FILMS - DRAMA

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LA MANO NERA

THE BLACK HAND

 

Director: Antonio Racioppi

Cast : Michele Placido, Philippe Leroy, Lionel Stander, Rosana Fratello, Luigi Pistilli

Versions : Italian, english, french, M&E Colour

Running time : 90 minutes

Year of production : 1973

 

Antonio Troisi (Tony), a young Sicilian arrives in New York, convinced he is going to make his fortune. The zone of New York known as "Little Italy" is ruled over by a gang known as the Black Hand, made up almost entirely of Sicilians and Tony becomes friendly with one of these, nicknamed "The Professor". The latter introduces Tony to Angela, whom the gang intend to lead into prostitution.  Tony falls in love with her and saves her from that fate, he in turn being saved from the organisation to accept Tony in its ranks. Tony is involved in the murder of the candidate for the Governorship of New York and is arrested by the Italo-American Lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino. The latter soon realises that Tony is a victim rather than an accomplice, but is powerless to help him, also because Don Nunzio Pantaleo, an ambiguous Sicilian politician, eliminates all the witnesses Petrosino needs to incriminate the Black Hand.

Angela is kidnapped, and when Tony comes out of jail, one of the leaders of the organisation tells him that Angela is still alive, pregnant and waiting for him in Sicily. They have also given her a considerable sum of money for him.

In other words, a happy future, but on the condition that he carries out certain unspecified missions when requested. Tony accepts. He receives the order to go to Palermo. But the designated 'victim' turns out to be Petrosino. Tony does not have the courage to kill him , so he in turn falls victim to the Black Hand's revenge. Once elected representative, Don Pantaleo makes an emphatic speech, exalting the honesty of men like Petrosino, thus concluding the tragic, bitter story.