Thursday, 11 November 2010

Dino De Laurentiis RIP

Dino De Laurentiis the prolific producer of 160+ films has passed away at the age of 91.

I think Dino De Laurentiis was the embodiment of the trials, triumphs, troubles and traps that surround an independent film producer. His output ran the gamut from gritty realist dramas like Serpico, the revenge classic
Death Wish, thrillers like Manhunter & the offbeat Blue Velvet, cult-horror like Evil Dead 2, as well as purely ridiculous fare like Orca, King Kong Lives and Maximum Overdrive.

It was either feast or famine when it came to critical and/or commercial success. This fact was slammed home when he tried to start his own studio the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group in the 1980s.

The overly complicated financial dealings that are the bread and butter of the major studios were the downfall of DEG, leading it to declare bankruptcy and sell off its library and slate of unreleased films after just two years in business.

With the collapse of DEG, he slowed down from his usually immense output, getting involved with fewer and fewer projects, going into a form of quasi-retirement.

Regardless of what people thought of him, he was the sort of colorful and intriguing character that you don't see very often in Hollywood these days. His combination of hard bargainer, charming salesman, risk-loving gambler, and shameless showman made him the quintessential movie producer.

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