Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
It takes a while to adjust to its rhythm, but this is essential viewing for cinephiles.
The [main] actor's every-paesan persona makes the film's coda such an effectively bittersweet punch line: Behind every local-boy-made-good success story, there apparently lies a history of violence and tears.
Filmed in Milan, Sicily, and New York, Alberto Lattuada's 1962 black comedy is one of his most critically suc
Unclassifiable, ultimately gripping 1962 film about a Sicilian native who discovers he can't resist the corrupting power of what The Godfather would later dub 'this Sicilian thing.'
G. Allen Johnson,
San Francisco Chronicle:
If you crossed Meet the Parents with The Godfather and filmed it 45 years ago in Italian, you might come close to Mafioso, a black-and-white gem from 1962 whose appearance in local theaters is inexplicable but most welcome.
This is brilliant, subtle acting. And Lattuada's filmmaking matches it, with his blend of neo-realism and easy theatricality. He doesn't waste a shot.
Los Angeles Times:
A magnificent film almost no one knows about, this hidden classic offers a wider variety of pleasures than most contemporary works can even aspire to.
Mafioso may be 45 years old, but it's as bracingly relevant as anything else in theaters today. Even in the heat of a dry Sicilian summer, the film looks fresh as a lemon tree. And when you bite down hard, it's just as bitter.
Dallas Morning News:
The transitional gears never grind. They just keep clicking until you know you're along for the entire ride.
We can only wonder how Mafioso struck American audiences in its brief 1962 appearance. In 2007, it reveals the universal hallmarks of a classic.
[Director] Lattuada still moves the story forward with cold and devious skill. He knows how to get you to laugh, and he knows how to make that laugh stick in your throat.
New York Post:
Mafioso isn't likely to receive the critical exultation accorded Army of Shadows, but still it should not be missed.
Watching this buoyantly melancholy dark comedy, originally released in 1962, is like discovering a lost world.
Director Lattuada was reportedly acclaimed for his oddball tonal shifts, which Mafioso offers in spades.
Alberto Lattuada's tricky-to-parse Mafioso dates from 1962 but, with its abrupt tonal shifts and disturbing existential premise, this nearly forgotten dark comedy could be the most modern (or at least modernist) movie in town.
Mafioso may have been made in another era, but it stands as a classy, even radical rebuke to the film school posers who keep recycling the same tired gangster tropes.