Franco Arcalli was born on July 18, 1929 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Born into a Venetian family, his last name was Orcalli, but he was wrongly recorded as Arcalli by the officer of the Registry, and the error was never corrected. At fifteen, after the death of his father who was killed by fascists, Arcalli moved to Venice where he collaborated with the partisans.
Arcalli stepped into the world of cinema in 1954 as an actor, playing a small role in Luchino Visconti's “Senso”. After starring in two more films, he started his career of screenwriter and editor thanks to his real life friend Tinto Brass, with whom he collaborated on the film, “Ça ira - Il fiume della rivolta”, which was screened at the Venice Film Festival in September 1964, and later on “Chi lavora è perduto” (1963), where in addition to working on the script Arcalli starred in the role of an ex-partisan named Kim.
Arcalli later moved to Rome, where in a few years he imposed himself as a "creative" editor, and even worked in the employ of the film company Euro International Film where he was given the power to choose the films he wanted to work on. In these years he worked on some critically acclaimed collaborations with directors Giulio Questi, Salvatore Samperi, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi and specially Bernardo Bertolucci (“The Conformist”, “Last Tango in Paris”, “1900”) and Michelangelo Antonioni (“Zabriskie Point”, “The Passenger”). Franco co-wrote the screenplay for only one Euro-western: Giulio Questi’s “Django Kill” (1966)
Arcalli died of cancer on February 24,1978 in Rome, at the age of 48, while he was engaged in the writing process of Sergio Leone's “Once Upon a Time in America” and Bernardo Bertolucci's “La Luna”.
Today we remember Franco Arcalli on what would have been his 85th birthday.