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Monday, March 5, 2012

Berlin Film Festspiele 1962

Although Marisa Mell was during the height of her career a very public figure in the Italian and Spanish yellow press seeing film footage of her is a rather difficult find. So it is always a treat to see her in a clip during one of her public appearences. And when that clip is even from the beginning of her career in Germany during the early years of the 60's then it is really an one of kind Marisa Mell extravaganza for every fan! 

In the movie world there are only three major movie festivals that have importance for every actor, actress, director and producer. The Academy Awards, The Cannes Film Festival and of course the Berlin Film Festspiele. In the summer of 1962, from June 22nd until July 3rd, Berlin was once again host of this festival. 

This edition would be very special. Only the previous year the East-German government decided to build a wall in Berlin to seperate East-Berlin under Russian influence from West-Berlin under American influence. That was a major shock for the people living in the city. So the focus of this edition was entirely on the cold war situation that was graduately building up between the then two major world powers. 

The city of Berlin became an island in a hostile ocean called East-Germany. From then on everything had to be transported by plane. Film actors and actresses were flown in from all over Germany and Austria or special guests from America like James Stewart

or the in Germany at that moment very popular actor Tony Curtis

who was madly in love with then only 17 year old German actress Christine Kaufmann. They would play together in the movie "Taras Bulba" in the same year and get married the next year! Their marriage would last 4 years and have two daughters. Kristine Kaufman is still very active in Germany as an movie and television actress but also as a teleshopping seller for her own cosmetic line being very successfull making her a very rich women! Marisa Mell would play together with Tony Curtis many years later in the comedy "Casanova".

So everybody who was somebody in the movie business during the early 60's was present in those summer months like Maria Schell, who had already an impressive filmography, but would gain world recognition in 1978 as Vond-Ah the mother of Christopher Reeve's Superman.

Hans Sönker was another very famous German actor present at the Berlin Film Festspiele. He played opposite Marisa Mell in 1960 in the German movie "Wegen Verführung Minderjärigen". At that time it was a shocking movie about a high school teacher falling in love with his female under age student while being married.

As a starlet age 23 making her first impressions in the German movie business she could not be absent from this major event. What makes this picture so special is the way Marisa Mell is dressed. The early sixties are still under the major influence of the glamorous 50's. So people, when going to a gala, dressed to the hilt, men in a traditional tuxedo and women in furs and long expensive evening gowns. As seen on this picture Marisa Mell is no exception wearing a white fur, long earrings and having her brown hair done in a very special style that she would never do again in future years. Being a struggling actress this event must have cost her quite some money to attend but it was a much needed investment for the future of her career. Once she moved to sunny Italy a few years later this way of dressing up would become a relict of the past for Marisa Mell. She would never dress up like that ever again no matter what the occassion might be.

Thanks once again to Marisa Mell archeologist André Schneider for digging up this gem!

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