Director, Screenplay
Rom, Italien Rom, Italien

Biography

Mario Bonnard was born in Rome, Italy, on 24th December 1889. In 1909, he started acting in Roman amateur theatre groups before appearing in several silent short films. From 1913, on he was starring as the lead in feature films, mostly playing the young love interest or bon vivant. He went on to become a popular female heart throb with films such as "Ma l'amor mio non muore..." ("Love Everlasting ", IT 1913).

During World War I he appeared in patriotic films and founded the production companies Bonnard-Film in Turin in 1916 and Electa Film in 1917. It was then that he also started to work as a director for film of varied genres such as comedies, literary adaptations, gothic stories like "Il Fauno di marmo" (IT 1920) and period dramas such as "I promessi sposi" (IT 1923). He continued working as an actor mostly in his own films until the mid-1920s.

After the coup d'état in Italy when Mussolini seized power in 1923, Bonnard emigrated to Germany, where he shot several films in Berlin between 1925 and 1931, among them "Die Flucht in den Zirkus" ("The Circus of Life", 1926, together with Guido Schamberg), "Die Sünderin" ("The Sinner", 1927), "Der goldene Abgrund. Schiffbrüchige des Lebens" (1927), "Das letzte Souper" ("Theatre" ,1928) und "Anschluß um Mitternacht" ("Call at Midnight", 1929). The mountain film "Der Kampf ums Matterhorn" ("Fight for the Matterhorn", 1928; together with Nunzio Malasomma) marked actor Luis Trenker's breakthrough. Bonnard and Trenker worked together on four other projects: "Der Sohn der weißen Berge" ("The Son of the White Mountain", 1930) and "Die heiligen drei Brunnen" (1930) as well as on the French version of the latter "Les chevaliers de la montagne" (DE/FR 1930); "Der Ruf des Nordens" (1929) was directed by Nunzio Malasomma with Bonnard functioning as artistic director.

Bonnard moved to Paris in the early 1930s, where he directed a number of French and French-Italian productions. In the mid-1930s he settled in Rome, where he helmed popular comedies often based on successful stage plays, starring Italian crowd favourites. Even after the rise of the Italian neo-realism after World War II, Bonnard stayed true to his classic directing style and his choice of lighter topics. He went on to direct several sword and sandal films in the 1950s, among them titles like "Frine, cortigiana d'Oriente" ("Frine, Courtesan of Orient", IT 1953) und "Afrodite, dea dell’amore" ("Aphrodite, Goddess of Love", IT 1958). He started to direct "Die letzten Tage von Pompeji" ("The Last Days of Pompeii", IT/ES/DE 1959) with Christine Kaufmann in the lead role, but handed the film over to Sergio Leone, when he fell ill. Bonnard remained the credited director though. His last work as a director was the adventure film "I masnadieri" ("Rome 1585", IT 1961). Mario Bonnard died in Rome on the 22nd of March 1965.

FILMOGRAFIE

1933
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  • Screenplay
1930/1931
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1930/1931
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1930
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1930
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1929/1930
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1929
  • Creative supervisor
1928
  • Director
1927
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1926
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