Best known for the crime features ‘No, The Case is Happily Resolved’ starring Enzo Cerusico and Riccardo Cucciolla and ‘Fango Bollente’ (The Savage Three) starring Joe Dallesandro and brother Enrico-Maria Salerno.
It’s worth noting the family connection because Enrico-Maria Salerno was, and will always remain, the more famous of the two. With an acting filmography with over 121 credits to his name (this doesn’t include a raft of dubbing work on top of that) According to Vittorio, Enrico wasn’t exactly the helping hand one might expect from an older sibling who was already firmly established in the film industry. For the most part, Vittorio carved his own path in the industry and, initially working closely with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, he directed one of the earliest gialli, ‘Libido’, which also happened to feature another rising star of Italian cinema, Giancarlo Giannini.
With a number of western screenplays also under his belt – some of which he’d actually forgotten he’d even written – his most popular creation was probably the Sartana character who went on to appear in over 30 films, all screened all around the globe in the 1960s and 70s.
My wife and I were finally able to track down Vittorio at a screening of his films at the now sorely missed Cinema Trevi in Rome. I could never pluck up the courage to ask that night, even as I found myself sitting right next to him as we watched the opening of ‘No, The Case…’ in the darkened auditorium together. And, as we had to leave to get back to four angry dogs and a cat back at home… we left soon after. Standing outside the cinema for just a few minutes, and just as we were finally about to walk away, Vittorio suddenly appeared in front of us and we asked him if he’d be willing to sit down and record an interview…
Rest in Peace Vittorio Salerno (1937-2016)