A little while back MHZ Networks imported a couple of German Crime series under their MHZ International Mystery label. I reviewed them and had a blast; it’s so interesting to experience another country’s entertainment. MHZ is back and this time it’s Italy’s turn to shine. I’m going to review their whole line up of new releases that are now on sale at Amazon and other stores (reviews will be spread out over a few weeks as there are four whole series to get through). First up is a very interesting TV Movie called Cesare Mori.
Cesare Mori is a two part TV-Movie from 2012 starring Vincent Perez (once named one of People Magazines 50 Most beautiful People in the World!) It’s a true crime thriller set it the 1920’s in Sicily. The movie itself has great production values. I love the costuming and scenery of the era on display. The all-Italian production treats the period as they see it and not necessarily as we might; filtered through a Hollywood lens. This adds a great element of authenticity to the production.
The story itself is historical. In the period after World War 1, Italy had a problem with bandits and growing Mafia. In Palermo, Cesare Mori was a prefect who was instrumental in stemming the tide, killing or arresting a lot of the bandits and corrupt officials. When Mussolini came to power, Mori was fired for opposing the fascists. Later when Mussolini wanted the mafia wiped out to consolidate his control; he hand-picked Mori to return and wipe out the Sicilian mafia. He tells Mori to do whatever it takes and offers to create any new laws that he needs. It is completely jarring that Mussolini in this story actually becomes part of the good team, albeit still only for his own selfish ends. Mori rounds up 300 mafia men in one sweep but that’s only the beginning of his task.
If you love The Untouchables, Boardwalk Empire, other gangsters movies about the 20’s and 30s; then Cesare Mori is definitely for you. This is the law fighting the mafia in 1920’s Sicily and it has all the style and drama of any of its American cousins. In some ways, it’s better because it doesn’t slip into some of the uglier stereotypes. The romance and the drama (like during a funeral) goes a little over the top by American standards; sometimes falling close to bad telenovela. These heavy displays of emotion might come off as comical to an American audience but the overall story is excellent and exciting.
The film looks great in this DVD release but some of the subtitles read a little awkward. The Disc offers no special features besides a trailer for another available title.
Cesare Mori is available to buy HERE!
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.