Comparison between the cut export version and the uncut Italian original version (both included in the British Blu-ray box "Cosa Nostra" by Radiance Films)
- 6 cuts
The Day of the Owl was created in 1968 and is one of several films directed by the exceptional Italian director and mafia expert Damiano Damiani, starring Franco Nero. The British label Radiance Films has released three of them in the box set Cosa Nostra, available in the UK since July 27, 2023 (and from August 15, 2023 in the USA). While The Case Is Closed: Forget It (1971) and How to Kill a Judge (1974) are included in their uncut original versions (each with Italian and English audio), The Day of the Owl is presented not only in the Italian-language original version but also in a roughly 5-minute shorter English export version.
Apparently, for the export release, some plot elements have been streamlined. Several dialogue scenes are omitted, some of which are quite interesting. It's noticeable that the police sergeant (Giovanni Pallavicino) gets a bit more screen time. With Franco Nero, Claudia Cardinale, and Lee J. Cobb, there are three heavyweight actors in the main roles, so it's possible that the minor character's presence was deliberately reduced a little bit. The intricate mafia network, against which Nero's character fights almost hopelessly, is highlighted once again through some additional conversations here.
Last but not least: Radiance Films clearly communicated on their social channels that there was an error in implementing seamless branching for both versions in the initial pressing. The total runtime of the film remains the same, but in the flawed initial pressing, a scene is supposedly skipped in the film. As a result, the release date was slightly delayed from originally June 2023. The corrected discs can be recognized by the "R2" ending on the upper side of the disc (correct: "RAD014BD R2" / flawed: "RAD014BD"). Even in the copy we received directly from the label shop in August, the replacement disc was included in a separate case. So we also did take a closer look at this initial pressing, but honestly, we couldn't identify the specific scene that was mentioned. In our copy, all the scenes listed in the report were played correctly in the initial pressing as well.
Runtime indications follow the scheme:
The credits also remain in Italian in the export version. The German DVD had fully localized credits in German, so it's likely there were such localized credits in English back then as well, but Radiance Films didn't reconstruct them.
13:36 / 13:36-14:11
Bellodi questions the worker about why the cement is being transported in sacks instead of trucks. The man explains that no one would rent them such trucks. Bellodi asks why, but doesn't receive any further explanation. The police sergeant adds that the men hadn't even reported when someone threw a saddler into the gorge recently. The man remains completely silent now. Bellodi turns away and asks the police sergeant if Colasberna had a criminal record. The sergeant mentions 6 months under the Fascists when he was 25 years old. Bellodi doesn't consider this a real criminal record, to which the sergeant adds that it's still frowned upon by the law. Bellodi mocks this notion (according to English subtitles, he says, "So is the president of the republic, then.")
16:39 / 17:14-17:56
After the two men apologize for not being of much help, they walk down the corridor for a longer period. There, Rosa is sitting, called in. Bellodi looks outside again and sees Don Mariano calmly reading a newspaper across the way. The police sergeant comes in and announces Rosa.
24:01 / 25:18-26:30
The police sergeant walks further to the door. Bellodi then remembers and mentions to the sergeant that his son is going to an engineering school. The sergeant now wonders if his son has done something wrong. Bellodi jokingly asks if the sergeant is afraid of the police. He dismisses it.
Then, it continues outside, with Bellodi asking the police sergeant's son if he's familiar with cement construction methods. Bellodi explains that he would like to prove that all construction companies except Colasberna are cheating. They deliver subpar materials and falsify technical data. The son comments that an expert would be needed for such an assessment; as a student, he can't really help with that. Bellodi says the investigation would be stalled for a year if he were to wait for an expert. The son remarks that he's not responsible for the state's mistakes. The police sergeant adds that his son is primarily focused on his studies and has little to do with the police. Bellodi cynically wishes him good luck and suggests that he will soon be working for exactly those people responsible for road construction. Bellodi asks what the son would think if one of his clients were a murderer. The son replies that it's not the responsibility of engineers to deal with murderers. Bellodi considers this the duty of all people. The son doesn't really care about that, asks if his presence is still required and walks away.
72 seconds (= 1:12 minutes)
59:29 / 61:58-62:13
Before Rosa speaks to her daughter inside, the mother of the just-arrested Pizzuco scolds Rosa a little bit. She sits in a car in front of the door, calling Rosa a whore and expressing anger that her son was arrested because of her. She seeks financial compensation for the resulting legal costs. Rosa stands pensively behind the door.
69:48 / 72:32-74:24
Rosa is in the police office, and the police sergeant enters with a letter stating that the motorcycle (of the guy who just brought her a "message" aka an envelope with money, supposedly from her missing husband) has been stolen. They wonder why a thief would actually bring her money instead of keeping it for himself. Bellodi asks Rosa if she would cover for someone else. Rosa becomes gradually desperate and doesn't understand why she even is a suspect the one. Bellodi suggests that Don Mariano could have given her the motorcycle's number. After all, she had been with him. Rosa energetically insists that Bellodi would surely do everything he could as well, if his wife disappeared. Bellodi comments bluntly that Colasberna was killed because he stood in the way of the Mafia. Now they want to deceive everyone and pretend with witnesses that Rosa was Colasberna's lover until she's put on trial. Rosa emphasizes that she has remained faithful to her husband. Bellodi brings up the scenario where her husband returns and notices how other men are trying to win Rosa's favor. Rosa doesn't like this idea. She describes being completely exposed among people and feeling utterly naked from their lustful stares.
112 seconds (= 1:52 minutes)
93:17 / 97:53-98:45
Other men continue to speak critically about Rosa and further spin the lies about her. As they look directly at Rosa or, in cross-cuts, it becomes clear she's completely overwhelmed by the situation. Ultimately, she comments that only her husband could decide how she should behave - if he ever comes back.
UK Blu-ray box and disc case of The Day of the Owl: