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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Marisa Mell: "Die Feuerblume" by André Schneider - An interview with the author

David Del Valle  writes about "Die Feuerblume":

"Wonderful book...Wonderful subject...Perfect"

"Marisa Mell would be over the moon with what you have done in her memory!"

Early last summer the Marisa Mell Blog celibrated its fifth anniversary! That was an occassion for me to look back on those wonderful five years from the moment when I started to write almost each and every week an entry about the life and work of Marisa Mell untill the present day. Around that time I got a telephone call from my dear friend André Schneider from Berlin telling me that he finally had found the time and the eagerness to fullfill his long wanted dream to write a biography about our favorite cult actress. From that moment on I lived on pure adrenaline wanting to hold that book in my hands and savouring every moment of it when her life story would enfold before my eyes and being able to admire her beauty once again on the more that 100+ pictures, most of them never seen before. One thing I knew for sure: if there was one person on this planet that would do Marisa Mell justice as a biographer it would be André Schneider. And I wasn't wrong in my assumption. André Schneider has written a book with the utmost respect for his subject, which was not always easy, but in the end succeeded with bravour. So I am very glad that André Schneider found the time to grant me this interview:

For those Marisa Mell Blog-readers that do not know you, André, tell us about yourself and your professional background?

To sum it up in one word: I’m a storyteller. In order to tell my stories, I choose different means of expression: moviemaking, acting, and writing. I’m in my mid-thirties and based in Berlin, Germany.

Did you ever meet Marisa Mell in person, private or professionally?

No, never. I had just turned 14 when she died, so there was never any connection of any kind in this respect.

What did attract you to her? Was it her acting, her beauty or her life in general? How did you come in contact with the movies of Marisa Mell?

I had never even heard of her, even though I’ve been a cineaste extraordinaire ever since my childhood and have been watching at least one movie every day since I was 13. I stumbled across Erika Pluhar’s book in my early twenties and read it again in my late twenties after my partner had died. It was such an insight into a true friendship and love. After reading the book – which tells us hardly anything about the actress Marisa Mell – I desperately wanted to see some of her work, so I started with Ben and Charlie and Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee. Those were the easy ones to get. Then came La encadenada, a truly spellbinding fairy tale that made me fall in love with her. Not just her beauty – most leading ladies are beautiful –, but her aura. I was absolutely taken by the way the talked. Senta Berger wrote, “Marisa was chewing each word with relish”, which is absolutely true.

People often say that when you are attracted to someone it is because you see yourself in the mirror and that the other one is your counterpart? Do you have a feeling that this is also the case between Marisa Mell as a screen actress and yourself as a viewer?

No, not really. While reading Marisa – Rückblenden auf eine Freundschaft, I actually identified myself more with Erika Pluhar. Marisa was more like a mystery, a ghost that appeared and disappeared. Maybe that is what had caught my interest in the first place: a mystery unsolved. And even now, after seven years of research and writing about her, her mystery remains unsolved. This means a never-ending fascination.

You admire a lot of female actresses, you mention in the book, like Tippi Hedren, Romy Schneider, Christine Kaufmann… Why do you think that is?

I like artists that inspire me. I like strong people. Those women I mention in the book were really brave women; Capricorns mostly, very strong-willed and emancipated without being politically aware of it. Alfred Hitchcock was the director that opened up the world of cinema for me. I started collecting his films when I was 13, and The Birds was my fourth Hitchcock film. Tippi Hedren – and, in fact, all the Hitchcock blondes – fascinated me. I loved the way she smoked; a friend of mine called it “the high art of smoking”, very aware of the visual effect it has. The way she moved her head and hands was very well choreographed, highly sophisticated. It was unlike all the women I knew when I was a child. Unearthly perfection, although not quite perfect in a Hollywood sense: Tippi Hedren had a very big nose, a rather thin upper lip, and was very short.

Do you think that this a typical gay issue to admire beautiful and on-screen strong women like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn… or female singers like Madonna in the past and now Lady Gaga?

Apparently it is a typical gay issue. I’m not sure why, though.

Was it a difficult writing process?

Oh yes! It was a struggle as well as a moral dilemma. During my researches I stumbled across some black spots, and a lot of white spots; things that Marisa wanted to keep private. And I thought, “I am not a journalist, I am simply someone who admires this woman. Do I have the right to publish all her secrets in this book?” ¾ I didn’t want to lie. Marisa spread a lot of lies herself in Coverlove. I wanted it to be an honest book, but on the other hand I wanted to “protect” her privacy. For a long, long time I didn’t quite know how to walk this fine line. Some chapters of the book – the Broadway debacle, her miscarriages, her “lost years” between 1982 and 1989 – made me so sad that I thought, “I really don’t wanna go there.” ¾ It was hard to overcome these feelings and finally give birth.

How did you tackle the research on the life of Marisa Mell?

The internet, books, books, books, newspaper articles, writing Marisa’s friends and co-workers, more internet, more books, more articles, your blog…

What do you like most: research or writing? Why?

In this case, it’s impossible to separate these two aspects. Research is fun because in Marisa’s case it’s almost a task for a private investigator; if you eventually find that little piece of information you have spent months searching for, it’s a uniquely cheerful moment. The writing is the creative process. To me, writing is like being in a trance. I couldn’t live without it.

Did you know in advance what direction the book should take or did it shape itself during the writing process?

No, not at all. Over the years, Die Feuerblume took on many different shapes and forms. Early in 2013, when I was editing a book of short stories I wanted to publish for Christmas, I choose to include my Marisa essays as well, only to discover that they already consisted of almost 200 pages, and I thought, “Wow, it really is a book of its own already!”, so I started re-working on it.

Why did you choose not the write a “classic” structured biography but optioned instead for, what you call “eine Annäherung”, or in other words getting to know Marisa Mell via her movies and social life?

I really tried to centre primarily on her movie and theatre work. This is the area I’m familiar with. I watched all her movies chronologically – if possible – and focused my attention on her acting. Most of her movies are almost unknown, so I wanted to shed a little light on them because some of them deserve to be discovered. In order to write a structured biography in a classic sense, I would have needed much more material from her childhood or her marriage, for instance. More interviews, diving into the television archives in Italy, Austria, Germany… There aren’t any living relatives left, and Erika Pluhar, Senta Berger, Helmut Berger, Christine Kaufmann, John Philip Law, Umberto Lenzi, Nieves Conde – they all have shared pretty much all they remember of her. Doing a proper biography would require a hell lot of work, and at this point I don’t see myself in the right position to do it justice. So I simply tried to approach her through my professional understanding of her work and the information I got from the “common” available sources. As part of my efforts to understand Marisa, I submitted samples of her handwriting to a certified graphologist. She found many good qualities, including intelligence, generosity, and enthusiasm. But, she added, “Being an actress, she could probably put up front. Nobody knew this woman.” Least of all, I finally concluded, Marisa herself.

Why are you so fascinated by the movies of the 60s and 70s when Marisa Mell was at the height of her career?

The shapes, the colors, the music… They’re simply beautiful to watch, that’s all. But I like movies from all the different eras. Right now, I’m more and more into the American film noir of the late 1940s and early 1950s; Woman on the Run is a forgotten gem.

Where you surprised finding out after having done your research that the life and work of Marisa Mell really pivots around her failed Broadway adventure with the musical Mata Hari? Before her participation she was the “IT”-girl of her time being careless, joyful, happy, the whole world at her feet and after the musical disaster, she lost complete confidence in herself and almost never really smiled again on the pictures taken of her and choosing movies only for the money?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but if it is, it’s really odd that everything started to crumble after Mata Hari. First I thought, her career went downhill in the early 1980s, but, matter-of-factly, it really started to disintegrate in the early 1970s. Danger: Diabolik, which she did directly before heading to New York for Mata Hari, was her last A-list movie. After her return to Italy five months later, she filmed more than ever – almost 20 films in five years –, but those were B-movies, and her parts were pretty much alike. She jumped from bikini role to bikini role, no matter if it was a comedy, a Giallo, a western, or a horror flick. I think that after Mata Hari, she was afraid of taking on another challenge, yes. On the other hand she kept herself busy in terms of being in a lot of movies, but she never worked more than six months a year: eight to ten weeks if she had a leading part like in Marta or Pena de muerte, only two or three days if she did a cameo like in Seven blood-stained orchids or Ben and Charlie.

The book about Marisa Mell is more than just a recounting of her life and work in the movies. It is also a very in depth study on the course of a professional movie career from the early steps in theatre school over the first steps in the movie business over gaining world success until the end of a career ending in poverty and despair! Was that your intention?

I don’t think I really had an “intention” per se; I simply chronicled her life from 1939 to 1992, and this was her path: a lonely childhood in Graz, Vienna, drama school, theatre, Austrian and German films, international career, and finally unemployment, poverty, cancer. I wish the book had a different ending. I wish I could have interviewed her in person. I wish she could celebrate her 75th birthday next year.

Why is it, do you think, that so many beautiful women from that era as actresses ended up in so much despair like Karen Schubert, Anita Ekberg, Sylvia Kristel…?

They were, in a way, victims of their time and fame. They were brand marked as “sexy” or “hot”, but weren’t considered “serious actresses”. Bardot was clever: she knew that and didn’t depend on fame. She could easily quit when she was in her late thirties. Once you’re brand marked in this business, it’s almost impossible to change your path. The Italian and Spanish movies of that period – the late 60s and early 70s – didn’t have great character roles to beautiful actresses. It was a bit different in England, France, and Germany, though. Romy Schneider was offered one powerful role after another, Liv Ullman had Bergman, Hanna Schygulla had Fassbinder, Julie Christie managed to be both, a sexy star and a versatile actress. The Italians, apart from the grand seigneurs like Visconti, De Sica, or Elio Petri, created another kind of cinema in which beautiful actresses had to be beautiful, period.

Had Marisa Mell not died so early on in her life, how do you think she would have regained her life back in overcoming her poverty and despair?

It’s impossible to give a proper answer to this question. You cannot “plan” success, not really. If you could, there wouldn’t be any flops anywhere. But her last movie, I love Vienna, was a remarkable success in Austria, and her first really good film in 15 years. So, yes, maybe this could have led to a comeback if she hadn’t gotten so ill. Also, by 1996 both Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci had gained a new cult following, movie buffs rediscovered their early works. Through this renaissance, Marisa has gained a late recognition. If she had lived to experience it, I’m sure that young filmmakers in the likes of Tarantino or Eli Roth would have cast her in their movies.

If she was alive today and you would meet her, what is the most important question you would have liked to ask her?

“Why are you so afraid of getting to know yourself?” ¾ And I’d let her know that she’d touched many, many people with her vulnerability and strength, not just her beauty.

Thank you, André, for this interview!

My pleasure!

For more information about the book: see this entry: Die Feuerblume

You can order the book through these venues:

Highly recommended! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Book: "Die Feuerblume - Über Marisa Mell und ihre Filme" by André Schneider

Today is a very special day for the Marisa Mell Blog because I am very honored and proud to announce that the very first biography of Marisa Mell about her life and movies is now available to buy:

"Die Feuerblume"


André Schneider

"Die Feuerblume" or "The Fire Flower", written by my dear friend André Schneider from Berlin (Germany), is a 354 page book chronocling Marisa Mell's life path from her early childhood days in Graz (Austria) under her civil name Marlies Moitzi to her international stardom in the sixties and seventies in Rome (Italy) and the eventually the world until her premature sad demise in the early nineties in Vienna (Austria).

After 7 years of intense international research André Schneider has written a wonderful book about the cult movie actress Marisa Mell that not only discussies in depth the merits of her movies, her career and her life as a famous Italian movie star but also maybe more importantly sheds new light on some rather obscure facets of her professional and private life that untill now have never surfaced before or have never been discussed before.

This book is a must read for every true movie fan or professional giving a fascinating insight by way of the life and work of the actress Marisa Mell into the workings of a movie career that can progress from the early steps as an aspiring theatre student at a famous theatre school into the pinacle of a movie career to the trappings of showbizz and the jet set life in cities like Rome, Paris, London and New York untill the downfall into obscurity and poverty.

Finally the book also discusses Marisa Mell's relationschips professionally and privately with other stars like Romy Schneider, Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress, Christine Kaufmann, Claudine Auger, Monica Vitti, John Phillip Law, Tony Curtis, Senta Berger, Ushi Glas, Helmut Berger, Diana Ross, Anthony Perkins, Mario Adorf, Guilliano Gemma, Anthony Steffen, Erika Pluhar... or directors like Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, Vincente Minelli, Mario Monicelli, Sergio Grieco, Aldo Lado...

The book is illustrated with more than 130 pictures from Marisa Mell's professional and private life in color and black and white. Most of them have never been published before and will probably never be published ever again! 

The text of the book is German but it has an appendix in English, Spanish and Italian together with a complete extensive filmography and list of her theatre work.

The book can be purchased at:

A Kindle or e-book version of the book will also be available in the near future.

André Schneider, an accomplished actor, writer and director, can be reached for all inquiries regarding this book and his work through his own website:

The Marisa Mell Blog will soon have an interview with André Schneider discussing this important book on the life and work of Marisa Mell. 

Stay tuned!


Review of the book by  film connaisseur  and Marisa Mell expert "Prisma" can be found at the Italian Euro Cult Movie site "Dirty Pictures":

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Danger:Diabolik!" by professional artist James Gilleard

James Gilleard is a 31 year old professional illustrator and animator living and working in London (UK). He has been always interested in art and drawing since he can remember. "The first image" James says "that I ever did that I can remember getting a good grade for was an image from the US television series "Knight Rider". 

Marisa Mell Blog (MMB): James, thanks for granting this interview! Can you tell us about your method of working in creating your wonderful art pieces?

James Gilleard (JG): Thank you for having me on the Marisa Mell Blog! My method of working starts with a sketchbook where I sketch characters and tumbnails for layout... This is usually very rough! I then scan the images and draw them with Illustrator - creating a line version of the image before moving to colours. I usually make colour keys for my images depending on the time.

MMB: When you look at you art a lot of pieces are from the 50's, 60's and 70's, often called the "golden era" of modern film making, a time now long gone by in the movies! Why do you like that era so much?

JG: I love the aesthetic of the 1950's, 60's and 70's. This applies to most things like fashion, design, art, architecture, advertising... I focus most of my work within these times. I really like modernism which is in use widely during these periods.

MMB: How did you get to know the movie "Danger: Diabolik!"?

JG: I noticed the existence of the movie for the first time online while researching retro futurism, I think. I came across the poster and photos from the film. I loved the poster of the movie. Marisa Mell looked amazing in her red one piece. She has a very 60's look to her, and her hair looks great too. These were the main reasons I wanted to create the poster that you see above at the beginning of this entry on the MMB.  I used the MMB a lot for reference about the movie and the life and work of Marisa Mell. Then I was invited to take part in the "Red Show" with Planet Pulp. Sadly the poster did not sell that well and the reason I was being told was that it is too obscure.

MMB: Had you ever heard of the name "Marisa Mell" or knew the existence of an actress called "Marisa Mell" for the start of your project?

JG: I had never heard of her before this project or seen any pictures with her as an actress. I made a big list of the movies I like to see with her in it! 

MMB: What is that you like about her?

JG: Like I said before, I like her hair, wardrobe, make up very much from that era! She is quite a symbol of that era.

MMB: Where can readers of the MMB buy your stunning art pieces?

JG: My art is available through my art agent and also at certain galleries across America like:

Bottleneck Art Gallery:
Hero Complex Gallery:
Spoke Art Gallery:

MMB: Thanks again, James, for this interview, it is highly appreciated and good luck with your creative career.

James Gilleard has a wonderful blog of his own showing all his phantastic art pieces and creations:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Marisa Mell" by Brazilian artist XICO

On a regulary basis since the start of this blog more than 5 years ago I get mails from Marisa Mell fans living all over the world telling me often in a very emotional way how much they all still very much like her and the films she starred in so many years ago which is quite remarkable to me! Although Marisa Mell was quite famous in her time she never gained notority like Marilyn Monroe or stardom like Sophia Loren... , yet, a lot of people were profoundly touched by her presence and work. One of those Marisa Mell admirers is Brazilian artist XICO who has drawn this beautiful picture of Marisa Mell in her honor! 

Romy Schneider as "Sissi" drawn by XICO

XICO has two beautiful blogs where he shows his art: 



Thanks XICO for this wonderful rendition of Marsia Mell! It is highly appreciated!


The Marisa Mell Blog is always on the look out for fan art of Marisa Mell! So if you would like to contribute to this blog feel free to send me a mail with your creations! Thanks! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"La Encadenada" or "Diary of an Erotic Murdress" - Review by André Schneider

Today's entry is a real treat for the Marisa Mell Blog! André Schneider from Berlin (Germany),  a gifted actor, director, producer, musician, and writer and above all a huge Marisa Mell fan, has granted me permission to pubiish his reviews of several key Marisa Mell movies. "And what may be so special about his reviews?", you ask! Well, most movie reviews in magazines and other publications like blogs are mostly written by non-professionals from the métier of film making. So they are very often written in the same way, using the same language and style or are writing from the same point of vue: the lay man going to the movies. The fact that André Schneider is a professional film maker gives the reviews extra depths and layers that not often are found in movie reviews. And in combination with André Schneider's profound knowledge of movie history from all genres in the field makes the reviews a must read for every Marisa Mell fan or movie fan in general! The first movie André Schneider is going to review is one of his favorite Marisa Mell's movies, if not the favorite one: "La Encadenada" or "Diary of an Erotic Murderess". Enjoy!

Diary of an Erotic Murderess

Originaltitel: La encadenada/Perversione; Regie: Manuel Mur Oti; Drehbuch: Emilio Martínez Lázaro, Manuel Mur Oti, Rafael Moreno Alba, Mario Siciliano; Kamera: José Luis Alcaine; Musik: Carlo Savina; Darsteller: Marisa Mell, Richard Conte, Anthony Steffen, Juan Ribó, Richard Baron. Spanien/Italien 1975. IMDb.

La Encadenada

1970 befand sich Marisa Mell in Italien im Zenit ihrer Popularität. In den kommenden fünf Jahren spielte sie in etwa 20 Filmen, von denen die meisten heute (leider zu Recht) in Vergessenheit geraten sind. (Lediglich den an diverse Hitchcock-Klassiker angelehnten Thriller »Marta« (Regie: José Antonio Nieves Conde) mit Stephen Boyd sollte man, wenn sich die Gelegenheit bietet, wirklich anschauen.) »La encadenada« war der zweite von insgesamt drei Filmen, die die Österreicherin Anfang der siebziger Jahre in englischer Sprache für die spanische Produktionsgesellschaft Emaus drehte. Für die internationale Auswertung bekamen die Emaus-Filme allesamt lächerlich reißerische Titel verpasst: aus dem interessanten »Pena de muerte« (Regie: Jorge Grau) mit Fernando Rey wurde »Violent Blood Bath«, aus »Infamia« (Regie: Giovanni d’Eramo) »Death Will Have Your Eyes«, und aus Manuel Mur Otis »La encadenada« (wörtlich: »Die Angekettete«) schließlich »Diary of an Erotic Murderess«. Das ändert jedoch nichts an der Tatsache, dass gerade diese drei Mell-Filme die mit Abstand sehenswertesten aus dieser Zeit sind; »La encadenada« dürfte sogar ihr schönster Film aus den Siebzigern sein. Unglücklicherweise wurde das kleine Juwel bis zum heutigen Tage im deutschsprachigen Raum nicht zur Aufführung oder gar in den Verleih gebracht. (Eine um ca. acht Minuten gekürzte US-Version des ursprünglich 94 Minuten langen Streifens wird kostengünstig von diversen Internethändlern auf DVD-R angeboten.)

Nur ganz kurz zur Handlung: Der Tod der Mutter ließ den Millionärssohn Marc (Juan Ribó in seinem Filmdebüt) plötzlich verstummen. Mit seinem erratischen Verhalten terrorisiert er die Hausangestellten. Nachdem er mal wieder eine Gouvernante vergrault hat, engagiert sein Vater, der Industrielle Alexander (Richard Conte in seinem vorletzten Filmauftritt), die attraktive Psychologin Gina (Mell), die sich fortan verständnisvoll um den Jungen kümmert. Doch die junge Frau birgt ein düsteres Geheimnis: sie ist keine Psychologin, sondern eine verurteilte Diebin auf der Flucht vor ihrem gewalttätigen Ehemann (Italo-Western-Ikone Anthony Steffen), der ihr bereits dicht auf den Fersen ist. Im weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte spielen ein benachbartes Templerkloster, der Heilige Gral, ein geheimnisvolles Tagebuch, ein Gasmord in der Badewanne, Lügen, Erpressung, Besessenheit und der Drang, sich aus einem Netz von Intrigen und Habgier zu befreien, wichtige Rollen.

In keinem anderen Film ist Marisa Mell so atemberaubend schön und geheimnisvoll wie in diesem. Kameramann Alcaine weidet sich förmlich an ihrem großflächigen, makellosen Gesicht mit den leicht schräg gestellten grünen Augen, den vollen Lippen und dem markanten Kinn, Carlo Savinas zarte, in diesem Gefüge wie eine Liebeserklärung wirkende Klaviermusik untermalt Bilder, die so erlesen sind, dass man sie ausdrucken, einrahmen und an die Wand hängen möchte. Bei so viel Ästhetik vergibt man gern die zahllosen Wendungen des überfrachteten Drehbuchs — ja, es ist tatsächlich noch von galizischen Hexen die Rede! —, die logischen Brüche und die platte, zeittypische Psychologie.

Dass Manuel Mur Oti seinen Produzenten den fertig geschnittenen Film bereits am 15. März 1974 vorlegte, lässt darauf schließen, dass die Dreharbeiten schon Ende 1973 stattgefunden haben müssen. Mit diesem Werk, das damals schon ein wenig altmodisch gewirkt haben muss, stieß er auf Unverständnis, und so hatte »La encadenada« einen langen und harten Weg zurückzulegen, ehe er dem Publikum zugänglich wurde. Emaus schien nicht recht zu wissen, was sie mit dem Film machen sollte und entschied sich, ihn zunächst in Italien auf den Markt zu bringen. Am 30. November 1974 wurde »La encadenada« dem italienischen Produktionspartner Metheus Films übergeben und startete unter dem Titel »Perversione« im Mai 1975 ohne große Anteilnahme der Öffentlichkeit in den italienischen Kinos. Erst im Januar 1977 war die Madrider Premiere, und leider lief der Film nur mäßig: Die Emaus verzeichnete einen mickrigen Bruttogewinn, der heute in etwa 73.750 Euro entspräche. Kein Wunder, dass die Produktionsfirma das Jahr 1977 nicht überstand und Konkurs anmelden musste.Mur Oti drehte hiernach nur noch einen Film, »Morir … dormir … tal vez soñar«, um 1979 in den wohlverdienten Ruhestand zu gehen. Zehn Jahre vor seinem Tod ehrte die spanische Filmakademie den inzwischen 85jährigen Galizier mit einem Goya, dem spanischen Äquivalent zum Oscar, für sein Lebenswerk. Ein verkannter Meister — grandios: »Un hombre va por el camino« (1950) und »Cielo negro« (1951) —, der nur 17 Filme inszenieren konnte und dem viel zu spät Tribut gezollt wurde. Im Rahmen einer Retrospektive wurde »La Encadenada« im August 1999 wiederaufgeführt und erfuhr schließlich die Zustimmung des Publikums, die ihm fraglos zusteht.

Vielerorts wirft man dem Film sein behäbiges Tempo vor, seinen Mangel an Blutrünstigkeit und Sex. Für einen handfesten Thriller fehlt es an Spannung, für einen Giallo an Titten, für ein Psychodrama an Tiefe. Mancher Rezensent sprach von einer Seifenoper. Giallo-Experte Christian Keßler, der ansonsten für praktisch jeden Film lobende Worte findet, bezeichnete »La encadenada« in seinem Verriss als »morbides Erotikdrama«. In meinen Augen ist das Werk ein dunkles Märchen, dem man sich aufmerksamen Blickes und mit angemessener Behutsamkeit nähern sollte. Tut man dies, wird man reich belohnt. Ein Film, in dem mehr steckt — viel mehr! —, als es auf den ersten Blick scheint.

André Schneider
Thanks for the first review! It is highly appreciated!
If you like to read more reviews about almost every genre of movie you can follow André Schneider's personal movie blog:

Highly recommended!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cult movie star Christine Kaufmann: "My friendship with Marisa Mell!" (5th Anniversary MMB)

Today's entry for the 5th anniversary of the Marisa Mell Blog (MMB) is a real treat for all fans of Marisa Mell who are following day in, day out the blog since July 2008! Thanks to the continuous efforts of German Marisa Mell fan André Schneider from Berlin the Marisa Mell Blog is proud to show you a video made by German cult movie star and now health expert Christine Kaufmann talking about her friendship with Marisa Mell. 

Christine Kaufmann may not be well known by the present internet generation but during the 50's, 60's and 70's she was a major movie star first in Europe and then in Hollywood. At an early each of 7 years in 1952 she started her career in the German production of "Im Weissen Rössl" (White Horse Inn). Her major break came two years later with the absolute German cult classic "Rosen-Resli". She was then only 9 years old and captured the hearts of millions of Germans. Internationally she drew attention several years later in 1959 with the sword and sandal movie "The Last Days of Pompeii", co-starring Steve Reeves and in, one of my favorite movies, in 1961 with "Town without Pity" with Kirk Douglas, which earned her a Golden Globe Award.

In that same year she played in the historical action movie "Taras Bulba" with Tony Curtis. Not only were they lovers on screen but also in real life when Tony Curtis fell head over heels in love with his co-star. After his divorce with Janet Leigh, they married in 1963. During the marriage the movie career of Christine Kaufmann was more or less on hold as she devoted her time being Mrs Tony Curtis while giving him two wonderful girls Alexandra and Allegra. Sadly the marriage ended in 1968 and Christine Kaufmann came back to Europe to resume her movie career. 

Since then her movie and television credits have reached almost 110 entries, not forgetting her theatre career in German speaking countries. And if that was not enough Christine Kaufmann became an expert on everyting concering beauty, health and positive living making her a successful business women, promoting her own cosmetic line, writing her own books on beauty and health and two autobiographies on her life inside and outside the pictures. 

So let's hear what Christine Kaufmann has to say about her friendship with Marisa Mell:

For the Marisa Mell fans who are not speaking German here is a free translation of the video entry of Christine Kaufman:

So, one of the questions that I have been asked, I would like to answer as a video entry, namely to tell some anecdotes about MarIsa Mell. It was only in the 80’s that I have truly got to know Marisa Mell. I was filming in Rome, and I asked her if I could spent the nights at her apartment in Rome as long as it would take to shoot the movie because I really hate staying in hotels, being on your own in these hotels as an adult. During my childhood acting career I always stayed in hotels together with my mother. Marisa Mell found it no problem to put me up for several weeks but there was only one problem she said: Helmut Berger. He lives around the corner and he can become quite a nuisance at night!

Marisa Mell in the early 80's in a promotional picture for glasses

Marisa Mell was really great to stay with and she had a sweet dog! An afghan dog (Rocco). This story I would like to tell first. Marisa Mell declared that the dog was a reincarnation of someone which I do not remember now. The dog was so sweet and Marisa told with her husky Italian accent that the dog had telepathic powers. So I had my own sleeping room because I needed to get up very early in the morning to go to the film set during the week and in the weekends we were free. During my stay the dog had made it his habit to be always at my bedside just a few moments before I would wake up. I always laid on my back just before waking up and totally cuddled up under the blankets when the dog would come in and resting his head on the blankets just right under my face waking me up with his sniffing and warm breathing. One Saturday morning around 6 AM I thought just before waking up: “Please, come back in 5 minutes.” The dog went away and after 5 minutes he came back to wake me up! Later during the day I told Marisa what had happened. She said: “I told you so that the dog is telepathic”.

Marisa Mell pregnant walking with her dog Rocco

Let’s return to Helmut Berger. At that moment in time Helmut Berger was still a very beautiful man but as always very demanding. We had social gatherings with him like diner… One evening at 11 PM we wanted to go to bed when Marisa asked me: “Do you have by chance a tampon with you?” I said “yes, I have”! So she wanted to have one. Together we have then opened a new package, made it a little wet and put it behind the shell of the doorbell so that the hammer of the bell was blocked. And indeed around 4 AM in the morning the bell went “RRRRRRRRR” instead of the hellish “KKKKKKKKRRRRRRRR” as usual. So Marisa knew how to keep Helmut Berger at night away from your door.

Marisa Mell with Helmut Berger

After my stay in Rome I have not seen Marisa during a long time but we kept in contact together because, for me, she was an incredible women. She was a real pal and friend, like Sonja Kirchberger, who is also a women that becomes a real pal like myself though people not often recognize this.

Sydney Rome

Never mind. I saw Marisa back around 1985 or 1986 when I was playing again theatre in Germany, at the city of Bonn. Our age was around 40-ish. When we saw each other again we said jokingly “you are also not lifted yet”. Marisa had a very beautiful bone structure in her face. Then she told me: “Have you seen Sidney Rome?”. I said “yes” (BTW Sidney is a very sweet person). Marisa then said with a smile about Sydney Rome’s plastic surgery: “She can now whisper herself secrets in her own ears!” Please, I do not want to comment on that but at that moment it was so funny this line and the way Marisa told that to me in a serious manner. These are a few anecdotes about Marisa Mell. She had such a dry witty humor always commenting on life and people that we met in the same circles.

Erika Pluhar

Many years later in the 90’s I was in Vienna with a male friend, not a relationship but a brotherly friend, who was among the few people that were taking care of her when she died. Yes, it was him together with another women (Erika Pluhar) who took care of her. The women was also a famous actress. She had cancer and did not want to rely on the traditional cancer healing methods. She had an Indian guru (Sai Baba). Someone told her that she would heal due her faith in the Indian guru.

Marisa Mell with Indian classical dress "Sari"

I was told that she was still looking physically well when she died, not worn out by chemo or losing her hair due the therapies. She had accepted her illness with dignity. I was not a direct witness but only got it from hearsay but it competes with the way I always knew Marisa Mell: a strong women with which you could eat a spaghetti at home but could also appear at high end cocktail parties where she would wear fragile golden shoes because she had very beautiful small ankles with a stunning face.

Last public appearence of Marisa Mell before her death

I talked it once over with Helmut Berger that she had a very androgynous face. She could also have been a very beautiful man. So that is everything that I would like to tell you about Marisa Mell. She was a women who was very women friendly but could otherwise give witty remarks about other women like the face lift of Sydney Rome.
I would like to thank Christine Kaufmann for this wonderful entry about her friendship with Marisa Mell down memory lane! It is highly appreciated. Thank you so much!
And last but not least I would like to give my buddy André Schneider a BIG hug and thanks for making this entry possible! It is the best 5th anniversary present that he the Marisa Mell Blog could ever have given! Thanks mate! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cleopatra Bis

Last week on June 12th 2013 it was exactly 50 years ago that the movie "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor got its première in America after a long and very hazardous production schedule in London (Britain) and  Rome (Italy) and above all the movie went way over budget almost bankrupting 20th Century Fox! But the movie was an absolute success in America and the rest of the world for years to come on every level of  life like fashion or entertainment igniting a slew of peplum movies during the rest of the 60's and early 70's, all being produced in Cincecitta in Italy . Even Marisa Mell could not escape the tsunami that this movie caused.  Hence this photoshoot with fashion photographer Bert Stern completely dressed like an Egyptian princess! As always Marisa Mell is just absolutely beautiful but what makes this shoot special is that it also gives us a  glimpse behind the scene of the photoshoot.

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Venusberg" (1963) - A 3-part review of a lost Marisa Mell movie by Thomas - Part I

I am not a jealous person but this time it is very hard for me not to envy my guest entry writer Thomas from Germany! Early april 2013 he had the opportunity with a select group to view the lost Marisa Mell movie "Venusberg" from 1963 in prestine cinema quality in a movie theatre! Damn! I wonder if I will ever see this film in my life time. For the next three entries he will tell it all about the movie, the actresses, the director and his personal impressions of this lost gem! So my heartfelt thanx goes to Thomas for writing these entries and sharing with us this rare movie! Thanx mate!


mit Marisa Mell, Nicole Badal, Monica Flodquist, Ina Duscha, Claudia Marus, Christina Granberg und Jane Axell;

Es sprechen Rolf Thiele, Oskar Werner und Richard Häussler;
Eine Franz Seitz Produktion im Nora Filmverleih Weltvertrieb Omnia;
Ein Rolf Thiele Film;

Sechs junge Frauen treffen sich in einer feudalen Bergvilla um ihren Alltagsproblemen zu entfliehen, die vornehmlich mit dem vermeintlich starken Geschlecht in Zusammenhang gebracht werden können. Alle haben dem Anschein nach eines gemeinsam, denn sie kennen einen Herren namens Alphonse, den sie offensichtlich erwarten. Die Frauen haben die räumliche Nähe jedoch unterschätzt, und schon bald kommt es angesichts des ständigen Diskutierens von diversen Frauenproblemen zu ersten Streitigkeiten, bis die Situation in einem Suizid-Versuch eskaliert. Während die Damen, die unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten, weiter über die Männerwelt philosophieren, taucht eine geheimnisvolle, schöne Frau namens Florentine (Marisa Mell) im Haus auf dem Venusberg auf, und sorgt für Verwirrung und Misstrauen, doch auch ein unbekannter Mann schleicht um das Haus herum und scheint die Frauen zu beobachten.

»In Deutsch klingen die Dinge so hart!«

Rolf Thieles "Venusberg" gilt als einer der Skandalfilme des Jahres 1963, so dass man sich eindringlich mit der Zensur auseinandersetzen musste. Beanstandet wurden seinerzeit etwa 20 Textstellen, die bei der Prüfung durch die FSK als zu anzüglich, beziehungsweise zu schlüpfrig empfunden wurden, außerdem musste eine Szene mit einem nackten Mädchen in der Frontale entfernt werden. Dialoge wie: »Für mich fängt der Mann mit dem Kopf an, dann kommt lange nichts dann sein zweitwichtigster Körperteil« (was entfernt wurde, beziehungsweise bei diesem Nebensatz hört der Zuschauer nur das Ertönen einer Kuckucksuhr bis »...und dann erst seine Million!« folgt. Einige Passagen wurden so entschärft, ohne signifikante Kürzungen vornehmen zu müssen. Gespräche wurden kurzerhand von alltäglichen Geräuschen überlagert, obwohl man auch ohne es zu hören ganz genau weiß, worüber sich die Damen eigentlich unterhalten. Diese aus dem Zwang entstandene Idee wirkt rückwirkend wie ein extravagantes Stilmittel. Das Lexikon des Internationalen Films versuchte die Produktion beispielsweise wie folgt zu entlarven: "Der fast handlungslose Film versucht, in der entkonventionalisierten Situation gleichgeschlechtlicher Einsamkeit 'das wahre Ich' der Frau zu enthüllen." Diese im Auszug zurückhaltende und vergleichsweise schmeichelhafte Kritik wird dem Film allerdings auch nur teilweise gerecht, denn unter all der offen zur Schau gestellten Oberflächlichkeit brodelt ein Vulkan an schemenhaftem Tiefsinn, den zu enträtseln beinahe einzig und alleine dem Zuschauer auferlegt wurde. Erneut stellt sich also das von mir persönlich stets empfundene Thiele-Problem heraus, denn er konnte seine Progressivität zwar im Bilde festhalten, sie allerdings nicht nachhaltig genug bündeln, sprich für den Zuseher verständlich machen. "Venusberg" ist ein Film, den man daher mehrmals gesehen haben müsste, um ihm guten Gewissens gerecht zu werden, doch eines kann ich ohne jeden Zweifel bestätigen, nämlich dass es sich um einen seiner besten Arbeiten handelt.

2009 veröffentlichte Joachim Kramp im Edgar Wallace Forum die Produktionskosten und die geschäftlichen Filmechobenotungen. Die Herstellungskosten für "Venusberg" beliefen sich auf DM 506.099,14 und man musste weit über ⅙ der Kosten, mit einem Verlust von etwa DM 80.000 wieder abschreiben. Die Filmecho-Benotung war mit 4,1 auch nicht gerade sensationell. Andere Angaben waren fast dreißig Jahre später von Hauptdarstellerin Marisa Mell, höchstpersönlich und selbst angefertigt, in ihrer Biografie "Coverlove" zu vernehmen, wenn auch lediglich nur kurz und knapp, und dem Charakter der Lektüre entsprechend, auf vagem Niveau: »Der Film wurde ein Riesenerfolg, auch international.« Große Probleme gab es bereits zum anvisierten Termin der Uraufführung, da die FSK offenbar ein riesiges Fass aufmachte. Der Nora Filmverleih musste den Start des Films verschieben, da man gezwungen war ihn aufgrund gewisser Änderungswünsche zurückzuziehen, außerdem wurde es kategorisch untersagt, ihn in der Karwoche, beziehungsweise rund um Ostern anlaufen zu lassen. Diese Prozedur ist heute nicht mehr ganz nachzuvollziehen, spiegelt aber wohl authentisch den Zeitgeist wieder, und ob sich diese Auflage mit der verbundenen Kritik letztlich als kostenlose Reklame gerechnet hat, wäre durchaus eine interessante Information. Lange Rede, kurzer Sinn. Der Film ist insgesamt mehr als gelungen und überrascht mit dem Unvorhergesehenen. Bemerkenswert elegant und stilvoll bekommt man wunderbare Bildkompositionen anvertraut, worin sich mitunter der besondere Charakter entwickelt, aber auch die ungewöhnliche Thematik als Konglomerat aus Oberflächlichkeiten, Groteske, Tiefgang und Symbolik transportieren einen ungeheuren Reiz, so dass man nicht mehr unterscheiden kann, ob es sich um ein Märchen im Wahrheitsgewand handelt, oder um einen Tatsachenbericht im Märchenformat. Fakt ist, dass man die nicht immer greifbare Atmosphäre durch die exzellente Kamera-Arbeit von Wolf Wirth transparent geschildert bekommt, sie jederzeit spüren kann, auch wenn man das Wahrgenommene nicht immer glauben kann.

Für das heutige Verständnis bleibt ein sagenhafter Jahrmarkt der Frivolitäten definitiv aus. Was die Gemüter (in welcher Form auch immer) seinerzeit erregte, wirkt heute schon fast wieder etwas bieder, brav und unspektakulär, außerdem unfreiwillig komisch. Eine Klassifizierung mit FSK 18, die bis heute Bestand hat, lockt daher nur noch ein müdes Lächeln aus den Zuschauern. Rückblickend ist bei dieser Produktion nichts Beispielloses mehr zu erkennen, zumindest nicht auf den ersten Blick. Was sich damals in der Zeit des Wirtschaftswunders jedoch hierbei in einigen Köpfen abgespielt haben muss, ist wenn überhaupt nur zu erahnen. Rolf Thiele war bestimmt kein Film-Vandale, das spiegelt seine eigenwillige oder eigenmächtige Art Kino zu machen nicht wieder. Vielleicht ist die Umschreibung Visionär daher etwas zu weit hergeholt, kommt der Sache ganz allgemein aber eigentlich nahe. Ein Schritt weiter, oder einige Schritte mehr gehend, den Unterhaltungswert und die anvisierte Exposition nie aus den Augen verlierend, machte er Kino, dass die Leute sehen, oder angeblich natürlich nicht sehen wollten, und viele Erfolge sprechen von daher ohnehin für sich. Man kann es nicht anders sagen, aber bei "Venusberg" handelt es sich um ganz eigenartige 88 Minuten. Ein Film über Frauen, der aber keineswegs schmeichelhaft für Frauen erscheint, sondern der ausschließlich für Männer gedacht und gemacht ist. Er spricht auf unterschiedlichsten Ebenen an, und verteilt daher auch groteske bis nachvollziehbare Rundumschläge auf ebenso unterschiedlichem Niveau. Stellt "Venusberg" also tatsächlich den zitierten »politischen Film des neuen Deutschland« dar, ist er durch die fast vollkommen fehlende männliche Präsenz ein »feministischer Film aus weiblicher Perspektive«, transportiert er einen surrealistischen Touch oder befindet sich unter dem verwirrenden Deckmantel der Geschichte nur ein primitiver Sensationsfilm ohne anspruchsvolle Ambitionen? Auf den ersten Blick lässt sich garantiert von allem etwas finden, und daher steht und fällt dieser Film auch nicht mit seinem Verlauf, sondern erst mit dem Wort »Ende«. Die Bandbreite an Einschätzungen war von »politischer Film« bis »Schweinkram« jedenfalls sehr ausgeprägt...


Mein Besuch im Filmhauskino Köln Anfang April hatte einen besonderen Grund, und zwar einen so spektakulären, dass ich garantiert 1000 Kilometer in alle Himmelsrichtungen gefahren wäre, um den angekündigten Beitrag sehen zu können. Da Köln von mir aus gesehen zwar auch nicht gerade um die Ecke liegt, aber auch keine Weltreise darstellt, besuchte ich das 15. Festival des deutschen psychotronischen Films unter dem Titel »BESONDERS WERTLOS«. Welcher Film konnte nur so dermaßen magnetisch wirken, um kurzerhand alles stehen und liegen zu lassen? Es war ein Film, bei welchem ich mir absolut sicher war, ihn niemals im Leben zu Gesicht zu bekommen. Glücklicherweise konnte der Veranstalter eine tadellose 35mm-Kopie in München ausfindig machen, um ihn (tatsächlich ungerechtfertigterweise) im Rahmen dieses Programmes zu präsentieren. Es war seinerzeit einer der großen Skandalfilme der frühen Sechziger Jahre, der dem Vernehmen nach auch relativ erfolgreich gelaufen sein soll, aber nach heutigem Verständnis überaus harmlos wirkt. Die Kino-Atmosphäre (die ich normalerweise wenig schätze), die Tatsache einen geglaubt verschollenen Film sehen zu dürfen in dem Marisa Mell obendrein in der Blüte ihrer Schönheit ist, und sie einem der überraschendsten Höhepunkte ihrer darstellerischen Kompetenzen zeigt, machte eine beispielloses, kaum zu beschreibendes Erlebnis daraus. Wie die Kinobesucher vor fast genau fünfzig Jahren bei der bundesdeutschen Uraufführung am 26. April 1963 wohl reagiert haben müssen, dachte ich mir. Etwa genauso gespannt-euphorisch, aber auch ebenso skeptisch wie ich? Das aktuelle Publikum von eher überschaubaren, vielleicht etwas über zwanzig Personen, fühlte sich dem Empfinden nach sehr gut unterhalten, und darf sich nun zu den wenigen Filmfreunden zählen, die diese Seltenheit zu Gesicht bekommen hat. Die Regie versprach mit keinem geringeren als Rolf Thiele eine markante bis eigenwillige Unterhaltung, jedoch hielten sich die Erwartungen bei mir deutlich in Grenzen, da ich mir bei Thieles pseudo-komplexen Arbeiten selten einmal die Mühe gemacht habe, diese verstehen zu wollen. So spielt dann eben auch das Leben, dass man gerade in einem solch schweren und unbequemen Stoff landet, wenn man Konzentration und Aufmerksamkeit beim Anschauen wie niemals zuvor um ein x-faches steigern muss, weil man nach Beendigung der Seheindrücke nicht eben einmal die passende DVD einlegen kann, um sich das Ganze nochmals anzuschauen, was ich so schrecklich gerne getan hätte. Nicht nur, um besser zu verstehen, sondern um die intensiven Eindrücke am Leben zu halten. Zwar hatte ich mein Elefantengedächtnis ausnahmsweise mal eingepackt, doch es war insgesamt ein zu derber Rundumschlag hinsichtlich aller Sinne und Sinnlichkeiten. Interessant dabei ist im Endeffekt, dass die jetzige Situation gravierender ist. Es war schon schlimm, diese Produktion erst gar nicht zu kennen, wenn man sie dann aber in all ihrer eigenwilligen Schönheit gesehen hat, kann man nicht mehr vergessen und sehnt sich förmlich nach einem Wiedersehen mit diesen so selten gewordenen Eindrücken aus der Filmwelt. Ich werde Rolf Thieles "Venusberg" also hier so gut wie möglich beschreiben, mich wahrscheinlich dutzend- bis tausendfach wiederholen, vom Hölzchen aufs Stöckchen kommen und hin und wieder maßlos übertreiben und kritisch sein, aber nur aus dem folgenden Grund: Ich habe keine Ahnung, wann oder ob ich dieses Unikat wieder sehen werde, und ich möchte daher so wenig wie möglich verlieren und letztlich vergessen.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

50.000 Sterline Per Tradire! (Masquerade)

Thanks to the generosity of Marisa Mell fan Gerald S. from Krefeld, Germany this absolute wonderful lobby card set can be posted on the blog! I had never seen a complete set before of the Italian version of the movie "Masquerade". Grazie mille amico!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Letter from our Man in Rio!

Hi Mirko, 

I am from Brasil and live in Rio de Janeiro. Since I was a 5 year old kid, I wanted to work on films. Not in front of the cameras, but behind them. So I became a director and screenwriter mostly working on Brazilian TV. Due to my fascination with film I became also a historian of Brazilian and world film history, giving classes on those subjects too. Cinema is and will always be my life. Finally I also became a writer. In 2007 I published biography of the Italian-Brazilian actor Anthony Steffen. Now I'm considering to publish it in English. For your interest Anthony Steffen didn't have much to say about Marisa Mell, only that she was very professional, sort of distant and girlfriend of one of the film producers, the polemic Pier Luigi Torri. 

My job as a director and screenwriter is based on references of all that I see and feel around me. The first Marisa Mell movie I've seen was “Danger: Diabolik!”. I was enchanted with Mario Bava’s mis-en-scène. An accomplished director must have a good cast to work with and the magical way Marisa Mell is shown in “Danger: Diabolik!” stuck forever in my mind. Then I wanted to see all her movies. Italian popular cinema from the 60's to 80's is also a predilection, any Marisa Mell film I grabed was a delight, no matter how good or bad it was. At that time you had really to work hard to find her films on VHS and I own a lot of those damned and delicious Greek tapes. 

Personally I look at Marisa Mell from several points of views. As an admirer, as someone hornly in love with a woman who has several ups and downs, as a film craftsman who would have loved to have worked with her and, above all, someone curious about her character and personality in an era with excesses, boldness and experimentalism. 

The images I got from her are usually adapted to my work. Every script I write there's a character named Marisa. If I ever have a daughter, I hope the mother will agree her name will be “Marisa”, I always liked the name “Marisa”... Every girlfriend I had, I took home to see “Danger: Diabolik!”. Our realtonship would depend on her opinions about it. Gladly, they all liked it. 

Well, I'm exageratting a little bit. I do have some other actresses I like such as Sylva Koscina, Karin Schubert, Anita Strindberg, Marilu Tolo, Agosina Belli, and a lot more. But Marisa Mell has something special that fascinates me. Too bad she made some not so good options in her life, but don't we all do? She and all the actresses I mentioned are from a bygone era. Audiences and audiovisual storytelling have changed, call it progress, decadence, whatsoever. What I see in Marisa Mell’s acting and life serves me very well to give instructions to an actress or actor, cinematographer, screenwriter, producer, everyone involved in the moviemaking process. And the cinema just loves Marisa Mell. She knows how to dialogue with it, to behave and convey emotions. You do believe in her, be it in “Mahogany”, “Quest of the Mighty Sword” or “Objectif: 500 million”. 

I don't have a favorite movie of Marisa Mell. “Danger: Diabolik!), “Una Sul Altra” (where she had a great director, she was just perfect), in “La Encadenada” she is great, so is she in “Lebensborn”, “Historia de una Traicion” is another one I love, and, of course, “La Belva Col Mitra”. Do I have to choose just one? Well, just like all top film lists changes according to your mood, I will stay with “La Belva Col Mitra” tonight. It's a film I can watch anytime and I'm always pleased. The action is good and crude, very Peckinpah, and Mell and Berger’s chemistry is awesome. It's a good thriller that would never be made today, Berger is just like Stroheim, the man you love to hate. 

Well, that's Marisa Mell for me. If life was a Angelo Frontoni photo, I wouldn't have any doubt who would be in it. 

All the best from Brazil! 


Hello Daniel, 

Thank you for your great letter telling us your fascination with Marisa Mell. I love the Brazilian Marisa Mell movie posters which I had never seen before. The poster for "Les Libertines" is really great. Marisa Mell was truely a star in your home country because she is very prominent on every poster luring people into the movie with her beauty. Oh boy, your girl friends were in for a real surprise having to see "Danger: Diabolik!" before being able to date you! ROFL! Luckily they all liked it or maybe they had no choice then to like it to be able to be with you! Nevertheless it is a great  why to get to know someone! Mmmmm, maybe I should start doing that from now on for my own dates! Your favorite Marisa Mell movie at the moment is not a choice that you hear very often! Mostly it is the classics like "Danger: Diabolik!" or " Una Sul Altra" but seldom "La Belva Col Mitra" due to the violence especially the rape of the Marisa Mell character, which made the movie very notorious! 

Take care,