• L'Inferno is a 1911 Italian silent film, loosely adapted from Inferno, the first canticle of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. L'Inferno took over three years to make, and was the first full-length Italian feature film.Original release date: March 10, 1911

    PlotDante is barred from entering the hill of salvation by three beasts that bar his path (Avarice, Pride, and Lust). Beatrice descends from above and asks the poet Virgil to guide Dante through the Nine Circles of Hell. Virgil leads Dante to a cave where they find the river Acheron, over which Charon ferries the souls of the dead into Hell. They also see the three-headed Cerberus, and Geryon, a flying serpent with the face of a man. They see the Devil eating human beings whole, harpies eating the corpses of suicides, an evil man forced to carry his own severed head for eternity, people half buried in flaming lava, etc.There follows a series of encounters in which the two meet up with a number of formerly famous historical figures whose souls were denied by both Heaven and Hell, and they listen to some of their tales told in flashback. These characters include Homer, Horace, Ovid, Lucanus, Cleopatra, Dido, the Queen of Carthage, the traitor Caiphus, Count Ugolino, Peter of Vigna, Francesca Da Rimini and her lover Paulo, Brutus and Cassius, Mohammed and Helen of Troy. The main attraction of the film are the fantastic set designs depicting the horrors of Hell, with excessive violence and gore, designed to frighten the audience into becoming pious or God-fearing.Cast:Salvatore Papa as Dante AlighieriArturo Pirovano as VirgilioGiuseppe de Liguoro as Il conte UgolinoAugusto Milla as LuciferAttilio MottaEmilise BerettaDirected by: Francesco BertoliniAdolfo PadovanGiuseppe De LiguoroBased on:The Divine Comedy by Dante AlighieriScore by:Mike Kiker

  • Hercules (Italian: Le fatiche di Ercole 'The Labours of Hercules') is a 1958 Italian peplum film based upon the Hercules and the Quest for the Golden Fleece myths. The film stars Steve Reeves as the titular hero and Sylva Koscina as his love interest Princess Iole. Hercules was directed by Pietro Francisci and produced by Federico Teti. The film spawned a 1959 sequel, Hercules Unchained (Italian: Ercole e la Regina di Lidia), that also starred Reeves and Koscina.Original release date:20 February 1958 (Italy)

    In this melange of characters and events from separate mythological stories, Hercules, demigod and superman, arrives in the ancient Greek kingdom of Iolcus to tutor Iphitus, son of king Pelias; immediately on arrival, he falls in love with the king's delectable, briefly clad daughter Iole. Before he can win her, he must succeed in a series of quests, in the course of which he teams up with Jason, true heir of Iolcus, whom he accompanies on the famous voyage of the Argonauts. Written by Rod CrawfordDirected by: Pietro FrancisciProduced by: Federico TetiBased on: The Argonauts by Apollonius of RhodesCast:Steve Reeves as HerculesSylva Koscina as IoleFabrizio Mioni as JasonIvo Garrani as Pelias, King of IolcusGianna Maria Canale as Antea, Queen of the AmazonsArturo Dominici as EurysteusMimmo Palmara as Iphitus, son of PeliasLidia Alfonsi as The SibylGabriele Antonini as UlyssesAldo Fiorelli as ArgosAndrea Fantasia as LaertesLuciana Paluzzi as Iole's maid as Luciana PaoluzziAfro Poli as ChironGian Paolo Rosmino as AesculapiusWilli Colombini as PolluxFulvio Carrara as CastorGino Mattera as OrpheusGina Rovere as AmazonLily Granado as AmazonAldo Pini as TifiGuido Martufi as Iphitus, as a childPaola Quattrini as Iole, as a child

Faust (1926)

Faust – A German Folktale (German: Faust – Eine deutsche Volkssage) is a 1926 silent film produced by Ufa, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Gösta Ekman as Faust, Emil Jannings as Mephisto, Camilla Horn as Gretchen/Marguerite, Frida Richard as her mother, Wilhelm Dieterle as her brother and Yvette Guilbert as Marthe Schwerdtlein, her aunt. Murnau’s film draws on older traditions of the legendary tale of Faust as well as on Goethe’s classic 1808 version. Ufa wanted Ludwig Berger to direct Faust, as Murnau was engaged with Variety; Murnau pressured the producer and, backed by Jannings, eventually persuaded Erich Pommer to let him direct the film.

Faust was Murnau’s last German film, and directly afterward he moved to the US under contract to William Fox to direct Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927); when the film premiered in the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, Murnau was already shooting in Hollywood. It has been praised for its special effects and is regarded as an example of German Expressionist film.

PLOT

The demon Mephisto has a bet with an Archangel that he can corrupt a righteous man’s soul and destroy in him what is divine. If he succeeds, the Devil will win dominion over earth.

The Devil delivers a plague to the village where Faust, an elderly alchemist, lives. Though he prays to stop the death and starvation, nothing happens. Disheartened, Faust throws his alchemy books in the fire, and then the Bible too. One book opens, showing how to have power and glory by making a pact with the Devil. He goes to a crossroads as described in the book’s procedure and conjures up the forces of evil. When Mephisto appears at the roadside, he induces Faust to make a trial, 24-hour bargain with the Devil. Faust will have Mephisto’s service till the sand runs out in an hourglass, at which time the Devil will rescind the pact. At first, Faust uses his new power to help the people of the village, but they shun him when they find out that he cannot face a cross. They stone him and he takes shelter in his home.

Faust then makes a further deal with Mephisto, who gives Faust back his youth and offers him earthly pleasures and a kingdom, in return for his immortal soul. Mephisto tempts Faust with the vision of a beautiful woman. He then takes him to a wedding feast in Parma, to meet the subject of his vision, an Italian Duchess. Faust departs with her, leaving the Devil to kill her groom. Just as Faust is making love to her the sands run out. He is obliged to seal the deal permanently in order to continue his love-making; he is Mephisto’s forever.

Faust soon grows weary of debauchery and yearns for “Home”. Here Faust falls in love with an innocent girl, Gretchen, who is charmed into loving Faust by a golden chain left by the Devil.

Faust comes to Gretchen’s room. The devil rouses the mother who sees them and drops dead from shock. The devil then incites her soldier brother, Valentin, to run home to catch her lover. Valentin and Faust fight a duel. The Devil intervenes and stabs Valentin in the back. He then goes around town shouting “murder”. Faust and Mephisto flee on the back of a hellish steed.

Valentin condemns Faust for his murder and his sister as a harlot in his dying breath. She is put in the stocks and subjected to jeering. The girl has a child (by Faust) and ends up in the streets. In a blizzard she sees a vision of a warm cradle and lays her child down on the snow, where the child dies. Soldiers find her and she is sent to the stake as a murderess. Faust sees what is happening and demands Mephisto take him there. Faust arrives just as the fire has been started to burn his lover. Faust wishes he had never asked to have his youth back. Mephisto smashes the mirror with Faust’s reflection and he loses his youth. He runs through the assembled mob towards Gretchen; and it is as an old man that Faust throws himself onto the fire to be with his beloved.

Gretchen recognizes Faust and sees him in her heart as a young man again as the fire consumes them together. Their spirits rise to the heavens. The angel reveals to Mephisto that he has lost the bet because Love has triumphed over all.

CREATORS

Directed by F. W. Murnau
Written by Hans Kyser
Produced by Erich Pommer

CAST

Gösta Ekman – Faust
Emil Jannings – Mephisto
Camilla Horn – Gretchen
Frida Richard – Gretchen’s mother
William Dieterle – Valentin, Gretchen’s brother
Yvette Guilbert – Marthe Schwerdtlein, Gretchen’s aunt
Eric Barclay – Duke of Parma
Hanna Ralph – Duchess of Parma
Werner Fuetterer – Archangel

Original release date:
October 14, 1926

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Genres: Movies, 1920's, Drama Films, Fantasy, Fantasy Films, Horror Films, Horror, Silent Films, Silent Films, German Classics, Drama Movies, ALL Movies

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