Italy: Pasquali & C.

L’Uragano
R: Ubaldo Maria Del Colle. D: Mario Casaleggio, Annita D’Armero, Lydia De Roberti, Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, Antonio Grisanti. P: Pasquali & C. It 1911
Dutch titles

“Founded as Pasquali & Tempo in 1908 by accountant, journalist, director, and producer Ernesto Maria Pasquali and a few Turinese businessmen, Pasquali was to become one of the most aggressive and ambitious Italian film companies. Initially, the company released a number of quality films without owning studios. In July 1910, however, through administrative restructuring and refinancing, Pasquali & Tempo became Pasquali & C. It immediately built its own studios – three, all at once, equipped with artificial lighting – and began turning known and unknown actors and directors into household names. First it created an outstanding screen couple by luring away Alberto Capozzi and Lydia De Roberti from Ambrosio Film, protagonists of Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (1908). Pasquali also hired other notable actors such as Mary Cleo Tarlarini, Gustavo Serena, Maria Jacobini, and Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, the last of which soon also worked as a director. The films released in this period include the poignant modern drama, Calvario (1911), possibly one of the company’s first multiple-reel-films, as well as the romantic adventure, La prigione infuocata, and the vengeful melodrama, L’Uragano, both directed in 1911 by Del Colle. Between 1911 and 1914, Pasquali had its most productive period. In 1912, Ferdinand Guillaume was hired away from Cines, where he had become famous as Tontolini, to launch the comic series, Polidor (1912-1915), and become Italian cinema’s most celebrated film comedian. (…)
In 1913, Pasquali opened a branch in Rome and hired Enrico Vidali as artistic director. Vidali distinguished himself by directing two of the company’s most remarkable international hits, the six-reel Spartaco (1913) and, aided by De Colle, the nine-reel Jone o gli ultimi goirni di Pompei (1913), produced in only 26 days in open competition with Ambrosio’s much-publicized production of the same title. Pasquali slightly altered the film title to avoid, in vain, a lawsuit from Ambrosio. The success of both films in the world market, where they often competed with the same title, showcased the winning equation of highbrow entertainment and spectacular feature-lenght productions.”
Giorgio Bertellini in: Richard Abel (ed.): Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Taylor & Francis 2005, p. 500