FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington – MHz Networks presents a new restored edition of the seminal Mafia TV series from Italy, 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 will retail for $149.95. This new edition of The Octopus 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 ten 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 Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ennio de Concini (Il Grido, Divorce Italian Style), director Damiano Damiani (A Bullet for the General) and with music by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, 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 (A Thousand Clowns, 12 Angry Men), Remo Girone (Live By Night, Voice From The Stone), Angelo Infanti (The Godfather), Francisco Rabal (Belle de Jour, Sorcerer), Bruno Cremer (Maigret) and Luca Zingaretti (Detective Montalbano), among notable others.

Michele Placido in The Octopus

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.

For press materials and screening links please contact Kelly Hargraves [email protected].

About MHz Networks
MHz Networks offers U.S. viewers access to a library of the best international television mysteries, dramas, comedies and documentaries subtitled in English on DVD and its digital platform, MHz Choice. MHz Networks’ unique international programming is also available on its national channel, MHz Worldview. MHz Worldview is available nationwide on DirecTV ch. 2183 and on 25+ select public television affiliates.

New MHz Choice customers receive a free 30-Day Trial. For more information or to subscribe, go to mhzchoice.com.