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The Sicilian Clan (Le clan des siciliens) - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
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The Sicilian Clan (Le clan des siciliens)
SIFF link: The Sicilian Clan (USA, 1969, 122 minutes, Henri Verneuil)
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

During transportation between court and jail, Roger Sartet (Alain Delon) attempts an elaborate escape with the help of crime boss Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin), who also hides him. Manalese's French daughter-in-law Jeanne (Irina Demick) notices Sartet's good looks when she delivers some things to his hiding place.

During his time in prison, Sartet befriended an electrician (Christian de Tillière) who was in for a crime of passion, and learned many details of the security system at a forthcoming jewelry exhibition. They plot a robbery. Meanwhile, police Commissaire Le Goff (Lino Ventura) is intent on recapturing Sartet, who had killed two of his officers.

The jewel robbery plot is complicated, but after the criminals case the site they come up with an even more complicated plot.

8 Very GOod Director Henri Verneuil didn't get a lot of respect from French New Wave film critics, but he knew how to craft a solid caper film. Although the film is rather long, it never drags, and it looks great. He, ex-convict screenwriter José Giovanni, and Pierre Pelegri adapted a book by crime novelist Auguste Le Breton (who also wrote the novel that was adapted into Rififi), and put together a wild plot that all held together somehow.

The acting is very good too. Delon isn't just a pretty face. Gabin is a distinguished villain. Demick is appropriately seductive. And Ventura is determined.

Overall, Between the excellent directing, a very good script, very good acting, and exceptional production values, I rate the film very good.

Languages: French, Italian, and English, with English subtitles.

Rating: This film was rated "GP", for smoking, drinking, and crime. Somehow the usually-prudish MPAA overlooked the nudity.

Screening: 4 pm, SIFF Cinema at the Egyptian.
Audience: about half full, 450 seats (450 main floor; 125 balcony was closed). The theater was a bit on the warm side, but not as bad as on Thursday night.

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements: If there were any ads, I missed them. However, Eddie Muller provided a commentary, which I recorded. I can transcribe it or upload it somewhere if I can't find a link to someone else's recording.

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