Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remembering Riccardo Freda

Riccardo Freda was born on February 24, 1909 in Alexandria, Egypt to Italian parents. He was a famous Italian film director best remembered for his horror and thriller films. He attended school in Milan and at Centro Sperimantale. He supported himself as a sculpture and art critic before entering films in 1937. Freda directed his first film “Don Cesare di Bazan” in 1942. Freda then made a series of big-budget historical spectacles such as “Les Miserables” (1947) and “Theodora Slave Empress” (1954). He then turned to peplum films including “The Giants of Thessaly” (1960). Often using such aliases as Robert Hampton, George Lincoln and Willy Pareto he made a number of horror films such as “Caltiki the Immortal Monster” (1959) and “The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock” (1962). We remember him for his only Spaghetti western (1967) “La morte non conta i dollari” (aka Death at Owell Rock). Riccardo Freda’s last film was “Daughter of Dartagnan” in 1994. Freda died in Rome on December 20, 1999 at the age of 90. We remember Ricardo Freda today on what would have been his 100th birthday.

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