Itala film

   Production company. Founded in 1905 by Carlo Rossi and William Remmert as Carlo Rossi & C., the company recruited a number of technicians from the French Pathe to become one of the first film manufacturing companies in Turin. Two years later it was joined by Giovanni Pastrone, who helped to reorganize its management procedures on a much firmer commercial basis. In 1908, with Rossi leaving to work for the Cines in Rome, the company was transformed into Itala Film, adopting Fixite as its motto and principle.
   For the next decade the company's growth and development was ably guided by Pastrone, who demonstrated remarkable skills as manager, producer, director, and technician. One of Pastrone's shrewdest moves was to entice the Pathe's most successful comedian, Andre Deed, to Itala's well-outfitted new studios in Turin, where Deed was able to turn out hundreds of the extremely popular Cretinetti films. At the same time, La caduta di Troia (The Fall of Troy, 1910), directed by Pastrone himself, broke box office records in the United States, allowing Itala to set up a subsidiary in New York in 1913 and thus pave the way for the stellar success of Pastrone's Cabiria there in 1914. Under Pastrone's firm guidance, Itala distinguished itself for the quality of its literary adaptations and its costume melodramas while also exploiting the character of Maciste, the mucleman with a heart of gold who had first appeared in Cabiria, in a string of very popular films bearing his name. Segundo De Chomon's remarkable talents for special effects, also first seen in Cabiria, were further showcased in the brilliant animation of La guerra e il sogno di Momi (The War and the Dream of Momi, 1917).
   Nevertheless, by 1918 Pastrone had lost financial control of the company, which in 1919, in the general crisis that began to engulf the industry, was absorbed into the ill-fated Unione Cinematografia Italiana (UCI). In 1927 the derelict Itala studios in Turin were bought up by Stefano Pittaluga.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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