Cesare Mori - Il prefetto di ferro (Gianni Lepre, 2012, Italy)

Cesare Mori - Il prefetto di ferro (Cesare Mori - The Iron Prefect) is a 2012 Italian miniseries produced for the Italian public broadcaster Rai. Swiss actor Vincent Perez stars as the titular character. Unfortunately, his Italian wasn't up to snuff for Rai, and his character is dubbed here. Nevertheless, he still delivers a solid performance as the Sicilian prefect and Senate member who rose to prominence for his brutal tactics in rooting out the Mafia in Italy during the 1920s. The film is the second adaptation of Mori's story, following the 1978 adaptation directed by Pasquale Squitieri and starring Giuliano Gemma and Claudia Cardinale.

The war against the mafia is only part of the story, as the three-hour and twenty-minute series delve deep into Mori's personal life, including his domestic situation as well his romantic relationship with a local countess, played by American-born Italian actress Gabriella Pession. While this is certainly a TV drama and feels better suited for the small screen, the film captures the scope of the conflicts happening in Sicily throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The film also features an above-average and rousing score by the great composer Pino Donaggio (best known for his collaborations with Brian De Palma). 

Cesare Mori - Il Prefetto di Ferro does a good job of exploring Mori's role, and not downplaying his role with the Fascist government and Mussolini. Mori succeeded in effectively eradicating the Mafia from Southern Italy by the 1930s. When World War II erupted, the chaos and disordered created a vacuum which led to the re-emergence of the Mafia in a very significant way. The series ignores the later years of Mori's life during the outbreak of World War II when he died at age 70 in 1942. For those interested in Italian history, Cesare Mori is worth a watch.



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