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Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to god Moloch, Cabiria is rescued by both Fulvio Axilla, a Roman noble, and his giant slave Maciste. Maciste is captured just after having confided Cabiria to Sophinisbe's safe keeping, while Fulvio Axilla manages to escape from Carthage. Ten years went away with Punic wars before he is able to come back to Carthage... Written by
Celebrity writer Gabriele D'Annunzio was originally hired by Pastrone to write the screenplay. After long delays Pastrone and his assistant went to Paris, where D'Annunzio lived at the time, to excite him into action. More time passed, and the director's patience grew thinner and thinner, and in the end D'Annunzio merely rewrote in poetic prose the titles Pastrone prepared. See more »
Three hundred years Before Christ, the volcanic Mount Etna erupts during an earthquake, destroying the Sicilian palace and estate where little "Cabiria" (Carolina Catena) lives. The young heiress manages to escape through a secret stairway leading underground, carried by nursemaid Gina Marangoni (as Croessa). When the dust clears, little "Cabiria" is believed to be dead and buried in the ruble. After escaping the devastation, she and Ms. Marangoni are sold as slaves, in Carthage.
Next, "Cabiria" is to be sacrificed as a burnt offering to "Moloch", a brazen God who likes to eat children.
Nurse Marangoni tries to save the girl, but is whipped for her efforts. She enlists help from Roman patrician Umberto Mozzato (as Fulvius Axilla) and his loyal dark-skinned slave Bartolomeo Pagano (as Maciste). With the muscular Mr. Pagano leading the charge, they rescue "Cabiria" from the fiery jaws of death. Obviously, this makes the God and his minions angry. The trio hideout at an inn while the plot thickens. Shuttled once more, "Cabiria" grows into a beautiful young woman, Lidia Quaranta (as Elissa).
Written, produced, and directed by Giovanni Pastrone, "Cabiria" is a classic early spectacular.
Most famous was Mr. Pastrone's use of camera tracking shots; this movement of camera increased the scope, and excitement, of motion pictures. He likes screen movement, as you'll see. This film also features Mr. Pagano's star-making role as the long-running character "Maciste". In fact, Pagano and Mr. Mozzato are the real "stars" of this story; after they save "Cabiria" from sacrifice, you care more about seeing them - especially "Maciste" - than you do about the frequently disappearing "Cabiria".
******* Cabiria (4/18/14) Giovanni Pastrone ~ Umberto Mozzato, Bartolomeo Pagano, Lidia Quaranta, Italia Almirante-Manzini
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