L'inferno is an Italian silent film directed by Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan and Giuseppe de Liguoro, based on Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. The first screening took place on 10 March 1911 at the Teatro Mercadante in Naples. It was the first film to be registered at the Register of Copyrights. Inferno was an international success, grossing more than $2 million in the United States, where its length gave cinema owners a reason to raise ticket prices.
The plot is based on the first part of Dante's The Divine Comedy: Dante's passage through all the circles of hell, accompanied by Virgil.
"Francesco Bertolini's L'inferno was inspired by the illustrations of Gustave Doré. In depicting tormented souls in hell, there are frequent glimpses of nude male and female actors (including the first male frontal scenes). Remade many times, the U.S. version, Dante's Inferno (1924) from the Fox Film Corporation, also contains groups of nude figures and scenes of flagellation."
L'inferno is the beginning of a cinematic vision. It will be of interest primarily to those who love Dante's The Divine Comedy' which will be relevant at all times.
L'inferno is not a short film. The film contains special effects of the time; artistic techniques appropriate to the level of 1911 (for instance, Dante looks at souls flying in the sky while standing on a cliff). It is very symbolic that at the very end, before the credits, the film shows a monument to Dante Alighieri in Italy itself.