Although associated with the 1950s period of commedia all’italiana, Mario Monicelli’s career hearkened back to Italy’s silent era; being in fact a predecessor to Italian neorealism rather than succeeding it. Born in Tuscany in 1915, Monicelli gravitated to cinema early in his life, entering the film business in the early-30s. His first films were co-directed with Alberto Mondadori, most notably a silent film adaptation of Ferenc Molnar’s The Paul Street Boys which won an award at the Venice Film Festival. Monicelli alternated as an assistant director and writer for other film-makers along with his own projects. His first solo feature was Summer Rain, made in 1937. He first achieved renown for a series of films starring Italy’s famous comic Totò. Initially co-directed with Stefano ‘Steno’ Vanzina, Monicelli went solo with Totò e Carolina.
His first major film also marked his first collaboration with the screenwriting duo, Age & Scarpelli. I soliti ignoti (1958), better known… read more
Elio Petri was born in Rome on January 29th, 1923 into a modest family, his father being a coppersmith. As only son, he grew up in the working-class area of the city before attending school where he was noted for his intelligence.
After being expelled for political reason from San Giuseppe di Merode, a school run by priest on Piazza di Spagna, he embarked on a career combining political militancy, film-journalism and the coordination of cultural activities for the youth organization of the italian communist party. He wrote for Unita’ and for Gioventu’ nuova as well as for Citta’ aperta. He left the party in 1956 after the Hungarian rising. A friend of Gianni Puccini, he was introduced through him to Giuseppe De Santis and became Assistant to the director of Bitter Rice.
He collaborated, without being credited for it, on Rome 11 O’Clock (1952), carrying out the preliminary inquiry among the real-life protagonist of the drama. The inquiry was published in book form in 1956… read more
Franco Rossi, the Italian director who worked with Pasolini, and whose films in the 1950s won him attention as a promising addition to the neo-realist second generation, has died aged 81. Despite his early cinematic success, he earned more lasting fame with Italian audiences as the maker of high-class television mini-series adapted from Homer and Virgil.
Rossi was born in Florence, where he took part in anti-fascist resistance. After obtaining a master’s degree in philosophy, he worked for the city’s radio station. In 1948, he moved to Rome, where he was one of the founders of a radio programme dedicated to poetry, The Nightingale Theatre. His early cinema work was in the dubbing studios, and as an assistant to Mario Camerini and Renato Castellani.
In 1952, Rossi got his first chance to direct. I falsari was a crime thriller about a band of forgers, and he made several other potboilers before, in 1954, directing Il seduttore. Starring Alberto Sordi, and based on a play… read more
Luciano Salce (25 September 1922 – 17 December 1989) was an Italian film director and actor. His 1962 film Le pillole di Ercole was shown as part of a retrospective on Italian comedy at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. He was born and died in Rome. —Wikipedia