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Francesca Bertini (born Elena Seracini Vitiello; 5 January 1892[1] – 13 October 1985) was an Italian silent film actress. She was one of the most successful silent film stars in the first quarter of the twentieth-century.

Francesca Bertini
FBertiniAssunta S1915.png
Bertini in Assunta Spina (1915)
Born
Elena Seracini Vitiello

(1892-01-05)5 January 1892
Florence, Italy
Died13 October 1985(1985-10-13) (aged 93)
Rome, Italy
OccupationActress
Francesca Bertini, from a 1917 publication.

Contents

BiographyEdit

Born in Florence, she was daughter of a woman who may have been an actress, but she was unmarried and Bertini was registered as Elena Taddei at an orphanage in 1892. Her mother, Adelina di Venanzio Fratiglioni, married Arturo Vitiello in 1910 and she took his family name. Bertini began performing on stages at the age of seventeen she began to perform in the just-born Italian movie production. She had a major role in Salvatore Di Giacomo's melodramatic story “Assunta Spina”.[2]

She had made over 50 films by 1915[2] including, Histoire d'un pierrot, was under the direction of Baldassarre Negroni in 1913. Gradually she developed her beauty and elegance, plus a strong, intense, and charming personality, which would be the key of her success as a silent movie actress. With Assunta Spina in 1915 she took care of the scripts as well as performing the role of the main character. Bertini was to claim with some support that she was the true director of the film which included novel acting techniques.[2]

She was one of the first film actresses to focus on reality, rather than on a dramatic stereotype, an anticipation of Neorealistic canons. The expression of authentic feelings was the key of her success through many films. She could perform with success the languid decadent heroine as well as the popular common woman. Other important roles were Odette, Fedora, Tosca and the Lady of the Camellias.

In 1920[3], Fox Film Corporation in Hollywood offered to sign a contract with her, but she refused: she was married to the wealthy Swiss banker Paul Cartier and wanted to move with him to Switzerland. When her husband died, she moved back to Rome, where she would remain until her death.

She stepped into sound movies as well, but in the meantime the Italian cinema had changed greatly (the period of Telefoni bianchi comedies) and entered into a period of crisis with Fascism and censorship. It experienced a definite hiatus with World War II.

Last yearsEdit

In 1976 Bernardo Bertolucci was able to convince her to emerge from her stubborn silence, accepting a role of a nun in his movie Novecento. She allowed herself to be interviewed in 1981 and this was adapted for a three part TV documentary in 1982. She died in Rome at the age of 93.[2]

Selected filmographyEdit

  • Lucrezia Borgia (1910) - Lucrezia Borgia
  • King Lear (1910, Short) - Cordelia
  • Manon Lescaut (1911)
  • Lucrezia Borgia (1912) - Lucrezia Borgia
  • Il pappagallo della zia Berta (1912)
  • Idillio tragico (1912)
  • L'avvoltoio (1913) - Maria
  • Ninì Verbena (1913) - Ninì Verbena
  • La terra promessa (1913)
  • Broken Idol (1913, Short)
  • Tramonto (1913)
  • La bufera (1913) - Maria
  • L'ultima carta (1913)
  • L'avvoltoio (1913)
  • L'arrivista (1913)
  • L'arma dei vigliacchi (1913)
  • L'anima del demi-monde (1913)
  • Pierrot the Prodigal (1914) - Pierrot
  • L'Amazzone Mascherata (1914)
  • Cabiria
  • Rose e spine (1914)
  • La principessa straniera (1914)
  • Blue Blood (1914) - Princess of Monte Cabello
  • Una donna (1914)
  • Nelly La Gigolette (1915) - Nelly
  • Nella fornace (1915)
  • Il capestro degli Asburgo (1915)
  • Ivonne, la bella danzatrice (1915) - La contessina Edith / Ivonne, la bella della danza brutale
  • The Lady of the Camellias (1915) - Margherita Gauthier
  • Assunta Spina (1915) - Assunta Spina
  • Don Pietro Caruso (1915)
  • Diana, l'affascinatrice (1915) - Diana
  • Odette (1916) - Odette
  • La perla del cinema (1916)
  • La colpa altrui (1916)
  • Il destino (1916)
  • Lacrymae rerum (1916)
  • Vittima dell'ideale (1916)
  • Nel gorgo della vita (1916)
  • Maligno riflesso (1916)
  • L'educanda monella (1916)
  • Il patto (1916)
  • Fedora (1916) - Fedora
  • Baby l'indiavolata (1916)
  • Andreina (1917) - Andreina - contessa di Toeplitz
  • La piccola fonte (1917) - Teresa
  • The Clemenceau Affair (1917) - Iza
  • Malìa (1917) - Liliana di Sant'Elmo
  • Anima redenta (1917)
  • La Tosca (1918) - Floria Tosca
  • Frou-Frou (1918) - Gilberta Sartorys detta Frou - Frou
  • Mariute (1918)
  • La gola (1918) - Comtessa Frescalinda Ciufettino
  • L'Orgoglio (1918) - Erminia de Beaumesnil
  • L'ira (1918) - Elena
  • L'avarizia (1918) - Maria Lorini
  • I sette peccati capitali (1918)
  • Eugenia Grandet (1918)
  • L' Accidia (1919) - Bianca Fanelli
  • L'invidia (1919) - Lelia di Santa Croce
  • Spiritismo (1919) - Simone
  • La lussuria (1919) - Magdalena Dutertre
  • La Piovra (1919) - Daria Oblosky
  • The Cheerful Soul (1919)
  • Countess Sarah (1919, Short)
  • La principessa (1919)
  • La legge (1919)
  • The Conqueror of the World (1919)
  • Beatrice (1919)
  • The Serpent (1920)
  • Princess Giorgio (1920)
  • The Fall of the Curtain (1920)
  • The Shadow (1920)
  • The Sphinx (1920)
  • Marion (1920) - Marion
  • Maddalena Ferat (1920)
  • La ferita (1920)
  • Anima selvaggia (1920)
  • Amore di donna (1920)
  • The Girl from Amalfi (1921)
  • La donna, il diavolo, il tempo (1921)
  • Amore vince sempre (1921)
  • The Knot (1921)
  • The Nude Woman (1922)
  • Fatale bellezza (1922)
  • Marion (1923)
  • Oltre la legge (1923)
  • The Last Dream (1924)
  • The Youth of the Devil (1925) - La vecchia duchessa / Fausta
  • Fior di levante (1925)
  • Consuelita (1925)
  • La Fin De Monte Carlo (1926) - Cora de Marsa
  • Odette (1928) - Odette
  • Montecarlo (1928)
  • La Possession (1929) - Jessie Cordier
  • Tu M'Appartiens (1929) - Gisele
  • La Femme d'une nuit (1931) - La princesse de Lystrie
  • La donna di una notte (1931) - La principessa Elena di Lystria
  • Odette (1934) - Odette
  • Dora o le Spie (1943)
  • A sud niente di nuovo (1957)
  • Una ragazza di Praga (1969) - Gabriela
  • 1900 (Novecento) (1976) - Sister Desolata (final film role)
  • Behind the Screen: Stories of Cinema - The Last Diva (1982, TV Movie documentary) - Herself
  • Diva Dolorosa (2000, Documentary) - Herself (archive footage)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Other sources say 1888
  2. ^ a b c d Dall’Asta, Monica. "Francesca Bertini". Women Film Pioneers. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d90PnIUlCHA

External linksEdit