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Cabiria [DVD] [1914]

Cabiria was a spectacular Italian historical epic, running a full 14 reels (nearly three hours) at a time when most American films were still short subjects. The plot hinges on the abduction of wealthy and virginal Cabiria (Lidia Quaranta) by pirates during the Roman/Carthaginian War of ancient times. Highlights (many of which were filmed on tinted stock) include the burning of the Roman fleet, an effect accomplished with miniatures and mirrors, and Hannibal's crossing of the Alps--with real Alps, and real elephants. Though the film is breathtaking in its scope, the acting is something else again; one critic of the time likened the performances to "the moment after someone yells 'Fire!'" Even so, the success of Cabiria in the United States allegedly inspired D.W. Griffith to proceed with his own historical epic, The Birth of A Nation.
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    Overview

    Synopsis


    Cabiria
    Cabiria is an Italian historical epic that ran a full 14 reels (well over three hours) at a time when most American films were still short subjects. The plot hinges on the abduction of wealthy and virginal Cabiria (Lidia Quaranta) by pirates during the Roman/Carthaginian War of ancient times. Highlights (many of which were filmed on tinted stock) include the burning of the Roman fleet, an effect accomplished with miniatures and mirrors, and Hannibal's crossing of the Alps -- with real Alps, and real elephants. Cabiria allegedly inspired the Babylonian segment of D.W. Griffith's 1916 Intolerance. At least four versions of this film exist, each prepared by Giovanni Pastrone. The two most prominent are a 1913 silent cut that runs a full 181 minutes, and a 1931 sound cut that runs 137 minutes, which underwent advanced restoration in 2007. Both versions were screened at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


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      Alex Bernard - Massinissa
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      Antonio Branioni - Bodasforet
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      Lidia Quaranta - Cabiria
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      Luigi Chellini - Scipio Africanus Major
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      Enrico Gemelli - Archimedes



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