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Movie Review – “Men Of Corleone”

Three Criminal Sons Of Bitches

Three Criminal Sons Of Bitches

I saw this film on Amazon Prime and was surprised to learn afterward that no reviews were to be found online (at least in English). This is a good, hardboiled crime film with the added advantage of being based on real events. Add an effective score by a great film composer, Ennio Morricone, and it made gripping viewing for me.

By means of flashback and linear narrative, MOC tells the forty year chronicle of the Corleone gang, a pack of vicious thugs who rose from humble rural beginnings to dominate the Palermo real estate market in the ’80’s, expropriating property from owners by threats and violence.

The actors give excellent performances. Two particular standouts are, of course, the leads, David Coco as Bernado (“Binnu”) Provenzano, and Marcello Mazzarella as the fearsome Toto Riina. Mazzarella’s ability to project menace is powerful, a short man just itching to explode and murder someone. Even as an old man trapped in a prison cell, his eyes radiate viciousness and fury.

An even more impressive job is done by Coco in portraying the cool, cerebral Provenzano, the brains of the outfit. He convincingly shows the character’s state of mind as he marries and has children against his better judgment, in an attempt to have what he knows is forbidden to him, a happy, normal life. The attempt fails as it had to do, and the criminal mastermind ends up a hunted fugitive, hiding first in a monastery and finally a goatherd’s hut to avoid arrest.

The Corleone mob were noted for their savagery. Indifferent to outdated concepts like omertà, they not only murdered their enemies, but their families as well. As I said, this is a hardboiled film, with many violent incidents, with one shoot out taking place during a holy day procession that’s is particularly powerful visually, but also really gory. There was no end to the mob’s violence or their hubris, as they proved by murdering police officers and prosecuting attorneys, to include the notorious explosion that killed Judge Giovanni Falcone in 1992. A constant theme throughout the film is the danger of a criminal enterprise daring to strike against the state. The Corleone mob learns the truth of this adage the hard way, their members either shot dead by the police or thrown into prison for life.

All in all, even if it this was just made for Italian TV, I think this was a good movie. My only real criticism is that the old man make up for David Coco at the end looked incredibly fake. I recommend this to people who like films or shows about the Mafia, especially The Sopranos or The Godfather.


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