Cinecittà studios: Famous films shot in Italy's most iconic studios


Daisy Wyatt@daisy_wyatt
Monday 08 September 2014 15:19

Italy’s largest film studio Cinecittà, dubbed ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’, is celebrated in a Google Doodle today.

The film studio in Rome has been home to a number of high profile movies, including Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic (2004), Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002).

Founded in 1937 during the Fascist era by dictator Benito Mussolini, the aim of the sprawling film studio was to revive the Italian film industry.

In the Fifties and Sixties several large American film productions were filmed at Cinecittà, including the epic Ben-Hur (1959), Helen of Troy (1956), Francis of Assisi (1961), Cleopatra (1963) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965).

The number of US films shot at the studios led to the nickname ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’, which saw American production companies profit from cheap labour available in Rome.

Cinecittà is perhaps most famous for its close association with Federico Fellini, whose films La Dolce Vita (1960) and Casanova (1976) were filmed on the site.

More recently, the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest and Italy’s version of Big Brother were filmed at the studios.

The 2004-2007 TV series Rome and an episode of the 2008 series of Doctor Who which was set in Pompeii were also filmed on the site.

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