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La presa di Roma (20 settembre 1870) (1905)

The Italian army captures Rome after refusal to surrender this unifying Italy.




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Credited cast:
Ubaldo Maria Del Colle
Carlo Rosaspina


The Italian army captures Rome after refusal to surrender this unifying Italy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama





Release Date:

16 September 1905 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Captura de Roma  »

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The first fiction film to have come out of Italy. See more »

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The First Italian Movie (Also: Bonus Information beyond the Movie)
14 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

General Carchidio (Savoia's emissary) in front of the Ponte Milvio (Milvian Bridge) asks General Kanzler for the surrender of the city (and surrounding territory). Kanzler replies, "Niente resa!" ("No surrender!"). Subsequently, on 20 September 1870, the Bersaglieri (infantry) storm the city. A breach is made in the walls of Porta Pia, and Italian forces pour in. Pope Pius IX orders Kanzler to fly the flag of truce on the cross of the cupola of St. Peter's. Italy is now completely united. The closing title card reads: "A free and independent Italy presents the palm of victory and the tribute of the people to Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II, Garibaldi, and Mazzini, the great fathers of the nation." The final still is colorized.

The names above represent Italian patriots who fought for a united Italy. In particular Garibaldi may be considered as the George Washington of that country. Filmed just 35 years after the actual events, enough is seen to place this silent short in rather high regard of these early days of cinema (although most of the film is missing). For the immediate future, Italian filmmaking would focus on historical epics, like those of ancient Rome, Medieval times, and the Risorgimento. "The Capture of Rome" was directed by Filoteo Alberini, who had invented the kinetograph (cinetografo) in 1895, just before the Lumiére Brothers presented the first projected films program to a paying audience in Paris. Alberini's kinetograph was a mechanism for making, printing, and projecting films onto a screen.

HISTORICAL EXPLANATION OF THE FILM: After many centuries of division, Italy was finally reunited as one nation in 1860, with two exceptions: Rome and Venice. Venice was taken in 1866, leaving unconquered the Papal States (territory of Rome and surrounding lands that had been under control of the Papacy since the early Middle Ages). The Papal States were protected by a strong French army. With France being defeated by the Germans in 1870, the occupying forces were withdrawn. Even though the Pope still had over 13,000 defenders of various nationalities, the resulting situation left the Papal territory exposed to 50,000 Italians under General Cadorna, who quickly took the territories for the new Italy. The annexation was confirmed by plebiscite in October 1870.

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