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Il giovane Mussolini 

The story of a young Benito Mussolini. It is the drama of a man whose lust for power unleashed a reign of terror - the chilling account of how an ambitious young schoolteacher became the ruthless dictator of Italy.
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1  
1994  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Antonio Banderas ...  Benito Mussolini 3 episodes, 1993
Toni Bertorelli Toni Bertorelli ...  Primo 3 episodes, 1993
Valentina Lainati Valentina Lainati ...  Giulia Ferrari 3 episodes, 1993
Franco Mescolini Franco Mescolini ...  Ferrari 3 episodes, 1993
Anna Geislerová ...  Eleonora 3 episodes, 1993
Raffaella Azim Raffaella Azim ...  Margherita Sarfatti 3 episodes, 1993
Flavio Bonacci ...  Giuliani 3 episodes, 1993
Vitezslav Bouchner Vitezslav Bouchner ...  Steelworks Foreman 3 episodes, 1993
Franco Castellano Franco Castellano ...  Rocca 3 episodes, 1993
Hana Davidona Hana Davidona ...  Anna Kulicioff 3 episodes, 1993
Ladislav Gerendás Ladislav Gerendás ...  Ciccotti 3 episodes, 1993
Andrea Giordana ...  Naldi 3 episodes, 1993
Lidije Glavanakova Lidije Glavanakova ...  Renzi's Wife 3 episodes, 1993
Jaroslav Heyduk Jaroslav Heyduk ...  Lawyer 3 episodes, 1993
Karel Hlusicka ...  Ambassador 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Hrusínský ...  Vautrot 3 episodes, 1993
Karel Hábl ...  Police Officer 3 episodes, 1993
Robert Jasków ...  Cesare 3 episodes, 1993
Ivan Jirík Ivan Jirík ...  Libero 3 episodes, 1993
Hugo Kaminský ...  Don Dallabrida 3 episodes, 1993
Jindrich Khin Jindrich Khin ...  Gasparotto 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Klár Jan Klár ...  Fencing Instructor 3 episodes, 1993
Viktorie Knotková Viktorie Knotková ...  2nd Woman Patron 3 episodes, 1993
Eduard Kolar Eduard Kolar ...  Leonida Bissolati 3 episodes, 1993
Claudia Koll Claudia Koll ...  Rachele 3 episodes, 1993
Magdalena Kopicova Magdalena Kopicova ...  Rachele 3 episodes, 1993
Václav Kotva Václav Kotva ...  Old Priest 3 episodes, 1993
Dan Krames Dan Krames ...  Duilio 3 episodes, 1993
Renáta Kubisová Renáta Kubisová ...  Damerini's Wife 3 episodes, 1993
Rudolf Kutilek Rudolf Kutilek ...  Vogler 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Laibl Jan Laibl ...  Tagliatela 3 episodes, 1993
Susanne Lothar ...  Angelika Balabanoff 3 episodes, 1993
Steva Marsálek Steva Marsálek ...  Bussi 3 episodes, 1993
Hubert Marík Hubert Marík 3 episodes, 1993
Eva Matalová Eva Matalová ...  Annina 3 episodes, 1993
Jiri Meigl Jiri Meigl ...  City Councilor 3 episodes, 1993
Milos Mejzlik Milos Mejzlik ...  Damerini 3 episodes, 1993
Pino Micol Pino Micol ...  Claudio Treves 3 episodes, 1993
Jirí Nemecek Jirí Nemecek ...  Judge 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Novotný ...  Mazzoni 3 episodes, 1993
Jirí Ornest ...  Barrister Sarfatti 3 episodes, 1993
Zdenek Pechácek Zdenek Pechácek ...  Eleonora's 1st Escort 3 episodes, 1993
Memè Perlini Memè Perlini ...  Renzi 3 episodes, 1993
Jaroslava Pokorná ...  Rosa Maltoni 3 episodes, 1993
Klára Pollertová ...  Carmen 3 episodes, 1993
Petr Pospíchal ...  Lazzari 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Preucil ...  Corporal 3 episodes, 1993
René Pribil ...  Gaudenzi 3 episodes, 1993
Radan Rusev Radan Rusev ...  Bacci 3 episodes, 1993
Pavel Rímský ...  Bertoni 3 episodes, 1993
Jirí Schmiedt Jirí Schmiedt ...  Marinetti 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Sedlisky Jan Sedlisky ...  Alessandro 3 episodes, 1993
Alice Snirychová Alice Snirychová ...  1st Woman Patron 3 episodes, 1993
Milan Stehlík ...  Magni 3 episodes, 1993
Karel Suchy Karel Suchy ...  Bergonzi 3 episodes, 1993
Petr Svárovský Petr Svárovský ...  Valmaggi 3 episodes, 1993
Josef Vajnar Josef Vajnar ...  Eleonora's 2nd Escort 3 episodes, 1993
Jan Vala Jan Vala ...  Bonavita 3 episodes, 1993
Vlastimila Vlková Vlastimila Vlková ...  Renzi's Mother 3 episodes, 1993
Karel Vyborny Karel Vyborny ...  Filippo Turati 3 episodes, 1993
Gabriela Wilhelmová ...  Sirotina 3 episodes, 1993
Vlastimil Zavrel ...  Prisoner 3 episodes, 1993
Luca Zingaretti ...  Pietro Nenni 3 episodes, 1993
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Storyline

The story starts at the point in Benito Mussolini's life when, at the age of nineteen, he gave up being a schoolmaster, left his home town of Forli and, as a guest worker on a building-site in Lausanne, Switzerland, underwent his own personal experience of the darker sides of the capitalist system. The speed with which the rhetorically gifted demagogue manages to assemble whole crowds of friends and followers around him - including above all his "protectress", the enigmatic Russian woman Angelika - is reflected in the speed at which he succeeds in attracting enemies from church and state. His love for the beautiful Eleonora, the daughter of a middle-class family, studying medicine at the University of Geneva - a city where Mussolini himself has been carrying stone around as an unskilled worker - even convinces him to take up studying. When a fatal accident occurs on the building-site - a worker plunges to his death from a badly-secured section of scaffolding - the young student ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His voice gripped the nation and led it into ruin.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

1 February 1994 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Benito: The Rise and Fall of Mussolini See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (3 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sadly, the English-dubbed version offered on Amazon Prime Video, titled "Benito: The Rise and Fall of Mussolini," was not dubbed by Antonio Banderas but someone with virtually no accent. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Five Hour Epic Graced with Superb Acting and Historical Recreation
20 August 2006 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

In 1993 Gianluigi Calderone directed this biography of Benito Mussolini (script by Vincenzo Cerami and Mimmo Rafele) as a three-part television series, wisely electing to engage one Antonio Banderas, fresh from his triumph in the film 'Philadelphia' in the States, to tackle the legend of one of the treacherous leaders of Italy in the first half of the 20th century. The DVD is now available in a 2-disc format, which allows the viewer to watch Parts I, II, and III on separate evenings. It is a beautifully captured bit of history and Banderas proves his considerable acting chops in a role that spans the entire spectrum of emotional response.

The film opens when Mussolini, at age 19, was disenchanted with being a schoolteacher and instead focused on womanizing and the plight of the workers in Italy. A man of astounding power of verbal presentation and conviction, he managed to seduce not only nearly every woman who crossed his path but also the multifactioned working class, a mass of frustrated and abused workers who jumped from promise to cause to new hero with regularity in an attempt to change the sad situation of class struggle in Italy.

Mussolini (Banderas) manages to court the interest of Angelika Balabanoff (Susanne Lothar), a Russian Socialist with hard rules and concepts of her own but also a woman who could foresee Mussolini's growing importance as a leader of social reform. The story unwinds at a fine pace, pausing to reveal the tender side of the man with his marriage to his childhood sweetheart Rachele (Claudia Koll), his challenges to attack his education further through the influence of another lover, med student Eleanora (Anna Geislerová), as well as through his ruthless manner through his confrontations with Manzoni (Jan Novotny), Bissolati (Eduard Kolar), his rise to power by becoming the editor of Milan's influential Avanti! newspaper, and his leadership of the Italian Socialist Party. But power gets a strangle hold on him and he develops the cruel Fascismo Party, and with that turns all of his supporters against him in his revolution that started for the working class into a sellout to the landowners, from his initial stance of pacifism of revolution to his active engagement in the World Wars.

Banderas does a fine job of allowing us to see all sides of Mussolini: this is not a cardboard cutout but a man with multi-dimensional characteristics. The superb cast includes German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech Republic actors and therein lies a bit of a problem. While the acting is excellent, it appears that each of the actors is peaking in his own tongue, that the final version released on DVD is dubbed in Italian and/or English with English subtitles. But the dialogue is so fast-paced, filled with vibrantly important information that the viewer rarely gets to look at the mouths of the actors to see who is speaking what - so it doesn't distract from the brilliance of the film.

The cinematography and set design and costuming are all excellent as is the wondrous musical score by Nicola Piovani. It would help to be more informed about Italian political history to fully enjoy this spectacle, but the epic does provide a fine condensation of years of world politics and the rise of Socialism that allows us to understand that strange era far better. Watching BENITO requires an investment of time, but for this viewer the investment is well worth the effort and the subsequent pleasure. Highly Recommended.


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