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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.
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  • 01/30/18--22:00: Jan Spitzer
  • East-German actor Jan Spitzer (1947) was a star of the DEFA in the late 1960s. He also worked as a pop singer and as a stage and voice actor.

    Jan Spitzer
    Big East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 192/70. Photo: Karin Blasig.

    A farewell to his class and his family


    Jan Spitzer was born in 1947 in Sangerhausen, Germany. He loved pop music and formed in 1963 of the amateur band The Sounds, which covered songs by The Beatlesand The Rolling Stones.

    Between 1965 and 1968 he studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst ‘Ernst Busch’ in Berlin. As a student, he made his film debut in the anti-war film Abschied/Farewell (Egon Günther, 1968) with Rolf Ludwig. Spitzer played the leading role of a seventeen year-old Munich boy, who decides in 1914 that he will not take part in the First World War. This means a farewell to his class and his family.

    He then appeared in the historical comedy Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir/Maiden, I like you (Günter Reisch, 1969) with Wolfgang Kieling and Monika Gabriel.

    In 1970 he released the pop single, Wer bist du? (Who are you?) and in the next years he recorded more songs. He did not like the Schlager genre, so in 1975 he decided to focus on his acting career.

    His first bigger role was in the family film Philipp, der Kleine/Little Philipp (Herrmann Zschoche, 1978) as the father of a little boy who wishes to be taller in order to be noticed by the others. Then he comes across a magical flute.

    In the meanwhile, Spitzer worked for television and could be seen in several TV series and TV movies like Im Schlaraffenland/In the land of Cockaigne (Kurt Jung-Alsen, 1975) with Erwin Geschonneck and Katharina Thalbach, which was shown in cinema in other East-European countries. He also appeared in the Eastern Blauvogel/Bluebird (Ulrich Weiß, 1979). And he played Friedrich Engels in the TV series Marx und Engels - Stationen ihres Lebens/Marx and Engels – Stations of their lives (1978-1980) with Jürgen Reuter as Karl Marx.

    Jan Spitzer
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3246, 1968. Photo: DEFA / Ebert. Publicity still for Abschied/Farewell (Egon Günther, 1968).

    Jan Spitzer
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3270, 1968. Photo: DEFA / Ebert. Publicity still for Abschied/Farewell (Egon Günther, 1968).

    The German voice of Rutger Hauer


    Jan Spitzer played a supporting part in the film Bürgschaft für ein Jahr/Guarantee for one year (Herrmann Zschoche, 1981) with Kathrin Sass as a divorced woman in her late twenties who will soon be fully deprived of her custody rights for her three children, who already reside in a home for the displaced, due to many years of willful neglect. Sass won the Silver Bear for her role at the Berlin Filmfestival.

    Spitzer played a leading role in the Soviet-East-German co-production Dve strochki melkim shriftom/Two Lines in Small Font (Vitaliy Melnikov, 1981). He also appeared in the Czech fantasy film Carovné dedictví/Magical heritage (Zdenek Zelenka, 1986) and in the Eastern Präriejäger in Mexiko: Benito Juarez/Bounty hunter in Mexico: Benito Juarez (Hans Knötzsch, 1988) starring Gojko Mitic.

    On TV, he guest-starred in the popular Krimi series Polizeiruf 110/Police Call 110 (1984-1991). After the Wende, Spitzer mostly worked for television but also narrated video games and was the German voice of James Remar, Chris Cooper, Jon Voight, Rutger Hauer and Alan Arkin in international films.

    His most recent feature film is the drama Mutterseelenallein/All Alone (Bernd Böhlich, 2005) about a mother (Katrin Sass) who is confronted with her son being suspected of having murdered a girl on a garbage dump. Spitzer played her ex-husband.

    Jan Spitzer is also a stage actor and he had engagements in Altenburg, Halle, Schwerin, at the Deutschen Theater in Berlin, at the Volkstheater in Munich and the Berliner Ensemble.

    Jan Spitzer in Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir (1969)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 51/69. Photo: DEFA / Kreuss. Publicity still for Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir/Maiden, I like you (Günter Reisch, 1969).

    Jan Spitzer in Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir (1969)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 97/69. Photo: DEFA / Karin Blasig. Publicity still for Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir/Maiden, I like you (Günter Reisch, 1969).


    Jan Spitzer sings Mädchen aus Berlin (Girl from Berlin) in an East German TV show in 1969. Source: Thyrathron (YouTube).

    Sources: Deutsche Mugge.de (German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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  • 01/31/18--22:00: Praesten fra havet (1918)
  • Olaf Fønss was one of Denmark and Germany's biggest stars of the silent film era. He played the leading role in the Dansk Film production Praesten fra havet (Fritz Magnussen, 1918), released in Germany as Der Pfarrer am Meere (The Priest at the Sea). German publishing house Verlag Hermann Leiser produced this sepia tinted series with scenes from the film for the German release of the film.

    Olaf Fønss
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 3128. Photo: Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet (Fritz Magnussen 1918), released in Germany as Der Pfarrer am Meere (The Priest at the Sea).

    Olaf Fönss in Der Pfarrer am Meere
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 3129. Photo: Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet/The Priest at the Sea (Fritz Magnussen 1918).

    Olaf Fönss  and Gudrun Bruun in Der Pfarrer am Meere
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 3130. Photo: Gudrun Bruun and Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet/The Priest at the Sea (Fritz Magnussen 1918).

    A vicar caught in a battle


    In Praesten fra havetOlaf Fønss plays vicar Strom. He is caught in a battle between the poor fishermen of the coastal village and the merchant Warming (Cajus Bruun), who owns all the fishing boats.

    Warming's daughter, Agnete (Gudrun Bruun a.k.a. Gudrun Brunn and Gudrun Bruun Stephensen), is in love with the young vicar and tries to help him to lessen her father's demands on the fishermen.

    Warming's demands of having the fishermen fish day and night is refused, and the merchant calls a lock-out, with poverty and starvation as a result. One day Warming is caught in a storm and the fishermen refuse to assist. They say: "He himself forbade us to use the boats!"

    However, when vicar Strom himself enters the boat single-handedly, they are convinced to turn the other cheek and try to save Warming from certain death.

    Olaf Fönss in Der Pfarrer am Meere
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. ?. Photo: Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet/The Priest at the Sea (Fritz Magnussen 1918).

    Olaf Fönss in Der Pfarrer am Meere
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 5001. Photo: Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet/The Priest at the Sea (Fritz Magnussen 1918).

    Olaf Fönss in Der Pfarrer am Meere
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 5018. Photo: Gudrun Bruun and Olaf Fønss in Praesten fra havet/The Priest at the Sea (Fritz Magnussen 1918).

    Sources: Danish Film Institute and IMDb.

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  • 02/01/18--22:00: Angelika Meissner
  • German actress Angelika Meissner (1940) was a child star of German cinema in the 1950s. She became known with the three popular Immenhof films. Her mother was the stage mum from hell.

    Angelika Meissner in Der erste Frühlingstag (1956)
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. F 10. Photo: A. Grimm / CCC / Deutsche London. Publicity still for Der erste Frühlingstag/The first day of spring (Helmut Weiss, 1956).

    Angelika Meissner
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf., no. 2080. Photo: Deutsche Film Hansa / Lilo. Publicity still for Witwer mit 5 Töchtern/Widower with 5 Daughters (Erich Engels, 1957).

    Cute little girl


    Angelika Meissner, a.k.a. Angelika Voelkner and Angelika Meissner-Voelkner, was born in, 1940 in Berlin. Her father was composer Peter Heinz Voelkner. Her mother, Hildegard Voelkner, nee Meissner, was the head of the advertising department at UFA.

    In 1949, Angelika played her first film role in the drama Nachtwache/Keepers of the Night (Harald Braun, 1949) as the little daughter of Hans Nielsen.

    In her second film Der fallende Stern/The Falling Star (Harald Braun, 1950), she played Elisabeth Hollreiser, traumatised by the post-war turmoil, as a ten-year-old girl. Maria Wimmer played the adult Elisabeth.

    In the Dieter Borsche film Vater braucht eine Frau/Father Needs a Wife (Harald Braun, 1952), she played the cute Ulla who searches with her siblings in newspaper advertisements a new wife for her widowed father. Finally, she also finds her in Susanne (Ruth Leuwerik).

    In these early films, she appeared as Angelika Voelkner. Later, in Die Mädels vom Immenhof/The Girls from Immenhof (1955), she is credited as Angelika Meissner-Voelkner, while in Ferien auf Immenhof/Holiday at Immenhof (1957), she is credited as Angelika Meissner. The name change was a consequence of the divorce of the parents, and Angelika and her brother both adopted the birth name of their mother.

    Angelika Meissner
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2648. Photo: Deutsche Film Hansa / Lilo. Publicity still for Witwer mit 5 Töchtern/Widower with 5 Daughters (Erich Engels, 1957).

    Angelika Meissner
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2661. Photo: Deutsche Film Hansa / Lilo. Publicity still for Witwer mit 5 Töchtern/Widower with 5 Daughters (Erich Engels, 1957).

    A charming and lively teenager


    Angelika Meissner became known in the role of Barbara (nicknamed Dick) in Die Mädels vom Immenhof/The Girls from Immenhof (Wolfgang Schleif, 1955) with Heidi Brühlas her sister Dalli and Margarete Haagen as Grandma Jantzen. The film about a farm with Icelandic horses became a blockbuster.

    Meissner also appeared in the sequels, Hochzeit auf Immenhof/Wedding at Immenhof (Volker von Collande, 1956) and Ferien auf Immenhof/Holiday at Immenhof (Hermann Leitner, 1957).

    With Matthias Fuchs, Ethelbert in the Immenhof films, she met again, now as a pretty teenager, in the film Der erste Frühlingstag/The first day of spring (Helmut Weiss, 1956).

    She was one of the charming and lively daughters of Heinz Erhardt in his film Witwer mit 5 Töchtern/Widower with five daughters (Erich Engels, 1957). The others were played by Susanne Cramer, Vera Tschechowa, Elke Aberle and Christine Kaufmann.

    In her last film, the Heimatfilm Hubertusjagd/Hubertus Hunt (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1959), she appeared once more with Raidar Müller, Ralf from the Immenhof-films. Then she abruptly ended her acting career, retired to private life.

    Wikipedia cites Micaela Jary, who writes in her book Traumfabriken made in Germany. Die Geschichte des deutschen Nachkriegsfilms 1945–1960 (Dream factories made in Germany. The story of the German post-war film 1945-1960) that Meissner's mother, in anticipation of future salaries, was deeply in debt to her daughter and was ‘film obsessed’.

    Angelika Meissner could not withstand the resulting pressure and separated. In 1963, she only played one more role in a German TV film. She studied architecture and moved to Canada, where she occasionally worked as an architect.

    In German speaking countries, even after sixty years, Angelika Meissner is not forgotten and her Immenhof films are still popular among old and new fans.

    Angelika Meissner
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 689. Photo: Kolibri / Lothar Winkler.

    Angelika Meissner
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 842. Photo: Carlton / Seitz / Union-Film / Huster. Publicity still for Bei der blonden Kathrein/At the blond Katherine (Hans Quest, 1959).

    Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-Line – German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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  • 02/02/18--22:00: Photochemie
  • The German company Photochemie published only film star postcards of German actors, although there were some postcards for Danish, Norwegian and Hungarian actors who were performing in Germany. The dates of the postcards range from 1914 to 1919. There does not seem to be any cards of the first 100 numbers, nor any cards from #300 until #1300. Photochemie also published cards of other subjects.

    Alwin Neuss
    Alwin Neuss. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 1439. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Ludwig Trautmann
    Ludwig Trautmann. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1596. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Blandine Ebinger
    Blandine Ebinger. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1826. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Valdemar Psilander and Gudrun Houlberg in Klovnen
    Valdemar Psilander and Gudrun Houlberg. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, K. 1853. Photo: Nordisk Films. Publicity still for Klovnen/The Clown (A.W. Sandberg, 1917).

    Ernst Lubitsch in Der Blusenkönig
    Ernst Lubitsch. German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 1983. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Der Blusen-König (Ernst Lubitsch, 1917). Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Gunnar Tolnaes and Lilly Jacobson in Himmelskibet/Das Himmelschiff
    Gunnar Tolnaes and Lilly Jacobson. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2149. Photo: Nordisk. Publicity still for Himmelskibet/Das Himmelschiff (Holger-Madsen, 1918).

    Lotte Neumann in Die Ehe der Charlotte von Brakel (1918)
    Lotte Neumann. German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 2168. Photo: Lotte Neumann-Film, Berlin. Publicity still for Die Ehe der Charlotte von Brakel/The Marriage of Charlotte von Brakel (Paul von Woringen, 1918).

    Ossi Oswalda
    Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2186. Photo: Alard Walten, Berlin.

    Senta Söneland and Jean Paul in Habakuk (1918)
    Senta Söneland and Jean Paul. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2363. Photo: Elga Film. Publicity still for Habakuk (Franz Schmelter, 1918).

    Liane Haid
    Liane Haid. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2377. Photo: Willinger, Wien (Vienna).

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

    Ally Kolberg
    Ally Kolberg. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2954. Photo: Ernst Schneider.

    Gunnar Tolnaes in Maharadjahens Yndlingshustru (1917)
    Gunnar Tolnaess. German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 2993. Photo: Nordisk. Publicity still for Maharadjahens Yndlingshustru/Die Lieblingsfrau des Maharadscha (Robert Dinesen, Svend Gade, 1917).

    Harry Liedtke
    Harry Liedtke. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3055. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.

    Ria Jende
    Ria Jende. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3842. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Source: Mark Goffee (Ross Postcards)

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  • 02/03/18--22:00: Grethe Weiser
  • Grethe Weiser (1903–1970) was a German singer, comedian, film and stage actress, who made more than 140 films. She often played important supporting roles, portraying cooks and other household personnel, and dazzled her fans with her cunningly sharp tongue. Grethe embodied the type of the Berlin woman, known for her big heart and even bigger mouth, who was nobody’s fool and nobody’s victim. With her sassy, offhanded quick-wittedness, she was able to elicit thunderous applause from her audiences. 

    Grethe Weiser in Der Onkel aus Amerika (1953)
    Austrian postcard by Verlag Hubmann, Wien, no. 3389. Photo: publicity still for Der Onkel aus Amerika/Uncle from America (Carl Boese, 1953).

    Grethe Weiser in Die Sieben Kleider der Katrin (1954)
    West-German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1054, 1957. Photo: Arthur Grimm / H-D Film / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Sieben Kleider der Katrin/The Seven Clothes of Katrin (Hans Deppe, 1954).

    Grethe Weiser in Die sieben Kleider der Katrin (1954)
    West-German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1141. Photo: Arthur Grimm / H-D Film / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Sieben Kleider der Katrin/The Seven Clothes of Katrin (Hans Deppe, 1954).

    A nightclub on the Kurfürstendamm


    Grethe Weiser was born Mathilde Ella Dorothea Margarethe Nowka in Hanover, Germany, in 1903. Her parents were well-to-do entrepreneurs. She spent her childhood in Kotsche and Dresden.

    In 1920, she escaped from her dominant and sometimes violent father by marrying Joseph Weiser, a Jewish-Austrian sugar producer. She engaged in a hunger strike to win her parents’ permission to marry him. Her only child, their son Günther, was born in 1922. In the course of the depression, however, Josef lost his fortune, and the family moved to Berlin. to try their luck there.

    By the time her marriage had deteriorated on account of Josef’s many affairs, she had already found her calling as an actress and cabaret artist. Quite quickly Grethe established herself in the Berlin cabaret scene, especially after her husband became a leaseholder of Cabaret Charlott, a nightclub on the Kurfürstendamm. Grethe rehearsed there, and played for the first time at the famous Wintergarten and at the Cabaret der Komiker.

    She made her film debut in Männer vor der Ehe/Men Before Marriage (Constantin J. David, 1927), where she played a mate. In the next years, she mainly appeared in smaller roles. Her first bigger part was in the comedy Schützenkönig wird der Felix/Bashful Felix (Carl Boese, 1934) starring Rudolf Platte and Ursula Grabley.

    Her husband decided to leave Germany because he was Jewish and so not destroy the career of his wife. In 1934, their marriage was dissolved. Later that year, Weiser began a lifelong relationship with Hermann Schwerin, an Ufa film producer. However, the couple were not married until 1958.

    Weiser avoided becoming a member of the Nazi Party. Mechthild Winkler-Jordan at FemBio: "She refused to do this, however, sent her son to boarding school in England (Josef had already fled to the Netherlands), and was miraculously left in peace. "

    Weiser played supporting parts in such films as the drama Einer zuviel an Bord/One Too Many on Board (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1935), starring Lída Baarová. She also played the female lead in the comedy Hilde und die vier PS/Hilde and the Volkswagen (Heinz Paul, 1936) opposite Ludwig Manfred Lommel. She also co-starred with Renate Müller and Georg Alexanderin the romantic comedy Eskapade/Escapade (Erich Waschneck, 1936).

    Weiser was a star now, and she had hits with successful chansons like Der Vamp and Emils Hände. She played the title roles in the comedies Meine Freundin Barbara/My Friend Barbara (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1937) and Die göttliche Jette/The Divine Jetta (Erich Waschneck, 1937) with Viktor de Kowa.

    She played a supporting role in the drama Frauen für Golden Hill/Women for Golden Hill (Erich Waschneck, 1938) starring Kirsten Heiberg and Viktor Staal. She also played a supporting part in the last German film with Lilian Harvey, the romantic comedy Frau am Steuer/Woman at the Wheel (Paul Martin, 1939).

    Grethe Weiser and Ernst Waldow in Frauen für Golden Hill (1938)
    Big German card by Ross Verlag. Photo: Ufa / Hämmerer. Publicity still for Frauen für Golden Hill/Women for Golden Hill (Erich Waschneck, 1938) with Ernst Waldow.

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2897/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Ufa / Baumann.

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 3467/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Ufa / Binz.

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 3629/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Ufa / Tita Binz.

    Happy humour films full of heart


    During the war years, Grethe Weiser played supporting roles in films like the musical Wir machen Musik/We Make Music (Helmut Käutner, 1942), starring Ilse Werner and Viktor de Kowa, and the drama Familie Buchholz/The Buchholz Family (Carl Froelich, 1944), starring Henny Porten.

    After the war, she had a small part in the third DEFA film, Irgendwo in Berlin/Somewhere in Berlin (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1946), which sold 4,179,651 tickets. It was one of the Trümmerfilms (rubble films) made in the aftermath of the Second World War and dealing with the impact of the battles in the countries at the centre of the war. The style is characterised by its use of location exteriors among the ‘rubble’ of bombed-down cities to bring the gritty, depressing reality of the lives of the survivors in those early years.

    Mechthild Winkler-Jordan at FemBio: "In 1948 Grethe met Ida Ehre, proprietor of Hamburg’s Studio Theatre Kammerspiele, who offered her the leading role in Das Kuckucksei (The Cuckoo’s Egg). The premiere brought Weiser tremendous ovations, and she frequently went on tour with this piece. Cooperation with Ida Ehre on Hauptmann’s Der Biberpelz (The Beaver Coat) where she played Mother Wolffen, deepened their contact, which eventually developed into a close friendship."

    In the Wirtschaftswunder cinema (the cinema in the the era of the 'economic miracle' following the war), Weiser was the star of Morgen ist alles besser/Everything Will Be Better in the Morning (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1948), with Ellen Schwanneke and Jakob Tiedtke. She next appeared in the hit Tromba (Helmut Weiss, 1949), an Italian-West German Circus film with elements of Film Noir. It’s success suggested that audiences supported a shift away from the Trümmerfilme. Another success was Gabriela (Géza von Cziffra, 1950), starring Zarah Leander. It was Leander's comeback film after a seven-year absence from filmmaking, and Weisser appeared in a supporting role.

    During the 1950s, Weiser starred again in a series of West-German comedies. Examples are Wenn Männer schwindeln/When Men Cheat (Carl Boese, 1950|), the cross-dressing comedy Fanfaren der Liebe/Fanfares of Love (Kurt Hoffmann, 1951) starring Dieter Borsche and Georg Thomalla, Der keusche Lebemann/The Chaste Libertine (Carl Boese, 1952) again with Georg Thomalla, and Die Kaiserin von China/The Empress of China (Steve Sekely, 1953) with Nadja Tiller.

    Most of her films were comedies, happy humour films, full of heart. Among her best films are Der Onkel aus Amerika/Uncle from America (Carl Boese, 1953) opposite Hans Moser, and Casino de Paris (André Hunebelle, 1957) as the mother of Caterina Valente. In 1960 she played on stage in Hamburg and in Berlin an der Komödie am Hebbel and at the Renaissance Theater. In 1968 she got a Verdienstkreuz (Cross of merit) from the German President.

    Two years later, Grethe Weiser died in 1970 after a road accident in Bad Tölz in Bavaria, aged 67. Her husband also died in the traffic accident. She is buried in an Ehrengrab (Honorary Grave) at the Heerstraße Cemetery in Berlin. “This small tough person does not need a monument. It already stands,” wrote the critic Friedrich Luft after her death in 1970.  An Inter-City Express train on the route between Frankfurt and Hanover has been named after her, as well as a 100-Pfennig postage stamp from the permanent series Women in German History, which was dedicated to her in the year 2000.

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 999. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Hurra - ein Junge/Hurray, a boy (Ernst Marischka, 1953).

    Grethe Weiser in Die tolle Lola (1954)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 32/331, 1957. Photo: Real-Film. Publicity still for Die tolle Lola/The great Lola (Hans Deppe, 1954).

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 129. Photo: Junge Film Union / Saloga.

    Grethe Weiser
    German collectors card.

    Grethe Weiser
    German collectors card. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC-Film / Prisma.

    Grethe Weiser
    German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC / Gloria.

    Sources: Mechthild Winkler-Jordan (FemBio), Rudi Polt (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/04/18--22:00: Lilian Ellis
  • In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Danish actress Lilian Ellis (1907-1951) had a short but glittering career in the German cinema. She was also a ballet dancer, a stage actress and a radio and television performer.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4408/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4766/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4873/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Loritz, St. Moritz.

    Casanova


    Lilian Ellis was born as Ellis Stampe Bendix in Denmark in 1907.

    She started ballet training with Asta Mollerup and Jenny Møller, after which she danced as ballet dancer with groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer Michel Fokine in Paris. At the age of 16 she joined the company of Ellen Tels after which she raised her own dance company. She started to perform abroad in ballet and revue and joined Max Reinhardt’s Deutsche Theater in Berlin for a while.

    In 1927 Lilian Ellis debuted in film with a small role in the French silent classic Casanova (Alexander Volkov, 1927), and the following year she already had a big part in Heut'spielt der Strauss/Strauss, the Waltz King (Conrad Wiene, 1928), scripted by Robert Wiene and starring Alfred Abel as Johan Strauss senior. The film portrays the relationship between the father and son Austrian composers Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II.

    During the years 1928-1931, Ellis was a leading lady of the German cinema, playing many big parts in late silent and early sound films, including Der Leutnant Ihrer Majestät/Lieutenant of His Majesty (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1929) with Iván Petrovich, Im Prater blüh'n wieder die Bäume/In the Prater the Trees are in Bloom Again (E.W.Emo, 1929), Liebeskleeblatt/Love's Clover Leaf (Max Nosseck, 1930), and the German-Austrain-Czech production Wiener Herzen.Viennese Hearts (Fred Sauer, 1930) with Werner Fuetterer.

    Quite easily, Ellis made the passage to sound film with Georg Jacoby’s film Tausend Worte Deutsch/1000 Words German (1930), the first sound film of Pat & Patachon (Fy och Bi).

    Then followed the films Der Bergführer von Zakopane/The mountain guide of Zakopane (Domenico Gambino, Adolf Trotz, 1931), Die lustige Weiber von Wien/The Merry Wives of Vienna (Géza von Bolváry, 1931) with Willi Forst, Die Frau von der man spricht/The Woman They Talk About (Victor Janson, 1931) with Mady Christians, Der Raub der Mona Lisa/The Theft of the Mona Lisa (Géza von Bolváry, 1931) with again Forst, Kyritz-Pyritz/ (Carl Heinz Wolff, 1931), and finally Schön ist die Manöverzeit/Manoeuver Time Is Fine (Erich Schönfelder, Margarete Schön, 1931) with Ida Wüst.

    After that Ellis returned to Denmark.

    Lilian Ellis and Iván Petrovich in Der Leutnant Ihrer Majestät (1929)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4311/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Hegewald-Film. Publicity still for Der Leutnant Ihrer Majestät/Court Scandal (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1929) with Iván Petrovich.

    Lilian Ellis and Iván Petrovich in Der Leutnant Ihrer Majestät (1929)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4312/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Hegewald-Film. Publicity still for Der Leutnant Ihrer Majestät/Court Scandal (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1929) with Iván Petrovich.

    Lilian Ellis and Werner Fuetterer
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5025/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Hegewald-Film. Lilian Ellis and Werner Fuetterer played together in Wiener Herzen (Fred Sauer, 1930), a late silent film and a German-Austrian-Czech co-production.

    Hollywood-contract


    From 1933 on Lilian Ellis toured from Paris to Warsaw. In 1934 Ellis was offered a Hollywood–contract but she remained in Europe, and acted with Det Ny Teater and from 1935 on at the National Scala.

    The next year she acted in London and Paris revues. She collaborated with the revue Tomands-fronten (1941) at the Apolloteatret with Hans W. Petersen.

    When the Second World War broke out, she returned to the set for the Danish operetta-like show film Alle går rundt og forelsker sig/All goes around and everyone falls in love (Emanuel Gregers, 1941). Ellis played an operetta girl who bets with the other girls she can bring three men on their knees, but one is not so easily conquered.

    The film was such a success in Sweden that Ellis was offered a contract there. She played  in the Swedish romantic comedy En melodi om våren/A Springtime Melody (Weyler Hildebrand, 1943), in which she played a nightclub singer. It was her last leading role.

    That same year, Ellis married editor Mogens Lind in Stockholm. En melodi om våren flopped, so Ellis stopped making films in Sweden. After that she only had a major part in the Danish film Elly Petersen (Jon Iversen, Alice O'Fredericks, 1944) and a small part in De kloge og vi gale/The Wise Man and the Fool (Alice O'Fredericks, Lau Lauritzen jun., 1945), plus some stage performances.

    Ellis gave her voice to the radio of Sweden, Norway and the British Forces Network, thanks to her eloquence and diction. In 1948 she did her first radio and television performance in New York and Washington. Together with Mogens Lind she translated a series of British and American plays, such as Fallen Angel and the operetta Annie. She also contributed to the popular Danish radio show Han, Hun og Musikken.

    In 1951, Lilian Ellis was hospitalised at the Bispebjerg Hospital and operated for a serious kidney disease. A blood congestion became fatal, and Lilian Ellis died at the age of 43 in 1951. In 1952 Mogens Lind edited the book Til Elise.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4991/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Manassé, Wien.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5281/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6086/2, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Balàzs, Berlin.

    Lilian Ellis
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6767/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Zander & Labisch, Berlin.

    Sources: Danske Film (Danish), Danish Film Institute (Danish), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos - German), Wikipedia (Danish and English) and IMDb.

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  • 02/05/18--22:00: Anna-Maria Ferrero
  • With her fragile beauty and assured talent, Italian actress Anna-Maria Ferrero (1934) made a respectable impact in the Italian cinema of the 1950s. As a teenager she started playing leads in films by Michelangelo Antonioni, Mario Monicelli, Mauro Bolognini and other major directors, and she would star in many stage plays and films opposite her boyfriend Vittorio Gassman.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 340. Photo: Minerva Film.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    French postcard by P.I., Paris, no. 49 B. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Vintage card. Photo: Video.

    Anna Maria Ferrero, Sandro Milani
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano (Milan), no. 466. Photo: publicity still for Febbre di vivere/Eager to live (Claudio Gora, 1953) with Sandro Milani.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, no. 408.

    Graphic-for-its-times Sexual Content


    Anna-Maria Ferrero was born Anna Maria Guerra in Rome in 1934.

    At age 15, she debuted on screen in Il cielo è rosso/The sky is red (Claudio Gora, 1950). Director Claudio Gori had spotted her walking through Via Aurora in Rome, and had offered her a screen test.

    AtAllMovie, Hal Erickson writes: “The Italian The Sky is Red (Il Cielo è Rosso) details the romantic adventures of two postwar couples. Despite being confined to a quarantined zone (quarantined for political, rather than health reasons), love finds a way. The Neorealistic elements are passable, but what really 'sold' this film abroad was its graphic-for-its-times sexual content. The cast is headed by Jacques Sernas and Marina Berti, another step in the right direction box office-wise.”

    Anna Maria changed her last name in honour of famous musical director and conductor Willy Ferrero, who was her godfather. Her next roles were in Domani è un altro giorno/Tomorrow is another day (Léonide Moguy, 1951) starring Pier Angeli, and opposite Raf Vallone in Il Cristo proibito/The forbidden Christ (1951), the only film directed by famous author Curzio Malaparte.

    In Le infedeli/The Unfaithfuls (Mario Monicelli, Steno, 1953), she appeared with Gina Lollobrigida. Her delicate, photogenic beauty and assured talent attracted director Michelangelo Antonioni, who cast her opposite Franco Interlenghi in the Italian episode of his I vinti/Youth and Perversion (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953), three stories of well-off youths who commit murders, one taking place in Paris, another in Rome, and another in London.

    The following year she co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni in Cronache di poveri amanti/Chronicle of Poor Lovers (Carlo Lizzani, 1954). Her rich role in this film was noted by the critics and the film went on to win the International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

    Next she starred opposite Alberto Sordi in Una parigina a Roma/A Parisian in Rome (Erich Kobler, 1954), and with comedy star Totò in Totò e Carolina/Toto and Carolina (Mario Monicelli, 1955). On television she starred in 1956 in the drama Cime tempestose/Wuthering Heights alongside Massimo Girotti.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard in the Italy's News Photos by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1244.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Bromostampa, Milano, no. 295.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1217. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Dial-Unitalia Film, Rome.

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 363. Photo: Universalfoto.

    Gassman and Sorel


    Although her career would only span some 15 years, Anna-Maria Ferrero achieved reasonable status in the Italian cinema. She acted rarely outside Italy, but she was featured in the star-studded Paramount epic War and Peace (King Vidor, 1956) starring Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda.

    Another co-star in this production filmed in Cinecittà was Vittorio Gassman, who had been her partner since 1953. The couple often worked together. On stage, she had joined his theatre company and worked there for several seasons. Notable were her Ophelia in Hamlet, Desdemona in Othello and her title role in the musical Irma la Douce.

    In the cinema, Ferrero and Gassman starred together in the Alexandre Dumas' drama Kean/Kean: Genius or Scoundrel (Vittorio Gassman, Francesco Rosi, 1956), the adventure Giovanni dalle bande nere/The violent patriot (Sergio Grieco, 1956), the romantic comedy Le sorprese dell'amore/Surprise of love (Luigi Comencini, 1959), the drama La notte brava/Bad Girls Don't Cry (Mauro Bolognini, 1959) and the comedy Il mattatore/Love and larceny (Dino Risi, 1960). In 1960 their relationship ended.

    Ferrero had some spirited performances in the adventurous Il gobbo/The Hunchback of Rome (Carlo Lizzani, 1961), and L'oro di Roma/Gold of Rome (Carlo Lizzani, 1961), both with Gérard Blain.

    The following year she married the French actor Jean Sorel, with whom she starred in the comedy Un marito in condominio/A husband in the condominium (Angelo Dorigo, 1963).

    Ettore Scola directed her opposite Nino Manfredi in Cocaina di domenica/Cocaine on Sunday, an episode of the anthology film Controsesso/Countersex (1965), in which a husband and wife start snorting cocaine after the friend who owned the bottle with the drug is arrested.

    Then, at the age of 37, Anna Maria Ferrero suddenly ended her career. Her retirement surprised many, but in the following decades she never made a come-back to the film world. Anna Maria Ferrero is still married to Jean Sorel.

    Anna Maria Ferrero in Canzoni di mezzo secolo (1954)
    Italian postcard by Bromofoto, no. 721. Photo: Minerva Film. Publicity still for Canzoni di mezzo secolo/Half a Century of Song (Domenico Paolella, 1954).

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Vetta Traldi, Milano in the Divi del Cinema series, no. 51. Sent by mail in 1955.

    Anna Maria Ferrero and Maurizio Arena in Totò e Carolina (1955)
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano. Photo: Ponti - De Laurentiis. Publicity still for Totò e Carolina/Totò and Carolina (Mario Monicelli, 1955) with Maurizio Arena.

    Anna Maria Ferrero in Kean - Genio e sregolatezza (1957)
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. I 282. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Kean - Genio e sregolatezza/Kean: Genius or Scoundrel (Vittorio Gassman, Francesco Rosi, 1957).

    Anna Maria Ferrero
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano (Milan), no. 60.

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

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  • 02/06/18--22:00: Paulette Dubost
  • French star Paulette Dubost (1910-2011) appeared in more than 150 films during her 81 year career. She was a witty, naughty and clever comedienne in many French comedies of the 1930s. She also proved to be good in dramatic roles, such as Ginette in Hotel du Nord (1938) and Lisette in La règle du jeu (1939).

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 293. Photo: Carlet.

    Paulette Dubost
    French autograph card. Photo: Forster / Film EPOC. Publicity still for Jeunesse/Youth (Georges Lacombe, 1933).

    Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
    French postcard by Erpé, no. 8. Photo: Simson.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard, no. 39. Photo: Forster.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by EPC, no. 36. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

    Great Classics


    Paulette Dubost was born Paulette Marie Emma Deplanque in Paris, France, in 1910. Her father was a gas engineer and her mother a singer at the Opéra Comique.

    Paulette began her career at the age of 7 at the Opéra de Paris. At 17, she switched to operetta and played for two years in Les Aventures du roi Pausole (The Adventures of King Pausole) at the Bouffes Parisiens with Simone Simon, Edwige Feuillère and Viviane Romance.

    Her naughty look and her voice were quickly noticed by the cinema, and from 1930 on she played roles in films by Jacques Tourneur, Jean Renoir, Andre Cayatte, Gilles Grangier and Max Ophuls.

    In Le roi des Champs-Élysées/The King of the Champs Elysees (Max Nosseck, 1935), she appeared opposite the famous silent film star Buster Keaton in a dual role.

    Dubost played a supporting part in Hotel du Nord/North Hotel (1936), starring Annabella and Jean-Pierre Aumont. It was the second of Marcel Carné's trio of 'fatalistic romantic melodramas'.

    Her most famous film from this period is Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game (1939). Though it's now regarded as one of the great classics of the French film, it was not warmly received on its original release in 1939.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by EC, no. 57. Photo: Studio Arnal.

    Paulette Dubost in La caserne en folie (1935)
    French autograph card, no. 57. Photo: publicity still for La caserne en folie/The barracks in madness (Maurice Cammage, 1935).

    Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
    French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 125. Photo: Simson.

    Paulette Dubost (1910 - 2011)
    French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinématographiques (EPC), no. 293. Photo: Carlet.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by Edit. R. Tricot in the Les vedettes de l'ecran series, no. 83. Photo: Simson.

    Happy Go Lucky


    After the war, Paulette Dubost co-starred with Danielle Darrieux in Au Petit Bonheur/Happy Go Lucky (Marcel L'Herbier, 1946), derived from a stage play written by Marc Gilbert Sauvajon.

    She appeared in the interesting Swiss post-war drama Die Vier im Jeep/Four in a Jeep (Leopold Lindtberg, 1951) starring Viveca Lindfors and Ralph Meeker.

    Max Ophüls then gave Paulette Dubost parts in Le plaisir/Pleasure (1951), based on three short stories by of Guy de Maupassant, and in Lola Montes (1955) starring Martine Carol.

    She played another supporting part in Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe/Picnic on the Grass (Jean Renoir, 1959). This film was inspired by the impressionist paintings by the director's father, Auguste Renoir.

    Dubost adapted easily to the evolution of film and the demands of directors. She worked with many big names of the French cinema: Jean Renoir, Claude Autant-Lara, Louis Malle, Philippe De Broca, Francois Truffaut, etc.

    In 1992, she published a memoir entitled C'est court la vie (It's a short life). Even in old age she continued to perform in films. Her last film appearance was in the short film Curriculum (Alexander Moix), 2007.

    Paulette Dubost died in Lonjumeau, France in 2011, 100 years old. She was married to Andre Ostertag from 1936 till 1944. They had a daughter, born in 1942.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard, no. 801. Photo: Film Sedif. Probably a publicity still for Le mensonge de Nina Petrovna/The Lie of Nina Petrovna (Victor Tourjansky, 1937), which was distributed by Societé d'Exploitation et de Distribution de Films (SEDIF).

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by A.N., Paris. Photo: Paramount.

    Paulette Dubost
    French postcard by Editions Cinématographiques, no. 2105. Photo: Arnal, Paris. Collection: Didier Hanson.


    Paulette Dubost sings Si Maman le veut (1934) in the film Le Comte Obligado (1934). Source: Camille 885 (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Hans Beerekamp (Het Schimmenrijk - Dutch), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/07/18--22:00: Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
  • The romantic drama Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948) starred two of the most beautiful and unforgettable stars of the French cinema, Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais. The screenplay was written by director Delannoy, Henri Jeanson and Georges Neveux. At the 1949 Venice Film Festival, Jean Delannoy was nominated for a Golden Lion.

    Michèle Morgan (1920-2016)
    French postcard by Editions P.I., offered by Les Carbones Korès, no. 80. Photo: Qibé. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948) with Jean Chevrier, Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais.

    Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Jean Marais in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Harlequin Romance


    In Aux yeux du souvenir (1948), Michèle Morgan plays Claire Magny, who wanted to be a stage actress, but became an air hostess after an unhappy love affair.

    Claire is to marry commandant Pierre Aubry (Jean Chevrier) when Jacques Forestier (Jean Marais), a former love, reappears in her life.

    Thanks to Pierre's support, Jacques becomes an airline pilot. During a dramatic flight, Jacques manages to save his plane. Claire realises she is still in love with Jacques. But she is Pierre's fiancee...

    The end of the film is inspired by a real event accomplished above the Atlantic ocean on the 7 February 1947 by an Air France crew member.

    D.B. DuMonteil at IMDb calls the film 'weak': "Although it features Delannoy 's favorite actress, Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais, perhaps the most attractive couple of the era. Made at a time French people would not take planes, Morgan as an air hostess, and Marais as an airline pilot could easily make a young girls dream. It also glorified Air France. A good writer such as Henri Jeanson could not save a conventional love story, which resembles a Harlequin romance."

    Michèle Morgan in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais in Aux yeux du souvenir (1948)
    German collectors card. Photo: Prisma. Publicity still for Aux yeux du souvenir/Nightstop in Dakar (Jean Delannoy, 1948).

    Sources: D.B. DuMonteil (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/08/18--22:00: Anna Müller-Lincke
  • Anna Müller-Lincke (1869-1935) was a German soubrette and stage and screen actress. Earning herself the sobriquet 'Königin des Humors' (Queen of Humour), she performed on stage in Berlin and later conducted successful tours of Europe and the Americas. For a while, she had her own film company, Anna Müller-Lincke-Film, and she was popular enough to start a whole series of comedies with her character Anna.

    Anna Müller-Linke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1542. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Anna Müller-Linke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1543. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Anna Müller-Linke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1544. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    A well-known soubrette


    Anna Müller-Lincke was born Anna Marie Louise Waldmüller (according to some sources: Müller) in Berlin in 1869. Already at the age of four, she made her stage debut at the Nationaltheater in Berlin. She performed with her sister Ida, who was seven years her senior,

    As a teenager, she had singing lessons from the opera singer Mathilde Mallinger. Anna soon became a well-known soubrette and also stage actress. Only 16, she played in the Ostend Theater in Berlin in the Gross-Frankfurter Straße, later known as the Rose Theater.

    At the Ostend Theater, she met in 1885 the then 19-year-old bassoonist Paul Lincke. In 1893 (some sources say 1886), they married and from then on Anna acted under the name Anna Müller-Lincke. Paul Lincke later celebrated triumphs as an operetta composer and went down in history as the 'father of the Berlin operetta'. In 1898 (some sources say 1901) the couple divorced again. Reportedly, the turbulent separation was the result of an affair by Paul Lincke, when he worked in Paris as the chef of the orchestra at the Folies Bergères.

    Anna Müller-Lincke had a brilliant stage career. She performed at the Victoria Theater, the Belle Alliance Theater, the Central Theater, the Adolf Ernst Theater and seven years at the prestigious Metropol Theater and Lessing Theater. Performances took her to France, Holland, Denmark, Russia and North and South America.

    Already in 1907, Anna Müller-Lincke performed as singer in two early sound films (Tonbilder) for the Deutsche Bioskop: Abends nach Neune: Duett aus Durchlaucht Radieschen. Nr. 11, and Roland und Viktoria: Duett aus "Neuestes! Allerneuestes!". Nr. 10, both sung with Leonhard Haskel. It was then a daring step to try to gain a foothold in the disapproved-of film business.

    In 1910, the courageous Müller-Lincke appeared for Messter-Film in her first silent fiction film, Bundrika, die Negerköchin/Bundrika the Negro Cook, but it was only from 1913 that she had a steady career in German silent cinema. Initially, she appeared in hearty roles (cooks, maids, resolute widows), latterly as dowagers and little old ladies.

    In 1913, she appeared in such films as Zwei Tage im Paradies/Tow days in paradise (Danny Kaden, 1913), Die Firma heiratet/The Firm Gets Married (Carl Wilhelm, 1913) starring Ernst Lubitsch, and the hit comedy Wo ist Coletti/Where Is Coletti? (Max Mack 1913) with Hans Junkermann.

    During the First World War, she appeared in Die Marketenderin/The sutler (Carl Wilhelm, 1914), Hans und Hanni/Hans and Hanni (Max Mack, 1914) with Hanni Weisse, Frau Annas Pilgerfahrt/Mrs. Anna's pilgrimage (Carl Wilhelm, 1915), Musketier Kaczmarek/Musketeer Kaczmarek (Carl Froehlich, 1915), Zofenstreiche/Maid sweep (Hubert Moest, 1915) with Hedda Vernon, Hampels Abenteuer/Hampel's Adventures (Richard Oswald, 1915), and Vom Regen in die Traufe/From the rain in the eaves (Emil Albes, Einar Bruun, 1917).

    Anna Müller-Lincke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1545. Photo: A. Binder, Berlin.

    Anna Müller-Lincke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1546. Photo: A. Binder, Berlin.

    Anna Müller-Lincke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3837. Photo: MacWalten, Berlin.

    Anna-comedies


    In 1917, Anna Müller-Lincke founded her own company Anna Müller-Lincke-Film, for which she produced Die linkische Anna (1917). Though her company was short lived Lincke was popular enough to start a whole series with her character Anna: Rechtsanwalt Anna/Lawyer Anna (1917), Anna Müller-Lincke kandidiert/Anna Müller-Lincke is running (Werner Sinn, 1919), Anna mit'n Flimmerfimmel/Anna with the flicker fool (Charley Mettinger, 1919).

    In 1919-1920, Lincke was productive with four to five some films per year. While Lincke worked for all kinds of companies, in 1919-1920 she did various films for DLG (Deutsche Lichtbild-Gesellschaft) such as Margots Freier/Margot's suitor (Hans Werckmeister, 1919).

    By 1921 the vogue of the Anna-comedies was over and Lincke had to be content with supporting parts in dramas and comedies. After a gap in 1922-1923, she returned in commercials in 1924 and supporting parts in fiction from 1925, such as Sündenbabel/Den of Iniquity (Constantin J. David, 1925) with Reinhold Schünzel, Was eine Frau im Frühling träumt/What a Woman Dreams of in Springtime (Curt Blachnitzky, 1928-1929), Kehre zurück! Alles vergeben!/Come Back, All Is Forgiven (Erich Schönfelder, 1929) with Dina Gralla, and Lumpenball/Rags ball (Carl Heinz Wolff, 1930).

    Thanks to her song and stage career, Anna Müller-Lincke easily switched to sound film. She could be seen in such early sound films as Die große Sehnsucht/The Great Longing (István Székely, 1930) with Theodor Loos and Camilla Horn, Der wahre Jakob/The true Jacob (Hans Steinhoff, 1930-31) – in which Müller-Lincke even had the lead - and the Alfred Döblin adaptation Berlin–Alexanderplatz (Phil Jutzi, 1931) with Heinrich George as Franz Biberkopf.

    Her repertory ranged from a bit part in the communist film Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt?/To Whom Does the World Belong? (Slatan Dudow, 1932) with Hertha Thiele, to another bit part in the fascist film Hitlerjunge Quex/Our Flag Leads Us Forward (Hans Steinhoff, 1933) with Heinrich George.

    In addition to various, uncredited bit parts in the early 1930s, more substantial parts followed for Müller-Lincke in e.g. Die blonde Nachtigall/The Blonde Nightingale (Johannes Meyer, 1930) and the shorts Der Herr von nebenan/The gentleman next door (Rolf Randolf, 1933), Carlos schönste Abenteuer/Carlo's most beautiful adventure (Phil Jutzi, 1934) with Carlo Aldini, and Ferner liefen/Further ran (Phil Jutzi, 1934).

    Anna Müller-Lincke died in Berlin in 1935. She was 66, and she had worked on till shortly before her death.

    Anna Müller-Linke
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1547. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Anna Müller-Linke
    German postcard by NPG, no. 431. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

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

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    The first German publishers of film star postcards were Verlag Hermann Leiser, Photochemie, Rotophot with its Film Sterne series and NPG. NPG stands for Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (New Photographic Society). Between 1897 and 1921, NPG was located in the Siemensstrasse in Berlin. There, the 1200 employees produced thousands and thousands of postcards, photos and stereograms. The film star postcards are only a limited part of this enormous production. But what a delicious part!

    Maria Orska
    Maria Orska. German postcard by NPG, no. 276.

    Erna Morena
    Erna Morena. German postcard by NPG, no. 280. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Ida Wüst
    Ida Wüst. German postcard by NPG, no. 405. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Lisa Weise
    Lisa Weise. German postcard by NPG, no. 516. Photo: Lili Baruch, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Hans Mierendorff
    Hans Mierendorff. German postcard by NPG, no. 658. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Pola Negri
    Pola Negri. German postcard by NPG, no. 668. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Hanne Brinkmann
    Hanne Brinkmann. German postcard by NPG, no. 807. Photo: Anny Eberth, Berlin.

    Alwin Neuss
    Alwin Neuss. German postcard by NPG, no. 823. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Theodor Loos
    Theodor Loos. German postcard by NPG, no. 894. Photo: Käthe Hirschfeld, Berlin.

    Henny Porten
    Henny Porten. German postcard by NPG, no. G 1017/2.

    Fern Andra
    Fern Andra. German postcard by NPG, no. G 1018/3.

    Oscar Beregi Sr.
    Oscar Beregi Sr. German postcard by NPG, no. 1275 Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

    Inge Laury
    Inge Laury. German postcard by NPG, no. 1366. Photo: Eberth, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Senta Söneland
    Senta Söneland. German postcard by NPG, no. 1419. Photo: Zander & Labisch, Berlin.

    Carl Clewing, At Home
    Carl Clewing. German postcard by NPG, no. 7027/8. Caption: "Künstler im eigenen Heim" (The artist at his own home).

    Sources: Mark Goffee (Ross Postcards) and Wikipedia (German).

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  • 02/10/18--22:00: Angela Similea
  • Romanian singer Angela Similea (1946) was one of the most famous Muzică ușoară (Romanian easy listening music) stars in the 1970s and 1980s. She also appeared in the popular Romanian film Rămăşagul (Ion Popescu Gopo, 1985).

    Angela Similea
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Angela Similea
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Smoking to get a less crystalline voice


    Angela Similea was born in 1946 in the 1 Decembrie commune, Ilfov County, Romania. She was the oldest of the three children of Petre and Gherghina Similea.

    As a child she was already attracted to music. Although she was very shy, she used to sing when she was travelling with the tram to the discomfort of her mother. As a teenager, she attended a concert by Maria Tanase, which inspired her to choose for a singing career.

    However, her mother forced her to choose a ‘decent job,’ and to study to become a paediatrician. During high school, music teacher Marin Teofil discovered Angela’s singing talent, and spoke about it to the composer George Grigoriu, who then led the UTC ensemble.

    She established that Angela could take singing lessons with Florica Orăscu. Orăscu worked with many other performers of Similea’s generation, such as Aura Urziceanu, Dida Dragan, and Olimpia Panciu.

    Florica Orăscu believed that Similea had a ‘too crystalline’ voice, and recommended that she would start to smoke. After a relatively short period, Angela Similea's voice matured, descended and became deeper.

    In 1965, she started to sing as an amateur, and obtained the third place in the amateur artists' festival. She sang V. Veselovski's song Câmpia sub lună (Plain under the Moon), which won the First Prize at a festival in Bucharest.

    Angela Similea and Florin Piersic in Ramasagul (1984)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43 157. Publicity still for Rămăşagul (Ion Popescu Gopo, 1984) with Florin Persic.

    Angela Similea
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Dying from a wound of love


    Angela Similea won many awards during the 1970s. Her first success was a second prize at the Cebul de Aur (Golden Stag) International Festival in 1970 where he won the Silver Deer. She made her TV debut in the show-contest Emoții (Emotions) where she sang the songs Așa ești tu (So you) and Guantanamera.

    In 1971 she launched George Grigoriu’s song Amurgul, with which she won the special jury prize at the Ancora Decinului contest in Czechoslovakia. In 1972, she got the second place at the Golden Orpheus Festival in Bulgaria, with the song Tu ești primăvara mea (You are my spring) by Florin Bogardo. In 1977, the singer won the first prize at the Mamaia Festival for Un albastru infinit (Infinite Blue), composed by Marcel Dragomir.

    In 1985 she appeared as a fairy in the film Rămăşagul (Ion Popescu Gopo, 1985), with the known Romanian film stars Iurie Darie and Florin Piersic. The film is based on the 19th century children's story Purse with Two Coins by the Romanian writer Ion Creanga.

    Rămăşagul is a self-referential fantasy, complete with musical and animated interludes plus a cast of fairy-tale characters. It tells the story of an old man (Ion Lucian) who makes a bet with a fairy (Similea) that he can hide a bag with two golden coins from her for a week.

    Throughout her career Similea managed to collaborate with some of the best Romanian composers, including Ion Cristinoiu, Marcel Dragomir, Marius Teicu and Zsolt Kerestely. In 2000, her song Să mori de dragoste rănită (To Die of Wounded Love), composed by Marcel Dragomir, on lyrics of Aurel Storin, was declared "the 20th century song" by the Romanian public during a TV gala.

    After ten years of absence, Angela Similea returned to the music market in 2005 with a new album, entitled Lumea mea (My World). Angela Similea was married to politician Victor Surdu, who died in 2011. In 2014, Similea returned to the cinema in the comedy Scurt/4: Istorii de inimã neagrã (Andrei Cretulescu, Radu Jude, Luiza Parvu, Julia Rugina, 2014). She also appeared in the short film Sã mori de dragoste rãnitã/Dying from a wound of love (Iulia Rugina, 2014).

    Angela Similea
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Angela Similea
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.


    Angela Similea sings Casa mea. Source: raffaelo34 (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia (Romanian) and IMDb.

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  • 02/11/18--22:00: Cas Jansen
  • Dutch actor Cas Jansen (1977) became a teen idol with the popular Dutch soap Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden/Good Times, Bad Times (1996-1999). Later he starred in several Dutch films, including the award-winning thriller Lek/Leak (2000).

    Cas Jansen in GTST
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group / Entres / Photo Sportivo, no. 3. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999) with Cas Jansen as Julian Verduyn.

    Cas Jansen in GTST
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group / Entres / Photo Sportivo, no. 18. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999) with Cas Jansen as Julian Verduyn.

    Cas Jansen in Goede tijden, slechte tijden
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group / Entres / Photo Sportivo, no. 19. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999) with Cas Jansen as Julian Verduyn.

    Lord of the Flies


    Cas Jansen was born Casper Jansen in 1977 in Badhoevedorp, the Netherlands.

    At the age of 11, Jansen played on stage at Jeugd Theater De Krakeling in Amsterdam in the play Strandrand, a Dutch translation of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. He also appeared on stage in Ubu Roi (1993) and King Lear (1995).

    In addition, Jansen played in several television series, including Fort Alpha (1996-1997). He became very popular with his role as Julian Verduyn in the TV soap Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden/Good Times, Bad Times (1996-1999).

    Then he got a small part in the film Karakter/Character (Mike van Diem, 1997), starring Fedja van Huêt and Jan Decleir. This film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

    Jansen was featured in the television series All Stars (1999-2001) as pot-head Nemo. His final breakthrough was the leading role as police officer Eddy Dolstra in the thriller Lek/Leak (Jean van de Velde, 2000), which won several Golden Calf awards, including for Best Feature.

    For two seasons, he performed the role of detective Chris Luifel in the second season of the television series Luifel and Luifel (2002-2003). In this crime series his character solved murder cases with his father (Guus Dam).

    Jansen then performed in the films Volle Maan/Full Moon Party (Johan Nijenhuis, 2002), and De Dominee/The Preacher (Gerrard Verhage, 2004), based on the life of gangster Klaas Bruinsma who was played by Peter Paul Muller.

    Jansen played another supporting part in the Dutch action comedy Vet hard/Too Fat Too Furious (Tim Oliehoek, 2005), starring Jack Wouterse. This is a remake of the Danish comedy Gamle mænd i nye biler/Old Men in New Cars (Lasse Spang Olsen, 2002) and received a Golden Film for 100,000 visitors.

    Cas Jansen and Chantal Janzen in Volle Maan (2002)
    Dutch postcard by Boomerang, Amsterdam. Photo: Ray Christian / De Krom Studio. Artwork: Michiel van Randeraat/ Locust Enterainment. Promotion card for Volle Maan/Full Moon Party (Johan Nijenhuis, 2002) with Chantal Janzen.

    Cas Jansen and Daan Schuurmans in Volle Maan (2002)
    Dutch postcard by Boomerang, Amsterdam. Photo: Ray Christian / De Krom Studio. Artwork: Michiel van Randeraat/ Locust Enterainment. Promotion card for Volle Maan/Full Moon Party (Johan Nijenhuis, 2002) with Daan Schuurmans.

    A hellish ice skating tour


    Cas Jansen tried to combine TV- and film roles with working in the theatre. In 2005, he acted on stage in d in the play Tape by Stephen Belber. In the 2006-2007 season, he performed a main role alongside Jelka van Houten in the play Sexual Perversity, directed by Marcus Azzini.

    He voiced Emo in the short computer-animated film Elephants Dream (Bassam Kurdali, 2006). From 2006 till 2008, he played the leading role of Timo de Brauw in de TV series Spoorloos verdwenen/Vanished. In the summer of 2006, Jansen also made his debut as a radio DJ at the channel Caz!.

    He played the leading role in the film De Hel van '63/The Hell of 63 (Steven de Jong, 2009) with Willeke van Ammelrooy. This film drama is based on the 1963 edition of the Elfstedentocht, a long distance ice skating tour in the Netherlands.

    In 2010, he appeared on stage in the gangster opera Pimp with Nadja Hüpscher. and became the voice of the television channel Veronica. He returned as Nemo in the film All Stars 2: Old Stars (Jean van de Velde, 2011).

    Cas Jansen is married since 2009 with actress Annelieke Bouwers, with whom he has a daughter and a son. He started to make family films like De Club van Lelijke Kinderen/The Ugly Kids Club (Jonathan Elbers, 2012), which won several awards, and the very popular Mees Kees (Barbara Bredero, 2012) starring Willem Voogd. He also appeared in the two sequels, Mees Kees op kamp/Mees Kees goes camping (Barbara Bredero, 2013) and Mees Kees op de planken/Mees kees on stage (Barbara Bredero, 2014).

    Other films were Leve Boerenliefde/Live Farmers Love (Steven de Jong, 2013), and Wiplala (Tim Oliehoek, 2014), based on the classic children’s book by Annie M.G. Schmidt. In 2017 Cas Jansen appeared in the TV series Vaders & Moeders/Fathers & Mothers (Jelle de Jonge, 2012) with Anna Drijver, and De 12 van Oldenheim/The 12 of Oldenheim (Anne van der Linden, a.o., 2017), with Noortje Herlaar.

    Ferri Somogyi, Angela Schijf and Cas Jansen in Goede tijden, slechte tijden
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group, no. 8. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST with Ferri Somogyi and Angela Schijf.

    Cas Jansen
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by RTL4, no. 10. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999).

    Cas Jansen and Angela Schijf in GTST (1996-1999)
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group, no. 12. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999) with Angela Schijf.

    Cas Jansen and Angela Schijf in GTST
    Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by Grundy / Joop van den Ende Productions / RTL4 / Veronica De Holland Media Group, no. 11. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST (1996-1999) with Angela Schijf.

    Sources: Wikipedia (Dutch and English), and IMDb.

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  • 02/12/18--22:00: Anders de Wahl
  • Swedish actor Anders de Wahl (1869-1956) appeared in about seven films between 1920 and 1946. On stage, he was prolific and popular performer, mainly at Vasateatern, the Swedish Theatre and Dramaten - the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.

    Anders de Wahl in Afventyret
    Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 350. Photo: Hofatelier Jaeger, 1915. Publicity still for the play Afventyret by Valentin Le Barroyer, performed at the Dramaten theatre in Stockholm in 1915, under direction of Karl Hedberg.

    Anders de Wahl and Karen Molander in Erotikon
    Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1097/2. Anders de Wahl and Karin Molander in Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920).

    Dramaten


    Anders de Wahl was born as Andreas de Wahl in 1869 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the son of the music director Oscar de Wahl and the actress and operetta singer Anna de Wahl, born Lundström.

    After employment at Wicanders cork factory offices, De Wahl was a student at Dramaten (the Royal Dramatic Theatre) from 1889 till 1891. There he debuted in 1890 as Nils in Mäster Olof (Master Olof) by August Strindberg.

    From 1891 till 1892 he played for August Lindberg's theatre group and from 1892 till 1907 at the Albert Ranft Theatre Company. De Wahl wrote the play Too early, in which he played the role of Ville in 1892 which became one of his early successes.

    From 1907 till 1919 he worked at Dramaten . In 1920-1922 he worked at the Svenska Teatern (Swedish Theatre) and again at Dramaten, from 1922 till 1951.

    He often worked with the directors Olaf Molander and Alf Sjöberg. He also directed some plays himself. De Wahl also played in Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki, and conducted his own tours in the Swedish city centre. He also toured in the United States as a reader.

    Martin Banham mentions in The Cambridge Guide to Theatre that De Wahl was popular until the late 1920s, when the more natural style of Lars Hanson replaced his romantic, exuberant style. De Wahl excelled as personality actor, often performing troubled souls as August Strindberg’s Erik XIV (1899) and his King Magnus (1901). Though he opposed modernism in theatre, he did perform in plays by Luigi Pirandello such as Six Characters in Search of an Author (1925), Henry IV (1926) and The Pleasure of Honesty (1930) and made the author thus popular in Sweden.

    In 1930, he had an enormous success with the title role in Hjalmar Bergman's comedy Markurells from Wadköbing (1930). For posterity, Anders de Wahl will be inextricably linked with this role, in Sweden.

    Anders de Wahl and Karin Molander in Erotikon
    Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1097/3. Anders de Wahl and Karin Molander in Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920).

    Anders de Wahl in Kvarnen
    Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 193. Photo: Skandia Film. Anders de Wahl in Kvarnen/The Windmill (John W. Brunius, 1921). The film was shot at the Skandia studio at Lidingö, with exteriors were shot at Sjöbo and Skåne by Hugo Edlund. The basis for the film was the novel Møllen (The Mill, 1896) by Karl Gjellerup. During filming in Sjöbo a real old mill burned down right in face of the camera. The Swedish Film Institute's film archive holds a restored print of the film.

    Erotikon


    In the cinema he became known when he starred in the silent, subversive tragi-comedy Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920). He played the entomology professor Leo Charpentier who is obsessed with the sexual life of bugs. In the meanwhile his easy-going wife (Tora Teje) is courted by two suitors. The film was based on a play by Hungarian writer Ferenc Herczeg and scripted by future film director Gustav Molander, Stiller and Arthur Nordén. Erotikon became a commercial success and was sold to 45 markets abroad.

    In his second film Kvarnen/The Mill (John W. Brunius, 1921), De Wahl played a very different character as a miller who is lured and blinded by a seductive ‘tattare’ woman working at his farm.

    De Wahl also appeared in the silent films Kalle Utter (Karin Swanström, 1925) and Flygande holländaren/Flying Dutchman (Karin Swanström, 1925), with German actor Werner Fuetterer.

    His popularity diminished after the 1920s. After the introduction of the sound film, he played the lead in Vad veta väl männen/What do the men know? (Edvin Adolphson, 1933). It was the Swedish version of the German film Was wissen den Männer? (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1933).

    Five years later he appeared in Med folket för fosterlandet (Sigurd Wallén, 1938) in which he was himself as the New Year's Reader of Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem New Year's Clock. De Wahl was famous in Sweden for calling in the New Year ("Ring klocka, ring..."/Ring Out, Wild Bells...) at Skansen in Stockholm for sixty years (1895-1955).

    The grand old actor played his last stage role under the direction of Ingmar Bergman in Björn Erik Höijer's Light in the Shack.

    Anders de Wahl died in Stockholm in 1956. He was 87. De Wahl was unmarried and is buried at Adolf Fredriks Cemetery in Stockholm.

    Anders de Wahl
    Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 211. Photo: Hofatelier Jaeger, 1921. Publicity still for the play Femina.

    Anders de Wahl in Herrans Vingard (1924)
    Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 395. Photo: Hofatelier Jaeger. Publicity still for the play Herrans Vingard.

    Sources: Martin Banham (Cambridge Guide to Theatre), Find A Grave, Wikipedia (Swedish, German and English) and IMDb.

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  • 02/13/18--22:00: Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969) was typecast as the token pretty girl in British films, and therefore relocated to Los Angeles. She established herself in Hollywood with sexy action roles in The Mask of Zorro (1998), Entrapment (1999) and the black comedy Intolerable Cruelty (2003).

    Catherine Zeta-Jones
    Belgian postcard by Pmagazine in the series 'De 50 mooiste vrouwen van de eeuw!' (the 50 most beautiful women of the century!), no. 3. Photo: Terry Doyle / Outline.

    The Darling Buds of May


    Catherine Zeta-Jones was born in Swansea in 1969. Her parents were David Jones, the owner of a candy factory, and his wife Patricia (née Fair), a seamstress. In the 1980s, her parents won £100.000 at the game of Bingo and moved to St. Andrews Drive in Mayals, uptown Swansea.

    Because Zeta-Jones was a hyperactive child, her mother sent her to the Hazel Johnson School of Dance when she was four years old. Zeta-Jones participated in school stage shows from a young age and gained local media attention when her rendition of a Shirley Bassey song won a Junior Star Trail talent competition.

    As a child, she played roles in the West End productions of the musicals Annie and Bugsy Malone. When she was 15, Zeta-Jones dropped out of school and decided to live in London to pursue a full-time acting career. She studied musical theatre at the Arts Educational Schools, London.

    When she was 17 years old, she made her stage breakthrough with a leading role in a 1987 production of 42nd Street. Her next stage appearance was with the English National Opera at the London Coliseum in 1989 where she played Mae Jones in Kurt Weill's Street Scene.

    Her screen debut came in the unsuccessful French-Italian film 1001 Nights (Philippe de Broca, 1990), as Sheherezade opposite Thierry Lhermitte. She had greater success as a regular in the British television series The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993).

    Following a brief appearance as Beatriz Enríquez de Arana in the unsuccessful adventure film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (John Glen, 1992), Zeta-Jones featured as a belly dancer in disguise in an episode of George Lucas' television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992).

    She next took on the part of an aspiring duchess in the farcical period drama Splitting Heirs (Robert Young, 1993), about two children (Eric Idle and Rick Moranis) who are separated at birth. She then starred as the pragmatic girlfriend of Sean Pertwee's character in the surf film Blue Juice (Carl Prechezer, 1995). Dismayed at being typecast as the token pretty girl in British films, Zeta-Jones relocated to Los Angeles.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones
    British postcard by Heroes Publishing Ltd., London, no. SPC 3491.

    Happy birthday, Antonio Banderas!
    German postcard by Memory Cards, no. 495. Photo: publicity still for The Mask of Zorro (Martin Campbell, 1998), with Antonio Banderas.

    The Mask of Zorro


    Catherine Zeta-Jones initially established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal such as in the action film The Mask of Zorro (Martin Campbell, 1998) opposite Antonio Banderas, and the heist film Entrapment (Jon Amiel, 1999), in which she starred opposite Sean Connery as a seductive insurance agent on the lookout for an art thief.

    Critics praised her portrayal of a vengeful pregnant woman in Traffic (Steven Soderbergh, 2000) and a murderous singer in the musical Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2002). For the first she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. The latter won her Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Supporting Actress, among other accolades.

    In 2003, Zeta-Jones played alongside George Clooney in the Coen Brothers' black comedy Intolerable Cruelty. It was a commercial success.

    She starred in high-profile films for much of the decade, including the heist film Ocean's Twelve (Steven Soderbergh, 2004), the comedy The Terminal (Steven Spielberg, 2004), and the romantic comedy No Reservations (Scott Hicks, 2007).

    Parts in smaller-scale features were followed by a decrease in workload, during which she returned to stage and portrayed an ageing actress in A Little Night Music (2009), winning a Tony Award.

    Zeta-Jones continued to work intermittently in the 2010s, starring in the psychological thriller Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013) and the action film Red 2 (Dean Parisot, 2013). Zeta-Jones is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award and a Tony Award, and in 2010 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her film and humanitarian endeavours. She supports various charities and causes, and is a prominent celebrity endorser of brands.

    Her struggle with depression and bipolar II disorder has been well documented by the media. She was married to American actor Michael Douglas with whom she has two children.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones was last seen in the cinemas with Toby Jones and Michael Gambon in the British comedy Dad's Army (Oliver Parker, 2016), based on the legendary TV series.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones
    British postcard by Pyramid, Leicester, no. PC 2090, 1999.

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lion's Cage is a 1926 Italian silent adventure film directed by Guido Brignone for the Cinès-Pittaluga studio. It was part of the popular Maciste series of films starring Bartolomeo Pagano as the strongman Maciste. His co-stars were Elena Sangro, Luigi Serventi, Mimi Dovia and Alberto Collo. In the script, written by Brignone, Maciste is sent to Africa by a circus showman to capture some lions. Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni was the penultimate film of the silent series, followed by Il gigante delle Dolomiti/The Giant of the Dolomites (Guido Brignone, 1927).

    Bartolomeo Pagano in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Bartolomeo Pagano in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Mimi Dovia and Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Bartolomeo Pagano in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni
    Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. Vettori, Bologna, no. 3620. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Alberto Collo in Maciste nella gabbia de leoni (1926)
    Alberto Collo. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Bartolomeo Pagano in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Bartolomeo Pagano (right). Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Mimi Dovia in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Mimi Dovia. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Bartolomeo Pagano in Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Mimi Dovia and Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Mimi Dovia. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Bartolomeo Pagano, Maciste
    Bartolomeo Pagano. Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni
    Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 818. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni (1926)
    Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Photo: Pittaluga Films, Torino. Publicity still for Maciste nella gabbia dei leoni/Maciste in the Lions' Cage (Guido Brignone, 1926).

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/15/18--22:00: Fritz Kortner
  • Austrian-born stage and film actor and theatre director Fritz Kortner (1892–1970) was one of the best known character actors of the German silent cinema. His speciality was playing sinister and threatening roles.

    Henny Porten, Wilhelm Dieterle and Fritz Kortner in Hintertreppe (1921)
    German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 102. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Hintertreppe/Backstairs (Leopold Jessner, Paul Leni, 1921) with Henny Porten and Wilhelm Dieterle.

    Fritz Kortner and Olga Tschechowa in Nora (1923)
    German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 99, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Nora (Berthold Viertel, 1923) with Olga Tschechova.

    Fritz Kortner
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 74/1, 1925-1935. Photo: Matador-Film. Publicity still for Das Leben des Beethoven/The Life of the Beethoven (Hans Otto, 1927).

    Fritz Kortner
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 74/2, 1925-1935. Photo: Matador-Film. Publicity still for Das Leben des Beethoven/The Life of the Beethoven (Hans Otto, 1927). Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Francesca Bertini and Fritz Kortner in Mein Leben für das Deine
    Italian postcard, no. 341. Photo: Dist. S.A. Pittaluga. Francesca Bertini and Fritz Kortner in Mein Leben für das Deine/My life for yours (Luitz-Morat, 1928), an adaptation of the play Odette by Victorien Sardou.

    Unfit for the Front


    Fritz Kortner was born as Fritz Nathan Kohn in Vienna, Austria, in 1892.

    He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, an academy at the Burgtheater. After graduating, he received his first engagement at the National Theatre Mannheim. In 1911, he joined Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. There he played only minor roles, and soon he moved again.

    These were wander years for the actor, hopping from stage to stage. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was called up for military service. However, he was soon written off as unfit for the front.

    In 1915 he made his first film appearances in a series of adventure films directed and produced by Harry Piel, including Manya, die Türkin/Manya, the Turkish Woman (Harry Piel, 1915). During the war he also appeared in such films as Der Märtyrer seines/The Martyr of his heart (Emil Justitz, 1918) as Ludwig von Beethoven, Der Sonnwendhof/The Sonnwendhof (Emil Leyde, 1918) and Frauenehre/Honour of a woman (Georg Kundert, 1918), in which his expressionistic acting style first came into its own.

    On stage his roles became more important, and in 1919 he had his breakthrough with his performance in the play Die Wandlung (the conversion) by Ernst Toller at Die Tribüne in Berlin. Then director Leopold Jessner committed him for the Staatstheater and made him one of his principal actors. Kortner appeared in many plays by Schiller, Büchner and Shakespeare under the direction of Jessner.

    His Shylock in The Merchant of Venice became his most famous role. It made him one of the great stars of the German stage in the 1920s, with a new form of theater: the expressionism. His specialty was playing sinister and threatening roles.

    He also intensified his activities in the cinema, where he also excelled in expressionist works with his demonically subtle acting, such as in Satanas/Satan (F.W. Murnau, 1920) opposite Ernst Hoffmann, Die Nacht der Königin Isabeau/The Night of Queen Isabeau (Robert Wiene, 1920) starring Fern Andra, and the thriller Schatten/Warning Shadows (Arthur Robison, 1923) with Alexander Granach.

    Another early classic was the drama Hintertreppe/Backstairs (Leopold Jessner, Paul Leni, 1921) in which he played a crippled mailman in love with a maid (Henny Porten) who lives in the same poor apartment building.

    In 1924 Kortner married the actress Johanna Hofer, and they stayed together till his death. That year he played the role of the villain in the Austrian silent horror classic Orlacs Hände/Orlac’s hands (Robert Wiene, 1924) opposite Conrad Veidt.

    He proved his versatility with completely different parts in two other classics, as Dr. Ludwig Schön in Die Büchse der Pandora/Pandora’s Box (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1929) featuring Louise Brooks, and the title role in the early sound film Dreyfus/The Dreyfus Case (Richard Oswald, 1930) with Heinrich George.

    461 Fritz Kortner_Hänsom (Fimlbilder. Tomfilmserie; 461)
    Postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Sandau. Collection: Performing Arts@Flickr.

    141 Fritz Kortner_Ramses (Filmbilder 1; 141)
    Postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Bieber. Collection: Performing Arts@Flickr.

    083 Fritz Kortner_Confreia (Film und Bühnen-Künstler Bilder; 83)
    Postcard. Collection: Performing Arts@Flickr.


    The Attack


    During the turbulent times in the early 1930s, the Jewish Fritz Kortner decided to install his residence in Ascona. In late 1932 he was attacked in the Nazi propaganda sheet Der Angriff (The Attack): "One had chosen for the role in Gott, Kaiser und Bauer (1932, God, Emperor and Farmer) the Jew Kortner-Kohn, who actually should have stopped playing in the Berlin theatre scene long ago. He is pretty much the worst and grubbiest type who has ever been on a German stage.”

    When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Kortner, was on a tour through Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. He decided not to return to Germany. Over Czechoslovakia, then to Vienna - where he performed at Max Reinhardt’s Theater in der Josefstadt – to Paris, the Kortner family then emigrated to Great Britain, where Fritz Kortner could appear in films again.

    Among his British films are Chu Chin Chow (Walter Forde, 1934) with Anna May Wong, and Abdul the Damned (Karl Grune, 1935) with Nils Asther.

    In 1937, he emigrated to the United States, where he found work as a character actor and theatre director. In 1938 followed his family, and they moved on to Hollywood. Here he worked on scripts. Until his return to Europe in 1947 he starred in nine films such as The Hitler Gang (John Farrow, 1944). However, they were not very convincing artistically.

    After his return to Germany, he became noted for his innovative staging and direction. His artistic homes were the Münchener Kammerspiele under Hans Schweikart and the Schillertheater in Berlin under Boleslaw Barlog. A classic became his direction of Richard III (1964) in which the king crawls over piles of corpses at the end. At the Kammerspiele, he directed seventeen plays until 1967.

    He also appeared in some interesting films, such as Der Ruf/The Last Illusion (Josef von Báky, 1949) with Johanna Hofer, and the suspenseful drama-thriller Epilog: Das Geheimnis der Orplid/Epilogue (Helmut Käutner, 1950). In the 1960s, Kortner started to direct at the Burgtheater in his native Vienna. He directed his last play, Emilia Galotti with Klaus Maria Brandauer, in April 1970, at the Viennese Theater in der Josefstadt.

    Three months later, Fritz Kortner died of cancer in Munich, aged 78. Kortner’s style of interpretation and rehearsal influenced a new generation of directors. Particularly noteworthy are Peter Stein and Jürgen Flimm, who both have been assistant directors of Kortner.

    Fritz Kortner
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1325/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Sandau, Berlin.

    Fritz Kortner
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 6037. Photo: Terra Film / Götz Hofbauer.

    Fritz Kortner
    German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 68. Photo: Transocean.

    Fritz Kortner
    British card. Photo: B.I.P. Publicity still for Abdul the Damned (1935).

    Sources: Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

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  • 02/16/18--22:00: Eidelsan
  • Today a post on the German film star postcards, produced during the late 1920s as promotion for 'Die trustfreie Eidelsan'. Margarine label Eidelsan was produced by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt of the Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H. in Holstein. Hermann Fauser was a son of an agricultural administrator in the sugar beet and the wine growing industry and an independent broker for the oilseed industry. In 1926 he became the active partner of the four years previously founded margarine plant Eidelstedt in Hamburg. Only a few years later, he joined the company's management and was involved in the production of innovative new products for the firm that still exists and is now known as Vitaquell. The postcards in this post are all of the first film star series for Eidelsan, which consists of 80 cards. Was there a second series?

    Heinrich George
    Heinrich George. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 4. Photo: Marcus.

    Lotte Lorring
    Lotte Lorring. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser GmbH, Holstein. Serie 1, no. Bild 12. Photo: Marcus.

    Albert Bassermann
    Albert Bassermann. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 13. Photo: Transocean.

    Alfred Abel
    Alfred Abel. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 16. Photo: Marcus.

    Oskar Sima
    Oskar Sima. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 34. Photo: Marcus.

    Dorothea Wieck
    Dorothea Wieck. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser GmbH, Holstein. Serie 1, no. Bild 35. Photo: Marcus.

    Siegfried Arno
    Siegfried Arno. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 53. Photo: Marcus.

    Ralph A. Roberts
    Ralph Arthur Roberts. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser GmbH, Holstein. Serie 1, no. Bild 58. Photo: Marcus.

    Mady Christians
    Mady Christians. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser GmbH, Holstein. Serie 1, no. Bild 64. Photo: Marcus.

    Hilde Wörner
    Hilde Wörner. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 67. Photo: Transocean.

    Fritz Kortner
    Fritz Kortner. German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 68. Photo: Transocean.

    Source: Vitaquell (German).


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  • 02/17/18--22:00: David Tomlinson
  • British actor David Tomlinson (1917-2000) was both a leading man, a character actor and a comedian. He is best remembered for his roles in the Walt Disney successes Mary Poppins (1964) as authority figure George Banks, The Love Bug (1968) as hapless antagonist Peter Thorndyke, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) as fraudulent magician Professor Emelius Browne.

    David Tomlinson
    British autograph card.

    David Tomlinson
    Dutch autograph card. Photo": Eagle Lion.

    Murder-suicide


    David Cecil MacAlister Tomlinson was born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in 1917, to Florence Elizabeth Tomlinson (née Sinclair-Thomsona) and Clarence Samuel Tomlinson. His well-respected London solicitor father had an uncertain temper, who once burned his baby son's hand with a domestic iron and who, for years, ran a second, secret household in London from Mondays to Fridays, returning to his wife and children in Folkstone at weekends.

    David attended Tonbridge School and left to join the Grenadier Guards for 16 months. His father then secured him a job as a clerk at Shell Mex House.

    His stage career grew from amateur stage productions to his film debut in Quiet Wedding (Anthony Asquith, 1941), as Margaret Lockwood's brother John, hopelessly in love with Peggy Ashcroft.

    It was followed by roles in the comedy My Wife's Family (Walter C. Mycroft, 1941), and the British anti-Nazi thriller "Pimpernel" Smith (1941), produced and directed by its star Leslie Howard, which updates his role in the 1934 The Scarlet Pimpernel from Revolutionary France to pre-Second World War Europe. It was the third most popular film at the British box office in 1941.

    Tomlinson’s career was interrupted when he entered Second World War service as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF. During the war, he served as a flight instructor in Canada and made three films. His flying days continued after the war and later, in 1957, he crashed a Tiger Moth plane near his back garden after he lost consciousness while flying.

    Tomlinson was first married to Mary Lindsay Hiddingh, daughter of L. Seton Lindsay, the vice president of the New York Life Insurance Company. She had been widowed in 1941 when her husband, Major A.G. Hiddingh, was killed in action, leaving her to care for their two young sons. Tomlinson married Mary in September 1943. On 2 December 1943, Hiddingh killed herself and her two sons in a murder-suicide by jumping from a hotel in New York City. She was 34 and her sons Michael 8 and John 6. She had been suffering from depression by the loss of her first husband. She was hoping to join David in England, but while in New York City soon learned she couldn't bring the kids which led to her murder-suicide.

    Tomlinson's second wife was actress Audrey Freeman, whom he married in 1953, and the couple remained together for 47 years until his death. They had four sons: David Jr. (born 1954), William (1959), Henry (1963) and James (1956 ?).

    David Tomlinson
    Small German Collectors card by Greiling in the Filmstars der Welt Series, 2. Band, Serie E, no. 107. Photo: Rank.

    David Tomlinson
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 682. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.

    Disney Legend


    After the war, David Tomlinson played supporting parts in British films like the war drama The Way to the Stars (Anthony Asquith, 1945), starring Michael Redgrave and John Mills, School for Secrets (Peter Ustinov, 1946) starring Ralph Richardson, and the drama Fame is the Spur (Roy Boulting, 1947) with Michael Redgrave and Rosamund John.

    A hit was the comedy Miranda (Ken Annakin, 1948) about a beautiful and playful mermaid played by Glynis Johns. Another success was the war film The Wooden Horse (Jack Lee, 1950) in which he co-starred with Leo Genn and Anthony Steel.

    Other popular films in which he co-starred were the comedy Three Men in a Boat (Ken Annakin, 1956) with Laurence Harvey, and Shirley Eaton, the comedy Up the Creek (Val Guest, 1958) with Peter Sellers and Wilfrid Hyde-White, and the adventure-comedy Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) starring Albert Finney.

    Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Tomlinson liked nothing better than to undercut his dignified demeanor in flustered comedy roles, invariably sputtering such expletives as 'My word!', 'I say!', and 'What the deuce!'"

    Tomlinson did this exceptionally well in his role as George Banks, head of the Banks family, in Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964), alongside the umbrella-borne Julie Andrews and the chimney-sweeping Dick Van Dyke. The Disney film was released to universal acclaim, receiving a total of thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture – an unsurpassed record for any other film released by Walt Disney Studios – and won five.

    Mary Poppins brought Tomlinson continued work with Disney, asking him to appear in The Love Bug (Robert Stevenson, 1968) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Robert Stevenson, 1971), with Angela Lansbury.

    Throughout the rest of Tomlinson's film career, he never steered far from comedies. On stage he had long-running successes in many plays including The Little Hut with Robert Morley and Roger Moore as his understudy. His final acting appearance was in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (Piers Haggard, Peter Sellers, Richard Quine, 1980), which was also the final film of Peter Sellers, who died shortly prior to its release.

    Tomlinson retired from acting at age 63 to spend more time with his family. During the last few years of his life, he became notorious around his home village of Mursley for flying very low in his Tiger Moth. In 2000, David Tomlinson died peacefully in his sleep at King Edward VII's Hospital, Westminster, after suffering from a sudden stroke. He was 83 years old. He was interred at his estate grounds in Mursley, Buckinghamshire. In 2002, two years after his death, Tomlinson was posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend.


    Trailer Mary Poppins (1964). Source: Film Trailers Channel (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Dennis Barker (The Guardian), Luke Cumiskey (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 02/18/18--22:00: Fita Benkhoff
  • German actress Fita Benkhoff (1901-1967) appeared in more than 100 films between 1933 and 1967. The vivacious, blonde actress specialised in supporting parts, often as the best friend, aunt or mother of the leading actress. Together with Grethe Weiser, she was seen as the main female comic sidekick of the German film, the equivalent of a German Eve Arden.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3306/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Tita Binz.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3453/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Tita Binz.

    An effervescent, perpetually wisecracking scene stealer


    Frieda Elfriede ‘Fita’ Benkhoff was born in 1901 in Dortmund, Germany. She was the seventh of eight children by Christian Alex Gustav Benkhoff and his wife Maria Bernardine Marcus. Her parents managed the Walhalla, one of the biggest entertainment halls in Dortmund.

    Fita worked as a dentist assistant and a telephone operator, but secretly she attended acting classes by Emil Bender. In 1924, she became a volunteer at the Stadtheater Dortmund and made her stage debut in Don Carlos. Several roles followed before she moved to theatres in Lübeck, Düsseldorf, Breslau and Wien.

    She started her film career in 1933 with a part in Der streitbare Herr Kickel/The belligerent Mr. Kickel (Georg Jacoby, 1933) with Jacob Tiedtke. In 1934, she appeared in the popular film comedy Charleys Tante/Charley's Aunt (Robert A. Stemmle, 1934) starring Fritz Rasp and Paul Kemp. Other supporting parts she played in such comedies as Heinz im Mond/Heinz in the Moon (Robert A. Stemmle, 1934) starring Heinz Rühmann, and Krach um Jolanthe/Trouble with Jolanthe (Carl Froelich, 1934) featuring Marianne Hoppe.

    A bigger role followed in the German musical Amphitryon (1935). Written and directed by Reinhold Schünzel, it is based on plays by Molière, Plautus, and Heinrich von Kleist, which in turn are based on Greek mythology. She established such a popular rapport with Paul Kemp in this comedy, that she was cast opposite him in further popular outings, including Boccaccio (Herbert Maisch, 1936), and, for once co-starring, in Der schüchterne Casanova/The Bashful Casanova (Karel Lamac, 1936).

    In the comedy Lauter Lügen/All Lies (1938), she co-starred with Albert Matterstock, and Hertha Feiler. It was the directorial debut of Heinz Rühmann. At IMDb, I.S. Mowis writes: “Even though she rarely commanded a leading role, she was an effervescent, perpetually wisecracking scene stealer, who invariably had the last word, whether as friend of the heroine, gossipy aunt or nosy parker.” She played another of her few leading roles in the historical comedy Schneider Wibbel/Wibbel the Tailor (Viktor de Kowa, 1939) opposite Erich Ponto.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3566/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3759/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Star-Foto-Atelier.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3882/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Star-Foto-Atelier.

    Completely retired from public life


    Fita Benkhoff had another leading role next to Karl Schönböck in the comedy Ich hab’ von dir geträumt/I’ve dreamed of you (Wolfgang Staudte, 1944). Besides her film work, she played roles at the Volksbühne Berlin and at the Deutschen Theater. Here she portrayed Klara in Friedrich Hebbel’s Maria Magdalena which became her greatest stage success.

    After the Second World War, she moved to Hamburg, where she performed at the Schauspielhaus. She also found new film roles. In 1949 she played Mother Wolff in the DEFA-production Der Biberpelz/The Beaver Coat(Erich Engel, 1949), an adaptation of Gerhart Hauptmann's play The Beaver Coat.

    She soon returned to the comic genre and played a leading role in Drei Mädels vom Rhein/Three Girls from the Rhine (Georg Jacoby, 1955). Her other films include Pension Schöller (Georg Jacoby, 1952), Wenn abends die Heide träumt/When the Heath Dreams at Night (Paul Martin, 1952), Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins/On the Reeperbahn at Half Past Midnight (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1954) with Hans Albers,Raub der Sabinerinnen/The Abduction of the Sabine Women (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954) and Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne/As the father with the son (Hans Quest, 1955) starring Heinz Rühmann.

    Besides her film work, she continued to appear in the theatre, such as in Berlin at the Hebbel-Theater. After the death of her husband, the merchant Wilhelm Strom in 1957 she completely retired from public life. She lived in her house in München and started to paint. In 1967, she played a last role on stage in the black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.

    Fita Benkhoff died in Munich, West-Germany in 1967 at the age of 65.

    Fita Benkhoff
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 148, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Star-Foto-Atelier.

    Fita Benkhoff
    Big German card by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. W 51, 1941-1944. Photo: Tobis / Star-Foto-Atelier.

    Fita Benkhoff in Von Liebe reden wir später (1953)
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, no. A 731. Photo: A. Grimm / Apollo / Deutsche London Film. Publicity still for Von Liebe reden wir später/We'll talk about love later (Karl Anton, 1953).

    Sources: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.

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  • 02/19/18--22:00: Ruth Weyher
  • Ruth Weyher (1901-1983) was a beautiful and passionate actress of the German silent cinema. She appeared in 48 films between 1920 and 1930. Among her best known films are the expressionist classic Schatten/Warning Shadows (1923) and G.W. Pabst's Freudian Geheimnisse einer Seele/Secrets of a Soul (1926).

    Ruth Weyher
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5059. Photo: Manassé, Wien.

    Ruth Weyher,
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3089/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Kiesel, Berlin.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3318/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Kiesel, Berlin.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 4032/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Dührkoop, Berlin.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 4056/2, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Bieber, Berlin.

    The Adventurous Or Passionate Woman


    Ruth Ellen Weyher was born in 1901 in Neumark, West Prussia (now Nowinjasta, Poland). She was the daughter of law inspector Paul Ferdinand Weyher and his wife Lätitia Theone Weyher-Schulze. She grew up in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland), until she moved with her parents and brother to Halle in 1914.

    She studied painting at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Halle, but she switched to the conservatory to study singing. Due to a serious illness she lost her singing voice and in 1919 she went to Berlin where she visited the acting school of the Deutsches Theater and was a pupil of Max Reinhardt. In Munich, Weyher had her debut as a stage actress.

    Already in 1919 she got her first film roles. In countless entertainment films she played the adventurous or passionate woman, as in Die Wahrsagerin von Paris/The fortune-teller of Paris (Hans Heinz Hartt, 1920), Sterbende Völker/Dying people (Robert Reinert, 1922) with Aud Egede Nissen, Das alte Gesetz/This Ancient Law (Ewald André Dupont, 1923) starring Henny Porten, and the classic Expressionist film Schatten/Warning Shadows (Arthur Robison, 1923).

    In Schatten, Weyher played the beautiful wife of a jealous count (Fritz Kortner), who suspects her of infidelity. During a banquet, he becomes enraged with his dinner guests when they pretend to kiss his wife's silhouetted shadow. This seemingly innocent romantic indiscretion is met with violent retribution.

    Liam O'Leary reviews the film at Film Reference: "Perfect films like this were not without their influence. Much of the innovative camera work and visual style has been absorbed into the accepted techniques of the cinema. But there is a special patina which the pioneer film has that can never be transmitted and that is the excitement generated by an original and creative spirit; Schatten is unique in the history of film, and unlike anything its creator, Arthur Robison, ever attempted again."

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 787/4. Photo: Alex Binder.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 797/1, 1925-1926. Photo: Kiesel. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Jacque Catelain, Ruth Weyher, Paname...n'est pas Paris
    French postcard by EC, no. 543. Photo: Publicity still for Die Apachen von Paris/Paname...n'est pas Paris/Apaches of Paris (Nikolai Malikoff, 1927) with Jaque Catelain. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 954/1, 1925-1926. Photo: Kiesel, Berlin.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 954/2, 1925-1926. Photo: Atelier Kiesel.

    Her Own Production Company


    Slowly Ruth Weyher moved to leading parts in films such as the title role in the film operetta Die keusche Susanne/The Girl in the Taxi (Richard Eichberg, 1926) which co-starred Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey. The cheeky Susanna leads a wild nightlife in Paris, while she plays the chaste woman with her relatives in the countryside.

    Other big films of Weyher were Komödie des Herzens/Comedy of the heart (Rochus Gliese, 1924) with Lil Dagover and Nigel Barrie, the William Shakespeare adaptation Ein Sommernachtstraum/A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hans Neuman, 1925), Die Feuertänzerin/The fire dancer (Robert Dinesen, 1925), and Geheimnisse einer Seele/Secrets of a Soul (G.W. Pabst, 1926) – in which she plays the wife of a chemistry professor (Werner Krauss) haunted by his dreams of stabbing his wife's cousin, which he eventually also tries to in real life.

    James Travers notes at Films de France: "Viewed today, it is much easier to appreciate this film for its artistic merits – its striking visual design and atmospheric expressionistic photography – than its intellectual content. As a serious attempt to represent Freud’s ideas it leaves a great deal to be desired and almost comes across as a mockery of psychoanalytic theory."

    At AllMovie, Hal Erickson adds: "The dream sequences - to which Pabst gave credence by hiring two of Freud's assistants as consultants - elaborate upon existing Freudian symbolism to the bursting point. Pabst had always been fascinated by the subconscious; here he seems intoxicated by the subject. Especially effective is Pabst's use of multiple dissolves and superimpositions, all accomplished 'in the camera' without any post-production lab work."

    Other titles of Weyher's films are Die Flammen lügen/The flames lie (Carl Froehlich, 1926), Die Hochstaplerin/The Impostor (Martin Berger, 1926), the Swedish-German coproduction Parisiskor/Dr. Monnier und die Frauen/Doctors' Women (Gustav Molander, 1927) with Fred Louis Lerch, and the Carlo Aldini film Einer gegen Alle/One Against All (Nunzio Malasomma, 1927).

    In 1928 Weyher founded her own production company Ruth Weyher-Film GmbH, but after only one film, Was ist los mit Nanette/What's the Matter with Nanette? (Holger-Madsen, 1928), with herself in the title role, she quitted producing. Late silent productions were the Italian film La grazia/The grace (Aldo De Benedetti, 1929) with Weyher as femme fatale opposite Carmen Boni, and the French romantic drama L’appassionata/Appassionata (André Liabel, Léon Mathot, 1929) starring Fernand Fabre and Léon Mathot.

    Weyher rarely acted in sound films. One example is the Carlo Aldini production Im Kampf mit der Unterwelt/In the battle with the underworld (1930), which he directed and in which he played the lead as well.

    In 1932, Ruth Weyher married the Munich based publisher and printing plant owner Hans Geiselberger and according to his wishes she ended her career. She died in Munich in 1983.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3247/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4056/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Bieber, Berlin.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5037/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Manassé, Wien (Vienna).

    Ruth Weyher
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5058. Photo Manassé, Vienna. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Ruth Weyher
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7306/1, 1932-1933. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Sources: Liam O'Leary (Film Reference), James Travers (Films de France), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Dan Pavlides (AllMovie), The Androom Archives, Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.

    NB Filmportal.de does not indicate Einer gegen Alle as a film with Weyher while IMDb does. Im Kampf mit der Unterwelt (IMDb) is not mentioned at all by Filmportal.de.

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  • 02/20/18--22:00: Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
  • In his early European films, director Ernst Lubitsch alternated between escapist comedies and large-scale historical dramas, enjoying great international success with both. A triumph was Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919), featuring Ossi Oswalda. It is a sparkling satire caricaturising American manners.

    Ernst Lubitsch, Ossi Oswalda
    Ernst Lubitsch and Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 337/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Zander & Labisch.

    Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda and Harry Liedtke in Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 611/3. Photo: Union / Ufa. Publicity still for Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) with Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda and Harry Liedtke.

    Julius Falkenstein and Ossi Oswalda in Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 611/5. Photo: Union / Ufa. Publicity still for Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) with Julius Falkenstein and Ossi Oswalda.

    A miracle of screen acting and directing


    Ossi Oswalda plays a spoilt American heiress, the daughter of Mister Quaker (Victor Janson), the oyster-king of America. Quaker cannot be impressed anymore. He is so rich that he even has a special butler holding his cigar while he is smoking.

    Ossi throws a jealous fit because the daughter of the 'Shoe-cream king' has married a count. Quaker promises his daughter he will find her a real prince. He makes an offer to the impoverished prince Nucki (Harry Liedtke) who lives in a one-room apartment.

    Nucki sends his friend Josef (Julius Falkenstein) to get a clear idea of the woman. Josef introduces himself under the guise of the prince's name! Mistaken identity in place, the film's madcap humor takes off from there.

    Ernst Lubitsch made this wonderful, a bit surrealistic comedy when he was only 27. His co-writer is Hanns Kräly who became an Oscar winner later on for his writing on Lubitsch's films. Highlighta here include a meticulously choreographed 'foxtrot epidemic' and a mass boxing-match among a group of billionaire's daughters.

    Gerard Lenz at IMDb: "Ossi Oswalda (...) somehow manages to be tempestuous, spiteful, spoiled, endearing, lovable and sexy at the same time. A miracle of screen acting and directing. Stemming from 1919, the film reflects the coming of a new age of relative sexual freedom, female self-determination and the resignation of the aristocracy as the determining force of Central European society after the defeat of the World War."

    Victor Janson in Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 611/6. Photo: Union / Ufa. Publicity still for Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) with Victor Janson.

    Ossi Oswalda
    Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 529/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Ossi Oswalda-Film.

    Ernst Lubitsch
    Ernst Lubitsch. German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 1926. Photo: Fritz Richard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Sources: Gerard Lenz (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/21/18--22:00: Max Linder
  • French comedian Max Linder (1883-1925), with his trademark silk hat, stick and moustache, was an influential pioneer of the silent film. He was largely responsible for the creation of the classic slapstick comedy.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Helio Paul et Vigier, Paris. Publicity card for the Pathé-Baby projector.

    Max Linder
    German postcard by Verlag Herm. Leiser, no. 9977. Photo: Gerlach.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Pathé Frères. Photo: Felix.

    Gentleman Max


    Max Linder was born Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle in Saint-Loubès, France in 1883 to a Jewish wine growing family.

    He grew up with a passion for the stage and at 17 he dropped out of school in order to join a touring theatre troupe, which did not please his parents.

    While working in Paris as an actor in the theatre and vaudeville, Leuvielle became fascinated with motion pictures. In 1905 he took a job with Pathé Frères and in the following years he became a comedic actor, director, screenwriter, as well as a producer under the stage name, Max Linder.

    His debut was La première sortie d'un collégien/First Night Out (Louis J. Gasnier, 1905). He created what was probably the first identifiable film character: ‘Max’, an elegant, joyful, romantic, top-hatted dandy.

    Max appeared for the first time in Les Debuts d'un patineur/Max Learns to Skate (Louis J. Gasnier, 1907) and would return in successive situation comedies. ‘Gentleman Max’ was frequently in hot water because of his penchant for beautiful women and the good life.

    When in the credits for Max et la doctoresse/Max and the female doctor (Max Linder, 1909) the text “written by Max Linder and played by the author” appeared, it was the first time in film history that an author was mentioned in connection with a cinematic work.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 24.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 188.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères.

    Comedy Star No. 1


    After comedian André Deedwent to Italy, Max Linder moved up and became the comedy star no. 1 for Pathé.

    In 1910 he shot one comedy each week. By 1911, Linder was directing all his own films as well as writing the script and the universality of silent films brought Linder fame and fortune throughout Europe. By 1912, he was the highest-paid film star in the world, with an unprecedented salary of one million francs.

    His success didn't have any limits: whether Spain, Germany, Italy or Russia, Max Linder was everywhere welcomed with enthusiasm during his live entrances in the capital cities. In Russia the police had to call the Army for help so that Linder was able to leave the Moscow railroad station.

    One of the best and more successful examples of his type of humour is the one-reeler Max et la Statue/Max and the Statue (Max Linder, 1912). Max attends a costume ball, dressed as a suit of armor. After drinking too much at the party, he passes out on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, during the evening, a new suit of armour to be unveiled at the Louvre the next day is stolen by a pair of thieves. The police, discovering the theft, stumble upon Max. They take him back to the Louvre where he is unveiled for the Museum committee. They depart, whereupon the thieves return, take Max, and, back in the hideout, attempt to open the armour with tools. Max awakens, scares the burglars, then, in the final frame, strolls away, strumming a guitar.

    The weekly adventures of Max were impatiently awaited by faithful and enthusiastic audiences. In 1914 Linder decided to realise one of his old dreams: to start a cinema. He bought a cinema in Paris with 1,200 sears, created in 1912, the Kosmorama. The Ciné Max Linder opened in December 1914.

    World War I brought a temporary end to Linder's career in film. Physically unfit for combat duty, he worked as a dispatch driver during the war until he was seriously wounded. He was gassed, and the illness that resulted would blight his career.

    Max Linder
    French postcard. Photo Pathé.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Pathé Frères. Photo: Felix.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Pathé Frères. Photo: Felix.

    America


    While in the hospital in 1916, Max Linder was visited by George K. Spoor, president of Essanay films. Having lost Charlie Chaplin, Spoor wanted Linder to "take his place" and offered him $5,000 per week to write, direct, and star in 12 three-reel comedies to be made in the studio's Chicago location.

    Linder went to the US, but his first few American-made Max films didn't make the same impression as the Chaplin shorts. Recurring ill-health meant that his US films had little of the sparkle of his early French work. After only three films were completed Linder headed back to France.

    For the convalescence of his pleurisy, Linder went to the lake of Geneva. In 1919 it seemed like Max was his old self again and his screen version of Le Petit Café/The Little Cafe (Raymond Bernard, 1919) was received enthusiastically by critics and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

    He made another attempt at film making in the US for the recently-formed United Artists(one of whose founders was Charles Chaplin). He worked as a film producer, screenwriter, director and leading actor in three films: Seven Years Bad Luck (Max Linder, 1921), Be My Wife (Max Linder, 1921), and the film he considered his best, the inventive parody The Three Must-Get-Theres (Max Linder, 1922).

    Endowed with an overflowing imagination, he filled his films with an inexhaustible variety of gags. For example, Max was the original creator of the genius mirror gag in Seven Years Bad Luck, which the Marx Brothers used again so memorably in their film Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933). These later films are now regarded as classics.

    However, the work exhausted Max, and after finishing the last film he left the United States once again. Back in France he appeared in only two more films. In Au Secours!/Help! (Abel Gance, 1923) he played a tragic part. Later he forbade the showing because he feared his reputation as a comedian was in danger.

    His last film, Der Zirkuskönig/King of the Circus (Max Linder, Édouard-Émile Violet, 1924) with Vilma Bánky, was made in Vienna, Austria. For the film Chevalier Barkas/The Knight Barkas he contacted the in those days unknown director René Clair. But the film would never be realised.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by Pathé Frères. Photo: Felix.

    Max Linder
    French postcard by A.N, Paris in the Les Vedettes de Cinéma series, no. 87. Photo: United Artists.

    Max Linder
    Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 787.

    Suicide Pact


    The after-effects of Max Linder's war service was that he suffered from continuing health problems including bouts of severe depression.

    In 1923, he married the 18 year old Hélène Peters, a wealthy Paris heiress, with whom he had a daughter, Maud. At the same year he sold his Max Linder cinema.

    The emotional problems besetting Linder evidenced themselves when he and his wife made a suicide pact. In early 1924 they attempted suicide at a hotel in Vienna, Austria. They were found and were recuperated, but on 31 October 1925 Linder and his wife were successful in taking their lives in Paris.

    After Linder's death, Chaplin dedicated one of his films: "For the unique Max, the great master - his student Charles Chaplin". But in the ensuing years, Max Linder was relegated to little more than a footnote in film history.

    In 1963, a compilation film titled En compagnie de Max Linder/Laugh with Max Linder was released. Later his daughter made a documentary film titled L'homme au chapeau de soie/The Man in the Silk Hat (Maud Linder, 1983). Max Linder's comic gestures, planned expressions, anachronisms, contrasts, and use of the unexpected, as well as his comic chase scenes (pursuits) became again the inspiration for young comedians.

    Max Linder appeared in more than 400 films, mostly short comedies. Only about 80 survive. His daughter and the keeper of his heritage, Maud Linder, passed away on 25 October 2017).


    Clip with Max Linder and Maurice Tourneur in Champion de boxe/Boxing Champion (1910). Source: TheBzzz (YouTube).

    Max Linder, Paris
    A May 2009 photo of the Max Linder cinema in Paris.

    Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, Pathe posters
    Left a poster for the Max Linder comedy Avant et après/Before and After, exhibited at the Cinema Ritrovato festival 2009. Atrium of the Lumiere cinema, Bologna, Italy.

    Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Michael Brooke (IMDb), Wikipedia, Golden Silents, and IMDb.

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  • 02/22/18--22:00: ISV
  • During the 1950s and 1960s, German publisher Ilse-Stern-Verlag better known as ISV produced many film star postcards both in black and white and in colour. Very popular were ISV's postcard series of seven Karl May films of the 1960s.

    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe. German postcard by ISV, Sort. VI/6.

    Tommy Steele
    Tommy Steele. German postcard by ISV, no. H 14.

    Brigitte Bardot
    Brigitte Bardot. German postcard by ISV, no. H 11. Photo: Sam Lévin, 1957.

    Johnny Hallyday
    Johnny Hallyday. German postcard by ISV, no. H 85.

    Jester Naefe
    Jester Naefe. German postcard by ISV, no. C 4. Photo: Divina / Gloria / Arthur Grimm.

    Cliff Richard
    Cliff Richard. Big German postcard by ISV, no. HX 103.

    Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda. German postcard by ISV, Sort. 19/6.

    Winnetou


    The first Karl May Western with Lex Barker in the role of Old Shatterhand and French actor Pierre Brice as his friend, the Apache-chief Winnetou was Der Schatz im Silbersee/Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1963).

    With this Karl May adaptation, producer Horst Wendlandt, head of Rialto Film, sought to target the younger markets than the audiences that came to his Edgar Wallace thrillers. Der Schatz im Silbersee/Treasure of Silver Lake became the most successful German film of the 1962/1963 season and it even beat the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962), at the German box offices.

    Kids loved the adventures of Winnetou and his friend Old Shatterhand and collected all the film merchandise. The Old Shatterhand-Melodie, the title melody played on the harmonica by René Giessen and composed by Martin Böttcher was the most successful track in the German hitparade in the 1960s. It stayed there for several months and over 100,000 copies were sold. Ilse-Stern-Verlag produced a series of 64 postcards of the film which also became a hit.

    In total ISV produced seven postcard series of Karl May films: Der Schatz im Silbersee/Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1963), Winnetou - 1. Teil/Apache Gold (Harald Reinl, 1963), Winnetou – 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964), Unter Geiern/Among Vultures (Alfred Vohrer, 1964), Der Ölprinz/The Oil Prince (Harald Philipp, 1965), Durchs wilde Kurdistan/Wild Kurdistan (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1965), and Winnetou 3. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965).

    The Karl May postcards were sold by ISV in surprise bags and with a portion of puffed rice. All postcards were in the typical postcard format to send by mail and with a caption about the film scene of which the photograph was taken. The complete Karl May postcard series published by ISV consists of a total of 233 colour postcards.

    Götz George in Der Schatz im Silbersee
    Götz George in Der Schatz im Silbersee (1962). German postcard, no. E 61. Photo: Constantin. Still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962).

    Winnetou I, Lex Barker
    Lex Barker in Winnetou I (1963). German postcard, no. E 23. Photo: Constantin. Still from Winnetou I (Harald Reinl, 1963). Caption: "Old Shatterhand has also been sentenced to die at the stake. He regrets emphatically, that he rescued Winnetou from the Kiowas. An ordeal by battle will decide."

    Pierre Brice (Winnetou) is dead
    Pierre Brice and Karin Dor in Winnetou II. Teil (1964). German postcard, no. R 8. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964). Caption: "Noch ahnt man nicht, wie bald von diesem Versteck Gebrauch gemacht werden muss; den Forrester, der sein dunkles Gerwerbe auf Kosten der Indianer betreibt, schmiedet schon Pläne." (Yet nobody suspects how soon this hiding place must be used; Forrester, who runs his shady business at the expense of the Indians, already makes his plans).

    Karin Dor in Winnetou II. Teil (1964)
    Karin Dor in Winnetou II. Teil (1964). German postcard, no. R 30. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964). Caption: Der Friede ist gerettet. Ribanna weiss, dass ihr und Winnetous Opfer nicht umsonst war. (Peace is saved. Ribanna knows that her and Winnetou's sacrifice was not in vain.)

    Pierre Brice (Winnetou) is dead
    Pierre Brice and Lex Barker in Winnetou III. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965). German postcard, no. 3. Photo: Rialto / Constantin. Publicity still for Winnetou III. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965). Caption: "Während Winnetou und Old Shatterhand zurückreiten, berichtet der Sekretär des Gouverneurs - der dem Letter des Desperados als Spitzel dient - von der Unterredung. Man beschliesst den Tod Winnetous und Old Shatterhands, der als Unfall hergestellt werden soll, und zwar durch vorzeitige Sprengung des Steinbruchs." (While Winnetou and Old Shatterhand ride back, the secretary of the governor reports about the conversation - which letter serves the spying Desperados. They decide to kill Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, produced as an accident, by premature detonation of the quarry.)

    Rik Battaglia and Pierre Brice in Winnetou 3. Teil (1965)
    Rik Battagliaand Pierre Brice in Winnetou 3. Teil (1965). German postcard, no. 9. Photo: Rialto / Constantin. Publicity still for Winnetou - 3. Teil/Winnetou: The Last Shot (Harald Reinl, 1965).

    Source: Karl May Wiki (German), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 02/23/18--22:00: Pauline Brunius
  • In the first decades of the 20th century, Pauline Brunius (1881-1954) was the Queen of the Swedish stage. For a number of years, she also focused on film acting and directing. Later she became the first female managing director of Dramaten, the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.

    Pauline Brunius in Thora van Deken
    Swedish postcard by Verlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1095/7. Photo: Skandia Film. Pauline Brunius and Jessie Wessel in Thora van Deken (John W. Brunius, 1920).

    Extremely successful in queen roles


    Pauline Brunius was born Emma Maria Pauline Lindstedt in 1881 in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. She started as a ballet girl at the Opera in 1891 where she spent ten years. From 1899 till 1902, she had private acting lessons by actress Lotten Dorsch. In 1902, she made her debut as an actress at the Olympiateatern.

    During the early 20th century, Pauline Brunius acted in Stockholm's major theatres, the Svenska teatern, Vasateatern and Dramaten. She was considered 'The Queen of Swedish Theatre'. At Svensk filmdatabas, Mikaela Lindblom described her in 2012 as "a classically-educated actress with a magnificent posture, had a melodic voice and was extremely successful in queen roles."

    From 1926 till 1932, she was the managing director of the Oscarsteatern together with her husband, actor and film director John W. Brunius and with star actor Gösta Ekman. They changed the operetta theatre into a respected and innovative scene for stage plays.

    Pauline Brunius acted in only 13 film roles. Her cinema career started with Thora van Deken/A Mother's Fight (John W. Brunius, 1920), also with Gösta Ekman. The film was based on a short story by Henrik Pontoppidan about a divorced wife of a wealthy landowner who lies in court that her deceased ex-husband had destroyed his will to secure her daughter's inheritance. In 1914, Brunius had already performed this role on stage and the film focuses on her standout performance.

    Brunius would be paired again with Gösta Ekman in Gyurkovicsarna/Lieutenant Tophat (1920) - also with Nils Asther, Kärlekens ögon/A Scarlet Angel (1922), Karl XII/Charles XII (1925), and Gustaf Wasa del I/Gustaf Wasa, Part One (1928), always directed by her husband, John W. Brunius.

    The silent historical film Karl XII/Charles XII (John W. Brunius, 1925) was released in two separate parts because of its long running time of nearly six hours. The film depicts the life of Charles XII of Sweden (1682-1718) who oversaw the expansion of the Swedish Empire until its defeat at the Battle of Poltava. It was the most expensive production in Swedish history when it was made, and inspired a string of large-budget Swedish historical films.

    Pauline Brunius also acted opposite Renée Björling in En vildfågel/Give Me My Son (John W. Brunius, 1921), and opposite Einar Hanson in Gunnar Hedes saga/Snowbound (Mauritz Stiller, 1923).

    In 1930, she appeared in the sound film Charlotte Löwensköld (Gustaf Molander, 1930) featuring Birgit Sergelius. It is an adaptation of the 1925 novel Charlotte Löwensköld by Selma Lagerlöf. The film is almost entirely silent, with only brief dialogue sequences and a few sound effects. The film was not considered a success, and no further adaptations of Lagerlöf's work were made in her lifetime.

    Brunius co-starred with Victor Sjöström in his sound film Markurells i Wadköping/Father and Son (Victor Sjöström, 1931). However, Pauline Brunius is today best remembered in Sweden for her role as the high-class Mrs. Lindberg in the social comedy Karl Fredrik regerar/Karl Fredrik Reigns (Gustaf Edgren, 1934) with Sigurd Wallén.

    Pauline Brunius in Thora van Deken
    Swedish postcard by Verlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1095/9. Photo: Skandia Film. Pauline Brunius, Gösta Ekman, Jessie Wessel and Oscar Johansson in Thora van Deken (John W. Brunius, 1920).

    Ten stormy years of stage direction


    In the 1920s, Pauline Brunius made a series of short comedies based on her own scripts about the charming Stockholm family Vinner. The series started with Trollsländan/The dragonfly (Pauline Brunius, 1920). The parents were played by the true couple Frida and Olof Winnerstrand and the son Putte by Brunius' son Palle.

    Six episodes were made that were shown as short films at the cinema and remind of our current situation and action comedies. Fragments are preserved from De läckra skaldjuren/The Delicious Shellfish (Pauline Brunius, 1920) and Herr Vinners stenåldersdröm/Mr. Winner's Stone Age Dream (Pauline Brunius, 1924), plus a complete version of Lev livet leende/Laugh Live Smile (Pauline Brunius, 1921).

    In co-operation with her husband, Pauline Brunius directed her only feature, Falska Greta/The False Greta (John W. Brunius, Pauline Brunius, 1934). The film was inspired by the obsession about Greta Garbo's Swedish visit in 1928. The script is kept at the Swedish Film Institute's library. Svenska Film's production manager Vilhelm Bryde approved of making the film with the addition of "an entertaining summer anniversary".

    In the end the script was filmed without Svenska's participation in Finland as a Swedish-Finnish co-production. The film, with Karin Albihn playing the title role, is today considered lost. Brunius henceforth dedicated herself exclusively to theatre.

    In 1938, Pauline Brunius was the first woman, who was appointed managing director of Dramaten, the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, since the opening in 1788. She succeeded Olof Molander, who had ruled Dramaten with iron hand.

    Brunius had ten stormy years at Dramaten. Leading Sweden's national theatre through the years of the Second World War can't have been easy. She was criticised for a performance by Dramaten in Berlin in 1941. Under Brunius' leadership, Marika Stiernstedt's anti-Nazi play Attentat (The Attack) was staged by Alf Sjöberg in 1944. She was praised for her consciously strong initiative at Dramaten and for her initiative to build a second stage, the Little Stage, to increase the competitiveness and capacity of the national theatre. In 1948, she resigned due to illness.

    In 1954, Pauline Brunius died in Stockholm at the age of 73. She had been married to John W. Brunius from 1909 till 1935. Their children were actress Anne-Marie Brunius and actor Palle Brunius. Director Nils Brunius is Pauline Brunius's grandson.

    Gösta Ekman and Pauline Brunius in Gyurkovicsarna
    Swedish postcard by Forlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1096/2. Photo: Skandia Film. Gösta Ekman and Pauline Brunius in Gyurkovicsarna/Lieutenant Tophat (John W. Brunius, 1920).

    Gösta Ekman in Gyurkovicsarna (1920)
    Swedish postcard by Forlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1096/1. Photo: Skandia Film. Gösta Ekman in Gyurkovicsarna/Lieutenant Tophat (John W. Brunius, 1920).

    Source: Mikaela Kindblom (Svenska Filminstitutet/Svensk filmdatabas - Swedish), Julie Rongved Amundsen (Store norske leksikon- Norwegian), Mette Hjort and Ursula Lindqvist (A Companion to Nordic Cinema), Wikipedia (English and Swedish), and IMDb.