The Sicilian (1987) from Tuna

After breaking in as a director for Clint Eastwood with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Michael Cimino directed the wildly successful Deer Hunter, and was given a blank check by United Artists to make Heaven's Gate. The film was bad enough that it resulted in the death of United Artists, which, to be fair, was already in trouble. In the Sicilian, he attempted to prove that he had not yet made his worst film, and succeeded beyond imagination:
  1. Very Long
  2. Confusing Plot
  3. No Pace
  4. No Character Development
  5. No Character Motivation
  6. Mostly very dark back-lit scenes
  7. Very Grainy
  8. Deadpan Leading Man
  9. Obvious Ending


Like Heaven's Gate, the film's only real positive was female exposure. In this case, Barbara Sukowa shows all three Bs early in the film, in a bath scene, after which she goes out on a balcony and flashes a tit at "The Sicilian" who is stealing two of her horses. Near the end, she shows breasts and buns in a love scene when he comes to steal her jewelry. She is so touched by the gesture that she screws his brains out.
The "Sicilian" is played by Christopher Lambert, who should have warn a Greek mask the entire film. The one expression on the mask would surely have been more interesting than the one his face was frozen into for the entire film. What's worse is that he is supposedly portraying a charismatic outlaw, Salvatore Giuliano. 

DVD info from Amazon.

bare bones

Guiliano wanted to be famous and popular, and had a brainstorm. He woke up one morning and decided to go against the Mafia, the Italian government, the nobility, the communist party and the Catholic Church, and win the right for peasants to own land. As you can clearly see, that was a mostly sensible plan, except that the peasants didn't want land, which would mean hard work. What they wanted was free bread.

In the one thing that rings true in the entire film, he was not able to single-handedly defeat every man, woman and child in Italy.  

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.1 
  • With their dollars ... it grossed $5 million in the USA
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F.

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