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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Marisa Mell was a child of the "Flower Power" era of the 60's and early 70's when being totally nude as an established actress was still very revolutionary and mainly not done! Together with other famous actresses of that moment like Ursula Andress, Silva Koscina, Elke Sommer, Virna Lisi,... and many others she had no problem in being photographed in the nude by famous art photographers like Angelo Frontoni for magazines like Playboy, Hustler, Mayfair.... So when the promotion of her latest movie "Historia de una Traicion" from 1971 was discussed by the producers, they asked her, in the vain of the steamy love scenes in the movie, to do a nude photo shoot to draw the attention to their latest product! This was not a problem as you can see by the enclosed pictures in this entry. These pictures have not been seen in 40 years and have surfaced only recently. They show a very relaxed and playfull Marisa Mell completely at ease with her own nudity in front of the camera.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hommage à Pablo Picasso!

On october 25th 1966, Spain's and the world's greatest living modern artist, Pablo Piccaso became 85 years old. This was a historic event that needed to be celebrated by the arts community and the international jet set. Pablo Picasso was regarded in 1966 as a living legend. The "legend" status was confirmed after his death several years later in 1973 when he left a legacy of estimated 50,000 pieces, comprising 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs. So the French government found it her duty to honor this man by giving him an international exhibition compromising of more than 100 pieces of his best work gathered all over the world from private collectors, musea and even from Picasso's own private collections. Mounting this exhibition was logistically as an enormous task a nightmare, not to mention the security risks and the steep insurance fee to be payed to cover all these art works against theft, agression and arson. But finally on October 25th 1966 the exhibition "Hommage à Pablo Picasso" held in the Grand Palais and Petit Palais in Paris not far from the Champs Elysée as a retrospective of his artistic career could open its doors and welcome the man in who's honor all this was done. The complete beau monde of the 60's was invited on opening night starting with the French president and his kabinet members over other famous creative artists down to actors and actresses on the A-list, including Marisa Mell.
Although located in Rome, Italy and mostly working for the Italian movie industry, Marisa Mell had in the spring of 1966 a French movie "Objectif: 500 millions" premièred on the Champs Elysée. Although not a financial success it still had drawn attention in the public eye to the fate of the French soldiers and mercenaries who had fought in the Algerian war and the way the French state had treated them once back from Algeria often with no means to survive than starting a criminal career. The part of Marisa Mell was not overlooked by the yellow press who always could use a new fresh beautiful face to write stories about. So she was invited to attend this exhibition. What not many people know is that Marisa Mell had always been interested in painting and paintings since early childhood and meeting Pablo Picasso must have been a joy for her.

The exhibition was a huge success during several months until February of 1967 when it closed its doors in Paris to be moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands to have a second life during several months in the Dutch capital.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Marisa Mell" by Alfred Cermak

The year 1972 was a busy year for Marisa Mell. One of her prestigeous productions that year was the made-for-TV-movie "Ich möchte eine Möwe sein!" about the life and death of Austrian Empress Elisabeth von Österreich. Romy Schneider had gained world fame during the 1950's with her interpration of this icon and gave her a definitive face and image. Marisa Mell had high hopes about this movie to boost her career but the end result was very disappointing. The critics had a feeding frenzy with this movie! Not only was the direction of the movie by Jörg A. Eggers, later replaced by Theodor Grädler very stale and the script by Willy Fritsch very boring as life must have been at court during that time, but what really drowned and killed this movie was the very...very...very slow pace of the movie! Altough the movie runs for about 80 minutes it looks like an eternity in hell, and even the theatrical acting abilities of Marisa Mell could not save this movie. The only thing that makes this film worthy is seeing Marisa Mell in a historical gown in a magical setting at Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria. Although this movie is a made-for-TV there is not many behind the scene material available like for other movies. During the production Austrian freelance photographer Alfred Cermak from Vienna took some behind the scene photo's of Marisa Mell and her counter part Peter Fröhlich, playing her husband the Austrian Emperor Franz Jozef von Habsburg. As you can see the above picture shows a rather tired heavy looking Marisa Mell with harsh facial features. During the production of the movie she had probably to cope with a lot of strain. So the picture is not very flattering but still important enough for the Austrian National Library to keep it in their archives together with the second picture in the entry.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Cinema Italiano" by Howard Hughes

Uncovering a treasure trove of Italian films from "The Leopard" to "Puma Man" Italian filmmakers have created some of the most magical and moving, violent and controversial films in world cinema. During its twentieth-century heyday, Italy's film industry was second only to Hollywood as a popular film factory, exporting cinematic dreams worldwide. With international finance and multinational stars, Italian filmmakers tackled myriad genres with equal gusto and in inimitable style. Cinema Italiano is the first book to discuss comprehensively both Italian 'popular' and 'arthouse' cinema of this golden age. Appraising over 400 movies, Cinema Italiano unearths the best of Italian cinema. Dario Argento's 'gialli' thrillers and Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns are explored alongside the best films of Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Chapters discuss the rise and fall of genres such as mythological epics, gothic horrors, science-fiction, spy films, WWII movies, costume adventures, zombie films, swashbucklers, political cinema, spaghetti westerns and 'poliziotteschi' crime films. The book also traces the directorial careers and key films of such luminaries as Mario Bava, Sergio Corbucci, Francesco Rosi, Lucio Fulci, Duccio Tessari, Enzo G. Castellari, Bernardo Bertolucci and Gillo Pontecorvo. An essential guide for DVD and video collectors and aficionados alike, it is illustrated throughout with rare stills and international posters from this revered era in world cinema. Films include: La dolce vita, Hercules Conquers Atlantis, The Leopard, The Horrible Secret of Dr Hichcock, Contempt, The Gospel According to St Matthew, Castle of Blood, Fists in the Pocket, Django, Battle of Algiers, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Blowup, Diabolik, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Conformist, They Call Me Trinity, Violent City, The Marseilles Connection, Illustrious Corpses, Suspiria, The Big Silence, The Mask of Satan, Maciste in Hell, Blood and Black Lace, Hercules Against the Moon Men, The Last Man on Earth, The Wild, Wild Planet, Special Mission Lady Chaplin, Django Kill!, Fellini Satyricon, Deep Red, Sons of Thunder, Tentacles, The Inglorious Bastards, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Puma Man, 1990: Bronx Warriors, 8½, Once Upon a Time in the West, L'Avventura, Black Sabbath, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Amarcord, Two Women, Planet of the Vampires, Death in Venice, Starcrash, Salvatore Giuliano, Hercules Unchained, Kill, Baby...Kill!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Les femmes de ma vie" by Alain Delon

On November 8th 2010, the French cult actor Alain Delon became 75 years old. A milestone for the ultimate male sex symbol from France for more than 50 years since his debut on the silver screen at the age of 23. Alain Delon occupies a major place in the history of French and world cinema working with directors among others Luchino Visconti, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, Michelangelo Antonioni and Louis Malle. Contrary to other male sex symbols of that time like Rock Hudson, Richard Chamberlain, Helmut Berger, Jean Marais... Alain Delon was primarely straight loving the most beautiful women of his era. To mark his 75th anniversary Alain Delon has written a book about the 200 (!) most influentual women in his life!

About those women he says:"Je ne serais rien sans les femmes, les actrices, les personnages, les héroïnes qu’elles incarnent. Dans ma vie, comme au cinéma, nous nous sommes aimés. Elles m’ont fait pleurer, elles m’ont fait crier!" Of all those women there are 4 women who became very important. First of all there was the Austrian actress Romy Schneider. “Avec Romy, les souvenirs sont doux et chaleureux. Ce que je garde à jamais dans mon cœur, c’est son sourire. Quand elle souriait, tout s’éclairait, se métamorphosait. En 1958, je suis débutant. Elle est déjà Sissi, star européenne. Elle n’a que 20 ans. Moi, j’étais un jeune loup que l’Indochine avait durci. Tout nous séparait. J’ai fait des essais concluants, et elle m’a choisi pour être à ses côtés dans Christine. Et puis, avec la complicité de mon ami Jean-Claude Brialy qui me manque tant, nous sommes devenus amants.” Then there was the French actress Mireille Darc. “Elle occupe une place à part dans cet album. C’est sans doute, parmi toutes les femmes que j’ai aimées, celle qui me connaît le mieux. Nous nous sommes connus en 1968 pendant le tournage de La piscine. J’étais séparé de Nathalie et je traversais une période compliquée avec des soucis extraprofessionnels. Elle a été là, m’a aimé, m’a soutenu, et ça a duré quinze ans. Et je peux dire que ça dure toujours. Elle reste quelque part la femme de ma vie parce que nos liens, notre complicité, sont inoxydables. Nous avons vécu tant de choses ensemble.”

Or other women like French sexy super star Brigitte Bardot or the Egyptian-French cult singer Dalida. "Nous nous sommes connus dans les années 50. Je vivotais, je travaillais la nuit et au petit matin je m’écroulais dans la petite chambre d’hôtel, rue Jean Mermoz, près des Champs-Élysées. Au même étage, dans une autre mansarde, habitait une certaine Yolanda Gigliotti. Elle venait du Proche-Orient avec, comme seul bagage, un titre de Miss Égypte 1954. Nous rêvions de gloire et de lumière. Dix ans plus tard, elle est devenue Dalida et moi Delon. Nous nous sommes retrouvés à Rome. Nous nous sommes aimés loin des regards et des paparazzis, et les rares témoins de notre liaison restèrent discrets pendant des années. Et quand Eddie Barclay et Orlando, le frère de Dalida, nous proposèrent d’enregistrer le fameux duo "Paroles", paroles, notre complicité était intacte. Je n’ai qu’un regret, qu’un remords, ne pas l’avoir eue au téléphone avant qu’elle ne décide d’en finir avec la vie.” And what about Marisa Mell?

In her own autobiograph "Coverlove" Marisa Mell opens her book with a long first chapter devoted to her liaison with Alain Delon which started in 1962 when both actors where on a plane to Belgrad, Yugoslavia she filming the movie "Dr." while he was on his way to film "La Fabuleuse Aventure de Marco Polo", a movie that he did not finish, and was recast with German actor Horst Bucholz, a main rival to Alain Delon in beefcake department at that time. On first sight Marisa Mell noticed the enormous sex appeal of the French actor and his iron will to seduce all the beautiful women around him. So she was also on his list! At first she tries to resist him but after five weeks even she could not and they became lovers. In her autobiography she then describes in detail her love affair with him, how passionate and animalistic he was in bed. But very soon Marisa Mell discovered that Alain Delon was not an one-women man. Very quickly she was replaced by other famous and non-famous beautiful women who adored him. During the next years they met occassionally during movie premières for movies he played in like "The Yellow Rolls-Royce" with Shirley McLaine in London. Marisa Mell even claims that Alain Delon was in her bed before and after he made a press-conference to announce his marriage to his fiancee Nathalie Barthélemy, later better known as Nathalie Delon. I wonder if there is a photo of Marisa Mell in this book among the 200 other women taken from his private photo archive?

UPDATE July 28th 2011: There are no photos of Marisa Mell in the book "Les femmes de ma vie" by Alain Delon.