House of Gucci is a hit with both critics and audiences. But how accurate is the movie? It's common for films based on actual events to fudge certain details. Events that no one was around to formally document have to be invented, as do conversations for which there are no records. Time frames are also frequently condensed for dramatic purposes. Things that happened over the course of months or even years are made to seem like they happened in close succession.
Ridley Scott's film, which depicts the ruthless infighting among the famed fashion company family, certainly takes a few of those liberties. However, a number of important true facts about Gucci are maintained. As wild as the Gucci tale seems at times, the most spectacular elements have not been fabricated. They really happened, and that's part of what makes the picture so riveting. The real story of how Maurizio Gucci nearly tanked the company, fought with cousin Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto), and was ultimately slain at the request of estranged wife Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is mostly maintained on screen.
Here are some key details about the history of Gucci that House of Gucci got right.
- 1126 VOTES
The Gucci Family Really Did Boycott Maurizio And Patrizia's Wedding
It's an amusing sight when House of Gucci shows the wedding of Maurizio and Patrizia. Her side of the church is packed with family and friends, while his is virtually empty. The implication is his entire family has boycotted the wedding.
The film gets a wicked laugh from that bit. One thing is certain, though - Maurizio's father, Rodolfo, really did refuse to attend his son's wedding and convinced others in the clan to follow his lead. As the movie shows, he disapproved of Patrizia, believing her to be a gold digger. He was so opposed to the nuptials, in fact, that he unsuccessfully asked the archbishop of Milan to prevent the ceremony from taking place.
- 2137 VOTES
Patrizia Was Close With A Psychic Named Pina
Salma Hayek plays Pina, a low-rent television psychic whom Patrizia calls one night on a whim. The two improbably become close after that. Patrizia appreciates the guidance, while Pina appreciates having a super-rich client who happily pays for frequent advice. In fact, the psychic becomes so enamored with Patrizia that she helps hook her up with the two hitmen who would eventually kill Maurizio.
This relationship was not exaggerated for the film. Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma was indeed a TV psychic who connected with Patrizia, although they met at a health spa rather than from Patrizia calling her show. The two spent a great deal of time vacationing together and going on trips in the summer. Friendship turned into a business relationship when Pina opened up a Gucci franchise in Naples that she ran for several years.
Later, Pina acted as an intermediary between Patrizia and paid assassins Orazio Cicala and Benedetto Ceraulo.
- 3114 VOTES
Maurizio And Patrizia Actually Did Meet At A Party Of A Mutual Friend
The movie's opening scenes find Maurizio attending a party and looking a little awkward. He hops behind the bar to grab a drink, then meets Patrizia as she comes up seeking one, too. They strike up a conversation, during which they discover both are friends of the party's host. She asks him to dance, which he reluctantly agrees to.
Whether or not the specifics of their meeting are accurate, we do know that the idea they met at a mutual friend's party is true. More specifically, it was at a debutante party, held in November 1970. And yes, she was commonly compared to Elizabeth Taylor. The real-life Maurizio claimed it was love at first sight on his part. Two years later, the couple married.
- 4121 VOTES
Patrizia Really Did Take Back Her Former Apartment After The Slaying
In one of the film's most intriguing twists, Patrizia shows up at Maurizio's apartment the day after the slaying. His partner, Paola Franchi, is living there. Patrizia promptly and cruelly kicks her out, laying claim to the residence she used to live in.
As mean as that seems, it's true. The day after Maurizio's slaying, Paola received an eviction notice from Patrizia informing her she had to move out. More shockingly, the document had been drawn up the previous day, a mere three hours after Maurizio was slain. Paola said, "In those days co-habiting couples had no legal protection. [My son] and I were out, just like that.”
- 5104 VOTES
A Doorman Really Was Present During The Slaying And Was Shot During It
In House of Gucci's dramatic conclusion, two assassins, hired by estranged wife Patrizia, wait for Maurizio outside his apartment building. One of them stays in the getaway car while the other sneaks up behind him and fires a gun, fatally wounding him. A doorman witnesses the slaying and is also shot.
That doorman was Giuseppe Onorato. He was sweeping leaves under the building's doorway when Maurizio approached. According to Onorato, "Mr. Gucci arrived carrying some magazines and said good morning. Then I saw a hand. It was a beautiful, clean hand, and it was pointing a gun." The assailant, Benedetto Ceraulo, fired three shots into Maurizio's back, then one into his head.
Recognizing there was a witness, Ceraulo shot Onorato twice, hitting him in the arm. Onorato managed to crawl to the building's steps where he cradled Maurizio's head as he perished.
- 697 VOTES
Rodolfo Really Did Start Off As An Actor
On screen, Patrizia is impressed to learn Rodolfo used to be an actor with some movie credits to his name. Rodolfo downplays it, suggesting he didn't have what it takes to become a major star, thereby leading him to go into the family business instead.
The real Rodolfo got his first movie gig in 1929, when he appeared in a motion picture called Ragazze non scherzate for director Alfred Lind. He went on to appear in both plays and movies under the stage name Maurizio D’Ancora. Rodolfo abandoned his acting career when his father Guccio passed. He joined with brother Aldo to carry on the business Guccio started and was so proud of.