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Articles on this Page
- 10/28/17--23:00: _Germaine Dermoz
- 10/29/17--23:00: _David Farrar
- 10/30/17--23:00: _Valérie Lagrange
- 10/31/17--23:00: _Georg Thomalla
- 11/01/17--23:00: _Der Ring der drei W...
- 11/02/17--23:00: _Hilde Wörner
- 11/03/17--23:00: _Edition Pathé Frère...
- 11/04/17--23:00: _Romuald Joubé
- 11/05/17--22:00: _Henry Stuart
- 11/06/17--22:00: _Hermann Vallentin
- 11/07/17--22:00: _Anny Duperey
- 11/08/17--22:00: _Brad Harris (1933-2017
- 11/09/17--22:00: _Romanticismo (1915)
- 11/10/17--22:00: _Editions Pathé Frèr...
- 11/11/17--22:00: _Karin Dor (1938-2017)
- 11/12/17--22:00: _We were at the Inte...
- 11/13/17--22:00: _We were at the Inte...
- 11/14/17--22:00: _Claude France
- 11/15/17--22:00: _Guglielmo Oberdan, ...
- 11/16/17--22:00: _Massilia
- 11/17/17--22:00: _Erika Remberg (1932...
- 11/18/17--22:00: _Evi Kent
- 11/19/17--22:00: _Roldano Lupi
- 11/20/17--22:00: _Annie Vernay
- 11/21/17--22:00: _Katja Riemann
- 10/28/17--23:00: Germaine Dermoz
- 10/29/17--23:00: David Farrar
- 10/30/17--23:00: Valérie Lagrange
- 10/31/17--23:00: Georg Thomalla
- 11/01/17--23:00: Der Ring der drei Wünsche (1918)
- 11/02/17--23:00: Hilde Wörner
- 11/03/17--23:00: Edition Pathé Frères (1)
- 11/04/17--23:00: Romuald Joubé
- 11/05/17--22:00: Henry Stuart
- 11/06/17--22:00: Hermann Vallentin
- 11/07/17--22:00: Anny Duperey
- 11/08/17--22:00: Brad Harris (1933-2017
- 11/09/17--22:00: Romanticismo (1915)
- 11/10/17--22:00: Editions Pathé Frères (2)
- 11/11/17--22:00: Karin Dor (1938-2017)
- 11/12/17--22:00: We were at the International Collectors Fair
- 11/13/17--22:00: We were at the International Collectors Fair, Part 2
- 11/14/17--22:00: Claude France
- 11/15/17--22:00: Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (1915)
- 11/16/17--22:00: Massilia
- 11/17/17--22:00: Erika Remberg (1932-2017)
- 11/18/17--22:00: Evi Kent
- 11/19/17--22:00: Roldano Lupi
- 11/20/17--22:00: Annie Vernay
- 11/21/17--22:00: Katja Riemann
French postcard in the Nos artistes dans leur loge series, no. 210. Photo: Comoedia. While this card shows a spelling of 'Dermos' with an -s in the caption and the signature, identical cards show a caption with 'Dermoz' with a -z. No trace of any actress with the name of Germaine Dermos can be found, so this has to be Dermoz.
Crossing the Andes on the back of a donkey
Germaine Dermoz was born as Germaine Deluermoz in 1888 in Paris. She was the younger sister of Jeanne Delvourmoz, aka Jeanne Delvair (1877-1949), actress at the Comédie-Française. Their brother was animal painter Henri Deluermoz (1876-1943), illustrator, among others, of one of the first French editions of Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
Germaine acted on stage with Gabrielle Réjane and stayed with Réjane’s troupe between 1907 and 1909. She also acted with Firmin Gémier. Her many theatrical tours led her, before the First World War, as far as Argentine and Russia.
Dermoz recounts in her memoirs the perilous conditions in which one day she and her comrades had to cross the Cordillera of the Andes on the back of a donkey, on the side of a mountain on narrow paths, resigning themselves to throwing a part of their costumes on the snowy slopes. In St. Petersburg, she played before Tsar Nicholas II and suffered the first shots of the October 1917 revolution. Contrary to some assertions, she never belonged to the Comédie-Française.
In 1908, Dermoz acted in the Gaumont film Méprise/Misunderstanding (Maurice de Féraudy, 1908), followed by a few more shorts by Maurice de Féraudy. Soon she would also play in films by Pathè, Éclair and Eclipse. She was especially active in the historical genre, such as in Dragonnades sous Louis XIV/The Dragoons Under Louis XIV (1909), Beethoven (1909) with Harry Baur, Eugénie Grandet (1910), and Le roi Philippe le Bel et les templiers/King Philip the Fair and the Templars (1910), which were all directed by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset for Éclair.
She also appeared in La mort du duc d'Enghien en 1804/The Death of the Duke D'Enghien (Albert Capellani, 1909), La fin d'un tyran/The end of a tyrant (Georges Le Faure, 1909), and La duchesse de Langeais/The Duchess of Langeais (André Calmettes, 1910), for Pathé, and L'assassinat d'Henri III/An Eye for an Eye; or, The Last Days of King Henry III of France (Henri Desfontaines, Louis Mercanton, 1911), Olivier Cromwell (Henri Desfontaines, 1911) with Jules Berry, and Milton (Henri Desfontaines, 1911) for Eclipse.
After the Éclair film Le mystère de Notre-Dame de Paris/The Mystery of the Notre-Dame Bridge (Emile Chautard, Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, 1912), Dermoz mostly acted in Pathé productions. Several were directed by Adrien Caillard, such as Les trois sultanes/The Three Sultans (1912), Zaza (1913), an adaptation of the play by Pierre Berton and Charles Simon, and L'héritage de Cabestan/Harding's Heritage (1913).
At Pathé, Dermoz often acted together with Henri Étievant and Jeanne Grumbach, as in L’absent/A Dutch Love Story (Albert Capellani, 1913), and Le petit Jacques/Little Jack (Georges Monca, 1913).
French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
A feminist manifesto and typical avant-garde production
After 1914, Germaine Dermoz took a break of the set. During the First World War, Pathé drastically reduced fiction film production. In 1918 Dermoz returned with the Pathé film La masque de l’amour/The Mask of Love (René Plaisetty, 1918) with Mévisto and Jeanne Grumbach, and she had the female lead in the Honoré de Balzac adaptation La marâtre/The stepmother (Jacques Grétillat, 1918).
Other adaptations followed such as L'énigme/The riddle (Jean Kemm, 1918) after Paul Hervieu,Fanny Lear (Robert Boudrioz, Jean Manoussi, 1919), after the play by Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac, Les cinq gentlemen maudits/Five Doomed Gentlemen (Luitz-Morat, Pierre Régnier, 1920) after André Reuze, Petit ange/Little Angel (Luitz-Morat, Pierre Régnier, 1920) after Alfred Vercourt and with Régine Dumien.
If it were necessary to point out a single film of that period, though, it would undoubtedly be the masterpiece of Germaine Dulac, La souriante Madame Beudet/The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923), a feminist manifesto and typical avant-garde production. The film deals with an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage with a man (Alexandre Arquillière), who always points an unloaded revolver at his head for fun. Sick of him, she loads the gun, but repents and tries to empty the gun. Yet, the man seizes the gun first and points it at her.
In her memoirs, Dermoz recounts the apprehension that had seized her when the film was broadcast forty years later on French television and surprised to find that her play did not have the dreaded exaggeration and grotesque that characterised a part of silent film acting.
After the female lead in the operetta film La course du flambeau/The Torch Race (Luitz-Morat, 1925), which she had performed on stage in 1907, Dermoz’s silent film career ended. Between the two wars, she preferred to devote herself almost exclusively to the theatre. She played on the biggest Parisian stages, and enjoyed successes in contemporary plays by André Josset, Henri-René Lenormand, Charles de Peyret-Chappuis and Jean Cocteau.
In 1938, Germaine Dermoz created the character of Yvonne in Les Parents terribles by Jean Cocteau, with Gabrielle Dorziat and the very young Jean Marais. The play was directed by former actress Alice Cocéa, and performed at the Théâtre des Ambassadeurs in Paris. Dermoz replaced almost instantly Yvonne de Bray for whom the role had been written but who, because of a serious heart problem, was no longer able to play.
Belgian postcard for the Ghent cinema Rex. Photo: publicity still for La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (René Sti, 1934) with Germaine Dermoz as Jeanne Fortier.
Belgian postcard for the Ghent cinema Rex. Photo: publicity still for La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (René Sti, 1934) with Germaine Dermoz as Jeanne. Caption: "Follow me Jeanne, soon I'll be rich". Collection: Didier Hanson.
An innocently imprisoned woman
Germaine Dermoz led a more relaxed film career, accepting shooting proposals only if they did not compromise her commitments to the theatre. When sound film set in in France she returned to the film set for supporting parts in Jacques de Baroncelli’s Alphonse Daudet adaptation L'Arlésienne (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1930), starring Blanche Montel, and Le rêve/The Dream (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1931) after Émile Zola.
Dermoz had the lead as Madame Kampf in Le bal/The Ball (Wilhelm Thiele, 1931), in which she played a middle-class woman who just like her husband (André Lefaur) turns into a snob when an inheritance looms. Their daughter (Danielle Darrieux in her first film role) torpedoes the plans when she throws all the invitations to the ball her parents organise in the Seine. The film was shot in a German version too by Thiele, Der Ball.
After the court case drama Le crime du chemin rouge/The Crime of the Red Road (Jacques Séverac, 1933), in which a lawyer (Marcel Vibert) suspects his wife (Dermoz) of murder, Dermoz had an endearing part in La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (René Sti, 1934), as an innocently imprisoned woman, who after twenty years of hard labour, evades and goes to Paris where she survives as bread peddler. She finds back her children one by one, after which she unmasks the culprit, Jacques Garaud (Jacques Grétillat).
By now Dermoz often played mature roles, as Annabella’s meddling mother in Les nuits moscovites/Moscow Nights (Alexis Granowsky, 1934), the wife of Fernand Charpin in the Mauriac adaptation Les anges noirs/The Black Angels (Willy Rozier, 1937), the wife of Raimu in Le héros de la Marne/Heroes of the Marne (André Hugon, 1938), Maria de Medici in Remontons les Champs-Élysées (Sacha Guitry, 1938), the mother of Katia Lova in La vie est magnifique/Life is magnificent (Maurice Cloche, 1939), the mother of Jean Chévrier in the smugglers drama Andorra ou les hommes d’airain/Andorra or the Bronze Men (Émile Couzinet, 1942), and Raymond Rouleau’s mother and Constant Rémy’s wife in Monsieur des Lourdines (Pierre de Hérain, 1943) after Chateaubriant.
After the war, Germaine Dermoz was Queen Anne of Austria in Monsieur Vincent (Maurice Cloche, 1947) on St. Vincent de Paul, played by Pierre Fresnay. In the comedy Le Rosier de Madame Husson/The Rosier of Madame Husson (Jean Boyer, 1950), after Guy de Maupassant’s classic tale, she leads a group of charitable ladies searching for a chaste girl, who will win a big sum of money. By lack of a chaste female they select a man (Bourvil), who, though, proves to be weak against female seductions.
In Poil de carotte/Carrot Top (Paul Mesnier, 1952), she was the ill-doing, hateful mother of the protagonist (Christian Simon). After a few minor parts, Dermoz almost made full circle with her early historical films when playing Catherine de Medici in Si Versailles m’était conté/If Paris Were Told to Us (Sacha Guitry, 1955), though two more minor parts followed. Dermoz’s last film part was in the spy comedy L'Honorable Stanislas, agent secret/The Reluctant Spy (Jean-Charles Dudrumet, 1963) as the mother of Stanislas (Jean Marais). Her stage career had already ended in the mid-1950s.
After a first marriage, Germaine Dermoz married in second wedding the actor Jean Galland, whom she then divorced. From her first marriage, Germaine Dermoz had a daughter, Claude, and from her second, another daughter, Anne-Marie. She was also, by her first marriage, the aunt by marriage of the actress Annabella, called "Zette" for the intimates, with whom she maintained affectionate ties until the end of her life. The journalist Hélène Lazareff, comedian Noël Roquevert and his wife, and the actress Paulette Noizeux were among the close friends of Germaine Dermoz.
Germaine Dermoz died in 1966 in Paris.
Belgian postcard for the Ghent cinema Rex. Photo: publicity still for La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (René Sti, 1934) with Germaine Dermoz as Jeanne. Caption: "Our father who art in heaven". Collection: Didier Hanson.
Belgian postcard for the Ghent cinema Rex. Photo: publicity still for La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (René Sti, 1934) with Germaine Dermoz. Caption: "Father, bless me". Collection: Didier Hanson.
Source: Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 179. Photo: Warner.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. W 462. Photo: London Films.
800 fan letters a week
David Farrar was born in 1908 in Forest Gate, East London. At 12, he had his first stage role in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. He dropped out of school at 14.
He began his career with a stint at journalism at the Morning Advertiser newspaper. Then he started to act on stage. He met his wife, Irene Elliot, in 1926 when he was playing the title role on stage in David Copperfield. They married in 1929.
In 1930 he took over the lead in The Wandering Jew in the West End, bringing notices that immediately established him as one of the most promising young leading men in the West End. With his wife he ran a repertory company until he entered films in 1937.
In the enjoyable adventure tale Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (George King, 1938) he was Granite Grant, an agent on the track of the crime organisation Black Quorum. He had big parts in Quota Quickies and small parts in big films like Went the Day Well? (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942).
He starred in Ealing's semi-documentary about the Air-Sea Rescue Service, For Those in Peril (Charles Crichton, 1944). Farrar then played Sexton Blake twice in the low-budget thrillers Meet Sexton Blake (John Harlow, 1944) and The Echo Murders (John Harlow, 1945), which were enormously popular. By 1945 he was receiving 800 fan letters a week. He also made several poor films at British National, including Lisbon Story (Paul L.Stein, 1946).
In the classic Black Narcissus (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1947), he played the district agent who - clothed only in khaki shorts - stirs up sexual tensions in a Himalayan convent. Black Narcissus achieved acclaim for its pioneering technical mastery and shocked audiences at the time of release with its vibrant colour and the themes of the film. The film won two Oscars.
For the writer-producer-director team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger he also played the lame bomb-disposal expert in The Small Back Room (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1948) and the swaggering squire in Gone to Earth (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1950) with Jennifer Jones.
He also starred for Ealing in Frieda (Basil Dearden, 1947) as the officer who brings home a German wife (Mai Zetterling), and Cage of Gold (Basil Dearden, 1950) opposite Jean Simmons. In Cage of Gold, he had argued successfully with the producer Michael Balcon that he be allowed to play the villain rather than the less colourful hero. In 1949 exhibitors voted him the ninth-most popular British star.
West-German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 197. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
British postcard in the Celebrity Autographs Series, no. 134. Photo: Republic. Publicity still for Lilacs in the Spring (Herbert Wilcox, 1954).
Hollywood came a-calling
David Farrar’s brooding good looks and deep, rich baritone won him legions of female fans in Europe and also in the USA. Hollywood came a-calling and he moved to the Universal studios where he became a contract player.
And although he enjoyed the money, glamour and star treatment, his Hollywood adventure declined his career into supporting and mainly villainous roles in undistinguished adventure and costume pictures, such as The Golden Horde (George Sherman, 1951) with Ann Blyth, and The Black Shield of Falworth (Rudolph Maté, 1954), starring Tony Curtis.
Wikipedia: “Director Michael Powell once spoke of his handsome appearance and distinctive ‘violet eyes’, and his exceptional timing in films. Powell also stated that had Farrar been more interested in cinema and cared more about his career he could have been a much more high-profile actor, as successful as any.”
After playing the Egyptian Pharaoh in Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor, 1959) featuring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida, he returned to England somewhat embittered by his Hollywood experience. He was determined to do better in his own country's film industry, but he couldn't regain the momentum he had before he left for Hollywood.
His final films were the Irish production The Webster Boy (Don Chaffey, 1962) with Richard O’Sullivan, and the historical epic The 300 Spartans (Rudolph Maté, 1962) in which he played the small part as King Xerxes of Persia. Farrar retired from the cinema in 1962 when he was just over 50.
Brian McFarlane in Encyclopedia of British Film: “He retired unwilling to play 'the heroine's father' as he did in Beat Girl (Edmond T.Gréville, 1960), depriving British cinema of an interesting mix of sneering authority and sensitivity”. He went to work for television.
After the death of his wife Irene in 1976, he moved to South Africa to be with their daughter, Barbara, and retired from acting. David Farrar died in 1995 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 10 days after his 87th birthday.
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 519. Photo: Archer Film Productions.
Trailer Black Narcissus (1947). Source: ryy79 (YouTube).
Sources: Tom Vallance (Independent), Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Richard Lamparski (Powell-Pressburger.or), David Stout (The New York Times), Wikipedia, and IMDb.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 84. Photo: Sam Lévin.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/140. Photo: Gérard Decaux.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 268. Photo: Sam Lévin.
Valérie Lagrange was born as Danielle Charaudeau in Paris, France in 1942.
She made her film debut in La Jument verte/The Green Mare (Claude Autant-Lara, 1959) at the side of the famous comedian Bourvil. Many scenes of this film take place in a barn (in French: grange) and that’s why she was renamed Valérie Lagrange.
She was influenced by the new music that arrived from the US like the rock and roll of Elvis Presley. She made several records, including the hit songs La Guérilla by Serge Gainsbourg, Encore un jour de notre amour and Le Même jour by Francis Lai and Pierre Barouh.
She listened to protest songs by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and discovered the Rhythm and Blues by Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding.
Meanwhile she appeared in films like Le Gigolo/The Gigolo (Jacques Deray, 1960) with Alida Valli, the anthology film La Francaise et l’amour/Love and the Frenchwoman (Michel Boisrond, 1960), and the Italian Swashbuckler Morgan il pirata/Morgan, the Pirate (André De Toth, Primo Zeglio, 1960) opposite Steve Reeves.
Later she played in the Arthur Schnitzler adaptation La Ronde/Circle of Love (Roger Vadim, 1964), in the Swashbuckler Hardi Pardaillan!/The Gallant Musketeer (Bernard Borderie, 1964) opposite Gérard Barray, and with Jean-Paul Belmondo in Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine/Up to His Ears (Philippe de Broca, 1965).
Lagrange also performed on stage in Othello (1963) and Le Misanthrope (1964), and she posed for the first edition of men’s magazine Lui in November 1963.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. FK 109 A, presented by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Ufa.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2960, 1967. Photo: publicity still for Hardi Pardaillan!/The Gallant Musketeer (Bernard Borderie, 1964).
East-German postcard by Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 2961, 1967. Photo: publicity still for Hardi Pardaillan!/The Gallant Musketeer (Bernard Borderie, 1964) with Gérard Barray.
In 1966 director Claude Lelouch offered her a role in his Oscar winning drama Un homme et une femme/A Man and a Woman, and the following year Jean-Luc Godard cast her for his classic Week End/Week-end (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967). She also appeared in the Petronius adaptation Satyricon (Gian Luigi Polidoro, 1968).
After May 1968, she retired from the mainstream show business. She mixed in the hippie culture and in 1970 she recorded the first French Reggae song, Si ma chanson pouvait (1970). She went to New Guinea to play in the emblematic Beatnik film, La Vallée/The Valley (Barbet Schroeder, 1973).
She also stayed in the Provence and at the Baléares islands, and travelled through India and in Italy. Lagrange, was an authentic hippie, who felt like a spiritual sister to Jack Kerouac. In 1973 she met the British guitar player Ian Jelfs of the band Alice, with whom she performed songs by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Donovan.
Lagrange played in some films of her friend Lelouch: Le Chat et la Souris/Cat and Mouse (1975), Le Bon et les Méchants/The Good and the Bad (1976), and Si c'était à refaire/If I Had to Do It All Over Again (1976).
Her later films include Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours/My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days (Andrzej Żuławski, 1989), and Joueuse/Queen to Play (Caroline Bottaro, 2009) with Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline.
She also appeared several times in TV series, like in The Hitchhiker (1991). In 2009, Valérie Lagrange and Ian Jelfs finally married after a long and tempestuous relationship. Lagrange published her memoirs in 2005: Mémoires d'un temps où l'on s'aimait, autobiographie, and in 2007 Philippe Malidor published the biography Besoin d'amour.
French postcard by Ste. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1056. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1061. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions Borde, Paris, no. 125.
Vintage clip with Valerie Lagrange singing Moitié Ange Moitié Bete (1966). Source: TheoChris (Daily Motion).
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.
Austrian postcard by HDH-Verlag (Verlag Hubmann), Wien, no. 4907. Photo: Fonofilm / Gloria Verleih. Publicity still for Damenwahl/Lady's Choice (E.W. Emo, 1953).
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorff, no. 1160. Photo: Real / Europa-Film / Filipp. Publicity still for Die Stadt is voller Geheimnisse/City of Secrets (Fritz Kortner, 1955).
Austrian postcard by Austrimport, Wien, no. 142. Photo: Fono / Gloria-Film / Marczalek. Publicity still for Damenwahl/Ladies' Choice (E.W. Emo, 1953).
The second line of the German national anthem
Georg Valentin Thomalla was born in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia, German Empire, in 1915. He began his career as an apprentice cook.
In 1932, he joined a theatrical troupe and, before long, acted on stage in Berlin. With a bit part in Ihr erstes Erlebnis/Her First Experience (Josef von Báky, 1939), he made his film debut.
During the Second World War he appeared in the propaganda film Über alles in der Welt/Above All Else in the World (Karl Ritter, 1941) starring Paul Hartmann, Hannes Stelzer and Fritz Kampers. The title refers to the second line of the German national anthem. Following the outbreak of war, Germans abroad face persecution from the British and French authorities. The drama was designed to promote Nazi Germany's war aims in the Second World War.
Thomalla had a supporting part in the revue film Wir machen Musik/We Make Music (Helmut Käutner, 1942), starring Ilse Werner and Viktor de Kowa. He had a smaller part in the Henrik Ibsen adaptation Nora/A Doll's House (Harald Braun, 1944) starring Luise Ullrich, Viktor Staal and Franziska Kinz.
Rhomalla had a bigger part in the drama Solistin Anna Alt/Anna Alt (Werner Klingler, 1945). Anneliese Uhlig featured as a gifted pianist gives up her career to support her composer husband (Will Quadflieg). It was one of comparatively few films released in Nazi Germany in 1945, due to increasing difficulties of film production during the later stages of the Second World War.
After the war premiered the crime comedy Peter Voss, der Millionendieb/Peter Voss, Thief of Millions (Karl Anton, 1946) starring Viktor de Kowa. It was filmed between 1943 and 1945. The comedy Sag' die Wahrheit/Tell the Truth (Helmut Weiss, 1946), starring Gustav Fröhlich and Mady Rahl, had a troubled production. It was originally filming in the final days of the Nazi era with Heinz Rühmann and his wife Hertha Feiler in the lead roles, but production was halted when Soviet forces took control of the Tempelhof Studios during the Battle of Berlin. The film was then remade in the British sector of Berlin with different leads but using substantial amounts of footage already shot during the previous production.
Thomalla’s next film was the comedy Herzkönig/King of Hearts (Helmut Weiss, 1947), starring Hans Nielsen.The film was the first production of Artur Brauner's CCC Films, which would develop into a leading company in West German cinema. The film was made at the Tempelhof Studios in Berlin.
He played another supporting role in the comedy Man spielt nicht mit der Liebe/Don't Play with Love (Hans Deppe, 1949) starring Lil Dagover and Albrecht Schoenhals. On stage, he became a celebrated star of cabaret, and was an ensemble member of the Kabarett der Komiker (Cabaret of the comedians) from 1948 to 1956.
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 984. Photo: Algefa / Constantin Film / Arthur Grimm. Publicity still for Bezauberndes Fräulein/Glamorous Miss (Georg Thomalla, 1953).
German postcard by Graphima, Berlin.
Two struggling musicians who join a women’s orchestra
In 1951, Georg Thomalla had his breakthrough in the cinema as one of the two struggling musicians who join a women’s orchestra in drag in the West German comedy Fanfaren der Liebe/Fanfares of Love (Kurt Hoffmann, 1951). The film, in which he co-starred with Dieter Borsche and Inge Egger, is a remake of the French film Fanfare d'amour/Fanfare of Love (Richard Pottier, 1935).
Later followed the most famous remake, Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) with Jack Lemmon in Thomalla’s role. For the German release of Some Like It Hot, Thomalla dubbed Lemmon’s character. Thomalla was well known in Germany as a voice-over artist, dubbing particularly comedians. He was the standard German dubbing voice of Jack Lemmon from 1955 to 1998. After Thomalla had dubbed Lemmon for more than 40 years, the two met at the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival where Thomalla held an honorific speech for Lemmon.
Fanfaren der Liebe was a major hit, and a sequel Fanfare of Marriage/Fanfaren der Ehe (Hans Grimm, 1953) followed, showing the further adventures of the main characters.
From then on, Thomalla co-starred in a series of light entertainment films. According to I.S. Mowis at IMDb, these films “benefited from his considerable improvisational skills, quick wit and staccato delivery. His stock-in-trade screen personae were eccentric, befuddled and generally accident-prone bachelors, or out-of-their-depths fathers or husbands, who usually tended to fall victim to their own ineptitude.”
Bei Dir war es immer so schön/It Was Always So Nice With You (Hans Wolff, 1954) for example is a West German musical comedy starring Heinz Drache. In the crime comedy Meine Tante, deine Tante/My Aunt, Your Aunt (Carl Boese, 1956), he co-starred with Theo Lingen and Hans Moser.
He also co-starred in the remake Viktor und Viktoria/Victor and Victoria (Karl Anton, 1957) with Johanna von Koczian as a woman, who gains success on the stage by pretending to be a female impersonator. The film was a remake of Viktor und Viktoria/Victor and Victoria (Reinhold Schünzel, 1933) with Renate Müller and Hermann Thimig in the role Thomalla took over. In 1982 Blake Edwards remade the film as Victor/Victoria and then based a stage musical on the film both starring Julie Andrews.
Apart from comic side-kicks, Thomalla played his fair share of friends of the hero, a noteworthy example being Kara Ben Nemsi's (Viktor Staal) loquacious, but intensely loyal manservant and companion Hadschi Halef Omar in Karl May's Die Sklavenkarawane/Caravan of Slaves (Georg Marischka, Ramón Torrado, 1958).
Though rarely seen in 'serious' roles, Thomalla gave a sensitive dramatic performance as a helpful truck driver in the East-West romance Himmel ohne Sterne/Sky Without Stars (Helmut Käutner, 1955). A popular success was the romantic comedy Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958) with the young Romy Schneider.
Dutch Postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto for Scampolo (Alfred Weidenmann, 1958) with Paul Hubschmid and Romy Schneider.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag. Photo: BCF / Bavaria. Publicity still for Juanito (Fernando Palacios, 1960).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, no. 1547, 1961. Photo: publicity still for Das Spukschloss im Spessart/The Haunted Castle (Kurt Hoffmann, 1960) with Liselotte Pulver and Curt Bois.
Schlager and Operetta Films
In 1960, Georg Thomalla co-starred with Liselotte Pulver in the comedy Das Spukschloß im Spessart/The Haunted Castle (Kurt Hoffmann, 1960). It was entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival where it won the Silver Prize. The film is a sequel to Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958) and was followed by Herrliche Zeiten im Spessart/Glorious Times in the Spessart Inn (1967).
Thomalla also appeared in the Schlagerfilm Ramona (Paul Martin, 1961) with Senta Berger and The Blue Diamonds, the comedy Bei Pichler stimmt die Kasse nicht/Pichler's Books Are Not in Order (Hans Quest, 1961) with Theo Lingen, and Der Traum von Lieschen Müller/The Dream of Lieschen Mueller (Helmut Käutner, 1961) featuring Sonja Ziemann.
Then followed two Operetta films Die Försterchristel/The Forester's Daughter (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1962), starring Sabine Sinjen and Peter Weck, and Der Vogelhändler/The Bird Seller (Géza von Cziffra, 1962) with Conny Froboess.
Later, his film parts became smaller such as in Lausbubengeschichten/Tales of a Young Scamp (Helmut Käutner, 1964) with Hansi Kraus, the romantic comedy Ich suche einen Mann/I Am Looking for a Man (Alfred Weidenmann, 1966), and the comedy Zur Hölle mit den Paukern (Werner Jacobs, 1968), starring Hansi Kraus and Theo Lingen.
From 1961, Thomalla devoted more and more time to appearing in television and to voice-over work. He starred in his own half-hourly TV show, Komische Geschichten mit Georg Thomalla (1961-1971), in which he played an average Joe afflicted by middle-age angst and confronted by a variety of everyday problems.
He was the German dubbing voice for Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Jack Lemmon and Peter Sellers as Inspector Closeau in the Pink Panther films. Thomalla’s later films were mediocre comedies like Auch ich war nur ein mittelmäßiger Schüler/I Wasn't a Very Good Student Either (Werner Jacobs, 1974) about two men waiting for their wives to give birth, who reminisce about their school days, and Der Tiefstapler/The low-loader (Karl-Heinz Bieber,1978) with Gert Fröbe.
In 1985, Thomalla was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit. He was interested in religious question and in Eastern philosophy. From the mid-1980s he was a member of the ISKCON (the Hare Krishna movement). His final film was Lilien in der Bank/Lilies in the bank (Marianne Rosenbaum, Gérard Samaan, 1996) with Katharina Thalbach and Nina Hagen.
Georg Thomalla died in 1999 of heart failure in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. He was 84. From 1957 he had been married to Margit Mayrl. They had two sons.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg, no. 5187. Photo: Constantin / Neue Delta / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Einer spinnt immer/One is always nutty (Franz Antel, 1971).
German autograph card.
Scene with Dieter Borsche and Georg Thomalla in Fanfaren der Liebe (1951) (No subtitles, sorry!). Source: LadyViolet7 (YouTube).
Sources: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 537/1. Publicity still for Der Ring der drei Wünsche/The Ring of the Three Wishes (Arthur Wellin, 1918) with left Alexander Moissi and Eduard von Winterstein.
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 537/2. Publicity still for Der Ring der drei Wünsche/The Ring of the Three Wishes (Arthur Wellin, 1918) with Alexander Moissi.
Deported from Prague to the Lodz ghetto
Arthur Wellin (1880-prob. 1941) was a Jewish film director, born as Arthur Lewin. He had been a prolific stage director before shifting to film.
This was a reason for Austrian actor Alexander Moissi to engage him as film director for 5 films between 1918 and 1920. Wellin was also co-owner of Ambross-Film, with Rudolf Dworsky.
All in all he directed some 27 silent films, and at times also acted. In 1933 he was expelled from acting when Adolf Hitler took over in Germany. In 1941 he was deported from Prague to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, and from there probably sent to one of the extermination camps.
Hugo Landsberger (1861-reported missing 1938) was a Jewish writer, who produced several socially engaged short stories, books and plays under the pseudonym of Hans Land, while he also produced popular entertainment works such as Stürme (1909) and Staatsanwalt Jordan (1915).
From 1913 he also wrote various film scripts for films including Die Richterin/The Judge (Paul von Woringen 1917) with Lotte Neumann, Die singende Hand/The Singing Hand (Arthur Wellin 1918) with Theodor Loos, and Die Sünde/The Sin (Alwin Neuss, 1918) with Ressel Orla. Land also acted occasionally, and directed the film Stürme/Storms (Hugo Landsberger, 1913), based on his own work.
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 537/3. Publicity still for Der Ring der drei Wünsche/The Ring of the Three Wishes (Arthur Wellin, 1918) with Alexander Moissi and Ria Jende.
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 537/8. Publicity still for Der Ring der drei Wünsche/The Ring of the Three Wishes (Arthur Wellin, 1918) with Alexander Moissi, Eduard von Winterstein and Ria Jende.
Sources: The German Early Cinema Database, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 2034. Photo: Oliver-Film. Publicity still for Baronin Kammerjungfer/Baroness Kammerjungfer (Leo Peukert, 1917).
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 6253. Photo: Atelier Eberth, Berlin. Publicity still for Die Berliner Range/The Berlin Urchin (Carl Müller-Hagen, 1919-1921).
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 3346. Photo Abele, Berlin. Hilde Wörner in the German-Austrian coproduction Der Graf von Cagliostro (Reinhold Schünzel, 1919-1920).
The highest thing a film diva strives for
Hilde Wörner was born as Hilde Wörner-Lichtenstein.in 1895. The place of birth is unknown.
At 16, Wörner began her stage career in Elberfeld (toady a part of Wuppertal). In 1912, Johannes Maurach brought her to the Stadttheater in Essen. Later followed engagements at the theatres of Oldenburg and Bremen.
In the late phase of the First World War, she reached Berlin, where she succeeded Lisa Weise in the operetta ensemble of the Berliner Theater. There she was the first soubrette.
Almost at the same time, Heinrich Bolten-Baeckers, director of the Oliver Filmgesellschaft, signed her for the cinema. Wörner made her film debut in the silent film Baronin Kammerjungfer/Baroness Kammerjungfer (Leo Peukert, 1917). She immediately had the status of a ‘series star’. "This is the highest thing a film diva strives for," said Wörner in 1919.
She specialised in the role of youthful salon ladies and played in both dramas and comedies. However, according to German Wikipedia, she was regarded as a mediocre actress. In 1919, Hilde Wörner founded the Filmproduktionsgesellschaft Wörner-Film in Berlin, which produced various feature films until 1923.
At that time, Wörner was married to the silent film director Carl Müller-Hagen, who directed many of her films, such as the six-part series Die Berliner Range/The Berlin Urchin (1919-1921) and the crime costume drama Moriturus (1920) with Max Landa, as detective, Reinhold Schünzel in the title role, and Conrad Veidt as the criminal.
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K.2660. Photo: Oliver-Film. Hilde Wörner in Der siebente Kuß/The Seventh Kiss (1918). Director unknown.
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 3341. Photo: Eberth, Berlin.
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, no. 1007. Photo: Protoscop Co. Hilde Wörner in Das Lächeln der kleinen Beate/The Smile of Little Beate (Georg Schubert, 1919).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 270/1. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Ernst Lubitsch's last German film
In 1920, Hilde Wörner appeared in the Austrian-German production Der Graf von Cagliostro/The Count of Cagliostro (Reinhold Schünzel, 1920), in which director Reinhold Schünzel played the role of the eighteenth century Italian adventurer Alessandro Cagliostro opposite Anita Berber and Conrad Veidt.
With her small film company she produced Russian director Dimitri Buchowetzki’s historical drama Danton (1921) with Emil Jannings as Danton and Werner Krauss as Robespierre. Based on the play Danton's Death by Georg Büchner, the film tells how during his reign of terror, Robespierre orchestrates the trial and execution of several of his fellow leading French revolutionaries including Georges Danton.
Wörner also produced his version of William Shakespeare’s Othello (Dimitri Buchowetzki, 1922), again with Emil Jannings and Werner Krauss.
At the side of Pola Negri, Wörner played the second female starring role in Die Flamme/The Flame/Montmartre (Ernst Lubitsch, 1923), which she also produced. It was Ernst Lubitsch's last German film before he moved to Hollywood.
Then Wörner retired from the film business and continued to work in the theatre. In 1926, she returned seen in a supporting role in Rosen aus dem Süden/Roses from the south (Carl Froelich, 1926), starring Henny Porten.
In 1930, she appeared in small parts in two sound films, the musical comedy Einbrecher/Burglars (Hanns Schwarz, 1930) with Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey, and the historical film Das Flötenkonzert von Sans-souci/The Flute Concerto of Sans-Souci (Gustav Ucicky, 1930) starring Otto Gebühr as Friedrich II (aka Frederick the Great). It was part of the popular cycle of Prussian films.
It was her last film appearance. Wörner married tenor Eduard Lichtenstein and performed with him at the Metropol Theater in Berlin. After the rise of the Nazis, the Jewish Lichtenstein and his wife moved to the Netherlands where they lived in Amsterdam. In the summer of 1933, she appeared in Kabarett der Prominenten, founded by Willy Rose. She also played in Rosen’s comedy Der Chauffeur meiner Frau (My Wife's Chauffeur) in the Netherlands.
About what later happened to her is little known, but that she married the Dutch conductor Jan Koetsier. In 1949, she translated for him a musical play based on Frederik van Eeden’s play Frans Hals/Een vrolijk geval (Frans Hals – a cheerful case) into German.
Hilde Wörner passed away in 1963. She was 67.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 270/2, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 270/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 270/4, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass.
German postcard by Margarinewerk Eidelstedt Gebr. Fauser G.m.b.H., Holstein, Serie 1, no. Bild 67. Photo: Transocean.
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffie-line - German), Nederlands Muziek Instituut (Dutch and German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Jeanne Bérangère. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Henri Manuel. A difficulty with this card, which is easily found online as well, is that it dates from around 1910-1914. French stage and screen actress Jeanne Bérangère (1864-1927) was born in 1864, so in 1914 she must have been around 50. And the woman on the postcard seems much younger. We could not trace whether Pathé used a pre-1900 photo, a photo of a relative with the same name (a daughter?), or just a photo of somebody else.
Little Moritz. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères.
Andrée Pascal. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
André Deed. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: X.
Léontine Massart. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: X.
Léon Bernard. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Nadar. The Ch. must be a mistake, as this is clearly French stage and screen actor and also theatre director Léon Bernard.
Maxime Desjardins. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Henri Manuel.
One of the first feature-length films about Jesus
In 1896, Pathé Frères began using the camera developed by the Lumière brothers and then Pathé set about to design an improved studio camera and to make their own film stock. From 1901, Pathé teamed up with director and later manager Ferdinand Zecca who oversaw the creation and production of original Pathé Frères films.
Pathé opened sales agencies all over the world, selling projectors, films and equipment. In 1902 it opened a glass house studio near Paris, in 1904 two other ones. At Joinville-le-Pont, also near Paris, a series of factories were built to produce cameras and projectors and to develop film stock, with a separate section for colouring films.
From 1905 on, the company employed a specialised studio staff: screenwriters, directors, cinematographers and other technicians. In 1905 Pathé produced some 12.000 meters film stock per month of positive film, by now mostly fiction films. Zecca explored many themes from the mundane to the fantastic. In À la conquête de l'air/Conquering the Skies (Ferdinand Zecca, 1901), a strange flying machine, called Fend-l'air, was seen flying over the rooftops of Belleville. By using trick photography, the one-minute short was notable in being the first aviation film, predating the flight by the Wright Brothers by two years.
Zecca also pioneered with one of the first crime dramas, Histoire d'un crime/History of a Crime (Ferdinand Zecca, 1901), stylistically innovative in its use of superimposition. The story was of a man condemned to death, awaiting execution with his crimes appearing on his cell wall. The film is an early example of flashbacks as a film device. Other Pathé films included comedies, trick films or fairy tales, such as Les Sept châteaux du Diable/The Seven Castles of the Devil (Ferdinand Zecca, 1901), and La Belle au bois dormant/Sleeping Beauty (1902).
Pathé also produced social dramas like Les Victimes de l'alcoolisme/Alcohol and Its Victims (Ferdinand Zecca, 1902), Au pays noir/Down in the Coal Mines (Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca, 1905) and reconstructions of actual events, the most famous being La Catastrophe de la Martinique/Martinique Disaster (Ferdinand Zecca, 1902). Zecca also acted in many of his films.
Between 1900 and 1907, Zecca oversaw the production of hundreds of Pathé films from many important Pathé directors including Lucien Nonguet, Gaston Velle, Albert Capellani, Louis J. Gasnier, André Heuzé and Henri Pouctal. Zecca also acted, directed, produced, and, on occasion, wrote films. These films were at most 300 meters in length, so max. 15 minutes of screening time (which is already quite longer than the single take films of Lumière, and consisted of various shots edited together).
La Vie et la passion de Jésus Christ/Life and Passion of the Christ (Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca, 1903) was, at a running time of 44 minutes, one of the first feature-length films about Jesus. Production grew massively: in 1906 the output of positive film stock tripled that of the year before. In 1906, Spaniard Segundo de Chomón arrived at the Pathé studio and assisted Zecca with photography and special effects. He started to colour films, such as Vie et Passion de N.S. Jésus Christ/Life and Passion of Christ (Ferdinand Zecca, 1907), shot in four parts with 38 scenes, 990 metres long. At first, the films were hand-coloured, and later semi-mechanically coloured with stencils, a method also used for colouring postcards.
After Pathé bought the rights to George Méliès's Star films, Zecca started editing the Méliès films. Film production went from 70 titles in 1901 to 500 in 1903. After 1906, the mass film production gradually eased as longer films were produced. Pathé and Méliès started to work together in 1911. Georges Méliès's first film to be distributed by Pathé was the fantasy-comedy Les aventures de baron de Munchhausen/Baron Munchausen's Dream (Georges Méliès, 1911).
Pathé Frères filmed numerous short subjects, the majority of which are sensational criminal adventures, melodramatic love stories, and comedies. In 1912 Pathé produced its first feature film, Les Misérables (Albert Capellani, 1912), a four-reel screen version of the novel by Victor Hugo starring Henry Krauss as Jean Valjean and Maria Fromet as Cosette. In 1912, Pathé appointed Alfred Machin to develop the first studio films at Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Château Karreveld, Belgium. And in 1914, Pathé Frères studios in the United States released the first episodes of The Perils of Pauline (Louis J. Gasnier, Donald MacKenzie, 1914) featuring Pearl White, one of the earliest and best remembered screen serials.
Charles Prince. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: A. Bert.
Madeleine Céliat. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
Jean Dax. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: A. Bert.
Marcelle Monthil. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
René Alexandre. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Studio Lux.
Gabriel Signoret. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: A. Bert.
Maria Fromet. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
Germaine Dermoz. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
Jean Jacquinet (Le mime Jacquinet). French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. On the back imprint, publicity for the West-Java Bioscope at Senen (now part of Jakarta), Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
Léontine Massart. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: X.
Georges Wague. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Waléry, Paris.
Gabriel Signoret. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix.
Berthe Bovy. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères. Photo: Félix. Caption: Mlle Berthe Bovy of the Comédie Française.
Max Linder. French postcard by Edition Pathé Frères.
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Sources: Wikipedia, Eyefilm and IMDb.
French postcard by Editions Filma, no. 50. Photo: Pathé.
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 117.
French postcard in the series Les Vedettes de Cinéma by A.N., Paris, no 103. Photo: P. Nadar.
The Horrors of the War
Romuald Joubé, originally Romuald Charles Eugène Goudens Jean Sylve Joubé was born in Mazères, France in 1876.
Around 1900, Joubé already acted on stage with the troupe of the Nouveau-Théàtre of Paris, directed by Lugné-Poë. Around 1909 he started at the Théàtre de l’Odéon with plays directed by André Antoine, the master of Naturalism in French theatre.
In 1910 he debuted in the cinema in the Film d’art productions. He played in various shorts, often directed by Henri Desfontaines. These included Polyeucte (Camille de Morlhon, 1910), Philémon et Baucis (Georges Denola, 1911) as Philemon, Milton (Henri Desfontaines, 1911) with Constant Rémy, La Mégère apprivoisée/The Taming Of The Shrew (Henri Desfontaines, 1911). He played the title roles in Le Colonel Chabert (Henri Pouctal, André Calmettes, 1911) and Brittanicus (Camille de Morlhon, 1912)
Other Film d'art films were Serge Panine (Henri Pouctal, 1913), Le Baiser supreme/The Kiss supreme (Edmond Floury, 1913) opposite Gabriel Signoret, Les Deux gosses/The Two Kids (Albert Capellani, 1914) with Paul Capellani, Amour sacré/Holy Love (Dominique Bernard-Deschamps, 1915), and Le Dernier rêve/The Last Dream (Henri Desfontaines, 1916).
In 1917, Joubé started to act in various features by André Antoine, who transferred his Naturalism onto cinema as well: the Alexandre Dumas père adaptation Les Frères corses/The Corsican Brothers (André Antoine, 1917) with Henry Krauss, the François Coppée adaptation Le Coupable/The Culprit (André Antoine, 1917) with Sylvie, and the fishermen drama Les Travailleurs de la mer/The Workers of the sea (André Antoine, 1918), based on Victor Hugo.
By now Joubé was playing both leading and supporting parts. In 1918-1919, Joubé played one of his most famous roles in the pacifist, First World War drama J’Accuse/I Accuse by Abel Gance, which was released in France in April 1919, so a few months after the Armistice.
Joubé plays Jean Diaz, a poet who is in love with Edith (Marise Dauvray), the wife of François Laurin (Séverin-Mars). The two men meet in the trenches and experience the horrors of the war. Laurin saves Diaz’ life and sacrifices himself for the benefit of the other two. Edith is raped by a German, raising the fruit of this encounter despite hostility. Maddened, Diaz returns from the trenches, despises his art and asks the village inhabitants: was it worthwhile, all the sacrifices, while the ghosts of the killed soldiers march up to them.
French postcard by Sadag de France, Paris, no. 109. Publicity still for J'Accuse (Abel Gance, 1919) with Edith (Marise Dauvray), Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé).
French postcard by Sadag de France, Paris. Publicity still for J'Accuse (Abel Gance, 1919).
French postcard by Sadag de France, Paris, no. 109. Publicity still for J'Accuse (Abel Gance, 1919) with Edith (Marise Dauvray), Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé) and little Angele (Angèle Guys), towards the end of the film.
Lavish Period Piece
With J’Accuse, Romuald Joubé established his career, though he didn’t continue to act with Gance. Instead he performed opposite Emmy Lynn in La faute d’Odette Marchal/Odette Marchal's fault (Henri Roussel, 1920), opposite Huguette Duflos in Mademoiselle de La Seiglière (André Antoine, 1921), opposite Sylviane Dumont in Fleur de neige/Snow Flower (Paul Barlatier, 1921) and he played the title role in the Jules Verne adaptation Mathias Sandorf (Henri Fescourt, 1921).
Subsequently he appeared opposite Pierre Fresnay in Le Diamant noir/The Black Diamond (André Hugon, 1922) and opposite Nathalie Lissenko in La Fille sauvage (Henri Étievant, 1922).
From 1923 Joubé alternated film with the stage. In the theatre he played e.g. the title role in Peer Gynt in 1924. Still he had big film roles as Andréa in Rouletabille chez les bohémiens/Rouletabille and the Bohemians (Henri Fescourt, 1923) with Gabriel de Gravone, as the title character in the historical adventure film Mandrin (Henri Fescourt, 1924) costarring Jacqueline Blanc, and as chevalier Robert Cottereau in the lavish period piece Le Miracle des loups/Miracle of the Wolves (Raymond Bernard, 1924).
In 1925 Joubé not only acted opposite Lilian Constantini in La Chèvre aux pieds d'or/The Goat with the golden feet (Jacques Robert, 1925), but he also went to Italy to act in several historical films by Giulio Antamoro: La Fanciulla di Pompei/The young girl of Pompeii (Giulio Antamoro, 1925) with Leda Gys, La Cieca di Sorrento/The Blind Girl of Sorrento (Giulio Antamoro, 1925) and Frate Francesco/The Passion of St. Francis(Giulio Antamoro, 1927).
Probably Joubé’s last silent film was the Henri Kistemaeckers adaptation Princesse Masha/Princess Masha (1927, René Leprince). The film is about an illegitimate Russian princess, raised by revolutionary intellectuals, who flees to Paris during the revolution and falls in love with a Frenchman (Joubé), but marries a cruel Russian ambassador to save her foster father (in vain). Returned to Russia during the war, she tries to flee again, with her French lover, and sacrifices herself in the end for his honour. The film starred Claudia Victrix, a French singer who debuted in this film. Costars were Jean Toulout and Andrée Brabant.
When sound cinema became the standard in France, Joubé didn’t act in films for years, though he was visible in a sonorised version of Le Miracle des loups (1930). In 1929 he acted in various stage plays in Canada, together with Germaine Rouer. In the same year he also acted in Histoires de France, the play by Sacha Guitrythat opened the new Théàtre Pigalle in Paris in 1929.
In 1937 he returned to the film set with a small part as Jean Diaz in Abel Gance’s own remake of J’accuse (Abel Gance, 1938), while the larger share of the character was played by Victor Francen. That year he also played Clouet in Sacha Guitry’s period piece Les Perles de la couronne (Sacha Guitry, 1937).
Joubé played his last roles in film and on stage during the Second World War. On stage he played in the Georges Simenon adaptation Le Pavillon d'Asnières (1943), while on the set he performed in a.o. Chant de l'exilé/Song of Exile (André Hugo, 1943) starring Tino Rossi.
Romuald Joubé died in 1949 in Gisors, France.
Italian postcard by ICSA, no. 560. Photo: publicity still for Frate Francesco (Giulio Antamoro, 1927) with Romuald Joubé as Monaldo di Sassorosso.
Italian postcard by ICSA, no. 572. Photo: publicity still for Frate Francesco (Giulio Antamoro, 1927) with Monaldo di Sassorosso (Romuald Joubé) and Myria di Leros (Donatella Gemmò).
Italian postcard by ICSA, no. 573. Photo: publicity still for Frate Francesco (Giulio Antamoro, 1927). Caption: 'The conversion of Sassorosso.' Visible are Alberto Pasquali as St. Francis and Romuald Joubé as Sassorosso.
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 361.
French postcard in the series Les Vedettes de Cinéma by A.N., Paris, no 76. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.
Sources: CinéRessources, Films de France, Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1946/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Rembrandt.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3114/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3448/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz.
Perfect Gentleman and Noble Lover
Henry Stuart was born as Henry Eduard Hess in Cairo, Egypt, in 1885. He was the son of a British colonial employee. Shortly before 1900 he returned to Britain but grew up mostly in Paris.
He visited the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Academy of Fine Arts in Munich), planning to become a painter. Shortly before World War One broke out, he was in Vienna, where he established his first contacts in the film world. During the war Stuart stayed in Britain, but afterwards he returned to Germany.
In 1922 he started his highly successful career as actor in the German silent cinema, often performing the perfect gentleman and noble lover. Probably his first appearance was a small part in the elaborate costume drama Ein Glas Wasser/A Glass of Water (Ludwig Berger, 1922) set in England during the reign of Queen Anne (Mady Christians). According to Wikipedia, the film was very well received both commercially and critically on its release. The film, based on a play of the same title by Eugène Scribe, is considered one of the milestones of Weimar cinema.
It was followed by the fantasy Die Perrücke/The Wig (Berthold Viertel, 1924) in which he played the major part of Julian, the lover of the Princess (Jenny Hasselqvist), whose husband (Otto Gebühr) tries to separate them.
In another classic Die freudlose Gasse/Joyless Street (G.W. Pabst, 1925), a morality tale set during the Viennese Depression, Stuart plays Egon Stirner, the secretary of an international speculator. He is arrested for the murder of a lawyer’s wife, but the culprit is the penniless Maria Lechner (Asta Nielsen). Maria is desperately in love with Stirner and has murdered the woman because she suspected her to be a rival. The film which also features Greta Garbo in one of her first roles, was one of the first films of the 'New Objectivity' movement.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1327/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4417/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4917/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Rembrandt, Berlin.
In the following years Henry Suart starred in an impressive series of films. In 1925 he appeared in Die Strasse des Vergessens/The Street of Forgetting (Heinz Paul, 1925) with Hella Moja, and Das Abenteuer der Sybille Brant/The Adventures of Sybil Brent (Carl Froehlich, 1925) with Henny Porten.
The following year, he acted in such films as Unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit/Under exclusion of the public (Conrad Wiene, 1926) with Maly Delschaft, Schenk mir das Leben/Give me the life (Klaus Fery, 1926), the war film Die versunkene Flotte/Wrath of the Seas (Graham Hewett, Manfred Noa, 1926) with Nils Asther, Die zwei und die Dame/The Two and the Lady (Alwin Neuss, 1926) with Agnes Esterhazy and Bernhard Goetzke, and Das Mädchen ohne Heimat/The Girl Without a Homeland (Constantin J. David, 1926).
In 1927 he appeared in Liebelei/Flirtation (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1927) with Fred Louis Lerch and Evelyn Holt, Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden/When people become ripe for love (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1927), Die geheime Macht/Sajenko the Soviet (Erich Waschneck, 1927) with Walter Rilla, Die Frau mit dem Weltrekord/The Woman with the World Record (Erich Waschneck, 1927) with Lee Parry, and Der Bettler vom Kölner Dom/The beggar of the Cologne cathedral (Rolf Randolf, 1927) with Hanni Weisse.
He starred opposite Brigitte Helm in Der Skandal in Baden-Baden/The Scandal in Baden-Baden (Erich Waschneck, 1928). That same year, Stuart went to India to stage the feature film Der Ring der Bajadere, as well as direct the documentaries Der Maharadscha von Mysore hat Geburtstag/The Birthday of the Maharadja of Mysore (Henry Stuart, 1929) and Nuri, der Elefant/Nuri, the Elephant (Henry Stuart, 1930).
Back in Germany, Stuart played his last roles in silent films: the industrialist Erwin Voss in Das Recht auf Liebe/The right on love (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1929), The film addresses the issue of the rights of ex-soldiers made impotent by war wounds to get married. It was made in the Weimar tradition of the Aufklärungsfilme (Enlightenment films).
He also played Kaiser Franz in the part-talkie Der Günstling von Schönbrunn/The Favourite of Schonbrunn (1929), starring Iván Petrovich and Lil Dagover. The historical film was directed by Erich Waschneck but Max Reichmann directed the sound sequences.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3885/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.
Austrian postcard, no. 5042. Photo: National / Mondial-Filmverleih / Eiko.
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5359. Photo: Ufa.
In the sound era, Henry Stuart didn’t find much work. In Berlin, he performed at the Englischen Theater Deutscher Schauspieler and worked for the radio as well as a manuscript and title translator. In 1933 he directed a short, Zwischen 12 und 2/Between 12 and 2, based on the play Hotelratten/Hotel rats.
In 1938 he co-wrote the script for the Yiddish-American production The Power of Life. He became Swiss citizen and in 1941 he released the only feature sound film directed by him: Krishna. Abenteuer im indischen Dschungel/Krishna, adventures in the Indian Jungle (1941), codirected and conscripted with Lola Kreuzberg, whose company had already produced Stuart’s films in India in 1928-1929. It probably was a sound version of Der Ring der Bajadere.
In 1942, Stuart played a British enemy in the propaganda film Germanin (Max W. Kimmich, 1942) starring famous Austrian mountain climber Luis Trenker as a German doctor in Africa who discovers and proves the efficacy of a cure for sleeping sickness - a serum called `Germanin'.
The film has strong anti-British undertones and the history of the film is horrendous. In the summer of 1940, 4,000 black POWs were transferred to Stalag IIIA, a Luckenwalde Germany Prisoner of War camp. Three hundred of these men, including African-Americans and French speaking Africans were forced to participate as extras in this Nazi film. Many of them were later exterminated by the Nazis.
His final film appearance was a small uncredited part, again as a British lord, in the all-star super-production Münchhausen/Baron Munchhausen (Josef von Baky, 1943) featuring Hans Albers. The Agfa colour epic was released after Stuart's death.
How, when and where exactly Henry Stuart died is unclear. His death year is indicated by several sources (IMDb, Cyranos, Filmportal.de) as 1942, but according to German Wikipedia it was after 1942. Another question is: did the Nazis force Stuart to appear in Germanin, like they had forced British silent film actor Jack Trevor to act in other anti-British propaganda films?
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4503/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Photo: G [Greenbaum-Film]. Publicity still for Der Günstling von Schönbrunn/Favorite of Schonbrunn (Erich Waschneck, Max Reichmann, 1929).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4765/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.
German postcard by Verlag Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 6325. Photo: Hegewald-Film.
Sources: Filmportal.de, Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 438/2. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.
Very versatile as actor
Hermann Vallentin was born in 1872 in Berlin. He was the son of the wood merchant and factory owner Felix Vallentin. His sister was the actress Rosa Valetti.
After studying acting at the Königliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin from Max Grube and Hans Oberländer, Vallentin received his first engagement at the Centraltheater in Berlin in the 1895-1896 season. In the next few years, he performed at various theatres in Berlin and Wiesbaden. Between 1920 and 1932, he worked under Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater.
From 1914 on, Hermann Vallentin was also a busy film actor. He was the billionaire Lloyd in the popular film Der Tunnel/The Tunnel (William Wauer, 1915), produced by the PAGU.
Vallentin was very versatile as actor and could play any kind of character. He mostly embodied family patriots, patriarchs and directors, but also small-scale philistines and - often - police commissioners.
He acted in five films by E.A. Dupont and three by F.W. Murnau. For Murnau, he appeared as the district court councillor in Schloß Vogelöd/Castle Vogeloed (1921), as Herr Binzer in Die Finanzen des Großherzogs/The Grand Duke's Finances (1924), and as a potbellied guest in Der letzte Mann/The Last Laugh (1924) with Emil Jannings.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/1. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln/Chains (Hubert Moest, 1918).
An abrupt end of his film career
Hermann Vallentin easily moved into the sound era. In Der Hauptmann von Köpenick/The Captain from Köpenick (Richard Oswald, 1931), featuring Max Adalbert, he played the uniform tailor Adolph Wormser.
The takeover of the Nazis ended his film career abruptly - Vallentin was Jewish. In 1933 he emigrated and between 1934 and 1939 he worked on stage, subsequently in Basel, Aussig, Prague, Vienna, again Basel and Zürich.
In 1939, Hermann Vallentin emigrated to Palestine. Since he was not powerful in Hebrew, he had to cease all acting.
In Palestine, he gave lectures, recited poems, and during the Second World War, he was temporarily a presenter of German-language news for the Palestine Broadcasting Service (P.B.S.).
Just a few months after the end of the Second World War, Hermann Vallentin died in Tel Aviv in 1945. He was 73. His niece Lotte Stein also made name as an actress.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/3. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln/Chains (Hubert Moest, 1918).
Sources: Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 559.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 7/78.
A red dress blown up over her head
Anny Duperey was born Annie Legras in 1947 in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France.
Duperey made her screen debut in the both socially and stylistically radical Godard film 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle/Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard film, 1967) with Marina Vlady. The film does not tell a story so much as present an essay-like study of Godard's view of contemporary life.
In Stavisky (Alain Resnais, 1974), she portrayed Arlette, the beautiful real-life wife of flamboyant financier and embezzler Alexandre Stavisky (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and the circumstances leading to his mysterious death in 1934.
Anny Duperey was nominated for the 1977 César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the hilarious comedy Un éléphant ça trompe énormément/Pardon Mon Affaire (Yves Robert, 1976) with Jean Rochefort as the middle-aged, happily married businessman. One day he sees a mysterious woman (Duperey) whose flimsy red dress is blown up over her head under an air vent. This image will not leave him and he becomes obsessed with her.
The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and was later remade in Hollywood as The Woman in Red (Gene Wilder, 1984) with Gene Wilder and Kelly LeBrock.
Hollywood also showed interest in Duperey. She appeared with Al Pacino in the American film Bobby Deerfield (Sydney Pollack, 1977). The film is about a famous American Formula One auto racer (Pacino) who falls in love with an enigmatic Swiss woman (Marthe Keller) who is terminally ill. Duperey played a racetrack groupie.
That year she also debuted on Broadway. In Italy, she appeared with George Hamilton and George Peppard in the ‘Macaroni-War film’ Contro 4 bandiere/From Hell to Victory (Umberto Lenzi, 1979). In Germany, she appeared in the comedy Car-napping (Wigbert Wicker, 1980) about international car thieves. She played a supporting part in the French thriller Mille milliards de dollars/A Thousand Billion Dollars (Henri Verneuil, 1982) starring Patrick Dewaere and Michel Auclair.
Duperey co-starred with Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard in the hit comedy Les Compères/ComDads (Francis Veber, 1983). When her teen-aged son runs away and the police are noncommittal, Duperey convinces two old flames - a crusading journalist (Depardieu) and a hypochondriac (Richard) - that each is the father of her son in order to spur someone into action. The film was remade in the USA as Fathers' Day (Ivan Reitman, 1997) with Robin Williams, Billy Christal and Nastassja Kinski.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 7/78. Photo: Linke.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43 139.
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!
From the mid-1980s on, Anny Duperey worked mainly for television. For the TV Mini-Series Un château au soleil/A Castle in the Sun (Robert Mazoyer, 1988), she won a 7 d'Or Best Actress award. Since 1992 she appears in the very popular French series Une famille formidable/A Magnificent Family (Joël Santoni, Alexandre Pidoux, 1992-) for which she won another 7 d'Or Best Actress award in 1993.
That year, she also could be seen in the cinema again, in the epic Germinal (Claude Berri, 1993), based on the novel by Émile Zola, and starring Gérard Depardieu and Miou-Miou. Later films include Eden à l'ouest/Eden Is West (Costa-Gavras, 2009) with Riccardo Scamarcio, and Vous n'avez encore rien vu/You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! (Alain Resnais, 2012) with Mathieu Amalric and Pierre Arditi.
For her stage work, Duperey won five times the Molière award, the main French stage award. Anny Duperey is also a successful author of a number of bestselling books including L'admiroir (1976), Le Nez de Mazarin (Mazarin's Nose) (1986), Le voile noir (The Black Veil) (1992), Je vous écris (I'm Writing To You) (1993), Les chats de hasard (The fortune cats) (1999), Allons plus loin, veux-tu? (Let's go further, will you?) (2002), Les chats mots (The cats words) (2003) and Une soirée (An evening) (2005).
In 2006, she led in an adaption of Oscar and the Lady in Pink (Oscar et la dame rose) (2002), a novel written by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt; she performed at the L'Avant-Seine Theatre in Colombes. A social activist, Anny Duperey has volunteered for causes such as the international child welfare organisation SOS Children's Villages and SOS-PAPA an international organisation to help ensure children of divorce have full participation by both parents. Her work earned her an appointment as Chevalier (Knight) of Legion of Honour in 1997.
She is the mother of actress Sara Giraudeau and son Gaël Giraudeau, with former husband Bernard Giraudeau. With Giraudeau, she acted in five productions, including the crime drama Le grand pardon/Grand Pardon (Alexandre Arcady, 1982), Meurtres à domicile/Evil in the house (Marc Lobet, 1982), and the TV film La face de l'ogre/The Face of the Monster (Bernard Giraudeau, 1988).
French autograph photo.
French promotion card by SOS Villages d'Enfants, no. SOS 8 001 805.
Original trailer for Stavisky (1974). Source: Film & Clips (YouTube).
The famous scene from Un Éléphant Ça Trompe Énormément (1976). Source: Ondo Tonko (YouTube).
Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 2169. Photo: Rapid / Gloria / Marhoffer. Publicity still for Die Flusspiraten vom Mississippi/Pirates of the Mississippi (Jürgen Roland, 1963).
Muscular Peplum Hero
Brad Harris was born Bradford Harris in St. Anthony, a small town in eastern Idaho, USA in 1933. His family moved to California where he attended Burbank High School. He came from a family in the banking business and intended to make a career in the same area.
In the early 1950s, he received an athletic scholarship to UCLA where he studied economics. When he injured his knee playing football he was advised to take up weight lifting to strengthen the injury. This developed his interest in bodybuilding.
His studies may have been intended as the groundwork for a career in his family's banking business, but Harris instead drifted into the fringes of Los Angeles' movie industry, and secured employment as a stunt man.
He also played a small role in Monkey on My Back (André De Toth, 1957) starring Cameron Mitchell as a World War II hero and champion professional boxer, who became addicted to morphine. He also appeared in the western 13 Fighting Men (Harry W. Gerstad, 1960) with Grant Williams.
Harris travelled to Rome to watch the 1960 Summer Olympics and to perform stunts as a gladiator in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960) starring Kirk Douglas. He stayed in Europe and found himself working as a second-unit director for the short film Eco nel villaggio/Echo in the village (Themistocles Hoetis, 1961).
Harris was invited to join the ranks of American actors and body-builders in the Peplum genre (sword and sandal films) - following in the wake of Steve Reeves' successful portrayal of Hercules.
Harris first starring role was as Goliath in the Peplum Goliath contro i giganti/Goliath Against the Giants (Guido Malatesta, 1961) opposite Spanish actor Fernando Rey. He then played Samson in Sansone/Samson (Gianfranco Parolini, 1961), and Hercules in La furia di Ercole/The Fury of Hercules (Gianfranco Parolini, 1962), both with bodybuilder Sergio Ciani a.k.a. Alan Steel and French musician Serge Gainsbourg.
His good looks and muscular build kept Harris in demand. Of the muscular Peplum heroes, Brad Harris was the first to branch out into other film genres. When the Peplum genre began to fade away, he moved into a spate of action films.
In Germany he appeared in Heißer Hafen Hong Kong/Hong Kong Hot Harbor (Jürgen Roland, 1962) with Marianne Koch, and Weiße Fracht für Hongkong/Operation Hong Kong (Helmut Ashley, Giorgio Stegani, 1964) featuring Maria Perschy.
Harris discovered that stunt coordinators were nonexistent in Germany and he often did extra duties as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, and second unit director. During the shooting of Das Geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke/Secret of the Chinese Carnation (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1964), he fell in love with his co-star, Czech actress Olga Schoberová. They married in 1967, but divorced two years later.
German card. Photo: Rapid / Constantin / Michaelis. Publicity still for Die Schwarzen Adler von Santa Fé/Black Eagle of Santa Fe (Ernst Hofbauer, 1965).
German card. Photo: Parnass Film GmBH. Publicity still for Kommissar X - Jagd auf Unbekannt/Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (Gianfranco Parolini, 1966).
In 1963, Brad Harris co-starred with Hansjörg Felmy in the early Euro-Western Die Flusspiraten vom Mississippi/Pirates of the Mississippi (Jürgen Roland, 1963).
It lead to more parts in Westerns like the West-German-Italian-French co-production Die Goldsucher von Arkansas/Massacre at Marble City (Paul Martin, 1964) with Mario Adorf, another West-German-Italian-French co-production Die schwarzen Adler von Santa Fe/Black Eagle of Santa Fe (Ernst Hofbauer, 1965) with Tony Kendall, the Spanish-Italian Un hombre vino a matar/Rattler Kid (León Klimovsky, 1967) and the Italian Wanted Sabata (Roberto Mauri, 1970).
Another popular European genre in which he often starred was the Euro-spy-thriller. Examples are A 001, operazione Giamaica/Our Man in Jamaica (Ernst R. von Theumer, Mel Welles, 1965) starring Larry Pennell and Barbara Valentin, and the Kommissar X film series (1966-1971), six films featuring Tony Kendall.
By 1970, Harris was writing and producing films and headed his own production company, Three Star Films, including distribution and foreign sales in Rome, Italy. In addition, he acted as creative consultant for various German film companies.
He also continued to work in genre films like the Giallo La casa della paura/The Girl in 2A (William Rose, 1974) with Raf Vallone, and the horror comedy Lady Dracula (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1978), for which he had also written the story.
He also served as executive producer on several of his films such as the Sci-fi horror The Mutations (Jack Cardiff, 1974) starring Donald Pleasence. In the following decades he guest starred in popular series as the German Krimi series Derrick (1979) and the American soap operas Dallas (1984-1989) and Falcon Crest (1984-1989).
He also appeared in a new version of Hercules (Luigi Cozzi, 1983), now starring TV Hulk Lou Ferrigno. At the 4th Golden Raspberry Awards, Hercules was nominated for five awards: worst screenplay, worst supporting actress (Sybil Danning), worst actor (Lou Ferrigno), worst new star (Ferrigno), and worst picture. It won Raspberries for worst supporting actress and worst new star.
Since then Harris only incidentally returned for the cameras. He invented an exercise machine called AB-OrigOnals, and owns a fitness products company called Modern Body Design. At the Muscle Beach Bodybuilding Championship in 2001, Harris received a special achievement award along with other ‘Legends of Hercules’ - Mark Forest, Ed Fury, Mickey Hargitay, Richard Harrison, Reg Lewis, Peter Lupus and Gordon Mitchell.
In 2012, he returned to the screen in the American thriller Shiver (Julian Richards, 2012) starring Caspar van Dien, for which he also served as executive producer, and in the German comedy Die X-Männer schlagen zurück/The X-Men Strike Back (Reginald Ginster, 2012), for which he was reunited with Tony Kendall.
Brad Harris passed away on 7 November 2017 at the age of 84. Harris was a member of the Stuntman's Hall of Fame. He and his ex-wife Olga Schoberová had a daughter, Sabrina (Babrinka) Harris.
Trailer for A 001, operazione Giamaica/Our Man in Jamaica (1965). Source: Dolorado Films (YouTube).
Trailer Hercules (1983). Source: Old Hollywood Trailers (YouTube).
Sources: Bruce Eder (AllMovie), Brian J. Walker (Brian’s Drive-In Theater), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 750. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Helena Makowksa. Caption: 'Night of anguish'.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 741. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915). Caption: "The officers indignantly protest..." The scene represents the same scene with which Luchino Visconti opened his film Senso (1954): during an Italian opera performance a patriottic, anti-Austrian manifestation happens.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 742. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. IPA CT. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1917) with Count Vitaliano Lamberti (Tullio Carminati) who is arrested by the Austrians, while his mother (Mary Cléo Tarlarini) and his wife (Helena Makowksa) cannot help. Caption: "At least permit our women the liberty to die of sorrow!"
Romanticismo is situated in Lombardo-Veneto, in 1854. Polish singer and actress Helena Makowksa played Anna Lamberti.
Her husband, count Vitaliano Lamberti (Tullio Carminati), would like to join the partizans, but he is withheld by his mother (Mary Cléo Tarlarini), a fervent supporter of the Austrians.
His indecision has estranged him from his wife, who has an affair with a Polish profugee, Cezky, Vitaliano's secretary. When Vitaliano finally joins the free-fighting patriots, he regains his wife's confidence. Her vengeful lover denounces Vitaliano to the police, and then commits suicide.
When warned about his upcoming arrest, the count does not save himself but instead helps the young Giacomino (Domenico Serra) to escape. Lamberti is caught and executed.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 743. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Giacomino (Domenico Serra) who dislikes the pro-Austrian attitude of his grandmother (Mary Cléo Tarlarini). Caption: "No, grandmother, not against you; but against the oppressor to which you are devoted."
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 744. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Giacomino (Domenico Serra), who defies the Austrian officers. Caption: "How I'd love to eat some pork chops!".
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 745. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915). Caption: "Cezky (Giuseppe De Vivo) flirts with Anna Lamberti (Helena Makowksa). On the foreground an unsuspecting Tullio Carminati aka count Vitaliano Lamberti, her husband."
First World War
In Romanticismo (1915), we are in Northern Italy, 1854. The film premiered in Italy in September 1915, just a few months after the country had joined the Allied forces against Austria-Hungary and Germany in the First World War (April 1915).
For Helena Makowksa, Romanticismo (1915) meant her breakthrough in the cinema. In 1914, she had made her stage debut in the world of Opera, as Amelia in Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) and Elena in Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele.
Producer Arturo Ambrosio had offered her a three-year contract, and between 1915 and 1920, Makowska went on to make some thirty silent Italian films .
The play Romanticismo by Gerolamo Rovetta, on which the film was based, would be refilmed by Clemente Fracassi Romanticismo (1949) starring Clara Calamai,Amedeo Nazzariand Fosco Giachetti.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 747. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Helena Makowksa (Anna Lamberti), Tullio Carminati (count Vitaliano Lamberti) and Domenico Serra (Giacomino). The caption: "Giacomino makes debts... but knows where to find funds to repay them."
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 748. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Tullio Carminati. The caption: "Friday Night".
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 749. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915) with Domenico Serra. Caption: "There is also conspiration among the flags and frills."
Italian postcard by IPA CT. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Publicity still for Romanticismo (1915). Caption: "How Giacomino prepares for the Duel". Collection: Gino Federici.
Italian postcard by IPA CT, no. 752. Photo: Film della Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. Still for Romanticismo (1915) with Tullio Carminati. Caption: "Thus their hands tucked in their white gloves, cheerful as if going to a party, proud and calm, the martyrs of Italian independence meet their ordeal".
Source: Angela Dalle Vacche (Diva: Defiance and Passion in Early Italian Cinema), Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.
Stacia Napierkowska. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Max Linder. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Max Linder. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
Max Linder. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
Max Linder. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
Max Linder. French postcard. Photo: Félix .
Gabriel Signoret. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Marie-Louise Derval. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
French stage and (silent) screen actress Marie-Louise Derval peaked in the early 1910s in Pathé films by a.o. Albert Capellani and in Eclair films by Emile Chautard. In the later 1910s she acted in many films by André Hugon for Les Films Succès.
Jeanne Grumbach. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Jeanne Grumbach (1871-1947) was a French stage and (silent) screen actress, who played in many early Pathé films.
Andrée Pascal. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Andrée Pascal (1892-1982) was a French actress who was highly active in French silent cinema. She did over 30 films for Pathé in the early 1910s, but suddenly stopped her film career after acting in L'empereur des pauvres (1922).
Jean Dax. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Paul Capellani. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Léontine Massart. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Léontine Massart. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Henry Krauss. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
Gabrielle Robinne. French postcard. Photo: Félix.
René Alexandre. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
René Alexandre. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Charles Prince. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Cazalis. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Lucien Cazalis (1978-1945) was a French comedian, who starred in dozens of short Pathé farces between 1910 and 1916. First he was called Jobard in his films, later he was named Caza.
German postcard by ISV.
German postcard, no. R 30. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964). Caption: Der Friede ist gerettet. Ribanna weiss, dass ihr und Winnetous Opfer nicht umsonst war. (Peace is saved. Ribanna knows that her and Winnetou's sacrifice was not in vain.)
German postcard, no. ED 65. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Schatz in Silbersee (1962, Harald Reinl) with Götz George.
German postcard, no. R 17. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou 2. Teil/Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Pierre Brice. Caption: So werden Ribanna und Winnetou gezwungen, ihre Liebe dem Frieden zu opfern. (Thus Ribanna and Winnetou are forced to sacrifice their love.)
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 31. Photo: Klaus Collignon.
Karin Dor was born as Kätherose Derr in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1938. She grew up in a middle-class family. Although she initially wanted to become a fashion designer, she took actor's training and ballet lessons.
At 17, she tried to break into the film industry, starting as an extra in Der letzte Walzer/The Last Waltz (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1953). Her director, Arthur Maria Rabenalt recommended her to his upcoming colleague Harald Reinl who gave her small speaking parts in his films Rosen-Resli/Rose-Girl Resli (Harald Reinl, 1954) and Der schweigende Engel/The Silent Angel (Harald Reinl, 1954), both starring Christine Kaufmann.
That same year, Dor married her Austrian director, who was 30 years her elder. She pretended to be two years older (several sources, including the normally well-informed French site Les Gens du Cinéma, still give 1936 as her birth date) in order to marry without problems.
The young actress made her first major appearances as a high-school graduate in Ihre grosse Prüfung/The Big Test (Rudolf Jugert, 1955) with Luise Ullrich, and as a mayor's daughter during the Spanish Civil War in the melodrama Solange du lebst/As Long As You Live (Harald Reinl, 1955) with Adrian Hoven. Hal Erickson writes at AllMovie that “though the leading lady of this film, Marianne Koch, received several awards for her performance, many male viewers were more interested in her sexier costar Karin Dor”.
A curiosity was the comedy Mit Eva fing die Sünde an/Bellboy and the Playgirls (Fritz Umgelter, 1958), which centres on a bellhop who prepares for his dream job of becoming a detective by spying on half-naked chorines through a keyhole. Just before the film was distributed in the US in 1962, the young Francis Ford Coppola was hired to add additional scenes featuring nude women - shot in 3-D - to spice up the story.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 1014. Photo: Zeyn / Union-Film / Spörr.
German postcard, no. E 80. Photo: Constantin. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962) with Karin Dor and Jan Sid.
German postcard, no. E 76. Photo: Constantin. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962) with Götz George and Karin Dor.
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag. Photo: Rialto / Constantin / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962).
According to Filmportal.de, Karin Dor specialised in gentle and naive roles in popular music films and sentimental comedies with a regional background.
But she managed to successfully transfer her image to the crime film genre in Die Bande des Schreckens/Hand of the Gallows (Harald Reinl, 1960), the third film in the Edgar Wallace series. Dor became popular as ‘Miss Krimi’ and was seen in eleven Wallace films.
She also appeared in the Dr. Mabuse and Fu Manchu horror melodrama series: in Die Unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse/The Invisible Dr. Mabuse (Harald Reinl, 1962) and Ich, Dr. Fu Man Chu/The Face of Fu Manchu (Don Sharp, 1962) starring Christopher Lee.
Karin Dor often played the innocent damsel in distress, who opposed the bad guys bravely till the hero saved her. In that role she also became a key asset to the Karl May film series, the second huge West-German genre success.
First she appeared in Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962), the first film with Lex Barkeras Old Shatterhand and Pierre Brice as Winnetou. In Winnetou 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964), she was Ribanna, Winnetou’s greatest love.
She also appeared in the Eurowesterns Der letzte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965), Winnetou - 3. Teil/The Desperado Trail (Harald Reinl, 1965) and Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten/In the Valley of Death (Harald Reinl, 1968). For these roles, she was awarded the Scharlih-Prize in 1994, the best-known award connected to Karl May.
German postcard, no. R 6. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna.
German postcard, no. R 7. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna and Pierre Brice as Winnetou.
German postcard, no. R 19. Photo: still from Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Karin Dor as Ribanna.
German postcard, no. R 22. Photo: publicity still for Winnetou - 2. Teil/Last of the Renegades (Harald Reinl, 1964) with Mario Girottiand Karin Dor. Caption: Auch Ribanna und ihr Mann Leutnant Merrill fallen in die Hände der Bande. Sie werden als Gefangene an einen Felsen gebunden. (Ribanna and her husband Lt. Merrill also fall into the hands of the gang. They are bound as prisoners to a rock.)
German postcard, no. 15 (1-36). Photo: CCC / Constantin. Publicity still for Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten/The Valley of Death (Harald Reinl, 1968). Caption: Mabel will den Banditen den Brief übergeben, um Leutnant Cummings zu retten. (Mabel wants to give the letter to the bandits to save Lieutenant Cummings.)
A turning point in Karin Dor’s career was her great role as the demonic Brunhild in the two-part Burgundian saga Die Nibelungen/Those whom the Gods wish to destroy (Harald Reinl, 1966). Although the film was not well received by the critics, it became the start of Dor's international film career.
As Germany's ‘star without affairs’ Dor got the part of sexy agent Helga Brandtin the fifth James Bond opus, You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967) alongside Sean Connery. It enabled her as ‘The first German Bond girl’ to act against her former, rather virtuous role image. She delivered a convincing performance as a red-haired temptress trying to stop the famous undercover agent using her erotic charm.
In 1968, Karin Dor became sick with cancer and she also divorced Harald Reinl. There was a brief halt in her career.
Suddenly she got the unexpected offer to play a Cuban woman in Alfred Hitchcock's spy thriller Topaz (1969). Dor starred as the beautiful and proud Juanita de Cordoba, the leader of an underground movement. She and her lover collaborate with the West.
Her death scenes in both aforementioned films were spectacular. In the Bond-film Helga Brandt is devoured by piranhas; and in Topaz Juanita is shot by her jealous lover (John Vernon), in the style of an opera's finale.
German postcard, no. 35 of 64. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Lezte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965) with Karin Dor, Marie France and Kurt Grosskurth. Caption: Der Koch hat die kleine Gruppe zum 'Garten der Steinerne Bäume' geführt. Welch ein Freude, als nun auch Captain Hayward unversehrt auftaucht und bald darauf Unkas und Falkenauge mit den Pferden. Nun kann man zu Munroes Farm aufbrechen! (The chef has led the small group to the 'Garden of Stone Trees'. What a joy when Captain Hayward emerges intact and soon after Uncas and Hawk Eye with the horses. Now they can leave for Munroe's Farm !)
German postcard, no. 39 of 64. Photo: Constantin. Still from Der Lezte Mohikaner/The Last of the Mohicans (Harald Reinl, 1965) with Daniel Martin, Anthony Steffen and Karin Dor. Caption: Kurz von der Munroe-Farm, im Schutze der Felsen, macht die kleine Gruppe halt. Sie überzeugt sich davon, dass die Farm von Rogers bande und den Irokesen umzingelt ist. Wie sollen sie nun hinein gelangen? Wiederum verfällt man auf eine Liste. Wie früher der Oberst, wenn er nach Hause zurück kehrte, mit einem Roten Tuch winkte, genauso soll sich Unkas der Farm nähern, damit man seine friedlichen Absichten erkennt. Cora bindet Unkas ihr rotes Halstuch um den Arm. (Near the Munroe farm, in the shelter of the rocks, the small group makes halt. They convinced themselves that the farm of Rogers bande and the Iroquois is surrounded. But how can they get inside? Again, one falls on a list. As before the colonel, when he returned home, Unkas will wave a red cloth when he goes nearer to the farm, so that you can see his peaceful intentions. Cora binds her red scarf around Unkas arm.)
German postcard, no. 5. Photo: CCC / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried / Siegfried (Harald Reinl, 1966) with Uwe Beyer as Siegfried and Karin Dor as Brunhild.
German postcard, no. 13. Photo: CCC / Constantin Film. Publicity still for Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried / Siegfried (Harald Reinl, 1967) with Maria Marlow as Kriemhild and Karin Dor as Brunhild. Caption: "Beim Kirchgang begegnen sich die Königinnen Kriemhild und Brunhild. Von Eifersucht geplagt, wirft Kriemhild der Königin von Burgund vor, dass nicht ihr Bruder Gunther, sondern Siegfried Brunhild besiegt hätte. Als Beweis zeigt sie Brunhild deren Zaubergürtel. Die Königinnen trennen sich in Zorn und Hass." (When going to the church, the queens Kriemhild and Brunhild encounter. From jealousy plagued Kriemhild tells the Queen of Burgundy that not her brother Gunther but Siegfried has defeated Brunhild . As proof, she points Brunhild the magic belt. The queens separate in anger and hatred.).
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Axel Strencioch.
You Only Live Three Times
Till the early 1970s, Karin Dor featured in more international films like the British pulp thriller Die Screaming, Marianne (Pete Walker, 1970) starring Susan George in her debut, Die Antwort kennt nur der Wind/Only the Wind Knows the Answer (Alfred Vohrer, 1974) with Maurice Ronet, and Warhead (John O'Connor, 1974-1976) with David Janssen.
She also guest-starred in TV series like It Takes a Thief (1969), Ironside (1970) and The F.B.I. (1970). When the film offers dried up, she decided to focus on the German stage. There she appeared in classics as Tartuffe, but also in boulevard comedies like Der Neurosenkavalier. In the latter she performed more than 500 times.
Her TV work in the 1990s included the family series Die große Freiheit/The big freedom (1990) where she starred alongside Hans-Joachim Kuhlenkampff as well as the TV film Der Preis der Liebe/The price of love (1998), a Rosamunde Pilcher adaptation.
She made a cinema come back as Katja Riemann’s alcoholic mother in Ich bin die Andere/I Am the Other Woman (Margarethe von Trotta, 2006). In 2008 she was back on the Munich stage in the (non-Bond-related) comedy Man lebt nur dreimal (You Only Live Three Times), which was especially written for her.
Karin Dor has a son from her first husband Harald Reinl, Andreas (1955). In 1972 she married merchant Günther Schmucker, but the pair divorced two years later. Her third husband was American stunt-director George Robotham, to whom she was married from 1988 till his death in 2007.
In 2015, she returned to the screen in Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World (Margaretha von Trotta, 2015) with Barbara Sukowa and Katja Riemann.
On 6 November 2017, Karin Dor died in München (Munich), Germany. She was 79
Trailer for Der Fälscher von London/The Forger of London (1961). Source: Rialto Film (YouTube).
Trailer for You Only Live Twice (1967). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer for Topaz (1969). Source: Alfred Hitchcock TV (YouTube).
Trailer Die screaming Marianne (1971). Source: The Susan George Channel (YouTube).
Trailer for Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World(2015). Source: Vipmagazin (YouTube).
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-line - German), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Filmportal.de, Les Gens du Cinéma (French), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Adrienne Corri. German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1333. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Publicity still for The Kidnappers (Philip Leacock, 1953).
Constance Dowling. Dutch postcard. Photo: Republic.
Hans Heinz Bollmann and Fritz Schulz. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 128/3. Photo: Aafa Film. Publicity still for Der Bettelstudent/The Beggar Student (Victor Janson, 1931).
Fatty Arbuckle. British postcard in the Pictures Portrait Gallery series, London, no. 9/192.
Gary Oldman. British postcard by Heroes Publishing Ltd, London, no. SPC 2788. Photo: publicity still for True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993).
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. French postcard by Les Presses de Belleville, no.101. Photo: Walt Disney Productions. Publicity still for Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964).
Lauren Bacall. Dutch postcard. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946).
Michael Parks. Vintage American collectors card. Photo: Universal / Pennebaker. Publicity still for Wild Seed ( Brian G. Hutton, 1965).
Red Hot Chili Peppers in Amsterdam. British postcard by A Bigger Splash, Manchester, no. K 387. Promotion card for the album Taste the Pain.
Robert Woolsey and Esther Muir. British postcard in the Filmshots series by Film Weekly. Publicity still for So This Is Africa (Edward F. Cline, 1933).
Roberto Benzi. French postcard. Photo: Raymond Voinquel, Paris.
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. French autograph card.
Piet Römer, Adèle Bloemendaal and Leen Jongewaard. Dutch promotion card by Philips. Photo: publicity still of the Dutch TV series 't Schaep met de 5 Pooten/The Sheep with the five legs (Joes Odufré, 1969-1970).
Tamara Karsavina. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1275/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Apeda, N.Y. (Alexander W. Dreyfoos).
Walter Brennan. Dutch postcard.
Sarah Bernhardt. French postcard by Croissant, Paris, no. 1530/8. Photo: P. Boyer. Publicity still for a stage production of La Dame aux Camelias.
Ricardo Cortez. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3216/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Delfina. Publicity still for The Private Life of Helen of Troy (Alexander Korda, 1927).
L'empereur des pauvres (René Leprince, 1922). French postcard of a scene with Henry Krauss.
Polaire. French postcard by F.C. & Cie., no. 250. Photo: Boyer & Bert, Paris.
Emil Jannings. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6424/1, 1931-1932. Photo: UFA.
Sylvie. French postcard. Photo: Pathé.
Jean Worms. French postcard by P.A., no. 312. Photo: Henri Manuel.
Bathing Beauty. French postcard by Cinémagazine Edition. Photo: Mack Sennett Comedies.
Lupu Pick. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 23/1. Photo: Atelier Bieber, Berlin.
Ramon Novarro. French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 237. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).
Raquel Meller. French postcard by R. Guilleminat, Paris.
Gladys Walton. French postcard in the Les Vedettes de cinéma series by A.N., Paris, no. 2. Photo: Universal Film Co.
French publicity postcard for the documentary La loi de la jungle, originally titled En djungelsaga (1957), shot in India by the Swedsh filmmaker Arne Suckdorff. While this card is in black and white, the film was in Eastmancolor. The film was shown in France also as L'arc et la flûte, its American title was The Flute and the Arrow.
Bourvil. French postcard by Les carbones Korès, no. 21E. Promotion card for the French film Le Passe-muraille (Jean Boyer, 1951).
Claudia Cardinale. German postcard by UFA.
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine no. 441. Photo: Sartony.
French postcard postcard by JRPR, Paris, no. 115. Photo: France-Film. Publicity still for L'île d'amour/Island of Love (Berte Dagmar, Jean Durand, 1929).
Belgian postcard by Weekblad Cinema, Antwerpen.
Claude France was born Jane Joséphine Anna Françoise Wittig in Emden, Germany, in 1893.
In 1920, she made her cinema debut opposite Paul Capellaniand Jaque Catelain in Le Carnaval des Vérités/The carnival of the truths by Marcel L'Herbier.
Afterwards she performed in such memorable films as Le Père Goriot/Father Goriot (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1921) after Honoré de Balzac, Le Diamant vert/The Green Diamond (Pierre Marodon, 1922), Pax Domine (René Leprince, 1923) with Camille Bert, and Violettes impériales/Imperial violet (Henry Roussel, 1923) with the temperamental Spanish star Raquel Meller.
In Germany she appeared in Moderne Ehen/Modern marriages (Hans Otto, 1924) with Helena Makowska, and in Pension Groonen (Robert Wiene, 1925) with Carmen Cartellieri. Back in France she worked on Le prince charmant/Prince Charming (Viktor Tourjansky, 1925) opposite Jaque Catelain, Le Bossu/The hunchback (Jean Kemm, 1925) featuring Gaston Jacquet, and L'Abbé Constantin/Abbot Constantin (Julien Duvivier, 1925) starring Jean Coquelin.
Raquel Meller and André Roanne. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition. Photo: publicity still for Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (Henry Roussel, 1924).
Raquel Meller. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition. Photo: publicity still for Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (Henry Roussel, 1924).
Charlotte Ander, Claude France, and Carmen Cartellieri. Croatian (former Jugoslavian) postcard by Pan-Film, Zagreb. Photo: publicity still for Pension Groonen (Robert Wiene, 1925).
French postcard by Editions Cinématographiques Jacques Haïk, no. 1. Photo: publicity still for Le Bossu/The hunchback (Jean Kemm, 1925). Caption: Scene in the Salon of the Regent.
Madame de Pompadour
Claude France was very busy film actress in the mid-1920s. She played Madame de Pompadour in the adventure film Fanfan-la-Tulipe (Rene Leprince, 1925) featuring Aimé Simon-Girard, Potiphar's wife in Le berceau de dieu/The Cradle of God (Fred LeRoy Granville, 1926) with Léon Mathot, and the title character in Lady Harrington (Hewitt Claypoole Grantham-Hayes, Fred LeRoy Granville, 1926).
Then she had a double role as Mme Cornelis and Mme Termonde in André Cornelis (Jean Kemm, 1926), and she won the female leads in Simone (E.B. Donatien, 1926), and L'ile d'amour/Island of Love (Berthe Dagmar, Jean Durand, 1927), costarring Pierre Batcheff.
In January 1928, two months before her greatest triumph La Madone des Sleepings/Madonna of the Sleeping Cars (Marco de Gastyne, Maurice Gleize, 1928), costarring Olaf Fjord and Vladimir Gajdarov, would open in the cinemas, Claude France's career was cut short.
She committed suicide by opening the gas in her house in Paris. At his wonderful French blog Sniff & Puff, Tom Peeping writes that the press at the time wrote that she died because of a broken heart. Sniff & Puff presents a postcard of France with a dedication to her co-star of Le prince charmant/Prince Charming (1925), Jaque Catelain.
Was he also her dream prince charming in real life? If so, her dream must surely have become a deception: Catelain was gay and the lover of the director who gave France her first role, Marcel L'Herbier. Poor, sweet Claude France, she was only 34 at the time of her horrible death.
Jaque Catelain. French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 179.
Jaque Catelain. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1936/1, 1927/1928. Photo: Trude Heiringer, Dora Horovitz, Wien.
French postcard postcard in the Les Vedettes de Cinéma series by A.N., Paris, no. 179. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.
Sources: Sniff & Puff (French), Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915) with Alberto Collo as Gugliemo Oberdan and Vittorina Moneta as his fiancee Maria. Caption: "The Fatherland above all other affections. From this wet nurse Rome, queen of the world, the spark will part that will free my Trieste."
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915) with Alberto Collo and Vittorina Moneta. Caption: And if you don't return? There is no nicer sacrifice than dying for the fatherland.
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915), with Alberto Collo as Oberdan and famous stage actress Ida Carloni Talli as his mother. Caption: "What shall I do, mamma? I will leave this oppressed land and will take care my sacrifice will be worthwhile to redeem my brothers and sisters."
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915), with Alberto Collo as Oberdan and Ida Carloni Talli as his mother. Caption: "And his mother said: 'Go! My most beloved one, remember every suffered insult, every cry of grief. Make sure that the Fatherland will be saved'."
During the First World War, more postcards were mailed than ever before - or ever after. Different European countries decided to use the postcard to advertise films and to create film stars. Governments used the cinema as part of their propaganda machines. Italian producers chose the martyrs of the Italian liberation, like Guglielmo Oberdan, for their patriotic films to justify Italy's participation in the Great War.
Wilhelm Oberdan was born in the city of Trieste, then part of the Austrian Empire. His mother was a Slovene woman from Šempas in the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, while his father, Valentino Falcier, was a Venetian soldier in the Austrian army. He did not recognize his son, so Wilhelm took his mother's surname. He was educated in an Italian cultural milieu and Italianised his name to Guglielmo Oberdan.
In 1877 he enrolled at the Vienna's College of Technology (now Vienna University of Technology) where he studied engineering. As he supported the idea of independence for all of the empire's national groups he resented the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary and therefore deserted from the Austro-Hungarian Army because he did not want to take part in military activities there.
Instead, he fled to Rome to continue his studies there. In the Italian capital he adopted irredentist ideas, aiming at the annexation to Italy of the Italian-speaking lands still under Austro-Hungarian rule. In 1882 he met with irredentist leader and co-founder Matteo Renato Imbriani. It was then that he came to the conviction that only radical acts of martyrdom could bring the liberation of Trieste from Austrian rule. And at the same time, Emperor Franz Joseph was planning a visit to Trieste as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Habsburg dominion over the city...
Oberdan and Istrian pharmacist Donato Ragosa plotted an assassination attempt on the Emperor. However, their attempt failed. Oberdan was arrested and sentenced to hang by an Austrian court. His mother, author Victor Hugo and poet Giosue Carducci appealed for clemency - but in vain. Just before the execution, Oberdan cried "Viva l'Italia!" (Long live Italy!), which helped establish his later reputation as a martyr of the Italian National cause. Statues of him were erected throughout unified Italy. The Emperor Franz Joseph, who reigned another thirty-five years, never visited Trieste again. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, harked back to Oberdan's earlier attempt.
Tiber Films produced Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste in 1915. Director of this film adaptation of Oberdan's life was Emilio Ghione, who also played the role of the governor of Trieste. Ghione met the irredentist Gabriele D'Annunzio at an invitational showing of the film in Rome and Ghione's inter-titles were praised by D'Annunzio. Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste was just one of a number of irredentist films produced in Italy during World War One. In our coming film special next week, EFSP will feature another example of these patriotic films.
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione 1915), with Alberto Collo as Oberdan. Caption: "If it would happen... that I would not return ... here is my testament: Viva L'Italia!"
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915) with Alberto Collo as Guglielmo Obedan. Caption: Italy! May I see you again having grown bigger... or never see you again.
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione, 1915) with Alberto Collo as Guglielmo Obedan. Caption: "I don't fear you, you cops. If only my act could cause Italy to start war with the enemy."
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione 1915), with Alberto Collo (right) as Guglielmo Oberdan (right) and Emilio Ghione (left) as the governor of Trieste. Caption: "I admit and I swear to have come to Trieste with the exact scope of killing the infamous head of an infamous state. And now I happily challenge your tortures."
Italian postcard for Guglielmo Oberdan, il martire di Trieste (Emilio Ghione 1915), with Vittorina Moneta as Oberdan's fiancee Maria. Caption: "Let your sweet, delightful soul exult for the imminent liberation."
Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb
Jean Gabin. French collectors card by Massilia.
Annabella. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Fox.
Fernandel. French collectors card by Massilia.
Jules Berry. French collectors card by Massilia.
Louis Jouvet. French postcard by Massilia. Photo: Eclair.
A Greek Colony
Wikipedia mentions that Massilia is the Latin name of the Greek colony of Μασσαλία. It was founded by the Ionians of Phocaea in 600 BC. The colony was located on the southern coast of Gaul, at the place of modern Marseilles.
Massilia was also an affiliated label with bonbons Loriot (etablissements UNGEMAC Strasbourg) in the 1930s. Massilia issued ‘Sammelbilder’ (collectors cards) about various subjects, in different formats, in colour and in black and white or sepia.
Many labels used the collectors cards as a gift and promo for their products, including Kivou in Belgium (chocolate), and an incredible amount of cigarettes labels in Germany: Altona, Orami, and so on.
These labels often used Ross Verlag for their film stars albums. Other subjects for the collectors cards were dancers, beautiful women, animals, flags and martial subjects when the NSDAP took over in Germany.
Some of the Massilia cards are large sized (10,5 cm x 15 cm) and printed on high quality card stock. Others are smaller (8 x 11 cm). Almost all of them have vibrantly colour-toned images on front and plain white backs. But there are also series in black and white or sepia. On each card you’ll find a small Massilia logo at the bottom.
Corinne Luchaire. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: London Film Productions.
Roger Tréville. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Paramount.
Pierre Blanchar. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Filmsonor.
Michèle Morgan. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Osso.
Elvire Popesco. French collectors card by Massilia.
At the memorabilia site Immortal Ephemera, Cliff Aliperti dates Amit Benyovits' set to approximately 1937-1938 due to inclusion of child stars such as Shirley Temple and Deanna Durbin. At Immortal Ephemera, you 'll find scans of the album cover plus of all the cards of Benyovits, including some cards of pairs.
Cliff Aliperti: “Of these pairs Yvette Lebon and Tino Rossionly appeared in one film together, released 1936; Viviane Romance and Tino Rossi appeared in 2, released in 1937 and much later (1972). Also included are the pair of Jacqueline Delubac and Sacha Guitry who appeared in a whopping 11 films together: 1 in 1935, the other 10 all between 1936-1938.”
Some of the photos look a lot like pictures you can see on similar postcards of other publishers, but the poses are different. What could be the reason?
Collector Didier Hanson: “Keep in mind that 9 times out of 10 the photo atelier took many shots during the photo session, and many or all of them were used to issue postcards, even if the publishers were different. This explains why you can come across similar postcards from different publishing houses.”
Marie Glory. French card by Massilia.
Armand Bernard. French card by Massilia. Photo: A.C.E.
Madeleine Robinson. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Studio Harcourt.
Conchita Montenegro. French collectors card by Massilia.
Dita Parlo. French collectors card by Massilia.
Dolly Mollinger. French collectors card by Massilia.
Henri Rollan. French card by Massilia. Handwritten text at the backside (not entirely readable): "Je suis heureux de pouvoir vous saluer de cette façon un peu inattendue.... aussi inconnue à qui sont dédiés mes efforts, mais qui en pensez... quoi??? Bien sympathiquement... quoi qu'il en soit. Henri Rollan".
Henri Alibert. French card by Massilia. Photo: Film Malsherbes. Publicity still for Titin des Martigues (René Pujol, 1938).
Junie Astor. French postcard by Massilia. Photo: Filma Albatros. Publicity still for Les Bas-fonds/The Lower Depths (Jean Renoir, 1936).
Tino Rossi. French card by Massilia.
Marie Glory. French card by Massilia. Photo: R. Joffres.
René Dary. French collectors card by Massilia. Photo: Léo Mirkine.
Maurice Chevalier. French collectors card by Massilia.
Sources: Didier Hanson, Amit Benyovits, Clifford Aliperti (Immortal Ephemera), and Wikipedia.
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 Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4340. Photo: Sandrew / Rhombus / Ufa. Publicity still for Laila/Make Way for Lila (Rolf Husberg, 1958).
German postcard by WS-Drück, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 100. Photo: Huster.
German postcard by Bartoschek-Verlag, Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt, no. 1443. Photo: Huster.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 630. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol. Publicity photo for the comedy Lockvogel der Nacht/Decoys of the Night (Wilm ten Haaf, 1959).
Erika Remberg was born Erika Crobath in 1932 in Medan, on the island of Sumatra in the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia). She was the daughter of a tobacco planter. The family returned to Austria during the Second World War.
Erika visited a gymnasium in Innsbruck and there she had her first stage experiences as an amateur actress. After some acting classes and small engagements she worked for the Exl-Bühnein Innsbruck.
There she met Austrian actor Walter Reyerand they married in 1950. That same year their daughter Veronika was born.
In 1950 she also made her film debut in the drama Der Geigenmacher von Mittenwald/The violin maker from Mittenwald (Rudolf Schündler, 1950) with Paul Richter.
Small roles followed in films like the comedy Drei Kavaliere/Three Cavaliers (Joe Stöckel, 1951) and the circus film Salto Mortale (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953), starring Margot Hielscher and Philip Dorn.
As the leading lady, she first appeared in the title role of the Turkish production Nilgün (Münir Hayri Egeli, 1954).
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 778. Photo: Panorama / Komet / Ewald. Publicity still for Salto Mortale (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953).
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 444, 1957. Photo: Komet-Film. Publicity still for Salto Mortale (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953).
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3123. Photo: Haenchen / Donau Film. Publicity still for Rosmarie kommt aus Wildwest/Rosmarie comes from Wild West (Wolfgang Becker, 1956).
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3342. Photo: Michaelis / Sascha/ Herzog Film. Publicity still for Kaiserjäger/Emperor hunters (Willi Forst, 1956).
After the Exl-Bühne stopped, Erika Remberg focused completely on the cinema. She became the life partner of the German film actor Klaus Kinski in 1955 and soon she became a star of the German cinema of the late 1950s.
She was the leading lady in such films as the Western comedy Rosmarie kommt aus Wildwest/Rosmarie Comes From the Wild West (Wolfgang Becker, 1956), and three Austrian romantic comedies with Adrian Hoven: Kaiserjäger (Willi Forst, 1956), Wien Du Stadt meiner Träume/Vienna, City of My Dreams (Willi Forst, 1957) and Die unentschuldigte Stunde/The Unexcused Hour (Willi Forst, 1957).
Most of these films were not very interesting artistically, but commercially they were successes. Her biggest hit was the Swedish-German co-production Laila/Make Way for Lila (Rolf Husberg, 1958).
It was the third film version of the tale of Laila, a foundling who is adopted and raised by a Lapland chieftain. Growing to maturity in the frozen Northlands, Laila enjoys an adventuresome existence. Obedient to her adoptive parents, Lila is prepared to settle down and marry the man of their choice - until she falls in love with handsome Joachim Hansen.
Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Lively ‘mountain drama’ (…) evocatively photographed by Sven Nykvist”. Nykvist was the director of photography of many Ingmar Bergman films.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 166.
German card by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 143. Photo: Matador-Film.
German postcard by WS-Drück, Wanne-Eickel, no. 406. Photo: Bavaria / Filmpress Zürich.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 235. Photo: Kolibri / Enzwieser.
Circus of Horrors
In the 1960s, during the decline of the German cinema, Erika Remberg worked often internationally. In 1960 she starred in the Mexican thriller Verano violento/Violent Summer (Alfonso Corona Blake, 1960) opposite Pedro Armendariz. One of her other co-stars was Gustavo Rojo, whom she later married.
That same year she also starred in the French war drama Le bois des amants/Between Love and Duty (Claude Autant-Lara, 1960) with Laurent Terzieff, and in the British horror film Circus of Horrors (Sidney Hayers, 1960).
Circus of Horrors was the third of a series of creepy films from Amalgamated Studios focusing on sadism, cruelty and violence (with sexual undertones). The film details the twisted practises of a deranged German plastic surgeon (Anton Diffring) who hides out in France after mutilating a patient and begins his work anew under an assumed name, travelling with a circus troupe. The previous films in the trilogy were Horrors of the Black Museum and Peeping Tom, both in 1959.
During the 1960s, Erika Remberg mainly appeared on TV. In the cinema she played supporting parts in mediocre fare like the vampire film Der Fluch der grünen Augen/Cave of the Living Dead (Ákos Ráthonyi, 1964) with Adrian Hoven, and the drama À belles dents/Living it Up (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1966) starring Mireille Darc.
Her last film was the arty but interesting erotic film The Lickerish Quartet (Radley Metzger, 1970) with Frank Wolff. The reviewer at IMDb writes: “The narrative is interesting and full of tricks. It uses flashbacks, pseudo flashbacks and multiple perspectives. Yes, it's a bit pretentious, but the plot keeps you watching.”
In the USA, The Lickerish Quartet received critical praise upon its release by many critics, including Andy Warhol and Vincent Canby as being one of the first films with graphic sex to have Hollywood-like production values.
In later years, Erika Remberg mainly worked for TV in series like Wie würden Sie entscheiden?/How Would You Decide? (Clemens Keiffenheim, Renate Vacano, 1974) and Les grands détectives/The Great Detectives (Jean Herman, 1975).
Somewhere in the mid-1970s, she said the cinema and the stage farewell. In 1981 she wrote the novel Steckbriefe/Profiles, that was adapted into a TV series.
After this Erika Remberg retired completely and married film director Sidney Hayers, with whom she had made Circus of Horrors in 1960. They lived together in Altea, Spain, where Hayers died of cancer in 2000.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 901. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol. Publicity photo for the comedy Lockvogel der Nacht/Decoys of the Night (Wilm ten Haaf, 1959).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 2838. Photo: publicity still for Drei weiße Birken/Three white birches (Hans Albin, 1961).
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3821. Photo: Brünjes / Rhombus / Ufa.
German Trailer of Laila/Make Way for Lila (1958). Source: Pidax (YouTube).
Trailer of Circus of Horrors (1960). Source: WickedVisionMagazin
Trailer of The Lickerish Quartet (1970). Source: CultEpicsDVD (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), AllMovie, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Dutch postcard by P. Moorlag, Heerlen, Sort 14/6. Photo: E. Schneider.
Evi Kent was born in Brünn, Austria (now Brno, Czech Republic) in 1938.
According to the IMDb, Evi Kent’s first appearances were in 1953 on German television, in the comedy Spiel mit dem Glück/Love Game (Peter A. Horn, 1953) and in the musical show Knallbonbons (Hanns Farenburg, 1953).
From early on she worked both as an actress and a singer. In Spiel mit dem Glück, the Trinidad born singer Mona Baptiste starred and Evi was billed fourth. In Knallbonbons some then well-known artists performed like Belgian singer-actress Angèle Durand and the dance group The Hiller Girls.
Evi’s appearances must have been successful, while in the following years some supporting roles followed in theatrical films like the comedy Mamitschka (Rolf Thiele, 1955) starring Rudolf Platte, Friederike von Barring (Rolf Thiele, 1956) starring Nadja Tiller, Mein Vater, der Schauspieler/My Father, the Actor (Robert Siodmak, 1956) with O.W. Fischer, and Jede Nacht in einem anderen Bett/Each Night in Another bed (Paul Verhoeven, 1957) with Gerhard Riedmann.
Among her hit songs was Papa Tanzt Mambo, a German cover of Perry Como's Papa Loves Mambo, which decades later re-appeared on compilations like 100 Goldene Schlager 1930-1955. In 1956 she also made a great German cover version of Teresa Brewer’s hit A Sweet Old Fashioned Girl: Mauerblümchen (Wallflower) - genuine German Rock and Roll.
That same year she also sang the cheeky and equally enjoyable Warum drehn' sich alle Männer nach mir um? (Why Do All the Men Turn Around for Me?). Both can be heard on YouTube (and thanks to Blackeyedjoe also here below).
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. I 493. Photo: Filmaufbau / Deutsche London / Lindner. Publicity still for Friederike von Barring (Rolf Thiele, 1956).
German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 1773. Photo: Filmaufbau / Deutsche London / Lindner. Publicity still for Friederike von Barring (Rolf Thiele, 1956).
Fluffy and Forgettable
For four years Evi Kent did not appear in films, but in 1961 she played small parts in the Austrian comedy Unsere tollen Tanten/Our Mad Aunts (Rolf Olsen, 1961) with Günter Philipp and Vivi Bach, and the sequel Unsere tollen Nichten/Our Mad Nieces (Rolf Olsen, 1962).
During the early 1960s, she appeared mainly in small roles in Austrian films: in comedies and Schlager films. Some titles are Das haben die Mädchen gern/That’s What the Girls Like (Kurt Nachmann, 1962) with Ann Smyrner, and Tanze mit mir in den Morgen/Dance with Me Into the Morning (Peter Dörre, 1962) with Rex Gildo.
She also played the female lead in the adventure comedy Unter Wasser küßt man nicht/Under Water One Doesn’t Kiss (Erich Heindl, 1962) opposite Gunther Philipp. It would not become her breakthrough role, and in the following years her parts in films became smaller.
Those films included Rote Lippen soll man küssen/Red Lips Should Be Kissed (Franz Antel, 1963) starring Johanna Matz, Allotria in Zell am See/Larking about in Zell am See (Franz Marischka, 1963) and Jetzt dreht die Welt sich nur um dich/The World Turns Around Now (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1964), all fluffy and forgettable.
Evi found bigger roles in comedies on television, like next to Hannelore Auerin Eheinstitut Harmonie/Marriage Institute Harmony (Dieter Pröttel, 1964), in Mitternachtszauber/Midnight Magic (Ralph Lothar, 1964) with Beppo Brem, and in Der doppelte Moritz/Thre Double Moritz (Fred Kraus, 1966) starring popular comedian Willy Millowitsch.
She often performed as a singer on TV, like in the Silvester Show (Dieter Pröttel, 1964) and Es funkeln die Sterne - Eine musikalische Silvesterreise um die Welt/Stars Twinkle - A Musical Christmas Trip Around the World (Paul Martin, Dieter Wendrich, 1966).
The following years her appearances became rarer. On TV she was seen next to Georg Thomalla in an episode of Komische Geschichten mit Georg Thomalla/Funny Stories With Georg Thomalla, and in the musical Auf der grünen Wiese/At the Green Meadow (Edwin Zbonek, 1971).
In the cinema she was last seen in Blau blüht der Enzian/Blue Blossoms the Gentian (Franz Antel, 1973), a comedy set in the winter resort of Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Austria, starring TV host Ilja Richter. On television she was last seen in an episode of the Austrian TV series Alfred auf Reisen/Afred on Voyage (1982, Kurt Junek, Hemut Pfandler) featuring Alfred Böhm.
And from then on all traces of beautiful Evi Kent disappeared…
German postcard by WS-Druck,Wanne-Eickel. Photo: Delos / Constantin/Gabriele.
German autograph card. Photo: Sponner.
Evi Kent sings Warum drehn' sich alle Männer nach mir um? (1956). Source: Blackeyedjoe (YouTube).
Evi Kent sings Mauerblümchen (1956). Source: Blackeyedjoe (YouTube).
Sources: BlackeyedJoe (YouTube) and IMDb.
Italian postcard. Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (B.F.F. Edit.), no. 1427. Photo: Vaselli / E.N.I.C.
Roldano Lupi was born in Milan in 1909, as son of Domenico and Maria Tardiani.
He earned a degree as accountant in Milan, and later dedicated himself to acting for sheer delight, becoming part of the cast of some local amateur stage companies.
His transition to professional acting took place relatively late in 1938, when he had the opportunity to enter the celebrated Kiki Palmer company. After this, his career underwent a strong acceleration. He first moved to the company of Guglielmo Giannini, and in 1942 to that of Ruggero Ruggeriand Dina Galli.
In the meantime, Lupi started his career in the cinema. In 1941 he made his film debut in the romance Sissignora/Yes, Madam, directed by Ferdinando Maria Poggioli– whose favourite actor he became. Here he played the role that made him famous, that of the selfish and cynical lover, of Evi Maltagliati in this case, who plays the employer of the protagonist Cristina (Maria Denis).
More success came to Lupi the following year, as the protagonist of the drama Gelosia/Jealousy (Ferdinando Maria Poggioli, 1942). Here he is a marquis who weds his love interest, a farmer girl (Luisa Ferida), to one of his tenants, with the promise the marriage may not be consumed. He shoots the tenant out of jealousy. He confesses his crime to a priest but refuses to denounce himself, hiding in a wedding with a noble lady. Too late, he repents his mistakes.
In 1943-1944, he worked on the film Circo equestre Za-bum/The Za-Bum Circus (Mario Mattoli, 1944). The film was shot clandestinely in Rome during the Italian Social Republic also known as the Republic of Salò (1943-1945), when the country was occupied by the Germans and all cinematic activity was transferred to Venice. Many actors and technicians decided to stay in Rome, some with work permits delivered by the Vatican State, and the not so lucky - like those involved in this film - working clandestinely.
Italian postcard by ASER (A. Scaramaglia Edizioni Roma), no. 353. Photo: Civirani / Lux Film.
Seriousness and professionalism
From that time until the immediate post-war period, Roldano Lupi became one of the leading men of the Italian cinema. He characterised his interpretations with seriousness and professionalism. This earned him strong acclaim by the critics, who, however, sometimes criticised him for sometimes too fixed kinds of expressions.
During the war, Lupi acted in Nessuno orna indietro/Responsibility Comes Back (Alessandro Blasetti, 1943), Il cappello da prete/The priest's hat (Ferdinando Maria Poggioli, 1944) and La porta del cielo/The Gates of Heaven (Vittorio De Sica, 1944). The latter film is the story of a train full of sick and deformed pilgrims on their way to seek miracles at the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, near the city of Ancona in eastern Italy. La porta del cielo was made during the German occupation of Rome, with support from the Vatican. This allowed Lupi and other actors, under pressure to go north and work in Venice for the film industry of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic, to remain in Rome.
Lupi was equipped with a face with a thick and frowning expression. So, despite being the leading man of many successful films, he was never considered a true star by the public who rather favoured actors like Massimo Girotti, Amedeo Nazzari, Fosco Giachetti, and Andrea Checchi, even if at times they played parts similar to his own.
Precisely the roles he was constrained to - the jealous and crazy lover, the perverted and unwilling nobleman ready for money, the disturbed assassin - became in some respects Lupi’s professional strength. The expression to the limits of the madness that he was able to infuse his characters, and the cloudy air around him signed him deeply, but in other respects these features also limited his career and popularity.
In the postwar period, he was remarkable in the crime film Il testimone/The Testimony (Pietro Germi, 1945) with Marina Berti, L'adultera/The Adulteress (Duilio Coletti, 1946) with Clara Calamai, Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo/Flesh Will Surrender (Alberto Lattuada 1947), and Altura/Height (Mario Sequi 1949), alongside Mario Girotti and Eleonora Rossi Drago.
In 1950, he appeared in L'edera/Devotion (Augusto Genina 1950) opposite Columba Dominguez, who plays a girl, adopted by a declining aristocratic family. This Italian rural drama was shot in Barbagia, Sardinia. Vitaliano Brancati contributed to the script, based on a novel by Grazia Deledda. The film quite closely follows the novel, which takes place on the province of Nuoro, but offers a less drastic finale. Progressively, in the second half of the 1950s, Lupi was increasingly employed in character roles.
In 1944, he had returned to the theatre. First he worked with the Magnani Ninchi company, then in 1947, with only Carlo Ninchi. He later became the protagonist of the great Medea summer show in 1949. In 1951, with the company of Guido Salvini, he continued his activity on the stage, starting also as radio and voice actor. He dubbed Walter Pidgeon in the cult film Forbidden Planet (Fred Wilcox, 1956), but also Leo Genn, George Montgomery and the famous western film actor Roy Rogers.
Italian postcard by Ed. Mondadori. Photo: Cines / E.N.I.C. / AGAR. Columba Dominguez and Roldano Lupi in L'edera/Devotion (Augusto Genina, 1950).
Even in the 1960s, Roldano Lupi continued to work in the cinema in many genres, even as a leading man in a Peplum. He worked with such directors as Riccardo Freda, Domenico Paolella, Primo Zeglio, Umberto Scarpelli and other specialists.
Yet, he also took the pleasure of shooting films with French filmmakers like Claude Autant-Lara, Christian-Jaque, Bernard Borderie and Henri Decoin. He was Captain De Treville in I cavalieri della regina (1954), co-directed by Mauro Bolognini and Joseph Lerner and based on Alexandre Dumas'The Three Musketeers.
In 1952, he also had the opportunity to be a partner of Hollywood star Errol Flynn in Il maestro di Don Giovanni/Crossed Swords (Milton Krims, 1952). Lupi's last film part was in the Peplum film La vendetta dei gladiatori/Revenge of the Gladiators (Luigi Capuano, 1964)
With the emergence of television, Lupi's commitments gradually shifted from the big to the small screen, such as in Mont Oriol (Claudio Fino, 1958), L'isola del tesoro/Treasure Island (Anton Giulio Majano, 1959), Tom Jones (Eros Macchi, 1960), Una tragedia americana/An American Tragedy (Anton Giulio Majano, 1962), La sciarpa/The Scarf (Guglielmo Morandi, 1963), I miserabili/Les Miserables (Sandro Bolchi, 1964), and David Copperfield (Anton Giulio Majano, 1965).
In the same year he took part in Questa sera parla Mark Twain/This evening speaks Mark Twain (Daniele D'Anza, 1965), starring Paolo Stoppa. He was also in other TV dramas including Le mie prigioni/My prisons (Sandro Bolchi, 1968) and Eleonora (Silverio Blasi, 1973). His intense stage and TV career lasted until 1979 when he appeared for the last time in an episode of the TV series Racconti di fantascienza/Science fiction stories by Alessandro Blasetti.
Roldano Lupi was married to the Venetian stage actress Pina Bertoncello. He died in Rome in 1989, and lies buried in the Cimitero Flaminio in Rome.
Italian postcard by Ed. Mondadori. Photo: Cines / E.N.I.C. / AGAR. Columba Dominguez and Roldano Lupi in L'edera/Devotion (Augusto Genina, 1950).
Italian postcard by Ed. Mondadori. Photo: Cines / E.N.I.C. / AGAR. Columba Dominguez in L'edera/Devotion (Augusto Genina, 1950).
Sources: Wikipedia (Italian and English) and IMDb.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 25. Photo: Teddy Piaz.
French postcard by Viny, no. 40. Photo: Star. With an autograph by Vernay at the flipside, dated 11 May 1940.
French postcard by Erpé, no. 568. Photo: Star.
French postcard, no. 720. Photo: Harcourt.
Annie Vernay was born Annie-Martine-Jacqueline Vermeersch in Genève-Plainpalais, Switzerland, in 1921. Her father, Gaston Vermeersch, was a rich industrialist.
As her mother Germaine Vermeersch couldn't realise an artistic career because of her marriage de raison, she pushed her daughter into an artistic career after her husband died and she inherited his fortune. She applied her daughter for Jugement d’Hélène, a beauty contest in Paris, when the girl was 16 years old.
During holidays at Juan les Pins a friend of film director Victor Tourjansky spotted her and recommended her to him. Tourjansky engaged her for the role of Lisl in his film Le mensonge de Nina Petrovna/The Lie of Nina Petrovna (Victor Tourjansky, 1937), which starred Italian star Isa Miranda and Fernand Gravey. The film had been shot earlier in Germany as Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna (Hanns Schwarz, 1929) with Brigitte Helm.
Vernay did so well that she was cast as the leading actress in the Italo-French multilingual La principessa Tarakanova/Betrayal (1938), shot at Cinecittà in Rome and directed by Russian director Fyodor Otsep and the Italian Mario Soldati.
Vernay played a princess who claims the Russian throne. Empress Catherine II (Suzy Prim) sends her lover and best soldier Orloff (Pierre-Richard Willm) to capture the impostor, but he falls for her beauty and innocence. The film had lavish sets of Venice and St. Petersburg and was one of the first Italian films shot in deep focus. It was a box office hit in 1938.
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 1139. Photo: Harcourt.
German postcard by Ross. Photo: Nero-Film.
Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano, 1938, XVI. Photo: Pesce.
Italian postcard by Rizzoli, Milano. Photo: Pesce.
Annie Vernay’s mother, who had become her agent and coach as well, knew she had gold in her hands. Annie herself, more sober, continued her studies in between shootings. The result was that the famous producer Seymour Nebenzahl of Nero Film engaged Vernay for several films.
The first was Max Ophüls’ adaptation of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers: Le roman de Werther/Sorrow of Werther (Max Ophüls, 1938). It featured Pierre-Richard Willm as Werther and Vernay as Charlotte/Lotte, the girl for whom Werther commits suicide. The film confirmed Vernay’s status as a new French film star, competing with young stars like Danielle Darrieux.
When World War II broke out in the summer of 1939, French film production hesitated but still continued, enabling Vernay to play in more films: the World War One drama Les otages/The Mayor's Dilemma (Raymond Bernard, 1939) with Pierre Larquey, Dédé la musique/Dédé of Montmartre (André Berthomieu, 1939) with Albert Préjean, Chantons quand même/Let us sing all the same (Pierre Caro, 1940), and the crime film Le collier de chanvre/Hangman's Noose (Léon Mathot, 1940) with Jacqueline Delubac.
Because of the pending German invasion of France, Annie Vernay intended to return to Switzerland, but at that moment she received an offer from Hollywood to play the role of a foreign woman in a movie called Rick's Café. Annie’s mother convinced her to accept the offer, so they travelled to the US via Argentine, on one of the last freighters to leave France.
Aboard the ship, though, Annie fell ill of typhoid and died in a hospital after her arrival in Buenos Aires, in August 1941. Annie Vernay was only 19 years old. Germaine Vermeersch never got over the loss of her daughter.
Other candidates for the same role in Rick's Café had been Hedy Lamarr and Michèle Morgan but eventually it would give Ingrid Bergman everlasting fame. The film in which Annie Vernay was supposed to play the female lead was later filmed as Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942).
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 1139 Photo: Harcourt.
French postcard by O.P., Paris, no. 122. Photo: Le Studio.
French postcard by P.I., Paris. Photo: Teddy Piaz.
French postcard by Collection Chantal, Paris. Photo: Nero Film.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Cine Vedette (French), Caroline Hanotte & Philippe Pelletier (CinéArtistes), and IMDb.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Mathias Bothor.
German postcard by Katja Riemann.de. Photo: Mirjam Knickriem.
The biggest grossing homegrown film
Katja Hannchen Leni Riemann was born in 1963 in Weyhe-Kirchweyhe, Germany. She is the daughter of two teachers and she has a sister, Susanne, and a brother, Jochen.
Riemann grew up in Weyhe, near Bremen. After high school she went to study at the School of Theatre and Music in Hanover from 1984 to 1986 and the Otto Falckenberg Drama School in Munich from 1986 to 1987. She attended the Westphalian Landestheater in Castrop-Rauxel and came to the ensemble of the Münchner Kammerspiele before the end of her training.
She made her screen debut in the TV mini-series Sommer in Lesmona/Summer in Lesmona (Peter Beauvais, 1985-1986). For her role she won two awards. After this success, several TV roles followed, including the title role in the series Regina auf den Stufen (Bernd Fischerauer, 1992) with Mark Kuhn and Serge Avedikian.
She had her breakthrough in the cinema with Abgeschminkt!/Making Up! (Katja von Garnier, 1993) opposite Max Tidof. The film is a satire about women of the 1990s in search of the men of their dreams.
The following year, she appeared as the girlfriend of Til Schweiger in the hilarious romantic comedy Der bewegte Mann/ Maybe, maybe not (Sönke Wortmann, 1994), also with Joachim Król. The comedy was based on the gay comics by Ralf König. At the time of its release, this was the biggest grossing homegrown film at the German box office. Other comedies followed like Nur über meine Leiche/Over My Dead Body (Rainer Matsutani, 1995).
Riemann reunited with director Katja von Garnier for the road movie Bandits (Katja von Garnier, 1997) with Jutta Hoffmann. The story is about members of a female rock band who escape from prison. Riemann even learned to play the drums for her role. Both the film and soundtrack album were commercially successful in Germany, and Riemann won the Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Award) for her role.
With director Rainer Kaufmann, she made the films Stadtgespräch/Talk of the Town (Rainer Kaufmann, 1995) with Martina Gedeck and Kai Wiesinger, and the comedy Die Apothekerin/The Pharmacist (Rainer Haufmann, 1997) with Jürgen Vogel and August Zirner. An international success was Comedian Harmonists (Joseph Vilsmaier, 1997) about the legendary close harmony sextet, played by a.o. Ben Becker, Kai Wiesinger and Max Tidof.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Stefan May.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Stefan May, München.
I Am the Other Woman
Beside her acting career, Katja Riemann started singing and released her first album Nachtblende in 2000. In 2003, the English-language jazz album Favourites followed with the Katja Riemann octet.
In the cinema she appeared in the pan-European production Novel (Fabio Carpi, 2001) starring Hector Alterio. She starred with Maria Schrader in the film Rosenstraße (Margarethe von Trotta, 2003) about the Rosenstrasse protest where women waited for seven days and nights outside of a Nazi jail for their Jewish husbands. The protests took place in Berlin during the winter of 1943. In Italy, the film won a David at the David di Donatello Awards.
With Von Trotta, she also worked on the psychodrama Ich bin die Andere/I Am the Other Woman (Margarethe von Trotta, 2006) with Armin Mueller-Stahl and Karin Dor. She played with Moritz Bleibtreu in the drama Agnes und seine Brüder/Agnes & His Brothers (Oskar Roehler, 2004).
With Von Garnier, she made an international production Blood and Chocolate (Katja von Garnier, 2007) with Hugh Dancy and Olivier Martinez, but it was a flop. More interesting was the Swiss-German rural drama Der Verdingbub/The Foster Boy (Markus Imboden, 2011). Filmportal.de: “she gives a stunning performance as a cold-hearted farmer, who holds an orphan boy like a slave on her yard.”
A huge box office success was the comedy Fack ju Göhte/Suck Me Shakespeer (Bora Dagtekin, 2013) starring Elyas M'Barek. Riemann played a strict school principal and received for her performance a Best Supporting Actress Nomination at the 2014 German Film Award.
In the drama Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World (Margaretha von Trotta, 2015) she co-starred with Barbara Sukowa and Mathias Habich. She also had a small part in the Hitler-in the-21st-century comedy Er ist wieder da/Look Who's Back (David Wnendt, 2015).
At the moment of writing, several films with her are in production, including Fack ju Göhte 3/Suck Me Shakespeer 3 (Bora Dagtekin, 2017), the comedy Forget About Nick (Margaretha von Trotta, 2017) and Subs (Oskar Roehler, 2018).
Katja Riemann is the mother of actress Paula Riemann (also Paula Romy), whose father is Peter Sattmann. Riemann met Sattmann, on the set of Von Gewalt keine Rede (1991), and they had a relationship from 1990 to 1998. Since 2007, she has been the longtime companion of sculptor Raphael Alexander Beil.
Riemann won the Bavarian Film Award three times. Twice as Best Actress in 1993 and 1995, and once for the Best Film Score in 1997. She wrote two successful children`s books, Der Name der Sonne (The name of the sun) and Der Chor der Engel (The choir of the angels), together with her sister Susanne (2002).
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Jim Rakete / Photo Selection.
German trailer Abgeschminkt!/Making Up! (1993). Source: alleskino (YouTube).
International trailer for Der bewegte Mann/ Maybe, maybe not (1994). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).
Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.