Partita a scacchi, Una
Game of Chees, The / The Maniac(1912)
Director: Luigi Maggi – Director of photography: Giovanni Vitrotti – Production: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino – Original lenght: 185 m – Lenght: 172 m – Intertitles: French – Availability date: 04/1912

Cast: Antonio Grisanti (il pazzo/the crazy), Febo Mari (il viaggiatore/the traveller)

The film:

Una partita a scacchi is a small jewel of a suspense and psychological tension. Almost all the story takes place inside a train wagon, yet the rhythm and tension never go down. Also thanks to the two main roles: Antonio Grisanti, convincing and disturbing weirdie and Febo Mari, a “d’annunziano” actor who gives us one of his most convincing performances here. The script, in its simplicity, is valued by a very modern use of the cross cutting. The scenes showing  the house of the insane people are subtly disturbing too. Mari, in this case the victim of a madman, will perform the role of a madman instead in the ending of Il fuoco (Itala, 1915), perhaps one of this most famous film together with Cenere (Ambrosio, 1916).


The film restoration:

The preservation was carried out by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino, based on an tinted nitrate print with French intertitles. From the nitrate print  a positive color print was printed on safety film, using the Desmet method. The restoration was conducted at the Haghefilm laboratory in Amsterdam in 1995.


Link Vimeo Cineteca MNC:



In detail
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