Last Days of Pompeii (1913)
aka Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei
Article 5715 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Mario Caserini and Eleuterio Rodolfi
Featuring Fernanda Negri Pouget, Eugenia Tettoni Fior, Ubaldo Stefani
What it is: Mostly costume soap opera
Various lovers in ancient Pompeii interact with each other. Can a volcano solve all their personal problems?
The high priest who serves as the villain of this one has a few magical powers, one of which (an elixir that drives a man mad) plays a central role in the story. The plot mostly serves as a time-killer until the movie gets to what it’s really all about – the volcano destruction footage, and if you want to get to the good parts, feel free to skip the first three-quarters of the movie, My print runs less than an hour, but rather than title cards, the soundtrack features a narrator telling us what is happening, which no doubt shortened the telling of the story. Despite the fantastic content, it’s primarily a soap opera of sorts with a number of dull stretches.