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Sicilian Connection, The

original title: Afyon oppio

Comparison:

  • Italian Version
  • Uncut
Release: Mar 01, 2022 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Afyon oppio

Nightclub owner Joe Coppola plans to go big into the drug business, so he searches for a dealer in Turkey who can deliver large quantities of heroin to him in Italy. There he manages to gain the trust of influential godfather Don Calogero, who is supposed to process the heroin for him and eventually send it to New York. Since Calogero appropriates most of the profits, Joe decides to simply take the smuggled heroin for himself. A serious mistake, because the syndicate does not like to be ripped off.

The gangster thriller, directed by Ferdinando Baldi (Blindman), is well acted, really cool in places, fast-paced and has a great soundtrack. The film shows how the crook Joe, about whose background you hardly learn anything, tries to build a smuggling route from Turkey to New York and overcomes various obstacles. The main role is played by Ben Gazzara, who in best bad ass manner gains the trust of all important dealers. The film's enjoyment is marred by some unrealistic plot lines. For example, right at the beginning a single policeman tries to arrest mafia boss Don Russo for smuggling heroin, which doesn't end well for the policeman. One wonders why the policeman even goes through with such an operation alone.

Two versions on the German Blu-ray

On the German Blu-ray from filmART, there is an Italian version that is presumably identical to the Italian TV version, in addition to the uncut German version. In this cut version, the role of Claudine has been shrunk down quite a bit. Her ambivalent relationship with the smugglers and the drug squad, as well as her flirtation with Joe, were removed from the film. In fact, the scenes are not strictly necessary, as the plot line with her ultimately goes nowhere. Both versions come from the same restored master, so there are no differences in quality. If you find the film too lengthy you can go for the shorter Italian version, otherwise you should go for the uncut main version.

Runtimes:

Italian version: 90:20 min.
German version: 96:21 min.

The Italian version was compared to the uncut German version.

[00:18:50][00:18:50]

After Ibrahim says to Joe that he should go away and have a good time, the German version shows Claudine being taken to a room of the narcotics squad for questioning. The commissioner shows her a picture of Joe, but Claudine tells him that he was only a guest at her house and she knows nothing else about him. Claudine is able to leave and the commissioner says that if she helps the police, then something can be done for her.



In the next scene, Ibrahim and Claudine meet on a boat. Ibrahim asks her if she was asked about Joe by the inspector and if he offered her a deal. Claudine tells him that she is starting to get fed up with her current life. Ibrahim says that they are interested in Joe and want to keep him around for now. Claudine is told to attach herself to him because of this. Claudine runs away, then the ship is seen docking.



Claudine goes to Joe's room and is met by Tony. Joe tells her to sit down after all and sends Tony away. Joe asks what he can offer her. Claudine replies that she wants to take a shower first and asks if Joe wants to keep her company. Joe says that too much water makes the skin thin and shows her the way to the shower.



German version: 3:17 min


[00:19:19][00:22:36]

Claudine and Joe are kissing when the phone rings. Joe excuses himself and tells Claudine he has to go downstairs.



German version: 45 sec.


[00:24:43][00:28:45]

After Joe sets up another meeting with the merchant, he is seen on a boat with Claudine afterwards. Joe suggests that Claudine might want to come along. He wants to tour various cities and eventually go to New York. Claudine says that she would like to, but her employers would never allow it.



German version: 1:03 min


[00:30:26][00:35:31]

After the dealer says nothing else is going on, they cut to Joe nodding his head. After that, the inspector watches Joe walk across the tarmac to his plane. Claudine is also standing at the airport. The inspector runs to her and says he doesn't think they will see Joe again. Claudine asks why he let them go. The inspector says that there was nothing wrong with the luggage and now the Italian police should take care of it.



The Italian version resumes as the plane takes off.

German version: 56 sec.