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Vintage postcards, stars and stories.
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  • 07/23/17--22:00: Maria Cebotari
  • Celebrated Romanian soprano and actress Maria Cebotari (1910-1949) was one of Europe's greatest opera stars in the 1930s and 1940s. Especially her interpretations of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss belonged to her specialities. Cebotari also starred in several films related to opera.

    Maria Cebotari
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1531/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Itala-Film. Publicity still for Mutterlied/Solo Per Te/Mother Song (Carmine Gallone, 1937).

    Gustav Diessl and Maria Cebotari
    With husband Gustav Diessl. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2804/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Wog, Berlin.

    Maria Cebotari in Maria Malibran (1943)
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3789/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Vaselli / A.C.I. / Europa Film. Photo: Maria Malibran (Guido Brignone, 1943).

    Prima donna


    Maria Cebotari was born Maria Cebotaru in Kishinev, Russian Empire (now Chişinău, Moldova) in 1910. She grew up speaking Romanian and Russian.

    At the age of four, she began to sing in churches. Later she studied singing at the Chişinău Conservatory. In 1929 the Moscow Art Theatre Company visited her town and she was discovered and joined the company as an actress. In 1930 she married the company's leader, Count Alexander Virubov.

    Moving to Berlin with the company, she studied singing with Oskar Daniel for three months and made her debut as an operatic singer as Mimi in Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème at Dresden Semperoper (Dresden Semper Opera House) in 1931.

    Bruno Walter invited her to the Salzburg Festival, where she sang Euridice in Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice. In 1935, she sang the part of Aminta in the world premiere of Richard Strauss' opera Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman) under Karl Böhm at Dresden Semper Opera House.

    Strauss advised her to move to Berlin, and in 1936 she joined the Berlin State Opera, where she was a prima donna until 1946. She divorced Count Virubov in 1938, and married the Austrian actor Gustav Diessl, with whom she had two sons.

    Beside her successful career at the opera houses, Cebotari appeared in several films which were often related to opera. Her first starring role was in Mädchen in Weiß/Girls in White (Victor Janson, 1936) opposite Iván Petrovich.

    Among her other films are Mutterlied/Solo Per Te/Mother Song (Carmine Gallone, 1937) with Beniamino Gigli, Giuseppe Verdi/Verdi's Three Women (Carmine Gallone, 1938) featuring Fosco Giachetti, and Il sogno di Butterfly/The Dream of Madame Butterfly (Carmine Gallone, 1939). With her husband, she made the film Starke Herzen/Strong Hearts in the Storm (Herbert Maisch, 1937).

    She also played in the film Odessa in fiamme/Odessa in flames (Carmine Gallone, 1942), based on a script by Nicolae Kiriţescu. The Romanian-Italian co-production tells about the drama of the refugees from Bessarabia (Republic Moldova), in World War II and does homage to the Romanian troops who freed Bessarabia from the Red Army which occupied it in 1940. The film includes contemporary newsreels showing refugee columns running away.

    The film won the great prize at the Festival of Venice, in 1942, but after the invasion by Soviet troops in Bucharest in 1944, the film was banned, and many of the actors arrested. Nothing was heard of the film for more than 50 years, but in 2006 it was re-discovered in the Cinecittà archives in Rome, and Odessa in fiamme was shown for the first time in Romania in December 2006.

    Maria Cebotari's final film was the Italian drama Maria Malibran/The Genius and the Nightingale (Guido Brignone, 1943) with Rossano Brazzi.

    Maria Cebotari
    Austrian postcard by K ltd. Photo: Willi Pollak, Wien.

    Maria Cebotari in Solo Per Te (1937)
    Italian postcard by Grafiche N. Moneto, Milano. Photo: Itala-Film / Generalcine. Publicity still for Mutterlied/Solo Per Te/Mother Song (Carmine Gallone, 1937).

    An extremely versatile voice


    In 1946, Maria Cebotari sang Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for Dresden Semper Opera Company's performances at Covent Garden Royal Opera House of London.

    From then on, she appeared at many great opera houses including Vienna State Opera and La Scala Opera House of Milan. Cebotari had an extremely versatile voice, and her repertoire covered coloratura, soubrette, lyric and dramatic roles; for example, she sang both Countess Almaviva and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Violetta in La traviata and Salome in the same season.

    Cebotari concentrated on four composers – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. Strauss described her as "the best all-rounder on the European stage, and she is never late and she never cancels".

    In 1946, she left Berlin and joined the Vienna State Opera House. She visited Covent Garden again in 1947 with Vienna State Opera Company and sang Salome, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. In 1947, she was Donna Anna to the Ottavio of Richard Tauber, making his final stage appearance, less than a week before his cancerous left lung was removed.

    In 1948, her husband, Gustav Diessl, died of a heart attack. Cebotari suffered from severe pain during the performance of Le nozze di Figaro at La Scala Opera House in early 1949. At first, doctors did not take it seriously. However, on 31 March 1949, she fell down during the performance of Karl Millöcker's operetta Der Bettelstudent in Vienna.

    During surgery, doctors found cancer in her liver and pancreas. Short before her dead. Herbert von Karajan engaged Maria Cebotari for the 1949 Salzburg Music Festival in Austria, in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

    On 9 June 1949, Maria Cebotari died from cancer in her villa in Vienna. She was only 40. Her funeral in Vienna was an imposing demonstration of love and honour, with thousands of people attending.

    British pianist Sir Clifford Curzon adopted her two little sons. Beniamino Gigli remembered Cebotari as one of the greatest female voices he ever heard, and Herbert von Karajan later said she was the greatest Madame Butterfly he had ever conducted.

    In 2005, director Victor Druc made the documentary Aria (2005) about Cebotari’s life. The documentary faced difficulties when it was screened in Moldova during the Communist administration which ended in 2009. The cause for the difficulties was a scene in which the soprano self-identifies as Romanian, contrary to the official policy of the Communist government that calls the ethnic majority Moldovan, rather than Romanian.

    Maria Cebotari
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3097/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Tita Binz, Berlin.

    Maria Cebotari
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 3416/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Wog, Berlin.

    Sources: Andrea Suhm-Binder (Cantabile-subito), Rudi Polt (Find A Grave), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 07/24/17--22:00: Claude Rich (1929-2017)
  • On Thursday 20 July 2017, French actor Claude Rich passed away. He played in at least fifty plays and around 80 films, among them the cult classic Les Tontons flingueurs/Crooks in Clover (1963) alongside Lino Ventura, and François Truffaut’s La mariée était en noir/The Bride Wore Black (1968). Over the course of his long career, he worked with some of the best known French film directors such as Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier, Claude Chabrol, and Alain Resnais.

    Claude Rich (1929-2017)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 154/71. Photo: publicity still for Un milliard dans un billard/Diamond Cue (Nicolas Gessner, 1965).

    Neither Seen Nor Recognized


    Claude Robert Rich was born in Strasbourg, eastern France, in 1929. He was the son of Roger Rich and Marguerite Labat. In 1935, after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and three brothers and sisters to Paris.

    Later when he worked as a bank employee in order to bring money home to help his mother, he enrolled in evening classes drama by Charles Dullin at le Centre d'Art Dramatique de la rue Blanche. While working and studying, he decided to make a go of acting and entered a competition for a scholarship to the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art dramatique.

    He won the scholarship and started studying acting full-time in 1953. At the Conservatoire, he met and befriended many who would also become well known actors, including Annie Girardot, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean Rochefort.

    Rich made his debut at the Renaissance Theater, and made his film debut in René Clair's Les Grandes Manœuvres/The Grand Maneuver (1955). He followed it with a part in the comedy Mitsou (Jacqueline Audry, 1956) starring Danièle Delorme, and based on the 1919 novella Mitsou by Colette.

    In the comedy hit Ni vu, ni connu/Neither Seen Nor Recognized (Yves Robert, 1958), he appeared with Louis de Funès. Another hit at the box offices was the anthology film La française et l'amour/Love and the Frenchwoman (1960). In one of the segments he co-starred with Marie-José Nat.

    Claude Rich (1929-2017)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2722. Photo: publicity still for Mona, l'étoile sans nom/Nameless Star (Henri Colpi, 1966).

    Claude Rich, Marina Vlady and Cristea Avram in Mona, l'étoile sans nom (1966)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2723, 1966. Photo: publicity still for Mona, l'étoile sans nom/Nameless Star (Henri Colpi, 1966) with Marina Vlady and Cristea Avram.

    Cult Classic


    For much of the 1960s, Claude Rich took on secondary roles in such films as La chambre ardente/The Burning Court (Julien Duvivier, 1962), in a segment directed by Claude Chabrol in the anthology Les Sept péchés capitaux/The seven deadly Sins (1962) and Le Caporal épinglé/The Elusive Corporal (Jean Renoir, 1962) starring Jean-Pierre Cassel.

    He acted alongside Lino Ventura in the cult classic Les Tontons flingueurs/Crooks in Clover (Georges Lautner, 1963). He played both Gen. Leclerc and Lt. Pierre de la Fouchardière in Paris brûle-t-il?/Is Paris Burning? (René Clément, 1966). The following year, he played with Louis de Funès in the comedy of errors Oscar (Edouard Molinaro, 1967).

    He landed his first major role in Alain Resnais’s Science-Fiction film, Je t’aime, je t’aime/I Love You, I Love You (1968). He interpreted a man who tried to commit suicide and is selected by a secret organisation in order to experiment a very dangerous and quite hopeless voyage, a journey in his own past. Resnais chose him for the role because of the special timbre of his voice.

    It was followed by La mariée était en noir/The Bride Wore Black (François Truffaut, 1968). Rich is one of the five men who is responsible for the death of Jeanne Moreau's fiancé. At a party being held in his high-rise apartment, the Bride pushes him off the balcony and he falls to his death.

    Rich was also an impressive theatre performer. He was a five-time finalist for the Molière award, France’s national theatre award. He shined in the play Le Souper (The Supper) by Jean-Claude Brisville, where he played Talleyrand alongside actor Claude Brasseur, as Joseph Fouché. Both Rich and Brasseur would portray these characters once more for the film adaptation Le Souper/The Supper (Édouard Molinaro, 1992). In 1993, he received the Cesar for best actor with this performance.

    Rich was nominated four times for best supporting actor, in La Fille d’Artagnan/Revenge of the Musketeers (Bertrand Tavernier, 1994), La Bûche/Season's Beatings (Danièle Thompson, 1999), Aide-toi le ciel t’aidera/With a Little Help from Myself (François Dupeyron, 2008) and Cherchez Hortense/Looking for Hortense (Pascal Bonitzer, 2012). Among his other awards were a Grammy Award in 1974, and a César d’Honneur in 2003.

    Claude Rich died after a long illness in his home in Orgeval, France. He was 88. Since 1959, he was married to Catherine Rich born Renaudin and they had three children, Delphine, Natalie and Rémy Rich.


    American trailer for La Bûche/Season's Beatings (1999). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).


    Trailer Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/All Together (2011). Source: Movie Covfefe - Coverage (YouTube).

    Sources: Montreal Gazette, RFI, Les Gens du Cinéma (French), Wikipedia (French and English), and IMDb.

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  • 07/25/17--22:00: Carl Clewing
  • German actor Carl Clewing (1884-1954) was also an opera singer, the composer of the song Alle Tage ist kein Sonntag (Every Day Isn't Sunday) and a music professor in Berlin. During the years of the early cinema he was much in demand as film actor.

    Carl Clewing
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 755. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Carl Clewing
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 147. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Ernst Lubitsch classic


    Theodor Rudolph Carl Clewing was born in 1884 in Schwerin, Germany. His father was the owner of an apothecary.

    Clewing studied in Prague. From 1909 he was an actor in Berlin and he was appointed Royal Court actor in 1911.

    In the same year, Clewing also made his debut as a film actor in Der fremde Vogel/The Strange Bird (Urban Gad, 1911) starring Hans Mierendorff and Asta Nielsen.

    In the next years followed roles in productions like Ein Sommernachtstraum in unserer Zeit (Stellan Rye, 1913) based on motives of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, the fantasy Der Ring des schwedischen Reiters/The ring of the Swedish riders (Stellan Rye, 1913), and Der Flug in die Sonne/The flight into the sun (Stellan Rye, 1914).

    At the outbreak of the First World War, he announced himself voluntarily, and during the war he was repeatedly distinguished and promoted to lieutenant.

    After the war, he was again active in Berlin as an opera singer, but also as a film actor. Among his films were the crime drama Whitechapel (Ewald André Dupont 1920) with Hans Mierendorff and Grit Hagasa, and Ernst Lubitsch’s classic Sumurun (1920), in which Ewing played the young Sheik.

    His final film was Das Floß der Toten/The raft of the dead (Carl Boese, 1920) with Aud Egede Nissen.

    In the autumn of 1922, he had an engagement as 'Heldentenor' at the Staatsoper Berlin. In 1924-1925 he performed at the Bayreuth Festival and sang Walter von Stolzing and the Parsifal.

    In 1922 he became a guest lecturer and professor at the State Conservatory of the Hochschule für Staats- & Wirtschaftswissenschaften in Detmold. In December 1928 he was appointed extraordinary professor for singing, vocal training and practical phonetics at the University of Music in Vienna.

    Carl Clewing in Weh dem der lügt!
    German postcard by Verlag Herm. Leiser, no. 6120. Photo: Atelier Rembrandt, Berlin-Charlottenburg. Publicity still for a stage production of Weh dem, der lügt! by Franz Grillparzer with Carl Clewing in the role of Leon, the kitchen help.

    Carl Clewing in Hohe Politik
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 4110. Photo: Becker & Maass. Publicity still for the stage play Hohe Politik by Julius Rosen.

    Carl Clewing
    German postcard by Verlag Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 9634. Photo: Becker & Maass.

    A member of the NSDAP, the SA, and the SS


    At the beginning of 1931 Carl Clewing moved back to Germany and was appointed professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, and at the same time he was a representative of the Cooperative of German Stage Artists in the School of the German Stage Society, as well as a member of the Berlin Opera and Opera, and moved to Berlin-Lichterfelde-Ost.

    After Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Clewing was a member of the NSDAP, the SA, and the SS. However, he was expelled in 1934, because he had concealed his ‘non-Aryan slippage’ and his former affiliation to a Masonic lodge.

    In 1935 he composed the Schlager and folk play Alle Tage ist kein Sonntag. It was made into the film Alle Tage ist kein Sonntag/Every Day Isn't Sunday(Walter Janssen, 1935) with Adele Sandrock and Wolfgang Liebeneiner.

    In the second half of the 1930s, Clewing, who was also a passionate hunter and collector of hunting culture, was entrusted by Hermann Göring, who was the 'Reichsjägermeister', to issue the series of monuments of German hunting culture. The first volume appeared as early as 1937, as well as a folk edition of 100 huntsmen and a songbook of the Luftwaffe.

    During this time he also developed a small form of the Fürst-Pless-Horn, which is also called 'Clewingsches Taschenjagdhorn'.

    In May 1939 he returned as an opera singer. In the same year, he wrote a cantata on the birth of Edda Goering.

    After the Second World War he lived in the sanatorium in Glotterbad near Freiburg im Breisgau and spent his retirement in the health resort Dr. Saller in Badenweiler. Carl Clewing passed away in Badenweiler, Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 1954.

    In 1923, Clewing had married Elisabeth (Else) née Mulert, adopted Arnhold, widowed Kunheim. They divorced in 1940, and had a son, Carl Peter (1924-1943, fallen at Salerno).

    Carl Clewing in Der grosse König
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 3931. Photo: Atelier Rembrandt, Charlottenburg. Publicity still for a stage production of Der grosse König (The Great King).

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

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

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  • 07/26/17--22:00: Grete Weixler
  • Grete Weixler (ca. 1900 - after 1922) was a German actress of the silent cinema. From 1914 on, she appeared in secondary roles in melodramas by directors like Carl Boese, Friedrich Zelnik and Lupu Pick.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 121/3. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 1324. Photo: Helga-Schmitt-Wehl, Friedenau.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 1505. Photo: Helga Schmitt-Wehl, Friedenau.

    The story of a fallen woman


    Grete Weixler was born into an actor’s family. Her grandfather had been successful in Hungary as an actor, Weixler's aunt lived as an artist in Vienna. Weixler's other siblings also turned to the performing arts.

    Best known is her elder sister, popular silent film actress Dorrit Weixler. Grete followed in her footsteps and made her film debut under the direction of Dorrit’s husband, pioneer director Franz Hofer.

    Possibly her first film was the silent short Fräulein Piccolo/Miss Piccolo (Franz Hofer, 1914) in which her sister starred and Ernst Lubitsch had a small role. Dorrit Weixler was the first German ‘backfish’, specialised in playing childlike young women in comedies.

    In contrast to her sister, Grete Weixler appeared in serious films such as the melodramas Jahreszeiten des Lebens/Seasons of Life (Franz Hofer, 1915), Geopfert .../Sacrificed… (Walter Schmidthässler, 1916), and the Charles Dickens adaptation Klein Doortje/Little Dorrit (Friedrich Zelnik, 1917) featuring Lisa Weise.

    Her next films included Margarete. Die Geschichte einer Gefallenen/Margarete. The story of a fallen woman (Friedrich Zelnik, 1918), featuring Lya Mara, and Verschleppt/Abducted (Carl Boese, 1919).

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 121/1. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 1464. Photo: Pm.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard by NPG, no. 1184. Photo: Helga Schmidt-Wehl, Berlin-Friedenau.


    The Way of Condemnation


    In 1919, Grete Weixler took over the role of Lilly in Der Weg, der zur Verdammnis führt, 2. Teil. Hyänen der Lust (Otto Rippert, 1919) the second part of the film Der Weg der Verdammnis/The Way of Condemnation, about the fate of two young women who fall in the hands of girl traffickers.

    Der Weg der Verdammnis/The Way of Condemnation was one of the most controversial and successful examples of the wave of ‘Sittenfilme’, melodramas about taboo subjects, mostly sexual, which were presented as enlightenment. This film was produced by the Gesellschaft zur Bekämpfung des Mädchenhandels (Society for the Struggle Against White Slavery).

    Other films with Grete Weixler were Die Herrenschneiderin/The Lord's Cutler (Lupu Pick, 1919) and Die Sklavenhalter von Kansas-City/The Slaves of Kansas City (Wolfgang Neff, 1920) with a young Béla Lugosi.

    In addition to her work in the cinema, Weixler was also a stage actress and appeared in the Trianon-Theater in Berlin. In 1922, she made her final film Die Tochter der Verführten/The Daughter of the seduced (Jaap Speyer, 1922) in which she played the daughter of a banker who falls for a femme fatale (Mia Pankau).

    What happened to Grete Weixler after her retirement is not known. In 1916 her sister Dorrit, who was a morphine-dependent, had taken her own life.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 121/2. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 1324. Photo: Nicola Perscheid, Berlin.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard in Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 1411. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

    Grete Weixler
    German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 300/2, 1919-1924. Photo: Zander and Labisch.

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

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  • 07/27/17--22:00: Iván Petrovich
  • Handsome Iván Petrovich (1894-1962) was the first actor of Yugoslav origin to have a successful international film career. He started his career after the First World War with silent Hungarian films and he appeared opposite Alice Terry in three masterpieces by Rex Ingram. Thanks to his singing talent, he made a successful transition into sound film and starred in many Austrian operettas. Till his death he appeared in nearly 100 European films.

    Ivan Petrovich
    British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3390/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Iván Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1454/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Angelo Photos.

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1454/2. Photo: Angelo. Petrovich is mentioned under his original name Svetislav Petrovic, here in Germanized version.

    Ivan Petrovich
    French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 581.

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5031/2, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Manassé, Wien.

    Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich in The Garden of Allah (1927)
    British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3538/1. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927).


    Michael Curtiz


    Iván Petrovich was born as Svetislav Petrovic (Иван Петровић) in Újvidék, Austria-Hungary, today Novi Sad in the Serbian province of Vojvodina, in 1894. He grew up in the bilingual Vojvodina. His names are also spelled Swetislaw, Iwan or Jwan. His father Mladen was a tailor.

    After attending the gymnasium in Novi Sad, Petrovich studied engineering at the polytechnic in Prague and later in Belgrade.

    He was a talented singer and violinist and was an accomplished athlete, who participated as a swimmer at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

    In 1916 he had to interrupt his studies when he was called up for the army in Serbia. During World War I he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army.

    At the end of the First World War he did not return to his studies, but began a career in show business. The handsome and elegant Petrovich worked on stage as a singer and started to appear in silent films, credited as Petrovics Szvetiszláv.

    To his early work belong Hungarian films as A Napraforgós hölgy/The Sunflower Woman (Mihály Kertész, later known as Michael Curtiz, 1918) starring Lucy Doraine, the expressionistic Homo immanis/The Horrible Man (Paul Czinner, 1919), and Lengyelvér/Polish Blood (Béla Balogh, 1920).

    He had an obvious talent for languages and spoke next to his mother language Serbian also German, English and French.

    For Sascha Film in Vienna, he appeared in Die Dame mit dem schwarzen Handschuh/The Lady with the Black Gloves (Mihály Kertész/Michael Curtiz, 1919) and Der Stern von Damaskus/The Star of Damascus (Mihály Kertész/Michael Curtiz, 1920), both starring Lucy Doraine.

    Iván Petrovich
    Hungarian postcard by City Kindasa. Photo: Angelo Fotografia.

    Iván Petrovich
    Vintage postcard by FMSI, no. 30. Photo: Port. Fayer.

    Ivan Petrovich
    British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 287.

    Iván Petrovich in The Magician (1926)
    French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 132. Photo: publicity still for The Magician (Rex Ingram, 1926).

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1454/3, 1927-1928. Photo: Angelo Photos.

    Ivan Petrovich and Evelyn Holt in Frauenarzt Dr. Schäfer (1928)
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5308. Photo: Hegewald-Film / Lux-Film-Verleih. Publicity still for Frauenarzt Dr. Schäfer/Gynecologist Doctor Schaefer (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1928).

    Ivan Petrovich
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5314. Photo: Pholbus Film.

    The most cherished lover of the French cinema


    For a while Iván Petrovich lived in Paris where he worked as an opera singer. His singing talent lead to tours through Europe and the US.

    From 1923 on he also appeared in French productions like Un coquin/A Rascal (Giuseppe Guarino, 1923) opposite Arlette Marchal, Koenigsmark/The Secret Spring (Léonce Perret, 1923), and Âme d'artiste/Heart of an Actress (Germaine Dulac, 1924) with Nicolas Koline.

    Petrovich was noticed by Hollywood director Rex Ingram who at the time lived and worked in Southern France, where he established a studio in Nice. He actred in three films by Ingram: The Magician (Rex Ingram, 1926), The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927) and the lost film The Three Passions (Rex Ingram, 1928) . In all three films he co-starred with Ingram's wife, Alice Terry.

    Hal Erickson at AllMovie on The Magician: "The film's literally explosive climax could not help but have influenced such future horror classics as The Bride of Frankenstein, though The Magician is itself less horrific than sensual, especially in the scene where Haddo convinces the hypnotized heroine that she is taking a journey into Hell. Dismissed as 'tasteless' by critics in 1926, The Magician remains one of director Rex Ingram's most fascinating films; alas, most currently available prints are dupes, robbing the film of its original visual magnificence. Among Ingram's talented assistants on this film were future directors Harry Lachman and Michael Powell."

    According to Wikipedia, Petrovich was styled “the most cherished lover of the French cinema”. Petrovich was even considered as one of the potential successors of Rudolf Valentino, who had died prematurely in 1926. Petrovich starred in The Sheik-like Arabian adventure Geheimnisse des Orients/Secrets of the Orient (Alexandre Volkoff, 1928) with Nicolas Koline and Marcella Albani.

    Among his best known silent films are also La femme nue/The Naked Woman (Léonce Perret, 1926) with Louise Lagrange and Nita Naldi, the fantasy film Alraune/Mandrake (Henrik Galeen, 1928) opposite Brigitte Helm and Paul Wegener.

    In 1928 he visited his birthplace Novi Sad back to visit his parents and sisters, and the local news paper Politika published the news on the front page. Petrovich was enthusiastically welcomed by tens of thousands citizens. He was also received by King Alexander I of Yugoslavia who presented him with the Order of St. Sava for his contribution to the popularisation of film art.

    Ivan Petrovich
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5406. Photo: Hegewald-Film / Lux Film-Vertrieb. This card could be for the Hegewald production Der Orlow (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1927).

    Ivan Petrovich
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5785. Photo: Lux Film Verleih / Hegewald Film.

    Ivan Petrovich
    French postcard by Film Europe, no. 367. Photo: Hegewald Film. Publicity still for Der Orlow (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1927).

    Ivan Petrovich in Der Orlow (1927)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3120/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder. Publicity still for Der Orlow/Prince Orloff (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1927).

    Ivan Petrovich and Vivian Gibson
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5120. Photo: Hegewald Film, Lux Film-Verleih. Ivan Petrovich and Vivian Gibson in Der Orlow/Prince Orloff (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1927).

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3120/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3390/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Ivan Petrovich and Alice Terry
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3538/1, 1928-1929. Ivan Petrovich and Alice Terry in the MGM production The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927).

    Tall, handsome and good looking, with a sonorous voice


    Thanks to his singing talent, Iván Petrovich made a successful transition into sound film. Tall, handsome and good looking, with a sonorous voice, he even prospered. He expanded his acting range to character roles, like aristocrats, noblemen, officers and priests, in the 'Slavic charm' manner.

    However, even though he was multilingual, Petrovich' bad English accent turned out to be an insurmountable obstacle, so he had to scrap his Hollywood plans and he focused on the German cinema. He made some 40 films in Germany till the outbreak of the war. As a good singer, he was frequently cast in filmed operettas.

    To his well-known film operettas of the early 1930s belong Viktoria und ihr Husar/Victoria and Her Hussar (Richard Oswald, 1931) opposite his future wife Friedel Schuster, Die Fledermaus/The Bat (Carl Lamac, 1931) with Anny Ondra, and Die Blume von Hawaii/Flower of Hawaii (Richard Oswald, 1933) with Márta Eggerth.

    Among his other German films of the 1930s are Das Frauenparadies/Women's Paradise (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1936), and Die Nacht der Entscheidung/Night of Fate (Nunzio Malasomma, 1938) with Pola Negri.

    After the World War II began, Petrovich continued to act in light entertainment films. He stayed in touch with Serbian issues by visiting his friends, captured Serbian officers, in Nazi camps, which caused him problems with the Nazi Security Service. After being pressured to participate in propaganda film Feinde/Enemies (Viktor Tourjansky, 1940), which tried to justify German occupation of Poland, Petrovich migrated to Hungary.

    In Hungary Petrovich appeared in films like Európa nem válaszol/Europe Doesn´t Answer (Géza von Radványi, 1941), Életre ítéltek! (Endre Rodríguez, 1941) with Pál Jávor, and Magdolna (Kálmán Nádasdy, 1942), credited as Petrovics Szvetiszláv.

    Vera Malinowskaja, Ivan Petrovich
    Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5784. Photo: Lux Film. Publicity still for Der Günstling von Schönbrunn/Favorite of Schonbrunn (Erich Waschneck, Max Reichmann, 1929) with Vera Malinovskaya.

    Ivan Petrovich in Quartier Latin (1929)
    French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 711. Photo: Sofar. Publicity still for Quartier Latin (Augusto Genina, 1929).

    Iván Petrovich
    French postcard by Europe, no. 368. Photo: Hegewald Film. Publicity still for the German film Der Zarewitsch (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1929), starring Iván Petrovich as the son of czar Peter the Great (Albert Steinrück). The film was an adaption of the operetta by Franz Léhar and the play by Gabriela Zapolska.

    Iván Petrovich
    French postcard by Europe, no. 369. Photo: Hegewald Film. Publicity still for Der Zarewitsch (Jakob & Luise Fleck, 1929).

    Ivan Petrovich and Alice Terry in The Three Passions (1929)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4118/1, 1929-1930. Photo: United Artists. Ivan Petrovich and Alice Terry in The Three Passions (Rex Ingram, 1929). Collection: Didier Hanson.

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

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

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4343/4, 1929-1930. Photo: Orplid-Messtro Film. Publicity still for Quartier Latin (Augusto Genina, 1929).

    Sissi


    After the war ended and Communist government was set in Hungary, Iván Petrovich moved back to Germany. In the next 15 years he mostly played supporting roles, and remained a sought actor in the German-speaking countries.

    He played supporting parts in German films like Der Prozeß/The Trial (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1948) with Ewald Balser, Ludwig von Beethoven’s biopic Eroica (Walter Kolm-Veltée, 1949), and Die Försterchristl/The Forester's Daughter (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1952) featuring Johanna Matz.

    Petrovich also played a supporting part in the American thriller The Devil Makes Three (Andrew Marton, 1952), starring Gene Kelly and Pier Angeli, which was partly filmed in Germany

    He appeared as Dr. Max Falk in the box-office hit Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/Sissi: The Young Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1956) starring Romy Schneider. The second in the film trilogy about Elisabeth of Austria, the film chronicles the married life of the young empress nicknamed Sissi.

    Among his last parts were roles in the classic French thriller Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows (Louis Malle, 1958) starring Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet, and in Anatole Litvak’s The Journey (1959)about a group of Westerners, who tries to flee Hungary after the Soviet Union moves to crush the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

    Iván Petrovich died of stomach cancer in 1962 in Munich, West Germany. He is interred in the city’s Nordfriedhof cemetery. Petrovich was married to Lilian Hübner and to actress and singer Friedel Schuster.

    Apart from acting, in this period he also worked as a radio announcer on Radio Free Europe, which was headquartered in Munich at the time. His work was strongly disliked by the post-war Communist authorities of Yugoslavia. Wikipedia writes that this is one of the reasons why Petrovich is largely forgotten in Serbia today. In an effort to change that, the Serbian national film library, Jugoslovenska kinoteka, dedicated the year 2017 to him, and shows his films throughout the whole year.

    Iván  Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4500/1, 1929-1930. Photo: G [Greenbaum-Film]. Publicity still for Der Günstling von Schönbrunn (Erich Waschneck, Max Reichmann, 1929), in which Petrovich plays the favourite of empress Maria Theresia (Lil Dagover). As the film was shot during the sound film breakthrough, both a silent and a sound film were made.

    Ivan Petrovich and Gina Manes
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4596/1, 1929-1930. Photo Messtro-Orplid. Ivan Petrovich and Gina Manès in Quartier Latin (Augusto Genina, 1929).

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6143/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Aafa.

    Ivan Petrovich in Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküßt (1934)
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8774/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Majestic-Film / NDLS. Publicity still for Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküßt /Paganini (E.W. Emo, 1934) with Iván Petrovich as the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840).

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9818/1, 1935-1936. Photo: FoF. Collection: Didier Hanson.

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3899/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick.

    Iván Petrovich
    German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 192, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick.

    Ivan Petrovich
    German postcard by Das Programm von Heute, Berlin. Photo: Märkische / Panorama / Schneider. Collection: Miss Mertens.

    Romy Schneider, Ivan Petrovich
    Dutch postcard by Takken, no. AX 3028. Photo: Filmex N.V. Publicity still for Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/Sissi: The Young Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1956) starring Romy Schneider.


    Trailer The Garden Of Allah (1927). Source: perfectjazz78 (YouTube).


    Scene from Viktoria und ihr Husar/Victoria and Her Hussar (1931) with Friedel Schuster singing Rote Orchideen (Red Orchids). It was Schuster's film debut. Source: Alparfan (YouTube).


    Ivan Petrovich sings Das Zigarettenlied in Der Orlow (1932). Source: Alparfan (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (English, Serbian and German), and IMDb.

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    Last Saturday, we had a post with twelve sunny and glamorous Italian postcards of the 1950s which we acquired during our trip to Italy. Today we like to share twelve new acquisitions we found a week later in Brighton, U.K. in a nice shop called Step Back In Time.

    Errol Flynn
    Errol Flynn. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 65. Photo: Warner Bros.

    Michael Craig
    Michael Craig. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 836. Photo: Associated British.

    Maria Frau
    Maria Frau. Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 578.

    Ernest Torrence
    Ernest Torrence. British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 167a. Photo: Paramount.

    Rose Liechtenstein
    Rose Liechtenstein. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2351. Photo: Atelier Eberth, Berlin.

    Ivan Mozzhukhin
    Ivan Mozzhukhin. Russian postcard.

    Isobel Elsom
    Isobel Elsom. British postcard in the Lilywhite Photographic Series, no. L.E. 1. Photo: Lilywhite.

    Fred Astaire
    Fred Astaire. French postcard by Editions et Publications Cinematographiques, no. 89.

    Richard Burton in The Robe (1953)
    Richard Burton. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 459. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Publicity still for The Robe (Henry Koster, 1953).

    Blanche Montel
    Blanche Montel. French postcard. Photo: Film Gaumont.

    Sandra Milowanoff
    Sandra Milowanoff. French postcard. Photo: Film Gaumont.

    Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall in Romeo and Juliet (1954)
    Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 551. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Publicity still for Romeo and Juliet (Renato Castellani, 1954).

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  • 07/29/17--22:00: Folco Lulli
  • Acclaimed Italian film actor Folco Lulli (1912–1970) appeared in 104 films between 1946 and 1970, mainly in strong character roles. He was very active in both Italian and French cinema. Now he is best known as one of the four nitroglycerin truck drivers in Henri Georges Clouzot‘s classic nail-biter La Salaire de la Peur/The Wages of Fear (1953).

    Folco Lulli
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1458. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC-Film / Allianz. Publicity still for Stern von Rio/Star from Rio (Kurt Neumann, 1955).

    Folco Lulli
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4222. Photo: Arthur Grimm.

    Anti-fascist partisan


    Folco Lulli was born Florence, Italy, in 1912. He was the son of baritone Gino Lulli and Ada Toccafondi. His brother was actor Piero Lulli.

    Folco studied and got degrees in law and philosophy. In 1935 he commanded a group of Ethiopians during the conquest of Abyssinia, where he developed his anti-fascist ideology.

    During World War II, he fought with anti-fascist partisans against the Nazis. From September 1943 on, he fought in the brigade I Gruppo Divisioni Alpine, commanded by Enrico Martini. Lulli was captured by the Nazis, and deported in Germany. He escaped and after the war he returned from the Soviet Union to Italy.

    In 1946, he was discovered for the screen by filmmaker Alberto Lattuada, who directed him in the crime drama Il bandito/The Bandit (Alberto Lattuada, 1946), starring Anna Magnani and Amedeo Nazzari. Lulli then appeared in Lattuada’s Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo/Flesh will surrender (Alberto Lattuada, 1947), featuring Aldo Fabrizi.

    He also appeared in a supporting part in the Neorealist drama Caccia tragica/The Tragic Pursuit (Giuseppe De Santis, 1947), starring Vivi Gioi and Andrea Checchi. The film was awarded with the First Prize at Film Festival of Venice as 'The Best Italian Film of the Year'.

    Lulli played his first leading role in the crime drama Fuga in Francia/Flight Into France (Mario Soldati, 1948). He also appeared in Senza pietà/Without Pity (Alberto Lattuada, 1948), starring Carla del Poggio, and the Totò comedy Totò cerca casa/Totò Looks for an Apartment (Mario Monicelli, Steno, 1949).

    He reunited with Giuseppe De Santis for the Neorealist drama Non c'è pace tra gli ulivi/No Peace Under the Olive Tree (Giuseppe De Santis, 1950), starring Raf Vallone and Lucia Bosé. It was filmed on natural locations in the mountains of Ciociaria, the homeland of De Santis.

    The next year, Lulli appeared in a supporting part in the classic Luci del varietà/Variety Lights (Alberto Lattuada, Federico Fellini, 1951) about a provincial vaudeville troupe, headed by Peppino De Filippo.

    Folco Lulli in Polikuschka (1958)
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1457. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC-Film / Allianz. Publicity still for Polikuschka (Carmine Gallone, 1958).

    Folco Lulli in Polikuschka (1958)
    Austrian postcard by Kellner-Fotokarten, Wien, no. 1544. Photo: CCC / Bavaria / Arthur Grimm. Publicity still for Polikuschka/Polikuska (Carmine Gallone, 1958).

    Folco Lulli
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 4140. Photo: Dieter E. Schmidt / Ufa.

    A cat-and-mouse game with death


    Folco Lulli had his international breakthrough with the thriller La Salaire de la Peur/Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953), starring Yves Montand, Charles Vanel and Peter van Eyck. They play four men in a decrepit South American village, who are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerin shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

    Howard Schumann at IMDb: "This unlikely group will play a cat-and-mouse game with death for the remainder of the film. Clouzot depicts several incidents that bring the tension to the boiling point."La Salaire de la Peur won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival.

    From then on Lulli appeared in both Italian and such international co-productions as the biblical epic Ester e il re/Esther and the King (Raoul Walsh, 1960) featuring Joan Collins, and I Tartari/The Tartars (Richarde Thorpe, 1961) starring Victor Mature and Orson Welles.

    Successful Italian films were the war comedy La grande guerra/The Great War (Mario Monicelli, 1959) with Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman, and L'armata Brancaleone/For Love and Gold (Mario Monicelli, 1966) with Vittorio Gassman and Catherine Spaak.

    He won the Nastro d'argento award by the Italian National Union of Film Journalists for his role in I Compagni/The Organizer (Mario Monicelli, 1963). All three films were directed by Mario Monicelli and written by the duo Age & Scarpelli.

    Lulli played the president of Latin American country in the hilarious comedy-thriller Le Grand Restaurant/The Big Restaurant (Jacques Besnard, 1966), starring Louis de Funès and Bernard Blier. In 1967 he wrote, scripted and directed a film about the Mafia, Gente d‘onore/Honored People (Folco Lulli, 1967) with Leopoldo Trieste.

    Folco Lulli suffered from diabetes and respiratory difficulties. He died of a heart attack in 1970 in a hospital in Rome. He was 57. His final film, the comedy Tre nel mille/Three in a thousand (Franco Indovina, 1971), was released after his death.


    Scene from Caccia tragica/The Tragic Pursuit (1947). Source: borgorusky (YouTube).


    Trailer La Salaire de la Peur/Wages of Fear (1953). Source: neondreams 25 (YouTube).


    German trailer for Der Mörder mit dem Seidenschal/The Murderer with the Silk Scarf (Adrian Hoven, 1966). Source: Italo-Cinema Trailer (YouTube). Sorry, no subtitles!

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Find A Grave, Wikipedia (English, French and Italian), and IMDb.

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  • 07/30/17--22:00: Kai Fischer
  • Red-haired and spirited German actress Kai Fischer (1934) has appeared in 54 films between 1955 and 2004. She was the naughty bad girl of the Wirtschaftwunder cinema, and also appeared in sexy roles in international productions, either as a prostitute or a gangster girl. Later she worked with famous directors as Wim Wenders, Rosa von Praunheim and Ingmar Bergman.

    Kai Fischer
    German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhhof, no. FK 4095. Photo: Ufa.

    Kai Fischer
    Austrian postcard by Kellner-Fotokarten, Wien, no. 287.

    Either a gangster bride, a criminal bar girl or a prostitute


    Kai Anne Inge Fischer was born in Halle, Germany (according to the German version of Wikipedia while the English version and IMDb mention Prague, Czechoslovakia, as her birthplace) in 1934. Fischer's family was forced to move to Munich in 1945.

    In the 1950s the young Kai Fischer (also credited as Kay Fischer) appeared in the cabaret Schwabinger Brettl without a stage training and also worked as a photo model and mannequin.

    In 1955, she entered the cinema. She initially played supporting roles in such films as the German-Austrian comedy Oh diese lieben Verwandten/Oh these dear relatives (Joe Stöckel, 1955) and Unternehmen Schlafsack/Operation Sleeping Bag (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1955).

    She had her first major role in the drama Die Ehe des Dr. med. Danwitz/The Marriage of Doctor Danwitz (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1956), starring Marianne Koch and Karlheinz Böhm.

    Very popular was the musical comedy Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958), starring Liselotte Pulver and Carlos Thompson.

    In Italy, Fischer appeared in La ragazza della salina/Sand, Love and Salt (Frantisek Cáp, 1957) with Marcello Mastroianni, and in the comedy Tempi duri per i vampiri/Hard Times for Dracula (Steno, 1959) with Renato Rascel and Christopher Lee.

    Until the mid-1960s, Fischer often played sexy, bad girls in films. She was either a gangster bride, a criminal bar girl or a prostitute in such films as Für zwei Groschen Zärtlichkeit/Call Girls (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1957), the French drama Filles de nuit/Girls of the Night (Maurice Cloche, 1958) with Georges Marchal,Mädchen für die Mambo-Bar/$100 a Night (Wolfgang Glück, 1959) and the Edgar Wallace Krimi Zimmer 13/Room 13 (Harald Reinl, 1964), starring Joachim Fuchsberger.

    Kai Fischer in Ich war ihm hörig (1958)
    Austrian postcard by Kellner-Fotokarten, Wien, no. 1394. Photo: Deutsche Cosmopol-film / Brünjes. Publicity still for Ich war ihm hörig/I Was All His (Wolfgang Becker, 1958).

    Kai Fischer
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1108, 1959. Photo: publicity still for Das Wirtshaus im Spessart/The Spessart Inn (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958).

    Kai Fischer and Paul Klinger in Das Wirtshaus von Dartmoor (1964)
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 3034, 1968. Photo: publicity still for Das Wirtshaus von Dartmoor/The Inn on Dartmoor (Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1964).

    The first female private detective of German TV


    From 1963 to 1965 Kai Fischer played the first female private detective of German television in the ZDF series Die Karte mit dem Luchskopf (Hermann Kugelstadt, 1963-1965). She also wrote the scripts for 13 episodes of the series.

    At times, she also worked internationally, like in the Jayne Mansfield vehicle Too Hot to Handle (Terence Young, 1960), The Hellfire Club (Robert S. Baker, Monty Berman, 1961) with Peter Cushing, and Escape from East Berlin (Robert Siodmak, 1962). In Italy, she was seen in Spaghetti Westerns like Le pistole non discutono/Guns Don't Talk (Mario Caiano, 1964) starring Rod Cameron.

    In these films her erotic charisma was often used. She even made some soft sex films like Josefine Mutzenbacher (Kurt Nachmann, 1970). It was only in the 1970s that she was able to gradually free herself from her sexy image. She became well known for her role as dompteuse Tiger Lilli in the popular TV series Salto Mortale (Michael Braun, 1969-1972) starring Gustav Knuth. She also could be seen in episodes of Krimis like Der Kommissar/The Commissioner (1975) and Derrick (1978).

    She played a more serious role in the arthouse film Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter/The Fear of the Goal at the penalty (1972) by Wim Wenders. She also got a part in Ingmar Bergman’s film The Serpent's Egg (1977) with Liv Ullmann.

    Up until the end of the 1980s Kai Fischer played parts in film and television productions, including Lena Rais (Christian Rischert, 1979), and the romantic comedy Kassensturz/Banks And Robbers (Rolf Silber, 1984). She also played stage roles, wrote books, and, under pseudonym, criminal novels.

    From 1984 on, Fischer worked as a businesswoman. Since then, she has only appeared in episodes of television series, such as Alte Gauner (1985), Der Fahnder (1986), Tatort (1988) and Liebesgeschichten/Love stories (1990).

    In 1970 she recorded an LP, Kai Fidelity with naughty songs. Kai Fischer stayed refreshingly naughty. Her last film appearances were in the Rosa von Praunheim epic Der Einstein des Sex (1999) about Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, founder of the First Institute of Sexual Sciences, and - according to IMDb - as a ward in the German prison drama Gefangen/Locked up (Jörg Andreas, 2004). The gay sex in the film wasn't simulated. Originally the film was shot and released as a hardcore adult video, released in the U.S. as In the Hole. Although a reviewer mentions that there were professional, non-adult actors in the film, this IMDb must refer to another Kai Fischer.


    Kai Fischer sings Ich bin so wahnsinnig sexy. Source: Mr Dennis 0582 (YouTube).


    German trailer for Too Hot to Handle (1960). Source: Jayne Mansfield Film Archives (YouTube).

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

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  • 07/31/17--10:00: Jeanne Moreau (1928-2017)
  • French actress Jeanne Moreau, one of  biggest stars of the European cinema, has died today at the age of 89. Moreau was found dead at her home in Paris. The legendary film star was the personification of French womanhood and sensuality. Moreau (1928-2017) had a diverse career: she was a magnificent stage and film actress, a producer, screenwriter and film director, a successful singer with a substantial recording career, and a theatre and opera director. She combined off-kilter beauty with strong character in Nouveau Vague classics as Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958) and Les amants (1959). Her role as the flamboyant, free-spirited Catherine with her devil-may-care sensuality in Jules et Jim (1962) is one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema. Throughout her long career with more than 130 films, Jeanne Moreau worked with some of the most notable film directors ever.

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 81. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Alien Enemies


    Jeanne Moreau was born in 1928, Paris, France. Her father, Anatole-Désiré Moreau, owned a restaurant in Montmartre, Paris. Her mother, Katherine Buckley, was an English dancer who had come to the Folies Bergère with the Tiller Girls.

    Jeanne grew up living part of the time in Paris, and part of the time in Mazirat, her father's native village. During the Second World War, Katherine and Jeanne were forced to stay in Paris; classified as alien enemies. She attended the Lycee Edgar Quinet in Paris, and began to discover her love of literature and the theatre.

    When her parents divorced in the late 1940s and her mother returned to England, Jeanne remained with her father in Montmartre. Opposing her father's wishes, she decided to become an actress. She trained for the stage at the Paris Conservatoire, and made her theatrical debut in 1947 at the Avignon Festival.

    In 1948, when she was only 20 years old, she became the youngest full-time member in the history of the Comédie-Française, France's most prestigious theatrical company. Her first play was Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country, directed by Jean Meyer. She soon was one of the leading actresses of the troupe and was recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation.

    She left in 1951, finding the Comédie-Française too restrictive and authoritarian, and joined the more experimental Théâtre Nationale Populaire.

    Moreau also began playing small roles in films like Dernier amour/Last Love (Jean Stelli, 1949). During the 1950s, she appeared in several mainstream films like the superb thriller Touchez pas au grisbi/Grisbi (Jacques Becker, 1953) with Jean Gabinand the colourful historical drama La reine Margot/Queen Margot (Jean Dréville, 1954).

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), no. 328. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), no. 620. Photo: Lucienne Chevert.

    Scandal


    Jeanne Moreau was almost 30 before her film career really took off thanks to her work with first-time director Louis Malle. His murder mystery Ascenseur pour l'échafaud seemed to be in the same thriller genre as her earlier films, but after seeing the first week of dailies for Ascenseur the technicians at the film lab went to the producer and said: “You must not let Malle destroy Jeanne Moreau”.

    Louis Malle later explained: “She was lit only by the windows of the Champs Elysées. That had never been done. Cameramen would have forced her to wear a lot of make-up and they would put a lot of light on her, because, supposedly, her face was not photogenic”.

    This lack of artifice revealed Moreau's ‘essential qualities’: "she could be almost ugly and then, ten seconds later, she would turn her face and would be incredibly attractive. But she would be herself.”

    Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows (Louis Malle, 1958) was immediately followed by the controversial Les amants/The Lovers (Louis Malle, 1958). Moreau starred as a provincial wife who abandons her family for a man she has just met. Her earthy, intelligent and subtle portrayal of the adulteress caused a scandal in France.

    The erotic scenes caused censorship problems all over the world. The American gossip columnists tagged her as 'The New Bardot' and Moreau instantly became an international sex symbol. Malle and his star separated privately, but professionally they would make several more films together, including the excellent Le feu follet/The Fire Within (1963).

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 931. Offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by St. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Marguerite Duras


    Jeanne Moreau went on to work with many of the best known Nouveau Vague (New Wave) and avant-garde directors. Her most enduring role is the flamboyant and magnetic Catherine in Truffaut's explosive Jules et Jim/Jules and Jim (François Truffaut), 1962.

    She co-produced Jules et Jim herself and also co-produced La baie des anges/Bay of Angels (Jacques Demy, 1963) and Peau de banane/Banana Peel (Marcel Ophüls, 1963).

    Her teaming with Brigitte Bardot in Viva Maria! (Louis Malle, 1965) was one of the major media events of 1965. Thanks to the on-screen chemistry between the two top French female stars of the period, the film became an international hit. Five years after Jules et Jim, she worked again with François Truffaut, starring as an icy murderess in the popular Alfred Hitchcock homage La mariée était en noir/The Bride Wore Black (1967).

    She also worked with such notable directors as Michelangelo Antonioni at La notte/The Night (1961), and Beyond the Clouds (1995), Orson Welles (Le procès/The Trial, 1962; Campanadas a medianoche/Chimes at Midnight, 1965; L’histoire immortelle/The Immortal Story, 1968; and the unfinished The Deep, 1970), Joseph Losey (Eva, 1962; Mr. Klein, 1976), Luis Buñuel (Le journal d'une femme de chambre/Diary of a Chambermaid, 1964), Elia Kazan (The Last Tycoon, 1976), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle, 1982), and Wim Wenders (Bis ans Ende der Welt/Until the End of the World, 1991).

    Her stage hits include Anna Bonacci's L'heure éblouissante/The Dazzling Hour (1953), Jean Cocteau's La machine infernale (1954, as the Sphinx), George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1955, as Eliza Doolittle), Tennessee Williams'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1956, as Maggie), Frank Wedekind's Lulu/Loulou (1976, title role), and Tennessee Williams'The Night of the Iguana (1985, as Hannah Jelkes).

    She won the Best Actress Molière Award (the French equivalent of the Tony) in 1988 for her acclaimed performance in Hermann Broch's Le récit de la servante Zerline, a huge theatrical success which toured 11 countries. Moreau also enjoyed success as a vocalist. She released several albums and once performed with Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall.

    Her name has been often associated, both socially and professionally, to that of writer-director Marguerite Duras. Apart from their close friendship, Moreau starred in two films based on Duras' novels, Moderato cantabile/Seven Days ... Seven Nights (Peter Brooks, 1960) and The Sailor from Gibraltar (Tony Richardson, 1970). Duras herself directed Moreau in Nathalie Granger (1972), and she was the narrator in another Duras screen adaptation, L'amant/The Lover (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1992). She even went on to portray Duras in the biopic Cet amour-là/This Love (Josée Dayan, 2001).

    Other major literary figures among her close friends were Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, and Anaïs Nin. Jeanne Moreau was the president of Equinoxe, an organisation which supports new European scriptwriters.

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 987. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Jeanne Moreau
    French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 275. Offered by Corvisart, Epinal. Photo: Sam Lévin.

    Jeanne Moreau dies at 89
    French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris no. 809. Photo: Sam Lévin, Paris.

    Honours


    As her leading-lady days began to wane, Jeanne Moreau made a graceful transition to character parts. She used her standing in the French industry to foster the careers of young directors such as Bertrand Blier, in whose 1974 feature Les valseuses/Going Places, she gave a cryptic but memorable performance, and Andre Techiné.

    In 1975 she made her debut as a director with Lumière/Light (1975), the story of several generations of actresses. She also wrote the script and played Sarah, an actress the same age as Moreau. She also helmed L'Adolescente/The Adolescent (1978), a semi-autobiographical tale of a girl sent to live with her grandmother in 1939, and Lillian Gish (1984), an homage to the silent screen heroine.

    She was the only actress who has presided twice over the jury of the Cannes Film Festival(in 1975 and 1995) and she was president of the jury at the Berlin Film Festival in 1983. She has won a number of honours, including two BAFTA Awards, three Cesars (the French Oscar), a Golden Lion for career achievement at the 1991 Venice Film Festivaland a 1997 European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

    In 1998 the American Academy of Motion Pictures presented her a life tribute. She also was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture. And she was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#76) in 1995.

    In 2000 she made her debut as a stage director with a Geneva and Paris production of Margaret Edson's Wit. The following year she was the first woman to enter the Academie des Beaux-Arts of Paris. In 2001 she also made her debut as an opera director with an Opera National de Paris production of Giuseppe Verdi's Attila.

    Among her last films are Le temps qui reste/Time to Leave (François Ozon, 2005), Disengagement (Amos Gitai, 2007) and Visage/Face (Ming-liang Tsai, 2009).

    Jeanne Moreau wasn romantically involved with Louis Malle, Francois Truffaut, Lee Marvin, and fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Vanessa Redgrave named Moreau as co-respondent in her 1967 divorce from director Tony Richardson on grounds of adultery. Richardson and Moreau would never marry.

    Jeanne Moreau married - and divorced - three times: to actor-director Jean-Louis Richard (1949-1951), to Greek actor Teodoro Rubanis (1966-1967), and to Excorcist director William Friedkin (1977-1980). She had a son with Richard, Jérôme Richard (1950) who is a successful painter.


    Trailer for Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Lift to the Scaffold (1958). Music: Miles Davis. Source: BFI Trailers (YouTube).


    Trailer La notte (1961). Source: Rialto Films (YouTube).


    Jeanne Moreau sings Le Tourbillon in Jules et Jim (1962). Source: Dansmoncafé (YouTube).

    Sources: Rebecca Flint Marx (AllMovie), Dale O'Connor (IMDb), Filmreference.com, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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    Monday 31 July 2017 was a black day for the French cinema. Not only Jeanne Moreau but also French actor Jean Claude Bouillon passed away. He appeared in more than eighty films from 1966 until 2015. In France, Bouillon (1941-2017) was best known is best known for his role as Commissioner Valentin in the TV series Les Brigades du Tigre/The Tiger Brigade (1974-1983), but he also appeared in several films and on stage. He was 75.

    Jean-Claude Bouillon (1941-2017)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin postcard.

    Made in USA


    Jean Claude André Bouillon was born in 1941 in Épinay-sur-Seine, France. He made his acting debut at the Théâtre national populaire (TNP) in 1966 in Armand Gatti's Chant public devant deux chaises électriques (Public chant in front of two electric chairs) on the Sacco and Vanzetti affair.

    His first film appearance was as an inspector in Jean-Luc Godard's Made in USA (1966) with Anna Karina. He then played leading roles in several films: Le Dernier Homme/The Last Man (Charles Bitsch, 1968), Tout peut arrive/Don't Be Blue (1969) - the first film by Philippe Labro, Le Champignon/The Killer Strikes at Dawn (Marc Simenon, 1969) as the husband of Mylène Demongeot, and Hellé (Roger Vadim, 1972).

    Perhaps his most interesting film of this period was the crime drama Un aller simple/One Way Ticket (José Giovanni, 1971). A failure was the erotic film Es war nicht die Nachtigall/Julia: Innocence Once Removed (Sigi Rothemund, 1974) in which he co-starred with Sylvia Kristel.

    Later he played supporting parts in films like the thriller La raison d'état/State Reasons (André Cayatte, 1978) with Jean Yanne and Monica Vitti, the French-Italian drama L'Enfant de nuit/Child of the Night (Sergio Gobbi, 1978) with Agostina Belli, and the war film La légion saute sur Kolwezi/Operation Leopard (Raoul Coutard, 1978), filmed in French Guiana.

    Bouillon has devoted most of his career to television in more than 40 television productions, TV movies and series. Very popular was his role as Commissioner Valentin, a seducer with a fine moustache, in the TV series Les Brigades du Tigre/The Tiger Brigades (1974-1983). The series was situated before the First World War when in France the first motorised police group was organised. They were called 'The Tiger Brigades', after Prime Minister George Clemenceau's surname: The Tiger.

    His other TV roles included the photographer Christophe Bardol in the mini-series Les Roses de Dublin/The Roses of Dublin (1981), and Dimitri in the series Les Aventures du jeune Patrick Pacard/The Adventures of the young Patrick Pacard (1984).

    Jean-Claude Bouillon (1941-2017)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin postcard, no. 589.

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being


    Jean-Claude Bouillon’s best known film is The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988), based on the novel by Milan Kundera. The film starred Daniel Day Lewis and Juliette Binoche, and Bouillon only played a minor part.

    On stage he played major roles in more than 27 productions, including Gone with the Wind (1983), La Double Inconstance (1988) by Marivaux, Huis clos (1991) by Jean-Paul Sartre, Les Mufles by Sacha Guitry, South (1994) by Julien Green, The Seagull (1998) by Anton Chekov, and L'Intrus (2011) by Antoine Rault.

    He played several supporting parts in popular films, such as in the romantic comedy Arlette (Claude Zidi, 1997) featuring Josiane Balasko, the comedy Un grand cri d'amour/A great cry of love (Josiane Balasko, 1998) starring Balasko and Richard Berry, and the thriller Le Serpent/The Serpent (Éric Barbier, 2006) with Yvan Attal.

    One of his best known roles remained Serge Létan, the lover of Claude Jade, in the TV soap opera Cap des Pins (1998-2000). Another success was the series Sous le soleil/Under the Sun (2003-2007). Bouillon also appeared in foreign TV productions such as The Hitchhiker, where he played Victor, the aggressive husband of Claude Jade, in the episode Windows (1990).

    In the cinema he was last seen in the comedy Coups de soleil (Stéphane Kowalczyk, 2011) and the short film Irrésistible/Irresistible (Gioacchino Campanella, 2013).

    Jean-Claude Bouillon died on 31 July 2017 of cancer in Marseilles, where he had lived for several years with his wife, Ghislaine Valence, whom he had married in 1987. He had two children: Alexandre (born in 1970) and Bérénice (1981).


    Jean Claude Bouillon's character has a bad trip in an unknown French film of the 1970s. Source: Jhalal Drut (YouTube).

    Sources: Le Figaro (French), Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.

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  • 08/02/17--22:00: Mathieu Carrière
  • Handsome German actor Mathieu Carrière (1950) had his breakthrough at 16 in Volker Schlöndorf’s Der junge Törless/Young Törless (1966). In the 1970s and 1980s he appeared in many French arthouse films by directors like André Delvaux and Marguerite Duras. Carrière was very convincing in challenging roles in several literary film adaptations and he also incidentally worked as a director and a writer.

    Mathieu Carrière
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

    Mathieu Carrière
    German autograph card by TV Spielfilm.

    Der junge Törless


    Mathieu Carrière was born in 1950 in Hanover, Germany. His parents were Bern Carrière, a neurologist and psychiatrist, and Jutta Carrière. His brother Till Carrière and sister Mareike Carrière would both become actors too.

    Carrière grew up in Berlin and Lübeck. The young Mathieu had his first stage role as Emil in a school stage production of Erich Kästner's Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the detectives) at the Gymnasium Katharineum in Lübeck.

    At the age of 13, he played the young Tonio in the film adaptation of Thomas Mann's Tonio Kröger (Rolf Thiele, 1964), withJean-Claude Brialy as the adult Tonio.

    Mathieu attended the Jesuit boarding school Lycée Saint-François-Xavier in Vannes, France. This school had previously been attended by the director of Carrière's next film, Volker Schlöndorff. Carrière played Torless, a student in an expensive boarding school during the glory days of the Hapsburg empire in Der junge Törless/Young Törless (Volker Schlöndorff, 1966).

    The film was adapted from the autobiographical novel Die Verwirrungen des Zoglings Torless (The Confusions of Young Törless) by Robert Musil. It deals with the violent, sadistic and homoerotic tendencies at an Austrian military academy at the beginning of the 20th century. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.

    His next film was Vrata Raja/Gates to Paradise (1968) by Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Lionel Stander stars as a monk who leads a group of children from France to Jerusalem to protest the carnage of the Crusades between Christians and Muslims for ownership of the holy land. The film is based on a novel by Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski that seeks to expose the motives behind youthful religious zeal.

    In 1969, Carrière moved to Paris to study philosophy and continue his acting.

    Mathieu Carrière in Der junge Törless (1966)
    Dutch collectors card in the series 'Filmsterren: een portret' by Edito Service, 1995. Photo: Collection La Cinémathèque Française. Publicity still for Der junge Törless/Young Törless (Volker Schlöndorf, 1966).

    An arthouse hit


    Mathieu Carrière played the leading role in the French-Italian-West German science fiction-drama L'Homme au cerveau greffé/Man with the Transplanted Brain (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, 1971), the Belgian fantasy-horror Malpertuis/The Legend of Doom House (Harry Kümel, 1971) with Orson Welles, and the French-Belgian drama Rendez-vous à Bray/Rendezvous at Bray (André Delvaux, 1971), starring Anna Karina.

    After this impressive start in France, his career seemed to go nowhere when he appeared in one of the final Brigitte Bardot films, the flop Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme.../Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman (Roger Vadim, 1973), and in another Vadim debacle, La jeune fille assassinée/Charlotte or The Murdered Young Girl (Roger Vadim, 1974) with Sirpa Lane as a nymphomaniac.

    In between, he had a supporting part in the interesting Italian film Giordano Bruno (Giuliano Montaldo, 1973), about the last years of the philosopher Giordano Bruno (Gian Maria Volonté) from 1592 to his execution in 1600.

    An arthouse hit was the French drama India Song (Marguerite Duras, 1975), with Delphine Seyrig. India Song was nominated for three César Awards in 1976. Other known films with Carrière were the French crime-thriller Police Python 357/The Case Against Ferro (Alain Corneau, 1976) starring Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, and the West German film Der Fangschuß/Coup de Grâce (Volker Schlöndorff, 1976) adapted from the novel by Marguerite Yourcenar.

    He also appeared in the French romantic drama Bilitis (1977) directed by photographer David Hamilton and shot in the his well-known soft focus style. Other films were the Swiss drama Les Indiens sont encore loin/The Indians Are Still Far Away (Patricia Moraz, 1977) with Isabelle Huppert, and the Belgian-French drama Een vrouw tussen hond en wolf/Woman Between Wolf and Dog (André Delvaux, 1979) with Marie-Christine Barrault and Rutger Hauer.

    Mathieu Carrière
    German postcard by Virginia Schmidt, Hamburg, ca. 1982. Photo: Virginia.

    The final film of Romy Schneider


    In 1980, Mathieu Carrière starred in Egon Schiele – Exzess und Bestrafung/Egon Schiele – Excess and Punishment (Herbert Vessely, 1981), based on the life of the Austrian Expressionist painter.

    He then played a supporting part in the French film La femme de l'aviateur/The Aviator's Wife (1981), written and directed by Éric Rohmer. Like many of Rohmer’s films, it deals with the ever-evolving love lives of a group of young Parisians. This was the first in Rohmer's Comedies & Proverbs series.

    He then appeared in the final film ofRomy Schneider, La passante du Sans-Souci/The Passerby (Jacques Rouffio, 1982), based on a novel by Joseph Kessel. He followed it with the Belgian-French-Italian romantic drama Benvenuta (André Delvaux, 1983), with Fanny Ardant and Vittorio Gassman.

    He returned to Germany to play in Die flambierte Frau/A Woman in Flames (Robert van Ackeren, 1983), starring Gudrun Landgrebe. The film was a enormous moneymaker in Germany. Again with Landgrebe and with his sister Mareike, he appeared in the Hungarian drama Yerma (Imre Gyöngyössy, Barna Kabay, 1984), based on the play by Federico García Lorca.

    His later films include the Marguerite Yourcenar adaptation L'Œuvre au noir/The Abyss (André Delvaux, 1988), with Gian Maria Volonté and Samy Frey, and the West-German drama Zugzwang/Fool's Mate (1989), which he also wrote and directed.

    Mathieu Carrière
    German autograph card.


    Symbolically crucified in front of the German Ministery of Justice


    During the following decades Mathieu Carrière started to work more and more for television, but there war still several film roles. In 1991, he appeared opposite Isabelle Huppert in the German-Austrian drama Malina (Werner Schroeter, 1991). The screenplay was adapted by Elfriede Jelinek from Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina.

    It was followed by a part opposite Bruno Ganz in the German drama Erfolg/Success (Franz Seitz Jr., 1991) based on the famous novel by Lion Feuchtwanger.

    His first American production was the historical adventure film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (John Glen, 1992) with Marlon Brando, followed by the American World War II drama Shining Through (David Seltzer, 1992), starring Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith.

    He returned to Germany to co-star with Nina Hossin Das Mädchen Rosemarie/A Girl Called Rose Marie (Bernd Eichinger, 1997), a remake of the highly-regarded film Das Maedchen Rosemarie/Rosemary (1958). This fact-based drama follows the rise and fall of a German beauty who went from ex-convict to courtesan of some of Germany's most powerful men to the victim of an unsolved murder.

    Later films include the biopic Luther (Eric Till & Marc Canosa, 2003) starring Joseph Fiennes, the French crime-adventure film Arsène Lupin (Jean-Paul Salomé, 2004), based on the iconic series of novels about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin created by Maurice Leblanc, and the French thriller La marque des anges – Miserere/The Mark of the Angels – Miserere (Sylvain White, 2013), starring Gérard Depardieu. Despite a large budget, the latter film was poorly received by critics and failed to make an impact at the box office.

    Mathieu Carrière has two daughters, Alice Isabelle (1985) with Jennifer Bartlett; and Elena Carriere (1996) with Bettina Catharina Proske. After losing a legal battle over custody for his daughter, he became a strong activist for the rights of fathers. In a controversial performance, he was symbolically crucified in front of the German Ministry of Justice in 2006.


    German trailer Trailer Der junge Törless/Young Törless (Volker Schlöndorff, 1966). Source: Olga Kuzemko (YouTube).


    Trailer for Arsène Lupin (Jean-Paul Salomé, 2004). Source: ClaraGmiki (YouTube).

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

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  • 08/03/17--22:00: Claire Bloom
  • Becoming and dark-haired Claire Bloom (1931) is a British actress whose photogenic, slightly pinched beauty was accented by an effortless elegance and poise. Her part in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952) catapulted Bloom to stardom. Since then she has been lauded several times for her roles on stage, TV and in the cinema.

    Claire Bloom
    British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. D 313. Photo: Independent.

    Claire Bloom
    French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 622, offered by Les carbones Korès 'Carboplane'.

    Claire Bloom
    German postcard by ISV, no. B 18. Photo: publicity still for The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks, 1958).

    Claire Bloom
    Israelian postcard by Editions de Luxe, no. 127.

    Exquisitely touching


    Claire Bloom was born Patricia Claire Blume in the North London suburb of Finchley, in 1931. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Grew and Edward Max Blume, who worked in sales. Her paternal grandparents, originally named Blumenthal, as well as her maternal grandparents, originally named Griewski, were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

    Bloom attended secondary school at the independent Badminton School in Bristol. When she was 15, she made her professional debut on the BBC radio. Subsequently she took her first curtain call with the Oxford Repertory Theatre in 1946 in the production of It Depends What You Mean.

    From 1946 till 1948 she trained for the stage with Eileen Thorndike at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She also attended the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1947 and 1948.

    Her London stage debut was in 1947 in the hit play The Lady's Not For Burning, which also featured the young Richard Burton. The following year, she received great acclaim for her portrayal of Ophelia in a Stratford-upon-Avon production of Hamlet, opposite alternating Paul Scofield and Robert Helpmann. Hamlet was the first of many works by William Shakespeare in which Bloom would appear.

    Her first film role was a lead in the British courtroom film drama The Blind Goddess (Harold French, 1948) with Eric Portman and Anne Crawford.

    In 1952 she was chosen by Charlie Chaplin to appear in his film Limelight (Charles Chaplin, 1952). Her bravura turn as the young suicidal ballerina Terry saved from despair by an ageing music hall clown (Chaplin) was exquisitely touching. Limelight catapulted Bloom to stardom, and remains one of her most memorable roles.

    She was subsequently featured in a number of costume roles in films such as Laurence Olivier's film version of Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955), Alexander the Great (Robert Rossen, 1956) with Richard Burton, The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks, 1958), The Buccaneer (Anthony Quinn, 1958) with Yul Brynner, and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Henry Levin, George Pal, 1962) starring Laurence Harvey.

    Claire Bloom and Charles Chaplin, Limelight (1952)
    Italian card. Photo: publicity still for Limelight (Charles Chaplin, 1952) with Charlie Chaplin.

    Richard Burton and Claire Bloom in Hamlet (1954)
    Danish postcard by Kaj Brammers Boghandel, Helsingor, no. 748. Photo: publicity still for the stage production of Hamlet at the Hamletspillene in Kronborg, 1954. Richard Burton as Hamlet and Claire Bloom as Ophelia.

    Claire Bloom
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1110. Photo: publicity still for Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955).

    Claire Bloom, Laurence Olivier
    East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1099. Photo: publicity still for Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955) with Laurence Olivier.

    The star-crossed lover role


    Despite her new film career, Claire Bloom continued to appear on the Shakespearean stage. "Joining the Old Vic Company for the 1952-1953 and 1953-1954 seasons, she played Helena, Viola, Juliet, Jessica, Miranda, Virgilia (in Coriolanus), Cordelia (in King Lear) and (again) Ophelia in a highly successful tenure", notes Gary Brumburgh at IMDb. "Touring Canada and the United States as Juliet, she made her Broadway bow in the star-crossed lover role in 1956, also playing the Queen in Richard II."

    Over the years, she was a strong presence on both the West End and Broadway. Her other memorable stage roles included parts in The Trojan Women, Vivat! Vivat! Regina!, Hedda Gabler, A Doll's House and A Streetcar Named Desire.

    In the cinema Bloom began to play contemporary film roles, including Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Martin Ritt, 1965), both with Richard Burton. She also played a sexually unstable housewife in The Chapman Report (George Cukor, 1962), the lesbian psychic Theodora in The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963), and a compassionate psychologist in the Oscar winning film Charly (Ralph Nelson, 1968).

    On television she appeared in two prominent BBC Television productions: co-starring with Sean Connery in Anna Karenina (Rudolph Cartier, 1961), and playing Cathy in Wuthering Heights (Rudolph Cartier, 1962) with Keith Michell as Heathcliff. Later she also appeared as First Lady Edith Wilson in Backstairs at the White House (Michael O'Herlihy, 1979).

    Whenever her schedule allowed it, Bloom returned to the theatre. According to Gary Brumburgh, her favourite stage role is Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Bloom also kept appearing on TV, memorably as Lady Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited (Charles Sturridge, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1981), for which she was nominated for an Emmy.

    She also appeared in a remake of Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables (John Schlesinger, 1983) starring Julie Christie, in the epic miniseries Ellis Island (Jerry London, 1984), and in Philip Roth's acclaimed adaptations of The Ghost Writer (Tristram Powell, 1984) and Shadowlands (Norman Stone, 1985), in which she played Joy Gresham, the wife of C.S. Lewis. For this performance she received the BAFTA Award as Best Actress.

    Claire Bloom also appeared in Stephen Frears’ film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) and the Woody Allen comedies Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) as Martin Landau's Jewish-suburbanite wife, and Mighty Aphrodite (1995) as Helena Bonham Carter’s mother.

    Claire Bloom
    German collectors card. Photo: United Artists.

    Claire Bloom
    German collectors card.

    Claire Bloom
    German postcard by Netter's Star Verlag, Berlin, no. A 842.

    Claire Bloom
    German postcard by Netter's Star Verlag, Berlin, no. A 1593.

    Leaving A Doll's House


    In the 21st Century, Claire Bloom kept enjoying a full and productive career. She appeared in the TV mini-series The Ten Commandments (Robert Dornhelm, 2006). Later she played in the British series Doctor Who (2009) about the adventures of the time travelling alien adventurer and his companions, and The Bill (2010) about the work of uniformed officers and detectives from a London police station.

    In the cinema she was seen as Queen Mary in the four Academy Awards winning box office hit The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010) featuring Colin Firth, and in the drama Max Rose (Daniel Noah, 2013), starring Jerry Lewis.

    Her more recent TV work included guest roles in the British comedy-drama series Doc Martin (2013) with Martin Clunes, and the popular British mystery series Midsomer Murders (2015). Currently she is filming the feature Miss Dalí (Ventura Pons, 2017) with Sian Philips.

    Bloom has married three times. Her first marriage, in 1959, was to actor Rod Steiger, whom she had met when they both performed in the play Rashomon. Their daughter is opera singer Anna Steiger, Bloom's only child. Steiger and Bloom divorced in 1969.

    In that same year, Bloom married producer Hillard Elkins. The marriage lasted three years and the couple divorced in 1972.

    Bloom's third marriage in 1990 was to writer Philip Roth, her longtime companion. The couple divorced in 1995. Bloom has written two memoirs about her life and career. The first, Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress, was released in 1982 and was an in-depth look at her career and the film and stage roles she had portrayed.

    Her second book, Leaving a Doll's House: A Memoir, was published in 1996, and went into greater details about her personal life; she discussed not only her marriages but her romantic relationships with Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier. Bloom also detailed the highly complicated relationship between her and Philip Roth during their marriage. The details Bloom shared were unflattering to Roth, and created a controversy regarding the true nature of their relationship. The character of Eve Frame in Roth's 1998 novel I Married a Communist is considered by some to be his veiled rebuttal to some of the accusations made against him in her memoir.

    In 2013, Claire Bloom was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Birthday Honours for services to drama.


    Trailer Limelight (1952). Source: Cinemusic7888 (YouTube).


    Trailer The Brothers Karamazov (1958). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).


    Trailer The Haunting (1963). Source: Cherry Movies (YouTube).


    Trailer The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965). Source: _ XYZT (YouTube).

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Film Reference, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    Recently, we acquired at eBay a package with collectors cards by Ross Verlag called Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst. The title translates as From the becoming of German film art. Some of the cards are smaller than postcards, others bigger. On the collectors cards of this series (no. 10) are pictures of the German silent cinema. Collectors could glue them in an album called 'Der Stumme Film' (The Silent Film) written by Dr. Oskar Kalbus. Another volume treats the German sound film. This series includes star portraits and film scenes, but also pictures of film sets and curiosities like for instance a bust of Asta Nielsen in her famous and controversial role as Hamlet.

    Asta Nielsen in Der Tod von Sevilla (1913)
    Asta Nielsen in Der Tod von Sevilla (1913). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, no. 6, group 43. Photo: publicity still for Der Tod von Sevilla/The death of Seville (Urban Gad, 1913).

    Asta Nielsen and Mary Scheller in Das Feuer (1914)
    Asta Nielsen and Mary Scheller in Das Feuer (1914). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 7, group 43. Photo: publicity still for Das Feuer/The Fire (Urban Gad, 1914).

    Bust of Asta Nielsen as Hamlet
    Asta Nielsen. German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 8. Photo: Bust of Asta Nielsen as Hamlet.

    Paul Wegener and Lyda Salmonova in Der Student von Prag (1913)
    Paul Wegener and Lyda Salmonova in Der Student von Prag (1913). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 9. Photo: Sokal-Film. Publicity still for Der Student von Prag/The Student of Prague (Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye, 1913).

    Pola Negri in Vendetta (1919)
    Pola Negriin Vendetta (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 10, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still with Pola Negri as nurse in Vendetta (Georg Jacoby, 1919).

    Emil Jannings and Henny Porten in Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach (1917)
    Emil Jannings and Henny Porten in Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach (1917). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 12, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach/The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach (Rudolf Biebrach, 1917).

    Henny Porten and Rudolf Biebrach in Das Geschlecht derer von Ringwall (1918)
    Henny Porten and Rudolf Biebrach in Das Geschlecht derer von Ringwall (1918). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 13, group 43. Photo: Messter-Film. Publicity still for Das Geschlecht derer von Ringwall/The Ringwall family (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Viggo Larsen
    Viggo Larsen. German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 16, group 43. Photo: Karl Schenker.

    Hanni Weisse
    Hanni Weisse. German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 18, group 43. Photo: Balázs.

    Wanda Treumann
    Wanda Treumann. German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 20, group 43. Photo: Karl Schenker. Caption: "Wanda Treumann, for years the partner of Viggo Larsen".

    Maria Carmi and Carl de Vogt in Der Weg des Todes (1916)
    Maria Carmi and Carl de Vogt in Der Weg des Todes (1916). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 23, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Der Weg des Todes/The Road of Death (Robert Reinert, 1916).

    Emil Jannings in Fromont Junior, Risler Senior a.k.a. Frau Eva (1915-1916)
    Emil Jannings in Fromont Junior, Risler Senior a.k.a. Frau Eva (1915-1916). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no, 29, group 43. Photo: publicity still for Arme Eva (Robert Wiene, 1914). Caption: Emil Jannings, young and handsome, in his first film Fromont junior, Risler senior. According to other sources Arme Eva (Robert Wiene, 1914) featuring Erna Morena, was his first film. IMDb mentions two Eva-films, both by Wiene and both starring Morena and Jannings: Arme Eva (1914) and Frau Eva (1916) - a sequel, a remake or just the same film? However, IMDb mentions that the second was based on a play by Alphonse Daudet! And yes, Revolvy confirms: "It was based on the 1874 novel Fromont and Risler by Alphonse Daudet." And at the German Early Film Database and Filmportal.de, there is no mention of Arme Eva, just Frau Eva (1915-1916). At Filmportal.de this picture illustrates the film page...

    Bruno Decarli, Carmen Mara and Harry Liedtke in Rebellenliebe (1919)
    Bruno Decarli, Carmen Mara and Harry Liedtke in Rebellenliebe (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 30, group 40. Photo: Frankfurter Film-Co. Publicity still for Rebellenliebe/Rebel Love (Karl Heiland, 1919).

    Pola Negri and Fritz Schulz in Die Marchesa d'Armiani (1920)
    Pola Negri and Fritz Schulz in Die Marchesa d'Armiani (1920). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 34, group 43. Photo: Union-Film. Publicity still for Die Marchesa d'Armiani (Alfred Halm, 1920).

    Pola Negri and Emil Jannings in Vendetta (1919)
    Pola Negriand Emil Jannings in Vendetta (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 10, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Vendetta (Georg Jacoby, 1919).

    To be continued next Saturday!

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    In the British town of Sidmouth in Devon, a dozen of rare silent films has been discovered recently in a dumped shelf unit at a recycling centre. Film buffs Mike Grant and his daughter Rachel found the trove with films from France, Italy, India and the UK from circa 1909 to 1913. It also included the MGM-comedy The Cardboard Lover (Robert Z. Leonard, 1928), of which only one other copy is known. The films will be donated to the BFI. 

    Here at EFSP, we love this kind of news, and to celebrate it this post is dedicated to the star of The Cardboard Lover, Marion Davies (1897-1961). The American actress starred in nearly four dozen films between 1917 and 1937, but her once glittering career was later overshadowed by Orson Welles' classic Citizen Kane (1941) which viciously portrayed her as a talentless and sad failure. This year's Il Cinema Ritrovato presented her film The Patsy (1928) at The Piazza Maggiore to an audience of thousands. This delicious, magnificent gem directed by King Vidor showed that Davies was in fact one of the great comedic actresses of the silent era.

    Marion Davies (middle), Jane Winton, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler and Dell Henderson in The Patsy (1928)
    Promotion card for Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, 2017. Photo: publicity still for The Patsy (King Vidor, 1928) with Marion Davies (middle), Jane Winton, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler and Dell Henderson.

    Marion Davies
    French postcard by Europe, no. 666. Photo: Goldwyn Mayer.

    Marion Davies
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3732/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    The famous Ziegfeld Follies


    Marion Davies was born Marion Cecelia Douras in the borough of Brooklyn, New York in 1897. She had been bitten by the show biz bug early as she watched her sisters perform in local stage productions. She wanted to do the same.

    As Marion got older, she tried out for various school plays and did fairly well. Once her formal education had ended, Marion began her career as a chorus girl in New York City, first in the Pony Follies and eventually in the famous Ziegfeld Follies. Her stage name came when she and her family passed the Davies Insurance Building. One of her sisters called out "Davies!!! That shall be my stage name," and the whole family took on that name.

    Marion wanted more than to dance. Acting, to her, was the epitome of show business and she aimed her sights in that direction. She had met newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and went to live with him at his San Simeon castle in California. They would stay together for over 30 years, while Hearst’s wife Millicent resided in New York. Millicent would not grant him a divorce so that he could marry Davies.

    San Simeon is a spectacular and elaborate mansion, which now stands as a California landmark. At San Simeon, the couple threw elaborate parties, which were frequented by all of the top names in Hollywood and other celebrities including the mayor of New York City, President Calvin Coolidge and Charles Lindbergh.

    When she was 20, Marion made her first film, Runaway Romany (George W. Lederer, 1917). Written by Marion and directed by her brother-in-law, the film wasn't exactly a box-office smash, but for Marion, it was a start and a stepping stone to bigger things.

    The following year Marion starred in The Burden of Proof (John G. Adolfi, Julius Steger, 1918) and Cecilia of the Pink Roses (Julius Steger, 1918). The latter film was backed by William Randolph Hearst. Because of Hearst's newspaper empire, Marion would be promoted as no actress before her.

    She appeared in numerous films over the next few years, including the superior comedy Getting Mary Married (Allan Dwan, 1919) with Norman Kerry, the suspenseful The Cinema Murder (George D. Baker, 1919) and the drama The Restless Sex (Leon D'Usseau, Robert Z. Leonard, 1920) with Carlyle Blackwell.

    Marion Davies and Owen Moore in The Red Mill (1927)
    Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (B.F.F. Editore), no. 373. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn, Roma. Publicity still for The Red Mill (Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle (as William Goodrich), 1927) with Owen Moore.

    Marion Davies
    British postcard. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Marion Davies
    British postcard. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    A very sharp and savvy business woman


    In 1922, Marion Davies appeared as Mary Tudor in the historical romantic epic, When Knighthood Was in Flower (Robert G. Vignola, 1922). It was a film into which Hearst poured millions of dollars as a showcase for her. Although Marion didn't normally appear in period pieces, she turned in a wonderful performance, according to Denny Jackson at IMDb, and the film became a box office hit.

    Marion remained busy, one of the staples in cinemas around the country. Time after time, film after film, Marion turned in masterful performances. Her best films were the comedies The Patsy (1928) also with Marie Dressler, and Show People (1929) with William Haines, both directed by King Vidor.

    At the end of the 1920s, it was obvious that sound films were about to replace the silent films. Marion was nervous because she had a stutter when she became excited and worried she wouldn't make a successful transition to the new medium. But she was a true professional who had no problem with the change.

    In 1930, two of her better films were Not So Dumb (King Vidor, 1930) and The Florodora Girl (Harry Beaumont, 1930), with Lawrence Grant. By the early 1930s, Marion had lost her box office appeal and the downward slide began. Hearst tried to push MGM executives to hire Marion for the role of Elizabeth Barrett in The Barretts of Wimpole Street (Sidney Franklin, 1934). Louis B. Mayer had other ideas and hired producer Irving Thalberg's wife Norma Shearer instead. Hearst reacted by pulling his newspaper support for MGM without much impact.

    By the late 1930s Hearst was suffering financial reversals and it was Marion who bailed him out by selling off $1 million of her jewelry. Hearst's financial problems also spelled the end to her career. Although she had made the transition to sound, other stars fared better and her roles became fewer and further between. In 1937, a 40 year old Marion filmed her last movie, Ever Since Eve (Lloyd Bacon, 1937) with Robert Montgomery.

    Out of films and with the intense pressures of her relationship with Hearst, Marion turned to more and more to alcohol. Despite those problems, Marion was a very sharp and savvy business woman.

    When Hearst lay dying in 1951 at age 88, Davies was given a sedative by his lawyer. When she awoke several hours later, she discovered that Hearst had passed away and that his associates had removed his body as well as all his belongings and any trace that he had lived there with her. His family had a big formal funeral for him in San Francisco, from which she was banned.

    Later, Marion married for the first time at the age of 54, to Horace Brown. The union would last until she died of cancer in 1961 in Los Angeles, California. She was 64 years old. Upon Marion’s niece Patricia Van Cleve Lake's death, it was revealed she had been the love child of Davies and Hearst.

    The love affair of Marion Davies and Hearst was mirrored in the films Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941), RKO 281 (Benjamin Ross, 1999), and The Cat's Meow (Peter Bogdanovich, 2001). In Citizen Kane (1941), the title character's second wife (played by Dorothy Comingore) — an untalented singer whom he tries to promote — was widely assumed to be based on Davies. But many commentators, including Citizen Kane writer/director Orson Welles himself, have defended Davies' record as a gifted actress, to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good.

    Marion Davies
    Italian postcard. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Marion Davies
    French postcard by Europe, no. 1029. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Residence of Marion Davies, Beverly Hills
    American postcard by C.T. & Co., Chi, in the series Homes of Movie Stars in California. Residence of Marion Davies, Beverly Hills

    Sources: Nick Enoch (Mail on Line), Denny Jackson (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 08/06/17--22:00: Ty Hardin (1930-2017)
  • On 3 August 2017, blonde American actor Ty Hardin (1930) passed away. He was probably best known as hunky TV cowboy Bronco and this fame lead to several film appearances in Hollywood and Italy.

    Ty Hardin
    Spanish postcard by Ediciones Este, no. 7 T, 1963. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for the TV series Bronco (1958-1962).

    Just a hunk of beefcake


    Though born as Orison Whipple Hungerford Jr. (!) in New York City in 1930, Ty Hardin was raised in Texas. His family moved to Austin when he was six months old. His father, an acoustical engineer, left the family four years later.

    As a growing boy, his grandmother, with whom he lived part of the time after his parents divorced, nicknamed him 'Ty' because he was as active as a 'Texas typhoon'. Hardin graduated in 1949 from Lamar High School in Houston. A football scholarship enabled him to attend Blinn College in Brenham, Texas for one year, and then he went to Dallas's Bible Institute for one semester.

    After military service during the Korean War, Ty took some classes at Texas A&M University in College Station on a football scholarship. He then moved west to California. A Paramount Pictures talent scout discovered him at a costume party. Ty had rented six-guns from a costume rental company.

    By 1957, Hardin acquired the services of agent Henry Willson, the man who discovered Rock Hudson, and made his way to Hollywood where he was put under contract by Paramount Pictures. Credited as Ty Hungerford, the handsome blonde won some minor roles in B movies such as I Married a Monster from Outer Space (Gene Fowler Jr., 1958) and The Space Children (Jack Arnold, 1958).

    He moved to Warner Brothers, and his stage surname was changed to 'Hardin', reminiscent of the Texas gunfighter John Wesley Hardin. He attended actors' school at Warner Brothers and landed small parts in various Warner productions. In 1958, when TV's Clint Walker insisted on improvements in his Cheyenne contract, Warner Brothers countered by bringing in Ty as a possible replacement.

    Warner Bros installed Ty into Cheyenne for the remainder of the season, as the country cousin Bronco Layne. Walker and Warner Brothers came to terms after the season ended, but Hardin had made such a big hit on the show that Jack L. Warner gave him his own series, Bronco. The series alternated weeks with Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins, and Cheyenne for four years. The series ran from 1958 to 1962.

    From here, he moved into a brief flurry of film activity. Warner Bros cast him as Doug 'Stretch' Fortune in Merrill's Marauders (Samuel Fuller, 1962). It was followed by roles in The Chapman Report (George Cukor, 1962) opposite Glynis Johns, Wall of Noise (Richard Wilson, 1963), and Battle of the Bulge (Ken Annakin, 1965) starring Henry Fonda.

    IMDb: "Though often dismissed as just a hunk of 'beefcake' - he did a lot of bare-chest scenes - Ty displayed a flair for light comedy in The Chapman Report (1962) and showed dramatic potential in the underrated Wall of Noise (1963)."


    Ty Hardin (1930-2017)
    British postcard by D. Constance Ltd., London, in the Celebrity Series, no. 372. Photo: Ty Hardin as Bronco Layne in the TV series Bronco (1959-1962).

    Ty Hardin (1930-2017)
    Vintage card.

    A penchant for stockpiling weapons and baiting public officials


    When his contract expired, Ty Hardin left Hollywood to seek opportunity overseas as his series aired all over the world. Like many other American actors, he travelled to Europe, where he turned down Sergio Leone's offer to play the lead in the classic Per un pugno di dollari/A Fistful of Dollars (1964). In Italy, he did play in the Spaghetti Western L'uomo della valle maledetta/The Man from Cursed Valley (Siro Marcellini, 1964), and the action film Bersaglio mobile/Moving Target (Sergio Corbucci, 1967).

    Wikipedia mentions that Hardin was reportedly the first choice to play the starring role in the television series Batman (1966), which went instead to Adam West. Hardin turned down Batman because of film commitments overseas. He did star in the Australian television series Riptide (1967–1968)  in which he played an American running a charter boat company along the eastern seaboard of Australia. In 1970 he starred in the popular French-German TV series called Arpad der Zigeuner/Arpad the Gypsy (1973-1974) with Robert Etcheverry.

    After his acting career faded away, he worked in Prescott, Arizona, as an evangelistic preacher. According to IMDb, Ty Hardin then became a self-proclaimed 'freedom fighter' in the 1970s, and led a radical right-wing group called The Arizona Patriots, an anti-Semitic/anti-immigrant/anti-black group with a penchant for stockpiling weapons and baiting public officials.

    In 1986, following a two-year FBI undercover investigation, agents from the FBI and ATF raided an Arizona Patriot camp and confiscated a hoard of illegal weapons and publications from Aryan Nation groups and affiliates. Hardin left Arizona, and the group soon ceased to function.

    Later he incidentally appeared in TV series and films. He had small parts in the American teen film The Zoo Gang (Pen Densham, John Watson, 1985) with Jason Gedrick, and the American coming-of-age adventure action film Rescue Me (Arthur Allan Seidelman, 1992) starring Stephen Dorff. His final film role was s bit part in the romantic comedy Head Over Spurs in Love (Ana Zins, 2011)

    On 3 August 2017, Ty Hardin died of Alzheimer disease in Huntington Beach, California, USA. He married eight times, divorced seven times, and had ten children from five of his marriages. From 1962 till 1966, he was married to the 1961 Miss Universe, German beauty queen Marlene Schmidt, who later worked in the film industry; they had one daughter. He also had twin sons with Andra Martin: Jeff Orison and 'John Richard Hardin. At his death, Hardin lived with his eighth wife, Caroline, in Huntington Beach.

    Ty Hardin
    Spanish postcard by Archivo Bermejo, no. C-81, 1963. Photo: Warner Bros. Publicity still for the TV series Bronco (1958-1962).

    Source: Les gens du Cinema (French), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 08/07/17--22:00: Diana Wynyard
  • Elegant and aristocratic British actress Diana Wynyard (1906-1964) was a leading lady on the London stage. She was the first British actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, but her Hollywood career was brief and largely unsatisfactory. She returned to the screen successfully in England in the first film version of Gas Light (1940), and although she didn't make many films, she had a secure place in the roll call of great British film stars.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 3.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 729a. Sent by mail in 1934. Photo: MGM.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 906. Photo: Dorothy Wilding.

    Three Barrymores


    Diana Wynyard was born Dorothy Isobel Cox in London in 1906. The acting bug struck early, and by the mid-twenties she was doing walk-ons in the West End. After a spell in Liverpool rep she returned to the capital, becoming a star in Sorry You've Been Troubled.

    In 1932 she appeared in New York opposite Basil Rathbone in The Devil Passes. Hollywood noticed and she appeared first as Princess Natasha in the MGM production Rasputin and the Empress (Richard Boleslawski, 1932). Wynyard managed to make an excellent impression despite the overshadowing presence of three Barrymores - John, Lionel, and Ethel - in the cast.

    It was the (off screen) rape of Wynyard's character by Rasputin (Lionel Barrymore) that led an expatriate Russian princess to sue MGM, claiming that Natasha was based on the princess. This is why all subsequent American films carried the "any resemblance to any persons living or dead" disclaimer.

    Fox then borrowed her for their lavish film version of Noel Coward's stage spectacle Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd, 1933). As the noble wife and mother she aged gracefully against a background of the Boer War, the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, and the arrival of the Jazz Age. With this performance, she became the first British actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

    However, in an era dominated by gangster films and musicals she proved difficult to cast. Other Hollywood appearances were as John Barrymore's old flame in Reunion in Vienna (Sidney Franklin, 1933) and most notably in James Whale’s masterpiece One More River (1934) as an abused high society wife trying to wrench free of her extremely nasty husband.

    Diana Wynyard and Frank Lawton in Cavalcade (1933)
    British postcard in the Filmshots series by Film Weekly. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd, 1933) with Diana Wynyard and Frank Lawton.

    Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook in Cavalcade (1933)
    British postcard in the Filmshots series by Film Weekly. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd, 1933) with Clive Brook.

    Diana Wynyard
    French postcard, no. 34. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard, no. 91. Photo: MGM.

    Tormented Heiress


    After this brief and largely unsatisfactory Hollywood career, Diana Wynyard returned to Britain. Here she concentrated on theatre work, including roles as Charlotte Brontë in Clemence Dane's Wild Decembers, in Sweet Aloes, and as Gilda in the British premiere of Noel Coward's Design for Living.

    She was tempted to return to the screen to play opposite Ralph Richardson in On the Night of the Fire (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1939). Then she had a great success as the frightened heroine of the first film version of Patrick Hamilton's play Gas Light (Thorold Dickinson, 1940). This is her most revived performance.

    Gaslight was thought lost for years, because MGM destroyed it when they remade it with Ingrid Bergman. Fortunately, a few prints were illegally smuggled out of England and the film is still in existence. As the heiress tormented by husband Anton Walbrook Diana Wynyard is unforgettable.

    Thanks to the blitz, legitimate theatre work was unpredictable so she continued to film, including roles opposite Clive Brook in Freedom Radio (Anthony Asquith, 1941), John Gielgud in The Prime Minister (Thorold Dickinson, 1941) and Michael Redgrave in Kipps (Carol Reed, 1941).

    She soon married the director of Kipps, Carol Reed. With the blitz receding, she scored a bit hit on stage in Watch on the Rhine and didn't return to filming until the war (and her marriage) was over.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard in the Art Photo series, no.85. Photo: MGM.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard in the Cameo series, London, no. K 45. Photo: MGM.

    Diana Wynyard
    British postcard in the Film Kurier series, London, no. 63. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

    Star Parts


    After World War II, Diana Wynyard appeared in the Oscar Wilde adaptation An Ideal Husband (Alexander Korda, 1947) as the wife in question.

    Her remaining film roles were small, usually providing maternal support in roles in the 1950s such as in Tom Brown's Schooldays (Gordon Parry, 1951) and The Feminine Touch (Pat Jackson, 1956). On television she played Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Mayerling (Anatole Litvak, 1957), which starred Audrey Hepburn.

    Her stage career flourished after the War, and as a Shakespearean leading lady at Stratford, in London's West End, and on tour in Australia, she had her pick of star parts. Between 1948 and 1952, she played Portia, Gertrude, Lady Macbeth, Katherine the shrew, Desdemona, Katherine of Aragon, and Hermione in The Winter's Tale.

    As Beatrice to John Gielgud's Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, she succeeded her friend Peggy Ashcroft. Wynyard famously stumbled off the rostrum during the sleepwalking scene in Macbeth in 1948 and fell 15 feet - and continued.

    Throughout the 1940s and 1950s she also had success in the works of several contemporary writers, including the British production of Tennessee Williams's Camino Real.

    Her final film appearance was as the secretive mother of James Mason's character in Island in the Sun (Robert Rossen, 1957). Her stage career continued to thrive.

    In 1964, Diana Wynyard joined the National Theatre in its first year, but died from kidney ailment before the end of the season. She was only 58. Her last television performance was in the play The Man In The Panama Hat (1964). Her death occurred before the intended broadcast in May 1964 and it was eventually shown posthumously.

    Diana Wynyard was married twice, first from 1943 till 1947 to Sir Carol Reed, and subsequently from 1951 on to a Hungarian physician, Tibor Csato.

    Diana Wynyard and Anthony Quayle in Much Ado About Nothing
    British postcard in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre series, no. 6. Photo: Angus McBean. Diana Wynyard and Anthony Quayle as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1949.

    Diana Wynyard as Lady MacBeth
    British postcard in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre series, no. 7. Photo: Angus McBean. Diana Wynyard as Lady MacBeth, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1949.

    Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), British PicturesWikipedia, and IMDb.

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  • 08/08/17--22:00: Linda Moglia
  • Linda Moglia (1896-?) was an Italian actress of the silent screen, who peaked in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Her biggest role was that of Roxane in Cirano di Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923).

    Linda Moglia
    Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 558.

    Linda Moglia
    Italian postcard by Fotocelere, Torino, no. 80.

    Mouthpiece of anti-labour sentiment


    Linda Moglia was born in 1896 in Turin, Italy.

    She probably made her film acting debut in Il doppio volto/The Two-Face (Giulio Antamoro, 1918). This Poli-Film production was by adapted from a rather unknown novel by Matilde Serao. It was a modest Neapolitan production with scarce success but it procured Moglia an entree to the Turin Ambrosio studios.

    At Ambrosio, she appeared in Noblesse oblige (1919), based on a French ‘pochade’ by the duo Maurice Hennequin and Pierre Veber, and directed by the famous poster designer Marcello Dudovich. Ambrosio never mentioned his name at the time. Linda starred in the film with her sister Lucia, whose screen name was Lucy Di San Germano or Lucy Sangermano.

    After this film, she was the female counterpart to the popular comedian Luciano Manara in the Ambrosio production Il processo Manara (Paolo Trinchera, 1919), which was well received, in contrast to the Gladiator Film production Centocelle (1919), in which Moglia had a supporting part opposite diva Helena Makowska. In particular the direction by Ugo de Simone was considered the culprit for the tedious and monotonous film.

    She then appeared in Maciste innamorato/Maciste in Love (Luigi Romano Borgnetto 1919), one of the rare Maciste films in which Maciste has a love affair. Moglia plays Ada, the daughter of an industrialist, who is menaced by revolts and strikes at a time that, also outside of the cinema, Italian society was a place of turmoil. Strongman Maciste (Bartolomeo Pagano) helps to fight the strikers, in particular the few ‘rotten apples’ among them.

    Jacqueline Reich writes in her book The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema: “Yet, all is not rosy among the workers and the ruling class, as personified in the figure of Ada, who is the mouthpiece of anti-labour sentiment. It is she who voices the fear of the strike –“Lord, no, a strike” – and who calls the workers “scoundrels” as they begin to attack on her father, employing the same word in a generalized fashion that her father subsequently uses to characterize only a few nefarious individuals. […] Her antipathy and resistance to the working and service classes present her as an aloof reactionary.”

    The journal Cine-fono commented that the film didn’t give Moglia the right place to show her talents as Maciste dominated everything. So yes, there was a lot to laugh, but how artistic was it? The Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin recently restored the film and despite its rather dubious political message, it is quite a well-made and enjoyable film.

    Linda Moglia
    Italian postcard by Fotocelere, Torino.

    Linda Moglia
    Italian postcard by Fotocelere, Italia.

    Doppelganger


    Linda Moglia returned to Naples to Poli-Film for Mala Pasqua/Bad Easter (1920). It was directed by actor and director Ignazio Lupi. It was based on Giovanni Grasso’s play Dodici anni dopo (Twelve Years After), a kind of sequel to the famous Cavalleria rusticana by Giovanni Verga, turned into an opera by Pietro Mascagni.

    Here Santuzza (Moglia) goes berserk when her son, named Turiddu after his killed father, is lost. Alfio (Grasso), released from prison after having killed Turiddu, shows his best side, and helps finding the child. Even Alfio’s mother, who had gone mad after the killing, returns to reason. The press called this all too good to be true but lauded Grasso’s acting as Alfio plus the care for the setting with the traditional costumes.

    Back at Ambrosio, Moglia played the lead in Uomini gialli/Yellow Men (Eugenio Testa, 1920), a ‘Giallo’ on an American girl who suddenly inherits a fortune from a relative who died in Japan. Two Asians try to get the money and force the heiress to marry one of them instead of her fiancee, the painter Borelli (Angelo Vianello). A mysterious man with a black hood (Thenno) helps and unmasks himself as the Japanese consul. Clearly, Ambrosio profited from the European tour of the Japanese Thenno and his troupe of jugglers, acrobats and magicians to enlist them for a film. There is a nitrate of the film at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, which might have been preserved in the meantime.

    In Cavacchioni paladino dei dollari (Umberto Paradisi, 1920), Cavacchioni (lit. Big Buttons, played by Ruggero Capodaglio), the famous fat detective in the Maciste films, lives a quite village life with his house keeper Clitemnestra (Léonie Laporte), when a rich American heiress (Moglia) upsets village life. When evildoers, pushed by the housekeeper, want to rob the girl, the detective sets things straight and peace returns in the village.

    A totally different film was Il rivale/The Rival (Enrico Roma 1920), based on a script by Gaetano Campanile-Mancini. The film tells about the scoundrel Leonardo (Tullio Carminati), who betrayed his wife which caused a drama. Desperately, she killed herself. From then on, Leonardo is split in two, while his alter ego is always present and reminds him of his guilt. The story ends mysteriously: the real man flees but his alter ego remains to keep the memory of the dead woman alive, like a votive lamp.

    The Italian press quite liked this supernatural story, as opposed to the run-of-the-mill dramas and crime films. The splitting of the personality reminds a bit of Der Student von Prag/The Student of Prague (Stellan Rye, Paul Wegener, 1913), but in general in the 1910s and early 1920s, the Doppelganger motif was dear to both mainstream and avant-garde filmmakers.

    In Il rivale, Moglia played the man’s mistress, who is married, just like Leonardo. Perhaps motivated by the film, Carminati founded his own film company in Rome, Carminati film, for which Moglia and he were reunited in Follie/Madness (Enrico Roma, 1920). It is the story of a girl who goes to the city and is overwhelmed by its attractions but in the end returns to her lover in the village.

    The press was not impressed about the story, but the critic of La Cine-Fono praised the performances by Carminati and Moglia. The truth in their expression and their precise understanding of the psychology of the characters had high artistic qualities and expressed scenes of great human depth, he wrote.

    Linda Moglia and Pierre Magnier in Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 226. Photo: UCI. Publicity still for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923).

    Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), with Pierre Magnier as Cyrano de Bergerac, Linda Moglia as Roxane and Angelo Ferrari as Christian de Neuvillette.

    Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923). Caption: Christian joins the baluster, finally embracing Roxane. He bends towards her mouth to receive the kiss from her, who has bent because of the sweet words Cyrano lent him.

    Roxanne


    Early 1922, Linda Moglia was taken up by the prestigious historical production Cirano di Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923). Based on the famous play by Edmond Rostand and scripted by future director Mario Camerini, Genina led a Franco-Italian coproduction with costumes by Caramba and sets by the famous painter Camillo Innocenti. The production had an enormous length and was distributed in a fully stencil coloured version.

    Star of the film was Pierre Magnier as Cyrano, the man with the giant nose while Moglia was his Roxane, his cousin he is deeply in love with, but cannot get because she loves Christian de Neuvillette (Angelo Ferrari). Cirano even helps Christian to write love letters and talk about love. It is only years after, after Christian has died and Cyrano is about to die, that Roxanne discovers the secret, but it's too late.

    When presented at the National Film Contest in Turin in 1923, it immediately won the first prize. In 1923 it was first commercially released in Paris, at the Salle Marivaux, where it had an enormous success. Italian distributors, though, retaliated, as they thought the film was too difficult for the audience. Finally UCI released it in Turin at the end of 1925, and in Rome even early 1926. The Italian press blamed the distributors for the unnecessary long delay. It had been unnecessary, as people flocked to the cinemas in the first weeks. The critics praised the high artistic qualities of the film, first of all Magnier’s performance.

    Strangely enough, Cirano did not result in a breakthrough for Linda Moglia. There followed no foreign offers from France nor elsewhere. Moglia made one last film with Genina as director and with theatre star Ruggero Ruggeri in the lead: the financial drama La moglie bella (Augusto Genina, 1925 in Italy, so even before Cirano ). The story dealt with a wildly speculating banker (Ruggeri), whose spoilt wife (Moglia) has an affair with another banker (Luigi Serventi), until the other financially ruins her husband. Then she realises her husband is the better man.

    The press condemned Ruggeri’ acting as 'un-filmic' and Genina’s (art) direction as 'sloppy'. This happened at a time when the Italian film production was falling apart and most film people were leaving for Berlin or Paris, so Moglia may have considered it as a good moment to quit.

    Supporting actress in La moglie bella was Carmen Boni, whose first film with director Augusto Genina this was. Boni would become Genina’s new muse and wife during the later 1920s. This might also have played a part in Linda Moglia's decision to retire.

    After her retirement from the cinema, Linda Moglia disappeared and her date of death is unknown to us. If you have more info, please let us know.

    Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), with Linda Moglia as Roxane and Angelo Ferrari as Christian de Neuvillette. Caption: the nice phrases of Christian he learned from Cyrano have conquered and seduced Roxane.

    Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), with Linda Moglia as Roxane and Angelo Ferrari as Christian de Neuvillette. Caption: Defying danger, Roxane joins Christian at Arras, where he is camping with the soldiers.

    Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
    Italian postcard for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), with Linda Moglia as Roxane and Angelo Ferrari as Christian de Neuvillette.

    Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il cinema muto italiano 1918-1924 - Italian), and IMDb. For the gorgeous colours of Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), see: Timeline of Historical Film Colors and I thank you

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  • 08/09/17--22:00: Die Sieger (1918)
  • We continue our irregular series of film specials. Today, we chose for a silent melodrama of one of the three great German divas of the silent cinema, Henny Porten. The sturdy and blond actress is the star of Die Sieger/The Victors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918) produced by the Messter Film studio. Rotophot made a beautiful series of postcards with sepia photos for the film.

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/1. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Rudolf Biebrach in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/2. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Bruno Decarli in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/3. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Arthur Bergen in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/4. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Rudolf Biebrach, and in the background Paul Biensfeldt, Bruno Decarli and Arthur Bergen in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Opera Fraud


    Die Sieger/The Victors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918) was based on a novel by Felix Philippi, who also wrote the script. Cinematographer was Karl Freund and the set designer was Jack Winter.

    Director Rudolf Biebrach himself played the part of musical professor Richard Assing, who has completed his masterpiece, the opera Die Sieger (The Victors). Sadly, before he can perform it, he has a heart attack.

    On his deathbed he urges his favourite pupil Camille Düpaty (Arthur Bergen) to have the opera performed. Camille loves Assing's daughter Konstanze (Henny Porten), who has promised to marry him if he can compose a substantial work, equal to her father's work. Camille then plots to release Assing's opera under another title as his work.

    The opera becomes a giant success. However, Sigmund Freystetter (Bruno Decarli), music critic and an old friend of Konstanze, discovers the fraud. Konstanze now knows who she really loves and leaves Camille for Sigmund.

    Die Sieger/The Victors premiered at the Berlin Mozartsaal cinema on 27 September 1918. For the premiere, Giuseppe Becce had composed a musical score.

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/5. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten, Arthur Bergen and in the background Bruno Decarli in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/6. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Arthur Bergen in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/7. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Biensfeldt in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Henny Porten in Die Sieger
    German postcard by Rotophot in the Film-Sterne series, no. 552/8. Photo: Messter Film. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Arthur Bergen in Die Sieger (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

    Source: Filmportal.de (German), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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  • 08/10/17--22:00: Margaret Lee
  • Cool and beautiful Margaret Lee (1943) posed as a glamorous starlet for many international magazines throughout the 1960s. Between 1962 and 1983 the British born actress co-starred in over 70 European films.

    Margaret Lee
    German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/361. Photo: Georg Michalke.

    Margaret Lee
    German postcard by Kruger, no. 902/356. Photo: Georg Michalke.

    Blonde, Fluffy Look


    Margaret (sometimes credited as Margareth) Lee was born Margaret Gwendolyn Box in Wolverhampton, England in 1943. Her mother, who lived in wartime London, was evacuated because of the bombing to a family in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, whom she had never met before.

    After the bombing ended mother and daughter returned to London, and Margaret grew up there. She was educated at Roan Grammar School in Greenwich, and later studied for three years at the Italia Conti Theatre School in London.

    Margaret Lee in an interview with the blog Du dumme Sau!: "I wanted to act in the Theatre (never thought of films) and was willing to take any path that might lead me there. I read in The Stage of auditions for showgirls at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. I was 17. I wanted to get away from home, and so I auditioned and was taken on.

    Then almost a year later, a friend told me they were interviewing for small parts in Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor in Rome. I auditioned and was accepted. Within two weeks I was in Rome and going to Cinecitta Film Studios each day. In the end, however, many hours of the film were cut, including my appearances."

    At the set of Cleopatra (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963), she met Gino Malerba, who worked as an assistant to choreographer Hermes Pan. When the filming of Cleopatra ended he introduced her to an agent, Fillipo Fortini. They both hoped in this way Lee could get work as an actress in Rome and not have to return to London. It worked and Malerba and Lee would later marry.

    She made her screen debut in Maciste contro i mostri/Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules (Guido Malatesta, 1962) opposite bodybuilder Reg Lewis.

    With a blonde, fluffy look modelled after Marilyn Monroe, Lee followed it up with a stream of low-budget Peplum spectacles, comedies and thrillers. Some of them are now considered cult films.

    Highlights include Gli Imbroglioni/The Swindlers (Lucio Fulci, 1963) with Walter Chiari, the comedy In ginocchio da te/On My Knees For You (Ettore Maria Fizzarotti, 1964) starring singer Gianni Morandi, Questa volta parliamo di uomini/Let's Talk About Men (Lina Wertmüller, 1965) with Nino Manfredi, and Casanova '70 (Mario Monicelli, 1965) with Marcello Mastroianni.

    She appeared in several comedies and parodies which starred the popular comedic duo Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia. Few of these films received much (if any) distribution in foreign territories, but they were highly successful in Italy and made Lee a well-known film actress there.

    Margaret Lee
    Israelian postcard by Éditions de Luxe, no. 123.

    Margaret Lee
    Italian collectors Ccrd by La Rotografica Romana. Edito dalla Nat Nuova Alta Tensione.

    Sexy Femme Fatales


    Around the mid 1960s, Margaret Lee started to appear in a long line of Eurospy films, where she was frequently cast as the sexy femme fatale. Her appearance also changed as she dropped the blonde look and became a brunette instead.

    These Eurospy films include Le Tigre se parfume à la dynamite/An Orchid for the Tiger (Claude Chabrol, 1965), Agente 077 dall'oriente con furore/Agent 077 From the Orient with Fury (Sergio Grieco, 1965), Se tutte le donne del mondo/Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (Henry Levin, 1966) with American TV star Mike Connors, and the French James Bond variation Coplan sauve sa peau/Coplan Saves His Skin (Yves Boisset, 1968) opposite Claudio Brook and Jean Servais.

    Lee was also popular on Italian television in the 1960s. She appeared as a showgirl alongside the famous singer Johnny Dorelli. Lee also starred with Dorelli in his film debut Arriva Dorellik/How to Kill 400 Duponts (Steno, 1967).

    She was also seen in sexy parts opposite opposite Jean Gabin and Robert Stack in Le soleil des voyous/Action Man (Jean Delannoy, 1967), and with Gian Maria Volonté in Banditi a Milano/The Violent Four (Carlo Lizzani, 1968).

    Lee speaks both English and Italian fluently, and from 1966 on she dubbed most of her own films.

    Margaret Lee
    German postcard by Kruger, no. 902/170.

    Margaret Lee and Robert Stack in Le soleil des voyous (1967)
    Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Publicity still for Le soleil des voyous/Action Man (Jean Delannoy, 1967) with Robert Stack.

    Giallo


    Margaret Lee caught the eye of international film producer Harry Alan Towers. He gave her wider international recognition by casting her in prominent roles in several of his all-star cast productions.

    The first was the British Edgar Wallace mystery Circus of Fear (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1966) starring Christopher Lee.

    Towers also cast her in the spy-comedy Our Man in Marrakesh (Don Sharp, 1966), the action film Five Golden Dragons (Jeremy Summers, 1967), the thrillers Paroxismus/Venus in Furs (1969) and Il trono di fuoco/The Bloody Judge (1970), both directed by Jesús Franco.

    Finally, Lee also costarred in the Oscar Wilde adaptation Dorian Gray (Massimo Dallamano, 1970) starring Helmut Berger.

    Lee's co-star in Circus of Fear, Five Golden Dragons and Venus in Furs was the renowned German actor Klaus Kinski, who was also a regular in Harry Alan Towers productions. The pairing of Lee and Kinski proved to be very popular among cinema-goers - especially in Italy - so they would appear in a total of 12 films together.

    Other interesting films in which Margaret Lee appeared were I Bastardi/Sons of Satan (Duccio Tessari, 1969) - one of the last films of Rita Hayworth, and the Giallo (Italian thriller) Gli assassini sono nostri ospiti/The Killers Are Our Guests (Vincenzo Rigo, 1974) starring Anthony Steffen.

    However, with the death of the Spy genre in the late 1960s, Margaret Lee was then often cast in popular Euro horror flicks. Wikipedia notes: "By the early 1970s, Lee's movie career had descended further and further into exploitation; culminating in Fernando Di Leo's extremely sleazy and violent thriller La bestia uccide a sangue freddo/Slaughter Hotel (1971)."

    In 1974 she retired from the film industry and returned to England. In 1982 she came back for two more films, the comedies Sesso e volentieri/Sex As You Like It (Dino Risi, 1982), which reunited her with her old co-star Johnny Dorelli, and Stangata napoletana/Neapolitan Sting (Vittorio Caprioli, 1983) starring Treat Williams.

    Margaret Lee married in 1963 choreographer/agent Gino Malerba. From this marriage which soon ended in a divorce, she had a son, producer/production manager Roberto Malerba of V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2006) and Speed Racer (Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, 2008).

    After retiring in England she married again and had another son, production coordinator Damian Anderson of V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2006) and Ninja Asassin (James McTeigue, 2009).

    In 1987, Margaret Lee moved to the Bay Area in California. In 1988 she studied the Stanislavsi 'Method' Acting techniques for a year with Jean Shelton in San Francisco. Later she worked as a stage actress in a small theatre.


    Margaret Lee performs an Italo-pop lounge act in the Diabolik parody Arriva Dorellik (1967). Source: Modcinema (YouTube).


    Margaret Lee sings the title song in Five Golden Dragons (1967). Source: Filmfan3 (YouTube).


    Trailer La bestia Uccide a Sangue Freddo/Slaughter Hotel (1971). Source: Films&Clips (YouTube).

    Sources: Du dumme Sau – a Kinski BlogBrian J. Walker (Brian's Drive-in Theater), Sandra Brennan (Allmovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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    We continue our series of posts on the collectors cards Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst which Ross Verlag produced for the 'Cigaretten-Bilderdienst', Altona-Bahrenfeld in 1935. The cards were included with cigarette packs. Last week the pictures showed the first stars of the early German silent cinema, like Asta Nielsen, Wanda Treumann and Viggo Larsen. After the First World War new faces joined them and also such directors as Ernst Lubitsch and Fritz Lang started their careers. So, meet today Mia May as the Mistress of the World, meet Lil Dagover, Werner Krauss, Harry Liedtke and meet the very young Hans Albers.

    Paul Westermeier, Hanne Brinkmann and Hans Albers in Baroneßchen auf Strafurlaub (1917)
    Paul Westermeier, Hanne Brinkmann and Hans Albers in Baroneßchen auf Strafurlaub (1917). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 38, group 43. Photo: publicity still for Baroneßchen auf Strafurlaub/Little Baroness on Punishment Holiday (Otto Rippert, 1917). Caption: Paul Westermeier'works out', Hans Albers - in a small secondary role - is allowed to pinch Hanne Brinkmann in the cheek.

    Asta Nielsen, Bruno Kastner and Max Landa in Engelein (1914)
    Asta Nielsen, Bruno Kastnerand Max Landa in Engelein (1914). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 42, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Engelein/Little Angel (Urban Gad, 1914).

    Bruno Kastner, Dorrit Weixler and Frida Richard in Dorittchens Vergnügungsreise (1916)
    Bruno Kastner, Dorrit Weixlerand Frida Richard in Dorittchens Vergnügungsreise (1916). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 45, group 43. Photo: Tobias-Film. Publicity still for Dorittchens Vergnügungsreise/Little Dorrit's Pleasure Trip (Paul Heidemann, 1916).

    Ossi Oswalda in Kakadu und Kiebitz (1920)
    Ossi Oswalda in Kakadu und Kiebitz (1920). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 46, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Kakadu und Kiebitz/Kakadu and Kiebitz (Erich Schönfelder, 1920).

    Carl Auen in Der heulende Wolf (1919)
    Carl Auen in Der heulende Wolf (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 50, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Der heulende Wolf/The Crying Wolf (Leo Lasko, 1919). Caption: "Carl Auen as detective in The Crying Wolf".

    Erika Glässner
    Erika Glässner. German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 52, group 43. Photo: Alex Binder. Caption: "Erika Glässner, the Backfisch (young flapper) from West Berlin in many Aufklärungsfilmen (educational films on social issues)."

    Mia May in Veritas Vincit (1919)
    Mia May in Veritas Vincit (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 55, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Veritas Vincit (Joe May, 1919).

    Emil Jannings and Pola Negri in Die Augen der Mumie Ma (1918)
    Emil Jannings and Pola Negri in Die Augen der Mumie Ma (1918). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 58, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Augen der Mumie Ma/The Eyes of the Mummy (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918).

    Harry Liedtke and Pola Negri in Carmen (1918)
    Harry Liedtke and Pola Negri in Carmen (1918). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no, 59, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Carmen (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918).

    Mia May in Herrin der Welt (1919-1920)
    Mia May in Herrin der Welt (1919-1920). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 62, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Herrin der Welt/Mistress of the World (Joe May and others, 1919).

    Lil Dagover and Carl de Vogt in Die Spinnen (1919)
    Lil Dagover and Carl de Vogt in Die Spinnen (1919). German photocard for the album Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst. Teil I. Der stumme Film by Ross Verlag, picture no. 63. Photo: Decla-Film. Publicity still for Die Spinnen/The Spiders (Fritz Lang, 1919-1920).

    Georg Alexander, Harry Liedtke and Hubert von Meyerinck in Der Mann ohne Namen (1921)
    Georg AlexanderHarry Liedtke and Hubert von Meyerinck in Der Mann ohne Namen (1921). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 64, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Der Mann ohne Nahmen/The Man Without a Name (Georg Jacoby, 1921).

    Ellen Richter, Anton Pointner and Hans Brausewetter in Der flug um den Erdball (1925)
    Ellen Richter, Anton Pointner and Hans Brausewetter in Der flug um den Erdball (1925). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 66. Photo: Ellen-Richter-Film. Publicity still for Der flug um den Erdball/The flight around the globe (Willi Wolff, 1925).

    Pola Negri in Madame Dubarry (1919)
    Pola Negri in Madame Dubarry (1919). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 67, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Madame Dubarry (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919). Caption: Pola Negri as Madame Dubarry, execution on the market square in Paris.

    Werner Krauss in Napoleon auf St. Helena (1929)
    Werner Krauss in Napoleon auf St. Helena (1929). German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 69, group 39. Photo: D.L.S. Publicity still for Napoleon auf St. Helena/Napoleon at St. Helena (Lupu Pick, 1929).

    To be continued next Saturday!

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  • 08/12/17--22:00: Rose Liechtenstein
  • Rose Liechtenstein (1887-1955) was a German theatre and film actress of the silent film era. Later she became 'the Adele Sandrock of the Israeli'.

    Rose Liechtenstein
    German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 2351. Photo: Atelier Eberth, Berlin.

    Fritz Lang


    Rose Liechtenstein, also credited as Rosa Liechtenstein, Rose Lichtenstein and Rosa Lichtenstein, was born as Rosa Liechtenstein in 1887 in Landsberg, Germany or in Wronke, Russian Germany (now: Wronki in the Szamotuły County, western-central Poland). The sources differ about her birthtown.

    She received her training at the Marie-Seebach-Schule before she went to Meiningen in 1909. There followed engagements in Düsseldorf, Mannheim, Berlin and New York. She worked with such famous directors as Erwin Piscator and Max Reinhardt. In 1915 she played at front theatres in the German-occupied areas of Belgium and France.

    From 1916 she was also active in the film business. She starred in such silent melodramas as Arme Eva Maria/Poor Eva Maria (Joe May, 1916) at the side of Mia May, Der eiserne Wille/The Iron Will (Adolf Gärtner, 1917) starring Albert Bassermann, and the silent Detective film Der Würger der Welt/The creeper of the world(E. A. Dupont, 1919) with Max Landa.

    Rose Liechtenstein appeared for Fritz Lang in small parts in Die Nibelungen, 2.Teil: Kriemhild's Revenge/Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (1924), Metropolis (1926) and in his first sound film M - Eine Stadt sucht eine Mörder/M - A city looks for a murderer (1931). It was her last film before her emigration.

    In addition to her stage work, Liechtenstein was also cast as a spokesman for radio play productions at the Berliner Funk-Stunde in 1929. The rise of the National Socialists caused the artist of Jewish origin to flee to Palestine in 1936.

    In 1944, she was one of the founders of the famous Theatron Kameri in Tel Aviv, where she played more than 25 roles. She became' the Adele Sandrock of the Israeli', according to author Rudolf Frank.

    In 1955, Rose Liechtenstein died 68 years old in Tel Aviv.

    Die Nibelungen, part II
    German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 677/2. Photo: Decla-Ufa-Film. Kriemhild (Margarete Schön) at the spring where Siegfried died in Die Nibelungen, 2.Teil: Kriemhild's Revenge/Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (Fritz Lang, 1924).

    Sources: Stephanie d'Heil (Steffi-line - German), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 08/13/17--22:00: Imperio Argentina
  • For the new issue of the international magazine The Italianist, film historian Ivo Blom wrote an article on the production of the film Tosca (1941), a curious and intriguing case in film history. It was originally begun by French director Jean Renoir, but finished by his German screenwriter-turned-director Carl Koch. Koch’s wife Lotte Reiniger and the young Luchino Visconti contributed to the film, while its producer was the grand old man of Italian silent film, Arturo Ambrosio. But the leading role of Tosca was played by only one person, the enigmatic Imperio Argentina (1906-2003). Although the famous actress and singer was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was successful all over South America and worked in Spain, France, Italy and Germany, she was a Spanish citizen.

    Imperio Argentina in Tosca
    Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini Firenze Editori, no. 4248. Photo: Scalera Film. Publicity still of Imperio Argentina in Tosca (Carl Koch, 1941).

    Imperio Argentina
    Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 199. Photo: Cifesa (Cifesa was a big Spanish film distribution company between the mid-1930s and the early 1960s.)

    Petite Imperio


    Imperio Argentina was born Magdalena Nile del Río in 1906 in San Telmo, the tango district of Buenos Aires. Her Spanish parents, guitar player Antonio Nile and actress Rosario del Río, were on tour in Argentine.

    Until the age of 12 she lived in Malaga, where she studied dance. Thanks to Pastora Imperio, she debuted at the age of 12 at the comedy theatre of Buenos Aires. Imperio called her 'Petite Imperio', her artistic name in those years, when she was successful all over South America.

    When she came back to Spain in 1926, she adopted the artistic name of Imperio Argentina, singing in the main theatres of the country. Film director Florián Rey discovered her at the Romea theatre in Madrid and enabled her to play in the silent film La Hermana San Sulpicio/Sister San Sulpicio (Florián Rey, 1927).

    Eventually she also married Rey, who was the first of her three husbands. In Spain and Germany, Argentina performed in the late silent Corazones sin rumbo/Herzen ohne Ziel/Hearts Without Soul (Benito Perojo, Gustav Ucicky, 1928), which costarred Betty Bird and Livio Pavanelli.

    After signing a contract with Paramount Pictures, she worked in Paris with the best directors and actors of the moment. Her films included Su noche de bodas/Her Wedding Night (Louis Mercanton, Floriàn Rey, 1931) and Lo mejor es reir/Laughter (E.W. Emo, Floriàn Rey, 1931) with Tony D'Algy.

    At Paramount she worked with Carlos Gardel in the short La casa es seria/Love Me Tonight (Lucien Jacquelux, 1931), which is considered as lost, and Melodía de Arrabal/Suburban Melody (Louis Gasnier, 1932), singing rare duets with him.

    In 1934 Argentina returned to Spain, where, thanks to her cooperation with Rey, she became a star and obtained her greatest successes in folklorist films as the sound version of Hermana de San Sulpicio/Sister San Sulpicio (Floriàn Rey, 1934), Nobleza Baturra/Aragonese Virtue (Floriàn Rey, 1935), and Morena Clara/Dark and Bright (Floriàn Rey, 1936).

    Adolf Hitler asked her to play in a film about Lola Montes, which she declined but instead she played in both the Spanish and the German version of Carmen, la de Triana/Andalusische Nächte (Florian Rey, Herbert Maisch, 1938), shot around Malaga. In the German version Friedrich Benfer (a.k.a. Enrico Benfer) costarred as Don José, while in the Spanish version Rafael Rivelles played this part.

    Imperio Argentina is said to have had an affair with Rafael Rivelles before she had divorced her second husband Ramón Baillío. Her divorce caused a scanald, as she was married for the Catholic church.

    Imperio Argentina, Manuel Russell and Pepe Romeu in Su noche de bodas (1931)
    Spanish postcard by Dümmatzen, no. 111. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still of Imperio Argentina, Manuel Russell and Pepe Romeu in Su noche de bodas/Her Wedding Night (Louis Mercanton, Florián Rey, 1931).

    Imperio Argentina in La canción de Aixa (1939).
    German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Knevels-Film. Imperio Argentina, wearing the attire of La canción de Aixa/Song of Aixa (Florián Rey, 1939).

    Imperio Argentina
    German postcard. Photo: Ufa / Hämmerer.

    Paseo de la Fama


    In 1940 Imperio Argentina travelled to Rome to star opposite Rossano Brazziin Tosca/The Story of Tosca (Carlo a.k.a. Carl Koch, 1941), an adaptation of the story by Victorien Sardou. The film was originally directed by Jean Renoir, but when war between France and Italy was at hand and Renoir was knocked down by fascists one day, he fled to France and his assistant Carl Koch took over directing.

    In his memoirs, Michel Simon, who played her antagonist Scarpia in the film, recalls how he rehearsed the rape scene of Tosca too vividly, unveiling one of her breasts. Fascinated, he tried the same the next day, but Imperio had taken measures, firmly tying up her robe.

    The film was partly shot on location, at the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Palatine Hill and in front of the Palazzo Farnese (the French embassy). A young Luchino Visconti collaborated as a first assistant and learned the tricks of the trade here.

    In the 1940s, Imperio also worked with director Benito Perojo at the films Goyescas (1942), Bambú/Bamboo (1945), La maja de los cantares/The Songstress (1946) and La copla de la Dolores/Song of Dolores (1951) with Lola Beltrán.

    In the 1950s she focused on big musical shows while in the 1960s she did Ama Rosa (León Klimovsky, 1960) and Con el viento Solano/With the East Wind (Mario Camus, 1966) as the mother of Antonio Gades. After years of little activity she was rediscovered at Festival Internacional de Cine in San Sebastián. From then on a new golden age started, full of honors.

    Argentina became a citizen of Spain in 1999. In the following decades, she appeared in Tata Mía/Dear Nanny (José Luis Borau, 1986) opposite Carmen Maura and in El polizón de Ulises/The stowaway of the Ulises (Javier Aguirre, 1987), her last film. She also performed in the stage play of the Expo 92, Azabache.

    In 1996 she was elected 'pregonera' at the Festa del Pilar at Saragozza, to celebrate the centenary of the cinema. In 2001 she published her memoirs, Malena Clara, written by Pedro Villora.

    At the age of 92, Imperio Argentina died of natural causes in 2003 in her house in Torremolinos in Andalucia. She lies buried nearby at Benalmádena near Málaga. In 2011 she was honoured with a star in the Spanish Walk of Fame, the Paseo de la Fama in Madrid. In 1994 she already was honoured as 'Ciudadano Ilustre de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires' (Illustrious Citizen of the City of Buenos Aires).


    Scene with Imperio Argentina in Carmen la de Triana (Florían Rey, 1938) singing Los piconeros. Source: Canta Roable (YouTube).


    Long scene from Tosca/The Story of Tosca (Carl Koch, 1941). Source: Otello Bailor (YouTube).

    Sources: Miguel A. Andrade (IMDb), Wikipedia (English, German, Italian and Spanish), and IMDb.

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  • 08/14/17--22:00: Christine Norden
  • Blonde, green-eyed bombshell Christine Norden (1924-1988) was Britain’s first post-war screen sex goddess. The ex-dancer, actress and singer won in the late 1940s and early 1950s two prestigious film awards, but she was best known for her 39 inch breasts and her racy image.

    Christine Norden
    British postcard, no. 262.

    Seven-year Contract


    Christine Norden was born Mary Lydia Thornton in Sunderland, Great Britain on Christmas day in 1924. She was the daughter of Charles Hunter; a bus driver, and Catherine (McAloon) Thornton.

    Christine performed as a dancer and a singer since her teens. She made her London stage debut as Molly Thornton in Tell the World in 1942. She became the first entertainer to land on Normandy beaches in 1944 to perform for Allied troops after D-Day.

    The story goes that she was ‘discovered’ in 1947 by agents of the distinguished film mogul Sir Alexander Korda while waiting outside a theatre ticket line. Korda promptly signed her to a seven-year contract, and Christine also became his mistress.

    She made her film debut in the melodrama Night Beat (Harold Huth, 1947) as an alluring temptress. She was known for her 39 inch breasts which made her a prime pin-up attraction.

    Korda placed her in stark, dark-edged films as fetching, sometimes singing femmes, appearing in a surprising number of quality films including Mine Own Executioner (Anthony Kimmins, 1947) opposite Burgess Meredith and An Ideal Husband (Alexander Korda, 1948) starring Paulette Goddard.

    She won a Venice Festival award for most promising actress in 1947, and the British National Film Award in 1949 for her performance in Saints and Sinners (Leslie Arliss, 1949).

    Christine Norden
    Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano (Milan), no. 2. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for Saints and Sinners (1949).

    Topless on Broadway


    By the early 1950s the film career of Christine Norden was over. Her last British film was the thriller The Black Widow (Vernon Sewell, 1951), and the following year she went to New York.

    Her Broadway debut was in the musical Tenderloin in 1960 and later she appeared in such productions as Marat/Sade. She was the first actress to appear topless on Broadway in Scuba Duba (1967).

    Although she became an American citizen, she returned to London in 1979 and acted in plays, films and television shows during the 1980s, including the musical Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz, 1988) and in an episode of the popular TV series Inspector Morse (1987).

    Christine Norden admitted to many affairs (both men and women) over the years, and she is reported to have had affairs with Richard Burton and Ava Gardner, along with Prince Philip.

    She was married five times (including with director Jack Clayton). One of the craters of the planet Venus has been named after her as a tribute to her being a ‘forerunner of the modern sex symbol.’ Her last husband, George Heselden, a retired mathematician, developed and named a mathematical formula in her honour.

    After a bypass surgery, she died of pneumonia in 1988, in Isleworth, England. She was 63, and had one child, Michael Glenn, from her first marriage. Her memoirs were discovered after she died, but were considered too racy to be published at the time. Her friend, and royal biographer, Michael Thornton, to whom they were left, has now made parts of the story public.

    Christine Norden
    British postcard, no. F.S. 55.

    Christine Norden
    British autograph card.

    Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), The New York Times, Film Reference, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 08/15/17--22:00: Ernest Torrence
  • Big, burly Scottish-born character actor Ernest Torrence (1878-1933) appeared in many Hollywood films form 1916 on. A towering figure, he frequently played cold-eyed and imposing heavies, but played most of his bad guys with tongue firmly in cheek. Torrence’s films include including Tol'able David (1921) opposite Richard Barthelmess, Mantrap (1926) with Clara Bow, and Sherlock Holmes (1932) in one of his last roles as Holmes’s nemesis Professor Moriarty.

    Ernest Torrence
    British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 167.

    Moronic, twitch-eyed thief


    Ernest Thayson Torrance-Thompson was born in 1978 to Colonel Henry Torrence Thayson and Jessie (née Bryce) in Edinburgh, Scotland. His younger brother would be the actor David Torrence.

    As a child, Ernest was an exceptional pianist and operatic baritone and he graduated from the Stuttgart Conservatory and Edinburgh Academy before earning a scholarship at London's Royal Academy of Music.

    He toured with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in such productions as The Emerald Isle (1901) and The Talk of the Town (1905) before disarming vocal problems set in and he was forced to abandon this career path.

    Sometime prior to 1900, he changed the spelling of Torrance to Torrence and dropped the name Thomson. Both Ernest and his brother David Torrence went to America, in March 1911, directly from Scotland prior to the First World War.

    Focusing instead on a purely acting career, Ernest and his brother developed into experienced players on the Broadway New York stage. Ernest received significant acclaim with Modest Suzanne in 1912, and a prominent role in The Night Boat in 1920 brought him to the attention of the early Hollywood filmmakers.

    Torrence played the moronic, twitch-eyed thief Luke Hatburn in Tol'able David (Henry King, 1921) opposite Richard Barthelmess and made his mark as a cinema villain. He settled into films for the rest of his career and life.

    He played Colleen Moore’s abusive husband in Broken Chains (Alan Holubar, 1922). Torrence gave a sympathetic portrayal of a grizzled old codger in the acclaimed classic Western The Covered Wagon (James Cruze, 1923) and gained attention from his role as Clopin, king of the beggars opposite Lon Chaney in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wallace Worsley, 1923).

    Ernest Torrence
    British postcard in the Picturegoer series, London, no. 167a. Photo: Paramount.

    Ernest Torrence
    British autograph card.

    One of the silent screen's finest arch villains


    Ernest Torrence played an outrageous Captain Hook in Peter Pan (Herbert Brenon, 1924) opposite Betty Bronson as Peter Pan. Bob Eddwards at Find A Grave: “Walt Disney used Torrence as the model for Hook in his own 1953 animated version of Peter Pan.”

    He played an Army General who escapes into the circus world and becomes a clown in The Side Show of Life (Herbert Brenon, 1924). In an offbeat bit of casting he paired up with Clara Bow in Mantrap (Victor Fleming, 1926), unusually as a gentle, bear-like backwoodsman in search of a wife.

    He appeared in other silent film classics such as the epic The King of Kings (Cecil B. DeMille 1927) as Peter, and Steamboat Bill Jr. (Charles Reisner, 1928) as Buster Keaton's steamboat captain father.

    During the course of his twelve-year film career, Ernest Torrence made 49 films, both silent and sound films. Torrence made the transition into sound films very well, starring in the Western Fighting Caravans (Otto Brower, David Burton, 1931) with Gary Cooper and Lily Damita.

    He was able to play a notable nemesis, Dr. Moriarty, to Clive Brook's Sherlock in Sherlock Holmes (William K. Howard, 1932) in one of his last roles. Filming for I Cover the Waterfront (James Cruze, 1933), in which he starred as a New York smuggler opposite Ben Lyon and Claudette Colbert, had just been completed when he died suddenly on 15 May 1933.

    He was only 54. While en route to Europe by ship, Torrence suffered an acute attack of gall stones and was rushed back to a New York hospital. He died of complications following surgery. Ernest Torrence was married to Elsie Reamer Bedbrook and he had one child, Ian Torrence.

    Gary Brumburgh at IMDb: “He was the man you loved to hiss. This towering (6' 4"), highly imposing character star with cold, hollow, beady eyes and a huge, protruding snout would go on to become one of the silent screen's finest arch villains.”


    Scene with Torrence and Clara Bow in Mantrap (Victor Fleming, 1926). Source: Jeff Alanson (YouTube).


    Scene from Steamboat Bill Jr. (Charles Reisner, 1928). Source: Movies and Videos (YouTube).

    Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Bobb Edwards (Find A Grave), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Silent Hollywood.com,Wikipedia and IMDb.

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  • 08/16/17--22:00: Naufragio (1916)
  • Italian child star Ermanno Roveri (1903-1968) played the lead in the silent melodrama Naufragio (Umberto Paradisi, 1916). Naufragio was part of a series of films based on the stories in Cuore (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis.

    Ermanno Roveri in Naufragio (1916)
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Gloria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: He had the look of a boy who just came out of a big family misfortune.

    Naufragio
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Be cheerful, the Italian sailor cried to them, now a ballet starts!

    Naufragio
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Curled up against the vessel's mast, Mario and Giulietta stared at the sea with fixed eyes, as if senseless.

    An Orphan on a Sinking Ship


    Ermanno Roveriplayed the Sicilian orphan Mario, who is repatriated from Liverpool to Sicily. On the boat he meets Giulietta (played by Ermanno’s sister, Lavinia Roveri), who has to return to her parents in Naples.

    During a tempest the boat sinks and Mario offers his seat in the lifeboat to Giulietta. Mario drowns on the sinking ship.

    Naufragio was a production of Gloria, the film company in Turin that also produced the first films of diva Lyda Borelli. Gloria produced a series of films based on the stories in Cuore (1886) by Edmondo De Amicis.

    Roveri acted in many of these films, including Dagli Appennini alle Ande, Naufragio, Il piccolo patriota padovano and Il piccolo scrivano fiorentino.

    Ermanno Roveri thus was one of the stars of Gloria. In 1913-1914 he had become famous as Frugolino, one of the comic child actors of the Cines company in Rome.

    In the 1930s and 1940s Ermanno played in a dozen Italian films. He would continue to work in the theatre and incidentally in cinema or on television till his death in 1968.

    Naufragio
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: In the interior of the vessel a confusion started as well as fright, and an uproar of weeping and prayers.

    Naufragio
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: They saw all around them persons frozen like statues, with eyes wide open and with blank stares, with the faces of corpses and madmen.

    Naufragio
    Italian postcard by Film Artistica Floria, Torino (Turin), no. 3404. Printed by Uff. Rev. St. Terni, 16-5-17. Caption: Goodbye, Mario!, she cried among her sobs with her arms extended towards him.

    Sources: Vittorio Martinelli (Il Cinema Italiano 1916) and IMDb.