Mario Monicelli (16 May 1915 – 29 November 2010) was a six times-Oscar nominated Italian director and screenwriter and one of the masters of the Commedia all'Italiana (Comedy Italian style).
Monicelli was born in Rome and was the youngest son of the journalist Tommaso Monicelli. His older brother Giorgio worked as writer and translator. Another older brother, Franco, was a journalist.
He attended studies in the local lyceum, and entered into the film world through his friendship with Giacomo Forzano, son of the playwright Giovacchino Forzano, who had been encharged by Benito Mussolini with the founding of cinema studios in Tirrenia. Monicelli lived a carefree youth, and many of the cinematic jokes he later shot in Amici Miei were taken from his experience.
Monicelli made his first short in 1934, a collaboration with his friend Alberto Mondadori. He followed this work up with the silent film I ragazzi della Via Paal (an adaptation of the novel The Paul Street Boys), which was an award-winner in the Venice Film Festival. His first feature length work was made in 1937 (Pioggia d'estate, "Summer Rain"). In the years 1939–1942 Monicelli also produced numerous screenplays (up to 40), and worked as an assistant director...
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