Alberto Lattuada

Active - 1943 - 2006  |   Born - Nov 13, 1914   |   Died - Jul 3, 2005   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Italian writer/director Alberto Lattuada is the son of famed composer Felice Lattuada, who scored several of Lattuada's films. After studying to be an architect at the Berchet School in Milan, Lattuada supplemented his income as a newspaper and magazine writer. He entered the Italian film industry in 1933 as a set decorator, graduating to "assistant in charge of color" in 1935. Five years later, he directed his first film. With Luigi Comencini, Lattuada founded Italy's first film archive, Cinetica Italiana, in 1941; that same year he published a popular coffee-table volume, The Photographic Atlas. Stepping up his directing activities in the postwar years, Lattuada specialized in stylish costume pictures, often adapted from famous novels. His ventures into neorealism--Bandit (1946), Anna (1951)--tended to be slicker and more professional-looking than the similar efforts of his contemporaries. He gave the career of Federico Fellini a boost in 1950, when he and Fellini co-directed the well-received Variety Lights (the film's budget was provided up by a corporation formed by Lattuada, Fellini and their actress wives). The best of Lattuada's subsequent films include The Overcoat (1953) and Fraulein Doktor (1967). He did a great deal of TV work in the 1970s and 1980s, notably the 1985 U.S.-Italian miniseries Christopher Columbus. From 1970 onward, Lattuada kept busy outside the movie industry as an opera director. Alberto Lattuada was once married to actress Carla Del Poggio.

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