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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.

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  • 02/29/16--22:00: Margaret Lockwood
  • Beautiful stage and film actress Margaret Lockwood (1916-1990) was the female lead of the early Hitchcock classic The Lady Vanishes (1938). In the 1940s she became Britain's leading box-office star specialising in beautiful but diabolical adventuresses.

    Margaret Lockwood
    Dutch postcard, no. AX 171. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Org.

    Margaret Lockwood
    East-German postcard by Th. Haasemann / Degro Phot. Photo: Rank.

    Margaret Lockwood
    Dutch postcard by Uitgeverij Takken, Utrecht, no. 3239. Photo: Eagle Lion.

    Seven Ingenue Screen Roles


    Margaret Mary Lockwood Day was born in Karachi, British India (now Karachi, Pakistan), in 1916. She was the daughter of a English administrator of a railway company and his Scottish wife. Lockwood's family returned to the United Kingdom while she was a child, aged 3.

    She began studying for the stage at an early age under Italia Conti, and made her debut in 1928, at the age of 12, at the Holborn Empire, where she played a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In December of the following year, she appeared at the Scala Theatre in the pantomime The Babes in the Wood. In 1932, she appeared at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in Cavalcade.

    In 1933, she enrolled at the RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), where she was seen in Leontine Sagan's production of Hannele by a leading London agent, Herbert de Leon, who at once signed her as a client and arranged a screen test. Director Basil Dean was impressed and gave her the second lead in his film Lorna Doone (1934) when Dorothy Hyson fell ill. She was billed with her stage name Margie Day.

    Seven ingenue screen roles followed in ‘quota quickies’ like Someday (Michael Powell, 1935) and Midshipman Easy (Carol Reed, 1935). Then she played opposite Maurice Chevalier in the remake of the musical The Beloved Vagabond (1936, Curtis Bernhardt).

    A year later, she married Rupert Leon, a man of whom her domineering mother disapproved strongly, so much so that for six months Margaret did not live with her husband and was afraid to tell her mother that the marriage had taken place.

    Margaret Lockwood
    Dutch postcard by S. & v.H.A. Photo: J. Arthur Rank.

    Margaret Lockwood
    British autograph card, 1947.

    Margaret Lockwood
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 242. Photo: Paramount.

    Rich Young Playgirl


    In 1938, Margaret Lockwood's role as a young London nurse in Bank Holiday (Carol Reed, 1938), established her as a star, and her next film would give her even international status.

    The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) offered her a role with teeth. She starred as a rich young playgirl in this glorious comic thriller about a mysteriously disappearing old woman. Her leading man was Michael Redgrave and there was considerable chemistry between the two stars. Hitchcock guides them with never a misstep through a complex script that progresses from very lighthearted to extremely sinister and then back again. The result leaves audiences with both the satisfaction of a well-made thriller and the glow of a romantic comedy. The Gainsborough studioproduction would be Lockwood’s most successful film of that decade.

    A visit to Hollywood to appear with Shirley Temple in Susannah of the Mounties (Walter Lang, William A. Seiter, 1939) and with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Rulers of the Sea (Frank Lloyd, 1939) was not at all to her liking.

    She returned with relief to Britain to star in two of Carol Reed's best films, The Stars Look Down (1940), as the self-centred, frivolous wife of Michael Redgrave's character, and the Oscar nominated spy thriller Night Train to Munich (1940), opposite Rex Harrison.

    In 1941, she gave birth to a daughter by Leon, Julia Lockwood, affectionately known to her mother as ‘Toots’, who was also to become a successful actress. The Leons separated soon after her birth and were divorced in 1950. Lockwood gained custody of her daughter, but not before Mrs. Lockwood had sided with her son-in-law to allege that Margaret was ‘an unfit mother’.

    Margaret Lockwood
    British postcard by Real Photograph, no. F.S. 22. Photo: publicity still for Look Before You Love (Harold Huth, 1948).

    Margaret Lockwood, Griffith Jones
    British postcard by Real Photograph, no. F.S. 27. Photo: publicity still for Look Before You Love (Harold Huth, 1948) with Griffith Jones.

    Queen Among Villainesses


    In the early 1940s, Margaret Lockwood changed her on-screen image. The turning point in her career came in 1943, when she was cast opposite James Mason in the Gainsborough melodrama The Man in Grey (Leslie Arliss, 1943). She played an amoral schemer who steals the husband of her best friend, played by Phyllis Calvert, and then ruthlessly murders her.

    Spectral in black, with her dark, dramatic looks, cold but beautiful eyes, and vividly overpainted thin lips, Lockwood was queen among villainesses. The film inaugurated a series of hothouse melodramas that came to be known as Gainsborough Gothic and had film fans queueing outside cinemas all over Britain.

    Her greatest success was in the title role of The Wicked Lady (Leslie Arliss, 1945), again opposite Mason. In this outrageous adventure film she played the ultimate in murderous husband-stealers, Lady Skelton, who amuses herself at night with highway robbery.

    The amount of cleavage exposed by Lockwood's Restoration gowns caused consternation to the film censors, and apprehension was in the air before the premiere, attended by Queen Mary, who astounded everyone by thoroughly enjoying it. In 1946 Lockwood gained the Daily Mail First Prize for most popular British film actress.

    Margaret Lockwood
    British postcard, 1948.

    Margaret Lockwood and Dane Clark in Highly Dangerous (1950)
    German postcard by F.J. Rüdel Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 239. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Highly Dangerous (Roy Ward Baker, 1950). Highly Dangerous is a British spy film starring Margaret Lockwood as a British entomologist trying to stop a biological attack with the help of an American journalist played by Dane Clark.

    Margaret Lockwood
    British postcard by Celebrity Publishers LTD., London in the Celebrity Autograph Series, no. 183. Photo: Republic. Publicity still for Trouble in the Glen (Herbert Wilcox, 1954).

    Blowsy Ex-barmaid


    After poisoning several husbands in Bedelia (Lance Comfort, 1946), Margaret Lockwood became less wicked in Hungry Hill (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1947), Jassy (Bernard Knowles, 1947), and The White Unicorn (Bernard Knowles, 1947, all opposite Dennis Price.

    She complained to the head of her studio, J. Arthur Rank, that she was ‘sick of sinning’, but paradoxically, as her roles grew nicer, her popularity declined. Her contract with Rank was dissolved in 1950 and a film deal with Herbert Wilcox, who was married to her principal cinema rival, Anna Neagle, resulted in three disappointing flops.

    In 1955, she gave one of her best performances, as a blowsy ex-barmaid in Cast a Dark Shadow(Lewis Gilbert, 1955), opposite Dirk Bogarde, but her box office appeal had waned and she left the screen in favour of the stage. She had success in Peter Pan, Pygmalion, Private Lives, and Agatha Christie's thriller Spider's Web, which ran for over a year. In 1965, she co-starred with her daughter Julia in a popular television series, The Flying Swan.

    She lived for many years with actor John Stone, who appeared with her in the 1959 play, And Suddenly It's Spring, and the TV series Justice (Alan Bromly, Brian Farnham, 1971-1974) in which she played a lady barrister. In 1976 she made a long overdue return to films in the Cinderella musical, The Slipper and the Rose (Bryan Forbes, 1976) as the stepmother with the sobriquet, ‘wicked’, omitted but implied.

    Her final stage appearance, as Queen Alexandra in Motherdear, ran for only six weeks at the Ambassadors' Theatre in 1980. That year she was created a CBE (Commander of the order of the British Empire). Her investiture at Buckingham Palace was her last public appearance. She was accompanied by her three grandchildren. Margaret Lockwood lived her final decade in seclusion and died in 1990 in Kingston upon Thames, UK, from cirrhosis of the liver, aged 73. Books on Lockwood's career include her own autobiography Lucky Star (1955) and Hilton Tims'Once a Wicked Lady (1989).


    Trailer for The Lady Vanishes (1938). Source: Chef du Cinema (YouTube).


    Shirley Temple singing One, Two, Three (I'll Teach You to Waltz) in Susannah of the Mounties (1939), also with Randolph Scott. Margaret Lockwood played Vicky Standing. Source: Shirley Temple Fans (YouTube).


    Trailer for The Wicked Lady (1945). Source: littleshoemaker (YouTube).


    Trailer for The Man in Grey (1943). Source: LittleShoeMaker (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Michael Brooke (BFI Screen On Line), Gary F. Taylor (Amazon), Sheridan Morley (The Times), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    American actress Kim Hunter(1922-2002) had her breakthrough in the cinema with the classic British film A Matter of Life and Death (1946). In 1952 she won an Oscar for her part as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). In the McCarthy she was blacklisted as being a Communist sympathizer, but in the 1960s she was cleared from the unjustly accusations.

    Kim Hunter
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W. 381. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.

    A Matter of Life and Death


    Kim Hunter was born as Janet Cole in Detroit, Michigan, USA, in 1922. Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High.

    According to Joseph Collura in Classic Images, Kim was quiet and painfully shy as a child and overcame it through the guidance of a local dramatics teacher, a Mrs. Carmine. Included were diction, voice and posture lessons. She studied at the Actors Studio and her first professional stage appearance was as Penny in Penny Wise in 1939. Then, she joined a repertory group called Theatre of Fifteen, but it disbanded in 1942 when WWII took away most of its male members.

    She was appearing in the 1942 Pasadena Playhouse production of Arsenic and Old Lace when she was discovered by an RKO talent hunter who signed her to a seven-year contract for David O. Selznick's company. Selznick suggested she change her first name to Kim and a RKO secretary suggested the last name of Hunter. She only did loan-outs for the two years she was under contract.

    Hunter's first film role as a lone-out was in the Film Noir, The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson, 1943). Her only work inside the Selznick Studio was three days of screen tests for Alfred Hitchcock on Spellbound, sitting in for Ingrid Bergman as actors were tested for minor roles. Even though she was only shot from behind her head, she impressed Hitchcock, who had lunch with her.

    A year later he recommended her to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who cast her in a bit role in the American version of A Canterbury Tale (1944) and then gave her the female lead role opposite David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death (1946).

    Kim Hunter
    Vintage autograph card.

    Kim Hunter
    Dutch postcard.

    A Streetcar Named Desire


    In 1947, Kim Hunter made her Broadway debut as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. The production was the 1947-1948 season's success and for her role she won the Critics Circle and Donaldson awards.

    A few years later, Irene Mayer Selznick recommended Kim for her reprise role of Stella opposite Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in the film A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951), for which she won a Golden Globe and an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1952. Hunter was in New York rehearsing for the Horton Foote play, The Chas when the Oscar ceremony was held. Bette Davis accepted in her place.

    Hunter was a political activist. She signed several civil rights petitions and was a sponsor of a 1949 World Peace Conference in New York. This triggered her label of being a Communist sympathizer, for which she was blacklisted in films and TV even though she never even held pro-Communist views. Her testimony to the New York Supreme Court in 1962 against the publishers of Red Channels helped pave the way for clearance of many performers unjustly accused of Communist connections.

    In 1956, she returned to the cinema opposite Bette Davis in Storm Center (Daniel Tarradash, 1956). Other films were The Young Stranger (John Frankenheimer, 1957), and Lilith (Robert Rossen, 1964) with Jean Seberg. She also played Zira, the sympathetic chimpanzee scientist in Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968) and two sequels, but she was mostly seen on stage of on television.

    On TV she played a guest starring role in an episode of the action series Baretta (1976), for wich she was nominated for an Emmy award. In 1980, she was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the long-running soap The Edge of Night.

    In the cinema she could be seen in the Italian horror film Due occhi diabolici/Two Evil Eyes (Dario Argento, George A. Romero, 1990) and Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997).

    Kim Hunter was married twice. In 1944 she married Marine Captain William A. Baldwin, with whom she had a daughter, Kathryn Deirdre Baldwin. They marriage ended in a divorce in 1946. In 1951 she married Robert Emmett, with whom she had a son, Sean Emmett (1954). They stayed married till his death in 2000. Kim Hunter died of a heart attack in 2002 in New York City, some two months shy of her 80th birthday.


    Opening sequence of A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Source: crmsonsky (YouTube).


    Trailer A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Source: AgelessTrailers (YouTube).

    Sources: Artemis-9 (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/02/16--22:00: Raphael
  • Raphael (1943) is one of the most important singers in the Spanish language of the second half of the 20th century. Twice, he represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest. He opened the door and paved the way to the flood of Spanish singers that followed on the wake of his enormous success. Raphael is also a television, film and theatre actor, who appeared in a popular series of Spanish film musicals during the late 1960s.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 570. Photo: Hispavox.

    The Nightingale of Linares


    Raphael was born Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez in Linares, Spain, in 1943. He is nicknamed both ‘El Ruiseñor de Linares’ (The Nightingale of Linares) and ‘El Divo de Linares’ (The Divo from Linares) but is also known as ‘El Niño’. His family moved to Madrid when he was nine months old, and he started singing when he was just three years-old. He joined a children's choir at age four. W

    hen he was 9, Raphael was recognised as the best child voice in Europe at a contest in Salzburg, Austria. Raphael began his professional career by signing with the Dutch record label Philips. To distinguish himself, he adopted the ‘ph’ of the company's name and christened himself 'Raphael'.

    His first singles were Te voy a contar mi vida and A pesar de todo’. Raphael adopted his own peculiar singing style from the beginning; he is known for acting each one of his songs while on stage, emphasising his gestures with high dramatic effect. It is not unusual for Raphael to ad lib lyrics as to localise a song depending on the venue he's singing at, wear Latin American peasant costumes and dance folk dances within a song, kicking and demolishing a mirror, or doing the moves of a flamenco dancer or a bullfighter onstage.

    Raphael also possesses a wide vocal range, which he often used in the beginning of his career as to evoke a choirboy approach to some songs. When he was nineteen, he won first, second and third awards at the Benidorm International Song Festival, Spain, 1962. He signed a contract with Hispavox recording company, and began a long artistic relationship with the musical director of this label, the orchestrator Waldo de los Ríos and intensify the partnership with songwriter Manuel Alejandro.

    In 1966 and 1967 he represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest, singing Yo soy aquél and Hablemos del amor and placing both 7th and 6th position. This served as a turning point in Raphael's career, making him an international star. He travelled and performed worldwide in Europe, Latin America, the United States, Russia and Japan.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Bergas Industrias Graficas, no. 886.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, Hospitalet, no. 751, 1967.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Bergas Industrias Graficas, no. 793.

    The World of Raphael


    Raphael also had a lucrative film career. He made his film debut as a singer in Las gemelas/The Twins (Antonio del Amo, 1963). As an actor he had his breakthrough in the musical Cuando tú no estás/When you are not here (Mario Camus, 1966). In the film's first half Raphael plays himself, trying to find fame and fortune as a popular singer in Spain until he teams up with an up and coming Spanish composer (based on Raphael's real life composer Manuel Alejandro) and becomes a popular singer.

    Alan Bobet at IMDb: “This is the first and best in my opinion of the Spanish musical films starring Spanish singing sensation, Raphael in his first starring role and the first of 3 Raphael film musicals directed by Mario Camus, who would be one of Spain's top film directors in the 1970's.” The other two were Al ponerse el Sol/At Sunset (Mario Camus, 1967) and Digan lo que digan/Let Them Talk (Mario Camus, 1968), which was filmed in Argentina.

    Other popular films with Raphael were El golfo/The Gulf (Vicente Escrivá, 1969), with Shirley Jones, El ángel/The Angel (Vicente Escrivá, 1969) with Anna Gaël, Sin Un Adiós/Without a goodbye (Vicente Escrivá, 1970), with Lesley-Anne Down and partially filmed in England, and Volveré a nacer/I will be born (Javier Aguirre, 1972) with Héctor Suárez.

    In 1975, Raphael began his own successful program on Spanish Television called El Mundo de Raphael (The World of Raphael), where he sang with international stars. He also had a radio program, where he and his wife spoke with and interviewed outstanding personalities, and he starred in soap operas, starting with the Mexican production Donde termina el camino (1978).

    Raphael succeeded in the early 1980s with songs such as ¿Qué tal te va sin mí? and Como yo te amo. During 1984 and 1985 he recorded two albums with songs written by José Luis Perales. In 1987 he left Hispavox and signed a contract with Columbia (now Sony Music). In 1991 he had a hit with Escándalo in Spain, Latin America, and in Japan, where it reached number one.

    At the end of the 1990s, after ending a contract with PolyGram, he went back to EMI. In 1998 the artist published the first part of his memoirs titled ¿Y mañana qué?, from his childhood until his marriage in 1972. In 2000, Raphael took the title role in the Spanish version of the stage musical Jekyll & Hyde, with great success.

    Recently, he returned to the screen in the dark comedy Mi gran noche/My Great Night (Álex de la Iglesia, 2015). Since 1972, Raphael is married to aristocrat, journalist and writer Natalia Figueroa. They have three children: Jacobo, Alejandra and Manuel.

    Raphael and Marie José Alphonso in Cuando tú no estás (1966)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 16. Photo: publicity still for Cuando tú no estás//When you are not here (Mario Camus, 1966) with Marie José Alphonso.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Bergas Industrias Graficas, no. 1001.

    Raphael
    Spanish postcard by Bergas Industrias Graficas, no. 1004.


    Raphael sings Yo soy aquel. Source: Vad Feel (YouTube).


    Raphael sings Mi Gran Noche (1967). Source: Evolution (YouTube).


    Trailer Mi Gran Noche (2015). Source: Universal Spain (YouTube).

    Sources: Alan Bobet (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    In the silent cinema artists and their models were a popular subject. Some films focused on Svengali-like artists who victimised the poor girls who posed for them. Sometimes the artists were destroyed by their beautiful and cunning muses. Twelve film star postcards to remember us that the creation of art can start a tragedy.

    Gioconda 3
    Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 3654, V. Uff. Rev. St., Terni. Photo: Ambrosio. Caption: 'Lucio Settala in the happy intimacy of the family.' Postcard for the lost Ambrosio production La Gioconda (Eleuterio Rodolfi, 1916, released 1917), based on Gabriele D'Annunzio's play. Umberto Mozzato as Settala and Mercedes Brignoneas his wife Silvia.

    Famous sculptor Lucio Settala (Umberto Mozzato) lives on the Tuscan coast with Silvia and their daughter Beata. At a Fine Arts exhibition, Lucio encounters the beautiful femme fatale Gioconda Dianti (Helena Makowska). She becomes his model for a statue of a female nude in an ecstatic pose.

    Gioconda 6a
    Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 3877, V. Uff. Rev. St., Terni. Photo: Ambrosio. Caption: 'Sculptor Lucio Settala feels his love for his model Gioconda Dianti is ever expanding.'Umberto Mozzato as Lucio Settala and Helena Makowska as Gioconda Dianti.

    More and more, Lucio falls in love with Gioconda and neglects his wife and child. Instead of his angelic wife (Brignone), keeper of family values, he prefers his seductive mistress, the inspiration to his art. His wife suffers in silence.

    Bernd Aldor in Dorian Gray
    German postcard by Hermann Leiser Verlag, Berlin, no. 3152. Photo: Richard-Oswald-Produktion. Bernd Aldor in Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray (Richard Oswald, 1917), an early German adaptation of Oscar Wilde's famous novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward. Understanding that his beauty will fade, the hedonistic Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every soul-corrupting sin.

    Ressel Orla in Die Sünde
    German postcard by Rotphot in the Film Sterne series, no. 549/2. Photo: Decla. Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1917).

    Ressel Orla in Die Sünde
    German postcard by Rotphot in the Film Sterne series, no. 549/4. Photo: Decla. Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1917).

    Mia May in Ein Lichtstrahl im Dunkel
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 516/2. May Film. Photo: May. Mia Mayand Bruno Kastner in the German silent film Ein Lichtstrahl im Dunkel/A Ray of Light in the Dark (Joe May, 1917).

    Count Gerd Palm (Kastner) is known for his flattering portraits of his models, so countess Lydia von Grabor (May), who has a hideous nose, asks him to paint her. Gerd sees through her facade and paints her as a lovely mother. He is so enchanted by a song from her that he asks her marry him. Lydia cannot believe him, so he flees. Years pass, the counts has her nose operated, and returns to Gerd, but discovers he has become blind. Dressed as a nurse she takes care of him. Her care makes him retake his work. He hears she is now ready to marry him, but when he still doubts she sings the song she once sang for him and they finally unite.

    Maria Widal in Das sterbende Modell (1918)
    German postcard by Photochemie, no. K2511. Photo: Saturn-Film. Maria Widal in Das sterbende Modell/The dying model (Urban Gad, 1918).

    Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Auf Probe gestellt (1918)
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 520/7. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Henny Porten and Hermann Thimigin Auf Probe gestellt/Put to the test (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Valdemar Psilander in Um das Bild des Königs
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, K. 1944. Photo: Nordisk Films. Valdemar Psilander in Rytterstatuen (A.W. Sandberg, 1919). The German title is Um das Bild des Königs (For the king's statue).

    Italia Almirante in La statua di carne (1921)
    Italian postcard by Fotominio, no. 52. Photo: G.B. Falci, Milano. Italia Almirante in La statua di carne (Mario Almirante 1921). Noemi Keller (Almirante) notices the painted portrait of her lookalike Maria, who has died and whom the painter, count Paolo, is still loving, through Noemi.

    Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in La donna nuda (1922)
    Italian postcard by La Fotominio / Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 115. Photo: Caesar Film. Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in the Henry Bataille adaptation La donna nuda (Roberto Roberti, 1922).

    L'Ombra 4
    Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze. Photo: Alba Film. Publicity still for L'ombra (Mario Almirante, 1923), starring Italian diva Italia Almirante as Berta, Liliana Ardea as Elena (left) and Alberto Collo as Berta's husband Gerardo (right). Caption: 'Berta's little friend and the daily painting lesson.'

    Pierre Batcheff
    An extra postcard. French postcard by A.N. Paris, no. 248. Photo: Production Natan. Publicity still of Pierre Batcheff in Education de prince (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1927).

    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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  • 03/04/16--22:00: Pierre Richard
  • French actor Pierre Richard (1934) became popular as a clumsy daydreamer in comedy films of the 1970s. Richard is best known internationally as the star of the zany spy farce Le Grand Blond Avec Une Chassure Noire/The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972) and for his hilarious comedies with Gérard Dépardieu. He also wrote and directed several films himself.

    Pierre Richard
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 161/78.

    Pierre Richard
    French postcard by La Roue Tourne, Paris.

    A Naive Superspy on a Top Secret Mission


    Pierre Richard was born Pierre Richard Maurice Charles Leopold Defays in Valenciennes, France, in 1934. His family was upper-class with an embarrassing riches of middle names.

    He started his acting career at the theatre and and build up his trade at the Paris Music Hall. In 1958, he made his film debut in a small, uncredited part in the French-Italian drama Les Amants de Montparnasse/The Lovers of Montparnasse (Jacques Becker, 1958), which chronicles the last year of the life of the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani (Gérard Philipe) who worked and died in poverty in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris.

    Ten years later followed the comedy Alexandre le bienheureux/Very Happy Alexander (Yves Robert, 1968), starring Philippe Noiret, in which Richard played a secondary role toward the end of the plot. Two years later he directed and starred in the comedy Le Distrait/The Daydreamer (Pierre Richard, 1970), co-starring Marie-Christine Barrault and Bernard Blier. The film combines elements of a slapstick, horror and romantic comedy. Richard plays Pierre Malaquet, an eccentric and extremely absent-minded advertising manager.

    Two years later followed the comedy Les malheurs d'Alfred/The Troubles of Alfred (Pierre Richard, 1972). Alfred (Pierre Richard) is an unemployed architect who is incredibly unlucky, and when he tries to commit suicide, he meets a female television presenter (Anny Duperey) who is pursued by the same misfortune.

    That same year, he had his international breakthrough with the comedy hit Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire/The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972), directed by Yves Robert and written by Francis Veber. Richard played a naive, innocent concert musician plucked by chance to become a superspy on a top secret mission. The same team made also the sequel, Le retour du grand blond/The Return of the Tall Blond Man (Yves Robert, 1974). Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire was remade in English as The Man with One Red Shoe (Stan Dragoti, 1985) with Tom Hanks.

    Richard also appeared in several other comedies, frequently teamed with Aldo Maccione. Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: “his characters often have taken on an hilariously guileless persona and, coupled with his innate gift for klutzy physical comedy, have become an audience favourite for nearly four decades.”

    Pierre Richard
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Pierre Richard
    German autogram card by Kino, ca. 1989.

    One Can Always Dream


    Francis Veber cast Pierre Richard while directing his own first feature film: Le Jouet/The Toy (Francis Veber, 1976) with Michel Bouquet. The film was remade in Hollywood as The Toy (Richard Donner, 1982) starring Richard Pryor.

    Veber and Richard had a long and successful partnership during the 1980s, highlighted by three comedies – La Chèvre/Knock on Wood (Francis Veber, 1981), Les Compères/ComDads (Francis Veber, 1983) and Les Fugitifs/The Fugitives (Francis Veber, 1986) – which paired Richard as a comic duo with Gérard Depardieu.

    All three were remade in Hollywood, the latter as Three Fugitives (1989), also directed by Veber and starring Nick Nolte and Martin Short. However, the many Hollywood remakes and imitations of the films with Richard mostly pale compared to the originals.

    Pierre Richard again moved behind the camera to direct On peut toujours rêver/One Can Always Dream (1991) and Droit dans le mur/Straight into the Wall (1997), a dramatic commercial and critical failure. In 2006 the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema awarded him a lifetime achievement César.

    In addition to being an actor and film director Pierre Richard is also a businessman. He owns the restaurant Au pied de chameau in Paris and a 20-hectare vineyard in Southern France which produces some 80,000 bottles a year, including some 12,000 bottles of rosé labelled as le Bel Évêque. If he is not overseeing his wine business on location, he lives in Paris. He used to live for many years on a barge on the Seine in the centre of Paris.

    Pierre Richard married and divorced three times, and has two sons: Olivier and Christoph, who are both musicians. Olivier is a group member of Blues trottoir and plays the saxophone whereas Christophe plays the double bass. His grandson, Arthur Defays, is a model and a young actor.

    Pierre Richard is still very productive in the cinema and one his more recent films is Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/All Together (Stéphane Robelin, 2011) with Geraldine Chaplin and Jane Fonda.


    Trailer for Le Jouet/The Toy (1976). Source: Slava Batareykin (YouTube).


    International trailer for Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/All Together (2011). Source: Indie & Foreign Films (YouTube).

    Sources: Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/05/16--22:00: Georges Rigaud
  • Georges (or George) Rigaud (1905-1984) was a noted Argentine film actor, who started his career in the French cinema of the 1930s. His best known film is René Clair’s classic comedy Quatorze Juillet (1932). Rigaud also played in Italian, American, Argentine and Spanish films. Between 1932 and 1981, he appeared in 194 films.

    Georges Rigaud
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8025/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Ufa.

    Georges Rigaud
    French postcard, no. 535. Photo: Paramount.

    14 July


    Georges (or George) Rigaud was born Pedro Jorge Rigato Delissetche in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1905. In 1931, he moved to France, where he made his film debut with a bit part in Grains de beauté/Beauty Spot (Pierre Caron, Léonce Perret, 1932). That same year he played a bigger role in the crime film Fantômas (Pál Fejös, 1932), starring Jean Galland.

    His best known film is René Clair’s classic comedy Quatorze Juillet (1932). Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Quatorze Juliet translates to "July 14th"--and if you know your French history, you'll know that July 14th is Bastille Day. This Rene Clair film deals not with the tumultuous events of the French Revolution, but with a 1932 celebration of that particular French holiday. The hero, George Rigaud, is a Parisian cabdriver; the heroine, Annabella, is a flower peddler. As the Bastille Day festivities stretch on into the night, the young lovers come in contact with several of Paris' more eccentric citizens. Director Clair felt that Quatorze Juliet was better in parts than in sum total; modern audiences will most likely enjoy the film as a whole, excusing the weaknesses of its structure while revelling in its music and atmosphere.”

    The following year, Rigaud starred opposite Renate Müller in the comedy Idylle au Caire (Claude Heymann, Reinhold Schünzel, 1933). It was an alternate language version of the Ufa production Saison in Kairo/Season in Cairo (Reinhold Schünzel, 1933). He then starred in the historical drama Une histoire d'amour/A Love Story (Max Ophüls, 1933), based on Arthur Schnitzler's play Liebelei about a musician's daughter in 1890s Imperial Vienna who falls in love with a young army officer, only for him to be killed in a duel. It is a French-language version of Liebelei (Max Ophüls, 1933).

    Popular was also the drama Nitchevo (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1936) starring Harry Baur, which is a remake of the 1926 silent film of the same name. Less successful was the musical La vie parisienne/Parisian Life (Robert Siodmak, 1936) starring Max Dearly, Conchita Montenegro and Rigaud, and based on the opera La vie parisienne. The production caused financial problems for its company, Nero Film, run by the émigré producer Seymour Nebenzal.

    Other French films in which he appeared were the drama Nuits de feu/Nights of Fire (Marcel L'Herbier, 1937), starring Gaby Morlay, Sarati, le terrible/Sarati the Terrible (André Hugon, 1937), featuring Harry Baur, and the adventure film Puits en flammes/Wells in Flames (Viktor Tourjansky, 1937).

    Georges Rigaud
    French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 1130. Photo: Ufa.

    Georges Rigaud
    French postcard by Erpé, no. 384.

    France - Argentina - Italy - Hollywood - France - Spain


    In Italy, Georges Rigaud starred opposite Corinne Luchaire in the drama Abbandono (Mario Mattoli, 1940). Then followed a short period in Hollywood, where he appeared in Paris Underground (Gregory Ratoff, 1945), Masquerade in Mexico (Mitchell Leisen, 1945), and the Film Noir I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, 1948) starring Burt Lancaster.

    After this he returned to Argentina, and co-starred with Zully Moreno in the thriller La trampa/The Trap (Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1949). He had a supporting part in Sangre negra/Native Son (Pierre Chenal, 1951).

    In 1957, he moved definitely to Spain, where he continued his film career credited as Jorge Rigaud. His Spanish films include the drama Mi calle/My Street (Edgar Neville, 1960), Vuelve San Valentín/St. Valentine Returns (Fernando Palacios, 1962), and Estambul 65/That Man in Istanbul (Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1965) starring Horst Buchholz.

    His parts were now mostly supporting roles. He worked in Italy where he appeared in the Peplum Il Colosso di Rodi/The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), directed by Sergio Leone, and starring Rory Calhoun. In Hollywood he played in the flop The Happy Thieves (George Marshall, 1961), a crime/comedy-drama film starring Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth. And in France he had a part in the Alain Delon vehicle La Tulipe noire/The Black Tulip (Christian-Jacque, 1964).

    Rigaud also was seen in some Eurospy films and Spaghetti Westerns. Interesting were the Italian crime film Ad ogni costo/Grand Slam (Giuliano Montaldo, 1967), starring Janet Leigh, and the Giallo Una lucertola con la pelle di donna/Schizoid (Lucio Fulci, 1971) with Florinda Balkan as the daughter of a respected politician, who experiences a series of vivid, psychedelic nightmares consisting of depraved sex orgies and LSD use. Later films are Pánico en el Transiberian/Horror Express (Eugenio Martín, 1972), starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and Maravillas (Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, 1980).

    In 1981, Georges Rigaud died in a road accident in Madrid, Spain. He was 78.

    Georges Rigaud
    French postcard by Ed. Chantal, no. 526. Photo: Filmsonor.

    Georges Rigaud
    French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinematographiques (EPC), no. 159.

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), José L. Bernabé Tronchoni (Find A Grave), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/06/16--22:00: Tatyana Konyukhova
  • Tatyana Konyukhova (1931) is one of the great actresses of the Russian cinema. She started her film career in the 1950s and was still active in the 1990s.

    Tatyana Konyukhova
    Russian postcard, no. 15, 1959. This postcard was printed in an edition of 100.000 cards. Retail price: 75 Kop.

    The Boys from Leningrad


    Tatyana Georgiyevna Konyukhova was born in Tashkent, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan) in 1931. Her film career made a jump start after her debut in Mayskaya Noch, Ili Utoplennitsa/A May Night, or the Drowned Maiden (Aleksandr Rau, 1952). Her second film, Sudba Mariny/Marina’s Destiny (Viktor Ivchenko, Isaak Shmaruk, 1953) was in 1954 nominated for the Grand Prize of the Cannes Film Festival.

    Her next film was the successful comedy Zapasnoy igrok/The Boys from Leningrad (Semyon Timoshenko, 1954) about three brothers who are playing for one team in a National Soccer Competition. Tatyana played a beautiful girl for whom one of the brothers loses his heart and his confidence just before the final game.

    Other films from this period were Volnitsa/Flames on the Volga (Grigori Roshal, 1955), Dobroe utro (Andrei Frolov, 1955), Pervye radosti/No Ordinary Summer (Vladimir Basov, 1956), and Solntse svetit vsem/The Sun Shines for All (Konstantin Voynov, 1959).

    In the 1960s Tatyana Konyukhova went on playing in both film comedies and dramas steadily. Karera Dimy Gorina/Dima Gorin's Career (1961) was a comedy by Frunze Dovlatyan and Lev MirskyZhenitba Balzaminova/The Marriage of Balzaminov (Konstantin Voynov, 1965) was an excellent grotesque about Russian life in the 19th century. The story about a poor clerk searching for a rich wife was based on the plays by Aleksandr Ostrovsky.

    Also interesting was the stunning and disturbing anti-war film Csillagosok, katonák/The Red and the White (1967), directed by Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó. It tells the tale of a Hungarian unit that during the civil war supports the Red Army against the counter-revolutionary White army on the banks of the Volga.

    Tatyana Konyukhova
    Russian postcard, 1961.

    Юрiй Єрмоленко, проект "ДІВЧАТА, З ЯКИМИ У МЕНЕ НЕ СКЛАЛОСЯ.."(Татьяна Конюхова) 2011, галерея "ЦЕХ"
    Russian postcard. Collection: Yury Ermolenko (Flickr).

    Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears


    After a hiatus of ten years Tatyana Konyukhova made a come-back playing herself in the Oscar winning Moskva slezam ne verit/Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1980), and in supporting parts in the Bulgarian drama S podelena lyubov/With Shared Love (Sergei Mikaelyan, 1980), and the romance Portret zheny khudozhnika/Portrait of the Artist's Wife (Aleksandr Pankratov, 1981.

    Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It is an enchanting drama of three women struggling to establish themselves in Moscow. The film follows their resourceful pursuit of professional and domestic bliss in 1958, then skips forward twenty years to see just how many of their dreams have come true.

    Some ten more films followed in the 1980s and 1990s. Her more recent films were Nostalgiya po budushemu/Longing for the future (Sergei Tarasov, 2008) about how the economical, mental, political and social attitudes of middle class Russian people have changed over the years, and the family film Zolotaya rybka v gorode N/The Goldfish in City N (Stepan Puchinyan, 2011). Her most recent TV appearance was in the TV-series Printsessa i nishchenka (Stanislav Dremov, 2009).

    On IMDb reviewer Lalit Rao commented on Nostalgiya po budushemu/Longing for the future: "Veteran Russian director Sergei Tarasov's film is fairly neutral as far as its political view point is concerned. It is neither critical of communism nor overtly applauds capitalism."


    Scene from Csillagosok, katonák/The Red and the White (1967). Source: bikeydoc (YouTube).


    Trailer Moskva slezam ne verit/Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1980). Source: Artem Koloskov (YouTube).

    Source: All Movie Guide and IMDb.

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  • 03/07/16--22:00: Sylvie Vartan
  • French pop singer Sylvie Vartan (1944) was one of the first rock girls in France. She was the diva of the yé-yé genre. With Johnny Hallyday she formed France's Golden Couple of their generation, and they performed in several films, together and apart. With her slick stage shows, her sequined costumes and her sheer professionalism she has become a national icon in France.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 939. Photo: Patrick Bertrand.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 482. Photo: Jean Marie Perier.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 507. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by Editions Lyna, Paris, no. 2051. Photo: Raymond Depardon / Gamma.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French promotion card by RCA.

    The Twisting Schoolgirl


    Sylvie Vartan was born in Iskretz near Sofia, Bulgaria. Her father, Georges Vartanian was a Bulgarian of Armenian descent. He worked as an attache at the French embassy in Sofia. Her mother, Illona Vartanian, was Hungarian.

    In September 1944, when the Soviet Army occupied Bulgaria, the Vartan family house was nationalised and they moved to Sofia. A friend of father Georges offered Sylvie a role of a schoolgirl in his film Pod igoto/Under the Yoke (Dako Dakovski, 1952). The film was about Bulgarian rebels against the Turkish occupation. Being a part of the film had a lasting impression on her and made her dream of becoming an entertainer.

    The family emigrated to Paris in December 1952. By the example of her brother, professional trumpeter and later artistic director at RCA records Eddie Vartan, teenage Sylvie's main interest was music. In 1961 Eddie offered Sylvie to record the song Panne d'essence (Out of gas) with the French rocker Frankie Jordan. It was a surprise hit and provided her first appearance on French TV.

    Journalists gave her the nickname La lycéenne du twist. After the Twisting Schoolgirl had finished the Lycée Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo School), she signed a solo recording contract with RCA. Her first single Quand le film est triste, covering Sue Thompson's Sad movies was a hit in December 1961.

    Soon followed more hits like her version of The Loco-Motion and Tous mes copains. Six of her thirty-one songs released in 1962 became top 20 hits in Europe. A small part as a singer in Un clair de lune à Maubeuge/Moonlight in Maubeuge (Jean Chérasse, 1962) starring Claude Brasseur was her first film appearance as an adult.

    Sylvie Vartan
    Dutch postcard by Muziek Parade, Hilversum, no. AX 5643.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G. Publicity card for RCA Victor. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 818. Photo: Spitzer.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1092. Photo: Anders.

    Short Skirts and Barbarella Boots


    In 1962 Sylvie Vartan met Jean-Philippe Smet, better known as Johnny Hallyday, during her second concert in the Olympia. In 1963, after announcing their engagement over the radio, the young couple performed to a noisy audience of 200,000 at La Nation square of Paris.

    Sylvie and Johnny appeared together in the film D'où viens-tu, Johnny?/Where Are You From, Johnny? (Noël Howard, 1963). And that year she was voted top French singer in the first pole on the TV programme Salut les copains.

    Being accompanied by the film Cherchez l’idole/The Chase (Michel Boisrond, 1964) with Dany Saval, her song La plus belle pour aller danser sold over a million copies in Japan. In 1964 she opened for the Beatlesat the Olympia and played a supporting role in the film Patate/Friend of the Family (Robert Thomas, 1964) opposite Jean Marais and Danielle Darrieux.

    Sylvie made numerous US TV appearances and an international concert tour, including Canada, South America and Japan. In 1965 Sylvie and Johnny were married in Loconville. They had a son David Michael Benjamin, known now as singer David Hallyday. In 1968 Sylvie suffered a traffic accident, but was back on tour in August.

    No longer a shy young yé-yé girl but a sexy dancer, more into cabaret than rock & roll. She appeared often on French and Italian TV, dressed in short skirts and Barbarella boots. In Italy she had huge hits with Zum zum zum in 1968 and Irrestibilmente in 1969. She continued with intensive performing and recording.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 329. Photo: Sam Lévin / RCA Victor.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 276. Offered by André. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 329. Photo: Sam Lévin / RCA Victor.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1116. Photo: Kasparian.

    Going Disco


    Sylvie Vartan returned on the screen opposite Mathieu Carrière and Orson Wellesin the cult film Malpertuis/The Legend of Doom House (1971, Harry Kümel). She also appeared in two documentaries by Francois Reichenbach, J’ai tout donné/I’ve given everything (1971) and Mon Amie Sylvie/My Friend Sylvie (1972).

    Musically, she went disco in 1976 with John Kongos' cover Qu'est-ce qui fait pleurer les blondes?, topping the French charts for several weeks. Her disco era climaxed at the Dancing star showon French TV in 1977.

    In 1980, after several widely publicised disagreements, Sylvie and Johnny finally divorced. After releasing Love again in duet with John Denver, a #85 single on Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, Vartan took a break in show business. In 1990 she gave a concert at the Palace of Culture of Sofia, opening and closing with a Bulgarian song. This was her first visit to the city after her emigration.

    After her brother Eddie was shot in 2001, she took another break in performing public. In fall 2004 she started recording and giving concerts of jazz ballads in the French speaking countries and Japan. Her last film appearances were in L’ange noir/The Black Angel (Jean-Claude Brisseau, 1994) with Michel Piccoli and Tchéky Karyo, and opposite Francis Huster in the TV film Mausolée pour une garce/Mausoleum for a Bitch (Arnaud Sélignac, 2001), adapted from a best-selling novel by Frédéric Dard.

    Vartan celebrated her 60th birthday in style in 2004, publishing her autobiography, Entre ombre et lumière (Between Shadow and Light) and releasing a brand new album, simply entitled Sylvie. In the following years several new albums and tours followed. In 2014 she returned to the screen in the French romantic comedy Tu veux ou tu veux pas/Sex, Love & Therapy (Tonie Marshall, 2014) starring Sophie Marceau and Patrick Bruel.

    Since 1984, Sylvie Vartan is married to Italian-American producer Tony Scotti. They have adopted a young Bulgarian girl Darina. Sylvie Vartan is an aunt to Eddie Vartan's son, actor Michael Vartan.

    Sylvie Vartan
    Vintage postcard.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 382. Photo: Philippe D'Argence.

    Sylvie Vartan
    French postcard by PSG, no. 1034. Photo: Laurent Camil / RCA Victor.

    Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Hallyday
    With Johnny Hallyday. French postcard by Carterie Artistique et Cinématographique, Pont du Casse, no. ST JH 13.


    Scopitone clip of Sylvie Vartan singing Est ce Que Tu Le Sais. Source: Cheryl Lynn (YouTube).


    Sylvie Vartan sings La plus belle pour aller danser in Cherchez l'Idole (1964). Source: win081 (YouTube).


    Trailer Malpertuis (1973). Source: retrotrailer (YouTube).

    Sources: RFI Musique (French), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Sultry Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was an American dancer and actress was one of the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II. Her beauty catapulted her to international stardom and she is best known for her sexy performance in the Film Noir Gilda (1946). Later in her career she also appeared in European films.

    Rita Hayworth
    Belgian postcard by Victoria, Brussels, no. 639. Photo: Columbia Pictures.

    Rita Hayworth
    German postcard by Editions P.I., no. 620. Photo: Columbia.

    Rita Hayworth
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 843. Photo: Browning Studio.

    Put the Blame on Mame


    Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino. She was the oldest child of two dancers, Eduardo Cansino, Sr., from Castilleja de la Cuesta, a little town near Seville, Spain, and Volga Hayworth, an American of Irish-English descent who had performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. Margarita had two brothers, Eduardo Cansino, Jr. and Vernon Cansino. Margarita's father wanted her to become a professional dancer, while her mother hoped she would become an actress.

    She performed publicly from the age of six. In 1926 at the age of eight, she was featured with the dancing Cansino family in the Vitaphone short La Fiesta (1926). In 1927, her father took the family to Hollywood. He believed that dancing could be featured in the movies and that his family could be part of it. He established his own dance studio, where he taught such stars as James Cagney and Jean Harlow. In 1931 Eduardo Cansino partnered with his 12-year-old but mature-looking daughter to form an act called the Dancing Cansinos.

    Margarita took a bit part in the Mexican film Cruz Diablo (Fernando de Fuentes, 1934) at age 16, which led to another in the Hollywood production In Caliente (Lloyd Bacon, 1935) with the Mexican actress, Dolores del Río. She danced with her father in such nightspots as the Foreign and the Caliente clubs. Winfield Sheehan, the head of the Fox Film Corporation, saw her dancing at the Caliente Club and quickly arranged for Hayworth to do a screen test a week later. Impressed by her screen persona, Sheehan signed her for a short-term six-month contract at Fox, under the name Rita Cansino, the first of two name changes for her film career.

    During her time at Fox, Rita appeared in unremarkable roles, often cast as the exotic foreigner. She had her first speaking role as an Argentinian girl in the romantic Western Under the Pampas Moon (James Tinling, 1935). By the end of her six-month contract, Fox had merged into 20th Century Fox, with Darryl F. Zanuck serving as the executive producer. Zanuck did not renew Hayworth's contract. Feeling that Hayworth had screen potential, salesman and promoter Edward C. Judson, who became her first husband in 1937, got her freelance work in several small-studio films and a part in the Columbia Pictures feature Meet Nero Wolfe (Herbert J. Biberman, 1936).

    Columbia Studio head Harry Cohn signed her to a seven-year contract and tried her out in small roles. Cohn argued that Hayworth's image was too Mediterranean, which reduced her opportunities to being cast in 'exotic' roles that were fewer in number. Rita Cansino became Rita Hayworth when she adopted her mother's maiden name, to the consternation of her father. At the urging of husband Eddie Judson, she changed her hair colour to dark red and had electrolysis to raise her hairline and broaden the appearance of her forehead. In 1939, Cohn pressured director Howard Hawks to use Hayworth for a small but important role as a man-trap in the aviation drama Only Angels Have Wings (1939), opposite Cary Grant. With this film's box-office success, fan mail for Hayworth began pouring into Columbia's publicity department. Cohn began to see Hayworth as his first and official new star.

    While on loan to Warner Bros., Hayworth appeared as the second female lead in The Strawberry Blonde (Raoul Walsh, 1941), opposite James Cagney. Because the film was a big box-office success, Hayworth's popularity rose and she immediately became one of Hollywood's hottest actresses. A Bob Landry photo of Rita in Life magazine, 11 August 1941, made her the number 2 soldier pin-up of World War II. That same year the 'American film goddess' shared the dance floor with Fred Astaire in You'll Never Get Rich (Sidney Lanfield, 1941). This musical was so successful, the studio produced and released another Astaire-Hayworth picture the following year, You Were Never Lovelier (William A. Seiter, 1942).

    Under of the influence of second husband Orson Welles, Rita began to read classic literature. While pregnant in 1944, she was impressed by Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and named her firstborn daughter Rebecca after the novel's heroine. That year, Hayworth had top billing in one of her best-known films, the Technicolor musical Cover Girl (Charles Vidor, 1944) with Gene Kelly. Cohn continued to showcase Hayworth's dance talents and featured her in the Technicolor films Tonight and Every Night (Victor Saville, 1945), and Down to Earth (Alexander Hall, 1947) with Larry Parks.

    Rita Hayworth is best known for her dramatic performance opposite Glenn Ford in the Film Noir Gilda (Charles Vidor, 1946). The film included a controversial (tame by today's standards) striptease by Hayworth. Singing Put The Blame On Mame, she wore black satin and performed a one-glove striptease. It made her into a cultural icon as a femme fatale. The following year she starred in another Film Noir favorite, The Lady From Shanghai (1947), which was directed by her then-husband, Orson Welles. Hayworth's performance was critically acclaimed. The film's failure at the box office was attributed in part to Hayworth's famous red hair being cut short and bleached platinum blonde for the role. Cohn had not been consulted and was furious that Hayworth's image was changed.

    Rita Hayworth
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 124. Photo: Columbia.

    Rita Hayworth
    Dutch postcard, Col. Int., no. 286. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for Cover Girl (Charles Vidor, 1944).

    Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
    Vintage postcard. Photo: publicity still for The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1947) with Orson Welles.

    Rita Hayworth
    Dutch postcard by Takken / 't Sticht, no. 3317. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for Down to earth (Alexander Hall, 1947).

    Rita Hayworth
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 913. Photo: Columbia.

    Rita Hayworth in Affair in Trinidad (1952)
    German postcard by F.J. Rüdel Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 423. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for Affair in Trinidad (Vincent Sherman, 1952).

    A little-known disease


    In 1948, at the height of her fame, Rita Hayworth travelled to Cannes and was introduced to Prince Aly Khan. They began a year-long courtship, and were married in 1949. Hayworth left Hollywood and sailed for France, breaking her contract with Columbia. Hayworth gave birth to the couple's only daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. However, the marriage did not work out. In 1951, Hayworth set sail with her two daughters for New York. Although the couple did reconcile for a short time, they officially divorced by 1953.

    Hayworth was forced to return to Hollywood to star in her 'comeback' picture, Affair in Trinidad (Vincent Sherman, 1952) which again paired her with Glenn Ford. Next, she starred in the Biblical epic Salome (William Dieterle, 1953) with Charles Laughton and Stewart Granger, the 3D musical Miss Sadie Thompson (Curtis Bernhardt, 1953), and the British-American adventure drama Fire Down Below (Robert Parrish, 1957). In between these films, she was off the big screen for another four years, mainly because of a tumultuous marriage to the singer Dick Haymes. After the musical Pal Joey (George Sidney, 1957) with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, Hayworth left Columbia for good.

    Rita Hayworth received good reviews for her performance in Separate Tables (Delbert Mann, 1958), with Burt Lancasterand David Niven. The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture. Hayworth was married to co-producer James Hill at the time. Another critical success was The Story on Page One (Clifford Odets, 1960) with Anthony Franciosa. She continued working throughout the 1960s. For her part in Circus World (Henry Hathaway, 1964) she earned a Golden Globe nomination.

    She also appeared in some European films. In Italy, she made the war-drama L'avventuriero/The Rover (Terence Young, 1967), based on the novel by Joseph Conrad and co-starring Anthony Quinn and Rosanna Schiaffino. In France, she appeared in the psychological thriller La route de Salina/Road to Salina (Georges Lautner, 1970), starring Robert Walker, Jr. and Mimsy Farmer. Her career ended with Ralph Nelson's offbeat Western The Wrath of God (1972), starring Robert Mitchum.

    In 1980, Rita Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which contributed to her death at age 68. The public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew international attention to Alzheimer's, then a little-known disease, and helped to greatly increase public and private funding for Alzheimer's research.

    Rita Hayworth in Affair in Trinidad (1952)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 655. Photo: Columbia-Film. Publicity still for Affair in Trinidad (Vincent Sherman, 1952).

    Rita Hayworth
    Dutch postcard by J. Sleding, Amsterdam, no. 913. Photo: Europa Film n.v.

    Rita Hayworth
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. 4252. Photo: Columbia Film. Publicity still for Pal Joey (George Sidney, 1957).


    Trailer for The Lady From Shanghai (1947). Source: MUBI UK (YouTube).


    Trailer for Road To Salina (1970). Source: FulciLives (YouTube).

    Sources: bio., Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/09/16--22:00: Camillo Pilotto
  • Italian stage and screen actor Camillo Pilotto (1888-1963) started his film career in the early silent cinema, but only became a star after sound film was introduced. During the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini he was popular through the Telefoni Bianchi films, the sophisticated Italian comedies of the 1930s, but he also starred in such historical epics as Scipione l’Africano (1937) and Abuna Messias/Cardinal Messias (1939).

    Camillo Pilotto
    Italian postcard by Agency Aser, no. 92. Photo: Ciolfi.

    Camillo Pilotto
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 4091/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz / Difu.

    Personally Attached to Pirandello


    Camillo Pilotto was born in Roma (Rome) in 1888 (according to Wikipedia; IMDb mentions 1890). He was the son of actor and stagewriter Libero Pilotto.

    In 1903, at the age of 15, he started to perform on stage with the company of Ermete Novelli and continued to perform with the most renowned theatre companies until the late 1950s.

    Remarkable in the postwar era was his part of Cotrone in Luigi Pirandello’s I giganti della montagna, directed by Giorgio Strehler. Pilotto was personally attached to Pirandello.

    Pilotto’s film debut happened in 1916 in Il sopravissuto (Augusto Genina, 1916) after which a handful of silent films followed, including La capanna dello zio Tom/Uncle Tom's Cabin (Riccardo Tolentino, 1918), based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    During the 1920s Pilotto was hardly seen in the cinema, but his career as a film actor really set off in the 1930s.

    Ermete Novelli
    Ermete Novelli. Italian postcard by Alterocca, Terni, no. 513.

    Carmen Boni
    Carmen Boni. French postcard by Europe, no. 300. Photo: Cineromans / Films de France.

    White Telephones


    When sound film set in, Camillo Pilotto immediately had a part in the first sound film La canzone dell’amore/The Song of Love (Gennaro Righelli, 1930). The film was based very loosely on a Luigi Pirandello short story called In silenzio/In Silence about a woman, Lucia (Dria Paola), who cares for her widowed mother's out-of-wedlock child.

    Pilotto played the ex-lover of the mother who suddenly claims the child, but eventually lets Lucia have the child, when he notices how desperately she wants the baby. According to Gerald A. DeLuca at IMDb: "La canzone dell'amore (The Song of Love) was extraordinarily popular at the time of its release in Italy, and critics praised its beauty and skill at the hands of director Gennaro Righelli as well as the performances, especially that of Dria Paola."

    Next, Pilotto starred opposite Carmen Boni in the Italian-language Paramount productions La vacanza del diavolo/The Devil's Holiday (Jack Salvatori, 1931), and La riva dei bruti (Mario Camerini, 1931).

    In the early 1930s, Pilotto became one of the major actors within ‘Telefoni Bianchi’ films, the Italian romantic comedy genre made by such directors as Nunzio Malasomma (La telefonista/The Telephone Operator (1932)), Amleto Palermi (La segretaria per tutti/The Secretary for Everything (1933)), and Alessandro Blasetti (Il caso Haller/The Haller Case (1933) starring Isa Miranda).

    However, he also played the memorable parts of the depraved Duke Alessandro in Lorenzino de’Medici/The Magnificent Rogue (Guido Brignone, 1936), starring Alexander Moissi, and Hannibal, the one-eyed, lustful and streetwise opponent of the Roman leader Scipio (Annibale Ninchi) in the epic production Scipione l’Africano/Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (Carmine Gallone, 1937).

    This was also the start of a series of parts in heroic historical and contemporary films like Pietro Micca (Aldo Vergano, 1938) and Abuna Messias/Cardinal Messias (Goffredo Alessandrini, 1939). The latter film was a controversial historical legitimation for the war in Abysinnia.

    Isa Miranda
    Isa Miranda. Italian postcard by ASER (A. Scarmiglia Ed.), Rome.

    Alexander Moissi
    Alexander Moissi. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4725/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Defina.

    The Italian Voice of Wallace Beery


    Camillo Pilotto also had important parts in two postwar period pieces: Il passatore/Bullet for Stefano (Duilio Coletti, 1947) with Rossano Brazzi, and Penne nere/Black Feathers (Oreste Biancoli, 1952) starring Marcello Mastroianni.

    Pilotto was also active in dubbing foreign films and was the Italian voice of Wallace Beery, Eugene Pallette, Victor McLaglenand Henry Stephenson.

    All in all Pilotto played in over 50 sound films (until 1952), but also in various television series. Among these were some highly successful ones like Piccolo mondo antico/Small ancient world (Silverio Blasi, 1957), Canne al vento/Reeds to the wind (Mario Landi, 1958), and Il mulino del Po/The Mill of the Po (Sandro Bolchi, 1963) starring Raf Vallone.

    Camillo Pilotto’s last performance, in Le anime morte/The dead souls (Edmo Fenoglio, 1963) based on the novel by Nikolai Gogol, was released after his death in Rome, in 1963.

    Rossano Brazzi
    Rossano Brazzi. German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3740/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Villoresi / Ufa.

    Raf Vallone
    Raf Vallone. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 14 E/384.

    Sources: Gerald A. DeLuca (IMDb), Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.

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    Here are twelve new and rare acquisitions from the collection of our friend Didier Hanson. Didier has lots of postcards from the Russian Empire, both of the stage reformers and of early Russian film stars. He keeps amazing me. Here are twelve dazzling cards, produced in the year 1916 or around that time. The silent cinema of the Russian Empire was at its peak. Just a few years later most of these talents had left Russia and were working in Berlin or Paris, or were dead.

    Vera Kholodnaya
    Vera Kholodnaya. Russian postcard, no. 8. Photo: M. Saharova, 1916. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Vera Kholodnaya (1893-1919) was the first star of the Russian silent cinema. Only 26, the ‘Queen of Screen’ died of the Spanish flu during the pandemic of 1919. Although she worked only three years for the cinema, she must have made between fifty and hundred short films. The Soviet authorities ordered to destroy many of the Kholodnaya features in 1924, and only five of her films still exist.

    Vera Kholodnaya
    Vera Kholodnaya. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Ivan Mozzhukhin, 1916
    Ivan Mozzhukhin. Russian postcard, 1916. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Russian actor Ivan Mozzhukhin (1889-1939) was a legendary star of the European silent film, who shone in Russia, France, Germany and Austria, but suffered in Hollywood.

    Ivan Mozzhukhin and Nicolas Koline
    Ivan Mozzhukhin and Nicolas Koline. Vintage postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Nicolas Koline (1978-1966) was a Russian actor who began his career in Russia, worked in the French cinema with other Russian emigres and finished his film career in Germany.

    Vitold Polonsky
    Vitold Polonsky. Russian postcard, Moscow, 1916, no. 3. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Vitold Polonsky (1879-1919) was one of the most popular actors in pre-Revolutionary Russian cinema.

    Vitold Polonsky
    Vitold Polonsky. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Vera Karalli
    Vera Karalli. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Vera Karalli (1889-1972) was a Russian ballet dancer, choreographer and actress in the early 20th century.

    Stacia Napierkowska
    Stacia Napierkowska. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Exotic Stacia Napierkowska (1886-1945) was a fascinating star of the silent film era. The French actress and dancer is best remembered as the seductive but cruel Queen Antinéa in the classic fantasy L’Atlantide/Missing Husbands (1921). Between 1908 and 1926 she appeared in 86 films.

    Nathalie Lissenko
    Nathalie Lissenko. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Nathalie Lissenko (1884/1886-1969), aka Natalya Lyssenko, Natalie Lissenko, and Natal’ya Lisenko, is most famous for the French silent films of the 1920s, in which is she was often paired with her husband Ivan Mozzhukhin.

    Lyda Salmonova in Der Golem und die Tänzerin (1917)
    Lyda Salmonova. German postcard, no. 942. Photo: publicity still for Der Golem und die Tänzerin/The Golem and the Dancing Girl (Rochus Gliese, Paul Wegener, 1917). Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Czech stage and film actress Lyda Salmonova (1889–1968) was married to German actor Paul Wegener and appeared with him in silent horror classics like Der Student von Prag/The Student of Prague (1913) and Der Golem (1915 and 1920).

    Mikhail Mordkin
    Mikhail Mordkin. Russian postcard. Photo: M. Saharova, L. Orlova, 1916. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Handsome Mikhail Mordkin (1880-1944) was a famous Russian ballet dancer. He started at the Bolshoi Ballet, joined Diaghilev's ballet in 1909, and in 1924, he settled in the United States, where he founded the Mordkin Ballet, and helped to build the foundation for ballet in America. He also appeared in one Russian film, Aziade (1918).

    Anna Pavlova
    Anna Pavlova. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1540/2, 1927-1928. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Anna Pavlova (Russian: Анна Павлова; 1881–1931) was a Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. She was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev. Pavlova is most recognised for the creation of the role The Dying Swan and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.

    Thanks, Didier! 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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  • 03/11/16--22:00: Rudi Carrell
  • It's Boekenweek, the national Book Week in the Netherlands. Today, Die van Carrell is presented, a new, Dutch biography on television show master, actor and singer Rudi Carrell (1934-2006), written by his daughter Caroline Kesselaar. After his breakthrough in the Dutch show business, Carrell went to Germany where he gained enormous popularity on television. He was the first presenter to attract a TV audience of 20 million Germans, one quarter of the total population. He also acted in several German films. Nowadays, Carrell is seen as one of the greatest TV entertainers in Europe. The well-written memoir by his youngest daughter presents an interesting, intimate view of her talented, humorous but often unreachable father. Several postcards from this EFSP post are used for a small exhibition around the book in Athenaeum Boekhandel, Amsterdam's most prominent bookshop.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard.

    Entertainer, Magician and Ventriloquist


    Rudi Carrell was born as Rudolf Wijbrand Kesselaar in Alkmaar, the Dutch cheese capital, in 1934. He was the eldest of four children of Andries Kesselaar and his wife Catharina Houtkooper.

    His father was an entertainer with the stage name André Carrell, his grandfather was a comic. By the time Rudi was 17, he was an accomplished magician and ventriloquist. In 1953 Rudi was deputising for his father when André had double booked himself.

    Rudi made an effortless transition from stage to studio and in 1959 he hosted his own TV show, the Rudi Carrell Show. In 1960 he represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Wat een geluk/How Lucky and finished 12th out of 13 scoring just 2 points.

    He had more luck as a show master. In 1963 he won the Nipkov Award of the Dutch TV critics and in 1964 an episode of the Rudi Carrell Show won the prestigious Silver Rose at the Montreux Television Festival. This episode was shot on an artificial, uninhabited island, where Robinson Crusoe (Carrell) and his monkey Friday get a visit from a mermaid, played by singer Esther Ofarim.

    The success of the show led him to Germany in 1965, where he would host the Rudi Carrell Show and many other shows until 2002. His work ranged from game shows, through comedy, variety, and current affairs. His timing and his perfect mastery of the script made him the darling of German audiences. His show was also pretty popular in some other European non-German speaking countries like Slovenia.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard.

    Rudi Carrell and Esther Ofarim
    Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers, Amsterdam, no. 1178. Photo: Phonogram. Still from the episode of the Rudi Carrell Show which won the Silver Rose award of the Montreux television festival 1964. Carrell as Robinson Crusoe who gets a visit from mermaid Esther Ofarim.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard by Phonogram / Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam (SPARO), no. 1210. Photo: still from the episode of the Rudi Carrell Show that won the prestigious Silver Rose of the Montreux Television Festival 1964. Robinson Crusoe (Carrell) and his monkey Friday.

    Cross-dressing Farces


    Rudi Carrell acted in several German films. He was the lead in a series of cross-dressing farces: Wenn die tollen Tanten kommen/When the Mad Aunts Are Coming (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1970) with Ilja Richter, Tante Trude aus Buxtehude/Aunt Trude From Buxtehude (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1971) with Theo Lingen, and Die Tollen Tanten schlagen zu/The Mad Aunts Strike Out (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1971).

    Other slapstick comedies were Rudi, benimm dich/Behave, Rudi (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1971) with Chris Roberts, Hochwürden drückt ein Auge zu/Reverend Closes an Eye (Harald Vock, 1971) starring Schlager singer Roy Black, and Crazy - total verrückt/Crazy - Completely Mad (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1973) opposite former teen idol Cornelia - Conny - Froboess.

    In those film comedies he was called ‘Der Rudi’, as he was in real life referred to in every pub and café.

    The comedies attracted good audiences, but after 1973 Carrell only incidentally made a film, such as Starke Zeiten/Heavy Times (Rolf Olsen a.o., 1988).

    He was also a pop singerwith a number of hits. Wann wird`s mal wieder richtig Sommer?/When Will It Be A Real Summer Again? became a big hit in 1975. It was based on the American hit song City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman and made famous by Arlo Guthrie.

    Helen Shapiro and Rudi Carrell
    With Helen Shapiro. Dutch postcard by Sparo (Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam). Sent by mail in the Netherlands in 1966. Photo: Columbia.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard by Hercules, Haarlem, no. 852.

    Rudi Carrell
    Dutch postcard by Art Unlimited, Amsterdam, no. B 1753, 1993. Photo: Dirk de Herder, 1962.

    Outrage


    A sketch on Rudi’s Tagesshow/Rudi's Daily Show (1984) provoked a serious diplomatic incident with Iran. A crowd of women threw bras and knickers at a mock-up of the Ayatollah Khomeini, at that time Iran’s spiritual as well as lay leader. The outrage in Tehran brought thousands on to the streets, led to the expulsion of two German diplomats, the closure of the Iranian consulates in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt, the cancellation of flights between Bonn, then the West German capital, and Tehran.

    An intervention from the then Dutch Foreign Minister stopped the scene being repeated on Dutch television. Carrell came under threat from fundamentalists, until he officially apologized in 1987.

    He received many awards in the Netherlands and Germany, amongst others the Bundesverdienstkreuz (the only award given by the Federal Republic of Germany, for extraordinary achievements in politics or culture) in 1985.

    Although living and working in Germany for 40 years he always spoke with a heavy Dutch accent. He smoked 60 cigarettes a day, and in 2005 he had lung cancer diagnosed. In a farewell TV appearance in 2006 he was presented with Germany’s highest TV award, the Golden Camera. He also received the Bundesverdienstkreuz, Germany's Cross of Merit, for his achievements in German-Dutch relations in 1985, and he was given the Honorary Rose at the Festival of Montreux for his lifetime achievements in 2001.

    Rudi Carrell died in 2006 in Bremen, Germany. He was 71. He had been married three times. His wives were Truus de Vries (1957-1973) with whom he had two children, Annemieke and Caroline; Anke Bobbert (1974-2000) with whom he had a son, Alexander; and Simone Felischak (2002-2006). Caroline's book Die van Carrell will be presented today in Boekhandel feijn in Rudi Carrell's birthplace Alkmaar.

    Rudi Carrell
    German card by Süddeutscher Rundfunk, Stuttgart. Photo: Hugo Jehle.

    Rudi Carrell
    German postcard by Westdeutschen Rundfunk, Köln. Photo: R. Rutgers.

    Rudi Carrell
    German postcard by Thomas Klinger, München. Photo: Bayerischer Rundfunk.


    Rudi Carrell sings the song Wat een geluk/How Lucky at the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest. Source: huelezelf (YouTube).

    Sources: Times Online, Wikipedia, Birth Television Archive and IMDb.

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  • 03/12/16--22:00: Jenny Jugo
  • Pretty Austrian actress Jenny Jugo (1904-2001) had a prolific career in German cinema, from the late silent era well into the war years. She did particularly well as comedienne and starred between 1931 and 1942 in eleven smart and charming comedies directed by Erich Engel.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3418/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3584/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3706/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4445/2, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4747/3, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.

    Talent For Comedy


    Jenny Jugo was born as Eugenie Jenny Walter in Mürzzuschlag, Austria-Hungary (now Austria), in 1904, as the daughter of a factory owner. She grew up in Vienna and Graz, where she visited a monastic school.

    At the age of 16 Jenny got married with the Italian actor Emo Jugo who took her to Berlin. Already one year later followed their separation. The famous producer Erich Pommer discovered Jenny for the cinema, and in 1924, she got a three-year contract from the Ufa.

    She started to play in films like Die Puppe vom Lunapark/The Lunapark Doll (Jaap Speyer, 1925) with Adolphe Engers, Der Turm des Schweigens/The Tower of Silence (Johannes Guter, 1925), Die gefundene Braut/The Found Bride (Rochus Gliese, 1925) both starring Xenia Desni, Blitzzug der Liebe/Love Express Train (Johannes Guter, 1925) with Ossi Oswalda, and Liebe macht blind/Love Makes Us Blind (Lothar Mendes, 1925) with Georg Alexander.

    Her dramatic roles were not very succesful and Ufa lent her to the Phoebus-Film A.G. There she made some of her most successful films like Schiff in Not/Ship Stranded (Fred Sauer, 1925) with Gustav Fröhlich, Casanova/The Loves of Casanova (Alexandre Volkoff, 1927) starring Ivan Mozzhukhin, and the Alexander Pushkin adaptation Pique Dame (Aleksandr Razumnyi, 1927).

    As the vivacious and much younger wife of bureaucrat Werner Krauss she proved in the farce Die Hose/The Trousers (Hans Behrendt, 1927) her talent for comedy and self irony.

    Iwan Mosjukin and Jenny Jugo in Casanova (1927)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 83/4. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Casanova (Alexandre Volkoff, 1927) with Ivan Mozzhukhin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3418/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo and Willy Fritsch in Die Carmen von St. Pauli (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3585/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Carmen von St. Pauli/The Carmen of St. Pauli (1928) with Willy Fritsch.

    Jenny Jugo, Enrico Benfer
    With Enrico Benfer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4444/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Enrico Benfer and Jenny Jugo
    With Enrico Benfer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4535/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.

    Enrico Benfer and Jenny Jugo
    With Enrico Benfer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4749/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5063/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Alex Binder / Atelier Binder, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5433/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Just Naturalness


    When the era of the silent film was over and sound film demanded a new acting talent and especially a very clear pronunciation, Jenny Jugo took acting lessons for the first time in her life. In the next years she acted in less important films like Kopfüber ins Glück/Headfirst in Happiness (Hans Steinhoff, 1929) with Fritz Schulz, and Die nackte Wahrheit/The Naked Truth (Karl Anton, 1931).

    Starting with Wer nimmt die Liebe ernst?/Who Takes Love Seriously? (Erich Engel, 1931) starring Max Hansen, she began a cooperation with director Erich Engel who knew how to use her comedy talent. Till 1942 they shot eleven films together.

    These included Fünf von der Jazzband/Five of the Jazzband (Erich Engel, 1932), the G.B. Shaw adaptation Pygmalion (Erich Engel, 1935) with Gustaf Gründgens, as the young Queen Victoria in Mädchenjahre einer Königin/Girlhood of a Queen (Erich Engel, 1936), Gefährliches Spiel/Dangerous Game (Erich Engel, 1937) opposite Harry Liedtke, Nanette (Erich Engel, 1939) with Hans Söhnker, and Viel Lärm um Nixi/Much Ado About Nixi (Erich Engel, 1942) with Albert Matterstock.

    In these films she established an acting style which was described by Bertolt Brecht as "just naturalness". She belonged with Zarah Leander and Paula Wessely to the best-paid actresses of the Ufa.

    However, she would play in only three more productions: Die Gattin/The Wife (Georg Jacoby, 1943), Träum' nicht, Anette/Don't Dream, Anette (Eberhard Klagemann, 1949) and Königskinder/Royal Children (Helmut Käutner, 1949) with Peter van Eyck.

    In 1950 Jugo married actor Enrico Benfer a.k.a. Friedrich Benfer, with whom she had worked in many of her films. They retired from the film business to a farm in Schönrain near Bad Heilbrunn, Bavaria. In 1971 she was awarded the Filmband in Gold for her long and outstanding contributions to the German cinema. In the 1970s a medical treatment went wrong, and since then Jugo was tied up to a wheelchair.

    Jenny Jugo died in 2001 in Schwaighofen near Königsdorf, Germany. She was 96. In the summer of 2006, the film museum of Potsdam acquired a quite special collection: about forty costumes which Jugo had worn in her Ufa films and numerous documents, which the star herself had saved at her High-Bavarian farm.

    Jenny Jugo
    Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 371. Photo: Remaco.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6156/3, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7105/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Alex Binder / Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8641/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for ...heute abend bei mir/Tonight with me (Carl Boese, 1934).

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9007/2, 1934-1935. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9289/1, 1935-1936. Photo: Atelier Sandau, Berlin.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3092/2, 1941-1944. Photo: Markische-Panorama-Schneider-Südost.

    Jenny Jugo
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3873/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick / Ufa.

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

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  • 03/13/16--23:00: Hannelore Auer
  • Austrian Schlager singer Hannelore Auer (1942) appeared in several German-language comedies and Schlager films of the 1960’. She is married to another Schlager singer, Heino.

    Hannelore Auer
    German postcard by Friedrich-W. Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., Kolibri, no. 2199. Photo: Constantin / Music House. Publicity still for Holiday in St. Tropez (Ernst Hofbauer, 1964).

    Hannelore Auer
    German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 917. Photo: Teldec / Winkler.

    Kiss Me, Darling


    Hannelore Auer was born in Linz, Austria in 1942 as the daughter of a postman. She visited the Federal trade school for fashion and commercial art in Linz for four years.

    As a fifteen-year-old she took part in a singing contest in Vienna and won the second place with the titles Tausendmal möchte ich dich küssen (I want to kiss you a thousand times) and Fällt das gelbe Laub im Oktober (When the yellow leaves fall in October).

    Shortly after, she signed her first record deal, and she started to appear in film comedies like Ich heirate Herrn Direktor/I Marry the Manager (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1960) starring Heidelinde Weis and Hans Söhnker, and Willy, der Privatdetektiv/Willy the Private Detective (Rudolph Schündler, 1960) a vehicle for popular comedian Willy Millowitsch.

    Hannelore Auer had her biggest success in 1962 with the song Was in Athen geschah (What happened in Athens). Later she performed with Manfred Schnelldorfer as a duo and they had a hit with Kiss Me, Darling.

    Hannelore Auer
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2967. Photo: Öfa / Deutsche Film Hansa / Appelt. Publicity still for Ich heirate Herrn Direktor/I'm getting married Mr Director (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1960).

    Hannelore Auer
    German postcard by Friedrich-W. Sander-Verlag, Minden/Westf., Kolibri, no. 2550.

    Schickeria


    During the early 1960s, Hannelore Auer was romantically involved with film director Franz Antel and he gave her several supporting roles in his film comedies. She played with Günther Philipp in Das ist die Liebe der Matrosen/This is the love of the sailors (Franz Antel, 1962). In many of these films she only appeared briefly as a singer.

    She continued to work with other directors such as in Ich bin auch nur eine Frau/I, Too, Am Only a Woman (Alfred Weidenmann, 1962) starring Maria Schell, Schwejks Flegeljahre/Schweik's Years of Indiscretion (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1963) featuring Peter Alexander, and Holiday in St. Tropez (Ernst Hofbauer, 1964).

    In the second half of the 1960s, she also worked often for TV, but she continued to play in such mediocre films like Susanne, die Wirtin von der Lahn/The Sweet Sins of Sexy Susan (Franz Antel, 1967) starring Hungarian actress Teri Tordai and French Pascale Petit, and the Italian-German coproduction Kommissar X - Drei blaue Panther/Three blue panthers (Gianfranco Parolini, 1968) starring the Italian Tony Kendall.

    Auer became a part of the so-called Schickeria (in-crowd) and the tabloids were more interested in her private life than in her songs or her film roles. In 1968 she refused a marriage proposal by Franz Antel, and became the second wife of the Austrian prince Alfred ‘Alfie’ Auersperg. Then her film career stopped. She had a serious accident with her sports car in 1972 which nearly killed her.

    After her divorce from Auersperg in 1979, she married the popular German Schlager singer Heino (Heinz Georg Kramm). She became his manager and performed with him, for example as a co-host of the popular music show Heino und Hannelore (Heino and Hannelore). In 2004 Hannelore Kramm suffered a heart attack. This was one of the reasons that Heino interrupted his career.

    Hannelore Auer and Heino
    With Heino. German autograph card by Büro Heino, Bad Münstereifel. Photo: Christian Altengarten, Brühl. Design: Martinez, Köln.


    Hannelore Auer sings with The Rackets Wer ist der Boy ohne Namen? in the TV show Hotel Victoria (1965). Source: Rarely Played (YouTube).


    Hannelore Auer sings Amore addio in Tausend Takte Übermut (1965) with Rex Gildo. Source: Fritz51265 (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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  • 03/14/16--23:00: Cedric Hardwicke
  • Sir Cedric Hardwicke (1893-1964) was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned nearly fifty years. His theatre work included notable performances in productions of the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw. From the late 1930s on, he was in great demand in Hollywood.

    Cedric Hardwicke
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 535. Photo: Dorothy Wilding.

    Horatio Nelson and Alfred Dreyfus


    Cedric Webster Hardwicke was born in Lye, Worcestershire, in 1893, to Dr Edwin Webster Hardwicke and his wife, Jessie (née Masterson). He attended Bridgnorth Grammar School in Shropshire, after which he intended to train as a doctor but failed to pass the necessary examinations.

    He turned to the theatre and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). In 1912, Hardwicke made his first stage appearance in Frederick Melville's melodrama The Monk and the Woman at the Lyceum Theatre, London. In 1913 he joined Benson's Company and toured in the provinces, South Africa and Rhodesia. In 1914 he appeared at the Old Vic as Malcolm in Macbeth, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, and the gravedigger in Hamlet.

    WWI intervened in his career, and from 1914 to 1921 he served as an officer in the Judge Advocate's branch of the British Army in France. He was one of the last members of the British Expeditionary Force to leave France. Following his discharge, in January 1922 he joined the Birmingham Repertory Company, playing a range of parts from the drooping young lover Faulkland in The Rivals to the roistering Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.

    Hardwicke played many classical roles on stage, appearing at London's top theatres, making his name on the stage performing works by George Bernard Shaw, who said that Hardwicke was his fifth favourite actor after the four Marx Brothers. Hardwicke starred in such Shaw plays as Caesar and Cleopatra, Pygmalion, The Apple Cart, Candida, Too True to Be Good, and Don Juan in Hell.

    He started to appear in film in 1926. He played Admiral Horatio Nelson in the silent biopic Nelson (Walter Summers, 1926) with Gertrude McCoy as Lady Hamilton. Five years later, he appeared as Capt. Alfred Dreyfus in a British film on the Dreyfus affair, Dreyfus (F.W. Kraemer, Milton Rosmer, 1931). He also appeared with Esther Ralston and Conrad Veidt in the thriller Rome Express (Walter Forde, 1932) and with Boris Karloff in the British horror film The Ghoul (T. Hayes Hunter, 1933).

    On stage and in the cinema, he made such an impression that at age 41 he became the youngest actor to be knighted in the 1934 New Year's Honours. Other stage successes included The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, Antigone and A Majority of One, winning a Tony Award nomination for his performance as a Japanese diplomat.

    In the cinema he had a hit with the historical drama Nell Gwynn (Herbert Wilcox, 1934) which portrays the historical romance between Charles II of England (Hardwicke) and the actress Nell Gwynn (Anna Neagle). He played in such films as Jew Süss/Power - Jew Suss (Lothar Mendes, 1934) based on Lion Feuchtwanger's novel Jud Süß, about Joseph Süß Oppenheimer played by Conrad Veidt, the American drama Les Misérables (Richard Boleslawski, 1935) and the British adventure film King Solomon's Mines (Robert Stevenson, 1937), starring Paul Robeson.

    Cedric Hardwicke
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 535a. Photo: Cannons.

    Cedric Hardwicke in Becky Sharp (1935)
    British postcard. Photo: Radio. Publicity still for Becky Sharp (Rouben Mamoulian, 1935).

    David Livingstone and Ludwig von Frankenstein


    In the late 1930s, Cedric Hardwicke moved to the US, initially for film work. He was in great demand in Hollywood. He played David Livingstone opposite Spencer Tracy's Henry Morton Stanley in Stanley and Livingstone (Henry King, 1939), and also played Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (William Dieterle, 1939). Then he played Mr Jones in a screen version of Joseph Conrad's novel Victory (John Cromwell, 1940).

    He starred in The Ghost of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton, 1942), as the unfortunate Ludwig von Frankenstein, alongside Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi. In the early 1940s he also continued his stage career, touring and in New York. In 1944 Hardwicke returned to Britain, again touring, and reappeared on the London stage, at the Westminster Theatre, on 29 March 1945, as Richard Varwell in a revival of Eden and Adelaide Phillpotts' comedy, Yellow Sands, and subsequently toured in this on the continent.

    He returned to America late in 1945 and appeared with Ethel Barrymore in December in a revival of Shaw's Pygmalion, and continued on the New York stage the following year. In 1946, he starred opposite Katharine Cornell as King Creon in her production of Jean Anouilh's adaptation of the Greek tragedy Antigone. In 1948 he joined the Old Vic Company at the New Theatre to play Sir Toby Belch, Doctor Faustus, and Gaev in The Cherry Orchard. That year he also appeared in the British film The Winslow Boy (Anthony Asquith, 1948) and in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948).

    Then he moved permanently to the US. He was featured as King Arthur in the comedy/musical, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Tay Garnett, 1949), singing Busy Doing Nothing in a trio with Bing Crosby and William Bendix. In 1951–1952, he appeared on Broadway in Shaw's Don Juan in Hell with Agnes Moorehead,Charles Boyer and Charles Laughton. Later, Hardwicke played in such films as Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955), and as the Pharaoh Seti I in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956).

    On TV, he appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents entitled Wet Saturday (1956). During the 1961–1962 television season, Hardwicke starred as Professor Crayton in Gertrude Berg's sitcom Mrs. G. Goes to College. His final acting role was in The Outer Limits in the episode The Forms of Things Unknown.

    In 1964, Cedric Hardwicke in New York from cancer. He was 71. He was married twice. In 1928, he married the English actress Helena Pickard. They divorced in 1948. Their son was actor Edward Hardwicke. His second marriage, which also produced one child and ended in divorce, was to Mary Scott, from 1950 to 1961.


    Trailer The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).


    Trailer Rope (1948). Source: thehotash1 (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    American actress Shelley Winters (1920-2006) appeared in dozens of films, as well as on stage and television. She was a major film presence for six decades, and turned herself from a Blonde Bombshell into a widely-respected actress who won two Oscars, for The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and A Patch of Blue (1965). Less known, Winters also appeared in several European films, including Alfie 1966 and Roman Polanski's Le Locataire (1976).

    Shelley Winters
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 273.

    Shelley Winters
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 316. Photo: Universal International.

    Blonde Bombshell


    Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1920. She was the daughter of Rose (née Winter), a singer with The Muny, and Jonas Schrift, a designer of men's clothing; her parents were Jewish immigrants. Her family moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was three years old. Winters studied at The New School in New York City, where she appeared in high school plays.

    Her first film was What a Woman! (Irving Cummings, 1943) starring Rosalind Russell. Throughout the 1940s, she mostly played bit roles and studied in the Hollywood Studio Club. In the late 1940s, she shared an apartment with another newcomer, Marilyn Monroe.

    Winters achieved stardom with her breakout performance as the the party girl waitress who ends as the victim of insane actor Ronald Colmanin A Double Life (George Cukor, 1947). She quickly ascended in Hollywood with leading roles in The Great Gatsby (Elliott Nugent, 1949) with Alan Ladd, and Winchester 73 (Anthony Mann, 1950), opposite James Stewart.

    Universal Pictures built her up as a Blonde Bombshell but she quickly tired of the role's limitations. She washed off her makeup and played against type to set up Elizabeth Taylor's beauty in A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951), still a landmark American film. Her performance brought Winters acclaim and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

    Throughout the 1950s, Winters continued to star in films, including Meet Danny Wilson (Joseph Pevney, 1952) as Frank Sinatra's leading lady, and most notably in Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter (1955), with Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish.

    In Great Britain she played in the Christopher Isherwood adaptation I Am a Camera (Henry Cornelius, 1955) opposite Julie Harris and Laurence Harvey, and in Italy in Mambo (Robert Rossen, 1954) opposite Silvana Mangano and Winters' second husband Vittorio Gassman.

    She also returned to the stage on various occasions during this time, including a Broadway run in A Hatful of Rain (1955–1956), opposite future, third husband Anthony Franciosa. Although she was now in demand as a character actress, Winters continued to study her craft. She attended Charles Laughton's Shakespeare classes and worked at the Actors Studio, both as student and teacher.

    Shelley Winters
    Belgian collectors card by De Beukelaer, Anvers, no. A 7. Photo: Universal International.

    Shelley Winters
    Dutch postcard by DRC, no. F 210. Photo: M.G.M.

    Bloody Mama


    In 1960, Shelley Winters won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens, 1959), and six years later, she won another Oscar, in the same category, for A Patch of Blue (Guy Green, 1965). She donated her Oscar for The Diary of Anne Frank to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

    Notable roles during the 1960s included her lauded performance as the man-hungry Charlotte Haze in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962); starring opposite Michael Caine in Alfie (Lewis Gilbert, 1966), and as the fading, alcoholic former starlet Fay Estabrook in Harper (Jack Smight, 1966).

    The following decade she could be seen in The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, 1972) as the ill-fated Belle Rosen (for which she received her final Oscar nomination), and in Next Stop, Greenwich Village (Paul Mazursky, 1976). Winters also starred in interesting European films like Roman Polanski’s thriller Le Locataire/The Tenant (1976) with Isabelle Adjani, and Mario Monicelli’s drama Un borghese piccolo piccolo/A Very Little Man (1977) with Alberto Sordi.

    She returned to the stage during the 1960s and 1970s, most notably in Tennessee Williams'Night of the Iguana. She appeared in such cult films as Wild in the Streets (Barry Shear, 1968), Bloody Mama (Roger Corman, 1970) and Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (Curtis Harrington, 1971). She also starred in the Broadway musical Minnie's Boys (1970) as Minnie Marx, the mother of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Gummo Marx.

    During her 50 years as a widely known personality, Winters was rarely out of the news. Her stormy marriages, her romances with famous stars, her forays into politics, and feminist causes kept her name before the public. She delighted in giving provocative interviews and seemed to have an opinion on everything. That led to a second career as a writer. She recalled her conquests in her autobiographies, like Shelley Also Known As Shirley, and wrote of a yearly rendezvous she kept with William Holden, as well as her affairs with Sean Connery, Burt Lancaster, Errol Flynn, Farley Granger and Marlon Brando.

    Winters gained significant weight later in life, but lost much of it for (or before) an appearance at the 1998 Academy Awards telecast, which featured a tribute to Oscar winners past and present. In a recurring role in the 1990s, Winters played the title character's grandmother on the ABC sitcom Roseanne.

    Her final film roles were supporting ones: she played a restaurant owner and mother of an overweight cook in Heavy (James Mangold, 1995), with Liv Tyler and Debbie Harry, and as an aristocrat in The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion, 1996), starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich. Her final film was the Italian comedy La bomba (Giulio Base, 1999) with her former husband Vittorio Gassman (whose last film this was too) and his son Alessandro Gassman.

    Winters was married four times; her husbands were: Captain Mack Paul Mayer, whom she married on New Year's Day, 1942; they divorced in October 1948. Winters wore his wedding ring up until her death, and kept their relationship very private. In 1952, she married Vittorio Gassman. They divorced in 1954 and had one child, Vittoria (1953), a physician, who practices internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was Winters' only child. Later husbands were Anthony Franciosa (1957-1960) and long-time companion Gerry DeFord, whom she married hours before her death in 2006.

    Shelley Winters died at the age of 85 on January 14, 2006, of heart failure at the Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills.


    Trailer for Lolita (1962). Source: AgelessTrailers (YouTube).


    Trailer for Bloody Mama (1970). Source: Behind The Science Fiction (YouTube).

    Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 03/16/16--23:00: Leda Gloria
  • Italian film star Leda Gloria (1912-1997) had a prolific career during the 1930s and 1940s. She was one of the favourite film actresses of the young Federico Fellini, but is also remembered as the wife of mayor Peppone in the Don Camillo films of the 1950s and 1960s. She appeared in 66 films between 1929 and 1965.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Rizzoli, 1937. Photo: Ghergo.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano, 1940. Photo: Ghergo.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano, 1942. Photo: Ghergo.

    Lively and spontaneous country girls


    Leda Gloria, pseudonym of Leda Nicoletti was born in Rome, Italy, in 1912. She started her film career already at a young age, winning a film contest held by an American film company in Italy. She dropped her studies as harpist and acted in various silent Italian and German films.

    Gloria’s first film seems to have been the comedy Ragazze non scherzate/Girls do not joke (Alfred Lind, 1929) with Maurizio D’Ancora. Another of her early film roles was next to Lil Dagoverin the German sound film Es gibt eine Frau die dich niemals vergisst/There is a woman who never forgets you (Leo Mittler 1930), also with Iván Petrovich.

    With the coming of sound cinema she became one of the most active and popular Italian actresses. She first made her mark with two films by Alessandro Blasetti, Terra madre/Mother Earth (1931) and Palio (1932), playing lively and spontaneous country girls. In Terra madre Gloria played country girl Emilia opposite Sandro Salvini, former love interest in the silent diva films. Here he plays a duke who wants to sell his estate and move to the city, but after a fire extinguished with the help of the farmers he decides to stay.

    In Palio, jockeys represent various neighbourhoods (contradas) in the Italian city of Siena. The jockeys fight each other and love makes blind. Jockey Zarre (Guido Celano) breaks up his affair with the young Fiora (Gloria) when she is courted by a captain from a rival contrada. When a singer (Laura Nucci) in whom he is infatuated, sets up a trap together with his rival in love and horse-riding, Zarre almost fails. Finally he manages to win the Palio, and gains Fiora back as a bonus.

    Contrasting the bleak and bloodless 19th century vamps, Gloria showed a healthy beauty and simple but often convincing and solid acting. Examples of this she showed in La tavola dei poveri/The table of the poor (Alessandro Blasetti, 1932) and Il cappello a tre punte/Three Cornered Hat (Mario Camerini, 1934) with Eduardo De Filippo and Peppino De Filippo.

    Leda Gloria encountered a big success with her first dramatic character in Montevergine (Carlo Campogalliani, 1939), starring Amedeo Nazzariin a story about a man bound for revenge as he has been wrongly accused of murder and innocently imprisoned.

    Leda Gloria in Terra madre
    Italian postcard by Produzione Cines-Pittaluga, no. 30. Photo: Leda Gloria had in the rural drama Terra madre (Alessandro Blasetti, 1931).

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Rizzoli, 1938. Photo: Manenti Film.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano, 1941. Sent by mail in 1943. Photo: Venturini.

    Fellini's Favourite Actress


    Among Leda Gloria’s films from the war years are Antonio Meucci (Enrico Guazzoni, 1940) starring Luigi Pavese as the telephone inventor and Gloria as his wife Ester, Anime in tumulto/Souls in turmoil (Giulio Del Torre, 1942) on a surgeon’s wife who steals a baby when she cannot have one, and Dagli Appennini alle Ande/From the Apennines to the Andes (Flavio Cavalzara, 1943) on a boy (Cesare Barbetti) crossing the ocean and the whole of Argentine in search of his mother (Gloria).

    After the war she was involved in variety at the Company of Giulio Donadio. She returned to the cinema with a serious, supporting part in the Neorealist film Il mulino del Po/The Mill on the Po (Carlo Lizzani, 1949), starring Carla Del Poggio and Jacques Sernas and situated in the late 19th century countryside near Ferrara. Future film director Federico Fellini was one of the scriptwriters for this film. He later recalled that she had been one of his favourite actresses.

    Subsequently Leda Gloria worked as a supporting actress, often in parts as mothers of the leading characters, but her performances were always moderated and well-delivered. She played Cosetta Greco’s’s mother in Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna/Girls of the Spanish Steps (Luciano Emmer, 1952) and Raf Mattioli’s mother in the successful comedy Guendalina (Alberto Lattuada, 1957).

    Leda Gloria also played Eduardo De Filippo’s wife in the comedy Napoli milionaria/Side Street Story (Eduardo De Filippo, 1950). It tells the story of ordinary people living on a Naples sidestreet, from 1940 to 1950 under the dominance of the Fascists, the Nazis and then the Allies occupation forces.

    Gloria is well remembered as Signora Botazzi, Peppone's wife, in the Don Camillo comedies with Gino Cervi’s as the communist mayor Peppone and Fernandelas his opponent Don Camillo. The series included Don Camillo/The Little World of Don Camillo (Julien Duvivier, 1952), Il ritorno di Don Camillo/The Return of Don Camillo (Julien Duvivier, 1953), Don Camillo e l’onorevole Peppone/Don Camillo's Last Round (Carmine Gallone, 1955), Don Camillo monsignore… ma non troppo/Don Camillo: Monsignor (Carmine Gallone, 1961) and Il compagno Don Camillo/Don Camillo in Moscow (Luigi Comencini, 1965), Leda Gloria's last film.

    After a long illness, Leda Gloria died in Rome, Italy, in 1997. She was 84. Gloria had two twin daughters: Atte Ughetti and Ilia Ughetti. Both appeared with their mother in Redenzione/Redemption (Marcello Albani, 1943). It was their first and only screen appearance.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Aser, no. 37. Photo: Venturini.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Casa Editr. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 25555. Photo: serie Cines / Pittaluga.

    Leda Gloria
    Italian postcard by Casa Editr. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 25549. Photo: serie Cines / Pittaluga.

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

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    Why are there so many good French caricatures? I love the cartoon series Les Grandes Gueules (The Big Mouths), produced by designers Jean Mulatier, Patrice Ricord and Jean-Claude Morchoisne between 1970 and 1986. The cartoons were first published on the back cover of the magazine Pilote and then combined in the form of albums. But the caricatures by Raoul Cabrol from the 1910s and 1920s are maybe even better. But better decide for yourselves.

    Chaplin cartoon, British 1910s
    British card in the H. B. Series by "Entire British Production", London, ran 30.7.1917. Cartoon of Charlie Chaplin by AEI.

    Lyda Borelli Calderara caricature
    Italian postcard. Caricature of Lyda Borelli by C. Calderara. Looking at the outfit and the headgear, the drawing seems to refer to Borelli's first film Ma l'amor mio non muore/ Love Everlasting (1913).

    Dina Galli caricature
    Italian postcard. Caricature of Dina Galliby Girus (Giuseppe Russo). It was exposed in 1914 at the first international exhibition of caricatures and cartoons in Italy.

    Mistinguett
    French postcard. Caricature of Mistinguett by Raoul Cabrol. Collection: Marlène Pilaete.

    Max Dearly by Cabrol
    French postcard by Publications J.P., Paris, no. 7. Caricature of Max Dearly by Raoul Cabrol.

    Gabriel Signoret by Cabrol
    French postcard by Publications J.P., Paris, no. 311. Caricature of Gabriel Signoret by Raoul Cabrol.

    Michel Simon
    Photo with dedication. Caricature of Michel Simon by di Mitri. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Fernandel by Ricord
    French postcard in the Les Grandes Gueules Series by Dervish International Publications, Paris, no. 105. Caricature of Fernandel as Don Camillo by Patrice Ricord.

    Bourvil by Mulatier
    French postcard in the Les Grandes Gueules Series by Dervish International Publications, Paris, no. 106. Caricature of Bourvil by Jean Mulatier.

    Louis de Funès by Jean Mulatier
    French postcard in the Les Grandes Gueules Series by Dervish International Publications, Paris, no. 102. Caricature of Louis de Funès by Jean Mulatier.

    Jean-Paul Belmondo
    French postcard by Editions et Impressions Combier, Mâcon in the Series Les geants du cinema, no. 1. Caricature of Jean-Paul Belmondo by Jean-Pierre Gillot.

    Jean Gabin
    French postcard by Editions et Impressions Combier, Mâcon, no. 3. Caricature of Jean Gabin by Jean-Pierre Gillot.

    Ladies' hats are getting bigger and bigger
    And an extra card. Ladies' hats were getting bigger and bigger in 1904, which would caused many problems in the early cinemas. Caricature by Reinitz, Paris. Austrian postcard sent from Brussels to Embourg par Chenee, Belgium, in 1913.

    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.



    Sources: Wikipedia (French and English).

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  • 03/18/16--23:00: Valerie Kaprisky
  • Stunning French actress Valérie Kaprisky (1962) is known for such films as Breathless (1983), La femme publique (1984) and Mouvements du désir (1994).

    Valerie Kaprisky
    Romanian postcard by Inter CONTEMPress / Publiturism.

    Aphrodite


    Valérie Kaprisky was born Valerie Chérès in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France in 1962. Kaprisky is her Polish mother's maiden name. She is of Turkish and Argentine descent on her father's side.

    During her youth in Cannes she was inspired by the film festival to pursue an acting career. At 17, she she went to Paris and started to attend the Cours Florent. In 1981 she made her film debut with a bit role in Le Jour se lève et les conneries commencent/The sun rises and the bullshit begins (Claude Mulot, 1981).

    She was noticed by director Jean-Marie Poiré who offered her a part in his comedy Les Hommes préfèrent les grosses/Men Prefer Fat Girls (1981) starring Josiane Balasko.

    Kaprisky had her breakthrough the next year in the French-Swiss erotic film Aphrodite (Robert Fuest, 1982), in which she played the title role opposite Horst Buchholz and Capucine. The film, inspired by the novel Aphrodite: mœurs antiques by Pierre Louÿs, follows a group of people invited on a Mediterranean island for a 3-day fun and frolic fest.

    Then she made her American debut, starring alongside Richard Gere in Breathless (Jim McBride, 1983), a remake of the Nouvelle Vague classic A Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960). The original film is about an American girl and a French criminal in Paris. The remake is about a French girl and an American criminal in Los Angeles. Breathless received mixed reviews. Many critics questioned the wisdom of casting Kaprisky with her limited acting experience. The film has since gained minor cult status. Quentin Tarantino cited it as one of the ‘coolest movies’.

    Valerie Kaprisky and Richard Gere in Breathless (1983)
    Italian postcard by Ediber-Angelus. Photo: publicity still for Breathless (1983) with Richard Gere.

    The Public Woman


    Valérie Kaprisky returned to France, where she played the title role in La femme publique/The Public Woman (Andrzej Żuławski, 1984), opposite Lambert Wilson and Francis Huster. She played an inexperienced young actress, who is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's The Possessed.

    Yuri German at AllMovie: “Dissatisfied by her performance, the eccentric filmmaker (Francis Huster) begins a rigorous course of indoctrination, sexual domination, and acting lessons, leaving the mentally exhausted girl unable to distinguish between the real world and that of the film.” The film was a box office success and for her role Kaprisky was a nominee for the 1985 César Award for Best Actress.

    Next she played again a bare-breasted part in the French erotic thriller L'année des méduses/The Year of the Jellyfish (Christopher Frank, 1984) with Bernard Giraudeau and Caroline Cellier. The film was another box office hit in France.

    She also appeared as a lawless, exciting gypsy in the comedy Le gitan/The Gypsy (Philippe de Broca, 1986) and opposite André Dussollier in the crime drama in Mon ami le traître/My Friend The Traitor (José Giovanni, 1989).

    In Italy she co-starred in the biographical drama Stradivari (Giacomo Battiato, 1988) with Anthony Quinn and Stefania Sandrelli. The film depicts the life and times of Antonio Stradivari, the man who raised the construction of violins to an art form.

    Valerie Kaprisky
    French postcard by Humour à la Carte, Paris, no. ST-154.

    By the Pricking of My Thumbs


    Valérie Kaprisky played the lead role in Milena/The Lover (Véra Belmont, 1991), the true tale of a Czech journalist and friend of Franz Kafka, who helped the oppressed and was sent to a concentration camp during the war.

    Then Kaprisky started to act for television films and her work became less prolific. Her spare feature films in this decade include the Italian film La fine è nota/The End Is Known (Cristina Comencini, 1993) and the Canadian production Mouvements du désir/Desire in Motion (Léa Pool, 1994).

    In the new century, she returned more often to the cinema in supporting parts. First she played in Une Place Parmi Les Vivants/A Place Among the Living (Raúl Ruiz, 2003), a philosophical film noir spoof, inspired by the gangster and detective films from the 1950s.

    Very popular was the comedy Mon petit doigt m'a dit... /By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Pascal Thomas, 2005) starring Catherine Frot and André Dussollier. The film was based on the novel By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie. She also appeared with Gérard Lanvin in the adventure comedy Envoyés très spéciaux/Special Correspondents (Frédéric Auburtin, 2009).

    Recently she starred on French television in the police series Section de recherches (2015) with Xavier Deluc. During the 1980s, Valérie Kaprisky was in a relationship with Anthony Delon. For the last 15 years, she is in a relationship with a composer of scores for documentaries for whose children she is a stepmother.


    Trailer Breathless (1983). Source: AgelessTrailers (YouTube).


    Trailer La femme publique/The Public Woman (1984). Source: dani77744 (YouTube).

    Sources: Yuri German (AllMovie), Films de France, Gala (French), AllMovie, Wikipedia (English and French) and IMDb.

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  • 03/19/16--23:00: Oleg Tabakov
  • Oleg Tabakov (1935) is a renown Soviet and Russian actor and the artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre. Tabakov's film career was equally impressive with roles as Count Nikita Rostov in Voyna i mir I/War and Peace (1966-1967) by Sergei Bondarchuk, and as the title figure in Oblomow (1981) by Nikita Mikhalkov.

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 11212. Photo: B. Vilenkina, G. Ter-Ovanesova.

    War and Peace


    Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov (Russian: Олег Павлович Табаков) was born in Saratov, USSR (now Saratovskaya oblast, Russia) in 1935. His father, Pavel Kongratevich, and his mother, Maria Andreevna Berezovskaya, were medical doctors in Saratov. His parents separated during the Second World War, and young Tabakov was brought up by his single mother and grandmother.

    Oleg attended the all-boys school in Saratov, and was active in the drama class. From 1950-1953 he studied acting at the Saratov House of Pioneers under the legendary acting coach Natalia Iosifivna Sukhostav. In 1953, Tabakov moved to Moscow and studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School.

    In 1957 he graduated from the school, and became one of the founding fathers of the Sovremennik Theatre. There he played leading roles in such productions as Goly Korol (Naked King), Tri Zhelaniya (Three Wishes), Obyknovennaya istoriya (Ordinary story) and other contemporary Russian plays. From 1970 till 1976 Tabakov was General Manager of Sovremennik, he promoted Galina Volchek to Principal Director of the company.

    He administrated the Sovremennik until 1982, when he moved to the Moscow Art Theatre, where he played Molière and Salieri for over 20 years. In 1986, Tabakov persuaded his students to form the Tabakov Studio attached to the Moscow Art Theatre. Several notable Russian actors including Yevgeny Mironov, Sergey Bezrukov, Vladimir Mashkov, Andrey Smolyakov and Alexandre Marine studied at the studio.

    Tabakov also spread his theatre's ideals abroad. His teaching credentials include workshops and productions at the Paris Conservatoire, the British American Drama Academy, Akademie Der Künst in Hamburg, the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, Carnegie Mellon, The Juilliard School, New York University, Florida State University, The University of Delaware, and Harvard University.

    For his stage work he won several medals an honours. Tabakov's film career paralleled his theatrical career. He made his film debut as Sasha in the drama Sasha vstupayet v zhizn/Sasha Enters Life (Mikhail Shvejtser, 1957). Soon followed roles in the crime drama Ispytatelnyy Srok/The Probation (Vladimir Gerasimov, 1960) and the war drama Chistoe nebo/Clear Skies (Grigori Chukhrai, 1961) with Yevgeni Urbansky. He appeared in the role of Nikolai Rostov in Sergei Bondarchuk's Voyna i mir I/War and Peace (1966–1967),

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 3744, 1963.

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 07154.

    Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears


    Oleg Tabakov played the lead role in the comedy-drama Gori, gori, moya zvezda/Shine, Shine, My Star (Aleksandr Mitta, 1970). Then followed parts in popular TV series as Semnadtsat mgnoveniy vesny/Seventeen Instants of Spring (Tatyana Lioznova, 1973), starring Vyacheslav Tikhonov, and D'Artanyan i tri mushketyora/D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers (Georgi Yungvald-Khilkevich, 1978).

    An international success was Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino/An Unfinished Piece for a Piano Player (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1977). His later films include the Academy Award-winning Moskva slezam ne verit/Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1980), the international art house hits Oblomov (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1981) and Oci ciornie/Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1986) starring Marcello Mastroianni.

    Tabakov also played in the mock slapstick Western Chelovek s bulvara Kaputsinov/A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines (Alla Surikova, 1987) about Mr Jonny First (Andei Mironov), who arrives in the Wild West to present the art of the Cinematograph. Over 40 million people in the USSR paid to see the feature. Tabakov has lend his distinctive, purr-like voice to a number of animated characters, including the talking cat Matroskin in the animation film Kanikuly v Prostokvashino/Three from Prostokvashino (Vladimir Popov, 1980) and its sequels. After the Matroskin role he dubbed the character of Garfield into Russian in the feature film Garfield (Peter Hewitt, 2004).

    During the 1990s, Oleg Tabakov was a strong supporter of democratic reforms and freedom in the new Russia. He made public speeches and was involved in many public events facilitating the cultural transformation of arts and theatres in Russia. He also continued to appear in films, such as in The Inner Circle (Andrey Konchalovskiy, 1991), about Stalin's private film projectionist from (Tom Hulce), the TV movie Stalin (Ivan Passer, 1992) with Robert Duvall, and Taking Sides (István Szabó, 2001) with Harvey Keitel.

    Oleg Tabakov was designated People's Actor of the USSR and Russia in the 1980s, and was decorated with the Order of Merit of Fatherland II degree, by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in 2005. During the 2012 Russian presidential election Tabakov was registered as a ‘Trusted Representative’ of Putin. In March 2014, he signed a letter in support of the position of Putin on Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

    Tabakov was married twice. His first wife was actress Lyudmila Krylova (1960–1994) with whom he has two children. Their son Anton Tabakov is an actor and also a successful night-club owner in Moscow. Since 1994 Oleg Tabakov is married to actress Marina Zudina. The couple has two children, son Pavel (1996), and daughter Maria (2006). The Tabakovs are living in Moscow, Russia. His most recent film is the comedy Kukhnya v Parizhe/A Kitchen in Paris (Dmitriy Dyachenko, 2014) with Vincent Perez.

    Oleg Tabakov and Elena Proklova in Gori, Gori, Moya Zvezda (1970)
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 1984. Publicity still for Gori, Gori, Moya Zvezda (Aleksandr Mitta, 1970) with Elena Proklova.

    Sources: Steve Shelokhonov (IMDb), AllMovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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