The movie Cent Jours á Palerme/ Cento Giorni a Palermo (The Hundred Days of Palermo) traces almost in a documentary fashion how Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa tried to top the mafia in Sicily. After he already had had some success in his fight against organized crime, Dalla Chiesa became the head oft he Sicilian police on the 1 May, 1982 in order to end the second mafia war, in whose hot phase more than a thousand people were killed in only two years. 4 months after he had gotten this post, Dalla Chiesa and his wife were killed themselves.
The movie is a French-Italian co-production and both countries have their own version of the movie.
The differences are quite distinctive. The French version features a lot of cuts of just a few seconds, but also contains an exclusive scene of almost 4 minutes. The scene composition is also different, e.g. the mafiosos’ meeting takes place twenty minutes later in the French cut. A lot of montages like the one at the start or the arrests in the middle of the movie are cut differently. Sometimes, there are also alternative shots used, though they are usually very short.
This report compares the French version, taken from an identical TV airing on the French-German network arte, and the Italian version, taken from the DVD by Medusa. The French DVD by L.C.J. is identical with the TV airing but lacks a few seconds due to mastering mistakes.
Medusa (Italian DVD): 102:18 min (99:39 min) PAL
Arte (Free TV, 23.7.2009): 93:10 min (91:41 min) PAL
L.C.J. (French DVD): 92:40 min (91:15 min) PAL
The opening of the movie is different. The French Version contains an extensive credit sequence, the Italian Version, however, only shows the company logos but then shows more shots of the first victim, the policeman Boris Giuliano, before the movie starts. ITAL: 39s | FR: 72s
The Italian Version features a voice-over during all of the four murders at the beginning. The victim’s name, position and why he was killed is being explained.
The killer approaches Boris longer.
The salesman screams after Boris was his by several bullets.
Blood splatters against a showcase when the killer shoots again at his victim, who is already lying on the floor.
After the assassination, the Italian Version slides the picture to the upper left in order to fade the next victim in. The French Version freezes the frame and then states the attack’s statistics.
ITAL: 2,5s | FR: 6,5s
The Italian Version fades the judge in a splitscreen in and then shows him walking to the car.
The same procedure as with the last murder. Splitscreen in the Italian Version, freeze frame in the French Version.
ITAL: 3,5s | FR: 6,5s
The same. The next victim is approaching the car longer.
During the third assassination, the pistol does not function correctly and the killer hast o get a new one from his colleague in the car.
The same old game.
ITAL: 4s | FR: 6.5s
The fourth victim is shown before the assault as well. He walks along a street and stops at a newsstand. The assassins watch him. Two parts of this scene (with a lenght of 3 and 2 seconds) are shown during the next 2 scenes in the French Version.
While the assassin goes to the newsstand, the French Version shortly shows the victims skimming through the magazines. In the Italian Version, this shot was already shown in the previous cut. In return, the Italian Version shows the assassin a little longer.
ITAL: 0.5s | FR: 3s
ITAL: 1s | FR: 2s
You see the newsstand owner reacting to the gunshots. Then you see the assassin as well as the victim's hand.
You see a freeze-frame/split-screen arrangement for the last time in the movie.
ITAL: 6s | FR: 6s
The communist politician La Torre is shown a little longer at the beginning of his speech about the connections between Christian Democrats and the Cosa Nostra.
La Torre's speech lasts a little longer when he talks about Sicily being controlled by the mob.
A shot of an old man in the audience is postponed in the French Version.
La Torre's speech about the Cosa Nostra again is a little longer during the end of the speech.
After the speech you in the Italian Version at frist see general Dalla Chiesa (who is told to fight the mob in Palermo) talking to the Interior Secretary. Then follows a scene where La Torre answers questions of reporters about Dalla Chiesa's appointment as prefect of Palermo. In the French Version you at first see La Torre talking to the reporters and then Dalla Chiesa with the Interior Secretary. Besides this switched order, the scenes do not differ from each other.
Due to reasons of continuity Dalla Chiesa is shown a little longer when he's crowded by the reporters after meeting the Interior Secretary.
The French Version now shows Dalla Chiesa's arrival at his former precinct, followed by a sequence that lasts for almost 4 minutes (which is not included in the Italian Version). The Italian Version at first concentrates on the mafiosi.
Dalla Chiesa is standing in the doorway a little longer.
Now follows a sequence that was only included in the French Version. It lasts for 3:47 minutes.
The newsticker report that Dalla Chiesa was appointed police chief.
At the hairdresser the citizens are happy about this report - after all, Dalla Chiesa is a tough guy. Still, they shouldn't underestimate the mob. The lawyers are happy as well, since a good chief encourages the police forces' morale. Inside a restaurant, a man is ratehr pessimistic. On the one hand, the fight against the mob will claim many victims, on the other hand the "common" delinquency of the smaller gangsters will rise as soon as the mob (who also ensure order) is gone. Additionally, many people benefit from the mob's buisness. What will become of them?
Dalla Chiesa looks at several slides of different police operations when he is suddenly interrupted. A few men of the anti-terrorist squad (which he used to lead) want to say goodbye. The men are really worried about their former chief. They would rather like to see him taking it a little easier - after all, he's quite old now. Instead, he chose to take the hardest job a police officer in Sicily could possibly take. His assistent Andrea is worried as well.
During the following scenes of the mafiosi (who act as regular buisnessmen), the Italian Version rolls the credits.
Before you see the headmaster - the contact man of the American mob - driving to the building, there are a few shots of the city.
The gate slowly opens.
The ride into the subterranean garage is longer as wel.
General Dalla Chiesa's uniform is shown after he had to put it away for his new job as prefect.
When they discuss the attempt on La Torre's life, the scene is a little longer in the Italian Version.
The assassins on the motorcycles chase la Torre a little longer.
The bikers are shown a little longer.
After the assault, the assassin goes back to his motorcycle. You see dead La Torre's foot hanging out of the window.
The assassins drive away a little longer. Then you see open windows of houses at the edge of the road. Apparently, nobody seemed to have noticed the murder.
The shot of the dead La Torre offers different overlays in both versions.
ITAL: 4.5s | FR: 6.5s
Chiesa drives through the inner-city of Palermo with the taxi a little longer.
The kids who sell garlic at the edge of the street are shown a little earlier.
The heads of the police department are looking couriously when Dalla Chiesa examines his desk (which is in the line of sight of construction workers on the other side of the road, so he will have it placed somewhere else later).
The shots of La Torres' funeral are shown in the French version after the short scene of the mafiosos in front of the TV.
Posters are being pinned up before the funeral.
An additional shot of the funeral.
More shots of the funeral.
One of the policemen is watching the funeral on the TV.
The crowd boos when the president is mentioning the “province” Sicily.
More shots of the president's speech, e.g. the suits of some suspicious men in the crowd are shown in detail.
More shots of the crowd during the speech.
The following shot of the 4 heads of the police department starts earlier.
When Dalla Chiesa is talking to the heads of departments, the French Version shows Dalla Chiesa while the Italian one continues with the four others.
no difference in time
Dalla Chiesa orders the telephone to be checked because is hearing strange sounds and suspect them to be eavesdropped on. Here, the French Version shows the impatient Dalla Chiesa and the colleague in a close-up whereas the Italian one continues with the previous shot.
ITAL: 20,5s | FR: 31,5s
After this, the French Version continues directly with the next murder and the killer already with his shotgun whereas the victim is walking a bit first in the Italian Version.
A shot of the victim which was shot in the face.
The two versions differ when the phone is ringing in Dalla Chiesa's office. The Italian Version shows a long shot for a longer time while two shots which follow there later can be seen in the French Version.
Here, the two shots are inserted in the Italian Version. Another shot of Dalla Chiesa.
The next scene of the attack on a driving car starts earlier in the Italian Version.
A car is passing and hints that the car with captives should accelerate.
One of the killers is getting out of the car longer after the crash.
The following shot beginning with the helicopter starts earlier.
From 50:31 Dalla Chiesa is answering questions of the Palermo citizens. The scene is cut differently. The Italian Version starts with the shot of a drug victim, the reaction of the audience and Della Chiesa's speech. The French Version, however, shows the second half of the scene first and then the questions of the citizens prior to the movie shot and the following scenes.
The French Version is shorter on two occasions:
The priest in the movie approaches the drug victim and blesses him.
The curtains are falling longer.
Dalla Chiesa's wife Emanuela is walking longer through the villa.
A picture can be seen.
Emanuela can be seen a bit longer when visitors arrive.
From the French Version's 57th minute on a montage of the arrests of several mobsters and a football game can be seen. The montage has a duration of approximately 3 minutes and consists of 30 elements, which were arranged differently in the two versions. The different arrangements will not be stated here. However, some elements are exclusive to a single version, these are the following:
Additional scenes in the French Version
A shot of the football game.
Two shots of the street.
Additional scenes in the Italian Version
Two policemen are waiting in a car in front of the police department.
A police car is driving longer.
The officer-in-charge is talking in his radio before a villa is being stormed.
The taking of the villa is longer as well.
The woman opens the door earlier.
A mafioso is being brought away longer.
End of the recut sequence.
Dalla Chiesa in the office.
A shot of Dalla Chiesa's window.
The mafiosos' arrival was cut differently, featuring partially alternative material.
The sequence of the mafiosi being picked up at the airport is longer.
A statue in the city is shown longer.
At the end of the arrival you in the Italian Version see all the mafiosi sitting at a table. In the French Version, this is shown more than 20 minutes later. Therefore, the differences between these scenes are listed later.
The corpses are shown again.
The next murder begins earlier. Before the assassins dash in through the door you see a man holding a glass panel.
Subsequently, the French Version shows a "best of" of the last few murders during the newscast. In the Italian Version, this is shown much later (to be exact, after the election in the parliament).
During the next funeral you see a statue.
At the end of the funeral you again see a statue, followed by shots of several commemorations.
The shots inside the Sicilian parliament where they have a ballot on a law directing against several rich and influential families of Sicily (who profit from fiscal revenue) are shown a little later in the French Version. Also, the French Version's cut of this sequence is a little shorter at the end.
After the vote failed - the rich families can keep their additional source of income - the politicians in the lounge are shown again.
A Taxi drives around a little longer.
The mafiosi are shown inside the office after they called their colleague in the car.
The following shot of the office block where the mafiosi always meet is - in the Italian Version - shown before Dalla Chiesa's conversation with his commander. In the French Version, it's shown after the conversation.
Now at 83:59 you finally see the shots of the mafiosi at the table in the French Version (as already mentioned, this was already included more than 20 minutes ago in the Italian Version). And again, the producers arranged this scene completely different. The individual close-up shots of the mafiosi are shown in a different order - partially, they even shortened these shots. And again, the altered order of the individual shots won't be mentioned any further. Instead, let's have a look at all the footage that was cut out.
The group a little longer.
The bad one.
The bosky one.
Just before the end of the movie, there's a thoughtful moment in the Italian Version. You see the hall of the parliament, where recently, a draft bill to fight the mob was rejected. You see shots of the police station and some seized drugs. Finally, you see one of the mob's victims - a drug addict.
While Dalla Chiesa's wife is on the phone, you see the assassins getting ready for the assault (which is not shown in the French Version). The assault itself again seems to be rather surprising.
Again, you shortly see the assassins preparing the bike and the car for the assault.
The biker chases Dalla Chiesa.
The French Version rolls the credits during scenes of the reporters at the crime scene of Della Chiesa's and his wife's murder.
No difference in time.
Additionally, the Italian Version shows some more shots of Palermo.
At the end of the movie, the Italian Version offer rather traditional end credits.