Movies | November 21, 2021 7:09 pm

Revisiting the Real-Life History That Inspired “House of Gucci”

The many permutations of a murder case

"House of Gucci" set
Lady Gaga and Adam Driver on March 11, 2021 on Piazza Duomo in central Milan on the set of the new Ridley Scott movie "House of Gucci."
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

We’re a week away from the release of the Ridley Scott-directed film House of Gucci, a film which combines a high-profile cast with a tale of high couture, betrayal and murder. And while the idea of a prominent family in the world of fashion becoming embroiled in murder plots might seem like the stuff of potboilers, the history behind the film is very, very real.

When The New York Times covered the trial of Patrizia Reggiani for ordering the killing of ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, Alessandra Stanley noted that the case was “even by Italian standards, sensational.” Three years after Maurizio Gucci’s murder, the people who had conspired to kill him were found guilty. A few years after that, Sara Gay Forden’s House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed — the nonfiction book on which the film is based — was published.

A recent Air Mail article contains an excerpt from Forden’s book, along with some commentary on the case and its aftermath from Louise France. France predicts big things for the film, writing that “[i]t promises to be Succession meets Inspector Montalbano meets Dynasty.”

In the article, France also spoke with Forden about her recollections about the killing that set the case in motion. “People did not get shot in cold blood in Milan,” Forden recalled — her first indication that this was about to be something massive in its implications. And she was correct.