The Sicilian Connection is a rather peculiar poliziotteschi from Ferdinando Baldi, a director I more commonly associate with action films (westerns, peplums etc). It’s an odd mix of revenge thriller and Rosi style expose of the international smuggling trade, with the plot following Joe Coppola (Ben Gazzara) as he tries to make a mint by buying a shed-load of opium and smuggling it into New York. His travels take him to Turkey – where he witnesses opium being harvested in Afyon – to Palermo, where it’s processed into top quality heroin by the Mafia. Eventually he returns to America, but he’s forgotten to account for the fact that it’s a criminal business populated by people who are far from trustworthy.
It’s entertaining and has some great moments, but it’s very inconsistent – each segment has an almost entirely different cast and theme – and it feels like it was intended as a very different kind of film to how it ended up. But there’s a good cast, the script is decently constructed and it’s a little different to the norm. Not brilliant, but not bad either.