Maggi, Luigi

(1867-1946)
   Director. Having joined Ambrosio Film as an actor in 1906, Maggi quickly graduated to being one of the studio's most prominent and accomplished directors. His first great triumph was with Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (The Last Days of Pompeii, 1908), the first of what would become numerous adaptations of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel in that long stream of spectacular historical epics that would constitute such a large part of Italian silent cinema. In 1911 the historical drama Nozze d'oro (Golden Wedding), in which he also starred alongside the rising diva Mary Cleo Talarini, was awarded first prize in the film section of the International Exhibition of Turin by a panel that included one of the Lumiere brothers. Still for Ambrosio, in 1912 Maggi made Satana (Satan), a three-part portrait of the prince of evil in different historical settings and manifestations, an ambitious and complex work that, although now lost, is thought to have deeply influenced both the conception and structure of D. W. Griffith's Intolerance. Maggi's participation in World War I interrupted his flourishing career and when he returned he worked mainly as an actor. He abandoned the film industry altogether in the early 1920s.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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