Quantcast
European Film Star Postcards
Browsing Latest Articles All 2706 Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.
0
Articles:

J.R.P.R., Paris

0
0
J.R.P.R. was a French postcard publisher, located in Paris. The company produced more than 500 postcards with International stars of the late silent cinema or scenes of such classic films as Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925) and L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928). The French photos were mostly shot by either Studio Lorelle or G.L. Manuel Frères. We selected 26 postcards.

Gilbert Roland and Norma Talmadge in Camille (1926)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 60. Photo: First National. Gilbert Roland and Norma Talmadge in Camille (Fred Niblo, 1926).

Mexican-born American film star Gilbert Roland (1905–1994) was often cast in the typical 'Latin Lover' role during the silent era. Roland later played romantic lead roles in Spanish language adaptations of American films. In the mid-1940s, he featured in the popular film series around The Cisco Kid. Beginning in the 1940s, critics began to take notice of his acting and he was praised for his supporting roles in John Huston's We Were Strangers (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). His last film appearance was in the Western Barbarosa (1984). Norma Talmadge (1894–1957) was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box-office-draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.

Carmel Myers and Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
French postcard by J.R.P.R, Paris. no. 69. Photo: MGM. Carmel Myers and Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925).

In Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo, 1925), silent film star Ramon Novarro plays the Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, who seeks to find his family and to revenge himself upon his childhood friend Messala (Francis X. Bushman) who had him wrongly imprisoned. A slip of brick during a Roman parade causes Judah to be sent off as a galley slave, his property confiscated and his mother (Claire McDowell) and sister imprisoned. Years later, as a result of his determination to stay alive and his willingness to aid his Roman master, Judah returns to his homeland an exalted and wealthy Roman athlete. Unable to find his mother and sister, and believing them dead, he can think of nothing else than revenge against Messala. Ramon Novarro was promoted by MGM as a 'Latin Lover' and became known as a sex symbol after the death of Rudolph ValentinoBen-Hur was Novarro's greatest success. His revealing costumes caused a sensation.

Henri Roussell
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 80. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.

Henry Roussel (1875–1946), also known as Henry Roussell, was a French silent film actor, film director, and screenwriter best known for his silent films of the 1910s and 1920s. He starred in well over 40 films between 1912 and 1939 and directed such films as Visages voilés... âmes closes (1921), Les opprimés (1923), Violettes impériales/Imperial Violets (1924) and Paris' Girls (1929), while in the early 1910s he was a regular actor of the Eclair company, often directed by Maurice Tourneur, and later on had memorable parts in e.g. Les nouveaux messieurs (1929).

Régina Dalthy
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 85. Photo: Studio V. Henry.

Little is known about Régina Dalthy, but her claim of fame is she played 'the other woman', the young marchioness Severo, in La sirène de tropiques (Mario Nalpas, Henri Étiévant, 1927), starring Josephine Baker and Pierre Batcheff. In the film her father, played by Georges Melchior, sends his daughter's fiancé to the tropics, plotting that he will never return. But young André (Batcheff) returns to Paris, followed by Papitou (Baker), a young black girl who saves his life and is secretly in love with him. Dalthy acted in three more films: the Brazilian silent comedy Augusto Aníbal Quer Casar (Luiz de Barros, 1923), La symphonie pathétique (1928), again directed by Nalpas and Etievant, and starring famous French boxer Georges Carpentier, and finally, the Franco-Spanish production La bodega (Benito Perojo, 1930), starring Gabriel Gabrio, Colette Darfeuil, and Enrique de Rivero, and shot in Andalucia and the Paris Pathé Natan studio.

Desdemona Mazza
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 86. Photo: V. Henry.

Italian actress Desdemona Mazza (1901-?) appeared in Italian and French silent films. She worked with such directors as Louis Mercanton, Julien Duvivier and Marcel L’Herbier.

Betty Bronson as The Holy Virgin in Ben-Hur (1925)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 100. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn. Betty Bronson as The Holy Virgin in Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925).

Betty Bronson (1906-1971) was personally selected by J.M. Barrie to star in Peter Pan (Herbert Brenon, 1924). It remains her most famous part, even if she had a small but significant part as The Holy Virgin Mary in Ben-Hur (Fred Niblo, 1925) and starred in the delicious but less popular A Kiss for Cinderella (1925), again directed by Brenon and again based on Barrie. In the early sound era, Bronson played in the Al Jolson films The Singing Fool (1929) and its sequel Sonny Boy (1929) and had the female lead in the Jack Benny movie, The Medicine Man (1930).

Claude France in L'île d'amour (1929)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 115. Photo: France-Film. Claude France in L'île d'amour/Island of Love (Berte Dagmar, Jean Durand, 1929).

Claude France (1893-1928) was a French actress of the 1920s.  Two months before her greatest triumph opened in the cinemas, she committed suicide by opening the gas.

Rod La Rocque in Braveheart (1925)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 122. Photo: Erka Prodisco. Rod La Rocque in Braveheart (Alan Hale, 1925), which French release title was La barrière des races.

Rod La Rocque (1898-1969) was an American film actor between the 1910s and the 1930s. The dark-haired, tall actor often played the love interests of female stars, such as Pola Negri's in Ernst Lubitsch's drama Forbidden Paradise (1924).

Raquel Meller
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 151. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères.

Spanish actress, singer, and diva Raquel Meller acted mainly in French silent films. She was already a highly popular singer before debuting as a film actress in 1919.

Jaque Catelain in Le marchand de plaisirs
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 199. Jaque Catelain in Le marchand de plaisirs (Jaque Catelain, 1923). Photo: Sartony, Lafitte. This was one of two films Catelain directed himself, in addition to his prolific career as a silent film actor.

Jaque Catelain (1897-1965) was one of the most well-known faces of the French silent era. Catelain, also written Jaque-Catelain, Jacques Catelain and Jacque Cathelain, was originally named Jacques Guerin-Castelain.

Charles Farrell
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 207. Photo: Fox.

Good-looking American actor Charles Farrell (1900-1990) was a Hollywood matinée idol of the Jazz Age and Depression-era. He seems now forgotten, but between 1927 and 1934, he was very popular thanks to his teaming with Janet Gaynor in 12 screen romances, including 7th Heaven (1927), Street Angel (1928), and Lucky Star (1929). He retired from films in the early 1940s, but TV audiences of the 1950s would see him as Gale Storm's widower dad in the television series My Little Margie (1952-1955).

Greta Garbo
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 214. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Swedish Greta Garbo (1905-1990) was one of the greatest and most glamorous film stars ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. She was part of the Golden Age of the silent cinema of the 1920s and was one of the few actors who made a glorious transition to the talkies. She started her career in the European cinema and would always stay more popular in Europe than in the USA.

Ernst/ Edmond Van Duren in Figaro (1929)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 301. Ernst Van Duren in the French silent film Figaro (Gaston Ravel, 1929), based on the play by Beaumarchais. Van Duren played the title role. Location shooting was done at the Château de Rochefort-sur-Yvelines.

Little is known about French actor Ernst Van Duren aka Ernest van Duren aka Edmond Van Duren aka Van Duren (?-1930). The Dutch press at the time claimed he was Hungarian but of Dutch origin. What is known is that from 1921, he formed a famous dance couple with Edmonde Guy, the muse of the painter Kees van Dongen. He performed with her all over Europe and the US, where they were engaged by Florenz Ziegfeld for his 'Palm Beach Follies' (1926). Guy and Van Duren were known for their steamy performances and daring outfits. Van Duren was also known for his ephebic beauty, while his dance clearly had feminine aspects. Guy's sisters Christine and Marie were professional dancers too, known as The Guy Sisters, and often performed in choreographies by their brother Paul.

Victor McLaglen in What Price Glory (1926)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 332. Photo: Max Munn Autrey / Fox. Victor McLaglen in What Price Glory (Raoul Walsh, 1926).

Victor McLaglen (1886-1959) was a Scottish boxer and World War I veteran who became a successful film actor. He started in British silent films, and later became a popular character actor in Hollywood, with a particular knack for playing drunks.

Brigitte Helm
French postcard by J.R.P.R., no. 336. Photo: Studio Lorelle (Lucien Lorelle), Paris. Brigitte Helm in L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

Brigitte Helm
French postcard by J.R.P.R., no. 337. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris. Brigitte Helm in L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

Brigitte Helm
French postcard by J.R.P.R., no. 338. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris. Brigitte Helm in L'Argent/The Money (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928).

German actress Brigitte Helm (1908-1996) is still famous for her dual role as Maria and her double the evil Maria, the Maschinenmensch, in the silent SF classic Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). After Metropolis she made a string of over 30 films in which she almost always had the starring role. She easily made the transition to sound films, before she abruptly retired in 1935.

Pierre Alcover in L'Argent (1928)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 344. Pierre Alcover in L'Argent (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928). Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères.

Pierre Alcover (1893-1957) knew a remarkable career from warehouseman at Les Halles in Paris to top actor, often playing bad guys, such as the head spy in La chèvre aux pieds d'or (Jacques Robert, 1925) and the scheming banker in L'Argent (1928) by Marcel L'Herbier, but also law enforcers such as police officers and wardens, e.g. Criminel (1933), or simple men such as the ambitious new pilot on a barge in L'Hirondelle et la mesange (André Antoine, 1924), and the violent but good-hearted convict in La petite Lise (Jean Grémillon 1930). Guy Bellinger on IMDb: "On the silver screen, his imposing stature and his gruff tone predisposed him to violent roles, on either side of the law. [...] Anyway, whether a lawbreaker or a law enforcer, Pierre Alcover brought the same conviction (no pun intended) to the role he was given to play. One of the great character actors of the 1920s and 1930s."

Pierre Batcheff in Monte Cristo (1929)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 348. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères. Pierre Batcheffin Le Comte de Monte-Christo/Monte Cristo (Henri Fescourt, 1929).

Pierre Batcheff (1901-1932) was a French film actor who became famous for his part in the surrealist film Un Chien andalou (Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, 1929).

Renée Héribel
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 351. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris.

French actress Renée Héribel (1903-1952) knew to launch a short but impressive film career in the second half of the 1920s.

Gina Manès
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 374. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

French actress Gina Manès (1893-1989) starred in some 90 films between 1916 and 1966. She is best known for the silent classics Coeur fidèle (1923) and Thérèse Raquin (1928).

Dranem and Suzette O'Nill in Louis XIV (1929)
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 410. Photo: Studio V. Henry. Dranem and Suzette O'Nill in the stage operetta 'Louis XIV' (1929)

Dranem (1869-1935) was a French comic singer, music hall, stage and film actor.

Georges Charlia
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 429. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

French actor Georges Charlia (1894-1984) played in 22 silent and sound films. He worked with such famous directors of the French avant-garde cinema as Germaine Dulac, Jean Epstein, and Alberto Cavalcanti.

Noël-Noël
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 434. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

Noël-Noël (1897-1989) was a beloved French character actor and screenwriter. He appeared in 45 films between 1931 and 1966. His talents were diversified and he was known for his strong leftist political beliefs which seeped into many of his film scripts.

Who is this lady?
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 496. This is Betty Compson, not Mary Nolan. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

Betty Compson (1897-1974) was an American actress and film producer. She peaked in silent cinema and early talkies and is best known for her performances as a suicidal prostitute rescued by a stoker (George Bancroft) in The Docks of New York (Joseph Von Sternberg, 1928), and as the manipulative carnival girl Carrie in the part-talkie The Barker (George Fitzmaurice, 1928), the latter earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Mistinguett in Paris Miss
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 513. Photo: P. Apers. Mistinguett in the revue 'Paris Miss' at the Casino de Paris in 1930.

French actress and singer Mistinguett (1875-1956) captivated Paris with her risqué routines. She went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest-paid female entertainer in the world. She appeared more than 60 times in the cinema.

Source: Rosspostcards.com.

Capucine

0
0
Elegant French actress and fashion model Capucine (1928-1990) appeared in 36 films and 17 television productions between 1948 and 1990. She is best known for her roles in the comedies The Pink Panther (1963) and What's New Pussycat? (1965). In 1990 she committed suicide.

Capucine in North to Alaska (1960)
Spanish postcard by Edic. Raker, Barcelona, no. 117. Photo: Fox. Capucine in North to Alaska (Henry Hathaway, 1960).

Capucine
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscar Color S.A., Hospitalet (Barcelona), no. 300.

Paris, Manhattan, Hollywood


Capucine was born Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre in Saint-Raphaël, France in 1928. She often confused the issue by saying she was born in 1931 or 1933, and some sources report these years, but according to Wikipedia there is documentary evidence for a 1928 year of birth.

She attended school in France and received a B.A. in foreign languages. Her middle-class family wanted her to become a school teacher. When she balked at that, they suggested she work in a bank. At 17, while riding in a carriage in Paris, she was noticed by a commercial photographer. She became a fashion model, working for the fashion houses of Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, and Christian Dior.

She had classic patrician features (The New York Times compared her to Nefertiti) and an independent, non-conformist personality. She adopted the name Capucine, French for the nasturtium flower, a kind of watercress. While modelling in Paris, Capucine met Audrey Hepburn, and the two would remain friends for the rest of Capucine's life.

When she was sixteen, Capucine made her film debut as an extra in the French film L’Aigle à deux têtes/The Eagle Has Two Heads (Jean Cocteau, 1948) starring Edwige Feuillère. It was followed by a small part in Rendez-vous de Juillet/Rendezvous in July (Jacques Becker, 1949) starring Daniel Gélin.

In Rendez-vous de Juillet, she played the girlfriend of a character played by Pierre Trabaud. In real life, the two also fell in love and they married the next year. However, the marriage lasted only six months, and Capucine never married again.

She played small parts in the comedy Mon ami Sainfoin/My Friend Sainfoin (Marc-Gilbert Sauvajon, 1950) with Pierre Blanchar, Bertrand coeur de lion/Bernard and the Lion (Robert Dhéry, 1951) and Frou-Frou (Augusto Genina, 1955) featuring Dany Robin.

In 1956 Capucine moved to New York to model there. One night in 1957 at the Manhattan restaurant Le Pavilion, she met John Wayne and agent/producer Charles K. Feldman. Feldman signed her to a contract and she later moved in with him. Feldman brought her to Hollywood to learn English and study acting under Gregory Ratoff.

She signed a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1958 and landed her first English-speaking role as Princess Carolyne in the Franz Liszt biopic Song Without End (Charles Vidor, George Cukor, 1960) for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She became close friends with her co-star Dirk Bogarde, and often visited him at his home in France.

Capucine
Spanish postcard in the 'Coleccion Mitos Cinematograficos' by Cacitel, no. 82.

Stewart Granger and Capucine in North to Alaska (1960)
Small Romanian collectors card. Stewart Granger and Capucine in North to Alaska (Henry Hathaway, 1960).

Lesbian Hooker


For the next few years, Capucine made six more major Hollywood movies. They included the Western comedy North to Alaska (Henry Hathaway, 1960), as a prostitute who becomes the love interest of John Wayne, and the sensational melodrama Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962), in which she portrayed a lesbian hooker opposite Laurence Harvey. The role gave her some notoriety, but also made her an icon for many lesbians.

In Hollywood, she met actor William Holden and the two began a two-year affair, despite the fact that Holden was married to Brenda Marshall. Capucine and Holden starred together in the films The Lion (Jack Cardiff, 1962) and The 7th Dawn (Lewis Gilbert, 1964). After the affair ended, she and Holden remained friends until his death in 1981.

In 1962, she moved to Switzerland where Holden had a house, and much of The Pink Panther (Blake Edwards, 1963) was shot in Europe. She played in this crime comedy Simone Clouseau, the wife of bumbling and conceited police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers). The film was nominated for an Oscar and became a huge box office a hit. This success led to a number of popular sequels and Capucine returned in two of them.

She also reunited with Peter Sellers in the cult comedy What's New Pussycat? (Clive Donner, Richard Talmadge, 1965), written by Woody Allen. Other successful films were the crime comedy The Honey Pot (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1967) with Rex Harrison, Fellini’s flamboyant masterpiece about ancient Rome Satyricon (Federico Fellini, 1969) and the action-thriller Soleil rouge/Red Sun (Terence Young, 1971) starring Charles Bronson.

She continued making films in Europe until her death. Among her later films were the comedy L'incorrigible/Incorrigible (Philippe de Broca, 1975) with Jean-Paul Belmondo, the romantic drama Per amore (Mino Giarda, 1976) with Michael Craig, and Bluff storia di truffe e di imbroglioni/The Con Artists (Sergio Corbucci, 1976) with Anthony Quinn and Adriano Celentano.

Except for some appearances in TV films, she spent her last decade in seclusion in Switzerland. In 1990, Capucine jumped from her eighth-floor apartment in Lausanne, where she had lived for 28 years. She had reportedly suffered from illness and depression for some time. According to IMDb, she was a manic-depressive, and on several occasions, her friend Audrey Hepburn had saved her life after suicide attempts. Capucine was 62.

The New York Times stated in its obituary that her only known survivors were her three cats (this detail is removed from the internet version of the obituary). Lenin Imports quotes her: "I used to think I needed a man to define myself. Not any more." Whether this statement was an acknowledgment that Capucine was lesbian or bisexual is not known, though she did talk in later interviews late in life about her preference for women.


Original trailer for The Pink Panther (1963). Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers (YouTube).


Trailer for Jaguar Lives! (Ernest Pintoff, 1979). Source: Arrow Video (YouTube).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), The New York Times, Lenin Imports, Wikipedia (English and French), and IMDb.

Cicely Courtneidge

0
0
British actress Cicely Courtneidge (1893–1980) was an elegantly knockabout comedienne. For 62 years, she formed a husband and wife team with comedian Jack Hulbert on stage, radio, TV and in the cinema. During the 1930s they also starred together in eleven British films and one disastrous American production.

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons, no. 14. Photo: Gaumont-British. Cicely Courtneidge in Soldiers of the King/The Woman in Command (Maurice Elvey, 1933).

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series by Real Photograph, London, no. 326.

Cicely Courtneidge
British Real Photograph postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, no. 13. Photo: Gaumont-British.

The Fairy Peaseblossom


Esmerelda Cicely Courtneidge was born in Sydney, Australia in 1893. She was the daughter of the producer Robert Courtneidge, and at the time of her birth, he was touring Australia with the J. C. Williamson company. Her mother was Rosaline May née Adams (stage name Rosie Nott), the daughter of the opera singer Cicely Nott. The family returned to England in 1894.

In 1901, at the age of eight, Courtneidge made her stage debut as the fairy Peaseblossom in her father's production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at the Prince's Theatre, Manchester.

By the age of 16, she appeared in his Edwardian musical comedies in the West End in London. Her West End debut was at the Apollo Theatre in the comic opera 'Tom Jones' (1907), which had a libretto co-written by her father.

Cicely was quickly promoted from minor to major roles. Her first starring role was Eileen Cavanagh in the long-running Edwardian musical comedy 'The Arcadians', which she took over from Phyllis Dare in 1910.

In the piece that followed, 'The Mousmé' (1911), which also featured a book co-written by her father, she was cast in one of the two leading female roles alongside Florence Smithson.

Her third musical comedy was 'The Pearl Girl' (1913) with the 21-year-old Jack Hulbert, making his professional debut.

Courtneidge and Hulbert starred together in 'The Cinema Star' (1914), an adaptation by Hulbert and Harry Graham of 'Die Kino-Königin', a 1913 German comic opera by Jean Gilbert. The piece was a hit and played to full houses at the Shaftesbury Theatre until Britain and Germany went to war in August 1914. Anti-German sentiment brought the run to an abrupt halt.

Soon after the outbreak of war, Hulbert joined the army. Courtneidge continued to appear in her father's productions in the West End and on tour. But Robert Courtneidge had a series of failures and temporarily withdrew from producing.

No other producers offered Cicely leading roles in musical comedies, and she turned instead to the music hall, learning her craft as a comedienne. In variety shows, she showed off her tuneful voice, forceful humour, and vital personality, and she held the attention of the audience. By 1918 she had firmly established herself as a music-hall artiste, both in the provinces and in London.

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard by Rotary, no. 11800 M. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield. Caption: Cicely Courtneidge in 'Princess Caprice' Shaftesbury Theatre.

Cicely Courtneidge, George Graves and Nelson Keyes in Princess Caprice (1912)
British postcard by Rotary Photo, no. 11800 I. Photo: Foulsham and Banfield Ltd.Cicely Courtneidge as Princess Clementine, George Graves as Bugumil, and Nelson Keyes as Ensign Pips in 'Princess Caprice' (1912). 'Princess Caprice' is a comedy with music, in three acts, with music by Leo Fall. The original production opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 11 May 1912, running for 265 performances until January 1913. It was produced by Robert Courtneidge.

Cicely Courtneidge in By The Way (1925)
British postcard by the Apollo Theatre, London. Photo: Lenare. Sent by mail in 1925. Caption: Miss Cicely Courtneidge in 'By the Way', A New Revue With Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge and Betty Chester.

Liquidation


Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert married in 1916. They formed a professional as well as a private partnership that lasted until his death, 62 years later. Their first revue was Ring Up, by Eric Blore and Ivy St. Helier, at the Royalty Theatre in 1921. They received good notices, but the material was weak, and the show was not a great success.

Courtneidge returned to variety and appeared at the London Coliseum in 1922. In 1923, Courtneidge and Hulbert starred in 'The Little Revue', produced by Hulbert. The Times: "there is no reason why it should not have a dozen successors, all as good." There were, in fact, five successors, which were a continuous success over eight years.

In 1925, they made their Broadway debut in the revue, 'By-the-Way'. In 1931 Courtneidge and Hulbert suffered a serious setback when their financial manager had put their business into liquidation. Hulbert accepted responsibility for all the debts and to repay his creditors, he and his wife moved over to the cinema.

A boom in the film industry enabled actors to earn lucrative sums. Their first appearance in the all-star Elstree Calling (Adrian Brunel, Alfred Hitchcock, Andre Charlot, Paul Murray, Jack Hulbert, 1930) had gone down well enough for them to be offered more film roles.

During the 1930s, Courtneidge appeared in 11 British films, and one in Hollywood. She and Hulbert worked together in such Gainsborough comedies as The Ghost Train (Walter Forde, 1931) with Ann Todd, the comedy Jack's the Boy (Walter Forde, 1932) and Falling for You (Walter Forde, 1933) with Tamara Desni.

Hulbert played the dashing hero in The Ghost Train while Courtneidge played a mad spinster - a pattern that was repeated in many of their subsequent films together. For the German Ufa studio, they appeared in the musical Happy Ever After (Paul Martin, Robert Stevenson, 1932) starring Lilian Harvey.

Solo, Cicely starred in Soldiers of the King (Maurice Elvey, 1934) in which she played a double role opposite Edward Everett Horton, and scored a solid hit. Hollywood took an interest and she went over to MGM to make The Perfect Gentleman (Tim Whelan, 1935) with Frank Morgan. It was a disastrous production and a massive flop.

Back at Gainsborough, she starred in Me and Marlborough (Victor Saville, 1935) with Tom Walls, Things Are Looking Up (Albert de Courville, 1935) and Everybody Dance (Charles Reisner, 1936).

In 1937, she reunited with Jack Hulbert on-screen in Take My Tip (Herbert Mason, 1937), and on stage in 'Under Your Hat', a spy story co-written by Hulbert, with music and lyrics by Vivian Ellis. The production ran at the Palace Theatre until April 1940 and was then filmed for the cinema, Under Your Hat (Maurice Elvey, 1940).

During the 1930s, Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert also recorded for Columbia and HMV such songs as 'Why has a cow got four legs'. Solo, Courtneidge recorded her celebrated sketch 'Laughing Gas' (1931).

Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard in the Rotary Photographic Series, no. 11673 A. Photo: Foulsham & Banfield.

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 326a. Photo: Janet Jevons.

Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge in Jack's the Boy (1932)
British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. P 42. Photo: Gainsborough Pictures.

Gay's the Word


During the Second World War, Cicely Courtneidge entertained the troops and raised funds for the army. In 1941, she presented a nightly three-hour show, raising funds, and then formed a small company that she took to Gibraltar, Malta, North Africa, and Italy, performing for the services and hospitals.

She also toured in 'Hulbert Follies' (1941), and 'Full Swing' (1942), which she and Hulbert then brought to the Palace Theatre. At the end of the war, she had a long run in 'Under the Counter', a comedy in which she received glowing notices. Its theme was the black market in luxury goods and the heroine's shamelessness in manipulating it to her advantage.

This struck a chord with British audiences after the privations of the war, and the play, produced by Hulbert, ran for two years. Notable among her other successes was Courtneidge's performance in Ivor Novello's musical 'Gay's the Word' in 1951–1952. In 1951 she was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

In 1955 she made a come-back on the screen in the crime film Miss Tulip Stays the Night (Leslie Arliss, 1955) with Jack Hulbert and Diana Dors. During the rest of the decade, she turned from musicals, revues to straight plays.

In 1962, she gave what she considered her finest film performance in The L-Shaped Room (Bryan Forbes, 1962) starring Leslie Caron. Unlike her usual parts, she played an elderly lesbian, living in a drab London flat with her cat, recalling her career as an actress and forlornly trying to keep in touch with former friends. The Times described her performance as a triumph.

In 1964, she appeared in the London production of 'High Spirits', a musical adaptation of Noël Coward's 'Blithe Spirit'. Coward himself co-directed, and the two clashed constantly. The notices for the play and for Courtneidge were both dreadful.

The last London production in which the Hulberts appeared together was a well-reviewed revival of 'Dear Octopus' at the Haymarket Theatre in 1967 with Richard Todd. In 1969, Courtneidge turned to television, playing a working-class role as Mum in the first series of the comedy On the Buses, opposite Reg Varney. Her role was played by Doris Hare in the rest of the series’ long run.

While appearing in her last West End run in 1971, she celebrated 70 years on the stage. Afterward, she continued to work for a further five years before retiring. In 1972 she was appointed DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

Her last film was Not Now Darling (Ray Cooney, David Croft, 1973), a farce in which Jack Hulbert also appeared, both in supporting parts. One of her last appearances was in a royal gala performance at the Chichester Festival Theatre in June 1977, celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee. The performance was called God Save the Queen! and had an all-star cast, including Ingrid Bergman, Wendy Hiller and Diana Rigg.

Jack Hulbert died in 1978; Dame Cicely Courtneidge DBE died two years later, shortly after her 87th birthday, at a nursing home in Putney. She was survived by her only child, a daughter.

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard in the Cameo Series, London, no. KC 28. Photo: Dorothy Wilding.

Cicely Courtneidge
British postcard

Cicely Courtneidge
British autograph card.

Sources: David Absalom (British Pictures), Stanley Greene (Encyclopedia of the Musical theatre), The Cicely Courtneidge & Jack Hulbert Archive, Wikipedia and IMDb.

Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)

0
0
Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918) was a sweet German comedy by the Messter Film Company. Henny Porten starred as Agnes and Hermann Thimig played one of her suitors. The screenplay was written by Robert Wiene, who directed two years later the expressionistic horror film Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920). And the cinematographer was Karl Freund, who would go on to direct such horror classics as The Mummy (1932) and Mad Love (1935) in Hollywood.

Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 531/1. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 531/2. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 531/3. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne Series, no. 531/4. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 531/5. Photo: Messter Film. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

A lot of hustle and bustle


Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918) is a comedy from the Biedermeier period. Two rich fathers, Baron Hermann von Hermanntitz (Artur Menzel) and the landowner Arnau (Rudolf Biebrach) have agreed in advance: Arnau's daughter Agnes (Henny Porten) and Hermann's son Hans (Curt Ehrle) should marry without ever having met.

But Hans does not behave as befitting the class - as one would expect in the aristocratic circles. He prefers art and wants to be a painter. Since he appears to be out of the race, Hermanntitz sends his younger son Tony (Hermann Thimig).

But Agnes is in no way willing to let her father sell her so easily, especially since she doesn't know either of the Hermannitz sons. And this is how she - always ready with pranks - comes up with an idea: When her father is about to travel, she 'organises' the inn sign from the village inn and has it attached to the castle entrance. The interior is also transformed into an inn.

She persuades the fatherly servants to join in the fun and pretend to be waiters and waitresses. Soon there is a lot of hustle and bustle: first Hans comes in, next an actor who is supposed to pretend to be Tony on his behalf.

In the meantime, the real Tony has made friends in the real pub with a comedy group from which he has selected his 'deputy' and sent it to the castle (Paul Westermeier). After all, the real Tony also wants to know what's going on at the castle and also comes to the wrong inn. Suddenly Agnes Arnau has three applicants for her favour. She chooses the first, Hans, the painter.

The four-act silent film was shot in the Messter-Film-Studio in Berlin in spring 1918 and was 1392 meters long and after new censorship in April 1921 1308 meters long. During the censorship in May 1918, a ban on young people was issued. The premiere took place on 24 May 1918 in the Berlin film palace Mozartsaal.


Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 531/6. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in the silent comedy Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918). The man could be Rudolf Biebrach, who plays Agnes's father in the film.

Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 531/7. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 531/8. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Portenin Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier (1918)
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 531/9. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 531/10. Photo: Messter-Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier/Agnes Arnau and her three suitors (Rudolf Biebrach, 1918).

Sources: Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg (Beyond Caligari: The Films of Robert Wiene), Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.

Yvette Guilbert

0
0
Yvette Guilbert (1865-1944) was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Époque. Her ingenious delivery of songs charged with risqué meaning made her famous. She also appeared in some classic silent films.

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard by F C & Cie, no. 285. Photo: Boyer & Bert, Paris. Caption: Yvette Guilbert de la Comédie Royale.

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard. photo: Caubin / Paul Berger.

Emil Jannings and Yvette Guilbert in Faust (1926)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 62/2. Photo: Parufamet / Ufa. Still with Emil Jannings as Mephisto and Yvette Guilbert as Marthe in Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926).

Moulin Rouge


Yvette Guilbert was born as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert into a poor family in 1865. Her parents settled in Paris shortly before her birth.

Her mother Albine owned a boutique, while her father, Hippolyte, was a bon vivant who liked spending money in cabarets and enjoyed the company of women. He sometimes brought his daughter with him to the café-concerts, where she showed a precocious singing talent.

At age sixteen, she worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was discovered by journalist Charles Zidler, who later became director of the Moulin Rouge, and he introduced her to the world of show business. Guilbert took voice and acting lessons and by 1886 she appeared on stage at smaller venues.

In 1888, Guilbert debuted at the Varieté Theatre. In 1890 she sang at the popular Eldorado club, then at the Jardin de Paris before headlining in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge. She stayed there for a long time and later succeeded at the Folies-Bergère for nine years.

For her act, she was usually dressed in bright yellow with long black gloves and stood almost perfectly still, gesturing with her long arms as she sang. An innovator, she favored monologue-like ‘patter songs’ and was often billed as a ‘diseuse’ or ‘storyteller.’ The lyrics were raunchy; their subjects were tragedy, lost love, and the Parisian poverty from which she had come. Taking her cue from the new cabaret performances, Guilbert broke and rewrote all the rules of Music-hall with her audacious lyrics, and the audiences loved her.

During the 1890s she appeared regularly alongside another star of the time, Kam-Hill, often singing songs by Tarride. Guilbert owed much of her success to Xanrof (Léon Fourneau) and to Aristide Bruant, who wrote songs for her. She is also remembered for a famous poster of her, showing her in her characteristic yellow dress and long black gloves, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He made many portraits and caricatures of Guilbert and dedicated his second album of sketches to her.

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard by SIP, no. 1975. Photo: Paul Boyer, Paris.

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard by Vin Désilés. photo: Paul Berger / S.I.P.

Yvette Guilbert
German postcard by NPG, no. 266/74. Photo: Erwin Raupp, Berlin.

Gaunt Decadent Appearance And Risqué Lyrics


At the beginning of the twentieth century, Yvette Guilbert was noted in Europe and the United States for her songs and imitations of the common people of France. She had made successful tours of England and Germany, and the United States in 1895–1896. In 1897, she married Max Schiller, a Viennese biologist whom she met during one of her tours in New York, where she even had performed at Carnegie Hall.

Encyclopædia Britannica writes: “Fascinating to French audiences, she scandalized the English with her gaunt decadent appearance and risqué lyrics.” Even in her fifties, her name still had drawing power. She shared a friendship with Sigmund Freud, based on mutual admiration. Once she gave a performance for the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, at a private party on the French Riviera. Hostesses vied to have her at their parties.

Yvette Guilbert appeared in several silent films. In the US she appeared in the short drama An Honorable Cad (George Terwilliger, 1919) for the Stage Women's War Relief Fund. In France, she co-starred in the successful serial Les deux gosses/The two kids (Louis Mercanton, 1924) with Gabriel Signoret.

The highlight of her film career was a star turn in Murnau's classic Faust (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1926) starring Gösta Ekman and Emil Jannings.

Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Faust was the mammoth German production which F.W. Murnau won his contract with Hollywood's Fox Studios. Emil Jannings glowers his way through the role of Mephistopheles, who offers the aging Faust (Gösta Ekman) an opportunity to relive his youth, the price being Faust's soul. Though highly stylized, the film is unsettlingly realistic at times, especially during the execution of the unfortunate Gretchen.”

In Germany, she also starred opposite Lya Mara in the comedy Die lachende Grille/The Laughing Cricket (Friedrich Zelnik aka Frederic Zelnik, 1926), based on the novel by Georges Sand.

Another silent classic was the French film L’argent/Jazz-Bank (Marcel L’Herbier, 1928) starring Brigitte Helm. At IMDb, Trent Bolden reviews: “L'Argent is a beacon of modernity, an over-sized hymn to the music of light, where everything is rhythm, movement, and a fantastic spiral of financial manipulations. Even today, the subject is astonishingly relevant.”

Yvette Guilbert and Emil Jannings in Faust (1926)
German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 94, group 40. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still with Emil Jannings as Mephisto and Yvette Guilbert as Marthe in Faust (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1926).

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard for Voxol. Photo: Nickolas Muray N.Y.C. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

Writing About The Belle Époque


Yvette Guilbert also appeared in sound films. Her first sound film was the melodrama Les deux orphelines/The Two Orphans (Maurice Tourneur, 1933), a remake of D.W. Griffith’s silent masterpiece Orphans of the Storm (1921).

DB DuMonteil at IMDb: “Best performance comes from Yvette Guilbert, the hateful shrew, La Frochard, who forces poor blind Louise to beg on the street. Tourneur's directing and pictures are better than the incredible story which accumulates the coincidences all along Henriette's (Renée Saint-Cyr) and Louise's (Rosine Deréan) martyrdom: La Frochard rocking her dead son (a giant), Louise teaching André to pray in a church, and the (female) prisoners leaving for the colonies are scenes which can still grab today's audience, provided that they love melodramas of course.”

The following year, she played a grandmother in Pêcheur d'Islande/Iceland Fisherman (Pierre Guerlais, 1935). Her final role she did with friend Sacha Guitry in his comedy Faisons un rêve.../Let Us Do a Dream (1936).

Her recordings for Le Voix de Son Maitre include the famous Le Fiacre as well as some of her own compositions such as Madame Arthur. She accompanied herself on the piano for some numbers.

In later years, Guilbert turned to write about La Belle Époque. She wrote the instructional book 'L’Art de chanter une chanson' (How to Sing a Song, 1928), two novels, 'La Vedette' (1920) and 'Les Demi-Vieilles' (1920), and an autobiography, 'La Chanson de ma vie' (Song of My Life: My Memories, 1929). Guilbert became a respected authority on her country's medieval folklore and in 1932 she was awarded the Legion of Honor as the Ambassadress of French Song.

Yvette Guilbert died in 1944 in Aix-en-Provence, aged 79. Twenty years later her biography, 'That Was Yvette' (1964) by Bettina Knapp and Myra Chipman was released. Since then her songs were sometimes used for film soundtracks. You can hear her song Madame Arthur in French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1954) and Le Fiacre in Love in the Time of Cholera (Mike Newell, 2007).

Yvette Guilbert
French postcard by S.I.P., series 4, no. 16.. photo: Camus, Paris.


Yvette Guilbert sings Le Fiacre in 1930. Source: Le Grand Chene (YouTube).


Yvette Guilbert sings Madame Arthur. Source: Msouvais (YouTube).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), DB DuMonteil (IMDb),  Encyclopædia Britannica, Psychoanalysis Dictionary, Wikipedia and IMDb.

Photo by Teddy Piaz

0
0
It’s very hard to find any info on the Teddy Piaz studio in Paris. Teddy Piaz seems to be born in 1900, but the date of his death is unknown. His studio was specialised in portraits of Music Hall artists like Josephine Baker and Mistinguett, ballet dancers such as Serge Lifar, singers, film actors, and many other celebrities. Hundreds of his portraits were used for postcards. Piaz is also associated with a number of 45 rpm records from the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when it was fashionable to include the portrait of the performer on the cover. Furthermore, it seems that Cosette Harcourt worked at his studio for a time before opening her own studio, Studio Harcourt. The Piaz Studio was located at 122 Champs-Élysees, the avenue running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. The Champs-Élysees is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France. A fitting site for a glamorous photo studio visited by international celebrities. It’s a pity that the story of Teddy Piaz and his salon stay so obscure while it was such a famous photo studio in France during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. We selected 20 film star postcards with photos by Teddy Piaz for this post, some hand-coloured, some in black and white, and issued by several publishers.

Mistinguett
French postcard, no. 82. Photo: Studio Piaz, Paris.

French actress and singer Mistinguett (1875-1956) captivated Paris with her risqué routines. She went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest-paid female entertainer in the world. She appeared more than 60 times in the cinema.

Mireille Balin
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 23. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Mireille Balin (1909-1968) was the most beautiful woman in the French cinema of the 1930s. The glamorous actress is best known as the femme fatale who lured Jean Gabin in his downfall in the classics Pépé le Moko (1936) and Gueule d'amour/Lady Killer (1937). After the war, her love affair with a Wehrmacht officer led to the end of her career and Balin died poor and forgotten.

Roger Duchesne
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 81. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

French film actor Roger Duchesne (1906-1996) appeared in 30 films between 1934 and 1957. He is best remembered as the silver-haired gangster Bob in Jean-Pierre Melville's policier Bob le flambeur/Bob the Gambler (1956).

Jean Marais
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 91. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

With his heroic physique, Jean Marais (1913-1998) was France’s answer to Errol Flynn, the epitome of the swashbuckling romantic hero of French cinema. The blonde and incredibly good-looking actor played over 100 roles in film and on television and was also known as a director, writer, painter, and sculptor. His mentor was the legendary poet and director Jean Cocteau, who was also his lover.

Arletty
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 100. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

Blessed with a combination of charisma, good looks and impressive acting ability, Arletty (1898–1992) portrayed several femme fatales, vamps, prostitutes in French films and stage plays of the 1930s and 1940s. Her characters were down-to-earth, earthy, slightly comical female types, usually complex characters with a tough outer shell that concealed an inner vulnerability. She is best remembered as ethereal and mysterious Garance in Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du Paradis (1944). When the Second World War ended, Arletty's career was marked with controversy. During the occupation of France, she had fallen in love with a German officer, and after the liberation, she was jailed as a collaborator. Her career would continue after a suspension but never reached the same level as before and during the war.

Serge Reggiani
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 142. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

Serge Reggiani (1922-2004) was an Italian-born French singer and actor. After his breakthrough in Marcel Carné’s Les portes de la nuit/The Doors of the Night (1946), he went on to perform in 80 films including such classics as Casque d'or (1952), Le Doulos (1962), and Il Gattopardo/The Leopard (1963). In the 1960s, he began a second career as a singer of chansons.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 198. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

French actress Gaby André (1920-1972) was a film star during World War II, who later became the mother of another gorgeous French film star, Carole André.

Madeleine Sologne
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 210. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

French stage and film actress Madeleine Sologne (1912-1995) was a popular star in the late 1930s and 1940s. She became the symbol for a generation when she appeared as a modern Isolde in Jean Cocteau’s L'Éternel Retour/The Eternal Return (1941). She and her film partner Jean Marais became the ideal couple of the European cinema of the 1940s. Girls did their hair in the long, blond Sologne fashion. But in 1948 the actress retired.

Danielle Darrieux
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 310. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

French actress and singer Danielle Darrieux (1917-2017) was an enduringly beautiful, international leading lady. From her film début in 1931 on she progressed from playing pouting teens to worldly sophisticates. In the early 1950s, she starred in three classic films by Max Ophüls, and she played the mother of Catherine Deneuve in five films!

Réda Caire
French postcard by Editions et Publications cinématographiques (EPC), no. 28. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

During the 1930s and 1950s, Reda Caire (1908-1963) was a popular operetta singer in France. He also appeared in six French films.

Charles Vanel
French postcard by Editions et Publications cinématographiques (EPC), no. 161. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

French actor and director Charles Vanel (1892-1989) had a career in the cinema for 78 years. He played in over 200 silent and sound films, in France and abroad. Vanel is best remembered for his roles as the silent driver in Le salaire de la peur (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953), the retired chief commissioner in Les diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955), and the ex-resistance fighter in To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955).

Louis Jouvet
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 3. Photo: Studio Piaz.

Louis Jouvet (1887-1951) was a living glory of the French theatre. He made a huge impact as both a stage director and an actor. His character, his eagle-like profile and his unique way of speaking made him also an unforgettable film star who appeared in some of the masterpieces of the ‘poetical realism’, the Golden Age of the French cinema.

Josette Day
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 11. Photo: Studio Piaz.

French film actress Josette Day (1914-1978) is best known as Belle in the unforgettable classic La belle et la bête/Beauty and the Beast (1946). She started her film career as a child and played during the 1930s and 1940s many leading parts in French films. In 1950, she ended her successful acting career when she was only 36.

Annie Vernay
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 25. Photo: Teddy Piaz.

Swiss-French actress Annie Vernay (1921-1941) catapulted into stardom at an early age, but her career was cut short when she died at the age of 19.

Jayne Mansfield
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 879. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Some Hollywood stars were much more popular in Europe than at home. A fabulous example is sweet Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967), one of Hollywood's original platinum blonde bombshells. Although most of her American films did not do much at the European box offices, Jayne herself was a sensation whenever she came to Europe to promote her films. During the 1960s when Hollywood had lost its interest in her, Jayne continued to appear cheerfully in several European films.

Francoise Arnoul
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 113. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Pretty and petite actress Françoise Arnoul (1931) was in the early 1950s presented as the new French sex symbol but soon she would be overshadowed by the spectacular Brigitte Bardot. But, Arnoul had enough talent and range to forge a decent film career for herself.

Henri Vidal
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 123. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Handsome, robust-looking Henri Vidal (1919-1959) was a wildly popular French leading man who played both heroes and heels opposite incredible beauties including his wife, Michèle Morgan. His thriving film career was cut short by a fatal heart attack at age 40.

Gina Lollobrigida
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 404. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris. Publicity still for Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956).

Gorgeous Italian actress and photojournalist Gina Lollobrigida (1927) was one of the first European sex symbols of the post-war years. ‘La Lollo’ paved the way into Hollywood for her younger colleagues Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale.

Gilbert Bécaud
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 409. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

French singer, composer and film actor Gilbert Bécaud (1927-2001) was known as 'Monsieur 100,000 Volts' for his energetic performances. For nearly fifty years France hummed the melodies of this charming music hall star, dark blue-suited, white-shirted, and wearing his lucky tie - blue with white polka dots.

Silvana Pampanini (1925-2016)
German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 2246. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Gorgeous Italian actress Silvana Pampanini (1926-2016) knew enormous popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. In the early 1950s, before Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida reached stardom, Pampanini was one of the most well-known symbols of Italian beauty.

Sources: Dominique Chadal (Degrés de parenté - French), Wikipedia, Find Art Info, and Marlene Pilaete.

No Il Cinema Ritrovato this Summer!

0
0
Normally, tonight Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna would have started. But the XXXIV edition of our favourite film festival is postponed to 25 till 31 August. So this post only gives a glimpse of what we do hope to see in Bologna in August.

Henny Porten and Emil Jannings in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 630/6. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Henny Porten and Emil Jannings in Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920).

100 years ago is a returning programme in Bologna. Two of our favourite films from 100 years ago are Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (1920), and Victor Sjöström's Klostret i Sendomir/The Monastery of Sendomir (1920).

Tora Teje and Richard Lund in Klostret i Sendomir (1920)
Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1092/6. Photo: Tora Teje and Richard Lund in Klostret i Sendomir/The Monastery of Sendomir (Victor Sjöström, 1920).

Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda. Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1165. Photo: Warner Bros.

During a particularly turbulent time in the world – and only months to go before the US presidential election – Henry Fonda for President is a section which not only features the star of this edition but also provides an opportunity to catch some absolute classics of the canon.

Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 2255. Photo: RKO Radio.

Boeddha, de roeping van een koningszoon
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 36/2. Photo: Emelka Konzern. Himansu Rai in Prem Sanyas or Die Leuchte Asiens/The Light of Asia (Franz Osten, Himansu Rai, 1925). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Cinema Ritovato's Asian adventures continue with works from Japan and India, two of the richest national cinemas. For this post', we chose two postcards of the classic Indian film Prem Sanyas (Franz Osten, Himansu Rai, 1925).

Seeta Devi and Himansu Rai in Prem Sanyas (or Die Leuchte Asiens, 1925).
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 36/8. Photo: Emelka Konzern. Seeta Devi and Himansu Rai in Prem Sanyas or Die Leuchte Asiens/The Light of Asia (Franz Osten, Himansu Rai, 1925).

Fregoli
Leopoldo FregoliItalian postcard, no. 196. Photo C. A. Pini, Bologna.

Like every year, there is a programme about the cinema x years after the birth of cinema: this edition focusses on the year 1900. For us, it's the year of Leopoldo Fregoli (1867-1936). He started to show short films, named 'Fregoligraph', as part of his stage act. They were recordings of his wonderful transformation acts.

Fregoli in Eldorado
Leopoldo FregoliItalian postcard by Garzini e Pezzini, Milano, 1903.

Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (1942)
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 408, 1952. Photo: George Hurrell / Paramount. Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942).

Thrilling discoveries await us in programmes dedicated to Hollywood directors Frank Tuttle and Stuart Heisler. Tuttle is the director of the classic Film Noir This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942), with Hollywood's peek-a-boo girl Veronica Lake. Another Hollywood girl, 'Puerto Rican Pepperpot'Olga San Juan, had her breakthrough in Heisler's Technicolor musical Blue Skies (Stuart Heisler, 1946).

Olga San Juan in Blue Skies (1946)
Dutch postcard by Van Leer's Fotodrukindustrie N.V., Amsterdam. Photo: Paramount Pictures. Olga San Juan in Blue Skies (Stuart Heisler, 1946).

Charlie Chaplin in The Champion (1915)
British postcard by Red Letter. Photo: Essanay. Charlie Chaplin in The Champion/Champion Charlie (Charles Chaplin, 1915). Caption: Charlie and the Bulldog.

Finally, like every Il Cinema Ritrovato, there will be new restorations of films starring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton. German cigarette card by Monopol Film-Bilder, no. 90.

See the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival website.

The Kingdom of Shadows

0
0
Shadows are the essence of cinema. After attending the screening of the Lumière brothers’ films at a Russian fair in July 1896, the writer Maxim Gorky wrote: “Last night I was in the kingdom of shadows.” He was right: when the light in the projector hits the unexposed, dark parts of the frame in the celluloid film strip it produces dark light effects, or shadows, on the screen. The prototypes of screen shadows are the shadows we experience in our daily lives, projected on a wall or the pavement. Our shadow is real but at the same time strangely elusive: we cannot touch or feel it, it may be on the ground in front of us but we cannot jump over it or shake it off, and if it is behind us we cannot run away from it. In the cinema, a cast shadow can be perceived as an independent dark shape and an actual part of that surface. Sometimes, the shadow in a film has a substance and life of its own, independent of its owner.

Lotte Neumann in Die Ehe der Charlotte von Brakel (1918)
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 2168. Photo: Lotte Neumann-Film, Berlin. Lotte Neumann in Die Ehe der Charlotte von Brakel/The Marriage of Charlotte von Brakel (Paul von Woringen, 1918).

Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922)
German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden Deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, no. 134. Photo: Ufa. Max Schreck as Nosferatu in the first German horror film, Nosferatu (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1922). In this silent horror film, the vampire Nosferatu can only exist in the dark. He approaches his victim’s bedroom in the form of a disembodied shadow in profile—its hunched, crooked-nosed and clawed-fingered silhouette capturing the distorted, hybrid, human-animal essence of its owner.

Margarete Schön in Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 677/8, 1919-1924. Photo: Decla-Ufa-Film. Publicity still forDie Nibelungen 2: Kriemhilds Rache/Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (Fritz Lang, 1924). Kriemhild (Margarete Schön) has gotten the deathblow. In the back, king Hetzel (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) looks in astonishment.

Maly Delschaft
Belgian postcard by NV Cacao en Chocolade Kivou, Vilvoorde. Forgotten diva Maly Delschaft (1898-1995) began her career in the theatre and then became a star in the German silent cinema.

Carl Brisson
British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star Series by Beagles Postcard, no. 167.V. Photo: British International Pictures. Danish film actor and operetta singer Carl Brisson (1893-1958) appeared in 12 films between 1918 and 1935, including two silent films by Alfred Hitchcock. In the Paramount production Murder at the Vanities (1934), he introduced the popular song Cocktails for Two.

Elena Sangro
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 78. Photo: Pittaluga-Films, Torino. Elena Sangro (1896-1969) was one of the main actresses of the Italian cinema of the 1920s. In spite of the general film crisis then, she made one film after another. She was also one of the first female directors and she had a famous affair with the writer and poet Gabriele D'Annunzio.

Gloria Swanson in The Humming Bird
French postcard by Ed. Cinémagazine, no. 162. Gloria Swanson in The Humming Bird (Sidney Olcott, 1924), released in France as Les loups de Montmartre. Gloria Swanson (1899-1983) was one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the silent era. She transformed from a typical Mack Sennett comedienne into a lively, provocative, even predatory, star in films by Cecil B. De Mille. She received Oscar nominations for Sadie Thompson (1928), The Trespasser (1929) and Sunset Blvd. (1950).

Maciste
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine, no. 368. Bartolomeo Pagano aka Maciste in Maciste all'inferno/Maciste in Hell (Guido Brignone, 1926). Italian actor Bartolomeo Pagano's name is forever attached to the character of the strong man Maciste.

Franz Sala in Maciste all'inferno
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano. Franz Sala in Maciste all’inferno/Maciste in hell (Guido Brigone, 1926). Franz Sala, aka Francesco Sala (1886-1952) was a prolific actor of the Italian silent cinema, mostly playing the evil antagonist, such as the devil Barbariccia in Maciste all’inferno.

Vladimir Gajdarov
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1978/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder. Russian actor Vladimir Gajdarov (1893-1976) or Wladimir Gaidarow was a popular star of the European silent cinema.

Greta Garbo as Mata Hari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6521/2, 1931-1932. Photo: Clarence Sinclair Bull / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Mata Hari (George Fitzmaurice, 1931). Swedish Greta Garbo (1905-1990) was one of the greatest and most glamorous film stars ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. She was part of the Golden Age of the silent cinema of the 1920s and was one of the few actors who made a glorious transition to the talkies. She started her career in the European cinema and would always stay more popular in Europe than in the USA.

Elissa Landi in The Sign of the Cross
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 176/12. Photo: Paramount. Elissa Landi in the American epic The Sign of the Cross (Cecil B. DeMille, 1932), based on the original 1895 play by Wilson Barrett. The shadow of the cross is white here.

Elissa Landi in The Sign of the Cross
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 2061. Photo: Paramount. Elissa Landi in The Sign of the Cross (Cecil B. deMille, 1932).

Bach
French postcard by EC, no. 90. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris. Bach (1882-1953) was a popular French actor, singer and music hall performer. During the 1930s, he was the king of the Comique Troupier (coarse comedy).

Madeleine Carroll
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons in the Real Photograph Series, no. 7-8. Photo: Gaumont-British. British actress Madeleine Carroll (1906–1987) was a blonde beauty of ladylike demeanour. The first of Alfred Hitchcock's ‘ice-cool blondes’ was immensely popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and was nicknamed The Queen of British Cinema.

Alfred Abel
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6574/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin. Alfred Abel (1879-1937), best known as the industrial Fredersen in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, played in over 140 silent and sound films between 1913 and 1938.

Clark Gable in Saratoga (1937)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1600/2, 1937-1938. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable in Saratoga (Jack Conway, 1937). In the American romantic comedy Saratoga, Gable plays a bookie at the horse races.

Shirley Temple
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2154/1, 1939-1940. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Shirley Temple.

Iván Petrovich
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 192, 1941-1944. Photo: Quick. Hungarian actor Iván Petrovich (1894-1962) started his career with silent Hungarian films and appeared till his death in nearly 100 European films.

Yves Montand
French postcard. Photo: Roger Carlet. Italian-born French actor and singer Yves Montand (1921-1991) represented the ideal of the working class hero with a strong social conscience. The good-looking and talented Montand starred in numerous successful films and his crooner songs, especially those about Paris, became instant classics. But his life was filled with controversy.

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones in King Creole (1958)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 3978. Photo: Paramount. Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones in King Creole (Michael Curtiz, 1958).

Source: Piotr Sadowski (Semiotix), Wikipedia and IMDb.

Vincent Price

0
0
American actor, raconteur, art collector and connoisseur of haute cuisine Vincent Price (1911-1993) was best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres, including Film Noir, drama, mystery, thriller, and comedy. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films.

Vincent Price
American postcard by The American Postcard Company Inc., no. 126. Photo: Roddy McDowall / Harlequin Enterprises LTD. Caption: Vincent Price, Hollywood, 1973.

Historical figures or ineffectual charmers and gigolos


Vincent Leonard Price Jr. was born in 1911, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the youngest of the four children of Vincent Leonard Price Sr., president of the National Candy Company, and his wife Marguerite Cobb (née Wilcox) Price. His grandfather was Vincent Clarence Price who invented 'Dr. Price's Baking Powder', the first cream of tartar–based baking powder, and it secured the family's fortune.

Price attended the St. Louis Country Day School and Milford Academy in Milford, Connecticut. In 1933, he graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Art History from Yale University, where he worked on the campus humor magazine The Yale Record. After teaching for a year, he entered the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, intending to study for a master's degree in fine arts. Instead, he was drawn to the theatre.

He first appeared on stage in a London production of the play 'Chicago' (1935) and next portrayed the leading role of Prince Albert in 'Victoria Regina' (1935). The latter production was particularly successful and transferred to Broadway later that year as a vehicle for actress Helen Hayes in the title role of Queen Victoria.

While in New York, he joined Orson Welles's prestigious Mercury Theatre ensemble of radio actors. He had a five-play contract, beginning with 'The Shoemaker's Holiday'. He performed leading roles in several Mercury productions.

In 1938, Price started out in films as a character actor. He made his film debut in Service de Luxe (Rowland V. Lee, 1938) opposite Constance Bennett. I.S. Mowis at IMDb: "After that, he reprised his stage role as Master Hammon in an early television production of 'The Shoemaker's Holiday'. For one reason or another, Vincent was henceforth typecast as either historical figures (Sir Walter Raleigh, Duke of Clarence, Mormon leader Joseph Smith, King Charles II, Cardinal Richelieu, Omar Khayyam) or ineffectual charmers and gigolos."

He played Joseph Smith in the film Brigham Young (Henry Hathaway, 1940) starring Tyrone Power, and William Gibbs McAdoo in Wilson (Henry King, 1944) as well as Bernadette's prosecutor, Vital Dutour, in The Song of Bernadette (Henry King, 1943), and as a pretentious priest in The Keys of the Kingdom (John M. Stahl, 1944), starring Gregory Peck.

Price established himself in the classic Film Noir Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944), opposite Gene Tierney. He played Laura's sophisticated fiancé, Shelby Carpenter. His first venture into the horror genre, for which he later became best known, was in the Boris Karloff film Tower of London (Rowland V. Lee, 1939). The following year Price portrayed the title character in The Invisible Man Returns (Joe May, 1940). He reprised this role in a vocal cameo at the end of the horror-comedy spoof Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton, 1948).

Price reunited with Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (John M. Stahl, 1945) and Dragonwyck (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946). There were also many villainous roles in Film Noir thrillers like The Web (Michael Gordon, 1947), The Long Night (Anatole Litvak, 1947) starring Henry Fonda, and The Bribe (Robert Z. Leonard, 1949), with Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Charles Laughton. He was also active in radio, portraying the Robin Hood-inspired crime-fighter Simon Templar in 'The Saint', which ran from 1947 to 1951.

Vincent Price
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 235. Photo: Universal International.

A homicidal sculptor


Vincent Price's first starring role was as conman James Addison Reavis in the biopic The Baron of Arizona (Samuel Fuller, 1950). He did a comedic turn as the tycoon Burnbridge Waters, co-starring with Ronald Colman in Champagne for Caesar (Richard Whorf, 1950), one of his favourite film roles.

In the 1950s, Price moved into more regular horror film roles with the leading role in House of Wax (Andre DeToth, 1953) as a homicidal sculptor, who uses human victims to populate his eerily lifelike wax museum. It was the first 3-D film to land in the year's top ten at the North American box office. Britannica: "With this film, he established himself as America’s master of horror, and he was instrumental in reestablishing the genre’s popularity. (...) His villains were debonair yet menacing, played with a silken voice and a self-mocking air that oozed treachery."

His next roles were The Mad Magician (John Brahm, 1954), the monster movie The Fly (Kurt Neumann, 1958) and its sequel Return of the Fly (Edward Bernds, 1959). That same year, he starred in a pair of thrillers by producer-director William Castle: House on Haunted Hill (1959) as eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren, and The Tingler (1959) as Dr. Warren Chapin, who discovered the titular creature.

He appeared in the radio drama 'Three Skeleton Key', the story of an island lighthouse besieged by an army of rats. He first performed the work in 1950 on Escape and returned to it in 1956 and 1958 for Suspense.

Outside the horror realm, Price played in the Bob Hope comedy Casanova’s Big Night (Norman Z. McLeod, 1954), Fritz Lang’s newspaper drama While the City Sleeps (1956), and the biblical epic The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, 1956). About this time he also appeared in episodes of a number of television shows, including Science Fiction Theatre, Playhouse 90 and General Electric Theater.

In the 1960s, Price achieved a number of low-budget filmmaking successes with Roger Corman and American International Pictures (AIP) starting with The House of Usher (1960), which earned over $2 million at the box office in the United States and led to the subsequent Edgar Allan Poe adaptations of The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Tales of Terror (1962), The Comedy of Terrors (1963), The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), and The Tomb of Ligeia (1964).

Price then starred in The Last Man on Earth (Sidney Salkow, Ubaldo B. Ragona, 1964), the first adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel 'I Am Legend' and portrayed witch hunter Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General/The Conqueror Worm (Michael Reeves, 1968) set during the English Civil War. He starred in comedy films such as Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (Norman Taurog, 1965) and its sequel Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (Mario Bava, 1966).

In 1968 he played the part of an eccentric artist in the musical 'Darling of the Day', opposite Patricia Routledge. In the 1960s, Price began his role as a guest on the television game show Hollywood Squares, becoming a semi-regular in the 1970s, including being one of the guest panelists on the finale in 1980.

Price made many guest-star appearances in television shows during the decade, including Daniel Boone, Batman, F Troop, Get Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. In 1964, he provided the narration for the Tombstone Historama in Tombstone, Arizona, which is still in operation as of 2020.

Vincent Price
Spanish collectors card in the Coleccion de Artistas de la Pantalla, no. 65. Photo: Warner Bros, The cards were included with the magazine Revista Florita, no. 228.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes


During the early 1970s, Vincent Price hosted and starred in BBC Radio's horror and mystery series 'The Price of Fear'. He accepted a cameo part in the Canadian children's television program The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1971) in Hamilton, Ontario on the local television station CHCH. In addition to the opening and closing monologues, his role in the show was to recite poems about various characters, sometimes wearing a cloak or other costumes.

Price appeared in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971), its sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again (Robert Fuest, 1972), and Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973), in which he portrayed one of a pair of serial killers. That same year, he appeared as himself in the TV film Mooch Goes to Hollywood (Richard Erdman, 1971), written by Jim Backus. He was an admirer of the works of Edgar Allan Poe and in 1975 visited the Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia), where he had his picture taken with the museum's popular stuffed raven. Price recorded dramatic readings of Poe's short stories and poems, which were collected together with readings by Basil Rathbone.

In 1975, Price and his wife Coral Browne appeared together in an international stage adaptation of 'Ardèle' which played in the US as well as in London at the Queen's Theatre. During this run, Browne and Price starred together in the BBC Radio play 'Night of the Wolf' (1975).

He greatly reduced his film work from around 1975, as horror itself suffered a slump, and he increased his narrative and voice work, as well as advertising Milton Bradley's Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture. Price provided a monologue for the Alice Cooper song 'Devil's Food' (1975), and he appeared in the corresponding TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare.

Vincent Price starred for a year in the early 1970s in the syndicated daily radio program Tales of the Unexplained. He made guest appearances in a 1970 episode of Here's Lucy, showcasing his art expertise, and in a 1972 episode of The Brady Bunch, in which he played a deranged archaeologist. In October 1976, he appeared as the featured guest in an episode of The Muppet Show.

In 1977, he began performing as Oscar Wilde in the one-man stage play 'Diversions and Delights', written by John Gay and directed by Joe Hardy and set in a Parisian theatre on a night about one year before Wilde's death. The original tour of the play was a success in every city except for New York City. In the summer of 1979, Price performed the role of Wilde at the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, Colorado, on the same stage from which Wilde had spoken to miners about art some 96 years before. He eventually performed the play worldwide. Victoria Price stated in her biography of her father that several members of Price's family and friends thought that this was his best acting performance.

Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
British postcard by Moviedrome, no. M. 14. Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971).

Edward Scissorhands


In 1981, Vincent Price played Grover in the original stage musical production of 'The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover'. In 1982, Price provided the narrator's voice in Vincent, Tim Burton's six-minute film about a young boy who flashes from reality into a fantasy where he is Vincent Price. He appeared as Sir Despard Murgatroyd in a 1982 television production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore with Keith Michell as Robin Oakapple.

In 1982, Price provided the spoken-word sequence to the end of the Michael Jackson song 'Thriller'. In 1983, he played the Sinister Man in the British spoof horror film Bloodbath at the House of Death (Ray Cameron, 1983). He appeared in House of the Long Shadows (Pete Walker, 1983) with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. He had worked with each of those actors at least once in previous decades, but this was the first time that all had teamed up.

One of his last major roles, and one of his favourites, was as the voice of Professor Ratigan in Walt Disney Pictures'The Great Mouse Detective (Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, John Musker, 1986). From 1981 to 1989, Price hosted the television series Mystery! In 1984, Price appeared in Shelley Duvall's live-action series Faerie Tale Theatre as the Mirror in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', and the narrator for 'The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers'.

In 1987, he starred with Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, and Ann Sothern in The Whales of August (Lindsay Anderson, 1987), a story of two sisters living in Maine facing the end of their days. His performance in The Whales of August earned the only award nomination of his career: an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His last significant film work was as the inventor in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990), starring Johnny Depp.

Vincent Price married three times. His first marriage was in 1938 to former actress Edith Barrett; they had one son, the poet, and columnist Vincent Barrett Price, and divorced in 1948. Price married Mary Grant in 1949, and they had a daughter, the inspirational speaker Victoria Price (1962), naming her after Price's first major success in the play 'Victoria Regina'. The marriage lasted until 1973. He married Australian actress Coral Browne in 1974, who appeared as one of his victims in Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973). The marriage lasted until her death in 1991.

Price was supportive of his daughter when she came out as a lesbian, and he was critical of Anita Bryant's anti-gay-rights campaign in the 1970s. He was an honorary board member of PFLAG and among the first celebrities to appear in public service announcements discussing AIDS. His daughter has said that she is "as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men."

Price suffered from emphysema, a result of being a lifelong smoker, and Parkinson's disease; his symptoms were especially severe during the filming of Edward Scissorhands, making it necessary to cut his filming schedule short. His illness also contributed to his retirement from Mystery! in 1989. He died, at age 82, of lung cancer in 1993, at UCLA Medical Center. His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California. The Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is named in his honour.


Official trailer The Pit and the Pendulum (1961). Source: ScreamFactoryTV (YouTube).


Official trailer Edward Scissorhands (1990). Source: TrailersPlaygroundHD (YouTube).

Sources: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), BritannicaWikipedia, and IMDb.

Viktoria von Ballasko

0
0
Austrian actress Viktoria von Ballasko (1909-1976) was a leading lady of the German cinema of the 1930s and 1940s. She also worked as a writer.

Viktoria von Ballasko
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1373/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Atelier Willott, Berlin.

Viktoria von Ballasko
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2454/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Sandau / Tobis.

One of the finest German sound films ever made


Viktoria von Ballasko was born Viktoria Maria Franziska Ballasko in 1909 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria). She was an officer's daughter. After high school, she trained at Vienna's Akademie für Darstellende Kunst (Academy of Performing Arts in Vienna).

From 1929 to 1931, she first acted on stage at the Stadttheater in Bern, Switzerland, in 1929. There she appeared as Gretchen in 'Faust'. From 1931 to 1932, she played at the Chemnitz Stadttheater, then in Wroclaw, Vienna, Stuttgart, and Munich. From 1935 she appeared at the Berliner Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.

She made her film debut in the Western Der Kaiser von Kalifornien/The Emperor of California (Luis Trenker, 1936), starring Luis Trenker as German pioneer Johann August Suter, who was looking for luck in America at the beginning of the 19th century. It was the first Western made in Nazi Germany. Some exterior scenes were even shot on location in the United States at Sedona, Arizona, the Grand Canyon and at Death Valley in California.

Von Ballasko played her first leading role in Kinderarzt Dr. Engel/Dr. Engel: Child Specialist (Johannes Riemann, 1936) with Paul Hörbiger. Another interesting film was the drama Heiratsschwindler/The Marriage Swindler (Herbert Selpin, 1938), starring Eduard von Winterstein. The film was directed by Selpin for the small studio A.B.C.-Film and distributed by the major company Tobis Film.

Heiratsschwindler's neorealism and pessimistic tone were a sharp change from Selpin's recent work which had been dominated by musicals, comedies, and society dramas and was extremely rare in the Nazi era when German cinema strove to be light and entertaining. The film had trouble with the censors, and its release was delayed. It has been described as "One of the finest German sound films ever made" (in Bergfelder, Tim; Street, Sarah, eds. (2004). 'The Titanic in Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture', p. 122).

Viktoria von Ballasko then appeared in the Nazi Propaganda film Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des Todes/Robert Koch (Hans Steinhoff, 1939), starring Emil Jannings. The film was a biopic of the German pioneering microbiologist Robert Koch (1843-1910), who experimented on colonial African subjects.

Viktoria von Ballasko
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3090/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz, Berlin.

Viktoria von Ballasko
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3950/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz / Bavaria Filmkunst.

Horst Buchholz's mother


On-screen, Viktoria von Ballasko was often typecast as devoted, long-suffering or self-sacrificing wives and daughters, very much in keeping with the prevailing national socialist ideals of femininity. Her films included Mann für Mann/Man for man (Robert A. Stemmle, 1939), and Heimaterde/Home earth (Hans Deppe, 1941) with Viktor Staal.

Viktoria von Ballasko failed to rekindle her film career in the aftermath of World War II. From 1946 she played at the Berlin Comedy and appeared as Luise in 'Kabale und Liebe'. She worked for a while as a radio actress and was also briefly active as a voice-over artist, including dubbing for Joan Fontaine in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion (1941).

Then, together with Udo Vietz, she wrote the screenplay for the short documentary Anmut und Kraft/Grace and Strength before she got offers as an actress again.

Among her later films were the DEFA production Unser täglich Brot/Our Daily Bread (Slatan Dudow, 1949) and the crime drama Die Schuld des Dr. Homma/The Guilt of Doctor Homma (Paul Verhoeven, 1951), starring Werner Hinz and Ilse Steppat.

She also played Horst Buchholz's mother in Die Halbstarken/The Hooligans/Wolfpack (Georg Tressler, 1956), one of the first juvenile delinquency films in post-war West Germany. Her final film was Made in Germany (Wolfgang Schleif, 1957) with Winnie Markus and Carl Raddatz.

Viktoria von Ballasko died in 1976 in West Berlin, West Germany. She was married twice. Her first husband was dubbing author and director Kurt Werther. Since 1949, she was married to Curt Behrendt. The grave of Viktoria von Ballasko is in the cemetery of the Giesensdorfer Dorfkirche in Berlin.

Viktoria von Ballasko
Austrian postcard by Eberle Verlag, Wien, no. 38. Photo: Archiv I.S.B. Films.

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

Claus Biederstaedt (1928-2020)

0
0
On 18 June 2020, German actor Claus Biederstaedt (1928) passed away at the age of 91. He was a typical 'sonny boy', the nice & friendly star of the Wirtschaftswunder cinema of the 1950s. With his twinkling eyes, he was the charming and funny young man in many German-language comedies and melodramas and even in some war films.

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by WS-Druck, no. F 2. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann / Bavaria.

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by WS-Druck, no. F 51. Photo: Ringpress / Vogelmann / Bavaria.

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by Ufa, no. CK-80. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof), no. CK-81. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Ufa.

Claus Biederstaedt (1928-2020)
German card.

Romy's first kiss


Claus Biederstaedt was born in Stargard, Pommern, Germany (now Stargard Szczecinski, Poland) in 1928.

While on grammar school, he had to join the German army. Back from the war, he studied acting with Joseph Offenbach and Will Quadflieg at the Deutschen Schauspielhaus in Hamburg and worked from 1950 on as a stage actor in Hamburg, Berlin, München, Köln and Wiesbaden.

He made his film debut as a young assistant doctor in Die große Versuchung/The Great Temptation (Rolf Hansen, 1952) starring Dieter Borsche. He won for his part the Bundesfilmpreis as the Best Young Actor in 1953.

Next, he played the lead in the comedy Liebeskrieg nach Noten/Love War on Notes (Karl Hartl, 1953), a supporting role in Sauerbruch - Das war mein Leben/The Life of Surgeon Sauerbruch (Rolf Hansen, 1954) – a biography of the brilliant surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch, and he gave the then 16-years old Romy Schneider her first kiss in Feuerwerk/Fireworks (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954).

One of his best films was Drei Männer im Schnee/Three Men in the Snow (Kurt Hoffmann, 1955), based on the witty novel by Erich Kästner.

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 7. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel.

Claus Biederstaedt (1928-2020)
German autograph card. Photo: Rotary Film G.m.b.H. / Deutsche London Film. Claus Biederstaedt in Arlette erobert Paris/Arlette Conquers Paris (Viktor Tourjansky, 1953).

Romy Schneider and Claus Biederstaedt in Feuerwerk (1954)
Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers (I.F.P.), Amsterdam, no. 1229. Photo: Romy Schneider and Claus Biederstaedt in Feuerwerk/Fireworks (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954).

Claus Biederstaedt
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag. Photo: Lilo / NDF / Schorchtfilm. Claus Biederstaedt in Feuerwerk/Fireworks (Kurt Hoffmann, 1954).

Lonny Kellner and Claus Biederstaedt in Keine Angst vor Schwiegermüttern (1954)
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 1300. Photo: Arthur Grimm / Fono / Deutsche London. Lonny Kellner and Claus Biederstaedt in Keine Angst vor Schwiegermüttern/Don't be afraid of mothers-in-law (Erich Engels, 1954).

Beloved romantic actor


From then on Claus Biederstaedt was one of the most beloved romantic actors of the German cinema, the always nice and friendly 'sonny boy'.

He played opposite many of the young female stars of the 1950s: Gardy Granass in Schwarzwaldmelodie/Black Forest Melody (Géza von Bolváry, 1956) and Die Christel von der Post/Christel of the Post Office (Karl Anton, 1956), Sabine Bethmann in Das Donkosakenlied/The Song of the Don Kosacks (Géza von Bolváry, 1956), Susanne Cramer in Kleines Zelt und große Liebe/Two in a Sleeping Bag (Rainer Geis, 1956) and Kindermädchen für Papa gesucht/Wanted: a Babysitter for Papa (Hans Quest, 1957), Germaine Damar in Die Beine von Dolores/Dolores' Legs (Geza von Cziffra, 1957) and Scala-total verrückt/Scala - Completely Gaga (Erik Ode, 1958), Maj-Britt Nilsson in Was die Schwalbe sang/The Song of the Swallow (Géza von Bolváry, 1956), and opposite Johanna von Koczian in Petersburger Nächte/Petersburg Nights (Paul Martin, 1958).

In 2004, he said in an interview with the German magazine Stern: "These films were not made to be broadcasted on television a half-century later. They arose from the time, the post-war period. People wanted to forget the smell of smoke and powder."

Claus Biederstaedt (1928-2020)
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. I 273. Photo: Wesel / Berolina. Claus Biederstaedt in Es wird alles wieder gut/Everything Is Going to Be All Right (Géza von Bolváry, 1957).

Johanna von Koczian and Claus Biederstaedt in Peterburger Nächte (1958)
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 308. Photo: Arthur Grimm / CCC / DFH. Johanna von Koczian and Claus Biederstaedt in Petersburger Nächte/Petersburg Nights (Paul Martin, 1958).

Claus Biederstaedt
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V. Rotterdam (Dutch licency holders of Ufa), no. 3688. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto.

Claus Biederstaedt
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3690. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto.

Claus Biederstaedt
Dutch postcard, printed by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam (Dutch licency holder for Ufa/Film-Foto - the Universum Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), no. 3717. Photo: Wesel / Berolina / Herzog Film.

Brainless comedies and Heimat films


Claus Biederstaedt continued to appear regularly in comedies and Heimat films until the mid-1960s.

He had also a supporting part in the thriller Hotel der toten Gäste/The Hotel With the Dead Guests (Eberhard Itzenplitz, 1965) starring Joachim Fuchsberger.

He then started to act for TV films and was also busy as a voice actor for the synchronisation of foreign films.

He lent his deep, husky voice to Marlon Brando in films like Queimada (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969) and Der letzte Tango in Paris/Ultimo tango a Parigi/Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972), to Peter Falk in the detective TV series Columbo (1971-2003), to Yves Montand in films like César & Rosalie (Claude Sautet, 1972) and Vincent, Francois, Paul et les autres/Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others (Claude Sautet, 1974), and to many other international film stars.

His last film role was in the sex comedy Auch ich war nur ein mittelmäßiger Schüler/I Wasn't a Very Good Student Either (Werner Jacobs, 1974).

He regularly appeared as a guest star in TV series like Die Schwarzwaldklinik/The Black Forest Clinic (1988), Der Alte/The Old Fox (1980-1989), and Derrick (1979-1993).

In the 1980s and 1990s, he also worked as a stage director. Till 2008, he regularly performed on stage.

In 2011 the newspaper Bild reported that Biederstaedt had been operated for cancer and that three-quarters of his tongue had been removed. Sadly, this handicap did not permit him to act anymore. 

Claus Biederstaedt passed away in Fürstenfeldbruck, Bavaria, just a few days before his 92nd birthday. He was married twice and had a son from his first marriage. With his second wife Barbara, he lived in Eichenau near München (Munich).

Claus Biederstaedt (1928-2020)
German collectors card by Lux.


Claus Biederstaedt sings Ein Leben lang verliebt (In love for a lifetime) to Romy Schneider in Feuerwerk (1954). Source: Fritz5169 (YouTube).


Claus Biederstaedt sings Schreib es mir tausendmal (Write It To Me Thousand Times) to Gardy Granass in Die Christel von der Post (1956). Source: Fritz5169 (YouTube).

Sources: Alexander Kühn (Stern - German), Peter Hoffmann (biografie.de - German), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)

0
0
Henny Porten and Harry Liedtke are two of the three stars of the German film Der Kaufmann von Venedig (Peter Paul Felner, 1923). It was a silent adaptation of the classic stage play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. But where is Shylock in this adaptation? Ross Verlag made three sepia-tinted postcard series for the film, no. 658, 659 and 661. Many of the beautiful photos were shot by Atelier Rembrandt. Under this name, the photographers Else and Alfred Cohn created the stills for stage productions and some classic German silent films of the 1910s and 1920s.

Henny Porten, Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 659/1, 1923-1924. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten as Porzia (Portia) in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant Of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Harry Liedtke in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 659/2. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner Film Co. Harry Liedtke as Bassanio in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant Of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Lia Eibenschütz in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 659/3. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Lia Eibenschütz as Jessica in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Ferdinand von Alten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 659/4. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Ferdinand von Alten as the Prince of Aragon in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 661/1. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 661/2. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Where is Shylock?


Sturdy and blond Henny Porten (1890-1960) was one of Germany's most important and popular film actresses of the silent cinema. Harry Liedtke (1882-1945) was the charming ladykiller of many early silent classics. Detective serials like Joe Deebs made him one of the first male stars of the German cinema.

The two met in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (Peter Paul Felner, 1923), a free silent film adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. It was released in the United States in 1926 as The Jew of Mestri. The film was made on location in Venice, with scenes and characters added which were not in the original play. Directors of photography were Axel Graatkjær and the future Hollywood director Rudolph Maté. The only surviving copy of the film is an English one which is two reels shorter than the German version.

Porten plays the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia (Porzia in the film) of Belmont and Liedtke her noble but poor admirer Bassanio. Carl Ebert plays Bassanio's friend Antonio, the merchant of Venice, who wants to help his friend. Other roles were for Max Schreck (Nosferatu!) as The Doge of Venice, Ferdinand von Alten as the Prince of Aragon, and Lia Eibenschütz as Portia's friend Jessica.

But where is Shylock? Where is the Jewish moneylender who offers Antonio the money for his friend, but wants a pound of his flesh if he can't repay the loan? Shylock is played by Werner Krauss, but we could not find any postcards of him (yet).

Der Kaufmann von Venedig was written, produced and directed by Peter Paul Felner. Did he a good job? At IMDb, Ferdinand Von Galitzien writes: "It is an elegant and expensive German film production that was shot on location in beautiful and decadent Venice". However, he adds: "In spite of such important literary material (...) and reputable actors, Felner's direction is ordinary and even boring. He does little more than illustrate some passages of the manuscript and then counts on the beauty of Venice to do the rest. Alas, it's not enough."

Largely forgotten today, the film has survived only in a slightly abridged English export version entitled The Jew of Mestri and has been restored by the Munich Film Museum. “The staging of the great courtroom scene, making incredibly good use of the space that the courtyard of the Doge’s Palace in Venice provided, is a brilliant achievement that can hardly be surpassed. The arrangement of the magnificent and festive scenes is also exemplary,” judged the Reichsfilmblatt in 1923.

Henny Porten and Lia Eibenschütz in Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 658/1. Photo: Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Publicity still for Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923) with Henny Porten and Lia Eibenschütz.

Henny Porten and Lia Eibenschütz in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 658/2. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten as Porzia and Lia Eibenschütz as Jessica in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Henny Porten and Lia Eibenschütz in Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 658/4. Photo: Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten as Porzia/Portia and Lia Eibenschütz as Jessica in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923). The man far right is Carl Ebert (Antonio).

Henny Porten, Carl Ebert and and Harry Liedtke in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 658/5. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten as Porzia, Harry Liedtke as Bassanio, and Carl Ebert as Antonio in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 658/6. Photo: Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Publicity still for Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923) with Henny Porten, Carl Ebert, and Harry Liedtke.

Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 658/7. Photo: Rembrandt / Peter Paul Felner-Film Co. Henny Porten in Der Kaufmann von Venedig/The Merchant of Venice (Peter Paul Felner, 1923).

Sources: Ferdinand Von Galitzien (IMDb), Filmarchiv Austria, Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.

Photo by George Hurrell

0
0
American photographer George Hurrell (1904-1992) was a major contributor to the image of glamour presented by Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. Always an innovator, he invented the boom light and developed several - now standard - lighting techniques. Hurrell’s signature use of precision lighting, spotlights, shadows, and hand-retouching on the negatives produced romantic portraits that became his trademark style. His influential look became known as the 'Hurrell style'.

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford. Vintage postcard. Photo: George Hurrell, 1932.

Myrna Loy
Myna Loy. French postcard by P.C., Paris, no. 38. Photo: George Hurrell, 1932 / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan. French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 257. Photo: George Hurrell / Warner Bros.

Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (1942)
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 408, 1952. Photo: George Hurrell / Paramount. Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942).

Jane Russell in The Outlaw (1943)
Vintage postcard. Photo: George Hurrell. Jane Russell in The Outlaw (Howard Hughes, 1943).

Convincing Irving Thalberg that his wife could be sexy in THAT way


George Edward Hurrell was born in 1904 in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a large Catholic family. His parents, Edward Hurrell and his wife Anna Mary Eble had five sons and one daughter. His father worked in the shoe business. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago to open their own shoe factory.

An altar boy during his youth, upon reflecting on what his own career path might be, a young George Hurrell initially signed up at the Quigley Seminary in Chicago to become a priest but decided to go to art school instead. Following graduation from high school, he enrolled at the Chicago Art Institute and later took night school classes at the Academy of Fine Arts studying painting.

Hurrell became acquainted with the camera while in art school because students typically photographed various indoor and outdoor scenes to use as a reference while painting. In 1923, the famous Chicago portrait photographer Eugene Hutchinson asked Hurrell to join him as an assistant in his studio in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. This was the beginning of Hurrell’s interest in studio portrait work.

In 1925, while still attending the Art Institute, Hurrell heard that famed landscape painter, Edgar Alwyn Payne, an alum of the Art Institute, would be giving a lecture at the school. Hurrell attended the lecture, and afterward Payne viewed the student’s work. Payne was particularly impressed with Hurrell's’ experimental painting style, and also liked a recently completed landscape painting. Payne invited him to come with him to Laguna Beach, which was then a famous art colony. Hurrell eagerly accepted the opportunity and celebrated his 21st birthday at Laguna Beach.

Through the intervention of Payne and his wife, Elsie Payne, Hurrell moved into a vacant but completely furnished hillside shack owned by silent film director, Mal St. Clair, and lived rent-free in exchange for keeping an eye on the place. Hurrell studied painting with William Wendt, who became Hurrell’s mentor and closest friend. Hurrell focused on painting but also conducted photographic experiments with sunlight with his second-hand view camera from Chicago. Hurrell soon discovered that taking pictures of local artists and the social scene paid much more readily than painting.

In 1925, he met Florence Leontine Lowe Barnes (the later Pancho Barnes), three years his senior and very rich. The two became fast friends. Hurrell became a frequent pool-side guest at Dos Rocas, Barnes’ 40-acre estate on the bluffs of Laguna Beach. There Hurrell met her society friends, including her best friend Ramon Novarro, at the time the most famous and the highest-paid movie star in the world.

George Hurrell moved to Los Angeles and opened his first photography studio at a live-work artists loft at LaFayette Park Place. His friend Leon Gordon arranged for Hurrell to meet Edward Steichen and he was asked to develop and print some negatives. When Steichen saw the results, he encouraged Hurrell to pursue his photographic career.

In 1929, Ramon Novarro, who was of Mexican heritage, was worried that he might not make the transition to sound film because of his slight accent. However, he had a wonderful operatic voice and was thinking about an opera career. He needed some publicity photos for which he could not use the usual Hollywood photographers. At Pancho Barnes’s urging, Novarro had a series of photographs taken by George Hurrell.

Novarro showed the photos that Hurrell took of him to his best friend back at MGM, Norma Shearer who was having problems of a different sort. She was married to the head of production at MGM, Irving Thalberg. Norma wanted to play a sexy vamp in the film The Divorcee (Robert Z. Leonard, 1930), but, up until this time, she was known for her 'all-American girl next door' image. When she showed the script to her husband, he replied “Honey, I don’t think this part is for you. You are not sexy in THAT way.”

After seeing Hurrell's photos of Novarro, she decided to have some photos taken by Hurrell so that she could convince her husband that she was indeed sexy in THAT way. Hurrell's photos convinced her husband, Norma Shearer got the film role and their marriage improved. Shearer won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a result of her portrayal in that film, and Hurrell was offered a job as a portrait photographer at MGM. At first, he hesitated, but when in late October 1929 the stock market crashed, Pancho encouraged her friend to take the job and flew Hurrell from her home’s private landing strip in Laguna Beach to the MGM meeting in her Travel Air biplane, and George famously wing-walked on her plane on the way up. In Hollywood, Hurrell accepted the job.

Greta Garbo
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4696/3, 1929-1930. Photo: George Hurrell / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Greta Garbo in Romance (Clarence Brown, 1930).

Greta Garbo
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6215/1, 1931-1932. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Greta Garbo in an over-the-top dress by Adrian in Romance (Clarence Brown, 1930). Set by Cedric Gibbons.

Greta Garbo in Romance (1930)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6215/2, 1931-1932. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Greta Garbo in Romance (Clarence Brown, 1930).

Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy. French postcard by Editions Chantal (EC), no. 40. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), 1932.

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford. Dutch postcard by H.A.T.E., Rotterdam, no. 445, sent by mail in the Netherlands in 1934. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

The session with Greta Garbo that did not go well


On 1 January 1930, George Hurrell began to work as the head portrait photographer for MGM Studios. His first assignment was to shoot starlet Harriet Lake, who later became known as Ann Sothern. His first Hollywood star was Lon Chaney. At this time, Hurrell developed his superb talent for entertaining and relaxing the stars with jazz music, acrobatics, and other activities during their day-long photo sessions. Among the MGM stars regularly photographed by him during these years were silent screen star Dorothy Jordan, Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Marion Davies, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupe Velez, Anna May Wong, and Carole Lombard.

His striking black-and-white images were used extensively in the marketing of these stars. Hurrell also photographed Greta Garbo at a session to produce promotional material for Romance. The session didn't go well and she never used him again. In 1932, he left MGM, after a blow-up with Howard Strickling, the head of publicity for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, for photographing non-MGM stars on the weekend. In October 1932 Hurrell opened a photographic studio at Sunset Blvd., where he shot freelance for all the major studios, including MGM, till 1938.

In 1938, he closed the Hurrell Photography studio on Sunset Blvd and accepted an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. as a head portrait photographer. He photographed among others Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino, Alexis Smith, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney. He also became a regular contributor to Esquire magazine. As a result of Warner Bros. publicity and his monthly exposure in Esquire, Hurrell became a household name. Several magazine articles appeared featuring stories about George Hurrell and his photography. In 1939, he met and married his first wife, Katherine Cuddy, who was a beauty contest winner from Seattle. They divorced in 1942.

In 1940, he resigned at Warner Bros. Studios and in 1941 he completed the build-out of his custom photography studio at 333 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Greta Garbo was his landlady. He also started accepting assignments in New York, leasing studio space for several months at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

In 1942 and 1943, he was a gallery photographer for Columbia Studios. Here his photographs were used to help the studio build the career of Rita Hayworth. In November 1942, Hurrell was drafted, but with the help of Pancho Barnes, who was close friends with General Hap Arnold, he was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Force in Culver City, California. He made training films at Hal Roach Studios in Culver City and later became a staff photographer at the Pentagon. In 1943, he was discharged from armed services.

He re-opened his Rodeo Drive studio in Beverly Hills in October. He also married his second wife, Phyllis Bounds, a niece of Walt Disney. They have three children, Clancy, Victoria, and Alexandra. After the war, he started commercial work for J. Walter Thompson Agency in advertising. He shot several advertising accounts using the experimental and immensely expensive tri-color carbro color process, developed and printed by Paul Outerbridge. Hurrell and second wife, Phyllis, divorced in 1954.

In 1955, he returned to Beverly Hills and reopened the Rodeo Drive studio. His old style of glamour had fallen from favour. Where he had worked hard to create an idealised image of his subjects, the new style of Hollywood glamour was more earthy and gritty, and for the first time in his career, Hurrell's style was not in demand. Then he met his soul mate and third wife, Betty Willis. They had three children, George Jr., Daphne, and Michael. In 1958, he formed a partnership with Walt Disney in Hollywood and created Hurrell Productions, a production company for educational films and TV commercials, which was housed on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. He served as a producer, director, and occasionally as a cinematographer.

He disbanded Hurrell Productions in 1960 and began to work as a stills photographer for various TV shows using 35mm format cameras. Hurrell shot for Gunsmoke and the Danny Thomas Show among others. In 1965, his photography was included in the exhibition, 'Glamour Portraits' at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

From 1969 till 1976, he worked as a freelance stills photographer on various films including Planet Of The Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969), The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin, 1974), and All the President’s Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976). After 1970, his most prominent work was as a photographer for album covers. He shot the cover photos for Cass Elliot's self-titled album (1972), Tom Waits''Foreign Affairs' (1977), Fleetwood Mac's 'Mirage' (1982), Queen's 'The Works' (1984), Midge Ure's 'The Gift' (1985) and Paul McCartney's 'Press to Play' (1986).

From 1976 on, he was semi-retired but accepted occasional portrait assignments that keep him active fos such clients as Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. His work was exhibited in 'Dream For Sale' (1976) at the Municipal Art Museum, Los Angeles. The book,'The Hurrell Style' was published by the John Day Company.

In 1980, Hurrell started to set auction records for his vintage photographs from the 1930s. 'Hurrell Portfolio I, limited editions' was published. Prints from the edition quickly realised $1,100 – $1,300 at various auction houses. Hurrell's work was also featured in the book by John Kobal, 'The Art Of The Great Hollywood Photographers, 1925-1940'. A circa 1930, 9 x 12” print of Ramon Novarro as the 'New Orpheus' is auctioned for $9,000 at Christie’s East, N.Y, setting a record price for a portrait by a living photographer in 1981. The photograph was accepted into the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

His friend and fellow photographer Helmut Newton came the idea to invite George Hurrell to photograph the Paris collections for the March 1983 edition of Vogue Paris. Hurrell shot 40 pages in black and white and color within the tight 10-day schedule. Hurrell’s work was featured in the exhibition 'The Hollywood Portrait Photographers, 1921-1941' at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

He continued with freelance portraiture for magazines photographing Farrah Fawcett, Bette Midler, Brooke Shields, John Travolta, and other New Hollywood stars. His work was exhibited in the show 'The Art of the Great Hollywood Photographers' (1983) at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The following year his photography was included in the Smithsonian‘s touring exhibition 'The Great Hollywood Portrait Photographers'.

In 1984, he also shot Joan Collins nude for Playboy magazine. His 1930s photographs appeared in the exhibition, 'Masters of Starlight’ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. And in 1991, 'The Book of Stars' by George Hurrell was published by Schirmer Art Books, featuring photographs from 1928 till 1990.

In 1992, George Hurrell passed away in Cedars Sinai Hospital, from his long-standing problems with bladder cancer. He was 87. He had just finished narration on 'Legends In Light' (1992), a TBS documentary about his life. Since his death, his works have continued to appreciate in value and examples of his artistic output can be found in the permanent collections of numerous museums around the world.

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 221. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone in Dancing Lady (1933)
Dutch postcard, no. 571. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone in Dancing Lady (Robert Z. Leonard, 1933).

Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Dancing Lady (1933)
Dutch postcard, no. 596. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Dancing Lady (Robert Z. Leonard, 1933).

Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer. British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 1258. Photo: George Hurrell / RKO Radio.

Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford in Mannequin (1937)
British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 230. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford in Mannequin (Frank Borzage, 1937).

Lupe Velez
Lupe Velez. Dutch postcard by Smeets & Schippers, Amsterdam. Photo: George Hurrell / MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).

Veronica Lake
Big Belgian card by Chocolaterie Clovis, Pepinster. Photo: George Hurrell / Paramount. Veronica Lake in This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942).

Sources: George Hurrell.com, Walt Disney.org, and Wikipedia.

Brandon Lee

0
0
American actor and martial arts artist Brandon Lee (1965-1993) was more than the son of his famous father. His last film The Crow (1994), is remembered for his acting talent. During the shooting of the film, Brandon died by an accidental gunshot wound from a faulty prop revolver. In 2000, seven years after his death, he returned to the screen in a little Swedish film.

Brandon Lee
German collectors card by Bravo.

Brandon Lee in Rapid Fire (1992)
Italian postcard by World Collection, no. p.c. 418. Photo: Olympia. Brandon Lee in Rapid Fire (Dwight H. Little, 1992).

Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
French postcard by Sonis, no. C. 709. Photo: TM and Bad Bird Productions Inc., 1996. Brandon Lee in The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994).

Born on the last day of the dragon


Brandon Bruce Lee was born in Oakland, California, the USA in 1965 to Martial Arts idol and film star Bruce Lee and Linda Lee Cadwell, an American of Swedish heritage. He was born on Chinese New Year's eve, the last day of the dragon. Brandon had a sister, Shannon Lee, a future opera singer.

Brandon was born with blond hair. As he aged, his hair color changed to brown. By the time he was able to walk, he was already involved in learning about martial arts from his father. In 1970-1971, the family moved to Hong Kong, and at the age of 8, Brandon was fluent in Cantonese. After Bruce Lee's untimely death in 1973, Brandon, his mother, and his sister moved to Los Angeles.

He attended Boston's Art-Oriented Emerson College in Massachusetts and studied Martial Arts and drama, like his father. In 1983, he was expelled from school because of misbehaviour but received his diploma at Miraleste High School. Having chosen an acting career, Lee took his work seriously. He studied at the Strasberg Academy, with Eric Morris in New York and in Los Angeles, and in Lynette Katselas' class in Los Angeles.

His first professional job as an actor came at age twenty when casting director Lynn Stalmaster asked him to read for a CBS television film, Kung Fu: The Movie (Richard Lang, 1986) with David Carradine. It was a spin-off of the 1970s television series Kung Fu (1972-1975).

Lee's first role in a feature film was Long zai jiang hu/Legacy of Rage (Ronny Yu, 1986), Lee's first and only Hong Kong film, and spoken in Cantonese. Dee Reid at IMDb: "Brandon Lee is in fine form here (despite never hearing his natural speaking voice), though the film itself - written and directed by Hong Kong action veteran Ronny Yu (who would later gain fame in the West with the American horror films Bride of Chucky and Freddy vs. Jason, and the martial arts epic Fearless with Jet Li) - is somewhat of a mixed bag; it's more or less a standard action film, with lots of stuff about gangsters, drugs, and John Woo-style gun-play."

Shortly after, on television, Lee played a lead in the pilot Kung Fu: The Next Generation (Tony Wharmby, 1987), and guest-starred in an episode of the television series Ohara (1988) with Pat Morita. He also starred in the B-film Laser Mission (BJ Davis, 1989) with Ernest Borgnine. In Hollywood, Brandon Lee co-starred with Dolph Lundgren in the buddy cop action film Showdown in Little Tokyo (Mark L. Lester, 1991). They play two L.A. cops with opposing views on what is the best way to uphold the law have to work together to bring down the Yakuza while trying to protect a beautiful woman (Tia Carrere).

Next, he was in Rapid Fire (Dwight H. Little, 1992) with Powers Boothe. Lee also did the fight choreography. While some critics liked the film, most felt the script was too simple, however, almost all described Lee to be charismatic, in a slick Hollywood action film. Dee Reid at IMDb: "it was a showcase for his fighting talents. Rapid Fire is decent, certainly not perfect, but very fun to watch nonetheless." Lee turned down the offer to play his father in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Rob Cohen, 1993). The role was later given to Jason Scott Lee.

Bruce and Brandon Lee
British postcard. Bruce and Brandon Lee.

Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
Dutch postcard by Film Freak Productions, Zoetermeer, no. FA 405 Photo: Crowvision Inc., 1994. Brandon Lee in The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994).

His final and best film


In 1992, Brandon Lee landed his breakthrough role as Eric Draven in Alex Proyas'The Crow (1994), based on the comic book of the same name, which would be his final and best film. He died while filming at the age of 28, of what is to be believed, a brain hemorrhage on the set. The film crew shot a scene in which it was decided to use a gun without consent from the weapons coordinator, who had been sent home early that night.

Michael Massee, the actor portraying Funboy, was required to fire a .44 magnum revolver loaded with blanks at Lee. The revolver had been inspected days earlier for a previously filmed scene in which it was not fired but needed to be seen loaded. Dummy rounds are used for this, which have a bullet, a spent primer, but no powder. One of the dummy rounds had a bullet, a live primer, and no powder. When test-fired, the primer propelled the bullet into the barrel, where it stopped. The gun was then rechecked, but no anomalies were found because the primer was now spent and the barrel was not inspected. Then, when filming the fateful scene days later, the same gun was used with blanks. Blanks are fully charged rounds with no bullets, but there was a bullet in the barrel.

The blank round propelled it into Lee's abdomen just as if he had been shot with a live .44 magnum round. Michael Massee spent a year, devastated by what happened, deciding whether or not to return to acting. The crew only noticed when Lee was slow getting up. The doctors worked desperately for five hours, but it was no use. The bullet had lodged itself in Lee's lower spine. He was pronounced dead at 1:04 P.M. the next day.

He was supposed to marry Eliza Hutton on 17 April 1993. His body was flown to Seattle to be buried beside his father in Lake View Cemetery. Wikipedia: "With the blessing of Lee's family and very few scenes to shoot, the film was completed by re-writing the script, using early CGI technology, and stunt doubles. Released a year after, the film is known to present Mr. Lee's dramatic abilities, in which he had less of a chance to show in his previous films."

The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994) was a commercial success and is now considered a cult classic. Upon release, the film received great critical acclaim and made $50 million at the box office and was also a success overseas. Many saw parallels between Lee and his father comparing their careers as action film leading men who passed young, prior to the release of their breakthrough film, with the difference that his father demonstrated high martial arts skills, while Lee showed a strong dramatic performance.

In 2000, a new film with Lee was released, the Swedish production Sex, lögner & videovåld/Sex, Lies and Video Violence (Richard Holm, 2000). In 1992 Brandon Lee had come to Sweden to promote Rapid Fire (1992). His host, director Richard Holm, asked Lee to make a cameo appearance in this film, and he gladly agreed. The film was shot over an extended period between 1990 to 1993, but for different reasons delayed over and over again in post-production. Finally released in 2000, seven years after Lee's death, the film was dedicated to him, in the last line in the end credits.

Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
British postcard by London Postcard Company, no. PR 755 (Series 1 set of 6). Photo: TM and Crowvision Inc., 1996. Brandon Lee in The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994). Caption: Graveside.

Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
French postcard by Sonis, no. C. 491. Photo: TM and Crowvision, 1994. Brandon Lee in The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994).

Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
British postcard by London Postcard Company, no. PR 756 (Series 1 set of 6) Collage 2. Photo: TM and Crowvision, 1996. Brandon Lee in The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994).

Sources: Caryn Liles (IMDb), Dee Reid (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Campari in the 1930s

0
0
Campari is a dark red-coloured aperitivo, introduced in Italy in the 1860s by Gaspare Campari. Under the direction of his son, David(e) Campari, the company began to export the bitter, first to France, then overseas. In the 1920s, a French postcard campaign with sepia portraits of stars of the French silent cinema photographed by G.L. Manuel Frères linked Campari to Paris. In the early 1930s, David did another Campari postcard campaign, this time with black and white star portraits by Studio Lorelle.

Henri Alibert
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Un petit Campari donne grand appètit (A small Campari gives great appetite.)

French singer, actor and librettist Henri Al(l)ibert (1889-1951), known as Alibert, was the Marseille singer par excellence. During the 1930s and 1940s, he starred in his own very popular operettas both on stage and on the screen.

Marcelle Chantal, publicity for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Paris sans Campari, n'est pas Paris (Paris without Campari, is not Paris).

Marcelle Chantal (1901-1960) was a French socialite who became a film actress. She peaked in the early 1930s. Marcelle Chantal symbolised French elegance.

Dolly Davis, publicity for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Si Paris vous attire, Campari vous retient (If Paris attracts you, Campari retains you).

French actress Dolly Davis (1896-1962) was a very popular comédienne in the 1920s, who was often paired with her then companion André Roanne. They even starred together in a film simply called Dolly (Pierre Colombier, 1928).

Florelle
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Un Campari et voila l'appètit (A Campari and there's the appetite).

French music hall star Florelle (1898-1974) was one of the queens of Paris. The petite blonde appeared in 54 films between 1912 and 1956, and also toured around the world. Her most beautiful role was as Fantine in a classic version of Les Miserables (1934).

Marie Glory, publicity for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: J'aimais un Campari... plusieurs! (I liked a Campari... several!).

For a long time, French actress Marie Glory (1905-2009) was the longest living star of the French silent cinema, but in 2009 she died at the age of 103.

Jeanne Helbling, publicity for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Un Campari, c'est un peu de Paris. (A Campari is like a bit of Paris).

Jeanne Helbling was an actress of the French cinema of the 1920s and 1930s, who was extremely active in early French sound film. She was also a Resistance heroine.

Georges Milton pub Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Au travers d'un Campari, Tout est gai, tout est joli (With a Campari, all is gay, all is nice).

Georges Milton (1886-1970) was a French singer and actor, who peaked in French cinema of the 1930s as the character Bouboule.

Pauley ad for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Dès que je bois du Campari, Oh! mes amis, quel appetit! (Ever since I drink Campari, oh my friends, what an appetite!).

Pauley or Paul Pauley (1886-1938) was a French actor and singer, who knew a prolific career in French cinema of the 1930s.

André Roanne. publicity for Campari
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Qui dit Campari, dit appétit! (Who says Campari, says appetite!).

André Roanne (1896-1959) had a long-standing career in French cinema. He peaked in the 1920s in comedies and dramas, often opposite Dolly Davis.

Saint-Granier
French postcard by David Campari, Paris. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: Si le public a ri, c'est j'en fais le pari, que les gens de Paris, ont bu du Campari (If the public laughed, It is, I bet it, that the people of Paris drank Campari).

Saint-Granier (1890-1976) was a French journalist, singer, (song)writer, actor, director, and radio star. Between the two wars, he was one of the great personalities of the French cabaret. He was also the director of Paramount Pictures in France in the early 1930s.

Clark Gable

0
0
With his natural charm and knowing smile, Clark Gable (1901-1959) was 'The King of Hollywood' during the 1930s. He often portrayed down-to-earth, bravado characters with a carefree attitude, and was seen as the epitome of masculinity. Gable won an Academy Award for Best Actor for It Happened One Night (1934), and was nominated for Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and for his best-known role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Clark Gable
French postcard by Europe, no. 1056. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Greta Garbo and Clark Gable in Susan Lenox (1931)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 140/2. Greta Garbo and Clark Gable in Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (Robert Z. Leonard, 1931). The film was released in German-speaking countries as Helga's Fall und Aufstieg. Garbo's character's name is really Helga Ohlin, she only later changes it into Susan Lenox.

Jean Harlow and Clark Gable in Red Dust (1932)
Dutch postcard, no. 483. Photo: M.G.M. Jean Harlow and Clark Gable in Red Dust (Victor Fleming, 1932). Sent by mail in 1935.

Clark Gable and Helen Hayes in The White Sister (1933)
British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. PC 95. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable and Helen Hayes in The White Sister (Victor Fleming, 1933).

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night (1934)
British postcard in the Film Shots Series by Film Weekly. Photo: Columbia. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934).

Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the wind (1939)
Italian postcard by Zincografica, Firenze. Photo: Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).

His teeth repaired and his hair styled


William Clark Gable was born in 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, where he stayed until he was two. His father then returned to take him back to Cadiz.

At 16, he quit high school, went to work in an Akron, Ohio, tire factory, and decided to become an actor after seeing the play 'The Bird of Paradise'. He toured in stock companies, worked oil fields, and sold ties.

His acting coach Josephine Dillon, 15 years his senior, paid for him to have his teeth repaired and his hair styled. She also trained him to lower his voice and attain better body posture, attributes that that were instrumental in contributing to his later success and eventual iconic status.

In 1924, with Dillon's financing, they went to Hollywood, where she became Gable's manager and first wife. He appeared as an extra in silent films between 1924 and 1926. However, he was not offered any major film roles, so he returned to the stage.

While Gable acted on stage, he became a lifelong friend of Lionel Barrymore. He moved to New York City, where Dillon sought work for him on Broadway. He received good reviews in 'Machinal' (1928). He gave an impressive appearance as the seething and desperate character Killer Mears in the Los Angeles stage production of 'The Last Mile'.

In 1930, Gable and Dillon divorced, and a year later, he married Maria Langham (a.k.a. Maria Franklin Gable), also about 17 years older than him.

Clark Gable in The White Sister (1933)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8211/1, 1933-1934. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable in The White Sister (Victor Fleming, 1933).

Clark Gable
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 9753/1, 1935-1936. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable in Parnell (1937)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1245/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable in Parnell (John M. Stahl, 1937).

Clark Gable in Saratoga (1937)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1600/2, 1937-1938. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable in Saratoga (Jack Conway, 1937).

Clark Gable
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2156/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2291/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable in Test Pilot (1938)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 2610/1, 1939-1940. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable in Test Pilot (Victor Fleming, 1938).

Unshaven lovemaking with bra-less Jean Harlow


After several failed screen tests, Clark Gable was signed in 1930 by MGM's Irving Thalberg. He made his talking film debut as an archetypal villain named Brett in the Western The Painted Desert (Howard Higgin, 1931), starring William Boyd.

Joan Crawford asked for him as a co-star in Dance, Fools, Dance (Harry Beaumont, 1931) and the public loved him manhandling Norma Shearer in A Free Soul (Clarence Brown, 1931) the same year.

His unshaven lovemaking with bra-less Jean Harlow in Red Dust (Victor Fleming, 1932) made him MGM's most important star. His acting career then flourished.

At one point, he refused an assignment, and the studio punished him by loaning him out to (at the time) low-rent Columbia Pictures, which put him in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934) opposite Claudette Colbert. He won an Academy Award for his performance.

The next year saw a starring role in Call of the Wild (William A. Wellman, 1935) with Loretta Young, with whom he had an affair. It resulted in the birth of a daughter, Judy Lewis. He returned to far more substantial roles at MGM, such as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (Frank Lloyd, 1935) and Rhett Butler in the Oscar-winning epic Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).

Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Forsaking All Others (1934)
British postcard by De Reszke Cigarettes, no. 47. Photo: M.G.M. Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Forsaking All Others (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934).

Clark Gable in It Happened One Night (1934)
British postcard. Photo: Columbia. Clark Gable as Peter in It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934).

Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Test Pilot (1938)
British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 249. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Test Pilot (Victor Fleming, 1938).

Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the wind (1939)
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W. 347. Photo: David O'Selznick Production / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind (1939)
Spanish postcard by Archivo Bermejo. Sent by mail in 1951. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).

Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable in Comrade X
Belgian collector's card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, Series C, no. 166. Photo: MGM. Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable in Comrade X (King Vidor, 1940).

Lana Turner and Clark Gable in Homecoming (1948)
Belgian Collectors Card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, Series C, no. 194. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Lana Turner and Clark Gable in Homecoming (Mervyn LeRoy, 1948).

Grief-stricken flying combat missions


After divorcing Maria Langham, Clark Gable married Carole Lombard in 1939, but tragedy struck in January 1942 when the plane in which Carole and her mother were flying crashed into Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, killing them both.

A grief-stricken Gable joined the US Army Air Force and was off the screen for three years, flying combat missions in Europe. When he returned the studio regarded his salary as excessive and did not renew his contract. He freelanced, but his films didn't do well at the box office.

He starred in such films as The Hucksters (Jack Conway, 1947) and Homecoming (Mervyn LeRoy, 1948) with Lana Turner. He married Sylvia Ashley, the widow of Douglas Fairbanks, in 1949. Unfortunately, this marriage was short-lived and they divorced in 1952.

In July 1955 he married a former sweetheart, Kathleen Williams Spreckles (a.k.a. Kay Williams), and became stepfather to her two children, Joan and Adolph ("Bunker") Spreckels III. In 1959, Gable became a grandfather when Judy Lewis, his daughter with Loretta Young, gave birth to a daughter, Maria. In 1960, Gable's wife Kay discovered that she was expecting their first child.

In early November 1960, he had just completed filming The Misfits (John Huston, 1961) with Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe, when he suffered a heart attack, and died later that month. Gable was buried shortly afterward in the shrine that he had built for Carole Lombard and her mother when they died, at Forest Lawn Cemetery. In March 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to a boy, whom she named John Clark Gable after his father.

Clark Gable in Lone Star (1952)
French postcard by Editions P.I., no. 12 F. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1954. Clark Gable in Lone Star (Vincent Sherman, 1952).

Clark Gable
Belgian postcard by S.A. Victoria, Bruxelles / N.V. Victoria, Brussel, no. 639. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable
French collectors card by Massilia.

Clark Gable
German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 189dpa. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable in But Not For Me (1959)
Dutch postcard by N.V. v.h. Weenenk & Snel, Baarn, no. 160. Photo: Paramount. Clark Gable in But Not For Me (Walter Lang, 1959). Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Clark Gable
German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CL-269. Photo: Terb Agency.

Clark Gable
German collectors card by Schumann-Verlag, Berlin-Lichterfelde-Süd / Heinerle, Bamberg. Photo: Ullstein.

Clark Gable
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 10.

Sources Ed Stephan (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Walter Janssen

0
0
Walter Janssen (1887-1976) was a German stage and screen actor and film director. Between the late 1910s and the late 1950s, Walter Janssen had a very prolific acting career in German cinema. He appeared in more than 160 films between 1917 and 1970.

Walter Janssen
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 4794. Photo: Atelier Wasow, München.

Walter Janssen and Ria Jende in Der Tänzer (1919)
German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 632/4. Photo: Maxim Film. Walter Janssen and Ria Jende in Der Tänzer/The Dancer (Carl Froehlich, 1919), based on the novel by Felix Holländer.

Walter Janssen in Yorck (1931)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6176/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Ufa. Walter Janssen as Vicomte Noailles in Yorck (Gustav Ucicky, 1931).

Walter Janssen
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5981. Photo: Lux Film-Verleih / D.L.S.

A young husband opposite Death


Walter Janssen was born Walter Philipp Janßen in 1887 in Krefeld, Germany. He began his theatre career in 1906 in Frankfurt am Main. He then worked from 1908 to 1910 in Kassel and from 1910 to 1915 again in Frankfurt.

In 1915, his daughter Signe von Scanzoni was born in Frankfurt, who grew out of Janssen's liaison with Amélie zu Fürstenberg. From 1915 to 1918 he worked in Munich and from 1919 at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Guest performances took him to London, among others.

In 1917 he made his first film appearance in Die entschleierte Maja/Maja unveiled (Ludwig Beck, 1917). In 1919 he played a reckless Casanova in Der Tänzer/The Dancer (Arthur Wollin, 1919). In 1921 he played the young husband in Fritz Lang's classic Der müde Tod/Destiny, but stood here in the shadow of Lil Dagover, who desperately struggles for his life as his wife, opposite Death, played by Bernhard Goetzke. Janssen also plays Dagover's lover in the three episodes set in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and a fairy-tale-like China.

In Peter der Große/Peter the Great (Dimitri Buchowetzki, 1923), Janssen played the Zarevitch Alexis opposite Emil Jannings in the title role. In Zopf und Schwert/Braid and Sword (Victor Janson, Rudolf Dworsky, 1926) opposite Mady Christians as Princess Wilhelmine and Albert Steinrück. Janssen embodied Crown Prince Friedrich, the future Frederick II. In Maria Stuart (Friedrich Fehér, 1927), he was Lord Darnley, opposite Magda Sonja in the title role.

Other memorable parts Janssen had opposite Henny Porten in Struensee/Die Liebe einer Königin/The Love of a Queen (Ludwig Wolff, 1923) and Tragödie/Tragedy (Carl Froehlich, 1925), opposite Aud Egede Nissen in Karusellen/Carousel (Buchowetzki, 1923), and opposite Ellen Richter in Die tolle Herzogin/The Great Duchess (Willi Wolff, 1926) and Die Frau ohne Nerven/The Woman Without Nerves (Willi Wolff, 1929).

Walter Janssen easily made the passage to sound cinema, and with success. Initially, he was really on top, with the lead of operetta composer Toni opposite Gretl Theimer, Willi Forst and Oskar Karlweiss in the musical film Zwei Herzen im Dreiviertel-Takt/Two Hearts in Waltz Time (Géza von Bolváry, 1930), probably Janssen's first sound film.

Janssen had more male leads in musical comedies in these early sound years, e.g. in Die singende Stadt/The Singing City (Carmine Gallone, 1930), Kaiserliebchen/Emperor Sweetheart (Hans Tintner, 1931), Die Faschingsfee/The carnival fairy (Hans Steinhoff, 1931), etc. In addition, he had supporting parts in period pieces such as Das Flötenkonzert van Sanssouci/The Flute Concert of Sanssouci (Gustav Ucicky, 1930) with Otto Gebühr, or romantic comedies such as Jeder fragt nach Erika/Everyone Asks for Erika (Fredric Zelnik, 1931), Lachende Erben/Laughing Heirs (Max Ophüls, 1933), Maskerade (Willi Forst, 1934), etc.

Henny Porten and Walter Janssen in Struensee (1923)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 656/1. Photo: Maxim-Film. Henny Porten and Walter Janssen in Struensee/Der Liebe einer Königin (Ludwig Wolff, 1923).

Henny Porten and Walter Janssen in Tragödie (1925)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 41/5. Photo: Henny-Porten-Film. Henny Porten and Walter Janssen in the German silent drama Tragödie (Carl Froelich, 1925).

Walter Janssen and Hans Rehmann in Das Flötenkonzert von Sanssouci (1930)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 125/8. Photo: Ufa. Walter Janssen and Hans Rehmann in the German early sound film Das Flötenkonzert von Sanssouci/The Flute Concert of Sanssouci (Gustav von Ucicky, 1930).

Walter Janssen and Gretl Theimer in Zwei Herzen im Dreiviertel-Takt (1930)
German collectors card in the series 'Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Tonfilm', album no. 11, picture no. 20. Photo: Super-Film / Ross Verlag. Walter Janssen and Gretl Theimer in Zwei Herzen im Dreiviertel-Takt/Two Hearts in Waltz Time (Géza von Bolváry, 1930).

A machine for dangerous work


In 1934, Walter Janssen starred in Harry Piel's S-F film Der Herr der Welt/The Master of the World (Harry Piel, 1934) as a German scientist who designs and builds a machine that will do dangerous work instead of placing humans in jeopardy. But the machine itself turns out to have disastrous effects on the people involved...

However, by the mid-1930s, Walter Janssen's roles became smaller, even though he continued to act in many more films. Substantial parts he still had in Geld fällt vom Himmel/Money from Heaven (Heinz Helbig, 1938), and in Wen die Götter lieben/Whom the Gods Love (Karl Hartl, 1942) as Mozart's father Leopold, Die schwache Stunde/The weak hour (Vladimír Slavínsk, 1943), Warum lügst Du, Elisabeth?/Why are you lying, Elisabeth? (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1944), and Das Hochzeitshotel/The Wedding Hotel (Carl Boese, 1944).

Janssen's first film after the war was an American release of Wen die Götter lieben/Whom the Gods Love, titled The Mozart Story (1948). IMDb mentioned this was a prewar, shelved Austrian film, but it has exactly the same cast as the 1942 film. According to IMDb, the film was dubbed in English, and new shots were added for the American release.

Janssen's real first postwar performance was in Morgen ist alles besser/Everything Will Be Better in the Morning (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1948). Janssen's postwar roles were mostly small, but more substantial ones he had e.g. in Tödliche Liebe/Deadly love (Fred Barius, Paul Pfeiffer, 1953) starring Rolf Möbius. In the 1930s and also the early 1950s Janssen also directed a few times, mostly light entertainment such as the Heinz Rühmann comedy Wer wagt – gewinnt/Who dares Wins (1935), and two fairy tale films in the 1950s.

In the 1960s Janssen participated in television plays and series. He again concentrated more on the world of theatre, was director of the Vienna Kammerspiele in the 1940s and directed the Marburg Festival. His last theatrical appearance was in 1971 in 'The Cherry Orchard' by Anton Chekhov at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. In 1968, he received the Filmband in Gold for many years of excellent work in German film, having acted in over 180 film and TV productions.

Walter Janssen died in Munich in 1976.

Franz Lederer et.al. Cicero Film
German postcard. Photo: Cicero Film / Distribution Deutsche Tonfilme. The 'fine fleur' of late silent German cinema stars, united for a photo for an early sound film company. Standing left to right: Franz Lederer, Walter Rilla, Theodor Loos, Camilla Horn, Fritz Rasp, and Walter Janssen. Sitting left to right: Paul Heidemann, Charlotte Susa, Betty Amann, Olga Tschechova, Maria Paudler, and Jack Trevor. Might be publicity for the early sound comedy Die grosse Sehnsucht/The Great Longing (Stefan Szekely/Steve Sekely, 1930), in which all acted, mostly as themselves - only Loos and Horn played characters. The plot was an excuse for 35 stars to debut in a talking picture.

Walter Janssen
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5111/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Super-Film.

Walter Janssen
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5491/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Super-Film.

Walter Janssen
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6531/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Ernst Förster, Wien (Vienna).

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

Linda Cristal (1934-2020)

0
0
Argentine-American actress Linda Cristal (1934) passed away in her sleep on 27 June 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. She appeared in a number of Westerns during the 1950s, before winning a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the comedy The Perfect Furlough (1958). From 1967 to 1971, Cristal starred as Victoria Cannon in the popular TV series The High Chaparral, for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 1968. Linda Cristal was 86.

Linda Cristal
Italian postcard by Rotalcolor, Milano, no. 115.

Linda Cristal in The High Chaparral (1967-1971)
Dutch postcard. Linda Cristal as Victoria Cannon in the American TV series The High Chaparral (1967–1971).

New Star of the Year


Linda Cristal was born as Marta Victoria Moya Peggo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1934. She was the daughter of a French father and an Italian mother. Her father was a publisher who moved the family to Montevideo, Uruguay, because of political problems.

In 1947, Linda and her parents were involved in a road accident near Buenos Aires in Argentina. She survived, but her parents were killed. Linda was 13 at the time. She had two brothers, but of them had died prematurely.

Her education came at Conservatoria Franklin in Uruguay. She learned to speak different languages, such as French, Spanish, Italian, and English.

In 1952, she was discovered by Mexican producer-director Miguelito Aleman, son of the Mexican president, Miguel Aleman. He gave her a bit part in the Mexican crime drama Cuando levanta la niebla/When the Fog Lifts (Emilio Fernández, 1952) starring Arturo de Córdova.

After she started her acting career. she altered her birth name to Linda Cristal. This was a common practice for actors and actresses in that period. In the following four years, Cristal did nine films in Argentina and Mexico for Aleman.

Her first English-language role was as Margarita in the Western Comanche (George Sherman, 1956) with Dana Andrews.

She won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year for her part as Sandra Roca - the Argentine Bombshell in the romantic comedy The Perfect Furlough (Blake Edwards, 1958) with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Next, Cristal went on to roles in Cry Tough (Paul Stanley, 1959) with John Saxon, the Italian epic Le legioni di Cleopatra/Legions of the Nile (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1959), with Ettore Manni and Georges Marchal, and another Peplum La donna dei faraoni/The Pharaohs' Woman (Victor Tourjansky, 1960) opposite Pierre Brice.

John Wayne asked her to play the part of Flaca in his epic The Alamo (John Wayne, 1960), and then she had a key role in the Western Two Rode Together (John Ford, 1961) starring James Stewart and Richard Widmark.

Linda Cristal
Italian postcard, no. 640.

Linda Cristal
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, no. 1483. Photo: Universal International.

A female matador


Along with these and other film roles, Linda Cristal appeared in episodes of network television series. She played a kidnapped Countess opposite Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood in an episode of Rawhide (1959).

On television, Cristal also played the female matador Gitana in an episode of The Tab Hunter Show (1961), and appeared in an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964) with Richard Basehart and Dan Hedison.

Cristal semi-retired in 1964 to raise her two children. She was coaxed out of retirement when she became the last cast member to be added as a regular on the NBC series The High Chaparral (1967-1971), starring Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell. Her performance in the series, as Victoria Cannon, earned her two more Golden Globe nominations (winning Best Actress - Television Drama in 1968) and two Emmy Award nominations.

Cristal worked sparingly after The High Chaparral, with a few television and film roles, such as the film Mr. Majestyk (Richard Fleischer, 1974) starring Charles Bronson, and the television miniseries Condominium (Sidney Hayers, 1980) with Barbara Eden.

In 185 she returned to Argentina, where she appeared in the starring role of Victoria "Rossé" Wilson on the  soap opera Rossé (Mario Bellocchio, 1985). Her last role was a guest part in an episode of the long-running American daytime drama General Hospital (1988).

Linda Cristal was married thrice. Cristal wed for the first time in 1950 to Tito Gomez, when she was just 16-years-old. The marriage was annulled after five days in the same year. In 1958, she married businessman Robert Champion, half-brother of dancer-actor Gower Champion. The secret wedding was made public only after a month. The marriage soon got bitter when Robert got a job in Venezuela, and the couple had to live far from each other most of the time. They divorced in 1959.

In 1960, she married Yale Wexler, a former actor who worked in real estate and was a multi-millionaire. The couple divorced in 1966. With Wexler, she had two sons, Gregory S. (1962) and Jordan R. (1963). Linda was granted custody of both her sons.

Linda Cristal passed away on 27 June 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Linda Cristal
Italian postcard, no. 604. Photo: Universal, 1957.

Linda Cristal
Spanish postcard by Archivo Bermejo, no. C-35. Photo: Universal International.

Sources: Hans Beerekamp (Het Schimmenrijk - Dutch), Alchetron, Glamour Girls of the Silver ScreenWikipedia and IMDb.

Les Trois Mousquetaires (1921), Part 1

0
0
This post is about a series of 21 postcards, produced in 1921 by M. Le Deley, Paris for Pathé. They were publicity cards for the Pathé serial Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), the second film adaptation of the famous adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas père, published in 1844.

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 1

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 2

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 3

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 4

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 5
French postcards by M. Le Deley, Paris for Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Photos: stills from Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), based on the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas père.

Super-serial


Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (1921) was a French twelve-hour mega-production. The film was divided into one-hour chapters, designed to be released as a serial in consecutive weeks over a three-month period.

This silent super-serial was produced by Pathé Frères and directed by Henri Diamant-Berger. Les Trois Mousquetaires saw well over 20 later film productions, including a rival Hollywood version with Douglas Fairbanks.

The very first cinematic adaptation of Dumas' famous novel 'Les trois mousquetaires' had been a French short made by Georges Méliès in 1903, Les trois mousquetaires et le collier de la reine/The three Musketeers and the Queen's Necklace.

The next adaptation, Les trois mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (1913) by André Calmettes and Henri Pouctal was the first feature-length film version of the classic novel. In the early 1910s, feature-length films were new, but Pouctal's Les trois mousquetaires had already an extreme length of 4000 metres. The film was released in two parts, La Haine de Richelieu (Richelieu's Hate) and Le Triomphe d'Artagnan (D'Artagnan's Triumph).

The 1913 version starred Émile Dehelly as D'Artagnan and Nelly Cormon as Milady. In addition, the film featured Marcel Vibert as Athos, Adolphe Candé as Porthos, Stellio as Aramis, and Philippe Garnier as Cardinal Richelieu. There were bit parts for Jean Duval, Rolla Norman, and Edouard de Max. De Max would return in the 1921 version.

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 6

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 7

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 8

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 9

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 10
French postcards by M. Le Deley, Paris for Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Photos: stills from Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), based on the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas père.

Gigantic Budget


Edouard de Maxplayed Cardinal Richelieu in the 1921 adaptation of Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (1921, Henri Diamant-Berger, 1921). He also played Richelieu in Henri Diamant-Berger's sequel to Les trois mousquetaires: Vingts ans après/Five Years Later (1922). Later he also played roles in Diamant-Berger's films Les mauvais garçons/The Bad Boys (1922) and Milady (1923).

The Gascon D'Artagnan was played by Aimé Simon-Girard. The three musketeers were impersonated by Henri Rollan as Athos, Charles Martinelli as Porthos, and Pierre de Guingand as Aramis. The cast also included Claude Mérelle as Milady de Winter, Henri Baudin as Rochefort, and in a small role Albert Préjean.

Les Trois Mousquetaires (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1921) had a gigantic budget of 2,5 million French francs. The production had great looking sets which were partly filmed on locations as the Chenonceau castle, Chartres, and the Pérouges citadel, and it also had authentic recreations of 17th-century costumes.

The script by Auguste Macquet follows the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas père very faithfully. The novel tells the story of four comrades-in-arms, musketeers at the service of Louis XIII: Athos, who was unsuccessfully married to the evil female protagonist, Milady; Porthos, a kind-hearted gigantic man; Aramis, a mystic mixture of love and courage; and the young D’Artagnan, the hero of the story. “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!!” is their motto.

The film has all the characters including minor characters such as Lord de Winter, Duchess de Chevreuse, and the Executioner of Lille. It also shows in flashbacks Athos courtship of the beautiful but treacherous woman - the supposed priest's sister who later resurfaces as Milady de Winter. The priest and Milady are both shown in the flashbacks.

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 11

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 12

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 13

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 14

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 15
French postcards by M. Le Deley, Paris for Pathé Consortium Cinéma. Photos: stills from Les Trois Mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Henri Diamant Berger, 1921), based on the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas père.

Rival Version


When Henri Diamant-Berger wanted to film the story, he had first offered the role of Roland D’Artagnan to Douglas Fairbanks. Fairbanks refused, according to Diamant-Berger, "because he did not want to work in such a vulgar genre as the serial".

Douglas Fairbanks then made a rival version at United Artists, The Three Musketeers (Fred Niblo, 1921) with Barbara La Marr as Milady, Marguerite De La Motte as Constance, Eugene Pallette as Aramis, and Adolphe Menjou as Louis XIII.

Although entertaining, it was much more loosely adapted. The Fairbanks version did keep the character of Bernajoux the greatest swordsman of the Cardinal's Guard who went to avenge his fellow Cardinal's guards and ended up being defeated by D'Artagnan.

Les Trois Mousquetaires went on to become one of the most profitable films of the decade – quickly accumulating an astounding 17 million francs. The success of Les Trois Mousquetaires was aided by an arrangement with United Artists that kept Fairbanks’s The Three Musketeers from being distributed in France and much of Europe.

In 1933, Henri Diamant-Berger made a new, sound version of Les Trois Mousquetaires. Aimé Simon-Girard starred again as D' Artagnan, Henri Rollan returned as Athos, and Henri Baudin also reprised his role as Le comte de Rochefort.

All copies of the 1921 version were thought to be destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War, but in 1995 a print of was rediscovered and remastered into a new version.

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 16

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 18

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 19

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 20

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 21

Les Trois Mousquetaires, 17

In true serial style, we will continue next week with a sequel post about Les Trois Mousquetaires (1921) in which we present other postcard series for the film.

Sources: Rudmer Canjels (Beyond the Cliffhanger: distributing silent serials), Richard Abel (French Cinema - The First Wave 1915-1929), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Dina Gralla

0
0
Polish-born, German actress Dina Gralla (1905-1994) started as a naive, sexy dancer in German revues. The amiable brunette then was the leading lady in more than 35 silent and early sound films of the Weimar cinema. Tuberculosis ended her career in 1934.

Dina Gralla
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5069. Photo: Manassé, Wien.

Dina Gralla
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5070. Photo: Manassé, Wien.

Dina Gralla
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1208/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder / Eichberg-Film, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Dina Gralla
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6345/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Heros.

Naive and Sexy


Dina Gralla was born as Dina Sventen in Warsaw, Poland (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1905.

She had a dance training in 1919 and performed as a ballet dancer at the revue of the Wintergarten theatre in Berlin. After some private acting lessons from Walter Steinbeck, she appeared in the film drama Leidenschaft/Passion (Richard Eichberg, 1925).

From then on she was seen regularly in German silent films in roles as a naive, sexy girl, often appearing with Lilian Harvey, like in Die Kleine vom Bummel/The Girl on the Road (Richard Eichberg, 1925) and Prinzessin Trulala/Princess Trulala (Erich Schönfelder, Richard Eichberg, 1926).

Repeatedly she played dancers, most famously in the leading part of the hit revue film Das Girl von der Revue/The Girl from the Revue (Richard Eichberg, 1928) with Werner Fuetterer. She also worked as a stage actress, for example at the Theater in der Behrenstraße.

Other films included Die Tolle Komtess/The Crazy Countess (Richard Löwenbein, 1928) with Max Ehrlich and Werner Fuetterer, Ein Kleiner Vorschuß auf die Seligkeit/A Small Down Payment on Bliss (Jaap Speyer, 1929) opposite Paul Hörbiger, Wer wird denn weinen, wenn man auseinandergeht?/No Use Crying If Your Sweetheart Goes Away (Richard Eichberg, 1929) with Paul Morgan.

Werner Fuetterer and Dina Gralla in Das Girl von der Revue (1928)
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5363. Photo: Hugo Engel-Film. Publicity still for Das Girl von der Revue (Richard Eichberg, 1928) with Werner Fuetterer.

Dina Gralla and Harry Halm in Prinzessin Trulala (1926)
Polish postcard by Polonia, Krakow, no. 1320. Dina Gralla and Harry Halm in Prinzessin Trulala/Princess Trulala (Erich Schönfelder, Richard Eichberg, 1926).

Dina Gralla in Du sollst nicht stehlen (1928)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3003/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Eichberg-Film, Berlin / Ufa. Dina Gralla in Du sollst nicht stehlen/Thou Shalt Not Steal (Victor Janson, 1928).

Dina Gralla
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4550/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Tuberculosis


Despite her Polish accent, Dina Gralla could continue her film career into the sound era.

She appeared in such comedies as Keine Feier ohne Meyer/No Celebration Without Meyer (Carl Boese, 1931) with Sig Arno, Der Liebesarzt/Doctor Love (Erich Schönfelder, 1931) opposite Harry Liedtke, and Der Liebesexpreß/Eight Days of Happiness (Robert Wiene, 1931) with Georg Alexander.

Her later films included Schwebende Jungfrau/The Soaring Maiden (Carl Boese, 1931) with Lissi Arna and Szöke Szakall, and Ein Auto und kein Geld/A Car and No Money (Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck, 1932) with Paul Kemp.

Tragically, in 1933 tuberculosis developed in her lungs, and she had to retire. Her final role was in Grüß' mir die Lore noch einmal/Say Hello to Lore for me one more time (Carl Heinz Wolff, 1934).

In the following decade, she worked as a stenotypist, and after 1945 as a cleaning lady and a waitress. Finally, she worked at a Berlin library. Gralla returned one last time for the cameras in the revue film An jedem Finger zehn/Ten on Every Finger (Erik Ode, 1954).

Dina Gralla died in 1994, in Berlin-Charlottenburg. She was 89. In 1926, she had married newspaper correspondent Lincoln Eyre.

Dina Gralla in Das Girl von der Revue (1928)
German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 184, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Dina Gralla in Das Girl von der Revue/The Girl from the Revue (Richard Eichberg, 1928).

Dina Gralla
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4028/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Kiesel, Berlin.

Dina Gralla
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4163/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ufa.

Dina Gralla
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 6071. Photo: Max Wirstchafter & Co.

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Photo by Bernard of Hollywood

0
0
Bruno Bernard (1912–1987) fled from Nazi Germany to the USA in the 1930s. As Bernard of Hollywood, he became one of the most popular glamour photographers of Tinseltown. In 1961 he returned to Germany, where he photographed many European starlets and also worked as a set photographer.

Mylène Demongeot
Mylène Demongeot. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/66. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/67. Sent by mail in France in 1966. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Barbara Valentin
Barbara Valentin. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/192. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Vivi Bach
Vivi Bach. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/277. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Sophie Hardy
Sophie Hardy. German postcard by Kruger, no. 902/291. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Margaret Rose Keil
Margaret Rose Keil. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/288. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

The Vargas of Photography


Bruno Bernard was born Bruno Bernard Sommerfeld (or Sommer) in Berlin, Germany in 1912. His Jewish parents were poor. He and his four siblings were on welfare by the time he was 8 years old and were placed in orphanages.  

At age 11, his parents gave him his first camera, a Rolleiflex, in 1923. It led to a lifelong interest in photography. As a young man, he worked as a photographer and reporter and earned a Ph.D. in criminal psychology at the Kiel University. He was in the two percent of Jews to gain a doctorate in 1934.

His activism in a Jewish youth organization landed him on the Gestapo’s blacklist and caused him to emigrate to the United States in 1937. He claimed to the German authorities that he was leaving the country to continue his graduate studies.

He was 26 and attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he planned to continue his education but soon became interested in the arts. He settled in Los Angeles and set up a darkroom in the basement of his apartment.

In 1940, he became a directorial apprentice at the Reinhardt School of the Theatre, opened by Max Reinhardt on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Unable to get a job as a director, however, Bruno returned to his interest in photography. He started out taking photos of the wives and children of the directors and producers he had come to know through his apprenticeship.

As he began making money, he opened a proper studio at Sunset Boulevard in 1940. Agent Paul Kohner, who helped many Europeans flee after the rise of Adolph Hitler and re-establish themselves in Hollywood, took notice of Bernard’s work. Kohner sent him clients, and thus brought him to the attention of the film industry. 'Bernard of Hollywood' was to reign at this studio for 25 years. It became a landmark of Hollywood.

Bruno developed a unique portrait style that he called the "posed candid"; a style that evolved into what is now known as 'pin-up' photography. Bernard preferred a moderate use of artificial light. He preferred natural light like the sun at the beach and sometimes added a flash to his light concept.

Soon he was called 'The King of Glamour Photography' and 'The Vargas of Pinup Photography', after his mentor, pin-up painter Alberto Vargas. Over the next two years, Bernard opened studios at Laguna Beach, at Las Vegas’s Riviera Hotel, and at the Palm Springs Racquet Club, then the favourite retreat for Hollywood’s top stars.

Monique Van Vooren
Monique Van Vooren. French postcard by De Marchi Frères, Marseille. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe. American postcard by The American Postcard Company, no. 282, 1981. Photo: Bruno Bernard (Bernard of Hollywood).

Rita Cadillac
Rita Cadillac. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/297. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Heidi Brühl
Heidi Brühl. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/321. Postcard: Bernard of Hollywood.

Helga Sommerfeld
Helga Sommerfeld. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/324. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Marisa Mell
Marisa Mell. German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/349. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Strippers, Showgirls, Starlets


Bernard of Hollywood photographed most of the big stars of Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s: Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, John Wayne, and of course Marilyn Monroe.

Bruno Bernard is credited with first photographing Marilyn Monroe at his studio in 1946. She was still known then as Norma Jean Dougherty. In 1947, Bernard introduced Monroe to agent Johnny Hyde, vice president of the William Morris Agency.

Hyde revamped Norma Jean completely from the loveable, carefree All-American Girl to the breathtakingly beautiful Hollywood blonde. A cosmetic surgeon in the Springs restyled her nose and straightened the facial tissues under her skin. Hude got her seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox. There, Bernard took the well-known photographs of Monroe in the red dress she wore for Niagara (Henry Hathaway, 1953).

One of Bernard's most famous photos is 'Marilyn in White', shot in New York in September 1954. Monroe is holding her white pleated skirt down from a blast of steam from a New York sidewalk grating in The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, 1955). This photograph was selected as the 'Symbol of the Century' by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Bernard's artistic muse, however, was the late, legendary striptease artist Lili St. Cyr, a spectacularly stunning beauty with wit, elegance, and a sense of humor. Bernard of Hollywood's pin-up work ranges from strippers, Vegas showgirls; unknown, poignantly unnamed models; to all the starlets of the 1950s and 1960s. Bernard's daughter Susan Bernard has made the case that the pinup style popularised by Bernard and Alberto Vargas was "celebrating and empowering women rather than exploiting them".

Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times: "No less than Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower praised Bernard’s pinups, and when--incredibly--Bernard had to fight an obscenity charge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1950s, he submitted in his defense a letter from the Secretary of Defense thanking him for the morale-building effect of his pinups."

Pierre Brice in Old Shatterhand (1964)
German postcard by Kruger. Photo: Bruno Bernard/CCC Produktion. Pierre Brice as Winnetou Old Shatterhand (Hugo Fregonese, 1964).

Lex Barker in Old Shatterhand (1964)
German postcard by Kruger. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood (Bruno Bernard) / CCC-Produktion. Lex Barker as Old Shatterhand in Old Shatterhand (Hugo Fregonese, 1964).

Pierre Brice in Old Shattterhand (1964)
German postcard by Krüger. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC Produktion. Pierre Brice in Old Shattterhand (1964). Sent by mail in Luxemburg in 1966.

Letícia Román
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/302. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC-Zugsmith Co-produktion. Letícia Román in Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964).

Ulli Lommel (1944-2017)
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/303. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC-Zugsmith Co-produktion. Letícia Román and Ulli Lommel in Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964).

Renate Hütte, Britt Lindberg
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/358. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood / CCC-Zugsmith Co-produktion. Renate Hütte and Britt Lindberg in Fanny Hill (1964).

Legends


In 1961 Bruno Bernard sold his studios and started a new career as a foreign correspondent and photojournalist in Europe. For the German magazine Der Spiegel, he photographed the Eichmann Trial in Israel.

The German postcard publisher Krüger commissioned him to photograph European starlets during the early 1960s. Among them were German film stars as Heidi Brühl, Marisa Mell, and voluptuous Barbara Valentin, a.k.a. the German Jayne Mansfield.

Bernard of Hollywood also photographed the original, when Jayne Mansfield was working in Europe after her Hollywood career had dried up.

Bruno Bernard also worked as a still photographer for films including the erotic film Fanny Hill (Russ Meyer, 1964) and the Eurowestern Old Shatterhand (Hugo Fregonese, 1964).

Bernard returned to the USA, and in the 1980s he was living in Palm Springs and writing his memoirs. In 1984, Bernard became the first still photographer to be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles with a 50-year retrospective of his work. The exhibition showed 130 of his portraits and other pictures.

The celebration was to mark Bernard’s 50th year as a photographer. His 'Marilyn in White' was also chosen by the International Center of Photography as one of the '20 Unforgettable Photographs'.

In 1987, Bruno Bernard died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 75. He had just compiled the book 'Requiem for Marilyn'. His daughter Sue Bernard (1948–2019) was the founder and president of Bernard of Hollywood Publishing and wrote several books, among them 'Marilyn: Intimate Exposures' and 'Bernard of Hollywood’s Ultimate Pin-Up Book'. She preserved exhibited and published her father's legacy, introducing his photos to a new generation.

Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times: "There is in Bernard’s pinups an exuberant sexuality that is both innocent and mischievous, seductive yet sweet. Surely, it was the rapport that Bernard had with movie stars and models alike that yielded these wonderful combinations".

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield. German postcard by Krüger, no. 900/78. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Sources: Kevin Thomas (Los Angeles Times), Susan Bernard (Marilyn Intimate Exposures), Adrienne Miller (Esquire - offline), Bernard of Hollywood.com, Find A GraveWikipedia, and IMDb.

Renato Salvatori

0
0
Thanks to his good looks and impressive physique, Italian actor Renato Salvatori (1933-1988) became a popular star of the European cinema of the 1950s and 1960s. He started as a romantic juvenile actor and reached his apex as Simone in Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and His Brothers (1960). In the 1960s, Salvatori turned into one of Italy's strongest characters actors of grim, harrowing drama.

Renato Salvatori
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1296. Photo: Titanus.

Renato Salvatori
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1301. Photo: Titanus.

Renato Salvatori in Poveri Millionari (1959)
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit. (Casa Editr. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze), no. 3712. Photo: G.B. Poletto / Titanus. Publicity still for Poveri Millionari/Poor Millionaires (Dino Risi, 1959).

Renato Salvatori
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 3770. Photo: Cineriz.

Handsome and Muscular Baywatch


Renato Salvatori was born Giuseppe Salvatori in Seravezza, near Lucca, in 1933. He was the son of a marble mason.

When he was 18 and bay-watching at a small seaside resort near Forte dei Marmi, Salvatori was discovered by Italian film director Luciano Emmer. The handsome and muscular baywatch landed a part in the romantic drama Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna/Girls of the Spanish Steps (Luciano Emmer, 1952) starring Lucia Bosé.

Salvatori had his first lead opposite May Britt in the adventure Jolanda la figlia del corsaro nero/Jolanda, the Daughter of the Black Corsair (Mario Soldati, 1954).

Salvatori’s popularity grew enormously thanks to his part of Salvatore in Dino Risi’s trilogy Poveri ma belli/A Girl in Bikini (1956), Belle ma povere/Poor Girl, Pretty Girl (1957) and Poveri milionari/Poor Millionaires (1958), also with Maurizio Arena and Marisa Allasio.

He also knew public success with the two-part comedy La nonna Sabella (Dino Risi, 1957) and La nipote Sabella (Giorgio Bianchi, 1958), next to Peppino de Filippo and Sylva Koscina.

Success was even bigger with the classic crime comedy I soliti ignoti/Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli, 1958) about a gang of clumsy burglars (including Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Salvatori and others), while Claudia Cardinale played Salvatori’s girlfriend. Its success propelled the sequel Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti/Hold up à la milanaise (Nanni Loy, 1960), again with Gassman and Cardinale.

Renato Salvatori, Marisa Allasio, Maurizio Arena
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1356, 1960. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress. Publicity still for Poveri ma belli/Poor But Beautiful (Dino Risi, 1957) with Renato Salvatori, Marisa Allasio and Maurizio Arena.

Claudia Cardinale and Renato Salvatori in Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti (1959)
Small Czech collectors card by Pressfoto, Praha (Prague), 1965, no. S 101/3. Photo: Claudia Cardinale and Renato Salvatori in Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti/Fiasco in Milan (Nanni Loy, 1959).

Claudia Cardinale and Renato Salvatori in Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti (1959)
Small Czech collectors card by Pressfoto, Praha (Prague), 1965, no. S 101/4. Photo: Claudia Cardinale and Renato Salvatori in Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti/Fiasco in Milan (Nanni Loy, 1959).

Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Max Cartier and Renato Salvatori in Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960)
Small Czech collectors card by Pressfoto, Praha (Prague), 1965, no. S 101/5. Photo: Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Max Cartier and Renato Salvatori in Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti, 1960)

Rocco's Eldest Brother


Renato Salvatori was also a good dramatic actor in such films as I magliari/The Magliari (Francesco Rosi, 1959) with Alberto Sordi, La ciociara/Two Women (Vittorio De Sica, 1960) with Sophia Loren, and Era notte a Roma/Blackout in Rome (Roberto Rossellini, 1960) with Giovanna Ralli.

Salvatori’s fundamental part was that of Simone in Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and his Brothers (Luchino Visconti, 1960). Simone is the eldest brother of a fatherless and poor family from a village in southern Italy who come to Milan seeking a better life. When Simone’s girlfriend, the prostitute Nadia (Annie Girardot), prefers his younger brother Rocco (Alain Delon) to him, he rapes her in front of his brother.

Reduced to an outcast and ridiculed by his former friends after his boxing career has faltered - while that of Rocco is summiting - Simone takes revenge on Nadia. In real life, Salvatori and Girardot treated each other quite differently. Salvatori met her on the set of the film, they fell in love and married two years after. Salvatori also became close friends with Delon.

Other memorable performances of Salvatori’s film career were in Un giorno da leoni/A Day for Lionhearts (Nanni Loy, 1961), La banda Casaroli/The Casaroli gang (Florestano Vancini, 1962) and I compagni/The Organizer (Mario Monicelli, 1963).

He also played in polemic and counter-cultural films such as Smog (Franco Rossi, 1962), also with Girardot, the Science-Fiction comedy Omicron (Ugo Gregoretti, 1964), and Una bella grinta/The Reckless (Giuliano Montaldo, 1965), films that wanted to give an Italian answer to the French Nouvelle Vague.

Salvatori’s last important roles were in Queimada/Burn (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969) starring Marlon Brando, and in La prima notte di quiete/Indian Summer (Valerio Zurlini, 1972), again next to Alain Delon.

Renato Salvatori
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1019, 1959. Photo: G. B. Poletto.

Renato Salvatori
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1595, 1962.

Renato Salvatori
Spanish postcard by Ediciones Raker, Barcelona, no. 286, 1963. Retail price: 3 ptas.

Renato Salvatori
Spanish postcard by Postal Oscarcolor, no. 394.

Drinking Problem


In France, Renato Salvatori also played major parts in the films Le glaive et la balance/The Sword and the Balance (André Cayatte, 1963) with Anthony Perkins and Jean-Claude Brialy, Les grands chemins/Of Flesh and Blood (Christian Marquand, 1963) with Robert Hossein, L’harem/The Harem (Marco Ferreri, 1967) with Carol Baker, and the political thriller Etat de siege/State of Siege (Costa-Gavras, 1972) starring Yves Montand.

He also had small parts in Costa-Gavras’Z (1969) and Henri Verneuil’s Le casse/The Burglars (1971) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo.

In 1969 he also acted in the Mexican film Los recuerdos del porvenir/Memories of the Future (Artur Ripstein, 1969).

In the early 1970s, Salvatori also played in a few French police films which starred Alain Delon: Les granges brûlées/The Burned Barns (Jean Chapot, 1973) also with Simone Signoret, Flic Story/Cop Story (Jacques Deray, 1975) also with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Le gitan/The Gypsy (José Giovanni, 1975) also with Annie Girardot, and Armaguedon/Armageddon (Alain Jessua, 1977) also with Jean Yanne.

In the same years, Salvatori also played in Italian films about crime & politics such as Il sospetto/The Suspect (Franco Maselli, 1975) with Gian Maria Volonté, Cadaveri eccellenti/Illustrious Corpses (Francesco Rosi, 1976) with Lino Ventura, and Todo modo (Elio Petri, 1976). He also appeared in films on sexual politics such as La dernière femme/The Last Woman (Marco Ferreri, 1976).

After the mid-1970s, however, Salvatori’s parts became much smaller, as in films as Ernesto (Salvero Samperi, 1979) and Bernardo Bertolucci's La luna/Luna (1979) and La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo/The Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981).

Salvatori’s last major parts were in the erotic drama La cicala/The Cricket (Alberto Lattuada, 1980), the comedy Asso/Ace (Castellano & Pipolo aka Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia, 1981) with Adriano Celentano, and the drama Oggetti smarriti (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 1980) with Mariangela Melato.

Salvatori had one daughter with Girardot: Giulia Salvatori, who became an actress as well. In later years the couple separated but kept a good relation. Salvatori had a son Nils from his second marriage with German photo model Danka Schroeder.

In the 1970s Salvatori started to have drinking problems, possibly caused by his delusion over his shrinking career. In 1984 Renato Salvatori entered politics while working for the external relations of the Ministry of Transport, but by now he was physically declining because of liver cirrhosis, which eventually killed him in 1988. He was 55. His grandson, the son of Giulia Salvatori, is also named Renato Salvatori.

Renato Salvatori
Small Romanian collectors card.

Renato Salvatori
Italian postcard, no. 466.

Renato Salvatori
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 757.


Short documentary Renato Salvatori Povero ma Bello. Source: Moviexperience (YouTube).


Trailer Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1960). Source: Raccetto (YouTube).

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

What letter? THE letter

0
0
Long before WhatsApp, before e-mail, even before the telephone, there was... the letter. People wrote them by hand, with ink and in the early days even with a feather. In films, letters were mostly mysterious. Especially in the silent era, letters could carry secrets and lies, but also many love letters were written and read and discovered. Ivo and I searched through our collections and chose 21 film European star postcards with a letter.

Henny Porten in Die Faust des Riesen II (1917)
German postcard in the Film Sterne Series by Rotophot, no. 515/2. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Henny Porten in the German two-part silent film drama Die Faust des Riesen (Rudolf Biebrach, 1917).

Hesperia and Claudio Nicola in La Cuccagna (1917)
Italian postcard by IPA CT. V. Uff. Rev. St. - Terni, no. 5074. Photo: Tiber Film. Postcard for La Cuccagna (Baldassarre Negroni, 17 1917), starring Hesperia as Renata Beraud, here also with Claudio Nicola as Aristide Saccard. Caption: "Saccard cannot pay the bills of his wife anymore."

Lyda Borelli in Il dramma di una notte
Spanish collectors card for Chocolat Imperiale by Imp. Bayer Hnos. y C.a. Chromophotography. Lyda Borelli in the Italian melodrama Il dramma di una notte/The Drama of One Night (Mario Caserini, 1918).

Suzanne Grandais in Lorena (1918)
Spanish postcard by Amatller Marca Luna, Series 6, no. 14. Photo: Eclipse. Suzanne Grandais in the French drama Lorena (Georges Tréville, 1918).

Rosa Porten and Theodor Loos in Die Augen der Schwester (1918)
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 3239. Photo: Treumann-Larsen-Film. Rosa Porten and Theodor Loos in Die Augen der Schwester/The eyes of the sister (Franz Eckstein, 1918). Porten also scripted the film.

Lya Mara in Die Serenyi (1918)
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, K. 2268. Photo: Berliner Film-Manufaktur. Lya Mara and Victor Janson in Die Serenyi (Alfred Halm, 1918).

Bruno Kastner and Hanni Weisse in Zwischen zwei Welten (1919)
German postcard by Verlag Ross, no. 590. Photo: Ring-Film. Bruno Kastner and Hanni Weisse in the German silent film Zwischen zwei Welten/Between two worlds (Adolf Gärtner, 1919).

Fern Andra
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 288/2, 1919-1924. Fern Andra Atelier. Caption: Fern Andra in ihrem Heim (Fern Andra at her home).

Pina Menichelli in La seconda moglie (1922)
Italian postcard. Photo: Rinascimento Film, Roma. Pina Menichelli in La seconda moglie (Amleto Palermi, 1923). Caption: That monotonous and grey life awoke in the rebel a whole lost world.

Pina Menichelli and Livio Pavanelli in La seconda moglie (1923)
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano. Pina Menichelli and Livio Pavanelli in La seconda moglie (Amleto Palermi, 1923).

The rising gorge of the wicked woman


In her fascinating, ironic text, 'Short Manual for the Aspiring Scenario Writer', the French author Colette gave a typical description of the femme fatale in cinema, largely based on Pina Menichelli. Talking about the 'arms' of the femme fatale Colette indicates the hat and the rising gorge:

"The femme fatale's hat spares her the necessity, at the absolute apex of her wicked career, of having to expend herself in pantomime.

When the spectator sees the evil woman coiffing herself with a spread-winged owl, the head of a stuffed jaguar, a bifid aigrette, or a hairy spider, he no longer has any doubts; he knows just what she is capable of.

And the rising gorge? The rising gorge is the imposing and ultimate means by which the evil woman informs the audience that she is about to weep, that she is hesitating on the brink of crime, that she is struggling against steely necessity, or that the police have gotten their hands on the letter.

What letter? THE letter."

Ernst Rückert
Ernst Rückert. Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 686. Photo: Naxos-Film / Verleih E. Weil & Co.

Lars Hanson in The Scarlet Letter
Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 403. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Roma. Lars Hanson as Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in the period piece The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjostrom, 1926), set in the era of the Puritans.

Corinne Griffith
Corinne Griffith. Spanish postcard by La Novela Semanal Cinematografica, no. 87.

Henny Porten in Tragödie (1925)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1192/3, 1927-1928. Photo: Henny-Porten-Film. Henny Porten in the German silent drama Tragödie/Tragedy (Carl Froelich, 1925).

Elisabeth Bergner in Fräulein Else (1929)
German postcard by Verlag Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm, no. 6656. Photo: Poetic-Film. Elisabeth Bergner in Fräulein Else/Miss Else (Paul Czinner, 1929), based on the play by Arthur Schnitzler.

Rod La Rocque in The Locked Door (1929)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3851/2, 1928-1929. Photo: PDC. Rod La Rocque in The Locked Door (George Fitzmaurice, 1929).

Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh. Dutch postcard by Foto-archief Film en Toneel, no. AX 283. Photo: Warner Bros.

Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 288. Photo: Warner Bros.

Cécile Aubry (1928-2010) RIP
Cécile Aubry. Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 377. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Nadia Gray in Puccini (1953)
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 135. Photo: Dear Film. Nadia Gray in Puccini (Carmine Gallone, 1953).

Gardy Granass
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no 2323. Photo: Berolina / Constantin. Gardy Granass in Die Christel von der Post (Karl Anton, 1956).

Sean Connery in From Russia with Love (1963)
Dutch postcard. Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia with Love (Terence Young, 1963).

Fay Wray

0
0
Canadian-born American actress Fay Wray (1907-2004) attained international recognition as the first 'scream queen' in a series of horror films during the early 1930s. Through an acting career that spanned nearly six decades, Wray is best known as Ann Darrow, the girl held in the hand of King Kong (1933). Two days after her death, the lights of the Empire State Building, the location of King Kong's climax scene, were dimmed for 15 minutes in memory of the "beauty who charmed the beast".

Fay Wray in Pointed Heels (1929)
French postcard by Europe, no. 720. Photo: Paramount. Fay Wray in Pointed Heels (A. Edward Sutherland, 1929).

Fay Wray in Street of Sin (1928)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3993/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Paramount. Fay Wray in Street of Sin (Mauritz Stiller, 1928).

Fay Wray
Italian postcard by Rizzoli & C., Milano, 1940. Photo: Radio Pictures.

One of the WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1926


Vina Fay Wray was born in 1907 on a ranch near Cardston in the province of Alberta, Canada. Her American parents, Elvina Marguerite Jones and Joseph Heber Wray, were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was one of six children.

Her family returned to the United States a few years after she was born, in order for her father to find better work than what was offered in Alberta. They moved to Salt Lake City in 1912, and later they relocated to Los Angeles, where Fay attended Hollywood High School. Her parents divorced, which put the rest of the family in hard times.

Being in entertainment-rich Los Angeles, there was ample opportunity to take advantage of the chances that might come her way in the entertainment industry. At the age of 16, Wray made her film debut, when she landed a role in a short historical film, Gasoline Love (1923), sponsored by a local newspaper. The film was not a hit, nor was it a launching vehicle for her career.

It would be two more years before she ever got another chance. Wray landed a major role in the silent film The Coast Patrol (Bud Barsky, 1925), as well as uncredited bit parts at the Hal Roach Studios. In 1926, the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers selected Wray, along with Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor, as one of the 'WAMPAS Baby Stars', a group of thirteen starlets whom they believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom. She was at the time under contract to Universal Studios, mostly co-starring in low-budget Westerns opposite Buck Jones.

The following year, Wray was signed to a contract with Paramount Pictures. In 1926, director Erich von Stroheim cast her as the main female lead in his film The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim, 1928), released by Paramount two years later. Over the six months of filming, Stroheim shot over 200,000 feet of film. The film's original budget was estimated at $300,000 ($4,333,000 today). By the time film producer Pat Powers shut down production, the budget had risen to $1,250,000 ($18,398,000 today). While the film was noted for its production values, it was a financial failure.

After her first lead role, Wray stayed with Paramount to make more than a dozen films, including Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929) with George Bancroft, and made the transition from silent films to 'talkies'.

Fay Wray
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, no. 1169. Photo: Capitol.

Fay Wray and George Raft in The Bowery (1933)
British postcard in the Film Shots series by Film Weekly. Photo: 20th Century. Fay Wray and George Raft on the beach in the pre-Code movie The Bowery (Raoul Walsh, 1933).

A giant gorilla as her 'tall, dark leading man'


After leaving Paramount, Fay Wray signed to various film companies. Under these deals, Wray was cast in various horror films, including Doctor X (Michael Curtiz, 1932), The Vampire Bat (Frank R. Strayer, 1933), and Mystery of the Wax Museum (Michael Curtiz, 1933), all starring Lionel Atwill.

In addition, she appeared in many other types of roles, including in The Bowery (Raoul Walsh, 1933) and Viva Villa (Jack Conway, 1934), both of which starred Wallace Beery.

However, her best-known films were produced under her deal with RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Her first film under RKO was The Most Dangerous Game (Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1932), co-starring Joel McCrea.

It was followed by Wray's most memorable film, King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933) with Bruce Cabot. The Most Dangerous Game was shot at night on the same jungle sets that were being used for King Kong during the day, with Wray and Robert Armstrong starring in both films.

When first-choice Jean Harlow proved to unavailable, Wray was approached by director Merian C. Cooper to play the role of Ann Darrow, the blonde captive of King Kong. Cooper told her that he had a part for her in a picture in which she would be working with a tall, dark leading man. What he didn't tell her was that her "tall, dark leading man" was a giant gorilla. Wray was paid $10,000 ($200,000 in 2020 dollars) to play the role.

Tony Fontana at IMDb: "Perhaps no one in the history of pictures could scream more dramatically than Fay, and she really put on a show in "Kong". Her character provided a combination of sex appeal, vulnerability, and lung capacity as she was stalked by the giant beast all the way to the top of the Empire State Building."

The film was a commercial success and Wray was reportedly proud that the film saved RKO from bankruptcy. Ann Darrow became the role with which Wray was most associated. In 1933, Fay Wray also became a naturalised citizen of the United States.

She continued to star in various films, including the romantic comedy The Richest Girl in the World (William A. Seiter, 1934), a second film with Joel McCrea, but by the early 1940s, her appearances became less frequent. She retired from acting in 1942 after her second marriage but due to financial exigencies soon resumed her acting career.

Fay Wray
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 513. Photo: Paramount.

Fay Wray
British postcard by Milton, no. 149. Photo: British & Dominions Films.

Turning the Titanic down


Over the next three decades, Fray Wray appeared in several films and she was also frequently seen on television. Wray was cast in the sitcom The Pride of the Family (1953-1954) as Catherine Morrison. Paul Hartman played her husband, Albie Morrison. Natalie Wood and Robert Hyatt played their children, Ann and Junior Morrison, respectively.

Wray appeared with fellow WAMPAS Baby Star Joan Crawford in the Film Noir drama Queen Bee (Ranald MacDougall, 1955). Wray appeared in three episodes of Perry Mason: The Case Of The Prodigal Parent (1958); The Case of the Watery Witness (1959), as murder victim Lorna Thomas; and The Case of the Fatal Fetish (1965), as voodoo practitioner Mignon Germaine.

Other roles around this time were in the episodes Dip in the Pool (1958) and The Morning After of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1960, she appeared as Clara in an episode of 77 Sunset Strip, Who Killed Cock Robin?

She ended her acting career in the made-for-television film Gideon's Trumpet (Robert Collins, 1980), starring Henry Fonda.

In 1988, she published her autobiography 'On the Other Hand'. In her later years, Wray continued to make public appearances. In 1991, she was crowned Queen of the Beaux-Arts Ball presiding with King Herbert Huncke.

She was approached by James Cameron to play the part of Rose Dawson Calvert for his blockbuster Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) with Kate Winslet to play her younger self, but she turned down the role, which was played by Gloria Stuart.

In 1998, King Kong wound up being named one of the 100 greatest films of all time by the American Film Institute. On the 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998), Billy Crystal introduced a clip of her in King Kong (1933) and then came offstage and stood next to Miss Wray in the audience, and introduced her as the "Beauty who charmed the Beast, the Legendary Fay Wray".

In 2003, the 95-year-old Wray appeared at the 2003 Palm Beach International Film Festival to celebrate the documentary film Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (Rick McKay, 2003), which she also appeared in. She was honored with a 'Legend in Film' award.

In 2004, Wray was approached by director Peter Jackson to appear in a small cameo for his remake of King Kong (Peter Jackson, 2005). Jackson wanted Fay to say the closing line of the film. She met with Naomi Watts, who was to play the role of Ann Darrow, but she politely declined the cameo and claimed the original "Kong" to be the true "King".

Before the filming of the remake commenced, Wray died in her sleep of natural causes on 8 August 2004, in her apartment in Manhattan, five weeks before her 97th birthday. Wray is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

Fay Wray married three times. Her husbands were the authors John Monk Saunders (1928-1939; divorce) and Robert Riskin (1942-1955; his death), and the neurosurgeon Sanford Rothenberg (1971-1991; his death). She had three children: Susan Saunders, Victoria Riskin, and Robert Riskin Jr.

Denny Jackson at IMDb: "She was an excellent actress who never was given a chance to live up to her potential, especially after being cast in a number of horror films in the '30s. Given the right role, Fay could have had her star up alongside the great actresses of the day. No matter. She remains a bright star from cinema's golden era."


Trailer The Most Dangerous Game (Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1932). Source: WKAJ Entertainment (YouTube).


Trailer King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933). Source: Warner Bros (YouTube).

Sources: Tony Fontana (IMDb), Denny Jackson (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Hans Mierendorff

0
0
Hans Mierendorff (1882-1955) was a German stage and film actor and film director. He became a star as the gentleman-detective Harry Higgs in silent Krimis and also appeared in such classics as Hilde Warren und der Tod (1917), scripted by Fritz Lang, and the popular serial Die Herrin der Welt (1919). He set up his own production company, Lucifer-Film GmbH, serving for four years as its artistic director. During his career, Hans Mierendorff played in over 100 films.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by NPG, no. 658. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Hans Mierendorff as Harry Higgs
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 5446. Hans Mierendorff as Harry Higgs.

Hans Mierendorff as Harry Higgs
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 5447. Hans Mierendorff as Harry Higgs.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 247 Photo: Alex Binder.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1836. Photo: A. Binder, Berlin.

Tonbilder


Hans Mierendorff was born Johannes Reinhold Mierendorff in Rostock, Germany in 1882, as the son of the merchant Carl Mierendorff and painter Johanna Reinke. He frequented the Oberschule in Rostock and the grandducal gymnasium in Doberan.

After an initial career as a bookshop seller in Schwerin, he had acting lessons at the Hoftheater in Schwerin and soon switched to a stage career, performing in Hamburg, Halle, and Breslau. Between 1911 and 1919 he worked in Berlin on various stages: at the Residenztheater, the Lessingtheater, the Deutsche Künstlertheater, and the Meinhard-Bernauer-Bühnen.

From 1909 on, Mierendorff was also appearing in the so-called 'Tonbilder' or early sound films by Franz Porten. Thanks to the mediation of Henny Porten’s husband, director/actor Curt Stark, Mierendorff’s real first performance in a silent fiction film was in the Henny Porten-Film Das Adoptivkind/The adoptive child (Rudolf Biebrach, 1911).

In the same year, he played next to Asta Nielsen as her father in Der fremde Vogel/The strange bird (Urban Gad, 1911). Often Mierendorff performed as the elegant, distinguished gentleman.

From 1916 his career took a new turn when he started to perform as the gentlemen-detective Harry Higgs, cashing in on the popular trend of German detective films at the time. The films were scripted by E.A. Dupont, later by Rudolf Meinert.

Mierendorff was also successful as Baron Murphy in the eight-part adventure-serial Die Herrin der Welt/Mistress of the World (1919), produced and partly directed by Joe May and starring Mia May.

Fritz Schulz and Hans Mierendorff in Götz von Berlichingen
German postcard by Hermann Leiser, Berlin, no. 1766. Photo: Hans Mierendorff. Fritz Schulz as Georg and Hans Mierendorff as Lerse in the stage play 'Götz von Berlichingen', a successful 1773 drama by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, based on the memoirs of the historical adventurer-poet Gottfried or Götz von Berlichingen.

Asta Nielsen and Hans Mierendorff in Jugend und Tollheit (1913)
German postcard. Asta Nielsen and Hans Mierendorff in Jugend und Tollheit/Lady Madcap's Way (Urban Gad, 1913).

Mia May and Hans Mierendorff in Nebel und Sonne
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 503/2. Photo: May Film. Mia May and Hans Mierendorff in Nebel und Sonne (Joe May, 1916). The film narrates about the martyrdom of a mother.

Mia May in Hilde Warren und der Tod (1917)
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 516/6. Photo: May Film. Mia May and Hans Mierendorff in Hilde Warren und der Tod (Joe May, 1917), scripted by Fritz Lang.

Hans Mierendorff in Ich bin Du (1921)
Hungarian postcard, no. 72. Photo: Hans Mierendorff in Ich bin Du/I am you (Hans Mierendorff, Urban Gad, 1921).

Olga Tschechova, Hans Mierendorff and Hans Brausewetter in Soll und Haben (1924)
German postcard by Verlag Ross, Berlin, no. 684/6. Photo: Carl-Wilhelm-Film / Terra Film. Olga Tschechova, Hans Mierendorff, and Hans Brausewetter in Soll und Haben/Debit and Credit (Carl Wilhelm, 1924). This German silent film, adapted from the novel by Gustav Freytag, had anti-Semitic and anti-Polish tendencies.

Mady Christians, Hans Mierendorff, Ida Wüst, Auguste Prasch-Grevenberg in Die Jugend der Königin Luise (1927)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 88/3. Photo: Terra Film. Mady Christians as Louise, Hans Mierendorff, Ida Wüst, and Auguste Prasch-Grevenberg in Königin Luise, 1. Teil - Die Jugend der Königin Luise/Queen Louise (Karl Grune, 1927).

Lucifer


Hans Mierendorff’s detective films were so successful, that he could found his own film company Lucifer-Film GmbH in 1919. He managed Lucifer-Film until its sellout in 1923. He directed some of the films as well, while others were directed by James Bauer.

In his own productions, mostly adventure and crime films, he often played the leads, as in Teufelskirche/The Devil's Church (Hans Mierendorff, 1919). In this film, Mierendorff plays a priest who is seduced by a farmer’s wife (Agnes Straub), who acts on behalf of the devil (Paul Rehkopf) who wants to found a devil’s church on the place of German village chapel. In the end, it proves to be just somebody’s nightmare.

Remarkable were Mierendorff’s dual role in Ich bin Du/I am you (Hans Mierendorff, Urban Gad, 1921), and his role of Fiesco in Die Verschwörung zu Genua/The Genoa Conspiracy (Paul Leni, 1921), co-starring Erna Morena and Fritz Kortner.

In the mid-1920s, Mierendorff was often cast as a banker, industrialist, consul, manager, or lawyer. Examples are his parts as Lee Parry’s father in Die Motorbraut/The Motor Bride (Richard Eichberg, 1925), and the industrial in Der Mann der sich verkauft/The man who sells himself (Hanns Steinhoff, 1925), co-starring Vivian Gibson and Olaf Fjord.

In the sound film era, Mierendorff only performed as a supporting actor in such films as the historical drama Die Tänzerin von Sans Souci/The Dancer of Sanssouci (Friedrich Zelnik, 1932). Set at the court of Frederick the Great the film is part of a group of Prussian films made during the era. In 1945 Mierndorff completely withdrew from film acting. Subsequently, he ran a pension at the Ostseebad Scharbeutz.

Since 1903 he was married to animal painter Gertrud Schmidt. In 1923 he remarried with singer and actress Auguste Herta Katsch. From this marriage, their son Klaus (1923-1966) stemmed. In 1940 Mierendorff married for the third time with Auguste’s sister Antonie Katsch.

Hans Mierendorff died in 1955 in Eutin, Germany. He was 73. Although he played in more than 100 films during his active career, the name Hans Mierendorff belongs to the forgotten names in film history.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 185. Photo: Hans Mierendorff.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 2400. Photo: Karl Schenker.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 9611. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot., no. 178/1. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot., no. 178/2. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot., no. 178/3. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Hans Mierendorff
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 753. Photo: Sascha Film / Phoebus-Film.

Hans Mierendorff
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3103/1. Photo: Suse Byk, Berlin.

Walter Slezak and Hans Mierendorff in Mein Leopold (1931)
German collectors card in the series 'Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Tonfilm', album no. 11, picture no. 130. Photo: Ufa / Ross Verlag. Walter Slezak and Hans Mierendorff in Mein Leopold/My Leopold (Hans Steinhoff, 1931).

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Film-zeit.de (German- now off-line), Filmportal.de (German), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.
Browsing Latest Articles All 2706 Live