Sog.: Contessa Salimei; Int.: Emilio Ghione (San Francesco), Fernanda Negri-Pouget (Santa Chiara); Prod.: Cines; 35mm. L.: 443 M. D.: 24′ A 16 F/S. Bn.
Enrico Guazzoni chose Ghione to play St. Francis in the most celebrated film of his period at Cines. In Il poverello di Assisi Ghione plays the saint; it was his first personal success, it was his first film as protagonist to establish his indelible imprint, and the role of the Saint launched his professional fame. Ghione’s inspiration is apparent to the spectator; he enriches the interpretation, in a way that impressed his collaborators, above all Guazzoni. The identification is in his passion, in apparent contradiction between the worldly Francis, “lean not from hunger but somatic nobility” and the ascetic torn by hardships; “Ghione adds to the sensation of physical suffering, ecstatic abandon and interior torment, a subtle and vibrant unease which is of rational origin”. Elena Mosconi writes that the film “owes its reputation, as well as to the undoubted quality of the mise en scène, to the sober and at the same time intense performance of Emilio Ghione”.