arrow Browse alphabetically by: Title
arrow Documentary
arrow Fiction
arrow Family & Children
arrow Films about Faith
arrow Foreign
arrow LGBT
arrow Jewish Experience
arrow Midnight Movies
arrow New Releases
arrow Coming Soon
arrow Box Sets
arrow Gift Ideas
arrow Bestsellers
arrow Staff Picks
arrow Specials
arrow On iTunes
arrow Asia Society
arrow DEFA German Film Studio
arrow Human Rights Watch Selects
arrow Empire Pictures Collection


Excellent Cadavers

A Film by Marco Turco

Regular Price: $24.95
Your Price: $7.49
You Save: 70%!


Excellent Cadavers is a documentary about the real Mafia: not the comical hoods of The Sopranos or the tragic warriors of The Godfather, but the historic, violent Sicilian gang that has flourished in Italy and the U.S. for more than a century, leaving bloody havoc in its wake.

The focus is not on individual Mafiosi but on the Cosa Nostra as a powerful amoral corporate entity, intimately enmeshed with Italian business and politics, and on two brave, unshakably honest prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who battled them in the courts for years, winning hundreds of convictions, before both were assassinated.

If Francis Ford Coppola, in The Godfather trilogy, established the modern myth of the American Mafia as a murderous business tied to parts of the Establishment, director Marco Turco shows the reality of similar relationships in Italy, and indicts the conservative Italian establishment for its tolerance of criminals who trample on laws and lives.

Sicily is one of the most picturesque of movie locations, and Turco takes full advantage of that here. One of his main interviewees is the gifted photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, who has recorded the Mafia’s violent legacy in Palermo for decades, and he uses her searing black-and-white shots evocatively and well. Cadavers is a rich mine of information on a subject about which it is sometimes too easy to be superficial. - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Based on the book by Alexander Stille.

BEST DOCUMENTARY! Festival Dei Popoli, Florence, 2005

What the Critics are Saying

"An engrossing, detailed history of the birth and growth of the Mafia. It dismantles the celluloid romanticizing." - LA WEEKLY

"Staggering, insistent... This is urgent, intelligent work." - NEW CITY (Chicago)

"Eye-opening. Anyone whose romantic illusions about the Mafia involve Michael Corleone and Tony Soprano would do well to watch it." - TV GUIDE

"A thorough, journalistic examination that is ultimately as horrifying as it is in informative." - HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"Absorbing, disturbing, gut-wrenching... Essential viewing." -

"A superb documentary... Worthy of Greek tragedy. People who enjoy Mafia movies owe it to themselves to see it." - SAN FRANCISCO CHRONCICLE

Recommended Reading

Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic by Alexander Stille

Midnight in Sicily by Peter Robb

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:
  • Photo Gallery
  • Film Notes
  • Biographies & More

Format: DVD
Release Year: 2006
Running Time: 92 minutes
Color: Color & B/W
Language: Italian w/English subtitles

Interested in this title? We also recommend