Inside Film

Dressed to kill: Why gangster and fashion films have a lot in common

With the release of Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’, which is out in UK cinemas next month and stars Al Pacino and Lady Gaga, Geoffrey Macnab looks back at the recent wave of fashion-based dramas and documentaries that feature characters and plot lines that rival those found in gangster films

Friday 29 October 2021 06:37
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<p>Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci in Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’ </p>

Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci in Ridley Scott’s ‘House of Gucci’

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“Power… betrayal… sex… loyalty… scandal… ambition… murder.” These are the rich and spicy ingredients on offer in Ridley Scott’s latest movie, House of Gucci. Glance at the poster or look at the trailer and your automatic assumption will be that the prolific British film director has made yet another gangster movie about some Corleone-like Italian Mafia family. The presence of a very menacing-looking Al Pacino in dark glasses reinforces the sense that we are back in the realm of Mario Puzo.

In fact, House of Gucci, released in UK cinemas next month, is set not in the world of high crime but that of high fashion. The two worlds, though, are spinning closer and closer together. In the new film, Lady Gaga plays “firecracker” socialite Patrizia Reggiani, whom everybody thought looked just like Elizabeth Taylor. She married Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) in the early 1970s. Twenty years later, after their divorce, she ordered a hitman to kill him.

Also appearing in the film are Jeremy Irons as Maurizio’s father, the handsome, movie-loving former film star Rodolfo Gucci. Jared Leto plays his cousin, the chief designer Paolo Gucci, and Salma Hayek is Patrizia’s friend and intermediary, Pina Auriemma, who was accused of manipulating and blackmailing her. Pacino plays the family patriarch, Aldo Gucci.

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