1914 film by Giovanni Pastrone / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Cabiria is a 1914 Italian epic silent film, directed by Giovanni Pastrone and shot in Turin. The film is set in ancient Sicily, Carthage, and Cirta during the period of the Second Punic War (218–202 BC). It follows a melodramatic main plot about an abducted little girl, Cabiria, and features an eruption of Mount Etna, heinous religious rituals in Carthage, the alpine trek of Hannibal, Archimedes' defeat of the Roman fleet at the Siege of Syracuse and Scipio maneuvering in North Africa. Apart from being a classic on its own terms, the film is also notable for being the first film in which the long-running film character Maciste makes his debut. According to Martin Scorsese, in this work Pastrone invented the epic movie and deserves credit for many of the innovations often attributed to D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.[4] Among those was the extensive use of a moving camera, thus freeing the feature-length narrative film from "static gaze".

Quick facts: Cabiria, Directed by, Screenplay by, Based on...
Directed byGiovanni Pastrone
Screenplay by
  • Giovanni Pastrone
Based onA book by Titus Livius and a novel by Emilio Salgari[1]
Produced byGiovanni Pastrone
StarringBartolomeo Pagano, Lidia Quaranta
Music byManlio Mazza
Ildebrando Pizzetti
Release date
  • 18 April 1914 (1914-04-18) (Italy)
Running time
  • 200 minutes (original cut)
  • 190 minutes (2006 restoration)
  • 148 minutes[1] (surviving Italian cuts)
  • 126 minutes (surviving USA cuts)
Italian Intertitles
Box office1 million
Cabiria (full video)

The historical background and characters in the story are taken from Livy's Ab Urbe Condita (written ca. 27–25 BC). In addition, the script of Cabiria was partially based on Gustave Flaubert's 1862 novel Salammbo and Emilio Salgari's 1908 novel Cartagine in fiamme (Carthage in Flames). It was the first film shown at the White House, having been viewed on the South Lawn, by the President, First Lady, Vice President, his wife, members of the Cabinet and their wives, due to the summer heat in June 1914.[5]

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