6.4/10
60
2 user 5 critic

The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916)

Fenella, a poor Italian girl, falls in love with a Spanish nobleman, but their affair triggers a revolution and national catastrophe.

Writers:

Germain Delavigne (opera), Eugène Scribe (opera) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Shoes (1916)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young working girl must suport her family on only five dollars a week. The strain of trying to feed, house and clothe her mother, her father and three brothers finally gets to be too much... See full summary »

Director: Lois Weber
Stars: Mary MacLaren, Harry Griffith, Mattie Witting
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: John S. Robertson
Stars: John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil... See full summary »

Directors: Clarence Brown, Maurice Tourneur
Stars: Wallace Beery, Barbara Bedford, Alan Roscoe
Street Angel (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Natalie Kingston
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An outlaw calling himself Passin' Through halts his "evil" ways long enough to help out some children in difficulty.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Sam De Grasse, Pomeroy Cannon
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Kay Hoog finds a message that indicates that some Incas are still alive, but the secret organisation "Die Spinnen" wants the Incas' gold....

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John
The Needle (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Moro returns to Alma Ata to collect money owed to him. While waiting out an unexpected delay, he visits his former girlfriend Dina, and discovers she has become a morphine addict. He ... See full summary »

Director: Rashid Nugmanov
Stars: Viktor Tsoy, Marina Smirnova, Pyotr Mamonov
Bare Knees (1928)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young married woman in a small town is visited by her sister, a single "flapper" who causes a scandal in town with her bobbed hair and short skirts. She attracts the attentions of some of... See full summary »

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Virginia Lee Corbin, Donald Keith, Jane Winton
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
The Penalty (1920)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A deformed criminal mastermind plans to loot the city of San Francisco as well as revenge himself on the doctor who mistakenly amputated his legs.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Charles Clary, Doris Pawn, Jim Mason
The Hoodlum (1919)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A spoiled young rich girl is forced by misfortune to fight for survival in the slums and alleys, where she becomes involved with all manner of unpleasantness.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Mary Pickford, Ralph Lewis, Kenneth Harlan
Stella Maris (1918)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two young women - a paraplegic girl sheltered by her wealthy guardians and a more experienced orphan - fall in love with a man separated from his violent wife.

Director: Marshall Neilan
Stars: Mary Pickford, Ida Waterman, Herbert Standing
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anna Pavlova ... Fenella
Rupert Julian ... Masaniello
Wadsworth Harris Wadsworth Harris ... Duke d'Arcos
Douglas Gerrard ... Alphonso
Jack Holt ... Conde (as John Holt)
Betty Schade ... Isabella
Edna Maison ... Elvira
Jack Hoxie ... Perrone (as Hart Hoxie)
William Wolbert William Wolbert ... Pietro
Laura Oakley ... Rilla
Nigel De Brulier ... Father Francisco (as N. De Brouillet)
George A. Williams
Lois Wilson
Edit

Storyline

Fenella, a poor Italian girl, falls in love with a Spanish nobleman, but their affair triggers a revolution and national catastrophe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Muda de Portici See more »

Filming Locations:

Universal City, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1920s reissue print held at BFI) | (2015 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is sometimes included in the filmography of Boris Karloff but his presence is unverified and Karloff himself never mentioned having worked with Anna Pavlova. See more »

Goofs

During Fenella and Alphonso's romantic interlude on the beach, a modern clapboard structure with a shingled roof and double-hung windows, is visible amid structures that match the village set. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Overaged Cheese
13 October 2012 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

In 1916 Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley were the go-to pair at Universal for serious tracts and interesting experimental cinema. So when Paramount did a silent movie of Carmen with opera star Geraldine Farrar and it worked beautifully, Weber and Smalley counterpunched with a silent version of MASANIELLO with great ballet dancer Pavlova -- a much more natural-sounding bit of casting for a silent movie. Then they shot it in a far more naturalistic fashion than Weber and Smalley usually used -- despite Pavlova wandering around the beach in toe shoes -- and did enormous and expensive set decorating.

Unhappily, while it probably worked very well at the time -- at least to the extent of letting audiences see the prima ballerina of the Russian ballet and in making it clear that real artists of the real arts would do movies -- this movie has not aged well. The melodramatic plot was typical of grand opera of the period, but modern tastes in stories are less grandiose and Miss Pavlova, while she moves beautifully, is clearly a stage actress and does not know how to tone down her performance for the screen. I also find the sumptuousness of the set decoration distracting.

There is much for a fan of silent movies of the 1910s to take pleasure in: the mobility of the camera, the advanced editing of the piece all serve the film in a manner that was striking in the period. However, given that almost a century has passed, much has changed to render this movie plebeian and odd. Even the word "Dumb" in the title longer means "mute" to the modern speaker of English, but "stupid". I fear the casual modern viewer will think this movie dumb in both senses of the word.


1 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed