De Filippo, Eduardo

(1900-1984)
   Playwright, actor, and director. Illegitimate son of the the much-renowned Neapolitan actor and director Eduardo Scarpetta, De Filippo first appeared on stage at the age of four. He continued to play small parts with the Scarpetta Company until he was sent away to study in college. Having completed his studies, he joined the Scarpetta Company again until 1920, when he was called up for military service. Following his discharge, he gained experience working with many of the other established theater companies in Naples before joining with his brother Peppino and his sister Titina in forming their own family company in 1931. Appropriately, De Filippo made his debut in cinema playing a theatrical impressario in Mario Bonnard's Tre uomini in frac (I Sing for You Alone, 1932), which also featured the famed tenor Tito Schipa. The film was not a great success but Eduardo and Peppino then went on to star in the extremely popular Il cappello a tre punte (The Three-Cornered Hat, 1934), a Neapolitan transposition of the novella by Pedro de Alarcon, directed by Mario Camerini. Eduardo acted, once again with Peppino, in Gennaro Righelli's Quei due (Those Two, 1935), adapted from one of his own plays, and then the brothers were joined by Titina in Raffaello Matarazzo's Sono stato io! (It Was I! 1937).
   After a first and unsuccessful attempt at directing In campagna e caduta una stella (In the Country Fell a Star, 1939), Eduardo appeared on the screen again, together with his brother, in two films directed by Carlo L. Bragaglia: Non ti pago! (I'm Not Paying, 1942) and Casanova farebbe cost (After Casanova's Fashion, 1942). He tried his hand at directing again in 1944 with Ti conosco mascherina! (You Can't Fool Me! 1944) but once more met with a tepid response. In the immediate postwar period, Eduardo appeared in many films, beginning as the kind professor in Mario Mattoli's La vita ricomincia (Life Begins Anew, 1945) and then playing the violent, jealous lover in Mattoli's remake of the silent classic melodrama Assunta Spina (Scarred, 1948). There followed what many regard as his best films as director: Napoli milionaria (Side Street Story, 1950), Filumena Marturano (1951), and Questi fantasmi (These Phantoms, 1954), all successful transpositions of his own stage plays. His direction began to wane with Fortunella (1958), scripted by Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli from a story written by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina, but which, in the event, only succeeded, in the words of one critic, in being "Fellinian without Fellini." When Spara forte, piu forte... non ti sento (Shoot Loud, Louder... I Don't Understand, 1966), which had been adapted from one of his own plays, was also savaged by the critics, De Filippo abandoned the big screen in order to return to the stage. He did, however, subsequently direct a series of very popular television adaptations of all his major plays.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • De Filippo, Eduardo — (1900 1984)    Playwright, actor, and director. Illegitimate son of the the much renowned Neapolitan actor and director Eduardo Scarpetta, De Filippo first appeared on stage at the age of four. He continued to play small parts with the Scarpetta… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

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  • Eduardo de Filippo — (né le 24 mai 1900 à Naples, Campanie, en Italie mort le 31 octobre 1984 à Rome) était un acteur, poète, scénariste et dramaturge italien. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Le langage théâtral …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eduardo De Filippo — (* 24. Mai 1900 in Neapel; † 31. Oktober 1984) war ein italienischer Schauspieler und Theaterautor. Daneben war er auch als Drehbuchautor und Filmregisseur tätig …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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