Damiano Damiani

Damiano Damiani (23 July 1922 – 7 March 2013) was an Italian screenwriter, film director, actor and writer. Poet and director Pier Paolo Pasolini referred to him as "a bitter moralist hungry for old purity", while film critic Paolo Mereghetti said that his style made him "the most American of Italian directors".[1]

Damiano Damiani
Born(1922-07-23)23 July 1922
Died7 March 2013(2013-03-07) (aged 90)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1947–2002

In 1946 Damiano Damiani became part of the so-called Group of Venice with Fernando Carcupino, Hugo Pratt and Dino Battaglia.

Life and career

Born in Pasiano di Pordenone, Friuli, Damiani studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, then made his début in 1947 with the documentary La banda d'Affari. After a few years as a screenwriter, he directed his first feature film in 1960, Il rossetto. Before his career as a big screenwriter, Damiani was first a comic cartoonist in association with the "Group of Venice". Focused on the comic Asso di Picche (1945-1949) the comic featured a masked vigilante who fights crime all over the globe and is in charge of the crime stopping organization, "Band of Panthers". A smaller publication that he also contributed to through illustration was "Mike Lazy" (1946) producing two volumes in the Albo Dinamite by Edizioni Il Carro in Milan.[2] Then individually producing his own gangster comic "Pat la Rocca" in 1946. Two books were published in the collection Collana Gialli Film by Edizioni Il Carro. A third comic was scheduled and advertised to release yet never made it to the mark. Continuing his work in the comic industry, Damiani, wrote scripts for photo comics "Arizona Kid" (1949) published in the Mondadori magazines in the Avventuroso Film (Adventurous Film) and Bolero Film.[2] Then moving on to be involved in the launch of similar magazine called Sogno alongside editor Luciano Pedrocchi, working as a screenwriter for an adventure comic 'I 3 Boyscouts' (Edizioni Castello, 1948), which was illustrated by Rino Ferrari, Giovanni Benvenuti and Andrea Bresciani. However, later in his career, Damiani also did some illustration work to the crime noir comic "Hogart il Giustiziere" but was reprinted and published under the title "Bogart il Giusitiziere"(1968-1969).[3]

His 1962 film Arturo's Island won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.[4] The 1960s were Damiani's "golden decade"; he was praised by critics and his films were box office successes.[5]

In 1966 he directed A Bullet for the General, one of the first and one of the most notable "political" Spaghetti Westerns.[6] In 1968, with The Day of the Owl,[7] he started a series of films in which social criticism, often related to the connections between politics and crime, was mixed with spectacular plots.[8] His 1971 film Confessions of a Police Captain won the Golden Prize at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival.[9] In 1973 Damiani débuted as an actor, playing Giovanni Amendola in Florestano Vancini's The Matteotti Murder.[8] He was known to cult horror film fans for directing Amityville II: The Possession in 1982 for Dino de Laurentiis.

In 1984 he directed one of the most famous Italian television series, La piovra, a description of the contemporary Italian Mafia and its involvement in politics.[8] His last feature film was Assassini dei giorni di festa , directed in 2002.


Damiani died on 7 March 2013, at his home in Rome, from respiratory failure; he was 90 years old.[5]







  • Golden Berlin Bear for Pizza Connection (1985)
  • Golden Berlin Bear for Il giorno della civetta (1968)
  • Golden Berlin Bear for La rimpatriata (1963)[11]

See also


  1. Paolo Mereghetti (8 March 2013). "Addio a Damiano Damiani". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  2. Bardini, Marco (15 April 2015). "Elsa Morante e il cinema: "L'isola di Arturo" di Damiano Damiani". Cuadernos de Filología Italiana. 21. doi:10.5209/rev_cfit.2014.v21.48720. ISSN 1988-2394.
  3. "Lambiek Comiclopedia". Choice Reviews Online. 47 (4): 47–1754–47–1754. 1 December 2009. doi:10.5860/choice.47-1754. ISSN 0009-4978.
  4. Lino Micciché, Storia del cinema italiano. Edizioni di Bianco & nero, 2001
  5. "Morto il regista Damiano Damiani". La Stampa. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  6. Marco Giusti (2007). Dizionario del western all'italiana. Mondadori, 2007. ISBN 978-88-04-57277-0.
  7. Garofalo, Piero (2011). "Damiano Damiani's "Il giorno della civetta" (1968): A Western Flirtation". In Renga, Dana (ed.). Mafia Movies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 252–260.
  8. "Addio a Damiano Damiani, regista della Piovra". La Repubblica. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  9. "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  10. "Berlinale: 1985 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  11. "Awards for Damiano Damiani".
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