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Francesca Bertini

Majestic Francesca Bertini, was the most versatile and had the longest career of the big three Italian Divas--Bertini, Borelli, and Menichelli. She was also the best known outside Italy. Her strong face and dignified suffering carried a large number of films, now mostly lost. Her own impressive production of Assunta Spina (1915) survives. She largely retired in the 20s, but made occasional films as late as 1976 in Bertolucci's 1900. She was the subject of the marvelous documentary L'Ultima Diva (The Last Diva) (1982), shot in her early 90s, as sharp and commanding as ever. She was also one of the divas featured in Peter Delpeut's film Diva Dolorosa (1999)

Here are a bunch of scans which Cléo in Luxembourg very kindly sent! Click thumbnails for larger view


On the Web

Internet Movie Database filmography

Article on Bertini on "Italia Donna" (in Italian)

Wikipedia article

Bertini page in Francesca Santucci's website "Letteratura al femminile" (in Italian)

Silent Films Available on Video

La Signora delle Camelie (1915)

On YouTube

Sangue Blu (1914)

On YouTube

Assunta Spina (1915)

And a better print available from Kino Video

Fedora (Fragment) (1916)

On YouTube

Re Lear (1910)

and Il Mercante de Venezia (1910)
Available on the DVD Silent Shakespeare from Milestone Film and Video

Mariute (Fragment) (1918)

On Vimeo

L'amazzone mascherata (1914)

On YouTube

Also on Video

1900 (1976)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The Last Diva (1982)
Available from Kino Video

Further Reading

Bertini, Francesca. Il resto non conta. Pisa: Giardini, 1969.

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised December 25, 2019