The Mattei Affair

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The Mattei Affair
(Il Caso Mattei)
Italian film poster
Directed byFrancesco Rosi
Screenplay byFrancesco Rosi
Tonino Guerra
Nerio Minuzzo
Tito Di Stefano
Story byFrancesco Rosi
Tonino Guerra
Produced byFranco Cristaldi
StarringGian Maria Volonté
CinematographyPasqualino De Santis
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Music byPiero Piccioni
Vides Cinematografica
Verona Produzione
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
May 1972 (Cannes)
20 May 1973 (New York City)
Running time
116 minutes

The Mattei Affair (Italian: Il Caso Mattei) is a 1972 Italian drama film directed by Francesco Rosi. It depicts the life and mysterious death of Enrico Mattei, an Italian businessman who in the aftermath of World War II managed to avoid the sale of the nascent Italian oil and hydrocarbon industry to US companies and developed them in the Eni, a state-owned oil company which rivaled the "Seven Sisters" for oil and gas deals in Northern African and Middle Eastern countries.

The film shared the Grand Prix with The Working Class Goes to Heaven at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.[1] Italian star Gian Maria Volonté was the leading actor in both films.

The film is an innovative hybrid of documentary and fiction, representing Francesco Rosi's concept of cine-inchieste (film investigation).[according to whom?] The flashback structure shows the influence of Citizen Kane and Rosi's Salvatore Giuliano (1962).[according to whom?] Rosi remains faithful to his neo-realist roots with on-location shooting and non-professional actors.[according to whom?] The film is interspersed with footage of the director trying to find his friend, the investigative journalist Mauro De Mauro, who disappeared while doing research for the film.[citation needed] He was killed by the Sicilian Mafia, but like the death of Mattei, De Mauro's case was never solved.[2]

In 2008, the film was included on the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s 100 Italian films to be saved, a list of 100 films that "have changed the collective memory of the country between 1942 and 1978."[3]



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Mattei Affair". Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  2. ^ Bayman, Louis (ed.) (2011). Directory of World Cinema: Italy, Intellect Books, p. 241
  3. ^ "Ecco i cento film italiani da salvare Corriere della Sera". Retrieved 11 March 2021.

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