The Day of the Owl (1968)
aka Il giorno della civetta
Genre: Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Country: Italy | France | Director: Damiano Damiani
Language: Italian | Subtitles: English & Italian
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Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 108mn
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Following a murder in a small Sicilian town, the new chief of the Carabinieri must fight corrupt officials, the frightened silence of witnesses and the local Mafia boss in order to solve the case.
The first great thriller by director Damiano Damiani, followed by many remarkable films in the 70s, such as “Io ho paura” with Gian Maria Volonte and “Un uomo in ginocchio” with Giuliano Gemma. “Il giorno della civetta” has a marvelous cast: Franco Nero just risen to stardom with “Django” (1966), Claudia Cardinale can be seen here a year before “Once Upon a Time in the West”, and veteran tough guy Lee J Cobb. Sciascia’s story about the murdered boss of a building company fits Damiano’s way to illustrate his view on society: too many people are looking for the easy way out and keep their mouths shut. Simple, direct, honest – few films have so much credibility. Still, for an understandable commercial reason, Mrs Cardinale’s role became bigger than it was in the novel.