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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.

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  • 05/21/14--23:00: Édouard de Max
  • Actor Édouard de Max (1869-1924) was a leading man and monstre sacré of the French stage. He also appeared in silent films of the 1910s and the 1920s, including two versions of the Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers.

    Édouard de Max
    French postcard.

    Edouard de Max
    French postcard by F.C. et Cie, no. 163. Photo: Saul Boyer.

    Film d'art


    Édouard de Max was born as Eduard-Alexandru Max in Iasi, Romania, in 1869.

    He graduated from the Conservatory of Paris, and from the 1890s on he appeared on the French stage. He played frequently opposite Sarah Bernhardt.

    He made his film debut in America, in the Vitagraph short MacBeth (J. Stuart Blackton, 1908). It is the earliest known film version of the play by William Shakespeare.

    Between 1908 and 1912, he appeared in a handful films of the French company Film d'art, including Polyeucte (Camille de Morlhon, 1910), and Athalie (Albert Capellani, Michel Carré, 1910).

    In 1912 he appeared in Une vengeance d'Edgar Poë/The Vengeance of Edgard Poe (Gérard Bourgeois, 1912) after a script by Abel Gance based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe, and ha also acted in another horror film Le masque d'horreur/The Mask of Horror (Abel Gance, 1912) with Charles de Rochefort.

    In 1912 De Max also appeared in an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' famous novel Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (André Calmettes, Henri Pouctal, 1912). Emile Dehelly played D'Artagnan.

    Edouard de Max
    French collector's card.

    Edouard de Max. Comédien.
    Photo. Collection: Michel Thomas (Flickr).

    Silent super-serial


    In 1920 Édouard de Max also appeared as Richelieu in the second adaptation, Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921). It was a French twelve-hour film divided into one-hour chapters, produced by Pathé Frères. This silent super-serial was designed to be released as a serial in consecutive weeks over a three-month period.

    De Max again played Richelieu in Henri Diamant-Berger's sequel to Les trois mousquetaires: Vingts ans après/Five Years Later (1922), followed by roles in Diamant-Berger's films Les mauvais garçons/The Bad Boys (1922) and Milady (1923).

    He also appeared in the Italian historical epic Messalina/The Fall of an Empress (Enrico Guazzoni, 1922) starring Rina De Liguoro.

    That year he also appeared opposite a young Maurice Chevalier in Le mauvais garçon/Bad Boy (1922, Henri Diamant-Berger).

    Two years later, in 1924, Édouard de Max died in Paris. He was 55.

    Les Trois Mousquetaires, 13
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: still from Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), produced by Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Édouard de Max played Cardinal Richelieu.

    Les Trois Mousquetaires, 1
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: still from Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), produced by Pathé Consortium Cinéma.

    Édouard de Max in Vingt ans après
    French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 63. Photo: Pathé Consortium. Édouard de Max as Monsieur de Gondi (and not as Richelieu as IMDb claims) in Vingt ans après (1922), Henri Diamant-Berger's sequel to his earlier film Les trois mousquetaires (1921).

    Sources: Rudmer Canjels (Beyond the Cliffhanger: distributing silent serials); Richard Abel (French Cinema - The First Wave 1915-1929), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 05/22/14--23:00: Claude Jade
  • French actress Claude Jade (1948–2006) is best remembered Christine in François Truffaut's films Baisers volés/Stolen Kisses (1968), Domicile Conjugal/Bed and Board (1970) and L'amour en fuite/Love on the Run (1979). Outside of France she played in films in the Soviet Union, the United States, Italy and Japan.

    Claude Jade
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    New Wave


    Claude Jade was born as Claude Marcelle Jorré in Dijon, France in 1948. She was the daughter of university professors.

    Jade spent three years at Dijon's Conservatory of Dramatic Art, where in 1964 she won a best actress prize for her portrayal of Agnès in Molière's L'école des femmes (School of Wives).

    In 1966 she won the Prix de Comédie for Jean Giraudoux's stage play Ondine, performed at the Comédie Boulogne. She moved to Paris and became a student of Jean-Laurent Cochet at the Edouard VII theatre, in a class with Gérard Depardieu.

    She also began acting in television productions, including a leading role in the TV series Les oiseaux rares. While performing as Frida in Luigi Pirandello's Henri IV (Henry IV) at the Théâtre Moderne, Jade was discovered by Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) film director François Truffaut.

    Truffaut cast her in the role of violin student Christine Darbon in Baisers volés/Stolen Kisses (1968). It continues the story of the character Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), whom Truffaut had previously depicted in Les 400 Coups/The 400 Blows and the short film Antoine et Colette/Antoine and Colette.

    During the filming, Jade and Truffaut were engaged at one point. According to Ronald Bergan in The Guardian“Truffaut's love for his young discovery illuminated her scenes”.

    Baisers volés was nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and put Jade in the international spotlight for her strong performance. As Christine she teaches Antoine the best way to butter toast in the morning, and there are many more memorable scenes.

    Playing the same character, Jade appeared in two more films by Truffaut, Domicile Conjugal/Bed and Board (1970), and L'amour en fuite/Love on the Run (1979). Truffaut uses the occasion to examine three states, three ages, of his heroine, played with the right middle-class gentility and innocence by Claude Jade: loved from a distance (Stolen Kisses), married and misled (Bed & Board), divorced but still on good terms (Love on the Run).

    Recommended by Truffaut, Jade starred in Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller Topaz (1969). She played Michèle Picard, a secret agent's anxious daughter, married to a reporter (Michel Subor). Jade was 19 years old when cast, with Frederick Stafford as her father and Dany Robin playing her mother. Some of her scenes were deleted and restored for the director's cut of Topaz in 1999.
    Topaz was Jade's only Hollywood film. Universal Pictures offered her a seven-year contract, which she turned down reportedly because she preferred to work in French.

    Claude Jade
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Italian Films


    Claude Jade was to have starred as Romola, Vaslav Nijinsky's wife in Nijinsky (Tony Richardson, 1970), alongside Rudolf Nureyev as Nijinsky and Paul Scofield as his lover Sergei Diaghilev The film, based on a screenplay by Edward Albee, was cancelled during pre-production by producer Harry Saltzman.

    She did star in the historical film Mon oncle Benjamin/My Uncle Benjamin (Édouard Molinaro, 1969) alongside Jacques Brel as his fiancée Manette, who refuses his advances until he produces a marriage contract.

    She also had a leading role as Linda in a modern The Count of Monte Cristo-adaptation, Sous le signe de Monte Cristo/Under the Sign of Montecristo (André Hunebelle, 1968).

    Her career continued in Belgium, where she played a young English teacher who is fatally intrigued by a murderer (Gérard Barray) in the film Le Témoin/The Witness (Anne Walter, 1969). That year she also starred in a television adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Jean-Christophe Averty, 1969).

    In the early 1970s, Jade starred in films like Le bateau sur l'herbe/The Boat on the Grass (Gérard Brach, 1971), as Eleonore, a young girl between two friends (Jean-Pierre Cassel, John McEnery), and Les feux de la chandeleur/Hearth Fires (Serge Korber, 1972) as Laura, a daughter who wants to reconcile her parents (Annie Girardot, Jean Rochefort) and who falls in love with her mother's best friend (Bernard Fresson).

    Alongside to Robert Hossein she played the priest's love Françoise in Prêtres interdits/Forbidden Priests (Denys de La Patellière, 1973). In Home Sweet Home (Benoît Lamy, 1973), she played a hardened nurse who is changed by a love affair with a social worker (Jacques Perrin). She played a dual role in Le choix/The Choice (Jacques Faber, 1976).

    Jade starred in three Italian films: as a private investigator in Number One (Gianni Buffardi, 1973), as Tiffany, the girlfriend of a private eye (Frederick Stafford) in La ragazza di via Condotti/Special Killers (German Lorente, 1973), and as Maria Teresa, an unhappily married woman in Una spirale di nebbia/A Spiral of Mist (Eriprando Visconti, 1977).

    She played a nun in Kita No Misaki/Cap du Nord (1976), by Japanese director Kei Kumai. In the romantic comedy Le pion/The Pawn (Christian Gion, 1978), she starred as a young widow who wins the heart of her son's teacher.

    She also worked regularly for French TV. In 1970 she starred as Orphan Françoise in the mini-series Mauregard, directed by Truffaut's co-writer Claude de Givray. On TV she gained great popularity as the heroine of mini-series The Island of Thirty Coffins (Marcel Cravenne, 1979).


    Trailer for Baisers volés/Stolen Kisses (1968). Source: The Cine Lady (YouTube).

    Three Years in Moscow


    In the 1980s Claude Jade moved to Moscow for three years with her husband, diplomat Bernard Coste, and their son Pierre Coste (1976).

    She starred in two Soviet films. In Teheran 43 (Aleksandr Alov, Vladimir Naumov, 1981) she played a mysterious terrorist, with Alain Delon and an international cast. For Lenin in Paris (Sergei Yutkevich, 1981), she played the French Bolshevik Inessa Armand, although it was not possible to show her rumoured love affair with Vladimir Lenin.

    Among her other films in the 1980s were Le Bahut va craquer/Schools Falling Apart (Michel Nerval, 1981), L'honneur d'un capitaine/A Captain's Honour (Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1982), Rendezvous in Paris (Gabi Kubach, 1982) and L'homme qui n'était pas là/The Man Who Wasn't There (René Féret, 1987).

    During the 1990s Jade worked mainly for television. From 1998 to 2000 she was the lead actress in the series Cap des Pins (Tide of Life). Her last U.S. acting part was a guest appearance in an episode of the TV series The Hitchhiker (1990).

    Jade's film roles in this decade include a mother betrayed by her husband, in Tableau d'honneur/Honor Roll (Charles Nemes, 1992), and shy lesbian Caroline in Bonsoir (Jean-Pierre Mocky, 1994). In order to save her inheritance, Caroline tells her aunt that her lover Gloria (Corinne Le Poulain) is her secretary and Alex (Michel Serrault) her lover.

    In 1998, she played a governor's wife, Reine Schmaltz, who saves herself on a lifeboat in the historical movie Le Radeau de la Méduse/The Raft of the Medusa (Iradj Azimi, 1998). That year she was named a chevalier de la légion d'honneur (knight in the Legion of honour) for her contributions to French culture.

    In her last decade, Jade's work included TV films and shorts. On stage she was a member of Jean Meyer's theatre company in Lyon, appearing in plays by Jean Giraudoux, James Joyce, Racine and Balzac.

    In 2004, Jade published her autobiography, Baisers envolés (Flying kisses).

    Her last stage role was as Célimène in Jacques Rampal's Célimène et le cardinal (Celimene and the Cardinal, 2006), a play in alexandrines, based on Molière's characters from Le Misanthrope. Suffering cancer of the liver, which had spread, she wore a plastic eye for her performances. In December 2006, Claude Jade died in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. She was 58.


    Trailer Topaz (1969). Source: Retro TV (Youtube).

    Sources: Ronald Bergan (The Guardian), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 05/23/14--23:00: Albert Matterstock
  • German actor and writer Albert Matterstock (1909 or 1911-1960) belonged to the group of successful young actors from the mid-1930s who conquered the heart of the German public with entertainment films. He made 40 films before he died as a result of his morphine addiction.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 152. Photo: Foto Wesel / Berlin Film.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2409/1,1939-1940. Photo: Baumann / Terra.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3153/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Haenchen.

    Elegant Men of the World


    Albert Andreas Hermann Walter Matterstock was born in Leipzig as the son of a cavalry officer. He attended the Colonial School in Witzenhausen, and later lived till his 21st birthday with relatives in Africa.

    Matterstock had acting classes in Berlin from Leontine Sagan at the Max Reinhardt Seminar. He made his stage debut at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm, and soon he became known as a portrayer of elegant men of the world.

    Reinhold Schünzel discovered him for the cinema. His debut Land der Liebe/Land of Love (Reinhold Schünzel, 1937) made him immediately a popular star. Many of his following films would be box office hits and he became one of the highest paid stars of the Ufa.

    To those films belong romances and comedies like Serenade (Willi Forst, 1937) with Hilde Krahl, Stimme des Blutes/Voice of the Blood (Carmine Gallone, 1937) opposite Anneliese Uhlig, Ziel in den Wolken/Goal in the Clouds (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1938) with Leny Marenbach and Brigitte Horney, Gastspiel im Paradies/Guest performance in paradise (Karl Hartl, 1938) again opposite Hilde Krahl,Lauter Lügen/Many Lies (Heinz Rühmann, 1938) with Hertha Feiler, and Ein ganzer Kerl/A Regular Fellow (Fritz Peter Buch, 1939) with Heidemarie Hatheyer.

    Albert Matterstock
    Big German card by Ross Verlag. Photo: Witt-Film.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3883/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Star-Foto-Atelier.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3686/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Foto Wesel / Berlin Film.

    Morphine


    During wartime Albert Matterstock went on to play roles in comedies like Unser Fräulein Doktor/Our Miss Doctor (Erich Engel, 1940) with Jenny Jugo, Das himmelblaue Abendkleid/Charivan (Erich Engel, 1941) with Elfie Mayerhofer, Kollege kommt gleich/My Colleague is Coming (Karl Anton, 1943) with Carola Höhn, Ein Walzer mit Dir/A Waltz With You (Hubert Marischka, 1943) opposite Lizzi Waldmüller, and Frühlingsmelodie/Springtime Melody (Hans Robert Bortfeld, 1945).

    In 1943 he was wounded during the shooting of a film on sea, and he got treated with morphine. It soon became a nasty habit.

    After the war Albert Matterstock wasn't able to go on from his earlier successes. He only was offered supporting parts.

    To his few post-war films belong mediocre fare like Spuk im Schloß/A Ghost in the Castle (Hans H. Zerlett, 1947), Schuss um Mitternacht/A Shot at Midnight (Hans H. Zerlett, 1949), and Drei Birken auf der Heide/Three Birch Trees at the Moor (Ulrich Erfurth, 1956).

    He mostly worked in the theatre, but he also had to earn his money as a car salesman and a barkeeper. Some periods he was even homeless.

    In 1960 Albert Matterstock died in a hotel in Hamburg at the age of 49 as a result of his addiction to morphine.

    He was married four times, a.o. to Margot Rauh and actress Jutta Freybe. Next to his work as an actor he also wrote novels, scripts and essays.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. A 1794/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Ufa / Hämmerer.

    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3323/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Haenchen.
    Albert Matterstock
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2518/2, 1939-1940. Photo: Tobis / Sandau.

    Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Stephanie D'Heil (Steffi-line)(German), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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  • 05/24/14--23:00: Jimmy Gaillard
  • French dancer and singer Jimmy Gaillard (1916-1985) began as a child star. He made dozens of films till he ha d to terminate his career because of a grave car accident.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 46. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard by Editions Chantal, Rueil, no. 85a. Photo: C.C.F.C.

    Born To Dance


    Jimmy Gaillard was born as Maurice Gurtner in Lyon, France, in 1916.

    Jimmy (also credited as Jimmy and Jimay) was born to dance. He made his stage debut at the age of seven, and his film debut in the silent costume drama Le miracle des loups/Miracle of the Wolves (Raymond Bernard, 1924).

    As a boy he was also seen in the incredibly funny extravaganza Le Mystère de la tour Eiffel/The Mystery of the Eiffel Tower (Julien Duvivier, 1927), L’argent/The Money (Marcel L’Herbier, 1928) starring Brigitte Helm, and Coeur de Paris/The Heart of Paris (Jean Benoît-Lévy, Marie Epstein, 1930).

    He was sent to New York to sing and dance in Broadway shows that starred Eddie Cantor and Bing Crosby.
    Jimmy returned to France and performed in operettas and joined the orchestras of Jo Bouillon and Ray Ventura.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 135; presented by the chocolate firm N.V. Victoria, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Roger Carlet.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard by Editions E.C., Paris, no. 6. Photo: C.P.L.F.

    The Wheel Turns


    As a young adult Jimmy Gaillard appeared opposite Michèle Morgan in L'entraîneuse/Nightclub Hostess (Albert Valentin, 1938).

    At the side of Ray Ventura he performed in such light comedies as Feux de joie/Bonfire (Jacques Houssin, 1938) with René Lefèvre, and Tourbillon de Paris/Whirlwind of Paris (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1939).

    After the war he played in such musicals as Musique en tête/Music in Mind (Georges Combret, Claude Orval, 1951) with Irène de Trebert, and Tambour battant/Briskly (Georges Combret, 1952).

    In 1952 Jimmy was the victim of a grave car accident and had to terminate his acting career. He only made some guest appearances as himself in show films like Bonjour sourire/Hello Smile (Claude Sautet, 1955) with Louis de Funès.

    At the end of his life, he consecrated himself to the association La Roue tourne (The Wheel Turns) to help other victims of accidents.

    Jimmy Gaillard died in 1985 in Nice, France. He was 68.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 204. Photo: Star.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    French postcard.

    Jimmy Gaillard
    Belgian postcard by Editions P.E., no. 82. Studio Melvyle.

    Sources: Yvan Foucart (Le gens du cinema), Ciné-ressources (French) and IMDb.

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  • 05/25/14--23:00: Mario Parpagnoli
  • Mario Parpagnoli (?-?) was an Italian actor and director, whose career peaked in the Italian silent cinema of the late 1910s and early 1920s.

    Mario Parpagnoli
    Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 35. Photo: Pinto, Roma.

    Mario Parpagnoli
    Italian postcard by Ed. G. Vettori, Bologna, no. 188.

    Two films that made history


    Mario Parpagnoli started his career in 1917 in the Italian silent film L’aquila by Mario Gorgiulo, set in the Italian Risorgimento and based on a play by Arturo Colautti.

    A countess who sleeps with two men, has two sons: one is pro-Austrian (played by Parpagnoli), the other pro-Italy (Ubaldo Maria del Colle).

    Parpagnoli then acted in two films by Anton Giulio Bragaglia that made history. One is a lost film: Il mio cadavere, which Bragaglia codirected (uncredited) with Riccardo Cassano. It is based on the novel Francesco Lannas (1851) by Francesco Mastriani. Sets were by the Futurist Enrico Prampolini.

    Parpagnoli had the male lead as the penniless composer Daniele who hopes for fortune & fame in Naples, but is refused the hand of a young contess until he earns a million. Emigrated, he meets an old gentleman who nominates him his heir. To speed up things Daniele kills the old man, inherits and runs to Naples to marry his countess. But then Daniele discovers that he killed his own father and goes berserk.

    Parpagnoli's other film, directed by Bragaglia and Cassano is Thais. Leading actress was Thais Galitzky as an extravagant and cruel femme fatale, who meets her equal in a cold count (Parpagnoli), who rejects both her and her friend Bianca (Ileana Leonidoff).

    When Thais finally manages to melt the count’s heart and then rejects him, she tells so to Bianca, who is madly in love with the count. Bianca rides away on her horse in a maddening galop and is killed underway. Thais then repents and kills herself by mortal vapours which exit from strange eye-shaped gaps in her room.

    The futurist sets were designed again by Enrico Prampolini. A print of Thais was found and restored in Paris, although it is incomplete.

    Diana Karenne in Zoya
    Italian postcard by Vettori, Bologna. Photo: publicity still of Diana Karenne in the Italian silent film Zoya or Zoja (Giulio Antamoro, 1920), a Tiber Film production. The man left might be Mario Parpagnoli.

    Edy Darclea & Mario Parpagnoli
    Italian postcard, no. 1099. Edy Darclea and Mario Parpagnoli. Darclea and Parpagnoli played together in two films, Martino il trovatello (Alberto Capozzi, Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, 1919) and La valse ardente (Torello Rolli, 1921).

    Hunting for the fortune of a bonvivant


    After some neglectable dramas (a.o. with Claretta Rosaj) and a propaganda film, Mario Parpagnoli played the male lead role in the comedy L’Ultimo dei Cognac (Riccardo Cassano,1918), based on a story by the famous Trilussa, and dealing with heirs hunting for the fortune of a bonvivant.

    After a minor role in Martino il trovatello (Alberto Capozzi, 1919), Parpagnoli played the lover of Diana Karenne in La peccatrice casta (Gennaro Righelli, 1919) and again in La signora delle rose (Diana Karenne, 1919).

    Next he was the lover of Vittoria Lepanto in Per aver visto (Enrico Roma, 1920).
    In 1920 Parpagnoli peaked with some 10 films in one year. While he had a minor part in the divafilm Chimere (Baldassarre Negroni, 1920) starring Hesperia, he had the male lead opposite Rina Maggi in La complice muta (Livio Pavanelli, 1921), and opposite Pauline Polaire in L’istinto (Baldassarre Negroni, 1920), about a rich writer falling in love with a poor thief.

    After the neglectable Liberazione (Jacques Creusy, 1921) and a supporting part in the divafilm Zoya (Giulio Antamoro, 1920) with Diana Karenne, Parpagnoli had the male lead opposite Francesca Bertini in three films.

    These were La sfinge (Roberto Roberti, 1921), based on Feuillet’s Le sphynx (1874), Marion, artista di caffè-concerto (Roberto Roberti, 1920), based on Annie Vivanti’s novel, and Maddalena Ferat (Roberto Roberti, 1921), based on Emile Zola’s Madeleine (1865). All three were produced by Francesca Bertini’s own company.

    After another Bertini film L’ultimo sogno (Roberto Roberti, 1921), Parpagnoli was the adventurer who ruins a princess’s family life in La valse ardente (Augusto Genina, 1921), with Edy Darclea and Marcella Sabattini.

    The story was shamelessly copied from Bertini's earlier divafilm Sangue bleu (Nino Oxilia, 1914).

    Francesca Bertini & Mario Parpagnoli in L'Ultimo sogno
    Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: publicity still of Francesca Bertini and Mario Parpagnoli in Ultimo sogno (Roberto Roberti, 1921).

    Francesca Bertini and Mario Parpagnoli in L'Ultimo sogno
    Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: publicity still of Francesca Bertini in Ultimo sogno (Roberto Roberti, 1921). The man could be the male protagonist, played by Mario Parpagnoli.

    Haunted by letters of young Venetian girl


    In 1922 Mario Parpagnoli was the rival of Sandro Salvini in La fanciulla, il poeta e la laguna by Carmine Gallone.

    Parpagnoli is a poet, haunted by letters of young Venetian girl. Cynically and proudly, he asks his secretary to respond to the girl…

    He appeared in various films by Toddi starring Vera D’Angara, including the ghost story Al confine della morte (Toddi, 1922), for which Parpagnoli’s performance and the photography by Romagnoli were praised.

    Others were Fu cosí che… (Toddi, 1922) and L’amore e il codicillo (Toddi, 1923).

    He had a supporting part as bad guy in La rosa di Fortunio (Luciano Doria, 1922) with Diomira Jacobini and Lido Manetti, and another one in the Pina Menichelli vehicle L’ospite sconosciuta (Telemaco Ruggeri, 1923). 

    It was probably on the set of Mario Bonnard’s adaptation of I promessi sposi/The Betrothed (1922) that Parpagnoli met his future wife, actress Emilia Vidali - daughter of film producer/director/actor Giovanni Enrico Vidali.

    She played Lucia while he himself played the evil Don Rodrigo. Italian critics considered the film 'too grey', but audiences loved it and the film was awarded a golden medal at a film festival in Turin in 1923.

    For Emilia Vidali, who had been away from the film set for several years, it didn’t mean a full comeback, and after one more film, Amore e destino/Love and Fate (1923) directed by Parpagnoli and with Vidali and Parpagnoli in the leads, she left the Italian screen again.

    Vidali and Parpagnoli had married in the meantime. Because of the crisis in the Italian cinema, the couple emigrated to Argentine.

    There they played in the film Galleguita (Julio Irigoyen, 1924). In 1930 Parpagnoli scripted and directed in Buenos Aires the musical film Adios Argentina/Goodbye Argentina, in which Mexican star Libertad Lamarque had her debut.

    Adios Argentina was originally made as a silent film, but later a soundtrack was added. This succesful tango film starred Ada Cornaro and Pierina Dealessi.

    While Vidali returned to Europe in 1930, Parpagnoli remained in Argentine, working as official for the Empresas Filmadroas Italianas in the 1950s.

    Mario Parpagnoli as Don Rodrigo in I promessi sposi (1922)
    Italian postcard by U.C.I.G. / Vettori, Bologna. Photo: publicity still for the film I promessi sposi (Mario Bonnard, 1922), one of several adaptations of Alessandro Manzoni's famous novel, set in 17th century Italy. Caption: "Let me kill that infamous traitor!"

    Mario Parpagnoli as Don Rodrigo in I promessi sposi (1922)
    Italian postcard by U.C.I.G. / Vettori, Bologna. Photo: publicity stll for the film I promessi sposi (Mario Bonnard, 1922), one of several adaptations of Alessandro Manzoni's famous novel, set in 17th century Italy. Caption: "Begone this instant, and with unscathed limbs or we'll see."

    Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il cinema muto italiano, 1917-1930) (Italian), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 05/26/14--23:00: Marcel Mouloudji
  • At the age of 16, French actor and singer-songwriter (Marcel) Mouloudji (1922-1994) was already a film star. Angelic and raven-curled, he appeared in one film after another, but he is now best remembered for his politically engaged songs, among which Boris Vian's masterpiece Le Déserteur. He was a free and libertarian artist who explored cinema, theatre, painting, writing and of course music.

    Mouloudji
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 204. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Mouloudji
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 1008, presented by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Studio Vallois.

    Red Falcons


    Marcel Mouloudji was born in Paris in 1922. His father, Said Mouloudji, came from Algeria, where he had worked as a shepherd and farmer before he moved to Paris. In France he became a mason and joined the Communist party. He married a young Breton cleaning woman who was a devote Catholic and bore him two sons, Andre and Marcel.

    Marcel went with his father to the Communist Party meetings, a party which he felt close to part of his life. Rather a cute child, he got a role in the film Ménilmontant (René Guissart, 1936) at the age of eleven. Besides this, he worked many odd jobs on the street with his brother André, such as a singer. They enlisted in the Communist youth group Faucons Rouges (Red Falcons) where Marcel and Andre entertained with songs and sketches, and with anti-Fascist, anti-military ballads.

    In 1935 Marcel met Sylvain Itkine, director of Le Groupe Octobre, an organization affiliated with the Fédération des Théâtres ouvriers de France (French federation of working class theatre). It was then at only the age of thirteen that he had already met the great names in theatre like Jean-Louis Barrault and Roger Blin.

    His illiterate father lived in a small room after his wife went mad and had to be interned, and he was unable to raise his two sons of which the eldest was very ill. Thus during his adolescence, Marcel was hosted for a period by Jean-Louis Barrault, who introduced him to the art world of Paris.

    Mouloudji (who came to be known by his surname alone) also took classes with Charles Dullin. In 1936, he performed in his first show Le tableau des Merveilles (The Table of Wonders) inspired by Cervantes and adapted in French by Jacques Prévert. At this time, he took part in a large artistic solidarity movement during the great strikes of 1936. This is how with many other artists he played in factories among other places.

    In parallel to the theatre, Mouloudji started in cinema. Through Jacques Prévert, he met Marcel Carné who gave him a small role as a street singer in Jenny (Marcel Carné, 1936) with Francoise Rosay. He then did one film after another. One of the most famous was Les Disparus de St. Agil/Boy’s School (Christian-Jaque, 1938) with Erich von Stroheim. At sixteen, tall, raven-curled and angelic Mouloudji was already a star of the French cinema.

    Mouloudji
    Vintage postcard.

    Mouloudji
    French postcard by Edition du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 249. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Saint-Germain-des-Pres


    At the beginning of the Second World War, Mouloudji fled with the Groupe Octobre to the South of France, to Marseille in the unoccupied zone. On this occasion, he met the singer Francis Lemarque. Despite the chaos of the time, he continued working. He had another film success at the side of Raimu in Les Inconnus dans la maison/Strangers in the House (Henri Decoin, 1942) based on a script by Henri-Georges Clouzot in which Mouloudji played an assassin.

    Thanks to his brother André, Mouloudji avoided doing the Service du Travail Obligatoire (Mandatory work service). Quickly, he returned to Paris where he did a ton of odd jobs semi-clandestinely. He sang at the Bœuf sur le Toit and discovered the artistic milieu of Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

    Mouloudji became one of the leading lights of Parisian literary and theatrical life, and was a regular at the table of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at the Café Flore and at other Saint-Germain hangouts. Keeping company with the literary world drove him to write a novel, Enrico (1945), at only 20. This book with childhood memories was awarded with the new Prix de la Pléiade (the prize of the Pleiades).

    In 1943, Mouloudji had met Louise Fouquet, known as Lola-la-Brune, whom he married. She would be his wife and artistic agent until 1969. After the war, he became seriously interested in music and sang songs by Boris Vian or Jacques Prevert in fashionable cabarets.

    Meanwhile he also could be seen in such films as Boule de Suif/Angel and Sinner (Christian-Jaque, 1947) with Micheline Presle,Eaux troubles/Troubled Waters (Henri Calef, 1949) as himself, and Nous sommes tous des assassins/We Are All Murderers (Andre Cayatte, 1952), a strong polemic against the death penalty. He had his first hit song with his interpretation of La Complainte des infidèles (The Rime of the infidels), a song from the film La Maison Bonnadieu/The House Bonnadieu (Carlo Rim, 1951).

    Jacques Canetti, a famous talent agent and owner of the cabaret Les Trois Baudets (The Three Donkeys) lead Mouloudji to success. He let him record Comme un p'tit coquelicot (As a little poppy), which won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1953 and the Prix Charles-Cros in 1952 and 1953. He had the same success in 1954 with Un jour tu verras (One day you'll see), a song from the film Secrets d'alcôve/The Bed (Ralph Habib a.o., 1954).

    Another highlight was the provocative anti-war song Le Deserteur (The Deserter), written by Boris Vian. In 1956, at the height of the implication of France in the Indochina War in Vietnam, the song was banned as disruptive to national security and morale. The recording was removed from the shops, and forbidden on the radio.

    However, music would now take the first place in Mouloudji's life, and more and more he wrote his own lyrics. In 1958 he made two of his last appearances in the cinema, in Rafles sur la ville/Sinners of Paris (Pierre Chenal, 1958) with Charles Vanel, and in the Hispano-Swedish film Llegaron dos hombres/Two Men in Town (Eusebio Fernández Ardavín, Arne Mattsson, 1958) with Ulla Jacobsson.

    Mouloudji
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 343. Photo: Staval.

    Mouloudji
    French postcard by PJB. Photo: disques Philips.

    Remaining Honest


    After having signed with Vogue records in 1961, Mouloudji finally created his own record label in the form of a cooperative. In 1965 he launched thus Graeme Allwright, a young New Zealander living in France. Not inclined to melt into the record industry, Mouloudji didn't have the success that he had had in the cinema during the 1950s. In 1966, he even opened a hair salon.

    When the events of May '68 took place it was the political activist who sang in the factories like he had done in 1936. Remaining honest and not sacrificing his convictions for his career was essential for him. In 1970, Mouloudji appeared on stage at the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin in the musical La Neige en été (Snow in summer).

    Mouloudji returned to the first ranks as a singer with an anti-Establishment song that Boris Vian had written in 1952 but that did not achieve success until Mouloudji's 1971 recording: the title Allons z'enfants (Come On Children) is a sly dig at the first words of the French national anthem. Mouloudji received again the Prix Charles-Crosin 1974, now as a tribute to his recordings, and a second Grand Prix du Disque in 1977.

    In 1976, he recorded with the accordionist Marcel Azzola an anthology of the musette, Et ça tournait (And it revolved). In 1980 he released the album Inconnus Inconnues (Unknown Unknown) and he gave countless concerts throughout the country, but the media hardly noticed it. Tired, he devoted more time to writing and painting, his first loves. He published his childhood memories, that mingle wry humour and nostalgia: Le Petit Invité (The Little Guest) in 1989, La Fleur de l'âge (The Flower of age) in 1991 and Le Coquelicot (The Poppy) in 1997.

    In 1992, a pleurisy took away part of his voice. This did not stop him from recording a new album which however would never be completed. Marcel Mouloudji died in Paris in 1994. He had two children: Gregory Mouloudji (1960) with Lilia Lejpuner in 1960 and with Nicolle Tessier, Annabelle Mouloudji (1967), who herself interpreted several songs including Fly Lawrence of Arabia during the 1980s. Lilianne Patrick was his last companion.

    In his Obituary in The Independent, James Kirkup commemorates Mouloudji thus: “Marcel Mouloudji started as a street urchin and a street singer, and his long career always reflected those early beginnings. He was a real Paris sparrow, light and quick, agile, graceful and symbolic of a certain romanticism of the working-class city streets, with a style that was very pure, direct and heartfelt. A male Piaf.”


    Scopitone film from 1955 with Mouloudji singing La Complainte de la butte. Source: Konshito (YouTube).


    Mouloudji sings Allons z'enfants. Source: ColonelHarry (YouTube).

    Sources: James Kirkup (The Independent), Olivier Duboc (AllMusic), RFI Musique, Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

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  • 05/27/14--23:00: Lucia Bosé
  • Lucia Bosé (1931) is an Italian actress, famous for her films from the 1950s with a.o. Giuseppe De Santis and Michelangelo Antonioni. In the same years and after she also worked with other famous directors such as Bardem, Maselli, Bunuel, the Taviani's, Cavani, Duras, Rosi and Ozpetek.

    Lucia Bosé
    Italian postcard in the series Divi del Cinema by Vetta Traldi, Milano, no. 7.

    Miss Italy


    Lucia Bosè was born Lucia Borloni in Milan, Italy in 1931. She comes from a peasant and working-class family and began to work at the age of twelve years. She was first a messenger for a law firm, later a clerk in Milan's fine pastry shop Galli.

    In 1947 she participated in the first Miss Italy pageant, where she was able to win against competitors like Gianna Maria Canale, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Gina Lollobrigida.

    Had Giuseppe De Santis still preferred Silvana Mangano for Riso amaro/BitterRice (1949), he chose Bosè in his next film, Non c'è pace tra gli ulivi/No peace among the olive trees (Giuseppe De Santis, 1950), a typical neorealist film about a poor shepherd (Raf Vallone) who tries steal back his sheep stolen from him while he was at war.

    In the same year Bosé starred oposite Massimo Girotti in the well-to-do set, modernist crime story and drama Cronaca di un amore/Story of a love affair (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1950). It was Antonioni's first full length feature film, about an adulterous couple plotting to kill her husband.

    Numerous screen engagements followed. Antonioni cast her again in La signora senza camelie/The Lady Without Camelias (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) about a newly discovered starlet and her experiences of in the Italian cinema. Juan Bardem cast her in Muerte di un ciclista/Death of a Cyclist  (1955) about an adulterous couple which runs over a cyclist and leaves him to die. Bosè also acted in Francesco Maselli's debut Gli sbandati/The Abandoned (1955) and Luis Bunuel's Cela s'appelle l'aurore (1956).

    Lucia Bosè
    Italian postcard by Italfoto, no. 162.

    Bullfighter


    In 1955 Luci Bosè married Luis Miguel Dominguín, a five years older, popular Spanish bullfighter and occasional actor. From the marriage, which ended in a divorce in 1967, sprang three children, two of whom - Paola Dominguin and Miguel Bosé - are also active as actors. Luchino Visconti was godfather to her son Miguel, Pablo Picasso to her daughter Paola.

    At the time, Lucia Bosè lived in Spain and put her career on halt, except for a sporadic appearance in Le testament d'Orphée/Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1959).

    In 1968 Bosè returned to film acting after almost a ten year break and worked first in Spain and afterwards in Italy. There she worked among others in Federico Fellini's Satyricon (1969), the Taviani Brothers'Sotto il segno dello scorpione/Under the Sign of Scorpio (1969), and Liliana Cavani's L'ospite/The Guest (1972).
    Other interesting films with her were Nathalie Granger (Marguerite Duras, 1972), Lumière(Jeanne Moreau, 1976)  and Violanta (Daniel Schmid, 1977).

    After 1978, she acted significantly less, but remained active, also on television. She had memorable film performances in Cronaca di una morte annunciata/Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Francesco Rosi, 1987) starring Rupert Everett, El niño de la Luna/Moon Child (Agustí Villaronga, 1989), Harem suaré/Harem (Ferzan Özpetek, 1999) and I vicerè/The Viceroy (Roberto Faenza, 2007).

    Her most recent screen appearance was in Alfonsina y el mar/Alfonsina and the sea(Albert Sordella, 2013), as an 80-year-old actress who returns to the small Chilean town of her youth to fulfill her father's dream of creating a TV channel in a place which has never known television.


    Scene from Cronaca di un amore/Story of a love affair (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1950). Source: 藤原敏史(YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia (German, English and Italian) and IMDb.



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  • 05/28/14--23:00: Christian Wolff
  • Handsome Christian Wolff (1938) was the young lover of many German films of the late 1950s. He started out in the controversial ‘gay' film Anders als Du und Ich/Bewildered Youth (1957) and became in the 1980s a popular TV star in the long running family series Forsthaus Falkenau.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4713. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4170. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Arca Film / Marszalek / DFH. Publicity still for Es war die erste Liebe/It was the first love (Fritz Stapenhorst, Veit Harlan, 1958).

    Christian Wolff
    Austrian postcard by Kellner-Fotokarten, Wien, no. 81066. Photo: Bavaria-Film. Publicity still for Immer wenn der Tag beginnt/Always when the day starts (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1957).

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3645. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

    Christian Wolff
    Austrian postcard by Kellner Fotokarten, Wien, no. 83466. Photo: CIFA / Prisma / FCC. Publicity still for Il bacio del sole/Don Vesuvio (Siro Marcellini, 1958).

    Anti-gay


    Christian Wolff was born in Berlin in 1938.

    Between 1955 and 1957 he studied at the renowned Max-Reinhardt-Schule.

    His teacher Hilde Körber helped him to get his first film role opposite Paula Wesselyand Paul Dahlke in the anti-gay film Anders als Du und Ich/Bewildered Youth (Veit Harlan, 1957).

    The film was made by the notorious Veit Harlan, director of Nazi-propaganda-films like Jud Süß/Jew Süss (1940) and Kolberg (1945).

    The film portrays homosexuality as evil and even diabolic. Wolff plays young Klaus, who is drawn to his friend Manfred and explores the underground world in post-war Berlin of gay clubs and electronic music.

    His family begins to learn of his other life and does everything to set him straight. The film was shortly after its premiere forbidden.

    Christian Wolff
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4268. Photo: Arca / Cinepress. Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V. was the licency holder for UFA postcards in the Netherlands.

    Marion Michael, Christian Wolff
    Christian Wolff and Marion Michael. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam (licency holders for UFA postcards in the Netherlands), no. 4267. Photo: ARCA-Cinepress.

    Christian Wolff
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3846. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Bavaria / Schorcht Film.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 038. Photo: Berolina / Kurt Schulz / Union / Stempka.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2365. Photo: Bavaria / Schorcht / Brünjes.

    Young Romantic Lover


    Christian Wolff followed this controversial début up with films like Die Frühreifen/The Prematures (Josef von Báky, 1957) with Heidi Brühl, and Es war die erste Liebe/First Love (Fritz Stapenhorst, 1958) opposite Marion Michael.

    In these films he was often typecasted as the young, romantic lover.

    A bit more mature were his parts in Der Schinderhannes/Duel in the Forest (Helmut Käutner, 1958) with Curd Jürgens, the war drama Kriegsgericht/Court Martial (Kurt Meisel, 1959), and Der blaue Nachtfalter/The Blue Moth (Wolfgang Schleif, 1959) opposite Zarah Leander.

    Then he was again typecast as a lonely prince in the romance Alt Heidelberg/Old Heidelberg (Ernst Marischka, 1959) with Gert Fröbe and Sabine Sinjen.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 339. Photo: Bavaria. Publicity still for Immer wenn der Tag beginnt/Always when the Day starts (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1957).

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen. Retail price: 10 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. D 2548. Photo: Real / Europa / Gabriele. Publicity stills for Der Schinderhannes/Duel in the Forest (Helmut Käutner, 1958).

    Christian Wolff
    German autograph card.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 612. Retail price: 10 Pfg. Photo: Lothar Winkler.

    Forsthaus Falkenau


    His breakthrough was his role as the student Fabian König in the crime drama Verbrechen nach Schulschluss/The Young Go Wild (Alfred Vohrer, 1959). The then 21-years old actor won the Critics Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

    His next film, the crime film Am Tag als der Regen kam/The Day It Rained (Gerd Oswald, 1959), was also a success.

    In the 1960s followed more popular films like the Carl Zuckmayer adaptation Die Fastnachtsbeichte/The Carnival Confession (William Dieterle, 1960), Via Mala (Paul May, 1961) and Rheinsberg (Kurt Hoffmann, 1967) with Cornelia Froboess.

    In 1958 he made his stage debut in a Shakespeare play and until the 1980s he had engagements with theatre companies in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich. On stage he easily alternated classic with modern plays.

    In the 1970s he also started a busy television career. He did many guest performances and became a popular TV star in the long-running hit series Forsthaus Falkenau (1989-2006). In a final feature episode Entscheidung in der Savanne (Marcus Ulbricht, 2006) his character left his farm in Falkenau for a new farm in Southern Africa, which he had inherited.

    Next to his acting jobs, Christian Wolff synchronized Pierre Brice in the Winnetou films, Alain Delon and Anthony Perkins.

    Christian Wolff married actress Corny Collinsin 1959 and later remarried with Marina Handloser. His son Patrick Wolff is also an actor.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-256. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Stempha / ARCA Film.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard, no. F 152.
    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 167.

    Christian Wolff
    German postcard by ISV, no. D 28.

    Christian Wolff
    German promotion card by NDF. Photo: Bildarchiv Engelmeier. Still for Forsthaus Falkenau.

    Sources: Steffi-line.de, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 05/29/14--23:00: Lotti Huber
  • Lotti Huber (1912-1998) was a German actress, singer, dancer and avant-garde artist. Her breakthrough came late in the 1980s in the cult films by Rosa von Praunheim. Lotti became the star of the Berlin Underground of the 1990s and called her autobiography ‘Diese Zitrone hat noch viel Saft!’(This lemon still has a lot of juice!).

    Lotti Huber
    German postcard by Edition Wild, Waldbröl. Photo: Gertrude Garancy. Colouring: Cesa, 1990.

    Rassenschande


    Lotti Huber was born Charlotte Dora Goldmann (according to IMDb as Regina Rudnick) in Kiel, Germany in 1912. She was the daughter of upper-class Jewish parents and grew up with two brothers, Walter and Kurt (later Ruwen Golan).

    As young girl, she became interested in dance and theatre, and took lessons. She was inspired by modern dancers like Isadora Duncan and Mary Wigman. With her lover Hillert Lueken, the son of former Kiel Mayor Emil Lueken , she went to Berlin and lived there with him. Since Lotti was Jewish, Hillert Lueken was arrested and killed by the Nazis in 1937 because of ‘Rassenschande’ (race defilement).

    She herself was deported to the Moringen concentration camp and after its dissolution to the Lichtenburg concentration camp. In 1938, through her brother Kurt's commitment she was bought out by a US organization. She went to Haifa in Palestine in exile.

    She studied dance and mime and moved with her first husband, British officer Alec Kingaby, through the Middle East. She worked as a dancer in nightclubs and vaudeville. They settled on Cyprus and opened a hotel in Nicosia.

    After their divorce Lotti moved to Kyrenia, a port city in northern Cyprus, and ran her own restaurant ‘The Octopus’. There she met her second husband Norman Huber, also a British officer, in 1960. The couple moved to London, and in 1965, Lotti returned to Berlin when Norman was transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany.

    After the death of her husband in 1971, Huber had to get by with odd jobs. So she translated romance novels from English, opened an etiquette school in her apartment, sold herb liquor in department stores and worked as a film extra in such films as Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo/Just a gigolo (David Hemmings, 1979) starring David Bowie, Die Alptraumfrau/Nightmare Woman (Lothar Lambert, 1981) and the Thomas Mann adaptation Der Zauberberg/The Magic Mountain (Hans W. Geißendörfer, 1982).

    Lotti Huber
    German postcard by L.M. Kartenvertrieb, Berlin, no. 01916. Photo: Wilhelm L. Reinke.

    Adventurous and outrageous


    In 1981, Lotti Huber became known to cinema audiences with Unsere Leichen leben noch/Our Corpses Still Live, directed by the adventurous and outrageous film-maker Rosa von Praunheim.

    It made her the diva of Von Praunheim’s cult cinema and she returned in his next films like Stadt der verlorenen Seelen/City of Lost Souls (Rosa von Praunheim, 1983) and Horror Vacui (Rosa von Praunheim, 1984).

    She co-wrote the screenplay and took a starring role in Anita - Tänze des Lasters/Anita - Dances of Vice (Rosa von Praunheim, 1988), on the life and career of silent film star and nude dancer Anita Berber.

    In 1990, Huber published her autobiography, Diese Zitrone hat noch viel Saft! Ein Leben (This lemon still has a lot of juice! A life). Her best known film is the semi-documentary Affengeil. Eine Reise durch Lottis Leben (Rosa von Praunheim, 1991).

    By now, she was considered as the star of the Berlin Underground and had a large following, especially in the gay and lesbian scene. Huber stepped on with solo programs, biographical narratives, dance, cabaret and chanson joined together. She regularly appeared in the TV show Holgers Waschsalon/Holger's Launderette, and other TV programmes.

    In later years, she worked with Thom Nowotny as her musical companion, and together they had a television show on the local station TV Berlin. She continued to appear in films like the mockumentary Neurosia – 50 Jahre pervers/Neurosia - Who Shot Rosa von Praunheim (Rosa von Praunheim, 1995) and the TV-production Liebling, vergiss die Socken nicht!/Darling, do not forget the socks! (Tobias Meinecke, 1998). It was her final film appearance.

    In 1998, Lotti Huber died of heart failure and was buried at the Jewish cemetery Heerstraße in Berlin, next to her husband Norman Huber.


    Short clip with a.o. Lotti Huber and Rosa von Praunheim. Source: absolutMEDIENBerlin (YouTube).

    Sources: Rena Jacob (Wider des Vergessens) (German), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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  • 05/30/14--16:41: Karlheinz Böhm (1928-2014)
  • Last Thursday, 29 May 2014, Austrian actor Karlheinz Böhm has passed away after a long illness. Böhm, who was sometimes referred to as Carl Boehm or Karl Boehm, played in 45 films. He was the young Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in the Sissi trilogy. He and Romy Schneider became the perfect couple of the German cinema of the 1950s. Internationally, he is also known for his role as Mark, the psychopathic protagonist of Michael Powell's terrifying thriller Peeping Tom (1960).

    Karlheinz Böhm (1928-2014)
    Dutch postcard by Kolibri, Wormerveer, no. 2168. Photo: Rhombus / Herzog-Film / Czerwonski.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden (Westf.), no. F 15. Retail price: 25 Pf. Photo: Herzog-Film.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam; licency holder of Ufa, Berlin; no. 1004. Photo: Ufa.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-28. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / UFA.

    Elegant Young Lover


    Karlheinz Böhm (sometimes Carl Boehm) was born in Darmstadt, Germany in 1928. His father was the conductor Karl Böhm and his mother the soprano Thea Linhart.

    Karlheinz started his career in 1948 as an assistant director of Der Engel mit der Posaune/The Angel with the Trumpet (Karl Hartl, 1948), in which he also played a small part.

    Later he attended the actor's training at the Burgtheater and subsequently became a member of the ensemble.

    In 1952, Karl Hartl brought him to Munich for Haus des Lebens/House of Life (Karl Hartl, 1952) starring Gustav Fröhlich.

    In the following decade, Böhm appeared in more than 30 films. His first success was his role as the elegant young lover of Alraune/Mandrake (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1952) starring Hildegard Knef.

    Then he often appeared as a sincere and respectable young man in films like Salto Mortale (1953, Victor Tourjansky) with Margot Hielscher, and Ich war ein häßliches Mädchen/I Was an Ugly Girl (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1955) featuring beautiful Sonja Ziemann.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch Postcard, no. F 213.

    Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht, no. 2064.

    Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3720. Photo: ERMA-Herzog-film-Wien. Publicity still for Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin/Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1957).

    A Serious Image Problem


    Hugely popular were the three Sissi films. Karlheinz Böhm and Romy Schneider formed the perfect couple of the German film in the 1950s.

    During the shooting of the first episode, Sissi (Ernst Marischka, 1955), the then 16-year-old Schneider used to call him 'Uncle Karlheinz', although he was just 12 years her senior.
    The sequels were Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/Sissi: The Young Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1956) and Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin/Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1957).

    More stiff juvenile hero parts followed in films like Das Schloß in Tirol/Castle in Tyrol (Géza von Radványi, 1957) opposite Erika Remberg, and Das Dreimäderlhaus/The House of the Three Girls (Ernst Marischka, 1958) withJohanna Matz.

    They left Böhm with a serious image problem. He attempted a change in international films, but with his first British film he succeeded almost too well.

    Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard by N.V. Int. Filmpers (I.F.P.), Amsterdam, no. 1027.

    Romy Schneider & Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard printed by Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 1980. Photo by Filmex N.V.

    Karlheinz Böhm, Vilma Degischer
    Dutch publicity photo by Filmex. Still for Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin (1956) with Vilma Degischer.

    Voyeur


    Outside of Europe, Karlheinz Böhm is probably best known for his role as the psychopathic voyeur and serial killer Mark in Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960).

    The film received slating reviews by British and German critics, but it was re-examined 20 years later and is nowadays considered as a masterpiece.

    Böhm subsequently appeared with Jayne Mansfield in the striptease thriller Too Hot to Handle (Terence Young, 1959) and the French thriller La Croix des vivants/Cross of the Living (Ivan Govar, 1960) with Pascale Petit.

    Next he appeared as the Nazi-sympathizing son of Lee J. Cobb in the remake of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Vincente Minnelli, 1963).

    In Hollywood, he also played Jakob Grimm in the Cinerama spectacular The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Henry Levin, 1963), Ludwig van Beethoven in the Disney production The Magnificent Rebel (Georg Tressler, 1962) and a sadistic agent in The Venetian Affair (Jerry Thorpe) with Robert Vaughn.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 2773.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 665. Photo: Helios / Schorchtfilm. Still for Haus des Lebens/House of Life (Karl Hartl, 1952).

    Karlheinz Böhm (1928-2014)
    German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 628. Photo: Rotary / Deutsche London / Hämmerer. Publicity still for Arlette erobert Paris/ Arlette Conquers Paris (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953).

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag (Rüdel-Verlag), Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 1294. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Die heilige Lüge/Sacred Lie (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954).

    Karlheinz Böhm
    Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 1961. Photo: Filmex-Herzog. Still for Kitty und die Grosse Welt (Alfred Weidenmann, 1956).

    Ethiopia


    In the mid-1960s Karlheinz Böhm moved to Italy and focussed more on his theatre work. In 1964, he made his debut as a director of opera productions.

    A second German film career began in 1972, when Rainer Werner Fassbinder made full use of Böhm's by now many-layered star image.

    He first cast him as the worldly-wise Prussian councillor Wüllersdorf in Fontane - Effi Briest/Effi Briest (1974) opposite Hanna Schygulla, and then as the sadistic husband of Margit Carstensen in the TV thriller Martha (1974).

    Böhm played a homosexual art dealer in Fassbinder's Faustrecht der Freiheit/Fox and His Friends (1975), and finally the arrogant, middle-class communist Tillmann in Mutter Küsters Fahrt zum Himmel/Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven (1975) featuring Brigitte Mira.

    Later, Böhm was mainly appearing on stage or in TV productions. After losing a bet on the popular German TV show Wetten, dass..? (You Bet That..?) (1981), he founded the charity organization Menschen für Menschen (People For People). For over 30 years, Karlheinz Böhm promoted charities for starving children in Central Africa and Ethiopia.

    He was the father of Sissi Böhm (born in 1955) from his first wife Elisabeth Zonewa; Kristina (1959), Michael (1960) and Daniela (1961) from his second wife actress Gudula Blau, and actress Katharina Böhm (1964) from his third wife Barbara Lass.

    His fourth wife, Almaz Böhm, a native from Ethiopia, gave birth to their children Nicolas (1990) and Aida (1993). Actor Florian Böhm (1978) is his grandson.

    Karlheinz Böhm died in Grödig, Salzburg, Austria. He was 86.

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by WS-Druck, no. F 139. Retail price: 30 Pfg. (Edges cut off).

    Karlheinz Böhm
    German postcard by UFA, no. CK-126. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: UFA. Collection: Egbert Barten.


    Trailer for Sissi (1955). Source: Kinoweltdvd (YouTube).

    Sources: Encyclopedia of European Cinema, Filmportal.de, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 05/31/14--23:00: Peter van Eyck
  • German-American actor Peter van Eyck (1911-1969) was best known for the classic French thriller Le Salaire de la Peur/The Wages of Fear (1953). With his whitish blond crew-cut, Van Eyck was destined to be typecast in international war films as the arrogant Nazi.

    Peter van Eyck
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1057, 1959. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Roxi-Film.

    Peter van Eyck
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H, Minden / Westf., no. 755. Photo: Europa / Gabriele du Vinage.

    A German Truck Driver in Hollywood


    Peter van Eyck was born Götz von Eick in Steinwehr, Germany (now Kamienny Jaz, Poland) in 1911. He was the son of an aristocratic Prussian land owner. His father intended him to embark on a military career, but Peter spent his education in Berlin, where he studied music.

    In 1931 he left Germany, living in Paris, London, Tunis, Algiers and Cuba, before settling in New York. There he became acquainted with the composer Aaron Copland, which led to a collaboration, as well as solo efforts, as composer and lyricist on a variety of songs for revue and cabaret. He also moonlighted as a pianist in bars and nightclubs.

    Around this time, he also began to work as a stage manager and arranger for Irving Berlin. He then worked for a while with Orson Welles at the Mercury Theatre company as an assistant director.

    As a truck driver Van Eyck went to Hollywood. There, he initially found radio work with the help of Billy Wilder, who he knew from Berlin. Wilder also helped him making his film debut in The Moon is Low (Irving Pichel, 1943), a downbeat drama about German troops invading Norway during WWII, based on a novel by John Steinbeck.

    Wilder also gave Van Eyck a small role as a German soldier in the World War II drama Five Graves to Cairo (Billy Wilder, 1943), starring Franchot Tone. Van Eyck had a bigger part, again as a Nazi, in the propaganda film Address Unknown (William Cameron Menzies, 1944) about two families caught up in the rise of Nazism in Germany prior to the start of World War II.

    He also played in the American propaganda drama The Impostor (Julien Duvivier, 1944) starring Jean Gabin. In 1943 Van Eyck took US citizenship and was drafted into the army as a commissioned officer.

    At the end of the war he returned to Germany as film officer for the 'Office of Military Government, United States' (OMGUS) and remained there until 1948 as director of the film section.

    In 1949 he appeared in his first German film Hallo, Fräulein!/Hello Fraulein (Rudolf Jugert, 1949), ironically cast as an American. He also appeared as an American in the comedy Königskinder/Royal Children (Helmut Käutner, 1950), with Jenny Jugo.

    Peter van Eyck, Elisabeth Müller
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1535, 1961. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: publicity still for Dr. Crippen lebt/Doctor Crippen lives (Erich Engels, 1958) with Elisabeth Müller.

    Peter van Eyck
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H, Minden / Westf., no. 2920. Photo: Bavaria / Schorcht / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Der Gläserne Turm/The Glass Tower (Harald Braun, 1957).

    Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2852. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Alfa / Prisma. Publicity still for Geheimaktion Schwarze Kapelle/The Black Chapel (Ralph Habib, 1959) with Dawn Addams.

    Typecast as a Nazi or another Unsympathetic Type


    Peter van Eyck gained international recognition with a leading role in the French-Italian thriller Le Salaire de la peur/The Wages of Fear (1953) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. When a South American oil well owned by an American company catches fire, the company hires four European daredevils (Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Folco Lulli and Van Eyck as the Dutchman Bimba) as truck drivers to traverse an impenetrable South American jungle with a deadly load of nitro-glycerine.

    In English-language films he was most often typecast as a Nazi or another unsympathetic type, such as in The Desert Fox (Henry Hathaway, 1951) a biographical film about Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (James Mason) in the later stages of World War II. This was ironic, because Van Eyck was an avowed anti-fascist.

    Other examples of this typecasting are the British war film Single-Handed/Sailor of the King (Roy Boulting, 1953) starring Jeffrey Hunter and Michael Rennie, and the American war film Attack! (Robert Aldrich, 1956) starring Jack Palance and Lee Marvin.

    Van Eyck went to appear in episodes of several US TV series including The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1955) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956).

    In France he appeared opposite Gina Lollobrigida and Jean-Claude Pascal in the drama Le Grand Jeu/Flesh and the Woman (Robert Siodmak, 1954) which was entered into the 1954 Cannes Film Festival.

    He worked with Orson Welles again at the French-Spanish-Swiss co-production Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report (Orson Welles, 1955). Like many of Welles's other films, Mr. Arkadin was heavily edited without his input.

    Another French production was the crime drama Retour de manivelle/There's Always a Price Tag (Denys de La Patellière, 1957), based on novel by James Hadley Chase. The film stars Michèle Morgan and Daniel Gélin.

    He also played the womanizing Frenchman Fribert in Das Mädchen Rosemarie/The Girl Rosemarie (Rolf Thiele, 1958) featuring Nadja Tiller, and a police inspector investigating a famous murder in Dr. Crippen lebt/Dr.Crippen lives (Erich Engels, 1958), with Elisabeth Müller. Also interesting was the crime drama Verbrechen nach Schulschluß/The Young Go Wild (Alfred Vohrer, 1959) with Christian Wolff.

    Peter van Eyck
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4779. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Grimm / Ufa.

    Peter van Eyck
    British postcard in the Picture Show Postcard Series.

    Peter van Eyck
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4815. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann / Ufa.

    Doctor Mabuse


    In Germany Peter van Eyck was a popular leading man in a wide range of films. In 1959 he appeared opposite Hardy Krüger in the West German crime film Der Rest ist Schweigen/The Rest Is Silence (Helmut Käutner, 1959), which was entered into the 9th Berlin International Film Festival.

    He starred in three Doctor Mabuse thrillers, starting with Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse/Diabolical Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1960) with Wolfgang Preiss as Dr. Mabuse.

    He also starred as an overly dedicated scientist in the Anglo-German production Ein Toter sucht seinen Mörder/The Brain (Freddie Francis, 1962) the third film version of the Curt Siodmak scare piece Donovan's Brain. When a powerful and ruthless financier dies in a plane crash, Van Eyck keeps the tycoon's brain alive in his laboratory. The brain compels Van Eyck to seek out the financier's murderer.

    Van Eyck continued to appear in international war films, including the British production Foxhole in Cairo (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1960) based upon the real-life Operation Salaam. He also was among the ensemble cast of The Longest Day (Darryl F. Zanuck, Bernhard Wicki, a.o., 1962), about D-Day, the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II.

    He had a supporting part as the East German intelligence officer Mundt in the British Cold War spy film The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Martin Ritt, 1965), starring Richard Burton and based on the novel by John le Carré.

    He also appeared in the British Western Shalako (Edward Dmytryk, 1968), starring Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot, which was filmed in Spain.

    His final film was the war film The Bridge at Remagen (John Guillermin, 1969), a highly-fictionalized version of actual events during the last months of World War II when the U.S. 9th Armored Division approached Remagen and found the Ludendorff Bridge still intact. The bridge, named for General Erich Ludendorff, is never actually mentioned by name in the film, which re-enacts the week-long battle and several artillery duels that the Americans fought before gaining a bridgehead across the Rhine for their final push into Germany.

    Van Eyck was married to the American actress Ruth Ford from 1940 till 1945. With his second wife, Inge von Voris, he had two daughters, actress Kristina van Eyck, and Claudia van Eyck. At the age of 57, Peter van Eyck died of sepsis in 1969 in Männedorf near Zürich, Switzerland, after he had left a relatively small injury untreated.


    Trailer Le Salaire de la peur/The Wages of Fear (1953). Source: Fransefilms (YouTube).


    Trailer Dr. Crippen lebt/Dr.Crippen lives (1958). Source: Arild Rafalzik (YouTube).


    Trailer Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse/Diabolical Dr. Mabuse (1960). Source: Sleaze-o-Rama (YouTube).

    Sources: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Prisma.de (German), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 06/01/14--23:00: Mistinguett
  • French actress and singer Mistinguett (1875-1956) captivated Paris with her risqué routines. She went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest paid female entertainer in the world. She appeared more than 60 times in the cinema.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard, sent by mail in 1905.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard, no. 176. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Mistinguett
    Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5108. Photo: P. Apers.

    Miss Tinguette


    Mistinguett was born as Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois in Enghien-les-Bains, France, in 1875. She was the daughter of labourer Antoine Bourgeois, and seamstress Jeannette Debrée. At an early age Jeanne aspired to be an entertainer. She began as a flower seller in a restaurant in her home town, singing popular ballads as she sold her flowers.

    When a song-writing acquaintance made up the name Miss Tinguette, Jeanne liked it. She made it her own by joining it together and eventually dropping the second S and the final E (Mistinguett). Mistinguett made her debut at the Casino de Paris in 1895, and appeared also in shows at the Folies Bergère, Moulin Rouge, and Eldorado.

    In 1908 she made her film debut in the short silent film L'empreinte ou La main rouge/The Impression or the Red Hand (Henri Burguet, 1908) for Pathé Fréres. Her co-star in this film was Max Dearly, who chose her the next year to be his partner to create La valse chaloupée (or the Apache Dance) in the Moulin Rouge.

    Between 1909 and 1915, she appeared on the stages of the Paris music halls but also in dozens of short films for Pathé, including Fleur de pavé/Her Dramatic Career (Albert Capellani, Michel Carré, 1909) with Charles Prince, Une petite femme bien douce/A Sweet Little Lady (George Denola, 1910) which she also wrote, and Le clown et le pacha/The Clown and the Pasha (Georges Monca, 1911), again with Prince.

    In Une bougie récalcitrante/A Stubborn Spark Plug (Georges Monca, 1912), she appeared for the first time opposite the much younger Maurice Chevalier. With Chevalier she would have a relationship of more than 10 years.

    The most successful film among her Pathé films was Les misérables (Albert Capelani, 1913), a four-part-serial based on the famous novel by Victor Hugo.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard, no. 67. Photo: H. Manuel. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 175. Photo: P. Apers.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard by Bleuet, no. 970. Photo Utudjian, Paris.


    French postcard. Illustration: Cabrol. Collection: Marlène Pilaete.

    Legs of 500,000 Francs


    During the First World War Mistinguett continued to appear in Pathé productions like the comedies La valse renversante/The Amazing Waltz (Georges Monca, 1914) again opposite Maurice Chevalier, and Rigadin et la jolie manucure/Rigadin and the Pretty Manicurist (Georges Monca, 1915) with Charles Prince.

    In Italy she appeared in La doppia ferita/The Double Injury (Augusto Genina, 1915). Opposite the legendary Harry Baur she starred in Chignon d'or/The Gold Chignon (André Hugon, 1916) and Fleur de Paris/Flower of Paris (André Hugon, 1916).

    In 1916 she first recorded her signature song Mon Homme. It was popularised under its English title My Man by Fanny Brice and has become a standard in the repertoire of numerous pop and jazz singers.

    In 1918, she succeeded Gaby Deslys at the Casino de Paris, and remained the undisputed star of nocturnal Paris until 1925. In 1919 her legs were insured for the then astounding amount of 500,000 francs. During a tour of the United States, she was asked by Time magazine to explain her popularity. Her answer was: "It is a kind of magnetism. I say 'Come closer' and draw them to me."

    After WWI Mistinguett's film career halted. She only appeared in a few more films, including L'île d'amour/Island of Love (Berthe Dagmar, Jean Durand, 1928) and Rigolboche (Christian-Jaque, 1936). Mistinguett's stage career prospered and lasted over fifty years.

    Her last film appearance was as herself in the Italian musical Carosello del varietà/Variety Carousel (Aldo Bonaldi, Aldo Quinti, 1955). In 1956, Mistinguett died at the age of 80. She is buried in the Cimetiere Enghien-les-Bains, Île-de-France, France.


    French postcard, no. 113. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 49. Photo: Studio Piaz.

    Mistinguett in Rigolboche
    French or Belgian postcard. Mistinguett in the sound film Rigolboche (Christian-Jaque, 1936).

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 06/02/14--23:00: Noëlle Adam
  • Beautiful Noëlle Adam (1933) was a French ballet dancer and actress. She frequently co-starred with comic genius Louis De Funès, and later with her husband, Serge Reggiani.

    Noelle Adam
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 732. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Beat Girl


    Noëlle Adam was born Huguette Noëlle Adam in La Rochelle, France in 1933. She started out as a ballerina, and has been dancing since age 8.

    In 1957, she made her film debut in the Louis de Funès comedy Comme un cheveu sur la soupe/Crazy in the Noodle (Maurice Régamey, 1957).

    The following year, she played the female lead in another Louis de Funès farce, Ni vu, ni connu/Neither Seen Nor Recognized (Yves Robert, 1958).

    In 1960, she married Sydney Chaplin. That year, she played a lead role in the British cult film Beat Girl (Edmond T. Gréville, 1960) opposite David Farrar and Christopher Lee.

    In Italy she appeared with Donald O’Connor in the fantasy Le meraviglie di Aladino/The Wonders of Aladdin (Mario Bava, Henry Levin, 1961).

    In 1962, Noëlle was cast as Jeannette, a photographer's assistant, in the musical No Strings. Richard Rodgers actually had the part largely rewritten once he had seen Noëlle. She had never sung before so he had her take singing lessons. While she was appearing in No Strings, her husband was at the same time appearing just down the street in Subways Are for Sleeping.

    Noëlle Adam
    French postcard by St. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Reggiani


    In 1968, Noëlle Adam was back in France and played the mother of Josée (Elisabeth Wiener) in La prisonnière (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1968) with Laurent Terzieff.

    She co-starred again with Louis de Funès in L’homme d’Orchestre/The One Man Band (Serge Korber, 1970).

    She played a supporting part in L'imprécateur/The Accuser (Jean Louis Bertucelli, 1977).

    For more than thirty years she was the companion of Serge Reggiani. With him, she appeared in Reggiani’s son Simon’s film De force avec d'autres/Forced to Be with Others (Simon Reggiani, 1993).

    Her last film role was in the short mystery Plus fort que tout/Stronger than any (Hugues Deniset, 1999), in which she again co-starred with Serge Reggiani.

    Reggiani and Adam eventually married in 2003, a year before his death.


    Scene from L’homme d’Orchestre/The One Man Band (Serge Korber, 1970). Source: Succubian (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.

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  • 06/03/14--23:00: Paul Meurisse
  • French actor Paul Meurisse (1912-1979) appeared in over 60 films and many stage productions. Meurisse was noted for the elegance of his acting style, and for his versatility. He was equally able to play comedic and serious dramatic roles. His screen appearances ranged from the droll and drily humorous to the menacing and disturbing. His most celebrated role was that of the sadistic and vindictive headmaster in the classic thriller Les Diaboliques/Diabolique (1955).

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 168. Photo: Star.

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 192. Photo: Star.

    Intense portrayal of a psychopathic hoodlum


    Paul Gustave Pierre Meurisse was born in Dunkirk, on the north-east coast of France, in 1912. He grew up on the island of Corsica, to where his bank manager father had been transferred when Meurisse was a small child.

    After leaving school he moved to Aix-en-Provence, where he became a solicitor's clerk. His passion was for the stage, and he obtained evening work in the chorus of music hall revues.

    In 1936, he left Aix for Paris, with a letter of recommendation signed by Huguette Duflos. Meurisse found work at once, at the Trianon first, and then at the ABC music hall in a show by realistic singer Marie Dubas. He also appeared in Pigalle nightclubs. He specialised in taking cheerful, upbeat songs and singing them in a comically downbeat, lugubrious fashion.

    In 1939, Meurisse met Edith Piaf, and the two became lovers for several months. Piaf however did not see a future for Meurisse as a singer, and encouraged him to try his hand at acting instead. They appeared together in the play Le Bel indifferent (1939), written for them by Jean Cocteau.

    Meurisse's first screen role came in Vingt-quatre heures de perm’/Twenty-four hours permit (Maurice Cloche, 1945), filmed in 1940 but not released until 1945. The comedy Ne bougez plus/Do not move (Pierre Caron, 1941) was the first of his films to be released.

    With Piaf he co-starred in the dramatic comedy Montmartre-sur-Seine (Georges Lacombe, 1941). Like most of Piaf's impulsive romances, Meurisse was soon discarded, but he managed to do quite well for himself.

    His breakthrough was as a gangster opposite Françoise Rosay in Macadam/Back Streets of Paris (Marcel Blistène, 1946). James Travers reviews at Films de France: “Meurisse's intense portrayal of a psychopathic hoodlum is arguably the best thing about this film, particularly as it captures something of the sadism and uncontrolled inner rage that Edward G. Robinson brought to his early gangster portrayals. Here Meurisse is partnered with Simone Signoret, a stunning newcomer who had yet to make her film breakthrough but who steals every scene she appears in with her barely contained sensuality and charisma, the archetypal femme fatale.”

    Thereafter his acting services were always in demand: in 1948 for example he was credited in no fewer than seven films. Meurisse played a wide range of roles, from gangsters in films like Impasse des Deux-Anges/Impasse of Two Angels (Maurice Tourneur, 1948) to policemen in Inspecteur Sergil/Inspector Sergil (Jacques Daroy, 1947) and Le Dessous des cartes/Under the Cards (André Cayatte, 1948), from comedy in the Monocle films to historical in La contessa di Castiglione/The Contessa's Secret (Georges Combret, 1954) and L'Affaire des poisons/The Poison Affair (Henri Decoin, 1955).

    The quality of the films was variable, but Meurisse's versatility meant that his performance was often considered the best part of an otherwise mediocre effort.

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 109. Photo: Star.

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by Editions E.C., Paris, no. 52. Photo: Ch. Delarue.

    Diabolique


    Paul Meurisse's most famous role was that of Michel Delasalle in the psychological thriller Les Diaboliques/Diabolique (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955). Véra Clouzot and Simone Signoret play a woman and her husband's mistress who conspire to murder the man. After the crime is committed, however, his body disappears, and a number of strange occurrences ensue. In a thoroughly unsympathetic part, Meurisse was compelling as the husband and the film, with its dark, claustrophobic atmosphere and celebrated twist ending, became a success at the box office, with 3,674,380 admissions in France. It was also widely distributed in English-speaking markets and remains the film for which Meurisse is best known.

    Other notable films in which Meurisse appeared include the mental hospital psychodrama La Tête contre les murs/Head Against the Wall (Georges Franju, 1959), the inquisitorial and oppressive Marie-Octobre/Secret Meeting (Julien Duvivier, 1959) starring Danielle Darrieux, Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe/Picnic on the Grass (Jean Renoir, 1959), and Clouzot's courtroom drama La Vérité/The Truth (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1960) with Brigitte Bardot.

    James Travers at French Films.info: “In most of his films, he had the air of a French aristocrat, impeccably dressed and carried along by an unflappable insouciance - this is exemplified by his best known role, Commandant Théobald Dromard, a.k.a. Le Monocle”.

    Meurisse played The Monocle in three Eurospy comedies: Le monocle noir/The Black Monocle (Georges Lautner, 1961), L'oeil du monocle/ The Eye of the Monocle (Georges Lautner, 1962) and Le monocle rit jaune/The Monocle's Sour Laugh (Georges Lautner, 1964).

    An important director in his later career was Jean-Pierre Melville, for whom he appeared opposite Lino Ventura in the crime thriller Le deuxième soufflé/ Second Breath (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1966) and in the resistance drama L'Armée des ombres/Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969), again to critical acclaim.

    Bruce Eder at AllMovie: “It's all a far cry from the heroics and bold statements of patriotism that one usually expects in movies on this subject, but the resulting tension results in an engrossing, often spellbinding cinematic experience across 140 minutes of screen time -- this reviewer (who never has the time for such indulgences) went back to see it three more times.”

    In this period, Meurisse also played twice opposite Alain Delon: in the comedy Doucement les basses/Easy Down There! (Jacques Deray, 1971) and in the drama Le Gitan/The Gypsy (José Giovanni, 1975).

    Additionally, Meurisse appeared in many stage productions, from Marcel Achard and Jean Anouilh to William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. In the mid-1950s he was a sociétaire of the Comédie-Française.

    Meurisse married three times, to actress Michèle Alfa (1942, divorced), Micheline Cheirel (1951, divorced) and Micheline Gary (1960 to his death). Paul Meurisse was taken ill following a performance of Mon père avait raison, a play by Sacha Guitry at the Théâtre Hébertot in Paris, and he died in 1979 in Neuilly-sur-Seine of an asthma-related heart attack. He was 66.

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by Editions Chantal, Rueil, no. 58. Photo: Vog.

    Paul Meurisse
    French postcard by La Roue Tourne, Paris.

    Sources: James Travers (French Films.info), Bruce Eder (AllMovie), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and Dutch), and IMDb.

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  • 06/04/14--23:00: Roberto Risso
  • Italian actor Roberto Risso (1925-2010) is best known as the shy and upward policeman who falls in love with Gina Lollobrigida in the comedy Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (1953).

    Roberto Risso
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 443.

    Ideal Boyfriend


    Roberto Risso was the stage name of Pietro Roberto Strub, born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925.

    While still studying architecture, he made his film debut with a brief appearance in Il leone di Amalfi/The Lion of Amalfi (Pietro Francisci, 1950), starring Vittorio Gassman.

    He got a bigger part in Domani è un altro giorno/Tomorrow is another day (Leonide Moguy, 1951), as the seducer of Anna Maria Pierangeli (Pier Angeli).

    Thanks to his looks, he had a successful career as the ideal boyfriend in lightweight and sentimental films.

    International success came with the classic romantic comedy Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953), and the sequel Pane, amore e gelosia/Bread, Love and Jealousy (Luigi Comencini, 1954).

    He played the role of Pietro Stelluti, a shy, awkward and upright carabiniere in a remote mountain village, in love with the light-hearted and bubbly Gina Lollobrigida. Both films were loved by the public and the critics alike.

    Roberto Risso
    Italian postcard in the series Divi del Cinema by Vetta Traldi, Milano, no. 74.

    Remarkable ease and credibility


    Roberto Risso continued his career with many films in which he appeared mostly as a character actor.

    Among these films are the prostitution drama Donne proibite/Angels of Darkness (Giuseppe Amato, 1954) with Linda Darnell and Valentina Cortese, and the French thriller Bonnes à tuer/One Step to Eternity (Henri Decoin, 1954) starring Corinne Calvet.

    His best film performance was probably in Una pelliccia di visone/A mink coat (Glauco Pellegrini, 1956).

    He always played with remarkable ease and credibility such as in the Italian-British WW II thriller L'affondamento della Valiant/The Valiant (Roy Ward Baker, Giorgio Captiani, 1962) opposite John Mills.

    Later, tired of the typecasting, he spent some time in film production.

    In the late 1960s he retired from the cinema. His last film was the Spaghetti Western Odia il prossimo tuo/ Hate Thy Neighbor (Ferdinando Baldi, 1968), in which he credited Robert Rice.

    That year, he was also a game contestant in the Rai TV show Domani è un altro giorno/Those on Sunday. On that occasion he declared that he had left the film industry to work in the fashion world.

    In the course of the 1970s, he reappeared in some soap operas.

    Roberto Risso died in Milan, Italy in 2010, six days before his eighty-fifth birthday. He was married to Mimma Ciurlo.

    Roberto Risso
    Italian postcard by Levibrom, Milano.

    Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.

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  • 06/05/14--23:00: Sári Fedák
  • Hungarian actress and singer Sári Fedák (1879-1955) was one of the most famous prima donnas of her time. The temperamental operetta and film star was mixed up in several scandals.

    Sári Fédak
    Hungarian postcard by NPG, no. 0123/12,1906. Photo: Strelisky, Budapest.

    Angry Crowds Stormed Her House


    Sári Fedák or Fédak Sári was born in Beregszász, Hungary (now Berehove, Ukraine) in 1879.

    She studied acting with Szidi Rákosi until 1899, and began her career the same year with the Magyar Színház theatre company. From 1900 in, she played in Pozsony (now Bratislava), and in several theatres in Budapest.

    In 1907, she was mixed up in a scandal after the suicide of the popular playwright Paul Widor. According to an article in The Los Angeles Herald, angry crowds stormed her house and threatened her with death if she fell into their hands. Fedák was the well paid star in a disastrous stage production of Widor, which had ruined him and caused his suicide.

    Sári left Hungary and conquered Berlin in 1908, Vienna in 1909, and London and Paris in 1910. When she returned to Budapest the public welcomed her back.

    In 1912, she made her film debut in the short comedy Gazdag ember kabátja/Rich man’s coat (Andor K. Kovács, 1912) based on a story by the famous Hungarian playwright and novelist Ferenc Molnár.

    The next year, she co-starred with Alfréd Deésy in Rablélek (1913), directed by Mihály Kertész who later became the famous Hollywood director Michael Curtiz.

    In Márta (Ödön Uher ifj., 1913), she co-starred with Várkonyi Mihály, who became internationally known as Victor Varconi.

    Another silent film was Három hét/Three Weeks (Márton Garas, 1917), based on a novel by Elinor Glyn.

    Following World War I, she spoke out against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In 1919, during the short run of the Hungarian Soviet Republic she agitated for joining the Red Army.

    After the fall of the Republic, Fedák fled to Vienna, but was captured and held in prison at Wiener Neustadt for a short time.

    As a supporter of the Republic, she could play in only Vienna from 1920-21. She made appearances in Berlin and Paris in 1921 and 1925. In 1923, she became a member of the Fővárosi Operettszínház theatre.

    Sári Fédak
    Hungarian postcard by KIV, Budapest. Photo: Strelisky, Budapest.

    Sári Fédak
    Hungarian postcard by S.J., Budapest. Photo: Strelisky, Budapest.

    Intimate Relationships With 42 Gentlemen


    In 1922 Sári Fedák married Ferenc Molnár, after a six-year relationship. The couple divorced in 1925 or 1926, after he reportedly had accused her of intimate relationships with 42 gentlemen, and she had replied in kind with a list of 142 ladies who were said to have received his favours.

    In 1927 there was another scandal when Fedák was sued by rival actress Vilma Banky. Fedák would have called her ‘that little lowdown Budapest cat’. Time magazine published a report of the trial including a description of Fedák’s entrance in the court room “clad in a black gown tight as a snake skin, looking perhaps half her 43 years”. The court dismissed the case.

    After the introduction of sound film, she made her come-back in the cinema with Iza néni/Miss Iza (Székely István a.k.a. Steve Sekely, 1933) opposite Pál Jávor.

    In 1934, she toured several American cities. She used her American experiences for the script of Mámi (Vaszari János a.k.a. Johann von Vásáry, 1937) in which she played the title figure, a Hungarian woman retuning from Texas.

    The success lead to other films like Az örök titok/The Eternal Secret (István György, 1938), Érik a búzakalász/The Wheat Ripens (Béla Gaál, 1939) and Bob herceg/Prince Bob (László Kalmár, 1941).

    Starting in 1940, she was the leading actress in the Új Magyar Színház theatre. In 1944, working at the Donausender radio station in Vienna, she rallied for Hungary to continue the fight in World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. For this act, she was sentenced to eight months in prison after the war, and she was banned from playing in theatres for three years. The court order broke her career: she never appeared on stage again.

    After being released from prison, she moved to Nyáregyháza, retiring from active life. Sári Fedák died in 1955 in Budapest, Hungary, aged 75, and was interred in Budapest's Farkasréti Cemetery.

    Sari Fedák
    Hungarian postcard, no. 21. Photo: Miklós Labori, Budapest. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Sári Fédak
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 323. Photo: Fayer.

    Sources: Los Angeles Herald, Magyar Színházmüveszeti Lexikon (Hungarian), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 06/06/14--23:00: René Cresté
  • René Cresté (1881-1922) was a French stage and film actor and director of the silent film era. He is best remembered as the amazingly cool title character in the crime-adventure serial Judex (1917-1918), directed by Louis Feuillade. Judex was the first superhero of the cinema.

    René Cresté, Edouard Mathé
    French postcard by Coquemer Gravures, Paris. Photo: Gaumont. Still for La nouvelle mission de Judex (Louis Feuillade, 1917-1918).

    Louis Feuillade


    René Cresté was born in Paris, France, in 1881.

    He began his acting career on the stages of Paris as a jeune premier in plays such as Claudine à Paris (Claudine in Paris) by and with Colette, Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, and Adrienne Lecouvreur by Eugene Scribe. In 1913, Alphonse Séché engaged him for his Nouveau Théâtre d’Art to play leading roles in several plays.

    Cresté was also signed to a contract to the Gaumont Film Companyin 1908. Little is known of these first film appearances as they are considered lost. For Pathé he appeared in La chatte métamorphosée en femme/The cat transformed in a woman (Michel Carré, 1910) with Carlos Avril.

    In 1912 he began appearing in a series of mystery shorts directed by Léonce Perret for Gaumont. These films included La bonne hôtesse/The good hostess (Léonce Perret, 1912) with Suzanne Grandais, Le mariage de Suzie/Suzie’s Wedding (Léonce Perret, 1912) with Suzanne Grandais, and Par l’amour/By Love (Léonce Perret, 1913) with Jean Aymé.

    At the onset of the First World War, Cresté enlisted in the French army and actively participated in the fighting. Injured and demobilized, he resumed his acting career at Gaumont studios by the end of 1915 and appeared in Son or/His Gold (Louis Feuillade, 1915) with Yvette Andréyor, Dernier amour/Last love (Léonce Perret, 1916) with Valentine Petit, and Le roi de la montagne/The King of the Mountain (Léonce Perret, 1916) with Fabienne Fabrèges.

    In 1917 he played in several films for Louis Feuillade, including Le passé de Monique/Monique (Louis Feuillade, 1917) with Edouard Mathé, Mon Oncle/My Uncle (Louis Feuillade, 1917) with Musidora, and Les petites marionnettes/The small puppets (Louis Feuillade, 1917) again opposite Edouard Mathé.

    René Cresté
    French postcard in the series Les Vedettes de l'Ecran by Editions Film, no. 112. Collection: Performing Arts / Manuel Palormina Ajona.

    Le Panthéon du cinéma


    René Cresté was then cast for his greatest role – Judex, a positive hero who steals to help the poor. The character's arch-nemesis is the callous banker Favraux, who had carelessly driven thousands of people into bankruptcy.

    In 1916, Feuillade and writer Arthur Bernède had begun to develop a surrealistic character called 'Jacques de Tremeuse' (aka Judex) - a mysterious avenger who sports a signature long dark cloak, a wide-brimmed black hat, and a fatalistic air.

    Judex (which means Justice) appears and disappears like a ghost, and would appear to have mild hypnotic powers. He is a master of disguise, and an excellent fighter. He commands the loyalty of an organization composed of circus folks and redeemed apaches. Finally, he flies a plane and has a secret lair, where he interrogates his prisoners through a ‘television’ screen - everything Judex writes on the screen on his desk appears on a similar screen on the wall of his victim's cell.

    The serial began production in 1917 and was released the same year in its first instalment to critical and public praise. Jefferey M. Anderson at Combustible Celluloid calls Judex an ‘unalloyed masterwork’: “establishing Feuillade as one of history's greatest directors. He had an uncanny knack for finding shocking beauty in simple images, such as a gate or a wall or an antique car driving down the road”.

    The character of Judex is widely recognized as one of cinema's first superheroes. René Cresté, who was already popular among female audiences, now became an immensely popular film star.

    Judex also starred Musidora as villainess Diana Monti, Édouard Mathé, Gaston Michel, the young René Poyen, and Yvette Andréyor.

    Simultaneously with the release of the serial, a novelization, signed by both Feuillade and Bernède, was released, first as a serial in Le Petit Parisien, then in a collected edition by Tallandier.

    The following year a sequel was made, La nouvelle mission de Judex/The New Mission of Judex (Louis Feuillade, 1917), which landed Cresté definitively in ‘le Panthéon du cinéma’, as Philippe Pelletier writes so beautifully at Ciné Artistes.

    René Cresté in La nouvelle mission de Judex
    French postcard by Coquemer Gravures. Photo: Gaumont. Still for La nouvelle mission de Judex (1917-1918).

    René Cresté as Judex
    French postcard by Coquemer Gravures. Photo: Gaumont. Still for La nouvelle mission de Judex (1917-1918).

    Eyes Without a Face


    Following the success of Judex, René Cresté appeared in the serials Tih Minh (Louis Feuillade, 1918), and Vendémiaire (Louis Feuillade, 1918) with Édouard Mathé and Mary Harald. Both were less successful than Judex.

    He also appeared in the films L’homme sans visage/Eyes Without a Face (Louis Feuillade, 1919) with Gina Manès, L’engrenage/The gearing (Louis Feuillade, 1919) with Geneviève Félix, and L’énigme/Enigma (Louis Feuillade, 1919) with Fernand Herrmann.

    Then Cresté founded his own film production company, Films-René-Cresté, for which he produced and directed Le château du silence/The Silent Castle (René Cresté, 1919) and L’aventure de René/René’s Adventure (René Cresté, 1921).

    His last film was Un coup de tête/A Whim (René Cresté, 1922). All his productions were ultimately unsuccessful.

    Disappointed and ruined he decided to take the management of an Parisian Cinema, the Cocorico. He also played Judex again at the stage of the Gaîté-Rochechouart.

    In 1922, René Cresté died of tuberculosis in Paris, aged 40. To support the financial needs of his widow and infirmed daughter, a charity gala was organized by friends of the Cresté family with the help of the Surrealist artists in February 1929. Three months following the event, his only daughter Renée died.

    René Cresté & Georgette de Néry in La nouvelle mission de Judex
    French postcard by Coquemer Gravures. Photo: Production Gaumont. Still for the sequel La nouvelle mission de Judex (1917-1918) with Georgette de Néry.

    René Cresté in La nouvelle mission de Judex
    French postcard. Production Gaumont. Coquemer Gravures. Still for La nouvelle mission de Judex (1917-1918).

    Sources: Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid), Philippe Pelletier (CinéArtistes), French Wold Newton Universe, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 06/07/14--23:00: Lisa Weise
  • German actress Lisa Weise (?-1952) starred in silent films of the 1910s. Most of her films were directed by Friedrich Zelnik and her film partner was often Karl Beckersachs.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.1664. Photo: Lili Baruch, Berlin.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 104/1.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.1666. Photo: Lili Baruch, Berlin.

    Film Magic


    Little is known about Lisa Weise. Unknown is for instance when and where she was born.

    According to Thomas Staedeli at Cyranos, she made her film debut in Der Graf von Luxemburg/The Count of Luxembourg (1910), but before that she must have worked in the theatre.

    She returned to the stage and in 1912 she parodied the silent film in the ‘Posse mit Gesang’ (a kind of popular musical drama) Filmzauber (Film Magic) by Walter Kollo and Willy Bredschneider, with a German libretto by Rudolf Bernauer and Rudolf Schanzer. Her co-star was the celebrated Austrian singer and later film actor, Oscar Sabo.

    Filmzauber is a farce, with a number of subplots, centring on the efforts by the idolized silent film producer-actor Adalbert Musenfett to cast himself as Napoleon in a drama set during the Battle of Leipzig. Maria Gesticulata, an Italian tragedienne, is lined up to play his love interest, the pretty Knötteritz tobacco-miller's daughter.

    An English version of the farce, The Girl on the Film, translated and adapted by James T. Tanner with additional music by Albert Szirmai, premiered in London in 1913 and was later performed in New York and elsewhere.

    In 1915, after an interruption of five years, Weise stood again for the camera and enjoyed a brief film career. Her second film was the silent drama Carl und Carla/Carl and Carla (Carl Wilhelm, 1915), with Karl Beckersachs. Weise starred as both Carl and Carla in this Decla-Bioscop AG production. Her next film was Fräulein Wildfang/Miss Wildfang (1916).

    Lisa Weise and Karl Beckersachs in Das grosse Los
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 5448. Photo: publicity still for Das grosse Los/The big prize (Friedrich Zelnik, 1917) with Karl Beckersachs.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin Wilm., no. 3976. Photo: Rembrandt, Charlottenburg.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by NPG, no. 516. Photo: Lili Baruch, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 3210. Photo: publicity still for Durchlaucht Hypochonder/Highness hypochondriac (Friedrich Zelnik, 1918). Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin Wilm., no. 5209. Photo: Nicola Perscheid.

    A Circus Girl


    Lisa Weise co-starred with Karl Beckersachs again in Ein Zirkusmädel/A circus girl (Carl Wilhelm, 1917).

    Producer of the film was Friedrich Zelnik, later known as Frederic Zelnik. Zelnik himself directed Das große Los/The big prize (Friedrich Zelnik, 1917) again with Weise and Beckersachs.

    That year Weise also starred in the title role of Klein Doortje/Little Dorrit (Friedrich Zelnik, 1917), an adaptation of Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. In the cast were also Karl Beckersachs and Grete Weixler.

    Furthermore, Lisa Weise made Edelweiß (Friedrich Zelnik, 1917), co-starring with Beckersachs and the future director Lupu Pick.

    Lisa Weise made thee more films for the Berliner Film Manufaktur in 1918. The first was Gänseliesel/Liesel of the Geese (Friedrich Zelnik, 1918).

    She played the title role in Durchlaucht Hypochonder/Highness hypochondriac (Friedrich Zelnik, 1918) with Karl Beckersachs and Curt Vespermann. The script was written by Ewald André Dupont.

    Her final film, according toIMDb was Der Liftjunge/The elevator boy (1918), of which the director is unknown. Staedeli also mentions Amalie - 45 Mark (1918).

    After that Lisa Weise retired and he vanished into obscurity. Completely forgotten by the public she died in 1952.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.1665. Photo: Lili Baruch, Berlin.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 193/2. Photo: Lise Lobe, München.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 95/2. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin / BFWMB.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 95/1. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin / NFMB.

    Lisa Weise
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 104/2.

    Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 06/08/14--23:00: Vít Olmer
  • Vít Olmer (1942) is a Czech actor, screenwriter, and director. He was the handsome, young hero in many Czechoslovakian films of the 1960s.

    Vit Olmer
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 869, 1969. Photo: publicity still for Jarní vody/Spring water (Václav Krska, 1968).

    Inquisition


    Vít Olmer was born in Prague, Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (now Czech Republic), in 1942.

    As an actor he began in the Most theatre. He made his first film appearance in the lead role of Osení/Green Corn (Václav Krska, 1961).

    The following year, he played a big part in the Sci-Fi comedy Muz z prvního století/Man from the first Century (Oldrich Lipsky, 1962).

    He had a smaller part in the historical drama Dáblova past/The Devil's Trap (Frantisek Vlácil, 1962) about the inquisition in the 16th Century.

    Then he played the lead in the lyrical fairytale Zlaté kapradí/The Golden Fern (Jiri Weiss, 1963) about a shepherd who finds a golden fern with magical powers. The seed of the fern turns into a beautiful young woman (Daniela Smutna) and they fall in love.

    The handsome Olmer next starred in the romance Vysoká zed/The High Wall (Karel Kachyna, 1964) with Radka Dulíková.

    In 1964 Olmer graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts. The following years, he appeared in such films as the war drama At' zije Republika/Long Live the Republic (Karel Kachyna, 1965), and the comic mystery Fantom Morrisvillu/ The Phantom of Morrisville (Borivoj Zeman, 1966) with Kveta Fialová.

    Vit Olmer, Raka Dulikova
    Vit Olmer and Radka Dulíková. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2568, 1966. Photo: publicity still for Vysoká zed/The High Wall (Karel Kachyna, 1964).

    The Velvet Revolution


    In 1966 Vit Olmer studied at the FAMU, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and started to write and direct his own films.

    He would make dozens of films, including the comedy drama Co je vám, doktore?/What’s up doc? (Vit Olmer, 1984), the comedy Jako jed/As Good as Poison (Vit Olmer, 1986) and Bony a klid/The Big Money (Vit Olmer, 1988), a retelling of the Bonnie-and-Clyde legend.

    In the same period he continued to star in Czech films by other directors. Among them are the romance Jarní vody/Spring water (Václav Krska, 1968) with Kveta Fialová and the French-Czech coproduction À quelques jours près/A Matter of Days (Yves Ciampi, 1969), which was framed by the student unrest in Prague and Paris during the late 1960s.

    He played a German lieutenant in the American war drama The Bridge at Remagen (John Guillermin, 1969), which was partly shot in Czechoslovakia.

    At the time of 'normalization' (the velvet revolution of 1989), Vit Olmer was a member of the Communist Party. He does not want to talk about his membership and does not intend to apologize for it.

    He continued his film career, mainly as a director.

    In 2012 he ran for the Senate as an independent candidate but did not get into the second round.

    Vit Olmer is married to actress Simona Chytrová. They have a son, Vitu. From an earlier marriage he has another son, Matěje.

    BREZKOVA, Jana & OLMER, Vit_Progress Starfoto; 2695. Photo Progress
    Jana Brejchová and Vit Olmer. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2695. Photo: Progress. Collection: Manuel Palomina Arjona / Performing Arts.

    Sources: Vojtěch ‘Joeey’ Havlík (Csfd.cz) (Czech), AllMovie, Wikipedia (Czech) and IMDb.

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  • 06/09/14--23:00: Walter Müller
  • Austrian actor Walter Müller (1911-1969) was a popular star of operettas on stage and in the cinema. In the 1940s he appeared as the funny, singing Sonny Boy of many German films and in the early 1950s he often played the friend or competitor of the real hero.

    Walter Müller
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1001. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Hurra - ein Junge/Hooray - a boy! (Ernst Marischka, Georg Jacoby, 1953).

    Buffo and Operetta Tenor


    Walter Müller was born in Prague in Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic) in 1911. He was the son of Anton and Theresia Mueller and grew up in Wien (Vienna).

    He began his artistic career in 1927 as a chorister at the Landestheater Linz (Linz State Theatre). He then worked in Bodenbach as a Choir pupil and in Bad Hall for the first time as an actor. Mueller had further engagements in Reichenberg (Liberec), Brünn (Brno), Iglau (Jihlava) and Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary).

    In Mährisch-Ostrau (Moravia-Ostrava) he performed as a Buffo and operetta tenor. In 1938 he came as a second Bass at the Volksoper in Vienna and sang in such operettas as Frau Luna (Mrs. Luna) and Der Graf von Luxemburg (The Count of Luxembourg).

    In 1939 he moved to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, and from 1940 till the barring of the Berlin theatres in 1944, he was the lead actor of many revues and operettas at the Metropol-Theater.

    After the war he played at the Wiener Bürgertheater, where he also directed occasionally.

    Since 1938 he also worked extensively for the radio.

    Walter Müller
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3712/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Berlin-Film / Foto Wesel.

    The Funny, Singing Sonny Boy


    Walter Müller appeared in the cinema from 1940 on and he always played the funny, singing Sonny Boy.

    His film début was in the comedy Herzensfreud – Herzensleid/Heartwarming - Heartaching (Hubert Marischka, 1940) with Paul Klinger.

    Very enjoyable is the musical Die Frau meiner Träume/The Woman of My Dreams (Georg Jacoby, 1944) starring Marika Rökk.

    During the first half of the 1950s, he was popular in roles as the friend or competitor of the real hero.

    His more successful films include the comedy Es schlägt 13/13 O’Clock (E.W. Emo, 1950) with Hans Moserand Theo Lingen, the musical comedy Johannes und die 13 Schönheitsköniginnen/Johannes and the 13 Beauty Queens (Alfred Stöger, 1951) with Sonja Ziemann, and Das Land des Lächelns/Land of Smiles (Hans Deppe, Erik Ode, 1952) starring Márta Eggerth and Jan Kiepura.

    He also often played the type of the comic lover, as in Hurra - ein Junge!/Hurray, it’s a boy! (Ernst Marischka, 1953) with Theo Lingen, and Hurra - die Firma hat ein Kind/Hurray, the Firm has a Child (Hans Richter, 1956).

    In the early 1960s, his film career was coming to an end. He acted mainly in operetta roles in the theatre again and in 1966 he celebrated his final success in a performance of Maske in Blau (Mask in blue) in the Theater des Westens (theater of the West) at the side of Marika Rökk.

    His last film was Spukschloß im Salzkammergut/The Haunted Castle of Salzkammergut (Hans Billian, Rolf Olsen, 1966) starring singer Udo Jürgens.

    For some time, he also ran a wine tavern-restaurant in Vienna.

    Walter Müller died in 1969 in Starnberg, Germany. Since 1937 he was married to Hedwig Jahnel and they had one daughter.

    Walter Müller
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 788. Photo: Kitt / NF. Publicity still for Einmal keine Sorgen haben/Once have no worries (Georg Marischka, 1953).

    Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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