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Articles on this Page
- 03/29/15--15:00: _Rik Battaglia (1927...
- 03/30/15--22:00: _Kally Sambucini
- 03/31/15--22:00: _Picturegoer
- 04/01/15--22:00: _Phyllis Dare
- 04/02/15--22:00: _Dalila Di Lazzaro
- 04/03/15--22:00: _De Jantjes (1934)
- 04/04/15--22:00: _Doris Abesser
- 04/05/15--22:00: _Erich Schellow
- 04/06/15--22:00: _Violetta Napierska
- 04/07/15--22:00: _Cinémagazine-Edition
- 04/08/15--22:00: _Greer Garson
- 04/09/15--22:00: _Elisabeth Wiener
- 04/10/15--22:00: _Scampolo (1958)
- 04/11/15--22:00: _Madeleine Robinson
- 04/12/15--22:00: _Bono
- 04/13/15--22:00: _Greetings from Utre...
- 04/14/15--22:00: _J.S.A.
- 04/15/15--22:00: _Greetings from Utre...
- 04/16/15--22:00: _Derrick De Marney
- 04/17/15--22:00: _Špalíček (1947)
- 03/29/15--15:00: Rik Battaglia (1927-2015)
- 03/30/15--22:00: Kally Sambucini
- 03/31/15--22:00: Picturegoer
- 04/01/15--22:00: Phyllis Dare
- 04/02/15--22:00: Dalila Di Lazzaro
- 04/03/15--22:00: De Jantjes (1934)
- 04/04/15--22:00: Doris Abesser
- 04/05/15--22:00: Erich Schellow
- 04/06/15--22:00: Violetta Napierska
- 04/07/15--22:00: Cinémagazine-Edition
- 04/08/15--22:00: Greer Garson
- 04/09/15--22:00: Elisabeth Wiener
- 04/10/15--22:00: Scampolo (1958)
- 04/11/15--22:00: Madeleine Robinson
- 04/12/15--22:00: Bono
- 04/13/15--22:00: Greetings from Utrecht, Part 1
- 04/14/15--22:00: J.S.A.
- 04/15/15--22:00: Greetings from Utrecht, Part 2
- 04/16/15--22:00: Derrick De Marney
- 04/17/15--22:00: Špalíček (1947)
On 27 March, Italian film actor Rik Battaglia (1927-2015) passed away. He made nearly 100 film appearances between 1954 and 1999. Battaglia played the bad guy in dozens of Peplums, Euro-Westerns and war films. In Germany he became notorious as ‘The Man Who Shot Winnetou.‘
German postcard, no. 9 (1-32). Photo: Rialto / Constantin. Publicity still for Winnetou - 3. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965) with Pierre Brice as Winnetou.
Looking like a million lire
Rik Battaglia was born as Caterino Bertaglia in Corbola, Italy, in 1927 (IMDb) or 1930 (Wikipedia). Battaglia never met his father and has seen his mother only rarely. He was raised by his grandmother.
At 17, he was working as a sailor on a freighter between Corfu and the Black Sea. Years later, he was discovered by director Mario Soldati when he worked as a bartender in a Milanese restaurant. Producer Carlo Ponti hired him on the spot.
In his first film, La donna del fiume/The River Girl (Mario Soldati, 1954), he played a cigarette smuggler who has a tempestuous love affair with a young Sophia Loren (Ponti’s wife) in hot pants.
Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "The first half of the film plays for laughs, while the second half evolves into a lachrymose soap opera. Through it all, Sophia Loren looks like a million lire - and she even gets to sing and dance!" The film was an obvious attempt to recapture the success of Riso Amaro/Bitter Rice (Giuseppe De Santis, 1949) with Silvana Mangano.
After the success of the film, Battaglia attended a drama school for two years. Another attempt to cash in on Riso Amaro was La risaia/The Rice Girl (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1956), in which Battaglia appeared in the same kind of role opposite another sexy beauty, Elsa Martinelli.
He played supporting parts in the Peplums (Sandal and sword epics) La Gerusalemme liberate/The Mighty Crusaders (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1958) with Francisco Rabal and Sylva Koscina, Annibale/Hannibal (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer, 1959) starring Victor Mature, and Giulio Cesare, il conquistatore delle Gallie/Caesar the Conqueror (Tanio Boccia, 1962).
In Germany he appeared as a slave merchant in the Liane-sequel Liane, die weiße Sklavin/Jungle Girl and the Slaver (Hermann Leitner, 1957) with Marion Michael, and he was seen in the Hollywood adventure Raw Wind in Eden (Richard Wilson, 1958) with Esther Williams and Jeff Chandler.
Italian postcard by Turismofoto, no. 86.
German postcard by Netter's Starverlag, Berlin.
Rik Battaglia made one of his best films with La giornata balorda/A Crazy Day (Mauro Bolognini, 1961) opposite Jean Sorel and Lea Massari. Pier Paolo Pasolini co-wrote the screenplay for this black-and-white film about the lower class of Rome, based on a novel by Alberto Moravia.
One of his biggest flops was the biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah (Robert Aldrich, 1962) with Stewart Granger and Pier Angeli. He appeared in several obscure peplums and such adventure films as Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem/Sandokan the Great (Umberto Lenzi, 1963) with bodybuilder Steve Reeves.
Battaglia moved to Germany where he played in the Karl May Westerns Old Shatterhand (Hugo Fregonese, 1964), Der Schut/The Shoot (Robert Siodmak, 1964), Der Schatz der Azteken/The Treasure of the Aztecs (Robert Siodmak, 1965), Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes/Pyramid of the Sun God (Robert Siodmak, 1965), Winnetou - 3. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965) and Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten/Winnetou and Shatterhand in the Valley of Death (Harald Reinl, 1968), all starring Lex Barker; Das Vermächtnis des Inka/Legacy of the Incas (Georg Marischka, 1965) with Guy Madison, and Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand/Thunder at the Border (Alfred Vohrer, 1966), with Pierre Brice.
He was also the co-star of Freddy Quinn in the Schlager Western Freddy und das Lied der Prärie/In the Wild West (Sobey Martin, 1964). Battaglia had a German fan base in those years. That changed abruptly when he became Winnetou’s murderer in Winnetou - 3. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965).
Spaghettiwestern.net: "Previous to the film's release, production company Rialto hinted that Winnetou would be killed in the movie, which led to spontaneous protests organized by the children's magazines. Battaglia was booed at the premiere and later confessed that people continued complaining about his vile act for years, even though several films (all presented as prequels) had been made with Brice as Winnetou in the meantime. When (director Harald) Reinl asked him again for a Winnetou movie, he allegedly answered: Only if I don't have to kill the hero!".
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden-Westf., no. 2751. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol. Publicity still for I fidanzati della morte/The betrothed of death (Romolo Marcellini, 1957).
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. T 850. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol / Ringpress / Vogelmann. Publicity still for I fidanzati della morte/The betrothed of death (Romolo Marcellini, 1957) with Margit Nünke.
Rik Battaglia returned to Italy to play in Spaghetti Westerns like Spara, Gringo, spara/Shoot, Gringo... Shoot! (Bruno Corbucci, 1968) and Black Jack (Gianfranco Baldanello, 1968).
The best of these was Sergio Leone's epic Giù la testa/Duck, You Sucker!/A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), which failed to gain any substantial recognition from the critics at the time of its premiere, especially compared to the maestro's other films. Leone only won a David di Donatello for Best Director, but the film has received a more favourable reception since then.
Keith Phibbs at AllMovie: "A fantastic opening pitting Rod Steiger's earthy bandito against a stagecoach filled with rich bigots begins the film on a fantastic note that Leone has difficulty sustaining. But what the film loses in momentum, it gains in complexity. Pairing Steiger's character with James Coburn's nearly disillusioned Irish revolutionary expands the scope of the film in ways other than the geographical. While other political spaghetti Westerns simply pitted the haves against the have-nots, Duck, You Sucker! (named after a 'popular' American catchphrase known only to Leone), attempts to portray the full scope of revolution. That the director includes chilling scenes of wholesale massacre on the part of the ruling class would seem to betray his sympathies, but he also portrays the impact of revolutionary activity on those who rebel. (...) Though it includes too many awkwardly paced passages to qualify as anyone's favourite Leone film, the film's disastrous financial performance in America granted it an undeserved obscurity. The strange (even by his own standards) score by Ennio Morricone alone makes it worth seeking out."
Battaglia then featured as Captain Smollett in Treasure Island (John Hough, 1972), one of the many film versions of the classic adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson, with Orson Welles as Long John Silver. In 1974 he appeared in the Agatha Christie adaptation Ein Unbekannter rechnet ab/Ten Little Indians (Peter Collinson, 1974) which also starred Richard Attenborough and Gert Frobe.
He also appeared in the Sergio Leone (co-)produced western Un genio, due compari, un pollo/The Genius (Damiano Damiani, 1975) starring Terence Hill. He mixed roles in such sexploitation films as Suor Emanuelle/Sister Emanuelle (Giuseppe Vari, 1977) with Laura Gemser with parts in mafia-dramas like Il prefetto di ferro/The Iron Prefect (Pasquale Squitteri, 1977) starring Giuliano Gemma and Claudia Cardinale, and an occasional spaghetti western like Mannaja/A Man Called Blade (Sergio Martino, 1977) with John Steiner.
Alternate names he used for his films were Rick Austin, Riccardo Battaglia and Rick Battaglia. His last feature film was Buck ai confini del cielo/Buck at the Edge of Heaven (Tonino Ricci, 1991) with John Savage.
In 1995, Rik Battaglia was awarded with the Scharlih, the oldest award associated with Karl May. He retired in 1999. On 27 March 2015, Battaglia died of heart failure at his home in Corbola in the province of Rovigo, Italy. He was 88.
German trailer for La donna del fiume/The River Girl (1954). Source: Arild Rafalzik (YouTube).
German trailer for Der Schut/The Shoot (1964). Source: Filmportal (YouTube).
German trailer for Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand/Thunder at the Border (1966). Source: Rialto Film (YouTube).
American trailer of Giù la testa/A Fistful of Dynamite (1971). Source: The Spaghetti Western Database (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Keith Phibbs (AllMovie), La Repubblica (Italian)Tom B. (Westerns all...Italiana), Sebastian Haselbeck (Spaghettiwestern.net), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Kally Sambucini was an Italian actress of the silent film. She was the companion of the well-known actor-director Emilio Ghione, and appeared as Za-La-Vie in his film series on the dark anti-hero Za-La-Mort. Her favourite film was Lo scaldino (Augusto Genina, 1920) based on a novel by Luigi Pirandello.
Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. Kally Sambucini's first name is misspelled here as Ely, but there was no actress Ely Sambucini.
Kally Sambucini was a pseudonym of Calliope Sambucini, who was born in Rome in 1892.
Accredited as Kally Sam and Kelly Sambucini, she was the companion of the well-known Emilio Ghione. The couple had a son, Emilio Ghione jr., who was also an actor.
From 1915 Sambucini and her husband were also a couple on screen. They starred in the film series on the dark anti-hero Za-La-Mort, which was directed by Ghione himself.
Their films include Za-la-Mort (1915), L’imboscata/The ambush (1916), Il numero 121/Number 121 (1917) with Diana D'Amore, I topi grigi/The gray mice (1918), Dollari e fracks/Dollars and fracks (1919), Il castello di bronzo/The bronze castle (1920), Quale dei due?/Which one? (1922), Un frak e un apache/A frak and an apache (1923) with Rita D'Harcourt, and Ultimissime della note/News of the night (1924).
They also made a Za-la-Mort film in Germany: Za-la-mort/Die Traum der Za-la-Vie (1924), co-starring Fern Andra.
Sambucini's role in these films was the antithesis of Ghione’s character, his fragile wife Za-la-Vie.
Emilio Ghione. Italian postcard.
Emilio Ghione as Za-la-Mort. Italian postcard by Vettori, Bologna, no. 2011.
Kally Sambucini also acted in other films directed by Ghione, such as Anime buie/Dark souls (1915) with Hesperia.
She also played the female lead opposite Ghione in Senza padre/Fatherless (shot in 1924, but released in 1927), also with Maria Carmi.
Their last film together was La casa errante/The wandering house (1925).
She also acted in a few films by other directors. When asked in an interview in the 1950s what her favourite film performance had been, Sambucini debunked her Za-la-Vie parts.
She mentioned instead Lo scaldino/The warmer (1920) by Augusto Genina, based on a novel by Luigi Pirandello. In this film she co-starred with Franz Sala.
A shabby resale of cigars and newspapers is run every night by old Papa-Re (King Daddy), played by Alfonso Cassini, heated by an old clay warmer, which falls to pieces one day. That night the old man finds in his kiosk a singer (Sambucini) from the café-concert next door with a baby. The woman goes to shoot her lover, who dumped her. She takes revenge, flees and leaves her baby with the old man. The old man and the baby warm each other.
While Emilio Ghione earlier on had mentioned that the collaboration between director Augusto Genina and Sambucini had been very difficult because of Genina's cold, rational behaviour, Denis Lotti writes in his biography of Ghione that professional jealousy might have played a part in Ghione's statement.
Luigi Pirandello was glad with Sambucini's performance in Lo scaldino. The film press also raved about this realist tragedy and its true emotions.
After Ghione's death in 1930, Sambucini acted only in one sound film, Notte di fiamme/Night of flames (Ladislao Kish, 1942).
In 1947 Emilio Ghione Junior tried to bring to the fore the characters who had brought his parents their biggest success. He starred in the film La fumeria d’oppio/The Opium Den (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1947), but the film did not have the desired success.
Kally Sambucini died in Rome in 1969. She was 77.
Emilio Ghione. Italian postcard by Fotocelere.
Sources: Denis Lotti (Emilio Ghione, l'ultimo apache - Italian), IMDb and Wikipedia (English and Italian).
Picturegoer was a British phenomenon. The London based publishing company started the production of film memorabilia in 1921 and was active till 1960. It issued over 6500 different real photograph postcards on 2000 actors and actresses, but also on singers, stage stars, pop stars and film scenes. Even more popular were the publisher's film magazines, Picturegoer Magazine and the following ones such as Film Weekly, Picture Show or Film Pictorial.
Ivor Novello. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London.
Mary Odette. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 190. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.
Madeleine Carroll. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 352a. Photo: Dorothy Wilding.
John Gielgud. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 762. Photo: Dorothy Wilding.
John Stuart. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 54e.
Picturegoer Magazine was published between January 1921 and 23 April 1960. As a fan magazine, its primary focus was on film and film stars in particular.
The magazine was published monthly until November 1925, then disappeared for a number of years, but reappeared 30 May 1931 as a weekly magazine, listing films showing at British cinemas when talkies became popular.
Eventually it became a bi-weekly movie magazine featuring the screen's biggest stars that was sold at all movie theatres. Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Anna Neagle, Laurence Olivier, Petula Clark, and Richard Burton were among the hundreds of stars who graced its front cover.
Greta Garbo. British postcard in the 'Picturegoer' Series, London, no. 2836.
Hedy Lamarr. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. W 200. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Peter Lorre. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 1033A. Photo: 20th Century Fox.
Victor McLaglen. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 208b.
Erich von Stroheim. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 20a. Photo: Fox.
In the 1920s and 1940s each Picturegoer postcard measured 3-1/2" X 5-1/2", the regular postcard size. These were real photos with glossy finish on front.
On the back of each card is a number. The lettering after some of the numbers denotes the series that the card was from.
The postcards were issued in series, the first one, which ran to over 1400 cards, did not have any kind of prefix letter. The first series was followed by Series A, Series B, etc.
Groups of several poses of the same star were sometimes published in this series and were identified with an alphabetical suffix (e.g. Greta Garbo had cards published numbered 600, 600a, 600b, 600c, 600d, 600e, 600f, 600g, 600h which depicted 9 different images of the star for example).
Subsequent series were given a prefix letter with the majority of images being in sepia tone (e.g. W for those issued in the 1940s, D for the 1950s and S for the last series issued up to 1960).
Sabu. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 1155. Photo: United Artists.
Laurence Harvey. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. D 551. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Romeo and Juliet (1954).
Anouk Aimee. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, nr. W 826. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
Adrienne Corri. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 584. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Oragnisation.
Eva Bartok. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 235. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
The art of colorizing
Picturegoer was the only publishing company which attached a special importance to the art of colorizing. There are even small series dedicated to that art, Colourgraph, Cameo, Filmpartners.
The K series was devoted to cameo portraits and the P series to film partners. The K and P series were issued in b/w and coloured versions. The coloured versions were given the prefixes KC and PC but the poses were identical to the b/w versions. T
The C series, known as the Colourgraph Series, was devoted entirely to handcoloured images. The FS Series was related exclusively to film scenes. Special sets of different cards were issued for specific films in the D & W Series.
The individual card numbers are only listed on the reverse side of each card. Also the company name can be seen there. The production took place in a gentle sepia brown and in light version. The cards have the regular postcard size.
Maurice Chevalier. British postcard in the Colourgraph series, London, no. C 64.
Mabel Poulton. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 82.
Greta Garbo. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 81.
Herbert Marshall. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 233. Photo: M.G.M.
Winifred Shotter. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 146.
Also the postcard series with names such as Colourgraph, Famous Filmpartner Cards, Film Shots (= Film Weekly) and Filmkurier Series were all produced by the Picturegoer company.
Not only postcards and magazines established a good reputation for Picturegoer. They also produced nice supplements within the magazines (film programs), annual film books or other nice memorabilia.
After World War II, Picturegoer magazine found itself competing with periodicals published by the Rank Organisation, Odeon Cinemas, and Associated British Cinemas, which replaced Picturegoer with their own magazines at their theatre kiosks. As a result, Picturegoer became more sensational in the 1950s, with covers featuring cheesecake and beefcake-style artwork.
Picturegoer eventually merged with the pop music magazine Disc Date. Shortly after the Picturegoer name was dropped and the publication concentrated solely on music. The last issue of Picturegoer was published on 23 April 23, 1960 with a cover showcasing Jackie Rae and Janette Scott.
Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper in The Constant Nymph (1933). British Real Photograph postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 121. Photo: Gaumont-British. Publicity still for The Constant Nymph (Basil Dean, 1933).
Ivor Novello and Elizabeth Allan. British postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 41. Photo: Stanborough.
Tullio Carminati and Grace Moore in One Night of Love. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 151. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for One Night of Love (Victor Schertzinger, 1934).
Jack Hulbert and Patricia Ellis in Paradise for Two. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 241. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for Paradise for Two/Gaiety Girls (Thornton Freeland, 1937).
Ralph Lynn and Winifred Shotter. British postcard in the Film Partners Series by Real Photograph, London, no. 81. Photo: British & Dominions.
This was the third post in a new series on film star postcard publishers. For earlier posts, see the links at right under the caption 'The Publishers'. Next Wednesday: France's CE or Cinemagazine Edition.
Sources: Garbo Forever, Immortal Ephemera, Wikipedia and IMDb.
English singer and actress Phyllis Dare (1890-1975) was famous for her performances in Edwardian musical comedy and other musical theatre in the first half of the 20th century. She appeared occasionally in films and was one of the leading Picture Postcard beauties of the Belle Epoque.
British postcard in the Valentine's Series. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
British postcard by H. Vertigen & Co., London, Series no. 6204. In the centre: Madge Lessing. From left under with the clock: Gabrielle Ray, Phyllis Dare, Adrienne Augarde and again Phyllis Dare.
British postcard by Tuck's in the Silverette series, no. P 318.
Leading Picture Postcard Beauties
Phyllis Dare was born Phyllis Constance Haddie Dones in Chelsea, London, in 1890. Her father, Arthur Albert Dones, was a divorce clerk, and her mother was Harriette Amelia Wheeler. Dare was the youngest of three children. Her sister, Zena, three and a half years her senior, also became a well-known musical comedy actress. They had a brother named Jack.
Phyllis first performed on stage at the age of nine, in the Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood (1899) at the Coronet Theatre in London. Her sister Zena was also cast in this production, and they both adopted the surname of Dare. Both soon became leading Picture Postcard Beauties at the turn of last century.
Phyllis appeared as Little Christina in Ib and Little Christina (1900) at the Prince of Wales's Theatre. She played Mab in the Seymour Hicks musical Bluebell in Fairyland (1901), featuring Hicks himself as Dicky and his actress wife Ellaline Terris as Bluebell.
At the age of 15, she took over the starring role of Angela in The Catch of the Season (1905). She travelled to a convent in the Belgian Ardennes to continue her studies. A rumour circulated that her sudden departure was a result of a pregnancy. In any event, she returned to London with her father in haste in 1906. On short notice she had to take over the title role of Julia Chaldicott, in Leslie Stuart's The Belle of Mayfair when American star Edna May left the cast. Just 16 years old, the role established her as a major performer in London.
In 1909, Dare created the role of Eileen Cavanagh in the hit musical The Arcadians, which played for 809 performances, and Dare stayed for the entire run. The musical marked the beginning of Dare's association with producer George Edwardes, and she went on to star in several more of his productions in the next three years, including The Girl in the Train (1910), Peggy (1911), The Quaker Girl in Paris (1911) and The Sunshine Girl (1912–13). In 1913 she joined the cast of The Dancing Mistress.
Occasionally, she appeared in films. During the 1910s, she starred in the Hepworth production The Argentine Tango and Other Dances (1913) and Dr. Wake's Patient (Fred Paul, 1916). In the first, she danced two drawing-room dances with George Grossmith: the Bunny Hug and the Spanish Tango.
Dare began to develop a relationship with the composer Paul Rubens. He had written the music for The Sunshine Girl, and they became acquainted. He would write the music for her next series of shows, including The Girl from Utah at the Adelphi (1913), Miss Hook of Holland (1914) and Tina (1915). He also dedicated his most famous song, ‘I Love the Moon’ to her. During the run of Tina, Dare became engaged to Rubens. Their engagement ended when Rubens became very ill with consumption. He died in 1917 at the age of 41.
Phyllis, Jack and Zena Dare. British postcard by Rotary Photo, no. 4494 E. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
British postcard by Rotary Photo in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 1948 T. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
British postcard by Rotary Photo in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 1875 J. Photo: Bassano. Sent by mail in 1913.
British postcard by Davidson Bros. in the Glossyphoto Series, no. 1261.
British postcard by Davidson Bros. in the Glossyphoto series, no. 1391. Sent by mail in 1908.
Moving with the time
Phyllis Dare continued to star in successful stage productions throughout the 1920s, such as in The Lady of the Rose (1922) and The Street Singer (1924). As fashions changed, she moved with the time.
Later at nearly 40, Dare turned to straight theatre plays. These included Aren't We All (1929), Words and Music (1932) and The Fugitives (1936).
She also appeared in a number of films, including the American drama The Common Law (George Archainbaud, 1923), the classic British crime film Crime on the Hill (Bernard Vorhaus, 1933), the drama Debt of Honour (Norman Walker, 1936) starring Leslie Banks, the drama Marigold (Thomas Bentley, 1938) and the comedy Gildersleeve on Broadway (Gordon Douglas, 1943).
In 1940, for the first time in over four decades, Phyllis and Zena Dare shared the stage, in a tour of Ivor Novello’s Full House. In 1941–42, she was Juliet Maddock in Other People's Houses, and in 1946 she played the Marchioness of Mereston in Lady Frederick.
In 1949, Dare opened as Marta the mistress in Ivor Novello's musical, King's Rhapsody, again with her sister Zena. Nearly eighteen months later Novello died while the play was still running, and at the end of seven more months, in October 1951, it closed. It was Dare's last theatrical endeavour.
At the age of 61, she retired to Brighton in 1951. In 1975, Phyllis Dare died in Brighton at the age of 84. Her sister Zena had died only six weeks earlier.
British postcard by in the Philco Series, no. 3178 B.
British postcard by Rotary, no. 4168 I. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield. Publicity still for the stage play The Belle of Mayfair (1906).
British postcard by Davidson Bros. in the Real Photographic Series, no. 1667.
British postcard by Rotary, no. 4369 G. Photo: publicity still for the stage pantomime Cinderella (1907).
British postcard by Rotary Photo in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 4077 N. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
Sources: Alan Courtney (Stage Beauty), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), National Portrait Gallery, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Beautiful Dalila Di Lazzaro (1953) is an Italian model, actress and writer. Between the mid-1970s and the early 1980s she appeared in notable films by such directors as Alberto Lattuada, Luigi Comencini, Dario Argento, and Jacques Deray.
Italian postcard by Playboy Edizione Italiana, no. 2. Photo: Fabrizio Livio.
Dalila Di Lazzaro was born in Udine in the Po valley in 1953. Her father Attilio was a former heavy-weight and artisan and her mother Rosalia was a seamstress. Her youth was difficult and reportedly she was raped several times, since she was only 5 years old.
At 16, she ran away from home with her fiancé Franco Cosetta. They had a child, Christian, born in 1969. She started to work as a fashion model and a few weeks later, she was already on the cover of Vogue magazine. In time, she became the subject of famous photographers such as Andy Warhol.
Soon the Italian film industry also spotted her. Credited as Dalila Di Lamar, she made her debut in the Spaghetti Western Si può fare... amigo/It Can Be Done Amigo (Maurizio Lucidi, 1972) starring Bud Spencer and Jack Palance.
She had her first female lead – now credited as Dalila Parker - in the horror film Frankenstein 80 (Mario Mancini, 1972) starring bodybuilder Gordon Mitchell as the mad doctor. Fred Beldin at AllMovie: “Frankenstein '80 is stupid, sickening, and obscene, but seekers of psychotronic cinema will have a field day with this ridiculous Italian exploitation product. Despite a repetitious pace and poor cinematography (which sometimes renders the action incomprehensible), Frankenstein '80 never gets boring and manages to outrage consistently throughout its screen time.”
Di Lazzaro was the only female cast member who was not stripped and disembowelled, but that did happen to her the next year in Flesh for Frankenstein/Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (Paul Morrissey, 1973). In this Italian-French horror film produced by Andy Warhol, Andrew Braunsberg, Louis Peraino and Carlo Ponti, Di Lazzaro played the female monster. Udo Kier portrayed Baron Frankenstein, Monique van Vooren his wife and Joe Dallessandro was the hunky stable boy Nicholas.
Carlo Ponti wanted to make star out of Di Lazzaro and she appeared next in two other Ponti productions, the comedies Il bestione/The Beast (Sergio Corbucci, 1973) with Michel Constantin and Giancarlo Giannini, and La pupa del gangster/Sex Pot (Giorgio Capitani, 1975) with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. During the shooting of this film the tabloid press went wild about the supposed rivalry between Di Lazzaro and the older Sophia Loren, who was married to Ponti.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Between the mid-1970s and the early 1980s Di Lazzaro worked in some interesting films with notable directors. Carlo Ponti helped her to get the title role in Alberto Lattuada’s comedy-drama Oh, Serafina! (1976). It was her breakthrough.
She appeared in two films by Luigi Comencini, first opposite Ugo Tognazziand Mariangela Melato in the giallo-comedy Il gatto/The Cat (Luigi Comencini, 1977), and then in the drama Voltati Eugenio/Eugenio (Luigi Comencini, 1980) with Bernard Blier. In France, she starred opposite Alain Delon in Jacques Deray’s crime film Trois hommes à abattre/Three Men to Kill (1980). It was a huge box office hit.
Another success was Dario Argento’s horror film Phenomena/Creepers (1985), starring 14-year-old Jennifer Connelly as a sleepwalker who has a bizarre telepathic bond with insects. She uses them to pursue a serial killer who is butchering young women at and around her school. Di Lazzaro played the head mistress.
In 1983 she refused the role of Domino, later played by Kim Basinger, in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner, 1983). From the mid 1980s on, she focused primarily on television. TV series with her include Aeroporto internazionale/International Airport (1985) with Aldolfo Celi, and the romantic miniseries Disperatamente Giulia/Julia Forever (Enrico Maria Salerno, 1989) with Tahnee Welch and Fabio Testi.
Her later feature films include the drama Diceria dell'untore/The Plague Sowers (Beppe Cino, 1990) with Franco Nero, and the action film Power Force (Godfrey Ho, 1991). In 1991, her 22-year-old son Christian died in a road accident. Di Lazzaro was devastated and suffered a stroke. She retired for some time from public life and from 2006 on, she wrote five books, dedicated to her son.
In 1997 she played in the drama Un bel dì vedremo/One beautiful day (Tonino Valerii, 1997) with Giuliano Gemma. Her last film appearance was in the comedy-drama L'Ultima ruota del carro/The Fifth Wheel (Giovanni Veronesi, 2013), and her most recent TV role was in the Miniseries Rodolfo Valentino - La leggenda/Rudolph Valentino – the Legend (Alessio Inturri, 2013) featuring Gabriel Garko as the silent film idol. Dalila Di Lazzaro lives with her family at the Cote d’Azur and in Milan.
Digital restoration of rare trailer for Flesh for Frankenstein/Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1973). Source: Pendulum House (YouTube).
Trailer for Trois hommes à abattre/Three Men to Kill (1980). Source: Zerone190 (YouTube).
Trailer for Phenomena/Creepers (1985). Source: Massacre SlutDoom (YouTube).
Sources: Fred Beldin (AllMovie), Celine Colassin (D’autres étoiles vilantes – French), Corriere della Sera (Italian), Wikipedia and IMDb.
The musical drama De Jantjes (Jaap Speyer, 1934) is a little pre-war Dutch gem. It was the second Dutch sound film and a huge box office hit at the time. The film was based on a popular play by Herman Bouber and one of the leads was played by his wife, character actress Aaf Bouber.
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
De Jantjes (the international title is The Tars) was based on a popular 'Jordaan play' (a play set in an old neighbourhood of Amsterdam, the Jordaan) by Herman Bouber.
The music of the songs was written by Louis Davids. The musical was performed for the first time in 1920 with Louis Davids and his wife Margie Morris in the principal parts. The musical is one of the classics of the Dutch entertainment world.
De Jantjes had already been adapted as a silent film in 1922 starring Louis Davids. In 1933 director Jaap Speyer, who had made many silent films in Germany, started to shoot a new sound version.
There was even a competition which film would be the first Dutch sound film in the cinema. The other competitor, Willem van Oranje/Willem of Orange (Jan Teunissen, 1934) won, but lost at the box office, and got the worst reviews.
De Jantjes/The Tars (Jaap Speyer, 1934) has nice camera work by Henk Alsem and Akos Farkas and a couple of classic Dutch songs. The cast is excellent including popular revue and film stars as Fien de la Mar, Cissy van Bennekom, Sylvain Poons, Heintje Davidsand her brother Louis Davids, and Aaf Bouber, the wife of the author.
The title characters are three sailors, played by Jan van Ees, Willy Castello and Johan Kaart jr., who return from the Dutch Indies to their old neighbourhood. There they meet love and labour problems.
Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam) for Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
Aaf Bouber (1885-1974), the wife of author Herman Bouber, played the central role of Aunt Piet in De Jantjes/The Tars (1934). She acted in several Dutch films from the 1910s into the 1950s.
As a child she was already loving the stage and performed at parties and markets in her hometown Hoorn. When she was sixteen she left home for Amsterdam and was engaged for the variety show Amsterdam starring Louisette and Chrétienne in grand theatre Carré.
In the following years she worked with such Dutch stage legends as Willem Hart and Louis Bouwmeester. She also acted in silent films like Fatum (Theo Frenkel sr., 1914) with Louis Bouwmeester, the fisher drama Het wrak in de Noordzee (Theo Frenkel sr., 1915) and Genie tegen geweld (Theo Frenkel sr., 1916).
Then she met Herman Bouber, director of the Plantage Theatre. He helped her to develop into an incomparable character actress in his popular folk plays like De Jantjes, Bleeke Bet and Oranje Hein all situated in the old Amsterdam neighbourhood De Jordaan.
She also played in the silent films Cirque Hollandais/Dutch Circus (Theo Frenkel Sr., 1924) starring Louis Bouwmeester, Oranje Hein/Orange Hein (Alex Benno, 1925) and Klassenstrijd/Class Struggle (Willy Mullens, 1928).
In the many performances through the years of De Jantjes, Aaf Bouber (often billed as Aaf Bouber-ten Hoope) would play all the female roles. After the surprising success of the sound film version of De Jantjes (Jaap Speyer, 1934) she would play the title character in another film based on a play by her husband, Bleeke Bet/Pale Beth (Richard Oswald, Alex Benno, 1934), which also became a big hit.
Other films of the 1930s include the fisher drama Op hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, Louis Saalborn, 1934), De Suikerfreule (Haro van Peski, 1935), another adaptation of Oranje Hein (Max Nosseck, 1936), Drie wensen/Three Wishes (Kurt Gerron, 1937), the Daddy Longlengs adaptation Vadertje Langbeen (Friedrich Zelnik a.k.a. Frederic Zelnik, 1938) and Ergens in Nederland/Somewhere in the Netherlands (Ludwig Berger, 1940). The latter film was just ready for release when the Netherlands were conquered by the Nazis, who forbade its exhibition.
During the war she was seen in 7 maal 7/Seven Times Seven (Walter Smith a.o., 1942) and De laatste dagen van een eiland/The Final Days of an Island (Ernst Winar, 1942). After the war she made one more film, the comedy Sterren stralen overal/Stars Twinkle Everywhere (Gerard Rutten, 1953).
During her long career she would also play hundreds of roles on the stage, radio and television. When Aaf Bouber was 85 she played her last role in the TV thriller Ritueel/Ritual (1970). She passed away in 1974.
Dutch postcard. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn / Hollandia Film Prod. Aaf Bouber is seen on the left with at right Marie van Westerhoven as the gossip Betje.
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes (1934).
Dutch postcard. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn / Hollandia Film Prod.
Sources: De Boubers (Dutch), Wikipedia (Dutch), and IMDb.
East-German actress Doris Abesser (1935) appeared since 1956 in several films by the DEFA and became one of the studio’s most popular stars. She worked with important directors like Frank Beyer, Heiner Carow und Kurt Maetzig. After the film Der Frühling braucht Zeit/Spring takes time (1965) was banned, the promising film career of the fresh and girly actress stalled.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1368. Photo: DEFA / Neufeld.
Cold War years
Doris Abesser was born in Berlin in 1935. During her youth she discovered her passion for acting. At 16, she took her first acting classes and trained at the Drama School of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.
In 1956, she made her stage debut at the Theater der Bergarbeiter in Senftenberg, where she worked for three years. In 1959, she moved to the Dresden State Theatre and two years later she went to play at the Volksbühne in Berlin.
During the Cold War years, she was used several times in anti-capitalist film productions of the former GDR. Her film debut was in the DEFA production Zwischenfall in Benderath/Incident in Benderath (János Veiczi, 1956) with Uwe-Jens Pape.
She appeared with Gisela May in the drama Eine alte Liebe/An old love (Frank Beyer, 1959). In Das Leben beginnt/Life Begins (Heiner Carow, 1959) she fled to the West and later came back disappointed. In Septemberliebe/September Love (Kurt Maetzig, 1960) she held her friend (Ulrich Thein) from such a flight.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1746, 1963. Photo: Thomas Klamann.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2115, 1964. Photo: Ludwig Schirmer.
The Witch of the West
In 1961, Doris Abesser was chosen as ´Filmliebling des Jahres 1961´ (Favourite Film Star of 1961) by the youth magazine Neues Leben, and she won 1961 the Erich-Weinert-Medaille (an art award of the FDJ - the official socialist youth movement of the GDR).
A success was the drama Professor Mamlock (Konrad Wolf, 1961), in which she played the Jewish Ruth Mamlock, the professor’s daughter.
Then she played in the DEFA film Der Frühling braucht Zeit/Spring takes time (1965), directed by her husband Günter Stahnke. The film investigates the causes of an industrial accident. To blame are amongst others the lack of competence and the inefficient operation of the enterprise, the distrust of non-party specialists. The socio-critical production was banned shortly after its premiere.
After this, the DEFA offered her no more lead roles in the studio’s productions. Years later, the film won two awards at the Berlin Film Festival 1990.
Abesser played in the theatre, such as at the Friedrich-Wolf-Theater in Neustrelitz, where she starred as Eliza Dolittle in the musical My Fair Lady and as the Witch of the West in The Wizzard of Oz. From 1968 to 1997 she was a member of the Metropol Theater in Berlin.
Since the 1990s, she performed in literary and musical programs on stage and on the radio. She also works for television, and guest starred in the crime series Polizeiruf 110 (1977, 1989, 1995), Tatort (2001) and SOKO Leipzig (2005). She also played the lead in the series Geschichten übern Gartenzaun/Stories over the garden fence (1982–1985).
Doris Abesser was married to the German director Günter Stahnke, but they divorced. The couple has a son, Robert (1963). Doris Abesser lives in Berlin.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1329 F, 1960. Photo: Kurt Wunsch.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2256, 1965. Photo: Schwarzer.
Sources: Ines Walk (FilmZeit.de – German), DEFA Sternstunden (German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Tall and slender Erich Schellow (1915-1995) was one of the great actors of the Berlin theatre. He also worked incidentally for the cinema.
Austrian postcard by Verlag Hubmann, Wien (Vienna), no. 361. Photo: Unionfilm, Wien. Publicity still for Drei vom Variété/Three from Variety (Kurt Neumann, 1954).
A major character actor
Erich Schellow was born in Berlin in 1915. He was the son of a merchant. During his school years, Schellow already acted extensively in school plays. After graduation, he initially wanted to study art history and philosophy, but he chose for a theatre career on the advice of the actress Lola Müthel.
From 1935 till 1937, he attended the drama school of the Preußischen Staatstheater (Prussian State Theatre) under Walter Franck, Lothar Müthel, Hermine Körner and Maria Koppenhöfer.
In 1937, he made his stage debut as Mortimer in Friedrich Schiller's Maria Stuart (Mary Stuart) at the Deutschen Volkstheater (German National Theatre) in Hamburg-Altona, where he was engaged until 1940. In 1941 he moved to the Preußischen Staatstheater in Berlin, where he remained under contract until 1945. Apart from a further short engagement in Hamburg and guest appearances in Zurich and Vienna (at the Burgtheater), Berlin would remain the centre of his artistic career.
From 1948 on, Erich Schellow was a member of the Staatlichen Schauspielbühnen (State Theatre stages) in Berlin. From the young hero roles he developed into a major character actor, who interpreted Shakespeare's Hamlet, Goethe's Faust and Mephisto and Schiller’s Don Carlos. One of his outstanding roles was George in the German premiere of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? directed by Boleslaw Barlog in 1963.
He performed mainly in the Schiller Theater and remained there until its closure in 1993. Schellow complained against the termination of the theatre, which he saw as his ‘second home’. He and his colleagues went actively in the streets to protest about this. For his contributions to the theatre, Schellow received several awards, including the Bundesverdienstkreuz (the German Order of Merit), the Berliner Kunstpreis (the Berlin Art Prize which he won twice) and the German Critics Award.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 222, 1957. Photo: Standard-film, Wien. Publicity still for Drei vom Variété/Three from Variety (Kurt Neumann, 1954) with Erich Schellow, Ingrid Andree and Franco Andrei.
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1471. Photo: Arthur Grimm.
The viewpoint of an automobile
Erich Schellow rarely took on film and television roles. He played for director Helmut Käutner in the Trummerfilm In jenen Tagen/In those days (1947). The film is an episodic recollection of life under the Third Reich, told from the viewpoint of an automobile. Each of the car's various owners is in one way or another a victim of Nazism.
He also played in Käutner’s Bildnis einer Unbekannten/Portrait of an Unknown Woman (Helmut Käutner, 1954) with Ruth Leuwerik. He costarred with French actress Etchika Choureau in the comedy Ein Mädchen aus Paris/A girl from Paris (Franz Seitz, 1954).
Schellow appeared in the social study Die Stadt ist voller Geheimnisse/This Town is Full of Secrets (Fritz Kortner, 1954) opposite Annemarie Düringer, and in the saga Hotel Adlon (Josef von Báky, 1955). He also played with the popular German film star Hans Albersin Vor Sonnenuntergang/Before Sundown (Gottfried Reinhardt 1956) which won the Golden Globe as best foreign film of the year, and with another popular film star, Heinz Rühmann, in Der Hauptmann von Köpenick/The Captain of Köpenick (Helmut Käutner, 1956).
In Der 20. Juli/The Plot to Assassinate Hitler (Falk Harnack, 1955), he was seen as a Protestant pastor. On television, Schellow slipped in the role of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes for six episodes of the series Sherlock Holmes (Paul May, 1967-1968) with Paul Edwin Roth as Dr. Watson. For this performance the Deutsche Sherlock-Holmes-Gesellschaft (German Sherlock Holmes Society) appointed him as its first honorary member in 1991.
Schellow also worked occasionally as a dubbing actor. He was the German voice for Mel Ferrer in War and Peace (King Vidor, 1955), Vittorio Gassman in La tempest/Tempest (Alberto Lattuada, 1958), Peter Cushing in Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958) and The Mummy (Terence Fisher, 1959) and Rex Harrison in Midnight Lace (David Miller, 1960).
Deeply shocked about the termination of ‘his’ Schiller theatre, Erich Schellow had a severe stroke in 1993. From then on he was paralyzed. In 1995, he died in his home town of Berlin. He was 80. He was survived by his wife Elke and their son Alexander.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. I 423. Photo: CCC-Film / Herzog-Film / Arthur Grimm. Publicity still for Hotel Adlon (Josef von Báky, 1955).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 312, 1957. Photo: Real Film. Publicity still for Der Hauptmann von Köpenick/The Captain from Köpenick (Helmut Käutner, 1956).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Film actress Violetta Napierska (?-?) appeared mainly in the German silent cinema. She co-starred with Béla Lugosi and Lee Parry in the horror film Hypnose/Hypnosis (1920) and in several other films produced and directed by Richard Eichberg.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 277.
Béla Lugosi. Hungarian postcard. Photo: Angelo, Budapest. Collection: Didier Hanson.
'Béla Lugosi’s Mistress'
There is not much known about Violetta (sometimes Violette) Napierska.
From 1919 on she appeared in German silent films like Sünden der Eltern/Sins of the Elders (Richard Eichberg, 1919) and Nonne und Tänzerin/Nun and Dancer (Richard Eichberg, 1919), both starring German star Lee Parry.
She then appeared in Die Abenteuer der Marquise von Königsmarck/The Adventures of the Marquise of Königsmarck (Emmerich Hanus, 1920) with Heinrich Schroth. For Richard Eichberg-Film she next appeared in the two-part Der Fluch der Menschheit/The Curse of Man (Richard Eichberg, 1920) starring Lee Parry and Béla Lugosi.
According to Wikipedia Napierska was Lugosi’s mistress at the time. According to a MySpace blog on Lugosi, he had only fallen in love with her and he even wrote her a poem: “One (poem) I wrote while living in Germany, working in the Budapest Theatre. I had fallen in love with a very young girl by the name of Violetta Napierska. Regretfully, nothing ever developed from our acquaintance.”
Lugosi and Napierska worked together again on the film Hypnose/Hypnosis (Richard Eichberg, 1920) and the two-parter Der Tanz auf dem Vulkan/Dance on the Volcano (Richard Eichberg, 1920), both co-starring again Lee Parry. The U.S. version of the latter film was known as Daughter of the Night. For a long time, it was considered a lost film until an archive print was discovered in its American release version in the 1990s.
The success of these films led to another cooperation of the director and his stars: Ihre Hoheit die Tänzerin/Her Highness the Dancer (Richard Eichberg, 1922). The film was banned by the German Film Review Office and it could not to be shown in the Weimar Republic. The makers appealed, but the Office considered the film ‘corruptive’ and the appeal was rejected. A shortened version was again not approved. Finally in early 1923 a version of the film, now renamed Der Leidensweg der Eva Grunwald/The Ordeal of Eva Grunwald was approved, but considered suitable for adults only.
Napierska also starred in films of director Franz Osten such as in Die Kette der Schuld/The Chain of Guilt (Franz Osten, 1921) and Der Verfluchte/The Cursed (Franz Osten, 1921). Opposite Ludwig Trautmann she appeared in Die graue Macht/The gray power (Fred Stranz, 1923). Her last German film was Der Mitternachtszug/The Midnight Train (James Bauer, 1923).
Lee Parry. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 458/1, 1919-1924 (at the backside of the card is hand written: 1920). Photo: Alex Binder.
Mario Girotti. Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano (Milan), no. 1807.
Violetta Napierska moved to France, where she appeared in Le p'tit Parigot/The Small Parisian One (René Le Somptier, 1926), a serial in six parts, which starred Georges Biscot, and was based on a story by Paul Cartoux and Henri Decoin.
After that Violetta Napierska stayed in France and retired from the film business. After the introduction of sound film she returned in supporting parts in the films La coqueluche de ces dames/The darling of These Ladies (Gabriel Rosca, 1935) with Lisette Lanvin, and Coeur de gueux/Rogue’s Heart (Jean Epstein, 1936) starring Madeleine Renaud. She also appeared in the Italian version Cuor di vagabondo/Rogue’s Heart (Jean Epstein, 1936) with Renaud and Fosco Giachetti.
In 1955 she appeared in Italy in her final film La Vena d'Oro/The gold Vein (1955, Mauro Bolognini) about an oedipal relationship between a mother (Märta Torén) and her only son. As the son appeared the then 16-year-old Mario Girotti, who would become Spaghetti Western hero Terence Hill in 1967.
Violetta Napierska retired and was soon forgotten. When or where she passed away is not known. But in the music scene her name is not forgotten. In 1997 the American band Darling Violetta took their name from the salutation used by Béla Lugosi in a poem for Violetta Napierska:
My Darling Violetta,
Slumber envelops your beautiful face
And a dream grips your soul in embrace;
I will guard you.
You are my dream every night, every day,
And regardless of where you might stay,
I will seek you.
Then, when you want to forget all the world,
And fly to my arms like a bird,
I will love you.
Videoclip of Spolied and Rotten by Darling Violetta. Source: GMiddleman (YouTube).
Sources: Béla Lugosi (MySpace), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Cinémagazine-Edition was just a small publishing company located in Paris, France. But the publisher had a good reputation and the quality of its sepia star postcards from the 1920s and early 1930s are still mesmerizing.
Rudolph Valentino. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris. Photo: James Abbe.
Betty Balfour. French postcard by Cinémagazine Edition, no. 84. Photo: Maull & Fox.
Régine Dumien. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 130.
Raquel Meller. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 165. Photo: J. Kruger.
Mistinguett. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 175. Photo: P. Apers.
Lilian Gish. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 236.
Maciste. French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 368. Bartolomeo Pagano aka Maciste in Maciste all'inferno (Guido Brignone, 1926).
Reginald Denny. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 334.
Greta Garbo. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 356.
Harry Langdon. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 360. Photo: ...nons, Los Angeles (?).
Sepia brown tone
Cinémagazine-Edition or CE was the publisher of the film magazine of the same name, that was popular all over Europe. It was a weekly magazine that existed between 1921 and 1935. Among the authors were illustrious future directors like Marcel Carné, Jean Dréville and Robert Florey. Cinémagazine brought an attractive mix of attractive films and star iconography on the one side and more in-depth information, reviews, feature articles, on the other.
Like other publishers of film magazines, CE also produced film memorabilia such as hundreds of film star postcards. Cinémagazine-Edition published film postcards of both Hollywood stars and European stars in a sepia brown tone. At the end of the production the postcards also came in a lighter version and sometimes also the colour differed.
Most of the postcards contain studio portraits, but a few series of postcards have stills from popular films, such as the Hollywood spectacle Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) and the French war drama Verdun, visions d'histoire (Léon Poirier, 1928)
All the Cinémagazine postcards were in a regular postcard format, and there were no other sizes and also no colorized merchandise.
A good identification is the company symbol, printed on each card on the lower left edge (a capital C containing a capital E). The complete name of the card collection was 'CINEMAGAZINE-EDITION, PARIS'. You can read that on the reverse side of each card, together with 'Made in France'.
The different card numbers were also on the front in the left corner. They counted from 1 (Norma Talmadge) to 1099 (Laurel and Hardy) and then from 2000 (David Newell) till 2113 (Claude Dauphin). In 1934 followed a 'Nouvelle serie' with a postcard of Marcelle Chantalas no. 1. This series contained about one hundred cards.
Most postcards were in a longish format. Some of the partners postcards were produced in a horizontal format. Most of the later postcards have a white frame around the photos.
Ramon Novarro in Ben Hur. French postcard by Cinemagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 36. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).
Suzy Vernon. French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 47.
Abel Gance. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 473. Photo: publicity still for Napoléon (Abel Gance, 1927), with Gance himself as Saint Just.
Desdemona Mazza. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 489. Sent by mail in 1928. Photo: Henry.
Renée Falconetti in La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc. French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 519.
Ivan Petrovich. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 581.
Olga Baclanova. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 620. Photo: Paramount.
Thomy Bourdelle. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 859. Photo: Paramount.
Marie Bell in La nuit est à nous. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 860.
Jeanne Helbling. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition (CE), Paris, no. 926.
This was the fourth post in a new series on film star postcard publishers. For earlier posts, see the links at right under the caption 'The Publishers'. Next Wednesday: the Dutch publisher JSA.
Source: Garbo Forever, Gallica and Cinema Players Postal Antiquities.
British-born actress Greer Garson (1904-1996) was a very popular Hollywood star during World War II. She epitomized a noble, wise and courageous wife in sleek and sentimental films, often with Walter Pidgeon as her co-star. As one of MGM's major stars of the 1940s, Garson received seven Academy Award nominations. She won the Oscar for Mrs. Miniver (1942), in which she personified the spirit and virtue of a British homemaker in wartime.
British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. W 95. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM).
British postcard in the Real Photograph series, no. 203. Photo: MGM.
Dutch postcard by Weenenk & Snel, Baarn, no. 1155. Photo: MGM.
Dutch postcard, no. 3016. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM).
Italian postcard. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM). Publicity still for The Singing Nun/Dominique (Henry Koster, 1966).
Elegant Manner and Flaming Red Hair
Greer Garson was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson in Manor Park, Essex (now Greater London), England in 1904. Garson herself always claimed that she was born in Ireland in 1908. She was the only child of clerk George Garson and his Irish wife, Nancy Sophia Greer. Her father died during an appendectomy when Greer was only two. Her mother provided a living for them by managing townhouses that her husband had owned.
From 1921 on, Greer was educated at the University of London, earning a Bachelor's degree in 1926. She had intended to become a teacher, but instead began working in a research library for an advertising agency, and appeared in local theatrical productions whenever she could.
In 1931, she could start her professional stage career at the Birmingham Repertory Company and she quit her job at the ad agency. She made her first stage appearance as an American Jewish tenement girl in Street Scene. In 1934 she appeared in the short film Inasmuch... (Alec Saville, 1934) with Donald Wolfit. That same year her London stage debut came in The Tempest.
Her role in the play The Golden Arror with Laurence Olivier proved to be her breakthrough. She was suddenly very popular throughout London and offers to headline in plays and musicals poured in. She acted in a variety of plays, ranging from Shakespeare to costume dramas, but none of them were huge hits. She also appeared on BBC television during its earliest years, most notably starring in a thirty-minute production of an excerpt of Twelfth Night (1937), with Dorothy Black.
In 1937, while performing in the play Old Music, she was discovered by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer. He was in London looking for new talent, and was entranced by her elegant manner and flaming red hair. Garson signed a seven year contract with MGM in late 1937, but did not start to work until late 1938.
When she finally made her first Hollywood film, Garson was already in her mid thirties. Goodbye Mr. Chips (Sam Wood, 1939) was based on James Hilton's short story about a beloved school master. The film was made in England and had a British cast including Robert Donat as Mr. Chips. For the role of his captivating young wife Garson received her first Oscar nomination, but lost to Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).
However, Louis B. Mayer knew he had a star and she was arriving at a great time. Both of MGM's most prestigious actresses, Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer were retiring. Greer was next cast in a fluffy comedy called Remember? (Norman Z. MacLeod, 1939) while Mayer searched for quality roles for his new leading lady.
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 167. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Publicity still for Blossoms in the Dust (Mervyn Leroy, 1941).
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 203. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (M.G.M.).
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C 208. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Blossoms in the Dust (Mervyn LeRoy, 1941) .
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 360. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Mrs. Miniver (1942) with Walter Pidgeon.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 361. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Mrs. Miniver (1942) with Helmut Dantine.
Belgian collector's card by Kwatta, Bois-D'Haine, Serie C, no. C. 170. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Random Harvest (1942).
One of the 10 Most Popular Hollywood Stars
The next year Greer Garson again received critical acclaim for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (Robert Z. Leonard, 1940) with Laurence Olivier as Darcy. She quickly became one of the 10 most popular Hollywood stars. She starred with Joan Crawford in When Ladies Meet (Robert Z. Leonard, 1941).
That same year she became a major star with the sentimental drama Blossoms in the Dust (Mervyn Leroy, 1941), which was based on the life of Edna Gladney, who founded an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas. It was filmed in Technicolor and audiences had their first chance to see Greer's gorgeous red hair. Walter Pidgeon was cast opposite her and their pairing would be repeated numerous times in the future. At AllMovie, Hal Erickson writes: “Greer Garson is dignity and integrity personified in the role of the real-life Edna Gladney.” The film brought her the first of five consecutive Best Actress Oscar nominations.
Garson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1942 for her role as a strong British wife and mother in the middle of World War II in the morale-booster Mrs. Miniver (William Wyler, 1942). Hal Erickson reviews: “As Academy Award-winning films go, Mrs. Miniver has not weathered the years all that well. This prettified, idealized view of the upper-class British home front during World War II sometimes seems over-calculated and contrived when seen today. In particular, Greer Garson's Oscar-winning performance in the title role often comes off as artificial, especially when she nobly tends her rose garden while her stalwart husband (Walter Pidgeon) participates in the evacuation at Dunkirk. However, even if the film has lost a good portion of its ability to move and inspire audiences, it is easy to see why it was so popular in 1942-and why Winston Churchill was moved to comment that its propaganda value was worth a dozen battleships. Everyone in the audience-even English audiences, closer to the events depicted in the film than American filmgoers-liked to believe that he or she was capable of behaving with as much grace under pressure as the Miniver family.”
Garson was also nominated for Madame Curie (Mervyn Leroy, 1943), Mrs. Parkington (Tay Garnett, 1944), and The Valley of Decision (Tay Garnett, 1945). Garson was partnered with Clark Gable, after his return from war service, in Adventure (Victor Fleming, 1945). The film was advertised with the catch-phrase "Gable's back and Garson's got him!" Gable argued for "He put the Arson in Garson", and she countered "She Put the Able in Gable!" Thereafter, the safer catchphrase was selected.
The war ended and the public's taste and the studio system in Hollywood began to change. Louis B. Mayer would leave MGM in a few years and Dore Schary would take his place. The elaborate expense once lavished on prestigious MGM films would be curtailed and more attention would be given to films dealing with realism and social issues. ‘Women's films’, the type of movies that Greer Garson excelled in, would no longer be a top priority.
Her downward spiral stopped with the comedy Julia Misbehaves (Jack Conway, 1948) and the hit That Forsyte Woman (Compton Bennett, 1949). The next year she reprised her role as Kay Miniver in The Miniver Story (H.C. Potter, 1950). Unfortunately it didn't fare too well, but Garson remained a prominent film star until the mid-1950s.
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 2. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 167. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Publicity still for Mrs. Parkington (Tay Garnett, 1944) with Walter Pidgeon.
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 195. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Publicity still for Desire Me (1947) with Richard Hart.
French postcard, no. 850. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM).
Dutch postcard by S.& v.H.A. Photo: M.P.E.A.
Her Seventh and Final Oscar Nomination
In 1951, Greer Garson became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Her films included The Law and the Lady (Edwin H. Knopf, 1951) and Julius Caesar (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1953) starring Marlon Brando. She made only a few films after her MGM contract expired in 1954.
She returned to the stage in late 1957 in the triumphant Auntie Mame on Broadway and earned rave reviews. She had replaced Rosalind Russell, who had gone to Hollywood to make the film version.
In 1960, Garson received her seventh and final Oscar nomination for Sunrise at Campobello (Vincent J. Donehue, 1960), in which she portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt astonishingly accurate opposite Ralph Bellamy as Franklin Roosevelt. This time she lost the Oscar to Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8 (Daniel Mann, 1960).
In The Singing Nun (Henry Koster, 1966) she played the Mother Prioress opposite Debbie Reynolds as the title character. Garson's last film was Disney's The Happiest Millionaire (Norman Tokar, 1967), but she continued to make infrequent television appearances. She narrated the children's television special The Little Drummer Boy (Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr., 1968), which went on to become a classic children's Christmas television program, broadcasted annually for many years.
Greer Garson was married three times. Her first marriage was to Edward Alec Abbot Snelson, a British civil servant who became a noted judge and expert in Indian and Pakistani affairs. The actual marriage in 1933 reportedly lasted only the honeymoon, but was not formally dissolved until 1943. Her second husband, whom she married in 1943, was Richard Ney, the 27-year-old actor who played her son in Mrs. Miniver (1942). They divorced in 1947. Garson claimed that Ney called her a ‘has-been’ and belittled her age. She also testified that he had physically abused her. Ney eventually became a respected stock-market analyst and financial consultant.
That same year, she married a millionaire Texas oilman and horse breeder, E. E. ‘Buddy’ Fogelson. In 1967, the couple retired to their ‘Forked Lightning Ranch’ in New Mexico. They purchased the U.S. Hall of Fame champion Thoroughbred Ack Ackfrom the estate of Harry F. Guggenheim in 1971, and were highly successful as breeders. They also maintained a home in Dallas, Texas, where Garson funded the Greer Garson Theater facility at Southern Methodist University. In 1975, she appeared at this theatre in The Madwoman of Challiot. It would be her final stage performance.
Garson continued to do television work, appearing in the TV series Little Women (Gordon Hessler, 1978) and The Love Boat (Richard A. Wells, 1982). In 1982, she turned down producer Aaron Spelling's offer of a part in the hit soap Dynasty (1981-1989), to play the mother of Joan Collins's Alexis. She had to give up even these performances in the early 1980s due to chronic heart problems. In 1996 Greer Garson died from heart failure in Dallas, Texas, USA, at the age of 90.
Greer Garson meets Walter Pidgeon for the first time in Blossoms in the Dust (1941). Source: Edatola (YouTube).
Scene from That Forsyte Woman (1949) with Robert Young. Source: Edatola (YouTube).
Sources: Denny Jackson (IMDb), Peter B. Flint (The New York Times), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Sensational Erotic and Psychological Thriller
Elisabeth (or Élizabeth) Wiener was born in Paris, France in 1946 as the daughter of composer Jean Wiener and film editor Suzanne De Troeye. She began her acting career at the age of 15 and also practiced classical singing and piano.
She made her film debut as Frederique in the independent comedy Dragées au poivre/Sweet and Sour (Jacques Baratier) with Guy Bedos. Soon followed L'Année du bac/Graduation Year (Maurice Delbez, José-André Lacour, 1964) with Jean Desailly. She also had a small part in the American war drama Behold a Pale Horse (Fred Zinnemann, 1964) starring Gregory Peck, which was filmed in France.
At 16 and a half she married. Two years later, she played Coralie, a young stage actress, in the TV mini-series Illusions perdues/Lost Illusions (Maurice Cazeneuve, 1966), based on a novel by Honoré de Balzac. At the time she appeared in many French TV films and series, including the popular mini-series Jacquou le Croquant/Jacquou the crunch (Stellio Lorenzi, 1969).
In the cinema she participated in the crime film Johnny Banco (Yves Allégret, 1967), a disastrous euro pudding with both funds and stars (including Horst Buchholz and Sylva Koscina) from three European countries.
More interesting was the sensational erotic and psychological thriller La Prisonnière/The Female Prisoner (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1968) in which she starred as the emotional prisoner of voyeur Laurent Terzieff. It was the last film of Henri-Georges Clouzot, the French Alfred Hitchcock.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Franco Nero. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
A Mythical War Between Goddesses
During the early 1970s, Elisabeth Wiener acted in such films as On est toujours trop bon avec les femmes/One Is Always Too Good to Women (Michel Boisrond, 1971), Le moine/The Monk (Adonis Kyrou, 1972) with Franco Nero, the comedy Trop jolies pour être honnêtes/Too Pretty to Be Honest (Richard Balducci, 1972) with Jane Birkin, and La Jeune Fille assassinée/The Assassinated Young Girl (Roger Vadim, 1974).
One of her most interesting films was Duelle/Duel (Jacques Rivette, 1976) starring Juliet Berto and Bulle Ogier. It was meant to be as the first of four different films directed by Jacques Rivette with a running sub-plot involving a mythical war between goddesses of the Sun and the Moon, but till now Rivette has made only three parts.
In Italy, Wiener appeared in Al di là del bene e del male/Beyond Good and Evil (Liliana Cavani, 1977) starring Dominique Sanda, and the comedy Bianco, rosso e Verdone/White, red and Verdone (Carlo Verdone, 1981).
Wiener participated in musical performances by Michel Polnareff and Jacques Higelin. Most notably, she collaborated on their album Champagne pour tout le monde (Champagne for everyone). She is also interested in jazz as well as in contemporary and ethnic music. She joined such alternative rock groups as Phoenix before she started a solo career. She wrote for many singers and also composed several film scores. In 1992 she founded the female band Castafiore Bazooka.
Her most recent screen appearance was in the TV series Les Misérables (Josée Dayan, 2000) starring Gérard Depardieu. Elisabeth Wiener currently works as a voice actor and dubs such American stars as Jamie Lee Curtis, Glenn Close, Mia Farrow, Meryl Streep and Lauren Holly in the popular crime series NCIS (2005-2008). And she performs and records as La Beth and with her band Castafiore Bazooka.
Original French trailer of La Prisonnière/The Female Prisoner (1968). Source: Vincent Domaslaw (YouTube).
Elisabeth Wiener sings Vie a vies (1982). Source: TchikiSteph (YouTube).
Sources: ElisabethWiener.com (French), Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.
Romy Schneider (1938-1982) was one of the most beautiful and intelligent actors of her generation. After the enormously successful Sissi trilogy she soon became nauseated by the saccharine ‘nice girl’ image. At the end of the 1950s, Romy appeared in a bit less stereotypical films such as the sunny comedy Scampolo (1958).
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3651. Photo: Ufa, Berlin. Publicity still for Scampolo (1958).
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, no. 1014, mailed in 1958. Photo: Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof.
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1040/858. Photo: Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof.
In the German production Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958), Romy starred as a young, poor orphan who lives on the Italian island Ischia. Scampolo works as a tourist guide and for a laundress (Elisabeth Flickenschildt). She falls in love with a handsome but poor architect (Paul Hubschmid) who hopes to win a design competition. Scampolo intercedes on his behalf with the minister (Viktor de Kowa) and helps him to make his dream come true.
Scampolo (translation: remnant) was loosely based on a play by Dario Niccodemi. It was not the first film adaptation. In 1917 there was already an Italian silent film directed by Giuseppe Sterni with Margot Pellegrinetti as Scampolo.
Silent film diva Carmen Boni played her also in a 1928 Italian production directed by Augusto Genina. This version has been recently rediscovered and restored by the Bologna cinematheque.
Four years later Hans Steinhoff made a sound version in Germany starring Dolly Haas, Scampolo, ein Kind der Straße/Scampolo a Child of the Streets (1932). This time Scampolo has nowhere to live in Berlin, and must sleep rough. Steinhoff also directed a French language version, Un peu d'amour/A Bit of Love (1932), starring Madeleine Ozeray.
In 1941 followed another Italian version, Scampolo (Nunzio Malasomma, 1941) with Lilia Silvi and in 1953 yet a new Italian adaptation Scampolo 53 (Girogio Bianchi, 1953) starring Maria Fiori. The 1958 version with Romy Schneiderwas the last film adaptation, till now.
Romy Schneider and Viktor de Kowa. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1108. Photo: UFA (Universum-Film Aktien-gesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof). Still from Scampolo (1958).
Romy Schneider and Paul Hubschmid. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1118. Photo: UFA (Universum-Film Aktien-gesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof). Publicity still for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958).
Talented at multiple levels
Scampolo was only the second film young idol Romy Schneider made after the hugely popular Sissi trilogy.
The cast included well-known actors as Paul Hubschmid, Georg Thomalla, Eva Maria Meineke, Franca Parisi, Elisabeth Flickenschildt, Willy Millowitsch, Walter Rilla and Viktor de Kowa, but Schneider was the heart of the film.
Marcin Kukuczka at IMDb: "Romy Schneider is great! The fact that Scampolo was filmed just after the third part of Sissi is too significant not to be skipped. Romy was considered to fit best to 'royal roles' by a number of people. Partly, thanks to Scampolo, she proved that she was talented at multiple levels."
The comedy was shot on Ischia Island in Italy with wonderful cinematography by Bruno Mondi, who had also shot the Sissi films. Mondi had already started in the silent era as a camera assistant for Fritz Lang's Der Müde Tod (1921). During World War II, he worked with director Veit Harlan on the anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süß (1940). After the war, Mondi went on working at films without any problems and shot socialist-style re-education films in the Soviet zone like Wozzeck (Georg C. Klaren, 1947) and Rotation (Wolfgang Staudte, 1949).
StateofThings at IMDb: "Bruno Mondi is a luminous example for a brilliant and inventive cameraman and a frightening example for a perfect technician, not asking for the aim of his work."
Franca Parisi. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, Rotterdam (Dutch licency holder for Universum-Film Aktien-gesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), no. 1086. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto. Publicity still for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958).
Elisabeth Flickenschildt and Romy Schneider. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958).
Paul Hubschmidt, Georg Thomalla and Romy Schneider. Dutch Postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958).
Source: James Travers (French Film Site), Filmreference.com, Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
Madeleine Robinson (1917-2004) was a French-Czech, later naturalized Swiss actress. Determinedly independent, she was known for the intensity of her performances but also for her fiery temperament off stage and screen. From 1934 on, she played in 80 films and in numerous TV productions and stage plays and became one France’s most respected actresses. Her film career included several masterpieces like Une si jolie petite plage/Riptide (1949), Dieu a besoin des hommes/God Needs Men (1950) and Orson Welles’ Le Procès/The Trial (1962).
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 109. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 208. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French postcard by EPC (Editions et Publications Cinématographiques), no. 202. Photo: Cl. Joffres.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris. no. 59. Offert par les Carbones Korès. Photo: Studio Carlet Ainé.
Strange and intriguing
Madeleine Robinson was born as Yvonne Madeleine Svoboda in Paris in 1917. Her parents, Victor and Suzanne Svoboda, were Czech immigrants, who had come very young to France. Her father was a baker and her mother a tram ticket collector. Her parents separated when she was ten years old.
Madeleine had three brothers and the family was very poor. At 14, she began to work, first as a factory worker and later as a messenger girl and as a maid in the house of an artist. She was admitted as a free listener by Charles Dullin to follow his drama classes at the Théâtre de l'Atelier. Dullin was highly regarded as the teacher of a revolutionary approach to drama eschewing realism in favour of stylisation. Fellow students included Jean Marais and Jean Vilar.
To support herself, she posed as a model for pictures and worked as an extra. She chose the pseudonym ‘Robinson’ because of her childhood memory of reading Robinson Crusoe. He was the image of a free man and her Czech birth name meant ‘freedom’. At the age of 18, she started her film career with a bit role in Tartarin de Tarascon/Tartarin of Tarascon (Raymond Bernard, 1934).
Two years later, she played a starring role as a young mother in the comedy Mioche/40 Girls and a Baby (Léonide Moguy, 1936). Conrad Veidt and Sessue Hayakawa were her co-stars in the drama Tempête sur l'Asie/Storm Over Asia (Richard Oswald, 1938). Oswald and Veidt were both exiles from Germany, and would soon leave for Hollywood.
During the German occupation of France, she made a few of her best films. Strange and intriguing is Lumière d'été/Summer Light (Jean Gremillon, 1942), written by Jacques Prévert. In an isolated mountain hotel, Robinson is a naïve young woman who has come to meet her dissolute fiancé (Pierre Brasseur), a drunken artist. Disappointed in the soullessness of this society and disillusioned by her fiancé, she is drawn to a young engineer (Georges Marchal) whose values eventually inspire her to love. The film was banned by the Vichy authorities for its allegorical attack on the decadence and corruption of the ruling classes.
Also interesting are the drama Douce/Love Story (Claude Autant-Lara, 1943) with Odette Joyeux, and the horror film Sortilèges/The Bellman (Christian-Jaque, 1945).
After the war, Robinson starred opposite Jean Marais in the historical drama Les Chouans/The Royalists (Henri Calef, 1947), an adaptation of a novel by Honoré de Balzac. DB DuMonteil at IMDb: “Marais' aristocratic style and his stunning charisma made the film a winner. He will meet two beautiful women: the first is Madame de Gua, a royalist, one of the chiefs of the chouans, these people who could not accept that their country had become a republic. She is played by a great actress, Madeleine Robinson, who gives a flawless performance: like Marais, she's able to convey subtle feelings from an intense hate to a delicate frailty. The second, Marie de Verneuil is a spy in the pay of the Republicans. Madeleine Lebeau is not exactly on a par with her two tremendous co-stars, but she makes all her scenes count.”
Another highlight was the film noir Une si jolie petite plage/Riptide (Yves Allégret, 1949) with Gérard Philippe as a fugitive at a desolate seaside resort in rainy Normandy in winter. Robinson is a dishevelled chambermaid, who vainly tries to rescue him from despair.
Also remarkable were Dieu a besoin des hommes/God Needs Men (Jean Delannoy, 1950) starring Pierre Fresnay, and the drama L'affaire Maurizius/On Trial (Julien Duvivier, 1954) in which she co-starred with Daniel Gélin and Anton Walbrook.
French postcard by Editions Votre Vedette (E.V.V.), no. 126. Photo: Discina.
French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French postcard by SERP, no. 128. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French postcard by Editions Chantal, Rueil, no. 23. Photo: C.P.L.F.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 59. Photo: Studio Carlet Ainé. Offert par les Carbones Korès.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Madeleine Robinson starred in many stage plays. Between 1954 and 1972, she performed several times the play Adorable Julia (Being Julia) by Somerset Maugham. It was also broadcasted on television. Her second big hit in the theatre was Noix de coco (Coconut) by Marcel Achard, which was filmed for television too.
She continued to appear in films, but had to wait nearly a decade for a plum role. Ronald Bergan in The Guardian: “For much of the 1950s, Robinson made films for, in her words, raisons alimentaires, but later benefited from better roles as a mature woman.”
In Claude Chabrol's study of a dysfunctional bourgeois family, A Double Tour/Web Of Passion (1959), she played the neurotic wife of an adulterous wine merchant. Not one of Chabrol's best films, but it earned Robinson the best actress award at the 1959 Venice film festival.
In 1962, she played Mrs. Grubach, the landlady of Josef K. (Anthony Perkins) in Orson Welles’ Le Procès/The Trial (1962), based on Franz Kafka’s classic novel.
On stage, she played Martha in the play Qui a peur de Virginia Woolf? (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) by Edward Albee. For her part she was rewarded with the Prize for Best Actress by the Syndicat de la critique (Union of the Critics) in 1965. This production, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, also caused a controversy, because of her problems with co-star Raymond Gérôme. He took her to court over a spat during rehearsals. She lost.
This attributed to her reputation of having a ‘bad temper’. The Telegraph: “She became a legend on the boards and on set for brooking no challenge to how she thought a part should be played. Many were the directors and colleagues with whom she fought bitterly on such matters.”
Vittorio De Sicadirected her in the film Un monde nouveau/A New World (1966) with Nino Castelnuovo. In the theatre, she played leading roles in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage.
In 1977, she played Aunt Leo in Parents Terribles (Terrible parents) by Jean Cocteau, in which Jean Marais was her partner and director.
Two years later she appeared in the Spanish film Siete días de enero/Seven Days in January (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1979) about the 1977 Massacre of Atocha. It was entered into the 11th Moscow International Film Festival where it won the Golden Prize.
Very successful was the biopic Camille Claudel (Bruno Nuytten, 1988) in which she played the narrow-minded mother of schizophrenic sculptor Camille Claudel (Isabelle Adjani). Her last screen appearance was in the TV-film L'Enfant en héritage/A Child's Inheritance (Josée Dayan, 1992).
In 2001, she received a honorary Molière award for lifetime achievement. She was married to actor Robert Dalban with whom she had a son, Jean-François (1941), to Guillaume Amestoy and ahe lived with Spanish actor-writer Jose Luis de Villalonga. From her relationship with the singer Jean-Louis Jaubert of the group Compagnons de la chanson, she had a daughter, Sophie-Julia (1955-1993).
For years, Madeleine Robinson lived in retirement in Montreux in Switzerland. She was garlanded with many awards including the Legion of Honour, the National Order of Merit, and Commander of Arts and Letters. Her companion was a poodle which she had named Vendredi (Friday). At the age of 86, she died in 2004 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
French postcard Ind. Cinematogr, no. 41.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. 187. Photo: Allianz-Film.
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris.
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1504. Photo: Franco London Film, Paris / Prisma. Publicity still for L'affaire Maurizius/On Trial (Julien Duvivier, 1954).
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 195. Photo: Sam Lévin.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1133. Photo: DEFA-Pathenheimer. Publicity still for the film Les arrivistes/Trübe Wasser/The Opportunists (Louis Daquin, 1960).
Sources: Ronald Bergan (The Guardian), The Telegraph, AllMovie, Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.
Bono is the stage name of Irish singer-songwriter and musician Paul David Hewson (1960), front man of the Dublin-based rock band U2. With or without U2, he also appeared in several feature films and documentaries.
British postcard by New Line, no. 46. Photo: Transworld B.V. Entertainment.
A surrealist street gang
Bono was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1960. He was also raised there. Bono was 14 when his mother died in 1974 after suffering a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral. Many U2 songs, including I Will Follow, focus on the loss of his mother.
Bono and his friends were part of a surrealist street gang called ‘Lypton Village’. The gang had a ritual of nickname-giving and Bono had several names, including ‘Bono Vox of O'Connell Street’. ‘Bono Vox’ is an alteration of Bonavox, Latin for ‘good voice’. It is said he was nicknamed ‘Bono Vox’ by his friend Gavin Friday.
He attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School, where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, and the future members of U2. In 1976, Bono, David Evans (‘The Edge’), his brother Dik and Adam Clayton responded to an advertisement on a bulletin board at Mount Temple posted by fellow student Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band.
The band had occasional jam sessions in which they did covers of other bands. Unfortunately the band could not play covers very well, so they started writing their own songs. The band went by the name Feedback for a few months, before changing to The Hype later on. After Dik Evans left the group to join another local band, the Virgin Prunes, the remaining four officially changed the name from The Hype to U2.
Initially Bono sang, played guitar and wrote the band's songs. When The Edge's guitar playing improved, Bono was relegated mostly to the microphone, although he occasionally still plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. During the band's early years, Bono was known for his rebellious tone which turned to political anger and rage during the band's War, The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum eras. Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, frequently using religious, social, and political themes.
U2's sound and focus dramatically changed with their 1991 album, Achtung Baby. Bono's lyrics became more personal, inspired by experiences related to the private lives of the members of the band. Outside U2, Bono has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists, including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Zucchero. Bono and The Edge also wrote the music and lyrics for the ill-fated Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011), directed by Julie Taymor.
French postcard, Ref 537.
French postcard by Editions RRV, no. C 45.
Besides his videos for U2, Bono also appeared in several films. In 1988, U2 made the Rockumentary Rattle and Hum (Phil Joanou, 1988), about their North American tour of the year before. Fresh with their success of their best selling album, The Joshua Tree, U2 plays monster gigs. Along the way, the band takes the opportunity in indulge in some special musical activities like playing with BB King and performing ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’ with a church choir.
Director Phil Joanou made Entropy (1999), starring Stephen Dorff and featuring U2. The film is largely autobiographical, covering Joanou’s early film career, his relationships and his pet cat.
Bono worked regularly with German director Wim Wenders. He contributed songs to the soundtracks of the futurist road movie Until the End of the World (Wim Wenders, 1991), and the Wings of Desire (1987) sequel Faraway, So Close! (Wim Wenders, 1993). Bono wrote the concept story for The Million Dollar Hotel (Wim Wenders, 2000), starring Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, and Mel Gibson. The film, which Bono also co-produced, features music by U2 and Bono did a cameo appearance. The Million Dollar Hotel won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000, but was a box office flop.
Bono also had a cameo appearance in Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007), centred on songs by The Beatles. In 2011 followed the documentary From the Sky Down (David Guggenheim, 2011) about the production of U2’s 1991 album Achtung Baby.
Bono is also managing director and a managing partner of Elevation Partners, and has refurbished and owns the Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge. Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa. He has organized and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians. Bono took part in Bob Geldof's Do They Know It's Christmas (1984) project to combat famine in Africa, and the anti-South African apartheid documentary Sun City - Artists United Against Apartheid (1985).
Bono has been praised and criticized for his activism and involvement with U2. He was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and, with Bill and Melinda Gates, was named Time Person of the Year in 2005, among other awards and nominations. In 2013, Bono was made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). U2 has won 22 Grammy Awards to date and Bono is the only person, who has been nominated for an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and for the Nobel Prize.
Since 1982, Bono is married to Alison (Ali) Stewart and they have four children, including actress Eve Hewson.
French postcard by Editions Damilla, Paris, no. 94983. Photo: Tom Sheehan.
British postcard by Holmes McDougall Ltd, Edinburgh, no. PC 226. Photo: Minerva, 1988.
Trailer Rattle and Hum (1988). Source: Paramount Movies (YouTube).
Trailer The Million Dollar Hotel (2000). Source: Exclusive Media (YouTube).
Sources: Lucia Bozzola (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
This weekend we visited the International Collectors Fair in Utrecht. It was fun! In three posts we will share 36 of our new acquisitions.
Italian postcard, no. 100/111.
Stunning Swiss sex symbol, starlet and jet-setter Ursula Andress (1936) will always be remembered as the first and quintessential Bond girl. In Dr. No (1962) she made film history when she spectacularly rises out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini. Though she won a Golden Globe Ursula's looks generally outweighed her acting talent and she never took her film career very seriously.
French card. Photo: René Mansat. Publicity still for Zazie dans le métro/Zazie in the Metro (1960).
Catherine Demongeot (1950) made her film debut in the lead role of Zazie dans le metro/Zazie in the Metro (Louis Malle, 1960), based on the novel by Raymond Queneau. She only made two more films. Later on, Demongeot went on to become a teacher.
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 62. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Paris.
Édith Piaf (1915–1963) is a cultural icon and is universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her ballads, like La Vie en rose (1946) and Non, je ne regrette rien (1960), reflected her life. She appeared sporadically in films.
French postcard by Publications J.P., Paris, no. 311. Illustration: Cabrol.
Gabriel Signoret aka Signoret (1878-1937) was a French actor and director who played in some 85 films, mostly silent ones. Raoul Cabrol (1895–1956) was a French caricaturist.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris. Photo: Star, Paris.
For French baby boomers, Régisseur Albert is a radio hero from their youth. The radio show he appeared in was called Silence... Antenne , broadcast on Monday evenings at Radio-Inter. Régisseur Albert was played by Pierre Lemaire, who also appeared in some films as Pierre Cour.
French postcard by F.A., no. 9. Photo: H. Manuel.
French actor, dramatist and director Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) was known for his stage performances, often in the more than 120 plays he wrote. Guitry's plays range from historical dramas to contemporary light comedies. From the 1930s to the end of his life he enthusiastically embraced the cinema, making as many as five films in a single year. After his death, 12,000 people filed past his coffin before his burial in Paris. On 18 May, there will be a special post on Sacha Guitry at EFSP.
French promotion postcard for Clacquesin, Extrait de Pins. Caption: "For your pleasure, for your health, drink Clacquesin every season. The healthiest Appetizer."
French actor and singer Albert Préjean (1894-1979) was a former WWI flying ace. He is best known for playing heroes in the silent films of René Clair, and for playing George Simenon's detective Maigret.
Anna Pavlovna (1881–1931) was a Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. She was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev. Pavlova is most recognized for the creation of the role The Dying Swan and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 428.
Patachon a.k.a. Harald Madsen (1890-1949) became very popular in the 1920’s as the short half of Danish double-act Fy og Bi (Fyrtårnet og Bivognen or Pat & Patachon). With long Carl Schenstrom, he formed the most famous comedy couple of the European silent cinema. In Europe, their short slapstick films were as popular as the Laurel & Hardy comedies.
French postcard by Tobis. Photo: Les productions J.N. Ermolieff. Publicity still for Michel Strogoff (Jacques de Baroncelli, Richard Eichberg, 1936).
Armand Bernard (1893-1968) was a French actor, composer and band leader. With his heavy diction and his air of dignity he brought a comical note to many French comedies.
French collectors card by Massilia.
French actor and war hero Jean Gabin (1904-1976) was one of the great stars of the European cinema. In the 1930s he became the personification of the tragic romantic hero of the poetic realist film. Whether he played a legionnaire in Gueule d'amour , a deserter in Le Quai des brumes or the head gangster in Pépé le Moko, Gabin was impeccable, bringing a tragic humanity to each of his appearances which the public adored. After the war Gabin was reborn as a tough anti-hero, set in his beliefs, feared and respected by all, the Godfather of French cinema.
Spanish postcard, no. 11.
American actress Raquel Welch (1940) is one of the icons of the 1960s and 1970s. She first won attention for her role in Fantastic Voyage (1966). In Great Britain, she then made One Million Years B.C. (1966). Although she had only three lines in the film, a poster of Welch in a furry prehistoric bikini became an amazing bestseller and catapulted her to stardom.
Next thursday, 12 more postcards we found at the International Collectors Fair in Utrecht.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the Dutch publisher J.S.A. published dozens of film star postcards. J.S.A. was an abbreviation of J. Sleding, Amsterdam.
Hedy Lamarr. Dutch postcard by J. Sleding N.V., Amsterdam, no. S 63. Photo: MGM.
Danielle Darrieux. Dutch postcard by J.S.A. (J. Sleding, Amsterdam), no. 640/516. Photo: Lumina Film.
Ingrid Bergman. Dutch postcard by J. Sleding N.V., Amsterdam, no. 102/1250.
Although one can find easily hundreds of postcards of J.S.A. on the web, factual information about the publisher is harder to find. I did a bit of research on the Dutch newspaper database Delfer.
The first mention of J.S.A. was in 1934, when J. Sleding became a limited liability company (in Dutch: NV). The company was located at the time in the Herenstraat, in the heart of old Amsterdam. Sleding was named in the newspaper announcement 'a publisher of postcards en gros (wholesale).'
In 1934, J.S.A. must have existed for some time because there are many older topographical postcards of the publisher. I guess they started at the end of the 19th century. Many of their cards on the net date around 1905-1915, like thesepostcards at the database of the VVAB.
There are also postcards of film stars of around 1930, like the postcards below of Elga Brink and Renate Müller. These cards all have a white frame, like the Ross postcards from Germany.
Most of the film stars, who were portrayed at the J.S.A. cards of the early 1930s were German stars. Later postcards feature American actors and British actors who worked the big Hollywood studios.
Elga Brink. Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 106. Photo: Cicero-Film.
Joan Crawford. Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 206. Photo: MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).
Hans Albers. Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 221. Photo: Sascha / Eichberg Film.
Renate Müller. Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 247. Photo: Lux-Film Verleih. Still from Die Privatsekretärin/Private Secretary (Wilhelm Thiele, 1931).
Lien Deyers. Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 131. Photo: Lux Film Verleih. Collection: Egbert Barten.
After World War II, Hollywood films were distributed in the Netherlands by the M.P.E.A. (Motion Picture Export Association). The postcards below were all from this period, the late 1940s. J.S.A. probably stopped publishing film star postcards in the 1950s and focused on topographical subjects.
In 1989 J.S.A. was still located in Amsterdam, now on the Herengracht, one of the major canals of the city. Director was Frans Seegers, who was interviewed by the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
Frans Seegers: "We are mainly engaged in the field of cityscapes. The canals and facades of Amsterdam are much in demand. In addition, the fun cards are also popular, such as those of the poezenboot (the cats boat). Another bestseller is a postcard with a lot of bikes, accompanied by the text 'Greetings from Amsterdam'."
Like many other postcard publishers, J.S.A. does not exist anymore. The company sold its archive around 2000.
Sonja Henie. Dutch Postcard by J.S.A. Photo: Columbia F.B. / M.P.E.
Patricia Roc. Dutch postcard by J.S.A. Photo: Universal / M.P.E.
Merle Oberon. Dutch postcard by J.S.A.. Photo: Universal / M.P.E.
Robert Donat. Dutch postcard by J.S.A. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Simone Simon. Dutch postcard by J.S.A. Photo: Century Fox / M.P.E.
Marie McDonald. Dutch postcard by J.S.A. Photo: Columbia.
This was the fifth post in a new series on film star postcard publishers. Next week: the German company Krüger. For earlier posts, see the links at right under the caption 'The Publishers'.
Sources: Delpher (Dutch) and VVAB (Dutch).
Last weekend we visited the International Collectors Fair in Utrecht. It was fun! In three posts we share our new acquisitions. Today, part 2.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 396. Photo: publicity still for The Merry Widow (Erich Von Stroheim, 1925).
American character actor Roy d'Arcy (1894-1969) played his most famous role as the villainous, arrogant Prince Mirko in Erich Von Stroheim’s classic The Merry Widow (1925), starring Mae Murray and John Gilbert. Because of the success of that film, D'Arcy was thrown into several other productions as the head villain, but also in several comedies.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 71. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
British actress Edna Best (1900–1974) was known on the London stage before she entered films in 1921. She is best remembered for her role as the mother in the original 1934 film version of Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. Among her other film credits are Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), Swiss Family Robinson (1940), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) and The Iron Curtain (1948).
British postcard by the Picturegoer Series, London, no. B.8. Photo: Warner.
The career of English stage and film actor Claude Rains (1889-1967) spanned 47 years. In Hollywood he was a supporting actor who achieved A-list stardom. With his smooth distinguished voice he could portray a wide variety of roles, ranging from villains to sympathetic gentlemen. He is best known as the title figure in The Invisible Man (1933), as wicked Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), as a corrupt senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, of course, as Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942).
German postcard by NPG, no. 405. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.
German actress Ida Wüst (1884-1956) was a popular Ufa star in the 1920s and 1930s. She appeared in almost 150 films.
German postcard by NPG, no. 890. Photo: Anny Eberth, Berlin.
Between 1914 and 1922, actress Maria Widal played in the European silent cinema. She started her career as Luzzy Werne (or Werren) in 18 Danish films. From 1916 on, she appeared in the German cinema, where most of her films were directed by Urban Gad.
French postcard by Ed. Chantal, Rueil, Paris, no. 57. Photo: C.P.L.F.
French actress Marie Déa (1912-1992) became famous through two classics of the French cinema, Marcel Carné 's Les Visiteurs du Soir/The Devil's Envoys (1942) and Jean Cocteau's Orphée/Orpheus (1950).
French postcard. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères. Caption: "A midi la vie en rose dans un verre de Campari."
Maud Loty aka Maud Loti and 'La Maud' (1894-1976), was a popular French vaudeville actress of the 1920s and 1930s, who was also active in silent cinema during the 1910s.
French postcard by Europe, no. 538. Photo: Riccoli Film.
Hans Stüwe (1901-1976) was a German singer and opera director. From 1926 on he was also a big film star in Germany. Four times he was the film partner of Ufa diva Zarah Leander.
British card by British Lion Films. Publicity still for Brothers in Law (Roy Boulting, 1957).
Unassuming, innocent-eyed and always ingratiating Ian Carmichael (1920-2010) was quite the popular chap in British comedies of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the comedy Brothers in Law, he starred as a nervous fledgling barrister who brings laughter to the court.
Italian postcard by A.G.F. Sent by mail in 1919.
Italian actress Maria Melato (1885-1950) appeared in the theatre, on radio and in the cinema. Her films included Ritorno/Return (1914), Anna Karenina (1917) and Il volo degli aironi/The flight of the herons (1920). Unfortunately, all her films are considered lost.
German postcard by NPG, no. 1419. Photo: Zander & Labisch, Berlin.
Senta Söneland (1882-1933) was a German actress whose peaks in her film career were in the later 1910s and the early 1930s.
German promotion card, no. 5/60. Photo: CBS.
The Geschwister Jacob (Jacob Sisters) is an incomparable German pop trio. The group was originally a quartet and was composed of the siblings Johanna (1939), Rosi (1941), Eva (1943) and Hannelore Jacob (1944-2008). After Hannelore Jacobs death, but also occasionally in earlier times, the group appeared as a trio. The small, blonde and jolly sisters with their white poodles are always fun, but as senior Heidis or as hamsters on speed they are hilarious.
Next Sunday, the third and final post on our new postcards.
Derrick De Marney (1906–1978) was a handsome and versatile English stage and film actor. Today, he is best known for his starring role as Robert Tisdall, wrongly accused of murder in Alfred Hitchcock's Young and Innocent (1937).
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 1193. Photo: Gaumont British.
British handcoloured postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. PC 236. Photo: Gaumont British. Publicity still for Young and Innocent/The Girl Was Young (Alfred Hitchcock, 1937) with Nova Pilbeam.
Derrick De Marney was born in London, England, in 1906. He was the son of Violet Eileen Concanen and Arthur De Marney, and the grandson of noted Victorian lithographer Alfred Concanen.
Derrick appeared in repertory theatre from 1922 and hit the London stage four years later. In 1928, he made his film debut in the silent comedy Two Little Drummer Boys (G.B. Samuelson, 1928), co-starring with Georgie Wood and Alma Taylor. His debut was followed by roles in silent films like The Forger (G.B. Samuelson, 1928) starring Nigel Barrie and based on a novel Edgar Wallace.
His performance of ‘Young Mr Disraeli’ at the Kingsway and Piccadilly theatres brought him an offer of a long term film contract from Alexander Korda. For Korda’s Denham Studios, he appeared in the adventure film The Scarlet Pimpernel (Harold Young, 1934) starring Leslie Howard as the effete aristocrat who leads a double life, and the Science Fiction film Things to Come (William Cameron Menzies, 1936).
De Marney is perhaps best known for his starring role as Robert Tisdall, wrongly accused of murder in Alfred Hitchcock's Young and Innocent/The Girl Was Young (1937) with Nova Pilbeam. After Young and Innocent, he alternated between leading roles and supporting parts in films.
Other early film roles include Benjamin Disraeli (the role he had played on stage in Young Mr. Disraeli) in the successful historical film Victoria the Great (Herbert Wilcox, 1937), and its sequel, Sixty Glorious Years (Herbert Wilcox, 1938), both starring Anna Neagle as Queen Victoria.
The Gentle Sex
In 1941, Derrick de Marney formed with his brother, the actor Terence De Marney, Concanen Productions (named for their mother). They produced a number of wartime documentaries on the Polish Air Force, including The White Eagle (1942) and Diary of a Polish Airman (Eugeniusz Cekalski, 1942), as well as Leslie Howard's feature film The Gentle Sex (1943).
The Gentle Sex tells about the experiences of seven new recruits (played by a.o.Joan Greenwood, Rosamund John and Lili Palmer) to the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) as they undergo basic training and receive their first assignments. Derrick himself directed the documentary shorts Malta G.C. (1942) and London Scrapbook (1942).
After the war, he played memorable title role in Uncle Silas/The Inheritance (Charles Frank, 1947), based on the Victorian Gothic mystery-thriller novel by the Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. De Marney played a sinister old fortune hunter plotting against a young woman played by Jean Simmons.
De Marney also produced and starred in the thrillers Latin Quarter (Vernon Sewell, 1945), No Way Back (Stefan Osiecki, 1949), which he also wrote, and which starred his brother Terence, She Shall Have Murder (Daniel Birt, 1950) featuring Rosamund John, and Meet Mr. Callaghan (Charles Saunders, 1954) starring as Peter Cheyney's hard-boiled detective Slim Callaghan, a role he had created on stage in 1952.
Later, he tended to concentrate on the theatre, only taking small roles in film and television. He continued to maintain diverse interests, De Marney even promoted a troupe of Javanese dancers he brought to Britain in the 1940s and 1950s.
His last role was in the horror film The Projected Man (Ian Curteis, 1966) starring Mary Peach. Derrick De Marney had a home in Kensington in London, but he was taken ill while staying with friends at Farnham in Surrey. He died of bronchopneumonia and asthma at the nearby Frimley Park Hospital in 1978. He was 71.
Scene from Young and Innocent/The Girl Was Young (Alfred Hitchcock, 1937). Source: brukkala's channel (YouTube).
Source: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), BritMovie, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Puppet animation is a traditional Czech art form, of which Jiří Trnka (1912-1969) was the undisputed master. In 1947, Trnka made his first feature, the puppet film Špalíček/The Czech Year. It was a defining moment for Trnka as he won several international awards across Europe in the next three years.
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-1. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-3. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-4. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-5. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-7. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-10. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-14. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-16. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-20. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-22. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-30. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. D-107-36. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Full of Life
In the fall of 1946 Jiří Trnka first considered puppet animation films, and began to experiment with the help of Břetislav Pojar. The result was his first feature film Špalíček/The Czech Year (1947), based on a book illustrated by Mikoláš Aleš.
Špalíček tells six separate folk tales of Czech life: Shrovetide, Jaro (Spring), The legend of St. Procopius (Legenda or svatem Prokopu), The Fair, The Feast and Bethlehem.
Professor-x at IMDb: "Like most of Trnka's work, the puppet designs are simple, but full of life. Spalicek doesn't have the same refinement of Trnka's later work, but is wonderful as his first big foray into puppet animation.
A great deal of story information is sung and spoken rather than acted. Still, there are great bits of animation, visuals, and music to keep things somewhat interesting."
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-298-9. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-299-2. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
Czech postcard by Orbis, no. 10-299-6. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947). Retro: radostne vanoce a mnoho uspechu v novem roce (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).
The Walt Disney of Eastern Europe
After graduating from the Prague School of Arts and Crafts, Jiří Trnka created a puppet theatre in 1936. This group was dissolved when World War II began, and he instead designed stage sets and illustrated books for children throughout the war.
In the immediate wake of World War II, Trnka founded Bratři v triku (Brothers in Tricks) with fellow animators Eduard Hofman and Jiří Brdečka. This studio, dedicated to the production of traditional, hand-drawn animation, lives on today.
Most of his films were intended for adults and many were adaptations of literary works. These included feature length covering working-class traditions and national heroes, such as Bajaja/Prince Bayaya (1950), and Staré povesti ceské/Old Czech Legends (1953). For Dobry vojak Svejk/The Good Soldier Svejk (1955), he adapted the classic anti-war satire Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek.
In addition to his extensive career as a puppet-maker, motion-picture animator and film director, Jiří Trnka is best known for his work as an illustrator, especially of children's books.
Especially famous are his illustrations for the tales of the Brothers Grimm, as well as collections of folktales from Czech authors such as Jirí Horák and Jan Pálenícek. Trnka also illustrated the tales of H.C. Andersen and Charles Perrault, the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, The Thousand and One Nights, several works of William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Throughout his life, he illustrated 130 works of literature. In 1968, he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustrators, recognizing his career contribution to children's literature.
Most of his films were intended for adults and many were adaptations of literary works. Because of his influence in animation, he was called 'the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe', despite the great differences between their works.
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-01. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-0-3. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-03. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by ODEON, no. 10-427/VIII-K-0-5. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-08. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by ODEON, no. 10-427/VIII-O-12. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-10. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-11. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-12. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-13. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-14. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-15. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-16. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-18. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by KLU, no. 10-427-K-22. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Czech postcard by ODEON, no. 10-550-X-0-6. Photo: publicity still for Špalíček/The Czech Year (Jiri Trnka, 1947).
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.