Directed by Alberto Lattuada
Starring Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell
Screenplay by Rafael Azcona, Bruno Caruso, Marco Ferreri, Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli
Approx. 105 min. 35mm.
Joyous, raucous Sicilian homecoming for Sordi’s Nino Badalamenti, stuffing himself, lapsing into dialect, and embracing an endless line of relatives, as his golden-haired Northern wife gets an overdose of culture shock. But then the local capo Don Vincenzo wants him to go on a “hunting trip.” Dizzying spin from hilarious farce to sweaty-palmed Film Noir.
“An utter blast. Almost a film festival unto itself.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Alberto Sordi was that rare thing, a matinee idol with a gift for ridiculous comedy. (Imagine a voluble, foolish Cary Grant.) This nearly forgotten 1962 feature, directed by neorealist pioneer Alberto Lattuada, opens with Sordi's proud efficiency expert striding through a huge Milan factory. Modern times become more feudal once he returns to native Sicily for a vacation en famille. His northern wife and two young children are swept up in a series of huge meals and screaming reunions but the real culture shock is his. Sordi's adult persona disintegrates; he finds himself in thrall to the local don, [with a] hilariously shocking turn of events. Another superb Rialto reclamation job.”
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“The most unalloyed pleasure I've had from a festival offering this week came from Mafioso, a humdinger of a comedy that has been lovingly resuscitated. This dark-hued delight boasts a rich, exuberant performance by Alberto Sordi.”
– Jan Stuart, Newsday
“The [New York Film] festival's unequivocal high point. Pre-dating The Godfather and most other influential mob films, Mafioso transplants Antonio (the late, great Alberto Sordi), a Fiat factory foreman, and his family from their comfy Northern Italy home to Sicily to visit his family and his family. What follows is a rousing mix of dark humor, sweaty palms, and gangster mentality that consistently stretches the boundaries of the mob film. Mafioso stands as a testament to a great director who was never recognized for his mastery and skill of the celluloid dream.”