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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Extremely successful in queen roles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ten stormy years of stage direction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 02/24/18--22:00: Rolf von Goth
  • Handsome German film actor Rolf von Goth (1906-1981) appeared in minor roles in several silent films such as Fritz Lang’s s epic Metropolis (1927). In the late 1920s, he emerged as a prominent actor in Aufklärungsfilme (enlightenment films). During the early 1930s, he played a mixture of leading and supporting roles in dozens of films, including Es war einmal ein Walzer (1932) and Schuß im Morgengrauen (1932) but his appearances began to decline during the Nazi era. Later he switched to become a successful director and producer of radio plays.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4661/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6634/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Aafa-Film / Lindner.

    A son in the Eternal Gardens

    Rolf von Goth was born in 1906 in Windhoek in German Southwest Africa (then a German colony, now Namibia), where his father was stationed as an officer.

    First, Rolf wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he decided to become an actor. The dark-haired, handsome 20-years-old moved to Germany and started a film career there.

    He initially appeared in minor roles in silent films such as the classic Science-Fiction epic Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) as a son in the Eternal Gardens, the comedy Don Juan in der Mädchenschule/Don Juan in a Girls' School (Reinhold Schünzel, 1928) with Adolphe Engers, and the crime film Vom Täter fehlt jede Spur/Under Suspicion (Constantin J. David, 1928) starringHanni Weisse.

    He had a bigger part in Verirrte Jugend/Misled Youth (Richard Löwenbein, 1929), starring Fritz Alberti, Erna Morena and Dolly Davis. It was one of the many Aufklärungsfilme (enlightenment films) during the Weimar Era that addressed the issue of juvenile delinquency.

    Von Goth then emerged as a prominent actor with a leading role in Vater und Sohn/Father and Son (Géza von Bolváry, 1929) as the son of Harry Liedtke.

    His final silent film was the Aufklärungsfilm Frühlingserwachen/Spring Awakening (Richard Oswald, 1929), with Mathilde Sussin and Toni van Eyck. It is an adaptation of the play of the same title by Frank Wedekind about the rebellion of the youth and the increasingly debated erotic exploratory experiment. Von Goth got very good reviews for his role.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5280/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Mondial-Film.

    Rolf von Goth and Marta Aggerth in Es war einmal ein Walzer (1932)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6748/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Aafa-Film. Publicity still for Es war einmal ein Walzer/Once There Was a Waltz (Victor Janson, 1932) with Márta Eggerth.

    Rolf von Goth
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 6600. Photo: Lux Film Verleih.

    The favourite of every mother-in-law

    During the early 1930s, Rolf von Goth played a mixture of leading and supporting roles in dozens of films, of the as the son-in-law. Stefanie D’heil calls him at Steffi-Line‘Lieblings aller Schwiegermütter’ (the favourite of every mother-in-law).

    In the operetta film Es war einmal ein Walzer/Once There Was a Waltz (Victor Janson, 1932), he co-starred with Márta Eggerth and Paul Hörbiger.

    He had only a minor part in the crime film Schuß im Morgengrauen/A Shot at Dawn (Alfred Zeisler, 1932), starring Ery Bos and Genia Nikolaieva. The latter was based on the play The Woman and the Emerald by Harry Jenkins and recounts a jewel theft.

    Then he co-starred with Jenny Jugo in the musical comedy Fünf von der Jazzband/Five from the Jazz Band (Erich Engel, 1932), produced by the German subsidiary of Universal Pictures.

    Von Goth co-starred with Karin Hardt in Die blonde Christl/The blonde Christl (Franz Seitz, 1933) and they became also a couple in real life.

    His appearances began to decline during the Nazi era. One of his last major roles was in Ein Mädchen mit Prokura/A Woman With Power of Attorney (Arzén von Cserépy, 1934), featuring Gerda Maurus. In 1938, the Gestapo arrested him after being denounced. It was the abrupt end of his film career.

    After the outbreak of WW II, he had to go into the army, and was later imprisoned. During the wartime he only played one more small part in the revue-film Die Frau meiner Träume/The Woman of My Dreams (Georg Jacoby, 1944), starring Marika Rökk. After that he retired from the film business.

    Von Goth switched to become a director and producer of radio shows for NWDR (later the SFB) in Berlin. During the post-war years, he was extremely successful in the format and produced more than two hundred radio plays.

    In 1981, Rolf von Goth passed away in West Berlin, aged 75. He was buried at the Heerstraße cemetery in Berlin. Von Goth was married to the actress Karin Hardt.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6326/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Schenker, Berlin.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7193/1, 1932-1933.

    Rolf von Goth
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8650/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Cserepy-Normaton-Film / NDLS. Publicity still for Ein Mädchen mit Prokura/A Woman With Power of Attorney (Arzén von Cserépy, 1934).

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

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  • 02/25/18--22:00: Sabine Bethmann
  • German film actress Sabine Bethmann (1931) is best known for Fritz Langs’s Der Tiger von Eschnapur (1959) and the sequel Das Indische Grabmal (1959), together known as 'Fritz Lang's Indian Epic'.

    Sabine Bethmann
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4230. Photo: Dührkoop / Ufa.

    Sabine Bethmann
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4235. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC-Film / Constantin Film.


    Sabine Bethmann was born in Tilsit, East Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), in 1931.

    She studied to become a physiotherapist, but started her career as a model. At 24, she was discovered for the cinema. She made her film debut in Waldwinter/Winter in the Woods (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1956) starring Claus Holm.

    A year later she played the girlfriend of Hansjörg Felmy in the anti-war film Haie und kleine Fische/Sharks and Small Fish (Frank Wisbar, 1957). By showing war in all its horror, as a shark devouring everyone and everything in its path, director Frank Wisbar made a powerful anti-war statement.

    Bethmann then appeared in the adventure films Der Tiger von Eschnapur/The Tiger of Eschnapur (Fritz Lang, 1959) and Das Indische Grabmal/The Indian Tomb (Fritz Lang, 1959).

    Fritz Lang returned to Germany to direct these films, which together tell the story of a German architect (Paul Hubschmid), the Indian maharajah (Walter Reyer) for whom he is supposed to build schools and hospitals, and the Eurasian temple dancer (Debra Paget) who comes between them. Bethmann played the sister of the architect.

    She was then cast in the role of Varinia in Spartacus (1960), and began filming with Anthony Mann as director. But, when Mann was fired and Stanley Kubrick took over the direction, she was replaced with Jean Simmons.

    Sabine Bethmann
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK 193. Photo: Klaus Collignon / Ufa.

    Sabine Bethmann
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Templehof, no. CK-263. Photo: Klaus Collignon.

    Dr. Mabuse

    Sabine Bethmann starred in the Argentine, Spanish, West-German international co-production Juanito/Viva Juanito! (Fernando Palacio, 1960), set during the Mexican Revolution and featuring Pablito Calvo.

    She also played the female lead in the German crime film Scotland Yard jagt Dr. Mabuse/Scotland Yard vs. Dr Mabuse (Paul May, 1963) starring Peter van Eyck.

    During the 1960s, she also appeared in the Spaghetti Western Il ranch degli spietati/Oklahoma John (Jaime Jesús Balcázar, Roberto Bianchi Montero, 1965), and the drama Mädchen hinter Gittern/Girls behind bars (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1965) with Heidelinde Weis.

    Her roles became rarer and smaller. Her last film was the German crime comedy Die Herren mit der weissen Weste/Gentlemen in White Vests (Wolfgang Staudte, 1970) with Martin Held.

    Then at 40, she retired and only appeared incidentally in TV productions, such as in an episode of the Krimi series Der Alte/The Old Fox (1979). In 1990 she played one more leading role in the short children’s film Kaffeeklatsch (Sabine Eckhard, 1990).

    Sabine Bethmann lives in Berlin.

    Sabine Bethmann and Joachim Hansen in Morgen wirst du um mich weinen (1959)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag GmbH, Minden/Westf., no. 895. Photo: DCF / Arthur Grimm. Publicity still for Morgen wirst du um mich weinen/Black Triangle (Alfred Braun, 1959) with Joachim Hansen.

    Sabine Bethmann
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Templehof, no. FK 4235. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC Film / Constantin Film.

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

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  • 02/26/18--22:00: Oscar Marion
  • Austrian actor Oscar Marion (1894-1986) was a popular star of the German cinema in the silent era and the 1930s. During the 1940s and 1950s, he worked as a production manager.

    Oscar Marion
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 758. Photo: Verleih Engel & Walter.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1726/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

    Oscar Marion
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5663. Photo: E. Weill & Co. Verleih.

    Elegant Lover

    Oscar Marion (aka Oskar Marion) was born as Oskar Lepka in Brünn in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (now Brno, Czech Republic) in 1894.

    He studied Medicine in Vienna for some semesters and afterwards served as a sanitary during the First World War. After the war he took acting lessons in Vienna and started a stage career at the Wiener Kammerspielen, later on also at the Stadttheater in Brünn and the Landestheater in Prague.

    From there he went to Berlin, where he performed in various theatres. From 1919 he was active as actor in the German cinema, often playing the elegant lover and gentleman. In the first half of the 1920s Marion played in countless films, with a record of 18 films in 1920.

    Memorable titles are Die Schmugglerin/The smuggler (Eugen Burg, 1920) with Wanda Treumann, Die Glücksfalle/The lucky chance (Arthur Wellin, 1920) with Lotte Neumann, the three-part serial Fortunato (Karl Halden, 1921) with Marion as the impostor Fortunato, Strandgut der Leidenschaft/Flotsam of passion (Jaap Speyer, 1921), and Die rote Nacht/The Red Night (Jaap Speyer, 1921).

    In 1922 he appeared in a.o. Die Männer der Frau Clarissa/The Men of Mrs. Clarissa (Fred Sauer, 1922), Die Frau mit den 10 Masken/The Woman with the Ten Masks (Siegfried Dessauer, 1922), Alexandra (Theo Frenkel, 1922) with Margit Barnay, Monna Vanna (Richard Eichberg, 1922) with Lee Parry, and Quarantäne/Quarantine (Max Mack, 1922) with Helena Makowska.

    The next years followed such titles as Schande/Shame (Theo Frenkel, 1923) again with Makowska, Die Frau aus dem Orient/The Woman from the Orient (Wolfgang Neff, 1923) with Marion in the lead and Hedda Vernon co-starring, Taras Bulba (Vladimir Strizevskij, 1924) one of Taras Bulba’s sons with again Helena Makowska, Kampf um die Scholle/Struggle for the Soil (Erich Waschneck, 1925), and the part documentary part science fiction film Wunder der Schöpfung/Wonders of Creation (Hans Walter Kornblum, Rudolf Biebrach, Johannes Meyer, 1925).

    Oscar Marion in Kampf um die Scholle (1925)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 989/3, 1925-1926. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Kampf um die Scholle/Struggle for the Soil (Erich Waschneck, 1925).

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1726/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1642/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3426/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Super production

    From the mid-1920s on, the number of films in which Oscar Marion yearly acted became less, but not his reputation. He played in Fedora (Jean Manoussi, 1926) with Lee Parry, Mein Freund, der Chauffeur/My Friend, the driver (Erich Waschneck, 1925), and Die kleine Inge und ihre drei Väter/Little Inge and her three fathers (Franz Osten, 1926).

    In 1927, Marion played Prince Edwin in love with czardas dancer Sylva Varescu (Liane Haid) in Die Czardasfürstin/The Csardas Queen (Hanns Schwarz, 1927), while he acted again for Dutch director Jaap Speyer as the male lead in Valencia, Du schönste aller Rosen/Valencia, you the most beautiful of all roses (Jaap Speyer, 1927) about a German in love with a Spanish flower seller (Maria Dalbaicin).

    Next came films like Sturmflut/Storm tide (Willy Reiber, 1927), Hast du geliebt am schönen Rhein/If you have loved on the beautiful Rhine (James Bauer, 1927), Die Lindenwirtin am Rhein/The lime landlady on the Rhine (Rolf Randolf, 1927) with Maly Delschaft, while Marion had a minor part in the super production Waterloo (Karl Grune, 1928) and a larger part in Andreas Hofer (Hanns Prechtl, 1929), starring Fritz Greiner and again Mady Delschaft.

    When sound film came along, Marion worked in both the Czech cinema and the German cinema. In Czechoslovakia he acted for instance in Dobry vojak Svejk/The Good Sioldier Schwejk (1931) - the first sound film version of the adventures of Schwejk. In the sound era Marion also played in films such as Nie wieder Liebe/Never Love Again (Anatole Litvak, 1931) with Lilian Harvey, Henker, Frauen und Soldaten/Executioner, Women and Soldiers (Johannes Meyer, 1935) with Hans Albers, and Fridericus (Johannes Meyer, 1936) with Otto Gebühr.

    Marion’s parts had become much smaller during the 1930's, though. From 1936 to 1937, he worked as an assistant director, alongside his acting. In 1940 he quited acting altogether and became production manager and producer at Bavaria Film.

    After the war Marion worked as a production manager for various Munich based film companies, such as Eva-Film for which he produced the successful films Rosen-Resli (Harald Reinl, 1954), which turned Christine Kaufmann into a new child star, and Der schweigende Engel/The silent angel (Harald Reinl, 1954), again with Kaufmann in the lead.

    A few years later, Marion stopped his film career. His last productions were Solange du lebst/As long as you live (Harald Reinl, 1955) with Marianne Koch, and Ein Sommer, den man nie vergißt/A Summer You Will Never Forget (Werner Jacobs, 1959).

    Oscar Marion died in Munich in 1986, at the high age of almost 90 years.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3037/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3426/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Paul Wegener, Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 167/7. Photo: Biograph-Film. Publicity still for Marschall Vorwärts/Marshall Forward (Heinz Paul, 1932) with Paul Wegener.

    Oscar Marion
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7401/1, 1932-1933.

    Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos),, Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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    Henny Porten and Bruno Decarli are the stars of the German silent drama Das Maskenfest des Lebens/The Masquerade of Life (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918). It was produced by Messter Film. Rotophot produced a postcard series of the film in their Film Sterne series.

    Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 541/2. Photo: Messter-Film. Henny Porten and Walfried Mellin in Das Maskenfest des Lebens (Rudolf Biebrach 1918).

    Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 541/3. Photo: Messter-Film. Henny Porten and Bruno Decarli in Das Maskenfest des Lebens (Rudolf Biebrach 1918).

    A Mysterious Stranger

    In Das Maskenfest des Lebens/The Masquerade of Life (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918), Henny Porten plays Jolanthe von Brissac, the lady-in-waiting of a Grand Duchess (Olga Engl). She wants Jolanthe to marry Count Falken (Ernst Wendt), although Jolanthe does not love him.

    After a short marriage, the count dies when deadly injured in a hunt. A little later Jolanthe gets to know another man during a dance, who does not show himself, since he is wearing a mask at that time.

    Jolanthe is fascinated by this mysterious stranger, invites him to a cup of tea and finally gives herself to him. She does not suspect that the mysterious stranger is doctor Wolfgang Sanders (Bruno Decarli).

    As a result of this one-night stand, a child is born. Jolanthe's son is four years old when he becomes seriously ill one day. Worried, his mother immediately calls a doctor to look after her little Rolf (Walfried Mellin) and save his life. Only now does Jolanthe realise that the doctor is her great love and at the same time the father of her child. Happy end.

    The script by Wilhelm Roelinghoff was liberally based on a novel by Honoré de Balzac. Das Maskenfest des Lebens passed censorship in August 1918 and premiered on 30 August 1918 in the cinema Mozartsaal in Berlin. The film had four acts and originally was 1440 meters long, with 75 subtitles. It was banned to youngsters.

    In a new censorship in May 1921, the film was cut down to 1213 meters. In the Austrian Paimann’s Filmlisten the film was marked as "Stoff sehr gut, Photos und Szenerie ausgezeichnet." (Subject very good, cinematography and scenery outstanding). Cinematography was by Karl Freund, the later camera wizard of German Expressionist cinema, and the sets were designed by Ludwig Kainer and Jack Winter.

    Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 541/4. Photo: Messter-Film. Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest des Lebens (Rudolf Biebrach 1918).

    Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest des Lebens
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 541/5. Photo: Messter-Film. Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest des Lebens (Rudolf Biebrach 1918).

    Henny Porten in Das Maskenfest des Lebens
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 541/6. Photo: Messter-Film. Henny PortenBruno Decarli and Walfried Mellin in Das Maskenfest des Lebens (Rudolf Biebrach 1918).

    Source:, The German Early Cinema DatabaseWikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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  • 02/28/18--22:00: Daniel Craig
  • Blonde and blue-eyes English actor Daniel Craig (1968) is best known as the sixth James Bond. He appeared as the British secret agent in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). He also appeared in such great films as Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), the crime thriller Road to Perdition (2002), and the historical drama Munich (2005).

    Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006)
    British postcard by EON Productions. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind.. Publicity still for Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006).

    Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
    British postcard by EON Productions. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind. Publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

    Love is the Devil

    Daniel Wroughton Craig was born in 1968 in Chester, Cheshire. His mother, Carol Olivia (née Williams), was an art teacher, and his father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, was the landlord of two pubs. When his parents divorced, Craig and his older sister Lea lived with their mother, moving to Liverpool, and later to Hoylake, Wirral.

    Craig began acting in school plays at the age of six, and was introduced to serious acting by attending the Everyman Theatre in nearby Liverpool City Centre with his mother. He was also a good athlete and was a rugby player at Hoylake Rugby Club. At 16, he started to train at the National Youth Theatre and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991, before beginning his career on stage.

    In 1992, Craig married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, with whom he has a daughter Ella Craig (1992). The marriage ended in divorce in 1994. After his divorce, he was in a seven-year relationship with German actress Heike Makatsch, ending in 2001. He subsequently dated and was engaged to film producer Satsuki Mitchell from 2005 until 2010.

    His film debut was as an Afrikaner in the drama The Power of One (John G. Avildsen, 1992). He then appeared as closeted gay Mormon and Republican Joe Pitt in the Royal National Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in November 1993. Other early film appearances were in the Disney family film A Kid in King Arthur's Court (Michael Gottlieb, 1995) and the biographical film Elizabeth (Shekhar Kapur, 1998) featuring Cate Blanchett.

    Craig's appearances in the British television film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (John Maybury, 1998) with Derek Jacobi, the indie war film The Trench (William Boyd, 1999), and the drama Some Voices (Simon Cellan Jones, 2000) attracted the film industry's attention.

    This led to roles in bigger productions such as the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Simon West, 2001) - as Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest, the crime thriller Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes, 2002) with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, the crime thriller Layer Cake (Matthew Vaughn, 2004), The Jacket (John Maybury, 2005), and the historical drama Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005).

    Smaller but also interesting were The Mother (Roger Michell, 2003) in which he played the lover of the much older Anne Reid, and Infamous (Douglas McGrath, 2006), in which he played murderer Perry Smith who became the subject for Truman Capote’s classic novel In Cold Blood.

    Daniel Craig and  Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace (2008)
    British postcard by Peek & Cloppenburg, Col.-no. 198. Photo: Danjaq / LLC / United Artists Corporation / Columbia Pictures Ind. Publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008) with Olga Kurylenko.

    Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
    Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

    The sixth 007

    Daniel Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of Ian Fleming's James Bond in the official film series, taking over from Pierce Brosnan in 2005. Reportedly, he quit smoking and gained twenty pounds of muscle for the part. Although his casting was initially greeted with scepticism, his debut was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006) became the highest-grossing in the series at the time.

    Steve Sholokhonov at IMDb: “Craig's reserved demeanor and his avoidance of the showbiz-party-red-carpet milieu makes him a cool 007. He is the first blond actor to play Bond, and also the first to be born after the start of the film series, and also the first to be born after the death of author Ian Fleming in 1964. Four of the past Bond actors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan have indicated that Craig is a good choice as Bond.”

    Two years later followed Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008). Craig's third Bond film, Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012) with Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes, was the highest-grossing film in the UK until 2015 and the fifteenth highest-grossing film of all time. Craig's fourth Bond film was Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015) with Christoph Waltz and Monica Bellucci.

    Since taking the role of Bond, he has continued to star in other films, including the World War II film Defiance (Edward Zwick, 2008) and the Science Fiction Western Cowboys & Aliens (Jon Favreau, 2011) with Harrison Ford. He starred as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011).

    In 2011, he also starred in the psychological thriller Dream House (Jim Sheridan, 2011) co-starring his second wife Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. Craig also made a guest appearance as James Bond in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, alongside Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014, he and his wife Weisz starred on Broadway in Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal. Despite mixed reviews, it grossed $17.5 million, becoming the second highest Broadway play of 2013.

    Craig did an uncredited cameo in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015) as the stormtrooper on whom Rey (Daisy Ridley) performs a Jedi mind trick. Recently he starred in Steven Soderbergh's heist film Logan Lucky (2017) starring Channing Tatum.

    On the 15 August 2017 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Craig publicly confirmed that he will return to his role as James Bond. His four Bond films released by Sony has earned a combined gross of $3.5 billion globally, after adjusting for inflation. Craig has described his portrayal of Bond as an anti-hero: "The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, 'Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?' Bond's role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone's dark side shouldn't be explored. I don't think it should be confusing by the end of the film, but during the film you should be questioning who he is."

    When it was confirmed that Craig would play 007 again in 2019 Daniel Craig officially became the longest-serving James Bond.

    Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
    Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

    Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (2008)
    Chinese postcard by Oriental City Publishing Group Limited. Photo: publicity still for Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

    Sources: Steve Shelokhonov (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/01/18--22:00: Kunst und Bild
  • Since 1930 Kunst und Bild (Art and Image) or KuB is one of Germany's leading publishers of postal and greeting cards. During the 1950s, the Berlin company published many film star postcards, often in black and white and with a white frame. The company still exists today but in their collection are no more film star postcards.

    Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 124. Photo: Columbia.

    Cécile Aubry
    Cécile Aubry. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 410. Photo: publicity still for Barbe-Bleue/Bluebeard (Christian-Jaque, 1951).

    Marika Rökk in Die Casardasfürstin (1951)
    Marika Rökk. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 478. Photo: Herzog-Film / Junge Film-Union / Lindner. Publicity still for Die Casardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Georg Jacoby, 1951).

    Inge Egger
    Inge Egger. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 804. Photo: Central-Europa / Prisma / A. Grimm. Publicity still for Die Rose von Stambul/The Rose of Stambul (Karl Anton, 1953).

    Eva Bartok
    Eva Bartok. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 853. Photo: NF. Publicity still for Der letzte Walzer/The Last Waltz (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1953).

    Debra Paget
    Debra Paget. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 964. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

    Margit Saad
    Margit Saad. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1128. Photo: Herzog / Berolina. Publicity still for Der Zigeunerbaron/Baron Tzigane/Gypsy Baron (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1954).

    Silvana Pampanini
    Silvana Pampanini. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin. Photo: Generalcine Film / Vaselli.

    Esther Williams
    Esther Williams. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, no. C D 2.

    Gordon Scott
    Gordon Scott. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, no. I 411. Photo: RKO. Publicity still for Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (Harold D. Schuster, 1955).

    Roger Pigaut
    Roger Pigaut. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. I 477. Photo: EGC / Fernand Rivers / Constantin Film. Publicity still for La Lumière d'en face/Female and the Flesh (Georges Lacombe, 1955).

    Olive Moorefield in Die Beine von Dolores (1957)
    Olive Moorefield. German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. V 172. Photo: Kurt-Ulrich-Film / Constantin / Wesel. Publicity still for Die Beine von Dolores/The legs of Dolores (Géza von Cziffra, 1957).

    You'll find more film star postcards by Kunst und Bild in our album Kunst und Bild at Flickr.

    Source: Kunst und Bild (German).

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  • 03/02/18--22:00: Folke Sundquist
  • Swedish actor Folke Sundquist (1925-2009) appeared in 21 films between 1951 and 1968. He often worked with the directors Arne Mattson and Ingmar Bergman.

    Ulla Jacobsson and Folke Sundquist in Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 773. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951) with Ulla Jacobsson.

    Folke Sundquist in För min heta ungdoms skull (1952)
    German postcard by Kunst un Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 870. Photo: NF-Film. Publicity still for För min heta ungdoms skull/For the Sake of My Intemperate Youth (Arne Mattson, 1952).

    One Summer of Happiness

    Folke Sundquist (sometimes written as Sundqvist) was born in 1925 in Falun in central Sweden. After high school, he decided to become an actor and studied drama at the Göteborgs stadsteater (Göteborg City Theatre) in the early 1940s.

    In 1946, he made his stage debut there under the direction of Ingmar Bergman in Caligula by Albert Camus. Bergman directed him there also in his play Dagen slutar tidigt (1947) and several other plays. In 1950, he left Göteborg and joined the troupe of the Malmö stadsteater (Malmö City Theatre).

    Sundquist had his international breakthrough with his debut film Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattson, 1951), based on the 1949 novel Sommardansen (The Summer Dance) by Per Olof Ekström. He played the male lead as the young and handsome student Göran who spends a summer on his uncle's farm, where he meets the young farmer's daughter Kerstin (Ulla Jacobsson). They instantly fall in love, but Kerstin is ruled by puritanical relatives, so they must hide their love. Their story ends tragically in a motorcycle accident.

    Hon dansade en sommar was the first Swedish film to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, and was also nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival. The film was banned in several countries, because of a nude swimming sequence and a love scene with a close-up of Ulla Jacobsson's breasts, but also because of its anti-clerical message by portraying a local priest as the main villain.

    Sundquist also starred in the next films by Arne Mattson, För min heta ungdoms skull/For the Sake of My Intemperate Youth (Arne Mattsson, 1952) with Maj-Britt Nilsson and Aino Taube, which was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, and the war drama Kärlekens bröd/Bread of Love (Arne Mattsson, 1953) with Georg Rydeberg, which again was entered into the 1954 Cannes Film Festival. He also made with Mattson the coming of age story Salka Valka (Arne Mattson, 1954).

    In Germany, he made Die Toteninsel/The island of the dead (Victor Tourjansly, 1955) with Willy Birgel and Inge Egger. He also appeared in Ingmar Bergman’s classic Smultronstället/Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) starring Victor Sjöström in his final screen performance as a grouchy, stubborn and egotistical professor recalling his past, as well as Bergman regulars Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin and Gunnar Björnstrand.

    Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “This classic art movie remains one of Bergman's most accessible films and one of the most influential European art movies of its generation. Its intense focus on one man's thoughts, regrets, and memories set the tone for innumerable psychological character studies in its wake.” Sundquist also appeared in Berman’s TV dramas Venetianskan/The Venetian (Ingmar Bergman, 1958) with Maud Hansson and Gunnel Lindblom, and Rabies (Ingmar Bergman, 1958) with Max von Sydow and Bibi Andersson.

    Folke Sundquist
    Swedish autograph card by Nordisk Tonefilm.

    Folke Sundquist
    German postcard by Kunst un Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 668. Photo: Constantin Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattson, 1951).

    Hour of the Wolf

    During the 1960s, Folke Sundquist’s film career slowed down. He appeared opposite Harriet Andersson and Mai Zetterling in Lianbron/The Vine Bridge (1965), directed by famous director of photography Sven Nykvist.

    In 1968, he reunited with Ingmar Bergman for a small part in the surrealist–psychological horror–drama Vargtimmen/Hour of the Wolf (Ingmar Bergman, 1968), starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. Wikipedia: “Although Hour of the Wolf is seldom listed among Bergman's major works by critics, it was ranked one of the 50 greatest films ever made in a 2012 directors' poll by the British Film Institute.”

    Sundquist’s final film was Bamse/My Father's Mistress (1968), a reunion with Arne Mattson and Ulla Jacobsson. He played Christer Berg, who dies in a car crash and is found with a teddy bear named ‘Bamse’. His son, also named Christer (Björn Thambert) finds out that Bamse belongs to his father's lover Barbro Persson (Ulla Jacobsson). He tries to humiliate her, introducing her to his mother as his new fiancee. But he ends up falling in love with her, and she sees in him the memories of her dead lover.

    Apart from his film career, Sundquist also appeared in the theatre during the 1950s and 1960s. From 1950, Sundquist was active at the Malmö stadsteater (Malmö City Theatre). For more than thirty years, he established himself there as one of the best actors in his country in such plays as William Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night and As you like it. After his film career ended he continued to act on stage in Malmö, where he appeared in plays by such diverse authors as Jean Anouilh, Witold Gombrowicz, Georges Feydeau, Arthur Miller and Molière. He was also an excellent singer and starred in the musicals Irma La Douce and My Fair Lady. In the 1970s and 1980s he directed plays by authors like August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen and Jean-Paul Sartre.

    In 1983, Sundquist finished his successful career and moved to Greece to devote his years to humanitarian work. Later, he returned to Malmö and fell ill. Folke Sundquist died in 2009 in Malmö, Sweden. He was 83.

    Ulla Jacobsson and Folke Sundquist in Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
    German collectors card. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951).

    Ulla Jacobsson and Folke Sundquist in Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
    German collectors card. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951).

    Ulla Jacobsson and Folke Sundquist in Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
    German collectors card. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951).

    Ulla Jacobsson and Folke Sundquist in Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
    German collectors card. Photo: Constantin-Film. Publicity still for Hon dansade en sommar/One Summer of Happiness (Arne Mattsson, 1951).

    Sources: Philippe Pelletier (CinéArtistes – French), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Tony Kaplan (Expressen - Swedish), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/03/18--22:00: Jacqueline Francell
  • During the 1930s and 1940s, Jacqueline Francell (1908-1962) was a popular star of the French operetta. She also appeared in operas at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and in 1930, she created the role of Princess Blanche-Aline in Les Aventures du roi Pausole by Arthur Honegger. She also starred in a dozen films between 1931 and 1944.

    Jacqueline Francell
    French postcard by EC (Editions Chantal), Paris, no. 11. Photo: Pathé Natan.

    Jacqueline Francell
    French postcard by PC, Paris, no. 11. Photo: Pathé Natan.

    The Chocolate Girl

    Jacqueline Francell was born Jacqueline Anne Marie Etiennette François in Paris in 1908. Her father was the tenor and later vocal teacher Fernand Francell.

    She started her operetta career in 1928 in Déshabillez-vous! (1928), at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens. Her second part, the title role in Flossie (1929) by Joseph Szulc, made her a star and critics compared her to Lilian Harvey and Meg Lemonnier.

    From then on she created roles in operettas and musicals like Un soir de réveillon (New Year’s Eve) with Henri Garat, Arsène Lupin, banquier (1930), alongside Jean Gabin, La Pouponnière (1932), Oh ! Papa !... (1933) at the Théâtre des Nouveautés, and Florestan 1er, prince de Monaco (1933) by Sacha Guitry at the Théâtre des Variétés. Her affair with Jean Gabin in 1930-1931 caused the end of his marriage with Gaby Basset.

    Francell also appeared in operas at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and created the role of Princess Blanche-Aline opposite Dorville in the title role in the opera Les Aventures du roi Pausole (The Adventures of King Pausole, 1930) by Arthur Honegger.

    She later performed in Le guéridon Empire (1936), a revue by Rip at La Comédie des Champs-Élysées, and La Margoton du bataillon (1937) with Suzy Delair. She also recorded songs from most of these musicals. She presented her tour de chant at the Théâtre de l’Empire and played in the operetta La jeune fille dans le soleil (The young girl in the sun, 1937) by Claude Pigault, the pianist who accompanied her at l’Empire.

    The following years, she starred in Mon cœur hésite (1938) at the Théâtre Antoine and Balalaïka (1938) at the Théâtre Mogador with Réda Caire.

    Jacqueline Francell also starred in a dozen films. She co-starred with Raimu in her debut, the comedy La petite chocolatière/The Chocolate Girl (Marc Allégret, 1932), an adaptation of Paul Gavault's play The Chocolate Girl. It made her a star of the French cinema. In another comedy, Enlevez-moi/Abduct Me (Léonce Perret, 1932), she co-starred with Roger Tréville and Arletty.

    For Paramount, she made L'amour guide (Jean Boyer, Gilbert Pratt, 1933) with Maurice Chevalier. It was alternate-language version of The Way to Love (Norman Taurog, 1933) in which Ann Dvorak played Chevalier’s love interest. It was the time of the alternate language films. She also appeared in an alternate-language version of the German film Großstadtnacht (Fyodor Otsep, 1932), Mirages de Paris/Mirages of Paris (Fyodor Otsep, 1933) in which she replaced Dolly Haas.

    She was the co-star of Adolph Wohlbruck in the French-German operetta Der Zigeunerbaron/Le baron tzigane/The Gypsy Baron (Pierre Chomette, 1935). The drama L'Appel du Silence/The Call of Silence (Léon Poirier, 1936), also starring Jean Yonnel and Pierre de Guingand, is a biography based on the life of the Catholic missionary Charles de Foucauld who worked in the Sahara. Two years later, she made her final feature film Coeur de gosse/Kid's heart (George Pallu, 1938) featuring Gabriel Farguette.

    Jacqueline Francell
    French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 760. Photo: Braunberger-Richebé.

    Jacqueline Francell
    French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 876. Photo: Lipnitzki.

    Jeanne d'Arc

    The war and the occupation did not stop Jacqueline Francell’s career. In 1941, she took over the lead of the stage operetta Passionnément (Passionately) at the Théâtre Marigny. In 1944, she was one of the narrators of the documentary De Jeanne d'Arc à Philippe Pétain/1429-1942 (Sacha Guitry, 1944).

    DB DuMonteil at IMDb: “This film was shown in the movie theaters two months before the landing and afterward completely disappeared only to reappear in 1993. This is of course a propaganda movie. But not more than Stelli's Le Voile Bleu. Beginning his movie with an evocation of Joan of Arc was not completely incongruous; Guitry probably thought it was a sign from God; 1429: Joan's odyssey begins; birth of the Homeland, 1942: under the yoke of the Nazis, but still proud of its past, the country remembers. 1429-1942 sinister anagram. Joan found since taken over by the far right wing.”

    After the war, Jacqueline Francell played with Jimmy Gaillard in Plume au vent (1948) by Jean Nohain and Claude Pingault at the Comédie des Champs-Élysées.

    She married Gabriel Bouillon, brother of the conductor Jo Bouillon and returned to the Marigny Theatre for Chives. She then performed at the Monte-Carlo Opera and became a star of the National Radio. At the Théâtre de la Potinière, she played La Bride sur le cou (1947) by Philippe Parès with Yves Furet, with whom she also co-starred at the Casino de Cannes in Mozart (1948) by Sacha Guitry. Marcel Achard asked her to take over the role of Jandeline in Patate at the Théâtre Saint-Georges.

    In 1962, after fainting, she was transported to the emergency room at the Ambroise-Paré clinic in Neuilly and died there after an operation. Jacqueline Francell was 54.

    Jacqueline Francell in Le baron tzigane (1935)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Le baron tzigane/The Gypsy Baron (Pierre Chomette, 1935).

    Sources: Marlène Pilaete (La Collectionneuse – French), Jacques Gana (ECMF - French), DB DuMonteil (IMDb), Wikipedia (French and English), and IMDb.

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  • 03/04/18--22:00: Who is Souricette?
  • Recently, I bought this little cigarette card (4 by 6 cm; 1.7 by 2.7 inch) and wondered if the Souricette on the picture could be French actress Musidora (1889-1957). With her heavily kohled dark eyes, somewhat sinister make-up, pale skin and exotic wardrobes, she created an unforgettable vamp persona in the Louis Feuillade serial Les Vampires (1915-1916). Her Irma Vep is a voluptuous, amoral villainess, who wears the same black leotard, hood and tights as  Souricette on my cigarette card. I googled Musidora and found images of her in the same style and costume, but not this particular picture. Nor did I find an indication that her picture was used by Cigarettes Le Nil. So I asked two ladies for help.

    Who is Souricette?
    French cigarette card by Cigarettes Le Nil, no. 38. Photo: H. Manuel.

    Thieves operating in hotels

    First I mailed with Marlene Pilaete of La Collectionneuse and asked her if this could be Musidora or an imitator. Marlene is a real Mrs. Sherlock who often helps me with little postcard mysteries and corrects my errors at European Film Star Postcards.

    Marlene replied me: "This cigarette card is a good find. Of course, I cannot be sure at 100% but I really think she’s Musidora. Her distinctive face is recognizable. I have among my vintage Musidora cards one on which she is exactly dressed the same way (but the pose is different). I even recognize her shoes.

    Musidora has been photographed several times by the Manuel studios, so this is a further clue.

    I don’t know why she is called 'Souricette' on this cigarette card. She is dressed here in her famous costume from Les vampires. It’s a typical outfit worn by the thieves operating in hotels.

    You certainly remember that in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, Cary Grant and Brigitte Auber also wear this kind of leotard. In French, those thieves are called 'souris d’hôtel'. 'Souricette' being a kind of diminutive form of 'souris', maybe that’s where the publishers got their idea."

    Musidora (Le Tréport)
    French postcard, no. 67. Caption: Le Tréport - Le Repos de la Pêcheuse de Crevettes. (Le Tréport - The Rest of the Shrimp Fisherwoman). Musidora working as a bathing beauty for picture postcards. Collection: Marlène Pilaete.

    A Dog called Lacsalé

    I also contacted Dutch film historian Annette Förster, author of Women in Silent Cinema. Histories of Fame and Fate, which has been selected for the prestigious Choice Outstanding Academic Titles list 2017.

    Her book is a study on the comprehensive accounts of the professional itineraries of three women in the international silent cinema: Dutch stage and film actress Adriënne Solser, Canadian-born actress and filmmaker Nell Shipman, and Musidora.

    Annette writes me: "I'm pretty sure that this is Musidora, not so much because of all the similarities, but mainly because of the dog in the lower right corner: that is her own dog Lacsalé!

    He is also on other publicity photos of Musidora, such as those by Photogenie that she had sent to Cinéa (see my book on page 243).

    What a great find!"

    Thank you, Marlène and Annette, and Lacsalé too!

    French postcard by Editions Gordon & Cie., Vincennes (Seine).

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    The Berlin-based Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) has been bequeathed photos, films, manuscripts and letters that belonged to film maker Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003). Riefenstahl was the notorious director of Triumph des Willens (1935), a fascinating propaganda documentary about Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, commissioned by the Nazi government. Before she started directing films, she worked as a dancer and on screen she became a star in the mountain films, directed by Arnold Fanck. The donation, containing more than 700 boxes, was made by Leni Riefenstahl's former secretary, Gisela Jahn, who was the sole heir to Riefenstahl's estate.

    Leni Riefenstahl in Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü (1929)
    German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 130, Group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still with Leni Riefenstahl in Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü//The White Hell of Piz Palü (Arnold Fanck, G. W. Pabst, 1929).

    Leni Riefenstahl
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1626/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa / Parufamet. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4803/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin. Collection: Egbert Barten.

    The Perfect German Female

    Helene Bertha Amalie 'Leni' Riefenstahl was born in Berlin, German Empire in 1902. Her family was Lutheran Protestant and she had a brother, Heinz, who was killed on the Eastern Front in World War II.

    Her father, Alfred Theodor Paul Riefenstahl, owned a successful heating and ventilation company and wanted his daughter to follow him into the business world. Leni was athletic, and at the age of twelve joined a gymnastic and swim club. Without her father's knowledge, she enrolled in dance and ballet classes at the Grimm-Reiter Dance School in Berlin in 1918, where she quickly became a star pupil.

    Riefenstahl later also studied dance with Jutta Klamt, Eugenie Eduardova and Mary Wigman. She became well known for her self-styled interpretive dancing skills. She travelled across Europe with Max Reinhardt in a show funded by Jewish producer Harry Sokal. She appeared with Wigman in the documentary Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit - Ein Film über moderne Körperkultur/The Way to Strength and Health: a film of modern body culture (Nicholas Kaufmann, Wilhelm Prager, 1925), an artifact of the Naturist fad that swept Germany at this time.

    Riefenstahl began to suffer foot injuries that led to knee surgery, which threatened her dance career. A poster for the mountain film Der Berg des Schicksals/The Mountain of Destiny (Arnold Fanck, 1924) inspired her to move into film acting. She got in touch with director Arnold Fanck, who was the pioneer of the mountain film genre.

    Riefenstahl persuaded Fanck to feature her in his next film, Der heilige Berg/The Holy Mountain (Arnold Fanck, 1926) with Luis Trenker and Frieda Richard. The film cost 1.5 million Reichsmarks to produce, and was released during the 1926 Christmas season. Der heilige Berg/The Holy Mountain was popular in Berlin, where sold out performances extended its premiere run for five weeks. The film was also screened in Britain, France and US and was the first international success of its director

    Between 1926 and 1931, Leni Riefenstahl starred in five successful films. First she made Der Große Sprung/The Great Leap (Arnold Fanck, 1927) and Das Schicksal derer von Habsburg/Fate of the House of Habsburg (Rolf Raffé, 1928). The film that brought Riefenstahl into the limelight was Fanck's Die Weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü/The White Hell of Piz Palü (Arnold Fanck, G. W. Pabst, 1929) with Gustav Diessl. Her fame spread to countries outside Germany. Her next two films were Stürme über dem Mont Blanc/Storm Over Mont Blanc (Arnold Fanck, 1930) with Sepp Rist, and Der Weisse Rausch/The White Ecstasy (Arnold Fanck, 1931).

    From Arnold Fanck, she had learned acting but also film editing techniques. His use of cinematic technique - filters, special film stock, slow motion - to endow magnificent natural scenery with dramatic stature - provided her with key elements of her towering visual style and fostered her technical skill.

    Leni Riefenstahl decided to try to produce and direct her own film. It was called Das Blaue Licht/The Blue Light (1932), co-written by Carl Mayer and Béla Balázs. In the film, Riefenstahl played an innocent peasant girl in the Tyrolean mountains who is hated and cast out by the villagers because they think she is diabolic. She is protected by a secret cave of blue crystals. With the blue light, she lures young men to their deaths. The film attracted the attention of Adolf Hitler, who saw talent in Riefenstahl and arranged a meeting. He believed Riefenstahl epitomised the perfect German female.

    Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 24/5. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit/Ways to Strength and Beauty (1925, Nicholas Kaufmann, Wilhelm Prager). Pictured are members of the Tanzgruppe Mary Wigman performing Die Wanderung (The Hike). Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    Spanish postcard, no. C-23. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü//The White Hell of Piz Palü (Arnold Fanck, G. W. Pabst, 1929).

    Leni Riefenstahl and Sepp Rist in Stürme über dem Mont Blanc (1930)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5679/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Aafa-Film. Publicity still for Stürme über dem Mont Blanc/Storm Over Mont Blanc (Arnold Fanck, 1930) with Sepp Rist.

    A friendly relationship with Hitler

    In 1933, Leni Riefenstahl appeared in the American-German co-productions SOS Eisberg (Arnold Fanck, 1933; German version) and SOS Iceberg (Tay Garnett, 1933; US version). The two versions were filmed simultaneously in English and German and produced and distributed by Universal Studios. Riefenstahl co-starred with Gustav Diessl and Ernst Udet in S.O.S. Eisberg, and with Gibson Gowland and Rod La Rocque in S.O.S. Iceberg. Her part in SOS Iceberg would be her only English language role in film.

    Riefenstahl heard Nazi Party (NSDAP) leader Adolf Hitler speak at the Berlin Sportpalast in 1932 and by her own account, she was mesmerised by his talent as a public speaker. After meeting Hitler, Riefenstahl was offered the opportunity to direct Der Sieg des Glaubens/The Victory of Faith (1933), an hour-long propaganda film about the fifth Nuremberg Rally in 1933. Riefenstahl agreed to direct the movie. She and Hitler got on well, forming a friendly relationship. The propaganda film was funded entirely by the NSDAP.

    Impressed with Riefenstahl's work, Hitler asked her to film Triumph des Willens/Triumph of the Will (1935), a new propaganda film about the the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. More than 700,000 Nazi supporters attended the rally. The film contains excerpts from speeches given by Nazi leaders at the Congress, including Adolf Hitler,Rudolf Hess, and Julius Streicher, interspersed with footage of massed Sturmabteilung and Schutzstaffel troops and public reaction.

    Riefenstahl's techniques — such as moving cameras, aerial photography, the use of long focus lenses to create a distorted perspective, and the revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography — made Triumph des Willens/Triumph of the Will a prominent example of propaganda in film history.

    Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries. Despite allegedly vowing not to make any more films about the Nazi Party, Riefenstahl made the 28-minute Tag der Freiheit: Unsere WehrmachtDay of Freedom: Our Armed Forces (1935) about the German Army.

    Hitler then invited Riefenstahl to film the 1936 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Berlin. She visited Greece to take footage of the route of the inaugural torch relay and the games' original site at Olympia, where she was aided by Greek photographer Nelly's. This material became the two-part Olympia (Festival Of Nations/ Festival Of Beauty) (1938), a hugely successful film which has since been widely noted for its technical and aesthetic achievements.

    Riefenstahl began work on the opera film Tiefland/Lowlands. On Hitler's direct order, the German government paid her seven million Reichsmarks in compensation. Sinti and Roma people from the Marzahn detention camp near Berlin were compelled to work as extras. Almost to the end of her life, despite overwhelming evidence that the concentration camp occupants had been forced to work on the film unpaid, Riefenstahl continued to maintain all the film extras survived and that she had met several of them after the war.

    In October 1944 the production of Tiefland moved to Barrandov Studios in Prague for interior filming. Lavish sets made these shots some of the most costly of the film. The film was not edited and released until almost ten years later. Tiefland would be her last feature film.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    German postcard. Photo: Karl Schenker. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1814/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Karl Schenker. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Leni Riefenstahl
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3168/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Fellow Traveller

    In 1945, after the war, Leni Riefenstahl was arrested  at her chalet in Kitzbühel in the Tyrol by US soldiers. Throughout 1945 to 1948, she was held by various Allied-controlled prison camps across Germany. She was also under house arrest for a period of time. She had never been a Nazi party member and was cleared of active involvement by a de-Nazification tribunal. She was declared a Mitläufer or fellow traveller, which disbarred her from ever seeking public office.

    During the 1950s and 1960s, she tried many times to make more films, but was met with resistance, public protests and sharp criticism. Triumph des Willens and her other work for the Nazis had significantly damaged her career and reputation. Despite her protests to the contrary, Riefenstahl was considered an intricate part of the Third Reich's propaganda machine.

    In the 1960s, Riefenstahl discovered Africa and reinvented herself as a still photographer. She published two photo books on the Nuba tribes, The Nuba and The Nuba of Kau. In 1968, she began a lifelong companionship with her cameraman Horst Kettner. She was 60 and he was 20. He assisted her with her photographs.

    She also photographed the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. In 1978, Riefenstahl published a book of her sub-aquatic photographs called Korallengärten (Coral Gardens), followed by the 1990 book Wunder unter Wasser (Wonder under Water). Riefenstahl also released the autobiography A Memoir (1995).

    Leni Riefenstahl died of cancer in 2003 in Pöcking, Germany at the age of 101. She was buried at Munich Waldfriedhof. Riefenstahl was married twice. From 1944 till 1947, she was married to Peter Jacob. Shortly before her death, she married her longtime companion Horst Kettner. After Kettner's death in 2016, Riefenstahl former secretary Gisela Jahn became the sole heir of Riefenstahl's estate.

    German trailer for Der Weisse Rausch/The White Ecstasy (1931). Source: FREERIDE FILMFESTIVAL (YouTube).

    German trailer for Das Blaue Licht/The Blue Light (1932). Source: Filmportal (YouTube).

    Trailer Olympia. Source: Jesse Abdenour (YouTube).

    Clip from Tiefland/Lowlands (1954). Source: Канал пользователя samoslav01 (YouTube).

    Sources: Richard Falcon (The Guardian), Rainer Rother (Leni Riefenstahl: The Seduction of Genius), Berliner Woche (German), DWWikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/06/18--22:00: Edelsteine (1918)
  • At the end of the First World War, German diva Henny Porten played the lead in the melodrama Edelsteine/Gems (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918) for Messter Film. Rotophot made in its Film Sterne series these eight beautiful postcards for the film.

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/1. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Theodor Loos in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/2. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Paul Bildt in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/3. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/4. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    A drive for jewels

    In Edelsteine/Gems (or: Edelsteine - Phantastisches Drama in 4 Akten), Henny Porten stars as Maddalena Dergan, the niece of the moneylender and antiquarian Dergan (Paul Bildt). She is betrothed to Pieter Swandam (Theodor Loos).

    One day she meets count Forrest (Paul Hartmann), and falls in love with him. The count is in dear need of money, so he pawns a family jewel, a diadem, to Dergan. When old Dergan dies, Maddalena is free to approach the count, and is hired by his wife (Hanna Brohm) as lady companion.

    When his wife dies too, Maddalena can become the next countess. Her drive for luxury and possession in the shape of jewels soon affects her downfall, though. Soon after her marriage, Maddalena commits suicide in a moment of deep despair.

    Edelsteine was filmed winter 1917/1918 at the Messter-Film studio in Berlin, Blücherstraße 32. The film's plot was written by future director Robert Wiene, while the sets were by Ludwig Kainer and the cinematography by Karl Freund.

    The premiere took place on 15 February 1918 at the Berlin Mozartsaal cinema. In Paimann’s Filmlisten the plot was considered "mysterious", the performances "outstanding", and the cinematography and sets "very good".

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/5. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/6. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Theodor Loos in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/7. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten and Paul Bildt in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Edelsteine (1918)
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 519/8. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten in Edelsteine (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Source: Paimann's Filmliste (German),, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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    Last Night, we counted the 100.000.000th view for our sibling site Truus, Bob & Jan Too! at Flickr. Like many others we discovered social media around 2005 and started to upload our pictures at Flickr in 2007. After a while, 'Jan' began to post star postcards from his collection, and I joined him. A few months later this blog was born, ten years ago. And in the case you like to know which cards are the 15 most popular film star postcards ever at Truus, Bob & Jan Too!, here they are.

    15. Peter Lorre

    Peter Lorre
    Dutch postcard, no. 850. Photo: Warner Bros. Comment at Flickr by Kay Harpa: "What a wonderful picture ! French postcard ? I love Peter Lorre !"

    Peter Lorre (1904–1964) with his trademark large, popped eyes, his toothy grin and his raspy voice was an American actor of Jewish Austro-Hungarian descent. He was an international sensation as the psychopathic child murderer in Fritz Lang’s M (1931). He later became a popular actor in a two British Hitchcock films and in a series of Hollywood crime films and mysteries. Although he was frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner in the US, he also became the star of the successful Mr. Moto detective series.

    14. Sting

    American postcard by Coral-Lee, Rancho Cordova, CA., Personality #131.

    British rock artist Sting (1951) is best known as the pop star with the high-pitched, raspy voice and blonde, spiky hair. He made his breakthrough as the singer and bass player for The Police and then launched a successful solo career. Sting occasionally ventured into acting on both film and television. He was memorable as the Mod leader in Quadrophenia (1979) and as Eddie’s father in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).

    13. Brigitte Bardot

    Brigitte Bardot
    Big German card by ISV, no. HX 102. Comment by Francois B: "very iconic pic...". Comment by Hans: '"Sex kitten", yes!!!'

    Beautiful French actress Brigitte Bardot (1934) was the sex kitten of the European film industry. BB starred in 48 films, performed in numerous musical shows, recorded 80 songs. After her retirement in 1973, she established herself as an animal rights activist.

    12. Julie Christie

    Julie Christie
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 277. Comment by Cristian Peter Marinescu-Ivan: "A Romanian postcard! That's nice."

    Smart and sexy Julie Christie (1941) is an icon of the new British cinema. During the Swinging Sixties she became a superstar with such roles as Lara in the worldwide smash hit Doctor Zhivago (1965). Since then she has won the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

    11. Jill St. John

    Jill St. John
    Italian postcard by Albacolor, no. 604/4.

    Voluptuous, red-haired American actress Jill St. John (1940) played countless bikini sexpot roles in Hollywood films of the 1960s. She was at her best as the tantalizing Bond girl Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

    10. Laurence Harvey

    Laurence Harvey
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 551. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Romeo and Juliet (1954). Comment by Asa2BobNote9: "Very interesting bio. Reassuring to learn he was bi-sexual. I always thought so - there were plenty of clues. He's mentioned quite a lot in Noel Coward's diaries."

    Handsome Lithuanian-born actor Laurence Harvey (1928–1973) achieved fame as the Jack the Lad of British cinema. He is best known for his lead performance as a ruthless social climber in Room at the Top (1959).

    9. Ursula Andress

    Ursula Andress
    German postcard by Krüger, nr. 902/412. Comment by Roloff de Jeu: "What a wild trippy photograph! She's got a pair of hot pants (not hotpants) too!"

    Stunning Swiss sex symbol, starlet and jet-setter Ursula Andress (1936) will always be remembered as the first and quintessential Bond girl. In Dr. No (1962), she made film history when she spectacularly rises out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini. Though she won a Golden Globe Ursula's looks generally outweighed her acting talent and she never took her film career very seriously.

    8. Sylvia Kristel

    Sylvia Kristel
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Comment by Richard Arte Digital: "I will be forever in love with those eyes! The most suggestive look on film. Thanks for sharing it!"

    Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel (1952-2012) will always be remembered as Emmanuelle, thanks to the massive soft-porn hit of the 1970s. Emmanuelle’s sexual adventures attracted 500 million people to the cinema.

    7. Angie Dickinson

    Angie Dickinson
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 51. Comment by Tony Jom: "A great actress. Great photo." Comment by GoodGuyGoneBad: "I have done so many searches on her and have never seen this one. Dayum"

    American actress Angie Dickinson (1931) has appeared in more than 50 films and starred on television as Sergeant Leann 'Pepper' Anderson in the successful 1970s crime series Police Woman. Her trade marks are her honey blonde hair (on the postcard she still has her original brunette hair colour), her large brown eyes, a voluptuous figure and her deep sultry voice.

    6. Hayley Mills

    Hayley Mills
    German postcard by Film und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 1799. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Film. Comment by El Alamein 1942 TRUCK COLLECTION: "I think she's great!".

    English actress Hayley Mills (1946) began her acting career as a popular child star and was hailed as a promising newcomer for Tiger Bay (1959), and Pollyanna (1960). During the late 1960s she played in more mature roles. Although she has not maintained the box office success she experienced as a child actress, she has always continued to make films.

    5. Ornella Muti

    Ornella Muti
    French postcard by Humour a a la Carte, Paris, no. ST-150. Comment by Steve Taylor: "I would not mind receiving this in the post and nor would the postman".

    Beautiful Italian actress Ornella Muti(1955) often appeared in sexy Italian comedies and dramas, but she also worked for such major European directors as Marco Ferreri, Francesco Rosi and Volker Schlondorff. English language audiences probably know her best as the sensuous Princess Aura in Flash Gordon (1980).

    4. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood
    German postcard. Photo: Constantin / Paul March. Comment by Mimi1622: "Very handsome!"

    American film actor and director Clint Eastwood (1930) rose to fame as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's classic Spaghetti Westerns Per un pugno di dollari/A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Per qualche dollaro in più/For a Few Dollars More (1965), and Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo/The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Later in the US, he played hard edge police inspector Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films, which elevated him to superstar status, and he directed and produced such award-winning masterpieces as Unforgiven (1992), Mystic River (2003) and Million Dollar Baby (2004).

    3. Kate Winslet

    Kate Winslet
    Belgian postcard by P Magazine, no. 37 in the series 'De mooiste vrouwen van de eeuw' (the 100 most beautiful women of the century). Photo: Sante D'Orazio / Outline. Comment by navarzo 21: "Kate has always been beautiful!"

    Vivacious Kate Winslet (1975) is often seen as the best English-speaking film actress of her generation. The English actress and singer was the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations, and won the Oscar for The Reader (2008).

    2. Elke Sommer

    Elke Sommer
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/300. Photo: Georg Michalke. Comment by Henry R: "Thanks t,b,n j. great bio n exhaustively done. always been a fan of elke sommer since 60's('deadlier than the male'-1st time seeing her). too bad no kids to pass her beauty."

    In the late 1950s, blonde, German Elke Sommer (1940) was a European sex symbol before conquering Hollywood in the early 1960s. With her trademark pouty lips, high cheek bones and sky-high bouffant hair-dos, Sommer made 99 film and television appearances between 1959 and 2005. The gorgeous film star was also one of the most popular pin-up girls of the sixties, and posed twice for Playboy.

    1. Barbara Payton

    Barbara Payton
    British postcard in The People series by Show Parade Picture Service, London, no. P. 1033. Photo: Universal-International. Comment Gill Steenvoorde: "Sad story."

    American film actress Barbara Payton (1927-1967) was a blue-eyed, peroxide blonde sexpot, less known for her films than for her stormy social life and eventual battles with alcohol and drug addiction. Her tale is one of the saddest ever to come out of Hollywood.

    Thanks for visiting our Flickr site and also this blog, and let's go for the billion!

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  • 03/08/18--22:00: Förlag Nordisk Konst
  • In 1911, the Swedish cinema rose to international prominence when Svenska Biografteatern moved from Kristianstad to Lidingö. During the next decade the company's two star-directors, Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, produced many outstanding silent films, including several adaptations of stories by the Nobel-prizewinning novelist Selma Lagerlöf. Sjöström's films made poetic use of the Swedish landscape and developed moving studies of character and emotion. Postcards of that era are quite rare but exquisite. One of the publishers was Förlag Nordisk Konst in Stockholm. Today 15 sepia postcards by Nordisk with scenes of silent Swedish films.

    Lars Hanson in Sängen om den eldröda blomman
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 550. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern, Stockholm. Lars Hanson and Lillebil Christensen in Sängen om den eldröda blomman/The Song of the Red Flower (Mauritz Stiller 1919).

    Karin Molander in Tösen från Stormyrtorpet
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 843. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Karin Molander in Tösen från Stormyrtorpet/The Girl from the Marsh Croft (Victor Sjöström, 1917). Caption: Hildur dressed up as bride.

    Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/ The Outlaw and His Wife
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/8. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Victor Sjöström and Edith Erastoff in Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918). Caption: Outside society.

    Victor Sjöström in Thomas Graals bästa film
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 876/3. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Victor Sjöström in Thomas Graals bästa film/Thomas Graal's Best Film (Mauritz Stiller, 1917).

    Hauk Aabel and Stina Stockenstam in Alexander den Store
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 877/1. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Hauk Aabel and Stina Stockenstam in Alexander den Store/Alexander the Great (Mauritz Stiller, 1917). The story of the film deals with a provincial hotel cook, named Alexander the Great, in whose restaurant not only the dishes can be spicy. Caption: Alexander has rediscovered his beloved from his youth.

    Ingmarssönerna/ Sons of Ingmar
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 958/8. Harriet Bosse in Ingmarssönerna/Sons of Ingmar (Victor Sjöström, 1919). Caption: I have to do something or I won't find any rest in my soul.

    Richard Lund in Sir Arne's Treasure (1919)
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no 1078/1. Richard Lund as Sir Archi(e) in Herr Arnes pengar/Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller, 1919).

    Richard Lund in Sir Arne's Treasure
    Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1078/8. Richard Lund, Bror Berger and Erik Stocklassa in Herr Arnes pengar/Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller, 1919). Caption: On the Lookout.

    Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1091/6. Photo: Renée Björling and Ivan Hedqvist in Dunungen/In Quest of Happiness (Ivan Hedqvist, 1919).

    Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/10. Photo: Svenska Biografteatren. Tora Teje in Karin Ingmarsdotter/Karin Daughter of Ingmar (Victor Sjöström, 1920).

    Karin Molander in Fiskebyn
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1094/4. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Karin Molander and Egil Eide in Fiskebyn/The Fishing Village (Mauritz Stiller, 1920).

    Karin Molander in Fiskebyn
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1094/7. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Karin Molander in Fiskebyn/The Fishing Village/Chains (Mauritz Stiller, 1920).

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

    Victor Sjöström in Körkarlen - The Phantom Carriage
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1117/7. Photo: Svensk Filmindustri. Victor Sjöström in Körkarlen/The Phantom Carriage, (Victor Sjöström, 1920).

    Lars Hanson
    Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1286. Photo: Goodwin, 1924. Lars Hanson as Gösta Berling in Gösta Berlings saga/The Story of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

    Sources: Wikipedia and Ross Verlag Postcards.

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  • 03/09/18--22:00: James Dean
  • This thursday started the Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days) in Amsterdam, the largest film festival for LGBTQ films in the Netherlands. One of the films on the programme is the French comedy Ma vie avec James Dean/My Life with James Dean (Dominique Choisy, 2017) about a young director who is invited to show his newest film in a sleepy sea resort. American actor James Dean (1931-1955) was the quintessential 1950s teenager, brooding and romantic but he is also a gay icon. An air of androgyny attributes to his iconic appeal to both men and women. The three roles that defined his stardom are as troubled teenager Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956). After his death in a car crash, the only 24-years-old Dean became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

    James Dean at the set of Giant (1956)
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 519. Photo: Richard Miller / Warner Bros. Publicity still for Giant (George Stevens, 1956).

    James Dean
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 522. Photo: Richard Miller / Warner Bros. Publicity still for Giant (George Stevens, 1956).

    James Dean
    French postcard by Editions P.I., offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane', no. 18. Photo: AFEX, Wien (Vienna). Photo: publicity still for East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955).

    Struggling to get jobs in Hollywood

    James Byron Dean was born in 1931, in Marion, Indiana, the only child of Winton Dean and Mildred Marie Wilson. Six years after his father had left farming to become a dental technician, Dean and his family moved to Santa Monica, California. In 1938, his mother was suddenly struck with acute stomach pain and quickly began to lose weight. She died of uterine cancer when Dean was nine years old.

    Unable to care for his son, Dean's father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle, Ortense and Marcus Winslow, on their farm in Fairmount, Indiana, where he was raised in their Quaker household. Dean's overall performance in school was exceptional and he was a popular student. He played on the baseball and varsity basketball teams, studied drama, and competed in public speaking through the Indiana High School Forensic Association.

    After graduating from Fairmount High School in May 1949, he moved back to California with his dog, Max, to live with his father and stepmother. He enrolled in Santa Monica College (SMC) and majored in pre-law. He transferred to UCLA for one semester and changed his major to drama, which resulted in estrangement from his father.

    While at UCLA, Dean was picked from a group of 350 actors to portray Malcolm in Macbeth. At that time, he also began acting in James Whitmore's workshop. In January 1951, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.

    Dean's first television appearance was in a Pepsi Cola commercial. His first speaking part was as John the Beloved Disciple, in Hill Number One (1951), an Easter television special dramatising the Resurrection of Jesus.

    Dean subsequently obtained three walk-on roles in films: as a soldier in Samuel Fuller’s moody study of a platoon in the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller, 1951), a boxing cornerman in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy Sailor Beware (Hal Walker, 1952), and a youth in the comedy Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (Douglas Sirk, 1952) with Rock Hudson.

    While struggling to get jobs in Hollywood, Dean also worked as a parking lot attendant at CBS Studios, during which time he met Rogers Brackett, a radio director for an advertising agency, who offered him professional help and guidance in his chosen career, as well as a place to stay. In July 1951, Dean appeared on Alias Jane Doe, which was produced by Brackett.

    In October 1951, Dean moved to New York City. There, he worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat the Clock, but was subsequently fired for allegedly performing the tasks too quickly. He also appeared in episodes of several CBS television series like The Web,Studio One, and Lux Video Theatre, before gaining admission to the Actors Studio to study method acting under Lee Strasberg. There, he was classmates and close friends with Carroll Baker, alongside whom he would eventually star in Giant (George Stevens, 1956).

    Dean's career picked up and he performed in further episodes of several early 1950s television. One early role, for the CBS series Omnibus in the episode Glory in the Flower (1953), saw Dean portraying the type of disaffected youth he would later portray in Rebel Without a Cause. Positive reviews for Dean's 1954 theatrical role as Bachir, the blackmailing Arab house boy, in an adaptation of André Gide's book The Immoralist, led to calls from Hollywood.

    James Dean
    Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3685. Photo: Warner Bros. Dean photographed by Roy Schatt at Christmas 1954.

    James Dean
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., no. 1983. Photo: Warner Bros.

    James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., no. 2714. Photo: publicity still for Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955).

    Angst-ridden protagonists and misunderstood outcasts

    In 1954, James Dean was cast in the emotionally complex role of Cal Trask in East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955), an adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1952 novel East of Eden. The lengthy novel deals with the story of the Trask and Hamilton families over the course of three generations, focusing especially on the lives of the latter two generations in Salinas Valley, California, from the mid-19th century through the 1910s.

    In contrast to the book, the film script focused on the last portion of the story, predominantly with the character of Cal. Though he initially seems more aloof and emotionally troubled than his twin brother Aron (Richard Davalos), Cal is soon seen to be more worldly, business savvy, and even sagacious than their pious and constantly disapproving father (Raymond Massey) who seeks to invent a vegetable refrigeration process. Cal is bothered by the mystery of their supposedly dead mother, and discovers she is still alive and a brothel-keeping 'madam'; the part was played by actress Jo Van Fleet.

    Much of Dean's performance in the film was unscripted, including his dance in the bean field and his foetal-like posturing while riding on top of a train boxcar (after searching out his mother in nearby Monterey).

    The most famous improvisation of the film occurs when Cal's father rejects his gift of $5,000, money Cal earned by speculating in beans before the US became involved in World War I. Instead of running away from his father as the script called for, Dean instinctively turned to Massey and in a gesture of extreme emotion, lunged forward and grabbed him in a full embrace, crying. Kazan kept this and Massey's shocked reaction in the film.

    Wikipedia: “Dean's performance in the film foreshadowed his role as Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause. Both characters are angst-ridden protagonists and misunderstood outcasts, desperately craving approval from their fathers.”

    In recognition of his performance in East of Eden, Dean was nominated posthumously for the 1956 Academy Awards as Best Actor in a Leading Role of 1955, the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history. East of Eden was the only film starring Dean that he would see released in his lifetime.

    James Dean in East of Eden (1955)
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 697. Photo: Warner. Publicity still for East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955).

    James Dean in East of Eden (1955)
    German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. V 370. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955).

    Brooding red-jacketed teenager

    James Dean quickly followed up his role in Eden with a starring role as the brooding red-jacketed teenager Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955) with Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood.

    The film depicts the dilemma of a typical teenager of the time, who feels that no one, not even his peers, can understand him. The film scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period.

    Jim Stark was Dean’s true starring role, and Rebel Without a Cause proved to be hugely popular among teenagers. The landmark juvenile-delinquent drama fixed James Dean’s image forever in American culture.

    In his next film, Giant (George Stevens, 1956), Dean played a supporting role to Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. This was due to his desire to avoid being typecast as a rebellious teenager like Cal Trask or Jim Stark.

    In the film, he plays Jett Rink, a Texan ranch hand who strikes oil and becomes wealthy. His role was notable in that, in order to portray an older version of his character in the film's later scenes, Dean dyed his hair gray and shaved some of it off to give himself a receding hairline.

    Giant would prove to be Dean's last film. At the end of the film, Dean was supposed to make a drunken speech at a banquet; this is nicknamed the 'Last Supper' because it was the last scene before his sudden death. Due to his desire to make the scene more realistic by actually being inebriated for the take, Dean mumbled so much that director George Stevens decided the scene had to be overdubbed.

    This was done by Nick Adams, who had a small role in the film, because Dean had died before the film was edited. Dean received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in Giant at the 29th Academy Awards in 1957 for films released in 1956.

    James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 769. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955).

    James Dean and Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 770. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955) with Sal Mineo.

    Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in Giant (1956)
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 903. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Giant (George Stevens, 1956) with Elizabeth Taylor.

    'The greatest male gay icon of all time'

    Today, James Dean is often considered an icon because of his perceived experimental take on life, which included his ambivalent sexuality. Most of his so-called affairs with various starlets were made up by the Warner Brothers public relations.

    Dean's best-remembered relationship was with young Italian actress Pier Angeli, whom he met while Angeli was shooting The Silver Chalice (Victor Saville, 1954) on an adjoining Warner lot, and with whom he exchanged items of jewelry as love tokens.

    Angeli's Catholic mother disapproved of Dean. After finishing his role for East of Eden, he took a brief trip to New York in October 1954. While he was away, Angeli unexpectedly announced her engagement to Italian-American singer Vic Damone. The press was shocked and Dean expressed his irritation. Angeli married Damone the following month.

    Dean also dated Swiss actress Ursula Andress. She was seen with Dean in his sports cars, and was with him on the day he bought the car that he died in.

    A Gay Times Readers' Awards cited him as 'the greatest male gay icon of all time' and other gay media also mention him as an icon. Dean’s ambiguous relationship with Sal Mineo in the angst-ridden Rebel Without A Cause has led many to speculate and view this golden age film as years ahead of its time.

    When questioned about his sexual orientation, Dean is reported to have said, "No, I am not a homosexual. But I'm also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back." Dean, with time on his side during down times of filming, often frequented gay bars in mornings, afternoons and evenings in both Hollywood, Studio City and North Hollywood.

    Dean and screenwriter and theatre student from UCLA, William Bast lived together as roommates for a number of years. Bast later became Dean's first biographer and told he and Dean ‘experimented’ sexually.

    Another biographer, journalist Joe Hyams suggests that any gay activity Dean might have been involved in appears to have been strictly "for trade", as a means of advancing his career. However, the ‘trade only’ notion is contradicted by Bast and other Dean biographers.

    Biographer Val Holley: “There's been quite an evolution in the thinking since Dean's death in 1955, moving from ‘James Dean was straight’ to ‘Dean had sex with men but only to advance his career’ to ‘Dean had sex with women but only to advance his career.’

    In 2016, a new gossipy biography was published, James Dean: Tomorrow Never Comes, by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince. The authors claim Dean was in love with Marlon Brando and the two would have had a long sexual affair with S&M overtones.

    We probably may never know for certain if Dean identified as gay, straight, bisexual, but, regardless, what he’s come to represent he still resonates with many LGBTQ audiences.

    Pier Angeli, James Dean
    With Pier Angeli. German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2346. Photo: Keystone.

    James Dean in Giant (1956)
    Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., Firenze (Florence), no. 3435. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for Giant (George Stevens, 1956).

    James Dean
    Dutch postcard. Photo: Warner Bros.

    A cult object of apparently timeless fascination

    In 1954, James Dean had become interested in developing an auto racing career. He purchased various vehicles after filming for East of Eden had concluded, including a Triumph Tiger T110 and a Porsche 356.

    Just before filming began on Rebel Without a Cause, he competed in his first professional event at the Palm Springs Road Races, which was held in Palm Springs, California on March 26–27, 1955. Dean achieved first place in the novice class, and second place at the main event.

    His racing continued in Bakersfield a month later, where he finished first in his class and third overall. Dean hoped to compete in the Indianapolis 500, but his busy schedule made it impossible. Dean's final race occurred in Santa Barbara on Memorial Day, 30 May 1955. He was unable to finish the competition due to a blown piston.

    His brief racing career was put on hold when Warner Brothers barred him from all racing during the production of Giant. Dean had finished shooting his scenes and the movie was in post-production when he decided to race again.

    Dean was scheduled to compete at a racing event in Salinas, California on 30 September 1955. Accompanying the actor to the occasion was stunt coordinator Bill Hickman, Collier's photographer Sanford Roth, and Rolf Wütherich, the German mechanic from the Porsche factory who maintained Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder 'Little Bastard' car.

    Wütherich, who had encouraged Dean to drive the car from Los Angeles to Salinas to break it in, accompanied Dean in the Porsche. At 3:30 p.m. Dean was ticketed for speeding, as was Hickman who was following behind in another car.

    As the group travelled to the event via U.S. Route 466, (currently SR 46) at approximately 5:15 p.m. a 1950 Ford Tudor was passing through an intersection while turning, ahead of the Porsche. Dean, unable to stop in time, slammed into the driver's side of the Ford resulting in Dean's car bouncing across the pavement onto the side of the highway.

    Dean's passenger, Wütherich, was thrown from the Porsche, while Dean was trapped in the car and sustained numerous fatal injuries, including a broken neck. The driver of the Ford, Donald Turnupseed, exited his damaged vehicle with minor injuries.

    Dean was pronounced dead on arrival shortly after he arrived by ambulance at the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital at 6:20 p.m. The Failure Analysis Associates later reconstructed and recreated all details of the accident and have concluded that James Dean was travelling 55 to 56 mph when the fateful accident occurred, thereby proving he had not been speeding, as rumour had it.

    Ed Stephan at IMDb: “At age 24, James Dean was killed almost immediately from the impact from a broken neck. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicised funeral transformed him into a cult object of apparently timeless fascination.”

    James Dean
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 5.

    James Dean
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 92. Photo: publicity still for East of Eden (Elia Kazan, 1955).

    James Dean
    German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., no. 314. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for The James Dean Story (Robert Altman, George W. George, 1957). The documentary The James Dean Story was undertaken soon after James Dean's death. It includes East of Eden (1955) outtakes, shots from the opening night of Giant (1956), and Dean's TV safe driving message. Directors Robert Altman and George W. George look at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people involved in his short life. Interviewees include the aunt and uncle who raised him after his mother's death (when James was 9), his fraternal grandparents, a cabdriver friend in New York City, and the owner of his favourite restaurant in Los Angeles. James's father, who was alive when the film was made, does not get a single mention. Altman later would direct Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman, 1982) in which the Disciples of James Dean meet up on the anniversary of his death.

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), David Glagovsky (IMDb), Ed Stephan (IMDb), Daniel Bates (Daily Mail), Towleroad, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 03/10/18--22:00: Gabriel de Gravone
  • Gabriel de Gravone (1887-1972) was an actor of the French silent cinema. He is best known as Élie, the son of Sisif (Séverin-Mars) in Abel Gance’s La Roue (1920-1923).

    Gabriel de Gravone
    French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 224. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.

    Gabriel de Gravone
    French postcard by Cinémagazine, no. 71. Photo: Studio Rahma.

    Capellani and Gance

    Gabriel de Gravone was born Antoine Paul André Faggianelli in Ajaccio on the island Corsica, France, in 1887.

    He started his career as film actor in 1909. Probably his first film was Un clair de lune sous Richelieu/A Ray of Moonlight on Richelieu (Albert Capellani, 1909), a period piece starring Paul Capellani.

    The film was scripted by Abel Gance, who would later call him back for his masterpiece La Roue. Capellani directed Gravone a few times, most notably in the four part episode film Les Misérables (Albert Capellani, 1912, released 1913), in the role of Marius opposite Maria Fromet as Cosette.

    Between 1912 and 1914 Gravone was the partner of Aimée Campton in the Pathé comedy series with the character 'Maud' and of Cauroy in the 'Papillon' comedies by Gaston Roudès. During the First World War, Gravone hardly acted in film.

    In 1919 Louis Mercanton directed him in the feature L’appel du sang/The Call of the Blood, based on the novel by Robert Hichens and co-starring Charles Le Bargy and Ivor Novello.

    Marialise, Gabriel de Gravone and Henry Krauss in Les Miserables (1913)
    Maria Fromet, Gabriel de Gravone and Henry Krauss in Les Miserables (1913). French postcard by E.L.D. Photo: Films Pathé Frères. Publicity still for Les Miserables (Albert Capellani, 1913). Caption: Les fiançailles de Marius et de Cosette.

    Gabriel de Gravone in La cavalcata ardente
    Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. Gabriel de Gravone in the Italian historical film La cavalcata ardente (Carmine Gallone 1925).

    Soava Gallone and Gabriel de Gravone in La cavalcata ardente
    Soava Galloneand Gabriel de Gravone in La cavalcata ardente (1925). Italian postcard by Ed. G.B. Falci, Milano. no 318. Publicity still for La cavalcata ardente (Carmine Gallone, 1925).

    La Roue

    The film that gave Gabriel de Gravone lasting fame was the modern tragedy La Roue/The Wheel (Abel Gance, 1920-1923). Gravone played Élie, the son of Sisif (Séverin-Mars) and a passionate violinist.

    Father and son are both in love with Sisif’s foster daughter Norma (Ivy Close), whom Sisif has once saved from a train wreck. His love for Norma turns Sisif violent and jealous, though, and when she leaves by train with Hersan (Pierre Magnier), an engineer from town, he almost wrecks the train. He is blinded by steam and is reduced to servicing a little funicular at the Mont-Blanc mountain, aided by his son Élie. When Norma returns with her now husband, love between Élie and Norma returns. Hersan, jealous, fights Élie and both men are killed, falling down. Norma stays to help the old and blind Sisif until his death.

    After La Roue, Gravone became very active in the French silent cinema, until the mid-1920s. First he starred in the Alphonse Daudet adaptation L’Arlésienne (André Antoine, 1921), then in L’ombre du péché/The Shadow of Sin (Yakov Protazanov, 1922) with Diana Karenne, the Gaston Leroux adaptation Rouletabille chez les bohémiens (Henri Fescourt, 1922) with Édith Jéhanne, and Petit ange et son pantin/Small angel and his marionette (Luitz Morat, 1923).

    Gabriel de Gravone also appeared Le mariage de minuit/The marriage at midnight (Armand Du Plessy, 1923) with Rita Jolivet, the Abbé Prevost adaptation Les demi-vierges/The half-virgins (Armand Du Plessy, 1924), and the ghost story Le manoir de la peur/The manor house of fear (Alfred Machin, Henri Wulschleger, 1924, released 1927) costarring Romuald Joubé.

    His other films include Mimi Pinson (Théo Bergerat, 1922-1924) with Simone Vaudry, L’Ornière (Edouard Chimot, 1924) with Gabriel Signoret, and Michel Strogoff (Victor Tourjansky, 1925) starring Ivan Mozzhukhin.

    In Italy, he made La cavalcata ardente/The ardent ride (Carmine Gallone, 1925) starring Soava Gallone, and finally de Gravone played the Biblical Abel in Le berceau de dieu/The Cradle of God (Fred Leroy-Granville, 1926).

    In 1926, he also directed himself the film Paris, Cabourg, le Caire… et l’amour/Paris, Cabourg, Cairo... and Love (Gabriel de Gravone, 1928). After that he didn’t perform in films anymore.

    Gabriel de Gravone died in Marseille in 1972. He was 85.

    Scene from La Roue/The Wheel (1920-1923). Source: MoreTen (YouTube).

    Sources: James Travers (Films de France), Cinema Francais, and IMDb.

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  • 03/11/18--23:00: Enrique Iglesias
  • Athletic and sexy Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias (1975) is widely regarded as the King of Latin Pop. He started his career in the mid-1990s and has since then sold over 159 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling Spanish artists ever. Iglesias also starred in the Western Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003).

    Enrique Iglesias
    Vintage postcard, no. 9354. On the postcard his name is misspelled as Iglasias.

    Enrique Iglesias
    Vintage card.

    With money from his nanny

    Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1975. He is the third and youngest child of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and Filipina socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler. He was raised with two older siblings: Chabeli and Julio Jr. One of his mother Preysler's aunts is actress Neile Adams, the first wife of American actor Steve McQueen.

    His parents divorced in 1979. At first, Iglesias and his two siblings stayed with their mother, but in 1986, Iglesias' grandfather, Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga, was kidnapped by the armed Basque terrorist group ETA. For their safety, Enrique and his brother Julio were sent to live with their father in Miami. There, they were brought up mostly by the nanny, Elvira Olivares, to whom he later dedicated his first album. Enrique also lived in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, for one year with his mother.

    At the age of 15, he secretly began writing music. He studied business administration at the University of Miami for a year before he dropped out to pursue a musical career. Iglesias did not want his father to know about his plans for a musical career and did not want his famous surname to help advance his career. He borrowed money from his nanny and he recorded a demo cassette tape which consisted of a Spanish song and two English songs. Approaching his father's former publicist, Fernán Martínez, the two promoted the songs under the stage name 'Enrique Martínez' with the back story of being an unknown singer from Guatemala.

    The 18-years-old Iglesias was signed on to Fonovisa Records and travelled to Toronto to record his first album. In 1995, he released Enrique Iglesias, a collection of light rock ballads, including hits such as Si Tú Te Vas and Experiencia Religiosa. This album sold half a million copies in its first week, and sold over a million copies in the next three months. The album went on to win Iglesias a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance.

    In 1995 he also appeared in a bit part in Robert Rodriguez's film Desperado (1995) with Antonio Banderasand Salma Hayek. In 1997, Iglesias' stardom continued to rise with the release of Vivir (To Live), which put him up with other English language music superstars in sales for that year. The album also included a cover version of the Yazoo song Only You, translated into Spanish as Solo en Tí. Three singles released from Vivir (Enamorado Por Primera Vez, Sólo en Ti and Miente) topped the charts in several Spanish-speaking countries.

    Along with his father and Luis Miguel, Iglesias was nominated for an American Music Award in the first-ever awarded category of Favourite Latin Artist. His first concert tour, that summer, Iglesias, backed by sidemen for Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, played to sold-out audiences in sixteen countries.

    In 1998, Iglesias released his third album, Cosas del Amor (Things of Love). Taking a more mature musical direction, the album, aided by the popular singles Esperanza and Nunca Te Olvidaré, both of which topped the Latin singles chart, helped cement his status in the Latin music scene. He won an American Music Award in the category of Favourite Latin Artist against Ricky Martin and Chayanne.

    Enrique Iglesias
    Dutch postcard in the series Schoolcards by Boomerang, Amsterdam. Promotion card for the single Si Tu Te Vas of the album Enrique Ilglesias.

    Enrique Iglesias
    Vintage postcard, no. Art. 9143.

    Strained relationship with his famous father

    By 1999, Enrique Iglesias had begun a successful crossover career into the English language music market. Will Smith asked Iglesias to contribute to the soundtrack of his steampunk Western Wild Wild West (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1999). His contribution Bailamos was released as a single and became a number one hit in the US.

    After weeks of negotiations, Iglesias signed a multi-album deal with Interscope. He recorded and released his first full CD in English, Enrique. It contained the song Rhythm Divine, a duet with Whitney Houston entitled Could I Have This Kiss Forever, and a cover of the Bruce Springsteen song Sad Eyes. In 2000, Iglesias performed at the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show alongside Christina Aguilera, Phil Collins, and Toni Braxton. His single Be With You became Iglesias's second number one single on Billboard's Hot 100.

    In 2000, Iglesias co-produced an off Broadway musical called Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria . In the musical, four Americans of Latin heritage possess a common interest in music and meet and decide to put on a show. The show contained many references and allusions to classic and contemporary Latin and pop songs by the likes of Carmen Miranda, Selena, Ritchie Valens, Chayanne, Ricky Martin and Iglesias himself.

    In 2001 Iglesias released his second English language album Escape. Where most of the Latin crossover acts of the previous year experienced some difficulty matching the record sales of their first English language albums, Iglesias actually went on to sell even more. The album's first single, Hero, became a number one hit in the United Kingdom, and in many other countries. The entire album was co-written by Iglesias. He capitalised on the album's success with his One-Night Stand World Tour consisting of fifty sold-out shows in sixteen countries.

    In late 2001, Iglesias started dating tennis player Anna Kournikova. They reportedly split in October 2013 but have since reconciled. In 2002 Iglesias released a fourth Spanish-language album titled Quizás (Perhaps). A more polished musical production than his previous Spanish albums and containing more introspective songs, the album's title track is a song about the strained relationship Iglesias has with his famous father. The album debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the highest placement of a Spanish language album on the chart at the time. Quizás sold a million copies in a week, making it the fastest-selling album in Spanish in five years. The three singles released from the album all ended up topping the Latin chart, giving Iglesias a total of sixteen number ones on the chart.

    Enrique Iglesias
    Vintage postcard, no. 9317.

    Enrique Iglesias
    Vintage postcard, no. 9354.

    Hollywood debut as a well-spoken gun-wielder

    In 2003, Enrique Iglesias made his Hollywood debut. He starred alongside Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp in the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), in which he played the gun-wielding Lorenzo. Later, he also had guest acting roles in the TV series Two and a Half Men (2007), and How I Met Your Mother (2007).

    Enrique Iglesias currently holds the record for the most number one singles on Billboard's Latin Chart. His last single from the album, Para Qué La Vida, reached a million spins on U.S. radio. By 2003 Iglesias released his seventh album, which he called 7, the second which he co-wrote. Among its more 1980s-inspired material, it features the song Roamer, which he wrote with his friend and longtime guitarist, Tony Bruno. With this album, Iglesias went on his biggest world tour to date.

    After a two-year hiatus, Iglesias released the album Insomniac in 2007. The album was so named due to it being recorded mainly at night. The album contained a more contemporary pop style than that of previous albums. The first single, Do You Know?, was Iglesias's highest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 since Escape. The song was also a hit throughout Europe, peaking in the top 10 in many countries.

    In 2008, Enrique Iglesias did the official song for UEFA Europa League 2008, Can You Hear Me, which he sang at the soccer league's finale. In 2010, he released his ninth studio album, Euphoria, for Universal Republic. The single Tonight (I'm F**kin' You) broke into the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching no. 4. In 2014, he released his tenth studio album, Sex and Love. His latest hit is Bailando ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, and Gente De Zona. Bailando got him 3 Latin Grammys ten years after his album, Euphoria received a nomination.

    In total Enrique Iglesias has won more than 200 awards from various ceremonies including 23 Billboard Music Awards and 36 Billboard Latin Music Awards, as well as 8 American Music Awards, 1 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy. Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic: “There was no bigger star in Latin music in the first part of the 21st century than Enrique Iglesias.”

    Trailer Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). Source: (YouTube).

    Clip of Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona. Source: Enrique Iglesias VEVO (YouTube).

    Sources: Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AllMusic), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/12/18--23:00: Jane Birkin
  • In the Swinging Sixties, shy, awkward-looking British actress Jane Birkin (1946) made a huge international splash as one of the nude models in Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966). In France she became the muse of singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote several of her albums, plus their explicitly erotic duet Je t'aime... moi non plus. Later she worked with such respected film directors as Jacques Rivette, Agnès Varda and Jacques Doillon, and won several acting awards.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by V, Paris, no. 95022. Photo: Bernard Leloup / Salut. Promotion card for the Fontana album Ex fan des sixties.

    Jane Birkin
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 33102.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard. Photo: Phonogram/Raymond Bounon. Publicity still for the record Baby alone in Baylone (1983).

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by Éditions Damilla, Paris, no. 95022. Photo: R. Melloul / SYGMA.

    A mythical and passionate Paris love story

    Jane Mallory Birkin was born in London in 1946. Her mother, Judy Campbell, was an English stage actress, and her father, David Birkin, was a Royal Navy lieutenant-commander, who had worked on clandestine operations as navigator with the French Resistance. Her brother is the screenwriter and director Andrew Birkin. She was educated at Upper Chine School, Isle of Wight, and then went to Kensington Academy in London.

    At 17, she first went on stage in Graham Greene's 1964 production Carving a Statue. A year later she was chosen to play in the musical comedy Passion Flower Hotel with music by John Barry (composer of the James Bond theme). They met and married shortly afterwards. Their daughter Kate Barry, now a photographer, was born in 1967.

    Jane emerged in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s. First she appeared uncredited as a girl on a motorbike in the comedy The Knack …and How to Get It (Richard Lester, 1965) starring Rita Tushingham. Then she attracted attention with a brief scene as a nude, blonde model in Blowup (1966), Michelangelo Antonioni's scandalous masterpiece that received the Palme d'or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

    In 1968, Birkin played a fantasy-like model in the psychedelic picture Wonderwall (Joe Massot, 1968). That same year, she auditioned in France for the lead female role in Slogan (Pierre Grimblat, 1969) with pop star Serge Gainsbourg, who was still grieving after his break up with Brigitte Bardot. Jane barely spoke French, and Gainsbourg gave her a rough time. When she burst into tears, mixing private sadness about John Barry and the film part, he disapproved, but he recognised that she cried well in front of the camera. Jane got the part, and a mythical and passionate Paris love story began.

    Birkin performed with Gainsbourg on the film's theme song, La chanson de slogan— the first of many collaborations between the two. They became inseparable and a living legend when they recorded the duet Je t'aime... moi non plus (I love you... me neither), a song Gainsbourg originally had written for Brigitte Bardot. The song's fame is partly a result of its salacious lyrics, sung by Gainsbourg and Birkin to a background of passionate whispering and moaning from Birkin, concluding in her simulated orgasm. Censorship in several countries went wild, the Vatican condemned the immoral nature of the song, and in Great Britain the BBC refused to play the original, and did their own orchestral version. The record benefited from all the free publicity and rocketed straight to the top of the charts, selling a million copies in a matter of months.

    Jane Birkin in Slogan (1969)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 448. Photo: publicity still for Slogan (Pierre Grimblat, 1969).

    Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
    French card. With Serge Gainsbourg.

    Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
    French autograph card. With Serge Gainsbourg.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by Éditions Damilla, Paris, no. 95023. Photo: Dominique Issermann / SYGMA.

    Cute But Stupid

    At the Côte d'Azur, Jane Birkin played in the thriller La Piscine/The Swimming Pool (Jacques Deray, 1969) in which she was seduced by Alain Delon. Then she went with Serge Gainsbourg to Yugoslavia to play in the adventure film Romansa konjokradice/Romance of a horse thief (Abraham Polonsky, 1971) starring Yul Brynner.

    In 1971 her daughter, the actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg was born. Birkin took a break from acting, but returned as the lover of Brigitte Bardot (in her final film role) in Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme.../Don Juan 73 (Roger Vadim, 1973). Her first solo album, Di Doo Dah, was also released in 1973. The title song became another chart hit.

    In the cinema Birkin played 'cute but stupid' roles in box office hits as La moutarde me monte au nez/Lucky Pierre (Claude Zidi, 1974) and La course à l’échalotte/The Wild Goose Chase (Claude Zidi, 1975), two popular comedies starring Pierre Richard. She proved herself as a film actress in Le Mouton enragé/Love at the Top (Michel Deville, 1974) starring Romy Schneider, and the highly dramatic Sept morts sur ordonnance/Seven Deaths by Prescription (Jacques Rouffio, 1975) opposite Michel Piccoli.

    In 1975, she also appeared with Joe Dallesandro in Gainsbourg's daring directorial début Je t'aime... moi non plus (Serge Gainsbourg, 1976). The film created a stir for its frank examination of sexual ambiguity and the controversial sex scenes. For her performance as an androgynous looking teenager she was nominated for a Best Actress César Award.

    In the meantime, her second album Lolita go home (1975) came out, on which she sang Philippe Labro's lyrics set to Gainsbourg's music. Three years later, her Ex-fan des sixties (1978) was released.

    Birkin starred in a series of mainstream films such as L'Animal/Stuntwoman (Claude Zidi, 1977) with Jean-Paul Belmondo, and the Agatha Christie films Death on the Nile (John Guillermin, 1978) and Evil Under the Sun (Guy Hamilton, 1982), with Peter Ustinov as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. In the arthouse production Egon Schiele Exzess und Bestrafung/Egon Schiele: Excess and Punishment (Herbert Vesely, 1980), she appeared as the mistress of Austrian artist Egon Schiele, played by Mathieu Carrière.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by Ëditions du Désastre, Boulogne, no. PK 2, 1982. Photo: Peter Knapp, 1980.

    Jane Birkin
    Swiss postcard by Musée de l'Elysée/News Productions, Baulmes, no. 55594. Photo: Laurence Sudre.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by Editions Marion-Valentine, Paris, no. N-177. Photo: Dominique Issermann. Caption: Jane Birkin 1981.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard by Editions Marion-Valentine, Paris, no. N-176. Photo: Dominique Issermann. Caption: Jane Birkin 1983.

    The Very Best of Her

    Serge Gainsbourg had plunged into several major bouts of alcoholism and depression, resulting in all-night partying and scandals, and in 1980 Jane Birkin left him. The couple remained on good terms though. Birkin starred as Anne in La fille prodigue/The Prodigal Daughter (Jacques Doillon, 1981).

    Jacques Doillon proved to be her dream of a director, who imposed his own personal style of drama, and brought out the very best of her. She went to live with him, and in 1982 she had her third daughter Lou Doillon. She also appeared as Alma opposite Maruschka Detmers in his La pirate/The Pirate (Jacques Doillon, 1984), for which she was nominated for a César Award.

    This work led to an invitation from theatre director Patrice Chéreau to star on stage in La Fausse suivante (The False Servant) by Pierre de Marivaux. Gainsbourg, suffering from the separation, wrote Baby alone in Babylone for her. The record won the Charles Cross award and became a gold record. She began to appear frequently on stage in plays and concerts in France, Japan, the U.K. and then the U.S.

    Film director Jacques Rivette collaborated with her in L'amour par terre/Love on the Ground (Jacques Rivette, 1983) starring Geraldine Chaplin, and La Belle Noiseuse/The Beautiful Troublemaker (Jacques Rivette, 1991) with Michel Piccoli and Emmanuelle Béart. Again Birkin was nominated for the César for best supporting actress, for both films.

    She created a sensation as star and screenwriter of director Agnès Varda's Kung Fu Master (1987), in which she played a 40-year-old woman carrying on a torrid affair with a 15-year-old boy, played by Mathieu Demy, Varda's son. The following year, Varda expressed her admiration for Birkin with the feature-length documentary Jane B. par Agnes V (Agnès Varda, 1988).

    Birkin’s work in Dust (Marion Hänsel, 1985) with Trevor Howard, and Daddy Nostalgie (Bertrand Tavernier, 1990) opposite Dirk Bogarde also earned her the praise and respect of international critics. Additionally, she appeared in Merchant Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (James Ivory, 1998) and Merci Docteur Rey (Andrew Litvack, 2002) with Dianne Wiest, while the end title song of Le Divorce (James Ivory, 2003) featured her singing L'Anamour, composed by Serge Gainsbourg.

    In 1990 Serge Gainsbourg dedicated a new album to her: Amours des feintes. It was to be his last. He died in 1991. A year later Birkin won the Female Artist of the Year award at the 1992 Victoires de la Musique. In 1993 she separated from Jacques Doillon. In the following years she devoted herself to her family and to her humanitarian work with Amnesty International on immigrant welfare and AIDS issues. Birkin visited Bosnia, Rwanda and Palestine, often working with children.

    In 2001, she was awarded the OBE in Great Britain. She has also been awarded the French Ordre national du Mérite in 2004. Jane Birkin continues to make films, theatre and music. She collaborated with such artists as Bryan Ferry, Manu Chao, Françoise Hardy, Rufus Wainwright, and Les Negresses Vertes on albums as Rendez-Vous (2004) and Fictions (2006). The self-penned Enfants d'Hiver arrived in 2008.

    In 2006, Birkin played the title role in Elektra, directed by Philippe Calvario in France. At the Cannes Film Festival 2007, she presented a film, both as a director and actor: Boxes (2007) with Michel Piccoli, Geraldine Chaplin, and her daughter Lou Doillon.

    She also appeared in Si tu meurs, je te tue/If you die, I’ll kill you (Hiner Saleem, 2011) with Jonathan Zaccaï, and La femme et le TGV/The Railroad Lady (2016), a short film directed by Swiss filmmaker Timo von Gunten. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. In a 2017 interview, Birkin stated that La femme et le TGV would be her final acting performance, and that she had no plans to return to acting.

    In March 2017, Jane Birkin released Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique, a collection of songs Serge Gainsbourg had written for her during and after their relationship, reworked with full orchestral arrangements.

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard, no. C 4477.

    Jane Birkin
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: publicity still for Jane. B par Agnes V. (Agnes Varda, 1987).

    Jane Birkin
    French postcard in the Signes du Zodiaque series by Editions F. Nugeron, no. 13 - Sagittaire (Sagittarius).

    Trailer Wonderwall (1968). Source: Our Man in Havana (YouTube).

    Trailer Slogan (1969). Source: 7173Productions (YouTube).

    Jane Birkin sings Quoi (1995). Source: bcbauer (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), John Bush (AllMusic), RFI Musique, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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    The German silent cinema knew many popular detective films like the Joe Deebs serial or the Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Another example is Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) with Leopoldine Konstantin, Harry Liedtke, Gertrude Welcker and Heinrich Peer as the sleuth Harry Reep.

    Harry Liedtke in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer (1917)
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2023. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) with Harry Liedtke and Leopoldine Konstantin.

    Heinrich Peer in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2024. Photo: Union Film. Heinrich Peer in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917).

    Heinrich Peer in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2025. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) with Heinrich Peer.

    Stolen money in a secret drawer

    The plot of Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) deals with bank director Kendall (Harry Liedtke). To satisfy the needs of his girlfriend, the art maecenas and performer Celestine (Leopoldine Konstantin), Kendall steals from his bank's safe money which his father-in-law had invested in his business.

    The known detective Harry Reep (Heinrich Peer) is hired to investigate the theft. When the banker's wife's brother lends another big sum to keep the bank going, this sum is stolen too. Harry, disguised as bank manager, is suspected himself but then finds Kendall shot.

    Harry later drives with the empty bank cassette in his car but is held up by Celestine who with a trick steals the empty cassette. Reep pursues Celestine by car but she manages to escape.

    Later in the theatre where Celestine performs, he fights and conquers her. He discovers the cassette had a secret drawer and is filled with the stolen money. Celestine kills herself and Reep finds a suicide letter by Kendall, who committed suicide out of remorse.

    Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer was shot mid-1917 and shown in Austria from August 1917. German censorship forbid the film for the duration of the war, so it was released there from late 1918 onwards.

    "Not only does this film work have an interesting criminal theme as subject, the technique is brilliant, state-of-the-art, and the acting is exemplary. Rarely does one find such a perfectly harmonious interplay as is the case in this picture. Harry Liedtke, a reckless man who becomes a criminal, is as excellent as Heinrich Peer as the detective. A special attraction, however, is the well-known actress Leopoldine Konstantin ... In addition to all these advantages, it should be mentioned that a eye keen on sensation also gets his money's worth." (Neu Kino-Rundschau, 25 August 1917)

    Harry Liedtke in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2026. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) with Harry Liedtke.

    Gertrude Welcker in Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer (1917)
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2027. Photo: Union Film. Publicity still for Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer/A Night in the Steel Chamber (Felix Basch, 1917) with Gertrude Welcker (on the postcard written as Gertrude Welker).

    Heinrich Peer
    Heinrich Peer. German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin. no. 5296. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin, 1916.

    Source: Wikipedia (German).

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  • 03/14/18--23:00: Siegfried Rauch (1932-2018)
  • On 11 March 2018, popular German film and television actor Siegfried Rauch (1932) has died. In the 1970s, he appeared in several international films. He has been an actor for over 60 years, in approximately 200 productions, and remained active until his death. The 85-years-old Rauch died from injuries suffered when falling down stairs at a fire station near his home in Obersöchering near Munich.

    Siegfried Rauch
    German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Chris Nowotny, München.

    Siegfried Rauch
    German promotion card by Süd Golf, Wolfratshausen.

    Siegfried Rauch (1932-2018)
    German autograph card by Firma Grossmann, Reinbek bei Hamburg.

    Steve McQueen's rival

    Siegfried Rauch was born in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, in 1932. Rauch studied drama at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Additionally, he attended private drama lessons. Since 1958, he has performed at different theatres, beginning with Bremen (until 1962), and followed by Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.

    In 1956, he started his film career in the Heimatfilms Die Geierwally/Vulture Wally (Frantisek Cáp, 1956), starring Barbara Rütting and Carl Möhner, and Der Jäger von Fall/The Hunter of Fall (Gustav Ucicky, 1956), featuring Rudolf Lenz.

    During the 1960s, he appeared in European coproductions like the Eurospy film Kommissar X - Drei gelbe Katzen/Death is Nimble, Death is Quick (Rudolf Zehetgruber, Gianfranco Parolini, 1966), starring Tony Kendall and Brad Harris. It is the second of seven films, loosely based on the Kommissar X #73 detective novel from the Pabel Moewig publishing house.

    Another Eurospy film in which he played a supporting part was Mister Dynamit - Morgen küßt euch der Tod/Spy Today, Die Tomorrow (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1967) starring Lex Barker and Maria Perschy. Rauch also appeared in the thriller Im Banne des Unheimlichen/The Zombie Walks (Alfred Vohrer, 1968) starring Joachim Fuchsberger. It is part of the series of German screen adaptations of Edgar Wallace's thriller novels.

    In the 1970s Rauch often worked in Hollywood. He appeared opposite George C. Scott in the war epic Patton (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970) as Captain Steiger. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture. In Le Mans (Lee H. Katzin, 1971), Rauch played the race driver Erich Stahler who is Steve McQueen's rival. Other Hollywood productions in which Rauch appeared were the war film The Eagle Has Landed (John Sturges, 1976) with Michael Caine, and Escape to Athena (George P. Cosmatos, 1979), starring Roger Moore and David Niven.

    In Samuel Fuller's World War II war film The Big Red One (1980), Rauch played a German army sergeant, the opposite of Lee Marvin's character, who experiences the same events as Marvin only from a German perspective.

    Mark Deming at AllMovie: “Unfortunately, Fuller was forced by his producers to work with a scaled-down budget, and he did not have final cut on the film; after his first rough cut ran nearly four-and-a-half hours, the studio took over editing on the project, and Fuller was vocally unhappy with the final results. In 2003, critic and film historian Richard Schickel initiated an effort to restore The Big Red One to a form that more closely resembled Fuller's original vision.“

    Schickel's reconstruction received enthusiastic reviews when it went into limited release in the fall of 2004.

    Siegfried Rauch
    German autograph card.

    Maria Schell and Siegfried Rauch in Die glückliche Familie (1987-1991)
    German autograph card. Publicity still for the TV series Die glückliche Familie/The Happy Family (1987-1991) with Maria Schell.

    Siegfried Rauch in Das Traumschiff (1997-2013)
    German autograph card by 2DF. Photo: ZDF / Dirk Bartling. Publicity still for the TV series Das Traumschiff/The Dream Boat (1997-2013).

    It Can't Always Be Caviar

    Siegfried Rauch continued to work in the German cinema and also on TV. He played in a new version of the Heimatfilm Der Jäger von Fall/The Hunter of Fall (Harald Reinl, 1974).

    His most famous leading act on German television was Thomas Lieven in the mini-series Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein/It Can't Always Be Caviar (Thomas Engel, 1977), based on the international bestseller by Johannes Mario Simmel. The series is unique for providing a little cooking show at the end of each episode. The book also includes recipes because Thomas Lieven is an accomplished amateur cook. The 13 episodes were very popular in Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, and have since attained cult-status.

    Rauch’s various other roles on television established his career as an actor in Germany. Since 1997, Rauch has continuously appeared in Das Traumschiff/The Dreamboat (1997-2013), one of the most-watched television series in Germany. He also appeared in other long-running hit-series like Die Landärztin/The Country Doctor (2006-2011), the Das Traumschiff spin-off Kreuzfahrt ins Glück/Cruise to Happiness (2007-2013) and Der Bergdoktor/Mountain Medic (2008-2016, 96 episodes).

    Internationally he appeared in films like the science fiction-horror film Contamination (Luigi Cozzi, 1980) starring Ian McCulloch, the action film Der Stein des Todes/Perahera, Death Stone (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1985) and another actioner Feuer, Eis und Dynamit/Fire, Ice and Dynamite (Willy Bogner, 1990), starring Roger Moore.

    Siegfried Rauch, also known as ‘Sigi’, died in 2018 as a result of a fall in his hometown of Untersochering, Bavaria. He was married to Karin and had two sons, Jakob and Benedikt, and one grandchild. Steve McQueen was the Godfather of his son Jakob.

    Trailer Kommissar X - Drei gelbe Katzen/Death is Nimble, Death is Quick (1966). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).

    Trailer for Mister Dynamit - Morgen küßt euch der Tod/Spy Today, Die Tomorrow (1967). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube).

    Trailer Le Mans (1971). Source: Umbrella Entertainment (YouTube).

    Trailer The Big Red One (1980). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).

    Sources: Mark Deming (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.

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  • 03/15/18--23:00: Cox
  • In Belgium a series of film star cards was published by Cox, an Import-Export firm. The series was produced in the 1950s and is remarkable because the cards have pictures at both sides. At the front is a colour picture of the star and the flipside shows a photo in black and white. Many of the stars were German, but there are also French, British and American artists in the series. In this post we show mainly the colour pictures, but also a few of the black and white sides.

    Paul Hubschmid

    Paul Hubschmid
    Paul Hubschmid. Belgian card by Cox, no. 4.

    Maximilian Schell
    Maximilian Schell. Belgian card by Cox, no. 7.

    Juliette Gréco
    Juliette Gréco. Belgian card by Cox, no. 10.

    Carlos Thompson
    Carlos Thompson. Belgian card by Cox, no. 18. Publicity still for Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (Kurt Hoffmann, 1957).

    Corny Collins
    Corny Collins. Belgian card by Cox, no. 19.

    Belinda Lee

    Belinda Lee
    Belinda Lee. Belgian card by Cox, no. 20.

    Johanna von Koczian
    Johanna von Koczian. Belgian card by Cox, no. 23.

    Fred Bertelmann, Conny Froboess
    Fred Bertelmann and Conny Froboess. Belgian card by Cox, no. 25.

    James Mason

    James Mason
    James Mason. Belgian card by Cox, no. 29.

    Sonja Ziemann
    Sonja Ziemann. Belgian card by Cox, no. 33.

    Hardy Krüger
    Hardy Krüger. Belgian card by Cox, no. 35.

    William Holden
    William Holden. Belgian card by Cox, no. 36.

    Mylène Demongeot

    Mylène Demongeot
    Mylène Demongeot. Belgian card by Cox, no. 42.

    Dietmar Schönherr
    Dietmar Schönherr. Belgian postcard by Cox, no. 49.

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  • 03/16/18--23:00: Oleg Tabakov (1935-2018)
  • On 12 March 2018, Soviet and Russian actor Oleg Tabakov (1935) passed away. Tabakov performed in both classic and modern plays and was artistic director of the Moscow Art TheatreHis film career was equally impressive with roles as Count Nikita Rostov in Voyna i mir I/War and Peace (1966-1967) by Sergei Bondarchuk, and as the title figure in Oblomow (1981) by Nikita Mikhalkov. Tabakov was 82.

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 11212. Photo: B. Vilenkina, G. Ter-Ovanesova.

    War and Peace

    Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov (Russian: Олег Павлович Табаков) was born in Saratov, USSR (now Saratovskaya oblast, Russia) in 1935. His father, Pavel Kongratevich, and his mother, Maria Andreevna Berezovskaya, were medical doctors in Saratov. His parents separated during the Second World War, and young Tabakov was brought up by his single mother and grandmother.

    Oleg attended the all-boys school in Saratov, and was active in the drama class. From 1950-1953 he studied acting at the Saratov House of Pioneers under the legendary acting coach Natalia Iosifivna Sukhostav. In 1953, Tabakov moved to Moscow and studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School.

    In 1957 he graduated from the school, and became one of the founding fathers of the Sovremennik Theatre. There he played leading roles in such productions as Goly Korol (Naked King), Tri Zhelaniya (Three Wishes), Obyknovennaya istoriya (Ordinary story) and other contemporary Russian plays. From 1970 till 1976 Tabakov was General Manager of Sovremennik, he promoted Galina Volchek to Principal Director of the company.

    He administrated the Sovremennik until 1982, when he moved to the Moscow Art Theatre, where he played Molière and Salieri for over 20 years. In 1986, Tabakov persuaded his students to form the Tabakov Studio attached to the Moscow Art Theatre. Several notable Russian actors including Yevgeny Mironov, Sergey Bezrukov, Vladimir Mashkov, Andrey Smolyakov and Alexandre Marine studied at the studio.

    Tabakov also spread his theatre's ideals abroad. His teaching credentials include workshops and productions at the Paris Conservatoire, the British American Drama Academy, Akademie Der Künst in Hamburg, the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, Carnegie Mellon, The Juilliard School, New York University, Florida State University, The University of Delaware, and Harvard University.

    For his stage work he won several medals an honours. Tabakov's film career paralleled his theatrical career. He made his film debut as Sasha in the drama Sasha vstupayet v zhizn/Sasha Enters Life (Mikhail Shvejtser, 1957). Soon followed roles in the crime drama Ispytatelnyy Srok/The Probation (Vladimir Gerasimov, 1960) and the war drama Chistoe nebo/Clear Skies (Grigori Chukhrai, 1961) with Yevgeni Urbansky. He appeared in the role of Nikolai Rostov in Sergei Bondarchuk's Voyna i mir I/War and Peace (1966–1967),

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 3744, 1963.

    Oleg Tabakov
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. A 07154.

    Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears

    Oleg Tabakov played the lead role in the comedy-drama Gori, gori, moya zvezda/Shine, Shine, My Star (Aleksandr Mitta, 1970). Then followed parts in popular TV series as Semnadtsat mgnoveniy vesny/Seventeen Instants of Spring (Tatyana Lioznova, 1973), starring Vyacheslav Tikhonov, and D'Artanyan i tri mushketyora/D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers (Georgi Yungvald-Khilkevich, 1978).

    An international success was Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino/An Unfinished Piece for a Piano Player (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1977). His later films include the Academy Award-winning Moskva slezam ne verit/Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears (Vladimir Menshov, 1980), the international art house hits Oblomov (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1981) and Oci ciornie/Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1986) starring Marcello Mastroianni.

    Tabakov also played in the mock slapstick Western Chelovek s bulvara Kaputsinov/A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines (Alla Surikova, 1987) about Mr Jonny First (Andei Mironov), who arrives in the Wild West to present the art of the Cinematograph. Over 40 million people in the USSR paid to see the feature.

    Tabakov has lend his distinctive, purr-like voice to a number of animated characters, including the talking cat Matroskin in the animation film Kanikuly v Prostokvashino/Three from Prostokvashino (Vladimir Popov, 1980) and its sequels. After the Matroskin role he dubbed the character of Garfield into Russian in the feature film Garfield (Peter Hewitt, 2004).

    During the 1990s, Oleg Tabakov was a strong supporter of democratic reforms and freedom in the new Russia. He made public speeches and was involved in many public events facilitating the cultural transformation of arts and theatres in Russia. He also continued to appear in films, such as in The Inner Circle (Andrey Konchalovskiy, 1991), about Stalin's private film projectionist from (Tom Hulce), the TV movie Stalin (Ivan Passer, 1992) with Robert Duvall, and Taking Sides (István Szabó, 2001) with Harvey Keitel.

    Oleg Tabakov was designated People's Actor of the USSR and Russia in the 1980s, and was decorated with the Order of Merit of Fatherland II degree, by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in 2005. During the 2012 Russian presidential election Tabakov was registered as a ‘Trusted Representative’ of Putin. In March 2014, he signed a letter in support of the position of Putin on Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

    His last films were the comedies Kukhnya v Parizhe/A Kitchen in Paris (Dmitriy Dyachenko, 2014) with Vincent Perez, and the sequel Kukhnya. Poslednyaya bitva/Kitchen. The Last Battle (Anton Fedotov, 2017).

    In November 2017, Oleg Tabakov was hospitalised with sepsis. In December, Tabakov's condition deteriorated sharply - he fell into a pre-coma condition. On 12 March 2018, he died of a heart attack at age 82. The farewell ceremony took place at the Moscow Art Theatre named after Chekhov's historical stage where Tabakov worked as a artistic director and plays director for many years.

    Oleg Tabakov was married twice. His first wife was actress Lyudmila Krylova (1960–1994) with whom he has two children. Their son Anton Tabakov is an actor and also a successful night-club owner in Moscow. Since 1994 Oleg Tabakov was married to actress Marina Zudina. The couple had two children, son Pavel (1996), and daughter Maria (2006).

    Oleg Tabakov and Elena Proklova in Gori, Gori, Moya Zvezda (1970)
    Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 1984. Publicity still for Gori, Gori, Moya Zvezda (Aleksandr Mitta, 1970) with Elena Proklova.

    Sources: Steve Shelokhonov (IMDb), AllMovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 03/17/18--23:00: Ray Danton
  • American actor Ray Danton (1931-1992) was a handsome and smooth natured leading man who often played oily individuals in Hollywood film and TV series. He also worked in Europe where he directed some film too.

    Ray Danton
    Italian postcard by Rotalcolor, Milano, no. N. 139.

    A smooth but dangerous villain

    Ray Danton was born Raymond Caplan in New York in 1931. Raymond was the son of Myrtle (née Menkin) and Jack Caplan. Danton entered show business as a child radio actor on NBC radio's Let's Pretend show in 1943.

    Danton did many stage roles whilst attending the University of Pittsburgh. He was dramatically trained at Carnegie Tech and in 1950 went to London to appear on stage in the Tyrone Power production Mister Roberts. Danton's acting career was put on hold when he served in the United States Army infantry during the Korean War from 1951–1954.

    His on-screen debut was as a moody Native American opposite Victor Mature in Chief Crazy Horse (George Sherman, 1955), a biography of the famous Lakota Sioux war chief which was told entirely from the Indian viewpoint. He was contracted to Universal Pictures.

    He next played a supporting part as a smooth but dangerous villain in I'll Cry Tomorrow (Daniel Mann, 1955) starring Susan Hayward. For this part he won the Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer.

    At the set of his third film for Universal The Looters (Abner Biberman, 1955) he met his future wife Julie Adams. Danton guest-starred in many 1950s TV shows including Playhouse 90 (1956), Wagon Train (1957), and 77 Sunset Strip (1958), often as a gunslinger or a slippery criminal.

    Danton found plenty of demand for his talents and appeared in several minor films including the Film Noir The Night Runner (Abner Biberman,1957), the war film Tarawa Beachhead (Paul Wendkos, 1958), in which he starred with his wife, Julie Adams, and then as a serial rapist in The Beat Generation (Charles F. Haas, 1959) opposite Steve Cochran and Mamie van Doren.

    However, his most well remembered role was as the vicious prohibition gangster Jack Diamond in The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960) also starring a young Warren Oates and directed by Budd Boetticher. Wikipedia: "Danton played his role using dynamic body language with his smooth persona fitting the character like a glove." Danton reprised his Legs Diamond role only a year later in the unrelated, and not as enjoyable Portrait of a Mobster (Joseph Pevney, 1961).

    Ray Danton
    British postcard in the Celebrity Autograph Series by Celebrity Publishers LTD., London, no. 2789. Photo: Universal-International. Publicity still for The Night Runner (Abner Biberman, 1957).

    Ray Danton
    Spanish postcard by Raker, no. 1126.

    Europe beckoned

    Cornering the market on playing shady characters, Ray Danton then portrayed troubled actor George Raft in The George Raft Story (Joseph M. Newman, 1961) with Jayne Mansfield, but he was back on the side of good in 1962 playing an Allied officer at the invasion of Normandy in The Longest Day (Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, 1962).

    Europe then beckoned for the virile Danton, and like many other young US actors in the early 1960s, he made several films in Italy and Spain between 1964 and 1969 with a mixture of success. These films included Sandokan alla riscossa/Sandokan Fights Back (Luigi Capuano, 1964) with Guy Madison, and the Europsy films Corrida pour un espion/Code Name: Jaguar (Maurice Labro, 1965) with Pascale Petit, and New York chiama Superdrago/Secret Agent Super Dragon (Giorgio Ferroni, 1966) with Marisa Mell and Margaret Lee.

    Danton returned to the USA in the early 1970s, but also ran his own production company in Barcelona, Spain. In Europe he directed the AIP production of Deathmaster (Ray Danton, 1972) starring Robert Quarry who was riding high on the success of the Count Yorga vampire films. Danton also co-directed La tumba de la isla maldita/Crypt of the Living Deads (Julio Salvador, Ray Danton, 1973) with Mark Damon.

    Later he became involved in television and directed episodes of some of the most popular TV series of the 1970s and 1980s, including Quincy M.E. (1976), The Incredible Hulk (1978), Magnum, P.I. (1980), Dynasty (1981), and Cagney & Lacey (1981). His final directorial work was an episode for the TV series Mike Hammer (1989).

    Ray Danton passed away in 1992 from kidney failure. He was only 61. He was divorced of his wife, Julie Adams, in 1978 (IMDb) or 1981 (Wikipedia). They had two sons, assistant director Steve Danton (1956) and editor Mitchell Danton (1962). His companion at the time of his death was actress Jeannie Austin, who was cast in a couple of TV episodes Ray directed, including Magnum, P.I. (1980).

    Trailer for The George Raft Story (Joseph M. Newman, 1961). Source: horrormovieshows (YouTube).

    Trailer for the EuroSpy adventure New York chiama Superdrago/Secret Agent Super Dragon (Giorgio Ferroni, 1966). Source: Night Of The Trailers (YouTube).

    Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 03/18/18--23:00: Renate Blume
  • German actress Renate Blume (1944) appeared in more than 70 films and television shows since 1964. Her film debut Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven (Konrad Wolf, 1964) was an international success and later she co-starred in Easterns with Gojko Mitic and Dean Reed.

    Renate Blume
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 3538, 1966. Photo: DEFA / Schwarzer. Publicity still for Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven (Konrad Wolf, 1964).

    Renate Blume
    Big East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 2/74, 1974. Photo: Linke.

    Renate Blume and Dean Reed
    With Dean Reed. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43080.

    Divided Heaven

    Renate Blume was born in Bad Wildungen, Germany, in 1944. As a twelve-year-old she joined the Gret Palucca ballet school in Dresden. Although her parents wanted her to became a doctor, she secretly applied to the Academy for Performing Arts in Berlin.

    While still a student, she played her first leading role in the DEFA drama Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven (Konrad Wolf, 1964). The East-German film, based on Christa Wolf's novel Divided Heaven (1963), is set in the period immediately before the Berlin Wall was built.

    Blume is Rita Seidel, who recalls the last two years, in which she fell in love with Manfred (Eberhard Esche), a chemist who is ten years older. As Manfred became disillusioned with his opportunities in East Germany, he moved to the West. Rita followed him there and tried to persuade him to return but soon realised he would never do it.

    The film became an international success, thanks in part to Blume’s naturalistic and honest performance. Although some of the characters are shown as overzealous in their support of the regime, for obvious reasons the nature of the East German dictatorship is never depicted or discussed. The Stasi, the all-pervasive secret police headed by the director's brother Markus Wolf, is not mentioned.

    The film was removed from circulation on several occasions in the following years, when the Socialist Unity Party of Germany decreed it, depending on the political situation In 1995, a group of historians and cinema researchers chose Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven as one of the 100 most important German films ever made.

    Three years later she appeared in the two-part war film Die gefrorenen Blitze/Frozen Flashes (János Veiczi, 1967) which tells the history of the resistance movement in Peenemünde during the Second World War and its attempt to sabotage the V-2 program. Among the large cast were also Alfred Müller, Leon Niemczyk and Mikhail Ulyanov. From 1965 to 1970, Blume was a member of the Dresdner Staatstheater ensemble, where she continued giving guest performances until 1986.

    Renate Blume
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 2.159, 1964. Photo: DEFA / Schwarzer. Publicity still for Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven (Konrad Wolf, 1964).

    Gojko Mitic and Renate Blume in Ulzana (1974)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 65/74, 1974. Photo: DEFA / Dassdorf. Publicity still for Ulzana (Gottfried Kolditz, 1974) with Gojko Mitic.


    In 1970, Renate Blume joined the East German television ensemble and acted in over 40 TV productions over the next 20 years. Although Blume regularly appeared on TV, she rarely worked in the cinema.

    In 1974, she co-starred in the Eastern Ulzana (Gottfried Kolditz, 1974), as the wife of Gojko Mitic,the chief of the Mimbrero tribe. It was followed by the comic Eastern Kit & Co. (Konrad Petzold, 1974) with Dean Reed, an American actor, singer and songwriter, living in East Germany.

    Blume appeared in Archiv des Todes/Archives of Death (1980). This 13-part East German war television series was set during World War II and also starred Gojko Mitic, Leon Niemczyk and Barbara Brylska.

    In the cinema, Blume appeared in the fantasy Der Prinz hinter den sieben Meeren/The Prince of the Seven Seas (Walter Beck, 1982). After the Wende, Blume played a supporting part in the family film Die Distel/The Thistle (Gernot Krää, 1992) with Katja Riemann. In between she appeared in popular TV series such as Polizeiruf 110/Police Call 110 (1978-1998).

    Since the Wall came down, she has taught performing arts, performed at theaters in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, and Munich, and acted in TV movies and TV series. In the cinema, she played a small part in the film Sternzeichen/Zodiac Sign (Peter Patzak, 2003) as the wife of Vadim Glowna. More recently she appeared in TV series such as Fünf Sterne/Five Stars (2005-2008) with Ralph Bauer, and Schloss Einstein (2008-2009) about students at a boarding school in Erfurt.

    From 1969 until 1975 Blume was married with film director Frank Beyer. Their son Alexander also became an actor. From 1974 till 1976 she lived together with Romanian actor Gojko Mitic. In 1981, she married Dean Reed, but he died in 1986.

    In 2007, Renate Blume was featured in Der Rote Elvis/The Red Elvis (2007), a German documentary about Reed’s life. Her most recent screen appearance was in the TV-Krimi Lindburgs Fall/Prime Time Crime (Franziska Meyer Price, 2011) with Fritz Wepper.

    Sources: DEFA Film Library, Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.