Dino De Laurentiis, R.I.P.
Dino De Laurentiis (Agostino de Laurentiis), larger-than-life Italian film producer, passed away yesterday, November 10th, 2010 in California. He was 91.
De Laurentiis produce quite a number of science fiction, horror and fantasy-related films> His first notable one was ULYSSES (1954), adapting Homer’s tale of the indomitable leader and his travails, including encouter with mythical creature such as the Cyclops. The international production starred Kirk Douglas, Silvana Mangano (whom he would marry) and Anthony Quinn.
In 1961 he executive produced the peplum GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES, in `64 the comedy, THE FLYING SAUCER. 1968 saw the comic book-based DANGER:DIABOLIK and the lavish BARBARELLA, starring Jane Fonda and and international cast.
In 1976 he produced the controvesial remake of KING KONG, 1980 brought the campy FLASH GORDON feature, now considered by some a cult classic.
He was involved with CONAN THE BARBARIAN and CONAN THE DESTROYER with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He financed and produced David Lynch’s odd vision of the Frank Herbert epic SF novel DUNE.
Several Steven King properties included THE DEAD ZONE, CAT’S EYE, SILVER BULLET, and MAXIUM OVERDRIVE.
He let Sam Raimi bring ARMY OF DARKNESS to life.
He brought Hannibal Lecter to the screen in MANHUNTER, HANIBAL, and RED DRAGON.
I met him briefly in New York at a FLASH GORDON screening. A small statured man with a big personality and a love of filmmaking—and probably the last of the old-school movie moguls.