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  • Cabiria
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Product Details

  • Actors: Italia Almirante-Manzini, Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano, Carolina Catena, Gina Marangoni
  • Directors: Giovanni Pastrone
  • Writers: Giovanni Pastrone, Emilio Salgari, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Titus Livius
  • Producers: Giovanni Pastrone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2000
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z4TJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,640 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cabiria" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Inspired by grand opera and Italy's imperialist victory in the Libyan War (1911-12), the Italian movie industry produced dozens of historical epics in the period just before World War I. The most influential and successful of these was Cabiria, the visually spectacular film which set the standard for big-budget feature-length movies around the world and opened the way for D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. De Mille. The story concerns a girl - Cabiria - who is separated from her parents during the Punic Wars in the Third Century B.C. In her odyssey through the world of ancient Rome, she encounters the eruption of Mt. Etna, capture by pirates, the barbaric splendor of Carthage, human sacrifice and Hannibal crossing the Alps. With meticulous care given to costume and set design, Cabiria was shot in North Africa, Sicily and the Italian Alps. This Kino on Video edition was mastered from a premiere quality 35mm print at the correct projection speed. The piano soundtrack, performed by Jacques Gauthier, is adapted from the original 1914 score.

Customer Reviews

The volcano looks real.
Aaron Wooldridge
It's no wonder he went on to a whole career in Maciste -muscle-hero movies, which must have been the ancestors of all the sandal and sword movies that came later.
Alberto M. Barral
Technically it appears to be far superior to most films from this 'early silent' period.
Mr Peter G George

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mr Peter G George on January 13, 2001
Format: DVD
What really astonishes about Cabiria is that it was made in 1914. Technically it appears to be far superior to most films from this 'early silent' period. The story is interesting if somewhat complex and the acting is naturalistic. There are some amazing moments in this film, moments of horror, violence, comedy and genuine human emotion. At times the scenes of horror really startle because they are so unexpected in a film from 1914. The story carries the viewer far and wide over the Roman world, but does so in such a way that the epic feel does not overshadow the human drama and the complex emotions of the characters. This is a high quality DVD. The picture is fine with only a few signs of print decay. The biggest problem probably arises from the titles often being very long and rather flowery in their language, so that it is necessary to pause the DVD to read them. I have read that Cabiria was at one time shown at a length of three hours. This DVD is just over two hours. I have no doubt that this version is the most complete available, and given the variable speeds of silent films it is difficult to judge how much, if any, of the film has been lost. It would be good if there was some more detailed information, on the DVD packaging, which might clear up this issue. Furthermore I have seen stills of Cabiria which show that some prints were originally tinted. It would have been better if the film could have been restored with these original colours. These are, however, minor quibbles and do not change my decision to rate this DVD as highly as is possible.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By sandy807 VINE VOICE on May 9, 2002
Format: DVD
This was the first complete silent movie I have ever seen, and it was fascinating to observe and ponder its making 88 years ago. Considering the limited technology in movie-making then, this movie was and is a masterpiece. It has incredible scenery and/or sets, and the costuming reflecting the ancient Carthaginian and Roman cultures is well-done, although I can see the influence of the styles of 1914 in clothing, hair, and makeup.
The melodramatic acting is corny at times, but it gave rise to discussion in my family about how exaggeration was needed in silent movies to compensate for the lack of speech, which in modern movies carries a lot of weight in creating the story. The written interludes with dialogue and narration were not frequent, and therefore not tiresome, however, I often found it hard to follow the plot, which has as much to do with my unfamiliarity of the history of the period, as to uncertainty about what the acting was portraying. Nevertheless, I kept my eyes glued to the screen, following the little Roman girl Cabiria, sold to the Carthaginians to serve as a ceremonial sacrifice, later rescued to serve in the palace, and all the ensuing events surrounding her as the tides of war surge between Rome and Carthage.
I discovered this movie after watching the movie, "Good Morning Babylon" which is about two young Italian men who go to America to find work, and end up meeting the film producer, D.W. Griffith. Griffith has just viewed "Cabiria" and is so overwhelmed, he throws away his current film to create one called "Intolerance" which he vows to make as good as Cabiria. In Intolerance he tries to recreate an elephant statue he had seen in Cabiria, and so while watching Cabiria, I was looking for and found those elephant statues. This historical chain of movies, from Cabiria, to Intolerance, to Good Morning Babylon, is an interesting study in itself.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nate Goyer on November 30, 2000
Format: DVD
I'm a silent-movie fan, so I'm patient to silent movies. Most movies made before 1920 lack fanciful camerawork, as direction was just becoming an artform. These films have a lot of wide shots, almost as if you're watching a play. "Cabiria" is one of the films that breaks the barriers of the day; panning shots begin to evolve; zoom effects created by rolling the camera to tighten the view of the acting; special effects, such as a volcano eruption that was revolutionary for it's time. "Cabiria" also raised the bar for costuming, set design and general investment in production.
Kino on Video creates wonderful products and the print used on this DVD is very clean. The score is piano-based from the original 1914 score.
Overall; If you are a silent fan, or if you're curious to see the films that developed the artform of film, "Cabiria" is a good investment!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alberto M. Barral on July 13, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I became interested in "Cabiria" as a ressult of watching Griffith's "intolerance" (Kino version) where an excerpt of the action on the temple of Moloch was included, and I knew then I needed to see the whole movie, which was most definitely an inspiration for the Griffith masterpiece.
Cabiria is a little girl that lives with her family in the proximity of the Aetna volcano in Sicily. She undergoes a series of complex adventures as she is saved by her nurse, then kidnapped by pirates and then sold into slavery and bought by Moloch's priest with the purpose of sacrificing her in the fiery furnace at the statue of the god, which truly deserves the title of first really scary mechanical contraption in film. She is rescued by Romans Fulvio Axilla and his "Herculean" (as described by the NY Times review at the viewing at the Knickerbocker theater in NY) assistant-side kick, Maciste, both of whom her nurse encountered at the city walls. As Romans, they were spying on Carthage's defenses at this time of the Punic Wars, but it takes them no time to morph into heros willing to rescue Cabiria. However her story does not end there, and it goes through a lot more convolutions before she can return home for the happy ending. The complexity of the story can be attributed to Gabriele D'Anunzio who was the official script writer as well as the author of the typically flamboyant intertitles by Italy's "damned poet" , enfant terrible and celebrity of that time.
There was also a political interest and D'Anunzio fully supported Italy's imperialist policies which were anexing territories during these years of war with the Ottoman Empire.
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