La Bertini Under Cover

L’amazzone mascherata
R: Baldassarre Negroni. B: Arrigo Frusta. K: Giorgio Ricci. D: Francesca Bertini, Alberto Collo, Emilio Ghione. P: Celio Film. It 1914
Print: EYE collection
Dutch titles
Engl subtitles

L’Amazzone mascherata sees Francesca Bertini in the role of Franca de Roberti, a woman who vows to clear the name of her husband after he is framed for treason. (…) After her husband is court-martialled and sent to jail, de Roberti figures out the identity of the one who framed him: Jean Stérosky, circus director and secret Silistrian spy, with whom Franca and her husband had previously organized a show. However, she lacks proof, so she decides to go undercover: ‘I’ll visit him in Silistria, but he won’t recognise me.” She joins a travelling circus and achieves fame as The Masked Amazon. (…)
Editing is rather standard and undistinguished, with a few nice choices: the juxtaposition between the Silistrian Loïe Fuller dancers and Franca looking pensive; a double-exposure in which di Roberti recalls Stérosky and his assistant (played by Leda Gys in blackface as a gypsy-type character); the cross-cutting to Lieutenant di Roberti in his cell as she thinks of him. (…)
Really, L’Amazzone mascherata is more of an adventure story than a diva film; Franca de Roberti spends much more time in plot-driven, self-motivated action than she does in lounging around, emoting, etc. However, being a film starring La Bertini, many diva properties are still in effect.”
Silents, Please!

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