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The Big Family (1973)

L'onorata famiglia - Uccidere è cosa nostra (original title)
Giancarlo Prete stars as a police commissioner out to stop local Mafia boss Don Peppino Scalise.


Tonino Ricci


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Pellegrin ... Don Peppino Scalise
Simonetta Stefanelli ... Mrs. Vitale
Giancarlo Prete ... Commissario La Manna
Richard Conte ... Don Antonio Marchesi
Edmund Purdom ... Giovanni Lutture
Sal Borgese ... Turi Nannisco (as Salvatore Borgese)
Maria Fiore Maria Fiore ... Mrs. Federici
Aldo Barberito Aldo Barberito ... Orlando Federici
Pino Ferrara Pino Ferrara
Stelio Candelli Stelio Candelli ... Johnny De Salvo
Umberto Spadaro Umberto Spadaro
Franco Fantasia Franco Fantasia ... Chief of Police
Empedocle Buzzanca Empedocle Buzzanca
Saro Anastasi Saro Anastasi
Luigi Antonio Guerra Luigi Antonio Guerra


Giancarlo Prete stars as a police commissioner out to stop local Mafia boss Don Peppino Scalise.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

3 March 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Die ehrenwerte Familie See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Flora Film, National See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Cosa Nostra 2: Moustache Vendetta
27 September 2018 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

Tonino Ricci hits the mark with this serious study into the working of the Cosa Nostra in a film that is similar in tone to Damiano Damiani's films of the same topic, but with a lot more action.

Things kick off with American businessman Richard Conte thinking that he doesn't need to get involved with the local mob as he's got links back home, and he doesn't even get the hint when a bunch of thugs turn up and gun down his hired goons. This draws the attention of the cops, including a moustachioed Giancarlo Prete, a Sicilian himself who really wants to clear up crime in Palermo.

That's not as easy as it sounds, and it didn't sound easy in the first place. The main boss guy, Don Pelligrino, don't like being told what to do and doesn't like being set up, so after some clashes, Conte gets murdered, courtesy of hitman Sal Borghese, and although there's potentially a witness, we come against that Sicilian habit and suddenly not seeing or witnessing anything. But then again, that's a sensible option when it comes to Mafia matters...

Giancarlo and his cop sidekicks try their best to get a witness to stand up against Don Pelligrino, and after some tragic deaths they actually do (in a creatively filmed scene where the court officials appear only as shadows), but Giancarlo soon finds that even having a witness is not enough, but he also finds that being a cop has an advantage, as the Mafia know how much trouble they can stir up by killing a cop.

Nicely acted all round, this one isn't full of car chases or gunfights, but sure has a lot a Mafia executions in it, mostly courtesy of Sal Borgehese, who has a much bigger role than usual. I don't know the name of the guy playing Don Pelligrino and I can't be bothered looking it up, but he was good too. Tonino Ricci certainly amps up the frustration of a cop trapped between a bunch of gangsters who really run the show, and the reticence of a populace unwilling to risk their lives in order to get rid of the gangsters.

Edmund Purdom (who plays the Don's lawyer) may well be the palest actor I've ever seen. He always gives off a strange Bela Lugosi vibe. What's that about? This also might be Tonino Ricci's most accomplished film.

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