At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Alberto Lattuada – film director

Versatility and eye for talent made him leading figure


Alberto Lattuada helped launch many careers in Italian cinema
Alberto Lattuada helped launch many
careers in Italian cinema
A leading figure in the Italian cinema, Alberto Lattuada was born on this day in 1914 in Vaprio d’Adda in Lombardy.

Lattuada was the son of the composer Felice Lattuada, who made him complete his studies as an architect before allowing him to enter the film business.

As a student, Lattuada was a member of the editorial staff of the antifascist publication Camminare and also of Corrente di Vita, an independent newspaper. Corrente di Vita was closed by the Fascist regime just before Italy entered the Second World War.

Lattuada, who is said to have detested fascism, helped to organise a screening of a banned anti-war film at about this time, which got him into trouble with the police.

In 1940 Lattuada started his cinema career as a screenwriter and assistant director on Mario Soldati’s Piccolo mondo antico (Old-Fashioned World).

He directed his own first movie, Giacomo l’idealista (Giacomo the Idealist) in 1942.

Lattuada with Federico Fellini (left) on the set of the latter's first movie in 1950
Lattuada with Federico Fellini (left) on the set of the
latter's first movie in 1950
In 1950 he co-directed Luci del Varietà with Federico Fellini. This was the first film directed by Fellini.

In the 1960s his best film is considered to be Il Mafioso, in which he helped Alberto Sordi give one of his best performances as a miserable desk clerk who in return for a family favour finds himself obliged to become a hit man for a mafia killing in New York.

Lattuada’s film La Steppa, made in 1962, was entered at the 12th Berlin International Film Festival. And in 1970 he was a member of the jury at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.

His work as a director spanned almost every genre and he helped launch the careers of many film stars, whose talent he had recognised.

Lattuada married the actress Carla del Poggio in 1945 and they had two sons, Francesco and Alessandro. The couple were still together when he died in 2005 at the age of 90. He is buried in the Cimitero Monumentale in Milan.

The ferry boast designed by Leonardo da Vinci
The ferry boast designed by Leonardo da Vinci
Travel tip:

Vaprio d’Adda, where Alberto Lattuada was born is about 30km (18 miles) northeast of Milan in Lombardy. One of the main sights is the Villa Melzi, where Leonardo da Vinci stayed when studying channelling of waters in the area. The villa has a fresco of the Madonna with Child that has been attributed to him or his school. A ferry boat designed by Da Vinci still operates on the river, linking Villa d'Adda with Imbersago.

Lake Como was formed by the waters of the Adda
Lake Como was formed by the waters of the Adda
Travel tip:

The Adda river, which rises in the Alps close to the Swiss border, initially flows from east to west, which is unusual for a river in Italy, before turning south to join the Po river just upstream from Cremona.  Some 313km (194 miles) in length, it passes through several important towns and cities such as Bormio, Sondrio, Lecco and Lodi, as well as some smaller historic towns such as Trezzo, Crespina and Cassano.  The waters from the Adda were responsible for forming Lake Como.






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