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1939: Rome stands on the brink of World War II. In the midst of this political and social tension famed producer Davide Rieta (Alfred Molina) is making a major film. The 2 lead actors, the German woman Kristina Baumgarten (Catherine McCormack) and the Eng
It is June, 1939, Europe stands on the brink of war. Italy, is firmly under the control of Benito Mussolini and has been since 1922. "Il Duce" centralized all power in himself as the leader of the Fascist party as he attempts to create an Italian empire. He had said, "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State." Germany and Italy, reflecting their common interest in destabilizing (and conquering) Europe, announced a Rome-Berlin Axis one week after signing a treaty of friendship, "The Pact of Steel," in 1936. As the viewer knows from history, soon Mussolini's and Hitler's vision of empire will become a reality, a terribly lethal, monstrous reality.
In the midst of unnerving international tension, a disparate group of actors and filmmakers come together in Rome to make an epic movie based on Puccini's opera Tosca at the famous Cinecitta Studios. Davide Rietl, (Alfred Molina), the film's Jewish producer, is determined to see the project through before the war begins. He knows he needs to rush production as he has two strikes against him - anti-Semitism and homosexuality, which was declared to be illegal in 1931. Together with his director, Hungarian Lazlo Molnar, (Andras Balint), and star performers, renowned German actress, Kristina Baumgarten, (Catherine McCormack), and James Clavel, (Jonathan Pryce), the British leading man, they struggle to complete their movie despite pressure from the government, the banks, and the media to close down. The rest of the international cast and crew are equally as dedicated.
As filming proceeds, Davide is forced to use his art collection as collateral against a loan to solve the production's grave money problems.Read more ›
How can I tell you how much I loved this movie. Alfred Molina is trying to make a film in Italy in the early 1940's under Mussolini and Hitler. he has an international cast and it is becoming harder and harder to get finished with the Axis forces growing in power and getting bigger politically. Jonathan Pryce is the British Star and he does not shy away from letting the Nazis know what he thinks of them. He has anti-fascists working on his movie and well....the question becomes will he get out of Italy before they come to get him. Interesting and charming at times and still frightening how this creeping cancer could have happened.
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