Elvira Notari

Sog.: dalla canzone omonima di Libero Bovio, Salvatore Gambardella. Scen.: Elvira Notari. F.: Nicola Notari. Int.: Rosé Angione (Margaretella), Alberto Danza (Tore), Eduardo Notari (Gennariello), Elisa Cava (la madre di Gennariello e Tore), Sig.ra Duval (Rosa), Antonio Palmieri (Carluccio). Prod.: Dora Film DCP. D.: 62’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

È piccerella is the diary of a love between the beautiful and frivolous Margaretella and the honest Tore. After meeting the girl, he is torn between his daily habits and his affection for his family and his girlfriend’s fantasies and requests for gifts. Finally, realising that Margaretella has betrayed him and that his business failed as a result of her expenses, he kills her.

First, we must clarify that the true work of Neapolitans, even today, is living well. […] Like most Neapolitans, Margaretella is above all busy living. In this regard, she differs strongly to the dark lady of American cinema. Luxury is not a means of accumulating money, rather of procuring pleasure. Even her sentimental fooling around is far distant to that of the femme noire. She takes no interest in the destruction of the male, although this is an inescapable consequence of her desire for life and liberty. Margaretella is neither a fine lady nor a lover from a D’Annunzian novel: she knows that in the South of Italy, if a girl gets engaged she risks a kind of domestic imprisonment within the four walls of the home. And so, torn by this ‘I wish I could, but I can’t’, she impertinently swings from one boyfriend to the next. To this, we add a pinch of self-centredness and vanity: the hymn to freedom becomes an anthem to joyous femininity, to a Bovary-esque worldliness, and to, all things considered, an innocent exhibitionism of curls and jewels. She is condemned by a combination of bullying behaviour and motherly love, by conformism and respectability.

Enza Troianelli, Elvira Notari pioniera del cinema napoletano (1875-1946), Euroma, Roma 1989

Copy From

Restored in 4K in 2018 by CSC – Cineteca Nazionale with the support of ZDF/ARTE from the negative duplicate copy, printed in 1968 from a now unavailable tinted nitrate print