Il Capo dei Capi

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Il capo dei capi
Genre miniseries
Created by Enzo Monteleone, Alexis Sweet
Starring
Original language(s) Italian
No. of episodes 6
Production
Producer(s) Pietro Valsecchi
Editor(s) Stefano Bises, Claudio Fava
Domenico Starnone
Distributor Taodue
Broadcast
Original channel Canale 5
Original airing October 25, 2007 (2007-10-25)

Il Capo dei Capi (The Boss of the Bosses) is a six-part Italian miniseries which debuted on Canale 5 between October and November 2007. It tells the story of Salvatore Riina, alias Totò u Curtu, a mafioso boss from Corleone, Sicily. Riina is played by Palermo-born actor, Claudio Gioè, and the series was directed by Alexis Sweet and Enzo Monteleone. The film is inspired from the eponymous book-inquiry of Giuseppe D'Avanzo and Attilio Bolzoni. The series was broadcast in the UK in Spring 2013 on the Sky Arts channel, retitled Corleone and split into 12 one-hour episodes.[1]

Plot[edit]

First episode (1943–1958)[edit]

15 January 1993. Cosa nostra 'superboss' Salvatore Riina has been arrested after 23 years, and receives a visit in prison from his childhood friend, Biagio Schiarò, triggering a flashback. In 1943, as a boy of 13 years, Riina is working in the fields around the town of Corleone when he finds a buried bomb. His father decides to take the bomb home, in order to extract the gunpowder from inside in order to sell it to hunters in order to supplement his very low farm labourer's income. The bomb explodes, killing Riina's father and younger brother, and leaving Salvatore as the head of the family to lead a life of misery.

Tired of living in poverty, Totò, together with his friends Bernardo Provenzano (aka Binnu), Calogero Bagarella and Biagio Schiarò, begins to work for Luciano Liggio, Picciotto of the boss Michele Navarra, who meanwhile orders the kidnapping and murder of Placido Rizzotto. Soon after, Totò gets into a murderous fight with 'Menico, the son of miller to whom Totò sells his grain, and ends up in prison; meanwhile Schiarò's change of heart takes him back to school. Six years later, Totò, an adult by now, is freed. Waiting outside the prison gates are Provenzano, Bagarella and a new member of the gang, Luciano Maino.

Riina soon picks up where he left off in Liggio's gang: intent on more power and infamy, the gang murder the capo Michele Navarra and plan to expand towards Palermo. Schirò, meanwhile, has become a police officer and is working with Chief Inspector Angelo Mangano on Liggio and his gang. Totò meets the studious younger sister of Calogero Bargarella, Ninetta, and falls in love. It soon emerges that Ninetta is a close friend of Teresa, who in turn is dating Biagio Schirò.

Second episode (1963–1969)[edit]

The full Corleonese Clan (Luciano Liggio, Totò Riina, Bernardo Provenzano, Calogero Bagarella and Luciano Maino) prepare to go to Palermo for a 'business discussion' with Salvatore La Barbera and Vito Vianvimino. As soon as they arrive, they begin straight away to demand respect: first killing a butcher who would not pay for a load of clandestine meat, then killing an accountant who had paid protection to the wrong family. One evening, while the Corleonesi are in a night club (where Maino meets a girl, Maria Nigro) Salvatore La Barbera is kidnapped and killed by Michele Cavataio. All the other mafiosi in La Barbera's clan flee from Palermo.

Back in Corleone, Totò's relationship with Ninetta Bagarella strengthens. Biagio discovers from Teresa that word has it that Riina will be at Ninetta's one evening, and organizes a search. Nevertheless, Totò manages to hide both himself and his friend Calogero, and neither are caught. Totò promises to Ninetta not to enact revenge on Teresa for the betrayal, but she tells him that she had already decided to break all links to her friend, rather to continue her relationship in secret with him.

On June 30, 1963, in the Ciaculli quarter of Palermo, a police officer notices a parked Alfa Giulietta. Unaware that the car is packed with explosives, an officer opens the boot which triggers the bomb inside which kills seven people. This leads to many arrests, with many other mafiosi, including the Corleonesi, going into hiding. Maino refuses to do so, preferring to stay in Palermo with his girlfriend. While fleeing from Corleone, Totò and Calogero are stopped by a police patrol. Calogero manages to escape but Totò is arrested; he attempts to provide forged identity documents but these fail when he is recognized by Biagio.

A few days later, Biagio tells Teresa (who has just graduated) that Riina has been caught, and that the two can marry without threat. At the same time, an eavesdropping Ninetta (also recently graduated) overhears everything. Schirò goes to the parents of Teresa to ask her hand in marriage and, after an awkward conversation with her father, is given their blessing.

Meanwhile Maria, Maino's girlfriend, discovers his hidden life via the newspapers, and convinces him to go to the police. He tells Judge Cesare Terranova everything he knows about the Corleonesi. Shortly after, Luciano Liggio too is arrested by Commissario Mangano and Schirò, discovered hiding in the wardrobe of the ex-girlfriend of Placido Rizzotto.

The Bari trial begins, and Maino stands as witness, fingering directly Totò and his companions, and testifying to all of their murders. Despite this concrete proof, Liggio, Riina and the other convicts are released thanks to a lack of evidence - the jury had been threatened. A few days after the trial, Luciano Maino is found, hanging, at his home.

Third episode (1969-1978)[edit]

Biagio and Teresa have married, and have a baby (Antonio) at the beginning of the episode. Simultaneously Riina and his fellow mafiosi - Provenzano, Bagarella and two other men, soldiers of Tano Badalamenti, boss of Cinisi - enter the offices of Michele Cavataio dressed as police officers of the Guardia di Finanza. The aim of the attack is to assassinate Cavataio, who had earlier killed Salvatore La Barbera.

One of Badalamenti's henchmen, nervously lets his gun fire, killing two men and triggering a massacre - no longer under cover, they have to murder five others before reaching Cavataio. Following a spree of bullets, Cavataio feings death until Totò and Calogero enter, when he turns and shoots, hitting and killing Bagarella. Enraged, Provenzano responds by beating Cavataio to death with the butt of his gun.

In Corleone, Totò informs his own sister, and girlfriend of Calogero, Arcangela, of his friends death. He then calls on his Ninetta, Calogero's sister, calling her away from her teaching job and giving her the news; meanwhile Schirò requests a transfer to Palermo. Needing cash in order to make key investments in Palermo, Riina decides to kidnap the young lad, Antonio Caruso, from the town hall while visiting now mayor Vito Ciancimino. This triggers the disdain of the mafiosi of Palermo, in particular bosses Stefano Bontade and Giuseppe Di Cristina.

On May 5, 1971, Riina orders the homicide of District Attorney Pietro Scaglione, and during the ambush Maresciallo Lo Russo is also killed. Totò wishes to flee with Ninetta to Venice, and marry. Having discovered the body of Bagarella, the police decide to search the home of his sister, Arcangela, and find a photo of Ninetta and Totò. Implicated, the police arrest Ninetta. During her trial, Vito Maranza, one of Riina's men, goes to Biagio's house and kidnaps Teresa and Antonio, holding them to ransom until Bagarella is released.

Luciano Liggio is arrested in Milan by commissario Mangano, as a consequence Riina becomes the main capo of the Corleonesi Clan, and is chosen by Don Michele Greco as his 'prediletto' (his favourite).

Two of Riina's soldati are ordered to kill Giuseppe Di Cristina but fail, killing instead his driver. Shadowing Di Cristina, they discover that he is collaborating with Commissario Boris Giuliano. Meanwhile Totò and Ninetta marry.

Some of the mafiosi - Pippo Calderone, Badalamenti and Di Cristina - begin to have problems with Totò, and their interaction becomes cold. At a successive meeting of the Commissione, Riina asks for their lives and is given permission to kill only Cristina, though he also kills Calderone.

At the end of the episode, Silvio Albertini, an honest colleague of Schirò, chances upon the hiding place of Riina, his wife and Provenzano. He immediately telephones Biagio from a phone box, and summons him to the location. As soon as he arrives, Schirò heads up to the apartment and finds Silvio's lifeless body on the floor. Suddenly, Riina's two soldati appear and beat Schirò. Riina emerges and warns his old friend to leave his family alone, especially Ninetta, before knocking him out cold.

Fourth episode (1979–1981)[edit]

Fifth episode (1982-1987)[edit]

Sixth episode(1988-1993)[edit]

Audience[edit]

Episode Broadcast date Viewers (millions) Share
01 25 October 2007 7.146 27.21%
02 1 November 2007 7.810 30.40%
03 8 November 2007 7.545 28.10%
04 15 November 2007 6.985 28.15%
05 22 November 2007 7.731 29.98%
06 29 November 2007 7.995 28.59%

Curiosity[edit]

The miniseries has been watched by Salvatore Riina, now that he is in prison, raising some criticism on the coverage of the topic.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ http://skyarts.sky.com/corleone