27 November 2012

Ignazio Lupi

Ignazio Lupi (1867 - 1942) was an Italian actor who had a prolific career in Italian silent cinema in the 1910's and early 1920's. He is not to be confused with the Italo-American gangster Ignazio Lupo.

Come le foglie
Italian postcard. Photo: Tiber Film. Publicity still for Come le foglie/Like the Leaves (1917, Gennaro Righelli). Father Giovanni (Ignazio Lupi) unites his daughter Nennele (Maria Jacobini) with his cousin Massimo (Guido Guiducci). Translation caption: Nennele: Shall I call him? Massimo!

Cines Epic
Ignazio Lupi was born in Rome, Italy in 1867. From 1912 on, he was a regular cast member of productions of the Società Italiana Cines. First he appeared in many shorts, such as Gaspare/Gaspar's Devotion (1912), Anna Maria/For Her Father's Sake (1912) and Una tragedia al cinematografo/Cinema Tragedy at Carnival Time (1913, Enrico Guazzoni). In the latter he plays a jealous husband who threatens to shoot his infidel wife whom he thinks is in a cinema with a lover. When the manager warns the audience, dozens of adulterous couples secretly leave the cinema by the backdoor, thinking it concerns them. In the Cines epic Quo Vadis? (1913, Enrico Guazzoni) he was Aulus, Lygia's (Lea Giunchi) foster father; in Marcantonio e Cleopatra/Antony and Cleopatra (1914, Enrico Guazzoni) he was Ottaviano, and he played Pompeoin Cajus Julius Caesar (1914, Enrico Guazzoni) featuring Amleto Novelli. Other epic productions he was in were the monumental Cabiria (1914, Giovanni Pastrone) featuring Lydia Quaranta, and Christus (1916, Giulio Antamoro), the story of the life of Christ filmed in Egypt.

Maria Jacobini and Ignazio Lupi in Come le foglie
Italian postcard. Photo: Tiber Film, Roma. Publicity still of Maria Jacobini and Ignazio Lupi in Come le foglie/Like the leaves (1917). Come le foglie was based on the stage play by Giuseppe Giacosa. The caption translates: "Giovanni: And tomorrow I would have been out in the world, shouting like a madman, searching for my little daughter". Content of the film: After a life of spendthrifts, the Rosati family is ruined. Father Giovanni (Ignazio Lupi) accepts work from his cousin Massimo (Guido Guiducci). Hitherto neglected as too serious and workaholic, Massimo becomes the head of the family and takes care of the son and daughter of Giovanni, Tommy (Alberto Collo) and Nennele (Jacobini), and their stepmother Giulia (Floriana). Tommy and Giulia remain weak spirits, but after an attempted suicide, Nennele realizes Massimo's force and unites with him.

Peak Of His Career
In 1916 and 1917, Ignazio Lupi reached the peak of his cinema career with respectively 13 and 9 parts in films. These films included the Tiber-Film productions La caccia ai millioni/The hunt for the million (1916, Baldassarre Negroni), La rosa di Granata/The Rose of Granada (1916, Emilio Ghione) starring Lina Cavalieri, and La cuccagna/The bonanza (1917, Baldassarre Negroni) starring Hesperia. In this adaptation of Emile Zola La curée, Lupi played banker Mareuil. Until 1922 Lupi stayed very active in the Italian silent film. Among his films were the drama I figli di nessuno/Nobody's Children (1921, Ubaldo Maria del Colle) starring Leda Gys, the Luigi Pirandello adapation Ma non è una cosa seria/But It Isn't Serious (1921, Augusto Camerini) starring Carmen Boni, and the thriller La casa sotto la neve/The house in the snow (1922, Gennaro Righelli), with Maria Jacobini. His last role was in La cavalcata ardente/The fiery cavalcade (1925, Carmine Gallone), starring Soava Gallone. Ignazio Lupi died in 1942 in Rome. He was 75.

Soava Gallone
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: publicity still of Soava Gallone in La cavalcata ardente (1925).

Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il cinema muto italiano) and IMDb.

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