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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.

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  • 03/20/16--23:00: Paula Wessely
  • Paula Wessely (1907-2000) reigned as Austria’s most distinguished and beloved stage and screen actress almost from her debut at the Vienna Volkstheater in 1924 until her retirement in 1987. She was also criticised for her appearance in the Nazi-propaganda film Heimkehr/Homecoming (1941).

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9336/1, 1935-1936.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Ross. Photo: Terra / Baumann.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3706/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien Film.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3827/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien Film.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. W 80. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien Film.

    Not the typical film beauty

    Paula Anna Maria Wessely was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, now Austria, in 1907. She was the second daughter of butcher and theatre enthusiast Carl Wessely and his wife Anna Wessely-Orth. Carl Wessely’s elder sister, Josephine Wessely was an admired and successful actress of the Burgtheater in Vienna, when she died in 1887, only 27 years old.

    Paula studied acting at the famous Max-Reinhardt-Seminar. In 1924, she made her debut at the Wiener Volkstheater, but she first came to attention in 1929 at the popular Theater in der Josefstadt under the direction of Max Reinhardt.

    Three years later followed her breakthrough as Rose Bernd in the play by Gerhart Hauptmann. Other great stage roles were the title role in the operetta Sissy (1932) by Fritz Kreisler, Christine in the first presentation of Liebelei (Flirtation, 1933), and Gretchen in Goethe's Faust (1933) at the Salzburger Festspiele (The Salzburg Festival).

    Although she was not the typical film beauty, she starred in many films. Her first major screen role was Leopoldine Dur in Maskerade/Masquerade in Vienna (Willi Forst, 1934) at the side of Adolf Wohlbrück (aka Anton Walbrook). This social comedy set in turn-of-the-century Vienna with big ball scenes was a huge success and it made Wessely one of the first stars of the Austrian stage who made a successful transition to the cinema.

    The next year followed Episode (Walter Reisch, 1935), for which she won the Coppa Volpi award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Other films like Ernte/Harvest (Géza von Bolváry, 1936) and Spiegel des Lebens/Life's Mirror (Géza von Bolváry, 1938) made her a big film star of the German language cinema. Wessely was known for her sense of pathos and gentle comedy and made several appearances in musical romances.

    In 1935, she married actor Attila Hörbiger, with whom she had three daughters: Elisabeth Orth (1936), Christiane Hörbiger (1938) and Maresa Hörbiger (1945). All three daughters would go on to become actresses in the Austrian cinema.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7336/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Böhm-Willott, Berlin.

    Paula Wessely
    Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: City Film. Publicity still for Episode (Walter Reisch, 1935). This postcard has at the backside an advertisement for the presentation of Episode at the Harmonie Bioscoop, Tilburg.

    Paula Wessely
    Austrian postcard by Eberle Verlag, Wien (Vienna). Photo: I.S.B. Films.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Das Programm von Heute, Berlin. Photo: Wien-Film / Tobis.

    A Voluntary Nazi Tool

    After the Anschluss of Austria in 1936, Paula Wessely became one of the most popular actresses of the Third Reich. She was affectionately called ‘Die Wessely’ by her fans. Her career thrived under Nazi rule when she starred in many projects produced under the aegis of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his aides.

    Till the end of war she took part in films like Ein Leben lang/A Whole Life (Gustav Ucicky, 1940) with Joachim Gottschalk, Späte Liebe/Late Love (Gustav Ucicky, 1943) and Das Herz muss schweigen/The Heart Must Be Silent (Gustav Ucicky, 1944) with Mathias Wiemann.

    After the war she was accused of being a voluntary tool of the Nazis. The role she was most resented for was the lead in the anti-Polish propaganda film Heimkehr/Homecoming (Gustav Ucicky, 1941). The Americans gave her a Berufsverbot. She fell into a severe depression and was treated in a hospital. In interviews she later told that she regretted to have appeared in Heimkehr.

    In 1947 she was allowed to continue her career on the Vienna stages and her fans had remained faithful to her. She was given a surprising role in the film Der Engel mit der Posaune/The Angel with the Trumpet (Karl Hartl, 1948) as a half-Jewish woman who ultimately fell victim to the Nazis. The book's author, Ernst Lothar, later wrote in his autobiography, Das Wunder des Überlebens , (The Wonder of Survival) that the Americans wanted Wessely for this role as a means of restoring her acting career: they considered the film a vehicle for helping Austrians to overcome the past. The filming promoted reconciliation over the settling of accounts. It worked.

    At Film Reference, reviewer Gertraud Steiner Daviau writes: "The splendid performance of Paula Wessely also leads the film in the direction of the usual lighthearted Viennese film; Henriette appears as a positive heroine, which she definitely is not in Lothar's novel. Most viewers therefore accept the film as a generational love story set in Old Vienna rather than as a mirror of the darker side of the Austrian soul and of Austrian history."

    During the 1950s Wessely had also success as a producer of her own films with her production company Paula-Wessely-Filmproduktion. To her successes belong Cordula (Gustav Ucicky, 1950), Maria Theresia (Emil E. Reinert, 1951), Der Weg in die Vergangenheit (Karl Hartl, 1954) opposite Willy Fritsch and Willi Forst, and Die unvollkommene Ehe/The Incomplete Marriage (Robert A. Stemmle, 1959) with Johannes Heesters.

    In 1957 she appeared in the gay-themed film Anders als du und ich/The Third Sex (Veit Harlan, 1957) as the mother of Christian Wolff. Reportedly, heavy censorship turned the initial fairly positive theme of the film in a negative anti-gay message. The film is now a notorious curiosity in the history of the gay and lesbian cinema.

    Her last film was Jedermann/Everyman (Gottfried Reinhardt, 1961) with Walter Reyer. Besides her film work, Wessely had a glittering career at the Vienna Burgtheater, where she worked since 1953 until her retirement. She was seen as the incarnation of the melancholy and the charm of an entire nation. During her career she won many prizes, including the Bambi award in 1962 and the Filmband in Gold in 1984 for her long and outstanding contributions to the German cinema.

    Attila Hörbiger died in 1987, aged 91, of a stroke. Thereafter, the 'doyenne of the Vienna Burgtheater' retired at the age of 80. In her last years she lived a very secluded life in her hometown Vienna and suffered from a major depression, caused by the death of her beloved husband. They were married for 52 years. Paula Wessely died in 2000 at the venerable age of 93 in a hospital in Vienna.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2369/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Terra.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2957/2, 1939-1940. Photo: Wien-Film / Tobis.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3369/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Hammerer / Wien Film / Ufa.

    Paula Wessely
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3494/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien Film.

    Paula Wessely, Attila Hörbiger
    With Atila Hörbiger. German postcard by Verlag und Druckerei Erwin Preuss, Dresden-Freital, Serie 1, no. 9. Photo: Charlott Serda. This is one of the first full colour star postcards.

    Sources: Los Angeles Times, Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Gertraud Steiner Daviau (Film Reference), Encyclopedia Brittanica, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/21/16--23:00: Clara Calamai
  • Sultry and glamorous Clara Calamai (1909-1998) acted in many light entertainment films of the late 1930s and 1940s. However, the Italian actress is best known for her most unglamorous role. For always we will remember her as white-hot Giovanna in Luchino Visconti's early-neorealist drama Ossessione/Obsession (1943).

    Clara Calamai
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3171/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz / DIFU.

    Clara Calamai
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3787/1. Photo: Difu.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by Armando Terzoli, Roma, no. 532. Photo: Pesce. Publcity still for La Cena delle Beffe/The Jesters' Supper (Alessandro Blasetti, 1941).

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by Ferrania.

    Causing A Sensation

    Clara Calamai was born in Prato, Tuscany, in 1909. She debuted in the film Pietro Micca (Aldo Vergano, 1938). Soon she had an intense film career.

    She played in several period pieces such as La cena delle beffe/The Supper of the Pranks (Alessandro Blasetti, 1941), in which she briefly appeared with bare breasts. The scene caused a sensation. Naked breasts had seldom been seen on an Italian film screen before. A lot of people saw the film several times just for that brief scene. From most of the copies available on the commercial circuit the scene soon disappeared: not because of the wrath of the censors, but because excited projector-operators took their scissors to this bit of cinema memorabilia.

    Calamai also appeared in many glamorous comedies and dramas. In 1942 Luchino Visconti prepared his film debut Ossessione/Obsession (1943) with Anna Magnani in the lead. But when the shooting started Magnani was so visibly pregnant that Visconti had to replace her. He stripped Clara Calamai of her usual glamour and turned her into Giovanna, the passionate but poor wife of a fat trattoria owner. Giovanna manages to convince her lover to kill her husband.

    The film was based on James M. Cain's book The Postman Always Twice. Ossessione is quite different from the Hollywood version The Postman Always Twice (Tay Garnett, 1946), which stars a very glamorous Lana Turner.

    Memorable in Ossessione is the scene in which Giovanna falls asleep amidst an enormous amount of dirty dishes. The real eye catcher of Ossessione is not Giovanna but Gino, the blond hunk she falls in love with, played by Massimo Girotti. At the time, Ossessione had a very short circulation in catholic, fascist Italy because of its 'amorality' and mocking of the clergy. Outside of Italy it was shown only years after the war, because of copyright infringement. Nowadays it is considered by film historians as a classic of the Italian cinema.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 20440. Photo: Venturini, Roma.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 21170. Photo: Bragaglia.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 4273. Photo: Bragaglia.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 43070. Photo Pesce / Scalera Film.

    Anna Magnani

    In 1946 Clara Calamai landed again a role Anna Magnani was supposed to have played: L'adultera/The Adulteress (Duilio Coletti, 1946), for which she won a Nastro d'argento (the Silver Ribbon, a film award for cinematic performances and production by the association of Italian film critics).

    Earlier the opposite had happened. Reportedly Clara Calamai was pregnant when the female lead of Roma, città aperta/Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945) was cast. And this time Anna Magnani landed the role, and it would immortalize her.

    Calamai worked again with Visconti at Le notti bianche/White Nights (Luchino Visconti, 1957), in which she played a prostitute. Visconti had suggested in Ossessione that before marrying Giovanna had also slept with men for money. In Visconti's episode La strega bruciata viva/The Witch Burned Alive of the episode film Le streghe/The Witches (Luchino Visconti, Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio de Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, 1966), Calamai played a small part opposite Silvana Mangano. Calamai had a well-publicised but unrequited crush on Visconti.

    In the 1970s, after years of retirement, Calamai returned to the screen in Dario Argento's highly successful horror film Profondo Rosso/Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975). The film and her role as a murderously crazy aging actress got a cult status among cinephiles. She spent the rest of her life in diva-like retirement, shunning the press.

    Calamai was married to the aviator-explorer and documentary film maker Leonardo Bonzi. After their divorce she lived with Valerio Andreoli, a captain of aviation. Clara Calamai was almost 90 when she died of a stroke in Rimini in 1998. She had played in almost 50 films.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard by St. b Angeli, Terni / A. Terzoli, Roma, no. 4.A. Photo: Bragaglia.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard, no. 21. Photo: Ciolfi.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard. Photo Venturini. Rizzoli, Milano, 1940.

    Clara Calamai
    Italian postcard. Editor unknown.

    The famous 'nude' scene from La cena delle beffe/The Supper of the Pranks (1941). Source: Giulio Berruti (YouTube).

    Scene from Ossessione/Obsession (1943). Source: K de Zwaan (YouTube).

    Sources: Anne Henley (The Independent), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Yul Brynner (1920–1985), famous for his completely bald head, was a Russian-born United States-based film and stage actor. He was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. He played the role 4,625 times on stage and won two Tony Awards. For the film version, The King and I (Walter Lang, 1956), he also won the Academy Award. The following decades, he starred in a wide range of roles from Egyptian pharaohs to Western gunfighters, both in Hollywood and European films.

    Yul Brynner (after)
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 45 (ca. 1960). Photo: Sam Levin.

    Yul Brynner
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-61. Photo: Herbert Fried / Ufa.

    Yul Brynner
    German postcard by ISV, no. A 54. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for Anastasia (Anatole Litvak, 1956).

    King Mongkut 

    Yul Brynner was born Yuly Borisovich Briner (Russian: Юлий Борисович Бринер) in Vladivostok, Far Eastern Republic (present-day Vladivostok, Russia) in 1920. His father, Boris Yuliyevich Briner, was a mining engineer and inventor. Brynner's mother, Marousia Dimitrievna (née Blagovidova), came from the Russian intelligentsia and studied to be an actress and singer. In 1923 his father fell in love with an actress, Katya Kornukova, at the Moscow Art Theatre, and soon after abandoned his family.

    Yul's mother took him and his sister, Vera, to Harbin, China, where they attended a school run by the YMCA. In 1932, fearing a war between China and Japan, she took them to Paris. Brynner played his guitar in Russian nightclubs in Paris, sometimes accompanying his sister, playing Russian and Roma songs. He trained as a trapeze acrobat and worked in a French circus troupe for five years, but after sustaining a back injury, he turned to acting. In 1940, speaking little English, he and his mother emigrated to the United States, where his sister already lived.

    During World War II, Brynner worked as a French-speaking radio announcer and commentator for the US Office of War Information, broadcasting propaganda to occupied France. At the same time, he studied acting in Connecticut with the Russian teacher Michael Chekhov. He toured the country with Chekhov's theatrical troupe. Brynner’s first Broadway performance was a small part in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1941). Brynner found little acting work during the next few years. He did some modelling work and was photographed nude by George Platt Lynes.

    Brynner's first marriage was to actress Virginia Gilmore in 1944, and soon after he began working as a director at the new CBS television studios, directing Studio One, among other shows. In 1946, he co-starred in a production of Lute Song with Mary Martin. He made his film debut in the Film Noir Port of New York (László Benedek, 1949) with Scott Brady.

    The next year, at the urging of Mary Martin, he auditioned for Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's new musical, The King and I (1951). Brynner became an immediate sensation. The part of King Mongkut would become his most famous role which he played 4625 times on stage. Brynner shaved his head for his role and continued to shave his head for the rest of his life. Brynner's shaven head was unusual at the time, and his striking appearance helped to give him an exotic appeal. He won Tony Awards for both the first production in 1951 as for the Broadway revival in 1985.

    Yul Brynner in The King and I (1956)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden-Westf., no. 2392. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for The King and I (Walter Lang, 1956).

    Yul Brynner
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 177. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for Anastasia (Anatole Litvak, 1956).

    Yul Brynner
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1274. Photo: Terb Agency / Ufa.

    Gunslinger robot

    In 1956, Yul Brynner also appeared in the film version, The King and I (Walter Lang, 1956), opposite Deborah Kerr. For his role he won an Academy Award as Best Actor. Brynner is one of only nine people who have won both a Tony Award and an Academy Award for the same role. He quickly gained superstar status with his roles as Pharaoh Rameses II opposite Charlton Heston's Moses in the blockbuster The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, 1956) and as General Bounine in the historical drama Anastasia (Anatole Litvak, 1956) opposite Ingrid Bergman.

    He made the 'Top 10 Stars of the Year' list in both 1957 and 1958. He co-starred with Lee J. Cobb in The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks, 1958), based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel. Brynner starred as Solomon opposite Gina Lollobrigida in the epic Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor, 1959), and as Chris Adams in the Western The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges, 1960) with Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, and Horst Buchholz. The film was a box office disappointment in the United States, but proved to be such a smash hit in Europe that it ultimately made a profit.

    Over the next two decades, Brynner appeared in more than 40 other films. In the early 1960s, he starred in Taras Bulba (J. Lee Thompson, 1962) and Kings of the Sun (J. Lee Thompson, 1963). He co-starred with Marlon Brando in Morituri (Bernhard Wicki, 1965), and with Katharine Hepburn in The Madwoman of Chaillot (Bryan Forbes, 1969).

    In Europe, Brynner appeared in the Anglo-French war film Triple Cross (Terence Young, 1966) with Christopher Plummer and Romy Schneider, in the Yugoslavian partisan film Bitka na Neretvi/Battle of Neretva (Veljko Bulajić, 1969) and the British thriller The File of the Golden Goose (Sam Wanamaker, 1969). He also appeared in drag as a torch singer in an unbilled role in the Peter Sellers comedy The Magic Christian (Joseph McGrath, 1969).

    In the following decade, he played a gunslinger robot in the Science fiction Western-thriller Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973) and returned in its sequel Futureworld (Richard T. Heffron, 1976). Among his final feature film appearances were the titular role in The Ultimate Warrior (Robert Clouse, 1975) and his role opposite Barbara Bouchet in the Italian film Con la rabbia agli occhi/Death Rage (Antonio Margheriti, 1976).

    Later in life, Brynner was an active photographer and wrote two books. His daughter Victoria put together Yul Brynner: Photographer a collection of his photographs of family, friends, and fellow actors, as well as those he took while serving as a UN special consultant on refugees. Brynner wrote Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East (1960), with photographs by himself and Magnum photographer Inge Morath, and The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You (1983).

    Yul Brynner died of lung cancer in 1985, in New York City. He married four times. His first three marriages ended in a divorce. Brynner had a long affair with Marlene Dietrich, who was 19 years his senior, beginning during the first production of The King and I in 1951. He fathered three children and adopted two. His oldest son Rock wrote a book about his father and his family history titled Empire and Odyssey: The Brynners in Far East Russia and Beyond (2006).

    Yul Brynner
    German postcard by ISV, no. B 20. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks, 1958).

    Yul Brynner (before)
    Spanish postcard by Sobernanas / Damm, no. 12.007. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for The Sound and the Fury (Martin Ritt, 1959).

    Yul Brynner in Kings of the Sun (1963)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Publicity still for Kings of the Sun (J. Lee Thompson, 1963).

    Trailer The King and I (1956). Source: Ageless Trailers (YouTube).

    Trailer Westworld (1973). Source: Ron Flaviano (YouTube).

    Source: Jim Beaver (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/23/16--23:00: Rita Gam (1927-2016)
  • Last Tuesday, glamorous American film and television actress Rita Gam passed away. After a promising debut in the Film Noir The Thief (Russell Rouse, 1952), her subsequent Hollywood roles were largely unrewarding. She appeared in European films and won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for the Sartre adaptation No Exit (1962). Gam also worked as a documentary film maker. She was 88.

    Rita Gam (1927-2016)
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no.479. Photo: International Press.

    Grace Kelly's Bridesmaid

    Rita Gam was born Rita Eleanore MacKay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1927. She was the daughter of Belle (Fately), a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and Milton A. MacKay. Her mother remarried in 1932. She took on the surname of her stepfather, Benjamin Gam, a Russian Jewish immigrant. Gam was raised in New York City.

    Gam was a founding member of the Actor's Studio. She landed a role on Broadway in 1946 in A Flag Is Born, written by Ben Hecht. She also began to work on television, after which she moved on to films.

    She first appeared in the Film Noir The Thief (Russell Rouse, 1952), which starred Ray Milland. The film is unusual because the entire story is told without dialogue. Gam was nominated for a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer. Craig Butler at AllMovie: "Rouse brilliantly finds ways of telling the story without sacrificing any tension, suspense, or emotional impact. working with cinematographer Sam Leavitt, whose noir-ish camerawork is nothing short of a marvel, he shapes and tells the story in a compelling and gripping manner."

    In October 1952, she signed a long-term MGM contract. She was briefly suspended from working in October 1953 for turning down the feminine lead in  the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy Living It Up (Norman Taurog, 1954). The part went to Janet Leigh.

    Another interesting Film Noir was Night People (Nunnally Johnson, 1954). The story is set in Berlin during the years following World War II. Gregory Peck plays a counter-intelligence officer of the United States Army. That years she also appeared in Sign of the Pagan (Douglas Sirk, 1954) about Attila the Hun (Jack Palance) and his invasion of Rome.

    In 1956, she was a bridesmaid at her good friend Grace Kelly's wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Soon after Gam and Kelly had signed contracts with MGM, they roomed together with another girl in a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. They remained close until Kelly's death in 1982.

    In Italy she starred opposite Alberto Sordi in the comedy Costa Azzurra/Wild Cats on the Beach (Vittorio Sala, 1959) and she was the leading lady of the Peplum Annibale/Hannibal (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer, 1959) featuring Victor Mature. Despite being an Italian production the latter was mainly financed by American studio Warner Brothers.

    Rita Gam
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 672. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for The Thief (Russell Rouse, 1952).

    Trapped like rats in a cage

    Rita Gam played Herodias in the biblical epic film King of Kings (Nicholas Ray, 1961) about the life of Christ (Jeffrey Hunter), from his birth and ministry to his crucifixion and resurrection.

    Gam shared the Silver Bear for Best Actress award with Viveca Lindfors at the 1962 Berlin Film Festival, for their performances in No Exit (Tad Danielewski, Orson Welles (uncredited), 1962), based on the play Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre. The story is about three people locked in a room: a journalist who betrayed members of the resistance movement in World War II (Morgan Sterne), a lesbian who tempted a married woman to leave her husband (Lindfors), and a social-climber (Gam) who killed her son and drove her husband to suicide. They quickly discover there is literally no exit in the room: they are trapped like rats in a cage, dead and in hell.

    In 1963, Gam became a leading member of The Minnesota Theatre Company in the opening season of The Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, with Zoe Caldwell, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

    Later she appeared in small parts in films like the acclaimed crime thriller Klute (Alan J. Pakula, 1971), before taking up documentary film making. She produced the documentary series World of Film, which examined the film business around the world, and the PBS travel series World of Beauty.

    Her final film appearance was in the Canadian-Japanese sports drama Rowing Through (Masato Harada, 1996). In 2003, she was in the rotating cast of the off-Broadway stage reading of Wit & Wisdom. Among her other notable stage productions were Hamlet with Dan Mason and Broadway's There’s a Girl in My Soup with Gig Young.

    Rita Gam died of respiratory failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was married from 1949 till 1954 to director Sidney Lumet and from 1956 to 1963 to Thomas Henry Guinzburg, Jr., the first managing editor of The Paris Review and president of Viking Press. Survivors include her daughter, film producer Kate Guinzburg, her son, novelist Michael Guinzburg; and granddaughters Michelle, Olivia and Louisa.

    Trailer for Annibale/Hannibal (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Edgar G. Ulmer, 1959). Source: PickOfTheFlicks Tony (YouTube).

    Sources: Mike Barnes (The Hollywood Reporter), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Craig Butler (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Ross Verlag in Berlin put out little cards known as cigarette cards, which were much smaller than the famous Ross postcards. These cards (app. 7 x 5,5 cm or 28 x 22, 5 inch) were sold in packs or cartons of cigarettes in Germany and a few other countries. One of the series was called Bunte Filmbilder (Colourful Film Pictures) of which we know two series with both Hollywood and European stars. The cards have numbers on the back and were meant to be pasted into a book. The book for the second series was published in 1936. Some pictures were duplicates of photos seen on postcards, but others were designed just for the cigarette cards, which were printed for different tobacco brands. Here are twelve of these wonderful and indeed colourful film pictures.

    Hans Albers
    Hans Albers. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by G. Zuban, München, no. 115. Photo: Ufa / Ross-Verlag.

    Carole Lombard
    Carole Lombard. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greilingen-Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 259. Photo: Paramount / Ross-Verlag.

    Else Elster
    Else Elster. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Caid Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 323. Photo: Schulz and Wuellner / Ross-Verlag.

    Genia Nikolaiewa
    Genia Nikolaieva. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greiling-Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 358. Photo: Ufa / Ross Verlag.

    Heinz Rühmann and Theo Lingen, cc
    Heinz Rühmann and Theo Lingen. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Drama Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 360. Photo: Projectograph-Film / Ross-Verlag.

    Annabella. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greiling-Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 384. Photo: New World Pictures / Ross-Verlag.

    Luis Trenker
    Luis Trenker. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greiling Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 403. Photo: Trenker-Tobis-Rota / Ross-Verlag.

    Hans Richter
    Hans Richter. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Drama Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 459. Photo: Cando-Film / Ross-Verlag.

    Albrecht Schoenhals
    Albrecht Schoenhals. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greilingen Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 465. Photo: Deka-Syndikat-Film / Ross-Verlag.

    Elizabeth Allan
    Elizabeth Allan. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Greiling-Zigaretten, Series no. 2, no. 484. Photo: Styria-Film / Ross-Verlag.

    Hans Holt
    Hans Holt. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Caid, Series no. 2, no. 491. Photo: Styria-Film / Ross Verlag.

    Shirley Temple
    Shirley Temple. German collectors card in the Bunte Filmbilder series by Caid, Series no. 2, no. 496. Photo: Fox-Film / Ross Verlag.

    Source: Mark Goffee (Ross Verlag Movie Star Postcards).

    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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  • 03/25/16--23:00: Jean-Marc Barr
  • Attractive French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr (1960) is best known for his roles for Lars von Trier in Europa/Zentropa (1991), Breaking the Waves (1996) and Dogville (2003).

    Jean-Marc Barr
    French postcard by Editions Champs Libres, no. ST 116, 1989.

    The Big Blue

    Jean-Marc Barr was born in Bitburg, Germany, in 1960. His father was American and his mother French and he is fluent in both French and English. His father, working in the US Armed Forces, was stationed in West-Germany. The family moved to California in 1974.

    In 1978, Barr graduated from Mission Bay High School in San Diego, California. Barr's parents wished him to join the armed forces but he was unwilling to follow in his father's footsteps. He studied philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Paris Conservatoire and the Sorbonne. He moved to London to pursue an education in drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

    Barr made his film debut as Absalom in King David (Bruce Beresford, 1985) with Richard Gere. He began working in theatre in France in 1986. He soon found work in television including a small role in Hotel du Lac (1986), the BBC's version of the Booker prize-winning novel by Anita Brookner. He also appeared in the films Hope and Glory (John Boorman, 1987) and Maurice (James Ivory, 1987).

    He had his breakthrough when he was cast in the tremendously successful French film Le Grand bleu/The Big Blue (Luc Besson, 1988). He played French diver Jacques Mayol, alongside Rosanna Arquette and Jean Reno. Le Grand bleu became the most financially successful film in France in the 1980s.

    At IMDb, Luis Filipe dos Reis Peres tries to describe the special effect the film has on its viewers: “I never before saw a film that I could identify myself so much with. I´m lucky enough to live in a place near the sea very similar and as beautiful as those in the movie and the opening scenes always remind me of my teenage years and the waters I explored like young Jacques Mayol does in the beginning of the movie. (...) I guess that´s the beauty of this movie. It makes us feel that we could be any of its characters, because they´re so real. We almost can´t believe that they don´t exist outside of the movie. This is an amazing, beautifully well written, acted, photographed and directed movie! It carries us into an extraordinary world.”

    Jean-Marc Barr in Le Grand Bleu (1988)
    French postcard by Ciné Passion, no. GB 7. Photo: publicity still for Le Grand Bleu (Luc Besson, 1988).

    Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette and Luc Besson at the set of Le Grand Bleu (1988)
    French postcard by Especially for you, Ref. 30. Photo: publicity still for Le Grand Bleu (Luc Besson, 1988). Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette and Luc Besson on the set.

    Jean Reno with director and cast Le Grand Bleu in Cannes
    French postcard by News Productions, Beaulmes, no 56063. Photo: Eric Coiffier. Director and cast of Le Grand Bleu (Luc Besson, 1988) at the Festival de Cannes, 1988. With in the front row from left to right: Marc Duret, Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, Luc Besson, Sergio Castellitto and Andréas Voutsinas.


    In 1991, Jean-Marc Barr starred opposite Barbara Sukowa and Udo Kier in Danish director Lars von Trier's Europa/Zentropa. It marked the beginning of a long friendship as well as a significant professional relationship. He went on to appear in Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves (1996) with Emily Watson, Dancer in the Dark (2000) with Björk and Catherine Deneuve, Dogville (2004), Manderlay (2005), Direktøren for det hele/The Boss of It All (2006) and both parts of Nymph()maniac (2013) with Charlotte Gainsbourg.

    Jean-Marc Barr appeared as the main character in the video for Blur's single, Charmless Man (1995). Films in which he starred were The Scarlet Tunic (Stuart St. Paul, 1997) and J'aimerais pas crever un dimanche/Don't Let Me Die on a Sunday (Didier Le Pêcheur, 1999) with Élodie Bouchez.

    Barr’s collaboration with Lars von Trier put him on track to start directing his own work in the Dogme95 style. He debuted as a director, screenwriter and producer with the intimate love story Lovers (1999). The film became the first part of a trilogy, together with the drama Too Much Flesh (2000) and the comedy Being Light (2001), which he both co-directed with Pascal Arnold. Barr and Arnold also directed Chacun sa nuit/One to another (2006), American Translation (2011) and Sexual Chronicles of a French Family (2012).

    As an actor he appeared as Hugo in La sirène rouge/The Red Siren (Olivier Megaton, 2002) opposite Asia Argento, as divorce lawyer Maitre Bertram in the Merchant Ivory film Le Divorce (James Ivory, 2003) and as the studly, horny 'island plumber' Didier in the witty comedy Crustacés et Coquillages/Cockles & Muscles (Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau, 2005).

    More recently, he played Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac in the film adaptation of Kerouac’s autobiographical novel Big Sur (Michael Polish, 2013). Nathan Southern at AllMovie: “the Polish movie nails Kerouac's paradigm in its many different guises, including the exhilaration of his road cruises with his buddies, the zen of his naturalism, and his creative impotence and inner sexual death. Those assets shouldn't be underestimated, particularly in light of the many individuals over the years who have branded Kerouac's work ‘unfilmable’; Polish proves them wrong. And the lead performances are outstanding across the board. Jean-Marc Barr evokes the real Kerouac (visually and emotionally) with such approximation that we may feel we're watching a documentary.”

    Jean-Marc Barr was married to Irina Decermic. He is the godfather of the children of Lars von Trier.

    Trailer Le Grand Bleu/The Big Blue (1988). Source: Chaîne de adamparks55 (YouTube).

    Trailer Europa/Zentropa (1991). Source: Cine Danés (YouTube).

    Trailer Big Sur (2013). Source: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films (YouTube).

    Sources: Nathan Southern (AllMovie), Luis Filipe dos Reis Peres (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/26/16--22:00: Izolda Izvitskaya
  • Russian actress Izolda Izvitskaya (1932-1971) was a shining star of the Soviet cinema in the late 1950s. In 1971 she died tragically of cold and starvation, a forgotten alcoholic.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 519, 1957. Photo: Sovexportfilm.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 3279. Photo: Ter-Ovanesova. The retail price was 75 kop.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard, no. 15, 1959.

    Young Enthusiasts

    Izolda Vasilyevna Izvitskaya (Russian: Изольда Васильевна Извицкая) was born in the small town of Dzerzhinsk, Soviet Union (now Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia) in 1932. Her father was a chemist, her mother a teacher.

    In the summer of 1950 - right after high school, she was accepted to the VGIK (All-Union State Institute of Cinematography). She was given parts in several films while still a student.

    After graduating from the VGIK in 1955, the graceful Izvitskaya was chosen by director Grigori Chukhray for the lead of a wild and violent red army sharpshooter in Sorok Pervyy/The Forty-First (Grigori Chukhray, 1956) opposite popular actor Oleg Strizhenov.

    At AllMovie, Hal Erickson writes: "Sorok Pervy was a typically patriotic Soviet entry in the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. The story focuses in on Isolda Izvitskaya, cast as a courageous Revolution-era female sharpshooter. While escorting a male White Russian prisoner back to her own lines, Isolda and her captive are marooned on a desert island. Predictably, a romance blossoms between the two former enemies. Unpredictably, Isolda is forced to make a daunting sacrifice to rescue her lover from punishment at the hands of the Czarists."

    The film was based on the novel by Boris Lavrenyev, previously filmed in 1928 by Yakov Protazanov. The patriotic epic was very successful all over Russia. In Cannes it got the Prix spécial du jury à Cannes (the Special Jury Prize). Izolda Izvitskaya herself also got a very good reception in France. In Paris, a new cafe was even named after her, Isolde.

    In her next film Pervyy eshelon/The First Echelon (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957) she was one of a group of young enthusiasts, that arrives in a steppe district of Kazakhstan to develop the virgin land. They have to survive severe frosts, overcome spring mudflows and live in uncomfortable conditions. But finally they form an advanced collective farm and settle their private lives. At this film she worked with fer future husband, Eduard Bredun.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard, no. 54, 1960.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 55454, 1963. This postcard was printed in an edition of 150.000 cards. The retail price was 8 kop.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard, no. 109, 1959. This postcard was printed in an edition of 75.000 cards.

    Alcohol Problems

    Izolda Izvitskaya was made a member of the Association for Cultural Relations with Latin American countries which gave her an opportunity to travel outside of the USSR. In a short time she visited Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw, Buenos Aires and other cities.

    She still had enough time to star in several more films, including Nepovtorimaya vesna/A Unique Spring (Aleksandr Stolper, 1957), Mir vkhodyashchemu/Peace to Him Who Enters (Aleksandr Alov, Vladimir Naumov, 1961) which won the Special Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, and Po tonkomu ldu/On Thin Ice (Damir Vyatich-Berezhnykh, 1966).

    However, none of them was on the level of Sorok Pervy. Izvitskaya was getting depressed. Her husband, actor Eduard Bredun, started ‘helping’ her to solve her problems with alcohol. She made several more attempts to work in films but parts were getting smaller and more scarce.

    Her last film was the romance Kazhdyy vecher v odinnadtsat/Every evening after eleven (Samson Samsonov, 1969) starring Margarita Volodina and Mikhail Nozhkin. In 1971 her husband left her. She had a nervous breakdown and locked herself up in her apartment in Moscow.

    In 1 March, 1971, Izvitskaya was found dead at her home in Moscow which was empty of any food. Her husband insisted that the obituary state ‘poisoning with an unknown substance’ as the cause of death but according the BBC Russian service she died of cold and starvation. Izolda Izvitskaya was only 38, when she passed away.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard, no. 58817, 1958.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard, no. A09767.

    Izolda Izvitskaya
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 09465, 1965. Photo: Ter-Ovanesova. This postcard was printed in an edition of 200.000 cards. The price was 8 kop.

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Peoples.ru (Russian), Kinoglaz.fr, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 03/27/16--22:00: Adrienne Corri (1931-2016)
  • Last Saturday, The Times announced that British actress Adrienne Corri has passed away on 13 March 2016. Corri is best known as Lara's mother in David Lean's Dr. Zhivago (1965) and as the rape victim Mrs. Alexander in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). The strikingly attractive, red-headed actress also starred in several horror and science-fiction films.

     Adrienne Corri
    Yugoslavian postcard by IOM, Beograd. Photo: Sedmo Silo.

    Beautiful Flaming Red Hair

    Adrienne Corri was born as Adrienne Riccoboni in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1931 (according to Wikipedia; IMDbgives 1930). Her parents were Italian. She attended the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London and then appeared on both the English and American stage. While still a teenager, she made her film debut in the comedy The Romantic Age (Edmond T. Gréville, 1949) starring a young Mai Zetterling.

    Next she played Valerie, one of the three adolescent girls living in Bengal near the Ganges in The River (Jean Renoir, 1950), filmed on location in India. It was Renoir 's first colour film, and showed off Corri’s beautiful flaming red hair which would become her trademark. Martin Scorsese later called The River"one of the two most beautiful color films ever made".

    For Corri it was the start of a successful film career. She appeared in many horror and suspense films, including The Kidnappers (Philip Leacock, 1953), Devil Girl from Mars (David McDonald, 1954) and Corridors of Blood (Robert Day, 1958) starring Boris Karloff.

    During the 1950s she also often appeared on television, in such family series as The Three Musketeers (1954) as Milady de Winter, The Count of Monte Cristo (1956) and Sword of Freedom (1957) starring Edmund Purdom. In the early 1960s, Corri featured in several horror and action films, including The Hellfire Club (Robert S. Baker, Monty Berman, 1961) with Keith Michell and Peter Cushing, and A Study in Terror (James Hill, 1965).

    In 1965 she also played supporting parts in the interesting thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965) with Carol Lynley and Laurence Olivier, and in the classic blockbuster Dr. Zhivago (1965, David Lean) as the mother of Lara (Julie Christie). It lead to more film roles, such as in the science fiction film Moon Zero Two (Roy Ward Baker, 1969), but she was mainly seen in numerous TV series. On stage and TV she appeared in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (John Sichel, 1969), as the Countess Olivia opposite Alec Guinness as Malvolio.

     Adrienne Corri
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 584. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.

    'Go, f**k yourselves'

    One of Adrienne Corri’s most spectacular film performances was in A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971). She played Mrs. Alexander, the victim of the bizarre gang-rape by ultraviolent punk Alex DeLarge and his three droogs. Alex (Malcolm McDowell) ritually rapes her while dancing to the tune of Singing in the Rain. The scene required for her to be completely nude, and Kubrick’s continuous calls for more takes reportedly made her raging at the director.

    She seemed better at ease in the stylish Hammer horror film Vampire Circus (Robert Young, 1972) in which she starred as the Gypsy Queen opposite John Moulder-Brown. During the 1970s Corri also appeared in the cinema in the thriller Rosebud (Otto Preminger, 1975) with Peter O’Toole, and as Therese Douvier in Revenge of the Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, 1978) starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.

    Corri continued to mix film and TV. Her final film appearance was in the Graham Greene adaptation The Human Factor (Otto Preminger, 1979) starring Richard Attenborough and Joop Doderer. Her later television credits include Mena in the Doctor Who story The Leisure Hive (1980) and Lady Rebecca in Lovejoy (1992).

    Meanwhile, she had a major stage career. In the theatre, she specialised in fiery, flamboyant characters. The Guardian critic Michael Billington recalled on his blog a famous incident: “Adrienne Corri, on the disastrous first night of John Osborne's The World of Paul Slickey, responding to the avalanche of curtain-call booing by raising two fingers to the audience and shouting ‘Go, f**k yourselves’.”

    She became a well-known expert on eighteenth-century portrait painting and published in 1985 a book about the painter Thomas Gainsborough. Adrienne Corri married and divorced the actor Daniel Massey (1961–1967). Before her marriage to Massey she had two illegitimate children. Adrienne Corri was 84.

    Trailer The River (1951). Source: Plamen Plamenov (YouTube).

    Trailer Devil Girl from Mars (1954). Source: John Hilarious (YouTube).

    Trailer A Clockwork Orange (1971). Source: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (YouTube).

    Trailer Vampire Circus (1972). Source: Synapse Films (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Lyn Hammond (IMDb), Michael Billington (Guardian Unlimited), The Times (subscription required), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/28/16--22:00: Alfred Abel
  • Elegant Alfred Abel (1879-1937) is best known as the industrial Joh. Fredersen in Fritz Lang's silent masterpiece Metropolis (1926). Abel played in over 140 silent and sound films between 1913 and 1938, and also worked as a director and producer.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 291. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 292. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 757/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Arrogant Industrial

    Alfred Peter Abel was born in Leipzig in the German empire in 1879. He was the son of a travelling salesman, Louis Abel, and his wife, Anna Maria Selma. He studied to be a forester, a gardener and a businessman before he attended private acting classes.

    After making his stage debut in Luzern (Lucerne), Switzerland, he moved to the Baranowsky Theater in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt. He quickly gained fame and was called to do several other acting jobs. Abel garnered international success with his guest performance at the Irving Place Theatre in New York City. In 1904 he joined Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater in Berlin, where he stayed for the next ten years.

    At age 33, he made his film debut in Eine venezianische Nacht/One Night in Venice (Max Reinhardt, 1913) opposite Maria Carmi. That was the start of an extensive career in the German silent cinema.

    He played for genius directors such as Ernst Lubitsch, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, and Fritz Lang, and appeared opposite the great stars of the Weimar cinema: Asta Nielsen,Henny Portenand Pola Negri.

    Memorable are his performances in such films as Der brennende Acker/Burning Soil (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922) with Lya de Putti, Phantom/The Phantom (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922) with Lil Dagover, and Die Finanzen des Grosshertogs/The Grand Duke's Finances (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1923), Dr. Mabuse der Spieler/Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (Fritz Lang, 1922) with Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Die Flamme/The Flame (Ernst Lubitsch, 1922) starring Pola Negri, and Marcel L'Herbier's film adaptation of Emile Zola's L'Argent/The Money (1928).

    In particular his role as the arrogant industrial Joh. Fredersen in the SF-classic Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926) is unforgettable. As Fredersen he was the leader of the metropolis.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard, no. 224.

    Fern Andra in Ein Blatt im Sturm
    German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 514/6. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Fern Andra and Alfred Abel in the German silent film Ein Blatt im Sturm ... doch das Schicksal hat es verweht (n.n., 1917).

    Alfred Abel and Lya Mara in Das tanzende Wien (1927)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 82/2. Photo: Defu. Publicity still for Das tanzende Wien/Dancing Vienna (Friedrich Zelnik, 1927) with Lya Mara.

    Alfred Abel as Voltaire in Fridericus Rex
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 647/9. Photo: Karl Schenker. Caption: Alfred Abel as 'Voltaire, the genial friend of Frederick [the Great]'. NB Alfred Abel is not listed as playing Voltaire in any of the Frederick the Great films, but the back of this postcard states this is for the Fridericus Rex series (1922-1923) by Arzén von Cserépy for Cserepy Film Co.

    Cropped-up Emotions and Tensions

    Alfred Abel was known for his restrained performances, expressing cropped up emotions and tensions, quite the contrary of stage acting. Although he was a trained stage actor, he understood well that film acting was something different. When sound film came in, Abel easily switched to talking roles.

    During the sound era, he played in films by Detlef Sierck (aka Douglas Sirk), Paul Martin, Reinhold Schünzeland Anatole Litvak.

    Among his most popular sound films were Dolly macht Karriere/Dolly’s Way to Stardom (Anatole Litvak, 1930) with Dolly Haas, Meine, Frau, die Hochstaplerin/My Wife the Confidence Trickster (Kurt Gerron, 1931) and the classic film operetta Der Kongress tanzt/The Congress Dances (Erik Charell, 1931) starring Lilian Harveyand Willy Fritsch.

    Abel also played the lead in Mary (1931), the German version of Alfred Hitchcock's Murder (1930). Hitchcock later told Francois Truffaut (in his book Hitchcock on Hitchcock) that Mary featured 'things we did for the first time': stream of consciousness, play in the play a la Hamlet, references to transvestism and even hints at (veiled) homosexuality, which was a 'crime' in Great Britain as it was in Germany at the time.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1427/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Sandau.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3161/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Alfred Abel
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6574/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Aryan Heritage

    Alfred Abel had the reputation in Berlin to be one of the best-dressed men and he gladly gave his opinion about fashion. He became more and restricted to the role type of elegant, intelligent gentlemen and aristocrats and he tried to counterbalance this with satirical gestures, for instance, in Hofkonzert/The Court Concert (Detlev Sierck, 1936) with Marta Eggerth.

    In the early 1920's, Abel had tried film direction and created the production company Artifex Film. His directorial debut Der Streik der Diebe/The Strike of the Thieves (Alfred Abel, 1921) flopped, but in 1929 he tried it again with Narkose/Narcosis (Alfred Abel, 1929).

    This was followed by Glückliche Reise/Bon Voyage (Alfred Abel, 1933) with Magda Schneider and Alles um eine Frau/Everything for a Woman (Alfred Abel, 1935) starring Gustav Diessl.

    Abel was married to Elizabeth Seidel with whom he had one daughter actress Ursula Abel. In 1935, the Nazi regime prohibited Ursula in 1935 from appearing in subsequent films after she failed to produce ancestry papers (Ariernachweis) for her father to prove he was not of Jewish descent.

    After battling a long illness, Alfred Abel died in 1937 in Berlin. Abel’s final film role was as Daffinger in Frau Sylvelin (Herbert Maisch, 1938), which was not released until after his death.

    Great scene from Phantom (1922). Source: Blowskiol (YouTube).

    Another scene from Phantom (1922). Source: Flicker Alley (YouTube).

    Trailer for Metropolis (1927). Source: Ageless Trailers (YouTube).

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

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    American film star Marlon Brando (1924-2004) was one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time. A cultural icon, Brando is most famous for his Oscar-winning performances as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954) and Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972). During the 1960s and 1970, he starred in several European films, including Bernardo Bertolucci's Ultimo tango a Parigi/Last Tango in Paris (1972).

    Marlon Brando
    Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 2980. Photo: Columbia / C.E.I.A.D.

    Marlon Brando
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano.

    Marlon Brando
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4992. Photo: Paramount Film / Ufa.

    Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls (1955)
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, no. 535. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955).

    Stella! Stella!

    Marlon Brando was born in 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a pesticide and chemical feed manufacturer, and and his artistically inclined wife, the former Dorothy Julia Pennebaker. Brando had two older sisters, Jocelyn Brando (1919–2005) and Frances (1922–1994). Jocelyn was the first to pursue an acting career, going to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York City. She appeared on Broadway, then films and television. Marlon had been held back a year in school and was later expelled from Libertyville High School for riding his motorcycle through the corridors.

    In 1943, he decided to follow his sister to New York. Brando enrolled in Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at New York's New School, and was mentored by Stella Adler, a member of a famous Yiddish Theatre acting family. Adler helped introduce to the New York stage the 'emotional memory' technique of Russian theatrical actor, director and impresario Konstantin Stanislavski, whose motto was "Think of your own experiences and use them truthfully." This technique encouraged the actor to explore his own feelings and past experiences to fully realise the character being portrayed. Brando's remarkable insight and sense of realism was evident early on.

    In 1944, he made it to Broadway in the bittersweet drama I Remember Mama, playing the son of Mady Christians. New York Drama Critics voted him 'Most Promising Young Actor' for his role as an anguished veteran in Truckline Café, although the play was a commercial failure. His breakthrough was the role of Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan. Brando based his portrayal of Kowalski on the boxer Rocky Graziano, whom he had studied at a local gymnasium.

    Brando's first screen role was the bitter paraplegic war veteran in The Men (Fred Zinnemann, 1950). In typical Method fashion, he spent a month in an actual veteran's hospital in preparation for the role. Brando rose to fame when he repeated the role of Stanley Kowalski in the film A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951). The role is regarded as one of Brando's greatest. The reception of Brando's performance was so positive that Brando quickly became a male sex symbol in Hollywood. The role earned him his first Academy Award nomination, but lost despite Oscars for his co-stars, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden, and Kim Hunter.

    Brando was also Oscar nominated the next year for Viva Zapata! (Elia Kazan, 1952), a fictionalised account of the life of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. His next film, Julius Caesar (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1953), received highly favourable reviews. Brando portrayed Mark Antony opposite John Gielgud. Another iconic portrayal is the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (Laslo Benedek, 1953), riding his own Triumph Thunderbird 6T motorcycle. His rowdy portrayal is considered to be one of the most famous images in pop culture. After the movie's release, the sales of leather jackets and blue jeans skyrocketed.

    Then followed his Academy Award-winning performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954), a crime drama about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. As the decade continued, Brando remained a top box office draw but critics felt his performances were half-hearted, lacking the intensity and commitment found in his earlier work. He co-starred with Jean Simmons in Désirée (Heny Koster, 1954) and the musical Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955).

    In Sayonara (Joshua Logan, 1957) he appeared as a United States Air Force Major Lloyd Gruver. The film was controversial due to openly discussing interracial marriage but proved a great success, earning 10 Academy Award nominations, with Brando being nominated for Best Actor. The following year, Brando appeared opposite Montgomery Clift as the sympathetic Nazi officer Christian Diestl in The Young Lions (Edward Dmytryk, 1958), dyeing his hair blonde and assuming a German accent for the role, which he later admitted was not convincing. The film was the last hit Brando would have for more than a decade.

    Marlon Brando
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, no. L 969. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Julius Caesar (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1953).

    Marlon Brando
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 2.55 H. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1954.

    Marlon Brando in Sayonara (1957)
    Dutch postcard by Uitgeverij Takken, Utrecht, no. 3730. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Sayonara (Joshua Logan, 1957).

    Marlon Brando and Miiko Taka in Sayonara (1957)
    Dutch postcard by Uitgeverij Takken, Utrecht, no. 3734. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Sayonara (Joshua Logan, 1957) with Miiko Taka.

    Marlon Brando in Sayonara (1957)
    Dutch postcard by Uitgeverij Takken, Utrecht, no. 3709. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Sayonara (Joshua Logan, 1957).

    The horror! The horror!

    Marlo Brando directed and starred in the cult Western One-Eyed Jacks (1961), a critical and commercial flop. After both Stanley Kubrick and Sam Peckinpah had walked off the project, Brando had grabbed the directorial reins. He never again directed another film. During the 1960s, he delivered a series of box-office failures, beginning with the film adaptation of the novel Mutiny on the Bounty (Lewis Milestone, 1962). Brando's revulsion with the film industry reportedly boiled over on the set of this film. His diminishing box-office stature, combined with his increasingly temperamental behaviour, made him a target of scorn for the first time in his career.

    The downward spiral continued for some years. Interesting was Reflections in a Golden Eye (John Huston, 1967), an adaptation of a Carson McCullers novel in which he portrayed a closeted and repressed gay army officer. He also did influential performances in The Chase (Arthur Penn, 1966), the Italian-French anti-colonialist drama Queimada/Burn! (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1970) and the British horror film The Nightcomers (Michael Winner, 1971). However the films were financial flops and Hollywood began to perceive him as a bad and unnecessary risk.

    By the dawn of the 1970s, Brando was considered 'unbankable' and critics were becoming increasingly dismissive of his work. Brando's performance as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972), Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's 1969 bestseller, was a career turning point. The Godfather was then one of the most commercially successful films of all time. The film put him back in the Top Ten and won him his second Best Actor Oscar. He followed The Godfather with Ultimo tango a Parigi/Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972) opposite Maria Schneider. The film features several intense, graphic scenes involving Brando, and the controversial film was another hit.

    Brando took a four-year hiatus before appearing in the Western The Missouri Breaks (Arthur Penn, 1976) with Jack Nicholson. Then he made a rare appearance on television in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations (1979), for which he won an Emmy award. In this period, he was content with being a highly paid character actor in glorified cameo roles, such as in Superman (Richard Donner, 1978) and The Formula (John G. Avildsen, 1980), before taking a nine-year break from motion pictures. However, he also did his controversial performance as Colonel Kurtz in the Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now (Francis Coppola, 1979). The film earned critical acclaim, as did Brando's performance. Marlon's whispering of Kurtz's final words "The horror! The horror!", has become particularly famous. It was his last great performance.

    Years later though, he did receive an eighth and final Oscar nomination for his supporting role as an attorney in the anti-Apartheid drama A Dry White Season (Euzhan Palcy, 1989) after coming out of a near-decade-long retirement. Brando was an activist with deep political convictions, supporting many causes, notably the African-American Civil Rights Movement and various American Indian Movements. He made another comeback in the Johnny Depp romantic drama Don Juan DeMarco (Jeremy Leven, 1994), which co-starred Faye Dunaway as his wife.

    Brando owned a private island off the Pacific coast, the Polynesian atoll known as Tetiaroa, from 1966 until his death in 2004. He was married three times. First to actress Anna Kashfi in 1957. They divorced in 1959. In 1960, Brando married Movita Castaneda, a Mexican-American actress seven years his senior; they were divorced in 1962. Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia, who played Brando's love interest in Mutiny on the Bounty, became his third wife in 1962. She was 20 years old, 18 years younger than Brando. They divorced in 1972. Brando had a long-term relationship with his housekeeper Maria Christina Ruiz, by whom he had three children. In 2004, Marlon Brando died of respiratory failure in Westwood, California, at age 80. He left behind 14 children (two of his children, Cheyenne and Dylan Brando, had predeceased him), as well as over 30 grandchildren.

    The last words are for Jason Ankeny at AllMovie: "Marlon Brando was quite simply one of the most celebrated and influential screen and stage actors of the postwar era; he rewrote the rules of performing, and nothing was ever the same again. Brooding, lusty, and intense, his greatest contribution was popularizing Method acting, a highly interpretive performance style which brought unforeseen dimensions of power and depth to the craft. (...) He is one of the screen's greatest enigmas, and there will never be another quite like him."

    Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)
    American postcard by Classico San Francisco, no. 136-183. Photo: The Ludlow Collection. Publicity still for The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972).

    Marlon Brando
    Italian postcard by Rotalcolor / Rotalfoto.

    Marlon Brando
    German postcard by Ufa. Photo: Dieter E. Schmidt. Incredibly coloured and polished version of the American star. The chromatic blond seems to be from the time Brando played a Nazi officer in The Young Lions (Edward Dmytryk, 1958).

    Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
    French postcard by EDUG, no. 133. Sent by mail in 1961. Photo: publicity still for One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 1961).

    Trailer for The Night of the Following Day (Hubert Cornfield, 1968). Source: (YouTube). Co-star Richard Boone directed the final scenes of the film at the insistence of Brando, who could no longer tolerate what he considered the incompetence of director Hubert Cornfield. The British film is by some considered the nadir of Brando's career.

    Trailer for Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972). Source: Download HD (YouTube).

    Sources: Jason Ankeny (AllMovie), Jon C. Hopwood (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/30/16--22:00: Thierry Lhermitte
  • Tall and handsome Thierry Lhermitte (1952) is one of France's most popular actors, writers, and producers, best known for his roles in comedies. In the 1970s, he was one of the founders of the comedy troupe Le Splendid. The group scored major successes with films such as Les Bronzés (1978). Later L’Hermitte had a phenomenal success in France with his comedies Les Ripoux (1984) and Le Dîner de Cons (1998).

    Thierry Lhermitte
    French autograph card.


    Thierry Michel Lhermitte was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, in 1952. He was a founder of the comedy troupe Le Splendid in the 1970s, along with Christian Clavier, Gérard Jugnot, Michel Blanc, Josiane Balasko and others.

    In 1973, he made his film debut in the cult comedy L'An 01/The Year 01 (Jacques Doillon, Alain Resnais, Jean Rouch, 1973), based on the eponymous comic strip by Gébé.

    He had a small part as a doorman in the hit Les Valseuses/Going Places (Bertrand Blier, 1974), starring Miou-Miou, Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere. Another small part followed in the historical drama Que la fête commence.../Let Joy Reign Supreme (Bertrand Tavernier, 1975) starring Philippe Noiret.

    While he had major successes with Le Splendid in their café-théâtre, he continued to play small parts in interesting films like the dramas F comme Fairbanks (Maurice Dugowson, 1976|) starring Patrick Dewaere, and Des enfants gates/Spoiled Children (Bertrand Tavernier, 1977) with Michel Piccoli.

    L’Hermitte had his breakthrough in the cinema with the comedy Les Bronzés/French Fried Vacation (Patrice Leconte, 1978). The film satirises life at holiday resorts such as Club Med. The troupe of Le Splendid, Josiane Balasko, Michel Blanc, Marie-Anne Chazel, Gérard Jugnot, Christian Clavier and L’Hermitte had written and created together the play Amours, Coquillages et Crustacés on which the scenario for Les Bronzés was based,

    Les Bronzés proved to be phenomenally popular in France, where it sold 2.2 million tickets during its initial theatrical release. It inspired a dedicated cult following and two sequels, also directed by Patrice Leconte: Les Bronzés font du ski/French Fried Vacation 2 (1979) and Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie/Friends Forever (2006).

    Thierry Lhermitte and Karen Allen in Until September (1984)
    French postcard by Editions Marion Valentine, Paris, no. 232. Photo: Gilles Larrain. Publicity still for Until September (Richard Marquand, 1984) with Karen Allen.

    New Partner

    In the early 1980s, Thierry L’Hermitte started to play bigger parts in other film genres. He appeared in the drama La Banquière/The Lady Banker (Francis Girod,1980), starring Romy Schneider, and in the comedy drama Clara et les Chics Types (Jacques Monnet 1981) featuring Isabelle Adjani.

    He starred in another filmed Splendid success, Le Père Noël est une ordure/Santa Claus Is a Stinker (Jean-Marie Poiré, 1982). He played Pierre, a stuffy, self-righteous volunteer at a telephone helpline for depressed people who is stuck with his well-meaning but naive co-worker Thérèse (Anémone), with the Christmas Eve shift in the Paris office, much to their displeasure.

    He also starred with Isabelle Huppert and Coluche in the comedy La Femme de mon pote/My Best Friend's Girl (Bertrand Blier, 1983).

    L’Hermitte scored a big hit in France with the comedy Les Ripoux/My New Partner (Claude Zidi, 1984), as the new, idealistic partner of a streetwise Paris policeman (Philippe Noiret). Noiret sets out to corrupt his new partner and, after a slow start, succeeds spectacularly. Les Ripoux won the César Award for Best Film in 1985.Two sequels were later made: Ripoux contre Ripoux/My New Partner II (Claude Zidi, 1990) and Ripoux 3/Part-Time Cops (Claude Zidi, 2003).

    L’Hermitte also appeared in the American romantic drama Until September (Richard Marquand, 1984), in which he played a French banker who falls in love with an American tourist (Karen Allen) in Paris. In Les Rois du gag (Claude Zidi, 1985), he and Gérard Jugnot played two gagmen without fame who are hired by a famous television comic (Michel Serrault). And in Les 1001 Nuits/One Thousand and One Nights (Philippe de Broca, 1990) he co-starred as the evil king opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones as Sheherazade.

    Thierry Lhermitte
    French postcard by Editions Photomania, Paris, no. G. 84. Photo: Jacques Prayer / Gamma. Publicity still for Les Rois du gag/The Gag Kings (Claude Zidi, 1985).

    Thierry Lhermitte and Claire Keim in Le Roman de Lulu (2001)
    French promotion card. Photo: publicity still for Le Roman de Lulu (Pierre-Olivier Scotto, 2001) with Claire Keim.

    Dinner of Idiots

    Thierry L’Hermitte followed in the footsteps of Terence Hill as the partner of Bud Spencer in Un piede in paradise/Speaking of the Devil (Enzo Barboni, 1991). That year, he also starred in the French comedy La Totale! (Claude Zidi, 1991), which would be the basis for the action comedy True Lies (James Cameron, 1994) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Other successful comedies were Grosse Fatigue/Dead Tired (Michel Blanc, 1994) and Un indien dans la ville/Little Indian, Big City (Hervé Palud, 1994), which was remade in Hollywood as Jungle 2 Jungle (John Pasquin, 1997) with Tim Allen. He appeared as King Louis XIV in Marquise (Véra Belmont, 1997) with Sophie Marceau, and as a doctor in the poorly received An American Werewolf in Paris (Anthony Waller, 1997) starring Tom Everett Scott and Julie Delpy.

    A bigger success was Le Dîner de Cons/The Dinner Game (Francis Veber, 1998). This witty comedy of manners featured L’Hermitte as an arrogant publisher who is put in his place by the seemingly moronic man (Jacques Villeret) which he has invited to his weekly dinner of idiots. The film was honoured at the 1999 César Awards with six nominations of which it won three and was a phenomenal hit with audiences.

    In the new century, he steadily appeared in films and continued to work as a screenwriter and producer. His later films include Le Divorce (James Ivory, 2003), L'Ex-femme de ma vie/The Ex-Wife of My Life (Josiane Balasko, 2005) and Quai d'Orsay/The French Minister (Bertrand Tavernier, 2013). Recently, he also starred in the popular TV series Les Témoins/Witnesses (2014) by Marc Herpoux and Hervé Hadmar.

    Thierry Lhermitte received several honours and awards, including the Prix Jean Gabin (1981), Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur (2001) and Officier of the Ordre national du Mérite (2005). He and his wife Hélène Lhermitte have three children, Victor Lhermitte, Louise Lhermitte and Astree Lhermitte-Soka.

    Trailer Les Ripoux/My New Partner (Claude Zidi, 1984). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).

    Trailer Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie/Friends Forever (2006). Source: Yohann Comte (YouTube).

    Trailer Quai d'Orsay/The French Minister (Bertrand Tavernier, 2013). Source: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Film (YouTube).

    Sources: Rebecca Flint Marx (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Last Friday, EFSP presented you a dozen cigarette cards, made by Ross Verlag in Berlin. These were all cards from a series called Bunte Filmbilder (Colourful Film Pictures). Before that Ross published a series of 275 cigarette cards called 'Unsere Bunte Filmbilder' (Our Colourful Film Pictures) for the Cigarettenfabrik (cigarette factory) Josetti in Berlin, approximately produced in 1935. The cards were enclosed in 'the packs of Josetti's various brands of cigarettes, like Juno and Vera Gold. This series contained smaller cards (6, 5 x 4 cm or 2.5 x 2 inch) with hand coloured portraits. Here are my twelve favourites of this series to make you dazzle.

    Greta Garbo in Queen Christina (1933)
    Greta Garbo. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 23. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Queen Christina (Rouben Mamoulian, 1933).

    Marlene Dietrich in The Devil is a Woman (1935)
    Marlene Dietrich. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 25. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for The Devil is a Woman (Josef von Sternberg, 1935).

    Paul Kemp
    Paul Kemp. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 99. Photo: Minerva-Tonfilm.

    Luis Trenker
    Luis Trenker. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 107. Photo: Rota-Film.

    Gustav Waldau
    Gustav Waldau. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 132. Photo: Cine-Allianz.

    Else Elster
    Else Elster. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 153. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Jakob Tiedtke
    Jakob Tiedtke. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 179. Photo: Ufa.

    Anna May Wong
    Anna May Wong. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 187. Photo: Paramount.

    Paul Wegener
    Paul Wegener. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 193. Photo: Lilenberger.

    Oskar Sima
    Oskar Sima. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 198. Photo: Ufa.

    Theodor Loos
    Theodor Loos. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 200. Photo: Nostra-Film.

    Paul Hörbiger
    Paul Hörbiger. German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 240. Photo: Patria-Film.

    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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    Last Wednesday, 30 March 2016, Hungarian Actress Marianne Krencsey died. She starred in some of the classics of the Hungarian cinema of the 1950s, like her debut film Liliomfi/Lily Boy (Karoly Makk, 1954), Bolond április/Summer Clouds (Zoltán Fábri, 1957) and Fapados szerelem/Discount love (Félix Máriássy, 1960). Marianne Krencsey stopped making films in 1966, after she left Hungary. She passed away in New York, at the age of 84.

    Marianne Krencsey (1931-2016)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin. no. 634, 1958. Photo: Magyar-Film.

    Lily Boy

    Marianne Krencsey was born in Rákoscsaba (now Budapest), Hungary in 1931. Her parents were Vilmos Krencsey and Anna Lackner. Her father was from an old noble family.

    Krencsey attended the Peter Pázmány University and studied acting and directing. In Budapest she met director Karoly Makk who offered her the female lead role opposite Iván Darvas in his film Liliomfi/Lily Boy (1954). The film was show at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, but did not win an award.

    She also appeared in Makk’s A 9-es kórterem/The 9-ward (Karoly Makk, 1955). Krencsey married Karoly Makk in 1957, but the couple divorced in 1960.

    In 1955, the Hungarian Television began to make test broadcasts with her. In the following years, she also appeared in several Hungarian films including Gábor diák/The Gabor students (László Kalmár, 1956) with Ferenc Zenthe, the crime drama Két vallomás/Two Wishes (Márton Keleti, 1957) starring Mari Töröcsik, Bolond április/Summer Clouds (Zoltán Fábri, 1957), and Szegény gazdagok/Poor Rich (Frigyes Bán, 1959) with Gyula Benkö and Margit Bara.

    Krencsey also had a supporting part in the French-Hungarian coproduction La belle et le tzigane/The beauty and the gypsy (Jean Dréville, Márton Keleti, 1959) featuring Nicole Courcel and Gyula Buss.

    Marianne Krencsey and Iván Darvas in Liliomfi (1954)
    Hungarian postcard by Képzömüvészeti Alap Kiadóvállalata, Budapest, no. 331/9/571. Photo: Hungarofilm. Publicity still for Liliomfi/Lily Boy (Karoly Makk, 1954) with Iván Darvas.

    Marianne Krencsey and Ferenc Zenthe in Gábor diák (1956)
    Hungarian postcard by Képzömüvészeti Alap Kiadóvállalata, Budapest, no. 331/9/571. Photo: publicity still for Gábor diák/Gabor students (László Kalmár, 1956) with Ferenc Zenthe.

    Evil role

    Marianne Krencsey also worked as an actress and director for the theatre. She was engaged by the Kecskemét Katona József Theatre, the Comedy Theatre, the Szolnok Szigliget Theatre and the National Theatre of Pécs.

    In the cinema she was seen in the romantic comedy Két emelet boldogság/Two floors of happiness (János Herskó, 1960) with Edit Domján, Fapados szerelem/Discount love (Félix Máriássy, 1960), in which she was reunited with Ferenc Zenthe, and A Noszty fiú esete Tóth Marival/Young Noszty and Mary Toth (Viktor Gertler, 1960).

    For the first time, she appeared in an evil role in the still popular historical drama Az aranyember/The Man of Gold (Viktor Gertler, 1962). This was an adaptation of Mór Jókai's classic 19th century novel on Mihály Tímár, the captain of a commercial Danube ship in the 1830s.

    In 1962, Marianne Krencsey married Gyula Nemes, a doctor-gynaecologist. She played the female lead in Meztelen diplomata/The naked diplomat (György Palásthy, 1963) and had a small part in the international coproduction Germinal (Yves Allégret, 1963) with Jean Sorel.

    Her last films were A Tenkes kapitánya/The Captain from Tenkes (Tamás Fejér, 1965) and A férfi egészen más/The man is quite different (Tamás Fejér, 1966).

    In 1966, Marianne and her husband left Hungary for political reasons. They travelled along London and Reykjavik to the United States and settled there permanently. The former film star worked there as a bank clerk and later in her husband's doctor's office for twenty years. In 1971 the couple received US citizenship.

    In 2001, Marianne Krencsey published an auto-biography. She had a son, Vincent Nemes, and a grandson.

    Marianne Krencsey (1931-2016)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin. no. 1707, 1962. Photo: Hungarofilm.

    Ferenc Zenthe and Marianne Krencsey in A Tenkes kapitánya (1965)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin. no. 2622, 1966. Photo: publicity still for A Tenkes kapitánya/The Captain from Tenkes (Tamás Fejér, 1965) with Ferenc Zenthe.

    Sources: Origo (Hungarian), Wikipedia (Hungarian), and IMDb.

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  • 04/02/16--22:00: Monique Rolland
  • Monique Rolland (1913–1999) was a French film actress who appeared in dozens of French films of the 1930s, often in supporting parts. She worked with major directors like Abel Gance, Marcel L'Herbier and Fritz Lang.

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 88. Photo: Studio Piaz.

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard, no. 461. Photo: Star-Press.


    Monique Rolland was born as Monique Lapierre in Paris, France, in 1913.

    In 1930, she started her film career as a young bride on her wedding day in the short film Jour de noces/Wedding Day (Maurice Gleize, 1930). She next appeared in Abel Gance’s Science-Fiction film La fin du monde/The End of the World (1931).

    In 1932 she played a supporting part in Stupéfiants/Narcotics (Kurt Gerron, Roger Le Bon, 1932), the French-language version of the German film Der weiße Dämon/The White Demon (Kurt Gerron, 1932). When an actress (Danièle Parola) becomes addicted to drugs, her brother (Jean Murat) decides to take action against her supplier.

    Rolland also had a part in Le testament du Dr. Mabuse/The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, René Sti, 1933), the parallel French version of Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933).

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 91. Photo: Roger Carlet.

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard by Erpé, no. 693. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    A Rare Bird

    Monique Rolland played a rare female lead in the comedy Un oiseau rare/A Rare Bird (Richard Pottier, 1935) opposite Pierre Brasseur and Max Dearly.

    She also co-starred with Armand Bernard in Sacré Léonce/Holy Leonce (Christian-Jaque, 1936) and with Fernand Gravey in Paradis perdu/Four Flights to Love (Abel Gance, 1940).

    She also appeared in Marcel L’Herbier’s Histoire de rire/Foolish Husbands (1941), but did not work during the occupation of France.

    After the war, she made one more film, Christine se marie/Christine marries (Renée Le Hénaff, 1946), in which she played the title role. Then, after some 45 films, she retired from the cinema.

    Decades later, Rolland returned to the screen in the TV series Deux amies d'enfance/Two Girlfriends from childhood (Nina Companeez, 1983). Monique Rolland passed away in 1999, 85 years old.

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 91. Photo: Star.

    Monique Rolland
    French postcard by Edit. Chantal, no. 61. Photo: Star-Presse.

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 04/03/16--22:00: Robertson Hare
  • Robertson Hare (1891-1979) was an English actor, who came to fame in the Aldwych farces between 1923 and 1933. Bald, short and fussy, Hare made his stage career in character roles, often as a figure of put-upon respectability. On TV, he played the Archdeacon in the popular BBC sitcom, All Gas and Gaiters (1966-1971).

    Robertson Hare
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 947a. Photo: Gaumont British.


    John Robertson Hare was born in Islington, London, in 1891. He was the younger child and only son of Frank Homer Hare, a manager at The Daily Telegraph, and his wife, Louisa Mary, née Robertson. He was educated at Margate College in Kent and then studied drama with the actor and librettist Lewis Cairns James.

    In 1911 Hare made his professional stage debut, playing the Duke of Gallminster in a provincial production of The Bear Leaders. The following year he made his London debut as an extra in Gilbert Murray's version of Oedipus Rex at the Royal Opera House. In 1913 he had his first role in a West End production, as Kaufman in a detective play, The Scarlet Band, at the Comedy Theatre.

    He then toured the provinces for a number of years. His first leading part was the title role of Grumpy (1914-1916), by Horace Hodges and T. Wigney Percyval, which was one of his favourite roles. Even at this early stage of his career Hare was playing old men: Grumpy is an irascible retired lawyer. In 1915 he married (Alice) Irene Mewton, with whom he would have one daughter. During the war he drove lorries for the army in France.

    After war service, Hare resumed his acting career. He came to the notice of the West End public as James Chesterman in a new farce, Tons of Money, in which he and the actor-manager Tom Wallsplayed supporting roles, with Ralph Lynn in the lead. The play ran for nearly two years, after which Walls recruited Lynn and Hare to join him in a series of new farces at the Aldwych Theatre. There were eleven plays in this series, which came to be known as Aldwych farces; they played continuously from 1923 to 1933. Hare played in them all.

    Hare created a familiar style and was identified completely with the part of the prissy little man, constantly in a state of unease and agitation, invariably sucked into some maelstrom of domestic upset and dislocation, unfailingly compromised and often trouserless. The bald dome, with brows furrowing anxiously beneath it; the spectacles, emphasising the shock and bewilderment with which he responded to his travails; the jerky, staccato movements as his distress grew – these made him a highly recognisable stage figure. In concert with the worldly wise Tom Walls and the affable Ralph Lynn, he became one of the premier exponents of English farce.

    Robertson Hare
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, Kondon, no. 947. Photo: Gaumont British.

    Robertson Hare
    British postcard.

    O Calamity!

    When sound film arrived, it was natural that the Aldwych farces were filmed and Robertson Hare appeared in most of the films. His first film was Rookery Nook/Embarrassing Night (Tom Walls, 1930) with a script by Ben Travers. Soon followed more film adaptations of the Aldwyn farces like Tons of Money (Tom Walls, 1930), A Night Like This (Tom Walls, 1931), and Plunder (Tom Walls, 1931).

    In particular Plunder, starring Tom Walls and featuring Ralph Lynn, Winifred Shotter en Robertson Hare, was a major commercial and critical success. It helped to cement Walls's position as one of the leading stars of British cinema. Other popular Aldwych film farces were A Cuckoo in the Nest (Tom Walls, 1933), Turkey Time (Tom Walls, 1933) and Dirty Work (Tom Walls, 1934).

    After the last Aldwych stage farce in 1933 Robertson Hare played his customary types in more than twenty new farces over the next three decades. One of his most successful creations was Willoughby Pink in Travers's Banana Ridge (1938), as a British Empire builder with a dubious past.

    In the cinema he was seen in such comedies as Aren't Men Beasts! (Graham Cutts, 1937) and Banana Ridge (Walter C. Mycroft, 1942) with Alfred Drayton. After the war, he appeared on stage in the revue Fine Fettle (1959) with Benny Hill and Shani Wallis, and in the long-running musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963), as Erronius to Frankie Howerd's Pseudolus.

    On screen he could be seen as one of the three men who are shipwrecked with the young Joan Collins on a deserted island in Our Girl Friday/The Adventures of Sadie (Noel Langley, 1953). He also played a supporting part in the Cliff Richard musical The Young Ones (Sidney J. Furie, 1961).

    In the 1960s Hare toured in Arsenic and Old Lace. In 1962 he briefly escaped type-casting, appearing with Wilfrid Hyde White in the film comedy Crooks Anonymous (Ken Annakin, 1962), in which he played an old lag, his familiar bald head disguised under a wig. Other film roles followed in Hotel Paradiso (Peter Glenville, 1966) with Alec Guinness, and Salt and Pepper (Richard Donner, 1968) starring Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.

    In 1968 he joined Naunton Wayne in Oh, Clarence!, an adaptation of a P. G. Wodehouse Blandings novel, which he played in London, on tour in the provinces, and in South Africa. He reached a new public in the late 1960s in a television series, All Gas and Gaiters (1966-1971), about a cathedral ecclesiastical community, who constantly in-fight amongst themselves. He played the Archdeacon of St. Ogg's, the Venerable Henry Blunt. His final film was the comedy Raising the Roof (Michael Forlong, 1972).

    Hare's catch-phrase, which he exploited on stage, on film and on television, was "O Calamity!" In 1979, Robertson Hare died in London at the age of 87. He published his autobiography, Yours Indubitably, in 1957. Shortly before his death he received the OBE.

    DVD Trailer for the Aldwych Farces - Volume 1 box. Source: Network Distributing (YouTube).

    Scene of Car of Dreams (1935). Source: OopNorth1 (YouTube).

    Sources: Michael Rhodes (Daily Telegraph), David Absalom (British Pictures), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 04/04/16--22:00: Gerlinde Locker
  • Pretty Gerlinde Locker (1938) is an Austrian stage, television and film actress, who appeared in many Heimatfilms and film operettas of the late 1950s and early 1960s. From 1956 on, she appeared in more than 30 Austrian and West-German films.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 82. Photo: Filmpress Zürich.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf. no. 2640. Photo: Stempka.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2845.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by ISV, no. J2. Photo: Union-Film.

    In the morning at seven the world is still in order

    Gerlinde Locker was born in 1938, in Linz, Austria. She attended a school for applied arts and trained to become a weaver. However, she also studied drama school at Bruckner-Konservatorium (the Bruckner Conservatory) in Linz, and at 18, she made her stage debut at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

    In 1957, she received her first engagement at the Landestheater Linz. She made her first film appearance in the Austrian-German Heimatfilm Der Schandfleck/The eyesore (Herbert B. Fredersdorf, 1956). After this successful film debut she received a five-year contract from the Vienna production company Schönbrunn film.

    She played the female lead in the West German musical comedy Der Stern von Santa Clara/The Star of Santa Clara (Werner Jacobs, 1958) starring Vico Torriani. She appeared in a supporting part in the romantic comedy Schick Deine Frau nicht nach Italien/Do Not Send Your Wife to Italy (Hans Grimm, 1960) starring Marianne Hold.

    One of her better films was Morgens um Sieben ist die Welt noch in Ordnung/In the Morning at Seven the World Is Still in Order (Kurt Hoffmann, 1968). From 1962 on, she played at the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna, at the Renaissance Theater Berlin, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg and other German stage venues. In 1968 and 1969 she did guest appearances at the famous Salzburger Festspielen at the side of O. W. Fischer.

    During the 1960s Locker also appeared in TV operettas, such as Die Fledermaus/The Bat, Die Christel von der Post, Der Vogelhändler/The Bird Seller and Das Land des Lächelns/The Land of Smiles.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof., no. FK 3757. Photo: Gary Gruber / öFA-Schönbrunn-Film / NF. Publicity still for Der Jungfrauenkrieg/The Virgin War (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1957).

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 380.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4312. Photo: Arthur Grimm.

    Gerlinde Locker
    Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg NV, Rotterdam, no. 3757. Photo: Gary Gruber / öFA-Schönbrunn-Film / NF. Publicity still for Der Jungfrauenkrieg/The Virgin War (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1957). See the German version above.

    I Wasn't a Very Good Student Either

    During the 1970s, Gerlinde Locker kept appearing incidentally in West German comedies like Heintje – Einmal wird die Sonne wieder scheinen/Heintje: Once the Sun will shine again (Hans Heinrich, 1970) with Dutch child star Heintje, and Auch ich war nur ein mittelmäßiger Schüler/I Wasn't a Very Good Student Either (Werner Jacobs, 1974).

    But she focused on TV work. Among her television roles is a guest appearance in the Krimi series Der Kommissar/The Police Inspector (1970-1975) and Derrick (1981-1993).

    She did not return to the screen until a decade later with appearances in television plays. These included her role as Liselotte von Rheinberg in the family saga Geld.Macht.Liebe/Money.Power.Love (2009) and a guest role in the Krimi series SOKO 5113 (2007-2010).

    She also returned to the cinema as Lady Arista in the Fantasy film Rubinrot/Ruby (Felix Fuchssteiner, 2013) with Josefine Preuß and based on the first book of the Gems trilogy by Kerstin Gier.

    From her marriage with director Kurt Wilhelm she has a son, the journalist Anatol Locker (1963). Since 1974 she is married with the actor Richard Rüdiger. Gerlinde Locker lives in Munich.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4159. K.L. Haenchen / Ufa. Publicity still for Man müßte nochmal zwanzig sein/One would have to be twenty again (Hans Quest, 1958).

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2297. Photo: Union-Film. Publicity still for Dort oben wo die Alpen glühen/Up there where the Alps glow (Otto Meyer, 1956).

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf, no. 675.

    Gerlinde Locker
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1648.

    Sources: Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.

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    Mexican and American actress Dolores del Río (1905–1983) was a Hollywood star in the 1920s and 1930s, and one of the most important female actresses of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. Del Río was the first major Latin cross-over star in Hollywood, and was considered one of the most beautiful faces that have emerged in the Hollywood cinema. She also appeared in several European films.

    Dolores del Rio in The Red Dance (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3905/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for The Red Dance (Raoul Walsh, 1928). Del Rio is wearing a kokoshnik (Russian: коко́шник), a traditional Russian head-dress worn by women and girls.

    Dolores Del Rio in The Red Dance (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3905/3, 1928-1929. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for The Red Dance (Raoul Walsh, 1928).

    Dolores Del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4993/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Fox.

    Dolores Del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5005/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for The Trail of '98 (Clarence Brown, 1928).

    Dolores Del Rio in The Trail of '98 (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5005/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for The Trail of '98 (Clarence Brown, 1928).

    The Female Valentino

    Dolores del Río was born Maria de los Dolores Asunsolo Lopez-Negrete in 1905 in Durango, Mexico. She was the daughter of Jesus Leonardo Asunsolo Jacques, who worked as a bank director, and Antonia Lopez-Negrete. They were members of the high class until the Mexican Revolution when they lost all their assets.

    It was around this time that Dolores began dreaming of becoming an actress. On her mother's side, Dolores was a cousin of the Mexican filmmaker Julio Bracho and the Mexican actors Ramón Novarro and Andrea Palma. Besides acting, she also enjoyed dancing, especially ballet. While studying dancing, she would earn money by dancing for the rich families of the Mexican aristocracy.

    A few years later, Dolores moved to Mexico City where she was discovered by director Edwin Carewe. He was so entranced by her that he became her agent, manager, producer and director. In 1925, she made her debut in the film Joanna (Edwin Carewe, 1925), starring Dorothy Mackaill. Because of her exotic looks, she was cast in a vamp role. Unfortunately, her part in the film was only about 5 minutes long and she was billed as Dorothy Del Rio in the credits. Carewe reassured her that the little that she appeared in the film looked extremely good and the public became interested in her.

    Her second film was High Steppers (Edwin Carewe, 1926), starring Mary Astor and Del Río taking the second female credit. Carewe began promoting her as 'the female Valentino'. In the comedy Pals First (Edwin Carewe, 1926), he gave Del Río her first starring role. The films were not blockbusters, but helped to increase Del Río's popularity. Then, she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star along with Joan Crawford, Mary Astor, Fay Wray and Janet Gaynor, and Del Rio appeared in the hit film What Price Glory? (Raoul Walsh, 1926).

    In 1927, Dolores was cast in the film The Loves of Carmen (Raoul Walsh, 1927). The first version, made 10 years earlier, had starred Theda Bara in the title role, but director Raoul Walsh decided to try it with a leading lady who was actually of Latin descent. Her background in dance certainly added to her convincing portrayal. Another box office hit was Resurrection (Edwin Carewe, 1927).

    The following year, she had another career boost. United Artists signed Dolores up and she appeared in the film Ramona (Edwin Carewe, 1928), and also recorded the theme song. The film did have a synchronized score, but it was not considered a talkie. The theme song was heard on the radio with great strength both in the United States and Europe, and helped to increase the enormous success of the film. Del Rio made an extensive promotional tour in Euopa.

    In March of 1928, the studio asked her over to Mary Pickford's home along with other big names so that they could speak on a radio show and give the audiences a taste of what they sounded like. Dolores ended up singing, which was a great treat for everyone. United Artists was getting a little fed up with the partnership between Dolores and Edwin Carewe. They felt that he used her as a stepping stone and they wanted to be in charge of her career. UA finally convinced Dolores to cut ties with the famed director which took a great weight off her shoulders. Carewe demanded that she pay him a huge amount of money to compensate for his losses and he cast one of Dolores's main rivals, Lupe Velez in his newest picture.

    Dolores Del Rio and Rod La Rocque in Resurrection (1927)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1917/3, 1927-1928. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for Resurrection (Edwin Carewe, 1927) with Rod La Rocque.

    Dolores Del Rio in Ramona (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3378/2, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for Ramona (Edwin Carewe, 1928).

    Ralph Forbes and Dolores Del Rio in The Trail of '98 (1928)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4266/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Trail of '98 (Clarence Brown, 1928) with Ralph Forbes.

    Dolores del Rio in The Loves of Carmen (1927)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4490/2, 1929-1930. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for The Loves of Carmen (Raoul Walsh, 1927).

    Dolores del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4786/2, 1929-1930. Photo: United Artists.

    Great Hollywood Princess

    Dolores del Río continued focusing on her own career. In 1930, she appeared in the film The Bad One, with Edmund Lowe and Boris Karloff. Successful was also Bird of Paradise (King Vidor, 1932). She made the transition from 'an exotic star across the border' to one of the great Hollywood princesses. She appeared in Flying Down to Rio (Thornton Freeland, 1933) alongside Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their first pairing.

    Then she starred in Madame DuBarry (William Dieterle, 1934), but the film had the misfortune or being torn apart by the Hays office. It was edited so much that it came out almost nothing like the original story. The audiences didn't like it, and neither did the people involved in the making of the film.

    As the 1930s progressed, her box office appeal began to wain. The heads of the studios preferred leading ladies like Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer, not Latina actresses. After making Journey into Fear (Norman Foster, 1942) with Orson Welles as producer, she moved back to Mexico

    In Mexico, the film industry was at that time at its peak. There she received another career boost and made some of her most important films. These films like Flor silvestre/Wild Flower (Emilio 'El Indio' Fernández, 1943), María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, 1943) with Pedro Armendariz, Las Abandonadas/The Abandoned (Emilio Fernández, 1944), Bugambilia/Secret Love (Emilio Fernández, 1944), La Otra/The Other One (Roberto Gavaldón, 1946) and La Malquerida/The unloved (Emilio Fernández, 1949), are now considered classic masterpieces and they helped boost Mexican cinema worldwide. María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, 1943) was the first Mexican film to be screened at the Cannes International Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix becoming the first Latin American film to do so. The film was a great success in Europe and allowed Del Río to keep her international prestige.

    In 1934, Del Río, along with other Mexican film stars of Hollywood like Ramón Novarro and Lupe Vélez, was accused of promoting Communism in California. This happened after the stars attended a special screening of the Sergei Eisenstein's film ¡Que viva México! (Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1932). Twenty years later, this would have consequences for her career. In 1954, Del Río was slated to appear in the 20th Century Fox film Broken Lance (Edward Dmytryk, 1954). The US government denied her permission to work in the United States, accusing her of being sympathetic to international communism. So she stayed in Mexico making films and with the decline of the Mexican cinema she opted for work in theatre.

    In 1960 she returned to Hollywood and played opposite Elvis Presley in Flaming Star (Don Siegel, 1960). Elvis greeted her with flowers and said he knew exactly who she was and said it was an honour to work with her. Dolores soon began to look at him as a son and was very affectionate with him. She also appeared in Cheyenne Autumn (John Ford, 1964) and in European films like La dama del alba/The Lady of the Dawn (Francisco Rovira Beleta, 1966) and C'era una volta/Cinderella: Italian Style (Francesco Rosi, 1967) with Sophia Loren. Her final film role was as a grandmother opposite Anthony Quinn in The Children of Sanchez (Hal Bartlett, 1978).

    Dolores del Río passed away in 1973 from liver disease in Newport Beach, California. Dolores Del Rio was married three times. Her first husband was Jaime Martinez del Río, the son of a wealthy Mexican family. She was only 16 years old when they met and was 18 years younger than him. Her second marriage was to MGM art director and production designer Cedric Gibbons from 1930 until 1940. Their divorce was caused by her affair with Orson Welles. The affair with Welles lasted two years and was very intense. He later called her the great love of his life. Her third and final marriage was to Lewis Riley, an American businessman. They married in 1959 and remained married until her death in 1983.

    Dolores del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3660/3, 1928-1929 Photo: United Artists.

    Dolores Del Rio
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5148. Photo: Fox Film. Publicity still for The Trail of '98 (Clarence Brown, 1928).

    Dolores Del Rio
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5185.

    Dolores Del Rio and James Marcus in Revenge (1928)
    Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5953. Photo: United Artists / Dr. Hauser u. Co. Publicity still for Revenge (Edwin Carewe, 1928) with James Marcus.

    Dolores del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4786/2, 1929-1930. Photo: United Artists.

    Dolores Del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6495/3, 1931-1932. Photo: Radio Pictures.

    Dolores Del Rio
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6613/1, 1931-1932. Photo: RKO.

    Dolores Del Rio
    German cigarette card in the series Unsere Bunten Filmbilder by Ross Verlag for Cigarettenfabrik Josetti, Berlin, no. 232. Photo: Radio Pict. Corp.

    Source: Jessica Keaton (Silence is Platinum), Wikipedia and IMDb.

    For now, this was the last post in our series Imported from the USA. Next week starts a new series of film specials.

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  • 04/06/16--22:00: Gérard Barray
  • French comedian and film and television actor Gérard Barray (1931) was one of the swashbuckling heroes of the French cinema. During the 1960s, he starred as D’Artagnan and Scaramouche, but also in many Eurospy films.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2915, 1967.

    Gérard Barray
    Small Romanian collector's card. Photo: publicity still for Les trois mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Bernard Borderie, 1961).

    Anna Karina and Gérard Barray in Sheherazade (1963)
    Small Romanian collector's card. Photo: publicity still for Sheherazade (Pierre-Gaspard-Huit, 1963) with Anna Karina.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2260, 1965. Photo: Schwarz.

    The Three Musketeers

    Gérard Barray was born Gérard Marcel Louis Baraillé in Toulouse, France, in 1931. Barray's parents split up quickly and his mother, who came from Montauban decided to return to her hometown with her little boy.

    Around the age of 15, he discovered a passion for jazz. Barray participated in a few shows in nightclubs while pursuing his studies and obtained a bachelor's degree at the Faculty of Toulouse. Camille Ricard, an actress and teacher at the Conservatory of Toulouse, advised him to go to Paris. She gave him a letter of recommendation for a friend, actor Noel Roquevert.

    Barray enrolled at the Cours Simon, a drama school in Paris. Four years later, Gérard Barray won the Jury Prize. In 1955, he played his first small film roles as a gigolo in Chantage/Blackmail (Guy Lefranc, 1955) and as a gangster in the Film Noir Série noire/The Infiltrator (Pierre Foucaud, 1955) with Henri Vidal and Erich von Stroheim.

    His first major film role was as the duke of Vallombreuse in the historical adventure film Le Capitaine Fracasse/Captain Fracasse (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1961), starring Jean Marais and based on a novel by Théophile Gautier. The film and Barray’s supporting role were a success and next he played the lead in another prestigious historical adventure, Les trois mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Bernard Borderie, 1961), a film adaption of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, père.

    Reviewer jrjcat at IMDb: “This is a wonderful faithful version of Alexandre Dumas'The Three Musketeers. Gerard Barray is excellent as D'Artagnan and Mylene Demongeot is not only one of the most beautiful screen Milady de Winters rivalling that of Lana Turner but also excellent in the part as well.” Les trois mousquetaires became the sixth biggest French box office in 1961. A star was born.

    During the 1960s Barray excelled in roles of knights with a big heart such as D'Artagnan, Scaramouche and Surcouf. These films include the Italian-French Alexandre Dumas adaptation I fratelli Corsi/The Corsican Brothers (Anton Giulio Majano, 1961) also starring Geoffrey Horne and Valérie Lagrange, Shéhérazade (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1963) starring Anna Karina, La máscara de Scaramouche/The Adventures of Scaramouche (Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1963) and Le chevalier de Pardaillan/Clash of Steel (Bernard Borderie, 1962) plus its sequel Hardi Pardaillan!/The Gallant Musketeer (Bernard Borderie, 1964).

    Gérard Barray and Yvette Lebon in La máscara de Scaramouche (1963)
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 3034 1968. Photo: publicity still for La máscara de Scaramouche/The Adventures of Scaramouche (Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1963) with Yvette Lebon.

    Gérard Barray and Valérie Lagrange in Hardi Pardaillan! (1964)
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2961, 1967. Photo: publicity still for Hardi Pardaillan!/The Gallant Musketeer (Bernard Borderie, 1964) with Valérie Lagrange.

    Gérard Barray and Geneviève Casile in Surcouf, l'eroe dei sette mari (1966)
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2828, 1967. Photo: publicity still for Surcouf, l'eroe dei sette mari/The Sea Pirate (Sergio Bergonzelli, Roy Rowland, 1966) with Geneviève Casile.

    Gérard Barray
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 454. Photo: publicity stil for Béru et ces dames/Beru and These Women (Guy Lefranc, 1968).

    Next Time I'll Kill You

    During the 1960s, Gérard Barray starred in a dozen feature films, most of which were box-office successes and widely known abroad. Besides Swashbucklers, he became one of the Eurospy stars with his roles in thrillers like Gibraltar (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1964) with Hildegard Knef and Baraka sur X 13/Agent X-77 Orders to Kill (Maurice Cloche, 1966) opposite Sylva Koscina.

    He also starred as police commissioner San Antonio films in the thrillers Sale temps pour les mouches/Next Time I'll Kill You (Guy Lefranc, 1966) and Béru et ces dames/Beru and These Women (Guy Lefranc, 1966), both with Jean Richard. He continued to play in popular Swashbucklers such as the French-Italian-Spanish adventure film Surcouf, le tigre des sept mers/The Sea Pirate (Sergio Bergonzelli, Roy Rowland, 1966) with Antonella Lualdi.

    In 1969, he played a mysterious museum curator who seduces a young English teacher (Claude Jade) in Le Témoin/The Witness (Anne Walter, 1969). It was his last major role. Daniel Denner at IMDb: “he changed his profile to the dark side as Van Britten - his most interesting part, but without great success.” For Claude Berri he appeared in the supporting role of Richard, a rather temperamental star actor in Le cinéma de papa (1970), but mostly he worked for TV.

    Decades later he made a comeback in the cinema opposite Eduardo Noriega and Penélope Cruz in Abre los ojos/Open Your Eyes (Alejandro Amenabar. 1997), the original version of Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001) with Tom Cruise. Barray appeared in more Spanish films and TV series and also played a small part in the thriller Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer, 2000).

    In 2010, Gérard Barray was appointed an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters. Since 1965, he is married to Theresa Lorca and they have two children. Gérard Barray lives in Andalusia in the south of Spain and is occupied as a grandfather of three.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 3033, 1968. Photo: Schwarz.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 21, 1970. Photo: Schwarz.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 3018, 1967. Photo: Schwarz.

    Gérard Barray
    East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2216, 1965. Photo: Schwarz.

    Gérard Barray
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1138. Photo: Vauclair.

    Sources: Donatienne (L’encinematheque – French), Daniel Denner (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    We love tomboys. Girls who wear boys clothing and engage in soccer games and all kind of other physical activities that are considered in many cultures to be unfeminine or the domain of boys. There were many stars who liked yo do a bit of gender bender, think Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn. But earlier in the European cinema of the 1920s 'trouser' roles were even a trend. Today a salute to these revolutionary girls who weren't scared to act like boys.

    Vesta Tilley
    British postcard in the Real Photo series. Photo: Hana.

    English actress Vesta Tilley (1864–1952) was the most famous and well paid music hall male impersonator of her day, nicknamed ‘The London Idol’. She was a star in both Britain and the United States for over thirty years. Tilley also appeared in some very early silent films.

    Else Bötticher, Vilma Conti
    Else Bötticher (right) and Vilma Conti. German postcard by BNK, no. 33 583/2. Caption: "Fuss-Tanz-Duett. Fährt man erst per Untergrund.... Die Tanzhusaren." Collection: Didier Hanson.

    In the early 20th century, German actress Else Bötticher (1880-1966) performed with famous stage stars in international theatres. During the 1910s, she made several silent films. In the sound era, she returned to the cinema but then only played small roles as wives and mothers.

    Anny Hochwald
    Romanian postcard. Photo: Atelier Kossak, Timisoara. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    It's difficult to find any information about this comic lady in drag, Anny Hochwald. Was she an Austrian or German cabaret performer of the early 20th Century, as her name and outfit suggest?

    Asta Nielsen
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 644/3. Photo: Art-Films. Publicity still for Hamlet (Svend Gade, Heinz Schall, 1921), starring Asta Nielsen as Hamlet. Nielsen had produced the film herself. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Danish silent film actress Asta Nielsen (1881-1972), was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1910s and one of the first international film stars. Of her 74 films between 1910 and 1932, seventy were made in Germany where she was known simply as Die Asta. Noted for her large dark eyes, mask-like face and boyish figure, Nielsen most often portrayed strong-willed passionate women trapped by tragic consequences.

    Mady Christians
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 436. Photo: Zander & Labisch.

    Austrian-born stage actress Mady Christians (1892-1951) was a star of the German silent cinema and appeared in Austrian, French, British and Hollywood films too.

    Lya Mara
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1485/4, 1927-1928. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.

    Lya Mara(1897-1960?) was one of the biggest stars of the German silent cinema. Her stardom was even the subject of a novel, which was published in 100 episodes between 1927 and 1928. Her career virtually ended after the arrival of sound film.

    Elisabeth Bergner
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3228/3, 1928-1929. Photo: M. von Becovich (Atelier K. Schenker).

    The profoundly sensitive acting of Austrian-British actress Elisabeth Bergner (1897-1986) influenced the German cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. She specialised in a bisexual type that she portrayed in Der Geiger von Florenz and in other film and stage roles. Nazism forced her to go in exile, but she worked successfully in the West End and on Broadway.

    Ossi Oswalda
    French postcard in the Europe series, no. 590. Photo: Agence Européenne Cinematographique.

    Ossi Oswalda (1895-1947) was one of the most popular comediennes of the German silent cinema.

    Lee Parry
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4037/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Badelkow, Berlin.

    Lee Parry (1901-1977) was a German film actress of the silent and the early sound era, often in films by her husband Richard Eichberg. She appeared in 48 films between 1919 and 1939.

    Dolly Haas
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8157/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Walther Jaeger, Berlin.

    Stage and screen actress Dolly Haas(1910-1994) was popular in the 1930s as a vivacious, red-haired gamine often wearing trousers in German and British films.

    Winifred Shotter
    British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 146.

    British film actress Winifred Shotter (1904–1996) was the pretty young thing in a number of the popular Aldwych farces, which were staged in London before and during the Second World War. During the 1930s, she also performed in early British films with great success.

    Liselotte Pulver, Carlos Thompson
    German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2374. Photo: Witt / Constantin / Ringpress / Vogelmann. Publicity card for Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958) with Liselotte Pulver and Carlos Thompson.

    Swiss actress Liselotte Pulver (1929) was one of the most beloved stars of the German popular cinema of the 1950s and early 1960s. Despite a wide variety of roles, she is best remembered as the merry tomboy in sparkling comedies like Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (1958).

    Source: Laura Horak (Girls Will Be Boys) and Wikipedia.

    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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  • 04/08/16--22:00: Claire Gordon
  • Blonde, voluptuous Claire Gordon (1941-2015) made theatrical history as the first actress to appear naked on the British stage. The British actress and pin-up model is also known for sexy leading and cameo roles in many British film comedies of the 1960s and early 1970s.

    Claire Gordon
    German postcard by ISV, Sort 9/6.

    Claire Gordon
    German postcard by ISV, Sort VII/6. Photo: Anglo-Amalgamated.

    Beat Girl

    Claire Gordon or Clare Gordon was born in 1941. According To Wikipedia, her birthplace was the city of Cambridge, but according to IMDb, it was London. However, she is British. Her father was a doctor, and her mother a make-up artist, who worked for Max Factor.

    Gordon made her West End theatre debut on a motor bike in The Darling Buds of May and then created the role of Peggy Evans in Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn. Her film debut was a cameo (bit part) as a Harem girl in the comedy I Only Arsked! (Montgomery Tully, 1958), about a group of of misfit soldiers who are desperately trying to fiddle themselves some leave. Instead they wrangle a posting to the British Middle-East protectorate of Darawa.

    Two years later she had a bigger part in the British thriller And Women Shall Weep (John Lemont, 1960). That year she also played a typist in the British Noir Never Let Go (John Guillermin, 1960), starring Richard Todd and Peter Sellers, and played a supporting part in the Beatnik drama Beat Girl (Edmond T. Gréville, 1960) with David Farrar and Christopher Lee.

    Into the 1960s, Gordon continued to play eye candy parts in such films as the Norman Wisdom comedy The Bulldog Breed (Robert Asher, 1960), Ticket to Paradise (1961) with that other British sexpot Vanda Hudson, and the King Kong rip-off Konga (John Lemont, 1961) starring Michael Gough. In his review at DVD Drive-in, Joe Cascio writes of her performance in Konga: “Claire Gordon as Sandra Banks is not much of an actress, but has other beautiful attributes in which one can easily understand why men young and old are turned on to her.”

    On Television she guest-starred in the popular TV series The Danger Man (1960) starring Patrick McGoohan. Gordon was also a popular pin-up model for men’s magazines like Parade and Piccolo. In the Cliff Richard musical The Young Ones (Sidney J. Furie, 1961) she also appeared as a pin-up girl on the cover of a magazine browsed by Dench (Harold Scott).

    In Italy she played a gangster’s moll in I due evasi di Sing Sing/Two Escape from Sing Sing (Lucio Fulci, 1964) starring the comedians Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. Other 1960s films in which she appeared were the spy film Licensed to Kill (Lindsay Shonteff, 1965), and the George Bernard Shaw adaptation Great Catherine (Gordon Flemyng, 1968) starring Peter O’Toole and Jeanne Moreau.

    Vanda Hudson
    Vanda Hudson. German postcard by ISV, no. 11/6.

    Jeanne Moreau
    Jeanne Moreau. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1017. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Making Theatrical History

    In 1968 Claire Gordon married writer and producer William Donaldson, who had auditioned her for Lady de Winter in his production of The Three Musketeers. In this production she made theatrical history as the first actress to appear naked on the British stage. The New Statesman wrote: "watch out for the bath scene; it's a breakthrough."

    Her husband was quite a wild character. After his death in 2005, The Telegraph and The Times published hilarious obituaries. The Telegraph wrote Gordon "had introduced him to cannabis and that they held orgies, with call girls, naked DJs and two-way mirrors". In 1971 Donaldson fled wife and creditors and left for Ibiza, where he spent his last £2,000 on a glass-bottomed boat, hoping to make money out of tourists.

    In 1992 Claire Gordon revealed the ‘Randy secrets of the real Mrs Root’ to a tabloid, describing how her husband sent pornographic pictures of her to contact magazines in exchange for a plug for her fitness video. ‘Mrs Root’ was a reference to Donaldson’s later satirical pseudonym Mr Henry Root, a Right-wing nutcase and wet fish merchant. Root specialised in writing brash, outrageous and frequently abusive letters to eminent public figures (including his ‘hero’ Margaret Thatcher), enclosing a one pound note. The letters appeared absurd to the public but not to those to whom they were addressed. The recipients duly replied, often unaware that the joke was on them. Compiled and published in 1980, The Henry Root Letters became the number one bestseller that year.

    Meanwhile Claire Gordon had returned to the screen in the early 1970s in such British sexploitation as Cool It Carol! (Pete Walker, 1972), Suburban Wives (Derek Ford, 1972), and Sex Farm (Arnold L. Miller, 1973). Commuter Husbands (Derek Ford, 1974), the equally unfunny sequel to Suburban Wives, was her final film. Gordon joined the Open University and went on to graduate from Middlesex University with a BA degree in English and American History and Literature.

    On TV she was later seen in the BBC Play of the Day The Amazing Miss Stella Estelle (John Davis, 1984). Later, she played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Princess Theatre, Hunstanton. She also worked with Sarah Louise Young in Clive Evans's two woman show The Nunnery.

    In 2015, Claire Gordon died of a brain tumour in a nursing home in West London. By the end of her life, she had been working on her memoirs and a documentary about her experiences while living in Egypt before and after the 2011 revolution.

    Scenes from Beat Girl (1960). Source: Michael Fox (You Tube).

    American trailer for Konga (1961). Source: Mothra Blues (You Tube).

    Source: Joe Cascio (DVD Drive-in), Bonnie Estridge (Daily Mail), The Telegraph, The Times, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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