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The Italian (1915)

Passed  -  Drama  -  January 1915 (USA)
6.4
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An immigrant leaves his sweetheart in Italy to find a better life across the sea in the grimy slums of New York. They are eventually reunited and marry. But life in New York is hard and ... See full summary »

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Title: The Italian (1915)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Beban ...
Beppo Donnetti
Clara Williams ...
Annette Ancello Donnetti
J. Frank Burke ...
Trudo Ancello - Annette's Father
Leo Willis ...
Corrigan - NYC Ward Boss
Fanny Midgley
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Storyline

An immigrant leaves his sweetheart in Italy to find a better life across the sea in the grimy slums of New York. They are eventually reunited and marry. But life in New York is hard and tragedy tarnishes their dream of a better life in the new world. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION By Special Arrangement with the New York Motion Picture Company Presents GEORGE BEBAN in "THE ITALIAN" ( original poster)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dago  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Godfather: Part II (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Very Moving Early Feature Film
2 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE Italian (1915) tells the story of Beppo Donnetti (George Beban), a gondolier in Italy who journeys to America so that he can marry and provide a home for his love Annette (Clara Williams). America is thought to be the land of promise, but things happen in their new home that change their lives forever. Directed by Reginald Barker.

SCRIPT: THE Italian is a very warm and touching movie in many ways, and has moments of sadness and anguish as well. There is humor and joy, as well as heartbreak. In spite of some of the broken English Italian stereotypes, the movie shows genuine empathy to its characters. You can see Beppo's hope for a better life in America turn to despair when things don't go his way. There are wonderful details here, such as how Annette and her father laugh when a wealthy would-be suitor is forced to concede to the poor Beppo; how Beppo notices his son's sleeping with his hand under his chin, and other things. To its credit, the film doesn't conclude with a pat happy ending. SCORE: 9/10

ACTING: The acting is pretty naturalistic for its period, stopping short of the hammy antics usually practiced at the time. The actors are portraying Italians, whom have been commonly stereotyped as dramatically expressive; however, the actors don't treat their characters with mockery, but with affection. The cast overall conveys a wonderful sense of humanity. George Beban runs the gamut of emotions in his portrayal of Beppo and makes everything believable – his joys, his sorrows, his anger and resignation. Clara Williams also is very believable and lifelike in her portrayal of Annette. SCORE: 9/10

CINEMATOGRAPHY/PRODUCTION: The camera-work in this film is quite superb. There are some very expressive close-ups and moments where the camera either comes closer to or draws away from the actor in order to magnify the emotional reaction to the moment. The scenes in old Italy are particularly beautiful, with some wonderfully composed shots against the sunset and beautiful views of rivers and bridges. The editing is fairly smooth (there are a couple of choppy moments but they are most likely due to lost footage). Cross cutting is used quite frequently and there aren't very many long takes. Tinting is used to designate day and night scenes, and lends additional warmth and beauty to the sunset scenes. Incidentally, this movie came out before BIRTH OF A NATION but uses many of the same devices. Great work overall. SCORE: 9/10

SUMMARY: THE Italian is another definitive early feature film. The story is moving in many ways, heartfelt and empathetic toward its protagonists. The acting is naturalistic and shows affection for the characters being portrayed. The cinematography is always professional and in many cases quite excellent and beautiful. THE Italian is definitely worth seeing as an example of the emotional power of silent cinema. SCORE: 9/10


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