The Luigi Chiarini Library together with Emanuele Timothy Salce presents a focus of some representative documents of the famous and eclectic showman Luciano Salce, showing with a gallery of images the various types and partitions of this very important in-person archive of the Italian history of the twentieth century.
The archive of the multifaceted actor, director, screenwriter,radio television host and lyricist Luciano Salce, declared of particularly important historical interest by the Archival and Bibliographic Superintendence of Lazio, was donated by his son Emanuele Timothy Salce to the Luigi Chiarini Library of the Experimental Cinematography Centre Foundation in 2019, to be preserved and freely accessible to all scholars, researchers and curious users.
The fund is divided into series and sub-series covering a chronological period from 1935 to 1987. Below we point out the twelve series from the inventory of the archival fund indicative of his prolific production and his works: Writings by Luciano Salce; Catalogue of subjects, scripts, films and stories; Subjects and treatments of Salce; Subjects and stories of other authors; Scripts; Screenplays; Radio activity; Television activities; Correspondence; Reviews and curricula; Photographic documentation; Printed documentation.
Biographical note by Luciano Salce (Rome, 25 September 1922 – Rome, 17 December 1989)
Luciano Salce, actor, director, screenwriter, radio and television host, lyricist, central character to reconstruct the history of Italian culture of the twentieth century, with a lucid look and the desecralling force of irony he told the vices of our country. Among the most famous films he directed, we remember: Il federale (1961), La voglia matta (1962), Le ore dell’amore (1963) Basta guardarla (1970), L’anatra all’arancia (1975), Fantozzi (1975), Il secondo tragico Fantozzi (1976). Also fundamental are his debuts in the world of theater first alongside actors such as Vittorio Gassman, his partner in the Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico, then with the establishment of the company of the Teatro dei Gobbi (with Alberto Bonucci, Vittorio Caprioli and then Franca Valeri), an example of satirical cabaret, participation in the Variety Studio Uno, the conduct of radio programs: I malalingua and Blackout.
Memory of Emanuele Salce
It is always difficult, or even impossible, to remember from a naturally private point of view what it has become, over time, a public figure, without falling into anecdotal, rhetoric or biased memory.
My father, Luciano Salce, was a man of entertainment and culture of the Italian twentieth century who was able to give back in different artistic forms what his short (but rich of important events) life proposed to him: for over forty years he wrote, directed, performed theatrical and cinematographic, radio and television, even musical works. An activity that has given important artistic results and that, at the same time, has put it in contact with all the greatest cultural expressions of the twentieth century.
Like many art men of his time, my father wrote a lot, even in the private: letters to friends and family, subjects, scripts, plays, stories, songs, radio programs, ideas and often even on receipts or on the back of binned scripts pages. And much has preserved, indeed, almost everything, even drawings, drafts and sketches, ladders, messages, postcards, beyond the large amount of writings more or less organic to his profession as a perennial humorist.
This Fund, collected and indexed in over 40 sickles thanks to the patient work of Giovanna Robustelli, consists of documents of all kinds (including a huge private photographic archive), therefore represents not only the artistic testimony of a great man of entertainment, but also an important path in the History of the Italian twentieth century.
I thank the Luigi Chiarini Library for giving it a “home” and the Archival and Bibiliographic Superintendence of Lazio for recognizing its particularly important historical interest.
Reproduction in any medium, even partial, of the images shown is forbidden.
The Fondo Salce preserves a vast private correspondence between Luciano Salce and family, friends and artists from the 1930s until the 1960s. There are postcards, letters, minutes and tickets divided by topics, often sent by his interlocutors in response to letters and messages by Salce that are absent from the Fund. Of particular historical importance are the postcards and letters sent by the German prison camp during the Second World War. Here is an example of correspondence: a letter sent to the father Mario from the prison camp.
The Fondo Salce preserves a vast private correspondence between Luciano Salce and family, friends and artists from the 1930s until the 1960s. There are postcards, letters, minutes and tickets divided by topics, often sent by his interlocutors in response to letters and messages from Salce absent from the Fund. Of particular historical importance are the epistolal exchanges with the companions of the Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico (Vittorio Gassman, Luigi Squarzina, Adolfo Celi, Luciano Mondolfo). Here is an example of correspondence: a letter sent by Vittorio Gassman.
Among the many documents preserved in the Fund there are also the drawings, in pencil and charcoal, that Salce carried out throughout his life. This is a portrait of his younger brother Guido.
An eclectic and multifaceted artist par excellence, Luciano Salce was also lyricist and author of musical jokes and poems of various subject, but almost always autobiographical, to which he devoted himself from his youth. This poem is born from the terrible experience of the German prison camp.
Luciano Salce wrote many subjects, short stories, articles, travel notes and diary notes that have only been published or transposed into cinematographic and theatrical works. They are handwritten and typewritten, preserved and divided into topics and years. This is a notebook from a 1948 theatrical tour, published in the newspaper “Il Popolo”.
In the Fund are preserved all the scripts of the theatrical performances of which Salce was author or director. This is the title page (with the list of characters) of Don Jack, a comedy written specifically for Vittorio Gassman in the second half of the 1950s.
Extensive is the documentation relating to subjects, ladders, treatments of films and plays made or remained only at the state of the project. The documentation are very important to understand also the numerous collaborations that marked Salce’s artistic career.
The same consideration applies to the scripts of the films directed by Salce: all preserved in the Fund, even in several drafts and versions. Particularly interesting are the screenplays of films never shot. This image taken from the script of the “Federale”, written with Castellano and Pipolo, it refers to one of the most famous sequences of the film.
Radio was a means of artistic expression particularly loved by Luciano Salce, who from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s was a fixed presence, as a humorous author and as a caustic commentator in radio broadcasts of a comic-satirical nature: “Formula Uno”, “I malalingua”, “Kitsch”, “BlackOut”. But as evidence of the remarkable congeniality with the medium, Salce was present on the radio since the 1950s, as evidenced by this article of the “Radiocorriere” that we report here: “La zuccheriera” was a comedy written specifically for radio in 1955 together with Franca Valeri and Vittorio Caprioli. The Fund keeps a large number of scripts for radio broadcasts.
Salce was also particularly active on television: as an author in the 1950s, and then as a guest, entertainer and presenter since 1965, when he became one of the most beloved and recognizable faces of a historical broadcast such as “Studio Uno”. The Fund contains numerous testimonies of Salce’s television appearances and many letters from viewers, not just admirers, which help to paint a picture of how these shows are received by the public.
In boarding school in Mondragone – III Camerata (May 1935)
Silvio D’Amico Academy of Dramatic Art (1942). Luciano Salce is the first from the bottom-left side, Vittorio Gassman is in the center third row, Adolfo Celi is at the bottom-right side.
In the Prison Camp of Moosburg an der Isar (Germany 1944)
Luciano Salce with Enrico Menczer on the set of La cuccagna (directed by Luciano Salce, 1962)