21 January 2018

Gina Lollobrigida

Italian actress and photojournalist Gina Lollobrigida (1927) was one of Europe’s most prominent film stars of the 1950s. ‘La Lollo’ was the first European sex symbol of the post war years and she paved the way into Hollywood for her younger colleagues Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Monica Bellucci.

Gina Lollobrigida
I.F.P.A. postcard, no. 15.

Gina Lollobrigida
German postcard by Terra-Color, no. F 130. Photo: Morris, Rome.

Gina Lollobrigida
German postcard by Ufa, no. CK 67. Photo: Raymond Vainquel. Publicity still for Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956).

Gina Lollobrigida
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 10. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).

Gina Lollobrigida
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto in the Artisti di Sempre series, no. 294.

The most beautiful toddler of Italy


Luigina Lollobrigida was born in the picturesque Italian mountain village Subiaco in 1927, as one of four daughters of a furniture manufacturer. At the age of 3, Luigina was already selected as the most beautiful toddler of Italy and in her youth she started to model.

She became an art student and made her film debut in an uncredited bit role in the adventure film Aquila nera/The Black Eagle Returns (Riccardo Freda, 1946) starring Rossano Brazzi.

In 1947, she entered the Miss Italia pageant and came in third. The contest was won by Lucia Bosé and second was Gianna Maria Canale. Both also became film actresses, though not nearly as successful as Lollobrigida.

Gina Lollobrigida was discovered by director Mario Costa who gave her a small part as a girlfriend of Adina (Nelly Corradi) in the opera adaptation L’elisir d’amore/Elixir of Love (Mario Costa, 1946).

Lollobrigida started to model as Diana Loris for the Fotoromanzi, the popular Italian photo novels.

She got her first bigger film part in another opera film, Pagliacci/Love of a Clown - Pagliacci (Mario Costa, 1948), co-starring with one of the greatest Italian baritones, Tito Gobbi. The film, based on Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci recounts the tragedy of Canio (Afro Poli), the lead clown (or pagliaccio in Italian) in a Commedia dell'arte troupe, his wife Nedda (Lollobrigida), and her lover,
Silvio (Gobbi).

When Nedda spurns the advances of Tonio (also Gobbi), another player in the troupe, he tells Canio about Nedda's betrayal. In a jealous rage, Canio murders both Nedda and Silvio. Lollobrigida's singing in this film was dubbed.

Gina Lollobrigida
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 29 F. Offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane. Photo: Sam Lévin. Publicity still for Fanfan la Tulipe/Fan-Fan the Tulip (Christian Jacque, 1952).

Gina Lollobrigida
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris, no. 325. Photo: Sam Lévin. Publicity still for Les belles de nuit/Beauties of the Night (René Clair, 1952).

Gina Lollobrigida in Pane, amore e fantasia (1953)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 1748. Photo: publicity still for Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953).

Gina Lollobrigida in Pane, amore e fantasia (1953)
Yugoslavian postcard by NPO, no. G5. Photo: pubicity still for Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953).

Gina Lollobrigida in La provinciale (1953)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 187. Photo: Ponti / De Laurentiis. Publicity still for La provinciale/The Wayward Wife (Mario Soldati, 1953).

Miss Italia


Gina Lollobtrigida's first major success as a leading lady was in Miss Italia/My Beautiful Daughter (Duilio Coletti, 1950), a backstage drama set at a beauty contest.

It was followed by the delightful comedy Vita da cani/A Dog's Life (Mario Monicelli, Steno, 1950) with Aldo Fabrizi, and the award winning crime drama La città si difende/Four Ways Out (Pietro Germi, 1951), based on a script by Federico Fellini.

In France she co-starred with Gérard Philipe in the hugely entertaining melange of swash-buckling adventure, comedy and romance Fanfan la Tulipe/Fan-Fan the Tulip (Christian Jacque, 1952) and in Les Belles de Nuit/Beauties of the Night (René Clair, 1952).

James Travers at Films de France: "As French matinee idol Gérard Philipe is propelled through history and cardboard Freudian dreamscapes, into the arms of such beauties as Martine Carol and Gina Lollobrigida, (director René) Clair appears to have all but lost his tenuous grip on reality (the scene with the dinosaur confirms it) - but who cares? This is a film which, like Clair’s earlier comic masterpieces, is intended to distract and entertain, and it does that marvellously and unashamedly."

Gina Lollobrigida had her definitive breakthrough with the huge global hit Pane, amore e fantasia/Bread, Love and Dreams (Luigi Comencini, 1953), in which she starred with Vittorio De Sica.

This romantic comedy was nominated in the U.S. for an Oscar, and Lollobrigida herself received in Great Britain a nomination at BAFTA. The success led to three sequels, including Pane, amore e gelosia/Bread, Love and Jealousy (Luigi Comencini, 1954).

Her first American film was Beat the Devil (John Huston, 1953). She was at her best as Humphrey Bogart's wife in this odd but endearing noiresque comedy.

Next she earned her nickname ‘The World's Most Beautiful Woman’ for her signature film La donna più bella del mondo (Robert Z. Leonard, 1956), in which she played the legendary actress Lina Cavalieri.

For her role in this film she received the first David di Donatello for Best Actress. Her earthy looks and short 'tossed salad' hairdo were quite influential, and in fact there's a type of curly lettuce named 'Lollo' in honour of her cute hairdo. (In France 'Lollo's' were a nickname for breasts).

Gina Lollobrigida
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 29 F. Offered by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Happy birthday, Gina Lollobrigida!
French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), Paris, no. 360. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Gina Lollobrigida
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, no. 354. Photo: Herbert Fried / Ufa. Publicity still for Notre Dame de Paris (1956).

Gina Lollobrigida in Notre-Dame de Paris (1956)
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2/72. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).

Gina Lollobrigida in Notre-Dame de Paris (1956)
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 56/72. Photo: publicity still for Notre-Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956).

Esmeralda


Gina Lollobrigida made another Hollywood appearance in the circus melodrama Trapeze (Carol Reed, 1956) between Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.

Next she starred as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris/The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jean Delannoy, 1956) opposite Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo.

In 1959 she lured Yul Brynner in the Biblical epic Solomon and Sheba (King Vidor, 1959).

One of her most popular Hollywood films was Come September (Robert Mulligan, 1961), in which she played the never-contented mistress of Rock Hudson. For this lightweight comedy she won the Golden Globe as 'World Film Favorite'.

She co-starred again with Hudson in Strange Bedfellows (Melvin Frank, 1965) and in 1968 she starred in the enjoyable screwball comedy Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (Melvin Frank, 1968), for which she was again nominated for a Golden Globe and won a David di Donatello award, the Italian Oscar.

On TV, Gina Lollobrigida was seen in the mini series Le Avventure di Pinocchio/The Adventures of Pinocchio (Luigi Comencini, 1972).

She retired from acting in the mid-1970s, but has occasionally returned for the camera, including in a regular role in the American soap opera Falcon Crest (1984).

She has used her celebrity to sell cosmetics, published two books of her photography, Italia (My Italy, 1973) and Wonder of Innocence (1994), and created sculptures.

In the mid-1970s she wrote, directed and produced Ritratto di Fidel/Portrait of Fidel, a very personal 50-minute documentary about Fidel Castro that included a rare interview with the Cuban dictator, fuelling persistent rumours that a romance was sparked.

In 1986, she was the head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival, and in 1999 she ran for a seat in the European Union Parliament, stressing humanitarian issues, but she lost the election.

Now virtually retired, Gina Lollobrigida has not made a film appearance since XXL (Ariel Zeitoun, 1997) with Gérard Depardieu.

Gina Lollobrigida was married once, to Slovenian physician Milko Skofic, in 1949. Skofic gave up his practise to become her manager. They had one child, Milko Skofic, Jr., born in 1957, and the couple divorced in 1971. In 1993 her grandson Dimitri was born.

Lollobrigida has lived since 1949 at her home ranch and gardens in Sicily. The property contains her personal museum. In addition, she regularly stays at her house on Via Appia Antica in Rome and at a villa in Monte Carlo. Since 2009 Lollobrigida has not allowed visitors to her home. In 2013, Lollobrigida sold her jewelry collection through Sotheby's. She donated nearly $5 million to benefit stem cell therapy.

Next to her Golden Globe, Lollobrigida has won 6 David di Donatello, 2 Nastro d'Argento, and 6 Bambi Awards. In 1985 she was nominated as an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang for her achievements in sculpture and in photography. In 1992 she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by president François Mitterrand.

Gina Lollobrigida
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof (Ufa), no. CK-157. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Camerapress.

Gina Lollobrigida
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/135. Photo: Universal / Ufa.

Gina Lollobrigida, Rock Hudson
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/129. Photo: Terb Agency / Ufa. Publicity still for Come September (Robert Mulligan, 1961) with Rock Hudson.

Gina Lollobrigida and Andrea Balestri in Le avventure di Pinocchio (1972)
Italian postcard by Edizioni Panini, Modena (EPM). Photo: Sampaolofilm / Cinepat. Publicity still for Le avventure di Pinocchio/The Adventures of Pinocchio (Luigi Comencini, 1972) with Andrea Balestri. Caption: The Fairy and the boy Pinocchio.

Gina Lollobrigida
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/56. Photo: Farabola.

Sources: James Travers (Film de France), NNDB, Andrea LeVasseur (AllMovie), kd haisch (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

20 January 2018

Angelo Ferrari

Italian actor Angelo Ferrari (1897-1945) appeared in nearly 200 films. He started his career in Italian silent films and later got a strong foothold in the German cinema.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/1, 1926-1928. Photo: Schlosser & Wenisch. Signed: 'Sinceramente [Sincerely], Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/3, 1926-1928. Photo: Oertel, Berlin. Signed: 'Gentile signorina Susi Schuurmann, Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3342/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3435/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Love-is-stronger-than-death Story


Angelo Ferrari was born in  Fara Gera d’Adda in Lombardia, Italy in 1897. In 1913 and 1914, the young Ferrari became roll skate champion in Italy.

Thomas Staedeli at Cyranos: "Ferrari was spotted by the actress Diana Karenne". She provided the role of a prince for him in the silent film Sofia di Kravonia (Ernesto Maria Pasquali, 1916).

In the late 1910s, he continued with Italian silent films like La serata d'onore di Buffalo/The Gala Night for Buffalo (Carlo Campogalliani, 1916) and Il veliero della morte/The Veil of Death (Carlo Campogalliani, 1917). These films were all produced by the pioneering production company Pasquali Film.

After doing military service between 1916 and 1918, Ferrari worked with well-known director Augusto Genina on I tre sentimentali/The Three Sentimentals (1920), L'incatenata/The Chained Woman (1921) and Un punto nero/The Black Point (1922).

Ferrari starred with diva Francesca Bertini inthe drama La donna nuda/The Naked Woman (1922), based on a play by Henry Bataille. The film was directed by Roberto RobertiSergio Leone’s father,

With another Italian diva, Rina De Liguoro, he appeared in Savitri Satyavan (Giorgio Mannini, 1923). This was the first international co-production of India. The love-is-stronger-than-death story sees Savitri (De Liguoro), the daughter of King Ashwapati and a goddess, fall for Satyavan (Ferrari) who is destined to die within a year. He is killed by a tree and his soul is gathered by the god Yama (Gianna Terribili-Gonzales) but he returns to life and there is a happy ending for the lovers. Some nudity and other 'erotic' images were removed in India to satisfy the censors.

Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in La donna nuda (1922)
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 107. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.

Francesca Bertini in La donna nuda
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 115. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.

Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
Italian postcard. Photo: UCI. Publicity still for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), based on Edmond Rostand's famous play Cyrano de Bergerac. Caption: the nice phrases of Christian he learned from Cyrano have conquered and seduced Roxane. Linda Moglia played Roxanne.

Angelo Ferrari and Margarete Lanner in In Treue stark (1926)
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 740. Photo: Treuhand-Film / Mondial A.G. Publicity still for In Treue stark/In faithful strong (Heinrich Brandt, 1926) with Margarete Lanner.

Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in Mein Leben für das Deine
Italian postcard, no. 338. Photo: S.A. Stefano Pittaluga. Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in Mein Leben für das Deine/Odette (Luitz-Morat, 1928), based on Victorien Sardou's play Odette, and released in Italy under the same title. Bertini had already played in 1916 in an Italian version of Odette and would do it again in the sound era in a French version of Odette (1935).

France, Germany, Italy


Angelo Ferrari appeared with Geneviève Félix in the French production L'engrenage/The gear (Maurice Kéroul, Max Reichmann, 1923) before gaining a foothold in the German film business.

His breakthrough role in Germany was as an elegant count in the drama Die grüne Manuela/The Green Manuela (Ewald André Dupont, 1923). The film's plot bears a number of similarities to Carmen. Lucie Labass played a gypsy dancer, who becomes involved with Spanish smugglers. It was the first time director Dupont worked with the cinematographer Werner Brandes and the art director Alfred Junge who were to become important collaborators with him.

In the silent German cinema, Ferrari acted in successful films like Prater (Peter Paul Felner, 1924) with Henny Porten, Die Motorbraut/The Motor Bride (Richard Eichberg, 1925) with Lee Parry, and the Kammerspiel Eifersucht/Jealousy (Karl Grune, 1925) opposite Lya de Putti.

He returned to Italy for another hit, Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1925), a film version of Edmond Rostand's famous play. He played the handsome Christian, who is eager to declare his love for the fair Roxanne (Linda Moglia), but he doesn't have the gift for words that Cyrano (Pierre Magnier) does.

In Germany he then appeared in dozens of films including Rosen aus dem Süden/Roses From the South (Carl Froelich, 1926) opposite Henny Porten, Orientexpress/Orient Express (Wilhelm Thiele, 1927 with Lil Dagover, and the comedy Kopf hoch, Charly!/Heads Up, Charley (Willi Wolff, 1927) with Marlene Dietrich in a supporting role.

Later followed Die Sünderin/The Sinner (Mario Bonnard, 1927) featuring Elisabeth Pinajeff, the German-Italian drama Villa Falconieri (Richard Oswald, 1928) with Maria Jacobini, and the war drama Richthofen (Peter Joseph, 1929). In his German films, Ferrari often played roles such as an officer, a marquis or a prince.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1376/1, 1927-1928.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3630/1, 1928-1929.

Angelo Ferrari
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5002. Photo: HPF / Micheluzzi-Verleih.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4064/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Schrecker, Berlin.

The Age of the Talkies


Angelo Ferrari’s first sound film was La donna di una notte/The Woman of One Night (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930) featuring the diva of the silent Italian cinema Francesca Bertini. It was an alternate language version of La femme d'une nuit (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930), also starring Bertini.

Because La donna di una notte was edited without his consent, director L'Herbier asked for his name to be removed from the credits. It was still released in Rome and Milan for Christmas of 1931 with his name still appearing.

In the age of the talkies, Ferrari continued to play in well-known German pictures like Barcarole (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1935), Fridericus (Johannes Meyer, 1936), Der Mann der Sherlock Holmes War/The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes (Karl Hartl, 1937) starring Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann, and Tango Notturno (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1937) featuring Pola Negri.

But his parts had become smaller because of his lack of the German language. During the 1940s, Ferrari appeared in more than 50 German films, mostly in small, sometimes even uncredited parts. Some of his films were finished and released after the end of war. The comedy Verlobte Leute/Engaged People, directed by Karl Anton and starring Axel von Ambesser, was filmed in 1945, but had its premiere in 1950 as Das Dementi in East-Germany.

Angelo Ferrari was already five years dead by then. After a stroke, he had died in Niederlehme, Germany in 1945, briefly before the end of World War II. He was 47. (Our sources differ about the details of his death. English Wikipedia e.g. writes that he died in Berlin in 1954, at the age of 66).

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4848/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Ahrlé, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Oertel, Berlin.

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Janiss Garza (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

19 January 2018

Ross Verlag in colour

Ross Verlag published a series of postcards for Great Britain without the Ross Verlag name on the cards. Instead, they had the word 'Foreign' in one corner of the photo on the card. These were all hand-tinted colour postcards with a gloss finish. Although the Ross Verlag number was still visible on the front of these cards, they also usually had another number on the back in the stamp box. Besides these cards for the British market, Ross Verlag also published several hand-coloured postcards for the continental market.

Liane Haid in Die Csardasfürstin (1927)
Liane Haid. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1732/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Csardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Hanns Schwarz, 1927). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Karina Bell
Karina Bell. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2094/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Harry Piel in Panik (1928)
Harry Piel. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3343/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Panik/Panic (Harry Piel, 1928).

Adolphe Menjou and Kathryn Carver in Service for Ladies (1927)
Adolphe Menjou and Kathryn Carver. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3384/1. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Service for Ladies (Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, 1927).

Vilma Banky
Vilma Banky. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3482/2, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Collection: Joanna.

Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich in The Garden of Allah (1927)
Alice Terry and Iván Petrovich. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3538/1. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927).

Ivor Novello
Ivor Novello. British postcard, no. 3865/1. Photo: FPS. At the backside: Real Hand-coloured Photograph.

Greta Nissen and Charles Farrell in Fazil (1928)
Greta Nissen and Charles Farrell. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3917/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Fazil (Howard Hawks, 1928).

Lars Hanson
Lars Hanson. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3971/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

Clive Brook
Clive Brook. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4010/1. Photo: Defina / First National Pictures.

Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4811/1, 1929-1930. Photo: RKO Radio Pictures. Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Betty Amann and Ivan Mozzhukhin in Der Weisse Teufel (1930)
Betty Amann and Ivan Mozzhukhin. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4871/1, 1930. Photo: Michael Powell / Ufa. Publicity still for Der Weisse Teufel/The White Devil (Alexandre Volkoff, 1930).

Gretl Theimer
Gretl Theimer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5575/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Balázs.

Source: Mark Goffee (Ross Verlag Movie Star Postcards).

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