Public Domain Super Heroes


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Maciste The Warrior
Advertisement in Moving Picture World, Dec 1917

Real Name


First Appearance

Cabiria (1914)

Created by

Gabriele d'Annunzio and Giovanni Pastrone


Maciste (Italian pronunciation: [maˈtʃiste]) is one of the oldest recurring characters in cinema, created by Gabriele d'Annunzio and Giovanni Pastrone. He cuts a heroic figure throughout the history of the cinema of Italy from the 1910s to the mid-1960s. He is usually depicted as a Hercules-like figure, utilizing his massive strength to achieve heroic feats that ordinary men cannot. Many of the 1960s Italian films featuring Maciste were retitled in other countries, substituting more popular names in the titles (such as Hercules, Goliath or Samson).

Maciste made his debut in the 1914 Italian silent movie classic Cabiria. Cabiria was a story about a slave named Maciste (played by Bartolomeo Pagano) who was involved in the rescue of a Roman princess from an evil Carthaginian king who plotted to sacrifice her to the cruel god Moloch. The film was based very loosely on Salammbo, a historical novel by Gustave Flaubert, and had a plot and screenplay by Gabriele D'Annunzio.

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