanu, but he assures her he is safe. She also supports her brother's stance, claiming he is acting for the people's good.

Together with Aspanu, rescues local heroes Passatempo and Terranova from the Bellampo barracks, sparing the life of Corporal Canio Silvestro in the process. Giuliano begins to rob from the rich conservative landowners to give to the peasants, who in turn hail him as their savior, particularly after robbing a military train.

In Rome, Don Masino Croce, the most powerful Mafia chieftain in Sicily, meets with minister Trezza, who expresses his concern over Giuliano's rising popularity, fears he will lead the people in revolt. His fears are softened when Don Croce informs him that Giuliano is not a Communist but robs for attention and the affections of Giovanna. It is then he announces that he seeks to make Giuliano his heir.

Soon after, Giuliano and his band raid Prince Borsa's home and rob his rich guests, one of whom, Camilla, Duchess of Crotone, seduces Giuliano, before urging him to leave Sicily for the United States, but he refuses, stating his loyalty to the people above his own needs. Camilla later has dinner with Don Masino, who arranges to have her jewels returned to her through Hector Adonis, and admires her tenacity as they dance. The same evening, Giuliano and Giovanna drive through Palermo, and the bandit announces himself at a nightclub before revealing that he is to be married. Silvio gives his blessing for the marriage in Montelepre.

Soon after, Canio Silvestro, stripped of his stripes, comes to Giuliano and reveals that Frisella, the local barber, is actually a informant. Giuliano drags Frisella into the the street and guns him down, before having a note left on the body "So die all who betray Giuliano." He gives the man's shoes and gold watch to his son before breaking down. He has Terranova kidnap Prince Borsa and take him up into the mountains.

Another traitor, the local priest Father Doldana, is killed and crucified by Giuliano's men. Don Quintana calls a meeting of the Mafia chieftains demanding action against Giuliano, but Don Masino tells him to wait, and sends for the ransom for Borsa, who Giuliano has become somewhat friendly with.

Credits

Cast

Behind the scenes

  • Due to copyright reasons, no Godfather characters appear in the film, despite Michael Corleone and Peter Clemenza having large roles in the original novel.
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