I Cento Cavalieri

Vittorio Cottafavi

Sog.: Vittorio Cottafavi, Giorgio Prosperi; Scen.: Vittorio Cottafavi, José Maria Otero, Giorgio Prosperi, Enrico Ribulsi, Jose Luis Guarner; F.: (Technicolor, Techniscope): Francisco Marin; Mo.: Maurizio Lucidi; Scgf.: Ramiro Gómez; Co.: Vittorio Rossi; Mu.: Antonio Pérez Olea; Su.: Domenico Curia; Int.: Mark Damon (Fernando Herrero), Antonella Lualdi (Sancha Ordoñez), Gastone Moschin (frate Carmelo), Wolfgang Preiss (Jeque), Barbara Frey (Laurencia), Rafael Alonso (Jaime Badanos), Hans Nielsen (Alfonso Ordoñez l’alcade), Arnoldo Foà (Don Gonzalo Herrero), Mario Feliciani (sceicco Alben Gabon), Manuel Gallardo (Halaf), Salvatore Furnari (capo dei briganti), Giorgio Ubaldi, Enrico Ribulsi (conte di Castiglia), Mirko Ellis (l’orbo), Manuel Arbò Clarin, Aldo Sambrell, Angel Ter; Prod.: Domiziana Internazionale Cinematografica (Roma)/Procusa Productores Cinematograficos Unidos Films (Madrid)/ International Germania Film (Colonia); Pri. pro.: 30 dicembre 1964. 35mm. L.: 3158 m. D.: 115’.

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

Presented at Cannes outside of official events to a small audience of mostly Cottafavi’s friends (including Freda and Pasolini), 100 Horsemen shone brighter, as can happen, than many of the competing films. (…) Narrated like a dramatic and ironic chronicle of events, the film tries to describe seriously but not pompously the mechanism of collaborationism and the resistance movement and what is universal about these two concepts; for this reason, the images have the quality of a model fairy tale. What is exciting about Cottafavi’s style and what make it valuable is his interest in making popular but responsible films, an aspect that is more evident here than in Hercules and the Captive Women: sophisticated form, the supple beauty of movement and color, deftness of the narration are not ends unto themselves but a suitable vehicle for a kind of humanist idea that the filmmaker never loses sight of; by constantly and skillfully attending to this need, this wonderful film has a special placebetween film as entertainment and film as social commentary: 100 Horsemen is one of the rare historical adventure films that can be rightfully defined as “modern”. One of the film’s basic qualities is proof enough: the importance of the word, discussion and intellectual confrontation. For once, action does not mean an explosion of gratuitous violence simply to meet the needs of the genre but the visible result of a moral and political decision: the film is consciously built around long dialogues that alternate with deliberate actions resulting from them. Remarkable acting (Wolfgang Preiss, Arnoldo Foà, Antonella Lualdi, and of course the midget, the filmmaker’s mascot) helps balance this successful and courageous film: without a doubt 100 Horsemen and Il taglio del bosco (based on Cassola’s novel and made for television with Gian Maria Volonté and real lumberjacks) are the two most powerful and even-handed films that Cottafavi has made to date.

Jean-André Fieschi, P.-S. À Cannes: Le cent cavaliers, “Cahiers du cinéma”, n. 180, July 1966