26 June 2016

Béla Lugosi

We're at the 30th edition of Cinema Ritrovata. Till 2 July we'll stay in Bologna, Italy, to attend the festival and blog about the stars of the festival. A highlight of the programme section UNIVERSAL PICTURES: THE LAEMMLE JUNIOR YEARS is the horror classic Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931). It made a star of Hungarian actor Béla Lugosi (1882–1956), who played the vampire Count Dracula. Lugosi had already started his film career in the silent Hungarian cinema and also appeared in German silent films. In the last phase of his career, he became the star of several of Ed Wood's low budget epics and other poverty row shockers.

Béla Lugosi
Hungarian postcard. Photo: Atelier Angelo, Budapest. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Béla Lugosi was born as Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in 1882, the youngest of the four children of Paula de Vojnich and István Blaskó, a banker. His hometown was Lugos, in Austria–Hungary (now Lugoj in Romania), near the western border of Transylvania. Later he would base his last name on this town.

At the age of 12, Lugosi dropped out of school. He began his acting career probably in 1901 or 1902. His earliest known performances are small roles in plays and operettas in provincial theaters in the 1903–1904 season. He moved on to Shakespeare plays and played several major roles. In 1911 he moved to Budapest, where he worked for the National Theatre of Hungary in the period 1913–1919. Although Lugosi would later claim that he 'became the leading actor of Hungary's Royal National Theater', most of his roles were small or supporting parts.

During World War I, he served as an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1914 to 1916. There he rose to the rank of captain in the ski patrol and was awarded a medal for being wounded at the Russian front. In 1917, Lugosi married Ilona Szmick. The couple divorced in 1920, reputedly over political differences with her parents.

In 1917 he made his film debut in Az ezredes/The Colonel (Mihály Kertész a.k.a. Michael Curtiz, 1917). In the next two years, Lugosi made 12 films in Hungary, credited as Arisztid Olt, including Nászdal/The Wedding March (Alfréd Deésy, 1917) and Lulu (Michael Curtiz, 1918). After the collapse of Béla Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, leftists and trade unionists became vulnerable. Due to his participation in the formation of an actors’ union, Lugosi was proscribed from acting and so had to leave his homeland.

He first went to Vienna, Austria, and then settled in Berlin, where he continued acting. In Germany, he appeared in 17 films, including Der Fluch der Menschheit/The Curse of Man (Richard Eichberg, 1920), Der Tanz auf dem Vulkan/Dance on the Volcano (Richard Eichberg, 1920), Hypnose/Hypnosis (Richard Eichberg, 1920) and Ihre Hoheit die Tänzerin/Her Highness the Dancer (Richard Eichberg, 1922), all with Lee Parry and Violetta Napierska.

Der Januskopf/The Head of Janus (F.W. Murnau, 1920) was an uncredited and apparently lost version of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which featured Conrad Veidt. Well received films were also the Karl May adaptations Die Teufelsanbeter/The Devil Worshippers (Marie Luise Droop, 1920), Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses/On the Brink of Paradise (Josef Stein, 1920), and Die Todeskarawane/The Caravan of Death (Josef Stein, 1920), starring Carl de Vogt as Kara Ben Nemsi and also with the ill-fated Jewish actress Dora Gerson. Lugosi then left Germany as a crewman aboard a merchant ship. He had decided to emigrate to the United States.

Violetta Napierska
Violetta Napierska. French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 277.

Lee Parry
Lee Parry. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 458/1, 1919-1924 (at the backside of the card is hand written: 1920). Photo: Alex Binder.


On his arrival in America in 1921, Béla Lugosi worked for some time as a labourer, then entered the theatre in New York City's Hungarian immigrant colony. With fellow Hungarian actors he formed a small stock company that toured Eastern cities, playing for immigrant audiences. In 1922, he acted in his first Broadway play, The Red Poppy. Three more parts came in 1925–1926, including a five-month run in the comedy-fantasy The Devil in the Cheese.

His first American film role came in the melodrama The Silent Command (J. Gordon Edwards, 1923) with Edmund Lowe. Several more silent roles followed, as villains or continental types, all in productions made in the New York area. In the summer of 1927, Lugosi was approached to star as a sophisticated vampire in a Broadway production of Dracula (1927-1928) adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's novel. The Horace Liveright production was successful, running 261 performances before touring.

Lugosi declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen in 1928, and in 1931, he was naturalized. Lugosi was soon called to Hollywood for character parts in early talkies, such as Prisoners (William A Seiter, 1929) and The Thirteenth Chair (Tod Browning, 1929). He took his place in Hollywood society and scandal in 1929 when he married wealthy San Francisco widow Beatrice Weeks, but she filed for divorce four months later. Weeks cited actress Clara Bow as the ‘other woman’.

Despite his critically acclaimed performance on stage, Lugosi was not Universal Pictures’ first choice for the role of Dracula when the company optioned the rights to the Deane play and began production in 1930. A persistent rumour asserts that director Tod Browning's long-time collaborator, Lon Chaney, was Universal's first choice for the role, and that Lugosi was chosen only due to Chaney's death shortly before production.

Wikipedia notes that this is questionable, because Browning was only a last-minute choice as director for Dracula after the death of the original director, Paul Leni. Lugosi appeared in Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931) with minimal make-up, using his natural, heavily accented voice. With the instant and worldwide success of the film, Universal Studios had found their new horror star. As his son Bela Lugosi Jr. writes on his father’s official website: “His slicked hair, clean-shaven and handsome face, burning eyes, and courtly manner are the appearance of what Dracula will forever be.”

Jack Oakie, Clara Bow, Maurice Chevalier
Clara Bow with Maurice Chevalier and Jack Oakie. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5749/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Paramount on Parade (Dorothy Arzner a.o., 1930).

Béla Lugosi
British postcard in the Picturegoer series. Photo: Universal. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Son of Frankenstein

In 1933 Béla Lugosi married 19-year-old Lillian Arch, the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. All seemed to go well. He appeared as Dr. Mirakle in Murders in the Rue Morgue (Robert Florey, 1932), as Sayer of Law in Island of the Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) opposite Charles Laughton, and as Ygor in Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee, 1939) all for Universal, and as Murder Legendre in the independent White Zombie (Victor Halperin, 1932).

Five films at Universal — The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1934), The Raven (Lew Landers, 1935), The Invisible Ray (Lambert Hillyer, 1936), Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee, 1939), Black Friday (Arthur Lubin, 1940) plus minor cameo performances in Gift of Gab (Karl Freund, 1934) and two at RKO Pictures, You'll Find Out (David Butler, 1940) and The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945) — paired Lugosi with Boris Karloff.

Despite the relative size of their roles, Lugosi inevitably got second billing, below Karloff. Lugosi himself perpetrated the myth that he had quit the role of the monster in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931), which is untrue. Originally, director Robert Florey wanted him to play Dr. Frankenstein, but producer Carl Laemmle Jr. didn't want Lugosi in that role, so he was relocated to the monster part. Lugosi was unhappy with playing the clodding, mute monster under heavy make-up and complained. He had filmed some screen-tests with Florey, but Laemmle Jr. didn't like what he saw and fired both Florey and Lugosi.

In interviews, Boris Karloff suggested that Lugosi was initially mistrustful of him when they acted together, believing that the Englishman would attempt to upstage him. When this proved not to be the case, Lugosi settled down and they worked together amicably. Through his association with Dracula, Béla Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain. His accent, while a part of his image, limited the roles he could play. He attempted to break type by auditioning for other roles, and he did play the elegant, somewhat hot-tempered Gen. Nicholas Strenovsky-Petronovich in International House (A. Edward Sutherland, 1933). Universal tried to give Lugosi more heroic roles, as in The Black Cat, The Invisible Ray, and a romantic role in the adventure serial The Return of Chandu (Ray Taylor, 1934), but his typecasting problem was too entrenched for those roles to help.

Lugosi, experienced a severe career decline despite his popularity with audiences. A number of factors worked against Lugosi's career in the mid-1930s. Universal changed management in 1936, and because of a British ban on horror films, dropped them from their production schedule; Lugosi found himself consigned to Universal's non-horror B-film unit, at times in small roles where he was obviously used for ‘name value’ only. He accepted leading roles in low-budget thrillers from independent producers like Nat Levine, Sol Lesser, and Sam Katzman. The exposure helped Lugosi financially but not artistically. Lugosi tried to keep busy with stage work, but had to borrow money from the Actors' Fund to pay hospital bills when his only child, Bela George Lugosi, was born in 1938. It illustrates why he helped to organize the Screen Actors Guild in the 1930s.

Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 295. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Hollywood's Poverty Row

Béla Lugosi’s career was given a second chance by Universal's Son of Frankenstein (Rowland V. Lee, 1939), when he played the character role of Ygor, who uses the Monster for his own revenge, in heavy makeup and beard. The same year he played a straight character role as a stern commissar in Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939), starring Greta Garbo.

This small but prestigious role could have been a turning point for the actor, but within the year he was back on Hollywood's Poverty Row, playing leads for Sam Katzman. These horror, comedy and mystery B-films were released by Monogram Pictures. At Universal, he often received star billing for what amounted to a supporting part. Ostensibly due to injuries received during military service, Lugosi developed severe, chronic sciatica, for which he was treated with opiates. The growth of his dependence on morphine and methadone, was directly proportional to the dwindling of screen offers.

In 1943, he finally played the role of Frankenstein's monster in Universal's Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (Roy William Neill, 1943) opposite Lon Chaney Jr. He also came to recreate the role of Dracula a second and last time on film in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton, 1948). It was his last ‘A’ movie.

For the remainder of his life he appeared in obscure, low-budget features. While in England to play a six-month tour of Dracula in 1951, he co-starred in a lowbrow film comedy, Mother Riley Meets the Vampire/Vampire over London (John Gillin, 1951). Late in his life, Bela Lugosi again received star billing when fan Ed Wood, nicknamed ‘Worst Director of All Time’, offered him roles in his films, such as Glen or Glenda (Edward D. Wood Jr., 1953) and as a Dr. Frankenstein-like mad scientist in Bride of the Monster (Edward D. Wood Jr., 1955).

During post-production of the latter, Lugosi decided to seek treatment for his drug addiction. Following his treatment, Lugosi made one final film, The Black Sleep (Reginald Le Borg, 1956), which was released in the summer of 1956 through United Artists with a promotional campaign that included several personal appearances. To his disappointment, however, his role in this film was of a mute, with no dialogue.

Béla Lugosi and his wife Lilian had divorced in 1953. Béla was jealous over Lillian taking a full-time job as an assistant to Brian Donlevy on the sets and studios for Donlevy's radio and television series Dangerous Assignment. Lillian eventually did marry Donlevy, in 1966. In 1955 Lugosi married fan Hope Lininger, his fifth wife. A year later, Lugosi died of a heart attack in 1956, while lying on a couch in his Los Angeles home. He was 73.

Lugosi was buried wearing one of the Dracula Cape costumes, per the request of his son. Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (Edward D. Wood Jr, 1959.) with a few minutes of silent footage of Lugosi in his Dracula cape was released posthumously. In 1994, Lugosi was played by Martin Landau in Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994), for which Landau received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Johnny Depp, who starred as Wood in the film, purchased Lugosi's Los Angeles home.

Mirror scene from Dracula (1931). Source: Son of Jack 3 (YouTube).

Trailer for White Zombie (1932). Source: Sinister Cinema (YouTube).

Trailer for Mark of the Vampire (1935). Source: Sinister Cinema (YouTube).

Trailer for Bride of the Monster (1955). Source: Captain Bijou (YouTube).

Source: Bela Lugosi, Jr. (Official Bela Lugosi website), Michael Brooke (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

25 June 2016

Lars Hanson

Today starts the 30th edition of Cinema Ritrovata. Till 2 July we're in Bologna, Italy, to attend the festival. One of the programme sections is 100 YEARS AGO: A SELECTION FROM 1916. Included is the Swedish production Vingarne/Wings (Mauritz Stiller, 1916), starring Lars Hanson (1886-1965). The highly successful Swedish actor is dearly remembered for his roles in several classic films of the silent era, which he made in Scandinavia as well as in Hollywood. The American silent film Flesh and the Devil (Clarence Brown, 1926), starring Hanson, John Gilbert and Greta Garbo, will also be shown at Cinema Ritrovato.

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

Lars Hanson
British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3971/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

Shakespearean Actor

Lars Mauritz Hanson was born in Göteborg, Sweden in 1886. He studied drama in Helsinki, Finland and at the Dramatens elevskola in Stockholm. He began his career on the stages of Sweden as a Shakespearean actor, appearing in such classics as Othello and Hamlet. In 1906, he joined the prominent Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre.

In 1915, Hanson made his film debut in Dolken/The Dagger (Mauritz Stiller, 1915). He worked again with Stiller on Vingarne/The Wings (Mauritz Stiller, 1916). The story is that of a conniving countess (played by Lili Bech) coming between a sculptor, Claude Zoret (Egil Eide), and his model and suggested lover, Mikaël (Lars Hanson), ultimately leading to Zoret's death in a raging storm at the base of a statue of Mikaël as the mythological Icarus. Vingarne is notable for its innovative use of a framing story and telling the plot primarily through the use of flashbacks.

His popularity as a leading man in his homeland grew with ensuing roles in films like Balettprimadonnan/Anjala the Dancer (Mauritz Stiller, 1916), Therèse (Victor Sjöström, 1917), Tösen från Stormyrtorpet/The Girl From Stormycroft (Victor Sjöström, 1917) and Sången om den eldröda blomman/Song of the Scarlet Flower (Mauritz Stiller, 1919).

A highlight was the sophisticated comedy Erotikon/Seduction (Mauritz Stiller, 1920). The story revolves around an entomology professor (Anders de Wahl) obsessed with the sexual life of bugs, and his easygoing wife (Tora Teje) who is courted by two suitors (Lars Hanson and Vilhelm Bryde). The film became a commercial success in Sweden in 1920 and was sold to 45 markets abroad.

In Synnöva Solbakken/The Girl of Solbakken (John W. Brunius, 1919) and Fiskebyn/The Fishing Village (Mauritz Stiller, 1920), Hanson starred opposite the wife of influential director Gustaf Molander, Karin Molander. They fell in love, and in 1922, Hanson and Molander were married. The couple remained together until Hanson's death in 1965.

Lars Hanson in Sången om den eldröda blomman (1919)
Swedish postcard by Forlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 993. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern, Stockholm. Publicity still for Sången om den eldröda blomman/Flame of Life (Mauritz Stiller, 1919).

Lars Hanson in Ett farligt frieri
Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstforlag, Stockholm. Photo: Skandia Film, Stockholm. Lars Hanson and Gull Cronvall in Ett farligt frieri/A Dangerous Proposal (Rune Carlsten 1919). The story deals with Tore, a smallholder's son (Hanson), in love with Aslaug, a farmer's daughter (Cronvall) whose father Knut (Theodor Blich) has ambitious plans to marry her to the son of the wealthiest farmer around. Even after Knut and Aslaug's brothers have beaten Tore black and blue, he persists in visiting Aslaug, even climbing a giant wall of rock...

Karin Molander, Lars Hanson in Synnöve solbakken
Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 127. Photo: Skandiafilm. Still for Synnöva Solbakken/The Girl of Solbakken (1919) with Karin Molander. Sent by mail in Norway in 1920.

Synnöve Solbakken
Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 134. Photo: Skandia-Film. Publicity still for Synnöve Solbakken (John W. Brunius, 1919), starring Lars Hanson and Karin Molander, and adapted from Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's novel (1857).

Master of Disguise

Lars Hanson was one of the greatest actors in Swedish theatre, starring in plays by William Shakespeare and Eugene O’Neill. He was a master of disguise for his many roles, building his body with implants in his shoes and several layers of clothing, starving himself, and bruise his face with a shoe brush.

While already a well established popular film actor in Sweden and much of continental Europe, Lars Hanson gained greater international recognition for his role as the title character in Gösta Berlings saga/The Story of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

The film is an adaptation of a book written by the famous Swedish author Selma Lagerloff. It tells the epic story of Gösta, a alcoholic minister who is expelled from the priesthood for his habit, but the bigger problem with his parish is his truthfulness.

Gösta gets a new job in Värmland, a state managed by the people of Ekeby. Gösta's strong personality and his special charm with women bring him many problems. Two powerful families, full of hypocrisy, lies and adultery, rule two estates in Värmland and they surround Gösta with intrigue and problems.

At the end of the film he gets his redemption from the hand of Elisabeth. This was a role by Greta Garbo in her first major screen appearance.

Lars Hanson
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Trianon.

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 MGM period piece The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926), set in the era of the Puritans.

Lars Hanson
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5404. Photo: Metro Goldwyn.

Liability in American films

At the request of American actress Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson went to Hollywood in 1926 (the same year as Garbo went to the USA) to star opposite Gish in the film version of The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926). Producer Louis B. Mayer was reluctant on using Gish, fearing opposition from church groups. The film was announced as "It's a real 'A' picture", taking advantage of the 'A' for Adultery. The film made a profit of $296,000.

Next Hanson was paired with Greta Garbo in MGM's box-office hit Flesh and the Devil (Clarence Brown, 1927), which also starred Garbo's offscreen lover John Gilbert, and in The Divine Woman (Victor Sjöström, 1928). The plot of the latter is loosely based on the early life of the French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Sadly, the film is considered lost, only some segments survive.

Sjöström also directed Hanson in a performance opposite Lillian Gish in The Wind (1928), one of the last silent films released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. At its time the film was simultaneously panned and hailed by American critics, and its late release at the dawn of the sound era contributed to a net loss for the production. However, the film had significant critical and considerable commercial success in Europe. The Wind is now considered one of the great masterpieces of the silent era.

Seeing that his heavy Swedish accent might be a liability in American films, Lars Hanson returned to Europe. He starred in the aptly titled German war drama Heimkehr/Homecoming (Joe May, 1928) He co-starred with Gustav Fröhlich as two prisoners of war who are bloodbrothers but then Fröhlich falls in love with Hanson's wife (Dita Parlo).

Hanson continued to appear in Swedish films like the war film Första divisionen/First Division (Hasse Ekman, 1941) and Det brinner en eld/There Burned a Flame (Gustav Molander, 1943). His last performance was in the film Dårskapens hus/The Nuthouse (Hasse Ekman, 1951).

Lars Hanson died in Stockholm, Sweden in 1965. He passed away after a short illness at the age of 78.

Lars Hanson
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, no. 363.

Lars Hanson
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3971/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

Lars Hanson
Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1192. Photo: Ferd. Flodin, Stockholm.

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

24 June 2016

EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: Sex Kittens from France

Oh-la-la! The French woman has an international reputation of being risqué: French mademoiselles are more sensual, more naughty than our girls-next-door. Hollywood sustained that image with countless sexy parts for French actresses. But the French cinema did even more to keep the dream alive. Even in the 1930s, French films showed already brief glimpses of nudity and during the 1950s, Martine Carol and Françoise Arnoul paved the way for the rise of sex kitten Brigitte Bardot, the new look of French femininity. Here are 12 fabulous black and white postcards of French actresses of the 1950s, all photographed by Sam Lévin.

Martine Carol
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 357. Photo: Lucienne Chevert.

Sex symbol Martine Carol (1920–1967) was one of the most beautiful women of the French cinema. During the early 1950s, she was a top box office draw as an elegant blonde seductress. Her private life was filled with turmoil including a suicide attempt, drug abuse, a kidnapping, and a mysterious death.

Cecile Aubry
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin.

French actress, writer and director Cécile Aubry (1928-2010) was often seen as the predecessor of Brigitte Bardot as the French cinema's sex goddess. Her acting career was successful but brief: during the late 1940s through the mid-1950s.

Francoise Arnoul
French postcard by Editions du Globe, no. 617. Photo: Sam Lévin, 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.

Nadine Tallier
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3441. Photo: Sam Lévin / Unifrance Film.

Sexy French actress Nadine Tallier (1932) played various film roles from the late 1940s till the early 1960s. In 1962, she married banker Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild and then retired.

Dominique Wilms
Yugoslavian postcard by Studio Sombor. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Belgian actress Dominique Wilms (1932) was the glamorous and sexy femme fatale of many French action films of the 1950s and 1960s, often opposite Eddie Constantine.

Dany Carrel
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. 3543. Photo: Sam Lévin / Unifrance Film.

French starlet Dany Carrel (1932) with her bob haircut of dark reddish hair, a pair of incredible oriental eyes, and friendly manners, was a welcome breath of sexy exoticism in the French cinema of the 1950s and 1960s. Dany played good-willed flirtatious girls in many melodramas and comedies, alongside top directors and stars.

Noelle Adam
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 732. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Beautiful Noëlle Adam (1933) was a French dancer and actress. She frequently co-starred with comic star Louis de De Funes.

Brigitte Bardot
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 599. Photo: Sam Lévin, 1956.

Brigitte Bardot (1934) was the sex kitten of the European cinema. She was every man's idea of the girl he'd like to meet in Paris.

Agnès Laurent
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 727. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French sex kitten Agnès Laurent (1938-2010) featured in a dozen European sex comedies in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Dominique Boschero
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 892. Offered by les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French brunette Dominique Boschero (1934) is famous among cult film fans for her roles in dozens of Italian giallos and spaghetti westerns. The gorgeous actress appeared in a surprisingly large amount of films from the mid-1950s to the mid 1980s.

Dany Saval
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, no. 1744.

Gorgeous French actress Dany Saval (1942) was the lithe and lovely leading lady in both fluffy comedies and thrillers of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Michèle Mercier
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 937. Offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Entrancing, luscious-lipped French actress Michèle Mercier (1939) will always be remembered as seductive Angélique, ‘the Marquise of the Angels’.

Au revoir!

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