Article 4188 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Featuring Ugo Bazzini, Alfredo Bracci, Giuseppe Gambardella
What it is: Dealings with the devil
Faust sells his soul to the devil for youth and pleasure, and falls for the beautiful Marguerite.
I’m making some guesses on the credits above; the IMDB listing for this has a problem because it mixes up credits for three different productions of the story, and since this is the Italian version from Cines, I picked out the Italian names from the cast, and hope I got it right. It’s probably the most elaborate telling of the story I’ve encountered that predates Murnau’s take on the story. Beside that, I’d say the most striking facet of this version is the extreme theatricality of the acting, especially from the actor playing Mephistopheles; if this weren’t a silent movie, I’m sure all the actors would be shouting their lines at the top of their lungs to reach the rafters. Unfortunately, the theatricality becomes more annoying than fun, and given the fact that the production is somewhat flat, this tends to make it one of the less appealing versions of the story. I wonder what the other 1910 versions of the story were like.