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Dante's Inferno (1911)

L'Inferno (original title)
Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.

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(poem)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Salvatore Papa ...
Arturo Pirovano ...
Giuseppe de Liguoro ...
Pier Delle Vigne ...
Augusto Milla ...
Attilio Motta
Emilise Beretta
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Storyline

The poet Dante is lost in a dark and gloomy wood. At the summit of a mountain he sees the light of salvation. He endeavors to ascend to it, but his way is barred by three wild beasts, symbolizing Avarice, Pride and Lust. Beatrice sees his predicament and descends from Paradise into Limbo, where she asks the poet Virgil to rescue and guide Dante. Virgil knows another way to go, but this leads straight through the entire Inferno, before it continues towards Paradise. Virgil leads Dante to the portals of Inferno. Charon ferries them over the river Acheron, and then they start their journey downwards through the different circles of Inferno. Dante meets all kind of sinners and sees the never-ending punishments they have to undergo. The various punishments are adjusted to the different transgressions. Among the sinners Dante recognizes many persons he has met in Florence, when they were still alive. They tell him their sad stories and why they have ended here. At last Dante and Virgil ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Release Date:

July 1911 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dante's Inferno  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first feature film to be shown in its entirety, in one screening, in the USA. Prior to this it was thought audiences wouldn't be prepared to sit for over an hour to watch a feature - films such as Les Misérables (1909) and The Life of Moses (1909) were shown in episodic parts over the course of a month or two. See more »

Goofs

The scene where Dante is chased by the dog and encounters Virgil. The thin wire lead which is being used to control the dog is visible at the left of the scene. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hell-A-Vision (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A striking piece of history
20 October 2004 | by (Hertford, England) – See all my reviews

A striking piece of history, this 1911 adaptation of Dante's The Divine Comedy was the first full length feature made in Italy.

Taking visual inspiration from Gustav Doré's iconic illustrations, Giuseppe de Liguoro worked for more than three years with 150 people and what was then the biggest film budget ever to complete his masterpiece.

Newly restored from a variety of sources, it's still an amazing visual experience as the poet Virgil leads Dante on a journey through Purgatory and Hell.

L'Inferno's pantheon of demons and sinners are imaginatively conjured up on ambitious sets using a variety of then-pioneering cinematic tricks such as forced perspective to allow a gigantic Pluto to rage at the dwarfed interlopers, overlays for when they arrive at the city of Dis and see furies scaling the battlements and an ingenious combination of miniatures and live action to create remarkable encounters with three chained giants and a final confrontation with Lucifer himself.

In between these set pieces, Dante and his guide meet a rogues gallery of history's great sinners and the ironically apposite corners of Hell reserved just for them.

The only real pitchfork in the backside of this otherwise commendable project is the decision to harness the visuals to a soundtrack culled from Tangerine Dream's concept album based on the same literary source.

It's not the German electronic outfit's best work and comes with the additional burden of vocals which tend to detract from the Gothic mood created by the visuals alone.

Still, you can always turn down the sound and play something more sympathetic, say, Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra, because this is one screen gem that deserves to be enjoyed several times over.


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