Luigi Maggi

Sog., Scen.: Arrigo Frusta. F.: Giovanni Vitrotti. Int.: Fernanda Negri-Pouget (la nipote), Umberto Scalpellini (il curato), Luigi Chiesa (il tenente Carlo), Luciano Manara (Zufolo). Prod.: S.A. Ambrosio DCP. D.: 42’. Tinted

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

Two years after Nozze d’oro, the seasoned duo Frusta-Maggi took on a theme dear to Italian film of the time: the heroic events of the Risorgimento, which necessarily entailed reducing the Austrian invaders to victims of patriotic cunning and courage. Audiences went wild, imprecating so vehemently when the enemy appeared on the screen that some police headquarters blocked the film. Like Nozze d’oro, the narrative is told as a memory and gives the main characters a chance to fall in love. The ‘narrating voice’ is a grandmother’s, unwilling to accept a modern electric lamp: in fact, it was her old oil lamp that helped her get rid of the enemy and marry a handsome lieutenant. The film excels at the use of space: the small town under siege is like a warren full of hideouts and leading to a series of tricks revolving around the sacristy and the bell tower. Unable to control the terrain and see beyond appearances, the Austrians surrender. Like in many of Frusta’s stories, the person who uses hidden ravines, disguise and double-dealing wins.

Copy From

Restored in 2018 by Cineteca di Bologna and Museo Nazionale del Cinema in collaboration with BFI – National Archive at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory from a tinted nitrate print preserved at BFI and belonging to the Joye collection