What godfather? The Mafia is showcased (better and scarier) in the riveting import, “The Octopus (La Piovra)”

We’re Italian.

We’re thisclose to (certain members of) the Mafia.

We pissed in our pants (with excitement) when we heard that MHz Networks has a new restored edition of the seminal Mafia Italaianj TV series, The Octopus (La Piovra), available September 18 day and date on MHz Networks’ SVOD service, MHz Choice and on DVD.

The 21-DVD box set  has been restored by RAI using the best available masters from their archives. Video and audio quality reflect the vintage nature of these classic programs.

First broadcast in Italy in 1984, The Octopus was an international phenomenon, running for 10 seasons over 18 years. The title of this classic Mafia thriller says it all, evoking the image of a secret criminal cabal extending its tentacles into every layer of society. Ultimately filmed on three continents, The Octopus brings scope and sophistication to the story of an age-old battle, and shows the cost men and women pay when they stand up to the injustice of organized crime.

Created by Oscar screenwriter Ennio de Concini, director Damiano Damiani and with music by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricon (a true hero!), The Octopus was the first Italian TV series to take a realistic look at the Mafia and law enforcement. Michele Placido won international fame for his role as police inspector Corrado Cattani, a role that brought him icon status throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where the show was particularly popular, to Indonesia, Australia and beyond.

The outstanding international cast included Academy Award-winner Martin Balsam, Remo Girone, Angelo Infanti, Francisco Rabal, Bruno Cremer and Luca Zingaretti.

Beginning with the third season, director Luigi Perelli and screenwriters Sando Petraglia and Stefano Rulli took over creative direction and the show went from strength to strength, culminating with the Season 4 finale, the final episode to feature Michele Placido’s Inspector Cattani, which achieved record viewing figures for Italian broadcaster RAI in 1989.

From the fifth season, Remo Girone’s arch villain Tano Cariddi took on added dimensions and became as iconic in his own right as Placido’s police inspector was. French actress Patricia Millardet and Italian leading man Vittorio Mezzogiorno led the revamped cast, and the series continued its groundbreaking, ripped-from-the-headlines plots–echoing and, in some cases, predating seminal events in the then-contemporary battle against the Sicilian Mafia.

This new edition of the complete series of The Octopus has been digitally restored with revamped, easy-to-read English subtitles and a wealth of DVD extras, including interviews with actor Remo Girone, director Luigi Perelli and writer Sandro Petraglia.

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