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Showing posts with label Dany Carrel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dany Carrel. Show all posts

21 July 2012

Scilla Gabel

Italian starlet Scilla Gabel (1938) often played the damsel in distress in peplums, the Italian sand and sandal epics of the late 1950’s and 1960’s. With her perfect body and face, she was a look-a-like for Sophia Loren. Between 1954 and 1982, the blue-eyed redhead appeared in 50 European and Hollywood films.

Scilla Gabel
Italian postcard by SAG, Trieste, Serie 27/1. Sent by mail in 1975.

A Princess Between Musclemen
Scilla Gabel was born as Gianfranca Gabellini in Rimini, Italy in 1938. She studied acting at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica in Rome. In 1954 she made her film debut in the drama Tua per la vita/For Your Life (1954, Sergio Grieco) starring Gaby André. The press compared her to Sophia Loren, and she even worked as La Loren’s double on Boy on a Dolphin (1957, Jean Negulesco). Gabel had two cosmetic operations that left her face distinctly different from her famous look-a-like. Her breakthrough came with the Italian TV-film Capitan Fracassa/Captain Fracasse (1958, Anton Giulio Majano) with Lea Massari. She had a supporting part in Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1958, John Guillermin), featuring muscleman Gordon Scott in his fourth screen appearance as Edgar Rice Burrough's lord of the jungle. The cast also included Anthony Quayle and Sean Connery. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “While perhaps not as great as the title proclaims, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure is one of the most consistently exciting entries in the Tarzan series, and worth a second glance today due to its top-drawer supporting cast.” She next appeared as a princess opposite another muscleman, Steve Reeves, in the spectacle Agi Murad, il diavolo bianco/The White Warrior (1959, Riccardo Freda), an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's 19th-century-set novel, a courageous mountain warrior leads his band in a battle against the Czar. In the French-Italian gothic horror Il mulino delle donne di pietra/Mill of the Stone Women (1960, Giorgio Ferroni), she played the beautiful daughter of a mad professor, who suffers from a rare blood disease and is not allowed to leave her house. The international cast included Pierre Brice, Dany Carrel and Herbert A.E. Böhme.

 Dany Carrel
Dany Carrel. French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1030. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Sand And Sandal Spectacles
During the early 1960’s, Scilla Gabel starred in many peplums, the popular Italian sand and sandal spectacles. She played a princess opposite bodybuilder Mark Forrest in the peplum Maciste, il gladiatore più forte del mondo/Colossus of the Arena (1960, Michele Lupo). Then she starred opposite Roger Moore in Il ratto delle Sabine/The Rape of the Sabine women (1961, Richard Pottier). One of Gabel’s best known films is the biblical epic Sodom and Gomorrah (1962, Robert Aldrich), starring Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli and Anouk Aimée. Mike Cummings at AllMovie: “The sets, costumes, and action scenes are more Hollywood than history - a veritable glitzkrieg of images - and modern viewers may balk at the chintzy special effects (…). The quality of the acting ranges from masterly to moronic.” She then played another damsel in distress in the peplum La Vendetta di Spartacus/The Revenge of Spartacus (1962, Michele Lupo) featuring ‘beefsteak’ Roger Browne. Hal Erickson about the director: “he of the ‘Shout “action”, close your eyes and hope for the best’ school of filmmaking. If you don't like the action highlights, you'll get a thrill out of watching the actors flap their mouths in a Babel of foreign languages while the English soundtrack tries to keep pace.” She had a supporting role in the psychedelic spy spoof Modesty Blaise (1966, Joseph Losey) featuring Monica Vitti. Production designers Richard Macdonald and Jack Shampan and costume designers Beatrice Dawson and Douglas Hayward created a masterpiece of 1960s ‘mod,’ but the screenplay was a muddle. Her career dwindled off after that. One of her last great roles was Helen of Troy in the miniseries L'Odissea/The Odyssey (1968, Franco Rossi, Piero Schivazappa, Mario Bava) starring Bekim Fehmiu and Irene Papas. During the 1970’s, Gabel only played in a handful of feature films. On TV she appeared in the miniseries Dov'è Anna?/Where is Anna? (1976, Piero Schivazappa). After another TV Mini-Series Festa di Capodanno/New Year's Eve (1988, Piero Schivazappa), she retired. In the 1950´s, she had had a brief affair with singer Fred Buscaglione, but since 1968 Scilla Gabel is married to Piero Schivazappa, the director of her final TV-productions. They have one son, Emiliano (1974).


Trailer for Sodom And Gomorrah (1962). Source: Our Man in Havana (YouTube).

Source: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Mike Cummings (AllMovie), Wikipedia (Italian, German and English) and IMDb.

26 January 2012

Zappy Max

Dynamic Zappy Max (1921) was one of the most popular radio hosts in France and Belgium during the 1950’s till the 1970’s. He worked for Radio Luxembourg (now RTL) and Radio Monte Carlo (RMC), and his partner was Mr. Champagne. He also appeared in several French films, often as himself.

Zappy Max
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 613. Photo: Studio Vallois, Paris.

A Passion for the Music-hall
Zappy Max is the pseudonym of Maxime Doucet, who was born in Paris in 1921. His father passed him a passion for the music-hall. There he began his career as a singer at the orchestra of Jacques Hélian, with whom he remained for three years. He then went to the radio, where he hosted many games such as Quitte ou double (Double or Nothing) and Crochet radiophonique for Radio Circus. With Radio Circus, he travelled all over France and Belgium. He made several radio serials: Vas-y Zappy (Go Zappy), Ça va bouillir (It will boil) and C'est parti mon Zappy (It’s gone My Zappy). His presence at Radio Luxembourg ended in 1966 when it became RTL. He continued his radio career at Radio Monte Carlo (RMC) by hosting the game Quitte ou double (Double or Nothing) again from 1974 until 1982/1983.

Dany Carrel
Dany Carrel. French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 436. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Double or Nothing
Zappy Max performed in plays and in several films. He made his film debut with a bit part in the anthology film Souvenirs perdus/Lost Souvenirs (1950, Christian Jacque), and appeared as himself in Quitte ou Double/Double or Nothing (1952, Robert Vernay). He had his first leading part in the comedy Faites-Moi Confiance/Trust me (1954, Gilles Grangier). Other films include Les Chiffoniers d'Emmaüs/The Chiffoniers Emmaus (1955, Robert Darène) with Dany Carrel, Les lumières du soir/The Evening Lights (1956, Robert Vernay) with Gaby Morlay, and Printemps à Paris/Spring in Paris (1957, Jean-Claude Roy) starring Dominique Boschero. During the following decades he did a few more performances in films and TV series. His last film appearance was in the drama Outremer/Overseas (1990, Brigitte Roüan) with Nicole Garcia.

Dominique Boschero
Dominique Boschero. German postcard by Krüger, nr. 902/357. Photo: Georg Michalke.

It will boil!
Zappy Max published his memories in Ça va bouillir/It will boil! (2000) and L'âge d'or de la radio/The Golden Age of Radio (2004). He was awarded with the Prix Jean Nohain in 2005. A comic entitled Zappy Max: ça va bouillir/Zappy Max: it's going to boil was designed by Maurice Tillieux for the journal Pilote in 1959, but it was republished in 2010 by Editions de l'Élan. That year Max also published a new book about his passion for the Music-hall: Mes GEANTS du music-hall/My GIANTS of the Music-Hall. Indefatigable, he announced a new book, Mes Z d'or... Mémoires d'un cinéphile/My Golden Z ... Memoirs of a film buff, with portraits of his favorite actors.


Scopitone clip for the song Elle S'était Fait Couper Les Cheveux (She had her hair cut) by accordionist Aimable and Zappy Max. The clip was directed by Claude Lelouch. Source: Music Zone 1 (YouTube).

Sources: Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

28 July 2011

Anne Béranger

French dancer, singer and actress Anne Béranger (1925 - 1985) appeared in a dozen films in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She was foremost a dancer and later worked as a choreographer and was the director of her own dance company.

Anne Béranger
French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), Paris, no. 431. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Crime dramas
Anne Béranger was born in 1925. According to Wikipedia she was of Russian origin. Although she was in the first place a dancer, she appeared in twelve (TV)films. She made her film début in the early 1950’s with an uncredited part in Un grand patron/A big boss (1951, Yves Campi) starring Pierre Fresnay. The following years she appeared in the Georges Guétary vehicle Une fille sur la route/A girl on the road (1952, Jean Stelli) and the prostitution drama Les compagnes de la nuit/Companions of the Night (1953, Ralph Habib) starring Françoise Arnoul. After a hiatus of four years she played more small roles in the crime film Pas de grisbi pour Ricardo/No Loot For Ricardo (1957, Henri Lepage) and Élisa (1957, Roger Richébé) featuring Dany Carrel. The following year she appeared in the crime film Rapt au deuxième bureau/Operation Abduction (1958, Jean Stelli) with Franck Villard. On TV she was seen in an episode of the crime series Les cinq dernières minutes/The Five Last Minutes (1958, Maurice Frydland).

Françoise Arnoul
Françoise Arnoul. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V. , Rotterdam (Dutch licency holder of Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), nr. 1110. Photo: Sam Lévin, Paris.

Youth Subject
Anne Béranger’s meager film career continued throughout the 1960’s. In 1960 she played a bit part in Terrain Vague/Wasteland (1960, Marcel Carné) with Danièle Gaubert. It was another attempt of legendary director Marcel Carné to tackle a youth subject after his successful Les Tricheurs/The Cheaters (1958, Marcel Carné). Seven years later Béranger played a supporting part in the thriller Le chacal traque les filles/The jackal pursues the girls (1967, Jean-Michel Rankovitch) with Roger Hanin. She appeared in such TV films as Princesse Czardas/Czardas Princess (1968, Dirk Sanders) and Les eaux mêlées/Troubled Waters (1969, Jean Kerchbron) with Claude Brasseur. These were her last screen performances. From 1969 on she worked as a director and choreographer for her own dance company, Compagnie Anne Béranger-Joseph Rusillo (Rusillo left in 1973), with which she often worked for French TV. She also sang and a.o. recorded Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice) with the pianist Setrak. Anne Béranger died in 1985. She is the mother of Dominique Borg, costume designer for many theater productions and such famous French films as Camille Claudel (1988, Bruno Nuytten) featuring Isabelle Adjani, Les Misérables (1995, Claude Lelouch) with Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Le pacte des loups/The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001, Christophe Gans) with Vincent Cassel. Three times, Borg received the César for Best Costume, for Camille Claudel in 1989, for Artemisa (1997, Agnès merlet) in 1998 and for Le pacte de loups in 2002.

Dany Carrel
Dany Carrel. French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 436. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Sources: Cinema Francais (French), Wikipedia (French), Center Blog and IMDb.

12 June 2011

Dominique Boschero

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

Dominique Boschero
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/357. Photo: Georg Michalke.

Showgirl
Dominique Boschero was born in Paris, France in 1934. She is the sister of actor-producer Martial Boschero. Their parents were Italian and when World War II broke out, the 5-year old Dominique was trusted in the hands of her grandparents in Frassino, a small Italian mountain village with a few hundred of inhabitants. There she grew up. At 15, she returned to Paris and started to work as a janitor in a hospital and later as a seamstress. With her tall length and her dark beauty she found work as a model. Soon her beautiful face was on the covers of Paris’ premiere fashion magazines. At the age of 18, she made her stage debut as a showgirl at the Paris music-hall La Nouvelle Eve (The New Eve). She also played small or uncredited roles in French films, such as Club de Femmes/Club of Women (1956, Ralph Habib) with Nicole Courcel and Dany Carrel, but a year later she had a bigger part in Printemps a Paris/Springtime in Paris (1957, Jean-Claude Roy) with Christine Carère and Philippe Nicaud. She got another bigger role in Delannoy's Le baron de l'ecluse/The Baron of the Locks (1960, Jean Delannoy) starring Jean Gabin and Micheline Presle. Following an interview with the Italian magazine Epoca she was noticed by an Italian producer, who invited her to come to the capital of the European cinema at the time, Rome.

Dany Carrel
Dany Carrel. German postcard by ISV, no. M 7. Photo: Les Films Morceau/Europa-Film.

Queen of the Bird Men
Dominique Boschero headed off to Italy, beginning her Italian career with the western comedy Un dollaro di fifa/A Dollar of Funk (1960, Giorgio Simonelli), a spoof of Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks), which also starred Ugo Tognazzi and Walter Chiari. She then appeared in a few peplums (sword and sandal films). Most notably was her winning performance as 'Queen of the Bird Men' in Ulisse contro Ercole/Ulysses Against Hercules (1962, Mario Caiano) starring Georges Marchal. Then she made a major impact as femme fatale in several spy films. She appeared in early German/Italian examples of the genre such as Heißer Hafen Hong Kong/Hong Kong Hot Harbor (1962, Jürgen Roland) with Marianne Koch, and Das geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke/The Secret of the Chinese Carnation (1964, Rudolf Zehetgruber) starring Paul Dahlke. In the latter she appeared as a voluptuous vamp in a deadly plot of three different groups of plotting agents. They all chase after a microfilm with a secret formula for a new rocket fuel. Then, she appeared opposite Giancarlo Giannini in his film debut, the interesting thriller Libido (1965, Ernesto Gastaldi, Vittorio Salerno). Boschero played another leading role in Furia in Marakech/Fury at Marrakesh (1966, Mino Loy, Luciano Martino). According to Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul, authors of the study Film Fatales, her ‘ultimate screen appearance’, was “her screen-stealing turn in the bizarre uninhibited wacky, wild and completely unbelievable secret agent-super hero hybrid” Come Rubare la Corona d’Inghilterra/Argoman the Fantastic Superman (1967, Sergio Grieco). Boschero at first appears as a seemingly lost and helpless woman who seduces Argoman (Roger Browne) and then turns out to be a mastermind villain. At the climax of the film, she sadistically tortures Argoman and tries to remove his magic powers permanently. At IMDb, reviewer Gulaq-2 writes: “A CAMP classic of maximum proportions, which ruled the world in the late sixties, conquering all the known B-movies markets”.

Marianne Koch
Marianne Koch. German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-36.

Guilty Pleasure
In the 1970’s, Dominique Boschero continued popping up in a few giallos, e.g. Chi l'ha vista morire?/Who Saw Her Die (1972, Aldo Lado) starring former James Bond George Lazenby, and Tutti i colori del buio/All the Colors of the Dark (1972, Sergio Martino) with George Hilton and Edwige Fenech. She also appeared in the spaghetti western Los buitres cavarán tu fosa/And the Crows Will Dig Your Grave (1972, Juan Bosch), the Italian-Belgian sex comedy Je suis une call-girl/I am a call-girl (1973, Jack Guy), and the horror film Il prato macchiato di rosso/The Bloodstained Lawn (1973, Riccardo Ghione) with Nino Castelnuovo. IMDb reviewer Babycarrot67 calls this horror film a 'guilty pleasure': “An obvious commentary on the rich and powerful exploiting the more unfortunate members of society, this film does not take itself very seriously, and most of the cast, especially Marina Malfatti as one of the aristocrats, appears to be having a good time. The film's claustrophobic atmosphere gives it just enough feeling of unease to make it a credible horror film, and the film's overall weirdness and eccentricity help it cross over the finish line of viewer satisfaction. This film could be the definition of a motion picture 'guilty pleasure' although one should not feel guilty during the viewing”. Boschero had a romance with Claudio Camaso (Claudio Volonté), the brother of actor Gianmaria Volonté. Camaso was involved with an alleged bomb in the Vatican. This scandal and her cursed relationship with the actor who eventually committed suicide in jail in 1977, slowed down her career. In 1974 Boschero retired from the cinema and withdrew to Frassino. She later would have a relation with the singer Franco Califano. In 1986 she returned on television in the soap series Passioni/Passions (1986, Riccardo Donna). Dominique Boschero lives in Frassino, North-West Italy, where she is involved in the investigation and preservation of the occitan language. From the end of the 1960’s she is interested in this subject after meeting François Fontan, founder of the Parti nationaliste occitan, and the poet Antonio Bodrero (Barba Toni Baudrier).


Italian trailer for the spaghetti western Un Treno per Durango/A Train To Durango (1968). Source: Neverlando74 (YouTube).


Original Italian trailer for Chi l'ha vista morire?/Who Saw Her Die (1972). Source: IlKoreano (YouTube).

Sources: Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul (Film Fatales: women in espionage films and television, 1962-1973), European Film Review, Wikipedia (French and Italian), and IMDb.

16 May 2011

Dany Carrel

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

Dany Carrel
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Les carbones Korès (Carboplane), no. 665. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Carrel
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 436. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Carrel
German postcard by ISV, no. M 7. Photo: Les Films Morceau/Europa-Film.

Saucy Girls
Dany Carrel was born as Yvonne Suzanne Chazelles du Chaxel in Tourane, French Indochina (now Da Nang, Vietnam), in 1932. She was the child of French customs agent Aimé Chazelles of Chaxel and native Kam. Only many years later she would learn of this heritage. Aimé had a legitimate wife back in Europe and still produced two children with Kam (Yvonne and her sister Alice). He died soon after, and Yvonne was shipped to France to meet a godmother that placed her in a religious institution. After some acting classes Dany got an entry in the cinema. She made her film début in Dortoir des grandes/Inside a Girls' Dormitory (1953, Henri Decoin), starring Jean Marais and Françoise Arnoul. Decoin proposed to change her name, suggesting Carrel as a medical book written by a doctor named Alexis Carrel was lying on his desk. Yvonne, tired of being nicknamed Vovonne ou Vonette, chose herself the Dany part, a diminutive that couldn’t be played with or distorted. For the next few years, Dany Carrel could be seen in minor melodramas and light comedies, often playing saucy girls from the working-class neighbourhood, but never with a really mean streak. Quickly, she got the main female starring roles in lower-budgeted pictures, and she also co-starred with such acting giants as Gérard Philipe in Les grandes manoeuvres/The Grand Manoeuvre (1955, René Clair) and Pot-Bouille/Lovers of Paris (1957, Julien Duvivier), or Jean Gabin in Des gens sans importance/People of No Importance (1956, Henri Verneuil). Dany was a big revelation to the public in Portes des Lilas/Gate of Lilacs (1957, René Clair), opposite Pierre Brasseur. Sometimes tricked by wanna-be bad boys, Dany always retained her intelligence and never played dumb.

Dany Carrel
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1030. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Carrel
French postcard by St. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Carrel
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Korès (Carboplane), no. 1064.

Dany Carrel
Italian postcard, no. 3.

Damsel in Distress
Then Dany Carrel began a phase of international projects, such as the German-French co-production Die Gans von Sedan/Without Trumpet or Drum (1959, Helmut Käutner) with Hardy Krüger, and the Hollywood production The Enemy General (1960, George Sherman) starring Van Johnson. In 1960 she appeared also in two interesting horror films, Il mulino delle donne di pietra/Mill of the Stone Women (1960, Giorgio Ferroni) and The Hands of Orlac (1960, Edmond T. Gréville). The Franco-Italian co-production Il mulino delle donne di pietra, starring Pierre Brice, has effective macabre touches. Dany makes for a very believable damsel in distress, and also gets to reveal a bit more of herself when she’s tied down on a table and menaced by a mad doctor. A couple of times Dany appeared ‘nude’ on screen, but in the early 1960’s nude usually meant a sideway glimpse at a naked breast. In The Hands of Orlac, which was simultaneously filmed in a French version, Les mains d’Orlac, she starred with Mel Ferrer and Christopher Lee. For the first half of the 1960’s, she was seen in several gangster pictures, with serious or comedic plots. She co-starred with some of the great comedians of that era, including Louis de Funès in Une souris chez les hommes/A Mouse with the Men (1964, Jacques Poitrenaud), and Jean Lefebvre in Un idiot à Paris/Idiot in Paris (1967, Serge Korber). She got a good supporting part in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La prisonnière/Woman in Chains (1968, Henri-Georges Clouzot) starring Romy Schneider. Dany played a nude model sweating it out when only wearing a see-through raincoat under harsh lights for a fetish photo session. Then she began to slow down on film roles. After the heist film Trois milliards sans ascenseur/3000 Million Without an Elevator (1972, Roger Pigaut) she mainly appeared in TV roles. In the early 1980’s she returned to the screen in comedies like Faut s'les faire!... Ces légionnaires/Let Them Do It!... These legionnaires (1981, Alain Nauroy) with Henri Garcin. In 1991 she published her book L’annamite/The Vietnamese, recalling her youth. She supervised the TV adaptation L’annamite (1995, Thierry Chabert), in which actress Gaëlle Le Fur played the Yvonne/Dany role, and Dany Carrel herself appeared as the adult Dany. That same year, she could also be seen in the play Laisse parler ta mère/Let Your Mother Talk. At Cult Sirens, Ben concludes: "One of a kind in the looks department in French cinema of the fifties and part of the list of actress who began to push the boundaries of frank eroticism on the big screen, Dany Carrel is often remembered for her bob haircut of dark reddish hair, exquisite cheekbones and friendly manners, always being able to save a movie from tedium from her mere presence."


Scene from Portes des Lilas/Gate of Lilacs (1957). Source: foulard55 (YouTube).


Trailer for The Hands of Orlac (1960). Source: Sinister Cinema (YouTube).

Sources: Cult Sirens, Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.