La presa di Roma (20 settembre 1870) (1905)
Director: Filoteo Alberini
Cast: Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, Carlo Rosaspina
Synopsis: Dramatisation of the capture of Rome by the newly-formed Italian army and the election of the city as the country’s capital.
Rome 1870: A blindfolded General Carchidio is escorted from Ponte Milvio to General Ermanno Kanzler of the Papal Army. Carchidio issues an ultimatum to surrender to Kanzler which is refused, and a breach in the city walls is stormed by troops.
The original film was comprised of seven scenes lasting approximately fifteen minutes in total, and was the first film with a complex plot. The film recorded a crucial moment in the country’s recent history: the capture of Rome by the newly-formed Italian army and the election of the city as the country’s capital. It was produced with the co-operation of the country’s Ministry of War.
The version I saw on the internet lasted only five minutes (which might be all that still exists) and had some descriptive intertitles (in Italian) and stills inserted to presumably fill in for the missing scenes. It’s reasonably well made for its time, but the acting is very exaggerated and, without foreknowledge of what is going on the film, as simple as it is, is fairly difficult to follow.
(Reviewed 31st August 2009)