|Director, he was born on April 3 rd 1922 in Rome. He was soon interested in cinema as critic and essayist and he toke part, together with Giuseppe De Santis, Michelangelo Antonioni, Antonio Pietrangeli, Gianni Puccini, to the editing of " Cinema " old series. Its his Storia del cinema italiano (1st edit. 1953, 2nd edit. 1961), that constitutes one of the most valid contributions to the knowledge of the matter. In 1946 he collaborated to the screen-play of Il sole sorge ancora (A. Vergano), in which he played the part of a priest, and subsequently of The Tragic pursuit (1948, G. De Santis). before passing to the direction of two documentaries, Nel mezzogiorno qualcosa è cambiato (1950) and Modena, città dellEmilia rossa (1951), he was still the scriptwriter of Roberto Rossellini, Alberto Lattuada, Giuseppe De Santis. His first feature film is Achtung banditi! (1951), that talks about a theme of the Resistance with an historical perspective and it is let admire more for the political appointment and the originality of the productive formula, than for the reached expressive results. The historical-political component will be one of the constants of his art and will find its best artistic formulation in Cronache di poveri amanti (1954), drawn from the homonym novel of Vasco Pratolini and, partly, in it The Verona trial (1963), where besides the individual play prevents a great historical vision of the facts and of the characters. Other two historical films resulted less convincing, The hunchback of Rome (1960) and Gold in Rome (1961), and decidedly disappointing the attempts of comic-satirical cinema from Lo svitato (1956) to La vita agra (1964). A parenthesis in his activity of dramatic director can be considered Behind the great wall (1958), that revealed in him good qualities of documentarist and it gave us a portrait partly fresh and suggestive of the communist China. Eclectic director but of solid task, as they have also shown the varied Too soon to die (1966), Bandits in Milan (1968) and Lamante di Gramigna(1969). Lizzani has tried to bring the lesson of the first Neorealism, historicizing it, and his best films testify a culture and a notable interest for cinema, even if not always the artistic results correspond to the intentions.
1951 - Achtung banditi!
1952: Festival of Karlovy Vary: prize for the best direction (Achtung banditi!)
From Dizionario del Cinema Italiano 1945/1969 Author Gianni Rondolino Publisher Einaudi 1969