Taglines: Only one man ever dared to stand alone.
Salvatore Giuliano, the infamous bandit, together with his rag-tag band of guerrillas, attempted to liberate early 1950s Sicily from Italian rule and make it an American state. Giuliano robs from the rich conservative landowners to give to the 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 adviser Gaspare to assassinate him.
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, Barbara Sukowa, Terence Stamp, Joss Ackland, John Turturro, Richard Bauer, Giulia Boschi, Andreas Katsulas and Michael Wincott.
The film was shot on location in Sicily in the spring and summer of 1986. In late April 1986, Begelman and McNall discovered that the film was over budget and behind schedule. The problems involved mostly hang-ups with personnel and equipment, nothing on the scale of Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate.
One exception was some low-level Mafia men who controlled certain locations and union workers. Cimino suggested that Begelman and McNall meet with Mafia men to overcome the impasse. Upon meeting them in a restaurant off the main piazza, the producers discovered that the Mafia men wanted to appear in the film. “Once we all understood,” wrote McNall, “the fix was easy. There were plenty of little roles for walk-ons and extras. And if a real role didn’t exist, we could pretend to involve some of the guys and throw them a day’s pay.” Once the problem was solved, Cimino had access to the countryside and the local labor pool.
The Sicilian (1987)
Directed by: Michael Cimino
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Barbara Sukowa, Terence Stamp, Joss Ackland, John Turturro, Richard Bauer, Giulia Boschi, Andreas Katsulas, Michael Wincott
Screenplay by: Steve Shagan
Production Design by: Wolf Kroeger
Cinematography by: Alex Thomson
Film Editing by: Françoise Bonnot
Costume Design by: Wayne A. Finkelman
Art Direction by: Stefano Maria Ortolani
Music by: David Mansfield
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 23, 1987