01 August 2021

Michel Strogoff by Albert Bergeret

Around 1900, Jules Verne's 'Michel Strogoff' (Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar) was one of the most popular adventure novels, set in 1860s Imperial Russia. The book, published in 1876, was four years later adapted to a play, by Verne himself and Adolphe d'Ennery. In the 20th century several film adaptations would follow in France, Germany and elsewhere. Ivan Mozzhukhin and Nathalie Kovanko were the stars of the French-German silent film Michel Strogoff (Victor Tourjansky, 1926). Next week at EFSP, a post on one of the best sound film adaptations. Today, we present a curious set of ten 'Michel Strogoff' postcards published by French photographer and publisher Albert Bergeret (1859-1932) from Nancy ca. 1900. The setting of this possibly refers to a stage version of 'Michel Strogoff' but the pictures may also have been staged for Bergeret's own interest.
Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: (Mother Russia:) Aren't you the Children of our old Siberia? For her you need to die.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: On the road to Irkutsk.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: Nadia Fedor.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: The traitor Ivan Ogareff.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: Caption: Sangarre and Ivan Ogareff.

A courier for Tsar Alexander II


The Michael Strogoff series by Bergeret is unnumbered but we've tried to follow the plot. Michael Strogoff, a 30-year-old native of Omsk, is a courier for Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The Tartar Khan (prince), Feofar Khan, incites a rebellion and separates the Russian Far East from the mainland, severing telegraph lines. Rebels encircle Irkutsk, where the local governor, a brother of the Tsar, is making a last stand. Strogoff is sent to Irkutsk to warn the governor about the traitor Ivan Ogareff, a former colonel, who was once demoted and exiled and now seeks revenge against the imperial family. He intends to gain the governor's trust and then betray him to the Tartar hordes.

On his way to Irkutsk, Strogoff meets Nadia Fedor, daughter of an exiled political prisoner, Basil Fedor, who has been granted permission to join her father at his exile in Irkutsk; the English war correspondent Harry Blount of the Daily Telegraph; and Alcide Jolivet, a Frenchman reporting for his 'cousin Madeleine'. Blount and Jolivet tend to follow the same route as Michael, separating and meeting again all the way through Siberia. He is supposed to travel under a false identity, posing as the pacific merchant Nicolas Korpanoff, but he is discovered by the Tartars when he meets his mother in their home city of Omsk.

Michael, his mother, and Nadia are eventually captured by the Tartar forces, along with thousands of other Russians, during the storming of a city in the Ob basin. The Tartars do not know Strogoff by sight, but Ogareff is aware of the courier's mission and when he is told that Strogoff's mother spotted her son in the crowd and called his name, but received no reply, he understands that Strogoff is among the captured and devises a scheme to force the mother to indicate him.

Strogoff is indeed caught and handed over to the Tartars, and Ogareff alleges that Michael is a spy, hoping to have him put to death in some cruel way. After opening the Koran at random, Feofar decides that Michael will be blinded as punishment in the Tartar fashion, with a glowing hot blade. For several chapters, the reader is led to believe that Michael was indeed blinded, but it transpires in fact that he was saved from this fate (his tears at his mother evaporated and saved his corneas) and was only pretending.

Eventually, Michael and Nadia escape and travel to Irkutsk with a friendly peasant, Nicolas Pigassof. They are recaptured by the Tartars; Nicolas witnesses Nadia being raped by a Tartar soldier and murders Nadia's assaulter. The Tartars then abandon Nadia and Michael and carry Nicolas away, reserving him for greater punishment. Nadia and Michael later discover him buried up to his neck in the ground. They continue onward where they are delayed by fire and the frozen river. However, they eventually reach Irkutsk and warn the Tsar's brother in time of Ivan Ogareff. Nadia's father, who has been appointed commander of a suicide battalion and later pardoned, joins them and Michael and Nadia are married.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: Caption: Sangarre and Ivan Ogareff.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: God offers the afflicted ineffable consolations.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: My mother! My mother! They killed my mother!

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: The death of the traitor.

Michel Strogoff
French postcard by Phototypie A. Bergeret et Cie., Nancy. Caption: For God, czar, and fatherland! Following the thread of the plot, this could be the last card. Yet, this card talks about consolations by God, which may refer to Michel getting his sight again. When his mother faints when he is blinded, his tears have saved his eyes. So that card could also be the last or penultimate card.

Sources: Gazette Drouot (French), and Wikipedia (French and English).

31 July 2021

Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio (1918)

Francesca Bertini (1892-1985) was a majestic diva of the Italian silent cinema during the first quarter of the twentieth century. She often played the 'femme fatale', with men devouring eyes, glamorous attire, clenched fists, and in opulent settings... The film company Caesar Film, which had Bertini's exclusive, used Eugène Sue's popular novel 'Les sept péchés capitaux' (The Seven Capital Sins) for the basis of a serial of seven pictures where the dark-haired diva's dramatic talent could shine at its best. Today, EFSP presents one of these films, L'orgoglio a.k.a. La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). The 'Cromos' (coloured collector cards) were made in Spain as a supplement for the boxes of Chocolate Imperial.

Nella Montagna in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 1. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Nella Montagna in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). The Spanish film title was Soberbia.

La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 2. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Publicity still for L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). 

Francesca Bertini in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 7. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). 

Francesca Bertini in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 8. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini (right) in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Nella Montagna and Cia Fornaroli in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 9. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Nella Montagna and Cia Fornaroli in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini and Cia Fornaroli in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 10. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Cia Fornaroli and Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

The fruit of a sinful relationship


I sette peccati capitali (The Seven Capital Sins) was a series of films directed in 1918-1919 by various directors but always starring Italian diva Francesca Bertini. The episode L'orgoglio/La superbia/Pride (1918) and Soberbia in Spanish, was directed by Edoardo Bencivenga. The series was inspired by Eugène Sue's popular novel 'Les sept péchés capitaux'. Sue was a famed serial writer, well known for 'Les mystères de Paris' (1842-1843). The plot of the film as described in Vittorio Martinelli's 'Il cinema muto italiano, Vol. 1918', is partly incorrect. We used the original Spanish leaflets, issued in Spain by Caesar Film, which are in our collection. The order of the numbers on our Spanish Cromos (indicated on the back) may not be synchronous with the order of the plot, but the moments of the plot are clearly recognisable.

In L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918), politician Ubaldo Maillefort hears his powerful enemies are about to have him arrested, so he gives his daughter in custody to an honorable family. Before leaving he hangs a medallion around her neck with the portrait of her mother, countess Maria de Beaumesnil. The portrait will play an essential role later on. The love between Maria and Ubaldo was not allowed because of her proud and old-fashioned parents. None but the old servant of Ubaldo knows about the secret and he is arrested, and the baby is raised by a good woman who names her Erminia, raises her as if she was her own child, and lets her study to become a professional pianist.

Meanwhile, her real mother has been forced to marry count Villepreux, and they have a daughter Ernestina (Cia Fornaroli). After getting amnesty, Ubaldo returns, while the countess, now widowed, is nearing her end. Not knowing her real parents, Erminia starts to work for the countess and discovers through the medallion that she is her mother. However, the countess dies without having recognised her daughter. Devastated, Erminia realises that she is the fruit of a sinful relationship and decides not to tell out of respect.

The haughty duchess de Santerre (Nella Montagna) is now charged with the guardianship of Ernestina, her niece. At the pompous funeral, Erminia is the only one to really shed tears. Afterward, the duchess pays Erminia for her services, but the latter refuses the humiliating money. Gerardo de Santerre overhears the dialogue and falls in love with her. Hiding his name he courts her, but when his friend, the engineer Oliviero, tells her who he is, she proudly rejects Gerardo.

Meanwhile, Ernestina, fed up with the courting men around her, focuses on charity. Visiting an attic in the house where Erminia also lives, she is overwhelmed by a gang of crooks, but Erminia at gunpoint pushes the malefactors back. Oliviero, who has followed Erminia, witnesses the scene. Love is born between Oliviero and Ernestina, while Gerardo curses his nobility causing Erminia's refusal.

When he tells his mother of his plans she blankly refuses, no duke with a commoner! Instead, Oliviero's parents have no problems with Ernestina as his future bride. Gerardo proposes himself to Erminia, but she only accepts if the duchess comes to ask for her hand. Gerardo is on the verge of suicide and writes so to his mother, who then finally gives in. It is then that Erminia reveals she is the countess of Beausmenil and thus half-sister of Ernestina. When the old countess finally falls on her knees for Erminia, begging for Gerardo's life, Erminia is moved and embraces her with both arms.

Although launched with a big campaign, the series I sette peccati capitali was less successful at the time than expected. The integral version of I sette peccati capitali was believed lost until it was discovered at the Prague Film Institute (Ceskoslovensky Filmovy Archiv). It was carefully restored including the tinting and shown at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna in 1991 (the first restorations of L'avarizia and L'orgoglio), and in 2003 the complete series.

The seven pictures of I sette peccati capitali are L'orgoglio/La superbia/Pride, Gula/Gluttony, Ira/Wrath and L'avarizia/Greed (1918), L'invidia/Envy, L'accidia/Sloth and Lussuria/Lust (1919). Judging from the photos in the Spanish leaflets, Gregorio was possibly played by Livio Pavanelli but his name is unmentioned in all sources on Bertini, IMDb, etc. Of course, the photos on the leaflets may have been misplaced. Guido Trento probably played Oliviero. It is also unclear who played Maillefort, the countess de Beaumesnil, and the old servant. The name of Renato Trento is mentioned in many sources but we could not trace any pictures of him.

La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 11. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Publicity still for L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Cia Fornaroli in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 12. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Cia Fornaroli in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini in Superbia
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 14. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini as Emilia in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). Erminia recognizes countess Maria as her mother, but the latter dies before reconciliation can take place and Erminia keeps silent about her birth out of wedlock.
Francesca Bertini and Cia Fornaroli in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 15. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini and Cia Fornaroli in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 16. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 17. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Nella Montagna in Superbia
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 18. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. The widowed countess Maria (unknown actress), her daughter Ernestina (Cia Fornaroli), and between them, their relative, the proud duchess of Santerre (Nella Montagna) in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini in Superbia
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 19. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini as Erminia in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). Erminia is the only one to shed tears at her mother's funeral.

La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 20. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini and nella Montagna in La Superbia (1918)
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 21. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini (right) and Nella Montagna in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini in Superbia
Spanish cromo by Chocolate Imperial in the Series 'Los siete pecados capitales' (The Seven Capital Sins), no. 22. Photo: Caesar Film / Spanish distr. J. Gurgui, Barcelona. Francesca Bertini as Erminia in L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918). Erminia watches the portrait of her deceased mother.

Francesca Bertini in La superbia
Frontside of a Spanish brochure by Caesar Film for the Italian silent film L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918).

Francesca Bertini and Livio Pavanelli in La superbia
One page of the Spanish brochure by Caesar Film for the Italian silent film L'orgoglio/La superbia (Edoardo Bencivenga, 1918), starring Francesca Bertini. The man looks like Livio Pavanelli.

Sources: original Spanish leaflets by Caesar Film and IMDb.

30 July 2021

Constance Bennett

Independent, outspoken Constance Bennett (1904-1965) was a Hollywood star of the 1920s and 1930s. Her classy blonde looks, husky voice, and unerring fashion sense gave her a distinctive style. In the early 1930s, she was for a time Hollywood's most popular and best-paid star and is known for e.g. What Price Hollywood? (George Cukor, 1932). She was the older sister of actress Joan Bennett.

Constance Bennett
British postcard in the Cameo Series, London, no. KC 9.

Constance Bennett
American postcard published by Sardi’s. Caricature by Joe Grant. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

Constance Bennett
British postcard in the Autograph Series, London, no. A 18.

Constance Bennett
British postcard in the Famous Cinema Star Series by Beagles, no. 218w. Photo: Warner Bros. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

Independent, cultured, ironic, and outspoken


Constance Campbell Bennett was born in 1904 in New York City. She was the eldest of three daughters of actress Adrienne Morrison and actor Richard Bennett. Her younger sisters were actresses Joan Bennett and Barbara Bennett. All three girls attended the Chapin School in New York.

Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "Though her father did everything he could to discourage her from pursuing an acting career, Constance was willful and rebellious almost from the moment of her birth."

After some time spent in a convent, Bennett went into the family business. Independent, cultured, ironic, and outspoken, Constance, the first Bennett sister to enter motion pictures, appeared in New York-produced silent films before a meeting with Samuel Goldwyn led to her Hollywood debut in Cytherea (George Fitzmaurice, 1924).

Hal Erickson: "She treated her silent-film career as a lark, but along the way she developed a superb sense of comic timing and an instinctive gift for heavy dramatics." She abandoned her burgeoning career in silents for marriage to Philip Plant in 1925 but resumed her film career after their divorce.

With the advent of talking pictures, and with her delicate blonde features and glamorous fashion style, she quickly became a popular film star. In the early 1930s, Bennett was frequently among the top actresses named in audience popularity and box-office polls. The hit Common Clay (Victor Fleming, 1930) launched her in a series of loose lady and unwed mother roles.

For a short time, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. So successful was Bennett during this time, that RKO, Bennett's home studio at the time, controlled the careers of actresses Ann Harding and Helen Twelvetrees in a similar manner, hoping to duplicate Bennett's success.

In 1931, a short-lived contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer earned her $300,000 for two films which included The Easiest Way (Jack Conway, 1931) and made her one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood. Warner Brothers paid her the all-time high salary of $30,000 a week for Bought! (Archie Mayo, 1931). Richard Bennett, her father, was also cast in this film.

The next year she moved to RKO, where she acted in What Price Hollywood? (George Cukor, 1932), an ironic and at the same time tragic behind-the-scenes looks at the old Hollywood studio system, in which she portrayed waitress Mary Evans, who becomes a movie star. Lowell Sherman co-starred as the film director who discovers her, and Neil Hamilton was the wealthy playboy she marries. It was a critical and box office hit.

The film Morning Glory (Lowell Sherman, 1933) had been written with Bennett in mind for the lead role, but producer Pandro S. Berman gave the role to Katharine Hepburn, who won an Academy Award for her performance. Bennett next showed her versatility in the likes of Our Betters (George Cukor, 1933), writer/director Gregory La Cava's Bed of Roses (1933) with Joel McCrea, and After Tonight (George Archainbaud, 1933) in which she co-starred with future husband Gilbert Roland.

Next, she appeared in The Affairs of Cellini (Gregory La Cava, 1934), After Office Hours (Robert Z. Leonard, 1935) with Clark Gable, and the original Topper (Norman Z. McLeod, 1937), in a career standout as Marian Kerby opposite Cary Grant. She repeated the role in the sequel, Topper Takes a Trip (Norman Z. McLeod, 1939). Then followed the ultimate madcap family comedy Merrily We Live (Norman Z. McLeod, 1938) and Two-Faced Woman (George Cukor, 1941) in which she supported Greta Garbo.

Constance Bennett
French postcard in the Les Vedettes de Cinéma series by A.N., Paris, no. 222. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn Production.

Constance Bennett
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 904/1, 1925-1926. Photo: Transocean Film Co., Berlin.

Constance Bennett
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 6941/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Constance Bennett in The Affairs of Cellini (1934)
Italian postcard by B. F. F. Edit., no. 2708. Collection: Marlene Pilaete. Constance Bennett in The Affairs of Cellini (Gregory La Cava, 1934).

Marrying a well-known playboy of questionable royal lineage


By the 1940s, Constance Bennett was working less frequently in films but was in demand in both radio and theatre. Her stage acting debut was Noël Coward's 'Easy Virtue' (1940). She had her own program, 'Constance Bennett Calls on You', on ABC radio in 1945-1946. Shrewd investments had made her a wealthy woman, and she founded a cosmetics and clothing company.

Bennett was married five times and had three children. In 1921, Bennett eloped with Chester Hirst Moorehead, a student at the University of Virginia. Bennett was 16 at the time and her parents were opposed to their marriage solely on account of their youth. The marriage was annulled in 1923.

Bennett's next serious relationship was with millionaire socialite Philip Morgan Plant. Her parents planned a cruise to Europe, taking Constance with them, to separate the couple. As the ship was preparing to leave port, however, the Bennetts saw Plant and his parents boarding, too. A contemporary newspaper article reported, "Now the little beauty and the heir to all the Plant millions were assured a week of the cosy intimacy which an ocean liner affords." In 1925, the two eloped and were married and they divorced in a French court in 1929.

In 1932, Bennett returned from Europe with a three-year-old child, whom she claimed to have adopted and named Peter Bennett Plant (1929). In 1942, however, during a battle over a large trust fund established to benefit any descendants of her former husband, Bennett announced that her adopted son actually was her natural child by Plant, born after the divorce and kept hidden to ensure that the child's biological father did not get custody. During the court hearings, the actress told her former mother-in-law and her husband's widow that "if she got to the witness stand she would give a complete account of her life with Plant." The matter was settled out of court.

In 1931, Bennett made headlines when she married one of Gloria Swanson's former husbands, Henri le Bailly, the Marquis de La Coudraye de La Falaise, a well-known playboy of questionable royal lineage. She and de la Falaise founded Bennett Pictures Corp. and co-produced two films which were the last filmed in Hollywood in the two-strip Technicolor process, Legong: Dance of the Virgins (Henri de La Falaise, 1935) filmed in Bali, and Kilou the Killer Tiger (Henri de La Falaise, 1936), filmed in Indochina. They were divorced in Reno, Nevada in 1940.

Bennett's fourth marriage was to actor Gilbert Roland. They were married in 1941 and had two daughters, Lorinda "Lynda" (1938) and Christina "Gyl" (1941). They divorced in 1946, with Bennett winning custody of their children. Later that year, Bennett married for the fifth and final time to US Air Force Colonel (later Brigadier General) John Theron Coulter. After her marriage, she concentrated her efforts on providing relief entertainment to US troops still stationed in Europe, winning military honors for her services. Bennett and Coulter remained married until her death in 1965.

In 1947, Bennett had a major supporting role in The Unsuspected (Michael Curtiz, 1947), in which she played Jane Moynihan, the program director who helps prove that radio host Victor Grandison (Claude Rains) is guilty of murder. In 1957–1958, she toured the United States in the title role of 'Auntie Mame', and in 1945-1946, she hosted 'The Constance Bennett Show' on ABC Radio.

In the 1950s, As Young as You Feel (Harmon Jones, 1951) found her playing opposite a young Marilyn Monroe, and she played herself in a cameo in It Should Happen to You (George Cukor, 1954). Bennett made her final screen appearance in Madame X (David Lowell Rich, 1966) as the blackmailing mother-in-law of Lana Turner.

Shortly after the filming of Madame X was completed, Bennett collapsed and died from a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 60. In recognition of her military contributions, and as the wife of John Theron Coulter, who had achieved the rank of brigadier general, she was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Coulter died in 1995 and was buried with her. Bennett has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the film industry. Her star is located at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, a short distance from the star of her sister, Joan.

Constance Bennett in Moulin Rouge (1934)
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: United Artists / 20th Century. Constance Bennett in Moulin Rouge (Sidney Lanfield, 1934).

Constance Bennett in Moulin Rouge (1934)
Dutch postcard by Loet G. Barnstijn. Photo: United Artists / 20th Century. Constance Bennett in Moulin Rouge (Sidney Lanfield, 1934). Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

Constance Bennett
Spanish postcard in the Estrellas del cine series by Editorial Grafica, Barcelona, no. 112. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Constance Bennett
British postcard.

Constance Bennett
French postcard by Edit. Chantal, Rueil (S.-O.), no. 30. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Constance Bennett in The Affairs of Cellini (1934)
Italian postcard by Rizzoli & C. Milano, 1938. Photo: 20th Century. Constance Bennett in The Affairs of Cellini (Gregory La Cava, 1934).

Constance Bennett
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W. 482. Photo: Warner.

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