Saturday, 1 May 2010

Screnwriter Furio Scarpelli Passed On

Italian screenwriter Furio Scarpelli, who co-wrote such films as Hercules and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with Agenore Incrocci, passed on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Furio Scarpelli was born on 16 December, 1919 in Rome. The son of a journalist, Mr. Scarpelli enjoyed writing and drawing as a child. During World War II he had a career as an illustrator. It was during this period that he met Agenore Incrocci (better known simply as Age). It was in 1949 that Messrs. Scarpelli and Incrocci wrote their first screenplay, as one of several screenwriters on Vivere a sbafo. It was that same year that they wrote their first comedy for comedian Totò, Totò le Moko. In all, Mr. Scarpelli would twenty five movies for Totò. In addition to Totò's comedies, the two also wrote such films as A fil di spada (At Sword's Edge), Racconti romani (Roman Tales), I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street), and Il bigamo (The Bigamist). In 1958 they wrote on their first screenplay for a film which would see a good deal of success in the United States, La fatiche de Ercole, released in America as Hercules.

In the Sixties Messrs. Scarpelli and Incrocci wrote screenplays for such films as The Best of Enemies, I compagni (The Organiser), one of the segments in Le stregne (The Witches), and Casanova '70. They were nominated for the Oscar for Best Writing, Story, and Screeplay Written Dirctly for the Screen for both I compagni and Casanova '70. Their best known work from the Sixties, however, would be possibly the most famous spaghetti Western of all time, Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly).

During the Seventies Mr. Scarpelli wrote screenplays for such films as C'eravamo tanto amati (Those Were the Years, also known as We All Loved Each Other So Much), Romanzo popolare, and Signore e signori, buonanotte (Good Night, Ladies and Gentlemen). Mr. Scarpelli ended his partnership with Mr. Incrocci in the Eighties, but he woul go go onto write such films as La Famiglia (The Family), Briganti, Il postino, La cena (The Dinner), and N (lo e Napoleone). His last screenplay was Christine Cristina, released in 2009.

Furio Scarpelli was arguably one of the most talented writers in any language. Indeed, while he was best known for his comedies, Mr. Scarpelli was a versatile writer who could work in nearly any genre. Over the years he wrote a sword and sandal epic (Hercules), a spaghetti Western (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), swashbucklers (At Sword's Edge), and  other genres. What is more, Mr. Scarpelli could wrote all of these genres well. Most screenwriters work in only one or two genres, but such was Furio Scarpelli's talent that he could work in several.

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