The day of the owl (film)

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German title The day of the owl
Original title Il giorno della civetta
Country of production Italy , France
original language Italian
Publishing year 1968
length 112 minutes
Director Damiano Damiani
script Damiano Damiani
Ugo Pirro
production Luigi Carpentieri
Ermanno Donati
music Giovanni Fusco
camera Tonino Delli Colli
cut Nino Baragli

The day of the owl (original title: Il giorno della civetta ) is an Italian literary film adaptation , which was filmed in 1968 under the direction of Damiano Damiani . It is based on the novel of the same name by the writer Leonardo Sciascia . In the GDR the film was called Don Mariano knows nothing .


In a small town in Sicily , a truck driver is shot dead on the street.

Capitano Bellodi, just transferred from northern Italy to Sicily, takes over the case. The murdered man is a building contractor who refused to cooperate with the mafia .

Another man who was nearby at the time of the incident disappears.

During the investigation, Bellodi is laid false leads. It gives the impression that it is a murder out of jealousy. Rosa Nicolosi, the wife of the disappeared, is declared the main suspect with slander in the population because she is said to have had an affair with the building contractor.

But Bellodi does not trust these traces. He knows that the killer is to be found within the mafia. In further investigations, however, he encounters great resistance even from colleagues. Witnesses disappear, nobody wants to break the omertà , the command of silence.

He realizes how much mafia, politics, justice and economy are under one roof and provokes a scandal of national proportions by arresting Don Mariano. Although the murder weapon was found in his house, the well-connected and courted Mafia bosses are released again.


  • film-dienst : The oppressive film adaptation of a socially critical novel that shows the reasons for the functioning of the mafia associated with economic gangsterism. The film loses some of its persuasiveness due to a few weaknesses in terms of staging and acting.


The film is based on the novel of the same name by the writer Leonardo Sciascia, who often describes systems of political power in his works, from fascist to Christian Democratic Italy. Judges and commissioners are common characters in his novels.


The synchronization of the GDR version of the film took place in the DEFA studio for synchronization in East Berlin. The dialogue director led Ernst Dahle after a dialogue book of Heinz Nietzsche .

actor German speaker role
Claudia Cardinale Karin Reif Rosa Nicolosi
Franco Nero Thomas Kästner Capitano Bellodi
Lee J. Cobb Gerd Biewer Don Mariano Arena
Nehemiah Persoff Gerd Ehlers Sara Pizzuco
Serge Reggiani Werner Lierck Parrinied you
Tano Cimarosa Edwin Marian Zecchinetta
Giovanni Pallavicino Jürgen Frohriep lieutenant



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Day of the Owl. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. a b c Don Mariano knows nothing. In: German dubbing index , accessed on September 11, 2016 .