Sergio Corbucci (Italian: [ˈsɛrdʒo korˈbuttʃi]; 6 December 1926 – 1 December 1990) was an Italian film director, screenwriter and producer. He directed both very violent Spaghetti Westerns and bloodless Bud Spencer and Terence Hill action comedies.[1]

Sergio Corbucci
Born(1926-12-06)6 December 1926
Died1 December 1990(1990-12-01) (aged 63)
Rome, Italy
Other namesStanley Corbett
Gordon Wilson Jr.
Enzo Corbucci
OccupationFilm director
Height1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

He is the older brother of screenwriter and film director Bruno Corbucci.[2]

Biography edit

Early career edit

Corbucci was born in Rome.

He started his career by directing mostly low-budget sword and sandal movies. Among his first Spaghetti Westerns were the films Grand Canyon Massacre (1964), which he co-directed (under the pseudonym, Stanley Corbett) with Albert Band, as well as Minnesota Clay (1964), his first solo directed Spaghetti Western. Corbucci's first commercial success was with the cult Spaghetti Western Django, starring Franco Nero, the leading man in many of his movies.[3] He would later collaborate with Franco Nero on two other Spaghetti Westerns, Il Mercenario or The Mercenary (a.k.a. A Professional Gun) (1968) — where Nero played Sergei Kowalski, a Polish mercenary and the film also starring Tony Musante, Jack Palance and Giovanna Ralli — as well as Compañeros (1970) a.k.a. Vamos a matar, Companeros, which also starred Tomas Milian and Jack Palance. The last film of the "Mexican Revolution" trilogy - The Mercenary and Compañeros being the first two in the installment - was What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution? (1972).

After Django, Corbucci made many other Spaghetti Westerns, which made him the most successful Italian western director after Sergio Leone and one of Italy's most productive and prolific directors.[4] His most famous of these pictures was The Great Silence (Il Grande Silenzio), a dark and gruesome western starring a mute action hero and a psychopathic bad guy.[5][6] The film was banned in some countries for its excessive display of violence.

Corbucci also directed Navajo Joe (1966), starring Burt Reynolds as the title character, a Navajo Indian opposing a group of bandits that killed his tribe, as well as The Hellbenders (1967), and Johnny Oro (1966) a.k.a. Ringo and his Golden Pistol starring Mark Damon. Other Spaghetti Westerns he directed include Gli specialisti (Drop Them or I'll Shoot, 1969), La Banda J.S.: Cronaca criminale del Far West (Sonny and Jed, 1972), with Tomas Milian and The White the Yellow and the Black (1975), with Tomas Milian and Eli Wallach.

Corbucci's westerns were dark and brutal, with the characters portrayed as sadistic antiheroes. His films featured very high body counts and scenes of mutilation. Django especially is considered to have set a new level for violence in westerns.[7]

Later career and legacy edit

In the 1970s and 1980s Corbucci mostly directed comedies, often starring Adriano Celentano. Many of these comedies were huge successes at the Italian box office and found wide distribution in European countries like Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, but were barely released overseas.[8]

His movies were rarely taken seriously by contemporary critics[citation needed] and he was considered an exploitation director, but Corbucci has managed to attain a cult reputation.[6]

He died in Rome in 1990, five days before his 64th birthday, of a heart attack.[9]

His nephew Leonardo Corbucci[10] continues the legacy of film directors in the family in Los Angeles.

In 2021 was released a documentary about Corbucci, directed by Luca Rea, Django & Django, that relies to a considerable extent on an interview with Quentin Tarantino.[11]

In 2022 German thrash metal band Kreator released the instrumental song "Sergio Corbucci is Dead" as an intro to their album Hate Über Alles. According to vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza, "Sergio Corbucci was someone who was very anti-authoritarian in his film. In all his films he has a protagonist who rebels against the authorities. Often these characters are very obscure. I was wondering if there are still people like that who make really political films without trying to preach anything to you. It's a bit of a dig at the bands who don't speak their minds out of fear of losing fans."[12]

Filmography edit

Director and writer edit

Actor edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sergio Corbucci". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. ^ Bondanella, Peter; Pacchioni, Federico (19 October 2017). A History of Italian Cinema. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 490. ISBN 9781501307645.
  3. ^ Cox, Alex (1 June 2012). "Once Upon a Time in Italy". The New York Times. p. 16. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Mondo Esoterica - Sergio Corbucci Film Reviews". Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  5. ^ Scott, A. O. (28 March 2018). "Review: 'The Great Silence,' a 1968 Spaghetti Western Unchained". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b Hoberman, J. (28 December 2018). "'68 Rides Again: The Return of Sergio Corbucci". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  7. ^ Tarantino, Quentin (27 September 2012). "Quentin Tarantino Tackles Old Dixie by Way of the Old West (by Way of Italy)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  8. ^ "SERGIO CORBUCCI BOX OFFICE". BOX OFFICE STORY. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  9. ^ Flint, Peter B. (1 May 1989). "Sergio Leone, 67, Italian Director Who Revitalized Westerns, Dies". The New York Times. p. 8. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Behind the Scenes: The Legendary Series with Leonard Corbucci on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  11. ^ DeFore, John (8 September 2021). "'Django & Django': Film Review | Venice 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Album review: Kreator – Hate Über Alles" (in German). 8 June 2022.

External links edit