Menichelli, Pina

Menichelli, Pina
   Actress and diva. Born of a Sicilian couple who were both actors, Pina (short for Giuseppina) Menichelli made her screen debut in 1913 playing small parts in comic sketches produced by the Cines. She was soon taking on more substantial roles in films such as Baldassare Negroni's Zuma (1913) and Enrico Guazzoni's Scuola d'eroi (School for Heroes, 1914), in which Menichelli played a patriotic and self-sacrificing young drummer in the Napoleonic wars. Already popular as an actress and a frequent cover girl of the various film magazines of the time, she was consecrated to stardom by her appearance in Giovanni Pastronei's Il fuoco (The Fire, 1915), where she played a mysterious noblewoman who lures a young painter to her castle with her morbid beauty and languid sensuality only to destroy him. Although severely cut by the censors, as were a number of Menichelli's subsequent films, Il fuoco was extremely popular and elevated her to the same status as the reigning divas Lyda Borelli and Francesca Bertini. Her superstar status was reinforced by her appearance in Pastrone's next film, Tigre Reale (Royal Tigress, 1916), adaptated from a novel by realist writer Giovanni Verga, but which Menichelli saturated with a decadent sensuality far beyond the original.
   Menichelli utilized her highly gestural style to consistently convey a certain perverse insouciance and an aggressive sensuality that distinguished her from the morbid Pre-Raphaelitism of her fellow divas and kept her popular into the 1920s. She was still having an electrifying effect on both critics and the public in 1921 with her portrayal of a precocious 17-year-old in L'eta critica (The Critical Age), directed by Amleto Palermi. Having married Baron Carlo Amato, head of Rinascimento Film, in 1920, she acted exclusively for that production house until she retired from the cinema in 1924.

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

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  • Menichelli, Pina — (1890 1984)    Actress and diva. Born of a Sicilian couple who were both actors, Pina (short for Giuseppina) Menichelli made her screen debut in 1913 playing small parts in comic sketches produced by the Cines. She was soon taking on more… …   Guide to cinema

  • Pina Menichelli — in Il Fuoco (1916) Pina Menichelli (* 10. Januar 1890 in Castroreale; † 29. August 1984 in Mailand) war eine italienische Theater und Stummfilmschauspielerin. Sie ist neben Lyda Borelli und Francesca Bertini eine der bekanntesten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pina Menichelli — (née le 10 janvier 1890 à Castroreale, dans la province de Messine, en Sicile et morte le 29 août 1984 à Milan) est une actrice cinématographique italienne de l époque du cinéma muet. Pina Menichelli dans …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Tigresse royale — Tigre reale    Mélodrame de Piero Fosco [Giovanni Pastrone], avec Pina Menichelli (la comtesse Natka), Alberto Nepoti (Giorgio), Febo Mari (Doski), Valentina Frascaroli (Erminia).   Scénario: Giovanni Verga, d après son roman   Photographie:… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

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