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 »
It is a little known fact that the feature film was born in Italy - that is, a film longer than the standard one or two reels in length -ten to twenty minutes. It is the crop of early Italian features, all epics, birthed in 1914, that influenced America's Griffith and DeMille. The length of CABIRIA is staggering - originally 2-1/2 hours in Italy and just over two hours here
considering most audiences were used to sitting and concentrating on a
plot for only twenty minutes at most.
Were there Oscars then, the extraordinary art direction and special effects would have garnered noms - they are outstanding. The cinematography is unique in using early scanning and dollying techniques heretofore unknown in film. The plot becomes very hard to follow because the title cards are history lessons of alliances and battles that have little meaning for us and often we are aware of the cut 22 minutes in the surviving USA version as symbols and relationships which have great dramatic meaning for the players leave us baffled.
The print used by Kino and Grapevine video as well as Turner Classic Movies is impeccable - crystal clear and sharp.
For all fans of epic movies and for all film historians, this is a must see.
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