Articles on this Page
- 08/26/16--22:00: _Jean-Louis Barrault
- 08/27/16--22:00: _Françoise Rosay
- 08/28/16--22:00: _Karin Dor
- 08/29/16--22:00: _Nita Raya
- 08/30/16--22:00: _Ingmarssönerna (1919)
- 08/31/16--22:00: _Dominique Boschero
- 09/01/16--22:00: _EFSP's Dazzling Doz...
- 09/02/16--22:00: _Marius Goring
- 09/03/16--22:00: _Brigitte Mira
- 09/04/16--22:00: _Ulla Jacobsson
- 09/05/16--22:00: _Mariella Lotti
- 09/06/16--22:00: _Berg-Ejvind och han...
- 09/07/16--22:00: _Ornella Muti
- 09/08/16--22:00: _EFSP's Dazzling Doz...
- 09/09/16--22:00: _Sarah Bernhardt
- 09/10/16--22:00: _Michael Ande
- 09/11/16--22:00: _Alexandra Stewart
- 09/12/16--22:00: _Juliette Gréco
- 09/13/16--22:00: _Une grande fille to...
- 09/14/16--22:00: _Elga Brink
- 08/26/16--22:00: Jean-Louis Barrault
- 08/27/16--22:00: Françoise Rosay
- 08/28/16--22:00: Karin Dor
- 08/29/16--22:00: Nita Raya
- 08/30/16--22:00: Ingmarssönerna (1919)
- 08/31/16--22:00: Dominique Boschero
- 09/01/16--22:00: EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: A Night at the Opera
- 09/02/16--22:00: Marius Goring
- 09/03/16--22:00: Brigitte Mira
- 09/04/16--22:00: Ulla Jacobsson
- 09/05/16--22:00: Mariella Lotti
- 09/06/16--22:00: Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru (1918)
- 09/07/16--22:00: Ornella Muti
- 09/08/16--22:00: EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: Roundabout
- 09/09/16--22:00: Sarah Bernhardt
- 09/10/16--22:00: Michael Ande
- 09/11/16--22:00: Alexandra Stewart
- 09/12/16--22:00: Juliette Gréco
- 09/13/16--22:00: Une grande fille toute simple (1948)
- 09/14/16--22:00: Elga Brink
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 147. Photo: Star.
French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil, no. 20. Photo: C.C.F.C. Publicity still for Le Destin fabuleux de Désirée Clary/Mlle. Desiree (Sacha Guitry, 1942) with Barrault as Napoléon Bonaparte.
French photo card by Viny, no. 132. Photo: Star.
French postcard by Edition P.I., Paris, no. 21.
Jean-Louis Barrault was born in Le Vésinet near Paris in 1910. He was the son of a pharmacist. At the age of six he decided that his career would be in the theatre.
From an ordinary working-class state school, he was admitted to the College Chaptelwhere he took his baccalaureate and taught for a year. His studies were principally in mathematics, philosophy and art, and although a scholarship pupil with no spending money he lost no opportunity to attend the theatre or to act.
At 20, he made his official film debut in the little known Vagabonds imaginaires/Imaginary Vagabonds (1930), billed as J.L. Barrault. A year later followed his stage debut as a servant in Charles Dullin's production of Volpone at the Théâtre de l'Atelier.
He studied drama with Charles Dullin, one of the greatest actors and drama teachers of his time. In his troop he acted from 1933 to 1935, while he supported himself as a bookkeeper and flower salesman during those lean years.
At the age of 25, Barrault met and studied with the mime Étienne Decroux. Years later, Decroux would play the father of Barrault's character Baptiste in Les Enfants du Paradis/Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945).
Barrault started to work with his own ensemble. His first independent production, an adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying (1935), was a mime play. His other early productions included Miguel de Cervantes’s Numancia (1937) and Faim (1939), based on the novel Hunger by Knut Hamsun.
He also played supporting roles in such films as Les beaux jours/The Beautiful Days (Marc Allégret, 1935) starring Simone Simon, Un grand amour de Beethoven/Beethoven (Abel Gance, 1936) featuring Harry Baur, and Jenny (Marcel Carné, 1936) with Françoise Rosay.
Then he made quite an impact in the comedy Drôle de drame/Bizarre, bizarre (Marcel Carné, 1937) starring Louis Jouvet, and the classic romantic film Mirages (Alexandre Ryder, 1937) opposite the enigmatic Arletty.
French postcard by Edition Chantal, Paris, no. 620. Photo: Distrib.rs Français.
French postcard by A. Noyer (A.N.), Paris, no. 1131. Photo: Raymond Voinquel.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 132. Photo: Star.
Belgian postcard by Photo Edition (P.E.), no. 155. Photo: Studio Cayet.
Children of Paradise
In 1940, Jean-Louis Barrault joined the Comédie-Française at the instigation of Jacques Copeau and he worked both as actor and director for France's national theatre company. Till 1946 he directed productions like Paul Claudel's Le Soulier de satin (The Satin Slipper) and Jean Racine's Phèdre, two plays that made his reputation. His dedication to both avant-garde and classical plays helped to revive the French theatre after World War II, while presenting world premières of works by such playwrights as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco and Jean Genet.
In 1940, he married Madeleine Renaud, who was one of the stars of the Comédie-Française since 1928. In 1936 Barrault had met the actress, who was a decade his senior. In 1947, they founded their own company at the Théâtre Marigny under the name Compagnie M. Renaud–J.L. Barrault. They opened with Hamlet in a translation by André Gide, Later they founded other theatres and toured extensively, including in South America.
In 1952, Barrault and Renard made daunting Broadway débuts touring in repertory with Les Fausses Confidences (False Confessions) by Pierre Marivaux, Barrault's own adaptation of The Trial by Kafka, Amphitryon, and other productions. The combination of French and foreign classics with modern plays became the hallmark of the company’s great success. In 1957, they returned with Paul Claudel's Christopher Columbus, Volpone, The Misanthrope, Intermezzo, and others. That year Barrault received a Special Tony Awardfor his work.
In his 1994 obituary of Barrault in the British newspaper The Independent, John Calder writes: "He improvised his own dramatic versions of great French and European literature and made stunning spectacles of them, and he was a practical man of the theatre who knew how to produce dramas that were didactic and at the same time exciting. He perfectly embodied in his productions (Antonin) Artaud's belief that the theatre had no value if it did not change the lives and attitudes of those who came to it; he was an intellectual who never lost the common touch, who gave his whole life to his profession and through it became a great teacher and exponent of the ideas of others that he developed into his own conception of 'total theatre'. Barrault built a team of loyal and devoted professionals around him, not only actors, but administrators and creative talents as well".
Barrault's greatest film triumph was his portrayal of Baptiste in Les enfants du paradis/Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945). The story was based on the life of the 19th century mime-actor Jean-Gaspard Deburau (Baptiste Debureau), and Barrault originally suggested the subject to director Marcel Carné and author Jacques Prévert. The phenomenal success of this film singlehandedly revived public interest in the art of pantomime and subsequently influenced the popularity of legendary mime Marcel Marceau. On the set of Les enfants du paradis, Barrault hid French Resistance members.
French postcard by O.P., Paris, no. 14. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French photo card by SERP, Paris, no. 132. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 66.
French postcard by Editions E.C., Paris, no. 20. Photo: Pathé.
French postcard by P.I., Paris, no. 21. Photo: Pathé-Cinéma.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
After the war, Jean-Louis Barrault also appeared in many well-known films. A highlight was the Oscar nominated La ronde/Roundabout (1950), Max Ophüls' ode to love in the Vienna of 1900 with Anton Walbrook as the narrator.
Interesting is also the TV film Le testament du Docteur Cordelier/Experiment in Evil (Jean Renoir, 1959), in which Barrault played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde using no make-up or camera tricks for his transformation. He also appeared as a priest in the Oscar winning war epic The Longest Day (1962, Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki).
In 1959, Barrault was offered the Theatre de l'Odeon by the government: this was the little-used left-bank second theatre of the Comédie-Française, and renamed the Theatre de France it became the most prestigious playhouse in the country. He now widened the repertory to include the new drama that had emerged from Samuel Beckett, and Eugene Ionesco. He directed and played the lead in Ionesco's Rhinoceros, while Madeleine Renaud made one of the most telling interpretations of her career in Beckett's O les Beaux Jours (Happy Days), a role she continued to play until over 90.
In 1968 it was announced that Barrault had been ordered to leave as manager of the Theatre de France. The death blow was administered in a letter from his old friend André Malraux, General de Gaulle's Culture Minister, who had initially asked Barrault to preside the Theatre de France as its director. The cause of Barrault's dismissal was his role in the May riots there.
During the demonstrations, anarchist students from the Sorbonne 'liberated' the Odéon Theatre and turned it into a discussion hall. They also destroyed 50% of the sets, ripped up red velvet seats and urinated on costumes. Barrault wept when he saw the damage, but government officials believed that he tacitly allowed the rebels to take over. Barrault also took to the stage to proclaim his sympathy with student goals and to denounce France's 'bourgeois culture.' His removal set off a chorus of protests by French stage figures and critics.
In later years Barrault served twice as director of the Theatre des Nationsand in 1974-1981 he was the director of the Theatre d'Orsay. A year later he appeared in the film La Nuit des Varennes/That Night in Varennes (Ettore Scola, 1982) in which he was one of the passengers in a stagecoach who find themselves caught up in the events of the French Revolution in 1791.
His last film performance was in the romantic drama La lumière du lac/The Light of the Lake (Francesca Comencini, 1988) starring Nicole Garcia.
In 1994 Jean-Louis Barrault died in his sleep, apparently of a heart attack in his house in Paris, at the age of 83. The beloved actor was the uncle of actress Marie-Christine Barrault. His wife Madeleine died in September of that same year at age 94.
Among Barrault’s publications are Réflexions sur le théâtre (Reflections on the Theatre, 1949), Nouvelles Réflexions sur le théâtre (The Theatre of Jean-Louis Barrault, 1959), and Souvenirs pour demain (Memories for Tomorrow, 1972). Barrault was named an officer of the Legion of Honour.
Trailer for Les Enfants du Paradis/Children of Paradise (1945). Source: Pathé (YouTube).
Compilation of La ronde/Roundabout (1950). Source: illmatikss (YouTube). Music: Duke Ellington& John Coltrane: In a sentimental mood / My little brown book.
Trailer The Longest Day (1962). Source: Danios 12345 (YouTube).
French trailer La Nuit des Varennes/That Night in Varennes (1982). Source: Gaumont (YouTube).
Sources: John Calder (The Independent), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Alan Riding (New York Times), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Encyclopaedia Britannica, IMDb and Wikipedia.
French postcard, early 1930s.
French postcard by Ed. Chantal, Paris, no. 628. Photo: R. Voinquel.
Françoise Rosay was born Françoise Bandy de Nalèche in Paris in 1891 as the illegitimate daughter of the actress Marie-Thérèse Chauvin, aka Sylviac, and count François Louis Bandy de Nalèche. Her father only recognised her in 1938. She originally planned to become an opera singer, and in 1917, won a prize at the Paris Conservatoire and made her debut at the Palais Garnier in the title role of Salammbô by Ernest Reyer. She also sang in Castor et Pollux by Rameau and Thaïs by Massenet.
In 1911 Rosay had her first screen performance in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Falstaff by Henri Desfontaines. Only a few films followed in the next years, including a bit part in the cult serial Les Vampires/The Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1916).
The tide radically changed in 1917 when she married film director Jacques Feyder. In the late 1910s she played in various shorts by him and from 1921 to 1941 Rosay played in almost all important films by Feyder. In the touching melodrama Gribiche/Mother of Mine (Jacques Feyder, 1926), she had her first lead as a rich American woman who adopts a Parisian working class boy (Jean Forest).
Next followed the Franco-German coproduction Le bateau de verre/The Glass Boat (Constantin David, Jacqueline Milliet, 1927) with André Nox, Madame Recamier (Tony Lekain, Gaston Ravel, 1928) opposite Marie Bell, and the comedy Les deux timides/Two Timid Souls (René Clair, 1928).
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Feyder-Rosay family resided in Hollywood, where Feyder shot The Kiss (1929) and the German version of Anna Christie (1931) both with Greta Garbo, and Daybreak (1931) and Son of India (1931) both with Ramon Novarro. Rosay played Marceline Day’s mother in the orientalist romance The One Woman Idea (Berthold Viertel, 1929).
German postcard by Das Programm von Heute, Berlin. Photo: Hammer.
French postcard, 1940 Photo: Teddy Piaz.
Intense Career in French Cinema
When sound film set in, Françoise Rosay played in various French and German versions of American films by MGM and Paramount, intended for the European market. These included Soyons gais (Arthur Robison, 1930) - the French version of Let Us Be Gay (Robert Z. Leonard, 1930) in which she replaced Norma Shearer, Le procès de Mary Dugan (Marcel de Sano, 1930) - the French version of The Trial of Mary Dugan (Bayard Veiller, 1929), and Si l’empereur savait ça (Jacques Feyder, 1930) - the French version of His Glorious Night (Lionel Barrymore, 1929).
She also had a part in the German and the French version of the Buster Keaton sound comedy Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (Edward Sedgwick, 1931), called Casanova wider Willen (Edward Brophy, 1931) and Buster se marie (Claude Autant-Lara, Edward Brophy, 1931).
At Paramount, Rosay played in the mélo The Magnificent Lie (Berthold Viertel, 1931), in which she was a French actress who becomes the idol of a blinded soldier (Ralph Bellamy), who is tricked in believing that a saucy music-hall singer (Ruth Chatterton) is the actress.
Other French versions of American films were La chance/Luck (René Guissart, 1931) starring Marie Bell, Le petit café/The Little Café (Ludwig Berger, 1931) opposite Maurice Chevalier, and Quand on est belle/When She's Pretty (Arthur Robison, 1932) with Lily Damita.
Back in France, Rosay had an intense career in French cinema of the 1930s. She was Madame Husson in the Guy de Maupassant adaptation Le Rosier de Madame Husson/Mrs. Husson's Virginity Prize (Dominique Bernard-Deschamps, 1932), followed by Coralie et Cie/Coralie and Company (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1933), La pouponnière/The nursery (Jean Boyer, 1933), and Vers l’abîme/Towards the abyss (Hans Steinhoff, Serge Véber, 1934). She also played in the German version of Vers l’abîme, Die Insel (Hans Steinhoff, 1934). In 1934 Rosay also had a small part as bar owner in Feyder’s Le grand jeu/The Great Game (Jacques Feyder, 1934), starring Marie Bell and Pierre Richard-Willm.
Dutch postcard by Tobis filmdistributie N.V. Amsterdam. Photo: Tobis. Publicity still for La Kermesse Heroique (1935). Collection: Egbert Barten.
Dutch postcard by Tobis filmdistributie N.V. Amsterdam. Photo: Tobis. Publicity still for La Kermesse Heroique (1935). Collection: Egbert Barten.
In 1935 Françoise Rosay played her most famous part, that of the clever wife of a Flemish mayor whose city is invaded by the Spanish army. In Feyder’s film La kermesse heroïque/Carnival in Flanders (Jacques Feyder, 1936), all local men cowardly hide, while the women stay. They conquer the foreigners with their wit and charm and eventually make them go away. Right wing nationalists in Holland, Flanders and elsewhere were not very happy with the film. Rosay also played in the German version, Die klugen Frauen/The Smart Women (Jacques Feyder, 1936).
Immediately after this film Rosay played another memorable part, that of the pension keeper Louise Noblet in the contemporary drama Pension Mimosas (Jacques Feyder, 1936). Louise and her man foster a boy whose father is in prison. Once grown up, the godson (Paul Bernard) has become as delinquent as his father was, but Louise still helps him until affairs run out of hand.
Rosay had the title role in Marcel Carné’s film Jenny (Marcel Carné, 1936) with Albert Préjean, typical for the poetic realism in French cinema of the late 1930s. Rosay plays a madam who doesn’t want her daughter to know.
Until the war Rosay prolonged her highly active career with The Robber Symphony (Friedrich Feher, 1937) with Magda Sonja,Un carnet de bal/Christine (Julien Duvivier, 1937), Drôle de drame/Bizarre, Bizarre (Marcel Carné, 1937) with Louis Jouvet, Les gens du voyage/People Who Travel (Jacques Feyder, 1938) and Feyder's German version Fahrendes Volk (Jacques Feyder, 1938).
Next to Fahrendes Volk, Rosay also played in three other German films: Die letzten Vier von Santa Cruz/The Last Four of Santa Cruz (Werner Kingler, 1935) shot at the Canarian Islands, Mein Sohn, der Herr Minister/My Son the Minister (Veit Harlan, 1937) with Hans Brausewetter, and Die Hochzeitsreise/The Wedding Journey (Karl Ritter, 1939).
Dutch postcard by HEMO. Photo: Eagle Lion.
Belgian postcard by Nels for Kwatta. Photo: M.B. Films.
Strikingly Françoise Rosay played her most famous parts in her forties and not in her twenties, contradicting the cliché about the lack of interesting parts for older actresses.
During the German occupation of France, Rosay first worked for the resistance while still acting. Then she had a narrow escape when the Germans invaded the south in 1942. She rejoined her husband in Switzerland, where Rosay taught at the Conservatoire de Genève (Conservatory of Geneva) and worked for an antifascist radio station.
Her French comeback was with the female lead in Feyder’s criminal drama Macadam (Jacques Feyder, Marcel Blistène, 1946) with Simone Signoret. It would be their last professional collaboration, because Feyder died in 1948. Rosay was devastated but kept on working.
Until her death Rosay continued to play leads but also smaller parts in French, Italian, British and American films. These include Saraband for Dead Lovers (Basil Dearden, 1948), Donne senza nome/Women Without Names (Geza von Radvanyi, 1950) starring Simone Simon, the crime comedy L’auberge rouge/The Red Inn (Claude Autant-Lara, 1951) with Fernandel, La reine Margot/A Woman of Evil (Jean Dréville, 1954) featuring Jeanne Moreau, and Interlude (Douglas Sirk, 1957) with June Allyson and Rossano Brazzi.
In 1969 the 'grand old lady of French cinema' was awarded a lifetime award as best actress, the Etoile du Crystal. Her memoirs were published as La traversée d'une vie in 1974. That same year Françoise Rosay died at the age of 82 in Montgeron, France.
Her final film was Der Fußgänger/The Pedestrian (Maximilian Schell, 1974), which was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film of 1974. Rosay and Feyder had three sons: Marc, Paul and actor/producer Bernard, who appeared in films as Bernard Farrel.
Complete version of Gribiche/Mother of Mine (1926). Source: Berbal (YouTube).
French trailer for L’auberge rouge (1951). Source: sansdomicileconnu (YouTube).
French trailer for Le cave se rebiffe (Gilles Grangier, 1961). Source: Retrotrailer (YouTube).
Sources: Caroline Hanotte (CinéArtistes - French), Wikipedia (English, German and French), and IMDb.
German postcard by ISV.
German postcard, no. R 30. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964). Caption: Der Friede ist gerettet. Ribanna weiss, dass ihr und Winnetous Opfer nicht umsonst war. (Peace is saved. Ribanna knows that her and Winnetou's sacrifice was not in vain.)
German postcard, no. ED 65. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Schatz in Silbersee (1962, Harald Reinl) with Götz George.
German postcard, no. R 17. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Pierre Brice. Caption: So werden Ribanna und Winnetou gezwungen, ihre Liebe dem Frieden zu opfern. (Thus Ribanna and Winnetou are forced to sacrifice their love.)
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 31. Photo: Klaus Collignon.
Karin Dor was born as Kätherose Derr in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1938. She grew up in a middle-class family. Although she initially wanted to become a fashion designer, she took actor's training and ballet lessons.
At 15, she tried to break into the film industry, starting as an extra in Der letzte Walzer/The Last Waltz (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1953). Her director, Arthur Maria Rabenalt recommended her to his upcoming colleague Harald Reinl who gave her small speaking parts in his films Rosen-Resli/Rose-Girl Resli (Harald Reinl, 1954) and Der schweigende Engel/The Silent Angel (Harald Reinl, 1954), both starring Christine Kaufmann.
That same year, Dor married her Austrian director, who was 30 years her elder. She pretended to be two years older (several sources still give 1936 as her birth date) in order to marry without problems.
The young actress made her first major appearances as a high-school graduate in Ihre grosse Prüfung/The Big Test (Rudolf Jugert, 1955) with Luise Ullrich, and as a mayor's daughter during the Spanish Civil War in the melodrama Solange du lebst/As Long As You Live (Harald Reinl, 1955) with Adrian Hoven. Hal Erickson writes at AllMovie that “though the leading lady of this film, Marianne Koch, received several awards for her performance, many male viewers were more interested in her sexier costar Karin Dor”.
A curiosity was the comedy Mit Eva fing die Sünde an/Bellboy and the Playgirls (Fritz Umgelter, 1958), which centers on a bellhop who prepares for his dream job of becoming a detective by spying on half-naked chorines through a keyhole. Just before the film was distributed in the US in 1962, the young Francis Ford Coppola was hired to add additional scenes featuring nude women - shot in 3-D - to spice up the story.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 1014. Photo: Zeyn/Union-Film/Spörr.
German postcard, no. E 80. Photo: Constantin. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962) with Karin Dor and Jan Sid.
German postcard, no. E 76. Photo: Constantin. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962) with Götz George and Karin Dor.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag. Photo: Rialto / Constantin / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962).
According to Filmportal.de, Karin Dor specialised in gentle and naïve roles in popular music films and sentimental comedies with a regional background.
But she managed to successfully transfer her image to the crime film genre in Die Bande des Schreckens/Hand of the Gallows (Harald Reinl, 1960), the third film in the Edgar Wallace series. Dor became popular as ‘Miss Krimi’ and was seen in eleven Wallace films.
She also appeared in the Dr. Mabuse and Fu Manchu horror melodrama series: in Die Unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse/The Invisible Dr. Mabuse (Harald Reinl, 1962) and Ich, Dr. Fu Man Chu/The Face of Fu Manchu (Don Sharp, 1962) starring Christopher Lee.
Karin Dor often played the innocent damsel in distress, who opposed the bad guys bravely till the hero saved her. In that role she also became a key asset to the Karl May film series, the second huge West-German genre success.
First she appeared in Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962), the first film with Lex Barkeras Old Shatterhand and Pierre Brice as Winnetou. In Winnetou 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964), she was Ribanna, Winnetou’s greatest love.
She also appeared in the Eurowesterns Der letzte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965), Winnetou - 3. Teil/The Desperado Trail (Harald Reinl, 1965) and Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten/In the Valley of Death (Harald Reinl, 1968). For these roles, she was awarded the Scharlih-Prize in 1994, the best-known award connected to Karl May.
German postcard, no. R 6. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna.
German postcard, no. R 7. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna and Pierre Brice as Winnetou.
German postcard, no. R 19. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna.
German postcard, no. R 22. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Mario Girottiand Karin Dor. Caption: Auch Ribanna und ihr Mann Leutnant Merrill fallen in die Hände der Bande. Sie werden als Gefangene an einen Felsen gebunden. (Ribanna and her husband Lt. Merrill also fall into the hands of the gang. They are bound as prisoners to a rock.)
German postcard, no. R 24. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna and Pierre Brice. as Winnetou.
A turning point in Karin Dor’s career was her great role as the demonic Brunhild in the two-part Burgundian saga Die Nibelungen/Those whom the Gods wish to destroy (Harald Reinl, 1966). Although the film was not well received by the critics, it became the start of Dor's international film career.
As Germany's ‘star without affairs’ Dor got the part of sexy agent Helga Brandtin the fifth James Bond opus, You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967) alongside Sean Connery. It enabled her as ‘The first German Bond girl’ to act against her former, rather virtuous role image. She delivered a convincing performance as a red-haired temptress trying to stop the famous undercover agent using her erotic charm.
In 1968, Karin Dor became sick with cancer and she also divorced Harald Reinl. There was a brief halt in her career.
Suddenly she got the unexpected offer to play a Cuban woman in Alfred Hitchcock's spy thriller Topaz (1969). Dor starred as the beautiful and proud Juanita de Cordoba, the leader of an underground movement. She and her lover collaborate with the West.
Her death scenes in both aforementioned films were spectacular. In the Bond-film Helga Brandt is devoured by piranhas; and in Topaz Juanita is shot by her jealous lover (John Vernon), in the style of an opera's finale.
German postcard, no. 35 of 64. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Lezte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965) with Karin Dor, Marie France and Kurt Grosskurth. Caption: Der Koch hat die kleine Gruppe zum 'Garten der Steinerne Bäume' geführt. Welch ein Freude, als nun auch Captain Hayward unversehrt auftaucht und bald darauf Unkas und Falkenauge mit den Pferden. Nun kann man zu Munroes Farm aufbrechen! (The chef has led the small group to the 'Garden of Stone Trees'. What a joy when Captain Hayward emerges intact and soon after Uncas and Hawk Eye with the horses. Now they can leave for Munroe's Farm !)
German postcard, no. 39 of 64. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Lezte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965) with Daniel Martin, Anthony Steffen and Karin Dor. Caption: Kurz von der Munroe-Farm, im Schutze der Felsen, macht die kleine Gruppe halt. Sie überzeugt sich davon, dass die Farm von Rogers bande und den Irokesen umzingelt ist. Wie sollen sie nun hinein gelangen? Wiederum verfällt man auf eine Liste. Wie früher der Oberst, wenn er nach Hause zurück kehrte, mit einem Roten Tuch winkte, genauso soll sich Unkas der Farm nähern, damit man seine friedlichen Absichten erkennt. Cora bindet Unkas ihr rotes Halstuch um den Arm. (Near the Munroe farm, in the shelter of the rocks, the small group makes halt. They convinced themselves that the farm of Rogers bande and the Iroquois is surrounded. But how can they get inside? Again, one falls on a list. As before the colonel, when he returned home, Unkas will wave a red cloth when he goes nearer to the farm, so that you can see his peaceful intentions. Cora binds her red scarf around Unkas arm.)
German postcard, no. 5. Photo: CCC / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried / Siegfried (Harald Reinl, 1966) with Uwe Beyer as Siegfried and Karin Dor as Brunhild.
German postcard, no. 13. Photo: CCC / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried / Siegfried (Harald Reinl, 1967) with Maria Marlow as Kriemhild and Karin Dor as Brunhild. Caption: "Beim Kirchgang begegnen sich die Königinnen Kriemhild und Brunhild. Von Eifersucht geplagt, wirft Kriemhild der Königin von Burgund vor, dass nicht ihr Bruder Gunther, sondern Siegfried Brunhild besiegt hätte. Als Beweis zeigt sie Brunhild deren Zaubergürtel. Die Königinnen trennen sich in Zorn und Hass." (When going to the church, the queens Kriemhild and Brunhild encounter. From jealousy plagued Kriemhild tells the Queen of Burgundy that not her brother Gunther but Siegfried has defeated Brunhild . As proof, she points Brunhild the magic belt. The queens separate in anger and hatred.).
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Axel Strencioch.
You Only Live Three Times
Till the early 1970s, Karin Dor featured in more international films like the British pulp thriller Die Screaming, Marianne (Pete Walker, 1970) starring Susan George in her debut, Die Antwort kennt nur der Wind/Only the Wind Knows the Answer (Alfred Vohrer, 1974) with Maurice Ronet, and Warhead (John O'Connor, 1974-1976) with David Janssen.
She also guest-starred in TV series like It Takes a Thief (1969), Ironside (1970) and The F.B.I. (1970). When the film offers dried up, she decided to focus on the German stage. There she appeared in classics as Tartuffe, but also in boulevard comedies like Der Neurosenkavalier. In the latter she performed more than 500 times.
Her TV work in the 1990s included the family series Die große Freiheit/The big freedom (1990) where she starred alongside Hans-Joachim Kuhlenkampff as well as the TV film Der Preis der Liebe/The price of love (1998), a Rosamunde Pilcher adaptation.
She made a cinema come back as Katja Riemann’s alcoholic mother in Ich bin die Andere/I Am the Other Woman (Margarethe von Trotta, 2006). In 2008 she was back on the Munich stage in the (non-Bond-related) comedy Man lebt nur dreimal (You Only Live Three Times), which was especially written for her.
Karin Dor has a son from her first husband Harald Reinl, Andreas (1955). In 1972 she married merchant Günther Schmucker, but the pair divorced two years later. Her third husband was American stunt-director George Robotham, to whom she was married from 1988 till his death in 2007.
Recently, she returned to the screen in Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World(Margaretha von Trotta, 2015) with Barbara Sukowa and Katja Riemann. Karin Dor lives in Los Angeles and München.
Trailer for Der Fälscher von London/The Forger of London (1961). Source: RialtoFilm (YouTube).
Trailer for You Only Live Twice (1967). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer for Topaz (1969). Source: Alfred Hitchcock TV (YouTube).
Trailer Die screaming Marianne (1971). Source: The Susan George Channel (YouTube).
Trailer for Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World(2015). Source: Vipmagazin (YouTube).
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-line - German), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia and IMDb.
French postcard by EPC, no. 36. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
Nita Raya was born Raïssa Beloff-Yerkovitch in 1915 in Chişinău, Moldovia – then known as Kishinev and part of the Russian Empire. She came from a Jewish Romanian family. Her father was Vladimir Beloff, who worked as a tailor and a taxi driver, and her mother was Angelina or Anna Jerkovitch.
In 1926 mother and daughter moved to France, where Nita attended dance courses by the celebrated Russian artist Olga Préobrajenska. She made her dance debut in the Parisian cabaret Le bal Tabarin, where she danced the Cancan at the side of Viviane Romance. An accident finished her dance career and she then attended acting courses by René Simon.
She made her first film appearance in the short comedy Olive se marie/Olive Marries (Maurice de Canonge, 1931). Three years later this debut was followed by the feature comedies Le Père Lampion/Father Lampion (Christian-Jaque, 1934) with Félicien Tramel, and L'École des contribuables/The School for Taxpayers (René Guissart, 1934) with Armand Bernard.
On stage she was part of the first production of Marie Galante (1934) a musical written by Jacques Deval and Roger Fernay with music by Kurt Weill. The following year she had a small part in the historical film Lucrèce Borgia/Lucrezia Borgia (Abel Gance, 1935), starring Edwige Feuillère. She also had supporting parts in Sous la griffe/Under the claw (Christian-Jaque, 1935) with Constant Rémy, and Sacré Léonce/Holy Leonce (Christian-Jaque, 1936).
The 19-years old Raya fell in love with the 46-years old Maurice Chevalier, who had just returned to Paris from his Hollywood adventure. Between 1935 and 1945, she was his companion. The following years she got bigger film parts. She had the female lead opposite singer Tino Rossi in Au son des guitars/The Sound of Guitars (Pierre-Jean Ducis, 1936).
She also had bigger parts in the comedies Les Rois du sport/The Kings of Sport (Pierre Colombier, 1937) with Fernandel,Raimu and Jules Berry, and Ignace (Pierre Colombier, 1937), again with Fernandel. In the latter she sang the hit La Mexicana. The following year, she starred opposite Victor Boucher in the romantic comedy Chipée (Roger Goupillières, 1938). She also performed in Music Halls like Petit-Casino, Bobino, l’Européen, and l’ABC.
French postcard, no. 585. Photo: Teddy Piaz.
Lead Dancer at the Follies-Bergère
In 1939, Nita Raya appeared in the drama Entente cordiale/Cordial agreement (Marcel L'Herbier, 1939), starring Gaby Morlay, Victor Francen and Pierre Richard-Willm, and based on a book by André Maurois. The film depicts the 1904 signing of the Entente Cordiale creating an alliance between Britain and France and ending their historic rivalry. It was made with an eye to its propaganda value, as the Second World War had broken out and Britain and France were allies fighting against Nazi Germany.
After Bécassine (Pierre Caron, 1940) with Paulette Dubost, Raya would not be seen in the cinemas for more than 10 years. D.B. DuMonteil atIMDb: "Bécassine was one of the first European comic strips, although its author did not use the speech bubbles; it began to define what is known under the ‘clear line’ term, which spawned the whole Belgian school, of which Tintin is the most famous work. But the people are very divided on the character: a lot of people (particularly Bretons) have always thought that this bubble head servant was a way of laughing at Bretagne, which would have been behind the times. (…) When Becassine was transferred to the screen in 1940, there was an outcry in Bretagne: a real storm in a teacup, considering what was happening in France at the time.”
During the war, the Jewish Raya and her companion Maurice Chevalier were hosted by Desha Delteil. Chevalier helped Raya to get false identity papers so she could escape deportation.
After the war she appeared in operettas by the company of Francis Lopez. She returned briefly in the cinemas in the anthology film La rafle est pour ce soir/The raid is tonight (Maurice Dekobra, 1954) based on stories by Guy de Maupassant. It was her final film.
She worked as the lead dancer in the revue at the famous Follies-Bergère. During the 1960s she often performed with Édith Piafand wrote two songs for her, Je m’imagine and Toujours aimer. Nita Raya died in 2015 in a retirement home in Trégastel in Brittany. She was 99. For a time she was married to Joseph Akcelrod. She was survived by her son Patrick Akcelrod and his family.
French postcard by Erpé, no. 182. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
Sources: D.B. DuMonteil (IMDb), Ariane Trifin (Nita Raya Blog - French), Le Télégramme (French), Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/1. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919) with Victor Sjöström as Young Ingmar Ingmarsson at Heaven's Gate. The caption translates: I would like to meet Old Ingmar to ask for his advice in an awkward matter.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/2. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: Brita from Bergskog (Mountain forest).
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/3. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Victor Sjöström and Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: I proposed to Brita from Bergskog.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/4. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Svea Peters (as Brita's mother), Harriet Bosse and Wilhelm Högstedt (as Sven). Translation caption: An nightly contest down at Bergskog.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/5. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse and Wilhelm Högstedt. Translation caption: When I will be gone, will you give a thought to him who cannot be pleased?
Born out of wedlock
In Ingmarssönerna/Dawn of Love (1919), stage actress Harriet Bosse, the third wife of author August Strindberg, plays the leading role of the young farmer girl Brita.
Brita kills her baby girl, born out of wedlock. The father, young Ingmar Ingmarsson (Victor Sjöström), is the son of a rich and proud farmer's family, and he refuses to recognise his daughter.
This makes Brita an outcast, and she tries to commit suicide, but she is held back from jumping off the cliffs.
While Brita is in prison, Ingmar visits old Ingmar (Tore Svennberg) in heaven and he hears that he should forgive. Young Imgmar recognises his part in Brita's behaviour. When Brita is released, Ingmar asks for her hand. They marry and start a new life.
Ingmarssönerna/Sons of Ingmar (1919) is based on the first chapters of Selma Lagerlöf's novel Jerusalem (1901-1902), about religious emigrants from Sweden to Palestine. Lagerlöf would win the Nobel Prize for Literature for Jerusalem. In 1920, Victor Sjöström would also film Karin Ingmarsdotter, based on other chapters from the same novel.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/6. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: I will thus have to celebrate the baptism before the wedding.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/7. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Victor Sjöström and Hildur Karlberg (as jis mother Marta). Translation caption: Mother: It is because Brita will have her child, but then she will recover and it will be over.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/8. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: I have to do something or I won't find any rest in my soul.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/9. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Gustaf Ranft (as the Judge) and Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: And so before the district court the judge thinks it fair to sentence her to three years of prison.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/10. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: And now the prison chaplain urges her to write to Ingmar.
Victor Sjöström (1879-1960) was one of the most important Swedish actors and directors. He was famous for his poetic and touching narratives.
Among his classic Swedish films are Ingeborg Holm (1913), Terje Vigen/A Man There Was (1916) - by then the most expensive Swedish film made - and Körkarlen/he Phantom Carriage (1920), which is considered one of the best Swedish silent films.
From 1923 on, Sjöström worked in the USA under the name of Victor Seastrom. In Hollywood, he directed such films as He Who Gets Slapped (1924), starring Lon Chaney, and The Wind (1928), starring Lilian Gish.
Sjöström returned to Sweden at the advent of sound cinema, and he continued working in Scandinavia. Memorable is his last acting part as the old professor in Smultronstället/Wild Strawberries (1957) by Ingmar Bergman.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/11. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: Brita the bride.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/12. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: She saw no one, she was just full of devotion and gratitude.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/13. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Victor Sjöström and Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: Now they understood why they were sitting alone on the bench.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/14. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Victor Sjöström and Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: They walked out of the church as soon as the sermon was over.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/15. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Harriet Bosse, Victor Sjöström and Hildur Karlberg. Translation caption: For God's sake, let us travel.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/16. Photo: publicity still for Ingmarssönerna (Victor Sjöström, 1919), with Victor Sjöström and Harriet Bosse. Translation caption: You don't need to be afraid, there is one who helps us.
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.
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.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/357. Photo: Georg Michalke.
Dominique Boschero was born in Paris, France in 1934. She is the sister of actor-producer Martial Boschero. Their parents were Italian and when World War II broke out, the 5-year old Dominique was trusted in the hands of her grandparents in Frassino, a small Italian mountain village with a few hundred of inhabitants. There she grew up.
At 15, she returned to Paris and started to work as a janitor in a hospital and later she worked as a seamstress. With her tall length and her dark beauty, she found work as a model. Soon her beautiful face was on the covers of Paris’s premiere fashion magazines.
At the age of 18, she made her stage debut as a showgirl at the Paris music-hall La Nouvelle Eve (The New Eve). She also played small or uncredited roles in French films, such as Club de Femmes/Club of Women (Ralph Habib, 1956) with Nicole Courcel and Dany Carrel.
A year later, Boschero had a bigger part in Printemps a Paris/Springtime in Paris (Jean-Claude Roy, 1957) with Christine Carère and Philippe Nicaud. She got another bigger role in Delannoy's Le baron de l'ecluse/The Baron of the Locks (Jean Delannoy, 1960) starring Jean Gabin and Micheline Presle.
Following an interview with the Italian magazine Epoca, Dominique Boschero was noticed by an Italian producer, who invited her to come to the capital of the European cinema at the time, Rome.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 892. Offered by les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane', no. 1106. Photo: Studio Vauclair.
Queen of the Bird Men
Dominique Boschero headed off to Italy, beginning her Italian career with the Western comedy Un dollaro di fifa/A Dollar of Funk (Giorgio Simonelli, 1960), a spoof of Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959), which also starred Ugo Tognazzi and Walter Chiari.
She then appeared in a few Peplums (Sword and sandal films). Most notably was her winning performance as 'Queen of the Bird Men' in Ulisse contro Ercole/Ulysses Against Hercules (Mario Caiano, 1962) starring Georges Marchal.
Then she made a major impact as femme fatale in several Eurospy films. She appeared in early German/Italian examples of the genre such as Heißer Hafen Hong Kong/Hong Kong Hot Harbor (Jürgen Roland, 1962) with Marianne Koch, and Das geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke/The Secret of the Chinese Carnation (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1964) starring Paul Dahlke. In the latter she appeared as a voluptuous vamp in a deadly plot of three different groups of plotting agents. They all chase after a microfilm with a secret formula for a new rocket fuel.
Then, she appeared opposite Giancarlo Giannini in his film debut, the interesting thriller Libido (Ernesto Gastaldi, Vittorio Salerno, 1965). Boschero played another leading role in Furia in Marakech/Fury at Marrakesh (Mino Loy, Luciano Martino, 1966).
According to Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul, authors of the study Film Fatales, Boschero's ‘ultimate screen appearance’, was “her screen-stealing turn in the bizarre uninhibited wacky, wild and completely unbelievable secret agent-super hero hybrid” Come Rubare la Corona d’Inghilterra/Argoman the Fantastic Superman (Sergio Grieco, 1967). Boschero at first appears as a seemingly lost and helpless woman who seduces Argoman (Roger Browne) and then turns out to be a mastermind villain. At the climax of the film, she sadistically tortures Argoman and tries to remove his magic powers permanently. At IMDb, reviewer Gulaq-2 writes: “A CAMP classic of maximum proportions, which ruled the world in the late sixties, conquering all the known B-movies markets”.
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.
In the 1970s, Dominique Boschero continued popping up in such Giallos as Chi l'ha vista morire?/Who Saw Her Die (Aldo Lado, 1972) starring former James Bond George Lazenby, and Tutti i colori del buio/All the Colors of the Dark (Sergio Martino, 1972) with George Hilton and Edwige Fenech.
She also appeared in the Spaghetti Western Los buitres cavarán tu fosa/And the Crows Will Dig Your Grave (Juan Bosch, 1972), the Italian-Belgian sex comedy Je suis une call-girl/I am a call-girl (Jack Guy, 1973), and the horror film Il prato macchiato di rosso/The Bloodstained Lawn (Riccardo Ghione, 1973) with Nino Castelnuovo.
IMDb reviewer Babycarrot67 calls this horror film a 'guilty pleasure': “An obvious commentary on the rich and powerful exploiting the more unfortunate members of society, this film does not take itself very seriously, and most of the cast, especially Marina Malfatti as one of the aristocrats, appears to be having a good time. The film's claustrophobic atmosphere gives it just enough feeling of unease to make it a credible horror film, and the film's overall weirdness and eccentricity help it cross over the finish line of viewer satisfaction. This film could be the definition of a motion picture 'guilty pleasure' although one should not feel guilty during the viewing”.
Boschero had a romance with Claudio Camaso (Claudio Volonté), the brother of actor Gianmaria Volonté. Camaso was involved with an alleged bomb in the Vatican. This scandal and her cursed relationship with the actor who eventually committed suicide in jail in 1977, slowed down her career. In 1974 Boschero retired from the cinema and withdrew to Frassino. She later would have a relation with the singer Franco Califano.
In 1986 she returned on television in the soap series Passioni/Passions (Riccardo Donna, 1986). Dominique Boschero lives in Frassino, North-West Italy, where she is involved in the investigation and preservation of the occitan language. From the end of the 1960s she is interested in this subject after meeting François Fontan, founder of the Parti nationaliste occitan, and the poet Antonio Bodrero (Barba Toni Baudrier).
Trailer Libido (1965). Source: neverlando74 (YouTube).
Trailer Come Rubare la Corona d’Inghilterra/Argoman the Fantastic Superman (1967). Source: Jordotech (YouTube).
Italian trailer for the Spaghetti Western Un Treno per Durango/A Train To Durango (1968). Source: Neverlando74 (YouTube).
International trailer for Chi l'ha vista morire?/Who Saw Her Die (1972). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).
Sources: Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul (Film Fatales: women in espionage films and television, 1962-1973), European Film Review, Wikipedia (French and Italian), and IMDb.
Lina Cavalieri. French postcard by S.I.P., no. 1188. Sent by mail in 1905. Photo: Reutlinger, Paris.
Around 1900, Italian soprano Lina Cavalieri(1874-1944) was considered the most beautiful woman on earth. In the 1910s, she pursued a career in the silent cinema in Italy and in the United States.
Maxim Gorky and Feodor Chaliapin. Russian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin (Russian: Фёдор Ива́нович Шаля́пин) (1873–1938) was a Russian opera singer. The possessor of a large, deep and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses and is often credited with establishing the tradition of naturalistic acting in his chosen art form. The only sound film which shows his acting style is Don Quixote (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1933). Chaliapin collaborated with novelist Maxim Gorky, who wrote and edited his memoirs, which he published in 1933.
Enrico Caruso. Italian postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) was an Italian operatic tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Between 1908 and 1919 he appeared in five films.
Carolina White. Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 56. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for Il ponte dei sospiri (Domenico Gaido, 1921).
American opera singer Carolina White (1885-1961) had a short-lived film career. She played opposite the famous opera singer Enrico Caruso in My Cousin (Edward José, 1918). In 1921 she played the love interest of Luciano Albertini in the 4-part episode film Il ponte dei sospiri, directed by Domenico Gaido, and partly shot on location in Venice. After that White didn't act in film anymore. She died in Rome in 1961.
Geraldine Farrar. Dutch postcard by GG Co., no. 2419.
American silent film star Geraldine Farrar (1882-1967) was one of the most famous opera singers of the early twentieth century and one of the great beauties of her day. She had a large following among young women, who were nicknamed 'Gerry-flappers'. From 1915 to 1920, she also starred in more than a dozen films, which were filmed during the then traditional 8 week summer hiatus from the opera house and concert hall. Her films included Cecil B. De Mille's adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen (1915). One of her most notable screen roles was as Joan of Arc in Joan the Woman (Cecil B. DeMille, 1917).
Richard Tauber. Dutch postcard. Photo: Filma Film. Publicity still for Ich glaub nie mehr an eine Frau (Max Reichmann, 1930).
Austrian opera singer Richard Tauber (1891-1948) was one of the world's finest Mozartian tenors of the 20th century. Some critics commented that "his heart felt every word he sang". He also tested the then new talking pictures in such popular musical films as Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (1929) with Marlene Dietrich, Das Land des Lächelns (1930) and Melodie der Liebe (1932).
Willi Domgraf Fassbaender. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 152/1, 1932. Photo: Aafa Film. Publicity still for Theodor Körner (Carl Boese, 1932).
Celebrated German opera singer Willi Domgraf Fassbaender (1897–1978) was one of the leading lyric baritones of the inter-war period. He was particularly associated with Mozart and Italian roles. ‘The Italian baritone’ starred in the 1930’s in a number of musical films, which helped his shining international reputation.
Gitta Alpár. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8756/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Angelo Fotos.
Hungarian-born Gitta Alpár (1903-1991) was a Jewish actress, opera and operetta singer, and dancer, whose career in Germany was broken by the Nazis.
Beniamino Gigli. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9400/1, 1935-1936. Photo: Itala Film.
Actor and opera singer Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957) was one of the most famous Italian tenors, internationally respected for the beauty of his voice and his vocal technique. Between 1935 and 1950, 'Benito Mussolini's favourite singer' also starred in various German and Italian entertainment films.
Nelly Corradi. Italian postcard by ASER, no. 173. Photo: De Antonis.
Beautiful Nelly Corradi (1914–1968) was an Italian opera singer and actress. She made her film debut in Max Ophüls’s La signora di tutti (1934) and had her biggest successes after the war with opera films like Lucia di Lammermoor (1946).
Mario Lanza. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 40. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Great Caruso (Richard Thorpe, 1951).
Mario Lanza (1921–1959) was an American tenor, actor and Hollywood film star of the late 1940s and the 1950s. His masterpiece was The Great Caruso (Richard Thorpe, 1951), the top-grossing film in the world in 1951. Lanza's voice was so dazzling that an awestruck Arturo Toscanini called it the "voice of the century".
Maria Callas. German promotion card by Columbia, no. DrW 2946 d. Photo: Angus McBean.
Greek-American soprano Maria Callas (1923–1977) was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini and further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina. Her most famous film appearance was the title role in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea (1969).
Sources: The Metropolitan Opera, Wikipedia and IMDb.
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.
German collectors card in the series Filmstars der Welt 2. Band by Greiling-Sammelbilder, Serie E, Bild 105. Photo: Rank.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1027. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Film. Publicity still for The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (Harold French, 1952).
Because of his suave looks, Marius Goring was often assumed to be foreign, but he was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1912. He was the son of Dr. Charles Goring and Kate Macdonald. His father was a doctor and criminologist who died in the 1918 flu epidemic, when Marius was six.
At the Perse School in Cambridge, Marius became a friend of an older boy, the future documentary film maker Humphrey Jennings. He first performed professionally in 1927 and then studied under Harcourt Williams and at the Old Vic dramatic school from 1929 to 1932. He also studied at the universities of Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Paris.
His early stage career included appearances at the Old Vic, Sadler's Wells, Stratford and several European tours; he was fluent in French and German. He first worked in the West End in a 1934 revival of Granville-Barker's The Voysey Inheritance at the Shaftesbury Theatre. During the 1930s, he played a variety of Shakespearean roles, including Feste in Twelfth Night (1937), Macbeth and Romeo, in addition to Trip in Sheridan's The School for Scandal.
He made his film debut in Thornton Freeland's The Amateur Gentleman (1935), the screenplay of which was co-written by Clemence Dane. In 1939, he continued his film career with the British sports-drama Flying Fifty-Five (Reginald Denham, 1939) starring Derrick De Marney and based on a novel by Edgar Wallace.
That year, he also played a U-boat captain in The Spy in Black (1939), the first collaboration between the British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They were brought together by Alexander Korda to make the World War I spy thriller by Joseph Storer Clouston into a film. The film, starring Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson, was named as one of the ten best films of 1939 by the National Board of Review.
During World War II, Marius Goring joined the army, becoming supervisor of BBC radio productions broadcasting to Germany and continued to act under the name Charles Richardson, because of the association of his name with Hermann Göring. Just after the outbreak of war, Goring caused a minor sensation when he portrayed Hitler on a radio series History of the Nazi Party. In 1941, he married his second wife, the actress Lucie Mannheim. The couple later worked together in the TV series The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1955).
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 1425. Photo: Charter Film Prods. Publicity still for Pastor Hall (Roy Boulting, 1940).
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D. 137. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
My Little Operation
After the war, Marius Goring played the effete heavenly Conductor 71, the aristocrat who lost his head in the French Revolution ("my little operation") and who complains of the absence of Technicolor ‘up there’ in the romantic fantasy A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946). The film is set in England during the Second World War, and stars David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter and Goring.
Two years later, Goring also starred in The Red Shoes (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1948). The film employs the story within a story device, being about a young ballerina (Moira Shearer) who joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes, itself based on the fairy tale The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen. Goring played the young composer in love with the doomed ballerina.
Later he also worked in Powell and Pressbuger’s Ill Met by Moonlight (1957), starring Dirk Bogarde. Other well-known films with Goring are Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Albert Lewin, 1951) starring Ava Gardner, the Georges Simenon adaptation The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (Harold French, 1952) starring Claude Rains, The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954) with Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner, and The Angry Hills (Robert Aldrich, 1959) with Robert Mitchum.
During the 1960s followed the epic Exodus (Otto Preminger, 1960), The Girl on a Motorcycle (Jack Cardiff, 1968) with Alain Delon and Marianne Faithful, and Erste Liebe/First Love (Maximilian Schell,1970). His final film was the French drama La petite fille en velours bleu/Little Girl in Blue Velvet (Alan Bridges, 1978), starring Michel Piccoli and Claudia Cardinale.
Goring’s TV work included starring as Sir Percy Blakeney in The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1955), a series which he also co-wrote and produced; Theodore Maxtible in the Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks (1967); the title role in The Expert (1968–1976); King George V in Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1980); and The Old Men at the Zoo (1983).
Goring was a founding member of British Equity, the actors' union, and he became its president from 1963 to 1965, and again from 1975 to 1982. Goring's relationship with his union was fraught with conflict: he took it to litigation on three occasions. In 1992 he unsuccessfully sought to end the block on the sale of radio and television programmes to (the still) apartheid South Africa. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1991.
In 1998, Marius Goring died from cancer in Heathfield, Easst Sussex, He was 86. His wife Lucie Mannheim had died in 1976. The next year Goring had married television producer Prudence Fitzgerald, who survived him.
DVD trailer The Spy in Black (1939). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).
Trailer The Red Shoes (1948). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer The Barefoot Contessa (1954). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer Ill Met by Moonlight (1957). Source: Trailer Park - Film & TV (YouTube).
Sources: Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Tom Vallance (The Independent), Wikipedia and IMDb.
German promotion card. Photo: Fotostudio Horst Urbschat & Töchter, Berlin.
German autograph card by Funk Uhr. Caption: Funk Uhr präsentiert Brigitte Mira als "Harfenjule". (Funk Uhr presents Brigitte Mira as "Harfenjule"). Harfenjule was the nickname of the legendary Berlin street musician Luise Nordmann, née Schulz (1829-1911), but is now also a general German term for street singers.
Bad role model
Brigitte Mira was born in 1910 in Hamburg, but she moved early on to Berlin. Her father was the Russian Jewish pianist Siegfried Mira who had emigrated to Germany, and her mother was the German Elisabeth Strässner.
Brigitte began her stage career in Düsseldorf as a dancer under the name of Valencia Stramm. In the late 1920s, she debuted as a singer in the role of Esmeralda in Smetana's The Bartered Bride in Cologne. She also worked as a cabaret artist under the name of Gitta Mira.
During the Nazi era, Mira took part in the propaganda series Liese und Miese, short films that were produced to support the newsreels. She played Miese - the bad role model according to Nazi ideology—who listened to enemy radio stations and stockpiled rationed food. But her acting skills made her 'bad' character more popular than the good character Liese, portrayed by Gisela Schlüter.
After ten episodes the series was cancelled by the Ministry of Propaganda for being counterproductive. The propaganda directors did not know that Mira was half-Jewish, for she had false papers. Even though she insisted on her naiveté as a young woman and the fact she had to conceal her origins, she was criticized later by some for taking part in these ads at all.
After the war, Brigitte Mira made her film debut with a small part in the post-war satire Berliner Ballade/Berlin Ballad (Robert A. Stemmle, 1948) with Gert Fröbe. She played supporting parts in film operettas and lightweight comedies like the musical ...und abends in die Scala/An Evening at the Scala (Erik Ode, 1958) with Caterina Valente, and the musical comedy Der Stern von Santa Clara/The Star of Santa Clara (Werner Jacobs, 1958), starring Vico Torriani and Gerlinde Locker.
During the 1960s, Mira often played on television in shows and in TV-films like the comedy Der Vetter aus Dingsda/The Cousin from Dingsda (Imo Moszkowicz, 1960) with Birgit Bergen, the musical Frau Luna/Lady Moon (Thomas Engel, 1964) featuring Margit Schramm, and a Dutch-German version of Der Vetter aus Dingsda/The Cousin from Dingsda (Willy van Hemert, 1970), now with Mieke Bos. She also incidentally played in films, like the crime drama Das Stundenhotel von St. Pauli/Hotel by the Hour (Rolf Olsen, 1970) with Curd Jürgens.
German postcard by Graphima, Berlin. Photo: Claus.
German promotion card by Ford Lorenz. Photo: Fotostudio Horst Urbschat & Töchter, Berlin.
German promotion card by TRIGON Unternehmensgruppe. Photo: Fotostudio Horst Urbschat & Töchter, Berlin.
Fassbinder and the New German Wave
Brigitte Mira’s breakthrough followed in the 1970s when the West-German cinema was rejuvenated with the Neue Deutsche Welle – the New German Wave. She had a supporting part in the horror film Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe/The Tenderness of Wolves (Ulli Lommel, 1973) based on the crimes of German serial killer and cannibal Fritz Haarmann. It was written by Kurt Raab, who also stars in the film, and produced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
She also played a small part as the mother of Hanna Schygulla’s character in the TV mini-series Acht Stunden sind kein Tag/Eight hours are not a day (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973).
Then Fassbinder made Brigitte Mira a star when he gave her the leading role of Emmi Kurowski in Angst essen Seele auf/Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974). The film revolves around an unlikely relationship which develops between an elderly woman (Mira) and a Moroccan migrant worker (El Hedi ben Salem) in post-war Germany. The film won two awards at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival and is considered to be one of Fassbinder's most powerful works. Brigitte Mira received the German Film Award for her performance.
She also worked with Werner Herzog on his film Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle/The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Werner Herzog, 1974) starring Bruno Schleinstein as the foundling Kaspar Hauser. At the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury.
Mira starred in several more films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including Mutter Küsters' Fahrt zum Himmel/Mother Küsters' Trip to Heaven (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975), Faustrecht der Freiheit/Fox and His Friends (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975), starring Fassbinder himself, the TV film Angst vor der Angst/Fear of Fear (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975), Satansbraten/Satan's Brew (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976) with Kurt Raab, Chinesisches Roulette/Chinese Roulette (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976) starring Margit Carstensen, and Fassbinder's magnum opus the TV series Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980).
She also appeared in his box office hit Lili Marleen (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) featuring Hanna Schygulla. Another director with whom she worked several times was Wolf Gremm, e.g. on Kamikaze 1989 (1982).
In the 1980s Mira achieved another big success with the television series Drei Damen vom Grill/Three Ladies from the Snackbar (1976-1991). The series was about the Färber family (Margarete, Magda and Margot Färber) running a snackbar in West Berlin. Since the show not only depicts their work but was also received as a picture from the divided city of Berlin, Drei Damen vom Grill was discontinued shortly after the German Reunification.
She also worked as a voice acted and dubbed the Widow Tweed in Disney's The Fox and the Hound (1981). In 1991, Brigitte Mira appeared in the Berlin stage production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies.
During the late 1990s, Mira performed with Evelyn Künneke and Helen Vita in the self-deprecating song show Drei Alte Schachteln (Three old hags). Towards the end of her career Mira was regarded as a national treasure and in 1995 she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the highest German decoration.
Brigitte Mira died in 2005 in Berlin. She was 94. She was married to Frank Guerente, Horst Fabian, Paul Cornelius, Reinhold Tabatt and actor Peter Schütte. In 2006 her final screen appearance in the TV film Aszendent Liebe/Ascendant love (Helmut Metzger, 2006) was posthumously shown.
Trailer Angst essen Seele auf/Fear Eats the Soul (1974). Source: retrotrailer (YouTube).
Brigitte Mira singing Leonard Cohen's Bird in a Wire in Wie ein Vogel auf dem Draht/Like a Bird on a Wire (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975). Source: Bruno Colli (YouTube).
Sources: Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 548. Photo: Nordisk Tonefilm / Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 1081. Photo: Constantin-Film-Verleih. Publicity still for All jordens fröjd/All the World's Delights (Rolf Husberg, 1953).
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, no. 1999. Photo: CCC / Constantin-Film / Grimm. Publicity still for Die Letzten werden die Ersten sein/The Last Ones Shall Be First (Rolf Hansen, 1957).
German postcard by Kolbri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. F 10. Retail price: 25 Pf. Photo: Constantin/Leonard. Publicity still for Die Letzten werden die Ersten sein/The Last Ones Shall Be First (Rolf Hansen, 1957).
German postcard by Universum-film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Templehof, no. CK-247. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Klaus Collignon.
Ulla Jacobsson was born in 1929 in Mölndal, a part of the Göteborg (Gothenburg) urban area on the west-coast of Sweden. After her stage debut in Göteborg’s Stadsteater in 1947, she appeared in plays by Kaj Munk, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Anouilh, and William Shakespeare.
She made her first film appearance in Bärande hav/The seas we travel (Arne Mattsson, 1951) with Alf Kjellin. Her second film with the same director, Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951), was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1951.
Based on the novel by Per Olof Ekstrom, the story revolves around the romance between 19-year old student Goran (Folke Sundquist) and the 17-year old farmer's daughter Kerstin (Ulla Jacobsson). A scene where Goran and Kerstin swim and embrace in the nude caused a sensation and made Jacobsson world-famous. In Cannes the film won a prize for the music and at the Berlin Film Festival the film was awarded with the Golden Bear.
Next Jacobsson appeared in such Swedish productions as All jordens fröjd/All the World's Delights (Rolf Husberg, 1953), the August Strindberg adaptation Karin Månsdotter (Alf Sjöberg, 1954), and Herr Arnes penningar/Sir Arne's Treasure (Gustaf Molander, 1954).
In Germany she also appeared in films, including Die Heilige Lüge/Pious Lies (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954) with Karlheinz Böhm, and Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld/The Priest from Kirchfeld (Hans Deppe, 1955) with Claus Holm.
Another international hit was the comedy of manners Sommarnattens leende/Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955). Bergman's comic masterpiece opens with middle-aged lawyer Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjornstrand) again failing to consummate his marriage with the much younger Anne (Ulla Jacobsson). At IMDb, reviewer Clavallie writes: “Charming, light-hearted, delicate, and romantic are not the terms most people think to use when describing Bergman films, and yet Smiles of a Summer Night is all of these. This is one of the most sophisticated romantic movies ever filmed, and a pure delight. It is a clever and witty romance based on the classic elements of French farce. Simply wonderful.”
The film’s success started Jacobsson’s international career. In France she starred in Crime et châtiment/Crime and punishment (Georges Lampin, 1956), an updated version of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's story about the Nietzchean student Raskolnikov (Bernard Blier). In Germany she appeared with O.E. Hasse and Maximilian Schell in Die Letzten werden die Ersten sein/The Last Ones Shall Be First (Rolf Hansen, 1957). That year she moved to Vienna, where she was offered an engagement at the Theater in der Josefstadt.
German postcard, no. 1048.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1150. Photo: Berolina-Constantin-Wesel. Publicity photo for Und ewig bleibt die Liebe/Eternal Love (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954).
German collector's card. Photo: Berolina-Constantin-Wesel.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 1447. Photo: Berolina / Constantin-Film / Wesel. Publicity still for Die heilige Lüge/Saintly Lie (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954) with Karlheinz Böhm.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmverlag, Berlin, no. 2.338, 1965. Photo: publicity still for Sången om den eldröda blomman/Song of the Scarlet Flower (Gustaf Molander, 1956) with Ulla Jacobsson and Jarl Kulle.
Swedish Sex Symbol
In the early 1960s, Ulla Jacobsson started appearing in English language films. She made one American film, the light romantic comedy Love Is a Ball (David Swift, 1963) starring Charles Boyer. At AllMovie, Hal Erickson writes: “the graceful and talented Jacobsson had to withstand an idiotic ad campaign which tried to redefine her as a Swedish ‘sex symbol’."
Normally she tended to play serious and anxious looking characters. In Great Britain she became better known for her part of the daughter of a missionary (played by Jack Hawkins) in Zulu (Cy Endfield, 1964). Filmed on a grand scale, Zulu is a rousing recreation of the 1879 siege of Rorke's Drift in Natal, Africa. An army of 4,000 Zulu warriors had already decimated a huge British garrison; and now threatened the much smaller Rorke's Drift with less than 100 British soldiers.
After this film, Jacobsson started hopscotching between Europe and England for the balance of her career. Other notable films include the war film The Heroes of Telemark (Anthony Mann, 1965) with Kirk Douglas, and La Servante/The Servant (Jacques-Paul Bertrand, 1970) with France Anglade. She won the Deutschen Filmpreis (German Film Award) for Supporting Actress for her part in Alle Jahre wieder/Next Year, Same Time (Ulrich Schamoni, 1967) with Sabine Sinjen.
She reunited with her first director, Arne Matsson for Bamse/My Father's Mistress (Arne Mattsson, 1970). Her last films were Wolfgang Petersen’s thriller Einer Von Uns Beiden/One or the Other (Wolfgang Petersen, 1975) with Elke Sommer, and Fassbinder’s Faustrecht der Freiheit/Fox and His Friends (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975). The latter was the interesting and heartbreaking story of Fox, a gay sideshow worker (played by Fassbinder himself) who wins the lottery, only to be exploited to the hilt by his upper-class lover (Peter Chatel). Jacobsson played Chatel’s mother.
Later she only made a few more TV-films, including the miniseries Das Ding/The Thing (Uli Edel, 1978). The reason for her retirement was that she had fallen ill. In 1982 she died from bone cancer in a hospital in her hometown Vienna. She was 53.
Ulla Jacobsson was married three times. Her first marriage was to the Viennese engineer Josef Kornfeld, with whom she had a daughter, Ditte. Then she was married to Dutch painter Frank Lodeizen, with whom she had a son, Martin. Lodeizen’s daughter Rifka Lodeizen from a later marriage is now a well known film actress in the Netherlands. Jacobsson finally married Austrian ethnologist Hans Winfried Rohsmann.
American trailer for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (1951). Source: Samuka Sam (YouTube).
Scene with Margit Carlqvist and Ulla Jacobsson in Sommarnattens leende/Smiles of a Summer Night (1955). Source: Prfit (YouTube).
Trailer for Zulu (1964). Source: 05HK09 (YouTube).
Trailer for The Heroes Of Telemark (1965). Source: Sala de Exibição (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Rudi Polt (IMDb), Wikipedia (English, French and Swedish) and IMDb.
Italian postcard, no. 13.
Italian postcard by A. Terzoli, Roma, no. 420. Photo: Ghergo.
Italian postcard by Alterocca, Terni, no. 6619. Photo: Ferri / Generalcine. Publicity still for Il fiore sotto gli occhi/The flower under the eyes (Guido Brignone, 1944).
The Ten Commandments
Mariella Lotti was born Anna Maria Pianotti in 1921 in Busto Arsizio, Lombardy, Italy. Her sister Carola Lotti was also an actress.
In 1939, Mariella made her film debut with a small part in the comedy I figli del marchese Lucera/The sons of the Marquis Lucera (Amleto Palermi, 1939) with Armando Falconi. The following year, she played an important part in the adventure film La figlia del corsaro verde/The Daughter of the Green Pirate (Enrico Guazzoni, 1940), starring Doris Duranti, Fosco Giachetti and Camillo Pilotto.
She also played a supporting part in Il signore della tavern/The tavern ladies (Amleto Palermi, 1940). That year she also appeared in the dramas Kean (Guido Brignone, 1940) with Rossano Brazzi, and Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Mario Bonnard, 1940) with Paola Barbara.
Two years later Lotti appeared in the drama Fari nella nebbia/Headlights in the Fog (Gianni Franciolini, 1942) starring Fosco Giachetti,Luisa Ferida and Antonio Centa. The film follows the lives of a group of truck drivers. It is considered to be part of the development of Neorealism, which emerged around this time.
Lotti then played the title role in the historical adventure film La Gorgona/The Gorgon (Guido Brignone, 1942) about the young daughter of a heroically killed nobleman in 11th Century Pisa who - as the figurehead virgin - will maintain a lantern to celebrate the men's victorious return after driving out the Saracens who are infesting the Mediterranean.
Other films of the fascist era include Quelli della montagna/Those of the Mountain (Aldo Vergano, 1943) with Amedeo Nazzari, the Opera film Silenzio, si gira!/Silence, film recording! (Carlo Campogalliani, 1943) starring Beniamino Gigli, and the war drama Squadriglia bianca (Ion Sava, 1944) with Claudio Gora.
Lotti was one of the many actors employed on the anthology film I dieci comandamenti/The Ten Commandments (Giorgio Walter Chili, 1946), made following the overthrow of Benito Mussolini. The film was shot in Rome in 1944-1945 during the Republic of Salò (when the country occupied by the Germans). At that time, all cinematic activity was transferred to Venice but many actors and technicians refused to go. This film was specifically produced to provide work for all those who decided to stay in Rome. All personnel for the film was able to obtain a work permit from the Vatican as the film, which was based on the classic Bible story, was produced by PROFIR, a Catholic production house closely linked with the catholic church. The film is now considered lost.
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit, no. 43290. Photo: I.C.I. / Vaselli. Publicity still for Fari nella nebbia/Headlights in the fog (Gianni Franciolini, 1942).
Italian postcard by A. Scarmiglia Ed., Roma (ASER), no. 122. Photo: Fauno Film / Vaselli. Publicity still for Fari nella nebbia/Headlights in the fog (Gianni Franciolini, 1941).
Italian postcard by ENIC.
In 1946, Mariella Lotti played a nun in the Neorealist war film Un giorno nella vita/A Day in Life (Alessandro Blasetti, 1946), about a group of partisans seeking refuge in a cloistered convent. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.
She also played the female lead opposite Otello Toso and Amedeo Nazzari in the drama Malacarne/For the Love of Mariastella (1946), written and directed by Pino Mercanti. Based on a story of the Sicilian writer Giuseppe Zucca, it was mainly shot in the tonnara (tuna fisher village) of Castellammare del Golfo, with some scenes shot in the tonnaras of Scopello and of San Vito Lo Capo. It is considered as a progenitor of Pink Neorealism, the lighter genre which followed Neorealism when Italy’s conditions approved.
Lotti then co-starred with Fosco Giachetti and Andrea Checchi in the drama I fratelli Karamazoff/The Brothers Karamazov (Giacomo Gentilomo, 1947), based on the novel with the same title by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It won two Nastro d'Argento Awards, for best screenplay and for best score. She also starred in the historical drama Guarany (Riccardo Freda, 1948) with Antonio Vilar and Gianna Maria Canale, the Italian/American Swashbuckler I pirati di Capri/The Pirates of Capri (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1949) starring Louis Hayward, and opposite Jean Gabin in the drama È più facile che un cammello.../His Last Twelve Hours (Luigi Zampa, 1951).
In the following years her parts became smaller. She played a supporting part in the drama Processo alla città/The City Stands Trial (Luigi Zampa, 1952) with Amedeo Nazzari. The film is based on a revisiting of the Cuocolo murders and the struggle for control of Naples by the Camorra in the early 1900s. It is considered to be director Luigi Zampa's most accomplished film and was entered into the 3rd Berlin International Film Festival.
Her final film was the Spanish-Italian drama Carmen proibita/Siempre Carmen (Giuseppe Maria Scotese, 1953) featuring Ana Esmeralda. She also acted in the theatre and worked on two stage productions with Luchino Visconti. Mariella Lotti was married to the industrialist Alfredo Zanardo. Earlier she had a well publicised affair with Michel, Prince of Romania. There is little known about her later life, According to most sources, Mariella Lotti passed away in 2006 in Bologna, Italy, at the age of 84. In 2015, Pietro Trellini at The Blog did some research and discovered that Lotti moved to Brazil in the early 1950s and he suggests she is still alive.
Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini Editori, Firenze, no. 4468. Photo: Bragalia / Lux Film.
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano / Ediz. Garami, no. 143.
Sources: Piero Trellini (The Blog – Italian), Wikipedia (Italian and English) and IMDb.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/1. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff. Caption: At Halla's farm.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/2. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström. Caption: Berg-Ejvind steals a sheep from the priest.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/3. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström. Caption: Berg-Ejvind in prison.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/3. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff. Caption: After the confession of the crime.
Freezing together to death
Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife takes place in Iceland in mid-18th century. The outlaw Arnes (John Ekman) helps a stranger called Kari (Victor Sjöström) to start to work at the farm of widow Halla (Edith Erastoff).
Halla's brother-in-law Björn (Nils Aréhn) wants to marry her for economic purposes, but she refuses him. Instead Halla and the stranger fall in love. When he is revealed as Berg-Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation (he stole a sheep from a priest who refused to help him), Halla abandons all and they flee. Berg-Eyvind and Halla become two of the many outlaws of Iceland's mountains.
For five years they lead a happy life and have a daughter Tota, but then Ejvind's old friend Arnes shows up, who first is hosted by the family but then starts to desire Halla. A fight between the men follows and Arnes leaves, meeting Björn and his men who have discovered the tracks of Halla and Berg-Ejvind.
During a fierce fight Halla is so afraid her child will be taken away that she throws it off a cliff. The couple manages to flee and retreat into the highest mountains. Over the years the situation becomes precarious. Halla is so overcome with guilt and longing for death she walks into a snowstorm. Eyvind finds the hut empty, goes out and finds her more death than alive and decides to freeze to death together with her.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/5. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Edith Erastoff, John Ekman and Victor Sjöström. Caption: Out into to the hills as outlaws.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/6. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström. Caption: The Outlaw.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/7. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Edith Erastoff, Nils Aréhn and Victor Sjöström. Caption: The battle between the parish bailiff and the outlaw.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/8. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff. Caption: Outside society.
The most beautiful film Louis Deluc saw until then
Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife is based on Fjalla-Eyvind (1911), a play by the Icelandic playwright Jóhann Sigurjónsson. The film is one of the classics of Swedish silent cinema.
Although Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife is set in Iceland, it was actually filmed in the North of Sweden, at Åre and Abisko. It showed not only a realist vision of the hardship of nature but also of the intolerance of humans.
Shot in 1917, Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife was released in 1918 in Sweden. Abroad it was released later. e.g. in Germany in 1922. When the film premiered, both Victor Sjöström's direction and the the cinematography by Julius Jaenzon was praised.
French critic Louis Deluc called it the most beautiful film he saw until then, praising the director, the two leading actors and the landscape as the 'third protagonist'. Later critics like Georges Sadoul and Peter Cowie would confirm this. Cowie compared Berg-Eyvind to the knight in Ingmar Bergman's Det sjunde inseglet/The Seventh Seal (1957), both refusing to succumb to their fate until the very end. In a scene in which he is dangling on a rope above a cliff and saved just in time (a scene in which Sjöström truly risked his life), Berg-Eyvind shows he is a survivor, Cowie writes.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/9. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff. Caption: In the hut during the snowstorm.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/10. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff. Caption: When hunger comes.
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/11. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) with Victor Sjöström. Caption: Out to seek the lost.
Sources: Wikipedia (English, Swedish, German and French) and IMDb.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
French postcard, 1982, sent by mail in 1985. Photo: Angelo Frontoni.
French postcard by Humour a a la Carte, Paris, no. ST-150.
French postcard in the series Collection Cinéma Couleur by Editions La Malibran, Paris / Nancy, no. MC 34. Photo: Georges Pierre. Publicity still for Un amour de Swann/Swann in Love (Volker Schlöndorff, 1983).
The Best Filled Thing From Italy Since Ravioli
Ornella Muti was born in Rome in 1955 as Francesca Romana Rivelli, to a Neapolitan father, a journalist, and an Estonian mother, a sculptor. She has an older sister, Claudia Rivera, who was a soap actress in the 1970s.
As a teenager, the beauty with the cat-like blue eyes modelled and posed for illustrated novels. At 15, she made her film debut in the romantic melodrama La moglie più bella/The Most Beautiful Wife (Damiano Damiani, 1970).
In the following years she starred in such Giallos (Italian erotic thrillers) as Un posto ideale per uccidere/Oasis of Fear (Umberto Lenzi, 1971) with Irene Papas, and erotic dramas as Appasionata/Passionate (Gian Luigi Calderone, 1974) with Valentina Cortese. In Romanzo popolare/Come Home and Meet My Wife (Mario Monicelli, 1974) she married her 33-year older godfather (Ugo Tognazi).
Her international breakthrough was as the girlfriend of Gérard Depardieu in Marco Ferreri’s shocking psychological drama La dernière femme/The Last Woman (Marco Ferreri, 1976) about a man who mutilates himself drastically when the custody of his nine-month old son is threatened.
The role lead to more interesting films with well known directors including La Stanza Del Vescovo/The Bishop's Bedroom (Dino Risi, 1977) opposite Ugo Tognazi, Ritratto di Borghesia in Nero/Nest of Vipers (Tonino Cervi, 1977) with Senta Berger, and in France, Muti starred with Alain Delon in the crime thriller Mort d'un Pourri/Death of a Corrupt Man (George Lautner, 1977).
I Nuovi Mostri/Viva Italia (Mario Monicelli, Dino Risi, Ettore Scola, 1979) with Vittorio Gassman, was a black comedy, comprised of nine short stories all related to the theme that most men are selfish cads. The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign film. In America the film was promoted by a poster with Muti in swimsuit and a critic’s quote: “Ornella Muti is the best filled thing from Italy since ravioli”.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Romanian postcard by Acin. Source: Veronique@Flickr.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. c-da 43 139.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Gorgeous But Deadly
Ornella Muti made her British film debut as Princess Aura in Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges, 1980), based on the classic space opera adventure comic strip by Alex Raymond. In the 1930s, this comic strip had been the basis for a more straight-faced adventure serial. In the new Dino De Laurentiis production Flash's story was mined for exaggerated, cartoon humor by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who had been a central figure in the similarly campy 1960s Batman TV series. The sets are spectacular and the rock score by Queen is appropriately over-the-top.
Ornella Muti shines as the luscious princess of the planet Mongo who tries to lure the blonde hero (Sam J. Jones). IMDb reviewer colleran-2: “Ornella Muti is simply unbelievable as Ming's gorgeous but deadly daughter. Replying to Flash's query as to whether he can use the telepathy machine to contact Dale with a perfectly candid, ‘If I showed you how. But I'm not going to’.”
Back in Italy, she appeared with Adriano Celentano in the comedy Il bisbetico domato/The Taming of the Scoundrel (Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia, 1980), and with Giancarlo Giannini in the Russian-Italian drama La vita è bella/Life is Beautiful (Grigori Chukhrai, 1981).
Then followed one of Muti’s greatest successes, Storie di ordinaria follia/Tales of Ordinary Madness (Marco Ferreri, 1981), an adaptation of Charles Bukowski's roman à clef Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness. Nathan Southern at AllMovie: “Ben Gazzara delivers a gutsy, four-barreled performance as skid-row poet and storyteller Charles Bukowski (rechristened Charles Serking onscreen) (...); he eventually falls for a prostitute (Muti) who can express her affection only via self-mutilation. Ferreri lets Bukowski's ribald humor flow throughout and exposes the dark erotic currents at the heart of the author's narratives.”
The film's success lead to the belated release of the Hollywood production Love and Money (James Toback, 1982) with Muti prominent on the poster. The film had already been completed in 1980, but was shelved. She co-starred in Un amour de Swann/Swann in Love (Volker Schlöndorf, 1984), an ambitious attempt to film a portion of Marcel Proust's epic novel Remembrance of Things Past with Jeremy Irons as Charles Swann.
Television fans could see her in the TV movie Casanova (Simon Langton, 1987) featuring Richard Chamberlain. That year she also starred in the Gabriel García Márquez adaptation Cronaca di una morte annunciate/Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Francesco Rosi, 1987) opposite Rupert Everett.
Big East-European postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 8/82.
Italian postcard by Associazione Italiana Editori. Photo: Coll. Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino.
French postcard by Travelling Editions, Paris, no. CP 190.
French collectors card in the series 'Portrait de Stars; L'encyclopédie du Cinéma' by Edito Service, 1991. Photo: SIPA. Caption: Ornella Muti, 1980, Italie.
Her Own Line of Jewellery
One of Ornella Muti’s most beautiful films is Wait Until Spring Bandini (Dominique Deruddere, 1990), based on a novel by John Fante and produced by Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope production. This smallscale film follows the trials of the Bandini family as they try to struggle through hard times in 1920s Colorado. Muti plays the anxious mother, wife of Joe Mantegna.
Her other English language films include the Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar (John Landis, 1991) and another comedy flop Once Upon a Crime (Eugene Levy, 1992) with John Candy. In Italy, she appeared in the historical comedy Il viaggio di Capitan Fracassa/Captain Fracassa's Journey (Ettore Scola, 1990) with Vincent Perez, and loads of forgettable films.
In France she fared better and appeared in the thriller L'Inconnu de Strasbourg/The Unknown of Strasbourg (Valeria Sarmiento, 1998), director Lucas Belvaux's trilogy: Cavale/Trilogy: One (2002) - Un couple épatant/Trilogy: Two (2002) - Après la vie/Trilogy: Three (2002), and the comedy Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie/Les Bronzes 3: Friends Forever (Patrice Leconte, 2006), but Ornella Muti is probably best known for a TV commercial of Giovanni Panzani pasta.
Ornella Muti has been married twice, to Alessio Orano, her fellow actor in La moglie più bella/The Most Beautiful Wife (1975–1981), and Federico Facchinetti (1988–1996). Muti has three children. She has a daughter by Spanish film producer José Luis Bermúdez de Castro, Naike Rivelli (1974). Naike is also a model and actress and has a close resemblance to her mother. Muti has also a son, actor Andrea Facchinetti, and a second daughter, Carolina Facchinetti, both from her second marriage. In 1996 her first grandchild Akash was born, a son of Naike. A second grandson named Alessandro followed from Carolina. From 1998 till 2008, Muti lived with Stefano Piccolo, a plastic surgeon. Since 2008, her partner has been Fabrice Kerhervé.
In 2008, Ornella Muti introduced her own line of jewellery. She opened new shops in Paris, Milan, Rome, Riga, Moscow and Almaty. She is also still active in the cinema. She appeared in Peter Greenaway’s The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 3: From Sark to the Finish (2003) with Roger Rees, The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2: Vaux to the Sea (2004), and Peopling the Palaces at Venaria Reale (2007). She co-starred with Western icon Terence Hill and Paul Sorvinoin the Spaghetti Western Doc West/Triggerman (Terence Hill, Giulio Base, 2008) and was part of the ensemble cast of Woody Allen's mediocre romantic comedy To Rome with Love (Woody Allen, 2012).
In 2015, an Italian court sentenced Muti to eight months in prison or pay a fine of 30,000 euros for faking a medical certificate and skipping a play in which she was performing in 2010, to have dinner with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and several celebrities at a charity event held in St Petersburg, Russia.
Trailer for La moglie più bella/The Most Beautiful Wife (1970). Source: Danios12345 (YouTube).
Trailer for Flash Gordon (1980). Source: PickOfTheFlicks Tony (YouTube).
Compilation of scenes from Storie di ordinaria follia/Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981). Source: Gianfranco Firriolo (YouTube).
Trailer for Wait Until Spring Bandini (1990). Source: Ximon NL (YouTube).
Sources: AllMovie, MyMovies.It (Italian), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Jean Marais and Alida Valli. German postcard by Wilhelm Schulze-Witteburg Graphischer Betrieb (WS-Druck), Wanne Eickel. Photo: Deutsche Commerz Film GmbH. Publicity still for Les Miracles n'ont lieu qu'une fois/Miracles Only Happen Once (Yves Allégret, 1951).
Alida Valli and Jean-Pierre Aumont. Vintage Postcard, no. 952. Publicity still for Ultimo incontro/Last Meeting (Gianni Franciolini, 1951).
Jean Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez. Dutch postcard, no. 3117. Photo: Universal International.
Maria Montez and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Spanish postcard by Sobe, no. 452. Photo: publicity still for The Exile (Max Ophüls, 1947).
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Danielle Darrieux. Dutch postcard by Sparo. Photo: Universal. Publicity still for The Rage of Paris (Henry Koster, 1938).
Danielle Darrieux and (right) Vittorio De Sica. Spanish promotion card by Cosmofilm. Photo: publicity still for Madame de... (Max Ophüls, 1953).
Vittorio De Sica and Caterina Valente. German postcard by Netter's Star Verlag, Berlin. Photo: publicity still for Casino de Paris (André Hunebelle, 1957).
Caterina Valente and Dietmar Schönherr. German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. F 32. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Bonjour Kathrin (Karl Anton, 1956).
Dietmar Schönherr and Ingrid Andree. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin., no. 1847, 1963. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: publicity still for Treibjagd auf ein Leben/Drive on a life (Ralph Lothar, 1961).
Ingrid Andree and Franco Andrei. East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 222, 1957. Photo: Standard-film, Wien. Publicity still for Drei vom Variété/Three from Variety (Kurt Neumann, 1954).
Franco Andrei and Maria Schell. German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. I 103. Photo: Sohler / Magna / London-Film. Publicity still for Tagebuch einer Verliebten/The Diary of a Married Woman (Josef von Báky, 1953).
Maria Schelland Jean Marais. Photocard. Publicity still for Le notti bianche/White Nights (Luchino Visconti, 1957).
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.
French postcard by Raphael Tuck & Fils, Editeurs, Paris, Serie 203. Sent by mail in 1903. Caption: Sarah Bernhardt in Phèdre. Bernhardt played the title role in Jean Racine's Phèdre for the first time in 1874. She retook the part in 1899 when Bernhardt took over the former Théâtre des Nations on the Place du Châtelet. The Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt opened on 21 January with Victorien Sardou's La Tosca in which Bernhardt played the title role, one of her most admired parts. This was followed by a revival of Phèdre on 24 February.
French postcard. Photo: Downey. Publicity still for the play Le Passant, by François Coppée. In 1869, after her command performance for Napoleon III as as the Florentine minstrel Zanetto (in travesty) in Coppée’s Le Passant, Sarah Bernhardt was on the verge of stardom.
French postcard. Photo: Boyer. Sarah Bernhardt debuted in Alexandre Dumas fils's play La Dame aux Camélias in 1880. It became one of her most beloved and most performed plays. In 1911 Bernhardt would act in a silent film version as well, directed by André Calmettes and Henri Pouctal. This postcard is from the early 20th century. The card depicts the dead Marguerite Gauthier, deplored by her lover Armand Duval.
French postcard. Photo: Downey. Publicity still for the stage production of Maurice Maeterlinck's play Pelléas et Melisande/Pelléas and Melisande in 1904.
French postcard. Photo: H. Manuel. Sarah Bernhardt as Soeur Therese in the play La Vierge d'Avila composed by Reynaldo Hahn and written by Catulle Mendes. 1906 performance at Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt.
The life of a courtesan
Sarah Bernhardt was born in 1844 in Paris as Henriette-Rosine Bernard. Her mother was the Dutch-born Julie Bernardt and her father was unknown. Julie was a courtesan, known by the name Youle. Julie had five daughters, including a twin who died in infancy in 1843. Henriette-Rosine changed her first name and added an 'h' to her surname. Her birth records were lost in a fire in 1871. To prove French citizenship - necessary for Légion d'honneur eligibility - she created false birth records, in which she was the daughter of 'Judith van Hard' and 'Édouard Bernardt' from Le Havre, in later stories either a law student, accountant, naval cadet or naval officer.
When Sarah was young her mother sent her to Grandchamp, an Augustine convent school near Versailles. In 1860 she began attending the Conservatoire de musique et de déclamation in Paris and eventually became a student at the Comédie Française where she would have her acting debut in 1862 in the title role of Jean Racine's Iphigénie to lacklustre reviews. Her time there was short-lived; she was asked to resign after slapping another actress across the face for shoving her younger sister during a birthday celebration for Molière.
Bernhardt decided to leave France, and soon ended up in Belgium, where she became the mistress of Henri, Prince de Ligne, and gave birth to their son, Maurice, in 1864. After Maurice's birth, the Prince proposed marriage, but his family forbade it and persuaded Bernhardt to refuse and end their relationship. She resumed the life of a courtesan to which her mother had introduced her at a young age, and made considerable amounts of money during that period (1862–1865).
Bernhardt then reverted to the theatre, securing a contract at the Théâtre de L’Odéon where she began performing in 1866. Her most famous performance there was her travesty performance as the Florentine minstrel in François Coppée's Le Passant (1869). With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War performances were stopped and Bernhardt converted the theatre into a makeshift hospital where she took care of the soldiers wounded on the battlefield. In 1872, she left the Odéon and returned to the Comédie-Française. One of her remarkable successes there was in the title role of Voltaire's Zaïre (1874).
French postcard by Neurdein Frères, Photo-Edit., no. 25. Photo: Nadar. Bernhardt as Empress Theodora in Victorien Sardou’s Theodora (1884).
French postcard by Eclair, no. 25. Photo: Nadar. Publicity still for the 1894 stage play Izéil by Eugène Morand and Armand Silvestre.
French postcard. Bernhardt in the title role of William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1899).
French postcard. Photo: publicity still for a 1900 production of the stage play Cyrano de Bergerac (1900) by Edmond Rostand, in which Bernhardt played the role of Roxane.
French postcard by Raphael Tuck et Fils Ltd Editeurs, Paris, Serie 569. Publicity still for the stage production of Theroigne de Mericourt (1902), a play by Paul Hervieu. Anne-Josèphe Théroigne de Méricourt (1762–1817) was a singer, orator and organiser in the French Revolution. She is known both for her portrayal in the French Revolutionary press and for her subsequent mental breakdown and institutionalisation.
The Divine Sarah
During the 1870s, Sarah Bernhardt made her fame on the European stages and was soon in demand all over the world. Her first tour of the United States and Canada took place in 1880-1881 (157 performances in 31 cities). In 1887 she toured South America. In 1888 she toured Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Norway and Russia. In 1891-1892 she took part in a worldwide tour which included much of Europe, Russia, North & South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Samoa. Another tour of America took place in 1896. 1901 saw her 6th American Tour, 1906 her 7th (her first 'Farewell Tour'), 1910 her 8th, and 1913-1914 her 9th.
She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the title 'The Divine Sarah'. However, she also participated in scandalous productions such as John Wesley De Kay's Judas. In this play Mary Magdalene, who at first became a lover of Pontius Pilate, then of Judas Iscariot (played by Bernhardt!), got involved with Jesus. Judas, after realising that Mary Magdalene had given herself to Jesus, decided to betray his friend to the Romans. The play performed in New York’s Globe Theatre for only one night in December 1910 before it was banned there, as well as in Boston and Philadelphia.
In between her international tours, Sarah Bernhardt took over the lease of the Théâtre de la Renaissance, which she ran as producer-director-star from 1893 to 1899. She coached many young women in the art of acting. In 1899 Bernhardt took over the former Théâtre des Nations on the Place du Châtelet, renaming it the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt. She opened it in the title role in Victorien Sardou's La Tosca and many of her famous roles, such as her Hamlet in travesty, followed.
Bernhardt continued to direct the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt until her death, when her son Maurice took over. After his death in 1928, the theatre retained the name Sarah Bernhardt until the Occupation by the Germans in World War II, when the name was changed to Théâtre de la Cité because of Bernhardt's Jewish ancestry.
British postcard by Rotary Photo Co., London, no. 228C.
British postcard by Rotary Photo Co., London, no. 228A. Sent by mail in 1905. Photo: Reutlinger, Paris.
French postcard by S.I.P., Paris. Photo: Reutlinger.
Tinted, vintage postcard. Collection: phheww.
German postcard, no. 2329. It was sent from Leipzig, Germany to Laibach, Austria (now Ljubljana, Slovenia) on 31 October 1905. The author used the Greek alphabet. We deciphered the text and discovered that he wrote in German and signed as Hugo Reizenbach. The addressee was one Christl Kantz, maybe his secret girlfriend?
Sarah by Reutlinger
The beautiful postcards above are probably the best known images of Sarah Bernhardt. On each postcard she wears the same outfit and a huge crown-like diadem. This 'Lilies' diadem for was designed by poster designer Alphonse Mucha and created by the famous French jewelry designer René Lalique.
The photographs for the postcards were made by the Reutlinger Studio in Paris, which took photos of the rich and famous between 1850 and 1937. The Reutlinger studio was founded in 1850 by German-born photographer Charles Reutlinger. In 1880, he passed the studio on to his brother Emile, who ran the studio until 1890. In 1883, Emile’s son Léopold came to Paris from Callao, Peru, where he grew up. Léopold Reutlinger took over in 1890, and he developed a very successful postcard business.
P.K. Hobbs at Everything Vintage: "Léopold introduced a very distinctive style of merging photographic images with art nouveau fantasy overlays. He added to that process exceptionally well-done hand tinting. The Reutlinger Studio became known for their unusual art nouveau styles of postcard designs, especially for portraits of actresses. These postcards were not cheaply produced, nor were they cheaply sold. This part of his business was very successful and sought-after, as thousands of his art nouveau postcards were produced."
The photos for the postcards above were publicity stills for the stage play La princesse Lointaine by Edmond Rostand. Sarah Bernhardt wore the diadem for the first time in this play at the Renaissance Theatrein Paris in 1895.
French postcard. Sent by mail in 1906. Photo: Boyer, Paris. Publicity still for the play Théroigne de Méricourt, by M. Paul Hervieu, presented at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt in 1902.
French postcards, both sent by mail in 1908. Photos: publicity stills for her stage play L'aiglon.
French postcard. Photo: Sarah Bernhardt in L'Aiglon. L'Aiglon is a play in six acts by Edmond Rostand based on the life of Napoleon II, who was the son of Emperor Napoleon I and his second wife, Empress Marie Louise. The title of the play comes from a nickname for Napoleon II, the French word for 'eaglet' (a young eagle). The title role was created by Sarah Bernhardt in the play's premiere on 15 March 1900 at the Théàtre Sarah Bernhardt. Rostand had written L'Aiglon specifically for Bernhardt, and it became one of her signature roles.
French postcard by F.C. & Cie, no. 125. Photo: Manuel. Sarah Bernhardt as Soeur Therese in La Vierge d'Avila composed by Reynaldo Hahn and written by Catulle Mendes. 1906.
A sporadic love-hate affair with cinema
Sarah Bernhardt had a sporadic love-hate affair with the early cinema. In 1900, she made her first film, the two-minute long Le Duel d'Hamlet/Hamlet (Clément Maurice, 1900). Technically, this was not a silent film, as it had an accompanying Edison cylinder with sound effects.
After her film début Bernhardt declared she detested the medium. However, in the following decades she consented to star in eight motion pictures and two biographical films. The latter included Sarah Bernhardt à Belle-Isle/Sarah Bernhardt at Home (1912), a film about her daily life with her family and friends.
In 1908 she featured in her second film, based on Victorien Sardou's Tosca, condensed to a one-reel film. Upon seeing La Tosca (1909), she reportedly recoiled in horror, demanding that the negative be destroyed.
Nevertheless, soon followed her leading role in the Film d'Art production La dame aux camélias/Lady of the Camelias (Louis Mercanton, 1911), released in the US as Camille. It was a two-reel condensation of the play with handsome Dutch actor Lou Tellegen as Armand Duval. The film was a critical and popular success, and it helped to give the cinema artistic dignity.
The handsome Dutch-born Lou Tellegen was again Bernhardt's co-star in her next film, Les amours de la reine Élisabeth/Queen Elisabeth (Henri Desfontaines, Louis Mercanton, 1912), filmed in Britain. The massive receipts from this film's distribution in the US provided Adolph Zukor with the funds to found Paramount.
Bernhardt, at 69, was offered a fortune to make films with other companies, but she stayed with Film d'Art. She next appeared in Adrienne Lecouvreur (Henri Desfontaines, Louis Mercanton, 1913) with Max Maxudian and again Lou Tellegen.
French postcard by S.I.P., 72e Serie, no. 7.
French postcard by S.I.P., series 72, no. 8.
French postcard by BJC, Paris. Sent by mail in 1904.
French postcard. Sarah Bernhardt and colleague Benoît-Constant Coquelin, known as Coquelin aîné (Coquelin the Eldest), known as one of the greatest theatrical figures of the age. In 1900 Bernahardt and Coquelin toured together in America. They appeared on Broadway's Garden Theatre in a production of Cyrano de Bergerac (Coquelin as Cyrano and Bernhardt as Roxane). On their return to France they appear together in L'Aiglon, at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt.
French postcard by PMM. Photo: Nadar, Paris. Sent by mail in 1901.
War propaganda films
During the First World War, Sarah Bernhardt played in two war propaganda films, the intimate drama Jeanne Doré (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1915) and the highly patriotic Mères françaises/Mothers of France (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1917).
In between these two films, she had lost a leg. In 1905, while performing in Victorien Sardou's La Tosca in Teatro Lírico do Rio de Janeiro, Bernhardt injured her right knee when jumping off the parapet in the final scene. The leg never healed properly. By 1915, gangrene set in and her entire right leg was amputated; she was required to use a wheelchair for several months.
Bernhardt continued her career, sometimes without using a wooden prosthetic limb, which she did not like. She carried out a successful tour of America in 1917 (her 10th), and on returning to France she played in her own productions almost continuously until her death. Later successes included Daniel (1920), La Gloire (1921), and Régine Armand (1922). The amputation was not apparent during her performances, which were done with the use of the artificial limb. The charm of her voice, which had altered little with age, ensured her triumphs.
Her last film was La Voyante/The Fortune Teller (Leon Abrams, Louis Mercanton, 1923) with Harry Baur. By then she was 79 and already mortally ill. Her hotel room was turned into a studio. But her failing health halted production and she died before the film was completed. Her stand-in had to complete her scenes, with her back to the camera.
Sarah Bernhardt passed away on 26 March 1923 in Paris. The cause of death was uraemia (urea in the blood) following after kidney failure. From 1882 till 1898 (his death), she had been married to the Greek diplomat Ambroise Aristide Damala, who was 12 years younger than his wife. Newspaper reports stated she died "peacefully, without suffering, in the arms of her son". She is believed to have been 79 years old. Sarah Bernhardt is buried at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise.
German postcard, no. 7845.
Italian postcard. Sarah Bernhardt as Mme D'Urbex and Louise Lagrange as Marie in the French war propaganda film Mères françaises (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1917). Caption: Tell your son I will remain his fiancee.
Italian postcard. Sarah Bernhardt as Mme D'Urbex and Gabriel Signoret as Guinot in the French war propaganda film Mères françaises (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1917). Caption: Who is near me?
Italian postcard. Sarah Bernhardt as Mme D'Urbex and Gabriel Signoret as Guinot in the French war propaganda film Mères françaises (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1917). Caption: The schoolmaster returns to his class, which henceforth will be his reason to live.
Sequence from Les amours de la reine Élisabeth/Queen Elisabeth (1912). Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex (Lou Tellegen) has been executed. Queen Elizabeth (Sarah Bernhardt) visits his corpse, and mourns for him. Source: swagner99 (YouTube).
Sources: Daniel Yates (IMDb), P.K. Hobbs (Everything Vintage), Victor (Wonderings), Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3875. Photo: Hämmerer / Vienna / Schorcht Film. Publicity still for Skandal in Ischl/Scandal in Bad Ischl (Rolf Thiele, 1957).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 251. Photo: Kolibri / Sander.
The Trapp family
Michael Ande was born in 1944 in Bad Wiessee, Germany.
He made his film debut in the French-German film Marianne de ma jeunesse/Marianne (Julien Duvivier, 1955) featuring Marianne Hold. The film made him a popular child star.
During the following years, he played in several Heimatfilms, such as Das Hirtenlied vom Kaisertal/The Shepherd's Song from Kaisertal (Max Michel, 1956). In the Austrian family drama Der schönste Tag in meinem Leben/The Most Beautiful Day of My Life (Max Neufeld, 1957) he played a chorister in the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys' Choir).
Michael also played in two German films about the Trapp family: Die Trapp-Familie/The Trapp Family (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1956) and its sequel Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika/The Trapp Family in America (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1958), both starring Ruth Leuwerik. The Trapp Family became one of the most successful German films of the 1950s, and was the inspiration for the Hollywood musical The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965), starring Julie Andrews. Michael Ande played Werner in the Trapp-films. In The Sound of Music the boy's name is Kurt.
Another popular film was the adventure drama El Hakim (Rolf Thiele, 1957), in which he played O.W. Fischer’s character as a child.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 251. Photo: Kolibri / Enzwieser.
German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 178. Photo: Donau Film / Börcsök.
Like many other child stars, Michael Ande had difficulty continuing his career as an adult actor. A reason was his youthful-looking face.
He made his debut as stage actor in 1961 and had a successful career in the theatre. Ande returned successfully on the screen as Jim Hawkins in the French-German TV mini-series Die Schatzinsel/Treasure Island (Jacques Bourdon, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1966), based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
From 1977 on he appeared in the German Krimi series Der Alte/The Old Fox (1977-2016) created by Helmut Ringelmann. The TV series premiered on 11 Apri 1977 on ZDF and became later part of the legendary Friday Crime Night of the network. In 401 episodes Ande played Gertd Heymann, one of the assistants of Munich detective ‘The Old Fox', from 1977 till 1986 played by Siegfried Lowitz.
Ande's later films include Verdammt zur Sünde/Condemned to Sin (Alfred Weidenmann, 1964) as the son of Martin Held, Der Paradiesgarten/The Paradise Garden (Bernd Schwamm, 1970) and the gay drama Zurück auf Los!/Return to Go! (Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss, 2000).
He was also the German dubbing voice of Sam Neill, James Woods and martial arts star Fu Sheng in several films.
In 2016, after nearly 40 years on the series, Michael Ande decided to stop with Der Alte and to retire. He lives with his family in Schliersee in the south of Germany.
German autograph card. Photo: Kövesdi.
German autograph card.
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.
Spanish postcard by Torro de Bronce, no. 153, 1964. Photo: Sam Lévin.
Alexandra Stewart was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1939. In 1957, she arrived in Paris, France, to study art. She earned a living with modelling and working as an extra in films.
Within a year, she made her official film debut in the comedy Les Motards/The Motorcycle Cops (Jean Laviron, 1958) starring Roger Pierre and Jean-Marc Thibault. She then appeared in Le Bel Age (Pierre Kast, 1960). Kast introduced her to the directors of the Nouvelle Vague. She appeared in the Nouvelle Vague film L'eau à la bouche/A Game for Six Lovers (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, 1960), and opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo in Les distractions/Trapped by Fear (Jacques Dupont, 1960).
In England she played a supporting part in Tarzan the Magnificent (Robert Day, 1960) with Gordon Scott in his last appearance as Tarzan. That year she also had a supporting part in Exodus (Otto Preminger, 1960), the epic on the reclamation of Israel. She then was a murder victim in the Georges Siménon adaptation La mort de Belle/The End of Belle (Édouard Molinaro 1961), and she played at the side of Simone Signoret in the psychological drama Les Mauvais Coups/Naked Autumn (François Leterrier, 1961).
One of her best films is the Nouvelle Vague drama Le feu follet/The Fire Within (Louis Malle, 1963), with Maurice Ronet and Jeanne Moreau. Nathan Southern at AllMovie: “this feature contains one of the most dynamic aural-visual couplings in modern film. The stark, hi-con black-and-white cinematography and the Erik Satie music -- each perfectly evocative by itself -- not only accentuate but complete each other, and form an impeccable accessory to the thematic nihilism of the piece. In fact, Malle's aesthetic evocation of psychodrama was so groundbreaking at the time that it made a permanent stylistic impact on many less-inspired cinematic explorations of behavioral dysfunction -- such as Lady in a Cage, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, and Mickey One (which, not coincidentally, was also lensed by Ghislain Cloquet). Malle's narrative architecture is equally brilliant -- he structures the work like a piece of classical music, rich with recurrences and variations.”
Years later, Stewart and director Malle later would become a couple. In 1983 she also worked with Jean-Luc Godard on his segment of the anthology film Ro.Go.Pa.G. (1963). Stewart worked in France, Germany, Italy as well as in the US, where she starred opposite Warren Beatty in the here before mentioned Mickey One (Arthur Penn, 1965). Remarkable was also the Italian-French comedy Marcia nuziale/The Wedding March (Marco Ferreri, 1966), with Ugo Tognazzi.
Back in France, she played in the revenge film La Mariée était en noir/The Bride Wore Black (François Truffaut, 1968), featuring Jeanne Moreau. She also played the leading role in the Dutch thriller Bezeten – Het gat in de muur/Obsessions (Pim de la Parra, 1969), which was co-written by the young Martin Scorsese. Besides her cinema career, Alexandra Stewart regularly appeared in popular TV series, such as Danger Man (1965) and The Saint (1966). A huge success in France was the series L'Homme qui revient de loin/The Man who returned from far (Michel Wyn, 1974). Later she was seen in the Mini-series Mistral's Daughter (1984) and Sins (1986).
Belgian promotion card for Cine Rio, Coxyde. Photo: Unifrance Films.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 3972. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann / Löwant Columbia Bavaria. Publicity still for ...e la donna creò l'uomo/Full Hearts and Empty Pockets (Camillo Mastrocinque, 1964).
Underrated apocalyptic fantasy
Alexandra Stewart was among the ensemble cast of the World War I action-drama Zeppelin (Étienne Périer, 1971), about a fictitious German attempt to raid on Great Britain in a giant Zeppelin to steal the Magna Carta from its hiding place in one of Scotland's castles.
Also amusing is the Dutch-Belgian thriller Because of the Cats (Fons Rademakers, 1973) starring Bryan Marshall and Sylvia Kristel in one of her first roles.
One of her best French films is La Nuit américaine/Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973) with Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud. It chronicles the problematic production of a clichéd melodrama and the romances, affairs, break-ups, and sorrows on the set. The film is often considered one of Truffaut's greatest films and won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1974.
Another highlight in her cooperation with Louis Malle is the underrated apocalyptic fantasy Black Moon (Louis Malle, 1975) with Cathryn Harrison (granddaughter of Rex). James Travers at Le Film Guide: “Black Moon is one of the few truly experimental films to have been made since WW II, a bizarre free-flowing expressionist fantasy which evolkes the early work of Jean Cocteau and Luis Bunuel.”
Stewart could also be seen in the softcore erotica of Goodbye Emmanuelle (François Leterrier, 1977), starring Sylvia Kristel. She was also one of the older women in the life of Tom Berenger in In Praise of Older Women (George Kaczender, 1978), and was in the cast of the sexploitation Madame Claude 2 (François Mimet, 1981).
In between she worked with director John Huston on Phobia (1980) and with Claude Lelouch on Les Uns et les autres (1981). Supporting parts in interesting films kept coming her way, such as in Le sang des autres/The Blood of Others (Claude Chabrol, 1984) with Jodie Foster, and the excellent thriller Frantic (Roman Polanski, 1987), starring Harrison Ford. She also worked with the French director Eric Rohmer on Les Jeux de société (1989).
In the following decades her film career slowed down, but her later films include François Ozon’s masterpiece Sous le sable/Under the Sand (François Ozon, 2000), starring Charlotte Rampling, and the comedy-mystery Mon petit doigt m'a dit... /By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Pascal Thomas, 2004) based on a novel by Agatha Christie. Since then she made French, Spanish and Italian films and most recently she played in the American production Armenia Commedia (Anna Condo 2016). In 2014, she published a memoir, Mon bel âge (My beautiful age).
Alexandra Stewart has a daughter, Justine Malle (1974), with Louis Malle.
French trailer Le feu follet/The Fire Within (1963). Source: TV5 Monde (YouTube).
Theatrical trailer Mickey One (1965). Source: modcinema.com (YouTube).
Sources: Nathan Southern (AllMovie), James Travers (Le Film Guide), Alexandra Schwartzbrod (Liberation - French), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 83.
Belgian card by Cox, no. 10.
German/French postcard by Huit, Paris / ISV no. A 76. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for The Naked Earth (Vincent Sherman, 1958).
Dutch postcard, no. 960.
French promotion card by Philips. Photo: Farabola, Milan.
French promotion card by Phiips / J. Moreau-Publicité. Photo: Tony Frank.
Juliette Gréco was born in Montpellier, in the south of France in 1927. Juliette's father, who was born in Corsica, worked as a policeman on the Côte d'Azur. She rarely saw him in her childhood as she and her elder sister Charlotte were raised by their maternal grandparents who lived in Bordeaux.
Juliette's mother had joined the resistance and Gestapo officers had arrested her in 1943. Charlotte and Juliette were also caught but the 16-years-old Juliette was not deported because of her young age.
In 1946, she moved to Saint-Germain-des-Prés at the left bank in Paris. Juliette soon became part of the post-war art scene, hanging out with poets, jazz musicians, writers and painters in the cafés of Saint-Germain, among them Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Raymond Queneau, Boris Vian, Jean Cocteau and Miles Davis. She dressed generally in black and let her long, black hair hang free.
Thanks to the combination of intelligence, looks and attitude, Juliette soon became a major figure on the Saint Germain scene She became a muse not only for Sartre and Camus, but also for Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg.
Cocteau gave her a role in his film Orphée/Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1950) starring Jean Marais. Other films in which she appeared were Au royaume des cieux/The Sinners (Julien Duvivier, 1949) with Serge Reggiani, the comedy ...Sans laisser d'adresse/Without Leaving An Address (Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1951), Quand tu liras cette lettre/When You Read This Letter (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953), and Elena et les hommes/Elena and the Men (Jean Renoir, 1956), starring Ingrid Bergman.
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), no. 191. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Paris.
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), no. 223. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Paris.
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), no. 221. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Paris.
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 623. Photo: Lucienne Chevert.
French promotion card by Philips. Photo: Philips / Raymond Voinquel.
Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 5050. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for The Big Gamble (Richard Fleischer, Elmo Williams, 1961).
In 1949 Julliette Gréco also began a singing career. Si tu t'imagines (1950), with lyrics by Raymond Queneau, was one of her earliest songs to become popular. In 1951 she went into the studio to record her début single Je suis comme je suis (I Am What I Am). This song, written by Jacques Prévert and set to music by Joseph Kosma, would go on to become an absolute classic of the Gréco repertoire.
Other famous songs are Les Dames de la poste (1952) and Déshabillez-moi (1967).
In 1956, during the shooting of the film The Sun Also Rises (Henry King, 1957) starring Tyrone Powerand Ava Gardner, she became the paramour of American film producer and 20th Century-Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck. He cast his protégee in films like The Naked Earth (Vincent Sherman, 1958), The Roots of Heaven (John Huston, 1958) with Errol Flynn, and Crack in the Mirror (Richard Fleischer, 1960) with Orson Welles.
She also prospered after parting company with 20th Century-Foxin the early 1960s, continuing to play choice club dates and to co-star in such internationally financed films as The Night of the Generals (Anatole Litvak, 1967) with Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. By the mid-1960s Juliette Gréco had become one of the best-known faces in French showbiz, thanks to her role in the famous French television series Belphégor (which she began filming in 1965).
In later years she appeared in Lily, aime-moi/Lily, Love Me (Maurice Dugowson, 1975) with Patrick Dewaere, the fantasy film and remake Belphégor - Le fantôme du Louvre/Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre (Jean-Paul Salomé, 2001) with Sophie Marceau, and Jedermanns Fest/Everyman's Feast (Fritz Lehner, 2002) opposite Klaus Maria Brandauer.
In 1982 she published her autobiography, Jujube. She suffered a heart attack on stage in her hometown Montpellier in 2001, but she recovered. Juliette Gréco has been married three times: to actor Philippe Lemaire (1953-1956); actor Michel Piccoli(1966-1977), and pianist Gérard Jouannest (since 1988). Her daughter, Laurence-Marie Lemaire, is an actress too.
In 2009 Juliette Gréco´s newest album, Je Me Souviens De Tout (I Remember Everything), was released. To mark the occasion, Gréco, accompanied by her husband Gérard Jouannest on the piano, and Jean-Louis Matinier on the accordion gave four concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in early June. In 2015, she presented a new album, Merci, and started her farewell tour. Since then, despite some health problems, she continues to tour around the globe.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. FK 3088. Photo: Les Films Gibé / Franco London Film S.A. / Allianz Film. Publicity still for Elena et les Hommes/Elena and Her Men (Jean Renoir, 1956).
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane, no. 588. Publicity still for The Sun Also Rises (Henry King, 1957).
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 886.
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 352. Photo: Filmpress, Zürich.
French promotion card by Philips.
French promotion card by RCA / Infini Editions. Photo: A. Mantovani.
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Glyn Brown (The Independent), RFIMusique, Europopmusic, Wikipedia (English and French), and IMDb.
French postcard. This postcard was made for the exclusive release at the Madeleine cinema. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Jean Desailly, Madeleine Sologne and Raymond Rouleau in Une grande fille toute simple/Just a Big Simple Girl (Jacques Manuel, 1948).
French postcard. This postcard was made for the exclusive release at the Madeleine cinema. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Jean Desailly and Madeleine Sologne in Une grande fille toute simple/Just a Big Simple Girl (Jacques Manuel, 1948).
The tour of a theatre group is troubled by a love triangle backstage. The young and beautiful actress Stepha can’t choose between the lead actor of the play and the director.
The actors gamely act out their roles as if everything is okay, but then a strange woman walks on stage and begins digressing from the script. The line between artifice and reality blurs.
Une grande fille toute simple was directed by former costume designer Jacques Manuel. The production was supervised by Marcel L’Herbier, who had directed Le vertige (1926), which had been Manuel’s first film job.
The screenplay was written by André Roussin based on his own 1942 stage play of the same name. When he wrote Une grande fille toute simple, Roussin was inspired by his love affair with actress Madeleine Robinson during rehearsals of the play Musique légère (Light music) by Louis Ducreux.
Paradoxically, the role of Stepha, especially written for Madeleine Robinson, was entrusted to Madeleine Sologne in the film adaptation of the play. The other parts went to Raymond Rouleau and director Jean Desailly. Gabrielle Dorziat played aunt Edmée. Author Louis Ducreux played a bit part.
French postcard. This postcard was made for the exclusive release at the Madeleine cinema. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Madeleine Sologne and Louis Ducreux in Une grande fille toute simple/Just a Big Simple Girl (Jacques Manuel, 1948).
French postcard. This postcard was made for the exclusive release at the Madeleine cinema. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Jean Desailly and Madeleine Sologne in Une grande fille toute simple/Just a Big Simple Girl (Jacques Manuel, 1948). The sets were by Robert Gys.
The most completely incoherent lot of twaddle
When Une grande fille toute simple was released in the US as Just a Big Simple Girl, critic Bosley Crowther of The New York Times reviewed: “But we've got to confess quite frankly that we can't be entirely sure that it's the girl in the case who is simple and not the people who made the film.
For this tale of a platinum-blonde French actress, who appears to be two or three kinds of maniac, is the most completely incoherent lot of twaddle we ever heard or saw.
For almost an hour and three-quarters, this dame is all over the lot, pushing and grabbing at fellows and talking them blue in the face.
What it is precisely that she wants we never know, for the cutting is quite as provoking as the writing and directing of this film.”
Jacques Manuel directed one more film, the Colette adaptation Julie de Carneilhan (1950).
Belgian postcard. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Artistes Associés. Madeleine Sologne and Jean Desailly in Une grande fille toute simple (Jacques Manuel, 1948). This card was for the showing of the film at the Palais des Arts/ Feestpaleis in [Antwerp?Ghent?].
French postcard. Photo: Prod. CAPAC. Jean Desailly in Une grande fille toute simple (Jacques Manuel, 1948). This postcard was for the exclusive release at the Madeleine cinema. The sets were by Robert Gys.
Sources: Bosley Crowther (The New York Times), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 662. Photo: UCI (Unione Cinematografica Italiana). Elga Brink as Domitilla in the epic film Quo vadis? (Gabriellino D'Annunzio, Georg Jacoby, 1924/1925).
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5201.
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5687. Photo: F.P.S. / Lux-Film. Publicity still for Das Land ohne Frauen/Land Without Women (Carmine Gallone, 1929).
Dutch postcard by J.S.A., no. 106. Photo: Cicero-Film.
Elga Brink was born as Elisabeth Margarete Frey in Berlin, Germany in 1906. (Some sources say she was born in 1895 or 1905.) She studied at a commercial school and completed an acting training.
The blonde and slim girl started her film career circa 1922 in the silent cinema. Already in 1924 she acted opposite the famous film star Emil Jannings in the German-Italian coproduction Quo Vadis? (Gabriellino D'Annunzio, Georg Jacoby, 1925), a screen adaptation of the novel by Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz.
Soon more roles followed in the comedy Der Stolz der Kompanie/The Pride of the Company (Georg Jacoby, 1926), the sex education film Dürfen wir schweigen?/Should We Be Silent? (Richard Owald, 1926) at Conrad Veidt's side, and Ehe in Not/Marriage in Distress (Richard Oswald, 1929).
She often played the cheeky girl in Georg Jacoby films, like Das Paradies im Schnee/Paradise in the Snow (Georg Jacoby, 1923), Komödianten des Lebens/Life Comedians (Georg Jacoby, 1924), Der Hahn im Korb/The Cock in the Basket (Georg Jacoby, 1925), and Die Ritt in die Sonne/The Ride in the Sun (Georg Jacoby, 1926).
They also worked together on the British productions The Fake (Georg Jacoby, 1927) and The Physician (Georg Jacoby, 1928) with Miles Mander. Privately Elga Brink and Georg Jacoby were a couple too.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 620. Photo: Sascha Film.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 621. Photo: Sascha Film.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 622. Photo: E. Well & Co.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5767. Photo: Verleih Ella Frischauer / Metro Orplid-Film. Still from Angst - Die schwache Stunde einer Frau (Hans Steinhoff, 1928), with Gustav Fröhlich.
Slowly Disappearing to the Background
The sound film offered Elga Brink more interesting roles. In 1930 she played Goethe's lover Friederike Brion in Die Jugendgeliebte/Goethe's Young Love (Hans Tintner, 1930) opposite Hans Stüwe.
She also appeared in Der Keusche Joseph/The Virtuous Joseph (Georg Jacoby, 1930) with Harry Liedtke, Kriminalreporter Holm/Crime Reporter Holm ( Erich Engels, 1932), and the Science-fiction film Der Tunnel/The Tunnel (Kurt Bernhardt/Curtis Bernhardt, 1933) starring Paul Hartmann.
In the second half of the 1930s and in the 1940s she disappeared slowly to the background. Among her films during this period were Der Kühne Schwimmer/The Daring Swimmer (Georg Jacoby, 1934) and Quax, der Bruchpilot/Launchpad McQuack (Kurt Hoffmann, 1941) with Heinz Rühmann.
After WW II, she worked as a theatre actress for a short period. She appeared also in small parts in two more films, the DEFA production Semmelweis - Retter der Mütter/Dr. Semmelweis (Georg C. Klaren, 1950) and Das fremde Leben/The Strange Life (Johannes Meyer, 1951), starring Winnie Markus.
In 1951 she retired from show business and worked as a consultant at a lawyer’s office under the name Elisabeth Biermann. Elga Brink died in Hamburg in 1985.
French postcard by Consortium Central de Paris. Photo: Dist. Williams & Pritchard. Elga Brink as Mavis Stanton in the British silent film The Fake (Georg Jacoby, 1927), co-starring Henry Edwards and Juliette Compton. The story is about an MP who forces his daughter to marry an aristocrat who is a drug addict. The addict dies when her lover tries to cure him.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1765/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Universal - Matador.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3282/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3915/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Kiesel, Berlin.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.