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31 August 2017

Il tamburino sardo (1915)

On the last two Thursdays, we did posts on Naufragio/Shipwreck (Umberto Paradisi, 1915) and Il piccolo scrivano fiorentino/The little scribe from Florence (Leopoldo Carlucci, 1915). Both belonged to a series of films based on the stories in Cuore (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis. The series was produced by Gloria, the film company in Turin that also produced the first films of diva Lyda Borelli. Child star Ermanno Roveri acted in many of these films, but in Il tamburino sardo/The Little Drummer Boy (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915) the boy of the title is played by Vittorio Petrungaro.

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915), with Vittorio Petrungaro as the boy and Telemaco Ruggeri as the captain. Caption: The captain wrote with a pencil on a paper, leaning onto the little window.

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915). Caption: Not taking care of his wound that caused him a very strong pain, he continued to run.

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915). Caption: Killed! the captain whispered, biting his fist.

The Little Drummer Boy


Il tamburino sardo/The Little Drummer Boy (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915) is based on the 1889 story of the same name of the series Cuore (Heart) by Edmondo De Amicis.

During the Italian Risorgimento, in the countryside of Verona, a Sardinian boy meets Italian soldiers and becomes their mascot (the little drummer boy). It happens just before a big battle with the Austrian army.

During the battle, the Italian soldiers are surrounded by the Austrian enemy, and trapped in an abandoned house. The captain sends the drummer boy, small and agile, across the enemy lines to get help.

The boy succeeds with great difficulty, despite being shot by the enemy. Afterwards the captain visits a hospital and notices the boy's leg is amputated.

A doctor tells his leg could have been saved if he hadn't run like madman. The captain realises that the boy has been a hero. Vittorio Petrungaro plays the boy and Telemaco Ruggeri the captain.

In 2011 the Milanese cinematheque Cineteca Italiana restored a tinted print of Il tamburino sardo (1915).

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915). Captain: He managed to pass unobserved behind the Austrians.

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915). Caption: The walls and the floor were splattered with blood, corpses lay through the doors.

Il tamburino sardo (1915)
Italian postcard for the film Il tamburino sardo (Vittorio Rossi Pianelli, 1915). Captain: It was then that this rude soldier exclaimed with sweet and affectionate voice: I am just a captain, but you are a hero.

Sources: European Film Gateway and IMDb.

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