Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Introduction & Regulation
Image Image
Post Reply
User avatar
ChristofferSlotte
Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 30, 19
Contact:

Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by ChristofferSlotte » 24/09/2020, 5:52

Here are some thoughts and questions about the party scene in Arrius’ Gardens in Ben-Hur (1959). I really wish someone had saved call sheets and production records from this film. There must be someone who has since so many people worked on this film, especially in Italy.

According to many sources the following nobles worked as extras in this scene. Sometimes the names vary slightly according to source:

Prince Emanuele Ruspoli
Prince Edmondo Ruspoli (haven’t found any prince Raimondo on the web and some sources say Edmondo instead of Raimondo)
Count Santiago Oneto
Prince Hohenlohe (Christian De Hohenlohe according to the IMDB, but is that a reliable source?)
Princess Hohenlohe (Carmen De Hohenlohe according to the IMDB, but is that a reliable source?)
Princess Irina Wassilchikoff
Count Marigliano Del Monte
Baroness Lillian De Balzo (= Liana Del Balzo?)
Duchess Nona Medici (must be the actress Nona M)
Marquesa (?) Lina Lodigiani (in some sources; have seen her on a generici list)
Lord Philip Brompton (in some sources)
Anna Ranalli (not a noble, but I have seen her on photos on the internet, is she really identified for this scene?)


Other info about Ben-Hur:
I once got a cast list from Turner Entertainment and there was one additional name on the list: Pietro Capanna. He was listed as Master of Chariots. There was a master of chariots in the script but his scenes were cut. When the chariots marched into the arena 4 or 5 horsemen rode before them. The leader of those horsemen rode first and he was the Master of Chariots. In the film he is seen only in long shots.

User avatar
PeplumParadise
Moderator
Posts: 8327
Joined: May 2, 19
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by PeplumParadise » 24/09/2020, 8:19

Here, on the right, is the actress identified as Anna Ranalli from Ben-Hur and below are some shots of Ranalli from Perseo l'invincibile for comparison. While the features are very similar it looks like the actress in Ben-Hur has blue eyes while Ranalli has brown eyes and the nose seems a little different. Contact lenses could be a possibility, though they were a lot rarer back then than today, but I think chances are that she is just a look-alike. Any other opinions?
ranalli.jpg
ms51.jpg
ms68.jpg
ms118.jpg

User avatar
PeplumParadise
Moderator
Posts: 8327
Joined: May 2, 19
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by PeplumParadise » 24/09/2020, 8:40

ChristofferSlotte wrote:
24/09/2020, 5:52

Other info about Ben-Hur:
I once got a cast list from Turner Entertainment and there was one additional name on the list: Pietro Capanna. He was listed as Master of Chariots. There was a master of chariots in the script but his scenes were cut. When the chariots marched into the arena 4 or 5 horsemen rode before them. The leader of those horsemen rode first and he was the Master of Chariots. In the film he is seen only in long shots.
Does the cast list from Turner also include Otello Capanna, who does appear as one of the charioteers? If not then it could be that someone put Pietro's name in mistake for Otello's. If they both appear then your explanation seems a likely one.

User avatar
ChristofferSlotte
Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 30, 19
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by ChristofferSlotte » 24/09/2020, 9:02

Yes Otello is included also and I think Pietro is his brother, although they both looked very different from each other.

Regarding the other actors, I checked some genealogy site and found two brothers called Emanuele and Edmondo Ruspoli, so they probably were the ones who worked in this scene.

User avatar
PeplumParadise
Moderator
Posts: 8327
Joined: May 2, 19
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by PeplumParadise » 24/09/2020, 9:25

ChristofferSlotte wrote:
24/09/2020, 9:02
Yes Otello is included also and I think Pietro is his brother, although they both looked very different from each other.

Regarding the other actors, I checked some genealogy site and found two brothers called Emanuele and Edmondo Ruspoli, so they probably were the ones who worked in this scene.
While there are plenty of online reports of Otello being the father of Omero, I don't know of any linking Otello to Pietro, who was considerably younger than Otello and, as you say, quite different looking. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Pietro could be his younger brother or son or related in some other way (you wouldn't guess that Folco and Piero Lulli were brothers from looking at them), but sadly there is little accurate information to be found about these actor/stuntman dynasties as we have similar mysteries with the Ceccarellis and Maggios.

User avatar
carlos
Moderator
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 29, 18
Location: U.S.
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by carlos » 24/09/2020, 13:58

Anna Ranalli in I magnifici tre (1961) with dark hair
AnnaRanalli (Dolores, meeting) MagTre.jpg
AnnaRanalli (Dolores) MagTre.jpg

User avatar
Johan Melle
Moderator
Posts: 8032
Joined: Aug 27, 18
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by Johan Melle » 24/09/2020, 15:44

Irina Wassilchikoff is one of our generiche and she has her own topic here. I believe she really was a Russian princess, and as I reported in her topic, I found this Geneanet listing for a Princesse Irina Vassiltchikov:
https://gw.geneanet.org/bourelly?lang=e ... siltchikov

Attached is Liana Del Balzo's biography in the "Dizionario del cinema italiano: Le attrici". It gives Eliana Del Balzo as her real name and makes no mention of her being a noblewoman. Then again, it also doesn't mention why she was born in Buenos Aires and when she arrived in Italy. The most likely scenario is that she was born there to Italian parents who were working there temporarily and then grew up in Italy. That makes sense since the actresses covered in this book are all Italian (I believe there was another one covering foreign actresses working in Italian cinema)
Liana Del Balzo Biography.jpg

User avatar
PeplumParadise
Moderator
Posts: 8327
Joined: May 2, 19
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by PeplumParadise » 24/09/2020, 16:06

Johan Melle wrote:
24/09/2020, 15:44
Irina Wassilchikoff is one of our generiche and she has her own topic here. I believe she really was a Russian princess, and as I reported in her topic, I found this Geneanet listing for a Princesse Irina Vassiltchikov:
https://gw.geneanet.org/bourelly?lang=e ... siltchikov

Attached is Liana Del Balzo's biography in the "Dizionario del cinema italiano: Le attrici". It gives Eliana Del Balzo as her real name and makes no mention of her being a noblewoman. Then again, it also doesn't mention why she was born in Buenos Aires and when she arrived in Italy. The most likely scenario is that she was born there to Italian parents who were working there temporarily and then grew up in Italy. That makes sense since the actresses covered in this book are all Italian (I believe there was another one covering foreign actresses working in Italian cinema)
Liana Del Balzo Biography.jpg
That's not to say that they couldn't have made up a false title for her to use in the publicity, since it's highly unlikely anyone but Liana's friends would be any the wiser, but unless some evidence can be found that she did appear in the scene I guess we'll never know.

User avatar
Johan Melle
Moderator
Posts: 8032
Joined: Aug 27, 18
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Party scene in Ben-Hur + additional credit for Pietro Capanna

Post by Johan Melle » 24/09/2020, 16:27

PeplumParadise wrote:
24/09/2020, 16:06
That's not to say that they couldn't have made up a false title for her to use in the publicity, since it's highly unlikely anyone but Liana's friends would be any the wiser, but unless some evidence can be found that she did appear in the scene I guess we'll never know.
I forgot to mention it, but in the filmography accompanying Liana's biography, Ben-Hur is included, so that's something, I guess...

Post Reply