Italian Foreign Minister Ciano incorrectly addresses his German counterpart as 'Baron von Ribbentrop' at the dinner party near the beginning of the movie. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop held no aristocratic title. See more »
The problem with old mini-series is that they often do not come with close captions or subtitles which help the hearing impaired. The different accents of the international cast also made the dialog difficult to follow. Consequently, much of what they were saying was unintelligible and I found myself admiring the costumes, scenery and sets. Not that all this mattered in the end as the plot was so ludicrous it could have passed for an episode of Dynasty. I waited in vain for Joan Collins to show up and punch at least one of the women in the face.
Another problem was the casting of over exposed actors. If you don't care much for Anthony Hopkins, you are out of luck, because he is notching up as many appearances as John Gielgud. They will be carrying him on-stage in his 90's before long. In this film he played an Italian Count who apparently never met a woman he did not attempt to seduce. Bob Hoskins, another very good but over-exposed actor played Mussolini as if he was still in character for Harold Shand (The Long Good Friday) and sounded like an East London bookie at the racetrack.
At one point, Mussolini mused that if he pardoned his son-in-law, the Germans would despise them for acting like Italians. Shortly after, Signora Mussolini went to visit his mistress, Clara, armed with a small handgun. While the Signora was beating on the door, and the mistress trying to hide, the German guard was frantically calling Il Duce and asking what to do - the melodrama had me laughing out loud.
If Mistral's daughter and Princess Daisy is your cup of tea, you will enjoy this mini-series. I have no idea how historically accurate it was.
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