Luis César Amadori

Real name: Amadori Ricciotti, Luis César
Nicknames: Leo Carter, Gabriel Peña
Lyricist, author, entrepreneur, filmmaker and journalist
(28 May 1902 - 5 June 1977)
Place of birth:
Pescara (Pescara) Italy
Néstor Pinsón

ike many other Italian families that came to our country to search for their fortune, he arrived in our country when he was five from Pescara, his hometown. He was brought up and studied in Argentina, and he even followed university studies in the city of Córdoba, but he gave them up to fully devote to his vocation of writer and journalist.

But his name stood out mainly in the movies, being one of the most successful cinema directors with the greatest output, for twenty years. More precisely, between 1936 and 1955, beginning and end of his career in our country.

In 1936, he directed together with Mario Soffici, his first film: Puerto Nuevo, whose cast was headed by the singers Sofía Bozán and Charlo. A movie with romantic overtones, within a goading social context, adorned with songs and tangos.

In 1955, he shot his last two feature films: El barro humano, where the star was his wife, the popular actress Zully Moreno and El amor nunca muere, a three-episode film which cast the most outstanding actors of the time.

During the mentioned period, he shot seventy-eight movies, in which he, without worry, switched from melodrama, to humor, comedies and a great number of musicals.

His greatest hit, with several reprises, was Dios se lo pague, with Zully Moreno, Arturo de Córdova and other important actors. This film had the peculiarity of having been selected to participate in the United States for the Oscar awards. Its premiere was in March 1948.

When in 1955 the coup d´état which overthrew president Juan Perón took place, his activity was interrupted. Together with other artists he was censured, he was in jail for some days and finally, he had to migrate to Spain, where he remained until 1970. During his exile he shot two great hits La Violetera and El último tango, both with the great Spanish singer and actress Sarita Montiel.

His solid presence in the movies, at first overshadowed and later made sink into oblivion what had been his first and never forgotten artistic activity: theater.

In the twenties he was journalist in the evening paper Última Hora and the popular magazine Caras y Caretas, in which he published interviews to theater people, what awoke his skill for script writing for the genre. Those simple comedies had plots that were a mere excuse to introduce the most popular interpreters.

He wrote a great number of plays for the dozen of auditoriums devoted to the genre. They presented, in general, more than one play a day and the seasons were short, so they have to permanently renew them.

In a few years, Amadori became director and later owner of the Teatro Maipo which, together with the Teatro Nacional were true temples of the luxurious «revista porteña» (musical genre similar to music-hall, with folk and picaresque connotations and with references to the political situation).

Writing for theater unavoidably drove him to write as well the lyrics of numerous songs, mainly tangos. He said at an interview: «As we always had in our company a star who sang tangos —Azucena Maizani, Mercedes Simone and, for me, the dearest one, the unforgettable Sofía Bozán—, I began to write lyrics for tangos».

He composed his early tangos together with theater people, such is the case of Antonio Botta, currently collaborating with Francisco Lomuto, or José González Castillo's case —father of Cátulo Castillo—, or Ivo Pelay´s, always teamed up with Francisco Canaro or Enrique Santos Discépolo´s, whom he met when the latter went to his theater to introduce to him “Esta noche me emborracho”. This tango was immediately premiered by Azucena Maizani.

With Discépolo they developed a creative team out of which the tangos “Confesión”, “Alma del bandoneón” and “Desencanto”, and the waltz “Tu sombra” sprang out.

As for “Desencanto”, it was sung by Tania on the movie El pobre Pérez, with the comic actor Pepe Arias as the title character, and it was directed by Amadori himself.

According to the occasion, and due to the obligation of writing out of necessity, sometimes inspiration was not present in his lyrics, but he left enough material so as to place him among the important lyricists of tango. He had the virtue of choosing very good musicians to compose his works.

With Francisco Canaro he wrote “Madreselva”, “Yo también soñé”, “De contramano”, “Quisiera amarte menos”, “Como te quiero”, “Qué le importa al mundo” and others.

With music by Charlo: “Tormento”, “Cobardía”, “Rencor” and “Viejas alegrías”.

With Luis Rubistein: “Olvido”. With Alfredo Malerba: “Vendrás alguna vez”. With Rodolfo Sciammarella, “Quién hubiera dicho” and “Serenata”. With Enrique Delfino: “Ventanita florida”. With Raúl de los Hoyos: “Fondín de Pedro Mendoza” and “Felisa Tolosa”. With Julio De Caro, the waltz “Nunca”.

Gardel recorded five of his tangos: “Cobardía”, “Confesión”, “Fondín de Pedro Mendoza”, “Madreselva” and “Rencor”.

On some occasions Amadori used the nickname Leo Carter.

On June 5, 1977 he died in his beloved city of Buenos Aires.