In 2016, while reading historical publications from Italy and the United States about the facts and events that took place in the northern Apennine region between the provinces of Bologna, Modena and Pistoia during World War II, the idea for the project 1945.Mountainmen began to take shape.
Among the earliest records found was the story of Private John Magrath, the only soldier from the 10th Mountain Division to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor during World War II of the United State Army. Magrath belonged to 85th Regiment, Company G and subsequent findings and research were directed toward that unit, its men, and its vicissitudes. In 2019 he began writing the script for the miniseries MOUNTAINMEN. Gothic Line 1945.
In 2020, Rosario Salemi, son of the late veteran Salvatore Salemi, was the connection to 2021 veteran Edward Nickerson, who narrates the history of the Company in the miniseries, and Harriet, the widow of Thomas Brooks. The current president of the 10th Mountain Division Descendants, Denise Taylor, daughter of veteran Marvin Taylor, in addition to arranging several contacts with veteran descendants, was the architect behind the contact with Speed Murphy's son, who died in 2008, and Raymond Johnson through his son Tim. Both veterans are still alive. They are 97 and 98 years old.
Through their memoirs and letters, Luciano La Valle, a promising director of the miniseries, was able to shape the idea and later the script based on real events and real characters.
Denise Taylor also organized the meeting that took place in Iola di Montese between Luciano La Valle and the Gandolfi brothers, Andrea and Giuliano, who were later joined by Guglielmo Mattiello. The brothers are the authors of two books based on the history of the 10th Mountain Division and the original memoirs and photographs of its soldiers and officers, written and taken during their time in Italy in 1945.
The management of the Museo Memorie d'Italia inIola di Montese, recognized by the Association of Descendants of the10th Mountain Division Descendants, has also enabled the brothers to learn from the elders, who at that time were little more than boys, anecdotes and testimonies of daily life as seen and experienced by the population that lived then in the fear and hardship of war.
The meeting closes the circle of the project 1945.Mountainmen which has been in development for three years, from 2020 to 2023, and of which Luciano la Valle is the author and director, Andrea and Giuliano Gandolfi, together with Guglielmo Mattiello, are the executive producers, that is to say, they have been in charge of finding financing for the project and of the organizational, bureaucratic and logistical aspects of filming and post-production. With the support of Gruppo Culturale Il Trebbo, the shooting began in March 2022, with the first sets being sourced, reconstructed and prepared in the same areas and places where the events and battles took place in 1945, the backbone of the miniseries, also dubbed in English-American, and structured in four episodes averaging 25 minutes each.