Buy Now: THE SICILIAN
Based on the novel of the same name written by The Godfather’s Mario Puzo, Michael Cimino’s The Sicilian is an action film based on the life of Salvatore Giuliano, a Sicilian bandit who made the most out of the chaos left after the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. Giuliano became an outlaw and with his large group of followers soon turned into the Italian government’s thorn in the backside – as many as 2.000 police officers and soldiers were sent to find him. The ruthless criminal reached the end of the road in 1950, when he was betrayed and murdered in his sleep by one of his associates.
Starring Christopher Lambert, Joss Ackland and Terence Stamp, Cimino’s movie gained unfavorable reviews upon its release. This comes as no surprise considering the nightmare that followed upon shooting finished. Cimino spent six months cutting the film and handed over a 150-minute version, which was at least 30 minutes too long for 20th Century Fox. In his contract, the filmmaker had final cut if the film was two hours long. When the studio pressed him to cut it again, Cimino delivered a half-assed version with action scenes abruptly cut out of the picture. The lawsuit that followed was quickly resolved, but it was David Begelman, head of the production company that hired Cimino, who trimmed it to 115 minutes. The Sicilian rests within that intriguing specter of films that turned out a mess even though made by artists capable of achieving greatness.