|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Sicilian Clan aka "Le clan des Siciliens" aka "Der Clan der Sizilianer" [Blu-ray]
(Henri Verneuil, 1969)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Les Productions Fox Europa
Video: Twentieth Century Fox
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,024,614,294 bytes
Feature Size: 18,378,756,096 bytes
Video Bitrate: 16.92 Mbps
English TV Version:
Disc Size: 47,024,614,294 bytes
Feature Size: 17,582,592,000 bytes
Video Bitrate: 16.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 23rd, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1029 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1029 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English TV Version:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1079 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1079
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
English, English (SDH), Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French, none
• TV Version (English) (1:58:23)
Description: Roger Santet (Alain Delon) is a convicted murderer sprung from prison by the Sicilian clan headed by the aging Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin). They conspire to steal a large cache of jewels from an exhibit in Rome. As they are preparing for the heist, the mobster's American friend Tony Nicosia (Amedeo Nazzarri) suggests that a better way to get the rocks would be to hijack the transport plane while it is en route to New York. The dogged inspector Le Goff (Lino Ventura) is using all the available resources to thwart their plans. Though the heist itself is successful, Santet finds himself trapped by the mob because of his fling with Manalese's daughter-in-law (Irina Demick.)
Delon is a condemned murderer who escapes from prison thanks to the help of Gabin, a Sicilian mobster. Delon and Gabin plan to steal a collection of jewels from an exhibition in Venice, but Gabin's American pal Nazzari suggests instead hijacking the airplane that is to transport the jewels from Venice to New York City. Gabin arranges for his family (the family that robs together...) to carry out the job, which they do nicely. They all scamper back to Europe with the loot and go into hiding. But when Gabin finds Delon has been sleeping with his daughter-in-law, Demick, he tries to lure his cohort to Paris so that Delon will get what's coming to him. Delon arrives ahead of schedule and sees one of Gabin's sons, sent to kill Delon, arrested before he can carry out the job. But Gabin is a hardliner and sees that both Delon and Demick are finally rubbed out. After completing the job himself, Gabin returns home to find the police waiting for him. Although its script is somewhat predictable, THE SICILIAN CLAN is hardly just another gangster picture. The ensemble acting is terrific and the direction tells the story well. This film was one of the biggest box-office successes ever in France and its English-language version also did well, grossing over $2 million in the US.
Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin) is a fine old gentleman-capo who, from
his appearance, seems to spend several hours a day caring for his
beautiful white hair. The rest of the time he presides over his large
family, "The Sicilian Clan," as if he were a composite of Lucky
Luciano and George Washington. The Manaleses live over their pinball
machine agency in Paris, take their meals en famille (with papa served
first), spend their evenings watching television and, for a fee, pull
off occasional jobs together, such as engineering the escape from prison
of Roger Sartet (Alain Delon), a cop-killing punk whose police record
includes a note to the effect that, when he was a boy, he smiled quite a
Cast as the patriarch of a spaghetti-eating Sicilian family who are crooks to a man, the once formidable Gabin - stout, white-haired and now a bit past it - mostly sits back and glowers while the younger members of the cast squabble, lust and plot a caper involving the hijack of a plane-load of jewels. He finally rouses himself from his lethargy to defend his honour by executing Delon, a Corsican who had the temerity to play around with his daughter-in-law. Verneuil, not for the first time, tries to direct like Jean-Pierre Melville and fails to make it, though the action scenes are passable, and Henri DecaŽ's moody photography is rather more than that.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Sicilian Clan is available on Blu-ray with two versions of the film on the dual-layered disc; the original theatrical - predominately in French with some Italian and English OR in what is described as a shorter 'TV English version' with a, mostly, English DUB. The films are different even beyond the running times (see capture below). They are alternate prints but edited similarly and share the lone Blu-ray with modest bitrates. I wouldn't say the image quality is dynamic but consistently supports the films in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio with bright colors. The Theatrical is grainier with cooler skin tones. You can see the shifts in the captures below. Contrast is adept. This Blu-ray provides a great way to see the two versions and enjoy this impressive Euro-crime drama with a stellar cast.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More 'Theatrical' Blu-ray Captures
Both the theatrical (in French) and the English-language TV version offer audio in a DTS-HD Master mono track at around 1000 kbps. It was clean and clear on both versions and the English sync DUB actually seemed quite strong. I found the Ennio Morricone score kind of odd with an unusual 'boing' spring sound every once in a while. It sounded very akin to some of his spaghetti western work. There are optional subtitles and other foreign-language DUBs (see above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The 20th Century Fox Blu-ray supplements are also English-friendly. They add a 4-minute piece with Fred Kavaye - as a kind of introduction discussing things like the three big stars working together but the big extra is an hour-long 'Making of...' piece entitled Legend of the Clan. It covers a lot of the production difficulties, its US links including the desire to have Zanuck's latter day ingenue Irina Demick in the film. It's very good!
July 29th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS