Lucky Luciano (1974)




Director:    Francesco Rosi.

Starring:    Gian Maria Volonte (Lucky Luciano), Rod Steiger (Gene Giannini), Charles Siragusa (Himself), Edmond O'Brien (Harry J. Anslinger), Vincent Gardenia (American Colonel), Silverio Blasi (Italian Captain), Charles Cioffi (Vito Genovese), Magda Konopka (The Contessa), Larry Gates (Herlands), Jacques Monod (French Commissioner), Dino Curcio (Don Ciccio), Karin Petersen (Igea).

Done in a style to imitate a documentary, the film deals with the gangster who started the largest international criminal organization in the world.


Spoiler Warning:



Historical Background:


1896  --  Charlie Luciano, the son of a sulfur miner, born in Lercara Friddi, Sicily.

1906  --  his family moves to New York.

1910  -- at age 14 he leaves school to be a shipping clerk.

1915  -- working as a drug seller, he gets arrested and serves time in prison.

1920  --  becomes member of the Joe Masseria gang.

1925 --  becomes second in command.  Is involved in bootlegging, prostitution and drug distribution.

1929 --  Luciano is kidnapped by men from Salvatore Maranzano's gang.  They stab him with an ice pick, cut his trhoat, and leave him for dead on a Staten Island beach. Luciano survives, earning the nickname Lucky Luciano.

1931 April  --  Luciano and fellow gang members, Albert Anastasia and Bugsy Siegel, murder their leader, Joe Masseria.

1931 November --  with the help of Meyer Lansky, Luciano arranges the killing of Salvatore Maranzano and now becomes the most important criminal boss in New York.

He joined Louis Lepke Buchalter, Abe Reles and Albert Anastasia to form Murder Incorporated to carry out executions for hire.

1936  --  prosecutor Thomas Dewey leads an investigation and gets enough evidence to arrest Luciano for his activities in prostitution and extortion; sentenced to 30 years.

1942  -- still running his criminal operation from prison, he helps the United States government deal with acts of sabotage in New York Harbor.

1946 February  --  now Gov. Thomas Dewey commute Luciano's sentence and deports him to Italy.

1947  -- he runs his crime operation from Cuba. The US gets Cuba to send him back to Italy.

1962  -- Charlie Lucky Luciano dies of a heart attack in Naples.




Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)