Corbucci, Sergio

Corbucci, Sergio
(Also worked under the names of Stanley Corbett and Gordon Wilson Jr.). Director and screenwriter. A prolific director who chose to work almost exclusively within the confines of the popular genres, Corbucci served an early apprenticeship as assistant to Aldo Vergano before beginning to direct melodramas and light musical comedies in the early 1950s. After collaborating on the screenplay of Mario Bonnard's Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (The Last Days of Pompeii, 1959), he vigorously embraced the peplum in the early 1960s, making several that are regarded as classics of the genre, including Romolo e Remo (Duel of the Titans, 1961) and Maciste contro il vampiro (Goliath and the Vampires, 1961). At the same time he also directed six of the films of the great comic actor Toto. By the mid-1960s, with Minnesota Clay (1963) and Massacro al Grande Canyon (Massacre at Grand Canyon, 1965), he had also helped to give birth to the Western all'italiana. He would eventually make 14 Westerns in all, the most famous of which were Django (1966), with which he helped to launch the career of Franco Nero, and Il grande silenzio (The Great Silence, 1967), which gainfully drew on the talents of both Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinsky.
   With the spaghetti Western on the wane in the mid-1970s, Corbucci turned his attention to other genres. After an isolated attempt at the road movie with Il bestione (The Beast, 1974), he settled into a series of light comedies featuring popular actor-singers Adriano Celentano and Johnny Dorelli. Following two interesting variations on the giallo, La mazzetta (The Payoff, 1978), adaptated from a novel by Attilio Veraldi, and Giallo napoletano (Neapolitan Mystery, 1979), an offbeat police thriller starring Marcello Mastroianni, he also directed one of the funnier Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies, Chi trova un amico trova un tesoro (A Friend Is a Treasure, 1981). Corbucci continued writing and directing comedies throughout the 1980s, reuniting Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato in Bello mio, bellezza mia (My Darling, My Dearest, 1984) and providing Alberto Sordi with one of his most bizarre roles in Sono un fenomenoparanormale (IAm an ESP, 1985). His last film, Nightclub (1989), attempted, but with only limited success, to recapture the times and the atmosphere of Federico Fellini's La dolce vita (1960).

Historical dictionary of Italian cinema. . 2010.

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