Son of Tell

25 Feb









Dear Flynnstones,

until recently very little was known about child actor Guido Martufi, who played Errol‘s son Jimmy/Gemmy in “The Story of William Tell“.

Little Guido won over Jack Cardiff in a casting, which saw him competing against Flynn‘s real life son Sean.

At 12 years he recently had completed “I Vitelloni“, the Fellini film prior to “La Strada“.

As it turns out this child prodigy had already done a tour to Hollywood before, starring in “Westward the Women“ by “Beau Geste“-director Willam A. Wellman and in Fred Zinnemann‘s “Teresa“.

He would go on after the missed appleshot to act in Selznick‘s remake of  “Farewell to the Arms“ and appear in some comedies of Totó, the Italian Charlie Chaplin.

Then at age 20 he would abruptly stop and never act again.

In an Italian interview in 1999 he promised a biography by an American film journalist, which by the sheer size of his work would have made for the slimmest book east of the English Kamasutra.







— shangheinz


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  1. Ralph Schiller

    February 26, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    Great work Sherlock Heinz! Any more on this actor to share with us?

  2. shangheinz

    February 27, 2023 at 9:51 am


    Well Ralph Friedrich Schiller, only the regret that he lived under the radar when I went to Rome (…) to tie up some loose Tell ends. Mrs. Haas said he was the real reason filming did not resume. When Errol finally had the money, a new script and possibly Rossellini as a Cardiff substitute, the project was shelved for good. Martufi had grown considerably in the two years hiatus. He was a little boy no more. They should have used William Tell‘s incarceration as a plot device and fill in the audience that after two years time Gemmy now was an adolescent, who could not wait for his father‘s return to fight the Austrians side by side…