Alberto Sordi, Italian cinematic great, was in peak form when he starred as Antonio Badalamenti, a Sicilian who’s become a successful FIAT executive in Milan and goes on a two-week vacation to his hometown in Sicily with his blonde northern wife and their two daughters.
Laughs and thrills happen when they’re welcomed back into Antonio’s family and the good graces of Mafia boss Don Vincenzo. It turns out Antonio not only owes the Don a favor for getting him the job up north, but is regarded by the local Cosa Nostra as a ‘piciotto d’onore’, a kid who distinguished himself in the ranks and he also happens to be the best marksman the town has ever known.
What starts out as a broad comedy and a warm social satire on the Italian south turns more serious and intense as the hero fits right in and his initially standoffish wife starts liking the family and bonding with one female member whose beauty she’s able to bring out.
Fine writing, direction, and use of locations add up to a seamless film from Director Alberto Lattuada. This film is hugely entertaining, with a fresh and timeless quality. Alberto Sordi’s range and fluency as an actor really solidifies this film as an all-time classic gangster movie and a genuinely wonderful example of Italian cinema. Bravo!