A man on his knees

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German title A man on his knees
Original title Un uomo in ginocchio
Country of production Italy
original language Italian
Publishing year 1979
length 109 minutes
Director Damiano Damiani
script Damiano Damiani
Nicola Badalucco
production Mario Cecchi Gori
music Franco Mannino
camera Ennio Guarnieri
cut Enzo Meniconi

A man on his knees (original title: Un uomo in ginocchio ) is an Italian crime film from 1979, directed by Damiano Damiani with Giuliano Gemma in the lead role. The German-language premiere took place on June 21, 1980 on ARD .


Nino Peralta is married to Lucia; they have two children, Paolo and Serena. Nino runs a kiosk near Palermo Cathedral. One day he is alerted by his partner Sebastiano that a certain Antonio Platamona is shadowing him, possibly because of a protection payment. Even before he meets him personally, Nino, a former member of the Mafia, learns that he is on the company's death list, which is being processed with relentless precision. Peralta tries first to exonerate himself - for days he has been unwittingly delivering to a kidnapper in the nearby hotel who has the wife of a mafia boss in his power; thus he is believed to be an accomplice and a traitor. Nino contacts Platamona, who appears to be his killer, and is forced to sell his kiosk. When his friend Sebastiano, who has taken Nino's place on the death list, is killed, Platamona's client, Don Vincenzo Fabbricante, tries to win Nino back to work for the mafia. Desperate, with no perspective and determined not to support the Mafia, Nino kills Don Vincenzo and tries to convince Platamona to stay with him independently of the “honorable society”.


In his review of “Paese Sera”, Callisto Cosulich placed the film in the series of works by its director, in which the latter always shed light on the group to which men his heroes belonged: “to the rulers, the helpers, the accomplices, the supplicants or the informers ”. Here he puts two of the latter at the center of one of his best films, in which the two main actors and especially Placido shone. "With simple means and without conspicuous action sequences, the actor ensemble is clearly in the foreground," notes Karsten Thurau, who recommends the film as an "exciting portrait of a simple man in the gears of confusing interests". Also Tullio Kezich praised the actor, the characters, however, was too stereotypical.


The gross profit in Italy was 366 million lire .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. quoted from comingsoon.it
  2. Michael Cholewa, Karsten Thurau: The Terror directs. 1999, p. 55
  3. ^ Tullio Kezich, in: Panorama , April 1979
  4. ^ Roberto Chiti, Roberto Poppi, Mario Pecorari: Dizionario del cinema italiano, Vol. 4, Vol. 2 M / Z. Rom, Gremese 1996, pp. 378/379