Dino De Laurentiis dies, aged 91
Thursday, November 11 2010, 12:34 GMT
By Simon Reynolds, Movies Editor
Legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis has died at the age of 91.
De Laurentiis, whose career in cinema spanned more than 70 years and 160 movies, passed away in Los Angeles, according to Italian media reports.
De Laurentiis established himself as one of Italy's leading post-war producers, working on neorealist films and collaborating with Federico Fellini on La Strada (1954), for which he shared a 'Best Foreign Language' film Oscar with Carlo Ponti, and Nights of Cabiria (1956).
He produced the Jane Fonda cult classic Barbarella in 1968 before relocating to the US in the 1970s.
His Hollywood credits include Al Pacino's Serpico, Three Days Of The Condor, the 1976 King Kong remake, Flash Gordon, Dune and Body Of Evidence.
De Laurentiis's biggest success came with his big screen adaptations of Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lector character. He produced Manhunter, Hannibal, Red Dragon and Hannibal Rising, but passed on the opportunity to make 1991's Oscar-winning The Silence Of The Lambs.
De Laurentiis is survived by wife Martha De Laurentiis, their two children, and four children from his first marriage to Silvana Mangano.
Source: Digital Spy
He was one of a kind, equally prone to produce gems of the seventh art (such as the final John Wayne film, The shootist
or Conan the Barbarian
) or absolute disgraces, such as Red Sonja
or the 1970s remake of King Kong
Personally, I think the excesses of being a new rich were inherited by the movies he produce. He could be either splendid or a tight pocket, depending on the occassion, and more often than not his final decisions were made on the basis of "more expensive means better", but his body of work is so inmense it's hard not to find in it one or two guilty pleasures, if not personal favorites.