Christopher Lambert is my favorite actor and when I saw this movie it became my favorite movie. He was a very good Guiliano, the movie moved me to find more information about the real Guiliano.
A movie with some political comment. (by diane-34)
In keeping with one of the movie's subplots, I confess to being a total Cimino fan. I have loved the four films that I have bought on DVD and I believe he is a much underrated director. I just finished The Sicilian several minutes ago and I, as opposed to the last commentators, loved the film, did not fall to the floor in hysterical laughter and did not think that Cimino wanted to become Scorsese in the worst way. I thought the script was thoughtful and one of the few films to confront the historical political skeleton hanging in every Italian closet--the skeleton of land redistribution <more>
and the ghosts that haunt,to this day, the society of old Italy. The people of Bologna and Emilia-Romangna understand this but the Scicilians still rely on the Mafia. Of course, everyone sees in a film that which they are programmed from childhood to see; for me, however, I saw a deeper film than other commentators saw and as a result, I watched a far better film--a film of great substance with the rough beauty of the Scicilian countryside and the Scililian cityscapes bared for all to appreciate. The historicity of Cimino's films produce a memorable panoply of substance, painted on a canvas of great beauty. I loved the actors and I loved all that they did on the screen; I applaud Cimino for his artistic brilliance. I am hugely saddened that there is nothing comparable in today's Hollywood cinema.
What "Heaven's Gate" Should Have Been (by Sturgeon54)
I've seen about four of director Michael Cimino's films, and every time I see one I feel like I am watching an attempt to create the equivalent of opera within the film medium. All of Cimino's films are filled with things one would often expect to find in the opera: emotional soliloquies, multi-layered mob conflicts, varied ethno-religious pageants filling the screen, extended love scenes, contrasting symbolisms between murky and bright color schemes, and plenty of furious soul-searching by its male characters following unexpected death and despair. Plus, like opera, his films are <more>
LONG.The problem is that the old Italian conventions of the opera are not what most American audiences and even critics want to see. That is my theory for why his films have never gained the kind of respect he would probably get if he were a purely European director. My guess is that one day they will - alongside someone like Sergio Leone, whose work is quite similar.A film treatment of a melodramatic novel by Mario Puzo about a Robin Hood-type emphasis on the "hood" outlaw stealing from the Sicilian gentry to give to the peasants in Fascist 1930s Italy is really the best possible setting I've seen for a Cimino film. His style of multi-layered art filmmaking was just not compatible for the American West of the 1880s in "Heaven's Gate." Here, he is using an incredibly literate screenplay supposedly most of which was written by the literary legend Gore Vidal, the rest by author Steve Shagan , filled with endlessly quotable spiritual/political/philosophical dialogue and musings. Aiding this is the Nino Rota-esqe score by Cimino's usual musical composer David Mansfield.Subtle character development has never been the strong suite of Cimino; he explores bigger things in his films like mood, place, and theme. And in this respect, he really does deserve credit for putting the audience in the middle of 1930s Italy, with its cauldron of conflicts between indentured peasants, land-owning gentry, shifty politicians, and the self-righteous dons and pontiffs who control things behind the scenes. This would be an excellent movie to watch alongside "The Godfather III," also based upon the work of Puzo, to spot common themes. While nowhere near as groundbreaking or spectacular as The Godfather films, this movie does deserve its place as a companion piece in Puzo's screen adaptations. It's not a fast-paced Scorcese mafia film; it requires patience.
Loosely based on real events this is the story of a man who stands up to the mob and the rich, with some success. Christopher Lambert plays the charismatic lead and does an admirable job. The Mafia, in this film, is portrayed effectively and menacingly. The love affair bored me. What I liked about this film was the power struggle and the loss. No battle is fought without casualties.I've not read up on the historical events, so I don't know how much historical accuracy there is in this film, but I don't think it tries to be a documentary, it tries to tell a romantic tale about a <more>
man who stood against forces that most people don't dare stand up against. If the Romance of one man against many appeals to you, this film does a respectable job of that. It's been many years since I've watched it, but it was one of my favorite DVD rentals some years back.
Despite the score of 4.8/10, I still picked up The Sicilian in the DVD bargain bin since I liked Christopher Lambert in Highlander and Fortress. I'm not gonna say Christopher Lambert is the greatest actor in the world but I guess he did OK in this. They've got some good supporting actors such as Joss Ackland and John Turturro that bring life to the movie. I like this movie a lot. It is MUCH better than the trash Lambert has starred in the past five years [i.e. Fortress 2, Absolon]. This movie deserves more than a 4.8...more like a 6.5+. Michael Cimino has got to be one of the greatest <more>
directors ever but I guess after Heavens Gate, people lost faith in him. Oh well. If you're looking for a spin-off Godfather type movie with the 'Highlander', it's worth a rent.