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Italian screenwriter Furio Scarpelli, who co-wrote 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and 'The Postman,' dies at 90

April 28, 2010 |  6:52 am


Oscar-nominated screenwriter Furio Scarpelli, who co-wrote some of the best Italian comedies of the postwar period and who ventured into the spaghetti-western genre with the “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” had died, his family said Wednesday. He was 90.

Scarpelli died at his home in Rome shortly after midnight, his son, Matteo Scarpelli, told the Associated Press. He had long suffered from heart problems.

During a decades-long, prolific partnership with Agenore Incrocci, who went by the name Age, Scarpelli co-wrote some of Italy's finest postwar movies, including the iconic comedy “Big Deal on Madonna Street.”

The pair also wrote “Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo” (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”), the spaghetti-western classic directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood.

But it was the comedies that mostly made their name. Their sense of humor and an unforgiving display of the vices of Italian people became the pair's trademark and made for memorable roles and lines for actors such as Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gassman.

Scarpelli was hailed Wednesday as one of the fathers of Italian cinema. Paolo Virzi, a director who worked with him in recent years, said Scarpelli had the ability to see through people and praised his talent for vivid dialogue.

Age died in 2005.

Age and Scarpelli received two Oscar nominations for best screenwriting in the 1960s. Scarpelli also received another nomination for “Il Postino” (“The Postman”) in 1996.

Scarpelli is survived by his wife and two sons. A funeral will be held Friday in Rome, his son said.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach in a scene from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," the spaghetti western co-written by Furio Scarpelli. Credit: MGM