In 1971, I had the honor of working as assistant costumer to Enrico Sabbatini on the award-winning film Sacco and Vanzetti. It is a docudrama about the life and trial of two Italian anarchist immigrants living in Massacushetts in the 1910's who were convicted of murder during an armed robbery in 1920. After a controversial trial and a series of appeals, the two Italian immigrants were executed on August 23, 1927. Their legal case was a 'cause celebre' at the time, stirring political demonstrations as far away as India. In 1977, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis asked for a review of the trial. The Office of the Governor's Legal Counsel found unethical behavior on the part of the judge and prosecution, and based on the Office's recommendations, Dukakis declared August 23, 1977, the 50th anniversary of their execution, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Memorial Day. While their guilt or innocence is still officially unproven, Dukakis' proclamation, issued in English and Italian, stated that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names."
DVDs of the 1971 film are now available through Amazon.com.