F.: Segundo de Chomón. Int.: Berta Nelson (Blanche). Prod.: Itala Film. 35mm. L.: 828 m. (l. orig.: 1295 m.). D.: 40’ a 18 f/s. Col. (from a tinted positive nitrate).

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

Originally named Berta Isaakovna Katsenelson (Katzenelson), soprano, actress and producer Berta Nelson (1890-?) was born into a Jewish family in Odessa. Although there is no record of her activity in Russia, in 1912 she debuted at the Teatro Mercadante in Naples as an opera artist; as of 1922 she had appeared in 18 films, five of which were produced in 1921-1922 by her own film company, Nelson Film.
Nelson belonged to that very small elite of film actresses whose success on the screen was a mere reflection of their triumph on stage. […] Luckily six or seven of her films still exist, two of which were Itala pictures, Come una sorella (1912) and Vittoria o morte! (1913). In Vittoria o morte! Nelson played a daring girl who drives cars recklessly, flies and jumps from a plane into the sea to get to a ship and recover documents stolen by a spy: an entirely unusual female character for 1913 Italian film, masterfully performed by Nelson. […] In 1917 she starred in Fiamma simbolica by Eugenio Perego, a psychological detective movie in which she tackled the role of a wife who seeks her beloved husband’s murderer only to put out the flames of her love for him, discovering he was not the victim but the executioner, guilty of assaulting a young girl.
It was Berta Nelson who welcomed a group of her compatriots exiled after the revolution and introduced them to Ambrosio, giving the director Alexander Uralsky and the actors Tatiana Pavlova and Osip Runitsch the opportunity to create a Russian series for the Turin production company, which included three or four films, unfortunately all lost today, that critics at the time – somewhat malevolently – advised directors and actors to watch and take notes in order to learn something.

Vittorio Martinelli, in Cabiria e il suo tempo, Paolo Bertetto and Gianni Rondolino (eds.), Museo Nazionale del Cinema/Il Castoro, Turin-Milan 199

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