French poet and librettist Louis Marie Germaine Delavigne was born on this date in Giveny (Eure) France. He was the son of a Royal forest surveyor and was the brother of Casimir Delavigne a famed theatrical figure of his time, who was also a poet. After his studies at the Napoleon High School, he went to the court of Louis-Phillipe I, as keeper of the furniture. Inspired by his brother's poetry, he began a dramatic career of his own. He became a frequent collaborator of Eugéne Scribe (page in French, can be translated), who was a class mate of Delavigne's in Paris. The partnership produced a number of opera libretto's (or libretti) and a quantity of plays. Only one film has ever been produced from his work; coming in 1916 The Dumb Girl Of Portici is actually a fairly important film by historical standards. Based on one of Delavigne's libretto's, the film was co-directed by Lois Weber, one of the earliest female film directors, together with her husband of the time Phillips Smalley--the film was made through Universal. It stars the premiere Russian ballerina of the time: Anna Pavlova. The film survives in two prints: one, a 16 mm print housed at the New York Public Library and the second, a 35 mm print by the BFI. The later of the two dates from 1920. Material from both sources were used in a restoration in 2015 that runs 112 minutes. Delavigne died on 30 November in 1868 at the age of 78 in Montmorency, France.
|Still from the film showing Palova as "Fenella" (1916)|
Wikipedia France (can be translated)