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15 October 2012

Anna-Maria Sandri

Exotic looking Italian actress Anna-Maria Sandri (1936) appeared in European films of the 1950’s.

Anna-Maria Sandri
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 43. Photo: Klaus Collignon.

Fair
Anna-Maria Sandri was born as Anna Maria Grazia Materzanini in 1936 (CITWF says 1935) in Rome, Italy. As a little girl she already made her film debut, credited as Maria Sandri, in La morte civile/The Civil Dead (1942, Ferdinando Maria Poggioli), based on a famous play by Paolo Giacometti. In 1953, a cinema scout discovered her while she was studying architecture at Rome University. One of her first films as an adult was Capitan Fantasma/Captain Phantom (1953, Primo Zeglio), with Frank Latimore. This was an adventure film situated in early 19th century Spain, in which she played the fair daughter of the governor of Cadiz, who is saved by the hero. Soon followed roles in La Provinciale/The Wayward Wife (1953, Mario Soldati) starring Gina Lollobrigida, and Terza liceo/Third Class (1954, Luciano Emmer). In 1954 Anna-Maria also appeared in an adaptation of Stendhal's brilliant but difficult novel Le Rouge et le Noir/The Red and the Black, adapted and directed by Claude Autant-Lara. Gérard Philipe stars as a carpenter's son who becomes a tutor, seduces his employer's wife, and later becomes a priest. According to Hal Erickson at AllMovie “the film manages to hold the audience in its thrall for 2 hours and 50 minutes”.

Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida. Italian postcard by Rotalcolor, no. 17.

A Dash Of Feminine Interest
Anna-Maria Sandri provided a dash of feminine interest in the adventure film Fortune Carree/Square Fortune (1955, Bernard Borderie), based on a novel by Joseph Kessel. Mexican filmstar Pedro Armendariz plays an undisciplined soldier who opts for the life of a mercenary in the North African desert. In Germany she next appeared in the drama Griff nach den Sternen/Reaching for the Stars (1955, Carl-Heinz Schroth) with Liselotte Pulver. Her best remembered role is of Mabrouka ben Yussef, the daughter of a Bedouin Sheikh in the fanciful wartime drama The Black Tent (1956, Brian Desmond Hurst). Anthony Steel stars as a British soldier stationed in Libya. When he is wounded, he takes shelter with a Bedouin tribe. He marries the sheik's daughter, Anna Maria, before getting down to fending off the Nazis. And then the film career of Anna-Maria Sandri stopped abruptly. She married an American, and nowadays she is still married to him. Anna Maria Sandri and her husband have three children.


French trailer for Le Rouge et le Noir/The Red and the Black (1954). Source: Imineo (YouTube).


Scene from The Black Tent (1956). Source: VCIClassicMovies (YouTube).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), CITWF, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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