Legendary Filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis Dies at 91
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Nov 11th 2010 11:28AM
The Italian icon may be best known for his collaborations with directors Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini, whose 'La Strada' and 'Nights of Cabiria' earned him Oscars for Best Foreign Film.
Clips From 'La Strada' and 'Three Days of the Condor':
His career spanned hundreds of films, including several Oscar winners and he worked with some of the biggest stars and best directors in the business.
His credits include box office and/or critical successes such as 'U-571,' 'War and Peace,' 'Ragtime,' 'Three Days of the Condor' and 'Blue Velvet.'
A pivotal figure in postwar Italian cinema, De Laurentiis moved to the United States in the 1970s, becoming a citizen in 1986. But this son of a Neapolitan pasta maker never lost his thick Italian accent and tried to spend a month in Capri and Rome each year.
The Academy Award-winning 'Serpico' in 1973 with Al Pacino was De Laurentiis' Hollywood debut. But by then, he already had two Italian-made Oscar-winners, Federico Fellini's 'La Strada' and 'Nights of Cabiria' to his credit.
One of the first producers to understand the box-office potential of foreign audiences, he helped invent international co-productions, raising money by pre-selling distribution rights outside North America.
Throughout his career, he alternated lavish, big-budget productions with less commercial films by directors such as Robert Altman, Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch, and he's often package the blockbusters with art films to secure distribution for the smaller films.
He got off to a strong start in the United States with 'Serpico,' then followed it up with another success, 'Three Days of the Condor.'
Classic films aside, the producer also had his share of flops, including 'King Kong Lives' and the infamous 'Dune.'
Personal tragedy also took its toll. In 1981, his son Federico was killed in a plane crash. "My father still to this day can't speak of him...He told me that every morning he wakes up and thinks of him," De Laurentiis' daughter Veronica said nearly 20 years after Federico's death.
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