F.: Alvaro De Simone; Effetti speciali e trucchi: Segundo de Chomón; Int.: Bartolomeo Pagano (Maciste), Linda Moglia (Ada Thompson), Orlando Ricci (Sig. Thompson), Ruggero Capodaglio (Cavicchioni); Prod.: Itala-Film. 35mm. L. or.: 2005 m. L.: 1903 m. D.: 93’ a 18 f/s. Tinted, toned.
Maciste’s relationships with women have always been a little controversial. He normally does not seem interested in the fairer sex, especially in the series’ earlier films. At the end of each adventure he usually reunites the innocent girls with their rightful boyfriends, showing no sign of regret and preferring the pleasures of food and wine. In this film, however, he finds himself suddenly in love for the first time. Her name is Ada, the daughter of Thompson, an enlightened industrialist plagued by a ruthless competitor, Bethel. Bethel first hires a small group of troublemakers to stir up workers, and he then tries to deal Thompson an emotional blow by kidnapping his daughter. But he will first have to deal with Maciste. In Maciste innamorato the personal and the political are weaved together, alternate and influence one another. The images of the strike, in contrast with the film’s paternalistic tone, have a visual power similar to documentaries. Maciste, the new popular hero, is ahead of the times as a media idol: once he has punished the instigators, the masses need only recognize the film star in him to forget about their concerns. The public image of Maciste, however, appears to deny him sentimental and sexual relationships: in an unusually tormenting finale, while everybody is celebrating, he discovers that the girl he is about to propose to belongs to someone else. Looking at himself in the mirror of his room, he realizes the limits his incredible body imposes on him: “She is right… has anyone ever seen a gazelle arm in arm with an elephant?”
Stella Dagna, Claudia Gianetto
Restored in 2006 from a tinted and toned nitrate print with English intertitles preserved at BFI National Archive, and from a nitrate negative made from a working copy for the French market preserved at Cinémathèque Française. The Italian intertitles have been reconstructed using the historical documents preserved by Museo Nazionale del Cinema. Tones have been made with Desmetcolor.