The True Story of Frank Mannata/La Vera Storia di Frank Mannata (1969)

Set during the prohibition era, small-time gangster Frank Mannata travels from his native Sicily to Chicago to join his brother and sister who run a massage parlor catering to a number of prominent establishment figures. Seizing the opportunity to expand their business by blackmailing their wealthy clients, the Mannata siblings soon begin building up a criminal empire and set about eliminating the competition.

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Locandina

After a successful film career in Spain, director Saverio (or Javier) Setò  relocated to Italy in the 1960s where he shot ten films at the Cinecittà studios before his untimely death in 1969 at the age of just 43. He worked almost exclusively in the western genre and is credited with discovering the Spanish actress Marujita Dìaz.

Lead actor Jeffrey Hunter was injured in an explosion during filming and died shortly after returning to the USA in May 1969.

Part of a small group of films released in the late 1960s set against the backdrop of the prohibition era attempting to cash-in on the success of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde.

You can find an interview with Margaret Lee here (in English) and a video interview (in Italian) with Guglielmo Spoletini here which I will try to translate in the future. There’s a site dedicated to the memory of Jeffrey Hunter here.

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