One of the most important directors in cinematic history who contributed to Italian neorealist film with movies including Rome, Open City (1945), Paisan (1946), Germany, Year Zero (1948), and General Della Rovere (1959).
He made a debut documentary called Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune in 1937. His first feature is titled The White Ship (1941).
Rice University invited him to help establish a Media Center in 1971. Two years later, he was invited to teach at Yale University and taught a one-semester course called "The Essential Image."
Martin Scorsese is his posthumous ex-son-in-law.