×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Mayor

"The Mayor" transposes Eduardo De Filippo's 1960 play "Il Sindaco del rione sanita" from Naples to a Midwestern city in 1950s America. A moral tale chronicling the final days of a neighborhood godfather, this lifeless adaptation muffles the drama of the original text while failing to coax any contemporary relevance from it.

With:
Antonio Barracano ...... Anthony Quinn Armida ...... Anna Bonaiuto Eddy ...... Raoul Bova Rita ...... Maria Grazia Cucinotta Arturo ...... Franco Citti Geraldine ...... Romina Mondello Dr. Fabio ...... Lino Troisi

“The Mayor” transposes Eduardo De Filippo’s 1960 play “Il Sindaco del rione sanita” (The Local Authority) from Naples to a Midwestern city in 1950s America. But any updating of the material begins and ends with the shift in location. A moral tale chronicling the final days of a neighborhood godfather, this lifeless adaptation muffles the drama of the original text while failing to coax any contemporary relevance from it. Anthony Quinn in the title role should help secure TV sales for the English-language version, but theatrically this looks to be drummed out of office.

Quinn plays Don Antonio Barracano, the aging but still unchallenged boss of the Italo-American community of an unidentified town. As the Don prepares for his 75th birthday, he becomes increasingly subject to ruminations on his own mortality and failing health, while his wife of many years, Armida (Anna Bonaiuto), does her best to prevent the eldest of their three children from following in his father’s underworld footsteps.

Don Antonio’s authority is put to the test when he goes up against strong-willed Arturo (Franco Citti) in an attempt to heal a family rift. The embittered man’s estranged son (Raoul Bova) is unable to provide for his pregnant companion (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) due to Arturo’s having intervened to prevent him from finding work. The Don tries to force a reconciliation between them, but his threats of violence backfire with tragic results.

In its opening minutes, with title lettering that shamelessly duplicates that of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather” saga, and composer Antonio Di Pofi’s main theme, which apes the unmistakable strains of Nino Rota’s music for that series, “The Mayor” signals its lack of a fresh slant on timeworn material. What aims to be a portentous portrait of a once-formidable man instead is enervated by Ugo Fabrizio Giordani’s flat direction and James Carrington’s by-the-numbers script.

The only cast member of any real note here is Bonaiuto, who communicates more in her understated role than most of the more verbose characters around her. Packed with calculated pauses, Quinn’s solemnly theatrical turn treads the requisite line between benevolent and malevolent sides but holds far too few surprises.

The Mayor

Italy

Production: An Istituto Luce release (in Italy) of an Antonio and Pupi Avati presentation of a DueA Film/Istituto Luce production in association with Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana. (International sales: Sacis, Rome.) Produced by Antonio Avati. Directed by Ugo Fabrizio Giordani. Screenplay, James Carrington, freely adapted from Eduardo De Filippo's play "Il Sindaco del rione sanita."

Crew: Camera (Cinecitta color), Pasquale Rachini; editor, Amedeo Salfa; music, Antonio Di Pofi; art direction, Giuseppe Pirrotta; costume design, Michelle Corazzari, Stephane Bertola; sound (Dolby Digital), Raffaele De Luca; assistant director, Alfredo Arciero. Reviewed at Anica screening room, Rome, Jan. 7, 1996. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: Antonio Barracano ...... Anthony Quinn Armida ...... Anna Bonaiuto Eddy ...... Raoul Bova Rita ...... Maria Grazia Cucinotta Arturo ...... Franco Citti Geraldine ...... Romina Mondello Dr. Fabio ...... Lino Troisi

More Film

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Sued for Home Video Profits by 'Young Doctors in Love' Writer

    Disney is facing a class-action lawsuit from the screenwriter of the 1982 hospital parody “Young Doctors in Love,” who alleges that the studio has withheld millions in home video revenue. Michael Elias filed the suit on Dec. 6 in Los Angeles Superior Court. His attorney, Neville Johnson, filed similar class-action lawsuits against six other studios [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    Richard E. Grant Makes the Most of His Screen Time

    Richard E. Grant is so memorable in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” that it’s a shock to realize he’s only in a fraction of the film. Fox Searchlight’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”centers on biographer Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) when she is broke and desperate, and begins forging celebrity letters. Israel has encounters with multiple [...]

  • Wonder Woman

    Movies Starring Women Outperform Male-Led Titles at Box Office, Study Finds

    Female-led movies outperformed male-led titles at the worldwide box office during the 2014-17 period, a study released Tuesday showed. Creative Artists Agency and technology company Shift7 said that the analysis found that female-led films outperformed male-led films at all budget levels. The study grew out of the Time’s Up movement in a collaboration aiming to [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film Review: 'Aquaman'

    Aquaman isn’t like the other DC Comics superheroes, so it seems only right that his big-screen solo show should have a personality all its own — which, in the hands of “Furious 7” director James Wan, it does. Gone is the Aryan-looking Atlantean in green-and-orange spandex, replaced with a bare-chested Hawaiian super-stud with long, shaggy [...]

  • Issa Rae

    Issa Rae, Columbia Sign Multi-Picture Production Deal Promoting Diverse Screenwriters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Issa Rae’s production company, ColorCreative, has signed a multi-picture production deal with Columbia Pictures. The pact is unique in that under the agreement, ColorCreative will work with and back projects from emerging, diverse screenwriters. The move comes as the entertainment industry is under pressure to develop films and shows that feature underrepresented talent both in [...]

  • VR studio Baobab Crow The Legend

    Animators Embrace VR as 'Age of Sail' and 'Crow' Make Audience Inroads

    Virtual reality has been making inroads in the entertainment business for several years, but 2018 has been an especially big one for animated projects. This year, there are at least two VR-animated shorts vying for Oscar nominations: Google Spotlight Stories’ “Age of Sail” and Baobab Studios’ “Crow: The Legend.” Disney has created its first VR [...]

  • Thomas Vinterberg Kursk

    Les Arcs Festival Launches Talent Village Under Thomas Vinterberg's Patronage

    Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, Les Arcs Industry Village is launching the Talent Village, a new development workshop and platform for emerging talents which will be under the patronage of Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (“The Hunt”). Kicking off on Dec. 12 and hosted at the Cinéfabrique Film school in Lyon, the workshop will take place [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content