Gabriele Ferzetti

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Gabriele Ferzetti
Ferzetti.jpg
Gabriele Ferzetti in Long Night in 1943 (La lunga notte del '43), 1960
Born
Pasquale Ferzetti

17 March 1925
Died2 December 2015(2015-12-02) (aged 90)
Rome, Italy
OccupationActor
Years active1942–2015
Children1

Gabriele Ferzetti (born Pasquale Ferzetti; 17 March 1925 – 2 December 2015) was an Italian actor with more than 160 credits across film, television, and stage. [1] His career was at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s.

Contents

Ferzetti's first leading role was in the film Lo Zappatore (1950). He portrayed Puccini twice in the films Puccini (1953) and Casa Ricordi (1954). He made his international breakthrough in Michelangelo Antonioni's once controversial L'Avventura (1960) as an oversexed, restless playboy. After a series of romantic performances, he acquired a reputation in Italy as an elegant, debonair, and somewhat aristocratic looking leading man. [2] [3]

Lo Zappatore is a 1950 Italian film directed by Rate Furlan.

<i>Puccini</i> (film) 1953 film by Carmine Gallone

Puccini is a 1953 Italian biographical musical melodrama film directed by Carmine Gallone. It stars actor Gabriele Ferzetti in the role of Giacomo Puccini.

Michelangelo Antonioni Italian film director and screenwriter

Michelangelo Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI, was an Italian film director, screenwriter, editor, and short story author. Best known for his "trilogy on modernity and its discontents" — L'Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), and L'Eclisse (1962)—as well as the English-language films Blowup (1966) and The Passenger (1975), Antonioni produced "enigmatic and intricate mood pieces" that rejected action and plot in favor of contemplation, image, and design. According to AllMovie, he "redefined the concept of narrative cinema" and challenged traditional approaches to storytelling, realism, and drama.

Ferzetti starred as Lot in John Huston's biblical epic, The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), and played railroad baron Morton in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). Perhaps his best known role, internationally, was in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) as Marc Ange Draco, although his voice was dubbed by British actor David de Keyser. He was perhaps best known to non-mainstream audiences for his role as the psychiatrist, Hans, in Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter (1974). In the 1970s, he appeared in a significant number of crime films, often as an inspector.

Lot (biblical person) person mentioned in the biblical Book of Genesis and the Quran

Lot was a patriarch in the biblical Book of Genesis chapters 11–14 and 19. Notable events in his life include his journey with his uncle Abram (Abraham) and his flight from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, during which Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, and Lot had sexual relations with his daughters so that they could bear children.

John Huston American film director, screenwriter and actor

John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. Huston was a citizen of the United States by birth but renounced U.S. citizenship to become an Irish citizen and resident. He returned to reside in the United States where he died. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), The Misfits (1961), Fat City (1972) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975). During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.

<i>The Bible: In the Beginning...</i> 1966 film by John Huston

The Bible: In the Beginning... is a 1966 American-Italian religious epic film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Huston. It recounts the first 22 chapters of the biblical Book of Genesis, covering the stories from Adam and Eve to the binding of Isaac. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film was photographed by Giuseppe Rotunno in Dimension 150, a variant of the 70mm Todd-AO format. It stars Michael Parks as Adam, Ulla Bergryd as Eve, Richard Harris as Cain, John Huston as Noah, Stephen Boyd as Nimrod, George C. Scott as Abraham, Ava Gardner as Sarah, and Peter O'Toole as the Three Angels.

He appeared in Julia and Julia , opposite Laurence Olivier in Inchon (1982), and the cult film, First Action Hero . Later in his career, he played the role of Nono in the TV series Une famille formidable , while also appearing in Luca Guadagnino's 2009 film I Am Love .

<i>Julia and Julia</i> 1987 film by Peter Del Monte

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<i>Inchon</i> (film) 1981 film by Terence Young

Inchon is a 1981 epic war film about the Battle of Inchon, considered to be the turning point of the Korean War. The film was directed by Terence Young and financed by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. It stars Laurence Olivier as General Douglas MacArthur, who led the United States surprise amphibious landing at Incheon, South Korea in 1950. Also featured are Jacqueline Bisset, Ben Gazzara, Toshiro Mifune, and Richard Roundtree. It was filmed in South Korea, California, Italy, Ireland and Japan.

Biography

Early life

Ferzetti was born as Pasquale Ferzetti in Rome, Italy on 17 March 1925. [1] He studied at the Accademia d'Arte Drammatica in Rome, but was expelled. [3]

Career

1940s

Ferzetti made his screen debut in Via delle Cinque Lune (1942) under the directorship of Luigi Chiarini, [1] featuring actors such as Luisella Beghi, Olga Solbelli, Andrea Checchi, and Gildo Bocci. [4] Uncredited for his next role in Bengasi , he was credited for Flavio Calzavara's La contessa Castiglione (also from 1942). He then took a break from film acting, instead making a succession of theatrical appearances until a small role in Lost Happiness (Felicità perduta, 1946) and Riccardo Freda's Les Misérables (uncredited, 1948). After a small role as a pilot in Flying Squadron ( Rondini in volo , 1949) and a role in Sicilian Uprising (Vespro siciliano, also from 1949), a historic film set in 1282 during the War of the Sicilian Vespers, he appeared alongside Elli Parvo, Piero Lulli, Charles Vanel, and Marcello Mastroianni in Luigi Capuano's Vertigine d'amore and Fabiola (both from 1949) as Claudio. The antiquity drama, set in Rome, was warmly received. [1]

Luigi Chiarini Italian screenwriter and film director

Luigi Chiarini (1900–1975) was an Italian film theorist, essayist, screenwriter and film director.

Luisella Beghi Italian actress

Luisella Beghi was an Italian actress and voice actress.

Olga Solbelli Italian film actress

Olga Solbelli was an Italian film actress. She appeared in 81 films between 1939 and 1967. She was born in Verghereto and died in Bologna.

1950s

Ferzetti as a professor in an award-winning role opposite Gina Lollobrigida in Mario Soldati's The Wayward Wife (La Provinciale, 1953) Gabriele Ferzetti La Provinciale.jpg
Ferzetti as a professor in an award-winning role opposite Gina Lollobrigida in Mario Soldati's The Wayward Wife (La Provinciale, 1953)

Ferzetti had a supporting role in Flavio Calzavara's Sigillo rosso alongside Gino Cervi and Carla Del Poggio, but his first leading role came in Lo Zappatore (both from 1950), a film which focused on the life of peasants and farm workers during the interwar and great depression period. [1] Roles now came in abundance for Ferzetti, from the crime comedy Welcome, Reverend! (Benvenuto, reverendo!, 1950) alongside Aldo Fabrizi, Massimo Girotti, and Lianella Carell, [5] to Luis Trenker's film Barrier to the North (1950), [6] to Guido Brignone's The Naked and the Wicked ( Core 'ngrato  [ it ], 1951) and Inganno (1952), to Curzio Malaparte's drama, The Forbidden Christ (Il Cristo proibito, 1951), to Antonio Pietrangeli's Empty Eyes (Il sole negli occhi, 1953). He starred in the successful biopic of composer Puccini under Carmine Gallone, Puccini (also 1953), and reprised the role in House of Ricordi ( Casa Ricordi , 1954), also featuring Roland Alexandre as Gioacchino Rossini. [1] Ferzetti starred in Mario Soldati's The Wayward Wife (La Provinciale, 1953), a Cannes Film Festival nominee for best film, which saw him play the role of a professor who falls in love with a glamorous star (Gina Lollobrigida). [1] This comedy drama involves the tale of a Romanian countess who forces "Gemma" to become a prostitute. For his performance, Ferzetti received an award from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, and further cemented his status as a leading actor in Italy by appearing alongside Lollobrigida. [1] Ferzetti appeared in Marcello Pagliero's comedy drama based on the play by Luigi Pirandello, Vestire gli ignudi (1954), playing the character of Ludovico Nota alongside Pierre Brasseur, Manlio Busoni, and Paolo Ferrara, and in Camilla (also 1954), under the directorship of Luciano Emmer. [7]

Ferzetti starred in Michelangelo Antonioni's The Girlfriends ( Le Amiche , 1955), as a downbeat, struggling artist named Lorenzo, with Eleonora Rossi Drago, Franco Fabrizi, and Valentina Cortese in the other leading roles. [8] The film, shot on location in Turin, was adapted from Cesare Pavese's novella Tra donne sole (1949). Around the same time, he starred in Un po' di cielo (also from 1955), directed by Giorgio Moser, and Donatella (1956) opposite Elsa Martinelli, under director Mario Monicelli. The film was screened at the 6th Berlin International Film Festival. Ferzetti appeared in the crime film, Parola di ladro (1957), for directors Nanni Loy and Gianni Puccini, opposite Abbe Lane, Nadia Gray, and Andrea Checchi. He later appeared in Antonio Pietrangeli's Souvenir d'Italie , a romantic comedy which saw him feature alongside June Laverick, Isabelle Corey, and Ingeborg Schöner. Ferzetti appeared in Ballerina e Buon Dio (1958), directed by Antonio Leonviola, followed by Racconti d'estate , under the directorship of Gianni Franciolini, based on a story by Alberto Moravia. [9] Ferzetti was cast in this romantic comedy, set in the Tigullio Gulf, alongside Alberto Sordi, Michèle Morgan, Marcello Mastroianni, Sylva Koscina, Dorian Gray, Franca Marzi, Franco Fabrizi, and Jorge Mistral. In 1959, Ferzetti starred alongside Andrée Debar and Isa Miranda as Bernard Turquet de Mayenne in the French historical comedy, Le secret du Chevalier d'Éon . Directed by Jacqueline Audry, the film is set in Burgundy in 1728. He later appeared in Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia's Hannibal , alongside Victor Mature, Rita Gam, Milly Vitale, and Rik Battaglia. The film is set during the Roman Republic; Ferzetti played Fabius Maximus.

1960s

Ferzetti alongside Lea Massari in his most acclaimed role in L'avventura (1960), playing an oversexed playboy. L'avventura 1960.jpg
Ferzetti alongside Lea Massari in his most acclaimed role in L'avventura (1960), playing an oversexed playboy.

Ferzetti starred in Gianni Puccini's Il carro armato dell'8 settembre (1960), followed by Florestano Vancini's La lunga notte del '43 (both 1960). The latter film was set during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943 during the Second World War, and saw Ferzetti feature alongside Belinda Lee and Enrico Maria Salerno. It was a considerable success at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Goldon Lion Award. He made his international breakthrough as an oversexed, restless playboy, Sandro, in Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura (also 1960). Starring alongside Lea Massari and Monica Vitti romantically, [10] [11] his role was well received. Liz-Anne Bawden in The Oxford Companion to Film said, "The acting is excellent. Gabriele Ferzetti repeats and develops his role from Le Amiche of the inadequate male/artist". [12]

Ferzetti entered one of the busiest periods of his career, featuring in seven films released during 1962. Among these were Il giorno più corto , directed by Sergio Corbucci, in Giuseppe Bennati's Congo vivo alongside Jean Seberg, in Jean Negulesco's American picture, Jessica , opposite Maurice Chevalier, Angie Dickinson, and Noël-Noël, and in Le Crime ne paie pas (US: Crime Does Not Pay) under director Gérard Oury. Among a large ensemble cast, Ferzetti had a role in Jean Delannoy's Imperial Venus (1963), and played the character of Leonardi in Charles Frend and Bruno Vailati's war drama, Torpedo Bay (also 1963), alongside Lilli Palmer, James Mason, and Alberto Lupo.

In Luis Lucia's musical comedy, Crucero de verano (1964), he appeared alongside Carmen Sevilla, Marisa Merlini, and José Alfayate and in Lo scippo (1965), alongside Paolo Ferrari, and played the role of Vic Dermatt in Jacques Deray's French crime drama, Par un beau matin d'été (Crime on a Summer Morning, also 1965), alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sophie Daumier, and Geraldine Chaplin. [13] He also had a role in Marcel Carné's Trois chambres à Manhattan ( Three Rooms in Manhattan , 1965), a film which incidentally featured a young Robert De Niro in an uncredited role.

Ferzetti began to work on American projects. He starred as Lot in John Huston's biblical epic, The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), based on the book of Book of Genesis , opposite Michael Parks (Adam), Ulla Bergryd (Eve), Richard Harris (Cain), Franco Nero (Abel), and Huston himself as Noah, the narrator, the serpent, and God. He also made his television debut with his appearance in two episodes of the American spy series, I Spy . Ferzetti starred in A ciascuno il suo ( We Still Kill the Old Way , 1967) under director Elio Petri, and the TV series Dossier Mata Hari  [ it ]. Ferzetti featured in a total of eight films released in 1968, including Marcello Fondato's I protagonisti , Salvatore Samperi's Grazie zia , José María Forqué's Un diablo bajo la almohada , Roberto Faenza's Escalation , Alberto De Martino's Roma come Chicago , and Sergio Leone's western epic, Once Upon a Time in the West , in which he played Morton, the physically challenged railroad baron, opposite acclaimed actors Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson. [1]

Ferzetti as Marc-Ange Draco in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) Gabriele Ferzetti.gif
Ferzetti as Marc-Ange Draco in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

In 1969, Ferzetti starred in Giuliano Montaldo's crime film, Gli intoccabili . The film was entered into the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. [14]

He next starred in Un bellissimo novembre , directed by Mauro Bolognini. The film, based on a novel by Ercole Patti, united Ferzetti and Gina Lollobrigida once again in the leading roles. Ferzetti's most important performance in 1969, and arguably the role he is most associated with, internationally, was his role as distinguished organized crime boss Marc-Ange Draco in the 1969 James Bond feature On Her Majesty's Secret Service .

Directed by Peter Hunt, Ferzetti plays the father of Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg), who promises James Bond (George Lazenby) a handsome dowry for marrying her; they fall in love and marry anyway. Hunt had spotted Ferzetti in an Italian film, which he and Harry Saltzman were supposed to be reviewing another actor in, and both were immediately drawn to Ferzetti and persuaded the producers to test Ferzetti. However, despite speaking good English, his lines were dubbed by British actor David de Keyser, due to Ferzetti's strong Italian accent. In the end of the film, his character Draco's resources are vital in aiding Bond to destroy Ernst Stavro Blofeld's base at Piz Gloria. His final release of 1969 was L'amica , directed by Alberto Lattuada.

1970s

In 1970, Ferzetti starred in the political thriller, The Confession , opposite Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, under director Costa-Gavras. The film, based on the book by Lise London, explores the mental tortures facing the vice-minister of the Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia when he is imprisoned. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Ferzetti starred as an inspector in the crime picture, Cannabis , directed by Pierre Koralnik. The film involves the American mafia and a group of French drug lords. He also had an uncredited role in Terence Young's American picture, Cold Sweat . In 1971, Ferzetti featured in Salvatore Samperi's Million Dollar Eel, a comedy film about an heiress who fakes her own kidnapping and hides in the river Po's delta, in order to obtain money from her parents. In 1972, Ferzetti starred opposite Robert Blake, Catherine Spaak, and Ernest Borgnine in Franco Prosperi's boxing drama, Un uomo dalla pelle dura . A series of appearances in crime films followed, including Alta tension , Trois milliards sans ascenseur (1972), and Bisturi la mafia bianca (1973), directed by Luigi Zampa.

Wilhelm Keitel, played by Ferzetti in Hitler: The Last Ten Days Bundesarchiv Bild 183-L18173, Wilhelm Keitel.jpg
Wilhelm Keitel, played by Ferzetti in Hitler: The Last Ten Days

In 1973, Ferzetti appeared in the TV movie, Divorce His, Divorce Hers , under Waris Hussein, and Hitler: The Last Ten Days , a British-Italian produced picture directed by Ennio De Concini. Ferzetti played the role of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel opposite Alec Guinness (Adolf Hitler), Simon Ward, Adolfo Celi, and Diane Cilento. The following year of 1974, he again appeared in a World War II picture, this time the controversial arthouse classic about the Holocaust, The Night Porter , working under director Liliana Cavani. He starred alongside Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling and played Hans, a psychiatrist, one of his most notable roles. The film depicts the political continuity between wartime Nazism and post-war Europe, and the psychological continuity of characters locked into compulsive repetition of the past. Given the film's dark and disturbing themes, and a somewhat ambiguous moral clarification at the end, The Night Porter has tended to divide audiences and was accused of mere sensationalism. Film critic Roger Ebert said, "as nasty as it is lubricious, a despicable attempt to titillate us by exploiting memories of persecution and suffering." [15]

Ferzetti continued to appear in crime films, including ...a tutte le auto della polizia (1975), directed by Mario Caiano, the German detective thriller Der Richter und sein Henker (1975), directed by Maximilian Schell, Eriprando Visconti's La Orca (1976), and Fernando Di Leo's Gli amici di Nick Hezard , a film about a Swiss heist. He also appeared in French director Roger Pigaut's picture, Le guêpier , opposite Claude Brasseur and Marthe Keller, and had a small role in Vincente Minnelli's fantasy, A Matter of Time in 1976, which featured a prominent cast, which included Ingrid Bergman and Liza Minnelli. In 1977, he starred in Eriprando Visconti's Oedipus Orca , and Lucio Fulci's The Psychic , about a clairvoyant woman (Jennifer O'Neill), who after having a vision, removes a section of the wall in the home of her husband (Ferzetti) and finds a skeleton behind it. In 1978, Ferzetti appeared in French director Claude d'Anna's picture, CIA contro KGB , alongside Bruno Cremer, Donald Pleasence, Laure Dechasnel  [ fr ], Hélène Lehman, Dennis Hopper, and Joseph Cotten. He also appeared in another French picture, the romantic drama Mon premier amour , directed by Elie Chouraqui. In 1979, Ferzetti starred in Porci con la P 38 , directed by Gianfranco Pagani, Gli anni struggenti , directed by Vittorio Sindoni, Incontro con gli umanoidi , directed by Anthony Richmond and Tonino Ricci, and also had an uncredited role in Terence Young's Bloodline . He also appeared in the TV series I vecchi e i giovani .

1980s–2015

Ferzetti played a Turkish brigadier in another of Young's pictures, the historical war film, Inchon (1981), with Laurence Olivier as General Douglas MacArthur. He appeared in Vatican Conspiracy ( Morte in Vaticano , 1982) directed by Marcello Aliprandi, and starred alongside Franco Nero in the crime comedy, Grog (also 1982), directed by Francesco Laudadio, about two convicts who escape from prison and takes the family of a doctor as hostages.

In the mid-1980s, as he came closer to retirement age, Ferzetti's career in film began to decline, mainly appearing in low-budget TV movies and mini series, including an uncredited role in The Scarlet and the Black (1983) under Jerry London, and the mini-series Quo Vadis? (1985), La voglia di vincere (1987), and Around the World in 80 Days (1989). His only other films of the period were Julia and Julia (1987), directed by Peter Del Monte, in which he starred alongside Kathleen Turner, Gabriel Byrne, and Sting, and Computron 22 , directed by Giuliano Carnimeo (1988).

In the 1990s, Ferzetti only appeared in minor or brief roles in TV movies, such as Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair (1990), Black as the Heart (1991), Die Ringe des Saturn (1992), Natale con papà (1994) and mini-series such as Private Crimes (1995), in which he played Dr. Braschi. He did however appear in the film First Action Hero (1994), but his only major role of the 1990s was as the Duke of Venice in Othello (1995), directed by Oliver Parker. He also appeared in Renzo Martinelli's Porzûs and Alfredo Angeli's television series Con rabbia e con amore (both from 1997).

In the 2000s, Ferzetti appeared in Lost Love (Perduto amor, 2003), directed by Franco Battiato, in Concorso di colpa  [ it ] (2005), directed by Claudio Fragasso and in Io sono l'amore (2009), directed by Luca Guadagnino. His best known role, after 1996, is as Nono in the French series Une famille formidable , in which he appeared in 11 episodes, between 1996 and 2007. He portrayed Enrico in Edoardo Leo's comedy picture, 18 Years Later (Diciotto anni dopo, 2010), which featured Marco Bonini in the lead role.

Ferzetti died on 2 December 2015, aged 90. [16]

Filmography

Cinema

Television

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References

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  9. "NY Times: Girls for the Summer". NY Times.com. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
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  11. Morgan, Frederick (1961). The Hudson review, Volume 14. Hudson Review. p. 432.
  12. Bawden, Liz-Anne (ed.) (1976). The Oxford Companion to Film. London: Oxford University Press. p. 46.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  13. "New York Times: Crime on a Summer Morning". NY Times. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  14. "Festival de Cannes: Machine Gun McCain". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  15. Ebert, Roger (10 February 1975). "The Night Porter". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  16. La Repubblica. "Addio a Gabriele Ferzetti, il seduttore introverso del nostro cinema" . Retrieved 2 December 2015.