It should come as no surprise that we are huge fans of Dino DeLaurentiis’ films. One of the producer’s projects is almost always on IFC’s air, be it the sleuths of “Manhunter” or the demonically possessed trucks in “Maximum Overdrive” or tonight’s movie “The Last Legion,” which airs at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET. Until he passed away in 2010, DeLaurentiis had a vast and storied career spanning continents and many many years in the biz. In his metier he worked with some of the most notable directors to ever sit behind a camera, including Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, David Lynch, Sidney Lumet, Milos Forman, Roger Vadim, Ridley Scott, The Wachowskis, and so many more. The films he produced spanned genres in a remarkable way. Whether working on Fellini’s “La Strada” or John Huston’s “The Bible: In the Beginning” or “Ragtime” or “Conan the Destroyer” or “Amityville 3D” or “Hannibal,” DeLaurentiis was a tireless and fearless producer.
In “The Last Legion,” which was one of the last films DeLaurentiis produced, we get the fantastical pairing of the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire and the Arthurian legends. Loosely based on the historical events of 5th century Europe, the film stars Colin Firth as Aurelius, a commander in the Roman army, and Ben Kingsley as Ambrosinus, a magician who may or may not have actual magical powers. Together the men will join with the Ninth Legion and plan one final triumphant stand against the barbarian invaders of Rome. DeLaurentiis produced the film as a family affair, working with his second wife, Martha, and Raffaella, his daughter by his first wife. It was Raffaella who suggested the film’s director Doug Lefler due to his work on “Dragonheart: A New Beginning,” which she produced.
In honor of the film, we made a list, less to play favorites among DeLaurentiis’ movies and more to highlight some of the great work of the legendary producer. In no particular order, here are five of our favorite films produced by Dino DiLaurentis:
1. “Nights of Cabiria,” dir. Federico Fellini
2. “Serpico,” dir. Sidney Lumet
3. “The Serpent’s Egg,” Ingmar Bergman
4. “Blue Velvet,” dir. David Lynch
5. “Evil Dead 2,” dir. Sam Raimi
DiLaurentis’ “The Last Legion” airs on IFC tonight at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET