Monday, September 4, 2017

RIP Gastone Moschin

By Alessandra Vitali
September 4, 2017

He was 88 years old.  He went to a hospital in Terni. His film debut in the 1950s, lead to his great popularity as an actor with his character of Rambaldo Melandri, one of the gypsy comrades in Mario Monicelli's cult film.

"Boys, how is it good among us, among men! But why did not we all be born?"  It's hard to remember that, while exclaiming happily in front of other gypsy companions, it's hard not to think about Rambaldo Melandri's architect Amici miei: Gastone Moschin died today at 88.  He had been hospitalized for a few days in the Santa Maria di Terni hospital. A long career of theater, cinema and television, immortality with Monicelli's film. With a post on Facebook, his daughter Emanuela Moschin announced the passing: "Goodbye Dad, for me you were all".

Veneto of San Giovanni Lupatoto, in the province of Verona, Gastone Moschin was born on June 8, 1929. His acting career began in the 1950s, he worked with the company of Stabile di Genova, with that of Piccolo di Milan, with that of the Stabile di Torino. Later, in 1983, he will set up his own company, with whom he will stage Goldoni ( Sior Todero brontolon ), Miller ( A Look From the Bridge , They Was All My Children ), Chekhov ( The Seagull ).

He finishes in the 1950s in the cinema, both as a singer and an actor. His debut in 1955 in The Rival of Anton Giulio Majano, the debut in the Italian comedy, the genre that will declare the actor his fortune, four years later, with “L'audace colpo dei soliti ignoti” by Nanni Loy.  But it was in 1962 the role that enabled him to emerge as an interpreter, that of the Fascist Carmine “Anni ruggenti”, the 1962 film directed by Luigi Zampa, protagonist Nino Manfredi, inspired by “L'ispettore generale” by Gogol. Since then, Moschin became a constant presence in Italian cinema: Damiano Damiani's “La rimpatriata” (1963) at “La visita” by Antonio Pietrangeli (1965) to Sette uomini d'oro”, a comedy "action" film which earns great success at the box office.

But if the comedy seems to be a great opportunity to reach the public quickly, critics' applause comes with two dramatic roles entrusted to him in 1966: Florestano Vancini wants it for “Le stagioni del nostro amore” while Peter Germi calls him for “Signore & signori”, an extraordinary fresco of the hypocrisy of the Italian province in Moschin, a silver ribbon as the best non-protagonist, conquered with the role of a husband frustrated by a suffocating wife who loses his head for the fascinating cashier Virna Lisi.  "I first adored him as a man who, as a director, had told Moschin in an interview with the Republic," on the set of “Signore & signori”, he was scrupulous and very severe, and if an actor was not prepared he was very angry. "I came to Treviso because someone had told Germi that I was a Venetian, and he took me. He was a reserved man."

Whether it is a shoulder or primate, Moschin demonstrated a polar bear in passing from one genre to another.  In the late seventies he continued with comedies, from “Italian Secret Service” to “Sissignore e Dove vai tutta nuda?”, in '69 he goes with the Spaghetti western in “Lo specialist”, Sergio Corbucci, will be a flop at the box office. In 1970 he participated in “Il conformist” by Bernardo Bertolucci and agrees to work in a first experiment of "fantasy Italian" “L'inafferrabile invincibile mister invisibile”, by Antonio Margheriti, this also is not really a box office success.  He does not even reckon with the policewoman - or the policewoman - from Rome by Carlo Lizzani (1971) to the famous “Milano calibro 9” directed by Fernando Di Leo, with him are Mario Adorf and a young and beautiful Barbara Bouchet in 1972.

In the same year, he was given a difficult task: take Fernandel's place, who died the previous year, in one of the episodes of the most popular saga of the time, “Don Camillo e i giovani d'oggi”.  The year after “Il delitto Matteotti” - 1973 - A Great Occasion: Francis Ford Coppola entrusts him to Fr. Fanucci's part, a brilliant extraterrestrial with Robert De Niro, in New York at the beginning of the twentieth century in “The Godfather Part Two”. He will find great personal success with the character of the Marsigliese in “Squadra volante”, directed in 1974 by Stelvio Massi, a policeman with Tomas Milian and Mario Carotenuto.

But 1975 is the year of gold.  The one that goes to the movies “Amici miei”.  Moschin is the architect Rambaldo Melandri, ingeniously romantic, a constant victim of shattered love, with Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, Adolfo Celsius and Duilio Del Prete in one of the most popular films of Italian cinema history, an absolute cult classic. The film is at the top of the season's standings.  In the ‘82 comes the sequel, same team, Monicelli directed, new entry Renzo Montagnani who replaces Duilio Del Prete. It is the third recess of the season. Three years later, in 1985, the third film of the saga. In the direction of Nanni Loy, Moschin receives his second silver ribbon.

In the following years the actor slows down his appearances. He raises the bar for himself and takes roles of quality like that of the communist parliamentarian “Si salvi chi vuole” by Roberto Faenza of 1980, or the Minister of “Scherzo del destino in agguato dietro l'angolo come un brigante da strada” which Lina Wertmüller directs in ‘83, or “I magi randagi”, 1996. It is the year after his last performance for the big screen, the “Porzus” by Renzo Martinelli. But he will not give up in 2010 in the documentary “L'ultima zingarata”, dedicated to “Amici miei”.

It was not just the cinema that Gastone Moschin had a great commitment. Since the mid-1950s, he had worked for television, by Gantone Tanzi, under the watch of Gastone Tanzi, one of the first works, by Sandro Bolchi's screenwriters, following on TV, such as ‘Il mulino del Po’ (1963) and ‘I miserabili’ (1964 ) in which she plays Jean Valjean.  His latest performances date back to 2000 and 2001, when he participated in the first two seasons of fiction by ‘Don Matteo’ and ‘Sei forte maestro’. From that moment, in fact, his final retreat from film. Now, as many have written on Twitter, it will be there that he has reached his companions and with them if he laughs: “tarapia tapioca, as if it were ants”

MOSCHIN, Gastone (Gastine Domenico Moschin)
Born: 6/8/1929, San Giovanni Lupatoto, Veneto, Italy
Died: 9/4/2017, Terni, Umbri, Italy

Gastone Moschin’s westerns:
Face to Face – 1967 (gunman)           
Drop Them or I’ll Shoot – 1968 (Deputy Sheriff Gideon)

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