Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1874) di Pedro Antonio de Alarcón. Scen.: Ercole Patti, Ivo Perilli, Mario Soldati. F.: Massimo Terzano. M.: Fernando Tropea. Scgf.: Piero Filippone. Mus.: Ernesto Tagliaferri, Nicola Valente. Int.: Eduardo De Filippo (don Teofilo), Peppino De Filippo (Luca), Leda Gloria (Carmela), Dina Perbellini (donna Dolores), Enrico Viarisio (Garduña), Arturo Falconi (capitano della guardia), Giuseppe Pierozzi (Pasqualino), Cesare Zoppetti (Salvatore), Tina Pica (Assunta), Gorella Gori (Concettina). Prod.: Giuseppe Amato per Lido Film. 35mm. D.: 73’. Bn.
Il cappello a tre punte began with a series of images inspired by Benedetto Croce’s History of Naples, a book that I had studied with Perilli. The film was based on a Spanish text by Alarcón. We depicted Naples under Spanish rule. At the start of the film, Spanish guards beat a handcuffed individual and lead him to prison. You can imagine how Mussolini, who completely ignored the film’s content, viewed such a scene […] As soon as he heard that the film was completed, and without having seen it, De Feo went to the producer, Peppino Amato, to say: “Give me Il cappello a tre punte and I’ll take it to Villa Torlonia to screen for the Duce”. Villa Torlonia had a screening room and all of Mussolini’s family were present. […] There was also a scene dealing with the family tax, which I had also studied in Benedetto Croce. And there was a scene with convicts who had demonstrated against the government and are placed in stocks. […] At this point, Mussolini got up, threw a chair on the floor and stormed out furiously saying: “What political sensitivity, after 13 years of Fascism!”
Mario Camerini, interview by Jean A. Gili, in Mario Camerini: la nascita della modernità, edited by Arnaldo Colasanti, Ernesto Nicosia, Edizioni Festival del Cinema di Roma, Roma 2011
Eduardo and Peppino were sufficient to create the right tone of Neapoliteness (“I saw that miller whom they say resembles you”, the governess says to her spouse). They were flanked by a dishevelled and blustery Tina Pica, here making her sound cinema debut at the ripe old age of 50 (in 1916 she had appeared in two silent films directed by Elvira Notari) as she comes to blows with the female miller, whose beauty and seductive wiles she envies.
[…] The allusions to Spain are less a stylistic choice in homage to the source text and its setting than an accentuation designed to comment and ironise on the eccentricity and pomposity of the powerful. In point of fact, in his interpretation of Governor Teofilo (the Italian translation of Alarcón’s Conegidor), Eduardo has fun with a mumbled and muddled mixture of Neapolitan dialect and standard Italian.
Gualtiero De Santi, La biblioteca di Camerini, in Mario Camerini: la nascita della modernità, edited by Arnaldo Colasanti, Ernesto Nicosia, Edizioni Festival del Cinema di Roma, Roma 2011