The story begins with a scientist creating a device shaped like a man that can be remote-controlled by a machine. The mechanical man possess super-human speed and strength. The scientist is killed however by a gang of criminals, led by a woman named Mado, who wish to get the instructions for building the mechanical man. The criminals are captured before they are able to get them and are brought to trial and condemned. Mado manages to escape and kidnaps the scientist’s niece whom she forces to give her the instructions which she uses to build a mechanical man. The mechanical man is used for a variety of crimes, controlled by Mado. The scientist’s brother however is successful in creating a second mechanical man which he uses to combat the original. The two mechanical men fight each other in an opera house and end up destroying each other as well as the opera house. During the final battle, Mado frantically attempts to control the mechanical man and is electrocuted at the control panel by a short circuit. The original film was about 80 minutes in length. However, only about 26 minutes of footage remains. —Wikipedia
There’s not much left of this Italian silent movie from 1921 but it’s worth a look. The horrid made-for-DVD sound track is as messy as the aged print, though I suspect the film would be quite incomprehensible without it. Thankfully, the restorers have included a series of title cards at the beginning relating the synopsis of the story. The sets are OK but see this on double bill with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and you’ll marvel at how far the art of making movies progressed in six short years.
Este casi desconocido film de André Deed resulta una verdadera curiosidad en el panorama del cine mudo italiano de principios del siglo XX. A medio camino entre la ciencia-ficción de matinee y el cine de gangsters (incluida una poderosa villana quién oculta su identidad bajo un antifaz), esta divertida cinta se antoja, por momentos, como un delirante hibrido entre la Metropolis de Fritz Lang y Los Vampiros de Louis Feuillade. La anecdota no dice gran cosa, debido, seguramente, a la perdida de algo asi como el 70% de los materiales originales; sin embargo, en lo poco que ha sobrevivido hasta nuestros dias de este film, es posible apreciar la buena mano en la puesta en escena y el ritmo conseguido en el montaje por el director, quién además supo hacer un estupendo uso de los ingeniosos efectos visuales disponibles en aquel entonces.