- De Laurentiis, Dino
- (1919-)The son of a pasta manufacturer, Dino (originally Agostino) De Laurentiis studied acting at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia before playing a number of small parts in Mario Camerini's Batticuore (Heartbeat, 1939) and I grande magazzini (Department Store, 1939). In 1940, having founded Realcine, he produced his first film, L'ultimo combattimento (The Last Fight), directed by Pietro Ballerini. After the war he moved to Lux Film and scored his first major success as executive producer of Giuseppe De Santis's Riso amaro (Bitter Rice, 1949), whose female star, Silvana Mangano, he would marry in 1949. In 1950 he teamed up with Carlo Ponti to create the Ponti-De Laurentiis company, whose studios produced the first Italian color film, Totb a colori (Totb in Color, 1952). De Laurentiis subsequently oversaw the production of some of the most notable films of the immediate postwar period including Vittorio De Sica's L'oro di Napoli (The Gold of Naples, 1954) and Federico Fellini's La strada (1954) and Le notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria, 1957), both of which won Oscars for Best Foreign Film.The partnership with Ponti dissolved in the mid-1950s, prompting De Laurentiis to set up on the outskirts of Rome his own studios, which he named, with only a touch of hubris, Dinocitta. The studio achieved some success with blockbusters such as John Huston's The Bible (1966) and Edward Dmytryk's Anzio (1968) but eventually became economically unviable and De Laurentiis was forced to sell. Consequently, in 1973, he moved to the United States, where he produced a series of critically acclaimed films that included Three Days of the Condor (directed by Sidney Lumet, 1975), Ragtime (directed by Milos Forman, 1981), and Blue Velvet (directed by David Lynch, 1986). He was also responsible, however, for a number of expensive flops, such as Hurricane (directed by Jan Troell, 1979) and Dune (directed by David Lynch, 1984). In 1984 he attempted once again to set up a new megastudio, this time under the name of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG), but the venture was short lived and the studio soon folded.After the death of Mangano, with whom he had four children, De Laurentiis married Martha Schumaker in 1990 and together they continued to produce films, the most notable of which has been Ridley Scott's Hannibal (2001). Having already garnered a host of international prizes and much recognition during his 60-year career, in 2001 De Laurentiis was awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement.
Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.