16 December 2019

Carla Candiani

Carla Candiani (1916-2005) was an Italian film actress. Discovered by the Italian public in Raffaello Matarazzo's thriller Albergo degli assenti (1939), she took part in seventeen films during her career, from the late 1930s to the late 1940s.

Carla Candiani
Italian postcard by BFF Edit. (Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze), no. 2080. Photo: Ghergo.

Carla Candiani in Tosca
Italian postcard by ASER (A. Scaramaglia Edizioni Roma), no. 13. Carla Candiani in Tosca (Carl Koch, Jean Renoir, 1939-1941).

An active sportswoman

Carla Candiani was born in Legnano, Italy, in 1916. She was an active sportswoman, attended a foreign language school and participated in castings to become an actress.

She made her film debut in a small role in the comedy Il feroce Saladin/The ferocious Saladin (Mario Bonnard, 1937) starring Angelo Musco and Alida Valli.

Raffaello Matarazzo entrusted her with one of the main roles of his thriller L'albergo degli absenti/The Property of the Absent (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1939). She played the role of Muriel, a wealthy heiress who has been the victim of several abduction attempts, the latest of which results in the disappearance of her secretary, Renata (Paola Barbara).

She met Matarazzo again the following year in the comedy Trappola d'amore/Dicky (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1940), playing the secretary of Dicky (Giuseppe Porelli), a noble art collector to whom she offers the services of her boyfriend and private detective (Paolo Stoppa) to ensure the safety of his collection.

She then played in four films, including the comedy L'imprevisto/Unexpected (Giorgio Simonelli, 1940) with Vanna Vanni and Emilio Cigoli.

In 1941, she performed the marchioness Attavanti, sister of the patriot Angelotti (Adriano Rimoldi), in the realist drama Tosca by Carl Koch and Jean Renoir, freely based on Victorien Sardou's play and less so on Giacomo Puccini's opera, and containing many shots on location in Rome. The leads were for Imperio Argentina, Rossano Brazzi, and Michel Simon, as Tosca, Mario Cavaradossi, and Baron Scarpia.

Carla Candiani in Il leone di Damasco (1942)
Italian postcard by ASER (A. Scaramaglia Edizioni Roma), no. 60. Photo: Pesce. Carla Candiani in Il leone di Damasco/The Lion of Damascus (Corrado d'Errico, Enrico Guazzoni, 1942).

Carla Candiani in Il leone di Damasco (1942)
Italian postcard by ASER (A. Scaramaglia Edizioni Roma), no. 159. Carla Candiani in Il leone di Damasco/The Lion of Damascus (Corrado d'Errico, Enrico Guazzoni, 1942).

Wife of a Count

In 1942, Carla Candiani played the title role in Corrado D'Errico's Capitan Tempesta/Captain Tempest, an adventure film based on the eponymous novel by Italian writer Emilio Salgari. While the Turcs are keeping Famagosta under siege, the city is strongly defended by Capitan Tempesta, none other than Leonora, the governor's daughter. She also manages to enter the castle of Hussif (Juan Calvo), who has imprisoned her lover Marcello (Adriano Rimoldi), tortured by the pretty Haradya (Doris Duranti). At the climax, Moulia El Kader (Carlo Ninchi), nicknamed 'The Lion of Damascus', permits the two lovers to be reunited.

She reprised this role in the sequel Il leone di Damasco/The Lion of Damascus (1942), again with Rimoldi, Ninchi, Duranti, etc. It was the last film of Corrado D'Errico, who because of a fatal illness was unable to finish the filming, so it was completed by Enrico Guazzoni.

The following year, Candiani was Countess Albine de Montholon, wife of Charles-Tristan de Montholon in Sant'Elena, piccola isola/Saint Helen, small island (Umberto Scarpelli, Renato Simoni, 1943), a film about Napoleon I's exile to St. Helena and with Ruggero Ruggeri as Bonaparte.

She also took part in the comedy Non sono superstizioso ... but!/I'm not superstitious ... but! (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, 1943) with Vittorio De Sica, Armando Falconi, and Maria Mercader.

She also participated in the first film by Mario Costa, the drama La sua strada/His Way, starring Lída Baarová, in which Candiani played the role of a wife. Although completed in 1943, the film was not released until after the war, in 1946.

She was then on the poster of Jacques de Baroncelli's comedy Rocambole (1948) and took part in the sequel, La Revanche de Baccarat (1948).

Carla Candiani retired shortly afterward to marry (probably in 1949) and devote herself to her family life as the wife of the Count Neni da Zara, owner of famous racing and jumping horses. Their daughter Maura was a famous rider. Candiani died in Anagni in 2005 at the high age of 89.

Carla Candiani
Italian postcard by Rizzoli & C., Milano, 1941. Photo: Ghergo.

Carla Candiani
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 4303. Photo: Pesce / Scalera Film.

Carla Candiani
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 20350. Photo: Venturini, Roma.

Sources: Wikipedia (French and Italian) and IMDb.

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