Enrico Guazzoni

Sog.: dal dramma omonimo di Victorien Sardou. Scen.: Enrico Guazzoni. F.: Gabriele Gabrielian. Int.: Lyda Borelli (Madame Tallien), Amleto Novelli (Tallien), Renzo Fabiani (Robespierre), Ruggero Barni (Guery), Ettore Baccani (Fontenay), Roberto Spiombi (un abatino), Orlando Ricci. Prod.: Palatino-Film. 35mm. L.: 1814 m (incompleto, l. orig.: 1855 m). D.: 80’ a 20 f/s. Tinted and 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

Much celluloid has run through the gate in the seven years that have elapsed since this film, under the title of Robespierre, was acclaimed as the greatest production of the Cines studio, but it will still be admitted that, though the Cines producers have done much to raise the standard of artistic spectacle all over the world, there is still much in which they have never been excelled. Madame Guillotine, to call it by its new title, is still the most vivid and artistic picture of the French Revolution yet shown on the screen. The dramatic appeal of the earlier scenes is, perhaps, not so strong as it was when first shown, and the love affair between Thérèse and Jean Guery rather lacks interest and fervour, but the concluding scenes in which Robespierre becomes the centre of interest, the fête of the Goddess of Reason, the impressive settings in the Chamber of Deputies, and the climax when the corpse-like figure of the dying Robespierre is dragged to the guillotine have never been surpassed. The costumes and settings are superb, and no one can wear the clothes of the period with a better grace than the Italian actor. Some of the scenes at the Trade Show suffered by being out of focus, but as the same defect applied to the subtitles, it may be assumed that the fault was with the projector. The quality and lighting effects are of that artistic excellence which is a feature of the Italian studios, while the fine performances of Lyda Borelli as Thérèse, Amleto Novelli as Tallien, and particularly that of Renzo Fabiani as Robespierre, make this a revival of unusual interest.

Anon., “The Bioscope”, August 7, 1924

Copy From

Restored in 1995 by Cineteca di Bologna, Cineteca Italiana and Cinémathèque française, with the contribution of Proyecto Lumière. The restoration used a nitrate camera negative without intertitles, found by Cineteca Italiana at the Pittaluga Archive, and a tinted and toned nitrate positive print with French intertitles kept at the Cinémathèque française. The colors were reproduced using the Desmet method