Eleuterio Rodolfi

Sog.: dalla tragedia omonima in versi (1905) di Gabriele D’Annunzio. Scen.: Eleuterio Rodolfi. Int.: Elena Makowska (Angizia), Umberto Mozzato (Tibaldo di Sangro), Linda Pini (la prima moglie), Anna De Marco (Gigliola), Empedocle Zambuto (Bertrando, il fratellastro), Mary Cléo Tarlarini (la madre), Filippo Butera (il serparo), Ersilia Scalpellini (una nutrice), Umberto Scalpellini (capo dei manovali). Produzione: S. A. Ambrosio, Torino. DCP. D.: 30’. Tinted and toned.

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

The tragedy of the house of di Sangro, an aristocratic family fallen on hard times, takes place in Abruzzo in the first half of the nineteenth century inside a once splendid castle now “crumbling, threadbare, eroded, cracked, covered in dust, doomed to perish”. The film adaptation is faithful to the text but tells the story in a linear succession making – even in this only surviving incomplete copy without intertitles – a fluid narrative, despite D’Annunzio’s solemn writing style. Gigliola and her younger brother, on whose shoulders the fate of the family lies, are bound by a deep tenderness. Their mother lives in the shadows, while their father Tibaldo lusts after the attractive maid Angizia, competing for favors with his half-brother Bertrando. The young ‘Luco woman’ – a vulgar, overbearing and seductive Makowska – is skilled in preparing poisons and bewitching men. She kills the wife of Tibaldo in order to take her place, worsens the health of Simonetto, forcibly drives out her father the snake charmer and does not deny herself any vice. In a Gothic atmosphere, the characters move around despondently, and when Angizia’s crimes are finally discovered, the castle seems to crumble and the Sangro home is swallowed up into a chasm. Gigliola, having the proof she needs, plans to poison herself, leaving her time to kill her stepmother, but Tibaldo stops her. Gigliola, bitten by deadly snakes and in despair for not having taken her revenge, goes to die on her mother’s grave: “Put out the torches, turn them over, put them out in the grass, o men. Shake mine in my fist I could not. It was all in vain”.

Claudia Gianetto

Copy From

Restored in 2016 by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino from a nitrate print kept at the Archive of Jugoslovenska Kinoteka in Belgrade