Febo Mari

Sog., Scen.: Febo Mari. F.: Natale Chiusano. Int.: Ermete Zacconi (l’emigrante, Antonio), Valentina Frascaroli (sua figlia, Maria), Enrica Sabbatini (sua moglie), Felice Minotti (compagno di lavoro), Amerigo Manzini (il conte), Lucia Cisello (la mezzana). Prod.: Itala Film · 35mm. L.: 486 m. (incompleto, l. orig. 1182 m.). D.: 24’ a 18 f/s. Bn.


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

Time has not been kind to copies of L’emigrante nor have they been spared manipulation. An old paterfamilias reduced to poverty sells his furniture to emigrate to America where he finds work as a laborer. After an accident, he is fired and returns home, while, in the meantime, his daughter has given into the flattery of a rich suitor. The surviving fragment, corresponding in length to a little more than a third of the length mentioned in its first censor certificate, contains a synthesis of the first and second part of the film: the old man leaving his shabby home and sadly leaving behind his wife and daughter, crossing the ocean, the harsh reality in Latin America up to finding out about being cheated after an accident. The final image shows the emigrant demoralized and on a ship again, this time going back to Italy. Period documentation (intertitle plates, production notebooks and censor certificates) reveals that the entire third part of the film was lost as well as the narrative sequences illustrating the problems of the two women who remained in Italy. In particular, there is no longer a trace of the Manzonian subplot of the girl’s engagement and her seduction by the rich count. We can infer from a few clips that their need for money due to the mother’s illness is one of the reasons behind this less than edifying relationship. The fiancé, the count and the scheming female liaison do not appear in any frame of the film but are found instead in some stills that clearly show Frascaroli’s metamorphosis from a lovely young girl to high society lover. There’s a mysterious picture with Antonio holding a baby, perhaps the product of a mistake or vindication gone with the lost footage.

Claudia Gianetto

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