AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Adventures of Lieutenant Petrosino
Alternate Title: The Life and Death of Lieutenant Petrosino
Release Date:   Nov 1912
Duration (in reels):   4
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Summary: Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino, an Italian-American police detective, is assigned to a murder case involving the Black Hand Society. Soon afterwards, a ragpicker is sent to murder banker Antonio Lorenzo, who has threatened to expose the criminals' blackmail schemes. Lieutenant Petrosino ingeniously traces the crime to the ragpicker but is knocked unconscious in the process. Later, two Black Hand members flee the country, pursued to Sicily by Lieutenant Petrosino, who impresses the local police with his heroic methods of pursuit. Eventually, however, Petrosino is killed by Black Hand assassins in Palermo. His body is returned to the United States, where he is proclaimed a martyr of law and order. 

Production Company: Feature Photoplay Co.  
Distribution Company: State Rights  
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Feature Photoplay Co. 14/11/1912 dd/mm/yyyy LU129

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Detective
 
Subjects (Major): Black Hand (Italy and United States)
  Detectives
  Murder
  Sicily
 
Subjects (Minor): Blackmail
  Italian Americans
  Palermo (Sicily)
  Joseph Petrosino
  Police
  Ragpickers

Note: The picture was also known as The Life and Death of Lieutenant Petrosino . Sidney M. Goldin, listed as "author" in the copyright statement, was a producer and director. It is possible that he produced and directed this film. It was made with the "special permission of Madame Petrosino," and is based on the adventures of Italian-American detective Joseph Petrosino. For further information on Petrosino and his investigation of the Black Hand, see the entry below for the 1960 film Pay or Die , a fictional film about the Italian police detective. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
MPW   16 Nov 12   p. 668.
MPW   23 Nov 12   p. 821.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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