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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars8
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 22 March 2005
This was a mini series from 1985 and is presented here on two discs in compilation form, not in it's original episode form.
It's a series I thought bland at the time of first watching it, featuring far too much family background and concentrating less on the activities of the dictator. It was, however, a series that I'd remember every now and then and wanted to see again, thinking that it was probably a better series than I originally gave it credit for.
Having watched it on this release I was surprised by how good it actually is, more like an epic film than the TV programme it is.
It boasts an impressive cast, some of whom I'd forgotten was in it: George C Scott, Lee Grant, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Raul Julia, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Downey Jr, Gina Bellman, David Suchet.
Although it does have a lot of family related dialogue, it is a well constructed, very well acted drama and I found it all very engrossing. It lasts 5 hours 20 minutes and I watched it in one go.
It's not a 100% accurate version of what happened but it is a diverting piece of television.
DVD quality is okay but there are no extra features other than scene selection.
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on 29 February 2012
Fascist Italy Meets Dallas. Not quite sure what the hell they were thinking of here or what actors of calibre were doing in it, but it is intriguing. Italy's role in the war and its aftermath is, as is well thought, deliberatly vague as a consequence of Cold War politics. Worth watching as study into revisionist history. The guy playing Hitler seems to have just walked off the set of Allo Allo. 3 stars for some very good shooting, costume, some genuine attempts here and there at historical accuracy and one or two genuinely good performances. You'll laugh until you realise you really shouldn't. Serious subject matter oddly handled.
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on 20 January 2011
I find this DVD set very good, with one exception, that is the part played of Hitler, it is totally unrealistic, as for the other characters , they are all excellently portrayed by a very good set of actors, this film does not only portray the historical data, but also seeks to portray the family life of this man, yes it may be said that he was a tyrant, but he also had a family that suffered greatly for his mistaken ways, perhaps the saddest examples are his daughter, whose husband Chiano was executed, what for ? is a good question, but Chiano's wife and children certainly suffered, , the other woman Claretta Petacci,also paid a terrible price for her perhaps foolish love of this man, but both these women were not involved in politics, therefor this film reveals aspects not all to often thought about, also Mussolin's wife suffers much, finally getting his remains back 11 years after his killing, yes this is a very good film, and well worth viewing, it could well do with some further details, as additional extras
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on 12 June 2009
Having read almost everything written in English during the Fascist era, and in recent years by reliable historians, as well as discussing it with Italians, I'd say that this series is extraordinarily close to the event.

It depicts Mussolini as many politicians of other countries saw him; Churchill for one, who had a favourable view of him.

Mussolini was not a murderer, let alone a mass murderer. He often gets the blame for the activities of the Germans in Italy.

Regarding the acting, George C Scott had the difficult job of playing a man from the age of 39 to 61; not an easy task. He did it well.

Watching this pleasurable DVD will give you a good insight into Fascist Italy.
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on 10 March 2010
George C Scott in his greatest performance...the story is true to life and the acting memorable. Get it while you can!
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on 30 July 2015
A Brilliant Performance from Scott that spans the War Years and shows The Private as well as Public side of this dictator.
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on 13 December 2008
True depiction of events or not this is truly appaling stuff!!

I started to cringe after five tedious minutes, then hearing the 'actress' playing george c scotts wife, at least I think that's who she was meant to be, speaking with a broad, pronounced New York/Bronx accent it died right there for me and I switched it off not wishing to sit through, what must surely be, more hideously cringe worthy hours of tripe!!
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on 29 January 2008
This mini-series is typical of mid-eighties american T.V. production. Expect lavish sets and costumes, combined with a nonsense script and lightweight acting.

The script had no credibility either in terms of European History or from the point of view of natural human interaction. George C. Scott was badly cast in the leading role, but I suspect deliberately so. It seemed to be the intention of the producers, to draw sympathy from the audience to the entire Mussolini family. By not showing the effects of his brutality they expect to get away with this. Well I'm sorry but there is no escaping the fact that Mussolini was a LIFELONG, sadistic, violent bully and NOBODY at the time thought otherwise. His family were complicit in what went on and had every opportunity to desert Il Duce had they wished to.

The worst performance, is what is possibily the worst representation of Hitler in existence. No resemblance in looks or character, wearing a scruffy uniform and a comedy moustache from a joke shop.

I felt Raul Julia and Gabriel Byrne acted well. However they couldn't pull off the impossible stunt of gaining sympathy for their characters. Who were clearly willing collaborators with a war-mongering, mass murdering, fascist dictator. Sorry, forgot mention that he was a serial adulterer and rapist, didn't I?

The series gains a second star, ONLY because no-one else has bothered to cover this period of Italian history.

There are of course no extras, because no-one would now dare to justify this shameful epic.
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