The Iron Crown (La Corona Di Ferro)
The American critic Elliott Stein considers La Corona Di Ferro “one of the two greatest Italian films of all time” (his other favorite is Zurlini's Family Chronicle), and reports from New York indicate that this film is the revelation of the entire series. In his book on the Italian Cinema, French critic Pierre Leprohon writes:
“...as delirious a pseudo-historical fantasy as any of those so dear to the hearts of Italian filmmakers in the days of D'Annunzio. The film cost 40 million lire, a huge sum in those days, and mobilized a host of extras, 7,000 horses, an entire zoo - in short, the resources of Ben Hur, Tarzan, Robin Hood, Cabiria and Quo Vadis? rolled into one. Massimo Girotti played with appropriate energy a cross between a mythological hero and a superman involved in the most extravagant adventures....
“...(Blasetti) intended his film as a message of peace.... In France it was seen above all, in the words of Bardeche and Brasillach, as ‘the epitome of artificiality and bric-a-brac: ladies in wimples met Florentine lords in front of a Greek temple, and people in togas greeted people with Russian tiaras, or Byzantine athletes, in front of Gothic mosques' - with everything swept along at a fantastic pace through a series of combats, tournaments, fires and miracles. The film should remain as a model of the genre.... The Iron Crown can be considered as a major stepping-stone to the ‘neo-mythologism' of the 1960s.”