Script written by Nick Spake
Top 10 Things That House of Gucci Got Factually Right and Wrong
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things That House of Gucci Got Factually Right & Wrong.
For this list, we’ll be looking at liberties taken in Ridley Scott’s biographical drama about the Gucci family, as well as historically accurate moments that are stranger than fiction.
Do YOU think the film did Gucci justice? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Patrizia Reggiani Evicted Paola Franchi
Towards the film’s conclusion, Patrizia and Paola briefly console each other over their mutual loss. Of course, Maurizio’s death is more of a gain for Patrizia. Doing a complete 180, Patrizia takes back the upscale apartment that Maurizio and Paola shared for five years. Patrizia didn’t waste any time in real life either. About three hours after her ex-husband died, Patrizia had eviction papers drawn up, which were promptly delivered to Paola within a day. Since the apartment was in the Gucci name, Paola had to move out while Patrizia moved in with daughters Alessandra and Allegra. Patrizia’s stay was short-lived, as she was arrested two years later for her suspected connection to Maurizio’s murder. Yet, Patrizia still attended Maurizio’s funeral while Paola mourned separately.
#9: Maurizio Gucci’s Bad Business Decisions
To a certain extent, Maurizio paved the way for the Gucci brand to become what it is today. In doing so, though, he made a lot of poor business decisions that would sever ties between the Gucci family and the fashion house of the same name. While Maurizio had great ambitions, he ultimately lost the company millions. Maurizio’s gratuitous spending finally caught up to him in 1993 when he sold the rest of his Gucci stock to Investcorp for a reported $170 million. Although Maurizio still walked away wealthy, his actions left house Gucci without any Guccis, which upset Patrizia. “I was angry with Maurizio about many, many things at that time,” Reggiani said. “But above all, this. Losing the family business. It was stupid.”
#8: Just How Intense Patrizia Was
Lady Gaga gives a dynamite performance as Patrizia Reggiani and the film definitely doesn’t portray her as a “particularly ethical person.” While “House of Gucci” touches upon Patizia stalking Maurizio, it glances over some of her more troubling actions leading to his assassination. According to Paola, Patrizia not only stalked Maurizio, but she repeatedly called with death threats. Patrizia even sent threatening cassette tapes, including one saying, “the inferno for you is yet to come.” Although Paola pleaded with Maurizio to hire a bodyguard, she didn’t think Patrizia would actually harm him because of their daughters. Patrizia was also open with friends about wanting Maurizio six feet under. As extreme as Patrizia comes off in the film, her hostile nature actually might’ve been downplayed.
#7: Pina the Psychic
In “House of Gucci,” Patrizia finds a partner in crime in TV psychic Giuseppina Auriemma, or Pina for short. While they didn’t meet over a hotline as the film suggests, the two struck up a friendship at an Ischia health spa. Co-screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna also made up the scene where Pina has a vision of Patrizia cheating on Patrizia. These liberties aside, Patrizia did frequently call Pina and put a lot of stock in her psychic readings. Pina recalled, “‘Patrizia started asking everyone, ‘How can I kill my husband?’ She thought I could help because I lived in Naples, which is associated with the Mafia.’” Pina confessed to helping set up the hit against Maurizio, serving 16 years from her sentence of over 20 years.
#6: The Reggianis’ Low Status
The film implies that Patrizia came from a family of a significantly lower class, which isn’t exactly the case. Patrizia was born into poverty with her mother struggling to make ends meet as a waitress while her biological father was out of the picture. However, things turned around when Patrizia hit age 12 and her mother married Ferdinando Reggiani, a successful transportation entrepreneur. Ferdinando adopted Patrizia, raising her as his own. Although the film depicts Patrizia as one of her stepfather’s employees, she once stated, “I’ve never worked in my life,” suggesting a more pampered upbringing. The Reggiani name didn’t command the same levels of class or power that came with Gucci’s, but Patrizia was treated to fancy coats and cars long before meeting Maurizio.
#5: Rodolfo Disowned Maurizio
While Patrizia was reasonably well-off, Rodolfo Gucci reportedly called her “vulgar and ambitious, a social climber who has nothing in mind but money.” Rodolfo insisted that Maurizio end the relationship, but his son’s love for Patrizia outweighed the Gucci fortune… at least at the time. Rodolfo thus cut off Maurizio and reportedly called Patrizia’s father, telling him that he would never bless the union. While there are conflicting reports on whether Maurizio went to work for Ferdinando Reggiani, Patrizia’s step-father did take the young Gucci under his wing. Despite Rodolfo’s best efforts to prevent the marriage, he eventually reconciled with his estranged son. Although it’s debatable if Patrizia was truly a “gold digger,” Maurizio probably would’ve been better off if he listened to his father.
#4: Patrizia Was Immediately Drawn to Maurizio
Despite his fabulous wealth and name recognition, Maurizio is portrayed as a modest man who can’t hide his shy demeanor when Patrizia flirts with him. Patrizia is persistent and eventually gets Maurizio to take her out. According to the real Patrizia, though, she initially didn’t have a high opinion of Maurizio, describing him as a “quiet boy whose teeth crossed over at the front.” Reports indicate that Patrizia had other potential love interests, but Maurizio was determined to win her over. Maurizio expressed his infatuation to a friend, comparing Patrizia to Elizabeth Taylor. The two did meet at a party as seen in the film, although the scene where Patrizia uses lipstick to scribe her number on Maurizio’s vehicle is an invention of the screenplay.
#3: Paolo Snitched on Aldo
Portrayed as the family “idiot,” Paolo Gucci’s designs get no respect from his father, Aldo, or uncle, Rodolfo. In real life, Paolo sought to start his own fashion line under the family name. When Aldo caught wind of this, he fired and sued Paolo. Retaliating, Paolo conspired with Maurizio to give his father the boot. Thanks to Paolo’s tip-off, the IRS was able to arrest Aldo, who had evaded $7 million in taxes. Although this seemed like Paolo’s time to shine, it was all downhill from there. The police raided one of his shows as the film depicts, although it was actually for handbags. Around the same time, Maurizio fled from Malin to Switzerland on a motorcycle after his family accused him of illegal activity.
#2: Patrizia’s Meeting With the Assassins
With a little help from Pina, Patrizia arranges the assassination of her ex-husband. In the film, the ladies meet up with a couple of thugs to discuss the hit. It’s hard to say how exactly this all went down in real life. Pina claims that Patrizia pressured her into finding a hitman. According to Patrizia, Pina blackmailed her into paying for the hit. In any case, Pina reached out to handler Ivano Savioni about taking out Maurizio. Savioni negotiated the price with getaway driver Orazio Cicala while Benedetto Ceraulo was enlisted the carry out the assassination. While Patrizia reportedly met with Cicala in her car and at a bar later on, her role in the hiring process differs from what we see in the movie.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Maurizio Didn’t Care About Knock-Offs, Wrong
He Let Some Slide, But He Took Action In Some Cases
Patrizia Wrote “Paradiso” In Her Diary The Day Maurizio Died, Mostly Right
Technically, She Wrote “Paradeisos”
Rodolfo Gucci Was an Actor, Right
You Might Remember Him From Such Films As “Charley's Aunt” & “Special Correspondents”
All of Paolo’s Designs Were Received Poorly, Wrong
He Did Help Develop the Double-G Logo
#1: The Assassination of Maurizio Gucci
Right & Wrong
Maurizio’s murder played out a little differently than what we see in the film. For starters, the assassination took place in Malin rather than Rome and he wasn’t riding a bicycle before the hit. In the film, Benedetto Ceraulo shoots Maurizio on the steps three times. This is mostly true, although Ceraulo actually shot him a fourth time for good measure. It’s also worth noting that the hit took place at Maurizio's office rather than his residence. However, “House of Gucci” doesn’t neglect to include the bystander who witnessed the crime and was subsequently shot as well. Doorman Giuseppe Onorato was sweeping leaves when he got caught in the middle. Fortunately, Onorato survived his two gunshots to the arm, although the experience stuck with him.