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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.

1 comment:

andreschneider said...

It is really a shame the movie was done in such an inept way, because from an acting point of view, MM delivers one of her finest performances here. (The film covers a period of over 40 years, and she develops Elisabeths character perfectly!)

I love the photo at the beginning of your article. So plain, so beautiful. Thank You for sharing. :o)