- Montaldo, Giuliano
- (1930-)Actor and director. Montaldo began his film career as an actor, playing the role of a partisan leader in Carlo Lizzani's Resistance drama Achtung! Banditi! (Attention! Bandits! 1951). While appearing in small roles in other films he began working as assistant to Gillo Pontecorvo and Elio Petri and made a number of shorts before directing his first feature, Tiro alpiccione (Pigeon Shoot, 1960). Adapted from a novel by Giose Rimanelli, the film caused controversy for what was seen as its unduly sympathetic treatment of those who had been foolish enough to embrace the Fascist cause. His next feature, however, Una bella grinta (Reckless, 1964), the story of a ruthless social climber in an Italy riding the wave of the economic miracle, was more warmly received and was nominated for the Golden Bear at Berlin. After several other films, including the international crime action drama Ad ogni costo (Grand Slam, 1967) and Gli intoccabili (Machine Gun McCain, 1969), another gangster-heist film shot in the United States and starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, Montaldo returned to more socially committed filmmaking with Sacco e Vanzetti (Sacco and Vanzetti, 1971), a powerful indictment of the legal execution of two Italian anarchists in the United States in 1927, which earned him the nomination for the Palme d'or at Cannes.After a convincing portrait of the renowned Neapolitan Renaissance philosopher in Giordano Bruno (Revolt of the City, 1973), Montaldo returned to engage with the theme of the Resistance again in his adaptation of Renata Vigano's popular novel LAgnese va a morire (And Agnes Chose to Die, 1976). In the early 1980s he moved to television and spent two years preparing an epic and muchacclaimed miniseries on Marco Polo that was broadcast internationally, including in the United States, where it was nominated for eight Emmy Awards. Soon thereafter he was commissioned to direct a production of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot at the Arena Theater of Verona, the success of which led him to divide his efforts between the stage and screen for the next two decades. He returned to the silver screen in 1987 with Gli occhiali d'oro (The Gold Rimmed Glasses), an adaptation of Giorgio Bassani's elegiac novel that won the Golden Osella at the Venice Festival for its elegant set design and costumes. After a somewhat less successful attempt to adapt Ennio Flaiano's novel Tempo di uccidere (A Time to Kill, 1990), Montaldo edited hundreds of hours of the holdings of the Istituto LUCE in order to produce the stunning feature documentary Le stagioni dell'aquila (The Seasons of the Eagle, 1997). In 2001, while serving as president of RAI Cinema, he was awarded the Flaiano Prize for career achievement.
Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.