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Shot in Sicily

shot in sicily

Shot. Sicily is the setting of many films. This shows how interesting this island is. The of films is long. And this is a personal selection. Who knows, other lists may follow.

Ocean's twelve, shot in Scopello

Director Steve Soderbergh shot this scene in Scopello. A coastal village near Castellammare del Golfo. 

The Hollywood criminals had direct concurrence from the local ‘Cosa Nostra‘ clan.

Their constant presence around and even on the set trigger police attention. Eventually nineteen members were rounded up. Not all were directly linked to the film production. 

It was not clear what these people actually wanted. Their ‘usual’ activity was racketeering. Some say they feared the production would find a secret hiding place. An abandoned warehouse where they kept arms.

Local politicians intervened. Stating film crews were welcome. Always.

Ocean's twelve was shot in Scopello, Castellammare Sicily

The Sicilian shot - Ocean's twelve, video

The Godfather

a sicilian scene of the Godfather

The town of Corleone does not feature in the films. Much to the disappointment of people driving up there.

Francis Ford Coppola shot some scenes in Savoca and Forza d’Agrò. Both in the province of Messina. Other scenes were shot near Catania.

The final scene of the third film features Teatro Massimo. A scene many people in Palermo remember until today.

Recently people complain about the film. It shows a positive aspect of mafia. And mafia has no shiny side.

The Godfather, Teatro Massimo, Palermo video

Il Siciliano

The cinematic adaptation of Mario Puzo‘s ‘The Godfather’. That resulted in a planetary success. ‘The Sicilian’ was due to reply that success. The story of the infamous bandit ‘Giuliano’.

Director Micheal Cimino shot most of the film in Sicily. Not without problems. The production ran out of money straight away. They found a nice solution for the crew. Instead of paying they were offered a part as extras. They accepted.

The studio and Cimino ended up in court over the length of the film.

We’d recommend Franceso Rosi‘s film ‘Salvatore Giuliano‘. Same bandit, different film. A masterpiece of Italian neorealism. 

The Sicilian, shot in Sicily

Il Siciliano, the trailer -video


Stromboli, shot in Stromboli

The film was shot in, yes, Stromboli. A volcanic island , north of Sicily.

Ingrid Bergman insisted on working with Rossellini. And during the production they had a passionate love story. An extramarital affair. And Ingrid Bergman got pregnant. Reason enough in the USA to boycot the film. They would have three children together. The boy, Isabella and her twin sister Isotta. 

Take your time when watching the film. It often seems more of a documentary than a film.

Il Gattopardo

Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale

Yet another troublesome film shot in Sicily. The film is based on De Lampedusa‘s masterpiece ‘The Leopard’.

Burt Lancaster plays the prince. Though the first choice for the part was Cherkasov. He was in no condition for the role. After discarding Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, the part went to Lancaster.

The young -splendid- Claudia Cardinale had to be dubbed since she spoke no Italian.

The film was shot all over Sicily. The famous ball  in Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi.

Il Gattopardo, the ballroom scene

Cinema Paradiso

Director Giuseppe Tornatore shot much of the film in his hometown of Bagheria. A city 30 km north of Palermo. 

He shot many other scenes in Cefalù. While the famous square lays in Palazzo Adriano.

The original 155 minute long version was not very successful. The shortened version, 123 minutes, was an immediate success.

Giuseppe Tornatore shot other films in Sicily. And can therefore be proclaimed cinematic ambassador for the island.

il nuovo cinema paradiso

Cinema Paradiso, trailer

I 100 passi

Marco Tullio Giordana tells the story of Peppino Impastato. A young Sicilian living in the town of Cinisi. At 100 steps from the infamous mafia boss Tano Badalamenti.

This pearl of a film does not romanticise mafia. It strongly yet poetically condemns the mentality. Which makes it an interesting film to watch.

Much of the film is shot in Cinisi, Palermo.

I cento passi

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