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Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Since the inception of this blog I have written several entries about the life and work of Marisa Mell that for me as an admirer and collector were also surprises, not only investigating these entries, but also discovering things that I didn't know about her like the ones about her artwork, her relationship with Pier Luigi Torri as the "Number One" couple, her lost movie "Dr" and seeing it after 45 years and the photo with her address in her handwriting on the back mentioning she was living in Vienna in the Biberstrasse before relocating to Italy in 1965. Writing for this blog gives you the eagerness to be always on the look out for new info regarding Marisa Mell. This info comes often through the traditional channels but sometimes it comes through channels you didn't expect! Several days ago I got my hands on an old copy of a local German newspaper called "Hambuger Abendblatt". The newspaper still exists today. It is a paper that mainly writes for the harbour region of Hamburg in the north of Germany. Writing about Marisa Mell at that time was not that interesting for their readers because a) she is not German but Austrian and b) not living in Germany but in Italy but nevertheless the Hamburger Abendblatt did it! Thank God for that otherwise we would never have known this info. This is the copy of the paper:

In her glory days, there have been numerous articles written about Marisa Mell. So nothing special on first sight untill one reads the article! And than the info hits and shocks you to the core!

(Free translation of the article: A baby for Marisa Mell. After Ursula Andress, another German speaking actress living in Rome is expecting her first baby. Marisa Mell (35), the long standing fiancée of the movie producer and sentenced fraud Pier Luigi Torri will be a mother in 5 months! The father is the actor Gianni Macchia (28). Marisa Mell: "Our Love-Story runs for 3 years. Gianni is already the father of a 10 year old boy from a previous marriage. Why shouldn't he have a child with me?". Photo caption: Marisa Mell is expecting a baby. When it will be a girl her name will be Eurasia because she was concived in Kathmandu.)

Why is this shocking news? Officially is it always known that Marisa Mell was pregnant during the end of the sixties. Unfortunately she lost the baby due to a stress related miscarriage or as some say an abortion, that mystery was never cleared. During that pregnancy, she was in a relationship with the Italian playboy Pier Luigi Torri. For the full story you can read the entry: the "Number One" couple. This newspaper article now claims that she was expecting another child. She was not only a few weeks pregnant, still in risk to loose the child but she was already in her fourth month which gives a future mother more assurance that she can deliver a healthy baby. Other revealing news is the name of the father. Not Pier Luigi Torri as expected but the Italian actor Gianni Macchia. Gianni Macchia and Marisa Mell made 2 movies together i. c. 1980's "Traficantes di Panico" and 1990's "Sensazioni d'Amore" and in 1978 the episode "Bedelia" for the TV-series "Sam and Sally". After reading the article you just wonder what did happen with the baby! Marisa Mell never talked about this child in public or in her biography Coverlove, probably a girl, by the contence of the article! Her name would have been "Eurasia", probably a reference, not only to Kathmandu but also to Asia Argento, the daughter of famous horror and giallo director Dario Argento. Marisa Mell was always a child of the sixties and the flower power movement so her visit to Kathmandu and naming her child "Eurasia" fits perfectly in this mind frame like punk singer Nina Hagen did by calling her daughter Cosma Shiva Hagen! I have never heard that she gave birth to this child, so the possibility exists that she had the child in secret and gave it up for adoption. This is the only article dedicated to this child in a newspaper I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of them about Marisa Mell. But what about the father of the child??? How does he fit into the picture??? Where is this child now??? Another mystery to investigate deeper???

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A "Dr." between two fronts! (SPOILER ALERT)

In the very cold winter of 1961-1962, during the height of the Cold War between the USA, under president JFK, and the USSR, under secretary-general Nikita Kroetjov, Marisa Mell accepted an essential part in a movie called “Dr”. Nothing extraordinary except that the movie was shot in “Yugoslavia”, ruled by marshall Josip Tito. After World War II, Yugoslavia was the only country in Eastern Europe outside direct Soviet control. The liberation from the German Nazis had been achieved, not by the Soviet Red Army, but by a local communist partisan movement, whose members subsequently occupied major military and police posts. The head of the partisan movement, Josip Tito, had been trained in Moscow. Though a Russian-trained communist, he refused to be a Soviet puppet. In 1947-1948, Tito made it clear to the Soviet Union that Yugoslavia would not subordinate her economy to that of the Soviet Union. The Soviets immediately ordered her satellites in Eastern Europe to stop their trade with Yugoslavia. Next they tried to create conflicts among the Yugoslav Communist Party leaders. When all these failed, then Soviet leader secretary-general Stalin expelled Yugoslavia from the Cominform. The “Communist Information Bureau” had as task, not only to spread communist propaganda to all European countries, but also to co-ordinate the activities of the member communist parties in their struggle against “Anglo-American imperialism”. The conflict between Yugoslavia and Russia led to a great fear among the western nations that in the near future, Russia would use force to “unseat” the government of Yugoslavia and if that was successful, Russia would even order the Red Army to advance into western Europe. Fortunately that did never happen! One of the reasons was that Yugoslav development was assisted by Western aid from the United States and the World Bank. In 1954, Yugoslavia even igned a Balkan Pact for mutual self-defense with Greece and Turkey, both by then members of NATO. Marshalll Tito kept his independence by maintaining ties with both the West and a de-Stalinized Russia. Beginning in the middle 1950s Tito used his so-called "Policy of Nonalignment" to find support outside either Cold War camp. The expansion of trade among the nonaligned states added economic support to political mutual aid. The result was a Yugoslav state that had a Communist regime but was not a Soviet satellite; a socialist economy but not a command economy and a distinctive but influential foreign policy of neutrality, in which the Cold War itself rather than either Super-Power was defined as the enemy. It was in this atmosphere during the winter of 1961-1962 that the young still aspiring Austrian actress accepted the role of “Klara”. During the production of this movie, Marisa Mell was living in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Just like Yugoslavia, Austria was a neutral country but it had a lot to endure of the Cold War being situated on the border of two philosphies: capitalism versus communism. Vienna was therefor a hot spot for spy activities between western and eastern spies and playground for fortune hunters, adventurers, prostitutes... all best portrayed in the classic Orson Welles movie "The Third Man" from a novel by Graham Green. So it was not strange that the producers of "Dr" choose Marisa Mell to play a major central part in their movie! She was from an neutral country Austria in the Cold War conflict. She spoke German as the role required and had also affinity with the Yugoslav culture as a neighbouring country of Austria. Country borders are artifical and family relations do not stop at them so there was a great interaction between citizens of both countries. Last but not least, she had played the role of "Alka" in 1960 in the German movie "Am Galgen hängt die Liebe". In this drama set in 1944 on a Greek mountainside, Greek partisans are fighting German troops when an elderly couple agrees to give a desperate partisan refuge. When the shoe is on the other foot and two German soldiers seek asylum with the same couple, they also shelter them. Marisa Mell played the daughter of the elderly couple in this story and makes quite an impression with her performance! Due to its subject of German soldiers and partisans in connection to their own partisan history, this movie must have been well known at the time in Yugoslavia and the name Marisa Mell had to ring some bells when the producers were casting the part of Klara. The movie was made by the Yugoslavian production and film distribution company Avala Film with seat in Beograd. Under state control they produced about 400 movies from 1947 untill 2000, sometimes in coproduction with European or American companies resulting in films like the 1989 horror film "Beyond the Door III" or the 1997 Brad Pitt starrer "The Dark Side of the Sun". The film was shot in black and white while the main cast spoke Serbo-Croatian, Marisa Mell spoke only German with the exception of a few words in Serbo-Croatian. The film runs for 87 minutes and was directed by a then 40 year old female director Soja Jovanovic. She was the first female director in Yugoslavia and this was her fourth film. After this movie, she made a couple more and but eventually became a full-time director of television series and movies in her home country untill her death in 2002 at the age of 80. As mentioned the cast was mainly constituted of actors of Serbo-Croatian origin except for another German speaking actor Hans Nielsen. Hans Nielsen has a filmography of more than 135 films, among them two Edgar Wallace movies "Die Tür mit dem 7 Schlössern" and "Das Indische Tuch". In this movie he played a German professor of philosophy from Heidelberg and his part is nothing more than a glorified cameo role, probably casted to attract a possible German distribution deal! He died at the age of 54 in 1965 from bone cancer. Another star became after this production famous in Europe and the US namely the actress Beba Loncar. She played the role of the young daughter of the house "Slavka Cvijovic". After this film, Beba Loncar was picked up by German and Italian film producers and relocated to Italy, just like Marisa Mell did in 1965. Together they made in that same year another movie "Casanova 70" with Marcello Mastorianni. Her career lasted more than 40 years untill 1982 with more than 50 movies on her resumé. When the Italian movie industry collapsed around that period due to the rise of commercial television and very bad movie productions she found it was time to retire and devote her life more to her family. Since then she has not disappeared from the public eye but leads a normal low profile life, is very proud of her career and is often interviewed for television and newspapers in Italy and her country Yugoslavia. Looking at the cast today, it strikes one that, from all the cast members playing a major part in the movie, there are only two actors still alive today 47 years after its production! They are Beba Loncar and her film brother "Dr. Milorad Cvijovic" played by Velimir Zivojinovic. He is now 76 years old and had after this movie a rather stellar career, what very few American actors can top, with more than 270 roles behind his name. And even today at his age, he still is working in the industry with two films in production for 2009. "Dr" is based on a comedy theater play written by Branislav Nusic, a Serbian novelist, playwright, satirist, essayist and founder of modern rhetoric in Serbia. Watching this movie you called easily detect its theater origin. The story is build around several acts, not the classic American story structure, but it comes quite close and the set of the movie is almost an identical adaptation of the theater setting. As a viewer you get several times the impression that you as an audience are following a theater play instead of a genuine story written for a movie! (For pictures see my previous "Dr"-entry). The story: It is the harsh cold winter of 1961-1962 in the suburbs of Beograd. All the streets are snowed under except around the mansion of the industrialist Zivota Cvijovic who lives with his wife, son, daughter and a sexy dressed maid who tries to do the housekeeping. The movie opens during the dark early morning hours when the son comes back home from a night out in town and has bought some pretzels for breakfast. He arrives at the villa with his oldtimer during the first hours of the morning when the sun is coming up. Upon entering the house he meets his younger sister who is already active in the library reading a book on the top of a library ladder showing more than the book to the audience. From this scene we know that this is not a typical Eastern Europe communist family or story! The entire movie is rather strange in its build up for a regular family living in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The son drives an American oldtimer, lives with his parents and sister in an American looking mansion, has a scarcely dressed maid who is trying to seduce him, his father is a very wealthy industrialist (for example he opens several times during the story his wallet filled with big notes to give them to other characters; he donates a roast piglet in the middle of winter to an elderly women...), drinks expensive European and American alcohol, has books by Shakespeare in his library as a cover up for the bar hidden behind the books, his parents and friends are dressed like America in the 30's and dance the Foxtrot and Charleston when giving a party! It is as if their world and the whole story as such is placed in a bubble out of the hard day to day reality, which it probably is remembering the hardship that the common people had to endure under a (semi) communism regime if you didn't belong to the party elite! The first half of the movie is a build up for the central plot which really starts when Marisa Mell (as Klara) shows up on the door step with a little boy. Then the confusion starts. Klara is looking for her husband Dr. Milorad Cvijovic to present him his son! She makes acquitance with the parents of the title character. When she finally meets the son, she is stunned to see that the man before her is not the man she married in Heidelberg, Germany during his studies to become a doctor of philosophy. How can that be? The next hour of the movie is a search for answers how this confusion got started. Klara is taken by Dr Milorad on a quest finding some of these answers! She goes to a conference with him, to a nightclub where a gypsy women is singing two traditional songs, to the house of a friend and finally back home where the parents are giving a party for the son and his future wife, the daughter of the minister of transport. After again a lot of running around and even a kidnapping of Klara by the mistress of the house, the confusion is solved. It seems that during his student time the son of the house did "not" study in Heidelberg but has sent his poor best friend to do the studies and exams for him in exchange for a good payment. So Klara fell in love and married the pauper student and not the son of a wealthy industrialist. At the height of the party, the pauper friend declares his love for Slavka, the daughter of the house, which enrages Klara. But in the end, all is well that end's well: Milorad falls in love with Klara and she with him although he is no doctor anymore but still the wealthy son of an industrialst. His sister Slavka gets to marry the man of her dreams although he is poor but has the title of doctor of philosophy. Conclusion: Love and an academic degree can not be bought, not even in a (semi) communist country like Yugoslavia! Watching this movie you see immediately the influence of German movies from that time like the Edgar Wallace, family or heimat films. All these movies have the same structure, build up and camera angles. They project a wholesome view of life where, although there may be some trouble or confusion, everything will come out fine in the end. In the beginning of the sixties, not many people had television or those who had could only receive a few networks! So an evening out meant always going to the movies and later diner or dancing. These kind of movies got made by the buck load and are all interchangeable and mostly nothing special. What makes this movie special is, as mentioned, that the movie got lost for more than 45 years and has a very young Marisa Mell in the cast. The appearance of Marisa Mell is also quite the opposite of the women you get to see a few years later when she started living in Italy. She is a very classic dressed German women! Later she would become more open, more a women of the world. So living in Rome does change one's appearance! The movie can be ordered from this distributor in Yugoslavia:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Premio Dardos Award!

Today I got a very nice comment from Holger Haase from the regarding the lost Marisa Mell-movie "Dr". But if that wasn't enough he gave the Marisa Mell-blogspot the "Premio Dardos Award"! The "what???" do I hear you ask! Well, the Premio Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web. Writing a weekly/daily blog is not always, as a lot of you bloggers know, an easy endeavor! It often takes a lot of perseverance and stamina to keep the blog going, even in days when you would rather stay in bed with the blankets over your head and the rain banging on the window! But then the blog bug grabs you again and you come out of your hibernation to write a new item for the blog because a) you like to write about your favorite subject, in my case, the life and work of actress Marisa Mell; b) you hope that other readers and fellow bloggers like what you write and c) whatever it is that entices you to write the blog (even if it is just straight or gay porn pictures on a blog)! So getting an award by a fellow blogger and brother in arms gives it an extra dimension! Especially by a guy who is also one of the men behind the excellent horror blog It is one of the blogs that gave me the idea to also start writing a blog about a subject dear to my heart! Thanks Holger for the honor in a blog crowded net! If you have accepted the award your task is not over by just publishing it on your blog but you also must also pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award. After activating the grey cells a little bit I would like to pass the Premio Dardos Award to the next 5 blogs in no particular order so here it goes:
a) This blog gives you often, not only via the phantastic drawn Italian locadina, a very good view of the gialli that have been made but also the hunger to seek these gialli out and watch them! The best is that you often find real gems among them! Thanks, Peter!
b) This blog is a real treasure trove if you, like me, also love spaghetti westerns! Cesar gives us always in Spanish and English everything you need to know about a certain western movie and like the gialli wets your appetite to see that particular movie! Many great movie evenings can be traced back to this blog! Thanks Cesar!

c) (know as La Abadia di Berzano). These guys give us just like the other blogs a very good view of mostly Eurocult material but what I like best is their enthousiasm when writing about the material they love! It is very addicting! Thanks guys!
d) If you would like to know how to design your blog than there is only one adress and this is it! Agent J has made an almost impossible to be beaten blog of the 60's lifestyle, especially connected to every spy, secret agent and devilish mastermind! Not only can this master spy write a damn good text but the pictures he selects are a feast for the eyes, each and every time! A highlight on the blog menu! Thanks Jason! and finally last but not least All the previous blogs have been written by guys but this one is written by one of America's best paranormal romantic female writers! Lori's blog gives you a very good insight into the world of publishing, writing your material and what it takes to, not only become a bestselling author, but also what is needed stay in the spotlight! Often (paranormal) romance novels are regarded as sugar sweet stories for desperate housewives but Lori and her fellow collegues prove that it is a though job to write day in day out, come up with exciting storylines, be fresh and captivating and she does it almost each time with bravure! Thanks Lori! So there you have it! Keep on blogging!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Dr"-Striptease! (World Premiere)

In 1962, Marisa Mell played in a movie called "Dr" as in "Doctor". Her character's name was called Klara, a German women on a search in Yughoslavia for her future happiness. This movie was lost for almost 50 years in the trenches of film history. Very few people have ever seen it completely as it was never shown in Western Europe during its initial run or in the years afterwards. Even Marisa Mell did never talked extensively about this movie or her time during the production of it! This movie was for a very long time only a line in her filmography untill now! Thanks to the DVD production company Delta Video in Serbia, once a state in former Yughoslavia, this movie has seen again the light of day! People all over the world are now able to watch this movie for the very first time and see a still young Marisa Mell playing opposite Serbian actors. In the next entry on the blog we'll go deeper into this rather strange movie. Enjoy this rediscovery of a lost Marisa Mell movie! Hopefully the beginning of more lost movies editions from her early career.