Italy, Cines (the Princeps series), 1911, 25 minutes
Scriptwriter and director: Enrico Guazzoni
Director of photography: Alessandro Bona
Production designer: Francesco Ronsetti
Cast: Amleto Novelli (Tancred), Carlo Cattaneo (Godfrey of Bouillon), Emilio Ghione (Rinaldo), Gianna Terribili-Gonzalez (Clorinda), Fernanda Negri Pouget (Armida), Cesare Moltini (Aladine); Alfredo Bracci
In the history of Italian silent cinema, “Jerusalem Delivered” has the same significance as “L’Inferno” (released the same year), “Que Vadis?”, and “Cabiria”. The only difference is that “Jerusalem Delivered” (1911) has been considered lost.
Since the early 1910s, the Italian film industry was experiencing an extraordinary boom. From one film to another, their budget and scope increased, their plots became more complicated, and therefore the duration of the picture grew. So it is unsurprising that the country’s largest film studio, Cines, chose Tasso's main work for its first film in the Princeps series: a series of big-budget, large-scale film, often based on classic historical or literary works. Both this and the 1918 version of “Jerusalem Delivered” (which the Gosfilmofond copy of the 1911 film until recently had been thought to be) was made by a leading director of Italian cinema, Enrico Guazzoni. The film was shot in five months (which is inconceivably long for that time), up to 800 people took part in it, and, for the first time for the studio, its length amounted to four reels. "Jerusalem Delivered" immediately was a resounding success both nationally and internationally. According to Italian historians Aldo Bernardini and Vittorio Martinelli, in September 1912, Pathé Fréres studio rushed to release its Pathécolor film version based on Tasso’s plot, with actors from the Comédie-Française and mime Paul Franck (there is no documentary evidence of this information). By the way, this is not the first screen adaptation of the poem by a French film studio - in 1910, director Camille de Morlhon made "The Tyrant of Jerusalem".
"Jerusalem Delivered" entered the Gosfilmofond collection from the All-Union Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in the 1950s. A safe stock triacetate black and white intermediate negative was printed from the acquired nitrate positive copy and scanned at 2K. Basic stabilization, cleaning, and flicker elimination work has been done. Of the four original parts of the film, the first and third one have survived. The contents of the missing parts have been filled in thanks to the preserved original intertitle list and photographs.