Alone against the mafia

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Television series
German title Alone against the mafia
Original title La Piovra
Alone against the mafia.jpg
Country of production Italy
original language Italian
Year (s) 1984-2001
RAI , ZDF and others
length 60-100 minutes
Episodes 48 in 10 seasons
genre Crime, thriller, mafia film
idea Sergio Silva , Damiano Damiani , Ennio De Concini
music Riz Ortolani
(Season 1)
Ennio Morricone
(Season 2-7, 10)

Paolo Buonvino
(Season 8-9)
First broadcast March 11, 1984 on Rai Uno
first broadcast
May 6, 1984 on ZDF

Alone against the Mafia (original title: “La Piovra”, German: “The Octopus”) is a thriller series produced by the Italian broadcaster Rai Uno . It ran in 10 seasons between 1984 and 2001 in Italy. In Germany, the episodes were broadcast by ZDF (which was also a co-producer) and are regularly repeated by private broadcasters. The 10th season has not yet been shown in Germany. The individual seasons - initially only the first one was planned - consist of five to seven around 60-minute episodes each, later partly 90 to 100-minute episodes. The last three seasons only had two episodes each.

At the center of the action is the work of Italian police commissioners and investigating judges against the mafia across all seasons . Each season has its own arc of tension with a separate plot and takes up different facets of organized crime. If in the first season it was still the Sicilianhonorable society ” with connections as far as the Roman government apparatus, later, in line with the development and spread of the Mafia, other areas of crime such as international drug and arms trafficking as well as illegal financial transactions come to the fore.

Against the mafia alone is considered the most successful television series of all time in Italy. The first seasons regularly reached up to 15 million viewers. The daily La Stampa spoke of “years of passion” and “collective love”. In Germany, too, the series was very well received because of its authentic, atmospherically dense storyline, its exciting staging and its credible acting performances and in some cases even had higher ratings than in Italy.

The first season was directed by Damiano Damiani , followed by Florestano Vancini . Most of the later seasons were directed by Luigi Perelli . The music came from Riz Ortolani and from the second season on from Ennio Morricone . The eighth and ninth seasons, which were broadcast in Germany in 1999 under the title As long as there is love, were an exception to the entire cast .

The television lexicon judged: "Exciting but brutal series that cast a spell over viewers in Germany and almost everywhere in the world."


“Alone against the Mafia” was implemented as a large-scale project by a team led by the Italian producer Sergio Silva and the renowned director Damiano Damiani . Damiani had already made a good name for himself among cinema fans with Mafia films such as " The Owl's Day " or " The Clan That Walled Up Its Enemies Alive ".

Filming took 20 weeks. 50 actors and 1500 extras were employed. The budget amounted to the enormous sum of 9 million Deutschmarks for the time  .

For the Italian television broadcaster RAI, “Alone against the Mafia” marked a turning point in its large-scale productions. Instead of buying cinema films, people were increasingly turning to producing them themselves. An order of magnitude like “Alone against the Mafia” could only be realized in European co-production with the German ZDF , the French TF1 , the British Channel 4 and other television stations. The German television viewers also owe the appearances of Mario Adorf , Gottfried John , Siegfried Lowitz , Gedeon Burkhard , Rolf Hoppe and Anja Kling to this circumstance , the French viewers the participation of François Périer , Bruno Crémer , Patricia Millardet , Xavier Deluc and Pierre Mondy .


The original title "La Piovra" (The Octopus) shows the theme of the series even better than the German title, namely the "rampant" organized crime . Not only was the size of the production considerable, but also the demands of the makers. Damiano Damiani had nothing less in mind than depicting the detachment of the Mafia from its regional, feudalistic Sicilian origins and its further development.

The director stated that drug deals were the starting point for fundamental changes in behavior and character of the Mafia: "The drug trade means that the Mafia has huge amounts of black money at its disposal that have to be 'whitewashed'". As a result, the “Friends of Friends” are pushing into the established high finance businesses and international markets, especially the arms trade .

When the series made a flashback to the 1950s with the eighth season, the claim of historical analysis was reaffirmed. Giacomo Battiato , director of the 8th and 9th seasons, explained the background: “The story tells of the old mafia's falling away from honor to the new mafia, which is based on drug trafficking, links to the American mafia , the introduction of the Kalashnikovs and the Plastic explosives ”.

“Alone against the Mafia” is based on reality not only in the historical and political-sociological criminological analysis. The work of the investigators and police officers appearing in the series also has sad role models such as Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa , Giovanni Falcone or Paolo Borsellino , who died in the 1980s and 1990s in their tenacity, but also in their limited successes and their often tragic failure the Mafia were murdered.

Several times it seemed as if the creators of the series had even foreseen developments. Remo Girone said that he had sometimes wondered whether the scriptwriters had access to the investigation files. Because the proceedings against the Mafia have often "verified" the plot of the films.

Style and characters

In 1984 the FAZ described the entry into the first episode as typical of what was then known as a "ripper: the pictures are gloomy, the atmosphere is ominous, the music emotionalising". There is no happy ending .

For television at the time, the series made use of an unusual harshness of depictions of violence. In “Alone Against the Mafia” violence is never presented in an aesthetic way, but always as part of the dramaturgy and internal logic, as a - as the banker Antinari puts it in the third season - a kind of “mechanism” that money creates has to defend his power.

The best known and style-defining for the series is the portrayal of Corrado Cattani by Michele Placido in the first four seasons. Michele Placido succeeds in playing a policeman who is credible in his intransigence and integrity, but also in his vulnerability and the limitation of his successes. The main character also gains authenticity through the inclusion of his private life, in which he is entangled in a broken marriage with Else ( Nicole Jamet ) on the one hand and a relationship with drug addict Titti ( Barbara de Rossi ) on the other.

“Michele Placido was an instant star. Attractive, minimalist, with the aura of an imperious priest who carries a very unpriestly secret. "

- Dominik Graf

Just like Corrado Cattani, the characters are relentlessly drawn into a plot in which death awaits many at the hands of the Mafia.

In addition to Corrado Cattani, Avvocato Terrasini is the most distinctive male figure in the series in the first three seasons . The French character actor François Périer, who died in 2002, succeeds in creating a portrayal that changes constantly and with barely noticeable transitions between jovial friendliness and southern joie de vivre on the one hand and cold, calculating cruelty on the other. Later, the banker Gaetano "Tano" Cariddi (Remo Girone) and the Swiss businessman Antonio Espinosa (Bruno Crémer) equally credibly take on the roles of opponents of the commissioners.

Critics also praised the complex, often tragic characters of women.

Feedback in Italy

“La Piovra” and Italy

The importance of “La Piovra” for Italy in the 1980s and early 1990s cannot be overestimated and goes far beyond what a television series can normally achieve. La Repubblica compared regularly following the series, which ran on Sunday evenings, with attending Mass, where 10 million people “remember the laws and values ​​that were created” and show them “that evil exists and that it has to be fought ”.

“La Piovra” never had ratings of up to 65% in Italy and caused considerable public attention.

On the one hand, the great success was attributed to the character of Commissario Corrado Cattani , played by Michele Placido , a police officer who is sincere and honest, but also has human weaknesses.

On the other hand, the proximity of the events to reality was seen as the cause of the success. Damiano Damiani's declared aim was to show “how the mafia is represented in normal life and that denunciation and betrayal have also taken root in state institutions”.

The series, the first episode of which was shown in the RAI on March 11, 1984 at 8:30 p.m., triggered an intense journalistic discussion of the phenomenon of the Mafia. Several press organs ran cover stories on the subject. Immediately after the first double episode, the RAI itself showed a discussion evening broadcast nationwide, underscoring its claim to be realistic. The discussion included widows of murdered police officers and bankers from Palermo. Similar programs were also shown in connection with later seasons. Sometimes, like after the end of season 4, there was a direct encounter between the creators of the series and public figures who were confronted in one way or another with the mafia.

The following seasons continued to attract great national interest. Among other things, the question of whether the series made the mafia more acceptable or whether it contributed to the fact that the Italians no longer take organized crime for granted was disputed. Bagio Agnes, general manager of RAI Uno, saw in 1989 “La Piovra” an effective support for the struggle of the democratic state against the mafia and the drug trade.

Raoul Bova , who plays a Sicilian commissioner in the 8th and 9th seasons, referred to the effect of the enlightenment in 1997: "Ten years ago there were politicians who claimed that the Mafia did not exist at all."

An analysis of the ratings carried out during the fourth season was revealing. After that, audience response was lowest in the south, where the Mafia actually came from, at only 12%. The largest group of spectators was identical to the figure Corrado Cattani himself: “a man of average age from the big cities of north-west Italy”, especially Milan and Turin. Among the occupational groups, the apprenticeships were most strongly represented. It should be noted, however, that in season 4 the locations had largely shifted to the north.

“La Piovra” and Italian politics

Walter Veltroni : “La Piovra” changed Italy.
Silvio Berlusconi : “La Piovra” damages Italy's reputation.

"La Piovra" addressed multiple and intensive connections of the Mafia in the Italian administration up to high in government ranks without any political considerations. There were specific allusions to people from business and politics and regularly after the broadcast of the series, the "character identification game" began. In the fourth season, the press believed that it recognized the president of the Milan investment bank Mediobanca , Enrico Cuccia , the so-called “patriarch of the Italian financial economy” in the banker Philip Rasi . Significantly, the corresponding report in La Repubblica was not published in the features section, but under the heading “Domestic Policy”.

The series also focused on the activities of the secret box P2 ( Propaganda Due ), to which, among others, the multiple Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi belonged.

The proliferation of the Mafia all over Italy to the point of building a “parallel system” to state power (according to the liberal former Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini ) is largely seen as a fact in Italy. But in politics, the reactions to "La Piovra" were very different depending on the political directions and each season led to almost "endless controversy".

According to “ La Repubblica ”, Walter Veltroni (Mayor of Rome and high-ranking representative of the left-wing Partito Democratico ) was enthusiastic about a “TV series that changed Italy” because it brought the Cosa Nostra to the screen and told how the “Mafia, which regulates drug trafficking worldwide and launders dirty money in gigantic financial transactions, takes control of the regions of the country and manipulates the structures of the state apparatus and the political system ”.

Silvio Berlusconi and other Forza Italia politicians, on the other hand, blamed series such as “La Piovra” for “Italy's negative image” and called for their removal, as did representatives of Democrazia Cristiana (DC). DC officials argued that the South was being criminalized, that the state was constantly being portrayed as a loser and that citizens' trust in institutions was being undermined. After all, the closeness of DC politicians to the Mafia, repeatedly suggested by the series, is unacceptable. A temporary halt to production was achieved between the fifth and sixth season.

After the seventh season, the political controversy came to a head again. Seven Sicilian bishops protested, again citing discrimination against Sicily, seen in this way. Luigi Perelli replied that "the culture of silence would not benefit anyone".

Franco Zeffirelli , director and representative in the Italian Senate for Democrazia Cristiana and later for Berlusconi's Forza Italia , spoke of "dirt" and even announced a revolt and a tax strike by the Sicilians. For fear of the Mafia, tourists no longer come to Sicily and even London housewives leave Sicilian oranges in supermarkets because they think they will finance the Mafia with them.

Even when the eighth season moved the plot back to the 1950s, representatives of the right such as the politician Sebastiano Musumeci , member of the Alleanza Nazionale and formerly the neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano , were again dissatisfied because it was Sicily again, in the interests of audience ratings Damage is inflicted and that is pushed into isolation.

The arguments reached a new high point before the broadcast of the 10th and final season with a broadcast date in January 2001. In addition to the usual outrage about “discrimination against Sicily”, various politicians have now accused the parliamentary elections of May 13, 2001 were to be deliberately influenced. There was talk of a campaign against the center-right alliance Polo and support for the center-left alliance L'Ulivo . In heated debates the accusation of “communism” was even raised. There was almost literal correspondence between right-wing politicians and statements made by convicted representatives of the Cosa Nostra such as Totò Riina , who had declared: “This stuff is made by communists for communist judges who want to damage our country's reputation in the world. "

The reason for the conflict was an interview with the main actor Remo Girone, who explicitly made a reference between the 10th season, in which the boss of an illegal and criminal secret organization is acquitted in the appeal process, and the pressure exerted in Italy on judges in anti-mafia Procedure carried out by right-wing politicians, private television companies and sections of the press. Clear allusions to the proceedings against Giulio Andreotti and to Silvio Berlusconi's fight against the Italian judiciary, which, as he repeatedly claimed, purposely pursued him for political reasons, were seen in these statements .

Silvio Berlusconi was still very angry about the series in 2009, eight years after the broadcast of the last season. He “swore” that he would “strangle” their authors when he found out who they were. The fact that the media professional Berlusconi does not know some of the most famous producers and directors in Italy such as Sergio Silva and Damiano Damiani, however, did not seem credible. The statement by the Italian head of government came when it became known that the public prosecutor's office was again investigating him for cooperation with the mafia.

Reception in the Italian television review

The Italian TV review was full of praise for “La Piovra”. On the occasion of the broadcast of the second season, Klaus Wienert picked out a press comment in the Frankfurter Rundschau in 1986: "The viewer is captivated by a dramatic and exciting drama that is not based on cruel images, but on the force of human, social and psychological conflicts."

In an interview with La Repubblica in 1986, the director of the second season, Florestano Vancini , affirmed the approach already followed by Damiano Damiani to focus on everyday and human conflicts: “The hero is a normal person. He is a man with problems like any other. He tries to do his job with the greatest possible honesty. In my opinion, that is the key to success: the connection between the everyday and the extraordinary. "

After the third season of 1987, when the directors changed from the cinema directors Damiano Damiani and Florestano Vancini to the television director Luigi Perelli and the script from Ennio De Concini to Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli , an undivided enthusiasm was no longer consistently audible in the Italian television criticism . In his standard work “Enciclopedia della televisione”, Aldo Grasso spoke of a loss of aspiration and psychological depth of character in the characters and believed that he was coming closer to the more conventional narrative styles of American series: “Dallas non è passato invano” (Eng: “Dallas was not for free").

Paul D'Agostini also said in “ La Repubblica ” that with the departure of Ennio De Concini and the handover of the direction to Luigi Perelli, the claim of the series would be reduced somewhat (“intenzione di volare un po 'più basso”). The role of the director is also increasingly becoming that of an executive organ of the producers.

Several commentators feared that the series would lead viewers to get used to the topic. The reality of murder and corruption can be followed comfortably and without further consequences from the television chair.

The eighth season, set in the 1950s, received not only an overall positive response, but also critical voices. In the daily newspaper La Repubblica, Gualtiero Peirce saw a step backwards towards the "real mafia in the television stations". The resulting film with a completely fictional plot carries the name La Piovra "wrongly". Silvia Fumarola, also an employee of La Repubblica and longtime journalistic companion of the series, referred to the real background of the Sicilian development “from poverty to economic boom” in the 1950s and 1960s, as shown in the eighth and ninth seasons, and expected that again "Inevitable guessing game about identifying characters".

In general, the first season of 1984 was beyond any doubt in Italian television reviews. Even a journalist who was critical of the series, such as Giuseppe d'Avanzo, found that the first season "had the merit of deciphering reality by transmitting it to a family and making it 'readable'."

Reception in the German television criticism

In Germany, “Alone Against the Mafia” advanced as a “ street sweeper ” to a great public success and achieved the highest ratings. The first season was broadcast by ZDF - beginning on May 6, 1984 - at prime time on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. The second season of 1986 ran on Saturdays at 8:15 p.m.

When it came to television reviews, the series cast its shadow. Several weeks before the first broadcast date, the first major preliminary report appeared in the FAZ with an extensive appraisal of the history of the Italian mafia film.

The reviews on the feature pages of the major daily newspapers were sometimes critical of the series. Several reviewers were bothered by a loss of standard compared to the genre films of Italian auteur cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. Films praised by cineastes such as Who shot Salvatore G.? (by Francesco Rosi ) and The Day of the Owl (by Damiano Damiani himself) were named as benchmarks.

Thomas Thieringer complained in the Süddeutsche Zeitung about a "leveling of artistic quality" and stated that Damiani had lost "ambition". In several reviews of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , the thesis was even put forward that the “decline of the mafia films” was based on the “decline of the mafia itself”.

The television critics considered “commercialization” and an adjustment to American standards as a further cause of the alleged loss of quality. The US series Dallas in particular was the horror of the demanding TV viewer at the time. The decision of the RAI to switch from buying Italian feature films to producing its own television series was also expressly regretted.

The television critics had a hard time with Damiani's approach, who wanted to show "how the mafia looks in normal life". The associated approach of the authors to tell “a human, a private story” (screenwriter Ennio De Concini) was received with suspicion. For example, FAZ author Dietmar Polaczek admitted director Damiano Damiani had a certain amount of expertise on the subject of the series, but reproached his screenwriter Ennio De Concini for admitting that he had no experience with the mafia.

After all, Wolfgang Würker admitted a certain stringency in a review of “Alone against the Mafia” that appeared on the weekend of the German premiere in the FAZ: Corrado Cattani's private life situation was “by no means coincidental”, because the inspector and his family got into the “ sometimes very aptly “everyday terror” in a small Sicilian town, which is characterized by “threats and crimes”.

Despite all doubts and reservations, Thomas Thieringer in the Süddeutsche Zeitung was also able to gain positive feedback from the authors' approach: “This combination of the Mafia story with a changeable, dramatic love story is certainly intended to offer the viewer respite with beautiful scenes for the heart . But this should also make the tragedy of the hero clear: As a rigorous moralist, he does not live up to his private claims. "

For Klaus Wienert, the critic of the Frankfurter Rundschau , Damiani still walked “the fine line between political engagement and entertaining action cinema”.

In 1984, “ Der Spiegel ” set itself apart from the critics of the daily newspapers and expressly praised Damiani for breaking away from the “rigid mafia accusations of the sixties”. The "outrageous plot, but also the Italian charm of the series" could "hardly escape".

In contrast to Italy, however, media interest in Germany was limited from the second season. The FAZ no longer reported.

For the second season (1986) the Süddeutsche Zeitung only brought a small note. The Frankfurter Rundschau, on the other hand, even published two reports this time about an “exciting Italian social riot” in which it saw an “extremely successful mixture of crime film, political thriller and personality drama”.

The fourth season (1989) was worth pointing out to the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Rundschau. Quite ungalant and still without knowledge of the term "spoiler warning" it was announced on the Saturday before the broadcast of the first episode of the season which end this season will take - which was almost a state secret in Italy.

On the occasion of the resumption of the series with the fifth season, in 1991 a review in Spiegel was dripping with smugness and sarcasm, peppered with sentences such as: "The French philosopher Roland Barthes already described how it works: The myth turns history into nature, spread ' euphoric 'clarity, so that circumstances and things give the impression that they' mean by themselves'. 'Alone against the Mafia' works exactly according to this principle. ”Nevertheless, the work“ imperceptibly casts the audience under its spell ”. The critic did not share why the latter is so.

The eighth and ninth seasons were pulled together on ZDF and broadcast in 1999 under the melodramatic title As long as there is love . With this, ZDF tried to win over the audience, but put off serious television criticism in the national print media in advance.

Harald Keller, critic of the Frankfurter Rundschau, dared to do it and found the first episode “contrary to expectations not that bad”. In contrast to his colleagues, who had set the bar for Italian auteur cinema 15 years earlier, Herald Keller names the US feature film The Godfather as a style-defining feature of the “Mafia epic” genre. According to the rules of this profession, a “story of complex interpersonal relationships” is told “strictly and coherently”. This series makes “the expansion of perspective” an exception, with which the audience gets to know “a complex social structure” and which “almost amounts to marginalizing the main identifying figures”.

Barbara Sichtermann took place at the time the eighth and ninth season not fully succeeded, however, praised the subplot, the unconventional music and camera work and editing.

More than 20 years after it was first broadcast, the film and television director Dominik Graf came to a clear judgment in the FAZ: “From the first moment of the series - a long drive by a television team at dawn to a man shot dead on the outskirts of the city - you get the impression a sovereign mastery of dramaturgy, psychology, tight TV narration time, tight small-town space, of external tension and of all internal conflicts. "

Content of the seasons

First season (1984)

Setting: Port of Trapani

The first season with six episodes of 60 minutes each ran on Rai Uno in Italy from March 11, 1984, on Sundays and Mondays at 8:30 p.m., and was broadcast in Germany by ZDF from May 6, 1984, on Sundays at 7 p.m. 30 o'clock, broadcast. The director was Damiano Damiani, the music was by Riz Ortolani. The film was shot at locations in Rome and Trapani ( Sicily ). The scenes in the mountains and by the lake were made in Horgen ( Switzerland ) and on Lake Geneva .

Commissario Corrado Cattani is transferred from Rome to Sicily. Cattani moves with his wife Else, with whom he often has arguments, and his daughter Paola, who is at the beginning of puberty, to a small town not named, where he is to take over from the murdered Commissioner Marineo.

Corrado Cattani's investigations are disturbing business people in the Sicilian city, who, it seems, are more or less all involved in dirty business. As a result, the mafia tries to influence Corrado. A whole range of measures are used to make Corrado Cattani compliant. Man hands over his daughter an expensive gift, you ensnared his wife and to himself to make the proud architect Contessa Olga Camastra approach, the Mafia with their construction projects drug money washed be. Finally, Cattani's employee, Vice-Inspector Leo De Maria, is shot and killed by a Mafia henchman in a café. The assassination attempt on Leo is one of the most brutal scenes in the entire series.

When Corrado continues to be adamant and an assassination attempt on him fails, the Mafia takes a final plan, the kidnapping of Corrado's daughter Paola. In doing so, she literally breaks Corrado's personality. The proud inspector becomes a willing bundle of nerves. In panic for his daughter, he complies with all the Mafia demands and revokes his statements.

Avvocato Terrasini proves to be the local key figure in the Mafia’s actions, but is himself dependent on high-ranking string pullers in Rome. Terrasini is a lawyer who is washed up and down, always obliging and jovial in appearance, but tough on asserting his interests. Even the announcement of a murder to the victim still sounds friendly and businesslike at Terrassini.

In the end, however, the cool business people slip away from the action when Paola is raped by a mafia thug before her release and suffers a serious trauma . Drug addict Contessa Raffaella "Titti" Pecci Scialoia, whose mother was shot with Marineo and who, with Corrado's help, tried to get away from heroin and from her dealer Sante Cirinnà, is killed in a window lintel.

Corrado quits his job and moves to a small town on a lake in Switzerland with his wife Else, who had already left Sicily after a serious marital crisis. There Paola is being treated in a hospital. Sicily is, it seems, far behind Corrado Cattani.

The first season of Alone Against the Mafia convinces, among other things, with the haunting and multi-faceted depiction of how the three people from Rome are drawn into the happenings in the Sicilian city without really being able to defend themselves. Else succumbs to the commercials of the corrupt handsome and local television presenter Nanni Santamaria, Corrado can no longer separate work and private life because of his relationship with Titti, and Paola falls victim to both her parents' and her father's career in a crisis.

In a less moralizing than almost documentary way, the Sicilian society is shown as permeated by the Cosa Nostra, which is present everywhere, on television, at the prosecutor's office, with the police and even in prison. Even the construction workers protested when the architect Olga Camastra was investigated, who was laundering money with the construction projects. Construction jobs are also part of the mafia system.

Second season (1986)


The second season with six episodes of 60 minutes each was broadcast in Italy by Rai Uno from January 12, 1986, on Sundays and Mondays at 8:30 p.m., and in Germany by ZDF from October 25, 1986, on Saturdays at 8 p.m.: 3 p.m., shown. In order to get the German viewers in the mood, ZDF showed the first season again in double episodes from October 10, 1986, at midnight from Friday to Saturday.

It was controversial that there was even a second season. Director Damiano Damiani thought it was a mistake to shoot sequels, and screenwriter Ennio De Concini had to be persuaded by producer Sergio Silva.

The director was then Florestano Vancini , who also came from the cinema and made a name for himself with the political drama The Assassination of Mateotti . From now until the end of the series, the film music was composed by Ennio Morricone. The film was shot at the previous locations in Rome and Trapani as well as in Gallipoli (Apulia) , Horgen (Switzerland) and on Lake Geneva. Despite the personnel changes, the first two can be seen as the classic seasons of the series, but Vancini tied in with Damiani's direction, Ennio De Concini was also responsible for the script again and played the events of Else and Paola Cattani in the plot continues to play a major role.

In the second season the focus shifts increasingly to international business of the Sicilian Mafia. American connections as well as contacts in the Italian government apparatus come into focus . A central role is played by a secret box , which was an open allusion to the P2 box , which was discovered in Italy in the 1980s.


Location: old town of Trapani

In the first two episodes, the actually completed storyline of the first season had to be resumed. The creators of the series decided to liquidate all characters who should no longer "play a role" in the course of the second and subsequent seasons, or let them die in an accident.

And Corrado Cattani, who had resigned from the police force, had to be persuaded to intervene again. To this end, Colonel Ettore Ferretti appears, a moral high-ranking employee of Corrado's long-time friend and mentor Sebastiano Cannito. The corrupt Cannito has received a high post in the secret service with the help of the lodge and is deeply involved in the business of the Mafia, which Ferretti wants to expose.

At the beginning of the plot, Corrado's still traumatized daughter Paola has an accident. Corrado decides to go to Sicily to find those responsible for Paola's kidnapping. There, however, he runs into a trap and is powered by a corrupt prosecutor in custody taken. Only a pact with his greatest and most dangerous opponent can save him from the life-threatening situation he finds himself in there: Avvocato Terrasini.

The main tension draws the second season from the fact that Corrado Cattani works undercover as an assistant to the mighty Cannito. In this role he has to work closely with the people responsible for the death of his daughter and several of his colleagues. He even enters into a love affair with Contessa Olga Camastra. Later he will say to her: "These were not intimate conversations, they were interrogations".

The superhuman effort required by the multiple role as a drawn Mafia victim, as a cool calculating double agent and as a close lodge and mafia assistant Corrado Cattani is masterfully and highly credibly portrayed by Michele Placido.

The fact that Corrado gets involved in factional battles between the Lodge and the Mafia does not make things any easier for him. When his partner Ferreti is liquidated, he is completely on his own. Only his wife Else, who lives separately from him and who continues to live by a lake in the Alps, remains as a conversation partner.

In the final episode of season two, Corrado has enough evidence for the righteous prosecutors still alive to bring charges against key figures in organized crime. Else Cattani dies in an attack in the hands of Corrado.

Third season (1987)


The third season was broadcast in Italy by Rai Uno beginning on April 5, 1987, every Sunday and Monday evening at 8:30 p.m., and in Germany by ZDF from September 20, 1987. In Italy, the broadcast of the first episode was preceded by a longer documentary entitled “The Mafia - History of a Phenomenon”.

With the third season Alone Against the Mafia had finally become a long-term planned series company. The plans for the fourth were discussed months before the start of the third season. The series has now been sold in 77 countries, including the Soviet Union.

However, there were also significant changes in production. The direction was now passed to Luigi Perelli , who, in contrast to his predecessors Damiano Damiani and Florestano Vancini, had previously worked mainly as a television director.

Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli took over the script from Ennio De Concini . The team Petraglia / Rulli was the early 1990s, also known by relevant films like Stolen Children and the film adaptations of political scandals such as the never clarified launch of the Itavia-flight 870 ( "Il muro di gomma") or under the name of Tangentopoli known become deeply corrupt Milan administration ("Il portaborse"). As in the next few seasons, Ennio De Concini continued to go under the name "Soggetto" (Eng. "Idea").

The film was shot in Naxos and Taormina (Sicily), in Milan and in the former abbey "San Pietro in Valle" in Umbria .

Initially, a large-scale internationalization of the show locations was planned for the third season, in particular parts of the plot should be relocated to the USA. However, RAI refrained from these plans again, probably for cost reasons. The exit of Ennio De Concini was brought into connection with it by the press.

Sergio Silva, mentor and producer of the series, claimed at a press conference at the end of November 1986 that the real reason for the withdrawal of the US plans was the desire to preserve "authenticity". In fact, it was later filmed in many international locations, including in the USA.

Audience ratings in Italy remained very high, but began to show a slight downward trend. While an average of 15 million viewers had followed the first two seasons, which corresponded to a quota of far more than half, it was now an average of 12 million viewers.


According to the narrative pattern of the series, the third season Corrado Cattani takes again to a higher level of organized crime. It is no longer the historically grown mafia-like Sicilian world of "honor" and "humility", the omertà , rather it is the cold numbers of the balance sheets of the large-scale illegal businesses that are on the top floors of international crime Set the tone. The big banks in Italy are involved in this. Not traditional patriarchal forms of society now determine the actions of people, but the bare power of money.

In the struggle for commissions from the business and for lucrative positions on the supervisory boards , the mafia and lodge proceed with the same merciless severity in their own ranks as before only against their external opponents. Avvocato Terrasini will no longer be able to survive on this parquet.

Corrado experiences again that his partners and confidants perish and that he gets deeper into isolation. From season to season he escapes his overpowering opponents more and more closely. Again it is also mafia bosses who grant him a delay in his life.

The creators of the series succeed again in depicting in a multi-layered and differentiated way how the power of the relationships organized by crime breaks into the actions of the people.

Corrado is drawn into the environment of the Antinari family, both professionally and privately, in a fateful way and witnesses terrible events that he cannot prevent. Again, in the end, all guilty parties evade justice in their own way.

In the banking family ANTINARI the career of the upstart "Tano" Carridi who will play a central role in the further action begins.

Fourth season (1989)


Location: Lake Maggiore. The stately villa of Tano and Esther is located on Lake Maggiore with a view of the Borromean Islands .

The fourth season of Alone Against the Mafia ran in the Rai Uno from March 5, 1989, on Sundays and Mondays at 8:30 p.m. From September 17, 1989, ZDF broadcast the season in an unusual order: the first three episodes from Sunday to Tuesday and the last three episodes a week later again from Sunday to Tuesday, mostly at prime time at 8:15 p.m.

In Italy, the fourth season, contrary to the slightly downward trend in ratings shown in the third season, again reached an average of over 14 million viewers, which corresponds to a share of 51.37%. The last episode even had 17.2 million viewers, which was a long-term record for Italy.

Two days after the last episode, on March 22, 1989, a program was broadcast on RAI Tre in which the crew took part on their own against the mafia (producer, director, screenwriter, several actors) as well as public figures in order to be realistic to discuss the series.

In the fourth season, in which the individual episodes had the length of a feature film for the first time, the events took place according to the internal logic of the series on the next higher level of illegal and semi-legal business activities of the "honorable society". The authors continued to claim to show the Mafia structures and their historical development. By choosing the locations for the action and filming from the northern Italian lakes via Milan and Rome to the deepest part of Sicily, the expansion of the Mafia networks across Italy was shown.

The production was again set up on a large scale and also supported benevolently by the Italian police. Hundreds of people are said to have helped and cordoned off entire districts in Milan for filming (Wienert 1989).

The last time Michele Placido was in the role of Commissario Corrado Cattani. Placido himself had made the decision to quit in order to devote himself to other projects again after 5 years and not to be identified as an actor permanently with Cattani. The fate of the hero Corrado Cattani preoccupied the Italian public for weeks and there was a lot of guesswork as to what end it would end with the commissioner. The La Repubblica newspaper alone carried several reports on the subject in a single day. It was even speculated whether Rai Uno shot an alternative and more positive ending to the fourth season.

How strongly the actor Michele Placido and the role Corrado Cattani grew together in Italy at that time and how deep the rifts were between the political camps was shown by a reaction of the scriptwriters Petraglia and Rulli and other RAI representatives at a press conference. Placido's wish to quit could well be understood, but now he wanted to work for a station that belonged to Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest group, and that was "wrong". Oddly enough, screenwriter Ennio De Concini was hired for the project.

Laura delli Colli commented on this process in “La Repubblica” as follows:

“A true hero has to die in the end. Especially if he wants to sign with Fininvest. "

The project, a multi-part television series in which Michele Placido was supposed to play a journalist, was apparently never realized.


Gaetano "Tano" Cariddi is determined and ruthlessly expanding his position at the Antinari Bank. In order to maintain sole control of the bank, Giulia Antinari first had to drown in a "swimming accident". He hopes to gain further shares by transferring custody of Greta Antinari, Gulia's little sister. With this, Tano finally becomes Corrado Cattani's mortal enemy. Initially, however, the guardianship judge refused .

At the Antinari Bank, Tano has created the opportunity to conduct global foreign exchange and share transactions with the latest communication technology. He tries to win the mafia for such legal deals and forges an alliance with the powerful mafia boss "Pupparo". The new partners have chosen the listed "International Insurance" as an instrument for foreign exchange transactions.

Tano blackmailed the initially unruly president of the insurance company Filippo Rasi with the help of the mysterious Swiss businessman Antonio Espinosa, who had secret dossiers of the misconduct of leading business captains and politicians. As if that weren't enough, Tano pursues the perfidious plan to bind Rasi's daughter Esther to himself with a pro forma marriage. Father and daughter agree because they believe they can avert the worst.

In a parallel plot, the Sicilian Salvatore "Acciduzzo" Frolo (played by Mario Adorf) appears, who is taking revenge on casino owner Tindari for a gruesome Mafia crime that has taken place decades ago. Commissario Corrado Cattani finds out that there must be a connection to the "Pupparo", who has been in hiding for a long time and pulls the strings unrecognized from a lonely homestead - hence the nickname "Puppeteer".

Location: Milan. In the restaurant opposite the Milan Cathedral, Tano Esther confesses his love.

An ex-journalist, who comes very close to the solution, is also investigating this matter before he is murdered together with Tindari's widow Emma, ​​who wants to hand over evidence to him. However, one more picture comes into the hands of the police showing a young girl whose identity is initially unclear. It will later turn out that it is Paola Frolo, the missing daughter of "Acciduzzo".

Meanwhile, the events around the international insurance come to a head. Filippo Rasi is put under so much pressure by Tano Cariddi and the powerful financial magnate Antonio Espinosa , who lives in Ascona , that he sees no other way out than suicide .

Esther decides to avenge her father and provide Corrado with evidence against Tano. In order to gain his trust, she offers him to consummate the marriage. A difficult time begins for the adorable but fragile Esther Rasi in the villa on the shores of Lake Maggiore , and as soon as she discovers coded records, her husband Tano becomes suspicious and begins to have her observed .

Tano himself stands between the powerful mafia group around the puppeteer on one side and Espinosa on the other. Espinosa (wonderfully wicked and morally depraved played by Bruno Crémer, who later played the role of " Commissioner Maigret " on French television ) wants to thread a gigantic nuclear waste deal and needs the mafia, which owns a small, uninhabited island, whose abandoned mining tunnels should serve as a hidden storage place.

The puppeteer, however, refuses to surrender the island, part of his Sicilian homeland, despite generous participation offers, and thus becomes an obstacle for the Cosa Nostra itself.

For Corrado Cattani, however, the situation is becoming more and more threatening. A mafia commando has made its way to Milan to finally "turn it off". Corrado escapes the killers several times, but the examining magistrate Silvia Conti (played by Patricia Millardet ), who opposes the mafia, is brutally beaten and raped.

Corrado returns to Sicily for the last time with Silvia Conti. The actual location Salemi was relocated to Lipari (picture) in the film.

Together with Silvia Conti, with whom he will have his last love affair, the inspector returns to Sicily for the last time, where the trail of the photo of the young girl leads. In the small town of Salemi (moved to the sea in the film) Corrado and Silvia Paolas find an empty grave.

In the last two episodes of season 4, the events take surprising turns that can hardly be surpassed in terms of drama.

Salvo, the brother of Pupparo, wants to get him out of the way after consulting the top management council of the Cosa Nostra, but is shot himself by the long-serving mafia killer Salieri Santuzzu, who is the last to be loyal to Pupparo. The puppeteer then makes his way to Milan to the inspector, who discovered Paola Frolo under the name Lorella de Pisis in a Swiss boarding school and brought him to Milan. The puppeteer, it now turns out, is Paola's adoptive father. Tindari had not murdered Paola, but instead got her out of a burning car after an accident caused by the Mafia and initially hid her in a boarding school near Salemi before the pupparo adopted her.

The Pupparo - so far portrayed to the audience as the worst villain - professes to represent the traditional, feudal self-image of the Sicilian Mafia, which was based on “honor” and centuries of tradition. He recognizes the Mafia's entry into drug trafficking as a mistake, just as he now rejects the storage of radioactive nuclear waste in his homeland, even if it involves huge profits. The puppeteer - already finished after his falling out with the Cosa Nostra - even offers Corrado Cattani to make himself available as a key witness .

With the help of Esther Rasi, Cattani, marked by gloomy premonitions, continues to track down Tano, who is preparing his general attack on the international insurance company. But like the puppeteer, Tano, perfect and cold as a machine, also has a human weakness: he has fallen in love with Esther and therefore hesitates when it dawns on him that she could betray him.

Meanwhile, the man Silvia Contis, Ernesto, who wants to uncover a corruption affair in a suburb of Milan, is murdered. The mastermind is the respected Senator Ettore Salimbeni. Salimbeni handles the grand opening of a nursing home and the murder assignment for Ernesto Conti almost in one breath.

With an ingeniously planned stock market maneuver, Tano succeeds in taking over a blocking minority on the “International Insurance”. Satisfied and for the first time with a smile on his otherwise cool, almost frozen facial features, he makes his way home from Milan to the villa on Lake Maggiore . There, Esther reveals to him that she has betrayed all trade secrets to Cattani and admits to deep hatred and disgust for him. When Tano realizes that he has lost everything and has also been deceived in his love for Esther, he completely loses his composure and roars like a wounded animal. The scene is played so masterfully and believably by Remo Girone that the viewer feels sorry for a cold-blooded murderer. Esther does not survive her revelation. Cattani arrives late and is just barely stopped by his assistant from strangling Tano.

Shortly before, Corrado Cattani had just taken the puppeteer and the devoted killer Santuzzu out of the mafia's grip. It was even possible to convince the top representatives of the Cosa Nostra that the pupparo was dead. The latter is now beginning to make extensive statements to the public prosecutor. Only when he is asked by the judge Silvia Conti which politicians have been bribed does he hesitate about the consequences of his testimony and asks: “Who should be dead first? You or me? "

Still marked by Esther's death, the inspector makes his way to Ascona to confront the mastermind behind the events. Espinosa drops the mask of the jovial art collector towards Cattani and shows the ugly grimace of the unscrupulous trader who has lost two deals but who will continue his criminal activities unmoved and is determined to finally get rid of the persistent persecutor.

Cattani has entered a sphere where his opponents are even more powerful than in the world of the Italian mafia. After all, the inspector’s good heart is also his undoing. Instead of immediately “traveling far” in order to avoid the assassins targeted by Espinosa, he visits Paola Frolo's father Salvatore in the hospital to keep a promise to the seriously injured man.

The heavily armed Mafia killers wait for Cattani in the hospital courtyard.

In the last scene, Silvia Conti swears to the inspector, who is dead in her arms and hit by 70 bullets, to do everything possible to find his murderer.

Fifth season (1990)


In season 5, Palermo is the main location.

The fifth season ran in Italy on Raiuno from October 14, 1990, at the usual times on Sundays and Mondays at 8:30 pm, and on ZDF from April 1991. The audience participation in Italy was an average of 12.4 million, which is one This corresponded to a share of 43.83%.

After Michele Placido left, the creators of the series had to solve a difficult task. How to create continuity with the previous story, but at the same time introduce a new leading actor in a dramaturgically credible way?

The scriptwriters and directors decided to introduce a new commissioner, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, who had a different, almost more brutal charisma than the previous star Michele Placido, and to relocate the plot back to Sicily.

Again, the authors fall back on real economic crimes as a background, namely the misappropriation of state funds that were actually approved for structural projects in Sicily and then flow into other channels.

When there are references to the involvement of high government agencies and politicians from certain directions in these machinations, the authors of the series become very clear again. Accordingly, the political attacks on the series increased so much after this season that RaiUno was forced to temporarily stop production (see reception in Italy ). The main representatives of the attacks on the series in the early 1990s were Sergio Bindi, DC representative on the RAI supervisory board, and the MP and Under-Secretary of State for Postal Affairs, Raffaele Russo, who was himself accused of corruption by the public prosecutor in 1992, accepted Lire 30 million to have.

As a common thread, the series remains of course the almost hopeless fight of Italian commissioners against the machinations of the Mafia. Another link to the fourth season is the judge Silvia Conti, who wants to find the murderers of Corrado Cattani in Sicily. The new commissioner should soon be near them.

Actors, writers and directors succeed again in portraying the evil characters of the series with many facets. Remo Girone in particular shines in the role of Tano Cariddi, who takes care of his mentally retarded sister, and Bruno Crémer as the cold-blooded, calculating Antonio Espinosa, whose admiration for old clockworks has retained childish features. The speech duels and appearances of both actors are of theatrical quality and stand out pleasantly from American mass-produced goods.


Vittorio Mezzogiorno plays a police officer with the code name "Davide Licata" who had to flee to the USA around 1970 because he was the last survivor of a special police unit on the Mafia's death list. Now Licata is being recruited by the American police in New York City and smuggled into Palermo in the immediate vicinity of the Sicilian entrepreneur Giovanni Linori.

There Licata witnessed the downfall of the rich Linori family at close range, who made a pact with the Mafia and dragged them into a vortex of violence to which all male family members fell victim. In addition, the creators of the series stage an oppressive escalating scale of violence, which in the end not only wipes out human lives, but also every trace of humanity in the perpetrators. As in previous seasons, the authors demonstrate how the violence set in motion also destroys its creators step by step - except for those who are currently still necessary for the continuation of the series.

Giovanni Linori did not survive the second episode. When Linori's company, Sizilteknoplus, landed a huge state contract for the regional development of Sicily, the mafia massively and brutally intruded on his project, first murdering his eldest son and later himself.

After the assassination attempt on his son, Linori tried to take action against the mafia with the help of Tano Cariddi. Tano had escaped from the psychiatric hospital, the doors of which opened for him as if by magic, despite strong guard. Instead of being sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Esther Rasi, he was sent to a “mental hospital” because of “insanity” . The film intentionally leaves it in the dark how badly Tano is psychologically attacked. In any case, he looks darker than ever and there is always something threatening about his appearance. Tano set up a new computer-aided office in a palazzo in the old town of Palermo. With ultramodern technological means at that time (the year is 1990), he can analyze and execute financial movements in real time. From this command center, Tano, now called in by Linori's only remaining son Andrea, wants to attack Annibale Corvo, who was the client for the murders of Andreas' father and brother. Tano is aware of the risk, since Annibale Corvo is a member of the Mafia Supreme Council.

In the background, Antonio Espinosa is still threading the big drug and weapons deals and orders that Silvia Conti, who repeatedly disrupts his business, be cleared out of the way. Davide Licata is able to save Conti with his presence of mind and henceforth works for the courageous public prosecutor.

Davide Licata has also found out that one of the men implicated in the murders of his former unit had retired to a monastery. In a moving conversation, Frate Gillo (portrayed by Gottfried John ) gives him the first clues about the top mastermind.

Location Palermo: The Linori family villa is placed in the park of the botanical garden.

For the time being, Licata is held in high regard by the Linori family. Davide is considered so “loyal” that even Tano uses his services as a chauffeur - not knowing that he is dealing with the successor of his former enemy Corrado Cattani.

Tano Cariddi is increasingly becoming the central figure of the fifth season of the series. Cool and determined, he quickly succeeds in reconnecting with the big mafia deals and even becomes indispensable for the Supreme Council. In order to eliminate Corvo, Tano gives judge Silvia Conti details of a corruption affair in connection with the construction of new city hospitals, whereupon Conti arrests the entire supervisory board of the city clinic, including the chairman Annibale Corvo, a "respected manager" like the superior of Mrs. Conti notes with piquancy. A few days later, Corvo is free again and Conti has to take temporary leave.

Annibale Corvo is no longer in demand with the Mafia Supreme Council. He was convinced by Tano to forego the rude methods of Corvo and to influence the young Andrea Linori much better with "peaceful" means, who has just been elected to the head of the Sizilteknoplus. The company is needed to handle a huge drug and arms deal with the leadership of an African state. Tano's insistence on "modern" methods is supported by the successes of state investigators against organized crime: the Supreme Council of the Mafia, the so-called "cupola", has melted down to three gentlemen and the establishment of a high-profile state tribunal is imminent.

Unfortunately, Annibale Corvo cannot be ruled out easily. He organizes an attack on the family of the young Andrea Linori. The attempted hostage-taking ends in a terrible bloodbath. The little son Andrea Linoris is shot. During the attack, Davide Licata saves Andrea Linori and his wife Gloria 'lives again, but suspicions are growing against him, including Tano. So Davide has to pull away. But he still succeeds in intercepting a telex that contains encrypted bank transactions. The content of the message, which Silvia Conti's people will soon be able to decipher, is so explosive that several killer commands are on the heels of Licata and Conti.

However, the key to understanding the high levels of Sicilteknoplus transfers that have been found lies abroad: in Luxembourg and Bavaria . On the spot, the investigative team finds out how the matter was brought up. A tiny bank branch in Luxembourg served 20 years ago as a pass-through station for state funds with which Linori's company was supposed to build a Sicilian port. When the start of construction was delayed by a full year due to bureaucratic hurdles, the funds were transferred abroad via Luxembourg to finance a huge drug deal. A year later the money was back fivefold. The port could be built, Linori pocketed the margin and later the Mafia took over this new business area.

However, at some point the drug business stalled and Espinosa and Tano Cariddi set about bringing the old trade back to life. For this they needed the Sizilteknoplus again, because it had received state project funds in advance to finance structural projects. This time it was 300 billion Italian lire (about 150 million euros ).

A murderous and increasingly cruel struggle breaks out to get this deal done. Andrea Linori bows to the demands of the Mafia, but demands the head of Annibale Corvo.

Here Riccardo Respighi comes into focus, a corrupt, but in the public highly respected, high-ranking politician who always managed to keep his Mafia contacts in secret. (In the appearance of Riccardo Respighi, the authors allude very clearly to the controversial Italian politician and multiple Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti .)

Respighi cannot escape an extremely perfidious consequence of his involvement in the Mafia business. Because Annibale Corvo is his good friend and his daughter marries his son. Respighi not only has to agree that Corvo will be shot at the wedding party, but also has to get the suspicious Corvo to appear there in the first place.

To make matters worse, the assassination attempt on the "respected manager" Annibale Corvo caused so much public attention that the parliamentary commission of inquiry decided at its first meeting to propose to the Italian parliament that the regional project be temporarily suspended.

Location Palermo: The airport is the hub of organized crime. In the background the Monte Pellegrino, which can often be seen in the film.

The threatened stop of state funds also requires Tano to do a monstrous act even by his standards. To divert the attention of the state power, Espinosa believes a bloodbath is necessary. And the bomb is to be placed on the main train station by Tano's disabled sister. With that, Tano horribly loses the last human trait that still clung to him, the caring love for a disabled person whom he now wants to abuse for a gruesome crime. In the meantime, Licata, Conti and their staff were able to shake off the Mafia commands. From Luxembourg they arrive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , where Giovanni Linori owned a villa in the mountains. Pupparo, the "puppeteer", has to appear one last time and give a hint about what is so important is hidden in the villa. It's a movie role.

In Palermo, Andrea Linori makes friends with Mafia methods in a hurry, not realizing that he himself has long been on the hit list. With the transfer of the last tranche of the state money to Luxembourg, he also signs his death sentence. Davide Licata advises him which role and which fate are intended for him. Andrea Linori seeks out Tano to kill him, but is taken by surprise and shot.

Tano and his sister have to flee in a hurry, but leaves a clue about a disused airfield where the heroin from Africa is expected. With a huge police force, Silvia Conti succeeds in preventing the handover of the drugs, which are brought in with two military helicopters.

Then Conti sets out to arrest Espinosa, who is charged by several witnesses. He can be recognized on the film from the German villa, which also leads to the fact that the monk Frate Gillo identifies the Swiss businessman as the client of the murder of Davide Licata's ex-team. Tano observes Espinosa's arrest and writes a second letter to Silvia Conti. He gives an indication of the bomb, which can be rendered harmless, and leaves Italy on a cargo ship - "forever". At least that's what his letter says.

Sixth season (1992)


One of the backgrounds of the sixth season: The history of Czechoslovakia from National Socialism to Stalinism to the opening to the West.

The sixth season ran in Italy from November 30, 1992 on Rai Uno, on Sundays and Mondays at 8:40 pm, and on ZDF from May 1994. As since the third season, Luigi Perelli again took over the direction and the Petraglia / Rulli team the script. However, Luigi Perelli expressed the first signs of official fatigue. For years he has only been concerned with the mafia, a topic for which he is now an expert.

As at the beginning of every new season, the field has to be prepared for a new plot with new (sub) themes and new actors. The already known actors have to find their new role and take on. The farewell to familiar people is being prepared or carried out. This partial shift in the plot is hardly carried out as rigorously in a season as at the beginning of the sixth.

"The ingredients are global connections between crime, politics and high finance, which are involved in drug trafficking and the misappropriation of aids for the developing world." The inclusion of the Nazi past does the rest.

When the sixth season was presented at MIPcom 1992 in Cannes, director Perelli once again made use of the series’s closeness to reality, sometimes even predicting developments, such as the presence of the mafia in the banking system in “La Piovra 3”. In September 1992, a few weeks earlier, Paolo and Gaspare Cuntrera, the so-called “Rothschilds of the Mafia”, were arrested. In fact, reality has often overtaken the idea. Perelli deplores the escapism of parts of the Italian television audience. It is still the case that the series “divides the public. There are those who watch and watch the series, and there is the part of the public that refuses. Too uncomfortable, too violent, too interwoven with reality. Better to see other programs that offer diversion. "

With the sixth season the circle of producing television companies expands again. In addition, there is the Austrian ORF , a circumstance that is probably also due to the inclusion of Vienna as the new location of the series. However, the role that Austria has as the new economic and financial interface to Eastern Europe is cleverly alluded to.

“La Piovra” now has a new international dimension. For the sixth season "2 billion viewers are expected, from Iceland to Macau".

The action has now arrived in 1992. Corrado Cattani was murdered three years ago, Corrado's transfer to Sicily, and with it the start of the series, eight years ago.

One of the topics discussed is the intrusion of the Italian and Turkish drug mafia into the countries of the former Eastern Bloc using the channels of corrupt former Stalinist cadres. In the last episode, which is unusually dark even for Alone Against the Mafia, the ghostly-looking top career of a former concentration camp overseer comes into focus.

The main reference of the sixth season in Italy are bloody factional battles within the Mafia, which lead to a reorganization of the balance of power. Amilcare Brenno (played by Pierre Mondy ) makes his fortune by bribing foreign companies as part of development aid for Africa. The well-known politician Ettore Salimbeni acts as a mediator. Brenno runs a slaughterhouse in northern Italy as a "sideline". The camera shows the meat hook in a threatening close-up. In the Mafia, Amilcare Brenno tries to get to the top of the organization with unprecedented brutality. Brenno not only cuts down his internal opponents, Davide Licata also barely escapes his life in an assassination attempt, but remains handicapped by a bullet that can no longer be removed from his head and causes severe pain in spurts.

Antonio Espinosa is released from prison with serious cancer and comments on the new development, namely - as one of the main theses of the series authors - the decline of the mafia to pure organized gang crime, with the words:

“Italy is developing backwards. Men like Tano Cariddi have fled - abroad. The Espinosas are running away - as you can see. And the Board of Governors has been eliminated for good - by a third-rate scoundrel. "

But Tano Cariddi (also because of his popularity with the audience) is still needed by the series authors as a long-term opponent of the investigators. He'll just take on a completely different role that adds a new arc of suspense to this season.


The new supreme boss of the Mafia, Amilcare Brenno, has grown into a powerful opponent in the young Lorenzo Ribeira. Ribeira's family was killed in a bloody gang war in Sicily in 1970. Now he wants to use the fall of the Iron Curtain , in cooperation with the killed but still influential representatives of Eastern European state organs, to bring about the drug trade in the former Eastern Bloc and then to take revenge on Brenno. For the time being, however, the public prosecutor's office thwarted Ribeira’s bill. The Italian judicial authorities were informed about Ribeira's account movements by the seriously ill Antonio Espinosa, who can no longer leave his apartment and is visited alternately by Mafia and police representatives to extract information from him.

Meanwhile, Tano Cariddi, who is marked by severe drug abuse and depression, begins to change. Davide Licata, who was hired by the "Operational Search Force", a paramilitary special unit of the police under the direction of General Alessio Amadei, finds the seedy and drug addict Tano in Dakkar and transports him to Italy.

In an abandoned monastery near Milan, the police want to make Tano a key witness. The police unit is not afraid to take advantage of Tano's only remaining emotional bond with his disabled sister Maria to put Tano under pressure.

But Brenno's people also use this lever. Maria is raped in the most brutal way. Confronted with the fate of his severely traumatized sister, Tano is ready to cooperate fully with the "Operative Troop". Within barely more than a week, Tano transforms himself from an opium-dependent bundle of nerves with tangled hair to a cold-disciplined manager - but this time he has a different mission: to be a decoy for the "troops".

After a first meeting with the corrupt politician Salimbeni failed, the second meeting in Salimbeni's villa turned out differently than planned. With Giuseppe Carta, the former bodyguard of Giovanni and Andrea Linori, a figure believed to be forgotten reappears. Carta is now working undercover for the young Lorenzo Ribeira, with whom he shares the hatred of the current top mafia boss Brenno, as it was the same backers who wiped out the Ribeira and Linori families. Brenno does not know anything about Carta's double role, who has offered himself as a loyal helper.

Espinosa's daughter hid explosive documents in the archive of the Bergamo library.

It is also Giuseppe Carta who shoots the sick Espinosa. Espinosa is no longer able to save his extensive collection of incriminating documents on Italian politics (“the true history of the country”) and pass them on to the press. The documents were housed in the municipal archives of Bergamo, where Espinosa's daughter Irene was doing her job as archivist, as a bogus part of a foundation. During a chase through the Alps, there is an accident in which the young woman's car falls into a ravine and goes up in flames along with the documents.

The two competing mafia groups are after compromising photos "that connect the past with the present" and that must have something to do with a former concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The film is hidden in a glass snow globe, which is one of little Francesca's toys.

The little girl is kidnapped by mafia killer Santino Rocchi on behalf of Brenno. When Santino, who is now taking care of the little one, receives the order to kill the two-year-old girl, since Davide Licata has now also stuck to her tracks, however, he does not have the heart and hides the little girl in his trailer - As is so often the case in the Mafia saga, it is human weaknesses that cause the given sequence to fail. Later Santino puts the little girl in his houseboat.

A camera shot on the unmolested snow globe ends the first five episodes of the sixth season.

In the meantime, Tano has a meeting with the corrupt Senator Salimbeni and Carta in Vienna against the backdrop of a small private bank that the “troop” prepared for him. During the tense conversation observed by the troop agents, Tano succeeds in playing his role as a decoy so convincingly that Salimbeni and Carta believe him and advise the payment of huge sums for the Eastern European drug trade, which are made via the account of the "Viennese customer bank" should run.

At this point in time, Salimbeni and Carta have no idea that the mafia boss Brenno saw through their double game, as his people caught one of Carta's henchmen. Carta even wants to kill the judge Silvia Conti at the behest of the young Ribeira. The attack failed, but one of Conti's employees is killed and Carta is injured and hospitalized, where he refuses to give any information. A little later, Brennos caught him.

The film relocates the quarters of the "troops" during the action near Schottwien in Lower Austria.

Salimbeni tries in vain to pull his head out of the noose by betraying Ribeira to Brenno and providing him with the data on Ribeira's business. That doesn't save Ettore Salimbeni, who was once so proud, but puts Ribeira in an almost hopeless situation. He is no longer safe of his life, and the delivery of the morphine base from Turkey, with which the Eastern European market is to be flooded, is at risk.

This also endangers the decoy Tano, who makes contacts with the masterminds of the business in Prague . Because now the back man in Turkey demands to see Tano. With a courageous and quick-witted appearance, Tano can save the situation and the first delivery rolls to Czechoslovakia .

There, the refined communist Milos (played by Siegfried Lowitz ), an old friend of General Alessio Amadei, Davide Licata shows the former “Aighenberg” concentration camp , which after the war served as an internment camp for critics of the regime, was later an arms factory, and is now from Morphine base heroin is made. The former deputy head of government Otto Warfel alias "Kerttesz" turns out to be the top Czech representative of the drug mafia.

In the last, darkest episode of the whole series, many people lose their lives. The investigators learn the name of the mafia boss Amilcare Brenno from Tano. When Silvia Conti and Admiral Alessio Amadei arrive, however, the latter is already dead - shot on behalf of his own son Marco, who has already resigned and will succeed him.

Brenno's opponent, Lorenzo Ribeira, is so cornered by Brenno's people and the police that he sees no other way out than suicide.

With a lot of luck, Davide Licata can free little Francesca and shoot Santini. The snow globe is found in Santini's car. The horrific photos in the case of the snow globe prove that a leading Czech banker was a notorious concentration camp guard and assumed the identity of a prisoner shortly before the liberation, which enabled him to escape and build a fortune with stolen Jewish money. The Romanian-German lieutenant Kiriu became the respected businessman Stephan Litvak.

Davide and Tano lure the banker into a building in the former concentration camp. There is an oppressive performance by "Stephan Litvak", played by the renowned Czech actor Rudolf Hrusínský in his last major role. Only with Tano's help can Davide Licata, who is already struggling with death, overcome the old man. Davide does not see the arrival of the police. As predicted by the doctors, he dies as a result of the murder.

Silvia Conti has lost another man.

Seventh season (1995)


The seventh season of “Alone against the Mafia” was broadcast in Italy by Rai Uno from March 5, 1995, as usual on Sundays and Mondays from 8:40 pm and later in the same year by ZDF. Between the sixth (broadcast year 1992) and seventh season (broadcast year 1995) was the longest production break in the series at three years. In addition, with Davide Licata (played by Vittorio Mezzogiorno) the second commissioner was eliminated. Undoubtedly, one was in danger of turning the series into an end in itself and creating boredom in viewers by repeating familiar patterns with new people.

The main producer of the Rai Uno series hired a new team of scripts in the form of Umberto Contarello, Andrea Porporati and Alessandro Sermoneta to ensure a fresh approach. Luigi Pirelli was again responsible for the direction.

The makers of the seventh season decided to relocate the scene again to the Sicilian city of Trapani in order to take up the starting point of the first season: the intrusion of the mafia mentality into the everyday life of the citizens. In a depressing scene of the second episode it is shown how even the schoolchildren already know that "being infamous" means reporting or denouncing someone. Growing up, the jeweler then pays protection money in silence, takes out a loan from the Mafia boss and, after a few years, if he cannot repay the loan, has to sell his shop to her at junk prices.

With the investigation of the murder of Commissario Cattani, of whom historical pictures are occasionally shown, and the recurrence of Contessa Olga Camastra, the style-forming origins of the series and thus the necessary continuity were satisfied.

In line with developments in the 1990s - both in real life and in the taste of the audience - the seventh season had some new elements: the relentless duel between women, the disintegration of historical Mafia structures, the appearance of youthful street gangs, the The ubiquity of the media, the new type of computer hacker in police services and the use of morphing software to solve crimes dating back years, to name just a few.

The violent political reactions from Silvio Berlusconi's camp to “La Piovra” also contributed to the characterization of private television using the example of the Sicilian channel “Diana” in the seventh season (shot in the same year as Berlusconi first became head of government) became: shallow, lying, corrupt and deliberately exerting political influence against everything that does not appear to be business-friendly.

What was new, however, was the construction of a secret society which, with the motto “Salus Nostra Extrema Thule” (for example “Thule in the far north is our salvation”) , ties in with the notorious folk-fascist Thule society and continues its goals. While the existence of the mafia is generally regarded as a fact and the secret box P2 ( Propaganda Due ) mentioned in earlier episodes was also there, the creators of the series entered the speculative soil of the persistence of völkisch conspiracy theories for the first time.

With Ennio Fantastichini and Stefan Danailow (Bulgarian Minister of Culture since 2007), two high-profile actors who represent a credible and tough power struggle in the mafia were once again engaged in the ranks of actors.

Viewers and critics found the plot and staging of the seventh season of "Alone Against the Mafia" quite exciting and convincing. After seasons 1, 2 and 4, this season won the Italian television award Telegatto for the first time . The ratings continued the slightly downward trend that began with the third season and was only interrupted again with the fourth season. The seventh season saw an average of 10.2 million viewers in Italy.


After 10 years, the series is set again: the Sicilian port city of Trapani .

The seventh season essentially follows two storylines. On the one hand, there were brutal gang wars in Trapani, in which it was a question of the proportion of protection rackets, and on the other hand, the machinations of a secret society allied with the mafia and in fascist tradition, which controls and exploits the country of Italy from the background. The lodge wants to invest massive amounts of black money in Russian financial holdings.

The link between the two levels of action is an old friend from the first two seasons: Contessa Olga Camastra, who was once imprisoned by Corrado Cattani. After her acquittal , which did not surprise the viewer , she pursued her business activities all the more successfully, so that she is now counted among the most respected entrepreneurs in Sicily (“you own half the city”).

As was the case at the beginning of the series, the local institutions do not keep a distance from the mafia practices. On the contrary, the media give Camastra AG and its boss welcome opportunities for image maintenance. The local businessmen pay protection money and remain silent.

The starting point of the plot of the seventh season is the murder of Rosario Granchio, a Sicilian criminal from the immediate vicinity of Nazareno "Nuzzo" Marciano, the local mafia boss who controls a large part of the protection funds in Palermo.

The little criminal, brutally judged in the clinic of "Nuzzo" despite police surveillance (the camera shows the cut throat several times), wanted information about the last remaining member of the former Supreme Council of the Mafia, "Don" Luigi Aragonese, to the investigating judge Silvia Conti pass on. Aragonese lives unrecognized in a shell on the slope of Monte Erice. The house is part of an unfinished holiday complex that was financed with EU funds. When these ran out, the local contractors simply stopped working.

In order to clear up the murder of Granchio, Silvia Conti had herself transferred to Sicily, where she met the same distrust as Corrado Cattani once did. The young Vice-Inspector Gianni Breda takes her side.

The increasingly brutal events surrounding “Nuzzo” Marciano are initially difficult to understand for Conti and Breda. The young Sara, daughter of the murdered Rosario Granchio, plays a central role. She has to move into Nuzzo's house to keep her quiet. But after her fiancé also dies, she becomes a murderer and, in revenge, shoots Nuzzo's little nephew and his mother, with whom Nuzzo lives. Sara had not planned the child's death in the assassination attempt. “Nuzzo” must not take revenge in the usual way, as gang wars increasingly disrupt the business that Don Aragonese runs from his sickbed.

Events take a surprising turn when Saverio Bronta (played by Ennio Fantastichini) returns from Russia, where he found out that huge sums of Italian black money are about to be laundered there. In order to avoid digital surveillance, the banknotes are hidden in containers from Trapani and brought to Russia by ship: almost in front of the eyes of Nuzzo, whom the Camastra and Don Aragonese have fooled.

Saverio Bronta and Nuzzo belonged to the same criminal group as Rosario Granchio. Nuzzo gradually murdered all members - Bronta is the only one who was able to escape him by fleeing to Russia. Now the two men - actually mortal enemies - sign a new pact. With regard to the volume of the transactions to Russia, it is clear that they would not only turn against Olga Camastra and Don Aragonese, already overpowering opponents, but backers in the highest positions in politics and business. Hatred, brutality and intelligence would have to unite and multiply in order to stand a chance in this conflict.

The local traditions of Trapani - here the "Misteri" on Good Friday - form the background of the seventh season.

Silvia Conti also feels the long arm of the mafia protector. When she becomes a nuisance for the Camastra, a few phone calls are enough to have her superiors offer the examining magistrate a lucrative transfer offer to a UN facility. When Silvia Conti refuses, she receives photos with the shot Corrado Cattani. With anger and tears in her eyes, she goes to the shooting range to practice what she was not trained in before: shooting people.

In fact, Saverio and Nuzzo manage to seize power. Don Aragonese is forced to commit suicide and the Contessa Camastra is blackmailed into revealing the names of their partners.

For Olga Camastra, the noose is tightened from several sides and the proud woman is slowly shaking. The evidence against her is becoming more and more conclusive, so that she even has to have her husband, who is in the hospital and willing to give evidence, whom she once married for business reasons, cleared away.

The Contessa's attempt to eliminate Nuzzo with the help of the local street gang fails and ends in a bloodbath, and based on new findings from a computer hacker working for the police about the illegal business activities of their group of companies, the Camastra even has to - for the second time in its life - into jail. Even more, the shaken Silvia Conti discovered Corrado Cattani's damaged and blood-stained wristwatch in a secret compartment during a house search in the Camastra's villa - six years after his death.

Slowly the truth comes to light and the Camastra starts to unpack. Nuzzo and Saverio Bronta are the only survivors of a six-member mafia gang who murdered Commissioner Cattani at the behest of the Contessa. Olga Camastra acted out of a mixture of obedience to an order "from above" and disappointed love.

Meanwhile, Saverio Bronta, who is in possession of the gigantic amount of black money that was supposed to be shipped to Russia, succeeds in penetrating into the center of a secret society, which is in the tradition of fascist ideologies under the motto "Salus Nostra Extrema Thule " (for example " Thule in the far north is our salvation ”). Under the direction of his former mentor Professor Ramonte (played by Rolf Hoppe ), high-ranking representatives from “business, politics and crime” pull the strings of Italy unrecognized in the background. Bronta convinced the lodge's advice to re-invest the funds in Sicily in formally legal transactions under his leadership.

However, when more and more connections came to light under the pressure of the investigation in Trapani and the chief public prosecutor began to confess in addition to the Camastra, events came to a head and Bronta lost control. The mafia organizations see themselves threatened at their core and resort to violence. Many people die. Olga Camastra also does not survive her confession when a mafia killer breaks into her prison cell.

Saverio Bronta's plans fail because of the limits of what people can buy and predict, as well as because of the boundless greed of his partner Nuzzo for power.

The broken and sick Bronta has no choice but to make himself available to the authorities as a key witness against Professor Ramonte and his Thule secret society. Ramonte was one of the highest commissioners of the Cattani murder.

Ramonte is cross-examined by Silvia Conti in court, making a partly stoic, partly senile and helpless impression. But he has brought his most important documents to a safe place. A messenger brings the secret history of modern Italy to a man who lives lonely in the mountains. It's an old friend: Tano Cariddi.

Eighth season (1997)


The eighth season, which was filmed with a completely different set compared to the previous concept , returned to the origins of the Sicilian mafia in the 1950s. Compared to a few previous seasons, the large-scale production was again significantly more demanding and the handwriting of the new director Giacomo Battiato was unmistakable. The response from the audience was good and the international television critics awarded several prizes.

The two episodes of the eighth season of "La Piovra" with the subtitle "Lo scandalo" (Eng .: "The scandal") were shown in Italy by Rai Uno on October 5th and 6th, 1997. The audience figures were 7.5 and 8.8 million viewers, respectively. At 100 minutes each, the eighth and ninth season episodes were the longest in the entire series to date. Participating television companies were next to the Rai again the ZDF and this time Sveriges Television (SVT), was produced by the Munich Tangram Film.

The budget was 4.6 million Deutschmarks. The director was Giacomo Battiato and the scriptwriters were Alessandro Sermoneta and Mimmo Rafele. The film was shot in the Sicilian Palazzolo Acreide , called "Tretorri" in the film. The effort involved in the staging, which was carried out with a lot of local color and attention to detail, was reminiscent of the first season under director Damiano Damiani.

The only personal connection between the eighth season and the previous episodes was the story of the young Tano Cariddi and his sister Maria in a subplot. The time saw "real potential for shock".

The male lead played Raoul Bova as Carabiniere Carlo Arcuti . This cast was unusual in that Raoul Bova had already appeared in the seventh season (40 years later in the series' chronology) as the young commissioner Gianni Breda. Other actors were also re-engaged, most notably Renato Mori, once partner of Corrado Cattani in the role of Vice-Commissario Altero, now as the aging Mafia boss Don Albanese. The actor Tony Sperandeo, however, did not change sides: previously killer Santino Rocchi in season 6, now Mafia henchman Turi Mondello. The female lead was cast by the German actress Anja Kling .

In Germany, the two episodes of the eighth (1997) and ninth (1998) season were combined by ZDF in 1999 into a four-part series under the name As long as there is love . The broadcast dates were July 19, 21, 26 and 28, 1999, at 8:15 p.m.

The changed German title, which was often felt to be unnecessarily melodramatic, was not only due to the fact that the previous German term "Alone against the Mafia" was not applicable to the flashback, but that a new conception with a changed staff and different line-up followed .

Already in the run-up to the eighth season - before it was even decided on its realization - there were some politically motivated controversies at the Rai station about its content. Should the narrative rhythm of the last few seasons continue to focus on the international spread of crime? RAI director Giamapolo Sodano already found in 1995 that Sicily was only a “transit station” for international crime and no longer its origin. Again the criticism of the Sicilian bishops was brought into the field. The longtime director Luigi Perelli feared, however, that with further internationalization "the origin and the threads of the story" would be lost.

Rai Uno ultimately decided to make a prequel set in Sicily in the 1950s. Its action would later be continued with the ninth season in the 1960s.

Sergio Silva, long-time driver of the series and meanwhile head of the Rai-Cinemafiction department, explained the motivation behind the flashback as follows: "We wanted to understand how everything started in those years". So the series took viewers, according to journalist Silvia Fumarola, “back to the 50s, between the aristocratic estates and settlements, to explain how the rural mafia is making a big leap forward, penetrating the banking business, establishing political connections and that Drug and weapons business discovered. "

Director Giacomo Battiato, as reported by La Repubblica, was based on the film "In nome della legge" by director Pietro Germi from 1949, which film critics see close to Italian neorealism . It was not about action cinema, but about the story of people and their characters, to capture the psychology of the mafia.


The scene of the action is the imaginary Sicilian location "Tretorri". The film was shot in Palazzolo Acreide in the province of Syracuse . The Chiesa di San Paolo can often be seen in the film.

The dispute over shares in a large-scale investment project to develop Sicily triggers a brief but brutal power struggle in the local mafia in a small Sicilian town.

The unscrupulous Pietro Favignana asserts himself against Don Albanese, who had previously run the local business in accordance with tradition. Favignana forces the old boss to drink a large bottle of almond milk , whereupon the seriously diabetic man dies. While still on the bier he raped his daughter Rosaria. The wedding is shortly thereafter.

The head of the planned development project, at the center of which is to be a dam, is the serious and progressive Baron Francesco Altamura, whose German wife Barbara (played by Anja Kling ) wants to preserve the local archaeological treasures.

Francesco Altamura refuses to accept the mafiosi's request to let their local front companies participate in the planned investments. To blackmail him, Favignana kidnaps the Altamura's son. The young Tano "Tanuzzo" Cariddi, who is sponsored by Favignana, guards him on an abandoned estate.

The German consulate, contacted by Barbara Altamura, mediates the undercover investigator Capitane Carlo Arcuti through the Italian authorities. This, an officer of the Carabinieri , poses as an inspector of the Ministry of Labor. The sheer rejection that he encounters not only with the Mafiosi, but also with the entire local population, symbolizes, skilfully staged by the film, the seclusion, isolation and fear of the local Sicilian population.

Carlo Arcuti is quickly exposed, resists an attempt at bribery and barely manages to save little Paul. The Carabinieri arrest the whole gang of Pietro Favignana, who is able to escape to New York.

The American mafia introduced Favignana to drug smuggling, which it was supposed to "export" to Sicily. Since he and his accomplices receive a surprisingly mild verdict for “lack of evidence”, he is soon home again and celebrates the reunion with his friends. A box with the latest submachine guns , which are far superior to the armament of the Italian police, arrives as a “gift” from America .

With unprecedented brutality, Favignana sets out to bring the region back under the control of the Mafia. Opponents and employees suspected of working with the state are liquidated, and the money for the dam is captured in a bloody attack.

Capitane Carlo Arcuti then arrests the whole group around Favignana at the baptism of his daughter by Carabinieri. And again a judge orders the immediate release.

Baron Altamura changes fronts under the pressure of the threats of violence and the fear of existence triggered by the robbery of the funds and, through the mediation of the corrupt regional member of parliament, makes a deal with Pietro Favignana, the kidnapper of his own child.

This has meanwhile introduced the Sicilian Cosa Nostra to the breathtaking profits of the drug trade. The "honorable society" proves to be quite inclined to the new business opportunities after brief inhibitions.

The Baronessa Altamura ends her love affair with Capitane Carlo Arcuti. When Pietro Favignana finally stands before the court, she revokes her testimony out of fear and is publicly confronted with her relationship with Carlo Arcuti. The captain is recalled to Rome and looks forward to an administrative inspection procedure.

The young Tano Cariddi plays a key role in the fateful escalation of events. Little by little he discovers the dramatic secret of his origins and uses his knowledge of the connections between the kidnapping of Paul Altamura and the circumstances surrounding the death of Don Albanese.

When Rosaria Favignana learns from Tano that her father Don Albanese was forced to commit suicide by her husband Pietro, she stabs Pietro to death in front of the courthouse.

For the well-being of her child, the Baronessa is forced to continue to live with her husband Francesco - knowing that he had commissioned Pietro Favignana to murder her lover Carlo Arcuti.

The inquisitive and eager to learn Tano Cariddi finally persuades Baron Francesco Altamura to send him to the best school and to look after his half-sister Maria - their father was Pietro Favignana.

Season 9 (1998)


The ninth season of “La Piovra” with the subtitle “Il patto” (Eng. “The Pact”) continues the eighth. The events in Sicily, which began in the late 1950s, will be followed up in the early 1960s. The director was again Giacomo Battiato, the script came from Andrea Porporati, Mimmo Rafele and Alessandro Sermoneta.

The broadcast dates in Italy for the two episodes of 100 minutes each were March 9 and 16, 1998.

At the co-producing ZDF, as described in the previous chapter, the eighth and ninth seasons of the four-part series As long as there is love existed , which was broadcast in July 1999.

In “La Piovra 9” more political aspects were discussed and clear allegations were raised. Speculation about land, building scandals and disfigurement of the coasts in Sicily can be traced back to the 1960s. An alliance between the Mafia and politics prevented the adoption of a law that would put an end to these machinations. "Instead, the mafia and corrupt officials divided the island among themselves." However, the political background in the two episodes hardly got beyond the implications and declarations of intent of local mafiosi.

Director Giacomo Battiato was amazed at the level of political criticism of the series. There could be nothing wrong with film and television highlighting the negative sides of a country. “We talked about the 50s and 1960s when we could have made important decisions that weren't made. In 1963 the adoption of the law against land speculation could have saved Sicily. Instead, the politicians preferred to forge a pact with the mafia ”.

Stylistically, he wanted to shoot a “melodrama with the touch of a spy thriller”, “only that the spy infiltrated her own husband's house”.


A few years after Barbara Altamura was questioned in court about a relationship with police officer Carlo Arcuti, she returns from a psychiatric clinic to her husband, Baron Francesco Altamura.

But a lot has changed. The country villa was sold and the Altamuras now live in the city. The baron has founded a "bank for development" which is supposed to be used for money laundering for drug money. Francesco Altamura's house is run by his lover, who is officially introduced as his "cousin". The baronessa lives in the house like a prisoner.

However, the Italian police are on the trail of the drug business and recruited Carlo Arcuti after his transfer to punish Barbara. The carabinieri initially refuses, but then agrees.

When the two young people met for the first time, between whom a love story quickly developed again, the viewer suspected that this time it could have a dramatic end.

Barbara Altamura is supposed to spy on the coded numbered accounts of the bank, which are recorded in a notebook of her husband, and thus to reveal the invested funds of the families as well as the masterminds.

The most dangerous opponent of the police officers and their agent is initially the regional boss of the mafia, lawyer Torrisi. He has connections right up to the top of the regional police and judiciary and thus finds out about the baroness.

Events are now taking surprising turns. The baron tries to get rid of his wife with the help of his "cousin". After they have numbed her, an accident is supposed to be faked.

In the burned-out car wreck at the foot of a mountain are two charred corpses. The police assume that it is Baron and Baronessa Altamura.

In fact, Barbara is alive. The Mafioso Turi Mondello intervened because he ardently adores the young baroness and thwarted the planned act. The bodies are Francesco Altamura and his lover. Barbara Altamura is henceforth the prisoner of the Mafioso.

A violent power struggle now develops between Turi Mondello, who also took possession of the first quantity of the refined heroin, and the top of the Mafia, which Mondella wins with a brutal massacre at a wedding party .

The “guest” at the massacre is also the candidate for the parliamentary elections, who fully intimidated understands the real and new power relations between the Mafia and politics and soon allows himself to be used to represent the interests of the “honorable” families in Rome.

Capitano Carlo Arcuti manages to free the Baronessa and bring Toni Mondello under lock and key. However, he did not survive his success for long. In a brutal attack, he is pushed to the corner of a house by a car.

The local judiciary is suspending the investigation against the mafia despite overwhelming evidence. A young judicial assessor, witness of the cowardly retreat of the investigating judge, promises Barbara Altamura that he will continue the work of Carlo Arcuti.

Tenth Season (2001)


Season 10, which has not yet been broadcast in Germany, continues at the end of season 7 and leads the series to a conclusion.

After the 8th and 9th season it was initially unclear whether another season would be produced. Producer Sergio Silva spoke of a "creative crisis". It turned out that it was difficult to pick up the thread again after flashing back to the 1950s and 1960s while maintaining the standards of the series. Apparently there was also political resistance to a sequel at the station Rai Uno .

Finally, another season was shot with two 100-minute episodes each, but this time only with purely Italian participation. The ZDF and other television stations had withdrawn.

In Italy, the 10th season was shown for the first time, due to reservations at the board level of state television, not by Rai Uno, but by Rai Due, a station that otherwise specialized in youth programs and American series.

The broadcast dates were January 10th and 11th, 2001. With around 4 million viewers, the audience numbers remained well below the usual average, favored by the fact that the popular actor Pietro , who became famous through the Italian version of Big Brother , was also on Berlusconi's Canale 5 Taricone appeared on the popular Maurizio Costanzo Show and reached 10 million viewers. Stefano Munafò, director of Raifiction, said that this front position of two programs was "unthinkable years ago". This also reflects the current turmoil in the Italian media landscape. Young people are no longer primarily interested in political and social issues and are instead drawn to the “Neomachismo” of Pietro Taricone.

The director of the 10th season was again Luigi Perelli. The script came from producer Sergio Silva as well as from Mimmo Rafele and Piero Bodrato, the music was contributed by Ennio Morricone.


Catania location . Silvia Conti leaves the Sicilian city and flies to Rome to secure the support of her mentor.

Professor Ramonte, head of the Thule secret lodge, which has close ties to the Mafia, is acquitted in an appeal process. Investigating judge Silvia Conti watched with consternation as Ramonte gave his first television interview on the steps of the courthouse, in which he openly threatened his enemies.

Silvia Conti, who put Ramonte under lock and key, is meanwhile withdrawing from the political process. She got married, wants to adopt a daughter, and has applied for a transfer to the juvenile court , which has just been granted.

Ottavio Ramonte does not hesitate for a moment to take his place at the head of the Thule organization again.

To do this, he needs Tano Cariddi, who lives in a ruined castle on Mount Etna , as an ally and a master disk that can be used to decrypt his entire database.

The disk is being kept hidden by Senatore Aldo Mercuri, the organization's chief financial officer. Mercuri, who has a serious heart condition, is put under pressure and his doctor, also a member of the organization, is murdered.

Before his death, the doctor was able to tell the senator's daughter, Giulia Mercuri, the truth about her father's criminal involvement and the responsibility of Professor Ramonte for the murder of Corrado Cattani. Giulia immediately contacts judge Silvia Conti. Therefore, Giulia Mercuri is now also a danger to the organization and, at Ramontes' orders, is to be eliminated together with her father.

Now Tano Cariddi has his appearance. At a meeting of the council of the Thule organization, which takes place without the ailing Ramonte, he persuades the members to say goodbye to the crude methods of murder of the past and, under his leadership, to adopt smarter and more modern methods of profit maximization in the global market dedicate. Ramonte's tendency to revenge made him a threat to the entire organization.

As it turns out, Tano has been insidiously poisoning the professor with arsenic for quite some time. After a brief argument, the council accepted Tano Cariddi as the new leader.

Giulia is kidnapped and held in Tano's custody in order to silence herself and blackmail her father.

Silvia Conti had been informed by phone by Giulia and had an appointment with her. Now the judge begins to investigate against the urgent advice of her husband and her superior. She gets on the plane and flies from Catania to Rome to talk to her mentor, who as her former training manager has good contacts in the authorities.

Returning to Catania, the investigating judge intends to hire herself as a decoy to get the men around Professor Ramonte out of cover.

Things get complicated as Giulia has a love affair with Marco, the unsuspecting son of lawyer Edoardo Rittone, a senior member of the Thule Association.

Edoardo Rittone and Tano Cariddi succeed in persuading the increasingly weaker Professor Ramonte to abdicate. A last dose of arsenic gives it the rest and soon you will get the coveted master disk. Senatore Aldo Mercuri dies of a heart attack at the handover.

But then the planned process gets out of hand because the clumsy Edoardo Rittone made several mistakes.

To keep control, Tano Cariddi, who actually wanted to introduce other methods, and Edoardo Rittone plan several murders. Aldo Mercuri's servant is shot from a motorcycle in the usual Mafia fashion. With a lot of luck, Silvia Conti survives a similar assassination only slightly injured.

And then Tano Cariddi stands in front of his prisoner Giulia Mercuri, who bears a great resemblance to his former wife Esther. More and more images of his previous life and his tragically ending marriage run through Tano's mind. In one last big appearance he invokes power and denounces all the insignificant people and women who want to stand in its way. In his confusion, however, at the last moment he thinks he actually sees Esther in front of him and cannot bring himself to strangle her "a second time". Once again it is the small human weakness that gets in the way of the coldly planning Tano Cariddi.

In any case, Silvia Conti and the police are already on the way to the castle ruins on Etna.

When Tano can't see a way out, he drives to the top of the volcano, climbs the hill and goes into the crater with the secret data. He waves one last time to the judge Silvia Conti.


Because of the international cast, many roles had to be dubbed when it was first broadcast in Italy. The German synchronization was described as "excellent".

The following is a list of the voice actors of important people in the series:

role Voice actor
Corrado Cattani Lutz Riedel
Paola Cattani Natascha Rybakowski
Attorney Terrasini Edgar Ott
Tano Cariddi Ortwin Speer
Dino Alessi Norbert Langer
Giulia Antinari Anita Lochner
Nicola Antinari Hans W. Hamacher
Davide Faeti Christian Brückner


  • Telegatto , Italy, for best Italian television film in 1984 (season 1), 1986 (season 2), 1989 (season 4) and 1995 (season 7).
  • Goldener Gong , Germany, for Damiano Damiani as best director and Michele Placido as best actor in 1984 (season 1).
  • Golden Nymph and International Television Critique Award, Monte Carlo Television Festival, 1998 (season 8).

Broadcast dates and DVD releases

German private broadcasters, especially Sky , regularly show repetitions of individual seasons.

The first three seasons were released on DVD by Koch Media in 2004 and 2005 based on the uncut Italian original versions . In 2007 and 2008, seasons 4-7 appeared on Kinowelt , this time based on the slightly shortened versions that ran on ZDF. The licenses for the first three seasons later also went to Kinowelt, which published them in 2010 based on the ZDF versions.

Seasons 8-10 are currently not available in German on DVD, but are available as an import of the original Italian version with English subtitles. The provider is the Australian distributor Aztec.



  • Damiani Alone against the Mafia . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 1984, pp. 210 ( online ).
  • Dietmar Polaczek: Bloody zoology of Sicily . Damiano Damiani, his new TV movie and the Mafia. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , March 27, 1984.
  • Thomas Thieringer: The fascination of the octopus . Damiano Damiani's action series "Alone Against the Mafia". In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 5, 1984, p. 14.
  • Klaus Wienert: The story of an unequal struggle . “Alone against the Mafia” - six-part television game by Damiano Damiani. In: Frankfurter Rundschau , May 5, 1984.
  • Wolfgang Würker: The new mafia and the individual. Damiani's six-part television film . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , May 5, 1984, p. 26.









  • Aldo Grasso: Enciclopedia della televisione . Garzanti Editore, Cernusco sul Naviglio 1996 (Italian).





2001 Giuseppe D'Avanzo: Piovra 10 e speriamo sia l 'ultima . In: La Repubblica, January 10, 2001, p. 1 (Italian). 2005

  • Michael Reufsteck, Stefan Niggemeier: The television lexicon . Goldmann, Munich 2005.


  • Dominik Graf : The expressionless look of the human pit bull . Licht und Korn: "Alone against the Mafia". In: FAZ , February 20, 2007, p. 35 (analysis of the first season from today's perspective of the director).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d il CAMPO - Osservatorio sulla Fiction Italiana - OFI: Fiction graffiti: 1984 . ( Memento from March 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Grasso (1996)
  3. a b Wienert (1989)
  4. Reufsteck, Niggemeier (2005)
  5. a b c d e f g Würker (1984)
  6. a b c d e f Polaczek ()
  7. Wienert (October 25, 1986-FR)
  8. a b c d e Thieringer (1984)
  9. a b Bova, Capitano Antimafia. In: La Repubblica, March 27, 1997, p. 45
  10. Girone: Ancora na volta nei Panni di Tano Cariddi. In: La Repubblica, October 26, 1997, p. 39
  11. a b c Graf (2007)
  12. Placido (1990)
  13. a b c d D'Agostini (1989)
  14. ^ D'Agostini: Cattani (1986)
  15. a b c d Cattani conquista L 'Italia. In: La Repubblica, March 22, 1989, p. 37.
  16. Fumarola (1997-Piccoli)
  17. Fumarola (1994)
  18. Fumarola (1997-Piccoli)
  19. Financial guru Enrico Cuccia dead, in: Wirtschaftsblatt, June 24, 2000 ( Memento of March 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  20. ^ Alan Friedman: Enrico Cuccia, 92, Leader Of Italian Capitalism, Dies . In: International Herald Tribune , June 24, 2000
  21. Vincenzo Delle Donne: Agnelli in a bitter power struggle . In: Spiegel Online Wirtschaft , September 22, 1999
  22. Fumarola (1997-Piccoli)
  23. Fumarola (1994)
  24. a b Garbesi (1995)
  25. ^ Who sows the wind
  26. ^ Delli Colli (1991)
  27. Fumarola (1995 Zeffirelli)
  28. Mietta Attrice della Piovra 8. In: Corriere della Sera, January 19, 1997, p. 27 ( Memento of November 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  29. Questa Rai danneggia La Sicilia, in: La Repubblica, October 5, 1997, p. 45
  30. La Loggia: “Ha stufato la Sicilia è diversa”, in: la, August 22, 2000
  31. Silvia Fumarola: La Piovra? Uno schiaffo alla Sicilia, in: La Repubblica, January 11, 2001, p. 51.
  32. a b Claudia Fusani: Il Polo contro l'ultima "Piovra", in: la, August 22, 2000
  33. Maltese (2000)
  34. a b “Alone against the Mafia”: Berlusconi wants to strangle authors
  35. Wienert (October 25, 1986-FR)
  36. D'Agostini: Attenti (1986); translated to Wienert (25.10.1986-FR)
  37. Similar: D'Avanzo (2001)
  38. ^ D'Agostini: Cattani (1986)
  39. D'Avanzo (2001)
  40. Peirce (1997)
  41. Fumarola (1997-Radici)
  42. D'Avanzo (2001)
  43. ^ Wienert (1989)
  44. Wienert (1984)
  45. a b Damiani Alone against the Mafia . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 1984, pp. 210 ( online ).
  46. Wienert (10.10.1986-SZ)
  47. Wienert (October 25, 1986-FR)
  48. ^ Rondo Mafioso . In: Der Spiegel . No. 15 , 1991, p. 232 ( online ).
  49. Keller (1999)
  50. Sichtermann (1999)
  51. Wienert (10.10.1986-FR)
  52. a b c delli Colli (1989)
  53. ^ D'Agostini: Attenti (1986)
  54. Wienert (October 25, 1986-FR)
  55. ^ D'Agostini: Cattani (1986)
  56. Righi (1992)
  57. ^ D'Agostini (1986): Cattani
  58. ^ D'Agostini (1986): Cattani
  59. ^ D'Agostini (1986): Cattani
  60. Fumarola (1989)
  61. Fumarola (1989)
  62. Fumarola (1989)
  63. Fumarola (1990)
  64. sf (1990)
  65. ^ Giusi (1992)
  66. Fumarola (1992)
  67. Fumarola (1992)
  68. Fumarola (1992)
  69. According to IMDb, the authors of the previous seasons, Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, were still involved as co-authors:
  70. a b La piovra 9 - fiction RaiUno ( Memento from October 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  71. Sichtermann (1999)
  72. Fumarola (1998-Carabiniere)
  73. a b PPP press partner price: As long as there is love
  74. Fumarola (1995-Piovra)
  75. Fumarola (1997-Piccoli)
  76. Massimo Peltretti: Un Successo lungo trent'anni ( Memento of August 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  77. Fumarola (1997-Piovra)
  78. Fumarola (1998 Melodramma)
  79. Fumarola (1998 Melodramma)
  80. Fumarola (1998 Melodramma)
  81. Fumarola (1998-Ferma)
  82. a b Taricone contro i boss, in: La Repubblica, January 10, 2001, p. 13.
  83. IMDb: La piovra 10 (2001) (TV)
  84. ^ Antonio Genna: Il mondo dei doppiatori
  85. German synchronous files
  86. Peter Hoffmann: In Memoriam, in: German Dubbing Speakers ( Memento from December 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  87. F.LM: The fight against the octopus
  88. F.LM: David versus Goliath ( Memento from December 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive )