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Mafioso (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gabriella Conti, Albert Sordi, Norma Bengell
  • Directors: Alberto Lattuada
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011U3OA6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mafioso (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • A 1996 interview with director Alberto Lattuada by filmmaker Daniele Luchetti
  • New video interviews with the director's son, Alessandro Lattuada, and wife, actress Carla Del Poggio (Variety Lights)
  • Italian and U.S. theatrical trailers
  • Stills gallery of promotional caricatures by artist Keiko Kimura New and improved English subtitle translation

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Alberto Lattuada s brilliant dark comedy MAFIOSO, auto-factory foreman Nino (Alberto Sordi) takes his proper, modern wife (Norma Bengell) and two blonde daughters from industrial Milan to antiquated rural Sicily to visit his family and get back in touch with his roots. But Antonio gets more than he bargained for when he discovers some harsh truths about his ancestors and himself. The first Italian film to dramatize the modern mafia, Lattuada s devastatingly funny character study is equal parts culture-clash farce and existential nightmare.

Special Features
* - New, restored high-definition digital transfer
* - A 1996 interview with director Alberto Lattuada by filmmaker Daniele Luchetti
* - New video interviews with the director's son, Alessandro Lattuada, and wife, actress Carla Del Poggio (Variety Lights)
* - Italian and U.S. theatrical trailers
* - Stills gallery of promotional caricatures by artist Keiko Kimura New and improved English subtitle translation

Amazon.com

As one of the earliest films about the mafia's influence over the personal lives of those involved, Alberto Lattuada's Mafioso also established the way humor is used in gangster movies as respite from tragic, violent circumstances. In it, Antonio (Alberto Sordi), nicknamed Nino or Ninuzzo by his Sicilian peers, takes his blonde, northern Italian wife, Marta (Norma Bengell) and two daughters back to Sicily, since they know little of his Sicilian heritage. Taking vacation leave from his factory job in Milan, Nino's family vacation becomes a full-force effort to convince his modern wife and traditional parents that their differences are merely superficial. Hilarious scenes underscore the differences between northern and southern Italian culture. Marta is appalled by the multi-course banquet served, for example, yet the whole family gawks when she lights a cigarette after eating. Once this familial conflict is resolved, by Marta's applying her beautician skills to rid Nino's sister, Rosalia, of profuse body hair, Nino's "other" family beckons. His past alliance to Don Vincenzo, the town's mysteriously powerful sports association president, means that he owes repayment for past favors. Besides Mafioso's sumptuous depictions of robust Sicilian life, it also humanizes mafia members to explain their eye-for-an-eye mentality. Don Vincenzo is certainly a prototypical Godfather, fair and uncompromising. From the outset, Mafioso emphasizes the importance of love and loyalty, giving one a renewed sense of appreciation for those one knows, trusts, and relies upon. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

Subtle, poignant, humorous, human, and zero excess.
Vassilis Koukis
In both the North and the South, the protagonist, who loves his family, is aware of how much he has to lose by coming up short in his obedience, in his "precision."
fuwanna
It's lighthearted and funny for most of the movie and the lead character really drives the story.
Shawn Chittle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 26, 2008
Format: DVD
Italian actor Alberto Sordi stars in this brilliant, mordant comedy about a jovial Sicilian engineer who returns to his hometown (with his new family in tow) and exults in the simple country pleasures of rural Sicily. Meanwhile, Nino's blonde, glamorous Northern Italian wife is utterly horrified: her husband's hometown is seen as a parade of the broadest ethnic stereotypes, all the disparaging images that Northerners hold against Southern Italians: that they are swarthy, crude, loutish, loud, hot-tempered, and completely mired in the criminal culture of the Mafia.

For the first half of the film, Nino appears an utter innocent, happily embracing all his childhood kith and kin, speaking glowingly of charity of the local Mafia Don, cheerfully accepting all the absurd explanations of why half the town seems to be either dead or in jail. But slowly, the truth of Nino's past emerges, and we realize that this dumb country cluck is a little more savvy that he lets on... About the same time, the film does an equal about-face, shifting from a broad farce into a chilling Mob movie. It's a fascinating film; also a nice glimpse into Italy in the early 1960s, a forward-looking, industrialized nation with deep ties to its old past. Definitely worth checking out. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stanley H. Nemeth on April 13, 2008
Format: DVD
This movie is a brilliant, consistently ironic and finally grim comedy, and as such far sadder than tragedy. Rather than showing us an imperfect man attempting to rise to the occasion when it's sadly too late, this film shows him instead too easily falling to it.

A northern Italian auto factory foreman, the marvelous Alberto Sordi first appears standing before rows of wonderfully photographed clanging machines, performing dully repetitive tasks. Eagerly, he demands his workers obey his directions for a robot like speed of their own - i.e. man as boss dehumanizing man as underling. Soon taking a vacation to the South, Sicily, to introduce his family to his "roots," the Sordi character is asked by his own northern boss to deliver an objet d'art to the Mafia leader down there. This delegated task creates a meaningful link between the seemingly opposite "economically booming" North and the impoverished South, one which the film never loses sight of. Weak humanity is easily corruptible into the pawns of superiors, North or South. In the movement of the film, we are taken then not so much from an urbane, civilized North to a rural, primitive South as a much shorter distance - out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The director of this film, Alberto Lattuada, stated that he habitually looked through the lens of the camera and was essentially the author of every shot. One can easily believe him.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Chittle on February 16, 2008
Format: DVD
I saw this film on the big screen and it was quite an experience. I went in thinking it was going to be some boring 1960's black and white film.

How wrong can you be?

This movie is absolutely hilarious. It's lighthearted and funny for most of the movie and the lead character really drives the story. He wants his wife and two daughters, his modern Italian family in Milan, to see his hometown in Sicily -- his "roots."

The lead character remembers his beloved Sicily as an idyllic countryside with good people, good food, and good times. However, now that he is a grown man, upon his arrival, certain parties are interested in what he can do for them. The events that follow are what make for very good movie watching. You just never know where its going to go.

This movie is in Italian, so it has subtitles. Don't let that discourage you from watching this. The expressions on the people's faces are all you need.

You'll never look at The Godfather or any mob movie the same way again.

Brilliantly directed and acted - amongst the top tier of films ever created.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD HALL OF FAME on May 3, 2008
Format: DVD
i finally got to see this film recently and enjoyed it from start to finish. the Humor at first was a trip and then the film got real dark and serious.the Main character was coming back home and he wanted to still be down with his roots and he was being tested. his wife represented the new world he had undertaken and his family and old running buddies didn't know if he had changed or if he was still down. he was working a auto plant and they wanted to see if the big city life had changed him from his past ways. this film was the one that got the Godfather and other classics off and running. Giada De laurentis of the Food Channel who has a show called Everyday Italian,well her Grandfather Dino De Laurentis Produced this film.this is a must see film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SJreviewsEverything on May 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mafioso is a prime example of the commedia all'italiana as a complex film blurring the lines between comedy and drama. For the most part, it is entertaining though the climax is rather slow and brings the film to a sputtering end rather than a truly satisfying conclusion.

It is the story of Nino Badalamenti, a Sicilian technician working and living in northern Italy with his family. He is a man fully in control of himself and his surroundings, dictating everything from his colleagues to his own family, calling the shots for their family vacation to his native Italy.

This is where the movie finds its strengths; as someone of Sicilian ancestry, I can appreciate the stereotypes and differences between Sicilian and northern Italians, and Mafioso plays these up to very funny effect. The Sicilians are coarse, hairy, loud, and over-the-top foils to the suave and sophisticated northerners. (I find this even funnier as it is from an Italian perspective; most non-Italian films view all Italians as the same, and it's great to find a movie that actually recognizes that there is diversity within this country.)

The comic-tragic elements come from the main narrative though, of Nino's struggles with his own identity as a Sicilian (and of course the inevitable mafia-stereotype that comes along with that) and getting back into the circles of crime he was involved with as a youth. This pulls him back into committing a terrible crime, which the end of the film implies will affect him to the rest of his days.

Mafioso is certainly a good movie, entertaining and thought-provoking; the sequence surrounding Nino's crime, though, is told too slowly in my opinion and doesn't contribute much to the greater conflict of identity politics, which is conveyed much more strongly for the rest of the film.
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