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Corleone The Complete Series [Cinema Italia] [DVD]
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As seen on Sky Arts and based on a true story. ´Corleone´ narrates the life of Totò Riina between 1943 and 1993. From a difficult adolescence to his rise to power within Cosa Nostra , passing via the many bloody episodes which saw his ascent.
A story which starts when, as an adolescent, the future boss powerlessly witnesses the death of his father and younger brother in the explosion of a bomb leftover from the war. From that moment on, he becomes the head of the family and will have to fight poverty. He creates a small group of extremely trusted followers with Provenzano and Bagarella, he joins up with the most powerful criminals of Corleone who climbs the ladder towards mafia power, first dominating Corleone then Palermo.
These are extremely bloody events which see the conquering of power by means of unprecedented violence and hundreds of deaths. Only a childhood friend, Biagio Schirò, chooses another destiny, that of becoming a police officer and undertaking the mission of routing his ex-companion in an extremely delicate role which will make him persecutor and pursued and will lead him to run enormous risks.
Corleone´ is also the story of Riina s great enemies, the martyrs who have fought the mafia to extreme consequences, from the head of Police Mangano, to Boris Giuliano, the general Dalla Chiesa, the judges Terranova, Costa, Falcone and Borsellino, and the group of Captain Ultimo who, on January 15, 1993, will succeed in finding and arresting Totò Riina.
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Took a long time to find a quality DVD version with English subtitles and this release is first class.
I pre-ordered it
I have watched it all through since it arrived.
What intrigues me is the fact that it is based on Fact and the Toto Riina who is still alive at 83 basically did everything that is shown in the movies.
I believe he has watched to series in his prison in Italy.
We have to respect and admire Falcone and the others who basically single handed took the Mafia on and did not live to see the end result.
Riina, initially I found myself having sympathy with at his extremely poor childhood and his singled minded determination to over come that
As in the case with all "dictators" he lost the plot eventually and I do believe he was sold out by Provenzano.
The acting is first class, the production is first class and the story is factually quite true with the exception of Schiro who is a fictionalised representation of the fight of Good against Evil.
When we watch movies such as the Godfather it is easy to forget just exactly what the Mafia does. The pain and terror it causes to normal human beings.
This movie hides nothing and we realise just watching it how far these people are prepared to go in the pursuit of money and power. The movie deromanticises the Mafia and exposes the corruption at the very top of Politics.
The acting is top-notch. The scenery and settings note-perfect, and the dialogue as authentic as you could get. There are only 2 real wrinkles for me, none of which is enough to downvote:
1) Toto Riina is now 82 and was captured when he was 62. The (excellent) actor playing him just can't look authentically old - it seems more like he was 40 when captured. This can slightly jar with the timeline as presented.
2) The character of Biagio is a little contrived, although this is because he is - he never existed in real life. However, a post by the producers on IMDB, states they chose to present the story with a "hero" in Biagio as a way to consolidate the focus on the real heroes - all dead now - who did stand up to the Mafia. As you will see if you watch this, a lot of innocent people were slaughtered - this film tries to give them a voice.
It's FANTASTIC. I have now found a favourite Italian actor in Claudio Gioe (Salvatore Riina).
Aside from a beautiful cast (Seriously, there are no ugly people in Sicily) , the writing and acting is superb. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Gangster and Biographical shows.
Throughout the series (there is over 10 hours of TV here) all parties seem to have doubted Riina's willingness to up the stakes. Rivals are driving around without bodyguards to visit their girl-friends, judges go for a nice drive to a restaurant, it is as if they simply lack the imagination to predict the result. Eventually even men of honour crack and the arrival of the penitenti (super grasses) breaks through even the wall of omerta.
Before Riina the mafia bosses were men who lived openly and grandly, but Riina was willing not to be seen, effectively living as a small farmer tending his vegetables and fruit, albeit an immensely wealthy small farmer. What was Riina's end plan after riling the State? The TV series portrays him as seeking a pardon in return for peace. Remarkable but bloody
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