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Articles on this Page
- 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
- 11/22/17--22:00: _Die goldene Krone (...
- 11/23/17--22:00: _Film Partners
- 11/24/17--22:00: _Peter Sellers
- 11/25/17--22:00: _Gitta Alpár
- 11/26/17--22:00: _Uwe Friedrichsen
- 11/27/17--22:00: _Yvonne de Fleuriel
- 11/28/17--22:00: _Dominique Sanda
- 11/29/17--22:00: _L'ultima avventura ...
- 11/30/17--22:00: _Lilywhite Photograp...
- 12/01/17--22:00: _Antonietta Calderari
- 12/02/17--22:00: _Susannah York
- 12/03/17--22:00: _Nina Hagen
- 12/04/17--22:00: _Victor Boucher
- 12/05/17--22:00: _Monika Gabriel
- 12/06/17--22:00: _Johnny Hallyday (19...
- 12/07/17--22:00: _De Reszke Cigarettes
- 12/08/17--22:00: _Ulli Lommel (1944-2...
- 12/09/17--22:00: _Fesseln (1918)
- 12/10/17--22:00: _Alla Larionova
- 12/11/17--22:00: _Hermann Brix
- 12/12/17--22:00: _Suzanna Leigh (1945...
- 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
- 11/22/17--22:00: Die goldene Krone (1920)
- 11/23/17--22:00: Film Partners
- 11/24/17--22:00: Peter Sellers
- 11/25/17--22:00: Gitta Alpár
- 11/26/17--22:00: Uwe Friedrichsen
- 11/27/17--22:00: Yvonne de Fleuriel
- 11/28/17--22:00: Dominique Sanda
- 11/29/17--22:00: L'ultima avventura (1932)
- 11/30/17--22:00: Lilywhite Photographic Series
- 12/01/17--22:00: Antonietta Calderari
- 12/02/17--22:00: Susannah York
- 12/03/17--22:00: Nina Hagen
- 12/04/17--22:00: Victor Boucher
- 12/05/17--22:00: Monika Gabriel
- 12/06/17--22:00: Johnny Hallyday (1943-2017)
- 12/07/17--22:00: De Reszke Cigarettes
- 12/08/17--22:00: Ulli Lommel (1944-2017)
- 12/09/17--22:00: Fesseln (1918)
- 12/10/17--22:00: Alla Larionova
- 12/11/17--22:00: Hermann Brix
- 12/12/17--22:00: Suzanna Leigh (1945-2017)
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.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/1. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/2. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/3. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
Nobody is guilty, it is just fate
In Die goldene Krone/The Golden Crown (1920), Henny Porten plays Marianne, daughter of the owner of the hotel Zur goldene Krone (At the Golden Crown). She loves a duke, Franz Günther (Paul Hartmann), who has tuberculosis and is mortally ill. To prevent the bankruptcy of his hotel, Marianne's father wants her to wed Klaus (Hermann Thimig), son of rich fish trader Stöven. Klaus, who is a good sport, is prepared to compromise and accepts her affair.
But as Joseph Roth writes in Die Freie Deutsche Bühne, Marianne breaks up 'betrothal, best wishes, wedding nights' and flees Klaus to take care of the dying duke, with all her efforts. However, the duke's family arrives and Marianne has to step back, right in the night when he dies. On his deathbed the duke commissions his aide-de-camp to marry Marianne, but the latter shoots himself because of the family. Marianne returns to her father's hotel to help it rise again. There Klaus returns to her and they marry at last.
Of course there is no proof about the reliability of Roth's plot description, and his negative final judgment might have influenced the rest of the text. In his introduction Roth stressed that Olga Wohlbrück, on whose story, published in Die Berliner Woche, the film was based, was a 'Courts-Mahler mit Niveau, und grammatikalischem Deutsch'. Wohlbrück's stories were popular among middle class women, as they always treated young women as protagonists who because of class difference could not marry their beloved aristocrats. Nobody is guilty, it is just fate. It is presented with credibility and cool detachement. Meanwhile the stories give insight in life in the higher classes.
Die goldene Krone had its first night in Berlin on 6 August 1920. The film was scripted by director Alfred Halm and Hans Bennert. Sets were by Ludwig Kainer and cinematography was by Willy Gaebel.
At the end of his critique, Joseph Roth, seriously condemned the film from his left-wing perspective: "Yet, I protest that today, on 7 August 1920, less than 2 years after the revolution, the world view of Die Woche is spread from cosy family circles to the masses by means of cinema. That 'fatzery' tragically works, because Olga Wohlbrück needs to live. I protest." Roth may have been overcharging it a bit, but it is indeed ambiguous that while the Weimar Republic in 1919 stripped the German nobility of all legal privileges and immunities, the aristocracy remained such a focus within the mainstream German cinema.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/4. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/5. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/6. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/7. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).
Sources: Joseph Roth (Die Freie Deutsche Bühne - German), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia, and IMDb.
Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 150. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for The Scarlet Pimpernel (Harold Young, 1934).
Ivor Novello and Elizabeth Allan. British postcard in the Film Partners series, London, no. P 41. Photo: Stanborough. Publicity still for The Lodger (Maurice Elvey, 1932).
Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. P 42. Photo: Gainsborough Pictures. Publicity still for Jack's the Boy (Walter Forde, 1932).
Ralph Lynn and Winifred Shotter. British postcard in the Film Partners series, London, no. 81. Photo: British & Dominions. Publicity still for Summer Lightning (Maclean Rogers, 1933).
Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper. British postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 121. Photo: Gaumont-British. Publicity still for The Constant Nymph (Basil Dean, 1933).
Leslie Howard and Heather Angel. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 123. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Berkeley Square (Frank Lloyd, 1933).
Tullio Carminatiand Grace Moore. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 151. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for One Night of Love (Victor Schertzinger, 1934).
Madeleine Carroll and Clive Brook. British postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 166. Photo: Toeplitz. Publicity still for The Dictator (Victor Saville, 1935).
Derrick De Marney and Nova Pilbeam. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no PC 236. Photo: Gaumont British. Publicity still for Young and Innocent/The Girl Was Young (Alfred Hitchcock, 1937).
Jack Hulbert and Patricia Ellis. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 241. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for Paradise for Two/Gaiety Girls (Thornton Freeland, 1937).
David Niven and Ginger Rodgers. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. PC 211. Photo: R.K.O. Radio. Publicity still for Bachelor Mother (Garson Kanin, 1939).
Barry K. Barnes and Valerie Hobson. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. PC 284. Photo: Paramount British. Publicity still for This Man in Paris (David MacDonald, 1939).
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.
Spanish postcard by Raker no. 1132, 1965.
American postcard by Coral-Lee, Rancho Cordova, no. CL/Personality # 95. Photo: Dianne Schroeder / Sygma, 1979. Publicity still for Being There (Hal Ashby, 1979).
Absurd skits and bits
Richard Henry Sellers was born in 1925 in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth, England. He was literally born into show business. His parents, William 'Bill' Sellers and Agnes Doreen 'Peg' née Marks, were vaudeville performers in an acting company run by his grandmother, and Peter arrived while they were appearing in Southsea. Although christened Richard Henry, his parents called him Peter, after his elder stillborn brother.
Peter made his stage debut at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, when he was two weeks old. Sellers remained an only child. He began accompanying his parents in a variety act that toured the provincial theatres, causing much upheaval and unhappiness in the young Sellers' life. Sellers studied dance as a child before attending St. Aloysius’ Boarding and Day School for Boys.
As a teenager, Sellers learned to play the drums and played with jazz bands. At the age of 18, he entered the Royal Air Force during World War II. There he became part of a group of entertainers who performed for the troops. Sellers played his drums and did dead-on impersonations of some of the officers.
After the war, Sellers struggled to launch his comic career for several years. After several previous attempts, he managed to land work with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) by winning over radio producer Roy Speer during a phone conversation. His spot-on impersonations helped to make him a beloved radio comedian.
In 1951, Sellers joined fellow comics Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine for The Goon Show. The program proved to be hugely popular with listeners who tuned in to hear their absurd skits and bits. The success of The Goon Show helped Sellers break into films.
In 1951 the Goons made their feature film debut in Penny Points to Paradise (Anthony Young, 1951). Sellers and Milligan then penned the script to the short Let's Go Crazy (Alan Cullimore, 1951), the earliest film to showcase Sellers's ability to portray a series of different characters within the same film, and he made another appearance opposite his Goons co-stars in the flop, Down Among the Z Men (Maclean Rogers, 1952).
In 1954, Sellers was cast opposite Sid James, Donald Pleasence and Eric Sykes in the comedy Orders Are Orders (David Paltenghi, 1955). Then he landed a part as one of the oddball criminals in the classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers (Alexander Mackendrick, 1955) with Alec Guinness. The Ladykillers was a success in both Britain and the US, and the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Sellers starred with David Tomlinson and Wilfrid Hyde-White as a chief petty officer in Up the Creek (Val Guest, 1958). In 1959, his career really took off with the satire I’m All Right, Jack (John and Roy Boulting, 1959). For his part as Fred Kite, the dogmatic communist union man, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In The Mouse That Roared (Jack Arnold, 1959) with Jean Seberg, Sellers played three characters: the elderly Grand Duchess, the ambitious Prime Minister and the innocent and clumsy farm boy selected to lead an invasion of the United States. This box office hit helped to introduce Sellers to the American audiences.
In 1959 he was also nominated for an Academy Award for the eleven-minute short The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (Richard Lester, Peter Sellers, 1959). Sellers portrayed an Indian doctor, Dr Ahmed el Kabir opposite Sophia Loren in the romantic comedy The Millionairess (Anthony Asquith, 1960) based on the George Bernard Shaw play. The Goon Show ended its run in 1960, but the program proved to be a strong influence on British comedy. It paved the way for such future comedy shows as Monty Python's Flying Circus.
American postcard by Portfolio, NY, NY, no. P45. Photo: Louis Goldman, 1963.
The world’s most bumbling detective
Peter Sellers hit his stride in the early 1960s with three of his most famous roles. Stanley Kubrick asked him to play the role of the mentally unbalanced TV writer Clare Quilty in Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962), opposite Sue Lyon, James Mason and Shelley Winters.
Sellers introduced audiences to the world’s most bumbling detective, French Inspector Jacques Clouseau, in Blake Edwards’s The Pink Panther (1963). The film proved to be a huge success, and it was quickly followed by the sequel A Shot in the Dark (Blake Edwards, 1964) again with Herbert Lom as Commissioner Dreyfus and Burt Kwouk as Cato.
Andrew Spicer in The Encyclopedia of British Cinema: “In Clouseau, Sellers combined his vocal ingenuity and skill as a slapstick comedian, yet always retained an essential humanity through the inspector's indefatigable dignity in the face of a hostile universe.”
In Kubricks’s cold war satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964), Sellers once again showed his ability to tackle multiple characters the well-meaning US President Merkin Muffley, unflappable RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and the nightmarish Dr. Strangelove himself, the government's adviser on nuclear warfare, who is unable to control his own body. His black gloved hand always tries to make a Nazi salute, expressing an ineradicable desire to dominate and destroy.
Kubrick later commented that the idea of having Sellers in so many of the film's key roles was that "everywhere you turn there is some version of Peter Sellers holding the fate of the world in his hands".
In 1964, Sellers had his first heart attack. He was reportedly clinically dead for two and a half minutes before being revived. This incident marked the beginning of his heart troubles, and he later had a pacemaker installed to help manage his heartbeat. Making a full recovery, Sellers continued to work in the cinema.
What's New Pussycat (Clive Donner, 1965) with Peter O'Toole and Romy Schneider, was another big hit, but a combination of his ego and insecurity made Sellers difficult to work with. When the James Bond spoof, Casino Royale (Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, 1967) ran over budget and was unable to recoup its costs despite an otherwise healthy box-office take, Sellers received some of the blame. His films of the late 1960s and early 1970s had some decidedly mixed results.
American postcard by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., no. 151. Photo: Roddy McDowall. Caption: Peter Sellers, Hollywood, 1967.
American postcard in The Ludlow Collection series by Classico San Francisco, no. 136-239. Photo: Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Return of the Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, 1975).
Struggling with depression and insecurities
It was Inspector Clouseau who gave Peter Sellers a boost at the box office with The Return of the Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, 1975) with Christopher Plummer and Catherine Schell. This hit spawned two more Pink Panther films, The Pink Panther Strikes Again (Blake Edwards, 1976), and Revenge of the Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, 1978).
Sellers earned raves for his subtle, understated turn as the simple gardener Chance who becomes an unlikely trusted adviser to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics in Being There (Hal Asby, 1979), a film adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski's novel. His character spouts ideas and comments based on his years of television-watching, which are confused by others as words of wisdom. Sellers earned a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for his performance.
After making this remarkable black comedy, Sellers’s career seemed to be on an upswing. But he never lived to realise this new wave of potential. His last film was The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (Piers Haggard, 1980), a comedic re-imagining of the eponymous adventure novels by Sax Rohmer; Sellers played both police inspector Nayland Smith and Fu Manchu, alongside Helen Mirren and David Tomlinson. The film, completed just a few months before his death, proved to be another box office flop.
Peter Sellers died in a London hospital in 1980, after suffering another heart attack. Sellers was only 54. In his personal life, Sellers struggled with depression and insecurities. Wikipedia: “An enigmatic figure, he often claimed to have no identity outside the roles that he played. His behaviour was often erratic and compulsive, and he frequently clashed with his directors and co-stars, especially in the mid-1970s when his physical and mental health, together with his alcohol and drug problems, were at their worst.”
Sellers was married four times. He was survived by his fourth wife Lynne Frederick, and three children from his previous marriages. His son Michael and daughter Sarah came from his first marriage to Anne Howe and daughter Victoria came from his second marriage to actress Britt Ekland. He was also briefly married to Miranda Quarry from 1970 to 1974. Sellers was portrayed by Geoffrey Rush in the biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (Stephen Hopkins, 2004).
Trailer The Mouse That Roared (1959). Source: CONELRAD6401240 (YouTube).
Trailer The Pink Panther (1964). Source: Bag Log (YouTube).
Trailer The Party (1968). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer Being There (1979). Source: George Botanos (YouTube).
Sources: Andrew Spicer (The Encyclopedia of British Cinema), Ashley G. Mackinnon (IMDb), Biography.com, Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6683/2, 1931-1932. Photo: FFG.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7049/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Frhr. von Gudenberg Phot.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8756/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Angelo Fotos.
Gitta Alpár was born as Regina Kalisch in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary) in 1903 as the daughter of a cantor, a clergy member who fills a diverse role within the Jewish community.
At 16, she studied singing and pianoforte at Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem, the conservatory of Budapest. With it she laid the foundations of a successful singing career.
Her first public appearance as a coloratura soprano under the name of Alpár was in 1923 at the Magyar Állami Operaház (Hungarian State Opera House) in Budapest.
In 1927 she started to sing at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera). Her career there was promoted by eminent conductors such as Erich Kleiber
Later she moved on to Berlin, where she sang in operas like Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by W.A. Mozart as the Queen of the Night, Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) by Gioacchino Rossini, and Rigoletto and La Traviata, both by Giuseppe Verdi.
Dutch postcard by Remaco, no. 236. Publicity still for Gitta entdeckt ihr Herz/Gitta Discovers Her Heart (Carl Froelich, 1932).
Dutch postcard by Jospe, no. 379. Photo: Remaco. Gitta Alpár and Gustav Fröhlich co-starred in Gitta entdeckt ihr Herz/Gitta discovers her heart (Carl Froelich, 1932).
Dutch postcard by Remaco, no. 291. Photo: publicity still for Gitta entdeckt ihr Herz/Gitta Discovers Her Heart (Carl Froelich, 1932).
The New Operetta Diva
In 1930, Gitta Alpaá had a huge success in the operetta Der Bettelstudent (The Beggar Student) by Carl Millocker at the Metropol Theater in Berlin, and she was hailed as 'the new operetta diva'.
At the Metropol Theater, she next created the role of Princess Elisabeth in the operetta Schön is die Welt (The World is Beautiful, 1930), a reworking of Endlich allein (Alone at Last) by Franz Lehár. Her co-star was Richard Tauber, and they recorded several excerpts for the Odeon Records company.
At the Admiralspalast in Berlin, she then played Marie Jeanne Bécu, a milliner, later Comtesse Dubarry in Die Dubarry (The Dubarry, 1931), the radically revised version of Gräfin Dubarry (Dubarry) by Carl Millöcker. The new version was prepared by Theo Mackeben with music from the original Gräfin Dubarry as well as other works, and a new text was written by Paul Knepler, Ignaz Michael Welleminsky and Hans Martin Cremer.
Also in 1931, Gitta Alpar married film star Gustav Fröhlich, with whom she had a child, Julika Fröhlich. She had been married before to a businessman in Budapest.
The film industry became aware of the new darling of the public. For Carl Froelich-Film GmbH (FFG), she made films like Gitta entdeckt ihr Herz/Gitta Discovers Her Heart (Carl Froelich, 1932) with Gustav Fröhlich, and Die - oder keine/She, or Nobody (Carl Froelich, 1932), in which she co-starred with Max Hansen.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 154/3. Photo: FFG. Publicity still for Die - oder keine/This One or None (Carl Froelich, 1932).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7159/1, 1932-1933. Photo: FFG. Publicity still for Die - oder keine/This One or None (Carl Froelich, 1932) with Max Hansen.
With Gustav Fröhlich. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7926/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Niedecken, St. Moritz.
In 1932, Gitta Alpár had another stage success at the Großes Schauspielhaus, Berlin, when she created the part of Madeleine de Faublas in the operetta Ball im Savoy (Ball at the Savoy) by Paul Abraham to a libretto by Alfred Grünwald and Fritz Löhner-Beda. This was Abraham's last major success, but also Alpár's.
At the top of her success, Gitta Alpár's career abruptly came to an end because of the rise to power of Adolph Hitler. Alpár was Jewish and despite her popularity she was forced to leave Germany.
Her marriage to Gustav Fröhlich was dissolved in 1935 because it was illegal in National Socialist Germany. Fröhlich distanced from his wife because he didn't want to endanger his career. He later tried to apologise for his behaviour but Gitta Alpár was not able to answer his prayers. A circumstance which, according to IMDb, gave Fröhlich a hard time in his last leaving years and which beclouded his lust for life.
Alpár first emigrated to Austria where she took part in the film Ball im Savoy/Ball at Savoy (Steve Sekely, 1935) with Rose Barsony, another Jewish film actress who was forced to flee Nazi Germany.
Alpár also acted in the British film I Give My Heart/The Loves of Madame Du Barry (Marcel Varnel, 1935), a faithful adaptation of the stage opera Die Dubarry (The Dubarry) with Owen Nares.
Hal Erickson reviews at AllMovie: "The seamier aspects of DuBarry's rise to prominence (notably her brief stopover at a house of ill repute) are neatly glossed over, but that was to be expected. Among those responsible for adapting The Dubarry to the screen was Curt Siodmak, who together with his brother Robert went on to a rewarding Hollywood career".
Until 1936, Alpár worked in Austria, but then she had to emigrate again, first to Great Britain and one year later via Argentina to California. In Great Britain, Alpár appeared in Guilty Melody (Richard Pottier, 1936) with Nils Asther, and Everything in Life (J. Elder Wills, 1936). Guilty Melody (1936) was an alternative language version of the French film Le disque 413/Disk 413 (Richard Pottier, 1937) in which Alpar also starred, now opposite Jules Berry.
Her final film appearance was an appearance as an opera singer in the Universal Pictures period comedy/drama The Flame of New Orleans (René Clair, 1941) with Marlene Dietrich. Much of the film takes place with a background derived from Donizetti's Lucia, the love duet in the beginning of the opera.
According to IMDb, her Hollywood career ultimately failed as a result of her heavy accent and poor command of the English language. In 1939 she married Niels Wessel Bagge. They divorced in 1951.
After the war Gitta Alpár earned her living as a singing teacher. She seemed to be forgotten, but in 1987 Germany honoured her with the Filmband in Gold for her contributions to the German cinema.
In 1991 Gitta Alpár passed away in Los Angeles, just before her 88th birthday.
With Gustav Fröhlich. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6810/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Angelo Photos.
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 585. Sent by mail in 1935. Caption: Gitta Alpár and her little daughter Julika Violetta Fröhlich.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7505/2, 1932-1933. Photo: Frhr. von Gudenberg Phot.
Gitta Alpár sings In meinen weißen Armen in Ball im Savoy (1935). Source: Alparfan (YouTube).
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Karin Nusko (Universität Wien), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Constantin / Rialto. Publicity still for Der Gorilla von Soho/The Gorilla of Soho (Alfred Vohrer, 1968).
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg, no. F-73. Photo: Jürgen Fritsch. Pobably a publicity still for the TV series Elephant Boy (Bill Bain a.o., 1973). The little monkey is probably a toque macaque.
A rare example of a West-German Science Fiction film
Uwe Friedrichsen was born in 1934 in Altona (now Hamburg), Germany. He was the son of an engineer. After graduation, he completed a commercial apprenticeship at a Hamburg porcelain company.
In the amateur playgroup of the Hamburg Volkshochschule he discovered acting. Against the will of his parents he started a private acting school, which he financed as a harbour worker and newspaper boy. In 1953 he founded the theatre 53 together with Marcus Scholz and others.
After three years at this theatre, actress and stage director Ida Ehre spotted him in 1956 and engaged him for the Deutsche Schauspielhaus in Hamburg under Gustaf Gründgens. Until 1968, he was one of the ensemble members, while he was a guest at many other theatres.
In 1957, he started his film career with two small roles as a student. He made his debut in the West-German comedy Lemkes sel. Witwe/Lemke's Widow (Helmut Weiss, 1957) starring Grethe Weiser. It was a remake of the silent comedy Lemkes sel. Witwe/Lemke's Widow (Carl Boese, 1928) with Lissi Arna.
He played another student in the Austrian comedy Die unentschuldigte Stunde/The Unexcused Hour (Willi Forst, Rolf Kutschera, 1957) with Adrian Hoven and Erika Remberg. He also had a small part in the West German musical comedy Die Nacht vor der Premiere/The Night Before the Premiere (Georg Jacoby, 1959) starring Marika Rökk and Theo Lingen.
Although in his mid-twenties, Friedrichsen appeared as a pupil in the West-German film Faust (Peter Gorski, 1960), based on Goethe's Faust and adapted from the theatre production at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus. The film starred director Gorski's adoptive father Gustaf Gründgens as Mephistopheles and Will Quadflieg as Faust.
Jan Onderwater at IMDb: “In 1957 Gustaf Gründgens staged a new production of Goethe's Faust in which he once again played Mephisto, a part he had played since 1932. The brilliant production was a huge success and ran for a couple of years. In 1959 Peter Gorski captured the performance on film in his directorial film debut. Basically it is a registration of the production, but Gorski did manage to accentuate the details of the acting by using enough medium and close-up shots which give a view on the acting you normally would not able to see in a theater.” The film won a Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Award).
Another supporting role followed for Friedrichsen in the West German adventure film Unser Haus in Kamerun/Our House in Cameroon (Alfred Vohrer, 1961), with Johanna von Koczian and Götz George. He played a leading role opposite Maria Perschy in Der Chef wünscht keine Zeugen/No Survivors, Please (Hans Albin, Peter Berneis, 1964), a rare example of a West-German Science Fiction film! Aliens attempt to take over the Earth by taking over the bodies of humans at the moment of their death, and using them as tools for their invasion plans. However, the film was a commercial flop.
In the early 1960s, the German film industry imploded and like many of his colleagues, Friedrichsen focused on working for TV. He had a hit with the detective series John Klings Abenteuer/John Kling (Hans-Georg Thiemt, 1965-1970) in which he played the side-kick of the title figure (Helmut Lange), who played a detective working for an American secret service. John Kling was originally a pulp fiction hero, whose novels were very popular in Germany from 1924 till 1939 and from 1949 till 1954.
In the meanwhile Friedrichsen also appeared as Sergeant Jim Pepper in the West German crime film Der Gorilla von Soho/The Gorilla of Soho (Alfred Vohrer, 1968) opposite Horst Tappert and Uschi Glas. It was part of Rialto Film's long-running series of Edgar Wallace adaptations, and was shot on location around London and at the CCC Studios in Berlin.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Constantin / Neue Delta / Appelt. Publicity still for Einer spinnt immer/One is always nutty (Franz Antel, 1971).
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Hans-Peter Bartling, Hamburg.
A great advocate of the Low German language
Uwe Friedrichsen co-starred in the Austrian/West German comedy Einer spinnt immer/One is always nutty (Franz Antel, 1971) with Georg Thomalla and Teri Tordai. He also appeared opposite Horst Tappert in the naughty comedy Bleib sauber, Liebling/The Love Keys (Rolf Thiele, 1971), but Friedrichsen found more interesting work on television.
He played opposite Esrom (Esram Jayasinghe) as the elephant boy Toomai in the British-Australian-German youth series Elephant Boy (Bill Bain a.o., 1973), based on a story from Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. For the series the location was not India but Ceylon and the story was moved from the 19th century to the present.
He also appeared with Horst Frank and Jürgen Prochnow in the TV film Operation Ganymed (Rainer Erler, 1977). A spaceship returns to Earth after several years of space exploration and finds it desolate. Landing in what they believe is Mexico, the crew decides to travel north, and try to find out what happened to Earth during the years they were gone. The film won an award at a Science Fiction Festival in Triëst and was so popular that it was also released in the cinema in 1980.
Among little children he became known as Uwe in the German version of the children’s series Sesame Street, Sesamstraße (1979–1982), in which he appeared together with Liselotte Pulver and Horst Janson. He then starred as customs officer Hans Zaluskowski in 18 episodes of the Krimi series Schwarz Rot Gold/Black Red Gold (1982-1996).
Through the years, he guest starred in all of Germanys favourite Krimi series, including Der Alte (1985-1996), Tatort (1986) and Derrick (1989, 1996). He also played mayor Hinrich Oppen in the TV series Oppen and Ehrlich alongside Andreas Schmidt-Schaller. The series showed the lives of two dissimilar half-brothers, mayor Hinrich Oppen and manufacturer Ottwin Ehrlich, and was situated in Sauerland in the early 1990s.
In the cinema Uwe Friedrichsen could be seen in a small part in the German comedy Die wilden Fünfziger/The Roaring Fifties (Peter Zadek, 1983), starring Juraj Kukura and Boy Gobert. The film, based on the novel Hurra, wir leben noch by Johannes Mario Simmel, is set around the German Wirtschaftswunder economic miracle of the 1950s, with the title alluding to the Roaring Twenties.
He also appeared in the comedy Go Trabi Go 2 – Das war der wilde Osten (Wolfgang Büld, Reinhard Klooss, 1992), a bland sequel to the hit Go Trabi Go (Peter Timm, 1991). His final film was the youth film Das Haus der Krokodile/Victor and the Secret of Crocodile Mansion (Cyrill Boss, Philipp Stennert, 2012), which won the Bavarian Film Award.
Friedrichsen was a popular voice actor who gave a German voice to amongst others Ringo Starr in Yellow submarine (George Dunning, 1968), Donald Sutherland in MASH (Robert Altman, 1970), Danny Clover in Lethal Weapon films (1987-1998) and to Peter Falk in the TV series Columbo (1969). He also worked for many radio plays.
However, the main focus of his professional activity remained the stage. For several years he had a permanent place in the ensemble of the Ernst-Deutsch-Theater in Hamburg. In the 2005/2006 season, he played in the Theater im Rathaus Essen. In addition, Uwe Friedrichsen was a great advocate of the Low German language, which he learned as a small boy with his grandparents.
Uwe Friedrichsen died in 2016 in Hamburg, at the age of 81. In 1988 he married the Swiss actress Nathalie Emery, with whom he had a daughter. They divorced in 1995 and in 2002 he married Ute Papst. With his second wife, he later lived in Seevetal near Hamburg. He had three children from earlier relationships. Friedrichsen died of the consequences of a tumour on the cheek and at his request, he was given a burial in the Baltic Sea.
DVD Trailer John Klings Abenteuer (1965-1970). Source: POLAR Film (YouTube).
Scene from Operation Ganymed (1977). Source: Rapidherzfeld (YouTube). Sorry, no subtitles!
Sources: Jan Onderwater (IMDb), Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.
Italian postcard by Fotocelere, Torino (Turin), no. 125.
Italian postcard, no. 124. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Traditional Neapolitan Songs
Yvonne De Fleuriel was born as Adele Croce in Teano (according to Wikipedia) or Frosinone (IMDb), both in Italy, in 1889.
At a young age, she made her stage debut as a ‘generic actress‘ in the company of Eduardo Scarpetta. In her early twenties, she met the actor Nicola Maldacea, who introduced her to the world of the chanson. He also suggested her to take the stage name of Yvonne De Fleuriel.
The beautiful singer became popular among the public, when she performed in the best-known café-concerts in Naples. She was now one of the most famous Italian singers. She interpreted the traditional Neapolitan songs, most of them written by Giovanni Capurro, Rocco Galdieri and Gennaro Pasquariello. Among the best known songs of De Fleuriel were Nini and Girala la rota (Turn the wheel), both from 1908 and written by Luigi Mattiello.
The beautiful Yvonne De Fleuriel had many lovers. She rejected Carlo Meretti who - with Galdieri - had procured her her success Thérèsine in Paris. He committed suicide. Hence De Fleuriel's reputation as a femme fatale started.
In 1915, De Fleuriel began her cinema career with the film 120 HP (Augusto Genina, 1915), produced by Napoli Film and co-starring Guido Trento. But the press didn't like this adaptation of a stage comedy by Amerigo Guasti. Three years later, De Fleuriel tried her luck again...
Italian postcard by Premiato Stabilimento Fotografico Ditta G. Meretti, Firenze.
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 557.
A 'devilish' liveliness and a unique sentimentality
From 1918, Yvonne de Fleuriel tried her luck in the cinema again, now at the Roman film studios. First, she worked at Tiber Film, where she played the female lead opposite Tullio Carminati in Il trono e la seggiola/The throne and the chair (Augusto Genina, 1918).
In this romantic comedy, Carminati plays a Merry King, who is bored by court life and finds happiness in the arms of a Roman countryside girl, Cecilia (Le Fleuriel), State affairs recall the king to his Blue Reign, where he is urged to marry a lady of noble kin, to save the crown. But the Merry King has never forgotten his Cecilia. He abandons crown and reign and returns to Rome, to embrace his simple and good country girl again. Il trono e la seggiola had its first night in Rome on 20 September 1918, two months before the First World War ended.
At the time, Dino Lombardo wrote in the Neapolitan journal La Cine-Fono (25-12-1918) that this comedy was successful in every which way. Lombardo praised the script by Genina and Piero Romolotti for its straight forwardness, while still keeping the combination of sentimentality with liveliness. Lombardo also praised the direction by Genina and the production by Tiber Film. Finally he lauded he actors Carminati, Oreste Bilancia and in particular Yvonne de Fleuriel. Despite her fresh start in film after her career in vaudeville Lombardo noted: "She has given a 'devilish' liveliness and a unique sentimentality."
Later de Fleuriel played a minor part in L'ondina (A. Albertoni, 1917) starring the Milanese star Bianca Virginia Camagni, and she had lead roles in such films as Il veleno del piacere/The poison of pleasure (Gennaro Righelli, 1918) with Diomira Jacobini.
In 1920, De Fleuriel moved to Turin, where she had the female lead in Io sono fatta cosí! (Alessandro Rosenfeld, Paolo Ambrosio, 1921), a sentimental comedy which was well received by the Turinese press. She also appeared in La modella di Tiziano/Titian's model (Paolo Trinchera, 1921) with Mario Voller-Buzzi, for which the press considered De Fleuriel too cold.
Both Madame l'Ambassadrice/Madame the Ambassadrice (Ermanno Geymonat, 1921) also with Roberto Villani, as well as De Fleuriel's performance were praised by the Turinese press, although a critic thought De Fleuriel's make-up horrible. She also was a corrupting femme fatale in Le braccia aperte/The open arms (Guido di Sandro, 1921) opposite Mary-Cléo Tarlarini as the mother who tries to save her son.
De Fleuriel played her last parts in two Roman silent films. The first was L'ignota (Guglielmo Zorzi, 1923) with Fabienne Fabrèges, which despite the names of the actresses went almost unnoticed. She also appeared in La madre folle/The Crazy Mother (Carmine Gallone, 1923) with Soava Gallone and Arnold Kent (aka Lido Manetti).
Because of the crisis of the Italian cinema in the 1920s, Yvonne de Fleuriel moved to Germany. She had lost her famous physical beauty by then and only found work as an extra. In the following years, she returned to Italy, where she fell into disgrace. She settled in Rome, the city where she lived the last years of her life, poor and lonely.
Forgotten, Yvonne de Fleuriel passed away in 1963 in Rome. She was 74.
Italian postcard by G. Vettori, Bologna, no. 376.
Yvonne De Fleuriel sings Nini (1908). Source: rigoletto90 (YouTube).
Sources: Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 429. Publicity still for Une femme douce/A Gentle Creature (Robert Bresson, 1969).
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
French postcard by Ciné-Temaris. Photo: M. Jamet. Publicity still for Un chambre en ville/A Room in Town (Jacques Demy, 1982) with Richard Berry.
Miss Arcachon 1966
Dominique Sanda was born as Dominique Marie-Françoise Renée Varaigne in Paris in 1951 (according to some sources in 1948 or 1949) within a middle-class Catholic family. Her parents were Lucienne (née Pichon) and Gérard Varaigne. She went to school at the École des Sœurs de Saint-Vincent-de Paul in Paris.
In the summer of 1966 she was chosen Miss Arcachon at the Casino Mauresque in this sea resort in the South of France. When she was 16, she left her upper-class family and married, but divorced two years later. After a short time as a Decorative Arts student, she worked as a model for Dorian Leight, whose photos appeared in Glamour, Elle and Vogue.
She started her film career in 1969 when director Robert Bresson offered her the lead part of a tormented young woman, too beautiful and too gentle to bear everyday banality, in Une femme douce/A Gentle Creature (Robert Bresson, 1969), based on a novel by Fjodor Dostojevsky. The film launched her international career.
Only 18, she appeared as Anna Quadri, the sensual wife of an anti-fascist professor in Il conformista/The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) featuring Jean-Louis Trintignant. That same year she also starred as the provocative daughter of a rich Jewish family in Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini/The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Vittorio De Sica, 1970) which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Because of her cool beauty, she was nicknamed ‘The French Garbo’. In Hollywood she appeared in the spy thriller The Mackintosh Man (John Huston, 1973) with Paul Newman, and in the Herman Hesse adaptation Steppenwolf (Fred Haines, 1974) with Max von Sydow.
She soon returned to Europe and worked in Italy with such major directors as Luchino Visconti on Gruppo di famiglia in un interno/Conversation Piece (1974) and with Bernardo Bertolucci on Novecento/1900 (1976) as Ada, the great love of Robert de Niro’s character. That year she won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, but strangely not for the epic Novecento but for her part as Irene Carelli, an Italian patriarch's daughter-in-law, in the much lesser known L'eredita Ferramonti/The Inheritance (Mauro Bolognini, 1976).
She made another splash with her portrayal of Lou Andreas-Salome in Al di la del bene e del male/Beyond Good and Evil (Liliane Cavani, 1977). Hollywood lured again and she appeared in the 20th Century Fox production Damnation Alley (Jack Smight, 1977) and the disastrous Casablanca imitation Caboblanco (Jack Lee Thompson, 1980) with Charles Bronson.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
With Isabelle Huppert in Les ailes de la colombe/The Wings of the Dove (Benoît Jacquot, 1981). Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.
Small But Interesting European Productions
During the next decade, Dominique Sanda mainly appeared in French films. Some were shown internationally, such as Le voyage en douce/Sentimental Journey (Michel Deville, 1980), the musical Une chambre en ville/A Room in Town (Jacques Démy, 1982), and the Jorge Luis Borges adaptation Guerriers et captives/Warriors and Prisoners (Edgardo Cozarinski, 1989) with Leslie Caron.
Jacques Demy had already directed Sanda in her first role for television as Hélène in La naissance du jour/Daybreak (Jacques Démy, 1981), adapted from Colette's novel. She continued to appear in small, but interesting European productions. Examples are In una notte di chiaro di luna/Up to Date (Lina Wertmuller, 1990) with Nastassia Kinski, Yo, la peor de todas/I, the Worst of All (Maria Luisa Bemberg, 1990) and the thriller Les rivieres pourpres/The Crimson Rivers (Mathieu Kassovitz, 2000) starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel.
Meanwhile she regularly appeared on TV, such as in the series Warburg, un homme d'influence/Warburg: a man of influence (Moshe Mizrahi, 1990) with Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the American mini-series The Bible: Joseph and Joseph in Egypt (Roger Young, 1994) starring Ben Kingsley.
From 1993 on, she also worked in the theatre: she then appeared at the Théâtre de la Commune, in Aubervilliers, France, as Melitta in Madame Klein (Mrs. Klein by Nicolas Wright), directed by Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman. Two years later, she played in Italy the marquise de Merteuil in Le relazioni pericolose (Dangerous Liaisons), based on Choderlos de Laclos' novel and directed by Mario Monicelli. In 1995-1996, she played more than 500 times Lady Chiltern in Un mari ideal, a French production of An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, directed by Adrian Brine. And in 2002-2003 she made another long theatre tour through Northern Italy in Amleto (Hamlet) by William Shakespeare, in which she interpreted Queen Gertrude under the direction of Federico Tiezzi.
In the 1970s, Dominique Sanda lived with actor/director Christian Marquand, with whom she had a son, Yann Marquand (1972). In 2000, she married Nicolae Cutzarida, a philosopher and University professor of Romanian origin. Dominique Sanda was made Chevalier de l'ordre national du Mérite (Dame of the National Order of Merit) in 1990, Officier des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 1996, and Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (Dame of the Legion of honour) in 2003.
French postcard by Editions Marion-Valentine, Paris, no. N-179. Photo: Dominique Issermann. Caption: Dominique Sanda et le chat Horus.
Trailer Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini/The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970). Source: FabioTestiOfficial (YouTube).
Trailer Il conformista/The Conformist (1970). Source: pckg21c (YouTube).
Sources: Thanassis Agathos (IMDb), Dominique Sanda.com, Film Reference, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Italian postcard, no. 26. Photo: Prod. Cines-Pittaluga. Diomira Jacobini and Armando Falconi in L'ultima avventura (Mario Camerini, 1932).
Italian postcard, no. 52. Photo: Prod. Cines-Pittaluga. Diomira Jacobini and Armando Falconi in L'ultima avventura (Mario Camerini, 1932).
An old and rich Don Juan
In L'ultima avventura/The Last Adventure (Mario Camerini, 1932), Armando Falconi plays count Armando, an old and rich Don Juan, who hopes to have a final adventure with the charming Lilly (Diomira Jacobini). He takes her on vacation to seaside resort Rapallo, situated on Italy’s Ligurian Coast
When for once in his lifetime Armando is too timid to confess his love, the young woman is courted by a second man of her own age (Carlo Fontana).
When the young man declares his love to Lilly, the young woman leaves the old nobleman, who hesitated too long. The old Don Juan thus lets escape his 'last adventure'.
Jacobini and Falconi had both been stars of the Italian silent cinema. And although Falconi was much older than his female colleague in real life too, he had a longer career in the sound cinema and starred in films till the late 1940s.
L'ultima avventura/The Last Adventure's sets were designed by the art director Gastone Medin and the photography was done by Ubaldo Arata.
Italian postcard, no. 54. Photo: Prod. Cines-Pittaluga. Diomira Jacobini and Armando Falconi in L'ultima avventura (Mario Camerini, 1932).
Italian postcard, no. 64. Photo: Prod. Cines-Pittaluga. Diomira Jacobini and Carlo Fontana in L'ultima avventura (Mario Camerini, 1932).
Sources: Wikipedia (Italian and English) and IMDb.
Gaby Deslys. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, Halifax, no. L 28. Photo: Claude Harris.
Isobel Elsom. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, no. LE 1. Photo: Lilywhite.
Fay Compton. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. LR 4. Photo: Halifax.
Theda Bara. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. CM 29. Photo: Fox. Caption: Fox Picture Star. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Peggy Hyland. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. CM 31. Photo: Fox. Caption: Fox Picture Star.
When collecting postcards was in vogue in Great Britain
At the turn of the 20th century, postcards were a relatively new phenomenon but all over Europe they quickly became a popular method of communication for those away from home.
In Great Britain, the pastime of collecting postcards was in vogue. Some liked to collect a particular publisher or photographer and others decided on the actors and actresses of the Edwardian era.
The postcards were made directly from photographic negatives and were known as real photo postcards. They were generally made by professional photographers who allowed their images to be used by postcard publishers such as Lilywhite.
Most of the postcards of the Lilywhite Photographic Series, produced in the late 1910s or early 1920s, were hand coloured by lithographic processes. The numbers indicate there were different series. LE could stand for Light Entertainment - many of the stars are theatrical. CM stands for Cinema Star Postcards.
The images of the British and American actors and actresses at the Lilywhite postcards became a permanent reminder of the film stars of the era. And of course, they also served as advertising and promotions for the stars at the time.
Peggy Hyland. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. CM 35. Photo: Fox. Caption: Fox Picture Star.
Isobel Elsom. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, no. CM 51. Photo: Lilywhite. Caption: of Cinema Fame.
Renée Kelly. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. CM 59. Photo: Lilywhite. Caption: Star in Cinema.
Stewart Rome. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, no. CM 146. Photo: Broadwest. Caption: Broadwest Film Star.
Alma Taylor. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, no. CM 175. Photo: Lilywhite. Caption: A Well Known Picture Player.
Peggy Hyland. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic series, no. CM 406a. Photo: Fox. Caption: Fox Picture Star.
Sources: University of Calgary, Ross Postcards and Our Cinema Postcards.
It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.
Italian postcard by Ed. G. Vettori, Bologna, no. 2016.
A Silent Italian Western
Dates of the birth and death of Antonietta Calderari lack, but we know she made her film debut in 1911 at the Ambrosio film company of Turin.
She first acted there in a series of short film adaptations of books and plays by Gabriele D'Annunzio: La figlia di Jorio/Jorio's Daughter (1911), La fiaccola sotto il moggio/Blood Vengeance (1911), Sogno di un tramonto d'autunno/An Autumn Sunset Dream (1911), all directed by Luigi Maggi, and La nave/The Ship (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1912). In the latter film she had the lead as the femme fatale Basiliola.
Apart from more shorts at Ambrosio, Calderari also acted in some 17 other shorts by the Turinese company Aquila Films, mostly directed by Roberto Roberti, the father of Sergio Leone. Sometimes Achille Consalvi was the director. These films include Un sogno/A Dream (1912), La contessa Lara/The countess Lara (1912), Gente onesta/Honest People (1913) based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, L'assassina del Ponte S. Martin/The Mystery of St. Martin's Bridge (Roberto Roberti, 1913), La torre d'espiazione/Tower of Terror (Roberto Roberti, 1913), and the silent Western La vampira Indiana/Indian Vampire (Roberto Roberti, 1913).
After a few more films at Ambrosio, Calderari did some 13 more films at Aquila in the years 1916-1917, including La cavalcata dei sogni/The Cavalcade of Dreams (Roberto Roberti, 1917) starring Bice Valerian, the wife of Roberto Roberti and the mother of Sergio Leone.
In the years 1917-1919, Antonietta Calderari appeared in a few films at Savoia Film and other companies. She had a part in Sansone e la ladra di atleti/Samson and the Thief of Athletes (Amedeo Mustacchi, 1919), starring Luciano Albertini, his girlfriend Linda Albertini and then famous cyclist Costante Girardengo as one of the kidnapped cyclists of the film's title. A fragment of this film was found at the Dutch EYE Filmmuseum.
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Vettori, Bologna, no. 1025. Antonietta Calderari in Naufragio (Luigi Mele, 1920) for Albertini-Film. Naufragio was praised in the Italian press, in particular for Calderari's performance. The film about a female sinner, was at the time better known as Calze di seta (Silk Stockings) and meant death for one of the actors, Vittorio Casali. Director Mele was accused of having neglected the danger to which Casali was exposed during a scene, causing Casali to succumb to a state of depression and finally die of cardiac arrest.
Italian postcard. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Antonietta Calderari in Il pontd dei sospiri (Domenico Gaido, 1921). Caption: The most beautiful Imperia, empress of the courtesans.
Antonietta Calderari acted in a series opposite strongman Celio Bucchi and directed by Luigi Mele, Lotte nell'aria/Cracked in the air (Luigi Mele, 1920) also with Alfredo Boccolini, Il tempio del sacrificio/The Temple of Sacrifice (1920), and Naufragio/Shipwreck (1921).
Calderari is best remembered for her part of the wealthy courtesan Imperia in the four-part episode-film Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Domenico Gaido, 1921), starring Luciano Albertini.
In the film, she first has an affair on the road with a bandit called Scalabrino, from which a daughter rises. Yet, back in her hometown Venice, the proud Imperia, when rejected by Rolando Candiano (Luciano Albertini), son of the Doge, takes revenge by accusing him of a murder she herself committed.
The political enemies of Candiano and his father exploit this to dethrone and blind the Doge and arrest his son on the day of his marriage and throw him in prison, beyond the Bridge of Sighs. But like the Count of Monte Christo, Rolando escapes and takes revenge on his enemies, with the help of Scalabrino (Onorato Garaveo). By doing so he also saves Imperia's daughter from the clutches of one of the conspirators.
The Italian censors not only cut too gruesome scenes of the blinding of the Doge but also erotic images of Imperia undressing and showing her nude behinds.
Antonietta Calderari's last film was Il mistero in casa del dottore/Mystery at the doctor's house (Alessandro De Stefani, 1922) produced by Pasquali Film.
Unknown is what she did afterwards nor when she died. Who knows more?
Italian postcard. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Publicity still for Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Domenico Gaido, 1921). Caption: Imperia,the most beautiful Roman courtesan, will select the bandit Scalabrino for one night of love, causing the hate and jealousy of Sandrigo.
Italian postcard. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Publicity still for Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Domenico Gaido, 1921). Caption: In the cave of the bandits Imperia becomes the lover of Scalabrino.
Italian postcard. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Publicity still for Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Domenico Gaido, 1921). Caption: Imperia, the empress of the courtesans, is dressed in ball attire, for her famous dances.
Italian postcard. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Photo: Unione Cinematografica Italiana. Publicity still for Il ponte dei sospiri/The Bridge of Sighs (Domenico Gaido, 1921). Caption: Imperia tries to seduce Rolando, but she is rejected, and will vilely take revenge.
Sources: Vittorio Martinelli ( Il cinema muto italiano, 1921-1922 - Italian), Wikipedia and IMDb.
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor. Photo: publicity still for Freud: The Secret Passion (John Huston, 1962).
Free-spirited and unreserved
Susannah York was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher in Chelsea, London, in 1939. She was the younger daughter of Simon William Peel Vickers Fletcher, a merchant banker and steel magnate, and his first wife, the former Joan Nita Mary Bowring. They married in 1935 and divorced prior to 1943. York had an elder sister, as well as a half-brother, Eugene.
In early 1943, her mother married a Scottish businessman, Adam M. Hamilton, and moved, with her daughter, to a remote village in Scotland. At the age of 11, York entered Marr College in Troon, Ayrshire. Later she became a boarder at Wispers School in the Sussex village of Stedham. At 13 she was expelled from Wispers after admitting to a nude midnight swim in the school pool, and she transferred to East Haddon Hall in Northamptonshire.
Enthusiastic about her experiences of acting at school (she had played an Ugly Sister in Cinderella at the age of nine), York first decided to apply to the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art; but after her mother had separated from her stepfather and moved to London, she instead auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). There she won the Ronson award for most promising student before graduating in 1958.
The fair-haired York with her dreamy blue eyes performed classical repertory and pantomime in her early professional career. In 1959, she married Michael Wells, with whom she had two children, daughter Sasha (born May 1972) and son Orlando (born June 1973). They divorced in 1976.
She made an impression on television in a production of The Crucible (Henry Kaplan, 1959) as Abigail Williams opposite Sean Connery as John Proctor. Her film career began with the drama Tunes of Glory (Ronald Neame, 1960), co-starring with Alec Guinness and John Mills. She also appeared in the Norman Wisdom comedy There Was a Crooked Man (Stuart Burge, 1960).
The following year, she played the leading role in the coming-of age drama The Greengage Summer (Lewis Gilbert, 1961), which co-starred Kenneth More and Danielle Darrieux. Next, she performed in the American film Freud: The Secret Passion (John Huston, 1962) with Montgomery Clift as Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The pseudobiographical drama compresses the years it took Freud to develop his psychoanalytic theories into what seems like a few months. Nearly every neurotic symptom imaginable manifests itself in one patient, Cecily Koertner (York), who is sexually repressed, hysterical, and fixated on her father.
Then, York played brazenly seductive Sophie Western in the bawdy and robust 18th century tale Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) opposite Albert Finney as the bed-hopping title rogue. Henry Fielding's classic novel was adapted for the screen by playwright John Osborne. It became one of the most critically acclaimed and popular comedies of its time, winning the Oscar for Best Film and three other Oscars and three BAFTA awards. Tom Jones was the third most popular at the British box office in 1963, and the 4th most popular in the United States. The film made York an international star. Roger Philip Mellor in the Encyclopedia of British Film: "With peaches-and-cream complexion, she was a cameraman's dream."
Opposite Warren Beatty, York played a a trendy Hampstead boutique owner in the crime film Kaleidoscope (Jack Smight, 1966). She also appeared in the biographical drama and Academy Award winner A Man for All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann, 1966) with Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More, and in the groundbreaking lesbian drama The Killing of Sister George (Robert Aldrich, 1968). Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: “Free-spirited and unreserved, she had no trouble at all courting controversy in some of the film roles she went on to play.”
British postcard by the Philip Townsend Archive, no PT111. Photo: Philip Townsend, 1966.
A schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorising apparitions
Susannah York was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (Sydney Pollack, 1969). The screenplay by James Poe and Robert E. Thompson is based on the 1935 novel of the same name by Horace McCoy. It focuses on a disparate group of characters desperate to win a Depression-era dance marathon and the opportunistic emcee (Gig Young) who urges them on to victory. The film also stars Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, and Bruce Dern. Young won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, while Fonda and York were nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. York lost to Goldie Hawn for her role in Cactus Flower (Gene Saks, 1969).
The Second World War film Battle of Britain (Guy Hamilton, 1969)endeavoured to be an accurate account of the Battle of Britain, when in the summer and autumn of 1940 the British RAF inflicted a strategic defeat on the Luftwaffe and so ensured the cancellation of Operation Sea Lion – Adolf Hitler's plan to invade Britain. The film drew many respected British actors to accept roles as key figures of the battle, including Sir Laurence Olivier as Hugh Dowding and Trevor Howard as Keith Park.
The next year, she co-starred with George C. Scott as Edward Rochester in the TV-adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (Delbert Mann, 1970), and was Emmy-nominated for her beautifully nuanced role. She then played in Country Dance (J. Lee Thompson, 1970), one of her favourite films. It is a tragicomedy set in a fading Scottish aristocratic family, in which the drunken Sir Charles Henry Arbuthnot Pinkerton Ferguson (Peter O'Toole) has an incestuous relationship with his equally eccentric sister Hilary Dow (York).
In 1972, she won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the British-American psychological horror film Images (Robert Altman, 1972). She played a schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorising apparitions. She kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best English-Language Foreign Film, but was not a commercial success.
York focused on her personal life, raising her two children for a time. She wrote two children's fantasy novels, In Search of Unicorns (1973, revised 1984) which was excerpted in the film Images, and Lark's Castle (1976, revised 1986).
On screen, she played Lara, the mother of Superman (Christopher Reeve) in the blockbuster Superman (Richard Donner, 1978) and its sequels, Superman II (Richard Lester, 1980) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (Sidney J. Furie, 1987). She divided her time between these commercial films and art-house films like The Maids (Christopher Miles, 1974), The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1978) and Melancholia (Andi Engel, 1989). However, York failed to recapture the glow of her earlier screen career.
The actress decided to move to the theatre and appeared in 1978 at the New End Theatre in London in The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs with Lucinda Childs, directed by French director Simone Benmussa. This was the first of 10 projects she completed with the producer Richard Jackson. The following year, she appeared in Paris, speaking French in a play by Henry James: Appearances, with Samy Frey. The play was again directed by Benmussa.
Susannah York made extensive appearances in British television series, including Prince Regent (Ian Curteis, 1979), as Maria Fitzherbert, the clandestine wife of the future George IV, and We'll Meet Again (Tony Wharmby a.o., 1982).
British postcard by Dixon-Lotus Production, no. L6/8705, 1969. Photo: Spitfire Productions Ltd. Publicity still for Battle of Britain (Guy Hamilton, 1969). Caption: Appearing in uniform for the first time in the film The Battle of Britain is lovely Susannah York. She portrays Section Officer Maggie Harvey, one of the W.A.A.F. heroines of the sixteen weeks summer battle of 1940.
Evoking both cheers and jeers
In the 1980s, Susannah York played on stage with Susan Hampshire in Simone Benmussa’s For No Good Reason, an adaptation of George Moore's short story. In 1984, York starred on-screen as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (Clive Donner, 1984), based on the novel by Charles Dickens. George C. Scott starred as Ebenezer Scrooge, and both of her children co-starred as Cratchit offspring. In 1985 she appeared on stage in Fatal Attraction by Bernard Slade at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
In 1991, she was appointed an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) by French culture minister Jack Lang. In 1992, she was a member of the jury at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.
On television, York had a recurring role as hospital manager Helen Grant in BBC’s medical drama series Holby City (2003). She reprised this role in two episodes of Holby City's sister series Casualty in 2004.
In 2007, she appeared in the UK tour of The Wings of the Dove, and continued performing her internationally well received solo show, The Loves of Shakespeare's Women. Also in 2007, she guest starred in the Doctor Who audio play Valhalla. She was a patron of the Children's Film Unit and appeared in several of their films. P
Politically, she was left-wing and publicly supported Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli dissident who revealed Israel's nuclear weapons programme. While performing The Loves of Shakespeare's Women at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv in June 2007, York dedicated the performance to Vanunu, evoking both cheers and jeers from the audience.
In 2007, she also became the grandmother of Rafferty, child of her son Orlando. In 2008, she played the part of Nelly in a stage adaptation by April De Angelis of Wuthering Heights. In 2009, she starred alongside Jos Vantyler in the Tennessee Williams season at the New End Theatre, London for which she received critical acclaim.
Susannah York was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, but she refused chemotherapy in order to honour a contractual obligation to appear as Jean in Ronald Harwood's Quartet, at the Oxford Playhouse in August 2010. It was her last stage appearance. Her final film was The Calling (Jan Dunn, 2009) with Brenda Blethyn and Emily Beecham.
In 2011, Susannah York died at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London from multiple myeloma, six days after her 72nd birthday.
Trailer Tom Jones (1963). Source: Movieclips Trailer Vault (YouTube).
Trailer Battle of Britain (1969). Source: 05HK09 (YouTube).
Spanish trailer Images (1972). Source: versatilhv (YouTube).
Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Roger Philip Mellor (Encyclopedia of British Film), Wikipedia and IMDb.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 147/75. Photo: DEFA.
American postcard by Coral-Lee, Rancho Cordova, no. CL/Personality # 132.
You Forgot the Colour Film
Catharina ’Nina’ Hagen was born in 1955) in the former East Berlin, German Democratic Republic. She was the daughter of scriptwriter Hans Hagen and actress and singer Eva-Maria Hagen (née Buchholz). Her paternal grandfather died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (her father was Jewish). Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and growing up, she saw her father infrequently.
At age four, she began to study ballet, and was considered an opera prodigy by the time she was nine. When Hagen was 11, her mother married Wolf Biermann, an anti-establishment singer-songwriter. Biermann's political views later influenced young Hagen.
Hagen left school at age sixteen and went to Poland, where she began her career. She later returned to Germany and joined the cover band, Fritzens Dampferband (Fritzen's Steamboat Band). She added songs by Janis Joplin and Tina Turner to the ‘allowable’ set lists during shows.
From 1972 to 1973, Hagen enrolled in the crash-course performance program at The Central Studio for Light Music in East Berlin. Upon graduating, she formed the band Automobil and released in 1974 the single Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen (You Forgot the Colour Film), a subtle dig mocking the sterile, grey, Communist state. Nina became one of the country's best-known young stars.
Hagen also appeared in several East-German films and TV films sometimes alongside her mother Eva-Maria Hagen, including Heiraten/Weiblich/Marrying/Female (Christa Kulosa, 1975), Heute ist Freitag/Today is Friday (Klaus Gendries, 1975), Liebesfallen/Love Traps (Werner W. Wallroth, 1976) and Unser stiller Mann/Our Quite Man (Bernhard Stephan, 1976).
Her career in the GDR was cut short after her stepfather Wolf Biermann's East German citizenship was withdrawn from him in 1976. Hagen and her mother followed him westwards to Hamburg. The circumstances surrounding the family's emigration were exceptional: Biermann was granted permission to perform a televised concert in Cologne, but denied permission to re-cross the border to his adopted home country.
Dutch postcard by Art Unlimited, Amsterdam, no. C 1930. Photo: Bettie Ringma, 1980. Caption: Nina Hagen with Sacha, New York.
Nina Hagen Band
Nina Hagen was offered a record deal from CBS Records. Her label advised her to acclimatise herself to Western culture through travel, and she arrived in London during the height of the punk rock movement. Hagen was quickly taken up by a circle that included The Slits and The Sex Pistols.
Back in Germany by mid-1977, Hagen formed the Nina Hagen Band in West Berlin's Kreuzberg district. In 1978 they released their self-titled debut album, Nina Hagen Band, which included the single TV-Glotzer (a cover of White Punks on Dope by The Tubes, though with entirely different German lyrics), and Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo, about West Berlin's then-notorious Berlin Zoologischer Garten station. The album also included a version of Rangehn (Go for It), a song she had previously recorded in East Germany, but with different music.
The album received critical acclaim for its hard rock sound and for Hagen's theatrical vocals, far different from the straightforward singing of her East German recordings. It was a commercial success selling over 250,000 copies. Relations between Hagen and the other band members deteriorated over the course of the subsequent European tour. The band released one more album Unbehagen (Unease) before their break-up in 1979. It included the single African Reggae and Wir Leben Immer... Noch, a German language cover of Lene Lovich's Lucky Number.
Meanwhile, Hagen's public persona was steadily creating media uproar. She starred in two films. In Germany she made the experimental film Bildnis Einer Trinkerin/Portrait of a Female Drunkard (Ulrike Ottinger, 1979) with Tabea Blumenschein, Magdalena Montezuma and Eddie Constantine. She also acted with Dutch rocker Herman Brood and singer Lene Lovich in the Dutch film Cha Cha (Herbert Curiel, 1979). Brood and Hagen would have a long romantic relationship that would end when Hagen could no longer tolerate Brood's drug abuse. She would refer to Brood as her ‘soulmate’ long after Brood committed suicide in 2001.
In late 1980, Hagen discovered she was pregnant, broke up with the father-to-be the Dutch guitarist Ferdi Karmelk, who died in 1988, and she moved to Los Angeles. Her daughter, Cosma Shiva Hagen, was born in Santa Monica in 1981. In 1982, Hagen signed a new contract with CBS and released her debut solo album NunSexMonkRock, a dissonant mix of punk, funk, reggae, and opera. Her first English-language album became also her first record to chart in the United States.
She then went on a world tour with the No Problem Orchestra. Her next album the Giorgio Moroder-produced Fearless (1983), generated two major club hits in America, Zarah (a cover of the Zarah Leander song Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen) and the disco/punk/opera song, New York New York, which reached no. 9 in the USA dance charts.
She followed this with one more album, Nina Hagen in Ekstasy (1985), which featured a 1979 recording of her hardcore punk take on Paul Anka's My Way. The album fared less well and her contract with CBS expired in 1986 and was not renewed. Hagen's public appearances became stranger and frequently included discussions of God, UFOs, her social and political beliefs, animal rights and vivisection, and claims of alien sightings. In 1987 she released the Punk Wedding EP independently, a celebration of her marriage to a 18-year-old punk South African nicknamed 'Iroquois'.
German promotion card by Mercury / Nina Hagen-Fanclub, Erlangen. Image: Pierre et Gilles.
French postcard by Editions F. Nugeron in the Chanteurs series, no. 8. Photo: B. Alary.
Return of the Mother
In 1989, Nina Hagen was offered a record deal from Mercury Records. She released three albums on the label: Nina Hagen (1989), Street (1991), and Revolution Ballroom (1993). However, none of the albums achieved notable commercial success. In 1989 she had a relationship with Frank Chevallier from France, with whom she has a son, Otis Chevallier-Hagen (b. 1990). In 1992 Hagen became the host of a TV show on RTLplus. She also collaborated with Adamski on the single Get Your Body (1992).
In the 1990s, Hagen lived in Paris with her daughter Cosma Shiva and son Otis. In 1996, she married David Lynn, who is fifteen years younger, but divorced him in the beginning of 2000. In 1999, Hagen became the host of Sci-Fright, a weekly science fiction show on the British Sci-Fi Channel. That year, she also played the role of Celia Peachum in The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, alongside Max Raabe.
She also appeared as a witch in the German-Russian fairy-tale film Vasilisa (Elena Shatalova, 2000). At IMDb, Howard Roarschawks writes: “I saw this eye-popping film at the 2001 Sarasota Film Festival. I entered the theater without expectations, having chosen the film randomly. From shot one, my jaw dropped slack and my eyes waxed wide. Vasilisa is a gorgeously filmed, brilliantly scripted, boldly acted, confidently directed, lushly designed masterpiece of unseen cinema.”
Hagen made her musical comeback with the release of her album Return of the Mother (2000). In 2001 she collaborated with Rosenstolz and Marc Almond on the single Total eclipse/Die schwarze Witwe that reached no. 22 in Germany. Later albums include Big Band Explosion (2003), in which she sang numerous swing covers with her then husband, Danish singer and performer Lucas Alexander. This was followed by Heiß, a greatest hits album. The following album, Journey to the Snow Queen, is more of an audio book — Hagen reads the Snow Queen fairy tale with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker in the background.
Besides her musical career, Hagen is also a voice-over actress. She dubbed the voice of Sally in Der Albtraum vor Weihnachten, the German release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas (1993), and she has also done voice work on the German animation film Hot Dogs: Wau - wir sind reich!/Millionaire Dogs (Michael Schoemann, 1999).
Hagen appeared as the Queen opposite Otto Waalkes and her daughter Cosma Shiva Hagen as Snowwhite in the comedy 7 Zwerge – Männer allein im Wald/7 Dwarves – Men Alone in the Wood (Sven Unterwaldt Jr., 2004) which follows the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the second most popular film in German cinemas in 2004, reaching an audience of almost 7 million. She returned in the sequel 7 Zwerge – Der Wald ist nicht genug/Seven Dwarves - The Forest Is Not Enough (Sven Unterwaldt, 2006).
Nina Hagen wrote three autobiographies: Ich bin ein Berliner (1988), Nina Hagen: That's Why the Lady Is a Punk (2003), and Bekenntnisse (2010). She is also noted for her human and animal rights activism. After a four-year lapse Nina Hagen released the album Personal Jesus in 2010. William Ruhlmann at AllMusic: “Personal Jesus, which featured 13 faith-based tracks that dutifully blend rock, blues, soul, and gospel into a sound that’s distinctly hers.” It was followed by Volksbeat (2011).
Her latest films are Desire Will Set You Free (Yony Leyser, 2015) with Amber Benson and Rosa von Praunheim and Gutterdämmerung (Bjorn Tagemose, 2016) with Henry Rollins, Grace Jones and Iggy Pop.
Nina Hagen performs Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen. Source: PakoChile (YouTube).
Nina Hagen performs Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo live. Source: Fritz 12345 (YouTube).
Trailer Cha Cha (1979). Source: Thomas Crommentuyn (YouTube).
Nina Hagen performs Zarah. Source: B DPb (YouTube).
Sources: William Ruhlmann (AllMusic), Wikipedia and IMDb.
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 510. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.
French postcard by Les Amis de la "Lotion Garnier". Photo: Sabeurin. Caption: M. Victor Boucher, du Palais-Royal.
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 807. Photo: Jacques Haïk.
Talent as a Comedian
Victor Louis Armand Boucher was born in 1877 in Rouen, France, in a house in the Rue Saint-Étienne-des-Tonneliers. His parents ran a café-restaurant in Bihorel.
As a child, Victor Boucher is fascinated by the theatre shows in his hometown. At the age of 10, he was admitted to the Cercle de jeunesse, where he started to act. After working as a bookkeeper in Rouen and doing his military service, he moved to Paris.
On the recommendation of the composer Edouard Mahé, he ended up obtaining an engagement at the Théâtre des Capucines. In 1902, Victor Boucher married Mariotta Claire at Neufchâtel-en-Bray.
He knows his first success at the Théâtre des Mathurins in the play Kangourou, where actor-director Sacha Guitryspotted him. In 1905, he was lucky to replace an ill actor in the play Nono at the Théâtre des Mathurins and soon he became known for his talent as a comedian.
From 1905 till 1907, he performed at the Theatre de Vaudeville, from 1907 till 1908 at the Theatre de la Renaissance, and so on.
In 1913 Victor Boucher also started to act in the cinema. He made his film debut in La Petite Chocolatière/The Chocolate Girl (1913) by André Liabel, followed by L'Idée de Françoise/The idea of Françoise (Emile Chautard, 1914) with Renée Sylvaire.
However, in the 1920s, he was foremost a stage actor, first at the Théâtre du Gymnase, later at the Théâtre de la Michodière.
French postcard. Nos artistes dans leur loge, No. 143. Photo Comoedia.
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 22. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.
French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères. Caption: "Un homme averti qui boit du Campari en vaut trois!!!" (A man forewarned who drinks Campari equals three).
Prolific Film Actor
In 1927, Victor Boucher became the manager of Théâtre de la Michodière, which became his fixed theatre between the late 1920s and 1940. Boucher also became chair of the Association des artistes dramatiques.
When sound film arrived in France, Boucher became a prolific film actor as well. He played in such early sound films as La douceur d'aimer/The Sweetness of Loving (René Hervil, 1930) and Gagne ta vie/Earn your life (André Berthomieu, 1931) with Dolly Davis. He then starred in the comedy Les vignes du seigneur/Our Lord's Vineyard (René Hervil, 1932) with Simone Cerdan and Victor Garland.
Most of the light comedies Boucher made between 1930 and 1941 are now forgotten. None made it into he canon of French film history. In the comedy Le sexe faible/The Weaker Sex (Robert Siodmak, 1933), Boucher is a stylish butler who is involved in the intrigues of his patrons. It was based on a 1929 stage farce of the same name by Édouard Bourdet, and his co-stars were Mireille Balin and Pierre Brasseur.
Boucher also acted oppositie Mona Goya in La Banque Némo/Nemo's Bank (Marguerite Viel, 1934).He played a man, who rises from the gutter to become a leading banker. His involvement in dishonest financial dealings threaten the collapse of his empire, but he is rescued by the various politicians who have interests in the firm. The plot has strong similarities to the Stavisky Affair which took place the year the film was released.
In the late 1930s, Victor Boucher was often paired with Elvire Popesco, such as in L'habit vert/The Green Jacket (Roger Richebé, 1937), a farce set against the backdrop of the Académie française, a philanthropic organisation created in 1940 by Baron Taylor. His last film was the comedy Ce n'est pas moi/It's not Me (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1941) with Jean Tissier and Ginette Leclerc.
In 1942, Victor Boucher died in Ville-d'Avray, France, from a heart attack. He was 64. Christian Grenier at l'Encinematheque: "Victor Boucher was a lovable man, a generous man, highly esteemed in the trade."
Victor Boucher, Roger Monteaux and René Alexandre. French postcard. Photos: Intran Studio.
French postcard by P.C., Paris, no. 130.
French postcard by Éditions Chantal (EC), Paris, no. 78. Photo: Piaz.
Sources: Christian Grenier (l'Encinemathèque - French), Wikipedia (French and English), and IMDb.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3320, 1968. Photo: Schwarz.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3324, 1969. Photo: Schwarz.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Monika Gabriel was born in Eichenbriick, near Posen (now Poznań) in Germany (now Poland) in 1943. From 1949 on, she grew up in Falkensee, a city near the Baltic Sea, where she began to take ballet lessons at the age of eleven.
From 1957 to 1961 she trained as a professional dancer at the Academy for Artistic Dance and the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin. From 1962 on, she also played small parts in stage productions at the Berlin Metropol Theater, where she was later transferred to major roles in musical productions like Cole Porter’s Küß mich, Kätchen! (Kiss Me Kate).
However, she was known by the East-German public for her roles in many film and television productions. In 1962, she made her film debut at the DEFA as a page in the fairy tale film Das Kleid/The Robe (Konrad Petzold, 1962) based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. Sadly the film was banned by the GDR government as its planned release coincided with the building of the Berlin Wall. Officials saw the film as too critical of the state.
In the next years, she played in the popular Stacheltier stunt film short s Stacheltier: Engel, Sünden und Verkehr/Porcupine: Angels, Sins and Traffic (Horst Seemann, 1963) and Stacheltier: Liebe braucht keine PS/Porcupine: Love Doesn’t Require HP (Horst Seemann, 1964).
Gabriel’s first major role was in Gerhard Klein and Wolfgang Kohlhaase’s Berlin um die Ecke/Berlin Around the Corner (1965), the fourth film in their Berlin Film series. At the East German Cinema Blog, Jim Morton writes: “Unfortunately, this was the same year that the 11th Plenum occurred. By the time the film was finished in 1966, the 11th Plenum had started their ‘Kahlschlag’ (literally ‘clear cutting’), and the film was promptly rejected and shelved. The officials called it ‘dishonest,’ which is an odd thing to say considering it’s one of the most honest films to ever come out of East Germany. They also called it ‘anti-socialist’—an even more absurd claim since the motivation of the main character is his desire to see equity achieved. (…) Like most of the films banned during the 11th Plenum, Berlin Around the Corner didn’t get an official release until after the wall came down, although it did receive a limited screening in 1987. It officially premiered in 1990 to positive reviews. “
Next Monika Gabriel appeared in Ein Lord am Alexanderplatz/A Lord at Alexanderplatz (1967), Wir lassen uns scheiden/We’re Getting Divorced (Ingrid Reschke, 1967) about the impact of divorce on children, and Jungfer, Sie gefällt mir/Maiden, You Please Me (Günter Reisch,1969), with a script by Jurek Becker based on Heinrich von Kleist’s Der zerbrochene Krug. Monika Gabriel fell in love with her co-star in the film, the West German actor Wolfgang Kieling, who had recently moved to the GDR. In the following year they married.
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3047, 1968. Photo: Balinski.
In 1971, when Wolfgang Kieling returned to the Federal Republic of Germany, Monika Gabriel also received an exit permit. Her final GDR film was Anflug Alpha 1/Approach Alpha I (János Veiczi, 1971) with Alfred Müller and Polish-born actor Stefan Lisewski.
From then on, Monika Gabriel mainly played in television productions such as episodes of Krimi series like Dem Täter auf der Spur/The Perpetrator on the Trail (Jürgen Roland, 1972), Tatort/Crime Scene (1975) and Derrick (1977).
She also appeared in the TV film Die Rakete/The Rocket (Dieter Wedel, 1975) and she had guest spots in such series as St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken/St. Pauli-Jetties (1979), Auf Achse/On Axis (1981), Der König und sein Narr/The King and His Fool (Frank Beyer, 1981) with Wolfgang Kieling and Götz George, Kreisbrandmeister Felix Martin/ Fire Chief Felix Martin (Harald Philipp, 1982) also with Kieling, and Eine Klasse für sich/A Class of its Own (Frank Strecker, 1984).
In 1985, she played her last TV role in an episode of the TV series Berliner Weiße mit Schuß/Berliner Weisse with a Shot (Wilfried Dotzel, 1985) with Günther Pfitzmann and Brigitte Mira.
Monika Gabriel also worked as a synchronisation director, dialogue author and voice actor. She lent her voice to numerous prominent international colleagues, among others Jill Clayburgh, Charlotte Rampling, Stella Stevens and Liv Ullmann. In addition, her voice was heard on many radio plays. She was the German voice of Teela in the Masters of the Universe Radio play (1984-1987).
Monika Gabriel was married four times: with the actors Stefan Lisewski, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Wolfgang Kieling (until 1975) and in a fourth marriage with the TV director Wilfried Dotzel. In 1992, she married Dotzel, but he died a year later. She never remarried again.
At the age of 63, Monika Gabriel succumbed to cancer in 2007 in Berlin-Spandau. She was buried in Falkensee.
Big East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no.246/698. Photo: Linke.
Scene from Berlin um die Ecke (1965). Source: occ4m (YouTube).
Sources: Jim Morton (East German Cinema Blog), DEFA Film Library, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 4208 04-025 U.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Paris, no. 170. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard, no. 171. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Paris, no. 189. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Paris, no. 215. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 266. Photo: Sam Lévin.
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1063. Photo: Sam Lévin.
West-German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/225. Photo: Gérard Decaux.
West-German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/226. Photo: Gérard Decaux.
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Paris, no. 431. Photo: LYNX / Philips.
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 750. Photo: Herman Leonard / Philips.
French postcard by Publistar, Marseille, no. 773. Photo: Aubert / Philips.
French postcard by Encyclopédie du Cinéma, no. EDC 550 Vis. 1. Photo: publicity still for D'où viens-tu... Johnny?/Where Are You From, Johnny? (Noël Howard, 1963).
French postcard by Encyclopédie du Cinéma, no. EDC 550 Vis. 4. Photo: publicity still for D'où viens-tu... Johnny?/Where Are You From, Johnny? (Noël Howard, 1963).
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 210, 1964.
Read also our biography of Johnny Hallyday with more postcards.
Diana Wynyard. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 3.
Jessie Matthews. British collectors card by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 9. Photo: Gaumont-British.
Heather Angel. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 12. Photo: possibly a publicity still for The Hound of the Baskervilles (Gareth Gundrey, 1931).
Gordon Harker. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 14. Photo: Gaumont.
Evelyn Laye. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 21. Photo: Gaumont-British.
George Arliss. British postcard with Polish imprint by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 22. Photo: publicity still for The House of Rothschild (Alfred L. Werker, 1934).
Jack Hulbert. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 30. Photo: Gaumont-British.
Madeleine Carroll. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 32. Photo: Gaumont-British. Publicity still for The Dictator/Loves of a Dictator (Victor Saville, 1935).
Conrad Veidt. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 33. Photo: Gaumont-British. Publicity still for Jew Süss (Lothar Mendes, 1934).
Nova Pilbeam. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 39. Photo: Gaumont-British.
Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 44. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for The Scarlet Pimpernel (Harold Young, 1934).
Janet Gaynor. British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 45.
Sources: Godfrey Dykes.
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 Krüger, no. 902/303. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC-Zugsmith Co-produktion. Publicity still for Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964) with Leticia Román.
Ulrich Manfred Lommel was born in 1944 in Zielenzig, Brandenburg, Germany (now Sulecin, Lubuskie, Poland). Ulli was the son of German comedian and radio personality Ludwig Manfred Lommel, and actress Karla Von Cleef. He was born a few weeks before the arrival of the Red Army, and Lommel's family fled the city, wrapping baby Ulli in a roll of carpet.
Ulli began his career in show business as a child. In 1948, at the age of four, he was put on stage by his father, who was often referred to as the 'Charles Chaplin of Germany' . While living in Bad Nauheim as a teenager, Lommel performed with Elvis Presley. Lommel decided that he wanted to pursue an acting career, but his father did not approve. So 16-years-old Ulli ran away from home.
During his career, he acted in over 28 plays, among them William Shakespeare's Hamlet - in which he played the lead. In 1962, he made his film debut opposite Maria Schell and Paul Hubschmid in Ich bin auch nur eine Frau/I, Too, Am Only a Woman (Alfred Weidenmann, 1962).
He also appeared in Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964) with Leticia Románand Miriam Hopkins, and Maigret und sein grösster Fall/Enter Inspector Maigret (Alfred Weidenmann, 1966) featuring Heinz Rühmann. In total he played in 22 TV films and 18 films.
In 1968, he joined Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the Anti-Theater, an inspired theater collective that launched the careers of several prominent German actors including Kurt Raab, Hanna Schygulla and Margit Carstensen. As Fassbinder moved from theatre to films in the 1970s, rapidly becoming one of the leading voices of the German New Wave, Lommel became one of his closest collaborators.
He spent 10 years working with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who was legendary for his prodigious output, directing 41 films in 13 years. Lommel not only acted in 16 Fassbinder productions but also served as producer, assistant director and production designer, on such films as Fassbinder's directorial debut Liebe ist kälter als der Tod (1969) in which he also starred opposite Hanna Schygulla, Fontane Effi Briest (1974), the surrealist Western Whity (1975), Satansbraten (1976), and Chinesisches Roulette (1976).
Lommel also appeared in films by other directors such as Deine Zärtlichkeiten/Your caresses (Peter Schamoni, Herbert Vesely, 1969) with Doris Kunstmann, Anglia (Werner Schroeter, 1970), Harlis (Robert van Ackeren, 1972), and Schatten der Engel/Shadow of Angels (Daniel Schmid, 1976).
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/358. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood. Publicity still for Fanny Hill (1964) with Renate Hütte and Britt Lindberg.
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/302. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC-Zugsmith Co-produktion. Publicity still for Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964) with Leticia Román.
In 1971 Ulli Lommel directed his first film, Haytabo (1971), starring Eddie Constantine. His second feature film as a director, Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe/Tenderness of the Wolves (1973) with Kurt Raab as a gay serial killer, became a cult hit. It was based on the story of murderer Fritz Haarmann, who was also the inspiration for Fritz Lang's M (1931).
It brought Lommel in 1977 to New York, where he began working with Andy Warhol at The Factory. The Warhol / Lommel years spawned several features, including Cocaine Cowboys (1979) and Blank Generation (1980) with Carole Bouquet, both of which were directed by Lommel and feature Warhol in an acting role.
In 1980 Lommel moved to Hollywood and made independently The Boogey Man (1980), starring John Carradine, which became an overnight sensation and grossed over $35 million worldwide.
Many of Lommel's post-Boogeyman films, such as Olivia (1983), BrainWaves (1982) starring Tony Curtis, The Devonsville Terror (1983) starring Donald Pleasence, also starred his wife at the time, Suzanna Love.
Since Rainer Werner Fassbinder's death in 1982, Lommel has also been travelling the world and participating in numerous retrospectives dedicated to his Fassbinder years, among them the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y., Harvard, the Louvre, London and Beijing.
In 2004 Lommel started his own repertory group in Venice, California, where he and his collaborators have made 16 genre films. In 2008 Lommel teamed up with David Carradine, who starred in Lommel's drama Absolute Evil (2009).
In 2013 Lommel went for nine months to Brazil, where he wrote a book and also made two films. The first was the bio-epic documentary Mondo Americana (2015) and the second a film about Campo Bahia, the official camp for the German National Soccer Team. His autobiography, Tenderness of the Wolves, was released in 2015.
Ulli Lommel married and divorced three actresses, Katrin Schaake, Suzanna Love, and Cookie Lommel.
German postcard by Hias Schasko Postkarten, München. Photo: Filmverlag der Autoren. Publicity still for Liebe ist kälter als der Tod/Love Is Colder Than Death (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1969) with Fassbinder himself.
German postcard by Verlag Hias Schaschko, München (Munich), no. 209. Photo: Rainer Werner Fassbinder during the shooting of his film Händler der vier Jahreszeiten/The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971), then still called Der Obsthändler/The Grocer.
Trailer Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe (1973). Source: Alles kino (YouTube).
Trailer The Boogey Man (1980). Source: Silky Stalin (YouTube).
Sources: CJ McCracken (IMDb), Les Gens du Cinéma, Wikipedia and IMDb.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/1. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/2. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon in Fesseln (Hubert Moest, 1918).
A forgotten film
Little is known about this film. Fesseln/Chains (Hubert Moest, 1918) was offered to the German National Board of Censors in August 1918.
Fesseln is one of the seven silent films in which German film star Hedda Vernon (1886–1925) played the lead role in 1918. Between 1912 and 1925 she starred in more than 80 films. How and where she died is unknown.
Next to Hedda Vernon were in the cast: Emil Albes, Ewald Brückner, Lucie Friedrich, Hermann Vallentin and Erich Wilde.
The film was scripted by Richard Wilde. Director was Hubert Moest, who was Hedda Vernon's husband from 1913 till 1920. Moest was also her regular film director at Eiko in the years 1914-1918 and afterwards at other companies, including his own company Moest-Film from 1919 on.
Rotophot produced this series of sepia postcards with scenes from the film in their Film Sterne (Film Stars) series. Number 559/5 is still missing.
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/3. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/4. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon in Fesseln (Hubert Moest, 1918).
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/6. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon in Fesseln (Hubert Moest, 1918).
Sources: Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Russian postcard, no. A 09462, 1965. Photo: G. Ter-Ovanesova.
A Forbidden Beautiful World
Alla Dmitrievna Larionova was born in Moscow, USSR (now Russia) in 1931. Her father was an employee of a food store, and her mother worked as a keeper in a kindergarten. Her parents named her after the film star Alla Tarasova, and thus programmed their little daughter for the future.
After her father went to the front, Alla and her mother evacuated to Menzelinsk, where her mother worked in a hospital. Here, 9-year-old Alla Larionova appeared for the first time on stage. She read poetry to the wounded in the hospital.
When she was barely 15 years old, the young and charming Alla was discovered for the cinema. An unfamiliar woman approached her on the street, and asked if the girl wanted to act in films. Of course, Larionova wanted and appeared in a small part in the biographical drama Michurin (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1949), featuring Grigori Belov.
After graduation, Alla went to study as an actress at the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Moscow. In 1948, she continued her studies at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), where she met her future husband Nikolai Rybnikov. At the GITIS, she failed miserably at her exams. Before her examiners, she saw the famous director Vasily Mikhailovich Goncharov and got a black-out.
However, during her study years, she got a star-making role, which determined her entire career in the cinema. She played Lyubava in Sadko (Aleksandr Ptushko, 1952) with Sergei Stolyarov. The Fairy-tale film was so successful that the following year the film was invited to Venice Film Festival, where it won the Silver Lion.
This success meant an international breakthrough for the Soviet cinema. In Venice, the beautiful Larionova was followed by crowds of journalists and admirers ran. Well-known producers and directors, including Charles Chaplin, offered her roles that she flatly refused. As the Russian website 24smi writes: “official representatives, officials who accompanied a group of artists abroad, were strictly forbidden to go to contacts with ‘bourgeois’ directors.” Larionova returned home from Italy in tears. She had been allowed to touch a beautiful world, to see it, but was forbidden to live in it.
Back home, she was offered the leading role in Anna na shee/The Anna Cross (Isidor Annensky, 1954), based on a short story by Anton Chekhov. The film turned Larionova into a big star of the Soviet cinema. Hundreds of people, often in bad weather, stood in queues in front of cinemas to see the film. After the actress starred as the beautiful Olivia in Dvenadtsataya noch/Twelfth Night (A. Abramov, Yan Frid, 1955), fans followed her to the studio and her apartment, looked in windows and waited for her exit. Even the minister of culture came to see the actress.
Russian postcard, no. AB13758, 1958. Photo: V. Kačna.
Russian multiview postcard, no. 1446, 1963. Included are scene photos from Sadko (1952), Vikhri vrazhdebnye/Hostile Whirlwinds (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1953), Anna na shee (1954), and Dvenadtsataya noch/Twelfth Night (A. Abramov, Yan Frid, 1955).
Hindered by the officials
Curiously, Alla Larionova was not offered any more leading roles and her career seemed to be hindered by officials. For example for the film Ilya Muromets/The Sword and the Dragon (Aleksandr Ptushko, 1956), Larionova was not allowed to travel to Yalta, where the shooting of the film took place.
Her few leading roles in the following years included Sudba barabanshchika/The Drummer's Fate (Viktor Eisymont, 1956), the romance Mlechnyy Put/Milky Way (Isaak Shmaruk, 1959) and Trizhdy voskresshiy/Thrice Resurrected (Leonid Gayday, 1960).
During the 1960s and 1970s, Alla Larionova never got leading roles. When the beautiful actress starred in a film it was in ‘ugly’ roles, such as in Dikiy myod/Wild Honey (Vladimir Chebotaryov, 1967), where her face was smeared with mud.
Larionova proved that she could play character roles very well. She played Natalia Dmitrievna Paskudin in the Anton Chekhov adaptation Tri sestry/The Three Sisters (Samson Samsonov, 1964), Donesova in Ko mne, Mukhtar!/Come Here, Mukhtar! (Semyon Tumanov, 1965), Elena Ivanovna in Fokusnik/The Magician (Pyotr Todorovskiy, 1967) and Ekaterina II in the family comedy Yest ideya!/There is an idea! (Vladimir Bychkov, 1977).
But the kind of roles that had made her famous, she was not offered anymore. When she turned 60, Alla Larionova was given the title People's Artist of the RSFSR in 1990, but no significant roles followed anymore. Russian Wikipedia suggests the reason was a scar in her face caused by an accident. Actor George Yumatov, in a state of intoxication, had decided to take Alla Larionova home and caused the accident at which she hit her head and cut her lip. After that, she ceased to appear in films, since the scar was too noticeable.
Larionova lived very quietly and modestly. She travelled around the country with the theatre group named after Eugene Vakhtangov. She was married to Nikolai Rybnikov from 1957 till his death in 1990. Shortly after their marriage was registered, she gave birth to her daughter Alena from actor Ivan Pereverzev. In 1961, their second daughter Arina was born. Alla Larionova died from a heart attack in 2000 in Moscow, Russia. She was buried next to her husband at the Troekurovsky cemetery. In 2004, their daughter Arina, addicted to alcohol, died.
Small Russian collectors card.
Russian postcard, no. A-06650. Photo: G. Vajlja.
Sources: 24 smi (Russian), Wikipedia (Russian) and IMDb.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2995/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Baumann / Terra.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3230/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick / Terra Film.
Hermann Brix was born in Innsbruck, Austria (then Austria-Hungary) in 1912. He studied German and medicine first, took acting lessons after that, and in 1936 he debuted on stage in Prague. Later he got an engagement at the Münchner Kammerspiele in Munich.
Brix became well-known as a film actor in German cinema during the war years, mostly at Terra-Filmkunst. He probably started his film career in the Terra-production Opernball/Opera Ball (Géza von Bolváry, 1939) with Paul Hörbiger.
This first film appearance was soon followed by Maria Ilona (Géza von Bolváry, 1939) in which he played Emperor Franz Joseph opposite Paula Wessely. After the premiere of tis film in Vienna, he signed a contract with Terra Film in Berlin.
For Terra, Brix appeared in such films as Die guten Sieben/The Lucky Seven (Wolfgang Liebeneier, 1940) starring Johannes Riemann, and Alarm auf Station III/Alarm on station III (Philipp Lothar Mayring, 1939) starring Gustav Fröhlich.
Slowly, his parts became bigger as in Falschmünzer/Forger (Hermann Pfeiffer, 1940), Der Herr im Haus/The Landlord (Heinz Helbig, 1940) starring Hans Moser, Sein Sohn/His Son (Peter Paul Breuer, 1941), and Dreimal Hochzeit/Three times wedding (Géza von Bolváry, 1941) with Marte Harell and Willy Fritsch.
Brix had his first lead in Die Kelnerin Anna/The Waitress Anna (Peter Paul Breuer, 1941) as a young music student in Salzburg, who doesn’t know that the local waitress (Franziska Kinz) who takes so much care of him is his mother.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no A 3331/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick / Terra.
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3591/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann / Terra.
Hermann Brix played a band leader in the disaster drama Titanic (Herbert Selpin, 1943), and a police commissioner in the spy story Die goldene Spinne/The Golden Spider (Erich Engels, 1943).
He appeared as Eva Maria Meineke’s lover in the comedy Moselfahrt mit Monika/A Trip on the Mosel with Monika (Roger von Norman, 1944). The film was completed in 1944, but submitted to Filmprüfstelle in October 1944, and it was eventually released in 1952.
His last wartime performance was in the romantic comedy Der Meisterdetektiv/The master detective (Hubert Marischka, 1944) with Georg Alexander.
After the war Brix worked only twice as a film actor. In 1947 he appeared in the French-Austrian comedy Les amours de Blanche Neige/The Loves of Snowwhite (Edi Wieser, 1947). Three years later he played the lead in the comedy Die Erbschaft aus Amerika/Luck from Ohio (Heinz Paul, 1950).
Rudi Polt at IMDb suggests that Brix was more interested in stage theatre and radio. He returned to his birth town Innsbrück where he wrote stage and radio plays.
From 1966 on he taught drama at the Universität Innsbruck and was manager of the Studiobühne. Among his pupils were Dietmar Schönherr, Axel Corti, and Volkmar Parschalk. He also directed several plays at the Tiroler Landestheater.
Hermann Brix died in Innsbruck in 1982. He was 70.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2693/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick/Terra. Collection: Didier Hanson.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3331/2, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick/Terra. Collection: Didier Hanson.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2564/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann/Terra. Collection: Didier Hanson.
Sources: Rudi Polt (IMDb), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscar Color S.A., Hospitalet (Barcelona), no. 592.
Costumed as Madame Du Barry
Suzanna Leigh was born Sandra Eileen Anne Smith in 1945 in Belgrave (some sources say Berkshire), England. Her father was an auto engine manufacturer and professional gambler. Her mother’s a millionaire property developer. Her father died when she was six.
Leigh grew up in Berkshire (some sources say Belgravia, London), and later went to convent schools outside London. She began working in films while still a child, appearing as an extra in British productions. These included the romantic comedy The Silken Affair (Roy Kellino, 1956) starring David Niven and Geneviève Page, and the fantasy-musical Tom Thumb (George Pal, 1958). 7
She changed her name to Suzanna Leigh after entering film, after actress Vivien Leigh. A few years later, she was the star of the 13-episode French TV series, Trois étoiles en Touraine (Maurice Régamey, 1966), which every week featured Leigh, her racing car and a different male lead.
Planning to attend London's Opera Ball, costumed as Madame Du Barry, Leigh had a sedan chair made, along with costumes for five footmen who carried it (and her) through the streets of the city. American producer Hal B. Wallis saw newspaper photos of Leigh's elaborate stunt and imported the 20-year-old blonde to Hollywood.
Leigh's American film roles included a stewardess in the American bedroom farce Boeing Boeing (John Rich, 1965) starring Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis, and the love interest of Elvis Presley in Paradise, Hawaiian Style (Michael D. Moore, 1966). In 1966 her US career hit a snag when the Hollywood and English acting guilds got into a tangle, and she returned to England.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: publicity still for Paradise, Hawaiian Style (Michael D. Moore, 1966) with Elvis Presley and Suzanna Leigh. Collection: Veronique3.
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: publicity still for Deadlier than the male (Ralph Thomas, 1967) with Richard Johnson and Suzanna Leigh.
The Kate Winslet of her Day
Back in England, Suzanna Leigh became the frail heroine in a couple of Hammer films such as The Lost Continent (Michael Carreras, 1968) with Eric Porter and Hildegard Knef, and Lust for a Vampire (Jimmy Sangster, 1971).
She also starred in the cult horror films The Deadly Bees (Freddie Francis, 1966) and The Fiend (Robert Hartford-Davis, 1972) with Ann Todd. In 1974 she starred as Amber in the musical comedy Son of Dracula (Freddie Francis, 1974) starring Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr.
Hester Lacey called Leigh in The Independent"the Kate Winslet of her day: a beautiful, feted young British actress who made it big in Hollywood. She lived a champagne lifestyle, mixed with the beautiful people and drove a Rolls Royce. She was presented to the Queen at a Royal Command Performance."
She met Tim Hue-Williams, to be the father of her daughter, Natalia, at Ascot in 1972. This led to a 10-year relationship which ended when Hue-Williams deserted her for a rich heiress, his best friend's fiancee, when Leigh was four months pregnant.
Her heydays were over and after a long and painful divorce, she retired to a small rented flat in a London suburb, with her daughter Natalia and her sheltie dog Sukie. She worked as an interior designer, gave etiquette lessons and sold the Encyclopedia Britannica at Heathrow Airport.
In 2000, she published the autobiography, Paradise, Suzanna Style. In 2015, she was a featured player in the American film, Grace of the Father (De Miller, 2015).
In September 2016, Suzanna Leigh was diagnosed with ‘stage-four’ liver cancer and she died on 11 December 2017.
Trailer Boeing Boeing (1965). Source: Classic Airliners & Vintage Pop Culture (YouTube).
Trailer Lust for a Vampire (1971). Source: kaijindaigo (YouTube).
Sources: Hester Lacey (The Independent), Tom Weaver (IMDb), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Wikipedia and IMDb.