Maciste

   Film character. Played by the barrel-chested Bartolomeo Pagano, a Genoese dockworker with no previous acting experience, Maciste is the powerful but faithful African slave who helps rescue the young Roman girl from the jaws of Moloch in Giovanni Pastrone's epic blockbuster Cabinet (1914). The perceived popular appeal of the character led to a long line of films in which Maciste appeared in a variety of guises and in different times and settings, playing roles as different as an Alpine trooper, an emperor, or a policeman, and yet always fundamentally the same "good giant" who had delighted audiences in the earlier film. After some 15 films for the Itala Film company in Italy, Pagano was enticed to make a further four Maciste films in Germany before returning to Italy to make several more for Stefano Pittaluga, including the surreal and at times hilarious Maciste all'Inferno (Maciste in Hell, 1926).
   While the character's popular appeal undoubtedly derived from his uncomplicated moral values and his role as a natural defender of the weak against the bullying of the strong, many of the Itala films also demonstrated a more complex self-awareness of the medium on the part of the filmmakers. In the very first Maciste film (Marvelous Maciste, 1915), for example, a young girl mistreated by an evil uncle who is attempting to appropriate her inheritance sees Cabiria in a movie theater and decides to seek Maciste's help. She goes to the Itala studios in Turin where Maciste is in the middle of making a new film but he immediately accedes to her plea for help and embarks on setting things right.
   Fading from the screens with Pagano's retirement and the coming of sound, the character was revived in the late 1950s in many of the sword-and-sandal epics, or so-called peplums, produced at Cinecitta. By this time, however, Maciste had lost his individuality and had become indistinguishable from the many Herculeses, Atlases, and other assorted neomythological strongmen, all played by a host of American bodybuilders.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Maciste — (pronounced|maˈtʃiste) is one of the oldest recurring characters in cinema. He cuts a heroic figure throughout the history of the cinema of Italy, even if the movies that featured him were usually of poor artistic quality. He is usually depicted… …   Wikipedia

  • Maciste — ist eine vom italienischen Dichter Gabriele D Annunzio erfundene Heldengestalt mit herkulischen Kräften aus der Geschichte Karthagos. Im Film wurde sie erstmals in Giovanni Pastrones Monumentalfilmklassiker Cabiria (1914) von Bartolomeo Pagano… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maciste — est un personnage mythique créé en 1913 dans le film Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone). Interprété par le docker génois Bartolomeo Pagano, l esclave herculéen fait sensation. Le personnage Maciste Après son apparition en 1913, le personnage sera repris …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Maciste —    Film character. Played by the barrel chested Bartolomeo Pagano, a Genoese dockworker with no previous acting experience, Maciste is the powerful but faithful African slave who helps rescue the young Roman girl from the jaws of Moloch in… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Maciste — El término Maciste puede referirse a: Macisto. Personaje de la mitología griega. Maciste. Personaje del cine italiano interpretado por primera vez por el actor Bartolomeo Pagano. Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relacionados con… …   Wikipedia Español

  • maciste — ma·cì·ste s.m. CO per anton., anche con iniz. maiusc., uomo molto forte, dalla corporatura robusta {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1923. ETIMO: da Maciste, nome di un personaggio del film Cabiria (1914) dotato di grande forza fisica …   Dizionario italiano

  • maciste — {{hw}}{{maciste}}{{/hw}}s. m. (scherz.) Uomo molto forte e di grossa corporatura. ETIMOLOGIA: dal nome di un personaggio del film Cabiria del 1914, dal greco mákistos ‘il più grande’ …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • maciste — pl.m. macisti …   Dizionario dei sinonimi e contrari

  • maciste — [dal n. di un personaggio cinematografico; tratto dal gr. mákistos, superl. di makrós «lungo»] s. m. (scherz.) colosso, omone, toro, ercole, sansone CONTR. ometto, omarino, mingherlino, gracilino, debole …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Maciste (personaje) — Maciste es un personaje cinematográfico protagonista de un gran número de películas de género peplum. Al igual que otros personajes del género, como Hércules o Ursus, es un ser bondadoso que lucha por el desprotegido por medio de su fuerza… …   Wikipedia Español

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