January 12, 2012

The Posters of Frankenstein : Il Mostro di Frankenstein

There’s precious little material left attending the release of Il Mostro di Frankenstein, the lost Italian Frankenstein film of 1920. Here, recently surfaced, and predating a similar ad from 1926, is what becomes the earliest known poster of the film, for two showings in August 1922. Cheaply printed in two colors, these typographical posters were produced in low numbers for neighborhood distribution.

The “Frankenstein” name is misspelled, as it was, differently, on the 1926 poster. Producer/actor Luciano Albertini, an early Italian movie star known for his role as “Samson”, gets top billing.

An extraordinary film of sensational adventures”, the copy reads, “superbly interpreted by Albertini and his troupe”. The troupe in question included fellow strongman Umberto Guarracino, who played The Monster to Albertini’s Frankenstein. “A Masterpiece without precedent An enormous success”.

The accompanying film, La Caniglia — literally “the rabble”, and usually translated as “the gangster” — was another film from 1920, directed by and starring Enzo Longhi.

The long-lived Cinema Teatro Aurora opened in 1908 on the narrow Via Paolo Scarpi in downtown Milan. For a time, patrons could gather in an inner courtyard on warm days to be serenaded by the house orchestra. The Cinema switched to sound film in 1931 and underwent periodic upgrades through the years. After a season’s shutdown in 1980, the Teatro was revived as an adult movie house, operating briefly as the Aurora Pussycat. It closed definitely in 2003, after a remarkable 95-year run. The building is still standing, its façade intact, with the insides remodeled for commercial and cultural use.

Source: Wonderful research by film historian Giuseppe Rausa, notably a detailed account of the Cinema Teatro Aurora (in Italian), with links to numerous placard-type posters.

A placard from 1926 and a Belgian ad for Il Mostro di Frankenstein
The Silent Frankensteins


Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a page with a picture from this lost italian version.


Anonymous said...

Wow! This is the first time I've seen an actual photo, along with the Monster's appearance. I hope that this still has actually been confirmed as from this film.