The Mechanical Man

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The Mechanical Man
The Mechanical Man & The Headless Horseman.jpg
Cover of Alpha Video DVD double-feature with The Headless Horseman (1922)
Directed byAndré Deed
StarringAndre Deed
Giulia Costa
Gabriel Moreau
Mathilde Lambert[1]
CinematographyAlberto Chentrens
Production
companies
Società Anonima Milano Films
Distributed byMilano
Release date
  • 1921 (1921)
Running time
60-80 minutes
CountryItaly
LanguageSilent
The Mechanical Man

The Mechanical Man (Italian: L'uomo meccanico) is a 1921 Italian science fiction film directed by André Deed (who also starred in the film as a comedic character named Saltarello). It was produced in 1920, and released in November 1921. It is one of the first science fiction films produced in Italy, and the first film that showed a battle between two robots. The cinematographer was Alberto Chentrens.[2]

For many years the original film, which was about 80 minutes in length[3], was regarded as lost. However, some reels of the Portuguese release version were discovered at the Cinemateca Brasileira in Brazil. The remaining footage amounts to only about 26 minutes (740 meters). The DVD release by Alpha Video uses the incomplete Brazilian print, with new English intertitles. Film critic Christopher Workman opines that this film had to have influenced Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927).[4]

Director Deeds began his acting career in France, then moved to Italy where he continued his slapstick style of acting. After finishing The Mechanical Man, he moved back to France where his acting career slightly declined in popularity. He did however direct around 40 films and acted in over 200, before he died in 1940.[5]

Plot[edit]

The story begins with a scientist creating a device shaped like a man that can be remote-controlled by a machine. The mechanical man possesses super-human speed and strength. The scientist is killed however by a gang of criminals, led by a woman named Mado, who wish to obtain his secret of building a mechanical man. The criminals are captured before they are able to get them, and are brought to trial and condemned. Mado manages to escape and kidnaps the scientist's niece, forcing her to give her the blueprints which she uses to build a mechanical man.

The mechanical man is used to commit a variety of crimes including murder, all controlled by Mado. The scientist's brother (Gabriel Moreau) however is successful in creating a second mechanical man which he uses to combat the original. The two mechanical men fight each other in an opera house and end up destroying each other as well as the opera house. During the final battle, Mado frantically attempts to control the mechanical man and is electrocuted at the control panel by a short circuit.

Cast[edit]

Lost footage[edit]

Most of the lost footage consists of the beginning third of the film. Also lost are the cast credits, so some characters are unidentifiable.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Information is referenced from the DVD release by Alpha Video.

  • Baker, Kage (2012). Ancient Rockets Treasures and Train Wrecks of the Silent Screen (1st ed.). Chicago: Tachyon Publications. pp. 35–37. ISBN 9781616961121.
  • Sterling, Bruce (21 May 2012). "Showtime: L'Uomo Meccanico, 1921". Wired. Retrieved 15 April 2016.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 240.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  2. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 240.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 240.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  4. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 240.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  5. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 240.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.