Maciste Contro Lo Sceicco

Mario Camerini

Sog., Scen.: Mario Camerini; F.: Anchise Brizzi, Antonio Martini; Scgf., Cost.: Emilio Pagliucchi; Int.: Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste), Cecyl Tryan (la pupilla), Rita d’Harcourt (la contessa Lami), Lido Manetti (il giovane marinaio), Franz Sala (il conte Carlo Lami), Alex Bernard (il capitano), Oreste Grandi (Lopez), Felice Minotti, Armand Pouget, Mario Sajo, F.M. Costa, Michele Mikailoff; Prod.: Fert- Pittaluga; 35mm. L. or.: 2256. L.: 1884 m. D.: 82’ a 20 f/s. 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

One of the characteristics of Maciste films from the 20s is the combination of comedy with other registers: the sentimental genre, circus drama, spy story, always set in the times. In Maciste contro lo sceicco Mario Camerini, director, scenario and screenplay writer, decided for the first time to move away from the comedy genre and take the hero back in time, dropping him off in a gloomy psychological melodrama set in southern Italy in the 1800s. Count Lanni wants to get rid of his young niece Anna, of whom he is guardian, in order to freely use the family’s patrimony and maintain the luxurious lifestyle he and his mistress Marina are used to. He makesan agreement with Ricon, the old captain of a schooner that sails across the Mediterranean, for the girl to be abducted and handed over to the sheik Abd-el-Kar for his harem. The presence of the young girl on the boat unleashes the instincts of the sailors, who are not accustomed to women being on board. Watching over the young girl’s virtue are Maciste, the captain’s right hand man, Pietro, the young revolutionary count in disguise, and the captain himself, who on his death bed repents his misdeeds. According to a practice in vogue in the 30s, the film was distributed already dubbed, making it less effective in terms of drama but with some remarkable moments of synchronism.

Stella Dagna, Claudia Gianetto

Copy From

Restored from a 35mm b/w safety print struck by Narodny Filmovy Ustav in the Sixties from a nitrate with Czech intertitles; from a 35mm b/w nitrate print held by Fantoni Collection, to which had been added the soundtrack for a re-edition in the Forties; from a 16mm fragmentheld by Moscati Collection. 2009 restoration has reconstructed the Italian intertiles using the intertitle list preserved at Museo Nazionale del Cinema. Other shots have been integrated from a 16mm held by Bruno Boschetto Filmarchive. Tones have been made with Desmetcolor.