(Ita 1913 - released 1914)
In the 3rd century BC, nobleman's daughter Cabiria is presumed dead after the eruption of Mount Etna, but is abducted and taken to the city of Carthage and eventually rescued by two Roman spies.
The cinema's first historical epic; after the first progressive few years of semi-mythical or Biblical stories, the Italian makers pull out all the stops in a lavish spectacular (that originally ran to over 3 hours, then a gargantuan length for a film.) What remains is still outstanding in its design and compellingly made, with enough emotional context in site of the epic narrative (the title character only makes occasional appearances in the story) and, thanks to respectful restorations, well preserved. As an epic it became the blueprint that America and others were soon to adopt.
Written by: Gabriele d'Annuzio, Giovanni Pastrone.
Producer/Director: Giovanni Pastrone.
Starring (in no particular order): Umberto Mozzato, Barolomeo Pagano, Lidia Quaranta (as Cabiria), Carolina Catena (Cabiria as a girl), Gina Marangoni, Italia Almorante-Manzini, Dante Testa, Enrico Gemelli (as Archimedes), Raffaele di Napoli, and others.
Photography: Augusta Battagliotti, Eugenio Bava, Natale Chiusano, Segundo de Chomon, Carlo Franzeri, Giovanni Tonatis.
Music: Manlio Mazza (performed by Jacques Gauthier).