Kiss My Hand / Baciamo le mani (1973)

4.0 out of 5

Vittorio Schiraldi writes and directs a movie that is very similar to The Godfather. Though the film is apparently based on a novel by the director far too many scenes and themes are pretty close approximations to those from a certain movie based on a particular Mario Puzo novel. While the Machiavellian aspects are far from explored to their full potential Baciamo le mani nevertheless does touch upon, far more successfully, the notion of traditional values and how they are rejected by a younger nihilistic generation. In this respect the film can be read as metaphor.

The gangster code is rejected by a greed before family Benny Blanco type character played by John Saxon in what can be seen as a lament for the values that bound together the informal structures that it is suggested existed in place of the the state in any meaningful sense. In a complete about face the film nevertheless suggests that ultimately the thuggery of the new and the tradition of the old is a false division and in this respect asks the viewer to remove the rose tinted spectacles through which the traditional mob could be viewed. At it's heart the film is a gangster family drama movie.

A lot of people are offed for purely utilitarian ends without fanfare nor any emotional attachment with even a central widowed character played by Agostina Belli being able to swiftly move on and run hand in hand through the flowers with her bodyguard after she is persuaded to place her norks on display for his viewing pleasure. Even those facing imminent demise took their medicine without pleading or passion, such is the heartless world of the film. Thought provoking stuff indeed.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics