Mussolini: The Untold Story
George C. Scott's portrait of Benito Mussolini, like Bob Hoskins' before him in the "other" Mussolini movie that premiered more than two months earlier, painted Il Duce only superficially, dealing primarily with his personal life and leaving much of 20th century Italian history in the shadows and World War II in the newspapers. Like the Hoskins version, the Italian temperament and strengths had to be conveyed by an almost totally non-Italian cast (at least in the lead roles).
Aside from the overaged-for-the-part Scott, there were Jewish-girl-from-the Bronx Lee Grant as Benito's tormented wife, Rachele; Irishman Gabriel Byrne, who earlier had played another Italian lad, Christopher Columbus, as Mussolini's son, Vittorio; Puerto Rico-born Raul Julia as Benito's conniving son-in-law, Count Ciano; and relative American newcomer Virginia Madsen, who earlier had played Marion Davies in the television movie about Davies' romance with William Randolph Hearst, is a golden blonde Claretta, Mussolini's mistress whom newspaper photos always have depicted as dark and brooding.
Italo-American Broadway actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, known to moviegoers as Al Pacino's sister is "Scarface," best captured the moment(s) as Il Duce's daughter, Edda, who married Ciano. Filmed primarily in Yugoslavia, this Mussolini movie earned two Emmy Award nominations: for film editing and sound mixing.