Guazzoni, Enrico

(1876-1949)
   Painter, director. With a degree in fine arts and a background in painting, Guazzoni began his career in films as a scenographer for the Alberini & Santoni company in Rome in 1906. In 1909 he joined Cines, originally as set designer for Mario Caserini, but he soon became one of the company's most prolific and high-profile directors. Although he would make films in a wide variety of genres, he became best known for his grand historical epics, especially those set in Roman times, which demonstrated a real flair for the spectacular and consistently created a strong sense of three-dimensional space absent from earlier films of the genre. The moderate acclaim won by Guazzoni's early Roman films like Agrippina and Brutus, released in 1911, paled before the overwhelming international success a year later of Quo vadis?, a film that catapulted him to world fame and set the benchmark for epic spectacle from then on. Guazzoni lifted that benchmark himself a year later with the colossal (and colossally budgeted) Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar), a film that required not only the accurate miniature reconstruction of the entire city of Rome but also the employment of 20,000 extras for the crowd scenes.
   Having set up his own production company in 1918, he continued to produce large-canvas films such as the medieval epic Gerusalemme Liberata (The Crusaders, 1918), adapted from Torquato Tasso's poem, and Clemente VII e il sacco di Roma (The Sack of Rome, 1920), but the company soon collapsed in the general crisis that gripped the industry in the early 1920s. In 1923, however, again for the Cines, he directed what many regard as his most spectacular film, Messalina, which raised the sword-and-sandal epic to new heights and included a splendid chariot race that would be closely imitated, two years later, in the Hollywood production of Ben-Hur. Nevertheless, the cost of the film helped to bankrupt the company and Guazzoni left the industry to return only briefly in the 1930s with a small number of lighthearted and humorous films, the best known being Re burlone (The Joker King, 1935).
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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  • Guazzoni, Enrico — (1876 1949)    Painter, director. With a degree in fine arts and a background in painting, Guazzoni began his career in films as a scenographer for the Alberini & Santoni company in Rome in 1906. In 1909 he joined Cines, originally as set… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Guazzoni, Enrico — • ГУАЦЦО НИ (Guazzoni) Энрико (18.9.1876 24.9.1949)    итал. режиссёр. Окончил Рим. ин т изящных иск в. Работал художником декоратором. В кино с 1907 (комедия Приглашение к обеду ). В 1910 пост. один из первых итал. ф. колоссов Агриппина .… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Enrico Guazzoni — Données clés Naissance 18 septembre 1876 Rome, Italie Nationalité Italien Décès 24 septembre …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Quo Vadis (1951) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Quo vadis? Originaltitel: Quo Vadis Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1951 Länge: 171 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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