He started writing film reviews for famous Italian cinema magazines such as Bianco e Nero and Cinema. As a screenwriter, Pietrangeli's work included Ossessione directed by Visconti, Fabiola by Blasetti, Europa '51 by Rossellini, and La lupa by Lattuada.
His directing debut was Il sole negli occhi (1953). Career highlights include Io la conoscevo bene (1965) and Adua e le compagne (1960). He won Nastro d'Argento for Best Director for Io la conoscevo bene.
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