I will give it credit for doing a great job with building the dread and suspense leading up to the climax.
This is sort of a dark comedy produced by Dino De Laurentis and directed by Alberto Lattuada. That is slowly being re-released here in the States.
Antonio "Nino" Badalamenti (Alberto Sordi, the Italian Peter Sellers) works in a Milan steel fabricating plant, stamping out Fiats and scooters, and is happily married to his northern Italian wife, Marta (Norma Bengell) and they have two precocious blonde daughters.
Nino is a conscientious worker and takes his bonus in vacation time and takes the family back to his hometown of Catanao in Sicily and meet his family. One of the executives asks him to deliver a present to one of the local Dons, Don Vincenzo (Ugo Attanaslo) and Nino is happy to do so.
The movie sort of pokes fun of Sicilians and the "Old World" stereotypes, but at the same time Nino enjoys his return and is highly respectful of the old ways and the people. Nino was just a messenger boy for the Mafia, but the Dons remember him as being an excellent shot and have some plans for him.
(In Italian with English subtitles)
It's been said this was the first actual movie about the Italian mafia before Francis Ford Coppola made famous with his "Godfather" trilogy! Story involves hard working factory worker visiting relatives on a trip before unknowingly showing gratitude to powerful Don! More black comedy focusing on his quips with his family and relatives than it is as a serious Italian gangster film! Interesting but tame compared to what's being shown today!
3 out of 4 stars