Dario Argento is a recognized classic of horror films and the creator of a whole original subgenre called giallo. Argento has had a noticeable influence on modern horror films, some of his paintings today have the status of cult.
Dario Argento was born in 1940 in the family of the Roman film producer Salvatore Argento.
Dario began his career in the Italian print publication Paese Sera. Here he served as a staff film critic.
In 1968, Dario began to create scripts for films (and these were then fashionable spaghetti westerns). It is known, for example, that he took part in the work on several scenes of the film "Once Upon a Time in the Wild West" by Sergio Leone.
After that, Dario Argento collaborated on an ongoing basis with the Italian film company "Titanus" and wrote twelve scripts for it in two years.
The first Giallos Dario Argento
And in 1970 he made his directorial debut. His first film was titled Bird with Crystal Wings. It was based on the book Screaming Mimi by Frederick Brown. This film combines elements of horror, crime drama and eroticism (in fact, this combination is the hallmark of Giallo as a genre).
The protagonist of "Bird with Crystal Wings" is the young writer Sam Dalmas. One day he witnesses an attack on a girl in an art gallery in Rome. There is a version that the attack could have been the work of a maniac who has already committed several murders in the Italian capital … Soon Sam begins his own investigation, hoping to find out who exactly is behind a series of terrible crimes …
Interestingly, the soundtrack for this film was written by the famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone. And high-quality music is, of course, one of the most important components of the success of "Birds with Crystal Plumage".
This picture eventually grossed about a billion lire at the box office in Italy (then it was an absolute record). In the United States, she was also met with interest by the audience and showed good financial results.
The release of "Bird with Crystal Plumage" made Argento truly famous. And in the next two years, he shot two more films in a similar style - "A Cat with Nine Tails" and "Four Flies on Gray Corduroy." They, like the debut tape, are characterized by an intriguing plot, the presence of scenes that even today are able to scare, and a memorable soundtrack.
Further career as a director
In 1973, Dario Argento tried his hand at a new incarnation and shot for Italian television a historical drama with elements of black humor "Five Days of Milan". The main role in it was played by Adriano Celentano himself.
Then the director decided to focus on horror again. In 1975, his next gloomy picture, "Blood Red", was released on the big screens. This work demonstrated that Argento is still a great master of his craft.
The pinnacle of Argento's work is considered by many critics to be the 1977 film Suspiria, starring Jessica Harper and Stephanie Casini. Jessica Harper here plays the American Suzy, who arrives in a German city to study at a local ballet school. But on the night of her arrival, for some reason, she is not allowed inside. And on the same rainy night, she sees a girl running out of the building, who was later killed. In the morning, Suzy still checks into the boarding house at this school and starts attending classes. And soon it becomes clear to the American that something very terrible is happening within the walls of this educational institution …
For this picture, Argento, together with the rock band "Goblin", wrote heartbreaking music. And from time to time he turned it on at full power on the set. So he wanted to ensure that the actors were really scared in the frame.
By the way, quite recently, in 2018, a remake of this film was released, about which Argento spoke rather coldly. He felt that the remake could not keep the spirit of the original.
In the late seventies, Argento also had a chance to collaborate with another horror classic, George Romero. It is the music of Argento and the already mentioned rock band "Goblin" that sounds in the film about zombies "Dawn of the Dead".
In the eighties, the director continued to create horror films. In 1982, his picture "Trembling" was released on the screens, and in 1984 - the picture "The Phenomenon". Moreover, "The Phenomenon" was the first work of Argento, which he filmed immediately in English. Interestingly, the future Hollywood star Jennifer Connelly played the main role in this film.
It is also worth noting that in the eighties Dario, along with his brother Claudio, became the head of his father's film company "DAC Film Company".
In the nineties, Argento directed three more Giallo films - Trauma (1993), Stendhal Syndrome (1996) and The Phantom of the Opera (1998). The Phantom of the Opera film turned out to be a financial failure, and after it Dario's career began to decline. Although even in the two thousandth he had bright works (for example, the film "Mother of Tears", which contains a large number of references and allusions to other tapes of Argento).
In 2012, the last to date creation of the Italian director was released - the film "Dracula 3D". In fact, this is another adaptation of the legendary novel by Bram Stoker. And the film adaptation is not very successful - on authoritative resources dedicated to cinema, "Dracula 3D" has very low ratings.
In 1968, Argento married Marisa Casala. After a while, they had a daughter, who was given the name Fiore. This marriage broke up in 1972.
Several years later, he met the Italian film actress Daria Nikolodi. And in 1975 she gave birth to a girl named Asia from Dario. Daria Nikolodi became the director's faithful companion for many years (and participated in many of his projects), but they did not formalize their relationship officially.
Today, the youngest daughter of Dario Asia Argento is already over forty and she is a popular film actress. Her play can be seen in some of her father's films - "Trauma" (1993) "Stendhal Syndrome" (1996), "Mother of Tears" (2007), etc.