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Mafioso begins as an amusing farce and skillfully transforms into a portentous social drama.
All Critics (50)
| Top Critics (26)
| Fresh (48)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (6)
Director Lattuada was reportedly acclaimed for his oddball tonal shifts, which Mafioso offers in spades.
The transitional gears never grind. They just keep clicking until you know you're along for the entire ride.
The film ripens in an unanticipated way, nimbly shifting from near farce to something quite a bit darker.
Mafioso may be 45 years old, but it's as bracingly relevant as anything else in theaters today. Even in the heat of a dry Sicilian summer, the film looks fresh as a lemon tree. And when you bite down hard, it's just as bitter.
If you crossed Meet the Parents with The Godfather and filmed it 45 years ago in Italian, you might come close to Mafioso, a black-and-white gem from 1962 whose appearance in local theaters is inexplicable but most welcome.
This is brilliant, subtle acting. And Lattuada's filmmaking matches it, with his blend of neo-realism and easy theatricality. He doesn't waste a shot.
Brilliant neglected and underappreciated film about the Sicilian mafia.
A gentle Italian comedy from 1962 that takes a sobering, chilling turn that would make Michael Corleone proud.
Director Alberto Lattuada's seriocomic 1962 look at the Sicilian mob lifestyle broke the omerta, providing a look at the sordidly fascinating life of the wiseguy.
No wonder Mafioso vanished without a trace when it was released in 1962; the mordant mobster comedy was about 45 years ahead of its time.
It feels like a comedy, and then a dark drama, and then, no, wait . . . a semicomic documentary, right? The effect, carried brilliantly by Sordi, is delightful.
Some viewers may feel betrayed when the film's light-hearted and gently mocking attitude suddenly turns deadly serious. I thought it was breathtaking.
Antonio Badalamenti; factory supervisor, loving husband, devoted father, reluctant hit-man.
It is surprising and strange to us how the mafia works in Italy, which is shown in this movie, but this movie is exciting and very funny. I enjoyed it.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Mafioso," Antonio Badalamenti(Alberto Sordi) is an efficiency expert about to take his blonde wife Marta(Norma Bengell) and two children to visit his family in Sicily for the first time. But before he can make his escape, his boss Dr. Zanchi(Armando Tine) asks him to deliver a small package to Don Vincenzo(Ugo Attanasio) when he sees him.(While Zanchi is originally from America, his parents are also from Siciliy.) Antonio happily agrees as he rushes home to catch a train that will get them to Sicily by the following morning.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]While not quite the comedy I was expecting, there is still much to recommend in "Mafioso." Don't get me wrong. There are certainly comedic elements but they are subtly downplayed as the movie barely avoids several stereotypes at once while utilizing a parallel storyline to its best advantage. What is accentuated are the cultural differences between the traditional, laid back Sicily versus the more modern, fast-paced Milan.(I don't have the ear for it but I am sure the dialects are quite different also.) It does not take Antonio long to get used to the slower rhythms of his old hometown but he is shocked by the darkness that infuses the last half hour of the movie. Throughout, he is reminded that most of his old friends are dead, in jail or perpetually unemployed, his university education allowing him to escape this fate. But there are worse things than hanging out at the beach all day.[/font]
darkly funny. great role for alberto sordi. bravo!
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