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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.

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    Grace Jones (1948) is a Jamaican-born American singer, supermodel, and actress. Classic is her album Nightclubbing (1981) and unforgettable are her hits La Vie en Rose, Pull Up to the Bumper and I've Seen That Face Before. She was also memorable as a James Bond villain in A View to a Kill (1985). But foremost, the unusual, androgynous, bold, dark-skinned artist was a style icon for the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Grace Jones in A View To A Kill (1985)
    British postcard by Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. Photo: Grace Jones as May Day in A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985).

    Club Sept and Studio 54


    Beverly Grace Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, in 1948. Her parents were Marjorie (née Williams) and Reverend Robert W. Jones, a local politician and Apostolic clergyman. Her grandfather (on her mother's side) was a musician who travelled with Nat 'King' Cole.

    As her parents were working in the United States, Grace and her siblings were raised by her grandparents. Jones had a strict upbringing under the influence of Jamaica's Pentecostal church and went to church three times a week. At 13 she moved to her parents' home in Syracuse, New York. She studied theatre (some sources say Spanish) at Syracuse University. Halfway through college, a drama professor proposed her to work with him in a play he was putting on in Philadelphia, she accepted.

    At 18, she moved back to New York, and signed on as a model with Wilhelmina Modelling agency. Her androgynous, dark-skinned looks were not successfully received in the USA, and in 1970, she moved to Paris, just like Josephine Baker had done 50 years before her.

    In Paris, the fashion scene was receptive to Jones' unusual, bold appearance. Yves St. Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada hired her for runway modelling, and she appeared on the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Stern working with Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer.

    Jones frequented Club Sept, one of Paris's most popular gay clubs of the 1970s and 1980s, and socialised with Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. She also became one of the faces of New York City's hedonistic Studio 54 disco scene.

    Grace Jones
    British postcard by Heroes, London, no. PC 544.

    Queen of the Gay Discos


    Grace Jones' statuesque and flamboyant look was such a hit in the New York City nightclub scene that she was signed by Island Records. They put her in the studio with disco record producer, Tom Moulton. In 1977 the album Portfolio,was released, which featured a seven-minute reinterpretation of Édith Piaf's La Vie en rose and finished with I Need a Man, Jones' first club hit. The artwork to the album was designed by Richard Bernstein, an artist for Interview.

    In the following years, she made two more disco albums, Fame (1978) and Muse (1979). These two albums failed to break the singer commercially, but Jones amassed a substantial following among gay men with her sexually charged live show, leading to her title at the time of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.'

    In 1980 Jones transitioned into New Wave music with the album Warm Leatherette, on which she collaborated with the Compass Point All Stars. The album included covers of songs by The Normal (Warm Leatherette), The Pretenders (Private Life), and Roxy Music (Love is the Drug).

    The 1981 release of Nightclubbing included Jones' covers of songs by Iggy Pop/David Bowie(Nightclubbing) and Ástor Piazzolla (I've Seen That Face Before). Jones herself co-wrote Pull Up to the Bumper and Stingwrote Demolition Man. The strong rhythm of the album was produced by Compass Point All Stars, including Sly and Robbie.

    The album entered in the Top 5 in four countries, and became Jones' highest-ranking record in the US. She scored Top 40 hits with Pull Up to the Bumper, and I've Seen That Face Before.

    Another popular album was Slave to the Rhythm (1985), the last of her recordings for Island. In 1983, Jones' One Man Show was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Long-Form Music Video. 1986's album Inside Story, with production chores by Chic's Nile Rodgers, spawned one of Jones' last successful singles, I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You).


    Music video for La Vie en rose (1977). Source: Lucifers Treasure (YouTube).


    Music video for I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (1981). Source: Grace Jones VEVO (YouTube).

    May Day


    During the 1970s and early 1980s, Grace Jones appeared in some low-budget films. In the U.S., she appeared in the action film Gordon's War (Ossie Davis, 1973) starring Paul Winfield, and in Italy, she played a club singer in the Poliziottesco (Italian crime film genre) Quelli della Calibro 38/Colt 38 Special Squad (Massimo Dallamano, 1976) starring Marcel Bozzuffi and Carole André.

    Her first mainstream film role was Zula the Amazonian in the fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer (Richard Fleischer, 1984) alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    It was followed by her turn as May Day, henchman to villain Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) in the 14th James Bond film A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985), featuring Roger Moore. With her boyfriend Dolph Lundgren, Jones posed nude for Playboy.

    In 1986 she played as Katrina, an Egyptian queen vampire in the vampire film Vamp (Richard Wenk, 1986). The following year, Jones appeared in two films, Straight to Hell (Alex Cox, 1989), and Siesta (Mary Lambert, 1989) for which Jones was nominated for Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.

    She also acted in and contributed a song to the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang (Reginald Hudlin, 1993) and played in the Science Fiction film Cyber Bandits (Erik Fleming, 1995), starring Martin Kemp of the band Spandau Ballet. A decade later, she appeared as Christoph/Christine, an intersexed circus performer in the horror thriller Wolf Girl (Thom Fitzgerald, 2001) with Tim Curry.

    As a style icon, Jones influenced the cross-dressing movement of the 1980s. She has been an inspiration for artists including Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Björk, Madonna, and Róisín Murphy.

    Through her relationship with long-time collaborator Jean-Paul Goude, Jones has one son, Paulo. From Paulo, Jones has one granddaughter. Jones married Atila Altaunbay in 1996.


    Bond 50 Trailer for A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985). Source: Matthew Harkin (YouTube).


    Trailer Vamp (Richard Wenk, 1986). Source: s flicks (YouTube).

    Sources: Greg Prato (AllMusic), Tony R. Vario (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 12/12/15--22:00: Jacqueline Delubac
  • Pert, French star Jacqueline Delubac (1907-1997) was the third wife of actor, dramatist and film director Sacha Guitry. She starred in eleven of Guitry’s feathery comedies in which her husband co-starred. Between the two wars the charming actress was one of the most seductive stars of the French cinema. Life magazine rated her as one of the five most elegant women of the world.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by Editions et Publications cinématographiques (EPC), no. 142. Photo: R. Voinquel.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by Edug, Paris, no. 136. Photo: Viny.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by Editions Chantal, Paris, no. 533. Photo: Tobis.

    Young and Charming


    Jacqueline Delubac was born as Isabelle Jacqueline Basset in Lyon, France, in 1907 (according to some sources 1910). She was the daughter of Isabelle Delubac, whose name she took, and Henri Basset, an industrialist. Her family had amassed a fortune from the manufacture of artificial silk.

    From her earliest youth, however, her resolve was to become an actress. In 1927 she arrived in Paris to follow dance and singing courses.

    She quickly found small roles in revues, and soon moved on to theatre and the cinema. She appeared in films like Chérie (Louis Mercanton, 1930) and Marions-nous/Let’s get Married (Louis Mercanton, 1931) with Fernand Gravey.

    In Une brune piquante/A brunette (Serge de Poligny, 1931), she appeared with Fernandel. Then she joined the cast of Topaze (Louis J. Gasnier, 1932), based on the play by Marcel Pagnol and starring Louis Jouvet.

    In the autumn of 1931 she was introduced to Sacha Guitry, who was looking for a young, charming actress to speak with an English accent in his play Villa à vendre (Villa For Sale). Guitry called her, engaged her and courted her discreetly. They married in 1935. At the time Guitry was 50 and Delubac only 28.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by AN, Paris, no. 1090. Photo: Raymond Voinquel.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Roail, no. 33. Photo: Sipius.

    Glamorous and Seductive


    Sacha Guitry made a glamorous stage and cinema star of his young wife. Jacqueline Delubac starred in 23 plays by her husband, 10 new ones and 13 reprises, and appeared in 11 of his films.

    Among these films are now classic film comedies like Bonne chance!/Good Luck (Sacha Guitry, Fernand Rivers, 1935) in which she played his gambling partner, Le Roman d'un tricheur/The Story of a Cheat (Sacha Guitry, 1936) with Roger Duchesne, Mon père avait raison/My Father Was Right (Sacha Guitry, 1936), Désiré (Sacha Guitry, 1937) and Quadrille (Sacha Guitry, 1938) with Gaby Morlay.

    Her acting style in those films is remarkably natural and modern. Her wit and charms made her one of the most seductive French actresses between the two World Wars.

    Her husband clothed her in the finest costumes and coats of the grand designers. She is considered to be the archetypal refined Parisian woman. The American magazine Life rated her as one of the five most elegant women of the world. She would keep up this elegance and refinement till the end of her life.

    Gilbert Adair writes in his obituary for The Independent: "she was more than just a chic stooge. Even if one cannot abide Guitry's flamboyant urbanity and nasally whinnying delivery, it is possible to enjoy the dozen feathery comedies in which they co-starred (and all of which he directed) for their pert, soubrettish leading lady, with her near-supernatural vivacity, her deliciously retrousse nose, her oddly flapping lips - you have to see her deliver one of Guitry's mots to know what I am talking about - and her charming artlessness."

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by SERP, Paris, no. 2. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Jacqueline Delubac
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 183. Photo: Carlet.

    Impressionist and Modernistic Art


    In 1939, Jacqueline Delubac divorced Guitry. She played in a dozen more films by interesting directors.

    Georg-Wilhelm Pabst directed her in Jeunes filles en détresse/Girls in Distress (1939) with Micheline Presle). Maurice Tourneur was her director of Volpone (1940), Marcel L'Herbier for La Comédie du bonheur/The Comedy of happiness (1940) and Jean Delannoy for Fièvres/Fevers (1941) starring Tino Rossi.

    Delubac also played in several stage plays. In 1940, a marriage with Leslie Hore-Belisha, a British politician and former War Secretary, was announced and then denied. After the war she married a diamond merchant of Armenian descent, Miran Eknayan.

    In the early 1950s she retired. Her last film was the comedy La vie est un jeu/Life is a Game (Raymond Leboursier, 1951) with Jimmy Gaillard.

    From then on she devoted herself to a remarkable collection of impressionist and modernistic art. Later she donated a large part of this collection, including paintings by Degas, Rodin, Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and Bacon, to the Musée des Beaux-Artsof her native town Lyon. Her splendid costume collection of the 1960s till the 1990s was offered to the Musée de la Mode et du Textilein Paris.

    Jacqueline Delubac died in 1997, in Créteil (Val-de-Marne), as a result of injuries sustained in an accident with a cyclist. She was 90.


    French trailer for Le Roman d'un tricheur (1936). Source: Gaumont (YouTube).


    French trailer for Faisons un rêve (1936). Source: Gaumont (YouTube).


    Trailer for Jacqueline Delubac Expo Lyon. Source: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (YouTube).

    Sources: Caroline Hanotte (CinéArtistes), Gilbert Adair (The Independent), Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.

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  • 12/13/15--22:00: Ernst Matráy
  • Ernst Matráy (1891-1978) was a Hungarian dancer, choreographer, actor and film director. In Berlin, he worked with Max Reinhardt and Ernst Lubitsch. Together with his wife Maria Solveg, he later did the choreography for some classic Hollywood films.

    Ernst Matray and Katta Sterna
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.2823. Photo: Sommer Film, Berlin. Ernst Matray with Katta Sterna.

    Quirky roles


    Ernst Matráy (or Matray) was born as Erno Siblatt in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, in 1891. As a boy he had ballet lessons.

    In 1907, he was spotted as a dancer by the famous German stage director Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt engaged him for Deutsche Theater in Berlin. Matráy worked there as an actor, dancer, choreographer and mime. He drew attention to himself in quirky roles that were specially written for him. In Sumurun (1908) he played a hunchback and in Das Mirakel/The Miracle (1911) a minstrel.

    Matráy also appeared in film adaptations of Reinhardt productions such as Das Mirakel/The Miracle (Michel Carré, 1912), Die Insel der Seligen/The Isle of the Blessed (Max Reinhardt, 1913) and Eine venezianische Nacht/A Venetian Night (Max Reinhardt, 1913), so he was experienced with working for the camera early on.

    Before and during the First World War, he was repeatedly seen as grotesque dancers in film comedies like Tangofieber/Tango Fever (Carl Wilhelm, 1913) with Albert Paulig, and Marionetten/Marionettes (Richard Löwenbein, 1915) with Katta Sterna. Matráy and Sterna often played together and they were an ideal film couple.

    Matráy also directed several films, including Das Phantom der Oper/The Phantom of the Opera (Ernst Matráy, 1915) with Nils Chrisander, and Teufelchen/Little Devil (Ernst Matráy, 1915). In 1915, he founded Malu-film together with Ernst Lubitsch and produced Zucker und Zimt/Sugar and cinnamon (Ernst Lubitsch, 1915).

    Matráy also worked as a screenwriter together with his first wife, Greta Schröder. He appeared in films like Hilde Warren und der Tod/Hilde Warren and Death (Joe May, 1917) based on a script by Fritz Lang, and Nathan der Weise/Nathan the Wise (Manfred Noa, 1922) with Werner Krauss. In 1922 he took over the artistic direction of the International Pantomime Company. With his ensemble he went on tour internationally.

    Das Mirakel
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin. no. 8858. Photo: Willinger. The photo was made for either the stage play Das Mirakel/The Miracle (1911) or the Austrian-British film Das Mirakel/The Miracle (1912). The card shows Ernst Matráy as the Evil Genius and, if the film, Florence Winston as Megildis, the nun who has escaped the convent and now has a baby. The Miracle was released in Germany in August 1914 and premiered at the Circus Busch. It had had its world premiere in Covent Garden, London, in 1912.

    Choreography for Hollywood


    In 1924 Ernst Matráy divorced Greta Schröder and in 1927 he married the actress Maria Solveg, who was the sister of his dance partner Katta Sterna. With his second wife, he worked for years on the development of ballet choreography.

    After a last appearance of the Matray Ballet at the end of 1933 in the Ufa-Palast am Zoo, Matráy and Solveg emigrated via England to the United States. There the couple worked as choreographers for Revue troops. In order to get by financially the couple also sold apartments along the way.

    Thanks to the German immigrant directors William Dieterle and Reinhold Schünzel, they could work on the choreography of some Hollywood films. These included The Hunchback of Notre Dame (William Dieterle, 1939) with Charles Laughton, Pride and Prejudice (Robert Z. Leonard, 1940) with Greer Garson, A Woman's Face (George Cukor, 1941), and Random Harvest (Mervyn LeRoy, 1942) with Ronald Colman.

    Matráy was the co-director of the small compilation film Adventure in Music (Reginald LeBorg, S. K. Winston, Ernst Matray, 1944). Till 1945 he worked on 23 Hollywood films, often for MGM.

    In 1953 the Matrays moved to Zurich in Switzerland. Matray staged at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg Molière's George Dandin and Jacques Offenbach's La vie parisienne (Parisian life). At the same time he worked as a choreographer for TV. He directed one more film Musik, Musik und nur Musik/Music, music and music only (Ernst Matray, 1955), starring Walter Giller and Inge Egger.

    In 1955 he separated from Maria Solveg and returned to the United States. After the divorce in 1962, he married his third wife, the American Elizabeth McKinley. Later he devoted himself to painting. In 1978, Ernst Matray died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, USA.

    Ernst Matray
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.121. Photo: Alex Binder, 1916.

    Source: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Film-Zeit.de (German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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  • 12/14/15--22:00: Roy Black
  • German schlager singer and actor Roy Black (1943-1991) was Germany's most popular singer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He appeared in several Schlager comedies.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by ISV, no. K 33. Photo: Erwin Schneider.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by ISV, no. K 44. Photo: Erwin Schneider.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg, no. F 39. Photo: Gloria / Bayer. Publicity still for Wenn du bei mir bist/When you're with me (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1970).

    All in White


    Roy Black was born Gerhard Höllerich in Bobingen, Germany in 1943. He attended the gymnasium in Augsburg and, at age 20, he founded the rock and roll band Roy Black and His Cannons. His stage name derived from his black hair and his idol, Roy Orbison.

    Roy Black and His Cannons achieved some local fame. After winning a talent contest they were offered a recording contract with Polydor Records. Their first two records were not a success and producer Hans Bertram decided on a solo career for Black. He also chose for a switch to romantic songs for his protégé, a decision which soon led to nationwide fame.

    His first solo single, Du bist nicht allein (You Are Not Alone) became #4 in the German chart in 1965. The following year, his single Ganz in Weiß (All in White) - a romantic song about marrying in white – sold 2.5 million copies. His 1969 song Dein schönstes Geschenk (Your Most Beautiful Gift), sold one million copies by May 1970, having spent nine weeks at number one in the German chart.

    Other successes were Das Mädchen Carina (The Girl Carina, 1969) and the international hit Schön ist es auf der Welt zu sein (1971), with the 10-year old Anita Hegerland.

    From 1967, Black also took on roles in several Schlager films. His screen debut was the TV comedy Jetzt schlägt's 13/13 'O Clock (Truck Branss, 1967) with Peter Alexander. In the cinema he was seen in such light entertainment vehicles as Paradies der flotten Sünder/Paradise of the Fun-loving Sinners (Rolf Olsen, August Rieger, Géza von Cziffra, 1968) with Hans-Jürgen Bäumler, and Unser Doktor ist der Beste/Our Doctor is the Best (Harald Vock, 1969) with Peter Weck.

    In Hilfe, ich liebe Zwillinge/Help, I Love Twins (Peter Weck, 1969), he starred opposite Uschi Glas. Glas and Black appeared in five films together and were called the new Traumpaar (Dream couple) of the German film.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 979. Retail price: 10 Pfg. Photo: Erwin Schneider.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. AX 6643.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. AX 7001. Photo: Polydor / Bockelberg.

    Roy Black
    German postcard by Friedrich W. Sander-Verlag, Minden, no. 3129. Photo: Lothar Winkler.

    As wooden As Any Tree In The Schwarzwald


    In the early 1970s Roy Black also appeared in Heimatfilms (nostalgic back-to-basics films, set in some rural part of German-speaking central Europe) like Kinderarzt Dr. Fröhlich/Pediatrician Dr. Fröhlich (Kurt Nachmann, 1972) and Grün ist die Heide/The Heath Is Green (Harald Reinl, 1972).

    In the 1960s and 1970s the traditional German cinema with its typical genres as the Heimatfilm and the Schlagerfilm was in crisis due to the advent of colour television. The Roy Black vehicles belong to the last examples of these German film genres. Black’s final film was Schwarzwaldfahrt aus Liebeskummer/A Black Forest trip from lovesickness (Werner Jacobs, 1974).

    IMDb reviewer Jan Onderwater writes: “This combination of Schlager- and Heimatfilm is neither good nor bad, it is just absolute nothingness as it could only come from hack director Werner Jacobs. Popular singer Roy Black plays as wooden as any tree in the Schwarzwald and the rest of the cast is not even worth mentioning; the forest is the best actor. Moreover, it is all so narrow-minded.“

    In 1974 Black announced his engagement to Swedish model Silke Vagts. The couple got married in Munich the same year, and in 1976 their son Torsten was born. They divorced in 1985.

    After being Germany most popular pop idol in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Black's career struggled for more than a decade due to low record sales and personal problems. In 1975 he left his producer Hans Bertram but to no avail. However, in the last years of his life, he had a surprising comeback as a singer and as a leading actor of the hit TV show Ein Schloß am Wörthersee/Lakeside Hotel (Erich Tomek, 1990-1991).

    Then in 1991 Roy Black died of heart failure, in Heldenstein, near Mühldorf am Inn. He died one month after his longtime companion Carmen Böhning gave birth to their daughter Nathalie (1991). In 1996, Christoph Waltz played Roy Black in the biopic Du bist nicht allein - Die Roy Black Story/You Are Not Alone – The Roy Black Story (Peter Keglevic, 1996).

    Roy Black
    German promotion card by Polydor.

    Roy Black
    German promotion card by Polydor.


    Roy Black sings Du Bist nicht allein (1965). Source: teufelchenmikel (YouTube).


    Roy Black sings Ave Maria in Kinderarzt Dr. Fröhlich/Pediatrician Dr. Fröhlich (1972). Source: MaikFührer (YouTube).


    Roy Black and Anita Hegerland sing Schön ist es auf der welt zu sein. Source: fritz51222 (YouTube).

    Sources: Roy-Black.net (German), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) is one of the very best Hollywood films of the silent era. Years in the making, with filming in Italy and California, and changes of script and leading man, the monumental film could have been a disaster. Instead, it was a complete triumph and established MGM as a studio to be reckoned with. Star was the young and handsome Ramon Novarro, who portrayed a charismatic and sympathetic Ben-Hur. Why his revealing costumes caused a sensation at the time, you can see on the beautiful sepia postcards in this post by a.o. Ross Verlag of Germany, Iris-Verlag of Austria and Editions Cinémagazine of France.

    Ramon Novarro and Claire McDowell in Ben-Hur
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 715/4. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and Claire McDowell.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 715/6. Photo: FaNaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).

    Revenge


    Ramon Novarro (also Ramón Novarro) plays in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) the Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, who seeks to find his family and to revenge himself upon his boyhood friend, the powerful Roman Tribune Messala (Francis X. Bushman) who had him wrongly imprisoned.

    After an accident, a slip of a brick during a Roman parade, Messala, who has become corrupt and arrogant, makes sure Ben-Hur and his family are jailed and separated. Judah is sent off as a galley slave, his property confiscated and his mother (Claire McDowell) and sister are imprisoned.

    Ben-Hur is sentenced to slave labour in a Roman war galley. Along the way, he unknowingly encounters Jesus, the carpenter's son who offers him water. Once aboard ship, his attitude of defiance and strength impresses a Roman admiral, Quintus Arrius (Frank Currier), who allows him to remain unchained. This actually works in the Admiral's favour because when his ship is attacked and sunk by pirates, Ben-Hur saves him from drowning. Years later, as a result of his determination to stay alive and his willingness to aid his Roman master, Judah returns to his homeland an exalted and wealthy Roman athlete.

    Unable to find his mother and sister, and believing them dead, he can think of nothing else than revenge against Messala. This eventually leads to a climactic showdown with Messala in a chariot race, in which Ben-Hur is the victor. Ben-Hur is eventually reunited with his mother and sister, who are suffering from leprosy but are miraculously cured by Jesus.

    Ben-Hur was Ramon Novarro's greatest success. He was promoted by MGM as a 'Latin lover' and became known as sex symbol after the death of Rudolph Valentino. His revealing costumes in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ helped to establish this image.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben Hur
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 64/1. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Fanamet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925). Caption: 'Galeeren-Sträflinge' (convicts).

    Ramon Novarro and Frank Currier in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 64/2. Photo: MGM / FaNaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and Frank Currier. Caption: Rescue of the Roman general after the sea battle.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 64/3. Photo: MGM / ParUfaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925). Caption: 4 Lipizzaner stallions from the stables of the former Emperor of Austria to win the Roman chariot races.

    Carmel Myers in Ben-Hur
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 64/7. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Carmel Myers.

    Ramon Novarro and Carmel Myers in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 73/2. Photo: MGM / ParUfaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Carmel Myers and Ramon Novarro.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 73/3. Photo: MGM / ParUfaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).

    Ben-Hur
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 73/4. Photo: MGM / ParUfaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925). Ramon Novarro (or his double?) leading the chariot.

    Kathleen Kay and Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 73/6. Photo: MGM / ParUfaMet. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Kathleen Kay and Ramon Novarro.

    Francis X. Bushman in Ben-Hur
    German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 133/2. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Francis X. Bushman.

    Ben-Hur
    German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 133/3. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Messala (Francis X. Bushman) and Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) during the famous chariot race. Mark how the tribunes are empty and the upper part of the circus is missing (it was projected into the film using a hanging model).

    Ben-Hur
    German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 133/6. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Carmel Myers and Ramon Novarro.

    Two years of difficulties and accidents


    The film is based on the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. The novel was a great success. It was adapted into a stage play which ran for twenty-five years. The novel was first adapted for the screen in 1907 also titled Ben Hur.

    In 1922, two years after the play's last tour, the Goldwyn company purchased the film rights to Ben-Hur. The play's producer, Abraham Erlanger, put a heavy price on the screen rights. Erlanger was persuaded to accept a generous profit participation deal and total approval over every detail of the production.

    Shooting began in Rome, Italy in October 1923 under the direction of Charles Brabin who was replaced shortly after filming began. Additional recastings (including Ramón Novarro as Ben-Hur) and a change of director caused the production's budget to skyrocket.

    After two years of difficulties and accidents, the production was eventually moved back to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Culver City, California and production resumed in the spring of 1925. B. Reeves Eason and Christy Cabanne directed the second unit footage.
    Costs eventually rose to $3.9 million, making Ben-Hur one of the most expensive films of the silent era.

    A total of 60,960 m (200,000 ft) of film was shot for the chariot race scene, which was eventually edited down to 229 m (750 ft). Film critic Kevin Brownlow has called the chariot race sequence as creative and influential a piece of cinema as the famous Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei M. Eisenstein's Bronenosets Potemkin/The Battleship Potemkin (1925), which introduced modern concepts of film editing and montage to cinema.

    This scene has been much imitated. It was re-created virtually shot for shot in the remake, Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959), copied in the animated film The Prince of Egypt (Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells, 1998), and imitated in the pod race scene in the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (George Lucas, 1999), which was made almost 75 years later.

    Some scenes in the film were in two-colour Technicolor, most notably the sequences involving Jesus. One of the assistant directors for this sequence was a very young William Wyler, who would direct the 1959 remake. The black-and-white footage was colour tinted and toned in the film's original release print.

    Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard by Editions Cinematographiques, no. 9. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman.

    Ramon Novarro and Claire McDowell in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard by Editions Cinematographiques, no. 32. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and Claire McDowell.

    Ramon Novarro and Frank Currier in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    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) with Ramon Novarro and Frank Currier.

    Ramon Novarro and May McAvoy in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard by Editions Cinematographiques, no. 39. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and May McAvoy.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur
    French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 41. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben Hur
    French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 373. Photo: R. Morgan. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro.

    A Treasure you'll want to see again and again


    Brian J. Smith at IMDb: "The 1925 version of Ben-Hur is an outstanding example of silent film making at it's best. With the proverbial cast of thousands, it compares favourably with it's more expensive and lavish 1959 remake. Had the Academy Awards been given out at this time, Ben-Hur would undoubtedly have won it's share.

    The video version that I saw was restored to it's original splendour complete with tints and two colour technicolor sequences. They are quite spectacular and hold up quite well today. The birth of Christ sequence is most memorable. The flagship sequences, the sea battle and the chariot race, are expertly staged and remain the most exciting parts of the picture. They are as good as those in the 1959 version.

    The casting is, for the most part, excellent. Ramon Novarro as Judah and Francis X. Bushman as Messala stand out. The only problem is the casting of May McEvoy as Esther. With her blond hair, blue eyes and riglets, she looks more like a Mary Pickford want to be than a Jewish slave girl. Despite all of it's well documented production problems, Ben-Hur still is one of the best movies of all time, silent or sound."

    Ben Burgraff at IMDb: "With the record number of Oscars won by the William Wyler 1959 version of BEN-HUR, there is a tendency to overlook the monumental 1925 production. Well, if you've never seen the earlier version, you may be in for a surprise...it is superior in nearly every way!

    Certainly, some of the performances (particularly Francis X. Bushman's scenery-chewing Messala) are cartoonish, the film lacks the widescreen splendour and scope of it's successor, and the 'Wyler Touch', the infinite care the legendary director poured over every detail, is sorely missed. But there is an energy and sense of intimacy in Fred Niblo's version that is sorely lacking in the later version; the film, as a whole, is far closer in spirit to General Lew Wallace's novel; and young leading man Ramon Novarro (with a sexy intensity reminiscent of Tyrone Power), makes a far more charismatic and sympathetic Ben-Hur than Charlton Heston.

    The 1925 version's chariot race is equally as exciting, and the sea battle used full-sized ships and hundreds of extras (shot in Italy, where a fire broke out on the ships during the shooting...the extras' panic on screen was NOT acting!) With two-strip Technicolor to emphasise key scenes (the Nativity, the new Roman Consul's arrival in Jerusalem...yes, those ARE topless women leading the procession!), and a wonderful, stirring new musical score by Carl Davis, Fred Niblo's BEN-HUR is a treasure, a film you'll want to see again and again."

    Carmel Myers and Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard by J.R.P.R, Paris. no. 69. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) with Ramon Novarro and Carmel Myers.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 101. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).

    Ben-Hur
    French postcard for the Cinéma Madeleine, Paris. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The Roman fleet in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925), shot in the Mediterranean near Livorno, Italy.

    Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    French postcard for the Cinema Madeleine, Paris. Photo: publicity still for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925). Capture: Chariot race in Ben-Hur.

    To be continued...


    At the moment Hollywood works on a new version, Ben-Hur (2016). Director is Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian-Kazakh film director known for vampire franchise Nochnoy dozor/Night Watch (2004) and Dnevnoy dozor/Night Chat (2006). The title role will be played by British actor Jack Huston, and other roles are for Danish actor Pilou Asbæk, Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari and Morgan Freeman. And Rodrigo Santoro plays Jesus.

    And here at EFSP, we will do a post on Ramon Novarro on 20 January 2016.

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 12/16/15--22:00: Paul Dahlke
  • German stage and film actor Paul Dahlke (1904-1984) appeared in dozens of German films of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He often played energetic characters and simple-minded souls. Dahlke was probably at his best in the witty comedies by Kurt Hoffmann during the 1950s.

    Paul Dahlke
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 244, 1956. Photo: Standard Film GmbH. Publicity still for Vergiss die Liebe nicht/Don't Forget Love (Paul Verhoeven, 1953).

    Energetic characters and simple-minded souls


    Paul Victor Ernst Dahlke was born in 1904 in Gross Streitz, near Köslin, Imperial Germany (today Strzezenice, Poland). He visited school in Köslin, Stargard and in Dortmund. Dahlke worked in the Dorstfeld coal mine during his last year in high school and after his graduation in 1922.

    Dahlke then studied at the Clausthal-Zellerfeld’s Bergakademie (University of Technology) and at the Technische Hochschule Berlin-Charlottenburg (Technical University of Berlin). He also attended lectures in German studies and in theatre studies. It was only a small step to become an actor. From 1927 on, Dahlke attended Max-Reinhardt-Schule (Max Reinhardt's drama school).

    In 1929, he performed in small roles at the Lessing-Theater and toured with a small travelling theatre before he performed on stage in Berlin and Munich. In 1931, Dahlke made his debut at the Deutsche Theater in a production of Ödön von Horváth’s Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald (Tales from the Vienna Woods).

    During the following years, he performed in numerous roles at the famous theatre, in plays by Gerhardt Hauptmann and William Shakespeare. Dahlke worked at the Deutsche Theater till 1944. In 1937, he was awarded as a Staatsschauspieler.

    In 1934, Dahlke made his film in the role of the Governor of a South Sea island in the melodrama Liebe, Tod und Teufel/The Devil in a Bottle (Heinz Hilpert, Reinhart Steinbicker, 1934). With his robust, stocky, and sturdy appearance, he often played energetic characters and simple-minded souls like the role of Ruprecht in Der zerbrochene Krug/The Broken Jug (Gustav Ucicky, 1937), starring Emil Jannings. He played supporting parts in the comedy Lady Windermeres Fächer/Lady Windermere's Fan (Heinz Hilpert, 1935) starring Lil Dagover, and the historical film Fridericus (Johannes Meyer, 1937) starring Otto Gebühras Frederick II of Prussia.

    Paul Dahlke
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 36-276. Photo: MHD-Film / NF. Publicity still for Die tolle Lola/The great Lola (Hans Deppe, 1954).

    Paul Dahlke
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Templehof, no. FK 2024. Photo: Marszalek / Fono Film / Europa. Publicity still for Meine Kinder und Ich/My Children and I (Wolfgang Schleif, 1955).

    Sensitive delicacy


    Paul Dahlke had a big part in the propaganda film Venus vor Gericht/Venus on Trial (Hans H. Zerlett, 1941) starring Hannes Stelzer and Hansi Knoteck. The film was part of the Nazi's campaign against degenerate art, and depicts the trial of a young artist who has resisted the trend towards it.

    Dahlke authentically portrayed quick-tempered as well as phlegmatic characters, for instance, the fussy and self-righteous accountant in Helmut Käutner’s Romanze in Moll/Romance in a Minor Key (1943). Lars Bellmann at IMDb: “This beautifully made film has a sensitive delicacy that is unusual for Third Reich cinema. The cast – directed by the brilliant Helmut Käutner– is outstanding.”

    After World War II, Dahlke performed as an entertainer in Salzburg and in Bad Wildungen for the forces of the occupation armies. In 1946, Erich Engel brought him to Munich’s Kammerspiele.

    From 1949 to 1953, Dahlke was a cast member of Munich"s Staatstheater and embodied characters like Carl Zuckmayer's Des Teufels General (The Devil’s General) and Professor Higgins in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. He subsequently performed as a freelance actor at numerous theatres throughout Germany.

    In the post-war cinema, Dahlke was soon designated to the roles of buoyant family fathers, such as in the comedy Krach im Hinterhaus/Trouble Backstairs (Erich Kobler, 1949) with Fita Benkhoff. He played Napoleon in the drama Begegnung mit Werther/Encounter with Werther (Karl-Heinz Stroux, 1949), starring Horst Caspar, and set around the writing of the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

    Paul Dahlke and Romy Schneider in Kitty und die grosse Welt
    Dutch postcard. Photo: publicity still for Kitty und die grosse Welt/Kitty and the Great Big World (Alfred Weidenmann, 1956) with Romy Schneider.

    Deadpan humour


    Paul Dahlke could show his deadpan humour to advantage in film versions of novels by Erich Kästner, for instance, in the role of the mysterious teacher Justus in Das fliegende Klassenzimmer/Flying Classroom (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954), in the role of the eccentric millionaire Schlüter in Drei Männer im Schnee/Three Men in the Snow (Kurt Hoffmann, 1955), and in the role of Professor Kuckuck in the film version of Thomas Mann’s novel Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull/Confessions of Felix Krull (Kurt Hoffmann, 1957), featuring Horst Buchholz.

    He also played Christian Wolff’s father in Anders als du und ich (§175)/Different from You and Me (§175) (Veit Harlan, 1957), a feature film about homosexuality. The film was subject to censorship in Germany, and several scenes had to be altered before it could be released.

    Abroad, he appeared with John Forsythe and Rosanna Schiaffino in the Italian-Yugoslav historical period drama Il vendicatore/Dubrowsky (William Dieterle, 1959), based on the novel Dubrovsky by Alexander Pushkin.

    During the 1960s he appeared opposite Heinz Rühmann in the comedy Das Haus in Montevideo/The House in Montevideo (Helmut Käutner, 1963), with Curd Jürgens in the French-West German drama Begegnung in Salzburg/Encounter in Salzburg (Max Friedmann, 1964), and in the comedy Die Heiden von Kummerow/The Heathens of Kummerow (Werner Jacobs, 1967), the first co-production between East and West Germany.

    Dahlke also played in action films, such as the German-Italian crime drama Das Geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke/Secret of the Chinese Carnation (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1964), and the West-German-Italian spy film Das Geheimnis der drei Dschunken/Red Dragon (Ernst Hofbauer, 1965) starring Stewart Granger. He also had a supporting part in the Hollywood comedy Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1965) starring Alec Guinness and the young Robert Redford.

    When the cinema only offered him roles in light fare, Dahlke turned his focus to television and appeared in countless TV-films. In the 1970s he became popular guest-starring in Krimi series like Der Kommissar (1974), Der Alte/The Old Fox (1980) and Derrick (1983). Dahlke was also the German dubbing voice of Charles Laughton and Vincent Price.

    On TV, he often played grumpy old men, stubborn people like the grouchy Rhine skipper in Wolfgang Staudte’s TV series MS Franziska (1978) or the restive grandfather in the fall-out shelter farce Unternehmen Arche Noah (Konrad Sabrautzky, 1983) with Karin Baal.

    Dahlke won several awards during his long career. In 1974, he was awarded the Filmband in Gold and in 1979 the Great Cross of Merit. He was married to actress Elfe Gerhart. In 1984, Paul Dahlke died in Salzburg, Austria. He was 80.


    Trailer for Sechs Stunden Angst/Six Hours Fear (Eugen York, 1964). Source: POLAR Film + Medien (YouTube).


    German trailer for Das Geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke/Secret of the Chinese Carnation (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1964). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).

    Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Here are 12 pop stars who also starred in films. Films with singers are often musicals, like the Schlager film in Germany or the Musicarello in Italy. But a few pop stars proved to be genuine actors, even film stars on the screen.

    Cliff Richard in The Young Ones (1961)
    Spanish postcard, no. 18. Photo: British Pathe. Publicity still for The Young Ones (Sidney J. Furie, 1961) with Cliff Richard.

    In the late 1950s British singer, actor and Sir Cliff Richard (1940) was known as Britain's answer to Elvis Presley. The ‘Cliff Richard musical’ became the number one cinema box office attraction in Britain for both 1962 and 1963.

    Adriano Celentano
    Dutch postcard by N.V. Dureco, Amsterdam/Jolly hi-fi records. Publicity card for the records Impazzivo per te and Fitagora. At the backside Adriano Celentano is called 'the Italian Elvis Presley'.

    One of Italy's best-loved artists, Adriano Celentano (1938) has been equally successful in film and music.

    Johnny Hallyday
    French postcard by Editions Publistar, no. 774. Photo: Aubert / Philips.

    Flamboyant singer and actor Johnny Hallyday (1943) is the father of French Rock and Roll. He was a European teen idol in the 1960s with record-breaking crowds and mass hysteria, but he never became popular in the English-speaking market. In recent years he has concentrated on being an actor and appeared in more than 35 films.

    Conny Froboess, Peter Weck
    Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers, Amsterdam, no. WPS 168. Photo: Centrafilm. Publicity still for Mariandl (Werner Jacobs, 1961) with Conny Froboess and Peter Weck.

    Peter Kraus
    Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 4445. Photo: Hafbo. Publicity still for Die Frühreifen/The precocious (Josef von Báky, 1957).

    German singer and actor Peter Kraus (1939) was a teen idol in the 1950s and early 1960s. He was nicknamed ‘the German Elvis’.

    Marie Laforet
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 69.

    Marie Laforêt (1939) is a French singer and actress of Armenian descent. After her first appearance in the drama Plein Soleil (1960, René Clément) opposite Alain Delon she became very popular and interpreted many roles in the 1960s.

    Paul McCartney in A Hard Day's Night
    Czechoslovakian postcard by Press Foto, Praha (Prague), no. S 148/10, 1965. Photo: publicity still for A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 1964) with Paul McCartney.

    With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney (1942) gained worldwide fame as the Beatles. They starred in films like A Hard Day's Night (1964).

    David Bowie
    French postcard by Underground, no. U 182. Photo: publicity still for The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, 1976) with David Bowie.

    English musician and actor David Bowie (1947) was a major pop star for over four decades. Particularly during the 1970s, he was an influential innovator. He also earned acclaim with various stage and film roles.

    Eddy Mitchell
    French postcard by Editions Lyna, Paris, no. 2013. Photo: Casanova - Formidable.

    French singer and actor Eddy Mitchell (1942) began his career in the late 1950s, with the rock & roll group Les Chaussettes Noires (The Black Socks). He went solo in 1963 and also played in a many films. In numerous black and white French musical comedies of the 1960s he appeared as himself fronting his band. His ‘real’ acting career started with Coup de torchon (Bertrand Blier, 1981).

    Sting
    French postcard by Peutsch, no. 964.

    Sting (1951) is best known as the pop star with the high-pitched, raspy voice and blonde, spiky hair. The British rock artist made his breakthrough as singer and bass player for The Police and then launched a successful solo career. Sting occasionally ventured into acting on both film and television. He was memorable as the Mod leader in Quadrophenia (1979) and as Eddie’s father in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).

    Grace Jones in A View To A Kill (1985)
    British postcard by Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. Photo: Grace Jones as May Day in A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985).

    Grace Jones (1948) is a Jamaican singer, supermodel, and actress. Classic is her album Nightclubbing (1981) and unforgettable are her hits La Vie en Rose, Pull Up to the Bumper and I've Seen That Face Before. She was also memorable as a James Bond villain in A View to a Kill (1985). But foremost, the unusual, androgynous, bold, dark-skinned artist was a style icon for the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Vanessa Paradis
    Swiss postcard by Editions de la Lune, no. VP 106, 1989. Photo: Patrick Rouchon.

    Only 14, Vanessa Paradis (1972) became a child star with the worldwide hit single Joe le taxi (1987). Since then, the French beauty made several films and albums, became the face of Chanel, and was in a long relationship with Johnny Depp.

    This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.




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    Mexican actress Linda Christian (1923-2011) was discovered by Errol Flynn. The sensuous, incredibly beautiful starlet starred with Johnny Weissmuller in his last Tarzan film, Tarzan and The Mermaids (1948). She was also the first Bond girl ever, in a TV version of Casino Royale (1954). But she became most famous as Mrs. Tyrone Power. Christian appeared in dozens of films, in Hollywood as well as in Europe.

    Linda Christian
    Italian postcard by Edizione S.I.P.Ci, Milano. Photo: Columbia CEIAD. Photo: publicity still for The Happy Time (Richard Fleischer, 1952).

    Goldwyn Girl


    Linda Christian was born as Blanca Rosa Welter in Tampico, Mexico, in 1923. She was the daughter of Dutch engineer and Royal Dutch Shell executive, Gerardus Jacob Welter, and his Mexican-born wife of Spanish, German and French descent Blanca Rosa. She had three younger siblings, two brothers, Gerardus Jacob Welter and Edward Albert Welter, and a sister, Ariadna Gloria Welter, who would become a well-known actress of the Mexican cinema.

    The Welter family moved a great deal during Christian's youth, living everywhere from South America and Europe, to the Middle East and Africa. As a result of this nomadic lifestyle, Christian became an accomplished polyglot with the ability to speak fluent French, German, Dutch, Spanish, English, Italian, and even a bit of haphazard Arabic and Russian.

    After she graduated from secondary school the beautiful girl played a small part in the successful Mexican film El peñón de las Ánimas/The Rock of Souls (Miguel Zacarías, 1943) starring Maria Felix. After working as a clerk in the British government office in Palestine, Christian relocated to Acapulco, where she was discovered by film star Errol Flynn.

    She made her film debut as a Goldwyn girl in the musical comedy Up In Arms (Elliott Nugent, 1944), co-starring Danny Kaye and Dinah Shore. (This was also Kaye's first film.) Signed to an RKO contract in 1944, she languished in bit roles for a year or so.

    At a fashion show in Beverly Hills she was spotted by Louis B. Mayer's secretary. He offered, and she accepted, a seven year contract with MGM. Her best-known film during her MGM years was as a loan-out to her old studio of RKO to appear in the Mexico-filmed Tarzan and the Mermaids (Robert Florey, 1948) with Johnny Weissmuller.

    Linda Christian
    Belgian card by Kwatta. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

    Linda Christian
    Vintage autograph card.

    Linda Christian
    German postcard. Photo: New York Times / Ernst.

    The Marriage of the Century


    Linda Christian really became famous when she married matinee idol Tyrone Power. Reportedly they had met for the first time in Acapulco, where he was making Captain from Castile (Henry King, 1947), and she was filming Tarzan and the Mermaids. Their marriage in Rome attracted over 10,000 spectators.

    The publicity about the ‘marriage of the century’ improved her film career somewhat. She starred in films like Battle Zone (Lesley Selander, 1952) with John Hodiak, The Happy Time (Richard Fleischer, 1952) with Charles Boyer, and the adventure Slaves of Babylon (William Castle, 1953).

    Later she also often appeared on television. In 1954 she appeared in Casino Royale (William H. Brown Jr., 1954), an episode of the TV-series Climax! This was the first adaptation of one of the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. In the TV film ‘Jimmy’ Bond was an American spy (played by Barry Nelson) who’s mission is to break the bank on Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre), a top Soviet operative in France. Linda Christian played Bond’s old flame Valerie Mathis.

    Several times, Tyrone Power and Christian were offered the opportunity to work together, but for various reasons each offer was refused or rescinded. The couple had two daughters: actress Taryn Power and singer Romina Power, one half of the famous Italian singing duo Al Bano & Romina Power.

    In 1956 Power and Christian divorced, which garnered international headlines due to Christian's then-enormous one-million-dollar cash settlement.

    Linda Christian
    Italian postcard by TurismoFoto, no. 49.

    Linda Christian
    Italian postcard by Bromostampa, Milano, no. 235.

    Linda Christian and Thomas Fritsch in ...e la donna creò l'uomo (1964)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden, no. 2040. Photo: publicity still for ...e la donna creò l'uomo/Full Hearts and Empty Pockets (Camillo Mastrocinque, 1964) with Thomas Fritsch.

    A Favourite of the Celebrity Press


    After her divorce, Linda Christian often worked in Europe. Among her European productions are the British drama Thunderstorm (John Guillermin, 1956) co-starring Carlos Thompson, the British thriller The House of the Seven Hawks (Richard Thorpe, 1959) with Robert Taylor, and the German aeroplane-thriller Abschied von den Wolken/Rebel Flight to Cuba (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1959) with O.W. Fischer.

    Christian had a supporting part in the British Oscar winning drama The VIP’s (Anthony Asquith, 1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor. She also appeared in the Italian-Spanish bullfighting drama Il momento della verità/The Moment of Truth (Francesco Rosi, 1965). She also starred in the Dutch thriller 10:32/10:32 in the Morning (Arthur Dreyfuss, 1966).

    Although most of her films were not a success, Christian was a favourite of the celebrity press. They loved to write about her tempestuous affairs with Spanish marquis Alfonso de Portago, Brazilian mining and metals millionaire Francisco ‘Baby’ Pignatari, and Spanish bullfighter Luis Dominguin.

    In 1962 and 1963, she was briefly married to the Rome-based British actor and playboy Edmund Purdom, and later she married a third time into an aristocratic European family. Christian published her memoirs, Linda: My Own Story, in 1962. She continued to appear on American TV and incidentally in films. One of her most notable performances was in the episode An Out for Oscar (Bernard Girard, 1963) of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour on TV.

    In the 1980s she made a brief come-back in the Italian cinema. Her last film was the Giallo Delitti/Delicts (Giovanna Lenzi, 1987). After that she lived quietly in Spain and Mexico. In 2011, Linda Christian passed away in Palm Desert, US. The 86-year old actress died of colon cancer.


    Trailer of Tarzan and the Mermaids (Robert Florey, 1948). Source: pwgr2000 (YouTube).


    Linda Christian as Valerie Mathis in Casino Royale (1954). Source: blogsafarwp (YouTube).


    Trailer for The Devil's Hand (William J. Hole Jr., 1961). Source: Sleaze-O-Rama (YouTube). Comment by Sleaze-O-Rama: "This movie is totally cheese, but I love it."

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 12/19/15--22:00: Louise Lagrange
  • Louise Lagrange (1897-1979) was a French screen actress who had a fruitful career in French silent and sound cinema from Cendrillon (1907) onwards. In the early 1920s she played in the USA opposite Valentino, while e.g. Ricardo Cortez and Iván Petrovich where her partners in later 1920s French films. In 1933 she married film director Maurice Tourneur and quited film acting, apart from a few parts in postwar films.

    Louise Lagrange
    Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5447. Sent by mail in the Netherlands in 1925. Photo: Verleih Austringfilm.

    Louise Lagrange
    French postcard by Cinémagazine Editions, Paris, no. 425.

    Cinderella


    Louise Lagrange was born Louise Marie Lagrange in Oran, France (now Algeria) in 1897. (IMDb mistakenly mentions 1898 as her birthyear and Louise Vinot as her birthname, but Vinot was her older sister Marthe's family name after her marriage).

    She started her film career as Cinderella in the early Pathé fairytale film Cendrillon/Cinderella (Albert Capellani, 1907). The short silent film was produced by Ferdinand Zecca for Pathé Frères and the story was adapted from the famous fairy tale by Charles Perrault.

    Five years later, she played in another version, Cendrillon, ou la Pantoufle Merveilleuse/Cinderella, or the Marvellous Slipper (1912), this time directed by the legendary Georges Méliès. According to Wikipedia she now played Cendrillon's sister, but according to IMDb she performed the role of Cendrillon. However, the prince was played by the future film director Jacques Feyder.

    Between 1911 and 1916 she played at Gaumont. She appeared in many films by Louis Feuillade, including the adventure serial Les vampires/The Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915) with Musidora. She also often worked with director Gaston Ravel at such films as Madame Fleur-de-Neige (Gaston Ravel, 1915). Her older sister played smaller parts in these films of the under-aged Louise, under the name of Marthe Vinot.

    In the late 1910s she also acted at Eclipse. For this studio, she appeared in the war propaganda film Mères françaises/French Mothers (1917). Legendary stage actress Sarah Bernhardt plays a mother, who first loses her son and then her husband in the trenches of France during the First World War. She devotes herself to the French cause and to helping those wounded in the war.

    In the early 1920s Lagrange had the lead roles in L'héritage/The heritage (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1920) and Mimí Trottin (Henri Andréani, 1921) with Henri Rollan.

    Then Lagrange moved to the USA to make films in Hollywood. She played opposite Rudolph Valentino in the drama A Sainted Devil (Joseph Henabery, 1924). She also appeared in two films directed by Herbert Brenon, The Side Show of Life (1924), and Shadows of Paris (1924).

    Cendrillon (Pathé frères, Albert Capellani 1907)
    French postcard by Théàtre Pathé-Grolée, Lyon. Photo: publicity still for for Cendrillon/Cinderella (Albert Capellani, 1907), with Louise Lagrange in the title role.

    Cendrillon (Pathé frères, Albert Capellani 1907)
    French postcard by Théàtre Pathé-Grolée, Lyon. Photo: publicity still for for Cendrillon/Cinderella (Albert Capellani, 1907).

    Smooth Passage


    Louise Lagrange returned to France to continue her film career there. Iván Petrovich and Ricardo Cortez where her partners in respectively the silent French films La Femme nue/The naked woman (Léonce Perret, 1926) and La Danseuse Orchidée/Woman of Destiny (Léonce Perret, 1928).

    She also played opposite Pierre Blanchar in La Marche nuptiale/Wedding March (André Hugon, 1929), and opposite Lucien Dalsace in Le Ruisseau/The Creek (René Hervil, 1929).

    Louise Lagrange smoothly made the passage to French sound cinema and had leads in e.g. the French Paramount production Une femme a menti/A woman has lied (Charles de Rochefort, 1930), scripted by Herman Kosterlitz aka Henry Koster. Her co-stars were Jeanne Helbling and Paul Capellani.

    In 1933 she married film director Maurice Tourneur, whom she met on the set of his short film L'homme mystérieux/Obsession (Maurice Tourneur, 1934). Then she quited film acting

    After the war, Lagrange returned to the screen in a few parts after Tourneur had been crippled after a car accident in 1949. These films include La cage aux filles/Cage of Girls (Maurice Cloche, 1949) with Danièle Delorme and the Fernandel comedy Adhémar ou le jouet de la fatalité/Adhémar (Fernandel, 1951), in which she had an uncredited bit part.

    Louis Lagrange died of 'natural causes' in Paris, France, in 1979. She was 80 (IMDb) or 81 (Wikipedia). We checked a third source, the reliable French site Les Gens du Cinéma, which gives 1897 as Louise Lagrange's birth year.

    Louise Lagrange
    French postcard by A.N. Paris, no. 541. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

    Louise Lagrange and Ricardo Cortez
    Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5441. Photo: Austringfilm. Louise Lagrange and Ricardo Cortez in probably La Danseuse Orchidée/Woman of Destiny (Léonce Perret, 1928).

    Louise Lagrange
    French postcard by Cinémagazine Editions, no. 425.

    Sources: Philippe Pelletier (CinéArtistes - French), Les Gens du Cinéma (French), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb. And thanks to Marlène Pilaete for additional information.

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  • 12/20/15--22:00: Jacqueline Bisset
  • English actress Jacqueline Bisset (1944) has been an international film star since the late 1960s. She received her first roles mainly because of her stunning beauty, but over time she has become a fine actress respected by fans and critics alike. Bisset has worked with directors John Huston, François Truffaut, George Cukor and Roman Polanski. She received France’s Légion d'honneur in 2010.

    Jacqueline Bisset
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Jacqueline Bisset
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 99/77, 1977.

    Jacqueline Bisset
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Miss Goodthighs


    Jacqueline Bisset was born Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset in Weybridge, Surrey, England, in 1944. She was the daughter of Arlette Alexander, a lawyer turned housewife, and Max Fraser Bisset, a general practitioner. Her mother taught her to speak French fluently, and she was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in London. She took ballet lessons as a child. During her teenage years her father left the family when her mother was diagnosed with disseminating sclerosis. Jacqueline worked as a model to support her ailing mother and eventually her parents divorced, an experience she has said she considered character-strengthening.

    Bisset began taking acting lessons and started her film career in 1965. She appeared uncredited as a prospective model in The Knack ...and How to Get It (Richard Lester, 1965) with Rita Tushingham. The following year, Bisset made her official film debut with a small role in Roman Polanski's psychological comic thriller Cul-de-sac (1966). In 1967, she appeared in the comedy drama Two for the Road (Stanley Donen, 1967), and she played Miss Goodthighs in the the widely panned James Bond satire, Casino Royale (John Huston a.o., 1967).

    That same year, she played her first lead role in the spy film The Cape Town Affair (Robert D. Webb, 1967), opposite James Brolin. In 1968, Bisset gained mainstream recognition when she replaced Mia Farrow for the role of Norma MacIver in The Detective (Gordon Douglas, 1968), opposite Frank Sinatra. In the same year, she co-starred in the counter-culture drama The Sweet Ride (Harvey Hart, 1968), with French-Canadian actor Michael Sarrazin, with whom she became romantically involved for several years. Her role brought her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer.

    Bisset played Steve McQueen's girlfriend in the popular action film Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968), which was among the top five highest-grossing films of the year. Bullitt is notable for its car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, regarded as one of the most influential in movie history. At 25, Bisset played her first ‘older woman’ in the sex comedy The First Time (James Neilson, 1969). She was one of the many stars in the disaster film Airport (George Seaton, 1970). She played a pregnant stewardess carrying Dean Martin's love child. The film was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. Following films included the horror film The Mephisto Waltz (Paul Wendkos, 1971) with Alan Alda, the Western The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (John Huston, 1972) starring Paul Newman as the real-life, self-appointed frontier judge, and The Thief Who Came to Dinner (Bud Yorkin, 1973) with Ryan O'Neal.

    In France, she appeared in François Truffaut's La nuit américaine/Day for Night (1973) which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. With her role, she earned the respect of European critics and filmgoers as a serious actress. In France, she also appeared with Jean-Paul Belmondoin the action comedy Le Magnifique/The Man from Acapulco (Philippe de Broca, 1973), a slapstick spoof of B-series espionage movies and novels. In Great-Britain, she was among the all-star cast of the Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet, 1974), starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. In Italy, she co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni in the thriller La donna della domenica/The Sunday Woman (Luigi Comencini, 1975). Then she returned to Hollywood for the action film St. Ives (J. Lee Thompson, 1976) with Charles Bronson.

    Jacqueline Bisset
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen in Rich and Famous (1981)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. c-de 43 139. Photo: publicity still for Rich and Famous (1981) with Candice Bergen.

    Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen in Rich and Famous (1981)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: publicity still for Rich and Famous (1981) with Candice Bergen.

    The wet T-shirt craze


    In 1977, Jacqueline Bisset had her definitive breakthrough in America with The Deep (Peter Yates, 1977). Her swimming underwater wearing only a white T-shirt for a top, helped to make the film a box office success. Newsweek magazine declared her "the most beautiful film actress of all time" and the film inspired the wet T-shirt craze. Reportedly, Bisset hated the wet T-shirt scenes because she felt exploited.

    By 1978, she was a household name. In that year she received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the comedy Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (Ted Kotcheff, 1978). She also starred opposite Anthony Quinn in The Greek Tycoon (J. Lee Thompson, 1978), loosely based it on Aristotle Onassis and his relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy.

    With Paul Newman, she played in the disaster film When Time Ran Out (James Goldstone, 1980). It was a commercial flop. Bisset served as a co-producer for the drama Rich and Famous (George Cukor, 1981) with Candice Bergen. In 1983, she starred in Class (Lewis John Carlino, 1983), as Rob Lowe's attractive mother who seduces her son's best friend (Andrew McCarthy).

    She earned another Golden Globe nomination for her role in John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984) opposite Albert Finney. She also earned praise and success for her starring role in the British film High Season (Clare Peploe, 1987).

    Since the mid-1980s, Bisset has appeared in many made-for-TV movies. One of her later TV movies was America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (Eric Laneuville, 2003), in which she again portrayed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Bisset's other television work includes the Biblical epics Jesus (Roger Young, 1999) and In the Beginning (Kevin Connor, 2000), and the miniseries Joan of Arc (Christian Duguay, 1999), which earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

    In 1996, Bisset was nominated for a César Award for her role in the French film La Cérémonie/The Ceremony (Claude Chabrol, 1996) with Isabelle Huppert. She also appeared in Dangerous Beauty (Marshall Herskovitz, 1998) with Catherine McCormack, and in the Domino Harvey biographical film Domino (Tony Scott, 2005) with Keira Knightley. In 2006, Bisset had a recurring role on the TV series Nip/Tuck as the ruthless extortionist James, and two years later, she starred in the lead role of Death in Love (Boaz Yakin, 2008).

    In 2010, Bisset was awarded the Légion d'honneur insignia, one of France's highest honours. She returned to the UK to film Stephen Poliakoff's 1930s jazz drama series, Dancing on the Edge (2013). For her work, she won a Golden Globe. Jacqueline Bisset has never married. She had lengthy romances with actor Michael Sarrazin, Russian-American dancer and actor Alexander Godunov, real estate magnate Victor Drai, actor Vincent Pérez, and martial arts instructor Emin Boztepe.


    DVD Trailer Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968). Source: Sam Jones (YouTube).


    Trailer La nuit américaine/Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973). Source: Jordi Puig (YouTube).


    Trailer The Deep (Peter Yates, 1977). Source: Joakim46 (YouTube).

    Congratulations to...


    Marlène Pilaete at L'encinémathèque. She just published her 100th gallery. It is dedicated to American film actress Patricia Morison, who became a centenarian this year.

    Sources: Roger Burns (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 12/21/15--22:00: O.W. Fischer
  • Austrian actor O.W. Fischer (1915–2004) was one of one of the most popular and highest-paid actors in the German-language cinema of the 1950s. 'Europe's Answer to Cary Grant' played the lead in dozens of light romantic comedies, Heimatfilms and historical pieces. But unlike countrymen Curd Jürgens, Maria Schell, Horst Buchholz and Romy Schneider, he never made it internationally.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3763/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Wien Film / Hämmerer.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 493. Photo: Rhombus / Herzog / Bayer. Publicity still for Cuba Cabana (Fritz Peter Buch, 1952).

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by FBZ, no. 493. Photo: Europa / Fama / Meteor-Film. Publicity still for Das letzte Rezept/Desires (Rolf Hansen, 1952).

    O.W. Fischer in Eine Liebesgeschichte (1954)
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 808. Photo: Intercontinental-Film / Deutsche London Film / Lilo. Publicity still for Eine Liebesgeschichte/A Love Story (Rudolf Jugert, 1954).

    O.W. Fischer
    Austrian postcard by Kellner-Postkarten, Wien, no. 1464. Photo: CIFA / Prisma / FCC. Publicity still for II bacio del sole/Don Vesuvio/The Kiss of the Sun (Siro Marcellini, 1958).

    O.W. Fischer in Die Schwarze Lorelei/Whirlpool (1959)
    German postcard by BILD-Zeitung. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Film Publicity still for Die Schwarze Lorelei/Whirlpool (Lewis Allen, 1959). Caption: Best Regards from the beautiful Lorelei.

    Burgtheater


    Otto Wilhelm Fischer was born in the small town of Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1915. He was the son of an Austrian government legal adviser, Franz Karl Fischer, and his wife Maria Fischer-Schoerg.

    After German and art studies at the University of Vienna he went in 1936 to the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar for acting classes. He began his stage career later that year at the Theater in der Josefstadt as Fritz in Arthur Schnitzler's Liebelei (Flirtation). He also appeared on the stages of the Münchner Kammerspiele and the Deutsche Volkstheater and became a popular star in both German and Austrian plays.

    Soon he made the leap to the German cinema and played small roles. His first appearance in Burgtheater/Vienna Burgtheater (Willi Forst, 1936) led to 40 other films such as Anton, der Letzte/Anthony the Last (E.W. Emo, 1939), and Meine Tochter lebt in Wien/My Daughter Lives in Vienna (E.W. Emo, 1940) with Elfriede Datzig and Hans Moser.

    In 1942 he married Czech actress Anna Usell, and the couple stayed together untill her death in 1985. From 1945 to 1952 he was an ensemble member at the famous Vienna Burgtheater, where he had success with dramatic parts in plays by Arthur Schnitzler and Henrik Ibsen.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 2013. Photo: dpa / Göbel.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3332. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Theo Huster / Allianz Film.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3919. Photo: Filipp / Roxy-Film / NF.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4206. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Bavaria Film. Publicity still for Und nichts als die Wahrheit/And Nothing But The Truth (Franz Peter Wirth, 1958).

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4275. Photo: Ufa / Kurt Ulrich / Roth. Publicity still for Peter Voss, der Milionendieb/Peter Voss, the Millions Thief (Wolfgang Becker, 1958).

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 369. Photo: Rhombus / Herzog Film / Arthur Grimm.

    The Dream Couple


    In 1950, after 21 films, O.W. Fischer got his first leading role, in Erzherzog Johanns grosse Liebe/Archduke Johann's Great Love (Hans Schott-Schöbinger, 1951). Many leading roles followed.

    Known as 'Europe's answer to Cary Grant', he specialized in romantic roles starring alongside Maria Holst, Marte Harell, Liselotte Pulver, Winnie Markus, or Ruth Leuwerik. These films include Märchen vom Glück/Kiss Me Casanova (Arthur De Glahs, 1949), Heidelberger Romanze/Heidelberg Romance (Paul Verhoeven, 1951), Tausend rote Rosen blüh'n/Thousand Red Roses (Alfred Braun, 1952), and Ein Herz spielt falsch/A Heart's Foul Play (Rudolf Jugert, 1953).

    With the simpering blonde Maria Schell he formed ‘Das Traumpaar’(The Dream Couple). They made made seven films together, such as Bis wir uns wiedersehn/Till We meet Again (Gustav Ucicky, 1952), Der Traumende Mund/Dreaming Lips (Josef von Báky, 1953), Solange Du da bist/As Long as You're Near Me (Harald Braun, 1953), and Tagebuch einer Verliebten/The Diary of a Married Woman (Josef von Báky, 1953).

    He often worked with the Hungarian emigré director Josef von Baky, whose reputation had been established with The Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen, made for the Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels in 1943.

    Fischer also starred in the title role of a classic of the German cinema, Ludwig II (Helmut Käutner, 1955). Most of these productions were financially successful and he became one of the two highest paid actors in Germany. (Curd Jürgenswas the other one).

    O.W. Fischer
    German promotion card by Lux.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-30. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by ISV, no. H 38.

    O.W. Fischer, Maria Schell
    With Maria Schell. German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 44. Photo: Klaus Collignon.

    O.W. Fischer
    East-German collector's card by Progress, no. 11/18/211, 1955.

    The Devil's Prophet


    O.W. Fischer occasionally assisted on directorial chores during the 1950s. In 1955, he directed and starred in Hanussen (O.W. Fischer, Georg Marischka, 1955), a film detailing the life of Erik Jan Hanussen a.k.a. the Devil's Prophet, a well-known psychic who collaborated with the Nazis. While the film is considered highly romanticized, Wikipedia states that it assisted historians and biographers in uncovering previously unknown facts.

    In 1956 he directed and starred opposite Anouk Aimée in Ich suche Dich/I Am Looking For You (O.W. Fischer, 1956), based on a play by A.J. Cronin. In 1956 Universal Studios signed Fischer to star with June Allyson in a remake of My Man Godfrey (Henry Koster, 1957), but his Hollywood break ended before it began: when Fischer reportedly lost his memory during filming, he was replaced by David Niven. Other sources say that differences with director Henry Koster and Universal Studioseventually cost him his contract.

    So Fischer returned to Europe, where he acted in films like Peter Voss, der Millionendieb/Peter Voss, Thief of Millions (Wolfgang Becker, 1958) and Menschen im Hotel/Grand Hotel (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1959) with Michèle Morgan.

    In the 1960s O.W. Fischer and his wife Anna moved to Vernate, Switzerland. He kept appearing on television and in the theatre. His last film was Komm, süßer Tod/Love Birds (Mario Caiano, 1969) with Claudine Augerand Christine Kaufmann.

    In the late 1970s, he retired from acting to concentrate on linguistics and philosophy, on which he lectured and published a number of books. O.W. Fischer died in 2004 in Lugano, Switzerland, of kidney failure. He was 88.

    O.W. Fischer
    German collector's card. Photo: Roxy-Gloria-Wesel.

    O.W. Fischer
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 350. Photo: Archiv Filmpress Zürich.


    Clip from Anton, der Letzte/Anthony the Last (E.W. Emo, 1939) with Elfriede Datzig. Source: BD130 (YouTube).


    Scene with Maria Schell from Solange Du da bist/As Long as You're Near Me (Harald Braun, 1953). Source: Yamsala (YouTube).


    O.W. Fischer as Ludwig II. von Bayern in Ludwig II (Helmut Käutner, 1955). Source: Hevenu (YouTube).


    German trailer for Menschen im Hotel/Grand Hotel (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1959). Source: Ascotdrei3333 (YouTube).

    Sources: Ronald Bergan (The Guardian), Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-line, German), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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    Just before Christmas, EFSP presents you the film special L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). This beautiful French silent film serial was an adaptation of the epic novel by Felicien Champsau. The serial was produced by Pathé Frères Consortium and the stars were Léon Mathot and Gina Relly.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    Léon Mathot. French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921).

    Gina Relly in L'empereur des pauvres (1921)
    Gina Relly in L'empereur des pauvres (1921). French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma.

    Vagabond

    L'empereur des pauvres was written by French novelist and journalist Félicien Champsaur in 1920.

    Director René LePrince created a silent film serial, based on this novel.

    The film tells the epic story of a rich and spoiled  young man, Marc Anavan (played  by Léon Mathot). Marc leads a profiligate life but when he understands his fortune is about to evaporate he decides to change his life.

    He becomes a vagabond and wants to do good around him. The task is not easy but his faith in his mission and the love of the pure Sylvette (Gina Relly) help him.

    Marc becomes the peaceful spokesperson for the disinherited. He has to face revolution, anarchism and the Great War, before retaking his humanitarian mission. In the end he overcomes all the hardships on his way.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Left, Henry Krauss, as Jean Sarrias, revolting against society.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). On the foreground, Gina Relly as Sylvette. Standing in the back, Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan, and Henry Krauss as Jean Sarrias.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Probably Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Left Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan, in the middle, Gina Relly as Sylvette, and right, Henry Krauss, as her uncle Jean Sarrias.

    Gina Relly in L'empereur des pauvres
    Gina Relly in L'empereur des pauvres (1921). French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Gina Relly as Sylvette and Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Left, Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan, In the middle, Gina Relly as Sylvette, and right, Henry Krauss, as her uncle Jean Sarrias. Left of Mathot is Andrée Pascal as Clémence Sarrias.

    Gina Relly and Léon Mathot in L'empereur des pauvres
    Gina Relly and Léon Mathot in L'empereur des pauvres (1921). French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma.

    Epic Novel


    L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921) was produced in six episodes: 1. Le Pauvre (The Poor); 2. Les Millions (The Millions); 3. Les Flambeaux (The Torches); 4. Les Crassiers (The Slag); 5. L'orage (The Storm) and 6. Floreal.

    On demand of exhibitors, these six episodes were re-edited into twelve parts of 900 metres each, which were shown over six weeks in France. In The Netherlands the 12 parts were shown in three or two weeks.

    Besides Léon Mathot and Gina Relly in the lead roles, the cast of L'empereur des pauvres includes several well-known actors of the French silent cinema.

    Henry Krauss played Jean Sarrias, the uncle of Silvette, Gilbert Dalleu was Cyprien Cadal, the mayor of Saint Saturnin du Var, Andrée Pascal appeared as Clémence Sarrias and Lily Damita was Riquette, credited as Lily Deslys. In supporting parts well known faces as Charles Lamy, André Luguet, Charles de Rochefort and Maurice Schutz were cast.

    The elaborate camera work was done by Julien Ringel and Paul Gaillard. Director René Leprince was a well-known film maker of the silent era, who had worked several times with comedian Max Linder and went on to make Fanfan La Tulipe (1925) with Aimé Simon-Girard. In 1929, Leprince died at the age of 53, at the end of the silent era.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Standing in the middle, actor Léon Mathot.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). In the middle, Gina Relly as Sylvette, and right, Henry Krauss, as her uncle Jean Sarrias, revolting against society. Left could be Andrée Pascal as Clémence Sarrias.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). The vagabond could be Léon Mathot.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Left to right: Andrée Pascal as Clémence Sarrias, Gina Relly as Sylvette, Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan, and Henry Krauss as Jean Sarrias.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Gina Relly as Sylvette, Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). In bed: Gina Relly as Sylvette, left of her Andrée Pascal as her sister Clémence.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Standing front, Léon Mathot.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Henry Krauss as Jean Sarrias, revolting against society.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Gina Relly as Sylvette, and Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Visible are Gina Relly as Sylvette and Léon Mathot as Marc Anavan.

    L'empereur des pauvres
    French postcard by M. Le Deley, Paris. Photo: Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Publicity still for L'empereur des pauvres/The Emperor of the poor (René Leprince, 1921). Gina Relly as Sylvette, working as a nurse during the First World War.

    For now, this was our last weekly film special.

    Sources: Guy Bellinger (IMDb), Ciné RessourcesWikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 12/23/15--22:00: Horst Janson
  • Horst Janson (1935) was one of Germany’s most popular film and television actors of the 1970s. He had his breakthrough when he played the first male character with long hair in German television history, in the hit show Der Bastian (1973). Janson appeared in many international films, including Spaghetti Westerns with Franco Nero and Tomas Milian.

    Horst Janson
    German autograph card. Photo: Eva Renzi.

    Horst Janson
    German autograph card by Simon Offset, München. Photo: Fotex / W. Van Eick, Hamburg.

    Salto Mortale


    Horst Janson was born in Mainz-Kastel, Germany, in 1935. His career started very early with the film Buddenbrooks (Alfred Weidenmann, 1959), based on the novel by Thomas Mann.

    He then featured in Helmut Käutner’s Das Glas Wasser/A Glass of Water (1960), where he played alongside Gustaf Gründgens, Hilde Krahl, Liselotte Pulver and Sabine Sinjen.

    He appeared in films such as Ruf der Wildgänse/The Cry of the Wild Geese (Hans Heinrich, 1961), Das Riesenrad/The Giant Wheel (Géza von Radványi, 1961) with Maria Schell, Das Mädchen und der Staatsanwalt/The girl and the prosecutor (Jürgen Goslar, 1962) and Robert Siodmak’s Escape from East Berlin (1962) with Don Murray.

    Television discovered him early and he appeared in the TV film Bernadette Soubirous (Hans Quest, 1961). In 1969 he worked on the TV series Salto Mortale (Michael Braun, 1969). He played supporting parts in the British war films You Can't Win 'Em All (Peter Collinson, 1970), starring Tony Curtis and Charles Bronson, The McKenzie Break (Lamont Johnson, 1970), and Murphy's War (Peter Yates, 1971), starring Peter O'Toole and Siân Phillips.

    Then he returned to the German cinema and played a supporting part in the comedy Der Kapitän/The Captain (Kurt Hoffmann, 1971). Heinz Rühmann plays the captain of an old tramp steamer, who is offered the chance to take over a luxury cruise ship. In Italy, Janson appeared in the comic Spaghetti Westerns Viva la muerte... tua!/Long Live Your Death (Duccio Tessari, 1971), starring Franco Nero and Eli Wallach, and La vita a volte è molto dura, vero Provvidenza?/Life Is Tough, Eh Providence? (Giulio Petroni, 1972) featuring Tomas Milian.

    Horst Janson
    German autograph card by Simon Offset, München. Photo: Hans Rauchensteiner.

    Horst Janson
    German autograph card by Simon Offset, München.

    The first male character with long hair


    Horst Janson had his breakthrough when he played the first male character with long hair in German television history, on the hit show Der Bastian (1973). Although he played a twenty-something, he was 37 years old at the time. During this period, he won several awards like the Golden Otto (1973) by Bravo magazine and the Bambi in 1974 as the most popular actor.

    In the cinema he starred in the violent mob thriller Zinksärge für die Goldjungen/Battle of the Godfathers (Jürgen Roland, 1973). In Great-Britain he played the lead in the Hammer horror film Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (Brian Clemens, 1974) with Caroline Munro.

    He had a supporting part in the British war adventure Shout at the Devil (Peter R. Hunt, 1976), starring Lee Marvin and Roger Moore. The film is set in Zanzibar and German East Africa in 1913–1915. Another war film was Breakthrough (Andrew V. MacLaglen, 1979), set on the Western Front. The picture is a sequel to Sam Peckinpah's Cross of Iron (1977), and starred big names like Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum and Rod Steiger.

    On television, he appeared in Sesamstraße (1980-1983), the German version of Sesame Street. In 1986, he appeared in The Last Days of Patton (Delbert Mann, 1986), a made-for-television film sequel to the film Patton (1970), which portrays the last few months of the general's life, with George C. Scott reprising his role as Patton.

    Janson played the character of Captain Bernd Jensen in the TV series Unter weissen Segeln/In White Sails (2004-2006). He also does a lot of theatre tours. In 1998, he played Old Shatterhand at the Karl May Festival in Bad Segeberg. Recently, he appeared in the international film La corona spezzata/The broken Crown (Ruben Maria Soriquez, 2014).

    Horst Janson lives with his family in Munich. He has been married to Helgardt 'Hella' Ruthardt since 1982. They have two children, Sarah-Jane (1984) and Laura-Marie (1986). He was previously married to actress Monika Lundi.


    German trailer for Viva la muerte... tua!/Long Live Your Death (Duccio Tessari, 1971). Source: Downdarren (YouTube).


    Scenes from the TV series Der Bastian (1973). Source: TV Kult (YouTube).


    Trailer Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (Brian Clemens, 1974). Source: Ian Hendry (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Gelukkig kerstfeest! Frohe Weihnachten! ¡Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Buon Natale! Sretan Božić! Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Boldog karácsonyt! Gleðileg jól! Nollaig Shona! Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus! Linksmų Kalėdų! Среќен Божиќ God jul! Wesołych Świąt! Feliz Natal! Crăciun fericit! С Рождеством Срећан Божић veselé Vianoce! Vesel božič! God Jul! Nadolig Llawen! Gëzuar Krishtlindjet! Eguberri! Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas!
    Elizabeth Taylor. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1051. Photo: John Everton / Ufa.

    Merry Christmas! Katharine Hepburn in Little Women
    Dutch postcard by the Rialto Theatre, Amsterdam, 1934. Photo: Remaco Radio Picture. Publicity still for Little Women (George Cukor, 1933). In the picture are Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee, Jean Parker and Spring Byington. The Dutch title of the film and the book by Louise M. Alcott is Onder moeders vleugels.

    Lien Deyers
    Lien Deyers. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7058/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Balász, Berlin.

    Marta Eggerth
    Marta Eggerth. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 593.

    Marta Toren
    Marta Toren. Dutch postcard, no. 3374. Photo: Universal International / Fotoarchief Film en Toneel.

    Robertino
    Robertino. French postcard by Editions Publistar, Marseille, no. 811. Photo: President.

    Kermit, The Muppets Show
    Kermit. Dutch postcard by Interstat, Amsterdam. Photo: The Jim Henson Company.

    Dany Robin
    Dany Robin. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1004. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Romy Schneider, Horst Buchholz
    Romy Schneider& Horst Buchholz. Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3572.

    Jayne Mansfield
    Jayne Mansfield. French postcard by Edition a la carte. Photo: Filmhistorisches Bildarchiv Peter W. Engelmeier.

    Heintje
    Heintje Simons. German postcard by Modern Times. Photo: Interfoto. Caption: Alles schlampen, ausser mama (All bitches, except mama).

    Nadja Tiller
    Nadja Tiller. German promotion card for Luxor.

    This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.


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  • 12/25/15--22:00: Maurizio Arena
  • Italian film actor Maurizio Arena (1933-1979) appeared in 78 films between 1952 and 1978. In the late 1950s, he became popular as the poor but handsome Roman working class boy in a comedy trilogy by Dino Risi.

    Renato Salvatori, Marisa Allasio, Maurizio Arena
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1356, 1961. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress. Publicity still for Poveri ma belli/Poor But Beautiful (Dino Risi, 1957) with Renato Salvatori(left) and Marisa Allasio.

    Maurizio Arena
    Italian postcard, no. 463.

    Maurizio Arena and Cathia Caro
    Italian postcard by Ed. Pontedera for Piaggio. Reprint. Maurizio Arena and Cathia Caro on a Vespa, c. 1960. Caro and Rena played together in e.g. Simpatico mascalzone (Mario Amendola, 1959), and Il principe fusto (1960), directed by Arena himself.

    Beauties on a Motor Scooter


    Maurizio Arena was born as Maurizio di Lorenzo in Rome in 1933.

    Arena made his film debut at nineteen years old, with a small role in Bellezze in moto-scooter/Beauties on a motor scooter (Carlo Campogalliani, 1952) featuring Isa Barzizza.

    He played Giovanna Ralli’s boyfriend in Villa Borghese/It Happened in the Park (Vittorio de Sica, Gianni Franciolini, 1953). The film consists of six vignettes set in the Villa Borghese gardens in Rome. He also had a small part in the drama La lupa/She-Wolf (Alberto Lattuada, 1953). It is based on the novella with the same name by Giovanni Verga.

    He also played a smart part in the comedy Il segno di Venere/The Sign of Venus (Dino Risi, 1955) starring Sophia Loren, which was entered into the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. He had a bigger role as a thief in the Totò comedy Totò e Carolina/Totò and Carolina (Mario Monicelli,1955) with Anna-Maria Ferrero. The film was banned when it was first released, as it made fun of a policeman.

    His breakout role came in 1956 with the role of Romolo in the successful romance-comedy film Poveri ma belli/Poor, But Handsome (Dino Risi, 1956). Romolo and Salvatore (Renato Salvatori) are two poor, but handsome friends, who live with their parents in Piazza Navona, Rome, and who both fall in love with Giovanna (Marisa Allasio). The success of the film lead to two sequels with Arena and Salvatori, Belle ma povere/Pretty But Poor (Dino Risi, 1957) and Poveri milionari/Poor Millionaires (Dino Risi, 1958).

    Maurizio Arena
    Italian postcard by Turismofoto, no. 98.

    Maurizio Arena
    Italian postcard by Casa Editr. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 3713. Photo: G.B. Poletto / Titanus. Publicity still for Poveri milionari/Poor Millionaires (Dino Risi, 1958).

    Telefoni bianchi


    Until the early 1960s, Maurizio Arena was one of the most popular actors in the Italian cinema. He appeared in such films as the adventure Il diavolo nero/The Black Devil (Sergio Grieco, 1957), the comedy Amore e guai/Love and Troubles (Angelo Dorigo, 1958) starring Marcello Mastroianni, and the drama Un uomo facile/The Defeated Victor (Paolo Heusch, 1958).

    He was also a protagonist of the gossip columns for his tumultuous love life. During the 1960s, his film career went into decline. His films included the comedy Il carabiniere a cavallo/The policeman on horseback (Carlo Lizzani, 1962) starring Nino Manfredi, the drama La fuga/The Escape (Paolo Spinola, 1964) starring Giovanna Ralli, and the anthology comedy Le bambole/The Dolls (Luigi Comencini a.o., 1965).

    In the following decade, he kept active as a character actor in often mediocre films. More or less interesting were the heist film Las Vegas 500 Milliones/They Came to Rob Las Vegas (Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1968), starring Gary Lockwood and Elke Sommer, and the historical drama Il delitto Matteotti/The Assassination of Matteotti (Florestano Vancini, 1973), starring Mario Adorf and Franco Nero.

    Arena reunited with director Dino Risi for one of his final films, the excellent comedy Telefoni bianchi/The Diary of a Chambermaid (Dino Risi, 1976) with Agostina Belli. This was an homage to Italy’s White Telephone films, the sophisticated comedy-dramas of the 1930s and 1940s, revolving around working-class girls.

    In the last years of his short life Arena was also a healer with some local following, and he was an occasional singer. In 1979, Maurizio Arena died in Rome at the age of 45, following a heart attack. In 2008 a park was named after him in his native district Garbatella.

    Maurizio Arena
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, no. 1439. Photo: Cineriz.

    Maurizio Arena
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1352, 1960. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress.

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 12/26/15--22:00: Emmi Kosáry
  • Emmi Kosáry (1889-1964) was a Hungarian opera diva and operetta prima donna with a beautiful soprano voice. She also became a film actress, who worked in Hungary with the young Michael Curtiz. Kosáry was the wife of composer Ákos Buttykay.

    Emmi Kosáry
    Hungarian postcard by Veres, no. 77.

    The Gypsy Princess


    Emmi (or Emmy) Kosáry was born Kosári Emma Kornélia in Kisszeben (Sabikov), Hungary, in 1889. She was the daughter of Emil and Emma Kosáry.

    After graduating from secondary school, she studied for pianist and opera singer. In 1908 she began her career at the Király Színház (King's Theatre). In 1909 she married composer Ákos Buttykay.

    In 1912, she was engaged by the Operaház, the Budapest Opera House. Here she worked as a coloratura singer until 1915. In 1916, she performed for the first times one of her most beloved roles, the lead role in the operetta Die Csárdásfürstin (The Gypsy Princess) by Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán, with a libretto by Leo Stein and Bela Jenbach.

    In 1916 Emmi Kosáry returned to the Király Színház, where he played until 1919. From 1916 till 1921 she starred at the Vígszínházban (Comedy Theatre) and in 1920 she played as a guest at the Városi Színházban (Municipal Theatre).

    Emmi Kosáry and Márton Rátkai in Csárdáskirálynö (1916)
    Hungarian postcard by Magyar Rotophot Tarsáság, Budapest, no. 10. Photo: Strelisky, 1917. Publicity still for the stage play Csárdáskirálynö/The Gypsy Princess (1916).

    Emmi Kosáry
    Hungarian postcard by Kiadja Reinitz Jòzsef, Budapest. Photo: Angelo, 1918.

    Directed by Michael Curtiz


    In 1917, Emmi Kosáry made her film debut in the silent film Tatárjárás/Tartar Invasion (1917) with Camilla von Hollay. The film was directed by Mihály Kertész who later became famous as Hollywood director Michael Curtiz.

    Kosáry also performed internationally at the Berlin Opera House and the Vienna Opera House and the Carltheater in Vienna. Later Kosary worked in Hungary at the Budapest Operetta Theatre, the Andrassy Street Theatre and the Bethlen Square Theatre.

    Abroad, she performed in cities like Vienna and Dresden. She also performed on stage in the United States in 1923 and 1929.

    During the 1930s, she starred in two Hungarian films, the comedy Az okos mama/The Wise Mother (Emil Martonffi, 1935) and Varjú a toronyórán/Crow on the Tower (Endre Rodríguez, 1938).

    In 1964, Emmi Kosáry passed away in Budapest, Hungary. She was 75. Her daughter, Emmi Buttykay, who also worked as a film actress, had died in 1957.

    Emmi Kosáry
    German postcard by NPG, no. 994. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Emmi Kosáry
    Hungarian postcard. Photo: Angelo. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Sources: Shinhaz.hu (Hungarian), Wikipedia (Hungarian) and IMDb.

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  • 12/27/15--22:00: Michèle Morgan, Part 1
  • Blond actress Michèle Morgan (1920) was a classic beauty, specially noted for her feline, expressive eyes. She has been one of the most popular leading ladies of the French cinema for over five decades. Today EFSP focuses on the first part of her career, including her years in Hollywood. Tomorrow follows part two.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Greff S.E.R.P. Editeur, Paris, no. 4. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 71. Photo: Studio Piaz.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil, no. 571. Photo: Discina, Paris.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil, no. 571 (?).

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 16. Photo: Universal.

    Gloomy Allure


    Michèle Morgan was born as Simone Renée Roussel in 1920, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Michèle has three younger brothers. Her father was a departmental head in an export house of fragrances. After the crisis of 1929, he found himself unemployed and relocated the family from the wealthy Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine to Dieppe in Upper Normandy.

    It was at the Dieppe Casino that Michèle began to attend stage shows and became enamoured with the idea of acting. At 15, she left home with her younger brother Paul to pursue an acting career in Paris. There, she began her career working as an extra. Through a casting agency, she won a bit role in Mademoiselle Mozart/Meet Miss Mozart (Yvan Noé, 1935) starring Danielle Darrieux.

    The film's director, Yvan Noé, suggested her to perfect her acting technique by taking lessons. With her salaries for small roles in films like Une fille à papa/A Daughter for Father (René Guissart, 1935) with Josette Day, she paid for drama classes. Morgan studied acting under René Simon and chose the pseudonym of Michèle Morgan, taking it from the Morgan Bank in Paris.

    She was soon noticed by director Marc Allégret who offered her a major role in the comedy Gribouille (1937), opposite the great French actor Raimu. Then came Orage (Marc Allégret, 1938) with Charles Boyer, the classic romantic crime drama Le Quai des brumes/Port of Shadows (Marcel Carné, 1938) opposite Jean Gabin and Michel Simon, and Remorques (Jean Grémillon, 1941) again opposite Jean Gabin.

    These films established Michèle Morgan as one of the leading actress of the time in French cinema. Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: "Her remote, enigmatic features and gloomy allure had audiences comparing her to a young Greta Garbo."

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Viny, no. 16. Photo: Film Osso. Publicity still for Marcel Carné's classic film Quai des brûmes/Port of Shadows (1938).

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Viny, no. 29. Photo: Star.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Edition Ross, no. F17. Photo: Intran-Studio. Collection: Marlène Pilaete.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by C.M.B., no. 500.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 112. Photo: Star.

    So-so Reception in the USA


    Upon the invasion of France in 1940 by the Germans, Michèle Morgan left for the United States. However, she had already been offered her contract with RKO before the start of WW2. She married American actor/singer William Marshall in 1942. Their son Mike Marshall (1944-2005) later became an actor in both France and Hollywood.

    Morgan started to work for RKO. She was considered for the role of Lina in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion (1941), but was soon passed over since her English wasn't deemed good enough. The role went to Joan Fontaine, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance. Morgan then worked hard to perfect her English and, for an entire year, she saw a linguistic coach for several hours a day and improved considerably.

    Morgan's first Hollywood film became Joan of Paris (Robert Stevenson, 1942), co-starring RKO leading man Paul Henreid. It would be her only American hit. Her Hollywood adventure proved to be disappointing. Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: "Her eventual move to Hollywood was based purely on her European prestige, but she did not stand out among the other female foreign imports of that time, such as Ingrid Bergman."

    Nothing major came her way apart from rather routine sultry roles amid WW II surroundings. A disaster was her part in the musical Higher and Higher (Tim Whelan, 1943) starring Jack Haley and Frank Sinatra. Morgan had no prior singing experience and was supposed to take a few lessons as quickly as possible.

    Morgan was considered for the role of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942), but her studio RKO wouldn't release her for the amount of money Warner Bros was offering and Ingrid Bergman was cast instead. Later, she did make Passage to Marseille (Michael Curtiz, 1944)with director Michael Curtiz and Humphrey Bogart. But this film was far less successful than Casablanca. Her last American film was the noirish The Chase (Arthur Ripley, 1946) based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich and starring Robert Cummings.

    After the so-so reception for her American films, Michèle Morgan returned to France. In her autobiography Avec ces yeux-là (With Those Eyes, 1977), she tells an ominous anecdote about her house in Hollywood. She had a house built at 10050 Cielo Drive, slightly isolated from the other star mansions. Michèle was scared at the thought of staying alone at the place and claimed that she was often hearing sinister noises. She decided to move in with her new husband, William Marshall. In 1969, the house became site of Sharon Tate's murder by the followers of Charles Manson.

    Michèle Morgan
    Dutch postcard by S. & v. H. A. Photo: M.P.E.A.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., La Garenne-Colombes, no. 133. Photo: GIBE.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 208. Photo: Universal.

    Michèle Morgan
    Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 1939.

    Michèle Morgan
    British postcard in the Star Souvenir Series by Jarrold and Sons, Ltd, Norwich, no. 61. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for Maria Chapdelaine (Marc Allégret, 1950).

    With Those Eyes


    At home in France, Michèle Morgan was treated much better than in Hollywood. She received the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her touching performance as the blind heroine in La symphonie pastorale (Jean Delannoy, 1946) with Pierre Blanchar. She then appeared in the British thriller The Fallen Idol (Carol Reed, 1948) opposite Ralph Richardson.

    Next, she moved to Italy for Fabiola (Alessandro Blasetti, 1949). After several years of wartime austerity, the Italian film industry returned to the Peplum, the sand and sandals spectacle. Morgan plays the title role, the daughter of a Roman aristocrat (Michel Simon) during the takeover by Emperor Constantine. As a reaction to Constantine's Christian conversion policy, many old-line Romans are persecuting the city's Christian community, killing the believers off before Constantine marches into town. Fabiola is loyal to her Christian-sympathizing father but is irresistibly drawn to a Roman gladiator (Henri Vidal).

    Privately she was also drawn to Vidal. During the shooting of the film, she secretly began a relationship with her co-star. At the time her marriage to William Marshall was already falling to pieces. Marshall, who wished to gain custody of their son, hired some private detectives to follow Morgan's moves and eventually managed to have her photographed in bed with Henri Vidal. Morgan therefore lost custody of Mike due to adultery. In 1950 Vidal and Morgan married.

    In 1950 she also appeared in Maria Chapdelaine/The Naked Heart (Marc Allegret, 1950). Adapter and director Allegret has fashioned the novel by Louis Hemon into a vehicle for his successful discovery. Morgan plays a young woman whose romantic fantasies begin spilling over into actuality. The film's novelty value is its setting: a remote village in Northern Canada. Filmed simultaneously in French and English-language versions, The Naked Heart was produced independently on a tiny budget. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "while the seams begin to show towards the end, for the most part the film works."

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 365. Photo: Sam Lévin, Paris.


    DVD trailer for Le Quai des brumes/Port of Shadows (1938). Source: Criterion Dungeon (YouTube).


    Scene from Remorques (1941). Source: Carochoupi (YouTube).

    To be continued tomorrow.


    Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia, AllMovie, and IMDb.

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  • 12/28/15--22:00: Michèle Morgan, Part 2
  • Blond actress Michèle Morgan (1920) was a classic beauty. She has been one of the most popular leading ladies of the French cinema for over five decades. The delicate, sophisticated star was especially noted for her large, expressive eyes. Today,  Part Two of a double post on her long career and her many postcards.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 451. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 184. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), no. 66. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 616. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Michèle Morgan
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 810. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Publicity still for Les orgueilleux/The Proud Ones (Yves Allégret, Rafael E. Portas, 1953).

    No Goodbye Girl


    During the 1950s, Michèle Morgan continued to be a major star of the European cinema. She regularly co-starred with her husband, Henri Vidal. Their films together include La belle que voilà/Here Is The Beauty (Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1950), L'étrange Mme X/The Strange Madame X (Jean Grémillon, 1951), the lavish historical epic Napoléon (Sacha Guitry, 1955) in which she played Josephine, and Pourquoi viens-tu si tard?/Why Do You Come So Late? (Henri Decoin, 1959).

    She appeared opposite idol Gérard Philipe in Les Orgueilleux/The Proud Ones (Yves Allégret, 1953) and in the bittersweet Les Grandes Manœuvres/Grand Maneuver(René Clair, 1955). Hal Erickson at AllMovie about the latter: "Phillipe plays a dashing dragoons officer, vintage 1913, who wagers his friends that he can make the next woman who enters the room fall in love with him. In strides drop-dead gorgeous Michele Morgan, and the rest writes itself. Phillipe plans a slow seduction and a quick goodbye; Morgan, need we say, is no 'goodbye girl'."

    She starred in the historical film was Marie-Antoinette reine de France/Marie Antoinette Queen of France (Jean Delannoy, 1956). Morgan plays the Austrian princess who becomes the last Queen of France in waning years of the 18th century. She also appeared in the American production The Vintage (Jeffrey Hayden, 1957) with Pier Angeli and Mel Ferrer.

    In the remake Menschem im Hotel/Grand Hotel (1959), Morgan played the role of Grusinskaya, which was originally portrayed by Greta Garbo in the award-winning 1932 classic Grand Hotel. Based on a book by Vicki Baum, all of the action takes place in the course of one day in a luxury hotel in Berlin. Grusinkaya is a ballerina staying at the hotel, other guests include a sophisticated thief (O.W. Fischer), a dying man (Heinz Rühmann), a businessman (Gert Fröbe), and a stenographer (Sonja Ziemann). Hal Erickson: "Events intertwine the lives of these strangers, bringing them together for some dramatic moments but not quite as effectively as in the 1932 film."

    Henri Vidal suddenly died in 1959. A year later, Morgan married film director and actor/writer Gérard Oury and stayed with him till his death in 2006.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 579. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Michèle Morgan
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 418. Photo: Sam Lévin, Paris.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris (Licency holder in France for Ufa), no. FK 17A. Offered by Les carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 283. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Michèle Morgan
    Dutch postcard, no. 960.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane, no. 1137. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Cravates Michèle Morgan


    Michèle Morgan appeared in three films with her third husband, actor and director Gérard Oury: La belle que voilà/Here Is The Beauty (Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1950), Le miroir à deux faces/The Mirror has Two Faces (André Cayatte, 1958) and Un homme et une femme, 20 ans déjà/A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later (Claude Lelouch, 1986). She also worked under his direction in a segment of Le crime ne paie pas/Crime Does Not Pay (Gérard Oury, 1962).

    Her career took a downturn when the French Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) movement came along in the late 1950s. Its key directors decided to cut ties with the classic French cinema, which many of them had largely despised since the days they had been serving as critics for the Cahiers du cinéma. The only film she did by a Nouvelle Vague auteur was Claude Chabrol's Landru (1963), about French serial killer Henri-Desire Landru (Charles Denner), who wined, dined, scammed, and dismembered over 10 women during WW I. Morgan played a victim, who's eventually burned down by Landru to go up in smoke.

    Throughout the 1960s, Morgan continued working in the international cinema. She appeared in films like the Italian historical drama Il fornaretto di Venezia/The Scapegoat (Duccio Tessari, 1963) with Jacques Perrin, the American war drama Lost Command (Mark Robson, 1966) starring Anthony Quinn, and the French comedy Benjamin (Michel Deville, 1968) with Catherine Deneuve and Pierre Clémenti.

    In 1968 she largely retired from the screen, but has occasionally returned in films like Le Chat et la souris/Cat and Mouse (Claude Lelouch, 1975) with Serge Reggiani, and Stanno tutti bene/Everbody's Fine (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1990) with Marcello Mastroianni. About the first, D.B. DuMonteil notes at IMDb: "Lelouch really plays cat and mouse with the audience as Detective Lechat (sic)(Regggiani) does with his still attractive suspect (or is it the other way about?). There are plenty of funny scenes and some witty lines. (...) Objections: there are not enough scenes where Reggiani and Morgan are together".

    From the 1970s on, she has concentrated on painting, designing ties and writing poems. As a painter she has had several successful exhibitions in Paris. She established her own tie label Cravates Michèle Morgan in the late 1970s. In 1977 she published her autobiography Avec ces yeux-là (With Those Eyes). In the 1980s and 1990s she also appeared in different TV films and miniseries.

    Michèle Morgan was named Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honor) in 1969, and she was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Mérite (French National Order of Merit) in 1975. Morgan also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And in 1992 she was given a Honorary César Award for her long service to the French cinema.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 39. Photo: Star.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1009. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Michèle Morgan
    French postcard by Z K, no. 1937.

    Michèle Morgan
    Italian postcard by Rotalcolor, Milano, no. 72.

    Michèle Morgan
    German postcard by ISV, no. B 15. Photo: MGM.


    Trailer for Les Orgueilleux/The Proud Ones (Yves Allégret, 1953). Source: Plamen Plamenov (YouTube).


    Trailer for The Vintage (1957). Source: Luis Peix (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), DB DuMonteil (IMDb), Wikipedia, AllMovie, and IMDb.

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    American dancer, singer and actor George Chakiris (1934) had his biggest success as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks gang in the celebrated film musical West Side Story (1961). Later he starred with Catherine Deneuve in another classic, the charming French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967).From now, our weekly series Imported from the USA will be posted on Wednesday.

    George Chakiris
    Spanish postcard by Archivo Bermejo, no. C. 178. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961).

    George Chakiris and Rita Moreno
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg NV, Rotterdam. Photo: Capitol. Publicity still for West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961) with Rita Moreno.

    Silky yet explosive dancing


    George Chakiris was born in Norwood, Ohio, in 1934. His parents were Steven and Zoe (née Anastasiadou) Chakiris, immigrants from Greece.

    Chakiris studied at the American School of Dance. He made his film debut at the age of 12 singing in the chorus of Song of Love (Clarence Brown, 1947), a biopic of Robert and Clara Schumann (Robert Walker and Katharine Hepburn).

    Following his graduation from high school, he supported his night-time dancing, singing and dramatic lessons with a daytime job clerking in a Los Angeles department store. For several years he appeared in small, unbilled roles, usually as a dancer or a member of the chorus in various musical films.

    He was one of the tuxedoed dancers in Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend number in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953), and appeared as a dancer alongside Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas (Michael Curtiz, 1954) in the Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me number. He can also be seen in the funeral dance in the MGM musical Brigadoon (Vincente Minnelli, 1954).

    In 1957, he made his debut as a dramatic actor in a small part in the war drama Under Fire (James B. Clarke, 1957). The following year, he travelled to New York hoping for a Broadway ‘break.’ Hearing that Jerome Robbins was casting the London company of West Side Story, he auditioned and was awarded the co-starring role of Riff, leader of the Anglo gang, the Jets. He played the part for almost two years on the West End stage.

    Chakiris also co-starred in the film version, West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961). He now played Bernardo, leader of a rival Puerto Rican gang of immigrants, the Sharks. For this magnetic role and his silky yet explosive dancing, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe. The romantic musical drama became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. West Side Story was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture.

    George Chakiris
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1. Photo: Capitol.

    George Chakiris
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3. Photo: Capitol.

    Gorgeous and a delight to the eye


    During the rest of the 1960s, George Chakiris was in much demand. He starred as a doctor in the film Diamond Head (Guy Green, 1963) opposite Charlton Heston and Yvette Mimieux, and appeared alongside Yul Brynner in Kings of the Sun (J. Lee Thompson, 1963) and Flight from Ashiya (Michael Anderson, 1964).

    His fee around this time was a reported $100,000 per film. In Italy he starred opposite Claudia Cardinale in the crime film La ragazza di Bube/Bebo’s Girl (Luigi Comencini,1963).

    Later he acted in France along with Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac in the musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort/The Young Ladies of Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967).

    Craig Butler at AllMovie: “When originally released, Jacques Demy's The Young Girls of Rochefort suffered in comparison with his earlier The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but its reputation has grown in the intervening years. Although not without flaws, Rochefort is a tremendously appealing and utterly engaging musical trifle. Breezy and light, Rochefort is also gorgeous and a delight to the eye; Demy's sense and use of color is practically overwhelming, and is as important to the success of the film as any other element.”

    In France, he also appeared in the spy comedy Le Rouble à deux faces/The Day the Hot Line Got Hot (Etienne Périer, 1968) starring Robert Taylor and Charles Boyer. In addition to film, Chakiris performed on stage in London and around the U.S. and on television. In the early 1960s, he embarked on a career as a pop singer, resulting in a couple of minor hit songs. In 1960, he recorded one single with noted producer Joe Meek.

    George Chakiris
    Dutch postcard by Hercules, Haarlem, no. 1089. Photo: Capitol.

    George Chakiris
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/248.

    George Chakiris
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam. Photo: Capitol. Publicity still for West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961|).

    Heels or middle-aged Lotharios


    George Chakiris starred in the first national tour of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Company, touring as Bobby in 1971-72.

    He worked more in television in the 1970s and 1980s. His television credits include a leading role in an adaptation of Kismet (1967) with Anna Maria Alberghetti and Jose Ferrer, and a co-starring stint with Rosemary Harris and Jeremy Irons in the British historical miniseries Notorious Woman (Waris Hussein, 1975), a dramatisation of the life of author George Sand.

    Chakiris also played character turns as heels or middle-aged Lotharios on such series as Medical Center (1970-1975), Hawaii Five-O (1972), Wonder Woman (1978), Dallas (1986), Murder, She Wrote (1989), and the daytime soap opera Santa Barbara (1988).

    He also appeared in the final episode of The Partridge Family (1974) as an old flame to Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones). Their kiss goodbye was the final scene in the program's run. Chakiris had a recurring role on the TV show Superboy as Professor Peterson during the first two seasons from 1988-1990.

    His final film role was as a vampire in Pale Blood (V.V. Dachin Hsu, 1990). Chakiris' last screen role was in a 1996 episode of the sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. He has given occasional television interviews since then, but is mostly retired.

    His hobby of making sterling silver jewelry has turned into a new occupation, working as a jewelry designer for his own brand, George Chakiris Collections, consisting of handmade original sterling silver jewelry.


    Marilyn Monroe - and George Chakiris - in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953). Source: Marilyn Monroe Diamond (YouTube).


    DVD Trailer for West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961). Source: zuguidemovietrailers (YouTube).


    Musical scene from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort/The Young Ladies of Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967). Sorry, no subtitles! Source: Marco Siebel (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Craig Butler (AllMovie), K. Wiebe (IMDb), TCM, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 12/30/15--22:00: Heidi Brühl
  • Blonde, blue-eyed Schlager singer and film star Heidi Brühl (1942-1991) was called 'the Doris Day of Germany'. In 1963 she was the German participant at the Eurovision Song Contest. In the early 1970s she worked in Hollywood and appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in The Eiger Sanction (1975).

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Templehof), no. CK-128. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann.

    Heidi Brühl
    Dutch postcard by P. Moorlag, Heerlen, Sort. 10/6.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/30. Photo: Philips.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 154.

    Teen Idol


    Heidi Rosemarie Brühl was born in Gräfeling near München (Munich), Germany in 1942. After the divorce of her parents, she grew up with her grandparents.

    She made her first film when she was only 12. Director Harald Braun had discovered her in a ballet class and cast her for an uncredited bit part in Der letzte Sommer/The Last Summer (Harald Braun, 1954) starring heartthrob Hardy Krüger.

    This was followed by a small part in the Heimat-film Heideschulmeister Uwe Karsten/Eternal Love (Hans Deppe, 1954) featuring Claus Holm. A string of these silly romantic rural films made her a teen idol.

    Her most popular films were a trilogy based on novels by children's writer Ursula Bruns about the pony farm Immenhof: Die Mädels vom Immenhof/The Girls of Immenhof (Wolfgang Schleif, 1955) with Angelika Meisner and Christiane König as her orphaned sisters, Hochzeit auf Immenhof/Marriage at Immenhof (Volker von Collande, 1956) and Ferien auf Immenhof/Holiday at Immenhof (Hermann Leitner, 1958).

    Heidi Brühl
    Dutch postcard, no. 14.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by ISV, no. H 93.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by ISV, no. H 76, circa 1964.

    Heidi Brühl
    Vintage postcard.

    Heidi Brühl
    Dutch postcard.

    Cute Boys


    Heidi Brühl also appeared in the excellent Thomas Mann adaptation Die Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull/Confessions of Felix Krull (Kurt Hoffmann, 1957) with another German teen idol of the 1950s, Horst Buchholz

    That years, she also starred in Die Frühreifen/The Prematures (Josef von Baky, 1957) with another cute boy Christian Wolff.

    She also appeared opposite Wolff in Verbrechen nach Schulschluss/The Young Go Wild (Alfred Vohrer, 1959)

    Heidi Brühl then could be seen as a singer in the Schlager-film Schlager-Raketen/Hit-Rockets (Erik Ode, 1960).

    She also starred in Freddy und die Melodie der Nacht/Freddy and the Melody of the Night (Wolfgang Schleif, 1960) featuring schlager star Freddy Quinn, and the operetta film Der Zigeuner Baron/The Gypsy Baron (Kurt Wilhelm, 1962) opposite Carlos Thompson.

    Heidi Brühl and Christian Wolff in Die Frühreifen (1957)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 361. Photo: CCC / Krau. Publicity still for Die Frühreifen/The precocious (Josef von Báky, 1957) with Christian Wolff.

    Heidi Brühl
    Dutch postcard by Gofilex film, no. 376. Still from Immer will ich dir gehören (Arno Assmann, 1960).

    Heidi Brühl in Immer will ich dich gehören (1960)
    Dutch postcard by N.V. v.h. Weenenk & Snel, Baarn, no. 761. Photo: Gofilex. Publicity still for Immer will ich dich gehören/
    Always I will be yours
    (Arno Assmann, 1960) with Peter Weck.

    Jacques Brel and Heidi Brühl
    Dutch postcard by NS, no. 12. With Jacques Brel.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 199. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann / NDF.

    A Cool Blonde


    At the age of 16, Heidi Brühl decided to go back to school and studied singing, dancing, acting, English and French.

    In 1959 she formed a Schlager duo, the Dolly Sisters together with Corina Corten. They obtained a record deal with the Philips label, and their first record Chico Chico Charlie reached the no. 5 position in the German hit parade.

    In 1960 she wanted to enter the Eurovision Song Contest solo with Wir wollen niemals auseinandergehn (We will never part), but she finished in second place. The song became her biggest hit though. It reached no. 1 in the German single charts, stayed there for nine weeks and sold more than a million copies. The song was a cover of Doris Day's Ring of Gold, and she was nicknamed the 'Doris Day of Germany'.

    She participated again at the German pre-selection in 1963, and this time she was successful and joined the Eurovision Song Contest in London. She became 9th with the song Marcel.

    Till 1967 she had 12 hits in Germany. She did not make films in Germany during this period, but she appeared on stage in musicals like Annie Get Your Gun (1964) and My Fair Lady (1969).

    That year she also published the memoir Eine kühle Blonde bitte. Erinnerungen eines bisweilen unvorsichtigen Mädchens (A cool blonde, please. Recollections of a sometimes careless girl) (1969).

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Kruger, no. 903/321. This photo and those below are all made by the master of the pin-up pics, Bernard of Hollywood. Click twice on the picture to see them in a bigger format.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/322. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/319. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/323. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

    Heidi Brühl
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/330. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

    Breast Cancer


    When Heidi Brühl was on a concert tour in the US she was asked to play Princess Jana opposite Guy Williams in MGM's Captain Sindbad (Byron Haskin, 1963), but the movie flopped.

    Brühl met American actor Brett Halsey, and moved with him to Rome, where they married in December 1964. She did not make any films while she lived in Rome.

    In the 1970s the family moved to the US, where she acted in the deadly dull comedy How to Seduce a Woman (Charles Martin, 1974) and appeared opposite Clint Eastwood in a small part in the adventure film The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood, 1975).

    She also worked for TV and was a guest star in such popular crime series as Columbo (1973) starring Peter Falk, Get Christie Love! (1974-1975) starring Teresa Graves, and Marcus Welby, M.D. (1976) with James Brolin. In Las Vegas she performed together with Sammy Davis Jr.

     In between she returned to Germany to play in two further Immenhof sequels, Zwillinge vom Immenhof/Twins from Immen Farm (Wolfgang Schleif, 1973) with Horst Janson, and Frühling auf Immenhof/Spring at Immen Farm (Wolfgang Schleif, 1974) with Olga Tschechova. Both were flops.

    In 1976 she divorced Halsey and returned to Germany. There she worked mainly for TV, such as in Krimi series as Der Alte/The Old Fox (1985) starring Michael Ande, and Ein Fall für zwei/A Case for Two (1984, 1987) with Claus Theo Gärtner. She also did dubbing work on films such as The NeverEnding Story and Look Who's Talking Too, and in 1982 she started a record studio.

    Her final film appearance was as a civil servant in the immigration drama Kleiner Mann was tun/Little man What To Do (Uschi Madeisky, Klaus Werner, 1981).

    When she was 20, Heidi Brühl had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, but had defeated the disease. In the late 1980s she got breast cancer but this time she had to surrender and refused chemotherapy.

    Heidi Brühl passed away in 1991 in Starnberg, Germany, only 49 years old. She had two children. Her son Clayton Halsey (1967) is an editor and actor, and her daughter Nicole Brühl-Halsey (1970) is an actress.


    Scenes from Die Mädels vom Immenhof/The Girls of Immenhof (1955) (No subtitles). Source: Kanaal van fifteesrebel (YouTube).


    TV trailer for Die Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull/Confessions of Felix Krull (1957). Source: ANIXE (YouTube).


    Heidi Brühl sings Marcel at the Eurovision Song Contest of 1963. Source: escbelgium3 | 1956 - 1979 (YouTube).


    Heidi Brühl sings Wir wollen niemals auseinandergehen. Source: Schlageria (YouTube).


    Trailer of The Eiger Sanction (1975). Source: Pick Of The Flicks Tony (YouTube). (You can only see a glimpse of Heidi).

    Sources: Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-line) (German), Filmportal.de, Prisma (German) Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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