Tea with Mussolini (1999)
Semi-autobiographical tale from the early life of director Franco Zeffirelli looks at the illegitimate son of an Italian businessman. The boy's mother has died, and he is raised by an Englishwoman in pre-WWII Fascist Italy. Living to each other in Florence, and presided over by an ambassador's widow, a group of Englishwomen live a sheltered existence which they believe is guaranteed personal protection in a tea reception given by Il Duce. However, as war breaks out, the women are interned. Occasionally in this English colony is a wealthy American, who visits among her travels and marriages to wealthy older men. She respects the "Scorpioni", as they are known, and secretly arranges for their stay in a hotel. The ambassador's widow finds her vulgar and tries to ignore her, but when the United States enters the war, the American too is taken into custody. Only then does she discover that her Italian lover has tricked her into signing over all her money and modern art collection to him, and is now arranging her execution. This obliges all to join forces. Lily Tomlin also appears as an American archaeologist working at a dig in the city.- Written by John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Semi-autobiographical tale from the early life of director Franco Zeffirelli. An illegitimate child is raised by an Englishwoman in pre-WWII Fascist Italy, part of an English community in Florence presided over by a diplomat's widow. Elsa Morganthal Strauss-Armistan is a wealthy American collector of modern art who visits these "Scorpioni" on occasion.- Written by Dehlia
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