Directed By: Francesco Rosi
Starring: Gian Maria Volonte, Vincent Gardenia, Silverio Blasi
Disclaimer: Kino Studio Classics has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections.
The Godfather (1972) truly sparked the interest back into gangster films which has not really been popular to that degree since the '30s, especially in the Hollywood pre-code era. Coming a year after Coppla's Oscar winning film was Lucky Luciano (1973). The film is as the title suggests a biopic of the famed Lucky Luciano. The movie follows his criminal career from the 20s to the 60s.
Credit where credit is due Lucky Luciano is a bio pic that probably better directed and constructed than a typical rushed Godfather knock off. True the movie does try to capture that flavor but it also takes more risks and provides a rawer look at organized crime that Hollywood couldn't really fully get away with. The fact that this movie is Italian further helps give the movie a rich and realistic flare that a lot of the other post-Godfather knock off films don't have. Also, for being a lower budget the movie have a nice production design, costumes and sets that feel period accurate. The movie is also a highly engaging and interesting watch despite some talky-moments. I will say some of the acting is rather flat.
Lucky Luciano is a highly entertaining gritty, stylish gangster outing that is top notch.
Picture: Lucky Luciano comes by way of a 4k scan from original film elements. The movie which is almost fifty years old at this point has a nice refreshed look. You can really notice the brightness and a level of clarity. Grain is a bit on the heavy side but not on the chunky side and not distracting to the overall picture presentation. This film has a very muted color palate so whilst colors don't exactly pop here the restoration does feel in line with what the DP and director no doubt had in mind.
Sound: Lucky has a nice DTS 2.0 track. Dialogue comes through nicely, as does the score and sound design. A really nice overall sound presentation that actually packs a nice little punch in my opinion.
Extras: Includes a commentary track by Film critic/historian Simon Abrams as well as a trailer.