Italian film director Dino Risi dies

Mon Jun 9, 2008 3:06pm EDT
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By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Film director Dino Risi, who chronicled the bittersweet and lighter side of Italy's post-war economic boom, died on Saturday, the residence where he lived said.

Risi, who was 91, was known as one of the masters of the Commedia all'Italiana (Italian comedy). He had been ill for some time and died in a Rome residence where had lived for years.

Among the most famous of his more than 50 films were Poveri ma Belli (Poor but Beautiful), Belle ma Povere (Poor Girl, Pretty Girl) and Il Sorpasso (The Easy Life).

Il Sorpasso (1963) was the story of a hedonist played by Vittorio Gassman who travels around Italy in a sports car with a shy student played by Jean-Louis Trintignant.

His 1974 film Profumo di Donna (Scent of a Woman), won two Oscar nominations. It told the story of an army captain left blind by the war who tours Italy with an aide using his highly developed sense of smell to identify types of women.

It was remade in the United States in 1992 in a version starring Al Pacino.

In 2002 Risi was given the Golden Lion award for his career at the Venice Film Festival.

He continued working into his 80s, joking about getting old and the prospect of death.   Continued...