The Iron Crown


1h 23m 1941

Brief Synopsis

A corrupt medieval ruler courts disaster when he ignores the legends surrounding his crown.

Film Details

Also Known As
Corona di Ferro, La, Iron Crown, The
Genre
Drama
War
Foreign
Release Date
1941

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

A corrupt medieval ruler courts disaster when he ignores the legends surrounding his crown.

Film Details

Also Known As
Corona di Ferro, La, Iron Crown, The
Genre
Drama
War
Foreign
Release Date
1941

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

The Iron Crown


Alessandro Blasetti (1900-1987), who reached his peak as a director in the 1930s and early '40s, is considered an important forerunner of the postwar Italian filmmaking renaissance. Along with Mario Camerini (The Spirit and the Flesh, 1941), Blasetti dominated cinema in Italy during the years (1922-1943) the country was ruled by a Fascist government -- although some of Blasetti's film work put him at odds with the Mussolini regime.

Blasetti's historical epic The Iron Crown (La Corona di ferro, 1941) was a first-prize winner at the Venice Film Festival. Set in 13th-century Italy and based on legend, the film tells of a corrupt, violent, power-hungry king (Massimo Girotti) who rejects his crown, which symbolizes justice. After a series of horrifying apparitions warning the king of the consequences of his actions, his reign is threatened by an emboldened warrior (Gino Cervi) who seeks to topple the corrupt monarchy.

Film historian Peter Bondanella describes The Iron Crown as a politically "ambiguous" film: "While its message underlines a common sentiment among Italians, the desire for peace and the cessation of hostilities, the symbolic implications of the search for a charismatic leader who will restore a magic crown to its rightful place in Rome may also point to Mussolini, Il Duce of a newly revived Rome."

Although Blasetti was sometimes called the Father of Neorealism and influenced other Italian directors with his realistic approach and use of nonprofessional actors in other films, in The Iron Crown he worked on a truly epic scale. Upon the movie's release in the U.S. in 1948, a reviewer for Variety wrote that the movie was comparable to a spectacle from American director Cecil B. DeMille, giving particular praise to Blasetti's handling of crowd scenes. The beautiful Luisa Ferida provides romantic interest for the muscular Cervi, lending what Variety termed "plenty of s.a. (sex appeal)," another hallmark of the DeMille approach.

Director: Alessandro Blasetti
Screenplay: Corrado Pavolini, Guglielmo Zorzi, Giuseppe Zucca, Alessandro Blasetti, Renato Castellani, Mario Chiari, Armandeo Macaluso (English titles)
Cinematography: Mario Craveri, Vaclav Vich
Production Design: Virgilio Marchi
Original Music: Alessandro Cicognini
Editing: Mario Serandrei
Costume Design: Gino Sensani
Principal Cast: Massimo Girotti (Arminio/Licinio), Elisa Cegani (Elsa/Elsa's Mother), Luisa Ferida (Tundra/Tundra's Mother), Gino Cervi (King Sedemondo), Rina Morelli (The Fate), Oswaldo Valenti (Eriberto), Primo Carnera (Klasa), Paolo Stoppa (Trifilli).
BW-98m.

by Roger Fristoe
The Iron Crown

The Iron Crown

Alessandro Blasetti (1900-1987), who reached his peak as a director in the 1930s and early '40s, is considered an important forerunner of the postwar Italian filmmaking renaissance. Along with Mario Camerini (The Spirit and the Flesh, 1941), Blasetti dominated cinema in Italy during the years (1922-1943) the country was ruled by a Fascist government -- although some of Blasetti's film work put him at odds with the Mussolini regime. Blasetti's historical epic The Iron Crown (La Corona di ferro, 1941) was a first-prize winner at the Venice Film Festival. Set in 13th-century Italy and based on legend, the film tells of a corrupt, violent, power-hungry king (Massimo Girotti) who rejects his crown, which symbolizes justice. After a series of horrifying apparitions warning the king of the consequences of his actions, his reign is threatened by an emboldened warrior (Gino Cervi) who seeks to topple the corrupt monarchy. Film historian Peter Bondanella describes The Iron Crown as a politically "ambiguous" film: "While its message underlines a common sentiment among Italians, the desire for peace and the cessation of hostilities, the symbolic implications of the search for a charismatic leader who will restore a magic crown to its rightful place in Rome may also point to Mussolini, Il Duce of a newly revived Rome." Although Blasetti was sometimes called the Father of Neorealism and influenced other Italian directors with his realistic approach and use of nonprofessional actors in other films, in The Iron Crown he worked on a truly epic scale. Upon the movie's release in the U.S. in 1948, a reviewer for Variety wrote that the movie was comparable to a spectacle from American director Cecil B. DeMille, giving particular praise to Blasetti's handling of crowd scenes. The beautiful Luisa Ferida provides romantic interest for the muscular Cervi, lending what Variety termed "plenty of s.a. (sex appeal)," another hallmark of the DeMille approach. Director: Alessandro Blasetti Screenplay: Corrado Pavolini, Guglielmo Zorzi, Giuseppe Zucca, Alessandro Blasetti, Renato Castellani, Mario Chiari, Armandeo Macaluso (English titles) Cinematography: Mario Craveri, Vaclav Vich Production Design: Virgilio Marchi Original Music: Alessandro Cicognini Editing: Mario Serandrei Costume Design: Gino Sensani Principal Cast: Massimo Girotti (Arminio/Licinio), Elisa Cegani (Elsa/Elsa's Mother), Luisa Ferida (Tundra/Tundra's Mother), Gino Cervi (King Sedemondo), Rina Morelli (The Fate), Oswaldo Valenti (Eriberto), Primo Carnera (Klasa), Paolo Stoppa (Trifilli). BW-98m. by Roger Fristoe

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