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Tea with Mussolini (1999)

Un tè con Mussolini (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama, War | 14 May 1999 (USA)
An orphaned Italian boy is raised amongst a circle of British and American women living in Mussolini's Italy before and during World War II.

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

John Mortimer (screenplay), Franco Zeffirelli (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cher ... Elsa
Judi Dench ... Arabella
Joan Plowright ... Mary
Maggie Smith ... Lady Hester
Lily Tomlin ... Georgie
Baird Wallace Baird Wallace ... Luca
Charlie Lucas Charlie Lucas ... Luca (child)
Massimo Ghini ... Paolo
Paolo Seganti ... Vittorio
Claudio Spadaro ... Mussolini
Mino Bellei Mino Bellei ... Cesare
Paul Chequer ... Wilfred
Tessa Pritchard Tessa Pritchard ... Connie
Michael Williams ... British Consul
Paula Jacobs Paula Jacobs ... Molly
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Storyline

In 1935 a group of elderly British women, whom the Italians have named the Scorpioni, have chosen Italy, specifically Florence, as a place to live to blend their proper British sensibilities with their love of Italian art and culture. One of those Scorpioni, Mary Walsh (Dame Joan Plowright), works as the English secretary for Paolo Innocente (Massimo Ghini), who, in part because of his own wife's adamant refusal, largely neglects his illegitimate adolescent son, Luca (Baird Wallace), despite Paolo's want for Luca to grow up to be a proper young man, much like the English. Luca has lived in an orphanage since his dressmaker mother's death, death a concept that Luca does not yet understand. As such, he often runs away looking for his mother. On a mutual agreement between Paolo and Mary, Mary becomes Luca's guardian, she who will receive help in raising Luca by her fellow Scorpioni and financial help from Paolo as needed. Associated with the Scorpioni is a brash younger nouveau riche ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of civilized disobedience

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language, brief nudity and some mild violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dame Maggie Smith starred in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), as another misguided woman who worshipped Mussolini. See more »

Goofs

The ladies protect the frescoes by building a wall around them using sandbags. But the bags are obviously filled with something light and fluffy, such as kapok or cotton. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: Florence 1935.
Title Card: The love affair between the artistically-inclined English community and Florence was soon to be overshadowed by the clouds of war.
Title Card: But at the moment the sun is still shining on the squares and statues, and the dictator Mussolini is the gentleman who makes the trains run on time.
Connie Raynor: Excuse me, are you the Consul?
British Consul: Yes.
Connie Raynor: Connie Raynor of the Morning Post. I'm fascinated to know what His Majesty's Consul in Florence makes of it all?
British Consul: I can't believe your readers would be interested...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The MGM DVD, ISBN 0-7928-4300-2, is missing least one shot: The original tea with Mussolini scene ends with Mussolini forcing himself upon the reporter, forcing her onto his desk (i.e., he rapes her.) This DVD omits that ending and leaves the reporter's change in behavior unexplained. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Last Man Standing: Mother Fracker (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Mattinata Fiorentina
Written by Giovanni D'Anzi (as D'Anzi) and Michele Galdieri (as Galdieri)
Performed by Alberto Rabagliati
See more »

User Reviews

Entertaining, Educational and extremely well acted
6 March 2005 | by FlorenceLawrenceSee all my reviews

Another Judi Dench film that in no way disappoints.

This film opens the mind even more to that important chapter in history and lets you look from various perspectives at events.

I found it a really fascinating film, absolutely beautiful cinematography.

Excellent story telling, narrative, really well paced and put across.

And wonderfully acted across the board, from main characters to all the supporting cast, I did not realise Cher was such a good actress.

Stories like this based on fact, are so wonderful.

And the movie captures Florence, so pleasingly, you will long to visit.

A welcome break from the mindless action flicks.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Italy | UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

14 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tea with Mussolini See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,633,183, 16 May 1999

Gross USA:

$14,401,563

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,401,563
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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