Emilio Ghione

1° Ep.: La Busta Nera; 2° Ep.: La Tortura; 3° Ep.: Il Covo; 4° Ep.: La Rete Dicorda; 5° Ep.: Corsa Al Milione; 6° Ep.: Aristocrazia Canaglia; 7° Ep.: 6.000 Volts; 8° Ep.: Mezza Quaresima; Sog.: Pio Vanzi; F.: Cesare Cavagna; Int.: Emilio Ghione (Za La Mort), Kally Sambucini (Za La Vie), Alfredo Martinelli (Pierino), Alberto Francis Bertone (Grigione), Nello Carotenuto (Muso Duro), Ida Carlonitalli (La Duchessa Giovanna), H. Florin, S. Pasquali, Oreste Bilancia (Il Poliziotto); Prod.: Tiber-Film. 35mm. L.: 5869 M. D.: 321′ A 16 F/S. 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

As Vittorio Martinelli writes, the serial, “contrary to general belief, did not have much success, was hardly reviewed and quickly vanished from the screens. The fact that it has now come to be regarded as an important film in the oeuvre of Ghione is probably due to the fact that it is the only one of the Za la Mort series which has been saved”. (…) The serial is composed of narrative expediencies of heterogenous origins, and could be defined as a great polyptych. The eight episodes offer the public themes deriving from crime literature, detective stories, Salgarian exotic and farandolesque in which the unlikely and far-fetched are confused with naturalistic elements, above all following the transformation which his marvellous adventures and misadventures effect in Za la Mort. Sometimes different genres co-exist in the same episode, and without preamble we are presented with varied stereotypes from different literary derivations (novelette, adventure stories, children’s books…) which Ghione appears to seize and insert in order to distract from the feeble plot the part of the public eager for scenic effects.

Denis Lotti

Restored by
Restored by
Restored by

Print restored in 1994 at l'Immagine Ritrovata from a 35mm nitrate camera negative, without intetitles, founded by Fondazione Cineteca Italiana at Pittaluga Archive, and from the same negative and held by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique with shots that were already decomposed in the nitrate print