Le avventure di Pinocchio (found Italian silent film; 1911)

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Ferdinand Guillaume as Pinocchio.

Status: Found

Date found: 1994

Found by: Cineteca Italiana

Le avventure di Pinocchio (directed by Giulio Antamoro) is the oldest film adaptation of Pinocchio known to exist.[1] With a runtime of between 52 and 54 minutes, it also holds the distinction of being one of the first feature-length films. Ferdinand Guillaume, at the time one of the best-known performers in Italy's world of comedy on stage and screen, plays Pinocchio with his brother Natalino playing Lucignolo (better known by the name of Lampwick), Augusto Mastripietri playing Geppetto, and Lea Giunchi playing the Blue Fairy. After taking only a few months to be completed, the film came out in November of 1911 and enjoyed great financial and critical success in its native Italy and an abridged version of the film was exported to other nations.


However, as the film stock that would have been used at the time was highly combustible, enough copies were destroyed in fires, improperly stored which led to irreversible deterioration, or were simply misplaced due to poor record-keeping that the film was presumed to have joined the ranks of thousands of other silent films of the early-1900s as having been lost to time entirely, save for five minutes of heavily-deteriorated film. Fortunately, in 1994, the film's original negative was discovered at Cineteca Italiana, Italy's film archive, in good enough condition to be converted into a viewable film.[2] In 2002, TIME magazine reported that a 30-minute cut, likely one of the exported prints that were shortened, had been found and restored.[3]

The restored film was screened in 2018, more than a century after its initial release, at the Zorilla Theater in Spain and was accompanied by live electronic music courtesy of Miclono, a local musical band.[4]

Contemporary reception

The film itself has been described by Cineteca Italiana as being a rather loose adaptation of the original story but being a very unsettling and unnerving film, due to adapting such a surreal story to a medium that was still in its infancy and had yet to be perfected.



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