Marisa Mell was born under her civil name Marlies Moitzi as an Austrian citizen. At the beginning of her career, she quickly understood that this civil name was not a name for a famous actress that she dreamed of becoming. So like almost all actors and actresses she decided to change her name to her alter ego Marisa Mell. But having a new name is not a guarantee that everybody in showbizz knows your name or knows how to write your name. Marisa Mell made one movie in England called "French Dressing". Although not a success at that time, the British movie and glamour magazines still followed her career from a distance. So in 1968 Marisa Mell appeared in a glamour magazine called "Girl Illustrated" with the above photo and a little accompanying article about her. The article starts by giving "Marisa Mell" a new name as "Melissa Mell". Then the writer gives us some revelations by telling us that we have here "...an instance which discounts the cynical view that beauty and brains make strange bedfellow. Melissa is a very successful actress which means that she is highly talented." and "...she is at present in Rome starring in "Luigi Zampa" and "...She is no stranger to British screens". Well, you have to admit that the writer did a hell of a job to write in only 5 sentences such a bullshit. This photo is a publicity still from her French 1966 movie "Objectif 500 millions" which had to have an accompanying publicity text with synopsis of the movie and credits of the people involved in creating this movie. How is it possible to change the name "Marisa Mell" into "Melissa Mell" with the correct information at hand? Maybe the writer was in need of new glasses and wrote the article while waiting before entering the pratice of an optician. Then we get another assumption that defies all logic. So now we know that to become a successfull actress you have to be highly talented. So all succesful actresses are talented? Sigh! Then we come to the next shocker! A new Marisa Mell movie that I have never heard of called "Luigi Zampa"! What??? The movie is actually called "Le Dolci Signore" and was directed by Luigi Zampa! And finally Marisa Mell is no stranger to British screens. That was an enormous exageration. I doubt it very much that the British cinema goer would have known when asked who Marisa Mell was or which movies she had played in. She was not a household name in England like Brigitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Elke Sommer... or other famous European actresses.
Here is another original way to re-name "Marisa Mell" into "Mariza Mel" on a poster from a foreign magazine with a classic picture by photographer Angelo Frontoni. And then we have the ultimate name mistake for Marisa Mell by a man who should have known much better.
In 1997 Quentin Tarantino's third movie "Jackie Brown" premiered. Quentin Tarantino was the hot cookie in Hollywood after his recent successes with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Stuffing his movies with subtle and not so subtle references to Eurocult movies, actors and actresses it came to no surprize to me that during the course of the storyline some of characters are watching a movie in the living room on a TV screen called "La Belva col Mitra" with Marisa Mell and Helmut Berger. The movie is famous for the violent behaviour of Helmut Berger in the course of the story and the rape of Marisa Mell by Berger.
When I saw this movie for the first time I wondered if and if so how and where Marisa Mell would be credited for her appearence. Great was my astonishment when I saw the end credits of the movie. In a long list of thank you's I read the name of Marisa Mell written as "Marisa Mel" with one "L" instead of two "LL". What??? Here you have a director who makes movies mostly as pastiches of other peoples work, storylines, creativity... and always credits himself upon his knowledge on everything Eurocult finding probabely "La Belva col Mitra" one of the better Italian eurocrime movies unable to write correctly the name of the female star of the cult movie he incorporated in his own movie. I know that Quentin Tarantino is not responsable for writting the end credits of his movies but some little gnom in a back office of a production company did it but nevertheless... it is his movie from beginning to the end. There does not end my story. Thanks to this little mistake so many years ago there are still a few concequences to be payed. By dropping one "L" in the name Marisa Mell to Marisa Mel, the people responsable for the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) updates created a new actress file for the actress "Marisa Mel" with only one movie credit to her name i.c. Jackie Brown! A short career indeed for this women.
Another concesquence is that the same people updating the IMDB categorically refuse to update the filmography for Marisa Mell with another movie credit for the movie "Jackie Brown" solely on the fact that her name was written with one "L" and not two "LL".
So to them the career of Marisa Mell ended with the movie "I Love Vienna" from 1991 and not the 1997 starrer "Jackie Brown" which would be correct. IMDB lists as credit almost every creative aspect of movie making from director to producer to caterer and goofer. So why not updating Marisa Mell's filmography with this movie?
Marisa Mell or Melissa Mell or Mariza Mel or Marisa Mel or... whatever her name is in the movie "La Belva col Mitra"!
Thanks to Paula Titterton for giving me the idea for this entry and contributing the photo and article from the magazine "Girl Illustrated".