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This seven hour mini-series is based on the memories of Vittorio Mussolini, the oldest son of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The film opens in 1922 as Mussolini gathers his power through the use of his Black Shirt militia. Promoting himself as Caesar reincarnate, Il Duce gains a national fervor that peaks after the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. In 1938, Mussolini attempted to promote peace at a Munich conference. Nonetheless he aligned himself with Hitler and drew his country into World War II. Of course, this led to his country's downfall and his total dishonor. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Contrary to the popular myth featured in this miniseries Mussolini did not make the trains on time. Most of the repair work to the Italian railway system were done before Mussolini and his fascists came into power in 1922. Mussolini was just disingenuous in taking credit for those changes. See more »
It is not surprising that the life of Il Duce is depressing and awful--he was a brutal, evil little man after all. However, after watching it I was kind of wondering WHO the intended audience was. After all, you might have noticed that many of the worst monsters of the 20th century have been so rarely portrayed on film. While there have been a few films that talk about Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin and Pot Pot, the lives of such evil men are rarely the sole focus of movies. Probably because the public has no interest in finding out about the real-life stories of these men--we ALL know they are scum! Instead, this has been more the domain of documentaries on the History Channel--and I think that's where these characters should remain. I don't want to see them humanized or explore their motivation (except perhaps in a psychological/sociological sense). And this is the heart of the problem with this movie. Benito Mussolini was scum--he cheated on his wife, was violent to those around him and was an inflated blow-hard. Not exactly something I want to see on the big screen or in a TV movie.
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