Cast & Crew
During the seventeenth century, the Duke d'Arcos levies another onerous tax on the workers, who begin talk of a rebellion. Disguised as one of them, Alphonso, the duke's son, goes among the common people to gauge their feelings and falls in love with Fenella, the dumb girl of Portici, a small Italian village. He visits her frequently, but then breaks her heart when he marries Elvira, a woman from his own class. Meanwhile, the duke keeps levying taxes, and the people select Fenella's brother Masaniello as their leader and successfully storm the duke's palace. The duke's forces, led by Alphonso, stage a counterattack. During the fighting, Masaniello lunges at Alphonso with his sword, but Fenella, to save the man she still loves, jumps between them and dies in his place, after which her grief stricken brother kills himself.
N. De Brouillet
George A. Williams
The opera was also referred to as Masaniello. The Dumb Girl of Portici marked Anna Pavlowa's screen debut. The film was made in Chicago and Los Angeles at an estimated cost of $300,000. Before the general April release, a series of premieres began in late 1915. The Ballet Russe was involved in the production. According to modern sources, Boris Karloff made his screen debut as an extra in this film. The film was released in lengths varying from seven to eleven reels.