BROTHER'S MUSSOLINI

Feature Film/Limited Series

Feature Script Available

It's 1942 and most able bodied men are off fighting the war, leaving women behind to work the factories and fields. Up and down the Eastern seaboard, old fishermen and dedicated young Boy Scouts keep watch over their local shores, guarding against possible foreign invaders lurking in submarines below.

Brooklyn-born brothers TONY and DOMINIC LUCCIONI are about as foreign a team of invaders as local townsfolk might expect to see in the sleepy coastal town of St. Mary's, Georgia.  The new owners of the local hotel and restaurant left to them by a distant uncle, the handsome and exotic LUCCIONI BROTHERS, have come to make good on their inheritance without the benefit of having any previous hotel or food service experience.

It would have been one thing if Dominic knew how to make a good cup of coffee or scramble up a couple of fresh eggs to keep the regulars happy while making their acquaintance; but what exuded from the cafe kitchen every morning was an insult to Southern taste and sensibilities.  The Italian outliers struggle to make a go of it while living under the scrutiny of one suspicious Beulah Simmons, town mayor and busybody, who is dead-certain they are spies for Mussolini.  

The only good news St. Mary's holds for Dominic is his growing relationship with SHELBY FERGUSON, the 20-year-old daughter of retired Naval Captain MICHAEL FERGUSON, head of the local auxiliary.  Shelby has set her cap at marrying Dominic but his continued failure at running the local cafe is getting in the way of a successful union. Just as Tony and Dominic decide it's time to hire a cook to help draw in customers, fate deals them...well, not so much a blow, as a miracle.  

As luck would have it, RUFUS HOBBS, the crusty old captain of a shrimp boat and head of the local Hooligan Navy catches sight of a German U-boat late one night in the waters between St. Mary's and the Florida shore.   He manages to fire off several rounds of his shotgun just as the submarine was beginning to surface.   The resulting damage is hard to ascertain as the U-boat gets entangled in the nets, then cuts loose of them as it dives back into the dark waters, but Rufus is certain it's an event that warrants alerting the town that German soldiers could soon be making their way to shore.

Captain Ferguson and the local auxiliary go on high alert, with 72-year-old SEYMOUR marching up and down Main Street with his double barrel shotgun slung over his shoulder, knocking on the darkened windows of local businesses, waving his flashlight around, hoping to catch him a German spy.

As for BEULAH SIMS, this is exactly the kind of patriotic commotion she's been waiting for - something big is happening in her town, under her watch, and it's the perfect opportunity to finally get those Washington D.C. bigwigs to take her seriously.  She's been wanting them to come down and investigate the "Mussolini Brothers" and now that Rufus has shot up a German U-Boat, the town of St. Mary's can no longer be ignored!

30-year-old ROLF was a professional chef before the war started.  Now he serves as a kitchen cook for the crew of the German U-Boat that went down near the shores of St. Mary's.   Soaking wet and stripped down to his skivvies, Rolf kneels down on the sandy beach and tears away at a secret pocket sewn into his uniform.  He pulls out a Star of David, kisses it, and places it around his neck, before burying his tell-tale woolen uniform.  Lagging behind the rest of his frantic crew as they swam to land further down shore Rolf escaped, swimming in the opposite direction. 

That same night, Shelby Ferguson concocted a successful plan to bring business into the cafe and put Dominic in a position to impress her father.   Captain Ferguson has agreed to hold his weekly auxiliary meeting at the hotel and have Dominic cater the event. But, even with all of the fresh fixings for a peach pie feast laid out on the counter in front of him ready for the making, Dominic skulks home knowing his abundant lack of skill will shine through and have the opposite effect intended.

Rolf has made his way to the dark alley behind the cafe just as Seymour shine a light through the front window, he ducks down enough to avoid getting caught as he finagles his way through the back door.   Inside, he can't believe his luck as he stands in the middle of culinary heaven.

The next morning when Dominic arrives to find stacks of freshly baked pies, he can't believe his eyes.   The only thing he can think of is that Shelby snuck into the kitchen in the middle of the night to surprise him.  When Tony arrives, he assumes that Dominic managed to hire a new cook and forgot to mention it.    Either way, the only thing that matters in that moment is that for the first time since the business opened, they are making money and getting rave reviews.

Word spreads quickly and the next morning, people are lined up for breakfast, just as Dominic and Tony discover their new secret weapon, a half-naked, apron wrapped, Rolf.   They quickly assess the situation and find themselves briefly torn between their civic duty to turn in the German invader and a chance to finally make money and gain acceptance by the people of St. Mary's.   Striking a bargain to ease their conscience, they decide to keep Rolf hidden in the kitchen and cooking for the cafe until Dominique manages to learn how to cook from his new German instructor.  Once they can manage on their own they will, most definitely, turn him into the Hooligan Navy.

Things get rather comically complicated as the brothers try to keep the handsome, sandy-haired Rolf hidden from Shelby and the rest of the townspeople who now clamor for the cafe's delectable offerings.  But things really heat up when Mayor Beulah Simms's cry for help is answered and a MAJOR RAYMOND JAMES shows up in St. Mary's, all the way from Washington D.C, in the form of a Fuller Brush and cosmetics salesman.  

Ironically, it is Major Raymond's arrival as a hotel guest with sales case in hand, chatting it up about hair dye products for women that spawns Tony's idea to dye Rolf's blonde hair black.  He and Dominic take Rolf out and introduce him to everyone as their 'deaf-mute' cousin, a chef, who has traveled all the way from Brooklyn to help with the restaurant.

The handsome, 'deaf-mute' ALFONSO hits a soft spot with the ladies in town, not to mention his amazing culinary skills.   The brothers begin making money hand over fist as Shelby presses Dominic and her family closer to the wedding of her dreams and Tony finds himself falling in love with Rolf.

Dominic, feeling the pressure to stay in his future father-in-law's good graces wants to turn Rolf over to the authorities.  Tensions start to flare between the two brothers as Tony stands up to Dominic to protect Rolf.  In the meantime, Rolf reveals that he is not the enemy, he is actually Jewish and was forced into the Navy by his father in order to 'hide in plain sight' and stay safe.  Tony reveals Rolf's secret to a sympathetic Shelby as Dominic devises a new plan to impress his father-in-law by single-handedly capturing the other U-Boat sailors hiding in a swamp near one of his farm suppliers. All goes well, until one of the captured sailors recognizes Rolf, signaling renewed efforts by Raymond James to bring down the Luccioni Brothers as traitors.

Just when all hope seems lost with the relationship between the brothers at its lowest and the feds closing in, the sleepy coastal town of St. Mary's comes alive with a renewed loyalty to their core beliefs, a wedding, the daring escape of lovers planned by good people who chose to embrace strangers in their time of need, against all odds, and protect them from outside invaders.