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17 August 2017

Naufragio (1916)

Italian child star Ermanno Roveri (1903-1968) played the lead in the silent melodrama Naufragio/Shipwreck (Umberto Paradisi, 1916). Naufragio was part of a series of films based on the stories in Cuore (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis.

Ermanno Roveri in Naufragio (1916)
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Gloria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: He had the look of a boy who just came out of a big family misfortune.

Naufragio
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Be cheerful, the Italian sailor cried to them, now a ballet starts!

Naufragio
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Curled up against the vessel's mast, Mario and Giulietta stared at the sea with fixed eyes, as if senseless.

An Orphan on a Sinking Ship


Ermanno Roveri played the Sicilian orphan Mario, who is repatriated from Liverpool to Sicily. On the boat he meets Giulietta (played by Ermanno’s sister, Lavinia Roveri), who has to return to her parents in Naples.

During a tempest the boat sinks and Mario offers his seat in the lifeboat to Giulietta. Mario drowns on the sinking ship.

Naufragio was a production of Gloria, the film company in Turin that also produced the first films of diva Lyda Borelli. Gloria produced a series of films based on the stories in Cuore (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis.

Roveri acted in many of these films, including Dagli Appennini alle Ande, Naufragio, Il piccolo patriota padovano and Il piccolo scrivano fiorentino. These were all produced during the First World War.

Ermanno Roveri thus was one of the stars of Gloria. In 1913-1914 he had become famous as Frugolino, one of the comic child actors of the Cines company in Rome.

In the 1930s and 1940s Ermanno played in a dozen Italian films. He would continue to work in the theatre and incidentally in cinema or on television till his death in 1968.

Naufragio
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: In the interior of the vessel a confusion started as well as fright, and an uproar of weeping and prayers.

Naufragio
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: They saw all around them persons frozen like statues, with eyes wide open and with blank stares, with the faces of corpses and madmen.

Naufragio
Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Goodbye, Mario!, she cried among her sobs with her arms extended towards him.

Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il Cinema Italiano 1916) and IMDb.

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