22 July 2019

Éva Ruttkay

Éva Ruttkay (1927-1986) was one of the greatest Hungarian actresses of the 20th Century. She appeared in more than 60 films and TV films in over six decades.

Éva Ruttkay
Czech collector's card by Pressfoto, Praha (Prague), no. 14/4, 1964. Retail price: 0,50 Kcs.

Éva Ruttkay
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2.570, 1966. Photo: Hungarofilm.

Éva Ruttkay
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2892, 1968. Photo: Hungarofilm.

The Hungarian Robin Hood

Éva Ruttkay (sometimes credited as Éva Ruttkai) was born as Éva Russ in Budapest, Hungary in 1927. As a child she already appeared in the film comedy Lila akác/Purple Lilacs (Steve Sekely, 1934) with Irén Biller.

At the age of 16, she gained the attention of Dániel Jób, director of the Vígszínház (Comedy Theatre), and she would play there until her death. An exception were the years 1948–1951, when she played at the Nemzeti Színházban (the National Theatre in Budapest).

During this period, she appeared in such film as Beszterce ostroma/The Siege of Beszterce (Márton Keleti, 1948), Szabóné (Félix Máriássy, 1949), and Lúdas Matyi/Mattie the Goose-boy (Kálmán Nádasdy, László Ranódy, 1950).

Lúdas Matyi was the first colour production from the newly nationalised Hungarian film industry. Inspired by Mihaly Fazekas' epic poem, the film stars Imre Soós as a Hungarian Robin Hood.

Éva Ruttkay fell in love with the well known actor Miklós Gábor, and they married in 1950. Two years later their daughter Julia was born.

In 1951 Éva already appeared on the Hungarian television, in the short TV comedy A Selejt bosszúja/The Revenge of Scrap (1951).

Some of her popular feature films of the 1950s were Liliomfi (Karoly Makk, 1954) again with Imre Soós, the comedy Egy pikoló világos/A Half Pint of Beer (Félix Máriássy, 1955), the drama Éjfélkor/Before Midnight (György Révész, 1957) with Miklós Gábor, Mese a 12 találatról/Tale of the 12 hit (Karoly Makk, 1956), Sóbálvány/Pillar of Salt (Zoltán Várkonyi, 1958) and Álmatlan évek/Sleepless Years (Félix Máriássy, 1959) with Mari Töröcsik.

Éva Ruttkay, Imre Soós in Liliomfi
Hungarian postcard by Képzömüvészeti Alap Kiadóvállata, Budapest, no. 331/552. Photo: Saphir. Publicity still for Liliomfi (Károly Makk, 1954) with Imre Soós.

Éva Ruttkay, Imre Soós in Liliomfi
Hungarian postcard by Képzömüvészeti Alap Kiadóvállata, Budapest, no. 331/12/564. Photo: Saphir. Publicity still for Liliomfi (Károly Makk, 1954). Card price: 60 fillér.

Éva Ruttkay and Ferenc Bessenyei in Kioltott lángok (1956)
Hungarian postcard by Kepzömüvészeti Alap, Budapest, no. 331/24/564. Photo: Inkey. Publicity still for Kioltott lángok/Extinguished flames (Frigyes Bán, 1956) with Ferenc Bessenyei.

A Small Wonder

Éva Ruttkay continued her acting career successfully into the 1960s both on television and in such films as Három csillag/Three Stars (Miklós Jancsó, Zoltán Várkonyi, Karoly Wiedermann, 1960), Alázatosan jelentem/A Certain Major (Mihály Szemes, 1960), and the espionage action feature Fotó Háber/Haber's Photo Shop (Zoltán Várkonyi, 1963).

She also appeared in the classic comedy Butaságom története/Story of My Dumbness (Márton Keleti, 1965), Kárpáthy Zoltán (Zoltán Várkonyi, 1966), the comedy Tanulmány a nökröl/Study on Women (Márton Keleti, 1967), Egri csillagok/Stars of Eger (Zoltán Várkonyi, 1968), and Keresztelö/Baptism (István Gaál, 1968).

In the following decade she appeared in a.o. Utazás a koponyám körül/Trip Around My Cranium (Gyorgy Révész, 1970), Szindbád/Sinbad (Zoltan Huszarik, 1971), Labirintus/Labyrinth (András Kovács, 1976), Ha megjön József/When Joseph Returns (Zsolt Kézdi-Kovács, 1976), and several TV-series.

Among her last appearances were roles in the films Idö van/Time (Peter Gothar, 1986) and Küldetés Evianba/Mission to Evian (Erika Szántó, 1988).

In 1986, after thirty years the film Keseru Igazsag/The Bitter Truth (Zoltán Várkonyi, 1956-1986) was finally released. This 1956 film was banned in Hungary shortly after it was completed and just before the Soviet tanks rolled in to quell the Hungarian uprising. And small wonder - its ‘hero’ is a Party faithful whose corruption and lack of morality is disgusting, and its ‘antihero’ (played by Miklós Gábor) is someone honest and good, imprisoned for his anti-Party stance.

Her second husband was actor Zoltán Latinovits, whom she met in 1960 during rehearsals. They lived together until Latinovits's death. Half a year after her last stage appearance, Éva Ruttkay died in 1986 in her hometown Budapest. She was 58.

During her career she was awarded several times, with the Mari Jászai-award (in 1955 and 1959), the Kossuth-díj (1960), the ban Érdemes művész (1966), the ben Kiváló művész (1971), and the Pro Arte-díj. In 2006 the Éva Ruttkai Theatre opened its gates in Budapest.

Éva Ruttkay
Hungarian postcard by Kepzömüvészeti Alap, Budapest, no. 5/583. Photo: Fény Szöv.

Éva Ruttkay
East-German postcard by Progress Starfoto, no. 927, 1958. Photo: Gerhard Kindt.

Éva Ruttkay
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1692, 1962. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Hungarofilm.

Éva Ruttkay
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1960, 1964. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Hungarofilm.

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia and IMDb.

21 July 2019

Jacqueline Logan

Jacqueline Logan (1901-1983) was a beautiful auburn-haired, green-eyed star of the silent screen. Her most famous part is Mary Magdalene in The King of Kings (1927) by Cecil B. DeMille.

Jacqueline Logan
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazine / A.N., Paris, no. 145.

The King of Kings (1927)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 86/2. Photo: National Film. Postcard for the American silent epic The King of Kings (Cecil B. DeMille, 1927). Caption: Mary Magdalene. The charioteer was played by Noble Johnson, while Jacqueline Logan played Mary Magdalene.

The King of Kings (1927)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 86/4. Photo: National Film. Jacqueline Logan in The King of Kings (Cecil B. deMille, 1927). Caption: Mary Magdalene dries Jesus' feet.

The beginning of a  promising career

Jacqueline Medura Logan was born in Corsicana, Texas, in 1901 or 1904 (the sources differ). Her father, Charles A. Logan, was an architect and her mother, Marion Logan, was briefly an opera singer and later gave vocal lessons. Her childhood was spent in Scottsbluff, Nebraska where she briefly worked as a journalist for the Scottsbluff Republican.

After an aborted journalism study, 'Jackie' went to Chicago in the hope of success as an actress. There she had her first experiences as a dancer. Her family believed she intended to visit an uncle in the windy city and also to attend college. To get the dance job she had lied about her age, and when her uncle found out, he was irate. She was let go from the stage job as a result.

In 1920 she tried her luck in New York. She appeared in a revival of  'Florodora' on Broadway. Florenz Ziegfeld noticed her and hired her for a job dancing on his Ziegfeld Roof. She replaced Billie Donovan who was leaving to act in films in Hollywood. Together with the Ziegfeld venture, Logan modelled for noted Broadway photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston as a 'Dobbs Girl'. She also had a part in a Johnny Hines' comedy short.

Here Logan was discovered by director Allan Dwan, who cast her as the leading actress in his comedy drama A Perfect Crime (Alan Dwan, 1921). Logan was featured opposite Monte Blue and the young Jane Peters, the future Carole Lombard. The next years Logan was selected as WAMPAS Baby Star of 1922.

It was the beginning of a promising career. In the 1920s alone, Logan was in front of the camera in more than 50 silent films. Among her co-stars were Thomas MeighanMilton SillsRicardo CortezLeatrice JoyRichard DixLon Chaney Sr., and William Powell.

During the early 1920s, she appeared in such features as Burning Sands (George Melford, 1922), the horror film A Blind Bargain (Wallace Worsley, 1922), the comedy Sixty Cents an Hour (Joseph Henabery, 1923), the romantic drama Java Head (George Melford, 1923), and A Man Must Live (Paul Sloane, 1924).

The House of Youth (1924) was her first starring vehicle. In 1926, Logan made the comedy Footloose Widows (Roy Del Ruth, 1926) with Louise Fazenda, and the drama Blood Ship (George B. Seitz, 1927) with Hobart Bosworth and Richard Arlen.

Jacqueline Logan and William Boyd in The Cop (1928)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3731/1. Photo: DPG. Jacqueline Logan and William Boyd in The Cop (Donald Crisp, 1928).

Jacqueline Logan
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 880. Photo: Albert Witzel / Fox.

Cecil B. De Mille's Mary Magdalene

Jacqueline Logan's most famous film was the 1927-produced Bible film The King of the Kings by director Cecil B. DeMille, in which she acted as Mary Magdalene, a part sought after by many Hollywood actresses at the time. The film depicts the last weeks of Jesus before his crucifixion. Logan acted opposite H.B. Warner as Jesus, Victor Varconi as Pontius Pilate, and Dorothy Cumming as the Virgin Mary.

In 1929, she faced the change to sound film as a member of an all-star cast in the musical revue The Show of Shows by John G. Adolfi. The all talking Vitaphone production cost $850,000 and was shot almost entirely in Technicolor. Unaccountably, though she took vocal lessons, her career in talking pictures never took off.

Logan was in England for a time to do stage work such as 'Smoky Cell. This gained her some good reviews. After completing the English film Middle Watch (Norman Walker, 1930) with Owen Nares, British International Pictures signed her to write and direct. For BIP, she wrote Knock-Out (1931) and wrote and co-directed the 46-minute short film Strictly Business (Mary Field, Jacqueline Logan, 1931) starring Betty Amann.

She returned to Hollywood, but Columbia Pictures production chief Harry Cohn was complimentary of her work but unwilling to sign a female director. In the early 1930s, Logan got two roles in theatre productions, most recently between September 1934 and February 1935 in 'Merrily We Roll Along'.

Her private life was one of the reasons why her career came to a standstill. In 1934 she married the entrepreneur Larry Winston, for whom she gave up her career. However, the childless marriage ended up in in 1947.

More recently, Logan lived a life between New York and Florida and was involved in political affairs. She also became a member of the anti-Communist John Birch Society. In 1973, Logan appeared in the film comedy Naughty Wives one last time in front of the camera.

Jacqueline Logan died at the age of 81 in April 1983 in Melbourne, Florida, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois.

The King of Kings (1927)
French postcard, no. 492. Postcard for the American silent epic The King of Kings (Cecil B. DeMille, 1927). Jesus (H.B. Warner) between the Virgin Mary (Dorothy Cumming) and Mary Magdalene (Jacqueline Logan).

Jacqueline Logan
French postcard in the Les Vedettes de Cinéma series by A.N., Paris, no. 196. Photo: Fox Film.

Sources: I.S. Mowis (IMDb), Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.

20 July 2019

Angelo, Budapest, 1918

In 1918, the Hungarian silent cinema was at its best. An amazing amount of talent in Budapest was producing one film after another. Among them were the directors Alexander Korda and Michael Curtiz, and actors like Béla Lugosi, Vilma Bánky, Paul Lukas and Lya de Putti. Pál Funk was the major photographer of the film community. He worked under the name of Angelo and his glamorous film star portraits graced countless European postcards. Today EFSP presents a post with portraits he all made in Budapest in 1918. They were used for Hungarian postcards and for German postcards by the NPG (Neue Photografische Gesellschaft).

Lili Berky, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 982. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Lili Berky (1886–1958), aka Lilli Berky and Lili Berki, was a Hungarian stage and screen actress, who starred in over 30 Hungarian silent films between 1913 and the late 1920s and played in an equal amount of Hungarian sound films, mainly in the 1930s and early 1940s. In 1917 she became the wife of Hungarian actor and comedian Gyula Gózon. They often performed together.

Ilona Dömötör, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 984. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Ilona Dömötör was a Hungarian stage actress. As far as known, she only acted in one silent film, A fogadalom/The vow (J. Béla Geröffy, 1921). Very little is known about her.

Emil Fenyvesi, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 985. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Emil Fenyvesy (1859–1924) was a monstre sacré of the Hungarian stage, who also acted in some 23 Hungarian silent films between 1912 and 1923. He was in his fifties when he started as a screen actor. He first acted in four films by Sándor Góth: Víg özvegy (1912) with Ferenc Vendrey and Ica von Lenkeffy, A páter és a Péter (1912), again with Vendrey, A Marhakereskedö (1913), and A csikós (1913). Then he played a rabbi in Alexander Korda's Lyon Lea (1915). In 1917-1919 he peaked with 6 to 8 films per year, in Hungarian silent films by mainly Márton Garas. He was Karenin in Anna Karenina (1918), played opposite Leopoldine Konstantin and Dezsõ Kertész in A Táncosnö/The dancer (1919) and was Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist (1919). Other directors he worked with were Carl Wilhelm and Alexander Korda. In Tavaszi szerelem (1921) by a young Géza von Bolváry, Fenyvesy acted opposite Vilma Bánky and Norbert Dán. Fenyvesi's last film roles were as a rabbi and father of Ernö Verebes in Péntek este (Alfréd Deésy, 1921), an unknown part in Az egyhuszasos lány (Uwe Jens Krafft, 1923), and as Emperor Franz Joseph in Alexander Korda's Tragödie im Hause Habsburg (1924), a German production about the Mayerling Affair, with Maria Corda as Maria Vetsera, lover of Crown prince Rudolph (Kálmán Zátony). Emil Fenyvesy died in Budapest in 1924.

Dezső Kertész, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 989. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Dezső Kertész (1890-1965) acted in some seven silent Hungarian films in the 1910s and returned to the set in the early sound era and the war years. Kertész debuted on screen as the Baron's son Laszlo in A Falu rossza/The Village Rogue (M. Miklós Pásztory, 1916), based on a play by Ede Tóth, and scripted by Ladislaus Vajda. He then played Absalon opposite Ica Lenkeffy in Szulamit (Jenö Illés, 1916), Dr. Gré in A Nevetö Szaszkia/The Laughing Saskia (Alexander Korda, 1916), A szentjóbi erdö titka/The Secret of St. Job Forest (Michael Curtiz, 1917), Három hét (Márton Garas, 1917) with Sári Fedák and based on Elinor Glyn's 'Three Weeks' about an unhappily married Queen (Fedak) who steps out for three weeks with a dashing count (Kertesz). Similarly, Kertesz played the rich bachelor Vronsky in Márton Garas' adaptation of Anna Karenina (1918), with Irén Varsányi in the title role. In 1919 Kertesz acted opposite Leopoldine Konstantin in A Táncosnö/The Dancer (Márton Garas, 1919), with Konstantin in the title role. All in all, Kertesz acted in some 18 silent Hungarian films until 1921.

Emmi Kosáry, Angelo
German postcard. NPG, no. 994. Photo Angelo, Budapest 1918.

Emmi Kosáry (1889-1964) was a Hungarian opera diva and operetta prima donna with a beautiful soprano voice. She also became a film actress, who worked in Hungary with the young Michael Curtiz. Kosáry was the wife of composer Ákos Buttykay.

Ica Lenkeffy
German postcard by NPG, no. 999. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Ica Lenkeffy
German postcard by NPG, no. 1000. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Ica Lenkeffy, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 1062. Photo: Angelo, Budapest 1918.

Ica Lenkeffy aka Ica von Lenkeffy started in film in 1912 with director Sándor (Alexander) Góth, who had just started his career. Her first successful film was Szulamit (Jenő Illés, 1916), set in Old Testaments times and with Dezsõ Kertész as her co-star. Lenkeffy then mostly played in films directed by Márkus László, Bela Balogh, Mihály Kertész (Michael Curtiz) and Sándor (Alexander) Korda. Among her film partners were Alfréd Deésy, Oscar Beregi Sr., Gyula Csortos, Mihály Várkonyi (Victor Varconi), Iván Petrovich, and the later Oscar winner Pál Lukács (Paul Lukas). In 1921 Lenkeffy moved to Vienna and acted in Boccaccio (Michael Curtiz, 1920), also with Paul Lukas. She then moved on to Berlin, where she starred opposite Paul Hartmann in the May-Film production Die Erbin von Tordis (Robert Dinesen, 1921). In the German production of Othello (Dimitri Buchowetzki, 1922), Ica (by now Von) Lenkeffy played Desdemona opposite Emil Jannings as Othello and Werner Krauss as Jago. In 1923 Lenkeffy married Parisian banker Louis Mannheim. She moved to Paris with him, where she lived in luxury, but she retired from the film business at her husband's request.

Giza Mészáros, Angelo
German postcard by NPG, no. 1064. Photo: Angelo, Budapest 1918.

Giza Mészáros (1879-1953) was a popular Hungarian stage actress, who also acted in some six silent Hungarian films of the 1910s. Her modest film career started with Egy csók története (Sándor Góth, 1912), which starred her partner Gyula Csortos. Afterward followed A Marhakereskedö (Sándor Góth, 1913), Lotti ezredesei/Colonel Lotti (Peter Paul Felner, 1916) in which she had the lead, A föld embere/Earth's Man (Michael Curtiz, 1917), starring Oscar Beregi as a mine engineer, and finally A hazugság/The Lie (Ödön Uher ifj., 1919), after Paul Bourget's novel 'Mensonges', about a woman with a double life as world-wise, frivolous lover of an older baron, and at the same time the chaste and remorseful lover of a young poet.

Ilonka Mezey
German postcard by NPG, no. 1065. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Ilonka [Ilona] Mezey or Mezei was a Hungarian actress, born 1892 in Budapest. She acted e.g. in Udvari levegö (Béla Balogh, 1919), starring Helene von Bolvary, and co-starring Jenö Törzs and Paul Lukas. Mezey also acted in A Kormánybiztos (Károly Lajthay, 1919).

Juliska Németh
German postcard by NPG, no. 1067. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Juliska Németh (1890-1935) was a popular Hungarian cabaret performer in Hungary, Germany, and Austria, between the 1910s and the early 1930s. As far as known, she only acted in two Hungarian silent films: Júdás (Michael Curtiz, 1918), also with Gyula Gál and Claire Lotto, and Nantas (Béla Balogh, 1920), after Emile Zola's novel.

Oscar Beregi Sr.
German postcard by NPG, no. 1275 Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Hungarian stage and film actor Oscar Beregi, Sr. (1876-1965) appeared in 27 European and American films between 1916 and 1953. He is remembered as Dr. Baum in Fritz Lang’s Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933).

Ila Loth
German postcard by NPG, no. 1963. Photo Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Ila Loth (1899-1975) was a Hungarian actress of the silent screen.

Jenö Törzs, Angelo
Hungarian postcard by Szinhazi Elet, Budapest. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Jenö Törzs (1887–1946) was a Hungarian stage and screen actor, who acted in over 20 Hungarian films in the 1910s, and returned to the screen in 10 more Hungarian films during the 1930s. Törzs was primarily a stage actor, playing great prose roles for many years on stage, often with Gyula Csortos as his antagonist. Törzs was able to keep his high quality on the film screen, appearing in some 20 early Hungarian silent films. He started in 1914 at Pathé Frères' Hungarian studio, in Sárga liliom (László Beöthy, Félix Vanyl, 1914), but it was really from 1917 onward, that he acted in 4 to 6 films a year between 1917 and 1921, such as A szentjóbi erdö titka (Michael Curtiz, 1917) with Dezsö Kertész, Vengerkák (Bela Balogh, 1917) with Ica Lenkeffy, Érdekházasság/Marriage interest (Antal Forgács, 1918) - an Elinor Glyn adaptation in which Törsz had the lead, Az isten fia és az ördög fia (Lajos Lázár, 1918) - again a lead, A csavargó/The tramp (Paul Sugar 1918) with Lya de Putti, Hivatalnok urak/Officers and gentlemen (Béla Balogh, 1919) - again, a lead - and Olivér Twist (Márton Garas, 1919) with László Z. Molnár as Fagin.

Kamilla Hollay, Angelo
Hungarian postcard by Shinhazi Elet, Budapest, no. 111. Photo: Angelo, Budapest, 1918.

Camilla von Hollay (Kamilla Hollay) (1899–1967) was a Hungarian film actress of the silent era. She appeared in more than 40 films between 1916 and 1930.

Frida Gombaszögi
Hungarian postcard by Reinitz Jòzsef, Budapest / Terjeszti Gonda Oszkàr, Budapest. Photo: Angelo, 1918.

During her long and impressive career, Hungarian stage actress Frida Gombaszögi (1890–1961) appeared only in two, silent films. She was the first Hungarian actress who represented the modern acting style in plays by Molnar, Chekhov and Gorky.

Sources: Wikipedia (Hungarian) and IMDb.