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The Mechanical Man (1921)

L'uomo meccanico (original title)
The story begins with a scientist creating a device shaped like a man that can be remote-controlled by a machine.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Giulia Costa
André Deed ...
Saltarello
Valentina Frascaroli ...
The adventuress
Mathilde Lambert ...
Elena D'Ara
Gabriel Moreau ...
Professor D'Ara
Ferdinando Vivas-May ...
Ramberti
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Storyline

The story begins with a scientist creating a device shaped like a man that can be remote-controlled by a machine.

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robot | See All (1) »

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Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

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November 1921 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Mechanical Man  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

For many years this early science fiction film from Italy was regarded as lost. Some reels of the Portuguese release version were discovered in Brazil. The discovered film amounted to 740 meters which is believed to be approximately 40% of the complete film. Luckily, the discovered footage came from the later part of the film and included some of the special effects and the battle of the two robots in the Opera House. By mid-2006, this is the only footage known to survive. See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE MECHANICAL MAN (Andre' Deed, 1921) {Incomplete} **
14 April 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

After re-reading Mike's comments and especially this enthusiastic write-up (http://www.mjsimpson.co.uk/reviews/mechanicalman.html), I had high hopes for this early (Italian, no less!) science-fiction film. While that review does mention a lot of what I disliked about the film, the author seemed a great deal more forgiving of them than me.

I didn't mind so much that I couldn't follow the plot due to the loss of about two-thirds of the film's original length but, really, there's nothing remotely interesting going on here (even if I concede the novelty value it must have had back in '21). The comic relief provided by Saltarello aka Andre' Deed (the director himself!) is so pathetically archaic that I was rolling my eyes every time he turned up (which is enough to almost make me glad the film didn't survive in its entirety)! The various exploits perpetrated by the villainess (so many thrillers of the era present women as master criminals; see the infinitely superior Louis Feuillade serials, for instance) didn't generate a reaction from me one way or the other - though her ingenious escape from a hospital/prison by causing a fire was, admittedly, nicely done. As for the robot, well, it's a lumbering and rather unattractive creation and, indeed, just about the only scene where it's put to any good use at all is when it suddenly picks up speed in order to chase the fleeing heroes' motor-car. What about the long-awaited showdown between the two robots, then? Their "fiercesome battle" consists of the two holding one another and going around in circles, almost as if they were engaged in a dance!! By the way, the tinting was effective but the accompanying electronic score, while appropriately ominous at times, is simply too 'modern' to fit the impossibly primitive images.

I guess one should be grateful to the Cineteca di Bologna for making an effort to restore the film in the best way it could and to Alpha Video for making it available on DVD but it's lasting value, as both entertainment and a landmark in science-fiction cinema, is quite minimal.


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