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... See full summary »
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 »
Silent films don't have much of an audience these days. Be that as it may, I would like to recommend this film as a hugely influential costume epic that had great influence over the likes of D.W. Griffith (who did Intolerence right after!), Cecil B. DeMille, and even Fritz Lang (when he did Metropolis). Sure, it's long and it's got one of those convuluted plotlines typical of the period and historically it's crap, but the sets and costumes have to be seen to be believed! The scale of things is just fantastic, with giant temples and houses, all sorts of huge rooms and decoration all over anything, and hundreds and hundreds of extras with fabulous costumes, all done in pastiche of styles that range from Egyptian to Babylonian to this whole weird Indian look, although it's all set in North Africa. Then there's the melodramatic acting, which really can't be judged by today's standards, as there are few subtitles of dialogue, only very grand and wordy intertitles summarzing the plot and offering odes to gods and goddesses. This movie is a must-see if you're studying the history of epic films, early full-length movie, Griffith, etc., and even if you're not, it's a hoot (at least until half-way through, at which point you may decide you've had enough of the plot and can guess the rest.)
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?