Wednesday, January 16, 2013

L'Inferno - Dante’s Inferno (1911) Italy 1st silent film feature



L'Inferno (1911)

Italian silent film by Giuseppe de Liguoro, loosely adapted from Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy.

L'Inferno took over three years to make and was the first full-length Italian feature film ever made.

The film was first screened in Naples in the Teatro Mercadante on March 10, 1911. The film's depictions of hell closely followed those in the engravings of Gustave Doré for an edition of The Divine Comedy, which were familiar to an international audience and employed several special effects. The film was an international success, taking more than $2 million in the United States alone. The length of the film allowed U.S. theater owners to raise ticket prices. It is considered by many scholars and fans as being the finest film adaptation of Dante's work to date.

The scenes from hell from the film were reused in an American 1936 exploitation film Hell-O-Vision and the 1944 race film Go Down, Death! Some American state film censor boards required removal of the hell sequences from L'Inferno used in Go Down, Death! such as one where a woman's bare breast is momentarily seen.

As Dante's The Divine Comedy places Muhammad in hell and following the depictions in engravings of Gustave Doré, the film also has a momentary depiction of the Prophet in its hell sequence that is in an unflattering way. This would make L'Inferno one of the few films to include such a depiction.

Directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro
Written by Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Starring Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Augusto Milla
Studio: Milano Films
Release date: March 10, 1911
Running time: 68 minutes
Country: Italy

Original Score by Brian Pinette

Produced with archival film material from the collections of the Library of Congress and the British Film Institute

In DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.