Pietro Germi

14.09.1914, Genova, Italy - 05.12.1974, Rome, Italy


Germi is an Italian screenwriter and director. For a brief time he attended the Nautical Institute before choosing to become an actor. He studied acting and directing at the Roman Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, and during his studies earned money by working as an extra, assistant director and occasionally screenwriter. He made his directing debut with the film The Testimony (Il testimone, 1946), which together with his later films makes up his early neorealist creative phase characterized by social dramas oriented to the daily problems of Sicilians. Other films from that period include Lost Youth (Gioventů perduta, 1947), In the Name of the Law (In nome della legge, 1949), The Road to Hope (Il cammino della speranza, 1950), Jealousy (Gelosia, 1953), Man of Iron (Il ferroviere, 1956). He made the crime dramas Four Ways Out (La cittŕ si difende, 1951) that won the award for Best Italian Film in Venice in 1951 and The Facts of Murder (Un maledetto imbroglio, 1959). His second creative phase is characterized by satirical comedies also dealing with Sicilians. The first film from that period iz Divorce - Italian Style (Divorzio all'italiana, 1961) that achieved international success and won the award for Best Comedy in Cannes in 1962. His later films include the acclaimed Seduced and Abandoned (Sedotta e abbandonata, 1964), The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (Signore & signori, 1966) and his last four films Too Much for One Man (L'immorale, 1967), Serafino (1969), A Pocketful of Chestnuts (Le castagne sono buone, 1970) and Alfredo, Alfredo (1972). He was forced to leave his last project Amici miei (1975) unfinished due to an illness from which he died in late 1974.


Films by this director

Lost Youth

(Gioventů perduta, 1947)

Directed by: Pietro Germi
PHOTOGRAPHY: Carlo Montuori

Stefano, the son of a middle class college professor, is a cool-headed leader of a group of young delinquents who have committed several armed robberies. When the police close in on him, Stefano does not hesitate to kill his friend in order to protect himself. By accident, the police inspector in charge of Stefano’s case falls in love with his sister.

35mm, b/w, 86 min

The Road to Hope

(Il cammino della speranza, 1950)

Directed by: Pietro Germi
PHOTOGRAPHY: Leonida Barboni

Sicilian miners, unable to find work in their home country, try to move to France with their families in search of a better life. For a certain fee, Ciccio offers to take families, who have to sell all their positions in order to raise the money, over the border. Among those families are Saro and his three children and Barbara and her husband Vanni, who is on the run from the police.

35mm, b/w, 105 min

Divorce - Italian Style

(Divorzio all'italiana, 1961)

Directed by: Pietro Germi
PHOTOGRAPHY: Leonida Barboni, Carlo Di Palma

Ferdinando, a thirty-seven-year-old Italian nobleman, is fed up with his wife and in love with his sixteen-year-old cousin Angela. Even though he wants a divorce, he has a small problem: Divorce is illegal in 1960s Italy. His only solution is to kill his wife -- and if he does it in order to defend his honor because she cheated on him, the punishment will be light. Therefore, Ferdinando starts looking for a lover for his wife.

35mm, b/w, 105 min

The Birds, the Bees and the Italians

(Signore e signori, 1965.)

Directed by: Pietro Germi
PHOTOGRAPHY: Aiace Parolin

This is an omnibus about love problems of middle-aged men from Italian provincial towns. The first story is about a womanizer who pretends in front of a doctor that he suffers from impotency so as to seduce the doctor’s wife. The second story is about a married man who leaves his wife for a young waitress, but persecuted for adultery, he is soon forced to leave the country. In the third story, a villager decides to sue several rich men for seducing his daughter. He gets offered money to withdraw...

b/w, 35 mm, 115 min
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