17 November 2013

Monica Brugger

German starlet Monika Brugger started as a beauty queen at the Miss International Pageant. She had a short film career in Spaghetti Westerns and also appeared briefly on German TV.

Monika Brugger
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/346. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Miss International 1964

Monika Brugger was the German contestant at the 4th Miss International pageant in Long Beach, California, USA. She became a semi-finalist, but the crown of Miss International 1964 went to Gemma Cruz from the Philippines.

Around this time she must also have posed for the camera of legendary glamour photographer, Bruno Bernard aka Bernard of Hollywood.

Monika began her film career in Italy. She was the leading lady of the spaghetti western Wanted Johnny Texas (Emimmo Salvi, 1967) with James Newman in the title role and Spanish actor Fernando Sancho. A highlight of the film was a catfight Monika did with another beautiful woman in a dancehall.

But it was not enough. The Spaghetti Western Data Base comments: “Erminio Salvi (Seven Adventures of Ali Baba) directed this bloody, peculiar spaghetti western shot in Florence, Italy. The U.S. Cavalry hires Johnny Texas to shepherd a wagon train through hostile territory. The clever Johnny runs afoul of a band of outlaws, blows up a fort, and mixes it up with a spy (Monika Brugger) undercover as a dancehall girl.

Salvi fills the film with bizarre touches, like dressing the Cavalry in blue and red (blue and gold was the proper combination) and having Brugger travel 400 miles to deliver blasting caps which are never used. This is a genuinely strange failure which might almost pass for pseudo-surrealism if it wasn't so obviously based on poor planning and bad research.”

Turkish poster for Wanted Johnny Texas (1967). Source: Fantasien Movie Poster World.

The Red Elvis

That same year Monika Brugger also starred in a second Spaghetti Western, Buckaroo/The Winchester Does Not Forgive (Adelchi Bianchi, 1967) starring Marxist American singer-actor Dean Reed (nicknamed The Red Elvis), who was a huge star in South-America and Eastern Europe. This western was not a success either.

Sebastian Bierbach writes at DeanReed.de: “the film moves rather unoriginal and boring. Even the music composed by Lallo Gori gets right soporific. The film recalls in its mood more of a weaker Karl May western than of an innovative Italian western.”

The performance of Monika Brugger was never mentioned on internet. Clearly this was the end of her Italian film adventure. She returned to Germany.

There she appeared on television in six episodes of the comedy series Suchen Sie Dr. Suk!/Are You Looking for Dr. Suk! (Helmut Förnbacher, 1972) starring Margot Hielscher and Ferdy Mayne. This was Monika's last credited film or TV appearance and she must have retired from show business.

If you have more information about Monika Brugger, please let us know.

Dean Reed performing the song Buckaroo from Buckaroo/The Winchester Does Not Forgive (1967) in 1970. Source: Straccio (YouTube).

Trailer for the documentary The Red Elvis (Leopold Gruen, 2007) about Dean Reed. Source: tommyblank (YouTube).

Sources: Sebastian Haselbeck (Spaghetti Western Data Base), Sebastian Bierbach (Dean Reed.de) (German), Wikipedia and IMDb.


Bunched Undies said...

Thanks for the interesting article and the eye candy. Your work is always a pleasure.

Beth Niquette said...

What a fascinating read--and what a lovely woman she was. I am so glad you write about these actors from long ago--you remember them, and when you do, so do we.

Anonymous said...

好的開始,就是成功的一半。 ............................................................