Director Francesco Rosi returns to his recurring theme of the connections between legal and illegal exercises of power in this sensationalized account of the infamous gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano (Gian Maria Volonte). The film examines the life of Luciano after serving nine years of his 50-year sentence in the 1930s and 1940s, after which he was pardoned and deported to Italy. Once back in Italy, Luciano travels to Naples, where he finds himself under a continuous ten-year investigation by narcotics investigator Charles Siragusa (who plays himself). Rosi uses Luciano as a clinical study, questioning his legendary status and exploring the truth behind the legend.
by Paul Brenner synopsis