Mario Soldati

Mario Soldati (17 November 1906 – 19 June 1999) was an Italian writer and film director. In 1954 he won the Strega Prize for Lettere da Capri. He directed several works adapted from novels, and worked with leading Italian actresses, such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.

Mario Soldati
Mario Soldati 1967.jpg
Born(1906-11-17)17 November 1906
Turin, Italy
Died19 June 1999(1999-06-19) (aged 92)
Lerici, Italy
Occupation(s)Writer, film director


A native of Turin, Soldati attended the Liceo Sociale, a Jesuit school, and finished secondary school at age 17. He then studied humanities at the University of Turin. At that time, the University was a hotbed of intellectual activity and the young Soldati would meet and befriend the likes of activist and writer Carlo Levi and journalist Giacomo Debenedetti, who were his seniors. He later studied History of Art at the University of Rome. He started publishing novels in 1929. He achieved the widest notice with America primo amore, published in 1935, a memoir of the time he spent teaching at Columbia University. He won literary awards for his work, most notably the Strega Prize for Lettere da Capri in 1954.

Also interested in film, Soldati began directing in 1938. His most well-known films are Piccolo mondo antico (1941) and Malombra (1942) with Isa Miranda, both based on novels by Antonio Fogazzaro. These two films belong to the early 1940s movement in Italian cinema known as calligrafismo.

Other popular films were Eugenie Grandet, based on Balzac's novel, with Alida Valli; Fuga in Francia (1948); The River Girl (starring Sophia Loren), and La provinciale (starring Gina Lollobrigida).

Soldati also regularly published articles in Italian newspapers, including Il Mondo, Il Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Avanti, L'Unità and Il Giorno.

He died at Lerici in 1999.

Legacy and honorsEdit



  1. ^ "Italian Comedy - The State of Things". Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.

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