Il camorrista

Il camorrista (English: The Professor) is a 1986 Italian drama directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. His film debut, it is based on the true story of the Italian crime boss Raffaele Cutolo, and adapted from the novel by Giuseppe Marrazzo. The International version is shorter than the original Italian release.

Il Camorrista
Directed byGiuseppe Tornatore
Written byGiuseppe Tornatore
StarringBen Gazzara
Laura Del Sol
Leo Gullotta
Franco Interlenghi
Music byNicola Piovani
CinematographyBlasco Giurato
Edited byMario Morra
Distributed byTitanus
Release date
12 September 1986
Running time
168 Min in Italy


In 1963 a young petty criminal, Raffaele Cutolo, kills a man who had harassed his sister Rosaria, and ends up in prison. Over the space of 10 years in Poggioreale prison in Naples, he becomes known as 'The Professor', a powerful, feared and respected figure. With his friends Alfredo Canale and Pasquale Zara "the animal", he creates the criminal organization "Nuova Camorra Organizzata". All run from Cutolo's prison cell, the organization grows and spreads until in the 70s it clashes with the old families of the Camorra, starting the War of the Camorra that will bleed all of South Italy in the 1970s and 1980s.

The earth trembles

In 1980 an earthquake strikes Naples and the Campania region. Fighting over the flood of government reconstruction money, the Camorrista war continues even more brutally than before. In 1981 the Red Brigades kidnap the regional Assessor Mimmo Mesillo (Ciro Cirillo in real life). Members of Mesillo's political party, the Christian Democrats, turn to the Professor to intervene, fearing that Mesillo will confess party secrets. In exchange the Professor is promised freedom on mental illness grounds, and 3 billion in ransom. The assessor is freed, but taken into custody by the secret services rather than the police.

The fall of the Professor and the disappearance of NCO

The politicians do not respect the agreement and the Professor is put in the high-security prison of Asinara, by special decree of Italian president Sandro Pertini. This furthers the disintegration of the Professor's organization as his trusted men begin cooperating with the police. His sister Rosaria tries to counteract the damage, but to no avail. In the end she kills Ciro, a trusted man who had sold out to politicians, by blowing him up in his car and burying his girlfriend inside a cement pylon.




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