Biography of Luigi Comencini (1916-2007)

Italian filmmaker born in Salò (Brescia), on June 8, 1916, and died in Rome, on 6 April 2007.


He studied architecture at the University Polytechnic of Milan, stage in which already showed their interest in film to organize a Club along with Mario Ferrari and Alberto Lattuada. With the latter and also director Marco Ferreri he/she founded in 1949 the Italian Cinematheque of Milan. In 1937 he/she directed his first short film, La Novelletta. He/She worked as a critic in the Corrente and Tempo magazines ilustrato, and during the post-war period he/she was cultural editor of the Socialist newspaper Avanti. He/She began working in cinema as an Assistant Director and screenwriter for directors such as Pietro Germi, Mario Soldati and Dino Risi. He/She directed his first feature film, forbidden to steal (1948), produced by Carlo Ponti. It tells the story of a priest and some delinquent children and takes comedy bleak post-war environments in Napoles.en this line directed what was his first big success, bread, love and fantasy (1953), a comedy about the loves of a carabiniere (Vittorio De Sica) and a young peasant (a spectacular Gina Lollobrigida). The film obtained a huge success of public and critics invented the term "pink neorealism" to define the work of Comencini. He/She was charged along with his fellow generation Mario Monicelli and Dino Risi with betraying the spirit of realism taking as a pretext for conventional films. Historically located between the great authors of the Italian cinema of 1940s and emerged new principals in the 1960s, this great craftsman has been unfairly treated by critics and only in recent years has achieved some recognition.

Comencini specialized in movies of genre in which led to some of the stars of the moment: the beautiful of Rome (1955) comedy broke out the enormous popularity of Alberto Sordiand Silvana Pampanini beauty. Always concerned about social issues rolled the ambitious melodrama La finestra sul Luna Park (1956) about the family problems posed by migration, but its commercial failure returned to comedy where he/she made one of his best films, all go home (1960). Starring Alberto Sordi, one of the greats of the genre in Italy, tells the story of a Lieutenant in the last days of the second world war; the film surpassed the problems of censorship with a great public success, already commonplace in the career of the director. The war returned to be present in much of the best of its production: the girl of the Bube (1963) tells the story of love between a girl from the countryside and a communist partisan who kills a fascist shortly after the fall of Italians.

Among the best of his work is also childhood, vocation and first experiences of Giacomo Casanova, Venetian (1969), an extraordinary vintage recreation based on the first five chapters of the memories of the 18th-century adventurer. One of the great obsessions of Comencini, children cinema is present in it. Child of the adult world vision is present in the melodrama the misunderstood (1966), the adventures of Pinocchio (1971), extraordinary adaptation of the classic Carlo Collodi, and in return, Eugenio (1979), in which its protagonist is a boy who severely criticized their parents separated, two former rebels of the sixties.

Comencini made more personal and ironic films that reflected more clearly their political commitment as social allegory great Jam (1978), which is among the best of his work. Claimed by sectors of criticism as one of the great postwar Italian directors, his films are among the most varied, entertaining and successful in the Italian cinema of the period. In 1987 received Oro León Festival of Venice in recognition of his long career.


Short films.1937: the Novelletta. 1946: Bambini in Città. 1949: Il museo dei sogni. 1950: The delitto l'ospedale. 1974: Educazione civica.

Feature films:(Comencini was co-writer of nearly all of his films) 1948: forbidden to steal. 1949: L'imperatore di Capri.1950: Persiane chiuse. 1952: Tratta delle bianche; Heidi. 1953: The valiglia dei sogni; Bread, love and fantasy. 1954: Bread, love and jealousy. 1955: The beautiful of Rome. 1956: La finestra sul Luna Park. 1957: Mariti in Città. 1958: Mogli pericolose. 1959: Happened on Monday; Le sorprese dell'amore. 1960: All home. 1961: A cavallo della tigre. 1962: Il comissario.1963: Bube girl. 1964: Fate bene fratelli ("Three nights of love" episode); Eritrea (episode of "My lady"); The Treaty of Genetics (episode of "The four dolls"). 1965: the liar; Comrade Don Camilo. 1966: The misunderstood. 1967: Italian Secret Service. 1969: Without knowing anything of it; Childhood, vocation and first experiences of Giacomo Casanova, Venetian. 1970: I bambini e noi (documentary). 1971: the adventures of Pinocho.1972: sowing illusions. 1973: Crime of love. 1974: my God, how I've fallen so low! 1975: Woman on Sunday. 1976: Signore e signori, buonanotte; TRA moglie e marito (episode of "Certain tiny sins"); The mistake (episode of "Gloating"). 1977: Il gatto. 1978: Great jam. 1979: returns, Eugenio. 1981: endless Gesù. 1982: The marriage of Caterina. 1984: Heart. 1986: History. 1987: Un ragazzo di Calabria.1988: La Bohème. 1991: Marcelino bread and wine.

Other works: 1942: the prima donna (ay. address) 1946: Daniele Cortis (co-writer). 1948: Il mulino del Po (co-writer). 1951: the city is defended (co-writer). 1954: the sign of Venus (co-writer).

F Pascual