Steno, Stefano Vanzina’s stage name, was one of the most prolific and eclectic directors of the Italian scene, along with Monicelli, Risi and Comencini, he is among the fathers of Italian-style comedy.
He worked with many of the greatest talents of Italian cinema, from Totò to Aldo Fabrizi, Alberto Sordi, Sophia Loren, Ugo Tognazzi and Monica Vitti. His films are characterised by an irreverent irony, a disenchanted gaze that, without moralizing or judging, drew an honest portrait of Italian society and its change over 30 years, from the 1950s to the 1980s.
In 1954 he had the intuition that led Alberto Sordi to success, first with an episode of Un giorno in pretura and then with An American in Rome: the Roman actor, who had not managed to make it on the big screen until then, was finally valued precisely for its biting comedy gifting us the now legendary pasta scene with the line, "Maccarone, m'hai provocato e io me te magno!" which has become part of Italian popular culture.
Prolific until his death, he left his cinematographic heritage in the hands of his two sons, both already successful in the world of film and tv.