On Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010, legendary megaproducer Dino De Laurentiis passed away at the admirable age of 91. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone alive right now to not have seen at least a few of the films that he’s been involved with. De Laurentiis has produced every type of film and worked with every kind of filmmaker. In honor of De Laurentiis’ life and career, I’ve put together a list of my Top 5 favorite films produced by the man. Here goes, in chronological order…

La Strada (1954)

Directed by Federico Fellini

Many years before legendary writer-director Federico Fellini created his seminal masterpieces La Dolce Vita and , he made this film produced by De Laurentiis starring Anthony Quinn and Fellini’s real-life wife Giulietta Masina. The film is about a young girl who gets sold to a traveling Gypsy circus and features Fellini’s incredible camera work and beautiful black-and-white cinematography.

Ulysses (1954)

Directed by Mario Camerini

I’m a huge sucker for Greek mythology, and I absolutely love Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey – probably the best Part I and Part II of any storyline in the history of the universe. The Odyssey is of course the story of Ulysses (or Odysseus depending on what version) returning home from the Trojan War covered in The Iliad. Kirk Douglas stars in the film as Ulysses, and murders it as you can imagine. The first time I saw this was in elementary school. The teacher showed the film to us after we had finished reading the book. I fell in love with the story right away reading the book, and then once I saw the movie it was a wrap-a-doo.

Serpico (1973)

Directed by Sidney Lumet

How can anyone not love a film where the main character gets shot in the face in the first scene? Made during the golden age of filmmaking, starring the great Al Pacino and directed by the just-as-great Sidney Lumet in one of their many collaborations, this film about an undercover cop who winds up incriminating a bunch of corrupt cops from his own precinct is one of those required viewing film school type films. One of the things I love about it is you’ve got this scene early on in the film where Pacino is chasing down a suspect, and there’s a shot of Pacino sprinting after this guy and it’s the hardest you’ll ever see anyone run on film. Classic.

Manhunter (1986)

Directed by Michael Mann

Before Anthony Hopkins murdered the game (quite literally) as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, De Laurentiis produced this adaptation of the first book in novelist Thomas Harris’ series of novels. The film stars William Petersen and Brian Cox in the role of Lecter. The name was changed to Manhunter from “Red Dragon” because of a similarly titled film that De Laurentiis had produced the year before that didn’t do well, and he didn’t want people to think this was a sequel to that. After this film, De Laurentiis gave up the rights to the next Lecter book, The Silence of the Lambs, for someone else to make, and well … we all know what happened there. Many years later De Laurentiis would produce Hannibal and a remake of Manhunter now re-titled Red Dragon, both with Hopkins reprising his role as Lecter from Silence.

Army of Darkness (1992)

Directed by Sam Raimi

Part III of the epic horror-comedy The Evil Dead series starring Bruce Campbell in the role that made him iconic. The Evil Dead introduced us to Ash, the protagonist of the series played by Campbell, and the book of the dead. Evil Dead II showed us Ash getting his hand possessed by evil, and after having to cut it off, replacing it with a chainsaw. At the end of Part II, Ash gets transported back to medieval times and leaves us with a great cliffhanger. Army of Darkness picks up right there and chronicles Ash’s further adventures and battle against the forces of evil. This is one of the best and most original genre mash-ups in film history, and I feel sorry for those who can’t love it.