Dino Risi was born in Milan on 23 December 1917. He began his cinematographic career as Mario Soldati’s assistant on Old-Fashioned World (Piccolo mondo antico) in 1940 and then as Lattuada’s assistant in Giacomo the Idealist (Giacomo l’idealista) in 1942. During that period he also contributed to the scripts of the films Anna by Lattuada (1952), Totò e i re di Roma (1951) by Steno and Monicelli and Sunday Heroes (Gli eroi della domenica) by Camerini (1952).
After a series of short films (the most famous of which was Buio in sala), in 1952 he moved to Rome and produced his first fictional feature film, Vacanze col gangster. In 1953 he directed Paradiso per tre ore, an episode in the film Love in the City (L’amore in città) (the other episodes were produced by Antonioni, Fellini and Lattuada), his first experiment with a genre that he was to specialise in over the coming decade.
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