Actor : Anna Pavlova, Rupert Julian, Wadsworth Harris, Douglas Gerrard, Jack Holt
Director: Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley
Length: 112 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Format: Anamorphic, HiFi Sound, NTSC
The Dumb Girl of Portici has been long overdue for recognition as one of pioneer filmmaker Lois Weber s finest creations and a landmark in women s cinema. The blockbuster film was Universal s most expensive to date and featured an enormous cast, large-scale sets, and an ambitious story. For Weber, The Dumb Girl of Portici represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the incomparable prima ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Pavlova was appearing with the Boston Opera Company in D. F. E. Auber s 1829 La Muette de Portici, portraying Fenella, a wordless fisher-girl living during the Spanish occupation of Naples in the mid-17th century,who is seduced and abandoned by a Spanish nobleman. In the opera and in Weber s stirring drama, the betrayal of Fenella and the oppression of her people inspire her brother to foment a revolution.