©ourtesy of vintagegal:
León Klimovsky (16 October 1906–8 April 1996) was an Argentine film director. A trained dentist, born in Buenos Aires, his real passion was always the cinema. He pioneered Argentine cultural movement known as cineclub and financed the first movie theater to show art movies. He also founded Argentina’s first film club in 1929. After participating as scriptwriter and assistant director of 1944’s Se abre el abismo, he filmed his first movie, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s The Player. Other highlights from this time period include the adaptations of Alexandre Dumas‘ The Count of Monte Cristo and Ernesto Sabato‘s The Tunnel.
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During the 1950s, Klimovsky settled in Spain, where he became a full-time “professional” director. He directed many spaghetti westerns and exploitation films, filming in Mexico, Italy, Spain and Egypt. Horror film fans best remember him for his contributions to Spain’s horror film genre, beginning with La Noche de Walpurgis (“Walpurgis Night”), the film that is said to have started the Spanish horror film boom of the 1970’s. Klimovsky directed famed Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy in no less than eight films in the 1970’s, while also directing other classic horror films such as “The Strange Love of the Vampires”, “The Dracula Saga” and “The Vampires’ Night Orgy”. Naschy complimented Klimovsky’s workmanlike attitude and abundant energy, but he always felt that Klimovsky rushed through many of their projects together, never allowing for sufficient retakes. León Klimovsky always dreamt of doing great mainstream movies but ended up doing commercial exploitation films, but he had no remorse, as cinema was a vocational mandate for him. He retired from directing in 1979, at age 73. In 1995, at age 89, he won the “Honor Award” from the Spanish Film Directors Association. He died the following year in Madrid from a heart attack at age 90. He was the brother of noted Argentinian mathematician and philosopher Gregorio Klimovsky.