Mussolini: The Untold Story TV Series Overview (1985)


Introduction

Mussolini: The Untold Story is a television biographical miniseries drama that aired on 24 to 26 November 1985. The series followed the rise, rule, and downfall of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (played by US actor George C. Scott). Similar to Hitler: The Rise of Evil, the miniseries is spoken in English instead of the titular character’s native language.

Outline

Mussolini’s private life features prominently in the series, including his long-term romance with his mistress Clara Petacci (played by Virginia Madsen).

The series begins in 1922, as Mussolini gathers his power through the use of his Black Shirt militia. Promoting himself as Julius Caesar reincarnate, Il Duce gains a national fervour that peaks after the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. In 1938, Mussolini attempted to promote peace at the Munich Conference. Nonetheless, he aligned himself with Adolf Hitler. Mussolini drew Italy into World War II, which led to his country’s decline, Mussolini’s fall from power, and eventual roadside execution of Mussolini and Petacci.

Cast

  • George C. Scott … Benito Mussolini.
  • David Suchet … Dino Grandi.
  • Spencer Chandler … Young Vittorio Mussolini.
  • Lee Grant … Rachele Mussolini.
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio … Edda Mussolini-Cianoun.
  • Raul Julia … Count Galeazzo Cianoun.
  • Virginia Madsen … Claretta Petacci.
  • Robert Downey Jr. … Bruno Mussolini.
  • Gabriel Byrne … Vittorio Mussolini.
  • Kenneth Colley … King Vittorio Emmanuele.
  • Michael Aldridge … Matteotti.
  • Gunnar Möller … Adolf Hitler.
  • Relja Basic.
  • Gina Bellman … Gena Ruberti.
  • George Coulouris … DeBono.
  • Vernon Dobtcheff … Sebastiani.

Trivia

  • The Series was Nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.
  • The UK version removed the scene where Mussolini raped the female reporter from the London Herald (Mrs. Thompson) on his desk.

Mussolini: The Untold Story Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • William A. Graham.
  • Producer(s):
    • Alan David … producer.
    • Raymond Katz … executive producer.
    • Hal W. Polaire … producer.
    • Stirling Silliphant … producer.
    • Donna Smith … executive producer.
    • Bernard Sofronski … executive producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Stirling Silliphant.
  • Music:
    • Laurence Rosenthal.
  • Cinematography:
    • Robert Steadman.
  • Editor(s):
    • Ronald J. Fagan.
    • Noelle Imparato.
    • Rod Stephens.
  • Production:
    • Triangle Productions.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC One (1987) (UK) (TV) (in 4 parts).
    • Divisa Home Video (2003-2006) (Spain) (DVD).
    • For You Video (1989) (Japan) (VHS) (4 parts).
    • MTC Video (1990) (Greece) (VHS).
    • National Broadcasting Company (NBC) (1985) (USA) (TV) (original airing).
  • Release Date:
    • 24 to 26 November 1985 (original airing).
    • 13 March 2020 (on Amazon Prime as seven (7) episodes).
  • Rating: PG (on IMDB), 13+ (on Amazon Prime), and PG/15 (on DVD).
  • Running Time: 6 hours and 50 minutes (total running time).
  • Country: UK and US.
  • Language: English.

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