Articles on this Page
- 05/04/17--22:00: _Daliah Lavi (1942-2...
- 05/05/17--22:00: _Liane Haid
- 05/06/17--22:00: _Exported to the USA...
- 05/07/17--22:00: _Claude Borelli
- 05/08/17--22:00: _Angelika Hauff
- 05/09/17--22:00: _Jeremy Irons
- 05/10/17--22:00: _Ernst ist das Leben...
- 05/11/17--22:00: _Roger Pigaut
- 05/12/17--22:00: _H.B. Irving
- 05/13/17--22:00: _Exported to the USA...
- 05/14/17--22:00: _Linda Pini
- 05/15/17--22:00: _Mathilda May
- 05/16/17--22:00: _Oleg Vidov (1943-2017)
- 05/17/17--22:00: _Die Sünde (1918)
- 05/18/17--22:00: _Maria Corda
- 05/19/17--22:00: _Margarete Lanner
- 05/20/17--22:00: _Paul Morgan
- 05/21/17--22:00: _Imported from the U...
- 05/22/17--22:00: _Rellys
- 05/23/17--15:30: _Roger Moore (1927-2...
- 05/04/17--22:00: Daliah Lavi (1942-2017)
- 05/05/17--22:00: Liane Haid
- 05/06/17--22:00: Exported to the USA: Rudolph Valentino
- 05/07/17--22:00: Claude Borelli
- 05/08/17--22:00: Angelika Hauff
- 05/09/17--22:00: Jeremy Irons
- 05/10/17--22:00: Ernst ist das Leben (1916)
- 05/11/17--22:00: Roger Pigaut
- 05/12/17--22:00: H.B. Irving
- 05/13/17--22:00: Exported to the USA: Arnold Schwarzenegger
- 05/14/17--22:00: Linda Pini
- 05/15/17--22:00: Mathilda May
- 05/16/17--22:00: Oleg Vidov (1943-2017)
- 05/17/17--22:00: Die Sünde (1918)
- 05/18/17--22:00: Maria Corda
- 05/19/17--22:00: Margarete Lanner
- 05/20/17--22:00: Paul Morgan
- 05/21/17--22:00: Imported from the USA: Geraldine Farrar
- 05/22/17--22:00: Rellys
- 05/23/17--15:30: Roger Moore (1927-2017)
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 136. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by St. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1061. Photo: Sam Lévin.
Ravishing, Raven-haired Beauty
Daliah Lavi was born Daliah Lewinbukh (Levenbuch) in Shavei Zion, near the harbor city of Haifa in British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel) in 1942. She was the daughter of a German mother and a Russian father.
Kirk Douglas reportedly ‘discovered’ Daliah. He was making a film in Israel in 1952, when he met the Lewinbukhs. It was Daliah's tenth birthday and the family celebrated a party, where Douglas and the film crew were invited. As a birthday present, Douglas gave little Daliah a ballet dress, and two years later he arranged a scholarship for her to study ballet at the Royal Opera house in Stockholm.
In Sweden she also made her film debut in the August Strindberg adaptation Hemsöborna/The People of Hemso (Arne Mattsson, 1955). That year Lavi abruptly halted her beginning career and returned to Israel. According to some sources she had to give up ballet on account of her low blood pressure. Other sources write that she returned to Israel because of the death of her father.
The information on IMDb, AllMovie and GermanWikipedia that she served in the Israeli Army is according to Henrik Hemlin at Mario Bava Tripod: “a false but persistent rumor”. In Israel the ravishing, raven-haired beauty began to work as a model.
In 1960, her film career really took off, when she played the lead role in the German-Israeli adventure film Brennender Sand/Blazing Sand (Raphael Nussbaum, 1960). That year she also costarred with Jean-Pierre Cassel in Candide ou l'optimisme au XXe siècle/Candide (Norbert Carbonnaux, 1960), a French comedy based on the classic novel Candide by Voltaire, but set in the World War II era.
The following years she appeared in several European films. Fluent in many languages, she acted in German, French, Italian, Spanish and English-language films. In Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli, 1962) she played alongside her old friend Kirk Douglas. For her part she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Also notable was the Gothic horror film La Frusta e il corpo/The Whip and the Body (Mario Bava, 1963) with Christopher Lee. Jay Fenton writes at IMDb: “It is certainly one of the most brilliantly bizarre horror films ever made. Directed by cult icon Mario Bava, Italy's finest cinematographer (if not one of their finest directors), it rises as far above an S & M fantasy as can be imagined. It was censored in every country in the world for its sexual violence (...) Even now it remains a profoundly misunderstood film and should be seen in a theater in its complete form instead of on video.”
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 368.
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 545.
Big East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb postcard, Berlin, no. 473, 1973. Photo: publicity still for Ten Little Indians (George Pollock, 1965).
Thigh-high Go-go Boots
Decked out in tight mini-skirts, thigh-high go-go boots and a helmet of black hair, Daliah Lavi fit in perfectly with the times. She became one of the swingers of the psychedelic 1960s. She reached a peak with her role of The Girl in Lord Jim (Richard Brooks, 1965). Hal Erickson writes at AllMovie: “Despite the impressive star lineup of (Peter) O'Toole,(Eli) Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Curt Jurgens and Paul Lukas, most press coverage went to leggy leading lady Daliah Lavi - including the 1964 Saturday Evening Post article about the making of Lord Jim, written by Richard Brooks himself.”
Hollywood noticed her, and she became one of its many sexy foreign imports at the time. Think also: Elke Sommer, Ewa Aulin, Senta Berger, Rosanna Schiaffino, Sylva Koscina, Barbara Bouchet, and of course Ursula Andress.
Lavi appeared in the first Matt Helm film The Silencers (Phil Karlson, 1966) opposite Dean Martin. Next she played a Russian princess in the spy spoof The Spy with a Cold Nose (Daniel Petrie, 1966) opposite Laurence Harvey. However, her most famous role is probably as 'The Detainer/007' in the James Bond parody Casino Royale (John Huston, a.o., 1967).
But when the 1960s ended, her film career also went in decline. Her last film was the very mediocre Catlow (Sam Wanamaker, 1971) with Yul Brynner.
In the meantime Lavi had started a new, equally successful career as a Schlager singer. In 1969, Israeli musical star Topol had invited her to sing some Hebrew songs in his BBC show. It resulted in a contract with Festival Records in the UK, but her record career took really off when she was contracted by the German Polydor label. Oh, wann kommst du? (Oh, when will you come?) in 1970 and Willst du mit mihr geh'n? (Do You Want To go with me?) became Top 10 hits in the German charts.
In 1971, she even was the most successful female singer in Germany, and she won an Otto, a major prize awarded by the German pop music magazine Bravo. Daliah kept turning out records until the early 1990s, even though her later releases fared less well in the charts.
She incidentally appeared on German television in dramatic roles, such as in the comedy Mrs. Harris und der Heiratsschwindler/Mrs Harris and The Marriage Swindlers (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1991) featuring Inge Meysel, and in the series Duell zu dritt/Duel for Three (Peter Sämann, 1997).
In 2009 she made a surprise come-back in the German charts with the album C'est la vie - so ist das Leben (That’s Life) and the 66 year old diva went on a successful farewell tour along the German theatres. Daliah Lavi lived in the US with her fourth husband, businessman Charles Gans.
Daliah Lavi died of natural causes at her home in Asheville, US. She was 74, and had three sons, Rouben, Alexander and Stephen Gans, and a daughter, Kathy Rothman.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Hamburg. Photo: Polydor.
German promotion card by Polydor. Photo: Polydor / Wolfgang Hellemann.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg, no. F-58. Photo: Polydor.
German promotion card by Polydor.
Sources: Henrik Hemlin (Mario Bava Tripod), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 544/4, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1075/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3104/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4886/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5034/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Manassé, Wien (Vienna).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5075/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Manassé, Wien.
Juliane Haid was born in Vienna, Austria in 1895. As a child, Liane studied singing and dancing, and she danced at the Viennese Opern Ballet.
Later she worked in Budapest and Vienna as a dancer and in Berlin and Vienna as a stage actress. She had already become a popular opera and operetta singer and dancer before she made her first film appearance.
Her debut was a propaganda film made during the First World War, Mit Herz und Hand fürs Vaterland/With Heart and Hand for the Fatherland (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1915).
Most of her early silent films were directed by the husband and wife team Jacob and Luise Fleck for Wiener Kunstfilm. These films include the silent historical film Der Verschwender/The Spendthrift (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1917). It is an adaptation of Ferdinand Raimund's play of the same name. Her leading men in these silent films were often Wilhelm Klitsch or Max Neufeld.
After the war Haid's first husband, Baron Fritz von Haymerle, built her her own film studio in Vienna and gave her her own company.
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2377. Photo: Willinger, Wien.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 462/2, 1919-1924. Photo: Riess.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 76/1. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Csardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Hanns Schwarz, 1927).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 81/3/3, 1925-1935. Photo: Parufamet. Publicity still for Der Letzte Walzer/The Last Waltz (Arthur Robison, 1927) with Suzy Vernon, Willy Fritsch, Hans Adalbert Schlettow and Liane Haid.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1430/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Sandau, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1732/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.
In the early 1920s Liane Haid moved to Berlin and had her breakthrough opposite Conrad Veidt in the historical film Lady Hamilton (Richard Oswald, 1921). The film depicts the love affair between the British Admiral Lord Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton.
Next she played opposite Reinhold Schünzelin Geld auf der Straße/Money on the Street (Reinhold Schünzel, 1922). She also became a popular pin-up.
Haid appeared again opposite Conrad Veidt in the historical film Lucrezia Borgia/Bride of Vengeance (Richard Oswald, 1922) and the drama Die Brüder Schellenberg/The Brothers Schellenberg (Karl Grune, 1926) with Lil Dagover. The first portrayed the life of the Renaissance Italian aristocrat Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519).
Also popular were the operettas Im weißen Rößl/The White Horse Inn (Richard Oswald, 1926) with Max Hansen and based on the play The White Horse Inn by Oskar Blumenthal and Gustav Kadelburg, and Die Csardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Hanns Schwarz, 1927) opposite Hungarian star Imre Ráday. The later was an adaptation of the operetta by Emmerich Kálmán.
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 6139.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 506/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Ring-Atelier, Wien.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1732/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2074/3, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3643/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Schrecker, Berlin.
German postcard by H.C. Stöcker, Hannover-Linden, for Bemberg. Caption: "Bemberg-Seide zu tragen ist ein Vergnügen, Liane Haid". (Bemberg silk is a pleasure to wear, Liane Haid).
Liane Haid's switch to sound filmwent smoothly, because of her training as a singer. Her song Adieu, mein kleiner Gardenoffizier, sung in Géza von Bolváry's popular operetta Das Lied ist aus/The Song Is Over (Géza von Bolváry, 1930), was a huge success at the time.
In the biography Grock (Carl Boese, 1931) she played the wife of the famous clown (played by himself).
For Paramount she appeared in alternate language versions of their productions such as Die Männer um Lucie/The Men Around Lucy (Alexander Korda, 1931), a German version of Laughter (Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, 1930) with Nancy Carroll.
Haid became one of the main stars of the German cinema and she appeared opposite leading men like Willi Forst, Georg Alexander, and Gustav Fröhlich. In Ungeküsst soll man nicht schlafen gehn/You should not go to sleep unkissed (E.W. Emo, 1936), she starred opposite Heinz Rühmann, Theo Lingen and Hans Moser.
In these films she was often typecasted as the Süßes Wiener Mädel (sweet Viennese girl).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5689/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Super-Film.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5893/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5994/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Paramount Pictures.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7308/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Glogau, Wien.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7731/1, 1932-1933. Photo: H.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8856/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.
From the mid-1930s Liane Haid's roles were less frequent. She played a part in the British production Whom the Gods Love: The Original Story of Mozart and His Wife (Basil Dean, 1936). The film was a disaster.
She refused offers from Hollywood and instead focused on her stage career. In 1942 she emigrated with her son to Switzerland. According to Wikipedia she later said about it: "because of the regime, because everything was bombed, and because all the good directors had left".
In Switzerland she married Dr. Carl Spycher. It was her third marriage. Their son is the jazz musician Pierre Spycher.
Haid made her last film appearance in the Austrian romantic comedy Die Fünf Karnickel/The five rabbits (Kurt Steinwendner, Paul Löwinger, 1953), starring Ingrid Lutz.
Liane Haid died in 2000 in Wabern near Bern, at the age of 105. Her sister Grit Haidwas less fortunate. Grit was an equally well-known film actress, who was active in the late 1920s and early 1930s. She suddenly died tragically in a plane accident in 1938.
Dutch postcard by Filma, no. 448. Photo: publicity still for Eine Frau wie Du/A Woman Like You (Carl Boese, 1933) with Georg Alexander.
Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem for City Film, no. 385. Photo: publicity still for Ich will nicht wissen, wer du bist/I don't Wanna Know Who You Are (Géza von Bolváry, 1932) with Gustav Fröhlich and Szöke Szakáll.
Dutch postcard by City Film, no. 501. Photo: publicity still for Das Schloß im Süden/The Castle in the South (Géza von Bolváry, 1933) with Viktor de Kowa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7847/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Der Stern von Valencia/The Star of Valencia (Alfred Zeisler, 1933) with Paul Westermeier.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8256/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Ideal-Film, Berlin. Publicity still of Ralph A. Roberts and Liane Haid in for Keine Angst vor Liebe/Don't Be Afraid of Love (Hans Steinhoff, 1933).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8258/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Ufa / Cine Allianz. Publicity still for Ihre Durchlaucht, die Verkäuferin/Her Excellency, the Salesgirl (Karl Hartl, 1933) with Willi Forst.
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 586.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Rudi Polt (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris. Photo: James Abbe.
With Natacha Rambova. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 129. Photo: James Abbe.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4987/2, 1929-1930. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo, 1922).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3373/1, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for The Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926).
Delicious Little Devil
Rudolph Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella in 1895 in Castellaneta, Apulia, Kingdom of Italy. He had a French mother, Marie Berta Gabrielle née Barbin, and an Italian father, Giovanni Antonio Giuseppe Fedele Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella, a veterinarian who died of malaria when Rodolfo was 11.
Unable to secure employment, the 18-years-old Rodolfo departed for the United States in 1913. In New York, the handsome young man supported himself as taxi dancer (someone who danced with women for 10 cents a dance), among other occupations. In 1917, Valentino joined an operetta company that travelled to Utah, where it disbanded.
He then joined an Al Jolson production of Robinson Crusoe, Jr. which was travelling to Los Angeles. By fall, he was in San Francisco with a bit part in a theatrical production of Nobody Home.
While in town, actor Norman Kerry, helped Valentino land a few minor roles in films and by 1919 the young Italian was typecast as a shifty-eyed Latino villain.
He appeared as second lead in The Delicious Little Devil (Robert Z. Leonard, 1919) with Mae Murray. He was credited as as Rudolpho De Valintine.
During this period he married small time actress Jean Acker. Acker was a lesbian, involved in a love triangle with actresses Grace Darmond and Alla Nazimova, and the union with Valentino didn't last long.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 748/1. Photo: Bafag. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rex Ingram, 1921) with Alice Terry.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 831/1, 1925-1926. Photo: British American Films / Balag. Collection: Didier Hanson. Publicity still for Camille (Ray C. Smallwood, 1921) with Alla Nazimova.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 831/2, 1925-1926. Photo: British-American-Films A.G. (Bafag). Publicity still for Camille (Ray C. Smallwood, 1921) with Alla Nazimova.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1090/5, 1927-1928. Photo: Paramount-Film. Publicity still for Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo, 1922).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4685/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo, 1922).
Unique brand of sexual charisma
Finally in 1921, Rudolph Valentino's star potential was realised by screenwriter June Mathis, who convinced director Rex Ingram to cast Valentino as Julio Desnoyers in The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (1921). A sensation was the scene in which he dances a sensual tango.
The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse became a critical success, and was one of the first films to make $1,000,000 at the box office. It remains to this day the sixth-highest grossing silent film ever.
Valentino's unique brand of sexual charisma scored an immediate hit with the public, but Metro failed to capitalise on their new personality. For his follow-up film, they forced him into a bit part in a B-film called Uncharted Seas (Wesley Ruggles, 1921). On this film, Valentino met his second wife, Natacha Rambova.
Rambova, Mathis, Ivano, and Valentino began work on the Alla Nazimova film Camille (Ray C. Smallwood, 1921), based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. Valentino was cast in the role of the idealistic young Armand, who falls in love with the older courtesan Camille (Nazimova). The film, mostly under the control of Rambova and Nazimova, was considered too avant garde by critics and the public.
Valentino then accepted an offer at Famous Players-Lasky, forerunner of the present-day Paramount Pictures. Here he co-starred with Agnes Ayres in The Sheik (George Melford, 1922), a role that would solidify his reputation as the ‘Latin lover’. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Despite the film's shortcomings, Valentino's magnetic personality permeated every frame, firmly establishing him as a star of the first rank.”
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1091/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Paramount-Film. Publicity still for Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922) with Gloria Swanson.
Dutch postcard, 1924. Publicity card to promote The Young Rajah (Phil Rosen, 1922), which was presented in the Asta Theatre in The Hague, The Netherlands. Rudolph Valentino was in this film credited as Rodolph Valentino. The Young Rajah was reportedly a lost film, but a few years ago the last forty minutes of a nitrate print were discovered. Paramount used stills and trailers to reconstruct the film and did according to reviewer Ischlake on IMDb a very commendable job.
French postcard by Édition Cinémagazine, no. 164. Photo: Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1766/2, 1927-1928. Rudolph Valentino in the American silent film A Sainted Devil (Joseph Henabery, 1924).
German postcard for Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1787/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. Publicity still for A Sainted Devil (Joseph Henabery, 1924) with Helen d'Algy.
Pink powder puff
Rudolph Valentino was rushed by Paramount from one film to another. He starred alongside Gloria Swanson in Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922), but it was a critical disappointment.
Valentino began work on another Mathis-penned film, Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo, 1922), co-starring with vamp Nita Naldi. Valentino played the bullfighter Juan Gallardo. He initially believed the film would be shot in Spain, and was upset to learn that the studio planned on shooting on a Hollywood back lot.
After finishing the film, Valentino married Rambova, which led to a sensational bigamy trial. The pair was forced to have their marriage annulled and separated for a year. Despite the trial, the film was still a success. Blood and Sand went on to become one of the top-four grossing movies of 1922, and Valentino considered this one of his best films.
Valentino took a two-year sabbatical, devoting his time to writing and publishing poetry. He returned to the screen in such disappointing productions as Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924) and Cobra (Joseph Henabery, 1925). A columnist for the Chicago Tribune, characterised the actor as a 'pink powder puff'. Valentino angrily challenged the writer to a fistfight, but the waspish scrivener refused.
Valentino divorced his second wife Natasha Rambova and formed his own production company, playing virile leading roles in The Eagle (Clarence Brown, 1925) and Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926), two of his best films.
A few months after completing Son of the Sheik, he was hospitalised in New York with a perforated ulcer. Complications quickly set in, and on 23 August 1926, the 31-year-old actor died. Nearly 80,000 hysterical women, including actress Pola Negri, crowded into Campbell's Funeral Parlour in New York.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1500/3, 1927-1928. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle (Clarence Brown, 1925
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3372/1, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle (Clarence Brown, 1925).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3677/1, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino and Louise Dresser in The Eagle (Clarence Brown, 1925).
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 172. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle (Clarence Brown, 1925)
French postcard by Europa, no. 235. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for The Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926) with Vilma Banky.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1534/3, 1927-1928. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for The Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3678/2, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still of Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
German postcard by Ufa, no. 368. Photo: Ewald / Eichberg Film / Panorama Film. Publicity still for Gestatten, mein Name ist Cox/Allow me, my name is Cox (Georg Jacoby, 1955).
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 364. Photo: Sam Lévin.
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Claude Borelli was born Claude Alice Marthe Plattner in 1934 In Paris. Little is known about her private life, so I will focus in this bio on her short career in the cinema
She made her film debut in the small part as a bacchant in Jean Cocteau's Orphée (1950), starring Jean Marais. Next the pretty starlet played a competitor in a miss pageant in La Plus Belle Fille du monde/The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Christian Stengel, 1951), starring Françoise Arnoul. She also had a small part in the French-Italian melodrama Quand tu liras cette lettre/When You Read This Letter (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953) starring Juliette Gréco and Philippe Lemaire.
Borelli had a bigger role in the Lemmy Caution adventure Cet homme est dangereux/This Man is Dangerous (Jean Sacha, 1953) featuring Eddie Constantine. She also played a starlet in Les Intrigantes/The Scheming Women (Henri Decoin, 1954) with Raymond Rouleau and Jeanne Moreau.
In Germany, she finally got a leading role in the crime film Gestatten, mein Name ist Cox/Allow me, my name is Cox (Georg Jacoby, 1955) opposite Johannes Heesters. Her other films included the comedy Le Fil à la pate (Guy Lefranc, 1955), an adaptation of a Georges Feydeau's farce, and Les Truands (Carlo Rim, 1956) with Eddie Constantine.
Only 26, Claude Borelli died after a fall accident in Paris on 15 November 1960. She was married to Jean-Louis Viale.
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 368. Photo: Sam Lévin.
Sources: Les Gens du Cinema (French), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.
Austrian postcard by Schreiber-Karte, no. 70087. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien-Film.
East-German postcard by VEB Volkskunstverlag Reichenbach, no. G 630. Photo: DEFA / Wunsch, Berlin. Publicity still for Figaros Hochzeit/The Marriage of Figaro (Georg Wildhagen, 1949).
German postcard. Photo: Real Film / Lilo. Publicity still for Lockende Gefahr/Locking danger (Eugen York, 1950).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 458/4, 1956. Photo: Kurt Wunsch.
A deliberately escapist release
Angelika Hauff was born Alice Paula Marie Suchanek in 1922 in Vienna, Austria. From her fifth year on, she performed as a ballet dancer at the Vienna State Opera. She attended the Max Reinhardt seminar and in 1942 received an engagement at the Salzburg Landestheater.
That year she also made her film debut. Her second film was already a starring role in the German drama Zirkus Renz/Circus Renz (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1943) co-starring René Deltgen. The circus film was made as a deliberately escapist release at a time when the Second World War was starting to turn against Germany and its allies. The film takes its title from the real Circus Renz.
Four more films followed until the end of 1945. After the Second World War the young artist worked in both parts of Germany. She starred opposite heartthrob Rudolf Prackin the Austrian romance Konigin der Landstrasse/The Queen of the Landstrasse (Géza von Cziffra, 1948).
In East-Germany she starred in Figaros Hochzeit/The Marriage of Figaro (Georg Wildhagen, 1949) with Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender and Sabine Peters. It was based on the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte, which was itself based on the play The Marriage of Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais. Hauff plays the chambermaid Susanna, around whom the men fight. The film was the first opera film made by DEFA, the state studio of East Germany, and it was a huge success with 5,479,427 tickets sold.
That same year, she played again with René Deltgen in a circus film, Tromba/Tromba: The Tiger Man (Helmut Weiss, 1949). It was one of the most popular West German films of the year, suggesting audiences supported a shift away from rubble films. In the German crime film Schwarze Augen/Dark Eyes (Géza von Bolváry, 1951), she co-starred with Cornell Borchers and Will Quadflieg.
In Italy, she appeared in the comedy Martin Toccaferro (Leonardo De Mitri, 1953) starring Peppino De Filippo. She started to play supporting parts such as in the Austrian drama Kaiserwalzer/The Emperor Waltz (Franz Antel, 1953), starring Maria Holst, and set set during the era of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Other supporting parts followed in the final Henny Porten film, the East-German crime film Das Fräulein von Scuderi (Eugen York, 1955), and in Mozart/The Life and Loves of Mozart (Karl Hartl, 1955), which explores the mental state of Mozart (played by Oskar Werner) during production of his final opera Die Zauberflöte.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, no. 620/64. Photo: DEFA / Neufeld. Publicity still for Figaros Hochzeit/The Marriage of Figaro (Georg Wildhagen, 1949).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag. Photo: Mundus / Schorcht-Film. Publicity still for Fräulein Casanova / Miss Casanova (E.W. Emo, 1953).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 1494. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Algefa / Columbia. Publicity still for Das Phantom des grossen Zeltes/The phantom of the great tent (Paul May, 1954).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 532/127. Photo: DEFA / Neufeld. Publicity still for Das Fräulein von Scuderi/The Girl from Scuderi (Eugen York, 1955).
A depiction of obsession
In the following decades, Angelika Hauff’s stage work became more important. From 1955 until her death, she was a member of the Vienna Burgtheater. She also travelled through Germany, playing at the Schloßpark-Theater Berlin, and the Kammerspielen in Munich. On TV, she appeared in the popular adventure series Der Kurier der Kaiserin/The Messenger of the Empress (Hermann Leitner, 1970-1971) with Klausjürgen Wüssow.
Credited as Angelica Hauff, she returned to the screen as the mother of Olivia Pascal in the French comedy Arrête ton char... bidasse! (Michel Gérard, 1977) with Darry Cowl.
In one of her last films she played the mother of Austrian artist Egon Schiele in the international coproduction Egon Schiele – Exzess und Bestrafung/Egon Schiele – Excess and Punishment (Herbert Vesely, 1981). It stars Mathieu Carriere as Schiele with Jane Birkin as his artist muse Walburga (Wally) Neuzil, Christine Kaufmannas his wife Edith and Kristina van Eyck as her sister.
Wikipedia: “The film is essentially a depiction of obsession and its constituents of sex, alcohol and uncontrolled emotions. Set in Austria during the Great War, Schiele is depicted as the agent of social change leading to destruction of those he loves and ultimately of himself.”
Jan Onderwater at IMDb: “Herbert Vesely was one of the promises for a new German cinema already in the 50's, but after the 60's his star was already dimmed. He made a small number of films in the 70's and 80's, all non too good. This biography of Egon Schiele, one of the most important Austrian artists, is an example of the pretensions and emptiness of a Vesely-film of later date.”
Angelika Hauff died in Vienna after a short illness in 1983, aged 60. For her work at the Burgtheater, she was awarded the title of ‘Kammertressin’ a few weeks before her death.
East-German postcard by VEB Volkskunstverlag Reichenbach, no. G 695.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 299, 1958.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 235, 1958.
Austrian postcard. Photo: Geiger, Wien.
Sources: Jan Onderwater (IMDb), Film-Zeit.de, Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.
British postcard by Boomerang Media. Photo: publicity still for The Man in the Iron Mask (Randall Wallace, 1998).
Much in demand as a romantic leading man
Jeremy John Irons was born in 1948 in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island just off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant.
Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. A typical islander, he used to go to mainland England only once a year. He wound up being grounded when his family settled down in Hertfordshire. At the age of 13 he enrolled in Sherborne School, Dorset, where he was happy as he could practise his favourite sport, horse-riding.
Before becoming an actor, he had considered a veterinarian surgeon's career. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic School for two years. In 1969, he joined Bristol Old Vic repertory company where he gained much experience working in everything from Shakespeare to contemporary dramas. He moved to London in 1971 and had a number of odd jobs before landing the roles of John the Baptist and Judas opposite David Essex in the hit musical Godspell (1971).
He went on to a successful early career in the West End theatre and on TV, including an adaptation of H.E. Bates' novel Love for Lydia (1977). He debuted on-screen as dancer Mikhail Fokine in the biographical film Nijinsky (Herbert Ross, 1980).
In the early 1980s, he gained international attention with his starring role as the lovelorn Charles Ryder in the TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel Brideshead Revisited (Charles Sturridge, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1981), after which he was much in demand as a romantic leading man.
Irons' first major film role came in the romantic drama The French Lieutenant's Woman (Karel Reisz, 1981), for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor. He was described as 'the thinking woman's pin up', for his lean good looks, air of faintly brooding melancholy and eloquent articulation.
In spite of all this, Irons proved to be a considerable actor in dramas such as Moonlighting (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1982), Betrayal (David Jones, 1983) with Ben Kingsley, and Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Mission (Roland Joffé, 1986) opposite Robert De Niro.
In 1984, he made his Broadway debut opposite Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing for which he won Broadway's 1984 Tony Award as Best Actor. In the mid-1980s, he also appeared in three lead roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
British postcard. Photo: publicity still for The French Lieutenant's Woman (Karel Reisz, 1981) with Meryl Streep.
British postcard by Royal Shakespeare Company, no. 237. Photo: Donald Cooper. Publicity still for the stage production of The Rover (1986) at the Swann Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Insane twin gynaecologists
Jeremy Irons made his name with his portrayal in the dual role of insane twin gynaecologists in the thought provoking Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988), for which he won the New York Critics Best Actor Award. He then gained a Golden Globe Award in addition to an Oscar for Best Actor in 1990 for his role as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune (Barbet Schroeder, 1990) alongside Glenn Close.
In the West End, he played Professor Higgins in Loewe-Lerner's famous musical My Fair Lady in 1987. He married actress Sinéad Cusack, with whom he appeared in Waterland (1992) and in the Royal Shakespeare Company plays. He appeared with his son Samuel Irons and his father-in-law Cyril Cusack in Danny the Champion of the World (Gavin Millar, 1989), based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl.
Other notable films included the mystery thriller Kafka (Steven Soderbergh, 1991), the British/French film Damage (Louis Malle, 1992) with Juliette Binoche, The House of the Spirits (Bille August, 1993) based on the novel by Isabel Allende, and the romantic drama M. Butterfly (David Cronenberg, 1993).
His was the voice of Scar in Disney's animated epic musical The Lion King (Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff, 1994). Irons played Simon Gruber, the obligatory well-spoken Brit villain in the action film Die Hard with a Vengeance (John McTiernan, 1995), the third in the Die Hard film series starring Bruce Willis and the highest-grossing film at the worldwide box-office that year.
Later followed Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty (1996), the American-French remake Lolita (Adrian Lyne, 1997) - the second screen adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel, Musketeer Aramis in The Man in the Iron Mask (Randall Wallace, 1998) with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the poorly received American-Czech fantasy film Dungeons & Dragons (Courtney Solomon, 2000).
He co-starred with Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice (2004), based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. In the comedy-drama Being Julia (István Szabó, 2004), he co-starred with Annette Bening. In 2005, he won an Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Elizabeth I (Tom Hooper, 2005), featuring Helen Mirren.
An international success was the epic historical drama Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005), set during the Crusades of the 12th century. Other films include the British-American action-fantasy Eragon (Stefen Fangmeier, 2006), the Western Appaloosa (Ed Harris, 2008) with Viggo Mortensen, and the indie drama Margin Call (J.C. Chandor, 2011).
Last year, he appeared in Assassin's Creed (Justin Kurzel, 2016) with Michael Fassbender and, starting that year, he plays Alfred Pennyworth in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016) starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, and later reprising the role in Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017) and The Batman (Matt Reeves, 2018).
Jeremy Irons married twice. His first marriage in 1969 to actress Julie Hallam was soon annulled. With his second wife Sinéad Cusack he has two sons, Samuel Irons (1978), who works as a photographer, and Max Irons (1985), who is also an actor.
British postcard by London Postcard Company, no. MG 2001. Photo: United Artists. Publicity still for The Man in the Iron Mask (Randall Wallace, 1998) with Gérard Depardieu, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Trailer Damage (1992). Source: Warnerarchive (YouTube).
Sources: Gustaf Molin and Guy Bellinger (IMDb), Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 513/1. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Publicity still from Ernst ist das Leben/Life is Serious (Fern Andra, 1916).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 513/2. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Publicity still from Ernst ist das Leben/Life is Serious (Fern Andra, 1916).
Death by broken heart
Ernst ist das Leben premiered on 27. October 1916 at the Berlin Tauentzienpalast cinema. The film was a typical example of Fern Andra's melodramatic films of the 1910s, set either in aristocratic or artists milieus.
Andra plays Fanny, daughter of a flowershop seller. She is engaged with Fritz (Fritz Delius), who works at an engineering agency. But Fanny meets a ballet master who discovers her dancing talent and trains her. Fast, she makes a career as ballerina and becomes solo performer at the theatre.
When during one nighthly performance a fire breaks out, young sculptor Holger (Alfred Abel) saves her. Soon both get together more closely than her fiance can permit. Holger wants Fanny to model for him, but Fritz opposes.
Fanny breaks up with Fritz and marries Holger, but the marriage proves to be unhappy, as Holger goes out with other women while Fanny suffers. One night she catches him red-handed and still she tries to save her marriage, but Holger rejects her. She dies of a broken heart, in front of his sculpture.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 513/3. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Publicity still from Ernst ist das Leben/Life is Serious (Fern Andra, 1916) with in the middle Alfred Abel and right Fritz Delius.
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 513/4. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Still from Ernst ist das Leben/Life is Serious (Fern Andra, 1916) with Fritz Delius. This card was sent to us by Gill (Many thanks!).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 513/5. Photo: Fern Andra Atelier. Publicity still from Ernst ist das Leben/Life is Serious (Fern Andra, 1916). The man on the left of Fern Andra is Fritz Delius. The dying woman in the bed is Frida Richard, who plays Andra's mother in the film.
Sources: The German Early Cinema Database, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 55. Photo: Eclair Journal. Publicity still for L'Invité de la onzième heure/The Eleventh Hour Guest (Maurice Cloche, 1945)
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, no. 1693. Photo: EGC / Fernand Rivers / Constantin Film. Publicity still for La Lumière d'en face/Female and the Flesh (Georges Lacombe, 1955).
A level of stratospheric intensity
Roger Pigaut was born Roger Paul Louis Pigot in Vincennes, France, in 1919.
In 1938, Pigaut attended the theatre courses of Raymond Rouleau and the following year he was admitted to the Conservatoire. But because of the war, he left to the South of France.
From 1943 on, he played in more than forty films. One of his first films was the romantic drama Douce/Love Story (Claude Autant-Lara, 1943) with Odette Joyeux. He co-starred with Madeleine Robinson in the crime drama Sortilèges/The Bellman (Christian-Jaque, 1945).
D.B. Dumontiel at IMDb: “Robinson and Pigaut had already teamed up in Claude Autant-Lara's classic Douce and the scenes where they are together (particularly the ball) take the film out on a level of stratospheric intensity that simply rises above the rest.”
Pigaut’s most prominent roles were as Antoine in the comedy Antoine et Antoinette (Jacques Becker, 1947) with Claire Mafféi as Antoinette, and as Pierre Bouquinquant in Les frères Bouquinquant/The brothers Bouquinquant (Louis Daquin, 1948).
D.B. Dumontiel again: “Antoine and Antoinette retains its pristine charm. It's very well acted, and Becker's camera is fluid, his sympathy for his characters is glaring. Qualities which will emerge again in such works as Rendez-vous de Juillet and his towering achievement Casque D'Or.”
Pigaut then portrayed the eighteenth century adventurer Louis Dominique Bourguignon known as Cartouche in the historical film Cartouche, roi de Paris/Cartouche (Guillaume Radot, 1950).
French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil, no. 9. Photo: Industrie Cinématographique. Publicity still for Douce/Love Story (Claude Autant-Lara, 1943).
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 55. Photo: C.C.F.C. (Compagnie Commerciale Française Cinématographique). Publicity still for Bagarres/Wench (Henri Calef, 1948).
I Killed Rasputin
In Italy, Roger Pigaut played a supporting part in the Italian Peplum Teodora, imperatrice di Bisanzio/Theodora, Slave Empress (Riccardo Freda, 1954) about Theodora (Gianna Maria Canale), a former slave who married Justinian I, emperor of Byzantium in AD 527–565.
He also appeared as Le Marquis d'Escrainville in two parts of the popular Angélique series featuring Michèle Mercier, Indomptable Angélique/Untamable Angelique (Bernard Borderie, 1967) and Angélique et le sultan/Angelique and the Sultan (Bernard Borderie, 1968).
Other historical films in which Pigaut appeared were the Italian-French J'ai tué Raspoutine/I Killed Rasputin (Robert Hossein, 1967) with Gert Fröbe as Grigori Rasputin, and the romantic tragedy Mayerling (Terence Young, 1968) starring Omar Sharif as Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and Catherine Deneuve as his mistress Baroness Maria Vetsera.
His last film was Une Histoire simple/A Simple Story (Claude Sautet, 1978), starring Romy Schneider, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Roger Pigaut also directed six films, and he played in the theatre. For five years, he was the companion of actress Betsy Blair from the late-1950s to the early-1960s (in between her marriages to Gene Kelly and Karel Reisz). Together with Serge Reggiani, they founded the production company Garance Films, with which they produced such films as Cerf-volant du bout du monde/The Magic of the Kite (Roger Pigaut, 1958) and the caper Trois milliards sans ascenseur/3000 Million Without an Elevator (Roger Pigaut, 1972) with Reggiani, and Dany Carrel.
Later he was married to French actress Joëlle Bernard. Roger Pigaut passed away in 1989 in Paris. He was 70.
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 36. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. I 477. Photo: EGC / Fernand Rivers / Constantin Film. Publicity still for La Lumière d'en face/Female and the Flesh (Georges Lacombe, 1955).
Sources: D.B. Dumonteil (IMDb), Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.
British postcard by Rotary Photo EC., no 1114 P. Photos: Foulsham and Banfield. Publicity stills of H.B. Irving as Lesurques and as Dubosq in The Lyons Mail.
British postcard by Rotary Photo, no. 1114 S. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield. Publicity still for the stage production of The Bells (ca. 1905) with Irving as Matthias.
Barrister or actor?
Harry Brodribb Irving was born in Bayswater, London, in 1870. His parents were the famous actor Sir Henry Irving and his wife Florence née O'Callaghan.
Although, as a child, he appeared a couple of times in his father's productions, it was intended that he would become a lawyer. He attended Marlborough College and New College, Oxford where he studied law and appeared in some student productions.
At 21, he made his stage debut at the Garrick Theatre, London, in School. Afterwards, in 1894, he was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, but instead of pursuing a career as a barrister he decided to become an actor. He took the stage name H.B. Irving to distinguish himself from his father whose birth-name he shared.
Inevitably, his early years as an actor were spent in the shadow of his father, especially as, at first, he was a member of Sir Henry Irving's Company. In 1896, he married Dorothea Baird, who, after playing the part of Trilby the year before, was, at that time, the best known actress in Britain. H.B. and Dorothea had a son Laurence, who became a well-known Hollywood art director, and a daughter Elizabeth, who would become an actress.
H.B. continued to be part of his father's company, but soon felt the need to branch out. In 1898, he joined George Alexander at the St James's Theatre where he played Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, and appeared in the surprise hit The Ambassador, a play written by Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie.
Henry Irving. British postcard by Rotary Photo, no. 101 B. Photo: Histed, London.
British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. G 273 C. Photo: Doyer St. Studios.
British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. 747 E. Photo: Ellis and Walery. Publicity still for the stage production of The Lyons Mail (1905) with Dorothea Baird.
Replaying his father's best remembered performances
For the following seven years, H.B. Irving and Dorothea Baird, selected the parts that appealed to them, and moved between companies, sometimes together and sometimes separately. In 1900, they both appeared in Herbert Beerbohm Tree's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that ran for 153 performances at Her Majesty's Theatre.
In 1904, only a year before his father's death, Irving played Hamlet for the first time. The production, which was a popular success, was presented at the Adelphi Theatre.
After his father's sudden death on 13 October 1905, he established his own company, that included his wife. They toured most provincial cities, playing mainly repeats of Sir Henry Irving's best remembered performances. For the opening night of the new King's Theatre in Southsea he presented Charles I, The Bells and The Lyons Mail.
Occasionally, other plays were presented including, most successfully, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the Queen's Theatre, London. That year he gave a lecture, largely autobiographical, to the Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
In 1906 he toured with success throughout the United States, appearing in plays made memorable by his father, again The Lyons Mail, Charles I, and The Bells. In 1911, Irving, Baird and their London Company toured Australia, again presenting Hamlet.
He also started to appear in the cinema and played the leading role in the silent film Princess Clementina (William Barker, 1911). Two years later, Baird retired from the stage, while Irving kept on performing. In 1913 he visited South Africa, and a photograph records his dinner with the Owl Club in Cape Town.
British postcard by The Daily Mirror. Photo: publicity still for the stage production of The Lyons Mail (1905).
British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., no. 276 N. Photo: The Daily Mirror Studios. Photo: publicity still for the stage production of The Lyons Mail (1905) with Irving as Robert Macaire.
British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., no. 273 L. Photo: Ellis & Walery. Photo: publicity still for the stage production of The Lyons Mail (1905) with Irving as Lesurques.
The London Murder Club
In 1914, H.B. Irving appeared with Basil Rathbone in The Sin of David at the Savoy Theatre.
He also appeared in the British silent film The Lyons Mail (Fred Paul, 1916), based on the 1854 play The Courier of Lyons by Charles Reade, a very popular stage work of the Victorian era. A respectable French gentleman is mistaken for his doppelganger, a notorious highwaymen. It was made by the Ideal Film Company, one of the leading British silent film studios.
During World War I, H.B. Irving withdrew from the theatre and returned to the law, writing the study for which he is now most famous, A Book of Remarkable Criminals, originally published in 1918, which examined the lives, motivations and crimes of some infamous murderers, Life of Judge Jeffreys, French Criminals of the 19th Century and other papers on the subject.
Wikipedia: “After spending twenty years of his life dedicated to the theatre, his greatest success came from being what it was intended he should be, a legal expert.”
H.B. Irving was also a founding member of Our Society with a.o. Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Diosy, J.B. Atlay, and the Coroner Ingleby Oddie. Our Society is the still flourishing ‘Murder’ Club in London, where old crimes are discussed at regularly held dinners.
In 1919, Harry Brodribb Irving died in London. He was only 49.
British postcard by Rotary, no. 1114 L. Photo: Foulsham and Banfield. Publicity still for the stage production of Markheim (1905) with Irving in the title role.
British postcard by Rotary Photo EC., no. 11. Photo: Johnston and Hoffmann.
Sources: Sydney Higgins (The Golden Age of British Theatre), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Canadian Fan Club Post Card, no. PC 13.
American postcard by Classico San Francisco, no. 105-139. Photo: Carolco Pictures Inc. Publicity still for Terminator 2 Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991).
British postcard by Minerva / Holmes McDougall Ltd., Edinburgh, no. PC 311.
The Austrian Oak
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in the village Thal near the small Austrian town of Graz. His parents were Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger.
His father, was an alcoholic police chief and one-time member of the Nazi Party, who clearly favoured Arnold's brother over his gangly, seemingly less athletic younger son. Gustav is reported to have beaten and intimidated Arnold and pitted his two boys against one another. Schwarzenegger would later refuse to attend the funeral of his father, who died in 1972, or his brother, who was killed in a car crash in 1971.
Gustav wanted Arnold to become a soccer player, but the 15-year-old opted for weight training. He frequented the local cinemas to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park and Steve Reeves on the big screen. In 1961, Schwarzenegger met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul, who invited him to train at the gym in Graz.
During his army service in 1965, Arnold won the Junior Mr. Europe contest. Arnold went on to win several European contests. This was his ticket to the U.S., where he billed himself for body-building exhibitions as ‘The Austrian Oak’. At age 20, he won the first of five Mr. Universe titles, and three years later, he captured his first Mr. Olympia title. He would win the title a total of seven times.
Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Though his thick Austrian accent and slow speech patterns led some to believe that the Austrian Oak was shy a few leaves, Schwarzenegger was, in fact, a highly motivated and intelligent young man. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in business and economics, he invested his contest earnings in real estate and a mail-order bodybuilding equipment company.”
At 21, Schwarzenegger was a millionaire via shrewd investments and decided to try acting. Producers were impressed by his physique but not by his last name, so he made his film debut with a dubbed voice and as Arnold Strong in Hercules in New York (Arthur A. Seidelman, 1970), a low-budget parody of the sword and sandal epics of Arnold’s youth.
He reverted to his own name for Stay Hungry (Bob Rafelson, 1976), with Jeff Bridges. For his part, he was awarded a Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year. Then he achieved stardom as ‘himself’ in Pumping Iron (George Butler, Robert Fiore, 1977) about a group of men training for the Mr. Olympia contest. Arnold had already won the title six times before, and was training for his seventh victory before retiring to fully pursue his acting career.
In The Villain (Hal Needham, 1979), a cartoon-like Western parody, he played ‘Handsome Stranger,’ exhibiting a gift for understated. In 1980, he starred opposite Loni Anderson in the TV biopic The Jayne Mansfield Story (Dick Lowry, 1980) as Mansfield's husband, Mickey Hargitay.
French postcard by Humour à la Carte, Paris, no. ST-59. Photo: publicity still for Conan the Barbarian (John Milius, 1982).
Italian postcard by World Collection, no. P.c. 306. Photo: publicity still for Commando (Mark L. Lester, 1985).
Italian postcard by Vitorius Roma, no. 404. Photo: publicity still for Commando (Mark L. Lester, 1985).
A bona fide box-office draw
Arnold Schwarzenegger established himself as an action star with his role as the barbarian warrior Conan in the formidable Conan the Barbarian (John Milius, 1982) and its inferior though enjoyable sequel, Conan the Destroyer (Richard Fleischer, 1984).
As the murderous android title character in The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984), Schwarzenegger became a bona fide box-office draw. Made on a relatively modest budget, the high voltage action / science fiction thriller was incredibly successful worldwide, and began one of the most profitable film franchises in history. Schwarzenegger's catchphrase "I'll be baaaack" became part of popular culture around the world.
Then followed two of his best action films: Predator (John McTiernan, 1987) - an entertaining marriage of action and science fiction about a team of commandos hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior in a South-American jungle, and Paul Verhoeven's wild and sublime Sci-Fi action film Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven, 1990).
Total Recall, loosely based on the Philip K. Dick story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, tells the story of a construction worker who goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, but an unexpected and harrowing events force him to go to the planet for real - or does he?
Stuart Wood at IMDb: “Total Recall is without doubt Arnold Schwarzenegger's best movie since The Terminator. Arnold fits perfectly in the role of Doug Quaid (definitely his best acting in a movie to date) the confused construction worker and Ronny Cox provides his usual evil plotting arch bad-guy. The impressive visual effects are worth the movie's $100 million price tag, and Paul Verhoeven proved that, as with Robocop and Starship Troopers, sci-fi is where he does his best work.“
As Danny De Vito's unlikely pacifistic sibling in Twins (Ivan Reitman, 1988), Schwarzenegger received the praise of critics. In the police comedy Kindergarten Cop (Ivan Reitman, 1991), Schwarzenegger played a hard-bitten police detective who found his true life's calling as a schoolteacher.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991), wherein ‘Arnie’ exercised his star prerogative and insisted that the Terminator become a good guy, was the most expensive film ever made up to its time and became one of the biggest moneymakers. The actor's subsequent action films were equally as costly.
Hal Erickson: “sometimes the expenditures paid off, while other times the result was immensely disappointing - for the box-office disappointment Last Action Hero (1992), Schwarzenegger refreshingly took full responsibility, rather than blaming the failure on his production crew or studio.”
British postcard, no. 105. Publicity still for Raw Deal (John Irvin, 1986).
French postcard by Sonis, no. C. 129. Photo: Carolco International NV. Publicity still for Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven, 1990).
French postcard by Sonis, no. C. 130. Photo: Carolco International NV. Publicity still for Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven, 1990).
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a rock-ribbed Republican despite his former marriage to JFK's niece, Maria Shriver, with whom he has four children. He was appointed by George Bush in 1990 as chairman of the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, a job he took as seriously and with as much dedication as any of his films.
A much-publicised investment in the showbiz eatery Planet Hollywood increased the coffers in Schwarzenegger's already bulging bank account. Schwarzenegger then added directing to his many accomplishments, piloting a few episodes of the TV series Tales From the Crypt as well as the TV-movie Christmas in Connecticut (1992) with Dyan Cannon, a remake of the classic Christmas in Connecticut (Peter Godfrey, 1945) with Barbara Stanwyck.
Schwarzenegger bounced back from the disastrous Last Action Hero (John McTiernan, 1990) with True Lies (James Cameron, 1994), which was one of the major hits of that summer.
Following the success of True Lies, Schwarzenegger went back to doing comedy with Junior (Ivan Reitman, 1994), co-starring with Emma Thompson. The film met with critically mixed results, although it fared decently at the box office.
Schwarzenegger continued to alternate action with comedy with Eraser (Chuck Russell, 1996) and Jingle All the Way (Brian Levant, 1996). The latter proved to be both a critical bomb and a box-office disappointment. Schwarzenegger returned to action films with Batman & Robin (Joel Schumacher, 1997), in which he played the villain Mr. Freeze. Unfortunately the film proved to be a huge critical disappointment.
Dutch postcard by Film Freak Productions, no. FA 283, 1992. Photo: Carolco International N.V. Publicity still for Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991).
French postcard, no. S 118.
French postcard by Editions Humour à la Carte, Paris, no. ST-126.
The turn of the century found Arnold Schwarzenegger's film career and box office prominence into decline. He made two millennial paranoia films, End of Days (Peter Hyams, 1999) and The 6th Day (Roger Spottiswoode, 2000), both failures. Collateral Damage (Andrew Davis, 2002) also failed to do well at the box office.
Fans rejoiced when Arnold resumed his role as a seriously tough cyborg in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Jonathan Mostow, 2003). Jeremy Wheeler at AllMovie: “What T3 does effectively is bring back the mix of highly intense action, character-driven humor, and technological wizardry that the big screen had been lacking for more than a decade since Terminator 2: Judgment Day. There's a direct understanding of the series core dynamics, and once things kick in, there's no doubt that you're back in Terminator-land. Arnold Schwarzenegger eases back into the role effortlessly, bringing an understanding to the lovable cyborg that goes beyond simple line delivery and stoic screen presence.”
Though Schwarzenegger made a cameo in Around the World in 80 Days (Frank Coraci, 2004), his most notable role of the new millennium was political. In 2003 he became the governor of California, and ‘The Governator’ served two terms until 2011.
In 2010, Schwarzenegger was among the all-star cast of action-movie icons in The Expendables (Sylvester Stallone, 2010), an action thriller following a group of tough-as-nails mercenaries as they deal with the aftermath of a mission gone wrong. He reprised his role for The Expendables 2 (Simon West, 2012) and The Expendables 3 (Patrick Hughes, 2014).
The Last Stand (Kim Jee-woon, 2013) was his first leading role in 10 years. More recently he returned to the Terminator franchise in Terminator Genisys (Alan Taylor, 2015) and he produced and acted in the dramatic horror film Maggie (Henry Hobson, 2015). His most recently released film is the thriller Aftermath (Elliott Lester, 2017).
Vintage postcard, no. C 233.
French postcard, no. 1088.
Vintage postcard, no. C 222.
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), David Montgomery (IMDb), Stuart Wood (IMDb), Jeremy Wheeler (AllMovie), Biography.com, Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano (Milan), no. 75.
Italian postcard by Ed. Borghi, Bologna, no. 239.
Linda Pini was born as Gerlinda Filippini in Milan in 1896.
She probably made her film debut as Santuzza in the adaptation of Giovanni Verga’s drama Cavalleria rusticana (1916), directed by Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, who also played Turiddu. At the time the film was accompanied by the music of Pietro Mascagni’s homonymous opera.
De Colle directed her again in Zingari/Gypsies (Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, 1916), another example of a famous story (by Alexander Pushkin) turned into an opera (by Ruggero Leoncavallo), turned into a film. Again Pini had the leading role. The press praised not only Pini’s performance, but also the spectacle side of the film and the costumes by Caramba, who was then already a well-known set and costume designer at the theatre.
After that Pini had to step down, playing minor parts in two films with diva Helena Makowska, both Gabriele D’Annunzio adaptations: La fiaccola sotto il moggio/The Torch Under thye Moggio (Eleuterio Ridolfi, 1916) and La Gioconda/The Joyous one (Eleuterio Ridolfi, 1916). The films were popular.
Pini then went to play for the Silentium Film company in Milan, where she had leading roles, first in L’illusione/The illusion (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1917), which the press disliked, while another film by Zorzi, La felicità/The happiness (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1918), was lauded for Pini’s performance.
The press complained when Pini’s beauty was constantly hidden in another Silentium production, La storia di una capinera/The History of a Sparrow (Giuseppe Sterni, 1917). The film about a nun who goes berserk, was based on a novel by Giovanni Verga. The next Silentium production La nemica/The Enemy (Ivo Illuminati, 1917), based on the play by Dario Niccodemi, got better reviews. Zorzi was supposed to direct this film too, but was called under the arms, so Illuminati replaced him.
Illuminati also directed Pini in Giflée (Ivo Illuminati, 1918), in which Pini was a spoiled American who changes her life, travels to Europe and does all kinds of odd jobs. Pini then moved to Turin to play in Mario Bonnard’s Il rifugio dell’alba, with Bonnard also as her co-star.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 3872, V. Uff. Rev. St., Terni. Photo: Ambrosio. Caption: 'On the banks of the sweet Tuscan coast the sculptor Lucio Settala, his wife Silvia and their daughter Beata live. The latter has befriended the Little Siren, a strange beggar girl.' Postcard for the lost Ambrosio production La Gioconda (Eleuterio Rodolfi, 1916, released 1917), based on Gabriele D'Annunzio's play. While Umberto Mozzato plays Settala and Mercedes Brignone his wife, 'Sirenetta' might be Linda Pini.
Italian postcard. IPA CT, V. Uff. Rev. St. Terni, no. 3881. Photo: Film della Soc. Ambrosio, Torino. Caption: 'And at home Lucio Settala didn't find rest nor peace.' Standing right, Settala (Umberto Mozzato), sitting at the table his wife Silvia (Mercedes Brignone), and sitting on the (fore-)ground la Sirenetta (Linda Pini).
Italian postcard by IPA CT Duplex, no. 7209. Photo: Silentium-Film. Linda Pini in the Italian silent film La nemica/The Enemy (Ivo Illuminati, 1917), adapted from the play by Dario Nicodemi. Caption: 'Farewell, beloved Anna! You will become my wife at any cost!'
At the end of the First World War, Linda Pini moved to Rome where she starred in Zorzi’s film La cicala/The Cricket (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1919), in which she plays a vamp, the cricket of the film’s title.
Subsequent films were L’estranea/The extraneous one (Achille Consalvi, 1919), the Henry Bernstein adaptation Elevazione/Elevation (Telemaco Ruggeri, 1920), and Temi/Themes (Gaston Ravel, 1920) which was praised for Pini’s performance as a female lawyer who defends a young man accused of murder.
By this time Pini had reached the status of diva, though the Italian press didn’t like her too much. Next followed such films as I dannati/The damned ( Jacques Creusy, 1921), Favilla (Ivo Illuminati, 1921), and I disonesti/The cheats (Giuseppe Sterni, 1922).
In 1923 followed Il paese della paura/The country of fear (Alfredo De Antoni, 1923), La leggenda delle Dolomiti/The legend of the Dolomites (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1923) opposite Arnold Kent, Povere bimbi/Poor Babies (Giovanni Pastrone, 1923), Fronda d’ulivo/The Olive Branch (Alfredo De Antoni, 1923).
Then came parts in Il cammino delle stelle/The walk of the stars (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1924), La freccia nel cuore/The arrow in the heart (Amleto Palermi, 1925), and Voglio tradire il mio marito/I Want to Betray My Husband (Mario Camerini, 1925).
After an interval of several years followed the late silent film La leggenda di Wally/La Wally (Gian Orlando Vassallo, 1930), based on the Henny Porten-film Die Geier-Wally (Ewald André Dupont, 1921). It was her last role as a silent star.
In the sound era Lina Pini played only two parts: in Fuochi d’artificio/Fireworks (Gennaro Righelli, 1938), were she had a major part opposite Amedeo Nazzaribut under the pseudonym Gery Land, and in La zia di Carlo/Charlie's Aunt (Alfredo Guarini, 1943), a minor part as the real aunt.
It is told that Linda Pini died poor and forgotten, in Rome in 1971. She was 77.
Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: Medusa-Film. Linda Pini in Favilla/Love's Labour Won (Ivo Illuminati, 1921).
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano (Milan), no. 121. Photo: La Photominio. Publicity still for Favilla (Ivo Illuminati, 1921). At the time, this film of the Roman Medusa-Film company was not so much praised for its story as rather for its performances and the cinematography. Linda Pini plays Favilla, who is secretly in love with Cesare (Carlo Gualendri), a young engineering student and her cousin. One day Lady d'Etemps (Paola Pò) and her cousin Guglielmo visit the house of Favilla's uncle. The lady tries to seduce Cesare, because she loves his money and future inheritance. She also tries to match her cousin with Favilla. When Favilla unmasks the lady's financial interests, the other unmasks Favilla's love for Cesare. While the others leave, Cesare and Favilla exchange their first kiss...
Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il cinema muto italiano), Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.
French postcard by Musée de l 'Elysée, Lausanne / News Productions, Baulmes. Photo: Bettina Rheims / Sygma. Caption: Mathilda May - La Beauce, 1987.
A deep-tanned, brown-eyed beauty
Mathilda May was born Karima Mathilda Haim in Paris in 1965. Her father is playwright Victor Haïm, who is from a Greek- and Turkish-Jewish family. Her mother is the Swedish ballet teacher and choreographer Margareta Hanson. She was a prima ballerina for the Sweden Malmo ballet company.
At age 16 May won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire de Danse de Paris (First Prize of the Paris Dance Conservatory). After a part in a German TV series, she made her film debut opposite Jason Connery in the fantasy Nemo/Dream One (Arnaud Sélignac, 1984). Jason Buchanan at AllMovie about her: “A deep-tanned, brown-eyed beauty whose background in ballet lends her a certain onscreen elegance unrivalled by many of her contemporaries.”
Internationally she is best known for her role as a seductive vampire in the British Science Fiction horror film Lifeforce (Tobe Hooper, 1985), with Steve Railsback and Peter Firth. Wikipedia notes that May is naked for most of her performance in this film. Lifeforce was the first film of Tobe Hooper's three-picture deal with Cannon Films, following his enormous success with Poltergeist (1982), which was a collaboration with producer Steven Spielberg. The other two films are the remake of Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).
May followed this with parts in French films such as the comedy Les Rois du gag/The Gag Kings (Claude Zidi, 1985) with Michel Serrault, and La vie dissolue de Gérard Floque/The Debauched Life of Gérard Floque (Georges Lautner, 1987).
She won a César award for Most Promising Actress for her role in the French-Italian thriller Le cri du hibou/The Cry of the Owl (Claude Chabrol, 1987) based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith. She starred opposite Yves Montand in the musical Trois places pour le 26/Three Seats for the 26th (1988), scripted and directed by Jacques Demy to music by Michel Legrand. In 1989, she was the recipient of the Prix Romy Schneider.
French postcard by Especially for you, Réf. 7.
Joy of Love
During the 1990s, Mathilda May appeared in such non-French films as Naked Tango (Leonard Schrader, 1991) with Vincent D'Onofrio, Becoming Colette (Danny Huston, 1991) and the Spanish-French production La Teta y la luna/The Tit and the Moon (Bigas Luna, 1994) with Gérard Darmon.
She also appeared in the space adventure game Privateer 2: The Darkening (Steve Hilliker, Erin Roberts, 1996) and played the Basque terrorist Isabella in the action film The Jackal (Michael Caton-Jones, 1997) with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere.
Her most interesting film of this period is Cerro Torre: Schrei aus Stein/Scream of Stone (Werner Herzog, 1991) about a climbing expedition on Cerro Torre, one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. The film was shot on location at Cerro Torre, with several scenes filmed close to the summit.
In 1992, May recorded an album called Joy of Love. In the following deacades May mostly worked for TV. Her incidental French films include Là-bas... mon pays/Return to Algiers (Alexandre Arcady, 2000), the drama and thriller La Fille coupée en deux/A Girl Cut in Two (Claude Chabrol, 2007) starring Ludivine Sagnier, and the omnibus comedy Les Infidèles/The Players (2012) directed by and starring Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche.
Mathilda May has been married three times. Her first husband was Paul Powell, while her second husband was French actor and singer Gérard Darmon, with whom she has two children, daughter Sarah (1994) and son Jules (1997). Her third husband was Philippe Kelly.
French postcard in the Le jour se lève series by Editions Humour à la carte, Paris, no. ST-177. Photo: Jean-Pierre Larcher.
Sources: Jason Buchanan (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 4, 1973. This postcard was printed in an edition of 40,000 cards. Retail price: 8 Kop.
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 04747, 1968. This postcard was printed in an edition of 100.000 cards. Retail price: 8 Kop.
Bear Turned Man
Oleg Borisovich Vidov was born in Filimonki, a suburb of Moscow, USSR (now Russia) in 1943. His parents were Varvara Vidova, a teacher, and Boris Nikolaievich Garnevich, an economist. As a child he lived with his mother, who worked for the Soviet government in the field of education in Mongolia and East Germany. When his mother was sent to China on assignment, he went to live with his aunt Anuta in Kazakhstan. Eventually he moved with his mother and aunt to Moscow.
At 18, competing against hundreds of would-be actors, he was accepted to the acting department of the state film school VGIK. In 1961, he made his film debut with a bit part in the drama Друг мой, Колька!../Drug moy, Kolka!../My friend Kolka! (Aleksandr Mitta, Aleksei Saltykov, 1961). Eleanor Mannikka at AllMovie: “This was an unusual comedy for its day in the USSR. Put together by two graduate students in film, the story tweaks the establishment with some fairly sharp barbs. At the receiving end of the satire is the rigid, party-line, slogan-spouting school system and its load of propaganda.”
In 1964, the young actor played a bear-turned-man who falls in love with a princess in Обыкновенное чудо/Obyknovennoye chudo/An Ordinary Miracle (Erast Garin, 1964). This wonderful fairy love story was partly filmed in the Vorontsov Palace. Next, Vidov starred in Метель/Metel/The Blizzard (Vladimir Basov, 1964), based on a story by Alexander Pushkin.
He played a prince charming in the fairy tale Сказка о царе Салтане/Skazka o tsare Saltane/The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Aleksandr Ptushko, 1967) with Larisa Golubkina. In 1968, he went to Yugoslavia for the romance Ima ljubavi, nema ljubavi/There is love, no love (Nikola Rajic, 1968) with Olivera Katerina, and the war drama Uzrok smrti ne pominjati/Do Not Mention the Cause of Death (Jovan Zivanovic, 1968) starring Bekim Fehmiu.
Vidov also appeared in the Yugoslavian production Битка на Неретви/Bitka na Neretvi/Battle of Neretva (Veljko Bulajić, 1969) based on the true events of World War II. The Battle of the Neretva was due to a strategic plan for a combined Axis powers attack in 1943 against the Yugoslav Partisans. The plan was also known as the Fourth Enemy Offensive and occurred in the area of the Neretva river in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Battle of Neretva was the most expensive film made in the SFR Yugoslavia. It was the first of the huge state-sponsored World War II film productions and had a staggering budget (somewhere between $4.5 million and $12 million) approved personally by Yugoslav president Josip Tito. In the cast were global stars likeSergei Bondarchuk (who had just won an Oscar for War and Peace), Yul Brynner, Franco Nero, Orson Welles, Hardy Krüger and Sylva Koscina. Battle of Neretva was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but did not win.
Vidov was then cast for another historical epic Ватерлоо/Waterloo (1970), directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. The cast included Rod Steiger (as Napoleon Bonaparte), Christopher Plummer (as the Duke of Wellington), Orson Welles (Louis XVIII of France), Jack Hawkins, and Virginia McKenna. Waterloo depicts the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo, and is famous for its lavish battle scenes.
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 06242, 1968. This postcard was printed in an edition of 100.000 cards. Retail price: 10 Kop.
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 319, 1977. This postcard was printed in an edition of 40.000 cards. Retail price: 8 Kop.
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 6130, 1973. This postcard was printed in an edition of 400.000 cards. Retail price: 5 Kop. Photo: publicity still for Vsadnik bez golovy/The Headless Horseman (Vladimir Vaynshtok, 1972).
In Cuba, Oleg Vidov plated a poor Irish cowboy in the Western Всадник без головы/Vsadnik bez golovy/The Headless Horseman (Vladimir Vaynshtok, 1972), with Lyudmila Savelyeva. The film was based on a novel by the 19th-century Irish-American adventure writer ‘Captain’ Thomas Mayne Reid, whose works were much read in the Eastern Bloc. Cuban actors played the Hispanic characters and the black slaves; Soviet actors the Caucasians and Native Americans.
Vidov appeared in another communist Western, the DEFA production Tecumseh (Hans Kratzert, 1972) featuring Gojko Mitic. For the animation film Maugli/Adventures of Mowgli (Roman Davydov, 1973), he dubbed one the characters. The film, based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, was produced by Soviet animation studio Soyuzmultfilm. Other films in which he appeared were the Yugoslavian production Jad/Misery (Kiril Cenevski, 1975), and the crime film Крик тишины/Krik tishiny/Scream of Silence (Arya Dashiyev, 1983).
In 1985, Oleg Vidov emigrated to the U.S. (using his half-Jewish origin) and began acting in films and television there, without success. He married producer Joan Borsten and appeared in her production Red Heat (Walter Hill, 1988) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a taciturn law-enforcement officer from Russia. Vidov also helped Schwarzenegger to shape the role. The following year he had a part in the erotic drama Wild Orchid (Zalman King, 1990) starring Mickey Rourke.
In 1992, the Vidovs obtained the international distribution rights to the award-winning Soyuzmultfilm animation library. Their firm FBJ (Films By Jove) helped popularise Russian animation around the world. Together they produced numerous series based on animation they digitally restored from the Soyuzmultfilm library including Animated Classic Showcase, Mikhail Baryshnikov's Stories from My Childhood, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Masters of Russian Animation, The Adventures of Cheburashka and Friends, and Animated Soviet Propaganda.
Incidentally Vidov appeared in Hollywood productions. The most interesting was the political thriller Thirteen Days (Roger Donaldson, 2000) about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Opposite Kevin Costner, Vidov played a supporting role as the Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations.
In 2007 Vidov and his wife sold the library to a Russian oligarch. Oleg Vidov became Chairman of the Board at Malibu Beach Recovery Center, a drug treatment facility in Malibu, California.
Oleg Vidov died in Westlake Village, California. He was 73.
Trailer Битка на Неретви/Bitka na Neretvi/Battle of Neretva (1969). Source: Иволий Иванов (YouTube).
Trailer Red Heat (1988). Source: Kilkenny1979 (YouTube).
Sources: Charlotte Parker (IMDb), Eleanor Mannikka (AllMovie), Kartoshka167, Wikipedia (English) and IMDb.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 549/1. Photo: Decla. Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 549/2. Photo: Decla. Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 549/3. Photo: Decla. Emil Birron and Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918).
A ravishing, elementary force
Die Sünde/The Sin (1918) is directed by actor Alwin Neuss and produced by famous producer Erich Pommer for the Decla-Film-Gesellschaft, which he ran at the time.
It was the first of Ressel Orla's own series, in which she was protagonist and which focused on highly dramatic plots. Before Die Sünde she had become popular as a comedienne. Her co-stars in Die Sünde were Emil Birron, Paul Rehkopf and Alwin Neuss.
The Berlin trade journal Lichtbild-Bühne (Bd. 11, Nr. 28, 13.07.1918, S. 72) raved about her: "Ressel Orla appears as the well-bred woman who knows to curb her temper, which yet explodes at moments and dominated everything around her. Here the fire of enthusiasm kindles which inspires.
Moreover, Ressel Orla brings along all external assets to awaken sympathy at her first appearance. Indeed, it seems possible that this sympathy towards such a thoroughbred talent maintains, even if the character to be represented is little sympathetic.
In Sünde Ressel Orla has first to play the young thing, who becomes an artist's model under the force of circumstances, in order to save her dying father. When she later stands alone in the world, she rises to happiness without suffering from her past.
But then the pride of the woman awakens in her, to whom only the right of her own ego applies. In these scenes full of fervour and passion Ressel Orla was of ravishing, elementary force."
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 549/4. Photo: Decla. Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 549/6. Photo: Decla. Paul Rehkopf and Ressel Orla in Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918).
Ressel Orla. German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 92/3. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin.
Sources: Stephanie d'Heil (Steffi-Line - German), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Filmhistoriker.de, Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 523. Publicity still for The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927).
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 640-1. Photo: d'Ora.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 640-2. Photo d'Ora.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 804. Photo: d'Ora.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 53/3. Photo: Hisa. Publicity still for Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei/The Last Days of Pompeii (Carmine Gallone, Amleto Palermi, 1926). Collection: Didier Hanson.
The Slave Queen
María Corda (sometimes spelled as Korda) was born as María Antónia Farkas in Déva, Hungary in 1898.
She began her acting career in the theatres of Budapest in the early days of World War I. Soon after Hungary became an independent state she began to work in the film industry as well.
As Antónia Farkas she made her first film appearance in Se ki, se be/Not In, or Out (Sándor Korda aka Alexander Korda, 1919). In 1919 she married her director, but she would always write her last name differently to differentiate herself from her husband.
He featured her in Fehér rózsa/The White Rose (Alexander Korda, 1919), Ave Caesar! (Alexander Korda, 1919) and A 111-es/Number 111 (Alexander Korda, 1919).
She followed Korda when he journeyed to Vienna to join the Sascha Film Company. There Korda made her a star of the European silent cinema.
Under his guidance she took part in epic films like Samson und Delila/Samson and Delilah (Alexander Korda, 1922) and Die Sklavenkönigin/The Slave Queen (Mihály Kertész aka Michael Curtiz, 1924).
Set in ancient Egypt, Die Sklavenkönigin recounts the oppression of the Jews under the despotic rule of Pharaoh Menapta. Against this backdrop is played the romantic story of Hebrew girl Merapi (Maria), the ‘Moon of Israel’, and Prince Seti (Adelqui Migliar aka Adelqui Millar), heir to the Egyptian throne.
Die Sklavenkönigin was intended for an American release that same year, under the title Moon of Israel. That release was suppressed by Cecil B. DeMille, who worried that his own The Ten Commandments would be compared unfavourably. In 1927 Moon of Israel arrived in the American cinemas, director Michael Curtiz had been hired by Warner Bros., largely on the strength of this one film.
French postcard by Europe, no. 316. Photo: Mercure Film.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 61. Photo: Franz Lowy.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 37. Photo: publicity still for The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927) with Ricardo Cortez.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5807. Photo: Lux Film Verleih / Aafa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3684/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Defina. With Ricardo Cortez in The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927).
Box Office Queen
In the mid-1920s, Maria Corda had become a darling of the public and a sure guarantee for success at the box office. To her hits belong Das unbekannte Morgen/The Unknown Tomorrow (Alexander Korda, 1923) with Werner Krauss, Jedermanns Frau/Everybody's Woman (Alexander Korda, 1924), and Madame wünscht keine Kinder/Madame Doesn't Want Children (Alexander Korda, 1926) with Harry Liedtke.
Her popularity was so huge that Austrian investors refused their grant for the Italian film Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei/The Last Days of Pompeii (Carmine Gallone, Amleto Palermi, 1926) unless the leading part would be recast with Maria Corda. And of course that’s what finally happened.
Desperately seeking his independence, Alexander Korda moved to Berlin to form his own company Korda-Film, and Maria moved with him to the German capital. There Korda directed his wife in Eine DuBarry Von Heute/A Modern DuBarry (Alexander Korda, 1926).
Corda played Toinette, a saucy, somewhat amoral scullery maid. Bouncing from bed to bed, Toinette becomes the mistress of Count Martel (Alfred Gerasch) and, ultimately, the King of Andalia (Jean Bradin).
This final liaison very nearly topples the Andalian government, but Toinette manages to survive this ordeal without a hair out of place, though she does cry and cry a lot when things don't go her way. This film landed Korda his Hollywood contract, and he and Maria travelled to the US.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1074/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1074/6, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1633/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Fox.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1823/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1823/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.
Maria Corda’s one truly successful Hollywood film performance was in The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927). Setting the standard for his later light-hearted biopics The Private Life of Henry VIII and Rembrandt, Korda steadfastly refused to take any of The Private Life of Helen of Troy seriously.
Maria Corda played the title character as a fetchingly underdressed coquette, oblivious to all the political turmoil she's causing when she allows the handsome Paris (Ricardo Cortez) to kidnap her. The film was nominated for an Academy Awardin 1928, the year of the Awards' inception, in the category of Best Title Writing.
Other Hollywood productions with Corda like the early sound film Love and the Devil (Alexander Korda, 1929) enjoyed little success. She finished her Hollywood career when the sound came to stay, because her English was limited.
She returned to Europe where she appeared in the silent comedies Der moderne Casanova/A Modern Casanova (Max Obal, 1928) and Die Konkurrenz platzt/The competition bursts (Max Obal, Rudolf Walther-Fein, 1929), both opposite Harry Liedtke.
In Germany she made one more sound film: Rund um die Liebe/All around love (Oskar Kalbus, 1929) with Elisabeth Bergner. In 1930 Maria Corda divorced Alexander Korda and she would never make another film.
She moved to New York where she wrote novels. The formerly celebrated film goddess fell into oblivion. The later years of her life were spent in the vicinity of Geneva in Switzerland. Maria Corda died there in Thônex in 1976. She was 77.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3399/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Defina. Publicity still of Maria Corda and Ricardo Cortez as Helena and Paris in The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3472/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Defina.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4046/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Defina.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3818/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Süd-Film.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), J. A. Aberdeen (Hollywood Renegades Archives), Allure, Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard by H.C. Stöckel, Hannover-Linden for Bemberg. Caption: "Bemberg-Strümpfe, Bemberg-Seide, Herz und Sinn erfreuen beide!" (Bemberg stockings, Bemberg silk, delight both heart and sense!
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1745/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Rembrandt, Berlin.
The Bride of the Apaches
Margarete Lanner (also Marga Lanner) was born Margarethe Helene Langlotz in 1896 in Hamburg, Germany.
In 1917, she made her stage debut run in Hanau. In 1919, she returned to her birthplace of Hamburg, where she received her first film contract from the production company Vera-Filmwerke GmbH, which was based there.
She made her first film appearances in Brutal (Paul Otto, 1919) and Colombine (Martin Hartwig, 1919) with Emil Jannings. In the latter she played ‘the Bride of the Apaches’.
From then on, she easily found her way in the film business, and in the following years she played leading roles in a dozen films for Vera-Filmwerke. These include Der Staatsanwalt/The prosecutor (Paul Otto, 1920) with Werner Krauss, Das Geheimnis der grünen Villa/The Secret of the Green Villa (Philipp Lothar Mayring, 1921), Don Juan (Albert Heine, Robert Land, 1922) featuring Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Heines erste Liebe/Heine’s First Love (Eva Christa, 1922) and Die letzte Maske/The Final Mask (Emmerich Hanus, 1922).
In Sklaven der Rache/Slaves of Revenge (Philipp Lothar Mayring, 1921), she even played a double role as two sisters.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1745/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Rembrandt, Berlin.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 740. Photo: Treuhand-Film / Mondial A.G. Publicity still for In Treue stark/In faithful strong (Heinrich Brandt, 1926) with Angelo Ferrari.
Leading roles in unspectacular productions
Margarete Lanner could count on a devoted regular audience, but Vera-Filmwerke stopped producing films in 1924. She moved to Berlin, where she continued her film career.
She played leading roles in unspectacular productions, such as the popular Ufa comedy Die zweite Mutter/The Second Mother (Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers, 1925) with Hans Mierendorff, and Des Lebens Würfelspiel/The Dice Game of Life (Heinz Paul, 1925), starring Frida Richard and Hella Moja.
Very spectacular is the expressionist Science Fiction masterpiece Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang’s epic vision of a futuristic city where workers toil for their domineering overseers. However, Lanner’s part in the film was very small: she played a woman seen in a car and in the Eternal gardens.
The following year she made her final silent film, Das Fräulein von Kasse 12/The Woman from Till 12 (Erich Schönfelder, 1928), starring Werner Fuetterer and Dina Gralla. She retired from the film business for a longer time.
She married and became Margarete Gräfin Aichelburg. Only in 1936 she made a brief comeback with two films for Euphono-Film GmbH, Die Stunde der Versuchung/The Hour of Temptation (Paul Wegener, 1936) starring Gustav Fröhlich, and Ein Lied klagt an/A song laments (Georg Zoch, 1936) with Louis Graveure.
After that, she disappeared largely from the public eye. She returned to the theatre as an actress and singer under the name of Marga Lanner. She had a commitment to the Municipal Theater of Innsbruck in the 1938-1939 season. In 1940 she narrated the short Austrian documentary Kinderhände – Künstlerhände/Children 's Hands - Artists' Hands (Ulrich Kayser, 1940), her final film credit.
Margarete Lanner died in 1981 in Vienna, Austria. She was 84.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 982/1, 1925-1926. Photo: Ernst Sandau, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 71/10. Photo: Ufa / Parufamet. Publicity still for Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) with Gustav Fröhlich. Collection: Didier Hanson.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1054/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), BFI, Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 283/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Decla. We could not identify the signature of the photographer. Rischke & Marby maybe?
Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 54. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM).
Paul Morgan was born as Georg Paul Morgenstern in 1886 in Vienna to an Austrian Jewish lawyer Gustav Morgenstern and his wife Clementine Morgenstern. He had a brother, Ernst Morgan, who would become an actor too. Like his parents Paul was baptised and raised Catholic.
Since childhood Paul wanted to pursue a life on the stage. Morgan studied theatre at the k.k. Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst, and he made his stage debut at the Theater in der Josefstadt. He performed in small theatres and cabarets.
In 1910 he made his film debut in the short La Miniature/The Miniature (Michel Carré, 1910) with Harry Baur. During the war he managed to avoid the draft due to his flat feet; and got his first big break at the cabaret Simplicissimus (Simpl) in 1914. He also appeared at Rosa Valetti's Kabarett Größenwahn. In 1917 he got an engagement at the Lessingtheater in Berlin.
After the First World War he had a successful film career. To his early silent films belong Die Puppe/The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) with Ossi Oswalda, Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen/Around the World in 80 Days (Richard Oswald, 1919) as well as Fritz Lang's successful productions Halbblut/The Half-Caste (1919) and Die Spinnen/The Spiders (1919-1920) with Carl de Vogt and Ressel Orla.
By the early 1920s, Morgan had become a star actor, singer and writer. Along with Kurt Robitschek and Max Hansen, he opened the Kabarett der Komiker (in short Kadeko) in 1924 in Berlin. The cabaret was an innovative combination of variety show and intimate theatre, and became one of the central comedy stages of Europe.
In the 1920s he also acted in very successful films, including Kurfürstendamm (Richard Oswald, 1920) with Conrad Veidt and Asta Nielsen, Vier um die Frau/Four Around a Woman (Fritz Lang, 1921), Die Brüder Schellenberg/The Brothers Schellenberg (Karl Grune, 1926) starring Conrad Veidt, and the Arthur Schnitzler adaptation Fräulein Else/Miss Else (Paul Czinner, 1929) with Elisabeth Bergner.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no 628/3. Photo: Hella Moja-Film. Hella Moja and probably Paul Morgan in Das Spiel von Liebe und Tod/The Game of Love and Death (Urban Gad, 1919).
German postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 6387. Photo: Verleih Mondial-Film.
Kabarett der Komiker
In the late 1920s, Kadeko moved to a large new theatre in the centre of Berlin and expanded it’s scope, including guest appearances by famed international stars. The popularity of Paul Morgan increased.
He played in numerous films like Nur Du/Only You (Hermann Feiner, Willi Wolff, 1930), the popular operetta Zwei Herzen im Dreiviertel-Takt/Two Hearts in Waltz Time (Géza von Bolváry, 1930) with Willi Forst, and the comedy Ich und die Kaiserin/Me and the Empress (Friedrich Holländer, 1933) starring Lilian Harvey.
Morgan also made a name as an libretto author for musicals like Axel vor des Himmels Tor (Axel before Heaven's Door), with which Zarah Leander launched her career.
In 1930, the cabaret was blacklisted by several newspapers and the SA physically invaded the theatre during an anti-Hitler satire. Morgan decided to leave Germany and went to Hollywood for nine months to make German language versions of Hollywood films for MGM including Casanova wider Willen/Casanova Against His Will (Edward Brophy, 1931) with Buster Keaton.
He tried out the cabaret scene in Switzerland and appeared shortly at Erika Mann's Pfeffermühle, but ultimately he ended up back in Austria. Although he found it difficult to support himself in the increasingly reactionary Vienna, and he played only a small part in the film Katharina, die Letzte/Catherine the Last (Hermann Kosterlitz/Henry Koster, 1936) starring Franciska Gaal.
He did not want to leave, hoping, like so many, to ride out what was thought to be a temporary right-wing government. Just a few days after the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, Paul Morgan was arrested, and deported to concentration camp Dachau. The Gestapo specified as the motive that Paul Morgan was in possession of a letter of politician Gustav Stresemann (the letter was old; his Jewish roots were the real reason).
Soon thereafter he was transported to Buchenwald, where he died on 10 December 1938 because of pneumonia he got during an inhuman punishment drill in one of the coldest winters in Europe ever. Paul Morgan was 52. He was married to Josefine Lederer.
Recorded sketch and song of Paul Morgan and Max Hansen. Source: Plattensammler1988 (YouTube).
Sources: World ORT, Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Österreichisches Kabarettarchiv (German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
German postcard by G.G. & Co., no. 2419.
German postcard by PH, no. 4116/1. Geraldine Farrar as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's opera Faust.
Alice Geraldine Farrar was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1882. She was the daughter of baseball player Sidney Farrar, and his wife, Henrietta Barnes. At 5 she began studying music in Boston and by 14 was giving recitals. Later she studied voice with the American soprano Emma Thursby in New York City, in Paris, and finally with the Italian baritone Francesco Graziani in Berlin.
In 1901, Farrar created a sensation at the Berlin Hofoper with her debut as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's Faust. She remained with the company for three years, during which time she continued her studies with legendary Wagnerian soprano Lilli Lehmann. Farrar appeared in the title roles of Ambroise Thomas'Mignon and Jules Massenet's Manon, as well as Juliette in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.
Her admirers in Berlin included Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, with whom she is believed to have had a relationship beginning in 1903. This Berlin period was interspersed with three seasons with the Monte Carlo Opera. Highlights were Pietro Mascagni's Amica (1905), and Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto (1906) in which she appeared with Enrico Caruso.
In 1906, she also made her debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera in Romeo et Juliette. The success placed her on a plateau with Caruso as a box-office magnet. The next year, she got raves for her performance as Cio-Cio-San in the Metropolitan premiere of Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly in 1907.
Farrar remained a member of the company until her retirement in 1922, singing 29 roles there in 672 performances. She developed a great popular following, especially among New York's young female opera-goers, who were known as Gerry-flappers. Farrar created the title roles in Puccini's Suor Angelica (1918), Umberto Giordano's Madame Sans-Gêne (1915), as well as the Goosegirl in Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1910), for which Farrar trained her own flock of geese. According to a New York Tribune review of the first performance, "at the close of the opera Miss Farrar caused 'much amusement' by appearing before the curtain with a live goose under her arm."
Her biographer Elizabeth Nash: “Unlike most of the famous bel canto singers of the past who sacrificed dramatic action to tonal perfection, she was more interested in the emotional than in the purely lyrical aspects of her roles.”
German postcard by K.V.i.B., Dess, no. 1016.
German postcard by K.V.i.B. 12. Dess., no. 4017.
Vintage postcard, no. 58. Photo: Geraldine Farrar as Elsa in Lohengrin. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Cecil B. De Mille
Geraldine Farrar recorded extensively for the Victor Talking Machine Company and was often featured prominently in that firm's advertisements. She was one of the first performers to make a radio broadcast, in a 1907 publicity event singing over Lee De Forest's experimental AM radio transmitter in New York City.
She also starred in more than a dozen silent films from 1915 to 1920, which were filmed between opera seasons. Farrar made her debut with the title role in Cecil B. De Mille's Carmen (1915), based on the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. For her role as the seductive gypsy girl she was extensively praised. For her performance, she came in fourth place in the 1916 Screen Masterpiece contest held by Motion Picture Magazine, ahead of any other actress.
DeMille directed her next in the silent romantic drama Temptation (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915), also with Theodore Roberts, and in the drama Maria Rosa (Cecil B. DeMille, 1916) with Wallace Reid.
Another notable screen role was as Joan of Arc in Joan the Woman (1917). This was Cecil DeMille's first historical drama. The screenplay is based on Friedrich Schiller's 1801 play Die Jungfrau von Orleans (The Maid of Orleans).
She next played the daughter of an Aztec king in the silent romance The Woman God Forgot (Cecil B. DeMille, 1917). In the film she falls in love with a Spanish captain (Wallace Reid) whose army has come to convert the Aztecs to Christianity. Her last film for Paramount Pictures was the romance The Devil-Stone (Cecil B. DeMille, 1917), again with Wallace Reid. The film had sequences filmed in the Handschiegl Color Process, but only two of six reels are known to survive.
For Goldwyn Pictures she appeared in such films as The Turn of the Wheel (Reginald Barker, 1918) with Herbert Rawlinson and Percy Marmont, the Western The Hell Cat (Reginald Barker, 1918), Shadows (Reginald Barker, 1918) and the melodrama The Stronger Vow (Reginald Barker, 1919), the latter three with Milton Sills. All four films are considered lost.
She co-starred with her husband Lou Tellegen in the dramas The World and Its Woman (Frank Lloyd, 1919), Flame of the Desert (Reginald Barker, 1919), and The Woman and the Puppet (Reginald Barker, 1920). Her final film was the silent drama The Riddle: Woman (Edward José, 1920), in which her co-star was Montagu Love.
French postcard. Publicity for Vins Désiles. Photo SIP, Boyer. G. Farrar de l'Opéra Impéraile de Berlin. Caption: J'ai plaisir à recommander l'excellent Vin Désiles (I enjoy recommending the excellent Vin Désiles).
French postcard. Editor unknown. Postcard sent in 1907. Geraldine Farrar in the opera Mignon.
A messy and very public divorce
Geraldine Farrar had a seven-year love affair with the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini. It was rumoured that she gave him an ultimatum that he must choose either her or his wife and children in Italy. It resulted in Toscanini's abrupt resignation as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in 1915.
Farrar was close friends with the star tenor Enrico Caruso and there has been speculation that they too had a love affair, but no conclusive evidence of this has surfaced.
In 1916, she married Dutch film actor Lou Tellegen. Their marriage was the source of considerable scandal, and it ended, as a result of her husband's numerous affairs, in a messy and very public divorce in 1923. The circumstances of the divorce were brought again to public recollection by Tellegen's bizarre 1934 suicide in Hollywood. When told of her ex-husband's death, she replied "Why should that interest me?"
Farrar retired from opera in 1922 at the age of 40. Her final performance was as Ruggero Leoncavallo's Zazà. By this stage, her voice was in premature decline due to overwork. Farrar quickly transitioned into concert recitals, and was signed within several weeks of announcing her opera retirement to an appearance at Hershey Park on Memorial Day 1922.
She continued to make recordings and give recitals throughout the 1920s and was briefly the intermission commentator for the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts during the 1934–1935 season. Her rather bizarre autobiography, Such Sweet Compulsion (1938), was written in alternating chapters purporting to be her own words and those of her mother, with Mrs. Farrar rather floridly recounting her daughter's many accomplishments.
In 1967, Geraldine Farrar died in Ridgefield, Connecticut of heart disease aged 85, and was buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. She had no children.
Recently I read an excellent biographical novel about Farrar and her great love Lou Tellegen by Dutch author Susan Smit, De eerste vrouw (The first woman). Hopefully there will be a translation soon. Anyway highly recommended.
German postcard by G.G. & Co., no. 2414. Photo: publicity still for Mignon. Collection: Didier Hanson.
German postcard G.G. & Co., no. 478/4. Photo: Gerlach.
German postcard G.G. & Co., no. 579/5. Photo: Gerlach.
Sources: Andrea Suhm-Binder (Cantabile subito), Bob Hufford (Find A Grave), Wikipedia and IMDb.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 199. Photo: Gray-Film.
Rellys was born as Henri Roger Marius Bourelly in Marseille, France, in 1905. As a child, Rellys accompanied his parents on a picnic in les pinèdes and there he learned to sing.
Henri Rellys worked as a pastry chef, and earned the nickname ‘Brioche’ (Bun). As a theatre amateur, he won a singing contest at the Alcazar in Marseilles, disguised as a comic trooper in 1925.
After his military service, he was hired under the name of Rellys, for tours along cabarets in the Provence and in North Africa.
He made his film début in Le Tampon du Capiston/The plug of the capiston (Joe Francis, Jean Toulout, 1930). In the revue En plein soleil (In Full Sun) he imitated Maurice Chevalier and ... Josephine Baker.
In 1933, Henri Alibert engaged him for the company of his play Au pays du soleil (In the land of the sun). The film adaptation, Au pays du soleil (Robert Péguy, 1933), helped to launch his career. Marcel Pagnol gave him the chance to play a small part in his film Merlusse (Marcel Pagnol, 1934).
In the beginning, he specialised in Marseille-set operettas, which were flourishing at the time: Trois de la marine/Three of the Navy (Charles Barrois, 1934), César/Cesar (Marcel Pagnol, 1936) with Raimu, and Un de la canebière/One of the canebière (René Pujol, 1937) based on the operetta by Alibert, René Sarvil and Raymond Vincy, and music by Vincent Scotto.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 199. Photo: Gray-Film.
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 245. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
Sweet and Warm Ways
In the 1940’s, Rellys was noted for his Provençal accent, his sweet and warm ways and his endearing air. He had a real triumph with Narcisse/Narcissus (Ayres d'Aguiar, 1940), in which he played a vaudeville soldier, who has to fly an aeroplane despite himself.
He also played leading roles in Feu Nicolas/Fire Nicolas (Jacques Houssin, 1943), Roger la Honte/Roger the Shame (André Cayatte, 1945), Les Aventures des Pieds Nickelés/The Adventures of Nickeles feet (Marcel Aboulker, 1947), Tabusse (Jean Gehret, 1948) and Manon des Sources/Manon of the Spring (Marcel Pagnol, 1952).
His exceptional long career continued after the war with films like Amédée/Amedeus (Gilles Grangier, 1950), La vie est un jeu/Life is a game (Raymond Leboursier, 1951), and Arènes joyeuses/Joyful Arenas (Maurice de Canonge, 1958).
In many of his later films he supported comedy star Fernandel, including Honoré de Marseille (Maurice Régamey, 1956), Crésus/Croesus (Jean Giono, 1960), L'Âge ingrate/That Tender Age (Gilles Grangier, 1964) starring Jean Gabin, and Heureux qui comme Ulysse/ Happy He Who Like Ulysses (Henri Colpi, 1970).
His last film was L'Ange gardien/The Guardian Angel (Jacques Fournier, 1978) with former first lady of Canada, Margaret Trudeau. He also worked for television, and appeared in episodes of the crime series Les Cinq Dernières Minutes/The Last Five Minutes (1966-1973) and Madame le juge/Madam judges it (1978) starring Simone Signoret.
He returned to the songs of his early operettas in Marseille, when he released his first album in 1977. His last TV appearance was in L'honneur de Barberine/The Honor of Barberine (1982).
Rellys retired in his birthplace Marseille. There he died in 1991, at the age of 86. He had two daughters, Annie and Michèle.
Scene from Les lettres de mon moulin/Letters from My Windmill (Marcel Pagnol, 1954) with Rellys, Fernand Sardou, and Robert Vattier. Source: Marcel Pagnol (Daily Motion).
Scene from Manon des Sources/Manon of the Spring (Marcel Pagnol, 1954) with Rellys and Jacqueline Pagnol. Source: Marcel Pagnol (Daily Motion).
Sources: Ciné-Ressources (French), Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam. Sent by Mail in 1963. Photo: still from the TV series Ivanhoe (1958-1959).
Belgian postcard by Publistar, Bruxelles, no. 1295. Photo: POK / Publistar / TPL. Publicity still for the TV series The Saint (1963-1966).
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 263. Photo: publicity still for the TV series The Saint (1962-1969) with Marlene Willis.
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 734. Publicity still for the TV series Maverick (1960-1961).
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974) with Maud Adams and Britt Ekland.
A Noble knight and Champion of Justice
Sir Roger George Moore was born in 1927 in Stockwell near London as the son of policeman George Alfred Moore and Lillian 'Lily' Moore-Pope.
Moore served in the British military during the Second World War. He first wanted to be an artist, but got into films full time after becoming an extra in productions like Perfect Strangers (Alexander Korda, 1945) and Piccadilly Incident (Herbert Wilcox, 1946).
In the early 1950s, he appeared on television and also worked as a male model, appearing in print advertisements for products like knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname 'The Big Knit'), and toothpaste.
In 1953 the suave and handsome actor got a contract with MGM, but in Hollywood Moore had little success with movies like The Last Time I Saw Paris (Richard Brooks, 1954) and Interrupted Melody (Curtis Bernhardt, 1955).
It was the British TV series Ivanhoe (1958-1959) in which Roger Moore would make his name. As Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a noble knight and champion of justice during the reign of evil Prince John (Andrew Keir), he became the favourite action hero for millions of European kids.
Other series were The Alaskans (1959) and Maverick (1960-1961), in which he played cousin Beau.
Worldwide he got his big breakthrough as Simon Templarin the TV series The Saint (1962-1969). It was with 118 episodes one of the two longest-running British series of its kind.
Belgian postcard by S. Best (SB), Antwerpen. Photo: still from Ivanhoe. This postcard was a gift from Mary of the A Plethora of Postcards blog.
Dutch postcard by Takken, Utrecht. Photo: Screen Gems, no. AX 5065.
Dutch postcard of Roger Moore as Ivanhoe, no. 761.
Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers P.D.B., Amsterdam. Photo: publicity still for the TV series Ivanhoe (1958-1959).
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 553. Publicity still for The Saint (1963-1966) with Dawn Addams.
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. 6298.
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 381. Photo: publicity still for the TV series The Saint (1962-1969).
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 419. Photo: publicity still for the TV series The Saint (1962-1969) with Angie Dickinson.
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, no. AX 6370. Sent by mail in 1966.
Spanish postcard by Raker, no. 36, 1965. Retail price: 5 Ptas. Photo: publicity still for The Saint.
In an effort to change this, Roger Moore agreed to star with Tony Curtis astwo millionaire playboys in another British TV show, The Persuaders! (1971-1972). It became hugely popular in Europe and Australia, but again it did not catch on in the States and was cancelled there.
Just prior to making the series he starred in the dark The Man Who Haunted Himself (Basil Dearden, 1970), which proved there was more to him than light-hearted roles. He would never become popular with critics though, who often derided his acting as limited and wooden.
At the age of 45, Roger Moore accepted the role of James Bond. Live and Let Die (Guy Hamilton, 1973) grossed more than Diamonds Are Forever (Guy Hamilton, 1971) – Sean Connery's last outing as James Bond.
Moore's James Bond was light-hearted, more so than any other official actor to portray 007. He often portrayed Bond as a playboy, with his tongue firmly in cheek.
Between 1973 and 1985 he starred in six more Bond films, The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (Lewis Gilbert, 1977), Moonraker (Lewis Gilbert, 1979), For Your Eyes Only (John Glen, 1981), Octopussy (John Glen, 1983), and finally A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985).
Vintage collectors card.
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor. Photo: this could be a still for the Italian western Un branco di vigliacchi/No Man's Land (Fabrizio Taglioni, 1962). The girl could be Luisa Mattioli, a later Mrs. Moore.
Danish postcard by Forlaget Holger Danske, no. 119. Photo: publicity still for The Persuaders (1971-1972) with Tony Curtis.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Agin.
French postcard by La Roue Tourne, Paris.
French postcard by Editions F.Nugeron. Photo: J. Ritchie.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. With Sean Connery.
In between the James Bond series, Roger Moore had also starred in other successful films such as The Wild Geese (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1978) and North Sea Hijack (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1979).
The USA finally took completely to him when he starred alongside Burt Reynolds in the big American hit The Cannonball Run (Hal Needham, 1981).
Moore did not act onscreen for five years after he stopped playing Bond.
Later he made a long series of disastrous flops like Feuer, Eis & Dynamit/Fire, Ice and Dynamite (Willy Bogner, 1990), Bullseye! (Michael Winner, 1990), Bed & Breakfast (Robert Ellis Miller, 1991), The Quest (Jean-Claude van Damme, 1996), Spice World (Bob Spiers, 1997), The Enemy (Tom Kinninmont, 2001) and Boat Trip (Mort Nathan, 2002).
Through the years Moore became more of a personality than an actor, appearing on TV chat shows and hosting documentaries.
Since 1991 he is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. For his charity work he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire(CBE) in 1999 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2003.
He married four times, to skater Doorn Van Steyn (1946-1953), singer Dorothy Squires (1953-1968), Italian actress Luisa Mattioli (1969-1996) and Danish-Swedish multi-millionaire Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup (2002-present). He has three children: Geoffrey Moore, Christian Moore and Deborah Moore.
In 2007 (3 days before he turned 80), Roger Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Despite declaring in 2009 that he had retired from acting, Roger Moore was still active in the cinema. In 2010 he provided the voice of a talking cat called Lazenby in the family action comedy Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (Brad Payton, 2010), which contained several references to, and parodies of, Bond films. In 2013 he completed a new TV version of The Saint (Simon West, 2013) in which he played Jasper opposite Adam Rayner as Simon Templar.
Dutch card by Loeb uitgevers, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Danjaq S.A. Roger Moore as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973, Guy Hamilton). The Bond girl is British actress Jane Seymour, who played Solitaire.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for Live and Let Die (Guy Hamilton, 1973) with Tommy Lane.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, no. 5992805, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974) with Britt Ekland and Maud Adams.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, no. 5992109, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for The Man with the Golden Gun (Guy Hamilton, 1974) with Christopher Lee.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for The Spy Who Loved Me (Lewis Gilbert, 1977) with Barbara Bach.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, no. 5992807, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for The Spy Who Loved Me (Lewis Gilbert, 1977) with Barbara Bach.
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for Octopussy (John Glen, 1983).
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985).
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A., 1985. Publicity still for A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985).
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for A View To A Kill (John Glen, 1985).
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.