Sog.: dal dramma “The Merchant of Venice” (1597) di William Shakespeare; Int.: Ermete Novelli (Shylock), Olga Giannini Novelli (Porzia), Francesca Bertini (Jessica), Sig. Ferrati (Antonio); Prod.: Film d’Arte Italiana / S.A. Pathé Frères; 35mm. L.: 262 m . D.: 10’ a 16 f/s. Pochoir / Stencil.
This film features one of the greatest Italian theater actors, Ernete Novelli, in the role of Shylock. Gerolamo Lo Savio had convinced Novelli to undertake a film career, thus he had already played leading roles in Re Lear (FAI, 1910) and La morte civile (FAI, 1910). Critics at the time and in later days, however, did not appreciate his performance, because they felt it was too closely linked to theatrical conventions. On the other hand, the shots filmed on location in Venice received much acclaim: “The chief virtue of the film is that all or most of it is shot in Venetian backgrounds” (Robert Hamilton Ball, Shakespeare on Silent Film, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1968). A copy of the film was found and restored by the National Film & Television Archive. Restoration was based on an incomplete original nitrate positive print with stencil coloring. Only 556 feet survive.