04 November 2016

EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: Who's the Joker?

EFSP loves the niches of the film star postcard world. I just found these French playing cards with film stars. The photos were made in colour by the great Sam Lévin, probably around 1960. His dazzling portraits were part of sittings of which we know other pictures which were used for postcards, but the photos used for these playing cards I had never seen before. The producer of the cards gave a bit of thought about which actor would be right for which card. So the sparkling Fernandel became the King of Diamonds and handsome Jean Sorel became the King of Hearts, but I wonder who is the Joker?

Jean Sorel
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

With his dreamy features and glossy, immovable hair, French actor Jean Sorel (1934) was one of the most handsome leading men of the European cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked in the French, Italian and later in the Spanish cinema with such directors as Luis Buñuel and Luchino Visconti. Since 1980 he appeared mostly on television.

Françoise Christophe
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actress Françoise Christophe (1923-2012) specialized in aristocratic roles. She landed his first major role in Fantômas (Jean Sacha, 1946) as princess Daniloff. Twenty years later, she played Lady McRashley in Fantômas contre Scotland Yard/Fantômas against Scotland Yard (André Hunebelle, 1967), the final part of the trilogy starring Jean Marais and Louis de Funès. In 1966, she made a remarkable interpretation of Queen Mary Tudor in the TV film Marie Tudor/Queen Mary Tudor (Abel Gance, 1966). Since 1948 Christophe was a Pensionnaire of the Comédie-Française and acted in plays by Alfred de Musset, Jean Giraudoux, Molière and Edmond Rostand.

Perrette Pradier
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

In her long career, French actress Perrette Pradier (1938-2013) appeared mainly in the theatre and on stage. In the early 1960s she was one of the most promising actresses of the French cinema, but neither her French films nor her international productions made her a star.

French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Actor and singer Fernandel (1903–1971) was for more than forty years France's top comedy star. He was perhaps best-loved for his portrayal of Don Camillo. His horse-like teeth and shy manner became his trademark.

Christine Carère
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Between 1951 and 1966, French actress Christine Carère or Carrère (1930–2008) appeared in 25 films and the television series Blue Light (1966). She was brought to America to appear in A Certain Smile (Jean Negulesco, 1958), based on the book by Francoise Sagan. Then followed a brief Hollywood career, including a leading role in the Pat Boone musical Mardi Gras (Edmund Goulding, 1959).

Claude Sainlouis
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actor Claude Sainlouis or St. Louis (1933-2014) had a short film career in the late 1950s. He is best known for Chaleurs d'été/Heat of the Summer (Louis Félix, 1959).

Alain Delon
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Alain Delon (1935) was the breathtakingly good-looking James Dean of the French cinema. The 'male Brigitte Bardot' soon proved to be a magnificent actor in masterpieces by Luchino Visconti and Michelangelo Antonioni. In the late sixties Delon came to epitomise the calm, psychopathic hoodlum in the 'policiers' of Jean-Pierre Melville, staring into the camera like a cat assessing a mouse.

Alexandra Stewart
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Canadian actress Alexandra Stewart (1939) started her film career in the French comedy Les Motards (1958), and has since then enjoyed a steady career in both French- and English-language films. Among her best films are some classics by Nouvelle Vague directors Louis Malle and François Truffaut.

Nicole Courcel
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actress Nicole Courcel (1931-2016) appeared in 43 films between 1947 and 1979. Though she is mostly unknown outside of France, she graced the screen with a number of sensitive performances through the 1950s and 1960s.

Pierre Brasseur
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actor Pierre Brasseur (1905 – 1972), who appeared in some 150 films and TV productions, was renowned for playing charming and flamboyant characters. He is best known as 19th century actor Frédérick Lemaître in Les Enfants du Paradis/Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945) and as Docteur Génessier in the horror film Les Yeux sans visage/Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960). Brasseur was also a poet and playwright.

Françoise Prévost
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actress Françoise Prévost (1930–1997) also worked as a journalist and author. She appeared in over 70 films between 1949 and 1985. She emerged with the Nouvelle Vague, with roles of weight in films by Pierre Kast, Jean-Gabriel Albicocco and Jacques Rivette. From the 1960s on, she was also pretty active in the Italian cinema, starring in leading roles in dramas, comedies and genre films. In 1975 Prévost gained critical appreciation and commercial success as an author, with an autobiographical book about her struggle against an incurable disease, Ma vie en plus.

Juliette Mayniel
French playing card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Doe-eyed French actress Juliette Mayniel (1936) appeared in 35 films and TV films between 1958 and 1978. Her film career made a jump start with two masterpieces, Claude Chabrol’s Les Cousins (1959) and the horror film Les Yeux Sans Visage/Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960).

This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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