Sog.: Fantasio (Riccardo Artuffo); F.: Massimo Terzano, Ubaldo Arata; Scgf.: Giulio Lombardozzi; Effetti speciali e trucchi: Segundo de Chómon; Int.: Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste), Pauline Polaire (Graziella), Elena Sangro (Proserpina), Lucia Zanussi (Luciferina), Franz Sala (Barbariccia/Dottor Nox), Umberto Guarracino (Pluto), Mario Sajo (Gerione), Domenico Serra (Giorgio), Felice Minotti, Andrea Miano; Prod.: Fert-Pittaluga. 35mm. L. or.: 2475 m. L.: 2306 m. D.: 100’ a 20 f/s. Toned.
“I saw it while my father held me standing in a crowd of people with his coat soaked through because it was raining. I remember a big woman with a bare belly, belly button, flashing darkened eyes. With an authoritative gesture she created a circle of fire around Maciste, who also was semi nude and holding a staff.” (Federico Fellini, Intervista sul cinema, edited by Giovanni Grazzini, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1983). Maciste all’inferno is “devilishness in five acts”, set in a sensual, Baroque hell. The torrid climate does not spare Maciste who, the only time in the whole series, gives in to the beautiful queen Proserpina; he will pay dearly for this act by being transformed into a devil with tail and goat feet to boot. The devils are very human like, and they fight, betray one another, plan political intrigues and gather in the evening before a screen to watch the events on Earth, as if it were live television. As usual Maciste works his wonder by defeating a fleet of devils, even though in the end it is not his force that wins but the prayers of a child. Maciste all’inferno is the last film in the series starring Bartolomeo Pagano, who ends with one of his best performances. After 1926, the actor would continue acting, but not as Maciste, until he finally had to stop for health reasons. He spent the rest of his life at “villa Maciste”, which he had built for himself and his family on the hills outside Genoa.
The new joint restoration by Cineteca di Bologna and Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, includes the original intertitles that describe the underworld with Dantesque tercets. The film was restored at L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna in June 2009.
Stella Dagna, Claudia Gianetto
Restored at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory from two toned nitrate positives held by Det Danske Filmmuseum and Cinemateca Brasileira, andseveral safety prints from Cineteca Nazionale and George Eastman House. Tones have been made with Desmetcolor. 2009 restoration has reconstructed the Italian intertiles using the documents preserved at Museo Nazionale del Cinema.