Adapted from a story told in Dante's Inferno, Francesca da Rimini has been filmed several times but seldom as economically as this 1908 version, which managed to squeeze the entire story into 15 minutes' running time! The story focuses on the tragic romance between the dwarf Paolo and the beautiful Francesca. Although married to Paolo's brother Gianciotto, Francesca continues to rendezvous with her sweetheart. One of their cozy tete-a-tetes is witnessed by a malevolent court jester, who has long been seeking an excuse to get even with Paolo over an imagined slight. In traditional fashion, practically everybody dies horribly at the end. According to one reviewer of the time, the film's chintzy interior sets somewhat worked against the credibility of the story.
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