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  • Picture talks about a tough criminal convict -Alain Delon- who escapes and contacts a Siciliens clan ruled by an intelligent old man - Jean Gabin - to prepare a spectacular heist ; then they're pursued by an obstinate Police Inspector - Lino Ventura - . Meanwhile , the ex-con falls in love with a family member -Irina Demick- .

    Film runtime is overlong, however is neither tiring , nor boring but amusing as the suspense and thriller is continuous . From the beginning to the end , the action pace is fast movement and for that reason is entertaining. The movie has great loads of action, emotion, drama, tension and intrigue. Actors' interpretation is excellent . Alain Delon as a cold and two-fisted delinquent is top notch . Jean Gavin as a serious and clever Paterfamilies is magnificent . Lino Ventura as a stubborn Police Inspector is awesome. Irina Demick as an attractive lover is enjoyable and enticing. Colorful and atmospheric cinematography by Henry Decae is simply riveting . Special mention to musical score by Ennio Morricone, it's sensitive and extraordinary with a feeling leitmotif . The motion picture was well directed by Henri Verneuil. The film is considered a French classic movie and one of the biggest about hold-up/mobsters genre. The flick will appeal to French noir cinema buffs and Alain Delon fans . Rating : Above average. Outstanding and worthwhile watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Sicilian Clan" stands out as a quality, first-rate, heist thriller from veteran French helmer Henri Verneuil. No stranger to urban big-time crime sagas, Verneuil directed exciting, memorable films such as "Any Number Can Play" (1963), "The Burglars" (1971), and "Fear Over The City" (1975). This polished melodrama about the underworld and the plotting of a major heist caper stars three heavyweight dramatic Gallic thespians; namely, Jean Gabin of "Grand Illusion" (1937), Alain Delon of "Red Sun" (1971), and Lino Ventura of "Three Tough Guys" (1974). Verneuil deployed these icons of French cinema previously in "Any Number Can Play" and "Greed in the Sun" (1964). What sets this superbly lensed movie apart from earlier crime thrillers is its exploration of the traditional 'crime doesn't pay' theme. Aside from an opening escape from a police van, most of the action in this complicated thriller is fairly realistic and incredibly suspenseful.

    A notorious cop killer, Roger Sartet (Alain Delon of "Le Samourai"), convinces a Sicilian crime syndicate chieftain, Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin of "Action Man"), to mastermind his escape from police custody in exchange for the plans to an international jewelry show that could net millions of dollars worth of ice for the clan. Vittorio's sons slip Sartet a compact-sized drill as he is about to be turned over to prison authorities. During the loud, noisy bus ride through congested Parisian streets to the lock-up, Sartet not only unlocks his handcuffs but he also cuts a hole large enough in the metal floor of the van to slip through it. He can do this because each prisoner in the van is locked up individually in a phone booth sized compartment. Vittorio's sons orchestrate a traffic jam, and Sartet crawls from the prison bus to their van. Immediately, a hard-nosed cop, L'inspecteur Le Goff (Lino Ventura of "The Valachi Papers"), warns Sartet's sister Monique Sartet (Danielle Volle) to contact him if Sartet calls her. He reveals to her that all of her phones are being tapped and that she is under constant surveillance. Nevertheless, Vittorio arranges for Sartet to inconspicuously meet his sister despite the police surveillance. Sartet explains that he shared a cell with a disgruntled husband who killed his wife's lover after he returned from installing a complex alarm system at a jewelry show. Although Vittorio has carefully run his syndicate for years and is planning to retire to Sicily with his wife, he cannot resist this enticing job. He calls up an old friend in New York City, Tony Nicosia (Amedeo Nazzari of "Spy Today, Die Tomorrow"), a Mafioso with connections, to meet him in Rome. Together, they case the jewelry display and verify everything that appeared in Sartet's plans. Moreover, they discover a new alarm that prevents them from stealing the jewels. They tear up a $100 dollar bill, part company, and tell each other if they can figure out a way to pull off the crime that a man will show up with the other half of the C-note.

    Meanwhile, a confined Sartet causes no end of trouble for Vittorio because Sartet wants desperately to get laid after two years of going without sex in prison. Le Goff and his men nearly catch Sartet with his pants down in a brothel, but the cop killer stages a miraculous escape. Eventually, Nicosia sends the man with the other half of the C-note, and Vittorio and his sons set up the plan to steal the priceless jewels. At the same time, unbeknownst to either Vittorio or his sons, Sartet has a sexual liaison with Aldo Manalese's sexy wife Jeanne (Irina Demick of "The Longest Day"), one day when she is bathing and Sartet is bashing an eel to death on the rocks. Vittorio's grandson catches them in the act, but Jeanne swears the child to silence. Later, this infidelity comes back to haunt both of them, but not before Sartet accompanies Vittorio on the daring heist, scheduled to occur after the syndicate skyjacks the jetliner transporting the ice. The entire NYPD crowds Kennedy Airport and awaits the villains when the plane touches down in the Big Apple. However, the mobsters have an ace up their collective sleeves.

    Director Henri Verneuil quietly builds up atmosphere and momentum in this old-fashioned heist caper and pays off all the narrative set-ups without pulling out anything that he had not foreshadowed from the outset of the story. The gifted cast is top-notch, and the photography, apart from the hijacked jet landing, is terrific. You have to be patient and wait for the inevitable to happen in "The Sicilian Clan," but it is well worth the wait for all the revelations that occur in the end. Ennio Morricone, who scored all of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, provides an interesting but inconspicuous score that beautifully and economically underlines the twists in the plot.

    ***************SPOILER'S ALERT************************

    In "The Sicilian Clan," the villains successfully pull of their caper, but they have an 'honor among thieves' falling out that results in their dying or getting sent to prison. Generally, speaking before the 1966 James Coburn caper "Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round," the criminals never got away with the loot. Here, the French and American criminals fool the cops entirely and get away with the booty. However, the French criminals pay with their lives after the crime because of Jeanne's marital infidelity.
  • twopierces1 February 2006
    This French jewel heist is always entertaining due to crisp direction by Henri Verneuil and a script that never takes the usual path. It's great seeing Jean Gabin play the sophisticated patriarch of a Sicilian crime family that plots to hijack an airliner with $50 million in jewels. Alain Delon is his usual moody, wild-man self as the cold-blooded killer who is being sought by the French police and is a constant threat to the upcoming heist. Lino Ventura is a standout as the droll police inspector who's trying to quit smoking while chasing Delon. Great 60's period score by Ennio Morricone. It's not available on DVD, but Fox Movie Channel plays it occasionally. Much more fun than "Le Cercle Rouge" which was recently released on DVD to much fanfare.
  • Summary: A Near Classic, Top Notch Crime Drama

    It might sound cliché, but I'm just going to use it and say it: "They just don't like that anymore". The Sicilian Clan truly deserves it and every second of the film is tightly acted and directed. We also have an absolutely magnificent soundtrack here courtesy of the Italian master composer Ennio Morricone which perfectly matches the mood and look of the film. Alain Delon, in one of his best performances, plays a master thief who gets hired by Jean Gabin for the occasion of pulling off a 50 million dollar jewel robbery. The jewelry is being shipped to a museum in New York by a passenger airplane and The Sicilian Clan want them all. The best way: hijack the plane! There is also a very good subplot involving Delon and the wife of the one of the Clan boys that runs along the way which is ultimately responsible for the film's very very satisfying finale. Beautifully shot in Panavision, the imagery is also great with lots of on location photography of the late 60's Paris. Sadly, this movie is not currently available on home video. It was theatrically released in North America by the 20th Century Fox and it grossed over $1 million dollars at the time which quite respectable. I don't know who currently has the rights to it but hopefully Anchor Bay will license and release it now that they have released another great one "Un Flic". Until then, I'm glad that at least I have a pan & scan copy I made from the cable.
  • Ismaninb10 September 2007
    Le Clan des Siciliens is an excellent case study of the Mafia, in my opinion much better than The Godfather. I have seen it twice with more than 10 years in between. Both times I was deeply impressed. Le Clan des Siciliens has that typical French crime noir touch: from the very beginning the spectator knows that things will go wrong, but not how. Beware. This is not a fast speed action flick. Don't expect a lot of shooting and explosions. In my opinion that adds to the realism. Maffia criminals are professionals, not lunatics. They avoid unnecessary violence, because they don't want to draw attention. So Le Clan des Siciliens is a study of criminal behavior and Mafia morals. It relies heavily on character building. Thus it uses all the strong points of French cinema in the period 1960-1980. Gabin, Delon and Ventura excel. They are so much better than say Brando, Pacino and Caan. Le Clan des Siciliens is one of the best movies I know and moreover a half forgotten one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Lots of caper films came out in the 60's, many of them quite good, and this one is no exception. Delon plays a detached, ice-cold thief who is facing jail time for two cop killings when he is rescued by Gabin and his family of larcenists. They want his expertise in helping them steal a large, very expensive jewelry collection. Gabin introduces him to his sizable family of a wife, two sons, a daughter, a son-in-law, a grandchild and a daughter-in-law (Demick) who seems instantaneously taken with Delon. Chaplin comes on board as an assistant for the big job. As the title clan puts their plan together, intrepid police inspector Ventura doggedly pursues the trail, turning up bits of evidence among such folks as drug addicts and pin-up photographers. Delon's sister (Blanguernon) also awaits word from him, her feet seemingly cemented to the floor in front of the cash register she operates at a coffee shop 24/7! Delon aggravates Gabin with his penchant for sneaking out of their compound and potentially ruining the scheme. When Gabin's old pal from America notes how virtually impossible the original plan is, Gabin opts to try an even riskier approach which involves hijacking a plane! Unfortunately, even if the plan goes well, a few missteps on Delon's part could wind up costing him Gabin's loyalty. There are more than a few fanciful escapades in this film, not the least of which is Delon's escape from custody at the start. Still, it's a staple of the genre for there to be extraordinary use of equipment and perilous close calls. The quirky nature of the script is accented by Morricone's music, which features a mouth harp twanging occasionally. Gabin, an important fixture of the French cinema, makes an imposing and powerful patriarch. Delon is well cast as the aimless scoundrel who fails to use good judgement. Ventura, another popular actor in France, is appropriately low-key and sober as he tracks down the gang while trying to avoid smoking. Demick, who Darryl F. Zanuck attempted to turn into a Hollywood star, is attractive and reasonably solid in her role. It's an interesting grab bag of sequences with a nice amount of action, suspense and good character work. Keeping with the French style, there are also a few dollops of nudity from one of Delon's bedmates and whomever doubled for Miss Demick on the beach (Delon also strips down to some dinky white briefs for a scene.)
  • As one of the IMDb reviewers said, "The best feature of this film is the fantastic sound track by the genius composer Ennio Morricone". Morricone's catchy, wistful, longing, mourning and absolutely mesmerizing score elevates this typical (in a good sense) French crime noir to even higher level. I first heard it couple of years ago when I bought Morricone's "Once Upon A Time: The Essential Ennio Morricone Film Music Collection", a double disc superb collection. Even among legendary Morricone's scores, the music for "Le Clan des Siciliens" stands alone. It created a mood that mixed suspense, melancholy, danger, and regrets, and it made me fell in love with the movie that I had not even seen. Since I heard the score for the first time, I tried to find the film and finally I purchased a Region Free, NTSC, widescreen DVD with French, English and Russian Audio tracks and English subtitles. The film looks gorgeous and I was pleased with the clean and clear DVD transfer. I have been a fan of French crime/heist/noir/mystery of 1960-1980 films for long time and to see three of my favorite actors (Alain Delon, Jean Gabin, and Lino Ventura) who had made many classics of the beloved genres acting in the same movie added to my excitement. All three are excellent, and one of the advantages of the new DVD was the chance to see the film in its original French and to hear the real voices of three screen legends. Nobody could be cooler than Delon as Roger Santet, a convicted murderer, ruthless, violent yet irresistibly and dangerously charming, a "beautiful destructive angel of the dark street". Lino Ventura is reliable and convincing as a chief of detective inspectors who had vowed to hunt Santet down. Aging Jean Gabin, one of the most beloved French actors with the wide acting range who could play successfully the characters as diverse as inspector Maigret and Pépé le Moko is wonderful as Vittorio Manalese, the father and "the Godfather" of the Sicilian Clan, the family which is tied by blood in more ways than one. Vittorio certainly lived by an old wisdom, "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer."
  • I first saw "The Sicilian Clan" at the Mayfair theater in Fresh Meadows, in 1970. A Woody Allen movie was the main feature then, but I went to see "The Sicilian Clan," a great crime movie then and now. The Mayfair, then operated by the Weinstein brothers of Miramax fame, changed in 1974 from showing foreign and off-beat movies to X-rated movies, movies hard-core enough to get the new theater operator sent once to Rikers Island by the Queens DA. The Queens DA at the time, John Santucci, never bothered the wise guys portrayed in "Goodfellas," but then, Santucci never went to jail like his predecessor, former DA Thomas Mackell. In the glossy world of "The Sicilian Clan," the criminals are professionals who make money the old-fashioned way - they plan robberies. The picture starts with members of the Manalese family, arranging for the escape from custody of career criminal Roger Sartet (Alain Delon). Sartet is in big trouble, having killed two policeman during his capture, according to a comment later made by Lino Ventura's character, a tough cop. The escape from the police van is suspenseful, as is most of this movie. "The Sicilian Clan's" plot has the thieves take a hijacked jet to New York. Instead of landing at an airport in Queens, though, the jet lands on an unfinished highway. To show the attention to detail director Henri Verneuil took, as the jet rolls over a bridge, you briefly see dirt from the bridge supports fall down, from the weight of the landing jet. About eight years after I saw this movie, Queens mobsters using inside information robbed the high security vault of Lufthansa airlines at JFK Airport. That robbery and its aftermath are part of the plot of "Goodfellas." In "The Sicilian Clan" Sartet's character has inside information on the burglar alarm installation at the Villa Borghese, where a big jewelry exhibit is taking place. He uses this information to get Jean Gabin's character, the head of the family, involved in the robbery. Thinking it over, Queens in the 1970s was the most appropriate place to see a crime movie like "The Sicilian Clan." A French crime movie that in part imitated what was happening in Queens.
  • "Clan of the Sicilians" is a real French gangster movie classic from 1969 with three of the most important male actors of that time and genre - Lino Ventura as hard-boiled Parisian cop, Jean Gabin as a dominating Sicilian gangster clan "padre" and young Alain Delon as a hot-blooded, seducing robber. The whole movie is dominated by the great acting of these three characters, but with enough space left for a dark film noire atmosphere and a thrilling "big coup" plot. Henri Verneuil's direction is one of his best, and Ennio Morricone's seducing Mediterranean score is simply stunning, catchy and one of his best works of the sixties. Even after more than 30 years, this French crime classic is still fascinating, thrilling and a real pleasure to watch.
  • When I saw the film's poster for the first time, it was so impacting I thought for once that Gabin, Ventura and Delon were allies, all three members of the Sicilian clan. I was wrong but I defy anyone not to have these three legendary names pop up in their heads when they think of "The Sicilian Clan"

    Alain Delon is Roger Sartet, a man sentenced to death after a failed armed robbery that cost the lives of two policemen. Lino Ventura is Le Goff, the Chief of Police who takes Sartet's case personally and can't admit the way he escaped under their nose. And Jean Gabin is Vittorio Manalese, the head of the 'Sicilian Clan', who wishes he could do a final job before retiring in Sicily. Delon is the dark, handsome and unsympathetic antihero; Ventura is the moral and solidly built law enforcer and Gabin the wise and experienced criminal patriarch, sharing with Le Goff a profound contempt for Sartet.

    Henri Verneuil's 'The Sicilian Clan" is mostly renowned for having reassembled the Holy Trinity of French Cinema, maybe at the expenses of the other characters who seem underdeveloped in comparison. But it doesn't matter since the three leads fill the screen with a virile magnetism and although the "The Sicilian Clan" is adapted from a novel by Auguste Le Breton, who wrote "Bob Le Flambeur", the film borrows less from Melville's existential heist films than the Western Spaghetti genre. It's all about the magical trio that elevated the film to its legendary status, a sort of French "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

    Befittingly, the film is scored by the Maestro Ennio Morricone who specialized in the late 60's and early 70's in the ultimate tough-guy films, from the Western to the gangster flick. The music also carries the mark of the Italian Morricone with the typical 'boing' sound and the haunting whistle, a sort of 'song of death' that foresees a tragic ending, coming from a final confrontation. Death itself is the omnipresent figure, the unsung character of the film, Sartet is a walking dead, with nothing to lose, Le Goff's determination is built on the death of his men and the Mannalese although criminals refuse to kill anyone in their job, but we know that every rule allows a few exceptions.

    If the film can seem more superficial than Melville's gangster flicks, it remains nonetheless a reference of the caper sub-genre, with a perfectionist and methodical approach. The Mannaleses help Sartet escape from the cop, and the prize of his help, apart from a book of expensive stamp, is a plan drawn by an engineer he befriended in jail. The electronics expert set up the security system of a museum in Rome where a diamond exhibition is held. Mannalese trusts the engineer, but not Sartet, in one of the film's most memorable scenes, he advises him to keep his brains above the belt, he merely escaped from a second arrest when Le Goff found him in a hotel with a prostitute.

    Mannalese meets a Mafioso fellow, played by a scene-stealing Amedeo Zenarri. Their visit to the museum validates the plan, but reveals some insightful surprises: a ticking watch can be detected, and the police can come one minute after the alarm. Then, in a delightful scene, they go to a toyshop, and try to conceive the plan out of a few plane and cars models. The only way to escape from security is to rob the diamonds inside the plane that will take them to New York and hi-jack it. "The Sicilian Clan" features one of the most suspenseful heist ever featured in film and incredibly well done for a French production.

    Yet we're so accustomed to the genre to understand that the success of the robbery is secondary. But we follow it like Hitchcockian suspense: one of the best parts occurs when the wife of the diamond-transfer insurer, whom Sartet took the identity, comes to see her husband. At that time, both the viewers and the Mannaleses are caught by surprise, and it's difficult to anticipate the way the situation will be handled. And Mannalese proves to be the 'man of the situation' and the brains of the group. We foresee his human aptitude during his first confrontation with Le Goff, when he bluffs him enough not to raise any suspicion from the unflappable cop.

    Gabin is simply astonishing; a few years before the image of the Mafia boss would forever be transfigured by the landmark performance of Marlon Brando in "The Godfather", Gabin plays in all nuance and subtlety a French 'Don'. His accent is remarkable considering how he's more associated with French popular culture, and there's never one scene that feels like caricature. Although the family background is not well developed, it is significant to the plot by making outcasts out of the two French: Sartet, and Jeanne, Irena Demick as Mannalese's sexy daughter-in-law.

    He didn't touch a woman for two years, almost got himself arrested for an escapade with a prostitute, and she's fascinated by this man who, unlike her husbands, isn't reluctant to use his gun. The flaws, the mistakes to come, are predictable, but "The Sicilian Clan" is capable of surprising you even by exploiting archetypal situations. And in this cat-and-mouse thriller, one should only count on the other's flaw to lure him into his own trap. Le Goff expect one fatal mistake from Sartet, and so does Mannalese who still has to prove he's got some Sicilian blood pumping his veins, but Mannalese's sense of honor might lead him to another form of retirement.

    But that's the tragic beauty of life when even experience can be outweighed by a question of principles, a sense of immanent justice, that would reconcile men as different as Le Goff and Mannalese.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In terms of release dates this was the sandwich filling between the bread of Rififi and Le Cercle Rouge and it's difficult to choose between the three and luckily not necessary because all three are now available on DVD. Just to read the names of the three leads is sufficient to activate the salivary glands and once they appear they don't disappoint. As he would in Le Cercle Rouge the next year Delon gets the ball rolling by being sprung from prison to the chagrin of cop Lino Ventura (Bourvil would be the cop after Delon in Le Cercle Rouge) and the satisfaction of Vittoria Manalese (Gabin) who is after Delon's input on a major heist he has in mind. The heist itself is fairly spectacular given that the ice in question is in the hold of a transatlantic airliner en route from Paris to New York. The heist itself goes like clockwork but not, alas, the happily-ever-after element which goes pear-shaped within days. A great movie that holds up remarkably well (as do Rififi and Le Cercle Rouge).
  • Roger Sartet (Alain Delon) is a high profile career criminal who is top of the French police wanted list, so when he escapes from their custody for a second time under the nose of dogged cop L'inspecteur Le Goff (Lino Ventura), he goes immediately into hiding as the police try to locate him. Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin) a Sicilian born criminal and godfather of a mob style family, is the man who sprung him from police custody, he has long planned his retirement back in Sicily but is immediately interested in one last heist after hearing Sartet's plan for a big jewel heist in Rome. Together with some mobsters from New York, they set in motion a daring plan to steal the jewels while on route to the US. All goes well for Sartet until a child's indiscretion alters his fate for good.

    Entertaining enough crime flick, with some excellent set pieces and made with plenty of style, the funky main theme by Ennio Morricone being a highlight. All three legends of French cinema are excellent although none have enough screen time to truly rank in their best. Verneuill's direction is uber stylish, with some passing similarities to Leone in framing and tone, although some elements of the main heist are quite dated they are still quite fun. Its not a film for the pc brigade however as there is plenty of sexual denouement, Sartet's affair with the beautiful Jeanne Manalese (Irina Demick) producing one of cinemas most outrageous moments of sexual symbolism, its so absurd you just have to laugh.
  • This is a film that proves just how cool things were in the 1960s in Europe, particularly France and Italy. The ultra-cool Alain Delon (the French Steve McQueen) is truly superb as the loner hood, and with an excellent cast (including the legend Jean Gabin), thrilling story, stylish direction and yet another masterful score by Ennio Morricone, THE SICILIAN CLAN is a must-see for lovers of heist thrillers.
  • Coventry30 December 2016
    Traditionally speaking, the influential and groundbreaking classics come from the States, while the raw and exploitative imitations come from Europe (more particularly Italy), but this time it's sort of vice versa. A number of years before there was Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" – or any other major gangster/mafia film, for that matter – there was Henri Verneuil's "The Sicilian Clan". This is the saga of a criminal Italian family in Paris; covering up their clandestine affairs through running a business of electronic bar games. Following a very ingenious but dared and risky escape plan, the family recruits the over-ambitious gangster/convicted cop killer Roger Sartet; even though patriarch Vittorio Manalese is reluctant to trust him and in spite of tough copper Le Goff obsessively hunting him down. Sartet suggests a jewelry theft worth more than 500 million dollars, but the security precautions are insurmountable. Together with an old friend, Vittorio invents a magnificently infallible plan to raid the jewels during their transportation by plane between the exhibition in Rome and another one in New York. Everything goes according to plan, apart from a couple of obstructions, but then Sartet breaks the code of honor by messing around with Vittorio's daughter-in-law. "The Sicilian Clan" literally nearly burst from all the talent that is involved; in the cast with some of the greatest names of French cinema (Alain Delon, Jean Gabin and Lino Venturo) but also in the crew with the fantastic cinematography of Henri Decaë and the immortal soundtrack of Ennio Morricone. But the one thing that probably deserves the most praise and respect is the impeccable scenario, with all its small but intelligent and creative details. It took no less than three gifted writers (including the director) to adapt Auguste Le Breton's landmark novel, but the result is worth showing off with. Sartet's escape from the prison transport is a highlight and the whole plan for the jewelry heist is astoundingly wise. The suspense is present from the beginning but gradually also builds up further along the film. Verneuil terrifically plays out the cat and mouse game between Sartet and Le Goff and, by extension, the entire Manalese family. The story is full of headstrong and robust characters, active on both sides of the law, and the film undoubtedly owes a great deal of its success to the stellar acting performances. During the seventies, and more specifically after the releases of "The Godfather" and films like "Dirty Harry", the police/crime thriller genre boomed in Europe and literally hundreds of excessively violent mafia thrillers got unleashed upon the market. "The Sicilian Clan" relies more on story and atmosphere instead of on wild action, but the film nevertheless remains an important pioneer.
  • Another strong thriller by a man who ,although despised by the French "intellectual" critics ,made movies which still hold up very well today ;people are happy to watch for the umpteenth time "La Vache Et Le Prisonnier" "Melodie En Sous -Sol " or this "Clan Des Siciliens " Henri Verneuil was perhaps the only French director of the sixties to come near to the American know-how.His three stars ,Jean Gabin,Alain Delon and Lino Ventura have enough charisma to grab today's audience.Add a solid screenplay ,with never a dull moment,great scenes (particularly the sequences on the plane),a sense of humor (the brat's gaffe ,revealing auntie is having an affair with Delon)and Ennio Morricone 's brilliant score and you have a very entertaining flick ,which you 'll watch again in ten years with the same pleasure.
  • This film has a perfect plot and is a classical in the crime genre. In the Italian version, the name of Jean Gabin's clan, Manalese, is translated into Malanese. It's possible that, at the time of the film launch, there would be some unwanted reference to real people.
  • Kirpianuscus17 March 2017
    the music. and the acting. as inspired meet. a film who remains, after almost a half of century, more than seductive. for Ventura, Gabin and Delon, sure. but, more important, for the clear/precise definition of the rules of a genre. because it is a classic. like a diamond, each line is clear and impeccable. the family spirit , the work of stubborn policeman, the charming and vulnerable - in a specific way - criminal, the " Pater familias" who knows and proposes the rules and has the solutions. short, a film who I saw in many occasion. like the first time. because not only the story is fascinating but its many details who refresh memories and gives new clues. so , a great film.
  • Film is a lot less dour then you'd expect a film with these three stars to be---its not that the film is a comedy--but there are a lot of funny moments throughout entire running time leading up to the audacious jewel heist that is the film's reason for being. (I won't spoil it but lets just say when was the last time anyone used an airplane to rob jewelery?!?!?!?) From the jail break at the very beginning to the crazy ass heist at the end--this film is surprisingly entertaining. I don't know about you but sometimes i find these french crime films get so relentlessly dour and gray and existentialist...that even though they can be amazing to watch and awesome to contemplate---fun is never a term i would really use to describe them as.... that it was such a surprise to find this one so lighthearted. *maybe lighthearted is the wrong word considering that none of the characters are exactly skipping down the streets with joy--but the film itself is certainly a lot less angst filled then one would expect a french crime film like this to be.

    Alain Delon is a felon who's sprung from jail while in transit (definitely an awesome scene) at the orders of the leader of this crime family (played by Jean Gabin--who for some reason is using Pinball Manufacturer as his cover--leading to the should be immortal line--Why Don't You Stay Here And Play Some Pinball Detective???) Gabin wants to pull off this daring jewel robbery of a location that Delon's character has some inside knowledge of (delon shared a cell with a guy who used to work at this museum displaying rare jewelery and in exchange for protection--delon gets inside info on both the layout of the museum and the security device triggers--he gets enough info to even map out a blueprint of the lay-out of the place--a little head start on future planning.) Gabin essentially forces Delon to commit this robbery with him and his family---and while Delon isn't exactly happy to do so--he goes along with it. Meanwhile he's making goo-goo eyes at the wife of one of Gabin's sons---oh gee i wonder if that's gonna be important to the plot later on.

    Lino Ventura is on hand as the detective tracking down Delon---and he has some wonderful hard bitten one liners throughout. Ventura looking here as kind of a cross between DeNiro and middle age Depardieu--goes through with the motions of chasing down Delon and of course--well you'll see what happens. (Ventura by the way plays the standard issue grouchy detective character so wonderfully here--he really jumps off the screen in some cases--you wonder why he's not better known today among the more famous 60's and 70's french actors.) The plot of the film isn't really all that important anyways--as most of it goes out the window by the second hour anyways--Security at the museum is so airtight--it results in Gabin coming up with a another plan to rob those jewels--one so over the top, so out there, so completely ridiculous--you wonder why you've never seen something like it in a Bruckheimer film in the last 20 years. Its that kind of go for broke attitude that makes the film a lot of fun--but Ennio Morricone's nearly constant theme music also helps a great deal. (the music is so omnipresent its almost like its own character here---i would argue that the music plays more of a character here then any of Gabin's sons--many of whom help in the planning of the robbery--but all of em are so interchangeable that you never know who's who...not that it matters since your attention is going to be on Delon anyways.) I would definitely recommend this film--not just to fans of french crime films--but for fans of any ridiculous action movie since it gets so ridiculous that it actually become that rare french crime film that's also fun to watch.
  • doire24 July 2001
    Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*** I found this to be an interesting movie marred by unnecessary additional material. The Alain Delon character was never meant to be sympathised with by an audience and, indeed, part of his attraction was the loner aspect he radiated on screen - a careful loner, a suspicious loner, nobody´s fool, a feared double-cop killer in control of all his marbles. It is rather curious, therefore, that he should act so carelessly and foolishly in his dealings with the Sicilians. *SPOILERS* Getting intimately involved with one of the mobsters wives whilst planning and subsequently executing a major jewel heist was not a clever idea. And this is were I believe the movie failed. The heist was excellent, the chase conducted by the determined police-chief for Delon was as exciting as THE DAY OF THE JACKAL, and the movie would have been perfect had it ended when the hijacked airplane landed on the highway development outside New York. Instead, the message would appear to be that we can´t have organised crime succeeding with this kind of thing!. *SPOILERS* You would think that the Sicilian Clan, in cahoots with their American brethren, would have been ecstatic in pulling off 50 million dollar jewel robbery. But no, when Gabin´s character hears from his grandson that Delon´s character had been conducting an illicit association with his son´s wife, the priority would appear to be in getting Delon back to France to have him eliminated, thereby jeopardising everything. And so it proves. The price of love, or at least the price of adultury, would appear to be fifty million smackers. Still, an excellent film by a much undr-rated director.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dear Henri Verneuil,

    if only more commercial crime thrillers were like The Sicilian Clan. The film is up to its neck in procedural thrills, claustrophobic action set pieces and some ingenious twists. The plot is quite complicated and the viewer needs to work hard to keep track of all the cons. There are even quite a few instances of misdirection. The luxurious visuals filled with an abundance of red and orange colors (in the form of costumes, blankets, hanging lights etc) sports cars and beautiful locales are a pleasure to look at. Morricone's score is just another one of the films adornments. The film has a huge star cast - Delon, Gabin and Ventura pitted against each other. Tall and beautiful women - Irina Demick, Sabine Sun and Danielle Volle are used as sex objects. It is amusing as well .... and there are many surprises in the end. The Sicilian Clan is the definition of guilty pleasure. Great job, Henri. I am going to watch Le Casse next.

    Best Regards, Pimpin.

  • Tightly plotted and clever, but there isn't enough space for the huge cast to hold weight. Alain Delon is a slick heartbreaker in his short screen time though.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A gangster pulls off a daring escape, much to the disgust of the police commissioner who caught him - and who is convinced that he will kill again. The gangster finds refuge with a Sicilian clan, led by a fearsome patriarch. In return he offers the clan a great deal of money. He also tries to interest his new friends in a major heist involving an important Franco-Italian exhibition on the art of jewellery...

    This is basically a movie about a bunch of gangsters pulling off a brazen heist while falling victim to their own vices and prejudices. (Don't expect the movie to end on a scene of darling lambs frolicking on a spring meadow - the resolution is drenched in blood.)

    "Le clan" is notable for its high budget, high ambitions and stellar cast. You've got Gabin, Ventura and Delon ; if you were to add Belmondo into the mix, you'd get the Holy Quatrefoil of the sixties and seventies. Gabin and Ventura are reliable as always, but Delon is somewhat underwhelming. In fairness, it needs to be said that it is hard to warm to his character, a cold-hearted and calculating criminal who only feels genuine tenderness for his sister.

    I won't say that this is the "nec plus ultra" of gangster movies, but it's certainly a solid, carefully made movie with a suspenseful and memorable intrigue. The viewer also gets to enjoy some nicely ironical twists and some good lines. Watch the scene where the police bursts into the offices of a man suspected of forgery. The man is filming or photographing some kind of orgy, complete with a pyramid of naked and semi-naked participants. When accused of making counterfeit passports, he replies that he has sworn off crime, as proven by his new-found career as a pornographer...

    Finally it should be noted that the movie benefits from a glorious, instantly recognizable Ennio Morricone score.
  • it is one of my childhood and teens favorite movies. first, for splendid music. than, for the admirable acting. for small errors who, in its case, becomes virtues. it is a legendary crime and this fact can not be a surprise. because entire work of great Henri Verneuil is result of wise exploration of stories nuances and actors art. because each performance is little more than expression of talent but definition of precise science to define the character as an universe. a film of deep silence, images from past roots, it is more a trip than a common movie. Jean Gabin, as a new version of Gattoparde, the delicate colors of humor and nostalgia, the details and the force of image, each of them makes the film a solid expression of legend who can be considered almost a masterpiece.
  • A excellent caper film about a jewel heist. This film is quite difficult to obtain as my copy is off a Japanese laserdisc with english subs. The best feature of this film is the fantastic sound track by the genius composer Ennio Morricone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this film several times in the early 1970's on 16mm but haven't seen it since. Remember enjoying it overall but one particular scene stuck with me. At least a couple of reviewers mentioned that Lino Ventura's character, Paris Police Commissioner LeGoff, is trying to quit smoking (with some success) as evidenced by his refusal of proffered cigarettes on several occasions. Then in a scene staged in an office with several other policemen present, the Commissioner learns that his very elaborate plan to trap and re-capture Sartet (Alain Deloin) has been an utter failure. Bitterly disappointed, he is very still with an unfocused stare. After a few seconds of silence, little or no movement, with the other characters present similarly frozen in place, he says to no one in particular, "Gimme a cigarette."

    Similar scenes and set-ups have of course been done before and since (see an exchange between Richard Widmark and Harry Guardino in Madigan). Many of us have experienced personally, witnessed or heard about individuals reacting in the same manner to a particularly stressful turn of events. I am of course trying to describe a scene last viewed over forty years ago but my belief is that it's a true example of photographic memory. It sure FEELS like it anyway.
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