Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) has received short shrift in the history books, and his pitiful later career and the disastrous alliance he made with Hitler certainly qualify him to be vilified as a sinister buffoon. However, earlier in his life, many feel that his virtues far outweighed his flaws; he was responsible for what was at the time an internationally recognized era of good, stable government in Italy. This biographical drama (in which the future dictator is played by Antonio Banderas) covers a period in his life when he was a schoolteacher and a budding figure in Italy's Socialist Party. A romantic debacle sent him into exile in Switzerland, where he took a job in a stone quarry and learned first-hand how workers can be oppressed. Later, he comes back to Italy, and gets better acquainted with the woman who was to become his wife.
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