Damiano Damiani passed away Thursday at the age of 90. Damiani had an eclectic career as a director and screenwriter. Known mostly in American for cult films such as Amityville II: The Possession, A Bullet For the General and How to Kill a Judge. But in his native Italy, Damiani made mostly crime themed movies that usually involved the mafia or corrupt politicians. Like most successful Italian directors, he was able to make the transition from so called "Spaghetti Westerns" to the police procedural thrillers that were becoming extremely popular during the mid-seventies.
Damiani's style of film making wasn't flashy, artistic or innovative like his other more well known countrymen. He made films in the more traditional Hollywood blockbuster style that featured an international cast in most of his productions by utilizing actors like Martin Balsam, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Lee J. Cobb, Glenda Jackson, Miou-Miou and Patrick McGoohan. Damiani also worked with Italian stars Franco Nero, Gian Maria Volonte, Terence Hill, Aldolfo Celi and Claudia Cardinale. When his career began to wind down during the late eighties, he worked in Italian television films before retiring in 2002.
During his fifty-five year career in the cinema business, Damiani won several awards such as a Silver Bear at the 1985 Berlin Film Festival for the crime film "Pizza Connection", 1971 Moscow International Film Festival Golden Prize for the crime movie "Confessions of a Police Captain", 1962 San Sebastian International Film Festival Golden Seashell Award for the dramatic flim "Arturo's Island", 1980 Taormina International Film Festival Awards for the crime thriller "The Warning"and the 1968 David di Donatello Awards a Golden Plate for the crime drama "Mafia".
Damiano Diamiani was a unique filmmaker. He may have not have had a flashy career or be as well known like his other fellow Italian filmmakers like Sergio Leone, Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci or Sergio Corbucci but his films will always have a place in any cult movie lover's collection.