Mussolini and I (alternatively titled Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce) is a 1985 made-for-television docudrama film directed by Alberto Negrin. It chronicles the strained relationship between Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his son-in-law and foreign minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, based on Ciano’s diaries.
Made in English as an Italian-French-German-Swiss-Spanish-US co-production, with Bob Hoskins, Anthony Hopkins and Susan Sarandon in the leading roles, it first aired on Rai Uno on 15 April 1985 in a 130-minute version.
The film starts just before World War II and shows the political and personal side of Benito Mussolini’s fall from power and his death and the end of the war. It delves into his relationship with his son in-law, daughter, wife, mistress, and Hitler.
- Bob Hoskins as Benito Mussolini, dictator of Fascist Italy.
- Susan Sarandon as Edda Ciano, Mussolini’s daughter.
- Anthony Hopkins as Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law.
- Annie Girardot as Rachele Mussolini, Mussolini’s wife.
- Barbara De Rossi as Claretta Petacci, Mussolini’s mistress.
- Massimo Dapporto as Vittorio Mussolini, Mussolini’s son.
- Vittorio Mezzogiorno as Alessandro Pavolini, friend of Galeazzo’s and leader of the Republican Fascist Party.
- Kurt Raab as Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi Germany.
- Marne Maitland as King Victor Emmanuel III.
- Hans-Dieter Asner as Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of the Third Reich.
- Carlheinz Heitmann as Karl Wolff, Military Governor and Supreme SS and Police Leader of Northern Italy.
- Harald Dietl as Otto Skorzeny, led Operation Oak to rescue Mussolini from Campo Imperatore.
- Dietlinde Turban as Frau Beetz, born as Hildegard Burkhardt: she was a German intelligence agent who visited Galeazzo in prison and tried to help him.
- Ted Rusoff as Francesco Saverio Nitti.
- David-George Brown as Giuseppe Castellano.
- Gianni Pulone as Enzo Galbiati.
- Stefano De Sando as Dino Grandi.
- Luciano Baglioni as Carlo Scorza.
- Franco Meroni as Giuseppe Bottai.
- Leslie Thomas as Emilio De Bono.
- Piero Palermini as Roberto Farinacci.
- Robert Sommer as Giacomo Suardo.
- Franco Mazzieri as Giovanni Marinelli.
- Ulrich Engst as Major Otto-Harald Mors.
- It first aired on Rai Uno on 15 April 1985 in a 130-minute version.
- On 08 September 1985, it premiered in the USA on HBO in an extended four-hour version.
- It was released on a 2 disc DVD in August 2003; It is divided into four segments for a total of 240 minutes and was released by Koch Entertainment.
- All filming was done in Italy; including northern Italy’s Gargnano, Merano, Bolzano, Verona, and in central Italy, Rome and L’Aquila.
- Filming was also done at the well known Villa Torlonia and Palazzo Venezia.
Production & Filming Details
- Alberto Negrin.
- Alan David … associate producer.
- Mario Gallo … producer.
- Giovanna Genoese … executive producer.
- Enzo Giulioli … producer.
- Nicola Badalucco (screenplay and story).
- Alberto Negrin (screenplay).
- Egisto Macchi.
- Armando Nannuzzi.
- Daniele Nannuzzi.
- Roberto Perpignani.
- Alan David Management (associate producer).
- Beta Film.
- France 2 (FR2) (as Antenne-2).
- HBO Premiere Films.
- Home Box Office (HBO).
- RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana.
- TVE Productions.
- Televisione Svizzera Italiana (TSI).
- Aquarius TV (2001) (Greece) (TV).
- Embassy Home Entertainment Australia (1985) (Australia) (video).
- Embassy Home Entertainment (1985) (France) (VHS).
- Embassy Home Entertainment (1985) (Japan) (VHS).
- Home Box Office (HBO) (all media).
- Metromedia Producers Corporation (MPC) (all media).
- Orbis Communications (USA) (all media).
- Rai 1 (1985) (Italy) (TV).
- Umbrella Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (DVD).
- Umbrella Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (video) (VOD).
- Warner Filipacchi Vidéo (1985) (France) (VHS).
- Release Date: 15 April 1985.
- Rating: U or 12.
- Running Time: 130 minutes (original) and 240 minutes (extended).
- Country: Italy, France, West Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and US.
- Language: English.