Official release | Update : 13.02.18 . 2:37 PM

CANNES CLASSICS - Lucky Luciano: chronicle of an influential gangster

Francesco Rosi © RR

Francesco Rosi © RR

With a career spanning forty years and twenty-eight films to his name, 90-year-old Francesco Rosi will this Friday, as part of Cannes Classics, present the projection of a restored copy of one of his films that placed him among the most famous figures of socially engaged Italian cinema: Lucky Luciano (1973).


History does not tell us how many aliases Charles Luciano - nicknamed "Lucky Luciano" due to his survival of a violent beating - possessed before his death in Naples on 26th January 1962. Born in Sicily in 1897 under the name of Salvatore Lucania, Charles Luciano was one of the biggest criminals of his time. In 1906, he emigrated with his parents to New York, in order to taste the American dream. Drawn more to the street than to school, he was soon involved in smalltime trafficking and his reputation quickly grew, along with his influence. He even crossed the path of Al Capone, that legendary figure of Chicago's Italian-American mafia. By the age of 46, he had reached the top.


The film looks at the years preceding the Italian-American mafioso's death, from his release from prison after his conviction to his enforced exile to his native town of Naples in 1962. From there, he continued to manage a sprawling network of heroine trafficking. To play the role of this power-hungry gangster, Rosi called on Gian Maria Volonte. "Gian Maria succeeded in bringing out all the ambiguities I needed to define Lucky Luciano's obscure personality," said Francesco Rosi.


The restoration of the film, presented in a digital 4k copy, was undertaken by Martin Scorsese and the Film Foundation. It was carried out by the Cineteca di Bologna at the L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in partnership with Cristaldi Film and Paramount Pictures.


Benoit Pavan


SCREENING
Friday 24th May / Buñuel Theatre / 8 p.m.
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LUCKY LUCIANO
Cannes Classics

LUCKY LUCIANO

Francesco ROSI

ITALY, FRANCE - 1973

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