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Articles on this Page
- 12/28/17--22:00: _Colourgraph
- 12/29/17--22:00: _Claretta Sabatelli
- 12/30/17--22:00: _Stars Who Passed Aw...
- 12/31/17--15:01: _Happy New Year!
- 01/01/18--22:00: _Jana Brejchová
- 01/02/18--22:00: _Marianne Simson
- 01/03/18--22:00: _Monika Vogelsang (1...
- 01/04/18--22:00: _J. Beagles & Co
- 01/05/18--22:00: _Michael Redgrave
- 01/06/18--22:00: _Hans Söhnker
- 01/07/18--16:00: _France Gall
- 01/08/18--22:00: _Peggy Cummins (1925...
- 01/09/18--22:00: _Roland Varno
- 01/10/18--22:00: _Der Ring der Giudit...
- 01/11/18--22:00: _The Celebrity Autog...
- 01/12/18--22:00: _Peter Bosse
- 01/13/18--22:00: _Johnston Forbes-Rob...
- 01/14/18--22:00: _Bernard Giraudeau
- 01/15/18--22:00: _Wera Frydtberg
- 01/16/18--22:00: _Lilli Palmer
- 01/17/18--22:00: _Der Übel größtes ab...
- 01/18/18--22:00: _Ross Verlag in colour
- 01/19/18--22:00: _Angelo Ferrari
- 01/20/18--22:00: _Gina Lollobrigida
- 01/21/18--22:00: _Elsa De Giorgi
- 12/28/17--22:00: Colourgraph
- 12/29/17--22:00: Claretta Sabatelli
- 12/30/17--22:00: Stars Who Passed Away in 2017
- 12/31/17--15:01: Happy New Year!
- 01/01/18--22:00: Jana Brejchová
- 01/02/18--22:00: Marianne Simson
- 01/03/18--22:00: Monika Vogelsang (1920)
- 01/04/18--22:00: J. Beagles & Co
- 01/05/18--22:00: Michael Redgrave
- 01/06/18--22:00: Hans Söhnker
- 01/07/18--16:00: France Gall
- 01/08/18--22:00: Peggy Cummins (1925-2017)
- 01/09/18--22:00: Roland Varno
- 01/10/18--22:00: Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari (1917)
- 01/11/18--22:00: The Celebrity Autograph Series
- 01/12/18--22:00: Peter Bosse
- 01/13/18--22:00: Johnston Forbes-Robertson
- 01/14/18--22:00: Bernard Giraudeau
- 01/15/18--22:00: Wera Frydtberg
- 01/16/18--22:00: Lilli Palmer
- 01/17/18--22:00: Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (1918)
- 01/18/18--22:00: Ross Verlag in colour
- 01/19/18--22:00: Angelo Ferrari
- 01/20/18--22:00: Gina Lollobrigida
- 01/21/18--22:00: Elsa De Giorgi
Nils Asther. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 47.
Maurice Chevalier. British postcard in the Colourgraph series, London, no. C 64.
Greta Garbo. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 81.
Mabel Poulton. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 82.
Winifred Shotter. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 146.
Henri Garat. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 153. Photo: Paramount.
In the 1920s and 1940s, each Picturegoer postcard measured 3-1/2" X 5-1/2", the regular postcard size. These were real photos with glossy finish on front.
On the back of each card is a number. The lettering after some of the numbers denotes the series that the card was from.
The postcards were issued in series, the first one, which ran to over 1400 cards, did not have any kind of prefix letter. The first series was followed by Series A, Series B, and Series C- the Colourgraph series.
Groups of several poses of the same star were sometimes published in this series and were identified with an alphabetical suffix. Subsequent series were given a prefix letter with the majority of images being in sepia tone.
Fo instance W stands for those postcards issued in the 1940s, D for the 1950s and S for the last series issued up to 1960.
Greta Nissen. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 184. Photo: Fox.
Herbert Marshall. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C 233. Photo: M.G.M.
John Stuart. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C. 237. Photo: Mannell.
Lilli Palmer. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, no. C 288. Photo: Gaumont British.
Nova Pilbeam. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, no. C 332. Photo: Cannons.
Sabu. British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, London, no. C. 338. Photo: Alexander Korda Productions. Publicity still for The Thief of Baghdad (Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan, 1940).
It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 367. Photo: Fotominio / Aprutium Film. Publicity for Il voto (Eugenio Fontana, 1921).
A young scoundrel climbing over fences
Italian actress Claretta or Clarette Sabatelli made her film debut in L'uomo dall'orecchio mozzato (The Man With the Cut-off Ear, Ubaldo Maria Del Colle, 1916), an adaptation of the novel by Edmond. The plot tells about a man who awakens after 100 years.
It was followed by the comedy Battaglia di reginette (Battle of the Starlets, Domenico Gaido, 1917), Lo scandalo della principessa Giorgio (The Scandal of Princess George, Pier Antonio Gariazzo, 1917) starring Neyse Cheyne (whom critics thought a ravishing beauty but incapable of acting), and La calamita (The Magnet, Giuseppe Pinto, 1919) set and shot in Naples - which Neapolitan critic Tito Alacci thought modest but warm and humane.
The first film in which Sabatelli really had the female lead was the Vay Film production Il frantoio (The Crusher, Giuseppe Zaccaria, 1919), about a poor washing girl who starts working in an office and falls in love with an engineer. Stock exchange speculations by a trust force him to fire his staff and flee to the US, where he works in a mine. His adversary, head of the enemy trust, has lost his daughter and of course it is the girl, returned washing girl. All ends well, the girl finds her father and her future husband. The title refers to a breaker of rocks, used in mines, similar to the splitting of souls in the plot.
Next at Vay Film, Sabatelli starred in L'ombra della morte (The Shadow of Death, Attilio d'Anversa, 1919), scripted by Per Antonio Gariazzo. The press praised Sabbatelli as a young scoundrel climbing over fences and walking over roofs, but thought the plot old-fashioned.
Sabatelli had the lead as Guendalina in Tutto il mondo è teatro/All the World is a Stage (Pier Antonio Gariazzo, 1919), scripted by Lucio d'Ambra and loosely based on William Shakespeare. The plot is about two marionets who after adventures in the real world decide their wooden existence is better.
After a supporting part in La Sacra Bibbia (The Holy Bible, Pier Antonio Gariazzo, 1920), a costly flop according to the press, and a last film at Vay, the negligible I millepiedi (The Milipedes, Attilio d'Anversa, 1920), Sabatelli then shifted to the Roman company Rinascimento Film.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 367. Photo: Fotominio / Aprutium Film. Publicity still of Claretta Sabatelli in Il voto (Eugenio Fontana, 1921).
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 367. Photo: Fotominio / Aprutium Film. Publicity still for Il voto (Eugenio Fontana, 1921).
Exquisite expressions of deep felt grief and despair
For Rinascimento Film, Claretta Sabatelli first had a supporting part in La naufraga della vita (Life's Shipwrecked, Eugenio Perego, 1920) with Olga and Desdemona Mazza.
Then she played the female lead in Il dramma dell'amore (The Drama of Love, Amleto Palermi, 1920), opposite the monstre sacré of the Italian stage, Giovanni Grasso. While the plot was considered old hat, the press praised the performances of Grasso and Sabatella, who played a poor, seduced young girl.
Aurelio Spada wrote in the Neapolitan magazine Film: "She presents the character with spontaneity and efficacy, assuming exquisite expressions of deep felt grief and despair."
In 1921 Sabatelli acted with the famous vaudeville performer Anna Fougez and Gustavo Serena in Fiore selvaggio (Gustavo Serena, 1921), on a goatkeeper (Fougez) who becomes a grande cocotte in town and eventually returns to her roots.
She then appeared in Il voto (The Vow, Eugenio Fontana, 1921). In the Abruzzi mountains, a fatal woman is not loved by her brutal husband, so she starts an affair with another man, but this is discovered and the lover is killed. Years after, the victim's son returns from Rome to his hometown and he looks so much like his father, that the woman falls in love with him too.
Then one day it is revealed that she is his mother. To recompense, he seeks penitence by going as pilgrim to a sanctuary, where the pilgrims on their knees hit the sins from them. But also the woman comes to redeem her sins. Together they choose death.
The press criticised the script by Ettore Moschino as too artificial. They praised the direction by Eugenio Fontana because of the pictorial qualities of his images. They were also favourable about the performances of Amleto Novelli and Claretta Sabatelli. "She is really becoming an excellent actress", a critic wrote. The film was shot at the Majella in the Abruzzi, and at the Abruzzean coastline. Il voto had its first night in April 1921 at the Corso Cinema Teatro in Rome.
After an interval of some years, Sabatelli tried her luck in comedy in 1924 in Donne, parrucchieri, cani, amori (Women, Hairdressers, Dogs, Loves, Renato Testard, Corradi, 1924) in which the lead Renato Malvasi played an imitation of Larry Semon, known in Italy as Ridolini. The film itself was a spoof of the American film The Hottentot (1922).
Also in 1924 Sabatelli had a supporting part in I volti dell'amore (The Faces of Love, Carmine Gallone, 1924), a star vehicle for Soava Gallone and based on Adrienne Lecouvreur. In 1926 Sabatelli played countess Lilla in Garibaldi e i suoi tempi (Garibaldi and His Times, Silvio Laurenti Rosa, 1926), starring Enrico Benvenuto, and scripted by Umberto Paradisi. In the meantime Sabatelli also performed on stage. In 1925 she mime-danced e.g. at the Teatro degli Independenti.
After a last part in the sound film L'amore si fa così (This Is the Way How to Love, Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1939), Claretta Sabatelli quitted film acting and nothing was heard from her since.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: Fotominio / Aprutium Film. Publicity still of Claretta Sabatelli and Amleto Novelli in Il voto (Eugenio Fontana, 1921).
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano. Photo: Fotominio / Aprutium Film. Publicity still of Claretta Sabatelli and Amleto Novelli in Il voto (Eugenio Fontana, 1921).
Source: Sempre in penombra (Italian), Vittorio Martinelli (Il cinema muto italiano - Italian), and IMDb.
27 January: Emmanuelle Riva (1927–2017)
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1269, 1969. Retail price: 0,20 M. Photo: Unifrance Film. Publicity still for Berufsrisiko/Les risques du métier (André Cayatte, 1967).
On Friday 27 January, French actress Emmanuelle Riva passed away at the age of 89. She became well-known for her roles in the classic Nouveau Vague films Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959) and Léon Morin, prêtre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961). In her 80s, Emmanuelle Riva became an icon for world cinema all over again with Michael Haneke's Amour (2012). Riva received both the Bafta and the César award for her role as the retired music teacher Anne in Amour. She was also nominated for an Oscar for her touching performance.
22 March: Tomas Milian (1933-2017)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, in the series Artisti di sempre, no. 118.
In March, Cuban-American actor Tomas Milian passed away at the age of 84. He worked extensively in Italian films from the early 1960s to the late 1980s. Milian played neurotic and sadistic killers in several Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s and lone-wolf anti-heroes in violent action and police thrillers of the 1970s. Very popular in Italy were his crime-comedies of the late 1970s and 1980s. Besides these genre films, he worked with such prolific directors as Mauro Bolognini, Luchino Visconti, Bernardo Bertolucci and Michelangelo Antonioni.
18 April: Yvonne Monlaur (1939-2017)
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/395. Photo: Gérard Decaux.
French film actress Yvonne Monlaur passed away in April at the age of 77. She starred in several European film productions of the late 1950s and 1960s. The glamorous French starlet is best known for her roles in a few Hammer horror films.
23 May: Roger Moore (1927-2017)
Dutch postcard by Loeb Uitgevers BV, Amsterdam, 1985. Photo: Eon Productions / Gilrose Publications / Danjaq S.A. Publicity still for A View To A Kill (John Glen, 1985).
British actor Roger Moore died in May. He will always be remembered as the guy who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, but he was also our favourite Ivanhoe, Saint and Persuader on TV. Roger Moore was 89.
17 June: Anneliese Uhlig (1918-2017)
German Postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3784/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Civirani.
German actress Anneliese Uhlig passed away at the age of 98. She was an elegant and enchanting femme fatale of Ufa crime films of the 1940s. The classic beauty unwillingly bewitched Joseph Goebbels. After the war she also worked internationally as a journalist, theatre producer and university teacher. She became an American citizen and died in Santa Cruz in California.
8 July: Elsa Martinelli (1935-2017)
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/255.
Glamorous Italian actress and former fashion model Elsa Martinelli died in July. She showed her beautiful curves in many European and Hollywood productions of the 1950s and 1960s, but somehow she never became the star she was destined to become in the mid-1950s. Martinelli was 82.
31 July: Jeanne Moreau (1928-2017)
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 81. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French actress Jeanne Moreau died this summer at the age of 89. Moreau was the personification of French womanhood and sensuality. She had a diverse career: she was a magnificent stage and film actress, a producer, screenwriter and film director, a successful singer with a substantial recording career, and a theatre and opera director. Throughout her long career in the cinema with more than 130 films, Jeanne Moreau worked with some of the most notable film directors ever. She combined off-kilter beauty with strong character in Nouvelle Vague classics as Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Louis Malle, 1958) and Les amants (Louis Malle, 1959). Her role as the flamboyant, free-spirited Catherine with her devil-may-care sensuality in Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1962) is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema.
20 August: Margot Hielscher (1919-2017)
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 230. 1941-1944. Photo: Hammerer / Wien-Film.
German singer, film actress and costume designer Margot Hielscher (1919-2017) passed away in August. During her long career, she appeared in 60 films and 200 TV productions. Hielscher also represented Germany twice at the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1957 and 1958. Hielscher
26 September 2017: Kveta Fialová (1929-2017)
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 2.125, 1964. Photo: Limonádový Joe aneb Konská opera/Lemonade Joe (Oldrich Lipský, 1964).
In September Czech actress Květa Fialová passed away at the age of 88. In her country, she was a popular theatre, film and television diva. Internationally she is best known for her role as bar singer Tornado Lou in the Western parody Limonádový Joe aneb Konská opera/Lemonade Joe (Oldrich Lipský, 1964).
17 October: Danielle Darrieux (1917-2017)
French postcard by Viny, no. 70. Photo: Universal Film.
In October, French actress and singer Danielle Darrieux (1917-2017) passed away. She was a beautiful, international leading lady whose eight-decade career was among the longest in film history. From her film debut in 1931 on she played in more than 110 films in which she progressed from playing pouting teens to worldly sophisticates. In the early 1950s she starred in three classic films by Max Ophüls, and she played the mother of Catherine Deneuve in five films! Danielle Darrieux was 100.
10 November 2017: Erika Remberg (1932-2017)
German postcard by WS-Drück, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 100. Photo: Huster.
In November Erika Remberg passed away at the age of 85. Long ago we saw the beautiful Austrian film actress in the tearjerker Laila/Make Way for Lila (Rolf Husberg, 1958), as a foundling who is adopted and raised by a Lapland chieftain. Remberg appeared in 31 films between 1950 and 1970, but we want to remember her as lovely Laila.
6 December: Johnny Hallyday (1943-2017)
German postcard by ISV, no. H 85.
The father of French Rock and Roll is dead. Flamboyant singer and actor Johnny Hallyday passed away on 6 December. He was a European teen idol in the 1960s with record-breaking crowds and mass hysteria, but he never became popular in the English-speaking market. In later years he concentrated on being an actor and appeared in more than 35 films. Hallyday was 74.
Our Gang. Dutch postcard. Photo: a publicity shot of the Little Rascals a.k.a. Our Gang with Dickie Moore in the middle. Caption: "Gelukkig Nieuwjaar" (Happy New Year).
Ingrid Bergman. Dutch postcard. Sent by mail in 1950. Caption: Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! means Happy New Year!
Renate Müller. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8243/2, 1933-1934. Photo: Ufa.
Margareta Pislaru. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Dutch postcard by L. & B. -B. Sent by mail in 1925.
Thanks for your friendship in 2017. Special thanks to Ivo, Carla, Marlene, Didier, Tatiana and Egbert, for sharing their postcards with EFSP. We hope to see you here again in 2018!
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1565, 1961. Photo: DEFA/Pathenheimer. Publicity still for Der Traum des Hauptmann Loy/The dream of Captain Loy (Kurt Maetzig, 1961).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 27/71.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43078.
Jana and Hana
Jana Brejchová was born in 1940 in Prague, Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (now Czech Republic). Her younger sister Hana Brejchová (1946) is also an actress who appeared in the Miloš Forman films Lásky jedné plavovlásky/Loves of a Blonde (1965) and Amadeus (1984).
Jana made her film debut at the age of 13 in Olověný chléb/Lead bread (Jirí Sequens, 1953). One of Jana’s next films was Žižkovská romance/A Local Romance (Zbyněk Brynych, 1958) with Hanus Bor. It was entered into the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. Her next film, Touha/Desire (Vojtěch Jasný, 1958), was entered into the 1959 Cannes Film Festival.
Another success was Vlcí jáma/Wolf Trap (Jiri Weiss, 1958). The film established director Jiri Weiss as one of the major figures of Czechoslovakia's emerging film industry in the post-war era. It won Weiss the FIPRESCI award at the Venice Film Festival, and the film itself was nominee for the Golden Bear.
She played a student in the Czech drama Vyšší princip/Higher Principle (Jirí Krejcík, 1960) based on a short story from the book Silent Barricade by Jan Drda. The story, taking place during the Nazi occupation, is about relationship between students and their elderly teacher of Latin (František Smolík) nicknamed Higher Principle for his frequent quotation of Seneca's moral precepts.
After three of their classmates are killed by Nazis during the murderous hysteria following the assassination of general Heydrich (just because they made fun of Heydrich), the teacher risks his own life but gains the respect of all students declaring that from the standpoint of higher principles the killing of a tyrant is not a crime! The film was temporally banned in West Germany as being an ‘anti-German film’.
Also interesting was Jirí Krejcík’s earlier film Morálka paní Dulské/The Morals of Mrs. Dulski (1958).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1011, 1959. Photo: publicity still for Touha/Desire (Vojtech Jasný, 1958).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1409, 1961. Photo: Kurt Wunsch.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1573/1961. Photo: DEFA / Pathenheimer. Publicity still for Der Traum des Hauptmann Loy/The dream of Captain Loy (Kurt Maetzig, 1961).
An atomic bomb blast that causes women to grow beards
Jana Brejchová played Princess Bianca in the Czechoslovak romantic adventure film Baron Prášil/The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Karel Zeman, 1961), based on the tales about the outrageous Baron Munchausen (Miloš Kopecký). The film combines live-action with various forms of animation and is highly stylised, often evoking the engravings of Gustave Doré.
In East-Germany, she played in the thriller Der Traum des Hauptmann Loy/The dream of Captain Loy (Kurt Maetzig, 1961) with Horst Drinda and Ulrich Thein. The latter would become her second husband.
In West-Germany, she starred in the romantic comedy Schloß Gripsholm/The Gripsholm Castle (Kurt Hoffmann, 1963) with Walter Giller, ans also appeared in Hoffmann’s drama Das Haus in der Karpfengasse/The House in Karp Lane (Kurt Hoffmann, 1965), which was filmed in Prague.
The following year, she played again opposite Walter Giller in Dýmky/The Pipes (Vojtěch Jasný, 1966). The film, also starring Gitte Haenning, was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.
Jana Brejchová starred in Noc nevesty/The Nun's Night (Karel Kachyna, 1967) as a former nun who starts to run her father’s farm. Then followed the comedy Farářův konec/End of a Priest (Evald Schorm, 1969) with her then husband Vlastimil Brodský. With Brodsky, she also co-starred in the Czechoslovak musical Noc na Karlštejně/A Night at Karlstein (Zdeněk Podskalský, 1974), based on an 1884 play by Jaroslav Vrchlický.
Oldrich Lipsky directed her in the Science-Fiction comedy Zabil jsem Einsteina, panove/ I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (1970) about an atomic bomb blast that causes women to grow beards and lose the ability to have children. The decision is made to travel back in time and to murder Albert Einstein so that the atomic bomb never gets invented.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1740, 1962. Photo: Kurt Wunsch.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 2294, 1965. Photo: DEFA / Pathenheimer.
The Czech Oscar
Since the 1970s, Jana Brejchová also works as a theatre actress.
Her later films include the Gothic fairytale Panna a netvor/Beauty and the Beast (Juraj Herz, 1978), Mladý muž a bílá velryba/The Young Man and Moby Dick (Jaromil Jireš, 1979), Zánik samoty Berhof/End of the Lonely Farm Berghof (Jiří Svoboda, 1984), the drama Skalpel, prosím/Scalpel, Please (Jiří Svoboda, 1985), and the drama Početí mého mladšího bratra/The Conception of My Younger Brother (Vladimír Drha, 2000) with Dana Vávrová.
More recently, she played a supporting part in the tragicomedy Kráska v nesnázích/Beauty in Trouble (Jan Hřebejk, 2006). For her part in this film, she won the Czech Oscar, the Český lev (the Czech Lion).
In 2009, she won another Český lev for her ‘longstanding artistic contribution to Czech film’.
Jana Brejchová has been married four times. Her husbands were director Milos Forman (1958-1962), East-German actor Ulrich Thein (1964-1965), actor Vlastimil Brodský (1966-1983), and actor Jirí Zahajský (1997-2007 – his death). With Vlastimil Brodsky, she has a daughter, Tereza Brodska, who is now also a successful actress.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 1.962, 1964. Photo: Ceskolovensky Filmexport, Praha.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 57/71. Photo: publicity still for Luk královny Dorotky/Queen Dorothy's Bow (Jan Schmidt, 1971).
Sources: Wikipedia (Czech and English), and IMDb.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3444/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Star-Foto-Atelier / Tobis.
Marianne Lena Elisabeth Clara Simson was born in Berlin in 1920. She was the daughter of an insurance clerk, John Edward Simson and his wife Frida née Kühl. Her brother was Helmut Simson, who after the war served as mayor of Wolfsburg.
She received an education in classical dance from Victor Gsovsky and in 1935, the young Simson became a dancer at the Nollendorftheater in Berlin. In 1936 she became a dancer at the Deutsche Opernhaus in Berlin and in 1939 at the Staatstheater under Gustaf Gründgens.
At the time, Marianne Simson was quite renowned as a ballerina, for example in 1941 a porcelain figurine was produced, depicting her on her toes. The figurine was reproduced in around 1957 by the company Rosenthal, and bears her name underneath.
As a teenager, Simson already made her screen debut in a supporting part in Friesennot/Frisians in Distress (Peter Hagen, 1935), made for Nazi propaganda purposes. The film drama concerns a Russian village of ethnic Frisians for whom the Soviet authorities make life as difficult as possible. After the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, in 1939, the film was banned. In 1941, after the invasion of Russia, it was again reissued under a new title.
After her first film appearance, Simson went on to play in another fifteen films over the next decade, generally in supporting roles. Three years after her debut, she appeared in the comedy Das Verlegenheitskind/The embarrassment child (Peter Paul Brauer, 1938) with Ida Wüst.
In 1939, she played in three films, the adventure Mann für Mann/Man for Man (Robert A. Stemmle, 1939) with Gisela Uhlen, Zentrale Rio/Central Río (Erich Engels, 1939) and the Fairy-tale Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge/Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs (Carl Heinz Wolff, 1939) in which she starred as Snowwhite. The following year, she had another leading role in the comedy Zwei Welten/Two Worlds (Gustaf Gründgens, 1940) with Antje Weisgerber and Joachim Brennecke.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3214/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Konrad Weidenbaum.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3945/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann.
Joseph Goebbels's lover
Marianne Simson’s film career took off during WW II. In 1941, she appeared in a supporting part in the musical Die schwedische Nachtigall/The Swedish Nightingale (Peter Paul Brauer, 1941), starring Ilse Werner and Joachim Gottschalk. It portrays a romance between the writer Hans Christian Andersen and the opera singer Jenny Lind, the ‘Swedish Nightingale’ of the title.
Simson played the second female lead romantic comedy Zwei in einer großen Stadt/Two in a Big City (Volker von Collande, 1942), starring Claude Farell and Karl John. John played a German soldier on leave in Berlin, who goes looking for his pen pal who he has never met called Gisela.
Simson then appeared in the historical drama Andreas Schlüter (Herbert Maisch, 1942), about the life of the eighteenth century German architect Andreas Schlüter portrayed by Heinrich George. Her next film, the comedy Das Bad auf der Tenne/The Bath in the Barn (Volker von Collande, 1943) was shot in Agfacolor, one of only a few German films made in colour during the war years.
Another example was the fantasy Münchhausen (Josef von Báky, 1943), featuring Hans Albers, in which Simson played the woman in the moon, maybe her best known part.
She then played one of the daughters of Henny Porten and Paul Westermeier in the family chronicle Familie Buchholz/The Buchholz Family (Carl Froelich, 1944) and the direct sequel Neigungsehe/Marriage of Affection (Carl Froelich, 1944), both set Berlin.
In 1943, Marianne Simson filed an application for membership in the NSDAP, which was rejected. In July 1944 she informed on Fritz Goes, an army major, to the Gestapo for allegedly making comments that were supportive of the 20 July plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Goes was subsequently imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo for three months.
In the interrogation by the SS Obersturmbannführer Karl Radl (adjutant of Otto Skorzeny) and in the court hearing before a special court of the army, Simson maintained her testimony, which however was judged as unbelievable: statements by Viktor de Kowa, Anneliese Uhlig, the film producer Herbert Engelsing and General Jesco von Puttkamer provided for the acquittal of the defendant.
By that time she was rumoured to be Dr. Joseph Goebbels's lover and she complained to him about her denunciation. Following the defeat of Germany, Simson and her parents were arrested by the NKVD, the leading Soviet secret police organisation, and she was placed in a series of detention camps. There she was active in organising performances and giving song recitals.
In 1950 she was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was given an early release in 1952 and moved to West Germany. She played in a few TV films, and later worked as a choreographer in some stage productions. She married the theatre director Wilhelm List Diehl.
Marianne Simson passed away in 1992 in Füssen, Germany. She was 71.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 166, 1941-1944. Photo: Star-Foto-Atelier / Tobis.
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-Line), Mart Sander (IMDb), Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.
German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture, picture no. 81, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920) with Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 633/1. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still still of Henny Porten and Gustav Botz [?] in Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 633/3. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still still of Henny Porten in Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920).
A masterpiece of character representation
One day, Monica Vogelsang (Henny Porten), daughter of the reputed counsellor Jacobus Vogelsang (Gustav Botz), meets the visiting painter Amadeo Vaselli (Paul Hartmann) and immediately falls in love with him.
But Amadeo is rivalled by the idle Johannes (Ernst Deutsch), working for Vogelsang, and eyeing young Monica for some time. When he is rejected by Monika he avenges himself by gossipping about her, making evil remarks and hints. He tries to eliminate his opponent, but in a fight Amadeo stabs John.
Amadeo is arrested and admits his deed. To save his neck, Monica claims that Amadeo had been with her the questionable night, but Amadeo sticks to his confession and is condemned to death by the rope. His last wish to just see Monica once more is granted. So shortly before his execution, Monica faces him one last time, while covered in a veil.
Monica breaks down. When the veil is lifted, one notices her hair has become white. After Amadeo's execution, Monica erects a chapel in his honour. She descends to his grave and slides down to the ground, mentally crushed. Later, Amadeo is rehabilitated by the Archbishop (Wilhelm Diegelmann).
Monika Vogelsang, based on the novel by Felix Philippi and scripted by Hans Kräly, was shot in 1919 but premiered on 2 January 1920 in Berlin. Exteriors were shot in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria, Germany. Sets were designed by Kurt Dürnhöfer.
Oskar Kalbus in Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst. 1. Der stumme Film (Berlin, 1935): "With this film, we are transferred to the heroic period of the Renaissance with its passions that extend into the bourgeoisie. A masterpiece of character representation was how Henny Porten's meek-naive childishness develops into active heroism."
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 633/4. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 633/5. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still still of Henny Porten in Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 633/6. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Monika Vogelsang (Rudolf Biebrach, 1920).
Sources: Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Owen Nares. British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star series by Beagles Postcards, no. 129 A. Photo: Elliott & Fry.
Alma Taylor. British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star series by Beagles Postcards, no. 150 A.
Alma Taylor. British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star series by Beagles Postcards, no. 150 C. Photo: Elliott & Fry.
Violet Hopson. British postcard in the 'Famous Cinema Star' series' by J. Beagles & Co. Ltd., London, no. 143 E. Photo: Broadwest.
Vilma Banky. British postcard in the 'Famous Cinema Star' series by J. Beagles & Co. Ltd., London, no. 235 G. Photo: Allied Artists Pictures.
Carl Brisson. British postcard in the Film Star series by J. Beagles & Co., Ltd. London, no. 262 L.
Marlene Dietrich. British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star series by Beagles Postcards, no. 79 N. Collection: Marlène Pilaete.
John Beagles (1844-1907) was an English printer and publisher, especially of real photo postcards, through his company, J. Beagles & Co.
Beagles was born in Whaplode Drove, Lincolnshire, in 1844. His father was a 'butcher master. In 1861, John Beagles junior was recorded as a 'pupil teacher'.
In the 1891 census, Beagles was recorded as a 'photographic publisher' in Nottingham in the household of Thomas William Stevenson, printer, who would later be his executor. Later, he traded as J. Beagles & Co. from Little Britain, London, E.C.
Beagles and his successors produced a wide variety of postcards that included celebrities, stars of stage and screen, topographical and view cards in their Phototint series.
The business continued as J. Beagles & Co. Ltd. after Beagles' death.
Gina Palermeand Roy Royston. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co, London, no. 240 C. Photo: Rita Martin. Publicity still for the stage production Bric-a-brac (1915).
Gina Palerme and Roy Royston. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co, London, no. 240 E. Photo: Rita Martin. Publicity still for the stage production Bric-a-brac (1915).
John Martin Harvey. British postcard by Beagles Postcards, no. 707 C. Photo: Ellis & Walery. Publicity still for the stage play The Only Way.
Matheson Lang. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. 293 H.
Jack Buchanan. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. 245 M. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.
Lewis Waller. British postcard by H. Beagles & Co, E.C., no. G 703 O. Photo: Langfler Ltd.
George Alexander. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co, London, no. 515 S. Photo: Ellis & Walery.
Dan Leno. British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. 347. Photo: R. Haines.
It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 1217. Photo: Gainsborough.
British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. W 212. Photo: Michael Balcon Prod. Publicity still for The Captive Heart (Basil Dearden, 1946).
British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 1217a. Photo: Warner Bros.
The Lady Vanishes
Michael Scudamore Redgrave was born Bristol, England in 1908. He was the son of silent film actor Roy Redgrave and actress Margaret Scudamore. He never knew his father, who left when Michael was only six months old to pursue a career in Australia. His mother subsequently married Captain James Anderson, a tea planter, but Redgrave greatly disliked his stepfather.
He studied in Cambridge and tried journalism and teaching before giving acting a go. Redgrave made his first professional appearance at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1934, and spent two years with its Liverpool Repertory Company.
Here he met his future wife, actress Rachel Kempson. They married in 1935, and would have three children who would all become film actors: Vanessa Redgrave (1937), Corin Redgrave (1939-2010) and Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010).
In 1936, Tyrone Guthrie offered him a job at John Gielgud’s famous Old Vic theatre company in London. During the 1936-1937 season he appeared in Love's Labours Lost, The Country Wife, As You Like It, The Witch of Edmonton and Hamlet as Laertes to Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.
Michael Redgrave's first major film role was in The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) opposite Margaret Lockwood. His leading role as the eccentric musicologist in this huge success made him immensely popular.
Next he starred in Climbing High (Carol Reed, 1938) with Jessie Matthews, The Stars Look Down (Carol Reed, 1940) as an idealistic son of a mining family, and as an intelligent misanthrope in Thunder Rock (Roy Boulting, 1942) with James Mason.
War service put a temporary halt to his career, but even before that his involvement in the short-lived People's Convention (a Communist Party-backed anti-war movement) threatened to harm his standing. He served in the navy for a couple of years before he was invalided out with an injured arm.
The rest of the war, he spent in the theatre, though as the war drew to a close he made a film come-back as a poetic Flight-Lieutenant who is killed in The Way to the Stars (Anthony Asquith, 1945) with John Mills, and the Ealing compendium film Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti a.o., 1945), in the chilling episode about a ventriloquist who thinks his dummy is out to get him.
British postcard by Real Photogravure.
British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. W 783. Photo: Universal International.
Dutch postcard. Photo: Eagle Lion.
British autograph card.
The Importance of Being Earnest
For his first American film role in Mourning Becomes Electra (Dudley Nichols, 1947), Michael Redgrave was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. On his return from Hollywood, he gave what is probably his finest film performance as a failed, embittered schoolmaster in The Browning Version (Anthony Asquith, 1951) opposite Jean Kent.
Redgrave also starred in The Importance of Being Earnest (Anthony Asquith, 1952), Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles, 1955), The Dam Busters (Michael Anderson, 1955) and 1984 (Michael Anderson, 1956). He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952 and was knighted in 1959.
Throughout his career, Redgrave acted on the stage in Britain. One of his most notable roles was as the title character in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in 1962. He also excelled in Shakespearean roles.
During the 1960s he appeared in such classic films as the horror film The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961) starring Deborah Kerr, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) with Tom Courtenay, and the war drama The Hill (Sidney Lumet, 1965) with Sean Connery.
Though his film work became less distinguished in the following decade, his theatre work continued its high standard. He toured extensively in the 1970s, until the effects of Parkinson's diseasegrew too great. His last film appearance was in Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Raul daSylva, 1975), based on the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Michael Redgrave passed away in 1985 in Denham, England only one day after his 77th birthday. Until his death he was married with Rachel Kempson. Their grandchildren - Natasha and Joely Richardson, Jemma Redgrave and Carlo Nero are also film actors.
During the filming of Secret Beyond the Door... (Fritz Lang, 1947), Redgrave met Bob Michell. They became lovers. In his last autobiography he wanted to acknowledge his bisexuality, but in the end he chose to remain silent about it. Later his son Corin wrote about in Michael Redgrave: My Father (1995).
British postcard in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre series, no. 15. Photo: Angus McBean. Michael Redgrave as King Richard II in Richard II, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1951.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1445. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Publicity still for Behind the Mask (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1958).
British card. Publicity still for a stage production of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov in Chichester in 1963.
Sources: Brian McFarlane (Encyclopaedia of British Cinema), David Absalom (British Pictures), Britmovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 188, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz, Berlin.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3796/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz, Berlin.
Latvian postcard., no. 2284. Photo: J. Rolin (?), Riga. With Martha Eggerth in Der Zarewitsch/The Czarevitch (Victor Janson, 1933).
Young, Careless Lover
Hans Albert Edmund Söhnker was born in Kiel in 1903. His father was a carpenter and a book-seller, and an active member of the Social Democratic Party.
After finishing school, Hans took up an apprenticeship in a warehouse and at the same time he started taking acting lessons from Clemens Schubert and Gustaf Gründgens. In 1922, he made his stage debut at the Stadttheater Kiel, and subsequently played in theatres in Frankfurt/Oder, Danzig, Chemnitz and Bremen.
He made screen tests for the Ufa, and was finally cast by Victor Janson as Martha Eggerth's partner in Der Zarewitsch/The Czarevitch (Victor Janson, 1933). He reprised the role of the young and careless lover for Schwarzwaldmädel/The Black Forest Girl (Georg Zoch, 1933) and Die Csardasfürstin/The Czardas Princess (Georg Jacoby, 1934).
He avoided being typecast again and instead proved his ability to play more serious characters with Arzt aus Leidenschaft/Medicine Man (Hans H. Zerlett, 1936).
His other films include Jede Frau hat ein Geheimnis/Every Woman Has A Secret (Max Obal, 1934), Eva (Johannes Riemann, 1935), Diener lassen bitten/Dinner Is Served (Hans H. Zerlett, 1936), and Truxa (Hans H. Zerlett, 1936) starring La Jana.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3651/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tita Binz / Ufa.
German presentation card by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 874, series 1943/2.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3489/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann / Terra.
Hans Söhnker excelled as the romantic rival of both Heinz Rühmann in Der Mustergatte/Model Husband (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1937) and Hans Albers in Große Freiheit Nr. 7/Great Freedom No. 7 (1944).
The latter was directed by Helmut Käutner, who frequently cast Söhnker. Käutner put Söhnker's natural charm to its best use, for instance in Frau nach Maß/Customized Woman (Helmut Käutner, 1940) based on a play by Erich Kästner.
These films made him an Ufa-star in Nazi Germany. During the Third Reich he was also on the Gestapo's black list because he often helped and hid Jews.
After the war, Söhnker, who had always continued to work as a stage actor, returned to the theatre. He re-emerged as a film actor with Film ohne Titel/Film Without Title (1947), which was produced by Käutner and directed by Rudolf Jugert.
Jugert also cast Söhnker in the comedies Hallo Fräulein/Hello Fraulein (Rudolf Jugert, 1949) and Einmaleins der Ehe/Marriage – The Basics (Rudolf Jugert, 1949).
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3952/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Foto Binz, Berlin. From Tatiana.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. K 1434. Photo: Tita Binz, Berlin.
German postcard by Verlag und Druckerei Erwin Preuss, Dresden-Freital, series 1, no. 20. Photo: Charlott Serda.
His dramatic performances in Nur eine Nacht/Just One Night (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1950) with Marianne Hoppe, and Weiße Schatten/White Shadows (Helmut Käutner, 1951) again proved his ability to shift effortlessly between genres.
The well aged Söhnker remained an elegant presence in the German Post-War cinema of the 1950s. Films include Die Stärkere/The Stronger Ones (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1953), Hoheit lassen bitten/Majesty Allow To Plea (Paul Verhoeven, 1954), and Worüber man spricht/False Shame (Wolfgang Glück, 1958).
From the 1960s on, he starred in several successful TV series like Der Forellenhof/The Trout Farm (1965), Salto Mortale (1968), and Meine Schwiegersöhne und ich/My Sons-in-law and I (1969), which sustained Söhnker's popularity up to his old age.
He also made films like Unser Haus in Kamerun/Our House in Cameroun (Alfred Vohrer, 1961), Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes/Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (Terence Fisher, Frank Winterstein, 1962) starring Christopher Lee, Sechs Stunden Angst/Six Hours of Terror (Eugen York, 1964), and the Edgar Wallace thriller Der Hund von Blackwood Castle/The Monster of Blackwood Castle (Alfred Vohrer, 1967).
In 1973 he was awarded Germany's Bundesverdienstktreuz, and in 1977 the Filmband in Gold for his lifetime achievements. He published his memoires ...und kein Tag zuviel/And Not A Day Too Many in 1974.
Hans Söhnker passed away in Berlin in 1981. He was twice married. Actress Anneke Kim Sarnau is his great-granddaughter.
Austrian postcard by Verlag Hubmann (HDH Verlag), Wien, no. 90. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Die Stärkere/The stronger (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1953).
German postcard by Ufa, no. FK 573. Photo: Grimm / Capitol / Prisma Film. Publicity still for Ein Leben für Do/A Life for Do (Gustav Ucicky, 1954).
German card, mailed in 1955. Photo: Studio K. Lindner, Berlin-Neukölln.
Scene from Und du mein Schatz fährst mit! (1936). Source: Hargo 1962 (YouTube).
Sources: Filmportal.de, Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.
French postcard by Universal Collections for L'Encyclopédie de la Chanson Française, 2003.
German postcard by ISV, no. H 120. Photo: Philips France.
French postcard by PSG, no. 947. Photo: Aubert-Philips.
Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall was born in Paris in 1947. She grew up in a highly creative musical environment. Her father was lyricist Robert Gall, who wrote hits for Edith Piafand Charles Aznavour, and her mother was singer Cécile Berthier, the daughter of Paul Berthier, the organist of Auxerre Cathedral and co-founder of the famous French children's choir Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois.
Isabelle learned to play the piano and the guitar at an early age. In her early teens Isabelle went on to form her own group with her brothers. In 1963, Robert Gall encouraged his daughter to record songs and send the demos to musical publisher Denis Bourgeois. She auditioned for Bourgeois at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and was subsequently signed to Philips.
Bourgeois let her record four tracks with French jazz musician, arranger and composer Alain Goraguer. The first airplay of her first single Ne sois pas si bête (Don't Be So Silly), occurred on her 16th birthday. It soon rocketed to the top of the French charts, selling a cool 200,000 copies. She went on to make a major name for herself in the midst of the yé-yé craze (the fashionable 1960s sound which fused Anglo-Saxon rock'n'roll with French variété).
Bourgeois asked legendary singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourgto write songs for Gall. Gainsbourg's N'écoute pas les idoles (Don't listen to the idols) became Gall's second single; it reached the top of the French charts in March 1964. At the same time, Gall made her live debut, opening for Sacha Distel in Belgium.
She teamed up with Distel's business manager, Maurice Tézé, who was also a lyricist. This allowed her to create an original repertoire, unlike the majority of her yé-yé contemporaries who sang adaptations of Anglophone hits. Gall's songs often featured lyrics based on a stereotypical view of the teenage mind. Elaborate orchestrations by Alain Goraguer blended styles, permitting her to navigate between jazz, children's songs, and anything in between. Examples of this mixed-genre style are Jazz à gogo and Mes premières vraies vacances.
In the summer of 1964, Gall and Gainsbourg's association produced the hit song Laisse tomber les filles (Forget the girls) followed by Christiansen. Having previously resisted, Gall gave in to her managers at the end of 1964 and recorded a single intended for children. The song Sacré Charlemagne was a hit in 1965, selling 2 million copies.
Gall was then selected to represent Luxembourg for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest. Out of the 10 songs proposed to her, she chose Gainsbourg's Poupée de cire, poupée de son. On 20 March 1965, Gainsbourg, Gall, and Goraguer attended the finals of the song contest in Naples, where the song was booed during rehearsals. Her performance was broadcast live to an audience of 150 million viewers and although Gall's delivery during the live show was not of the highest standard, she went on to triumph in style.
Success at Eurovision ensured that Gall became even more known outside Europe and she recorded Poupée de cire, poupée de son in French, German, Italian and Japanese. There appears to be no English version released by France Gall herself, although there was an English cover by the English 60s star Twinkle. Some French critics reproached Gall and Gainsbourg for having won for Luxembourg and not for their own country, but Poupée de cire, poupée de son went on to become a huge hit in France.
French postcard by PSG offered by Corvisart, no. 441. Photo: G. Neuvecelle / Philips.
French postcard by Publistar offered by Corvisart, no. 943. Photo: Philips.
French postcard by Ed. Borde, no. 100. Photo: Wiezniak / Philips.
Italian postcard. Photo: Phonogram.
French postcard by Editions Publistar, Marseille, no. 1086. Photo: P. Bertrand.
Alice in Wonderland
In 1965 a TV film was distributed in the United States directed by Jean-Christophe Averty and dedicated to the songs of France Gall. She was then sought by Walt Disney to appear as Alice in a musical film version of Alice in Wonderland. Although Gall had insisted she did not want to become involved in film work, this was the only project which appealed to her, but the project was cancelled after Disney's death in 1966.
That year, France Gall was voted France's no. 1 female pop star. She went on to score another huge hit with Bébé Requin (Baby Pop), a song co-written by Gainsbourg and Joe Dassin. Later Gall described the lyrics as ‘brutal’, but the dark undertones are not easily perceived when one hears the song as sung by the then 18 year-old girl.
However, the undertones in her next hit song were not so easily missed, and caused a scandal when it was released. Gainsbourg deliberately filled the song Les Sucettes (Lollipops) with double-meanings and strong sexual innuendo. Gall performed the song in the television film Viva Morandi (1966), made in the same psychoanalytical mould as the Fellini film Giulietta degli Spiriti/Juliette of the Spirits (Federico Fellini, 1965). Gall played La Grâce alongside Christine Lebail who played La Pureté, and both sang Les Sucettes in a clear reference to the song's sexual undertones.
On the surface, the lyrics tell the innocent tale of a girl named Annie who enjoys lollipops. However, it is clear that Gainsbourg intentionally created the theme as a metaphor for oral sex. Although a big hit, the song sat in stark contrast to genuinely innocent songs on the same album such as Je me marie en blanc (White Wedding) and Ça me fait rire (It makes me laugh). The public furore over Les Sucettes would throw Gall’s career off-track for years, and Gall was not left unscathed by the experience. She belatedly understood that she had been used: the song was deliberately conceived with the aim of attracting publicity.
All her records which followed, even expunged of the Gainsbourg signature, would be suspiciously viewed as having crass commercial motivations. Her song dedicated to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., Bonsoir John John would be tarred with accusations of necrophilia. Sullied by her association with Gainsbourg, her songs failed to chart for a long time afterwards. When she was later approached by director Bernardo Bertolucci for the leading female role in the sexually explicit Last Tango in Paris (1972), she firmly rejected this offer.
Dutch Postcard by Rembrandt N.V., Amsterdam. Photo: Phonogram.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden, no. 3052. Photo: Teldec / Michael Foth / Decca.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 5050. Photo: Teldec / Foth / Decca.
Dutch postcard, no. 1392. Photo: Phonogram.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 414.
A Barren Period
Although struggling in her home country, France Gall regularly recorded in Germany from 1966 to 1972, in particular with the composer and orchestrator Werner Müller. She had a successful German career with songs by Horst Buchholz and Giorgio Moroder: Love, l'amour und liebe (1967), Hippie, hippie (1968), Ich liebe dich, so wie du bist (I love you the way you are) (1969) and Mein Herz kann man nicht kaufen (My heart is not for sale) (1970). Gall had several other releases in France in 1968, none of which aroused any great interest.
At the end of 1968, on reaching the age of 21, Gall separated from Denis Bourgeois and stretched her wings upon the expiration of her contract with Philips. The early seventies continued to be a barren period for Gall. Although she was the first artist to be recorded in France for Atlantic Records in 1971, her singles C'est cela l'amour (1971) and Chasse neige (1971), faltered in the charts. In 1972, Gall, for the last time, recorded songs by Gainsbourg, Frankenstein and Les Petits ballons, but these also failed to chart.
She remained firmly in the media spotlight though, dating 1960s idol Claude François, then going on to enjoy a four-year relationship with another popular French singing star, Julien Clerc (1970-1974). 1974 proved to be a major turning point in France Gall's personal life as well as in her professional career. She then first met the French singer/songwriter Michel Berger. Shortly after this initial meeting Berger and Gall began a passionate relationship, and the couple would rarely be seen apart.
Berger created a whole new repertoire for her and France Gall soon made a major comeback on the French music scene, rocketing to the top of the charts with her new single La Déclaration in 1974. This proved to be the first of many hits which Berger wrote especially for Gall. Each of the singer's successive albums would contain several best-selling hits. Meanwhile, their relationship became serious and in 1976 they married.
In 1988 her hit Ella, elle l'a (Ella She Has It), a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, topped the charts in many countries. After Berger’s sudden death in 1992, France Gall continued to perform her late husband's repertoire. In 1993, Gall once again considered appearing on screen for a cinematographic collaboration with her best friend, the screenplay writer Telsche Boorman. Like the Disney film, this planned project was never completed due to the death of Boorman in 1996.
Gall and Berger had two children, Pauline and Raphaël. In 1997, tragedy blighted her life once again, when her daughter Pauline died at the age of 19. Gall retired, but in 2004 a new compilation was released, Evidemment and proved to be a another huge hit. Gall's songs were often featured on film soundtracks, like Poupée de cire, poupée de son in Ba'al Ba'al Lev/Gotta Have Heart (Eytan Fox, 1997), Teenie Weenie Boppie in A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (James Ivory, 1998) and Besoin d'amour in 40 mg d'amour par jour/40 mg of love each day (Charles Meurisse, 2005).
In the mid-1990s, France Gall had been diagnosed with breast cancer. For the last two years, she was again suffering from the disease. Last month, she was taken to he American Hospital of Paris, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, last month for a severe infection. The singer passed away there on Sunday morning 7 January.
French postcard by Editions Champs Libres ST 115, 1989.
French postcard by Éditions Damilla, Paris, no. 94931. Photo: Tony Frank (SIGMA).
France Gall sings Poupée de cire, poupée de son at the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest. Source: Bradchalk (YouTube).
France Gall sings Les Sucettes. Source: Ophelide (YouTube).
Clip for Plus haut, directed in 1996 by Jean-Luc Godard. Source: bergergallbalavoine love (YouTube).
Sources: Radio France Internationale Musique (French), Wikipedia and IMDb.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 579. Photo: London Films.
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 563. Photo: publicity still for Gun Crazy (1950).
British Collector's Card.
Peggy Cummins was born Augusta Margaret Diane Fuller in Prestatyn, Wales in 1925. Her Irish parents happened to be in Wales at the time of her birth and a storm kept them from returning to their home in Dublin.
Peggy lived most of her early life in Dublin where she was educated and later in London. Her mother was the actress Margaret Cummins who played the small but effective role of Anna the maid in Smart Woman (1948) and played Emily in the Margaret Ferguson film The Sign of the Ram.
In 1938 actor Peter Brock noticed Peggy Cummins at a Dublin tram stop and introduced her to Dublin's Gate Theatre Company.
She then appeared on the London stage in the title role of Alice in Wonderland and in the title role of Junior Miss at age 12 at the Saville Theatre.
Cummins made her film debut at 13 in the British drama Dr. O'Dowd (Herbert Mason, 1940). The film was received positively by critics, and especially Peggy got good reviews.
Her first major film was English Without Tears/Her Man Gilbey (Harold French, 1944) with Michael Wilding and Lilli Palmer. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “a gentle satire of the temporary relaxation of class barriers in wartime England.’
According to Erickson, playing a precocious teenager, Peggy ‘stole’ Welcome, Mr. Washington (Leslie Hiscott, 1944), a sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant dramatisation of what happened when American troops ‘invaded’ England during WW II.
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 673. Photo: Rank Film.
Italian postcard by Bromostampa, Torino.
A Psychopathic Bonnie Parker-Type
Amidst a shower of publicity, Peggy Cummins was brought to Hollywood in 1945. Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox, wanted her to play Amber in Kathleen Winsor's Forever Amber (Otto Preminger, 1947).
However, she was soon replaced by Linda Darnell because she was "too young." As a compensation she went on to make six films in Hollywood.
In Hollywood, Cummins had several suitors. She briefly dated both Howard Hughes, and the future American president John F. Kennedy.
Meanwhile, she starred with Victor Mature in the Film Noir Moss Rose (Gregory Ratoff, 1947), and with Rex Harrisonin the thriller Escape (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1948).
The highlight was her part as a psychopathic Bonnie Parker-type criminal in Gun Crazy/Deadly Is the Female (1950) directed by B-movie specialist Joseph H. Lewis. The script about a couple of star-crossed lovers (Cummins and John Dall) shooting their way across the modern west was co-written by MacKinlay Kantor and the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, who was ‘fronted’ by his friend Millard Kaufman. The stylish and gritty Gun Crazy was made for a measly $400,000 in 30 days.
Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “The definitive Joseph H. Lewis-directed melodrama, Gun Crazy is the "Bonnie and Clyde" story retooled for the disillusioned post-war generation. John Dall plays a timorous, emotionally disturbed World War II veteran who has had a lifelong fixation with guns. He meets a kindred spirit in carnival sharpshooter Peggy Cummins, who is equally disturbed - but a lot smarter, and hence a lot more dangerous.
Beyond their physical attraction to one another, both Dall and Cummins are obsessed with firearms. They embark on a crime spree, with Cummins as the brains and Dall as the trigger man. As sociopathic a duo as are likely to be found in a 1940s film, Dall and Cummins are also perversely fascinating. As they dance their last dance before dying in a hail of police bullets, the audience is half hoping that somehow they'll escape the Inevitable.”
Dutch postcard. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for That Dangerous Age (Gregory Ratoff, 1949) with Richard Greene.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Charlottenburg, no. V 167. Photo: Rank Film. Publicity still for Hell Drivers (Cy Endfield, 1957).
A Frightening, Fast-paced, And Unrelenting Chiller
During a brief stay in Italy in 1948, Peggy Cummins filmed That Dangerous Age/If This Be Sin (Gregory Ratoff, 1949) with Myrna Loy and Roger Livesey.
She returned to London in 1950 to marry and work in British films. In 1952 she starred in the comedy Who Goes There! (Anthony Kimmins, 1952) with Nigel Patrick, and a year later she appeared in the Ealing comedy Meet Mr. Lucifer (Anthony Pelissier, 1953) with Stanley Holloway.
She later starred in the horror film Night of the Demon/Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) with Dana Andrews as an American psychologist investigating a satanic cult.
Patrick Legare at AllMovie: “a frightening, fast-paced, and unrelenting chiller that only gets better with passing years and repeated viewings. Directed by Jacques Tourneur from the M.R. James story Casting the Runes, Curse stars Dana Andrews as a psychologist out to disprove the black magic of co-star Niall MacGinnis. Peggy Cummings also stars as the daughter of a scientist killed by the title creature during the shocking opening. Tourneur was a master at scaring an audience by the power of suggestion, and Curse accomplished this with one exception: the director didn't care for the studio's decision to show the demon in the beginning.”
In the thriller Hell Drivers (Cy Endfield, 1957), her co-stars were Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan and Herbert Lom.
Cummins's last film was In the Doghouse (Darcy Conyers, 1961) alongside Leslie Phillips. After her film career had ended, she lived in retirement in Hampshire, England.
During the 1970s, Cummins was very active in a national charity, Stars Organisation for Spastics, raising money and chairing the management committee of a holiday centre for children with disabilities in Sussex.
Peggy Cummins was married to London businessman Derek Dunnett from 1950 until his death in 2000. Peggy died on 29 December 2017, aged 92, in London, England.
British card. Photo: E.N.A.
Scene from Gun Crazy/Deadly Is the Female (1949). Source: GnGInfiniteVideoList (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Patrick Legare (AllMovie), Michael Adams (Movieline), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Dutch postcard, no. 1.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5802/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Dutch postcard by M.B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het meisje met de blauwe hoed/The Girl With the Blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934). Collectie: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.
Dutch postcard by M.B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 10. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934) with Enny Meunier.
Roland (sometimes Rolant) Varno was born as Jacob Frederik Vuerhard in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1908. His sister, Anneke, was for many years the Dear Abby of Holland. Roland spent his younger years on the island of Java, but he moved back to Holland as a teenager.
At the end of the 1920s he went to Berlin to work in the film industry and soon he won leading parts in the films Zwischen vierzehn und siebzehn - Sexualnot der Jugend/Between 14 and 16 - Sexual Needs of Youth (E.W. Emo, 1929) and Jugendtragödie/Youth Tragedy (Alfred Trotz, 1929).
His next role was in the German classic Der Blaue Engel/The Blue Angel (Josef van Sternberg, 1930), which made Marlene Dietrich an international star. He played one of the pupils of Emil Jannings who secretly frequent Dietrich’s sleazy shows in The Blue Angel cabaret.
Varno had another supporting role in the popular Heinz Rühmann comedy Der Mann, der seinen Mörder sucht/Looking for His Murderer (Robert Siodmak, 1931).
In 1930, he moved to the U.S. to shoot All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Mileastone, 1930). His ship was stalled in the Atlantic so the role went instead to Lew Ayers, who became both a major star and Roland's best friend.
Dutch autograph card, 1930. Caption: In memory to my visit to the Trianon Theatre, The Hague, December 1930.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 186/4, 1931-1933. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for As You Desire me (George Fitzmaurice, 1932) with Greta Garbo.
Dutch postcard for the Dutch film De Sensatie der toekomst (Dimitri Buchowetzki, Jack Salvatori, 1931) with Lien Deyers and Dolly Bouwmeester.
The Sensation of the Future
In the Paramount studio in France, he played in De sensatie der toekomst (Victor Buchowetzki, Jack Salvatori, 1931), a Dutch version of the French production Magie Moderne/Modern Magic (Dimitri Buchowetzki, 1931). He starred with Lien Deyers and Dolly Bouwmeester in this SF detective film about the new phenomenon television - the 'sensation of the future'.
After this early Dutch sound film, he returned to Hollywood but there he found only small roles in films like Arsène Lupin (Jack Conway, 1932) and the Greta Garbo vehicle As You Desire Me (George Fitzmaurice, 1932).
Varno returned to the Netherlands to star as a girl-shy soldier in the musical comedy Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl with the Blue Hat (Rudolph Meinert, 1934), co-starring with Truus van Aalten andLou Bandy.
Then he starred in another Dutch comedy Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934) with Enny Meunier, Louis Borel and Johan Kaart.
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Still for Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl with the Blue Hat (1934) with Truus van Aalten, Dries Krijn and Lou Bandy.
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma.Still for Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl with the Blue Hat (1934) with Tony van den Berg.
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Still for Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl with the Blue Hat (1934) with Truus van Aalten.
Roland Varno returned to Hollywood but for years he only found bit roles, often uncredited.
In 1939 he played a spy in a short film by Fred Zinnemann, While America Sleeps (1939). More supporting roles followed in the Nelson Eddy musical Balalaika (Reinhold Schünzel, 1939), the war drama Mystery Sea Raider (Edward Dmytryk, 1940), another war drama Underground (Vincent Sherman, 1941) and the Western Valley of Hunted Men (John English, 1941).
Varno had his first major screen credit in Hollywood in The Return of the Vampire (Lew Landers, 1944), starring Bela Lugosiand Nina Foch.
Varno was fluent in several languages and during WW II, he was placed in the Office of Strategic Services and appeared in several propaganda movies, including The Unwritten Code (Herman Rotsten, 1944). In this offbeat, better-than-average war drama Ann Savage and Tom Neal were top-billed, but Varno was the central character. He played a Nazi spy who sneaks into the U.S., hoping to release hundreds of German prisoners.
Other career highlights were the wartime drama Hostages (Frank Tuttle, 1943) with Luise Rainer and William Bendix and the Film Noir My Name Is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis, 1945) starring Nina Foch.
His linguistic versatility came in handy after the war and made him a popular performer in radio programs across the country. In the 1950s he was also often seen as a guest star in TV series.
He made his last movie appearance in Istanbul (Joseph Pevney, 1957) starring Errol Flynn and Cornell Borchers.
Several years into his retirement, Varno's language skills again came in handy on the set of the TV miniseries War and Remembrance (1988).
Roland Varno died in 1996 in Lancaster, California. His son is the Emmy nominated sound editor Martin Varno. His daughter is Jill Taggart.
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 2. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934). Collectie: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z, no. 3. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934).
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z, no. 4. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934).
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 6. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934).
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 9. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934).
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 11. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934). Collectie: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 14. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934). Collectie: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.
Sources: Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1988. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke.
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1989. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke and Emil Jannings.
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1990. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke and Emil Jannings.
Two lives dramatically intertwined
In Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari (1917), Erna Morena plays Judith Arens, who is neglected and badly treated by her husband, an art painter. One day, at a fine art show, she even collapses from hunger. The rich patron Count Waldenau (Emil Jannings) takes care of the pretty, young woman and houses her in his home.
Judith lives well there, if not for the many adventures of the old count, while she is smitten with the count’s son (Harry Liedtke). In a moment of despair she opens a book, which fascinates her as it is similar to her own life: The Ring of Giuditta Foscari.
Judith owns a ring similar to the Giuditta (played by Morena as well) of Renaissance times. More and more Judith sees her life intertwined with that of Giuditta. Giuditta too is courted by an older man (Emil Jannings again), while she loves his son (Harry Liedtke again).
When her husband discovers his woman with her lover he stabs his rival, realising too late it is his own son. The father recognises on his son’s finger the ring he gave to Giuditta. Giuditta is condemned and executed.
Judith too prefers the son to the father and wants to marry him. The count is warned that Judith is seeing her old husband, the painter, again, and storms in, shooting his gun through a curtain. He discovers to have shot his own son. In the present story, though, matters turn out better: the young count survives, is cured and leaves the paternal house with Judith.
Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari was written and directed by Alfred Halm and shot in late 1917 in the Union studios in Berlin-Tempelhof. Sets were made by future director Paul Leni. On 26 Octobre 1917, Austrian reviewer Franz Paimann concluded in his review in his Film-Liste, no. 87: "Stoff, Spiel, Photos und Szenerie sehr gut." (Story, acting, photography and directing very good.)
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1991. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917).
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1992. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917).
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1993. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke.
Sources: Franz Paimann (Film-Liste no. 87 - German), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb
Dirk Bogarde. British postcard in the Film Star Autograph Portrait Series by Celebrity Publishers, London, no. 51. Photo: Cornel Lucas / Rank.
Richard Burton. British postcard in the Film Star Autograph Portrait series by Celebrity Publishers, London, no. 79.
Debra Paget. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series, no. 105. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for Prince Valiant (Henry Hathaway, 1954).
Corinne Calvet. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by L.D. LTD., London, no. 172. Photo: Universal-International.
Margaret Lockwood. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers LTD., London, no. 183. Photo: Republic. Publicity still for Trouble in the Glen (Herbert Wilcox, 1954).
Gloria DeHaven. British postcard in the Celebrity Autographs Series, no. 192. Photo: Universal-International. Publicity still for So This Is Paris (Richard Quine, 1954).
Mara Corday. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers, London, no. 220. Photo: Universal-International. Publicity still for Man Without a Star (King Vidor, 1955).
Maureen Swanson. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers LTD., London, no. 266. Photo: Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Robbery Under Arms (Jack Lee, 1957).
Stanley Baker. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers LTD, London, no. 267. Photo: Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Hell Drivers (Cy Endfield, 1957).
Ray Danton. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers LTD., London, no. 279. Photo: Universal-International. Publicity still for The Night Runner (Abner Biberman, 1957).
Michael Craig. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers London, no. 298. Photo: Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Campbell's Kingdom (Ralph Thomas, 1957).
Anne Heywood. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series, London, no. 335. Photo: Rank. Publicity still for Floods of Fear (Charles Crichton, 1958).
Richard Attenborough. British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series, no. 377.
Adam Faith. British postcard by Celebrity Autographs, no. 384. Photo: publicity still for Never Let Go (John Guillermin, 1960).
This is for now our last weekly post on British film star postcard series. Next week, we'll continue with posts on German series.
It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9574/1, 1935-1936. Photo: Ufa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9845/1, 1935-1936. Photo: Ufa.
German Postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1276/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Manassée-Ricoll, Wien / Mondial.
Peter Bosse was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1931 as the son of silent film actress Hilde Maroff.
After some performances on the children's radio with Ilse Obrig, he entered the film business. He made his debut as the son of the great opera singer Beniamino Gigli in Vergiß mein nicht/Forget Me Not (Augusto Genina, 1935).
The next year he became a popular child star with Schloß Vogelöd/Vogelöd Castle (Max Obal, 1936) with Carola Höhn, and as the small Peter in Schlußakkord/Final Accord (Detlev Sierck/Douglas Sirk, 1936) with Willy Birgel and Lil Dagover.
Another popular film was Das Gäßchen zum Paradies/Paradise Road (Martin Fric, 1936) with Hans Moser, in which Peter won the hearts of the public as a little orphan.
Till the outbreak of the war followed more films, including Solo per te/Only for Thee (Carmine Gallone, 1937) with opera singers Beniamino Gigli and Michael Bohnen, Frauenliebe - Frauenleid (Augusto Genina, 1937) with Magda Schneider, Mutterlied/Mother Song (Carmine Gallone, 1938) - again as the son of Beniamino Gigli, Asszony a valszuton/Die Frau am Scheidewege/The woman at the crossroads(Josef von Báky, 1938) with Ewald Balser and Magda Schneider, and Robert und Bertram/Robert and Bertram (Hans H. Zerlett, 1939).
With Magda Schneider. German postcard by Das Programm von Heute, Berlin / Ross Verlag. Photo: Cine-Allianz.
German postcard by Das Programm von Heute, Berlin / Ross Verlag. Photo: Europa.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1859/1, 1938-1939. Photo: Sandau, Berlin.
Peter Bosse’s film career ended when WW II started. The Nazi’s didn’t permit him to act in films anymore on 'account of racial and ideological reasons' according to Wikipedia.
After the war he followed acting classes and started to work as a stage actor at the Schiffbauerdammtheater in Berlin.
Later he switched to the radio and worked for the Berliner Rundfunk. He acted for many radio plays and worked also as a presenter.
He played a few small roles in East German films like the DEFA productions Der Prozeß wird vertagt/The Process is Adjourned (Herbert Ballmann, 1958) with Gisela Uhlen, and the adventure film Der Traum des Hauptmann Loy/The dream of the captain Loy (Kurt Maetzig, 1961).
He also worked for the DDR television as the host of the long running child show Unser Sandmännchen/Our Little Sandman (1958-).
In the 1990s he founded the radio station 50 plus (now Spreeradio), for which he was a presenter and the programme director. So Peter Bosse finished his career where it started, on the radio.
German Postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1859/2, 1937-1938. Photo: Sandau, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2122/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Sandau, Berlin.
Big German card by Ross Verlag. Photo: Joerger.
Big German card by Ross Verlag. Photo: Tobis. Publicity still for Das Gäßchen zum Paradies/Paradise Road (Martin Fric, 1936).
Big German card by Ross Verlag. Photo: Cine-Allianz.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
British postcard by Beagles Photocards, no. 781. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Caption: Mr. Forbes Robertson as Hamlet. Sent by mail in 1913.
British postcard by Rotary Photo, EC, no. 105 A. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith.
British postcard in the Fine Art Post Cards Series by Shurey's Publications. Photo: Langfier.
Highly successful Romantic style of acting
Johnston Forbes-Robertson was born in London in 1853. He was the eldest of the eleven children of theatre critic and journalist John Forbes-Robertson and his wife Frances.
One of his sisters, Frances, and three of his brothers, Ian, Norman and John, also became actors. He was the brother-in-law of famed actress Maxine Elliott, the uncle of economist Roy Harrod, and great-uncle of actress Meriel Forbes (granddaughter of his brother Norman), who married actor Ralph Richardson.
While intending to become an artist, he trained for three years at the Royal Academy, but reluctantly and for financial needs he began a theatrical career, when dramatist William Gorman Wills offered him a role in his play Mary Queen of Scots.
His many performances led him into travel to the U.S., work with Sir Henry Irving, and moving in the highest aristocratic and cultural circles.
In 1895 he took over the management of the Lyceum Theatre, with Mrs. Patrick Campbell as leading lady. Here he gave memorable performances as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo, and produced himself Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pelléas and Mélisande, in which his Romantic style of acting was highly successful.
British postcard, dated 17-7-1903. Photo: Lafayette, London, no. 2014.
British postcard by Beagles' Postcards, no. 179 G. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Publicity still for a stage production of Hamlet.
British postcard by Beagles Photocards, no. 179 J. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Publicity still for a stage production of Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
British postcard by F.H.L., no. 1419.
One of the most individual and refined of English actors
Forbes-Robertson was hailed as one of the most individual and refined of English actors, noted for his ascetic features but even more for his fine elocution.
George Bernard Shaw praised him and wrote especially for him the part of Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra, which premiered in March 1899 at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. Later, Shaw considered him the greatest Hamlet he had ever seen.
Forbes-Robertson played opposite Gertrude Elliott as Cleopatra, both were part of Mrs. Patrick Campbell's company. Other notable roles were Othello, and Leontes in The Winter's Tale.
Forbes-Robertson did not play Hamlet until he was 44 years old, but after his success in this part he continued playing it until 1916, including a surviving silent film, Hamlet (Hay Plumb, 1913).
Highly successful was also his lead in Jerome K. Jerome’s The Passing of the Third Floor Back, which he performed on Broadway in 1908. It was filmed in 1916, and released two years later, The Passing of the Third Floor Back (Herbert Brenon, 1918).
Bob Lipton in his review at IMDb: "The actors are a bit over the top in their performances - except, interestingly, for Forbes-Robertson - but 1918, with the First World War raging, was certainly good moment for a serious, spiritual play."
British postcard by J. Beagles & Co., London, no. 179 V. Photo: Lizzie Caswall Smith. Forbes-Robertson as Julius Caesar in G.B. Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra (1899).
British postcard by Rotary Photo, E.C., no. 105 K. Photo: Lizzie Caswall Smith. Forbes-Robertson as Julius Caesar in G.B. Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra (1899).
British postcard by Rotary Photo, E.C., no. 105 M. Photo: Lizzie Caswall Smith. Forbes-Robertson as Julius Caesar and Gertrude Elliott as Cleopatra in G.B. Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra (1899).
British postcard by Rotary Photo, E.C., no. 105 T. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield. Forbes-Robertson and Gertrude Elliott in G.B. Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra (1899).
A Player Under Three Reigns
In the 1880s, Johnston Forbes-Robertson acted in plays with the gifted actress Mary Anderson. He asked her hand in marriage, but she kindly turned him down, though they remained friends.
Later he and actress Beatrice Campbell enjoyed a brief affair during the time she starred with him in a series of Shakespearean plays in the mid-1890s.
In 1900, at age 47, he married American-born actress Gertrude Elliott (1874–1950), sister of Maxine Elliott, with whom he had four daughters. Their second daughter Jean Forbes-Robertson became an accomplished actress. Through her he is the grandfather of actress Joanna Van Gyseghem.
Johnston Forbes-Robertson was knighted in 1913 at the age of 60, at which point he retired from acting. He returned to the stage, however, for a farewell tour of the US in 1914-1915, making his last appearance onstage at the Sanders Theatre in Boston with a performance of Hamlet.
In the last years of his life he produced plays by George Bernard Shaw and Jerome K. Jerome. His literary works include: The Life and Life-Work of Samuel Phelps (actor and theatre manager) as well as his own autobiography Johnston Forbes-Robertson: A Player Under Three Reigns (1925).
In 1937, Johnston Forbes-Robertson died at St. Margaret's Bay, near Dover, Kent, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London. He was 84.
British postcard in the Real Photographic Series by Davidson Brothers, London, no. 2216. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Caption: Mr. Forbes Robertson as "Shylock". Sent by mail in 1908.
British postcard by Beagles' Postcards, no. 179 U. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Publicity still for a stage production of The Merchant of Venice with Johnston Forbes-Robertson as Shylock. Sent by mail in 1913.
British postcard in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 1632 A. Photo: Lizzie Caswall-Smith. Publicity still for the stage production of The Light That Failed (1903). Caption: Mr. Forbes Robertson as Dick Helder (sic), Gertrude Lawrence as Maisie, "Maisie, my Maisie".
The play The Light That Failed by George Fleming was based on the novel of the same name by-English author Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1891. Most of the novel is set in London, but many important events throughout the story occur in Sudan and Port Said. It follows the life of Dick Heldar, an artist and painter who goes blind, and his unrequited love for his childhood playmate, Maisie. The first stage production starred Forbes-Robertson, Elliott, and Sydney Valentine. It was performed in the West End from February to April 1903 and moved on to Broadway in November, making the story more famous. In 1916, it was made into a silent film by Paramount, starring Ronald Colman as Heldar, and also with Muriel Angelus, Ida Lupino, and Walter Huston.
London, Bedford Square, Bloomsbury. House of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937).
Sources: Bob Lipton (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.
See Forbes-Robertson play Hamlet: YouTube and YouTube.
Hear Forbes-Robertson reciting Hamlet: Britannica, also YouTube (these are recordings from 1928, when the actor was 75).
French autograph card.
French postcard in the Acteurs Français series by Les Editions Gil, no. 5.
Passion of Love
Bernard René Giraudeau was born in 1947 in La Rochelle, France.
In 1963 the 15-years-old enlisted in the French navy as a trainee engineer, qualifying as the first in his class a year later. He completed two around the world cruises before his service ended. He served on the helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc in 1964–1965 and 1965–1966, and subsequently on the frigate Duquesne and the aircraft carrier Clemenceau before leaving the navy to try his luck as an actor.
He studied acting at the CNSAD (Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique). Giraudeau first appeared on film in the Franco-Italian crime film Deux hommes dans la ville/Two men in Town (José Giovanni, 1973) starring Jean Gabin and Alain Delon. He played a kidnapper in Revolver (Sergio Sollima, 1973) with Oliver Reed.
Two years later he had a supporting part in another crime drama by José Giovanni, Le Gitan/The Gypsy (José Giovanni, 1975), starring Alain Delon and Annie Girardot.
In 1977, he played the male lead in Bilitis (1977) directed by photographer David Hamilton with a music score by Francis Lai. The erotic and romantic coming-of-age drama starred Patti D'Arbanville as Bilitis. The film was shot in the soft-focus schmaltz style that was common of David Hamilton's at the time very popular photography.
Giraudeau also co-starred with Jodie Foster in the French film Moi, fleur bleue/Stop Calling Me Baby! (Eric le Hung, 1977). He co-starred again with Alain Delon in the futuristic war film Le Toubib/The Medic (Pierre Granier-Deferre, 1979), and appeared in the hit comedy Boum/The Party (Claude Pinoteau, 1980) with Sophie Marceau in her film debut.
Then followed his breakthrough as a handsome dashing officer who falls desperately in love with an ugly but passionate woman (Valeria d’Obici) in the Italian drama Passione d'amore/Passion of Love (Ettore Scola, 1981). The film was entered into the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and served as the inspiration for the 1994 Broadway musical Passion by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.
Soon followed leading roles in international films like the French-Swiss drama Hecate (Daniel Schmid, 1982) with Lauren Hutton, the French-Canadian crime film Le Ruffian/The Ruffian (José Giovanni, 1983) also starring Lino Ventura and Claudia Cardinale, and the French drama L'année des méduses/The Year of the Jellyfish (Christopher Frank, 1985) with Valérie Kaprisky.
Another box-office hit in France was the buddy-action film Les Spécialistes/The Specialists (Patrice Leconte, 1985). in which he co-starred with Gérard Lanvin. DB Dumonteil at IMDb: “A deft, energetic buddy movie interspersed with unexpected twists, suspenseful chases and stunts and a sharp humor into the bargain. Everything you could wish for to spend a comfortable evening in front of the telly without reservations. (…) One shouldn't forget the two main actors which contribute in making the film a little winner. Gérard Lanvin and Bernard Giraudeau are on top form.”
French autograph card. Photo: Luc Roux, Première. Publicity still for Rue barbare/Barbarous Street (Gilles Béhat, 1984).
French postcard by Les Editions Gil in the série acteurs, no. 3. Publicity still for Les Spécialistes/The Specialists (1985, Patrice Leconte) with Gérard Lanvin.
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
In 1987, Bernard Giraudeau made his first film as director the TV film La Face de l'ogre/The Face of the Monster (1988), though he continued to work as an actor.
He co-starred with Isabelle Huppert in the romance Après l'amour/Love After Love (Diane Kurys, 1992). In the drama Le Fils préferé/The Favourite Son (Nicole Garcia, 1994), he played the brother of Gérard Lanvin and Jean-Marc Barr.
Giraudeau appeared in the lauded historical drama Ridicule (Patrice Leconte, 1996), set in the 18th century at the decadent court of Versailles. The film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and received several César awards, but Giraudeau was only nominated for a Cesar as best Supporting Actor.
He played Molière in another historical film, Marquise (Véra Belmont, 1997) with Sophie Marceau and Lambert Wilson. In Italy he appeared in the drama Marianna Ucrìa (Roberto Faenza, 1997).
Back in France he starred in François Ozon’s drama Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes/Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000), based on a German play by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Tropfen auf heisse Steine, written when he was 19 years old. Elbert Ventura at AllMovie: “The movie has an undercurrent of absurdist humor, but its laughs are muffled for the most part, with the exception being an out-of-left-field dance number that injects some needed energy into the dour, claustrophobic story. Beautifully structured and meticulously filmed, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is clearly the work of an intelligent filmmaker.”
Also interesting is Une affaire de goût/A Question of Taste (Bernard Rapp, 2000). The film tells about the growing dependency between a rich CEO (Giraudeau) and a handsome young waiter (Jean-Pierre Lorit) whom the CEO hires at an astronomical sum to serve as a personal food taster. David Anderson at Bunched Undies: “A Matter of Taste is a well-executed film: excellent production, nicely photographed and well-acted. But by the time it’s over, like the principle characters, you may find yourself feeling a bit empty.” The film received 5 César Award nominations, including nominations for Best Film and for Giraudeau as Best Actor.
French postcard in the Collection 9.1/2 series by Editions Humour à la Carte, Paris, no. ST-63. Sent by mail in 2000.
As a writer, Bernard Giraudeau wrote the text of books of photography and published children's stories (Contes d'Humahuaca, 2002) and several novels. He was also the reader on the French audio books of the Harry Potter series.
Since 1976, he was married to actress and author Anny Duperey, whom he had met while acting in the same play. They acted together on-screen in several productions, including the crime drama Le grand pardon/Grand Pardon (Alexandre Arcady, 1982), Meurtres à domicile/Evil in the house (Marc Lobet, 1982), La face de l'ogre (Bernard Giraudeau, 1988), and Contre l'oubli/Against Oblivion (Bernard Giraudeau a.o., 1991). They divorced in 1993.
From 1996 to his death, he was the companion of Tohra Mahdavi. Giraudeau and Duperey had two children: son Gaël and daughter Sara. Sara Giraudeau achieved success as an actress.
In 2000 Bernard Giraudeau suffered a cancer which led to the removal of his left kidney, with a subsequent metastasis in 2005 affecting his lungs. He said that the cancer led him to re-evaluate his life and understand himself better.
He devoted some of his time to the support of cancer victims through the Institut Curie and the Institut Gustave-Roussy in Paris.
His later films included La petite Lili/Little Lili (Claude Miller, 2003), featuring Ludivine Sagnier, the comedy Ce jour-là/That Day (Raúl Ruiz, 2003), and the thriller Je suis un assassin/The Hook (Thomas Vincent, 2004) with François Cluzet and Karin Viard.
In 2010, Bernard Giraudeau died of his cancer in a Paris hospital. He was 63.
Trailer Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes/Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000). Source: Accent Film Entertainment (YouTube).
French trailer Une affaire de goût/A Question of Taste (2000). Source: jajuvabie (YouTube).
Sources: David Anderson (Bunched Undies), DB Dumonteil (IMDb), Elbert Ventura (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.
West-German postcard by Netter's Starverlag, Berlin, no. A 1201. Photo: Kopp-Filmverleih. Publicity still for Das Kreuz am Jägersteig/The Hunter's Cross (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1954).
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 5338. Sent by mail in the Netherlands in 1960. Photo: HAFBO-film. Publicity still for Wir Wunderkinder/Aren't We Wonderful? (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958) with Johanna von Koczian and Hansjörg Felmy.
Wera Frydtberg was born as Wera Friedberg in 1926 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Her father was a physician.
She studied acting with professor Neugebauer in Vienna. She made her theatrical debut in 1949 and became prominent in the Wirtschaftwunder cinema of the 1950s.
She made her film debut in a supporting part in the melodramatic Film Noir Die Sünderin/The Sinner (Willi Forst, 1951). In her role as a prostitute, leading star Hildegard Knefcreated a sensation with a brief nude scene.
The film drew the criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. Contrary to common believe in later years, at the time of the release the nude scene was not the main issue for the protests but the depiction of prostitution, euthanasia and suicide as a good or even logical way to act. The opposition reached the degree of banning the film and scandalising it which paradoxically made it one of the landmarks in the history of the German cinema.
In the following years, Frydtberg played supporting parts in several comedies and had a guest role in the American-German TV series Flash Gordon (1954) featuring Steve Holland as the space hero.
Frydtberg had her first leading role in the Heimatfilm Das Forsthaus in Tirol/The Forest House in Tyrol (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1955) opposite Helmuth Schneider.
Very popular was the charming and melancholic comedy Ich denke oft an Piroschka/I Often Think of Piroschka (Kurt Hoffmann, 1955), in which she co-starred with Liselotte Pulver as Piroschka and Gunnar Möller.
During a train journey, the writer Andreas nostalgically recalls a holiday trip he had made thirty years before in 1920s Hungary to the Lake Balaton area. While there he had enjoyed his first true romance with the daughter of the local stationmaster. The film is in the Heimatfilm tradition which was at its height when the film was released.
Other notable films with Frydtberg include the comedy Der Pauker/The Crammer (Axel von Ambesser, 1958), starring Heinz Rühmann, and Wir Wunderkinder/Aren't We Wonderful? (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958), with Johanna von Koczian and Hansjörg Felmy. The latter recounts the lives of two schoolmates, Hans Boeckel and Bruno Tiches from the fictional town of Neustadt an der Nitze, against the backdrop of German history in the first half of the 20th century.
Eleanor Mannikka at AllMovie: “A biting and effective semi-experimental film about Nazism in Germany, director Kurt Hoffmann tells the story in a long flashback, starting in 1913 and playing out like a silent movie on a small screen.” The film received numerous awards. Most notably, it won the Golden Globe for Best International Picture in 1960.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 984. Photo: Filmaufbau / Herzog-Film / Czerwonski. Publicity still for Sie/She (Rolf Thiele, 1954).
German postcard by Netter's Starverlag, Berlin, no. A 1205. Photo: Herzog Filmverleih. Publicity still for Sie/She (Rolf Thiele, 1954).
The Land of Smiles
During the 1960s, Wera Frydtberg focused more on TV and appeared in operetta adaptations as Der Vogelhändler/The Bird Seller (Kurt Wilhelm, 1960) and Das Land des Lächelns/The Land of Smiles (Kurt Wilhelm, 1961).
During her career, she also appeared extensively on stage in Vienna at the Akademie-Theater, the Kosmos-Theater and till 1962 at the Theater in der Josefstadt. In Germany she played guest parts at the Renaissance-Theater in Berlin, the Komödie Berlin, at the Kleine Komödie in Munich, at the Komödie Düsseldorf, at the Theater Die Kleine Freiheit in Munich and at the Schlosspark-Spielen Wiesbaden.
In the cinema, she appeared in such mediocre fare as the Austrian Schlagerfilm Sing, aber spiel nicht mit mir/Sing but don’t play with me (Kurt Nachmann, 1963) with Adrian Hoven.
More interesting was the drama Das Glück läuft hinterher/Happiness is running afterwards (Peter Beauvais, 1963), which follows the life of several different people in 1960s in Germany for a few days.
She guest-starred in popular Krimi series like Der Kommissar/The Commissioner (1972-1973) and Ein Fall für zwei/A case for two (1982).
Her final feature film was the comedy Mein Onkel Theodor oder Wie man viel Geld im Schlaf verdient/My uncle Theodor (Gustav Ehmck, 1975) with Gert Fröbe and Barbara Rütting. Her last screen appearance was in the Krimi series München 7/Munich 7 (2006).
Wera Frydtberg died 2008 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany at the age of 81. She was married to American immigrant and officer Otto Urbach till his death in 1976. They had one daughter, historian Karina Urbach.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 34/327, 1957. Photo: Real-Film. Publicity still for Die tolle Lola/The great Lola (Hans Deppe, 1954).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1061, 1965.
Sources: Eleanor Mannikka (AllMovie), Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-41. Photo: Arthur Grimm.
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-136. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann.
German collectors card by Lux.
German postcard by ISV, no. M 1. Photo: Europa-Film / List.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Singing and Dancing Duo
Lilli Palmer was born Lilli Marie Peiser in Posen, Germany (now Poznań, Poland) in 1914.
She was one of three daughters born to Dr. Alfred Peiser, a German Jewish surgeon, and Rose Lissman, an Austrian Jewish stage actress. Of her two sisters, older sister Irene Prador became an actress and singer in her own right.
When Lilli was four her family moved to Berlin-Charlottenburg. In addition to her native German, she grew up becoming fluent in French and English as well.
She studied drama from Ilka Grüning and Lucie Höflich in Berlin. There she made her stage debut at the Rose-Theater in 1932 and later appeared at the Hessischen Landestheater in Darmstadt, where she mainly played in comedies and as a soubrette in operettas.
Her first film was the French-German Ufa-production Les riveaux de la piste/Spoiling the Game (Serge de Poligny, 1932) starring Albert Préjean, in which she played a bit part.
After the Nazi takeover in 1933 her family fled to Paris. There Lilli and her sister Irene performed in cabarets as the singing and dancing duo Les Sœurs Viennoises.
Lilli attracted the attention of British talent scouts and was offered a contract by the Gaumont Film Company. She took her surname Palmer from an English actress she admired.
At Gaumont, she started co-starring in the B-mystery drama Crime Unlimited (Ralph Ince, 1935) opposite Esmond Knight and continued to appear in British films for the next decade.
She played a supporting part as a maid in Alfred Hitchcock’s espionage comedy Secret Agent (1936) and she rose to stardom in Britain with the action film The Great Barrier (Geoffrey Barkas, Milton Rosmer, 1937) about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Another success was the war film Thunder Rock (Roy Boulting, 1942), which starred Michael Redgrave as an anti-fascist journalist who retreats to Canada. Despite these film roles it was her stage career on which she concentrated during her British period.
British postcard by Art Card, no. 80. Photo: Gaumont-British. This card dates from the years Palmer played in Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent (1936), a Gaumont-British production, and The Great Barrier (Geoffrey Barkas, Milton Rosmer, 1937).
British postcard in the Colourgraph Series, no. C 288. Photo: Gaumont British.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W. 440. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 1071 b. Photo: Cannons.
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit. (Casa Edite. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze), no. 2105. Photo: Warner Bros. Warner produced Cloak and Dagger (Fritz Lang, 1946) and other Hollywood productions with Lilli Palmer.
In 1943, Lilli Palmer married actor Rex Harrison and the following year, their son was born, the later writer and director Carey Harrison. Palmer and Harrison starred together in the romantic drama The Rake's Progress (Sidney Gilliat, 1945).
That same year the family moved to Hollywood. Palmer signed with Warner Brothers and appeared in several films, starting with Cloak and Dagger (Fritz Lang, 1946) opposite Gary Cooper. She also appeared in the classic boxing film Body and Soul (Robert Rossen, 1947) starring John Garfield.
During their marriage, Rex Harrison had many affairs, including one with starlet Carole Landis, who committed suicide in 1948 in the wake of their failed relationship. The scandal nearly caused the end of the film careers of both Palmer and her ’Sexy Rexy’, as Harrison was known in the tabloids.
Palmer took the high road and came off the better for it in the public’s eye. She appeared in stage plays as well hosted her own television series, the (short-lived) The Lilli Palmer Show (1953).
Together with Harrison she performed on Broadway where they had a hit with the play Bell, Book and Candle. Later they also starred together in the film version of The Four Poster (Irving Reis, 1952), which was based on the award-winning Broadway play of the same name, written by Jan de Hartog.
Palmer won the Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) for Best Actress in 1953 for The Four Poster. She eventually called it quits, however, with both Harrison and Hollywood. She divorced from Harrison in 1956.
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 1979. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Fono Film / Ufa.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane', no. A 1065 A. Photo: Paramount.
German postcard by Ufa, Wanne-Eickel, no. 393. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC / NF-Film. Publicity still for Anastasia - Die letzte Zarentochter/Anastasia: The Czar's Last Daughter (Falk Harnack, 1956) with Ivan Desny.
With Carlos Thompson. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 4061. Photo: Joachim C. Jung / Ufa.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 1587. Photo: Gabriele / Bavaria / Schorcht. Publicity still for Eine Frau die weiss was Sie will/Mother of Pearl (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1958).
Argentine Matinee Idol
Lilli Palmer returned to Germany in 1954. Her first role in a German film was the part of a ringmaster in Kurt Hoffmann's Feuerwerk/Fireworks (1954) with Romy Schneider.
She often played in so-called ‘problem films’ and won the Deutscher Filmpreis for Best Actress for her performances in Teufel in Seide/Devil in Silk, (Rolf Hansen, 1955) and in Anastasia, die letzte Zarentochter/Anastasia: The Czar's Last Daughter (Falk Harnack, 1956).
When Palmer filmed Zwischen Zeit und Ewigkeit/Between Time and Eternity (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1956), she fell in love with her co-star, Argentine matinee idol Carlos Thompson. They married a year later.
During the following decades she continued to play both leading and supporting parts in Europe and the US. She starred opposite William Holden in The Counterfeit Traitor (George Seaton, 1962), a spy thriller based on fact, and opposite Robert Taylor in another true World War II story, Disney's Miracle of the White Stallions (Arthur Hiller, 1963).
She also played roles in many television productions, including in episodes of such popular Krimi series as Der Kommissar/The Inspector (1971) and Derrick (1974). In 1974 she also starred with John Mills in the British series The Zoo Gang (Sidney Hayers, John Hough, 1974), about a group of former underground freedom fighters from World War II.
Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: "The final decade and a half played out rather routinely with supporting roles in such films as diverse as Oedipus the King (1968), De Sade (1969), and The Boys from Brazil (1978)." She enjoyed one of her last roles in the acclaimed miniseries Peter the Great (Marvin J. Chomsky, Lawrence Schiller, 1986) starring Maximilian Schell. It earned her another Golden Globe Award nomination.
A talented writer, Palmer published a successful memoir, Dicke Lilli – gutes Kind (1974)/Change Lobsters and Dance (1975). She also wrote a full-length work of fiction presented as a novel rather than a memoir, Der rote Rabe (1977)/The Red Raven (1978). Four novels followed, while she also had success as a painter.
In 1974 she was awarded the Großes Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany), and in 1978, she won the Filmband in Gold for her long-time, exceptional work in German cinema.
Lilli Palmer was still married to Carlos Thompson when she died in Los Angeles from cancer in 1986. She was 71. Thompson committed suicide four years later back in his native Argentina.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 223, 1957. Photo: NDF / Schorcht. Publicity still for Feuerwerk/Fireworks (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress-Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 1271. Photo: Progress. Publicity still of Gérard Philipe and Lilli Palmer in Montparnasse 19/The Lovers of Montparnasse (Jacques Becker, Max Ophüls 1958), a biopic on the last year of painter Amedeo Modigliani.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1304, 1960. Photo: publicity still for Frau Warrens Gewerbe/Mrs. Warren's Profession (Ákos Ráthonyi, 1960).
East-German postcard by Progress, no. 1306, 1960. Photo: publicity still for Frau Warrens Gewerbe/Mrs. Warren's Profession (Ákos Ráthonyi, 1960) with Johanna Matz.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress, Berlin, no. 1897, 1964. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress. Publicity still for Julia, du bist Zauberhaft/Adorable Julia (Alfred Weidenmann, 1962) with Jean Sorel.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2993, 1967. Photo: Steffen.
German postcard by Progress, no. 2994, 1967. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: publicity still for Le voyage du père/Father's Trip (Denys de La Patellière, 1966) with Fernandel.
Trailer of Mädchen in Uniform (1958) with Romy Schneider. Source: 3DollarBillCinema (YouTube).
Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/4. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/5. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
One of the most prolific writers for the German silent film
German actress, writer and producer Hedda Vernon (1866-?) appeared in more than 60 films of the early silent period. During the 1910s she was such a popular film star that she got her own Hedda-Vernon serial. One of these productions was Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld was scripted by German scriptwriter Ruth Goetz, "one of the most prolific writers for film in Germany in the period 1916–1927, with about sixty-five titles including original scripts and adaptations credited to her name", as Mila Ganeva writes on the website Women Film Pioneers project.
Ganeva: "Ruth Goetz was the only woman featured in this special 1918 issue of the Berlin-based trade magazine Kinematograph edited by E.A. Dupont and devoted to the invisible work of scenarists. A year earlier, one of her scripts had been included as a model for aspiring writers in one of the first manuals compiled by Wilhelm Adler. The film based on this script, Noemi, die blonde Jüdin/Noemi, the Blond Jewess (1917), was directed by Hubert Moest and served primarily as a star vehicle for actress Hedda Vernon."
Director Hubert Moest was Hedda Vernon's husband from 1913 to 1920. After having acted together from 1913 on, he directed her in many films at the Eiko studio in the years 1914-1919.
In 1917-1918 many postcards for Vernon's films were released: Die Verworfenen, Die Narbe am Knie, Noemi, die blonde Jüdin (all 1917), and Puppchen, Fesseln, Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld, Mochy, Das Todesgeheimnis and Wo ein Wille, ist ein Weg (all 1918). All these films were directed by Moest.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/6. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/7. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/8. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).
Source: Women Film Pioneers Project; Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-line.de - German), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Liane Haid. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1732/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Csardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Hanns Schwarz, 1927). Collection: Didier Hanson.
Karina Bell. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2094/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Harry Piel. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3343/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Panik/Panic (Harry Piel, 1928).
Adolphe Menjou and Kathryn Carver. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3384/1. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Service for Ladies (Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, 1927).
Vilma Banky. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3482/2, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Collection: Joanna.
Alice Terry and Iván Petrovich. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3538/1. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927).
Ivor Novello. British postcard, no. 3865/1. Photo: FPS. At the backside: Real Hand-coloured Photograph.
Greta Nissen and Charles Farrell. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3917/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Fazil (Howard Hawks, 1928).
Lars Hanson. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3971/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.
Clive Brook. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4010/1. Photo: Defina / First National Pictures.
Bebe Daniels. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4811/1, 1929-1930. Photo: RKO Radio Pictures. Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.
Betty Amann and Ivan Mozzhukhin. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4871/1, 1930. Photo: Michael Powell / Ufa. Publicity still for Der Weisse Teufel/The White Devil (Alexandre Volkoff, 1930).
Gretl Theimer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5575/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Balázs.
Source: Mark Goffee (Ross Verlag Movie Star Postcards).
It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/1, 1926-1928. Photo: Schlosser & Wenisch. Signed: 'Sinceramente [Sincerely], Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/3, 1926-1928. Photo: Oertel, Berlin. Signed: 'Gentile signorina Susi Schuurmann, Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3342/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3435/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.
Angelo Ferrari was born in Fara Gera d’Adda in Lombardia, Italy in 1897. In 1913 and 1914, the young Ferrari became roll skate champion in Italy.
Thomas Staedeli at Cyranos: "Ferrari was spotted by the actress Diana Karenne". She provided the role of a prince for him in the silent film Sofia di Kravonia (Ernesto Maria Pasquali, 1916).
In the late 1910s, he continued with Italian silent films like La serata d'onore di Buffalo/The Gala Night for Buffalo (Carlo Campogalliani, 1916) and Il veliero della morte/The Veil of Death (Carlo Campogalliani, 1917). These films were all produced by the pioneering production company Pasquali Film.
After doing military service between 1916 and 1918, Ferrari worked with well-known director Augusto Genina on I tre sentimentali/The Three Sentimentals (1920), L'incatenata/The Chained Woman (1921) and Un punto nero/The Black Point (1922).
Ferrari starred with diva Francesca Bertini inthe drama La donna nuda/The Naked Woman (1922), based on a play by Henry Bataille. The film was directed by Roberto Roberti– Sergio Leone’s father,
With another Italian diva, Rina De Liguoro, he appeared in Savitri Satyavan (Giorgio Mannini, 1923). This was the first international co-production of India. The love-is-stronger-than-death story sees Savitri (De Liguoro), the daughter of King Ashwapati and a goddess, fall for Satyavan (Ferrari) who is destined to die within a year. He is killed by a tree and his soul is gathered by the god Yama (Gianna Terribili-Gonzales) but he returns to life and there is a happy ending for the lovers. Some nudity and other 'erotic' images were removed in India to satisfy the censors.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 107. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 115. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.
Italian postcard. Photo: UCI. Publicity still for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), based on Edmond Rostand's famous play Cyrano de Bergerac. Caption: the nice phrases of Christian he learned from Cyrano have conquered and seduced Roxane. Linda Moglia played Roxanne.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 740. Photo: Treuhand-Film / Mondial A.G. Publicity still for In Treue stark/In faithful strong (Heinrich Brandt, 1926) with Margarete Lanner.
Italian postcard, no. 338. Photo: S.A. Stefano Pittaluga. Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in Mein Leben für das Deine/Odette (Luitz-Morat, 1928), based on Victorien Sardou's play Odette, and released in Italy under the same title. Bertini had already played in 1916 in an Italian version of Odette and would do it again in the sound era in a French version of Odette (1935).
France, Germany, Italy
Angelo Ferrari appeared with Geneviève Félix in the French production L'engrenage/The gear (Maurice Kéroul, Max Reichmann, 1923) before gaining a foothold in the German film business.
His breakthrough role in Germany was as an elegant count in the drama Die grüne Manuela/The Green Manuela (Ewald André Dupont, 1923). The film's plot bears a number of similarities to Carmen. Lucie Labass played a gypsy dancer, who becomes involved with Spanish smugglers. It was the first time director Dupont worked with the cinematographer Werner Brandes and the art director Alfred Junge who were to become important collaborators with him.
In the silent German cinema, Ferrari acted in successful films like Prater (Peter Paul Felner, 1924) with Henny Porten, Die Motorbraut/The Motor Bride (Richard Eichberg, 1925) with Lee Parry, and the Kammerspiel Eifersucht/Jealousy (Karl Grune, 1925) opposite Lya de Putti.
He returned to Italy for another hit, Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1925), a film version of Edmond Rostand's famous play. He played the handsome Christian, who is eager to declare his love for the fair Roxanne (Linda Moglia), but he doesn't have the gift for words that Cyrano (Pierre Magnier) does.
In Germany he then appeared in dozens of films including Rosen aus dem Süden/Roses From the South (Carl Froelich, 1926) opposite Henny Porten, Orientexpress/Orient Express (Wilhelm Thiele, 1927 with Lil Dagover, and the comedy Kopf hoch, Charly!/Heads Up, Charley (Willi Wolff, 1927) with Marlene Dietrich in a supporting role.
Later followed Die Sünderin/The Sinner (Mario Bonnard, 1927) featuring Elisabeth Pinajeff, the German-Italian drama Villa Falconieri (Richard Oswald, 1928) with Maria Jacobini, and the war drama Richthofen (Peter Joseph, 1929). In his German films, Ferrari often played roles such as an officer, a marquis or a prince.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1376/1, 1927-1928.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3630/1, 1928-1929.
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5002. Photo: HPF / Micheluzzi-Verleih.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4064/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Schrecker, Berlin.
The Age of the Talkies
Angelo Ferrari’s first sound film was La donna di una notte/The Woman of One Night (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930) featuring the diva of the silent Italian cinema Francesca Bertini. It was an alternate language version of La femme d'une nuit (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930), also starring Bertini.
Because La donna di una notte was edited without his consent, director L'Herbier asked for his name to be removed from the credits. It was still released in Rome and Milan for Christmas of 1931 with his name still appearing.
In the age of the talkies, Ferrari continued to play in well-known German pictures like Barcarole (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1935), Fridericus (Johannes Meyer, 1936), Der Mann der Sherlock Holmes War/The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes (Karl Hartl, 1937) starring Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann, and Tango Notturno (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1937) featuring Pola Negri.
But his parts had become smaller because of his lack of the German language. During the 1940s, Ferrari appeared in more than 50 German films, mostly in small, sometimes even uncredited parts. Some of his films were finished and released after the end of war. The comedy Verlobte Leute/Engaged People, directed by Karl Anton and starring Axel von Ambesser, was filmed in 1945, but had its premiere in 1950 as Das Dementi in East-Germany.
Angelo Ferrari was already five years dead by then. After a stroke, he had died in Niederlehme, Germany in 1945, briefly before the end of World War II. He was 47. (Our sources differ about the details of his death. English Wikipedia e.g. writes that he died in Berlin in 1954, at the age of 66).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4848/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Ahrlé, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Oertel, Berlin.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Janiss Garza (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
I.F.P.A. postcard, no. 15.
German postcard by Terra-Color, no. F 130. Photo: Morris, Rome.
German postcard by Ufa, no. CK 67. Photo: Raymond Vainquel. Publicity still for Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956).
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 10. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto in the Artisti di Sempre series, no. 294.
The most beautiful toddler of Italy
Luigina Lollobrigida was born in the picturesque Italian mountain village Subiaco in 1927, as one of four daughters of a furniture manufacturer. At the age of 3, Luigina was already selected as the most beautiful toddler of Italy and in her youth she started to model.
She became an art student and made her film debut in an uncredited bit role in the adventure film Aquila nera/The Black Eagle Returns (Riccardo Freda, 1946) starring Rossano Brazzi.
In 1947, she entered the Miss Italia pageant and came in third. The contest was won by Lucia Boséand second was Gianna Maria Canale. Both also became film actresses, though not nearly as successful as Lollobrigida.
Gina Lollobrigida was discovered by director Mario Costa who gave her a small part as a girlfriend of Adina (Nelly Corradi) in the opera adaptation L’elisir d’amore/Elixir of Love (Mario Costa, 1946).
Lollobrigida started to model as Diana Loris for the Fotoromanzi, the popular Italian photo novels.
She got her first bigger film part in another opera film, Pagliacci/Love of a Clown - Pagliacci (Mario Costa, 1948), co-starring with one of the greatest Italian baritones, Tito Gobbi. The film, based on Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci recounts the tragedy of Canio (Afro Poli), the lead clown (or pagliaccio in Italian) in a Commedia dell'arte troupe, his wife Nedda (Lollobrigida), and her lover,
When Nedda spurns the advances of Tonio (also Gobbi), another player in the troupe, he tells Canio about Nedda's betrayal. In a jealous rage, Canio murders both Nedda and Silvio. Lollobrigida's singing in this film was dubbed.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 29 F. Offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane. Photo: Sam Lévin. Publicity still for Fanfan la Tulipe/Fan-Fan the Tulip (Christian Jacque, 1952).
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 325. Photo: Sam Lévin. Publicity still for Les belles de nuit/Beauties of the Night (René Clair, 1952).
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 1748. Photo: publicity still for Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953).
Yugoslavian postcard by NPO, no. G5. Photo: pubicity still for Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953).
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 187. Photo: Ponti / De Laurentiis. Publicity still for La provinciale/The Wayward Wife (Mario Soldati, 1953).
Gina Lollobtrigida's first major success as a leading lady was in Miss Italia/My Beautiful Daughter (Duilio Coletti, 1950), a backstage drama set at a beauty contest.
It was followed by the delightful comedy Vita da cani/A Dog's Life (Mario Monicelli, Steno, 1950) with Aldo Fabrizi, and the award winning crime drama La città si difende/Four Ways Out (Pietro Germi, 1951), based on a script by Federico Fellini.
In France she co-starred with Gérard Philipe in the hugely entertaining melange of swash-buckling adventure, comedy and romance Fanfan la Tulipe/Fan-Fan the Tulip (Christian Jacque, 1952) and in Les Belles de Nuit/Beauties of the Night (René Clair, 1952).
James Travers at Films de France: "As French matinee idol Gérard Philipe is propelled through history and cardboard Freudian dreamscapes, into the arms of such beauties as Martine Carol and Gina Lollobrigida, (director René) Clair appears to have all but lost his tenuous grip on reality (the scene with the dinosaur confirms it) - but who cares? This is a film which, like Clair’s earlier comic masterpieces, is intended to distract and entertain, and it does that marvellously and unashamedly."
Gina Lollobrigida had her definitive breakthrough with the huge global hit Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953), in which she starred with Vittorio De Sica.
This romantic comedy was nominated in the U.S. for an Oscar, and Lollobrigida herself received in Great Britain a nomination at BAFTA. The success led to three sequels, including Pane, amore e gelosia/Bread, Love and Jealousy (Luigi Comencini, 1954).
Her first American film was Beat the Devil (John Huston, 1953). She was at her best as Humphrey Bogart's wife in this odd but endearing noiresque comedy.
Next she earned her nickname ‘The World's Most Beautiful Woman’ for her signature film La donna più bella del mondo (Robert Z. Leonard, 1956), in which she played the legendary actress Lina Cavalieri.
For her role in this film she received the first David di Donatello for Best Actress. Her earthy looks and short 'tossed salad' hairdo were quite influential, and in fact there's a type of curly lettuce named 'Lollo' in honour of her cute hairdo. (In France 'Lollo's' were a nickname for breasts).
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 29 F. Offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), Paris, no. 360. Photo: Sam Lévin.
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, no. 354. Photo: Herbert Fried / Ufa. Publicity still for Notre Dame de Paris (1956).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2/72. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 56/72. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).
Gina Lollobrigida made another Hollywood appearance in the circus melodrama Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956) between Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
Next she starred as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956) opposite Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo.
In 1959 she lured Yul Brynner in the Biblical epic Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor, 1959).
One of her most popular Hollywood films was Come September (Robert Mulligan, 1961), in which she played the never-contented mistress of Rock Hudson. For this lightweight comedy she won the Golden Globe as 'World Film Favorite'.
She co-starred again with Hudson in Strange Bedfellows (Melvin Frank, 1965) and in 1968 she starred in the enjoyable screwball comedy Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (Melvin Frank, 1968), for which she was again nominated for a Golden Globe and won a David di Donatello award, the Italian Oscar.
On TV, Gina Lollobrigida was seen in the mini series Le Avventure di Pinocchio/The Adventures of Pinocchio (Luigi Comencini, 1972).
She retired from acting in the mid-1970s, but has occasionally returned for the camera, including in a regular role in the American soap opera Falcon Crest (1984).
She has used her celebrity to sell cosmetics, published two books of her photography, Italia (My Italy, 1973) and Wonder of Innocence (1994), and created sculptures.
In the mid-1970s she wrote, directed and produced Ritratto di Fidel/Portrait of Fidel, a very personal 50-minute documentary about Fidel Castro that included a rare interview with the Cuban dictator, fuelling persistent rumours that a romance was sparked.
In 1986, she was the head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival, and in 1999 she ran for a seat in the European Union Parliament, stressing humanitarian issues, but she lost the election.
Now virtually retired, Gina Lollobrigida has not made a film appearance since XXL (Ariel Zeitoun, 1997) with Gérard Depardieu.
Gina Lollobrigida was married once, to Slovenian physician Milko Skofic, in 1949. Skofic gave up his practise to become her manager. They had one child, Milko Skofic, Jr., born in 1957, and the couple divorced in 1971. In 1993 her grandson Dimitri was born.
Lollobrigida has lived since 1949 at her home ranch and gardens in Sicily. The property contains her personal museum. In addition, she regularly stays at her house on Via Appia Antica in Rome and at a villa in Monte Carlo. Since 2009 Lollobrigida has not allowed visitors to her home. In 2013, Lollobrigida sold her jewelry collection through Sotheby's. She donated nearly $5 million to benefit stem cell therapy.
Next to her Golden Globe, Lollobrigida has won 6 David di Donatello, 2 Nastro d'Argento, and 6 Bambi Awards. In 1985 she was nominated as an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang for her achievements in sculpture and in photography. In 1992 she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by president François Mitterrand.
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof (Ufa), no. CK-157. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Camerapress.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/135. Photo: Universal / Ufa.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/129. Photo: Terb Agency / Ufa. Publicity still for Come September (Robert Mulligan, 1961) with Rock Hudson.
Italian postcard by Edizioni Panini, Modena (EPM). Photo: Sampaolofilm / Cinepat. Publicity still for Le avventure di Pinocchio/The Adventures of Pinocchio (Luigi Comencini, 1972) with Andrea Balestri. Caption: The Fairy and the boy Pinocchio.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/56. Photo: Farabola.
Sources: James Travers (Film de France), NNDB, Andrea LeVasseur (AllMovie), kd haisch (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano, 1938. Photo: Tirrenia Film.
Italian postcard by Fotoluxardo, Roma. Publicity card for Melloni textiles, Bologna.
Ancient provincial aristocracy
Elsa De Giorgi was born Elsa Giorgi Alberti in 1914 in Pesaro. Her family was of ancient provincial aristocracy, the Giorgi Alberti’s, nobles of Bevagna and Camerino, patricians of Spoleto.
At the age of almost 18, she participated in a photographic competition. She was discovered by film director Mario Camerini, who offered her the role of the protagonist in T'amerò sempre/I will always love you (1933). In this film, a girl (De Giorgi) gives birth to a daughter but the father, a playboy (Mino Doro), has dumped her. Years after, they meet again, but there is also the girl’s colleague, an accountant (Nino Besozzi).
After this film debut, titles followed like the comedy L'impiegata di papà/Dad's clerk (Alessandro Blasetti, 1934) with Memo Benassi, the drama Porto/Port (Amleto Palermi, 1934) with Irma Grammatica and Camillo Pilotto, and Teresa Confalonieri/Loyalty of Love (Guido Brignone, 1934) with Marta Abba.
In the Luigi Pirandello adaptation Ma non è una cosa seria/But It's Nothing Serious (Mario Camerini, 1937) and La mazurca di papà/Daddy's mazurca (Oreste Biancoli 1938), she co-starred with Vittorio De Sica, and in La signora Paradiso (Enrico Guazzoni 1937), she had the lead role opposite Mino Doro and Memo Benassi.
Towards and during the war, De Giorgi often played in period pieces. This started with the lead role as Desirée Clary, Napoleon’s beloved in La sposa dei re/The Bride of the Kings (Duilio Coletti 1938) with Augusto Marcacci as Napoleon Bonaparte.
Other historical films with her are Il fornaretto di Venezia/The Fornaretto of Venice (Duilio Coletti, 1939) starring Roberto Villa as the unjustly accused, Capitan Fracassa/Captain Fracasse (Duilio Coletti, 1940) with Giorgio Costantini and Osvaldo Valenti, Fra' Diavolo/The Adventures of Fra Diavolo (Luigi Zampa, 1942) with Enzo Fiermonte, and La locandiera/The Innkeeper (Luigi Chiarini, 1944) starring Luisa Ferida.
In several of the wartime films De Giorgi was not allowed to have her own voice, and it was mainly Lydia Simoneschi who dubbed her.
Italian postcard by Stab. Angeli, Terni, Ditta Terzoli, Roma, no. 333 Photo: Gneme.
Notorious Love Letters
Elsa De Giorgi had a prolific career in the Italian cinema under Mussolini, but her anti-fascism (notable is her description in her book I coetanei of her quarrel with Fascist minister Alessandro Pavolini) did not make her love acting in the regime’s films. Instead, she preferred working for the theatre.
In the post-war era, she would mostly perform on stage with directors such as Giorgio Strehler and Luchino Visconti. In 1949 Visconti called her to be Helen of Troy in his staging of William Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida at the Boboli gardens in Florence, during the Maggio Musicale. In 1957 she played Madame Roland in Giacobini by Federico Zardi, staged at the Teatro Piccolo in Milan by Giorgio Strehler.
She was married to resistance fighter and war hero, Count Sandrino Contini Bonacossi, who was the wealthy son of a renowned art merchant. In the second half of the 1950s and during her marriage with the Florentine aristocrat, she had a relationship with the writer Italo Calvino, described in her book Ho visto partire il tuo treno (I've Seen Your Train Leaving, 1992).
In 1955 she published I coetanei, a public diary with many references to the partisan struggle (with a tribute to her husband Sandrino) and to the Roman cinema of the period around the war. It won her the Premio Viareggio but it also lead to her relationship with Calvino, who was text editor for her book.
In the early sixties, she collaborated as theatre critic to the Roman paper Il Pensiero Nazionale.
She had a small part in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s short film La ricotta (1963). In 1975, she interpreted Ms. Maggi, one of the narrators of Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma/Salò, or the 120 days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975).
Her final screen credit was in the Alberto Sordi comedy Assolto per aver commesso il fatto/Acquitted for Having Committed the Deed(Alberto Sordi, 1993) in which she appeared briefly as a countess. Elsa De Giorgi died in Rome in 1997. She was 83.
In 2004, fragments were published of the some 400 (love) letters, which Italo Calvino wrote to her in the years of their affair (1955-1958) and which were kept by the University of Pavia. De Giorgi had sold the love letters to the archive in 1994, with the condition that they would not be opened for the following 25 years.
Still, a journalist could not wait and published excerpts in the Corriere della Sera, proving thus that the restrained, ironic writer had been a wildly passionate lover. Calvino’s widow, Chichita Calvino, was not amused and tried to prevent further publications. It also sparked a fierce debate between left and right on culture & politics and ownership of the media.
Furthermore, it became clear that Sandrino Contini Bonacossi, Elsa’s husband, who had suddenly disappeared in 1955 and was suspected of financial malversations, had instead left because he could not stand the triangular affair anymore. Afterwards he would divorce De Giorgi and disinherit her. Possibly this was the reason why De Giorgi eventually sold the letters in 1994.
In 1975, Sandrino Contini Bonacossi hung himself in New York. This seems to have no connection with De Giorgi’s affair with Calvino. In her book L'eredità Contini-Bonacossi, De Giorgi reconstructed the mysterious affair of clandestine export of art works, which had her husband as the main victim.
After his affair with Elsa De Giorgi, Italo Calvino wrote several novels with aristocrats in the title, such as The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the Trees, and The Nonexistent Knight. De Giorgi claimed that the titles refer to her unfortunate husband and to her affair of Calvino, but this has been contested. While Elsa’s career dwindled, Calvino’s fame grew.
Italo Calvino died in 1985, twelve years before Elsa De Giorgi. After her death in 1997, the university of Pavia also acquired the 6000 volumes library of De Giorgi and her husband.
Italian postcard by Rizzoli, 1939.
Italian postcard by Rizzoli, 1940. Photo: Venturini.
Sources: John Hooper (The Guardian), Biblioteca universitaria di Pavia (Italian), Frankfurter Algemeine (German), Wikipedia (Italian and English), and IMDb.