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Dino De Laurentiis was a film producer who over his 60-year career produced more than 600 films, from King Kong to Serpico to Flash Gordon.
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Producer. Born on August 8, 1919, in Torre Annunciata, Italy. From horror to art house, Dino De Laurentiis has produced a variety of films during his more than six-decade long career. He produced the Oscar-winning best foreign films, Federico Fellini's La Strada and Nights of Cabiria. The son of a pasta maker, he went to Rome to study at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia while in his teens. De Laurentiis then began gaining hands-on experience in film. Taking on nearly very task involved in filmmaking, he was a prop handler, an extra, an actor, and an assistant director.
At the age of 20, De Laurentiis produced his first picture, Troppo tardi t’ho conosciuta (1939). This was soon followed by L’amore canta (1941), but his work was soon affected by World War II. He scored his first international success with Riso amaro in 1949. It was later released in the United States as Bitter Rice. The drama starred Silvana Mangano as a beautiful peasant woman who works in the rice fields and gets tangled up in a difficult situation. Love blossomed between Di Laurentiis and Mangano, and the couple married that same year. They became a super couple in the Italian film world.
Carlo Ponti (who also the husband of screen siren Sophia Loren). They established the Ponti-De Laurentiis production company and made several notable films together. Two of their most critically acclaimed projects were
La Strada (1954) starring Anthony Quinn and
The Nights of Cambria (1956), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and were directed by Federico Fellini.
The pair also created elaborate film epics, such as Ulysses (1954), which starred Kirk Douglas and Silvana Mangano. The film tackled the ancient saga about the sailor Ulysses and his journey home after the Trojan War, which was written by the Greek poet Homer. De Laurentiis and Ponti also produced an adaptation of the classic Russian novel War and Peace (1956) by Leo Tolstoy. Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer played the lead roles in the film, which earned an Academy Award nomination for its director King Vidor.
After ending his partnership with Ponti in the late 1950s, De Laurentiis continued to work on a variety of projects.
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