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The Last Days of Pompeii (1913)

Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (original title)
Two love triangles intersect in ancient Pompei.

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Credited cast:
Fernanda Negri Pouget ...
Eugenia Tettoni Fior ...
Ubaldo Stefani ...
Antonio Grisanti ...
Cesare Gani Carini ...
Vitale Di Stefano ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carlo Campogalliani
Ercole Vaser


Well respected Pompeiian Glaucus performs an act of kindness by buying Nidia, a blind slave being mistreated by her owner. Nidia falls in love with her new master, but he only has eyes for Jone. Jone in turn is lusted after by Arbace, an Egyptian high priest of Isis. When Nidia beseeches Isis for help in capturing Glaucus' heart, Arbace gives her a "love" potion, which really will affect his mind and not his heart, thus opening the way to Jone for himself. When Arbace's disciple is murdered Glaucus finds himself in hot water, shortly after which Mt. Vesuvius erupts. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Spectacular Photo-Drama


Adventure | Drama


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Release Date:

13 August 1913 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Days of Pompeii  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(2000 alternate) | (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Extras are "killed" by falling pieces of a set during the explosion scene, then appear to either get back up or adjust themselves so that they won't be trampled by other extras. See more »


Version of The Last Days of Pompeii (1984) See more »


Written by Adolphe Adam (as Adam)
Arranged by Beatrice Jona Affron
Performed by Martha Koeneman
Excerpts in the 2000 alternate version score
See more »

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User Reviews

Early Epic Still Grand
17 July 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

An evil Egyptian priest menaces a young Roman maiden while a blind slave girl shows great courage in attempting to rescue her beloved master, during THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII.

Produced less than two decades after the birth of cinema, this silent film is considered to be the first important historical epic filmed on a truly grand scale. It also heralded the arrival of the Italian movie industry as a force to be reckoned with, however briefly, in the halcyon days before World War One.

Produced by prolific director Mario Caserini (1874-1920), it features a completely static camera which has the effect of turning each shot into a living tableau. (The only exceptions are a few pan shots of flowing lava which were inserted in the film's final moments.) Caserini manages his early crowd scenes very nicely, in which everyone looks like they're actually doing something and have a reason to be in the shot. The use of light & shadow on the large sets is also most commendable.

The final twenty minutes, when Vesuvius blows her top and destroys Pompeii, features special effects which are still quite impressive. After more than an hour of silver toned film, the abrupt switch to red tints at the instant of the eruption is a definite attention grabber.

Much of the acting is very theatrical & overripe, but that was the style back then and was probably much affected by grand opera. Two performers should be noted - Fernanda Negri Pouget is quite touching as the tragic blind girl, and Ubaldo Stefani, as the hero, is unintentionally hilarious in the scene in which he drinks a witch's poisoned brew.

The film's final moments embrace a mature sensitivity and highlight the latent power of the cinematic image.

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