"Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of
Directed by Carmine Gallone
Although he's not
credited, some sources suggest that Benito Mussolini himself had a hand in
the screenplay of this epic film from Italy's fascist era. Certainly the
film was strongly supervised by Mussolini's son, Vittorio, and designed to
inspire patriotic feelings among the populace with its celebratory depiction
of ancient Rome's battles, and eventual victory, against Hannibal's forces
in Africa. The film is a fascinating blend of visual triumphs (tremendous
battle scenes and pageantry) and failures (shots with telephone wires in the
background) that may suggest the discomfort of director Carmine Gallone, who
was ordered back from working abroad to head this project. Gallone would
later direct the anti-fascist movie, Before Him All Rome Trembled.
Made decades before animal cruelty watchdog groups policed filmmaking, the
movie includes the cruel spectacle of some elephants being slaughtered.
Dubbed in English. 85 minutes.