The Sicilian Clan  

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The Sicilian Clan is a 1969 French gangster film based on the novel by Auguste Le Breton. The film was directed by Henri Verneuil and stars Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura and Alain Delon, whose casting led to the film's box-office success in France. Ennio Morricone composed the score for the picture.


In Paris, jewel thief Roger Sartet escapes from custody with the help of the Manalese, a small but well-organised Sicilian Mafia clan consisting of the patriarch Vittorio, his two sons and his son-in-law. In prison, Sartet got to know a technician involved in setting up the electronic security at an exhibition centre in Rome, who bit by bit supplied him with details of the system. A priceless collection of jewels will shortly be on show in the centre.

Vittorio and a fellow Mafioso, Tony Nicosia from New York, go to the exhibition, only to find that additional security makes a simple robbery difficult. The jewels will next be on show in New York and Nicosia comes up with a plan to steal the jewels while they are en route. He sends over Jack, an alcoholic ex-pilot, as part of his plan.

Meanwhile in Paris, police Commissaire Le Goff hunts the escaped Sartet, who had earlier killed two of his men in cold blood. The Manalese have put him in a safe house, where he is looked after by Jeanne, the French wife of Vittorio's elder son Aldo, but he breaks cover to go to a hotel with a girl. When Le Goff's men break into the room, Sartet escapes by the window. Guessing that Sartet will need false papers to leave the country, Le Goff's enquiries lead him to the Manalese and their arcade game business, which serves as a cover for their illegal activities. While he questions Vittorio, Sartet slips out of the building under Le Goff's nose.

At a hideout close to the Italian frontier, Jeanne sunbathes nude in front of Sartet and he responds by starting to make love. They are interrupted by Vittorio's six-year-old grandson Roberto. who Jeanne entreats to tell no-one. Moving to Rome, the gang discreetly kidnap Edward Evans, an English insurance executive sent to oversee the transfer of the jewels to New York, and Sartet takes his place among the officials accompanying the jewels on a regular scheduled flight. Other passengers joining the plane include Jack, Jeanne, Vittorio, and his sons.

At a stopover in Paris, Evans' wife is allowed on board the aircraft to greet her husband, but Vittorio leads her to believe that Evans will be on the same flight the next day. Mrs Evans then rings Rome, to learn that her husband never arrived there, and immediately goes to the police. At police HQ, she identifies Sartet as one of the men she saw on the plane.

Meanwhile, during the descent towards New York, the gang hijack the aircraft. Warned of Sartet's imminent arrival in the United States, the local police race to the airport, but Jack instead lands the plane on a highway that has been closed off by Nicosia's men. They unload the jewels, and the gangsters all split up. Sartet hides out in New York, awaiting his share of the proceeds.

Back at home in Paris, the Manalese family are watching a film in which a couple start to make love. Little Roberto exclaims that it looks just like what Sartet was doing with Jeanne. Though Jeanne denies everything, the others tend to believe the child. They lure Sartet back to Paris with the promise to give him his share. Jeanne calls Sartet's sister, asking her to warn him of the trap, but when she goes to the airport she learns that, mistrusting the Manalese, he had arrived by an earlier flight.

Vittorio agrees to meet Sartet on some waste land, bringing both the money and Jeanne. Once Sartet arrives, he shoots him and the girl dead, leaving the money by the corpses for the police to find. When Vittorio returns home, he is arrested by Le Goff.


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