Ambrosio film

   Production company. Founded in Turin by Arturo Ambrosio in 1906 (originally Film Ambrosio e C., then transformed into a public stock company and renamed in 1907), Ambrosio Film quickly grew into one of the major production houses of the early Italian cinema, contributing significantly to making Turin the capital of the Italian film industry during this early period. By the end of its first year of operation the company could boast a catalog of 80 films, including a short feature by Giovanni Vitrotti, II cane riconoscente (The Grateful Dog), which was awarded the first prize for a feature film by the Lumiere brothers. In addition to other award-winning documentaries and actualities, mostly shot by Vitrotti and Roberto Omegna, the company produced comedies — its resident comic Marcel Fabre made over 150 films featuring the character of Robinet—and also initiated what would become the great success of the epic superspectacle with its 1908 production of Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (The Last Days of Pompeii). Ambrosio became particularly renowned for its quality literary adaptations, releasing, among many others, seven films based on the works of the then reigning literary superstar Gabriele D'Annunzio in just two years (1911-1912), followed by an internationally acclaimed adaptation of Alessandro Manzoni's historical novel I promessi sposi (The Betrothed, 1913). In 1913 the company also opened the Cinema Ambrosio in Turin, one of the first luxury picture palaces in Italy.
   As well as maintaining a major presence on the Italian scene, Ambrosio coproduced films with German and Russian companies and was one of the few Italian companies to export into the American market, opening an affiliate in New York in 1912. After a glorious decade of successful production, however, the company began to falter in the general crisis that engulfed the Italian film industry in the period immediately after World War I. Having reduced its production to only a few modestly successful films in the early 1920s, the company was liquidated in 1924.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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