THE LADY WITH THE CAMELIAS / LA DAME AUX CAMÉLIAS / CAMILLE
Italy, Film d'Arte Italiana, 1909, 17 minutes
Scriptwriter and director: Ugo Falena
Cameraman: Raoul Aubourdier
Cast: Vittoria Lepanto, Alberto Nepoti, Dante Cappelli
Screen adaptations were an integral part of the early film repertoire. Classic literary or historical plots lent respectability to the young art. The pride of place in the production of such pictures belonged to the Italians; films of the French company Film d’Arte, which attracted the best actors, directors, and artists, were also very popular.
The plot of Ugo Falena’s film, made at the Italian branch of the company, is borrowed from the eponymous novel by Dumas fils. The story of tragic love, played out in luxurious settings and ending with the death of the heroine, was the best fit for a screen adaptation in the genre of drawing-room drama. This film genre, which appeared in Europe in the late 1900s, very soon became one of the most popular ones in Russian cinema. It was practiced by the leading directors of Russian cinema: Evgeny Bauer, Pyotr Chardynin, and Yakov Protazanov.
Based on the eponymous novel by Alexandre Dumas fils.
Aristocrat Armand Duval meets the courtesan Marguerite Gauthier, after which he never stops thinking about her. The young man’s family is adamantly opposed to his relationship with a girl of easy virtue. For the sake of Armand’s future, Marguerite, who is dying from consumption, sets him free.