|Date of Birth||3 January 1929, Rome, Lazio, Italy|
|Date of Death||30 April 1989, Rome, Lazio, Italy (heart attack)|
|Height||5' 7¼" (1.71 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (A.K.A. Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and U.S. directors working in Italy (usually making Biblical and Roman epics, much in vogue at the time). Towards the end of the 1950s he started writing screenplays, and began directing after taking over The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) in mid-shoot after its original director fell ill. His first solo feature, The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), was a routine Roman epic, but his second feature, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), a shameless remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), caused a revolution. Although it wasn't the first spaghetti Western, it was far and away the most successful, and shot former T.V. cowboy Clint Eastwood to stardom (Leone wanted Henry Fonda or Charles Bronson but couldn't afford them). The two sequels, For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), were shot on much higher budgets and were even more successful, though his masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), in which Leone finally worked with Fonda and Bronson, was mutilated by Paramount Pictures and flopped at the U.S. box office. He directed Duck, You Sucker (1971) reluctantly, and turned down offers to direct The Godfather (1972) in favor of his dream project, which became Once Upon a Time in America (1984). He died in 1989 after preparing an even more expensive Soviet coproduction on the World War II siege of Leningrad.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Brooke < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter, credited as the inventor of "Spaghetti Western" genre.
Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots. His movies include the sword and sandal action films The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) and The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), the Dollars Trilogy of Westerns featuring Clint Eastwood (A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)), the Western Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the epic buddy Zapata Western Duck, You Sucker (1971) and the epic crime drama Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
In the mid-1960s, historical epics fell out of favor with audiences, but Leone had shifted his attention to a subgenre which came to be known as the "Spaghetti Western", owing its origin to the American Western. His film A Fistful of Dollars (1964) was based upon Akira Kurosawa's Edo-era samurai adventure Yojimbo (1961). Leone's film elicited a legal challenge from the Japanese director, though Kurosawa's film was in turn probably based on the 1929 Dashiell Hammett novel, Red Harvest. The film is also notable for establishing Eastwood as a star. Until that time Eastwood had been an American television actor with few credited film roles.
In 1968 Leone directed Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) for Paramount Pictures. The film was shot mostly in Almería, Spain and Cinecittà in Rome. It was also briefly shot in Monument Valley, Utah. The film starred Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. The film emerged as a long, violent, dreamlike meditation upon the mythology of the American Old West, with many stylistic references to iconic western films.
In 1971 Leone directed Duck, You Sucker (1971) (Giù la Testa) a Mexican Revolution action drama, starring James Coburn as an Irish revolutionary and Rod Steiger as a Mexican bandit who is conned into becoming a revolutionary.
Leone turned down the opportunity to direct The Godfather (1972), in favor of working on another gangster story he had conceived earlier. He devoted ten years to this project, based on the novel The Hoods by former mobster Harry Grey, which focused on a quartet of New York City Jewish gangsters of the 1920s and 1930s who had been friends since childhood. The four-hour finished film, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), featured Robert De Niro and James Woods. It was a meditation on another aspect of popular American mythology, the role of greed and violence and their uneasy coexistence with the meaning of ethnicity and friendship.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges
|Carla Leone||(1960 - 30 April 1989) (his death) (3 children)|
Trade Mark (8)
By 1989, Leone had been able to acquire $100 million in financing from independent backers, and the film was to be a joint production with a Soviet film company. He had convinced Ennio Morricone to compose the film score, and Tonino Delli Colli was tapped to be the cinematographer. Shooting was scheduled to begin sometime in 1990. The project was cancelled when Leone died two days before he was to officially sign on for the film.
The film was to have been a homage to classic writers from literature such as - Edgar Lee Masters (Spoon River Anthology), Ambrose Bierce (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge), Mark Twain (A Military Campaign that Failed), Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage), and Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), of whose novel he had wanted to film a remake. Although the written treatment never got turned into a full screenplay, Leone's son Andrea had it published in a June 2004 issue of the Italian cinema magazine Ciak. It is unsure if the treatment's publication will ever lead to a full production in America or Italy.
Personal Quotes (6)
|Per qualche dollaro in più (1965)||$350,000 + 60% of profits|