Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dino De Laurentiis R.I.P.

The great Italian producer of almost 150 movies, Dino De Laurentiis has died aged 91.

De Laurentiis left home in Campania, Italy at age 17 for film school and had produced his first movie before his 20th birthday. After the failure of his Italian movie studio in the 1960's, he moved the the U.S. where he spent the remainder of his life producing movies in Hollywood.

De Laurentiis was often lampooned as he was a tiny man with a loud and husky voice presiding over some of the greatest flops and failures in cinema history while yielding only enough commercial successes to fund even more failures.

He was known for producing some outstanding and memorable movies like Death Wish [1974], Flash Gordon [1980], Conan The Barbarian [1982], Dune [1984], Army of Darkness [1993], Assassins [1995] and U-571 [2000]. However he will be also just as fondly remembered for some monumental failures like the 1976 remake of King Kong, Orca [1977], Raw Deal [1985], Red Sonja [1985] (yes I actually like this movie, but I can objectively acknowledge it as shit), Manhunter [1986], Body Of Evidence [1993], Breakdown [1997], Hannibal [2001] and The Last Legion [2006].

De Laurentiis won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film [La strada] in 1954 and was awarded with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2001 [from Sir Anthony Hopkins whom he addressed as "Tony Baby"]. He is survived by his wife Martha, 5 children and grandchildren.

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