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Jack Perkins , Peter Graves    Unrated   VHS Tape
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Rare photos and films tell the whole story of Mussolini's life, from his days as a schoolyard bully to the alliance with Hitler that ultimately destroyed his country. Biography, approx. 50 mins. END

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Must be viewed with a historical perspective Sept. 1 2002
By Charles Ashbacher TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
With the passage of so many years and the knowledge of the events of world war two, it is difficult to watch this tape and place yourself in the proper historical perspective. The exaggerated pout, pompous strut and other mannerisms of Mussolini seem so comical that it is hard to understand how he could have risen to power. And yet, he gave Italy the longest period of stable government that it has ever seen and he was wildly popular for nearly all of his time as Prime Minister. As I watched the tape, I had to keep reminding myself of this, as at times, he looks so ridiculous.
The years immediately after world war one was a time of near chaos in Europe and although her human losses were relatively small compared to those of the other countries, Italy was in worse shape than most. Mussolini promised, and delivered, what others could not do, a stable government and society. Albeit, a few people had to be killed, but the majority were willing to live with that. His "rise" to power was yet another of his overblown "achievements", and the description on the tape of the Fascist "march" on Rome is correct, as opposed to the absurd description given by the Fascists. In fact, the weak King of Italy appointed Mussolini Prime Minister, as he lacked the backbone to stand up to him.
Unfortunately for Italy, Mussolini seemed to commit the sin that so many of his kind do, they begin to believe their own absurd rhetoric. Fancying himself an heir to the Caesars, he launched a series of military adventures, the first few of which were foolish, but not disasters, His biggest and most incomprehensible mistake was to join with Hitler in his war on the remainder of the world.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A despicable travesty. Aug. 23 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is a miserable, entirely biased farce of an "historical" documentary. The entire function is to utterly vilify Mussolini without respect to logic, or historical substance. The so-called "experts" do not adhere strictly to the historical events even from their feeble interpretations, but rather proceed on endless tirades of groundless psychological speculations that are absolutely irrelevant, such as: "Mussolini was a very insecure man." The video wildly leaps over significant events, and even when briefly visiting those that are considered to be greatly favorable achievements of the regime, regards them as products of "hollow propaganda", inferring effectively that the man could not possibly have ever done a "good" thing in his life. The narrative contradicts itself interminably in its bumbling, pedantic progress towards the end, whereupon is stated: "Some might say that Mussolini actually did do some good for Italy..." Without explaining what good this may have been. Don't waste your time suffering through this wretched farce, as I can sum it all up in an inclusive, pithy synopsis: "Mussolini was the absolute incarnation of evil."
--J.L. Harmon
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4.0 out of 5 stars 813 March 21 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This documentary is not to bad, it could have been better. A&E goes and states in the documentary that Mussolini was wounded fighting in the Alps of Italy, wounded by a grenade that went off near him, and in another instance they go and say Mussolini was a coward and never seen any action (duh).
At the end of the documentary they have an interview with Mussolini's grand daughter, she is definitely worth watching. You also see fascism is still alive today in Italy. A&E also shows Mussolini in Ethiopia, footage of his death, some speeches, the blackshirts, and other things.
This documentary could have been more pro Mussolini but with a title like "Mussolini, Italy's Nightmare" what do you expect. In my personal opinion Mussolini was one of the best things that ever happened in Italy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate Jan. 18 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In the world of historical documentaries, Adolf Hitler probably leads the field as a subject. His inspiration, Mussolini, by contrast, has been almost completely neglected. There's only one other Mussolini documentary on the market that I know of(assuming it's still in print), and it's ludicrously old.
This video, from the A&E Biography series, is probably about as good a life of the Italian dictator as we'll get in less than an hour. Mussolini's transition from socialism to fascism is awfully abrupt, as if he woke up one morning and decided, for no particular reason, to start the Fascist Party. One would like to have heard more about Fascism's roots in socialism and syndicalism. Nevertheless, this is the best video life of Mussolini currently available.
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