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Mafioso / ***1/2 (Not rated)
by Jim Emerson Editor, Eight years before "The Godfather," three years before FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ever acknowledged that there was such a thing as the Mafia in the U.S., Albergo Lattuada's "Mafioso" infiltrated our shores. Made in 1962, it had a brief New York run in the summer of 1964 and then disappeared for 40 years until it resurfaced at the 2006 New York Film Festival. What an odd and wonderful rediscovery it is, a broad commedia della famiglia told with authentic piquancy and brio. It has boisterous fun with crusty Sicilian stereotypes on that sun-baked island of strict moral codes and ancient family ties. Then -- as suddenly as a cloudburst appearing out of a clear blue sky -- it turns dark.

March 16, 2007 / * ()
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