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Scipione l'africano (1937)

A story of the Second Punic Wars, beginning with Scipio's futile pleas to the Roman Senate to build an army to battle Hannibal, that climaxes with the battle of Zama.


Carmine Gallone
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Annibale Ninchi ... Publius Cornelius Scipio
Camillo Pilotto ... Hannibal
Fosco Giachetti ... Captain Massinissa
Francesca Braggiotti ... Queen Sophonisba
Marcello Giorda Marcello Giorda ... King Syphace
Guglielmo Barnabò Guglielmo Barnabò ... Furius, fat Roman
Isa Miranda ... Velia, a Roman woman
Memo Benassi Memo Benassi ... Cato
Franco Coop Franco Coop ... Mezio, Roman soldier
Ciro Galvani Ciro Galvani ... Quinto Fabio Massimo
Carlo Lombardi Carlo Lombardi ... Lucio
Marcello Spada Marcello Spada ... Arunte
Piero Carnabuci Piero Carnabuci ... Il Reduce della Battaglia
Carlo Ninchi ... Lelius
Lamberto Picasso Lamberto Picasso ... Hasdrubal, advisor to Hannibal


A story of the Second Punic Wars, beginning with Scipio's futile pleas to the Roman Senate to build an army to battle Hannibal, that climaxes with the battle of Zama. Written by X

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Drama | History | War


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Did You Know?


A number of shots in the film's final battle were shot with old fashioned silent film cameras that were hand-cranked. When edited into the final film, the action in these shots appear faster and more jerky due to the fact that they were shot at a different (slower) frame rate. See more »


Extras wearing wristwatches, even though the film is set thousands of years before they were invented. See more »


Featured in Splendor (1989) See more »

User Reviews

Victory or Death.
3 June 2020 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

In 202 BC Publius Scipio inflicted a devastaing defeat on Hannibal at Zama. This triumph has been used in this flagrantly propogandist film to justify Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia. This expensively made 'epic' was not a success and we can safely assume that its influence on the average Italian cinema-goer was minimal. Despite its jingoistic speeches and upraised Roman salutes this film, purely as a film, should not be entirely dismissed as there are some very effective scenes with marvellous images captured by cinematographers Ubaldo Urata and Anchise Brizzi. The score is by Ildebrando Pizzetti who contributed to the original score for Pastrone's 'Cabiria' in 1914! Director Carmine Gallone's film career stretched from 1913 to 1962 and he keeps the momentum going here with powerful crowd scenes and some intimate dialogues involving Hannibal, Velia and Sophonisba. In fact Gallone's best directed scenes feature the tantalising Francesca Braggiotti as Sophonisba. This actress did very few films and when her husband John Lodge did the acting profession a great service by going into politics she became the First Lady of Connecticut. Our loss! Velia as played by luscious Isa Miranda is nobility incarnate and defiantly declares to Hannibal: 'Romans fear only the Gods'. If the character of Scipio is meant to mirror that of Il Duce it is very much an 'own goal' as the actor Annibale Ninchi is totally devoid of charisma. Ironically it is the character of Hannibal as played by Camillo Pilotti who is by far the most interesting and sympathetic. This cannot have been intentional surely?! The last fifteen minutes is devoted to the Battle of Zama which depicts the gruesome brutality of hand-to-hand combat. The battle opens with the charge of Hannibal's trumpeting elephants. Should any animal rights activists be watching I would strongly recommend they take an opportunity at this point to make a cup of tea. As one critic has cleverly observed: 'What Scipio did to the elephants, Mussolini was to do to Italy!

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Release Date:

21 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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