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By Denis Gifford

Not easy conceal publication, finished assessment of the horror motion picture style. totally illustrated with nice pictures.

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50 In many ways these comic short films, and the rise to prominence of the comedians featured therein, revealed the economic, commercial, and psychological mechanisms at the base of what would become the Italian star system; the actors and actresses who commanded the highest salaries and achieved the greatest recognition were inextricably linked to particular generic forms and modes of expression. One of the 38 The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema most successful comic series was that of Cretinetti, known in English as Foolshead, featuring André Deed (fig.

13 One highlight of these celebrations was the inauguration of a national monument in Rome, the Altare della Patria (the Altar of the Fatherland), in honor of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the united Italy (fig. 1). Commissioned in 1878 after the king’s death, and designed by Giuseppe Sacconi, an architect who would not live to see his work completed, the monument was meant to constitute a lay, symbolic space that would be capable of conveying the Italian state formation and, simultaneously, secularize Papal Rome into an appropriate capital for the Liberal state.

32 The divas had to play off a male counterpart, but these actors, such as Alberto Capozzi, Mario Bonnard, Febo Mari, Tullio Carminati, and Alberto Collo, never achieved the equivalent level of stardom. The two most popular Italian actors – Pagano (Maciste) and Ghione (Za La Mort) – belonged instead to the more populist genres of the strongman and serial dramas. These were films that, unlike the diva film, appealed predominantly to the lower- and middle-class spectator, family films filled with suspense, action, and, in the case of the Maciste series, ironic humor.

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