Directed by: Pasquale Squitieri
Mario Cecchi Gori for Capital Film
Stefano Satta Flores
And With Michele Placido
Synopsis: Three friends live at Corleone. a small Sicilian town: Vito Gargano, an unemployed farm¬labourer, who picks up a living by black market activities, Michele Labruzzo, a young trade unionist and Natale Calia. a petty politician, who has had to make very great efforts in order to be able two study. Ali three of them know a woman, Rosa Accordino, who is Michele´s mistress but inspires also a secret passion in the other two.
Vito, Michele and Natale, each one of them in his own way, are representative of three different means of rebelling against the Mafia setup, as personified by Don Giusto Provenzano. the “godfather” of all the “families” in Western Sicily.
In his illicit dealings Vito clashes with several rivals and kills one of them Don Giusto’s intervention saves him from being placed under arrest, but at the same time he becomes tied to the Mafia by means of this debt which must be paid sooner or later. The price will be the life of Michele, who is beginning to have too many fol¬lowers among the peasants who are only too eager to seize land.
The cold-blooded murder of his friend confers on Vito alla the economic and social privileqes connected with his entry into the organization of the Mafia. But his thirst for power is not satisfied and, in order to get on further, he uses every possible means of getting his friend Natale Calia elected to Parliament. With such an important political backing Vito, who has married Rosa in the meantime, begins a frenzied activity in order to finalize various lucrative activities. But he soon realizes that his field of action will remain restricted so long as Don Giu¬sto continues to be the boss. He therefore deci-des to get rid of him and carries out the murder personally, killing him at his home.
By massacring all members of the Provenzano clan Vito acquires absolute power an the me¬thods he uses strike terror to such and extent that he can impose his decisions on the whole Mafia organization.
Since he wants to get the support of the American Mafia, he decides to enter the colossal business of drug smuggling. In order to amass the billions he needs for this he plans a series of kidnappings which become more and more frequent. But the man, who acts as carrier of the dirty cash between the Italian and Swiss banks, decides to talk. And so Natale Calia convinces Vito to give himself up to the police in order to prove his innocence: not only does he act as counsel during the trial but he manoeuvres cleverly behind the scenes.
In fact, Vito is shamelessly set scot free and during the course of the hearing the evidence proving his guilt mysteriously disappears. But Natale has compromised himself too much and the leaders of his political party order him to get rid of a «friend» who has become dangerously inconvenient.
Once more the rise to power causes the heroes of this story to act against each other: Vito’s death ensures the survival for Natale Calias’ political career.