34) Octaman (1971) (as Susan Lowry)
33) Quell'amore particolare (1970) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Cecilia
Review by Ralph Schiller
Quell' Amore Particolare (1970), is an Italian-language film produced by Nadimar Productions. It was released in Italy by Compass Film on June 17, 1970. Quell' Amore Particolare was filmed in Eastmancolor and shot in a wide-screen process with a running time of 82 minutes. It was written, produced, and directed by Carlo Martinelli who mysteriously died shortly after filming had begun. The film's star Enrico Maria Salerno unofficially directed and completed the production. Carlo Savino composed a superior musical score for the film. Quell' Amore Particolare (English translation: That Particular Love) is a bizarre and confusing erotic thriller. Beyond the shadow of a doubt it is also the strangest film of Pier Angeli's entire career. In Livorno late at night, beautiful Cecilia (billed with her birth name Anna Maria Pierangeli) enjoys a hot shower. A young man Paolo Santi (Jean Guy Ruff) quietly creeps into the bathroom,Cecilia is terrified and Paolo uses physical force to carry a fighting Cecilia to their bedroom. Cecilia finally gives in to her passion for Paolo for a night of bliss and a relationship begins. Paolo's widower father, Manlio Santi (Enrico Maria Salerno) works many long hours at his successful antique shop.Manlio never stopped grieving for his deceased wife, Paolo's mother. A portrait on the wall reveals that her likeness is identical to Cecilia! One evening Cecilia and Paolo indulge themselves playing violent, sadistic-masochistic sexual games. Manlio wearily returns to the big house he shares with Cecilia and Paolo, only to find his son crying his eyes out. Paolo confesses to accidentally strangling Cecilia while performing the sex act! Instead of reporting the killing to police, Manlio visits a criminal attorney friend (Gustavo D'Arpe) and asks for advice on how to save his sniveling son. The lawyer informs Manlio that, short of his confessing to killing Cecilia himself, there is no legal hope. Manlio then sees his beloved family priest Don Vincenzo (Renato Chiantoni) to ask for guidance. After Don Vicenzo offers him sympathy and nothing else, Manlio goes to a local restaurant where he gets himself drunk. Paolo, wracked with guilt, goes to see a former girlfriend (Sheila Rossin) who offers him sex. Instead he nearly strangles her! Paolo see the owner of a local pool hall (Giuliano Raffaelli) who offers the boy protection if he becomes his lover. Instead Paolo rejects his advances. At the restaurant Manlio is picked-up by a blonde-wigged prostitute (Anna Goel) who takes him home with her. Manlio passes out without touching her but later pays her off when he leaves. Paolo leaves a suicide note for Manlio to prevent him for taking the blame for Cecilia's killing. Before dying, Paolo fantasizes about being reunited with Cecilia in a holy wedding and honeymoon. The film ends. Quell' Amore Particolare is a dark, disturbing, and frequently inexplicable Italian "Giallo" motion picture. Remarkably this curious movie was actually well-produced and shot in beautiful Eastmancolor. It also contains fine performances by the cast especially Enrico Maria Salerno as the sad, tortured father, Manlio. Salerno also capably directed the film when director Carlo Martinelli died early in production. Unfortunately Martinelli's flawed screenplay is so illogical that it confounds the audience. Pier Angeli does very little in Quelle' Amore Particolare except to appear nude or wear scantily-clad lingerie. The still-ravishing Anna Maria (looking ten years younger than her age of 38) is killed off just twenty-eight minutes into the film with only a brief appearance at the conclusion. Quell' Amore Particolare was a major career comedown for a once, big Hollywood movie star. On top of that Enrico Maria Salerno enjoys top billing above the title while Anna Maria Pierangeli is billed second below the title. Remember that actors must eat as well. Thank heavens that Quell' Amore Particolare is not the last Pier Angeli film! Note: Quell' Amore Particolare was never released in the US or overseas. It seems that this obscure film never played in Italian movie theatres. It was telecast only once late-night on an Italian television network.
32) Nelle pieghe della carne (1970) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Falesse/Ester
... alias Endemoniadas, Las (Spain)
... alias In the Folds of the Flesh (UK)
Review by Ralph Schiller
In the Folds Of The Flesh (original Italian title, Nelle Pieghe Della Carne) is an Italian-Spanish co-production by MGB Cinematografia-Talia Films. It was filmed in widescreen EastmanColor with a running time of 92 minutes. It was produced and directed by Sergio Bergonzelli, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Fabio De Agostini, based on an idea by Mario Cajono and De Agostini. The musical score was composed by Jesus Villa Rojo. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, In The Folds Of The Flesh is by far the most bizarre, and horrifying film starring one-time, top Hollywood movie star Pier Angeli. This "Giallo" epic is plagued with a confusing, convoluted story which confounds the comprehension of movie audiences! The film opens with the title card: "What has been remains imbedded in the brain, nestled in the folds of the flesh, distorted it conditions and subconsciously impels" - Freud After that ambiguous quote this contemporary story is set in a medieval castle on the Italian coast. The housekeeper Lucille (Eleonora Rossi Drago, made-up to look identical to horror/Giallo star Barbara Steele) buries the dead body of her master Andre Gardare on the grounds of the estate. The moonlit burial is witnessed by Pascal (Fernando Sancho) a fugitive on the run from the police. After thirteen years, Pascal is released from prison and returns to blackmail the family. The castle he encounters is an evil house of secrets with pet vultures on the premises. Lucille lives with Andre's daughter Falesse (billed Anna Maria Pierangeli even in the English-language version, and wearing a blonde wig) a violent nymphomaniac who makes passionate love to her own brother Colin (Emilio Gutierrez Caba). At gunpoint Pascal demands a large amount of money or he will show the body to the police. Colin digs for the body and the lecherous Pascal rapes the two women not knowing that Falesse previously had murdered and butchered two men after making love to them because of a traumatic childhood assault. Falesse instead enjoys being violently assaulted by the lusty Pascal and doesn't kill him! When Pascal indulges in a childish bubble bath, Colin kills him by dropping two cyanide pills in the bathtub causing instant death. Lucille and Colin use an elaborate acid bath to dissolve his dead body just like they did all the others. A stranger appears (Alfredo Mayo) at the castle claiming to be Andre, and demanding to see his daughter Falesse. After seeing her he declares that she is not Falesse but an imposter. Andre is a police inspector and says that the real Mr. Gardare died in prison years ago. Lucille admits Falesse is actually her own daughter Ester wearing a blonde wig as a disguise. The real, beautiful, blonde-haired Falesse (Maria Rosa Sclauzero) has been unjustly locked-up in an insane asylum while Lucille and her evil brood spend her inheritance. The police close-in for arrests but Lucille commits suicide by swallowing one of her own cyanide pills. Colin and Ester (without her blonde wig) are taken into custody for a series of gruesome murders. Falesse is now free from the dark evil shadows of her family to enjoy her life of wealth. In The Folds Of The Flesh is for true afficionados of the "Giallo" genre even though the film's many bloody, gruesome, and sadistic killings appalled movies audiences then and now. Three men are slaughtered onscreen, a woman dies in agony from cyanide, an innocent dog and vulture are inexplicably slain for sport, and decapitated human heads are found inside the castle! On top of that In The Folds Of The Flesh also contains shocking black & white flashbacks from World War Two of a young Lucille witnessing the execution of dozens of nude women, including her own mother, in the gas chamber of a Nazi deathcamp! Anna Maria Pierangeli is heartbreaking as the psychotic, nympho Falesse/Ester but her superior performance is wasted in this sick, exploitation film in which she does degrading nude scenes. For nearly the entire film, Pierangeli wears a terrible, ill-fitting, blonde wig that looked better on Harpo Marx! Finally at the end she removes it to show her trademark, lovely, cascading, raven-hair! For the English-language version, the producers were too cheap to pay Anna Maria Pierangeli to return and dub her own voice. Unlike Anna Maria Pierangeli's previous film, the cheaply made Viva America!, In The Folds Of The Flesh, is a major motion picture with a handsome budget distinguished by the first-rate professional direction of Sergio Bergonzelli. The film is enhanced by an eerie, suspenseful film score composed by Jesus Villa Rojo. The cinematography is gorgeous with the interior scenes were shot at the De Paolis Studios in Rome. The screenplay by Bergonzelli and his fellow writers is a disaster, and nothing more than a wretched, incoherent mess used as an excuse for a graphic orgy of violence. This was the last movie for Italian film star Eleonora Rossi Drago. Anna Maria Pierangeli's career hit rock bottom with In The Folds Of The Flesh, her 31st movie. This film was never released to U.S. theaters which spared Anna Maria great humiliation in Hollywood's eyes. Pier Angeli made just two more films before her tragic death. Thankfully both were better than In The Folds Of The Flesh.
31) Addio, Alexandra (1969) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Alexandra
... alias Love Me, Love My Wife (UK)
Review by Ralph Schiller
Addio Alexandra (AKA Love Me, Love My Wife 1969) is an Italian production from Intercontinental Arts that was filmed entirely in Rotterdam, Holland. It was released in Italy by Paramount Pictures on October 16,1969. It was filmed in Kodakolor, and shot in a wide-screen process with a running time of 89 minutes. It was directed by Enzo Battaglia ,who co-wrote the story and screenplay with Guido Leoni. It was produced by the film's leading man, Glenn Saxson under his true name Roel Bos. Addio Alexandra is enhanced by Piero Piccioni's lush film score. In the United States an English-language, dubbed version with the title Love Me, Love My Wife was released by International Arts, and an Italian-language version by Moonstone Films both in 1971. In Europe, Addio Alexandra was showcased as a prestigious, erotic, 'fine art' film, and was entered into competition at the Venice Film Festival in August 1969. In the United States however, it was released as Love Me, Love My Wife by second-rate distribution companies, who exploited this film as 'soft core" pornography starring faded Hollywood movie star Pier Angeli. Although the Italian-language version played in American 'fine art' theatres that specialized in foreign films, the English-language version, slapped with an 'X' rating by the censors, played only in seedy, grindhouse theatres coast-to-coast. A young and attractive married couple in Rome Italy, handsome Stefano (Glenn Saxson) and his gorgeous wife Elisabetta (Colette Descombes), are separated but continue to share intense, physical, passion for each other. Stefano is a book editor for a major publisher while Elisabetta raises their daughter. Unless they learn to get along outside the bedroom, they are destined to divorce. Elisabetta's wealthy sister Alexandra (billed as Anna Maria Pierangeli) lives in Rotterdam, Holland, and invites them to visit while her husband is away on a business trip. Elisabetta begs Stefano to take her there, and he reluctantly agrees. Alexandra, always dressed in top-of-the-line fashions with expensive hairstyles, meets the bickering couple at the airport and takes them to her country mansion. She gives Elisabetta and Stefano a private room hoping they will reconcile. While Alexandra takes a bath, Stefano and Elisabetta fight violently after a few drinks. When Alexandra checks on them their hateful anger turned into passion! Instead of being happy for them, Alexandra is truly envious because passion has disappeared from her own marriage. The next day an exhausted Elisabetta sleeps into the afternoon while Alexandra shows Stefano the beautiful, Dutch city of Rotterdam. Stefano and Alexandra enjoy each other's company during a fun day of sight-seeing. That evening however, Elisabetta and Stefano emotionally hurt each other. An intoxicated Elisabetta brags to her husband that she has slept with several men over the last few weekends! She then tells heart-broken Stefano to sleep with Alexandra, who in the next room is listening to every word! Later Alexandra dreams of sex with Stefano and being caught by her husband. In the morning Alexandra takes Stefano out for a long drive into the country and parks on an isolated forest road. Without a word spoken between them, Stefano and Alexandra immediately make passionate love inside the car! When they return home Stefano brags to Elisabetta that he made love to her sister! Elisabetta, not angry but aroused, makes erotic love to her husband. Afterward, Stefano and Elisabetta happily ask Alexandra to join them in bed. She first refuses but they pull her into bed with them and disrobe her. Alexandra, Elisabetta, and Stefano enjoy an exciting, highly erotic, "menage a trois"! They dine out that evening and stop for petrol at a gas station. Alexandra borrows the phone, and with great joy calls her husband. His business trip is extended, but she insists she will join him in a day or two. In the car, Alexandra announces that she is going to be with her husband but first they must enjoy all of Sunday together for further sexual Olympics! Stefano asks, "Then it's goodbye Alexandra?" Alexandra says, "No, I prefer to say addio!" All three laugh saying "Addio Alexandra!" The film ends with the hint of more adventures to follow! The modestly budgeted, Addio Alexandra is actually professionally produced and well-mounted. The beautiful Kodakolor cinematography captures the picturesque Dutch countryside, and the handsome city of Rotterdam. Enzo Battaglia directs this sexual drama with fine skill and sensitivity from his masterwork screenplay, which he co-wrote with Guido Leoni. Battaglia would direct just one more film in spite of the good promise he showed here. The great, Italian, screen composer Piero Piccioni wrote a sparkling, enchanting musical film score for Addio Alexandra. Piccioni had previously composed the film score for Pier Angeli's spy movie, M.M.M. 83 (1966). Over a long career Piccioni scored over two hundred films, including The 10th Victim (1966) with Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress, and the Jules Verne adventure classic, The Light At The Edge Of The World (1972) with Yul Brynner, Kirk Douglas, and Samantha Eggar. Piccioni died in 2004 after leaving behind a treasure of movie music. Dutch-born, international action star Glenn Saxson is excellent as the confused but loving husband Stefano and proves as an actor he was far more than just a handsome, pretty face. Saxson, under his real name Roel Bos, was also the film's producer. He wisely sold the film rights for cash up front to Jayne Mansfield's ex-husband Matt Cimber, who produced and distributed cheap, exploitation, and foreign films! Attractive French film actress Collette Descombes, who frequently appears wearing little or no clothing in Addio Alexandra, is beguiling as the sensuous, teasing wife Elisabetta. Pier Angeli turns in a sensitive, and straight forward, dramatic performance as the rich, long-married, sister Alexandra who is approaching middle-age. Alexandra has long-since buried her own passions and sexual desires while raising two children until Stefano and Elisabetta reignite those flames! If Addio Alexandra had won the grand prize at the Venice Film Festival, it might have revived Pier Angeli's career with the fawning, pretentious, film critics declaring it an art film masterpiece. Instead, the film destroyed any chance for her to make a Hollywood comeback. In 1971 Pier Angeli protested that the American distributors (Matt Cimber) had promised the graphic threesome, nude scene would be deleted from the American release. As that promise was never in writing, they simply lied, and then proceeded to sell the film, now retitled Love Me, Love My Wife, as an 'X-rated' porno film starring former MGM movie star Pier Angeli. Every Hollywood studio chief knew this film was playing in disgusting porno theatres, and decided that Pier Angeli was now washed-up, finished, and to be avoided like the plague for any respectful film or TV production. Many wonder why Pier Angeli had not turned down this film but people forget that actors have to eat too. Compared to many of today's films and television shows, Addio Alexandra is very tame but in 1971 it was considered pornography and a kiss of death to a great star. Ironically a year later in 1972 Marlon Brando starred in the even more graphic and vile, X-rated film, Last Tango In Paris ,(which makes Addio Alexandra look like a Disney movie) which international film critics adored as a masterpiece! After the 1971 U.S. release of Addio Alexandra, the only work offered to Pier Angeli was cheapjack, monster movie that was shot mostly in Los Angeles's Griffith Park!
30) ¡Viva América! (1969) (as Bambi)
Review by Ralph Schiller
The True Story Of Frank Mannata (1969) was an Italian-Spanish co-production shot in Spain by Copercines, Coopertiva Cinematografica and Nike Cinematografica. It was filmed in widescreen Eastmancolor color with a running time of 90 minutes. It was directed by Javier Seto who also co-wrote the film with the producer Luigi Mondello. The musical score was written by Gianfranco Reverberi who also wrote the song Wait and Dream which is sung in English by Pier Angeli during a nightclub sequence. The True Story Of Frank Mannata is a miserable, cheapjack production that was doomed to fail in recreating the colorful, violent and glamorous 1920’s ‘Gangster /The Untouchables era’ of old Chicago. For Pier Angeli this film marks a further comedown in her acting career because she doesn’t even play the female lead! The True Story Of Frank Mannata is also the last film of Hollywood movie great Jeffrey Hunter. In 1929 Frank Mannata (Jeffrey Hunter looking as handsome as ever) leaves his homeland Sicily and immigrates to Chicago where he joins his brother Salvatore (Guglielmo Spoletini) and sister Rosella (Gogo Rojo). The family business is a swanky nightclub and a high-class brothel. Salvatore is in love with Bambi (billed under her real name as Anna Maria Pierangeli) who is the singing star at their nightclub. Frank, ambitious for himself and for his family, sets out to take over the Chicago mob now run by vicious Irish gangsters led by O’Connor (Eduardo Fajardo) and O’Brien (Miguel del Castillo). Frank also covets O’Connor’s stunning-looking mistress Lucia Barrett (British-born Italian film star Margaret Lee) who is bound to the gangster via blackmail. Frank wins Lucia’s heart by killing O’Connor which triggers a violent gang war between the Irish and the Sicilians. O’Brien’s consigliere Dr. MacDonald (Victor Israel) advises his boss to wipe out the Mannata family once and for all. While Frank and Lucia enjoy their honeymoon, Salvatore, his fiancée Bambi and sister Rossella are all violently slain by O’Brien’s men in a series of ambushes. Frank returns to Chicago with vengeance in his heart and murders O’Brien execution-style in the public street. At their loved ones’ funeral, Frank and Lucia are instantly killed by a bomb placed in their car by Dr. MacDonald who had narrowly escaped his boss’ massacre. The True Story Of Frank Mannata is an outright stinker with a poverty-stricken budget, badly-written screenplay and amateurish direction. The film is packed with many scenes of violence and nudity (including Pier Angeli in her death scene). Even so Jeffrey Hunter, Pier Angeli and Margaret Lee do fine dramatic work in a film that was not worthy of their talents. It was cheaply shot in Spain using standing sets that looked nothing like old Chicago. In fact one big shootout scene between the gangsters and FBI agents was filmed on a Western town movie set! The True Story Of Frank Mannata does have stylish, authentic-looking, period costumes with pin-striped suits and fedora hats for the men, and “Roaring 20’s” dresses and wigs for the ladies. The film was never released to US theatres but it was telecast on late-night American television as Cry Chicago. The version I saw was in Italian with English sub-titles. Pier Angeli has only a half-dozen scenes with very little to do. However she does get to sing the lovely song Wait And Dream on the nightclub stage and looks as enchanting as always in her beautiful costumes. Jeffrey Hunter, the one-time star of The Searchers (1956) with John Wayne for director John Ford, and King Of Kings (1961), hits the absolute rock bottom of his career with this film. In fact during the shooting of the film’s exciting car chase, a special effects window that was supposed to be shot out instead exploded giving Hunter a severe concussion. After several days in the hospital and upon learning that the producer ran out of money, a disgusted Jeffrey Hunter left Spain and returned to Hollywood. Plagued with headaches from the concussion, Hunter fell down the stairs at his home and suffered a deadly skull fracture. Jeffrey Hunter never recovered from the emergency surgery and died at age 42. Pier Angeli made only four more films (all of them better than this one) before her tragic death in 1971. Margaret Lee is still with us. Remember that actors have to eat also.
... alias Cry Chicago (USA: TV title)
... alias Mafia Mob
... alias Vera storia di Frank Mannata, La (Italy)
29) Kol Mamzer Melech (1968) .... Eileen
Review by Ralph Schiller
Every Bastard A King (1968) was produced in Israel by Noah Films. It was shot in widescreen color with a running time of 101 minutes. It was directed by Uri Zohar who also who also co-wrote the film with Eli Tavor. Israeli-born International screen and stage star Topol produced and wrote the musical score. Every Bastard A King is an excellent, exciting Israeli film about the 1967 “Six Day War” in the Middle-East. This ambitious production was rapidly shot and released in 1968 in the aftermath of the lightning war between Israel and her Arab neighbors. Thanks to a good friend I was able to see this hard-to-find film. An arrogant, selfish American newspaper reporter Roy Hemmings (William Berger) visits Israel with his beautiful, neglected wife Eileen (billed under her professional name Pier Angeli) to cover the possible outbreak of war in the Middle-East. Hemmings foolishly predicts to his New York editors that there will be no war, but his local tour guide Yoram (Israeli film star Yehoram Gaon) warns him that the entire nation “where every bastard is king” is mobilizing to be ready. Although Eileen was born in Tel Aviv, she wants to return home to America before the war breaks out. Instead the ever-cynical Hemmings abandons her every chance he gets to get drunk and sleep with prostitutes. Fighting for her husband’s attention, Eileen even sleeps with the handsome Yoram to no avail. Yoram is a reservist in the Israeli paratroopers and falls in love with an attractive Israeli Army Lieutenant (Tami Tsifroni) he gave a ride to on his journeys with Hemmings. When the war erupts, Yoram returns to the army and serves with gallantry in the Sinai Desert and valiantly saves a wounded Israeli soldier. Hemmings, shocked at the brutality of war, realizes he was wrong about everything and comes to love Eileen again as the best thing in his life. After less than a week the war ends with the outnumbered Israeli’s destroying an entire Egyptian army with their tanks in the desert. Yoram, along with Hemmings and Eileen, visit a remote farming kibbutz cooperative to find the lovely Lieutenant where they reunite in love. Two children cry when their pet baby kid goat slips past the barbed wire barrier to a mine field. Taking pity on the children, Hemmings jumps over the barrier to retrieve the goat and steps on a landmine killing him instantly. Eileen bitterly returns to America with her husband’s coffin. Every Bastard A King is an outstanding motion picture with a first-rate screenplay and good performances by the entire cast. Pier Angeli adds her natural beauty and grace to the film while giving a heart-breaking performance as Eileen who loves her husband in spite of his many flaws. Eileen is devastated to lose her husband right after winning his love back again. Pier Angeli, a wonderfully, gifted dramatic actress of the top caliber, dominates the film with her performance. Yehoram Gaon is perfect as the boyish and heroic Yoram. Every Bastard A King is highlighted by an authentic-looking, ferocious and thrilling tank battle in the Sinai showing the death and destruction of conventional war. It was shot in Israel’s Negev Desert which substituted for Egypt’s Sinai Desert. Every Bastard A King was not only a big hit in Israel but was submitted as the Israeli entry to the Motion Picture Academy in 1969 for “Best Foreign Film”. Sadly it was not even nominated. The film was released in the US in 1970 by Walter Reade’s Continental Film Distributers who specialized in releasing foreign films.
... alias Every Bastard a King (USA)
... alias Every Man a King (USA: TV title)
28) Caccia ai violenti (1968) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Ann Peterson
... alias One Step to Hell (UK) (USA)
... alias King of Africa (USA)
... alias Rey de África, El (Spain)
27) Rose rosse per il führer (1968) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Marie
... alias Code Name, Red Roses (USA)
... alias Red Roses for the Fuhrer (USA)
Review by Ralph Schiller
Red Roses For The Fuhrer (AKA Code Name, Red Roses 1968) is an Italian-language production of Dino Films. It was released in Italy on April 24,1968, with a running time of 97 minutes. A dubbed, English-language version was released the following year in the U.S. by Continental Distributing. It was filmed in Kodak Eastmancolor, and shot in the widescreen process Dyliscope. It was directed by Fernando Di Leo, who also co-produced, and co-wrote the screenplay with Enzo Dell' Aquila. The film score was composed by Gino Peguri. Red Roses For The Fuhrer, although well-produced and action-packed, is just a routine, Italian film about World War II. Pier Angeli, as beautiful as ever, stars as the leading lady and romantic interest. In the prelude to the "D-Day Normandy Invasion" in 1944, U.S. Army commando, Major Mike Liston (James Daly) is summoned to Allied headquarters in London by a British Army General (Michael Wilding). A pouch containing a vital "Top Secret" document has fallen into German hands in occupied Belgium. For codename "Operation Red Roses", Major Liston is ordered to parachute in country and bring back the document at all costs before it can be sent to Berlin. Flemish (Belgium) partisans meet his team at the drop zone which was mined because an informer tipped off German S.S. troops. Two British soldiers, and a dozen partisans are killed in an ambush. The partisan commander Vincent (Nino Castelnuovo) and his lover Maria (Anna Maria Pierangeli) locate the Major who was given shelter in the church by Father Louis (Polidor). The hospital hides German Army headquarters because the Allies will not bomb a building marked with a red cross. German army commander Colonel Kerr (Peter Van Eyck) is an honorable soldier, but his nemesis is the fanatic, SS Major Frenke (Ruggero De Daninos) who answers only to Himmler and Hitler. The Colonel keeps the document in his safe and informer Robert (Bill Vanders) tells him every move the partisans make. At first Maria hates the American Major because he does not approve of women partisans. When Robert proposes a dangerous, foolhardy attack on German headquarters, the Major agrees to it. Maria thinks the American is a brave hero and takes him to her bed. A German officer double-agent (Gianni Garko) gives Liston the safe combination before his suicide after his capture by Major Frenke. The partisans attack the hospital and suffer heavy losses but Liston opens the safe and retrieves the document. After putting up a good fight Vincent and Maria are killed in the final attack. Liston kills the traitor Robert before his rendezvous on the beach with a British submarine. Col. Kerr has secretly sent a copy of the document to Hitler in Berlin. Back in London, the General thanks Major Liston for a successful operation. The document gave a false location for the Allied invasion in order to divert German Panzer divisions away from Normandy! After the Allies sacrificed so many lives to get it back, the Germans believed the document is authentic. The General laughs "We sent red roses to the Fuhrer!" Major Liston is furious that so many good heroes died for a ruse. The General says the death of a few justifies saving the lives of tens of thousands. Major Liston requests transfer to a frontline battle unit. The General, alone in his office, lowers his head with remorse for having to fight a dirty war. Red Roses For The Fuhrer is enjoyable with exciting, battle sequences but in spite of a large budget and a good cast, it is strictly a minor film. There is no comparison to Pier Angeli's previous truly great war film, Battle Of The Bulge (1965). Fernado Di Leo directed with skill and kept the action moving at all times with never a dull moment! Di Leo became one of the top directors in the Italian film industry but unfortunately never directed a major Hollywood film. In Italy he directed many Hollywood movie stars, whose careers had seen better days, including Jack Palance, James Mason, Martin Balsam, and Henry Silva. Di Leo also co-wrote the sometimes-unbelievable screenplay with his co-producer Enzo Dell' Aquila. Historically partisans, resistance fighters, and guerillas strike at occupying armies with "hit and run" attacks. They never launch open, frontal assaults on well-fortified, enemy positions like they do in this film because that would be suicide! In one scene the partisans charge across an open field without cover into the face of a lethal machinegun! Also, none of the stunning-looking women in Red Roses For The Fuhrer, including Pier Angeli, have genuine World War II hairstyles! Even the British soldiers and Flemish partisans look suspiciously like Italian actors! Gino Pegori composed a good film score for Red Roses For The Fuhrer, although he copied themes from Elmer Bernstein's unforgettable score for the classic war film, The Great Escape (1963). Di Leo and Dell' Aquila also wrote the lyrics with Pegori's music for the sad, love song Canto Della Liberta, sung over the closing credits by Don Powell. James Daly was only a stage and television character actor, but he gets top starring billing in Red Roses For The Fuhrer over Pier Angeli! He does fine work but is simply much too old for the role of the daring, courageous, commando Major Liston. The silver-haired Daly was fourteen years older than Pier Angeli, who at thirty-five looks ten years younger. In their love scenes together the American looks like her father! Daly became a major star on television with the hit series Medical Center (1969-1976). Handsome, dashing, young Nino Castelnuovo is ideally cast as the brave partisan leader Vincent. Distinguished German film star Peter Van Eyck is superb as Colonel Kerr, a professional soldier who loves Germany but not Hitler. Even though the Colonel's wife and daughter are killed in an Allied air raid on Berlin, he still completes his mission. Peter Van Eyck had a prolific career on both sides of the Atlantic and died the following year in 1969. Ruggero De Daninos is letter-perfect as the evil, sadistic S.S. Major Frenke. In one riveting scene, the S.S. Officers dance with local prostitutes at a party until Major Frenke strides into the room. He removes the dance music record from the phonograph player and calls the room to attention with "Achtung!" He then he plays a record of the infamous, German army march Erika (written by Herms Niel)! Led by the Major, the officers sing proudly with each one stomping his left, highly polished boot in time to the march beat! One-time British leading man Michael Wilding is excellent as the avuncular British general. Wilding had a fine film career, but today he is best known for being young Elizabeth Taylor's second husband. In Red Roes For The Fuhrer, Pier Angeli has second billing, under her real name of Anna Maria Pierangeli, below an American TV actor. Even her voice is completely missing from this film because she was dubbed by an American actress (both Peter Van Eyck and James Daly dubbed their own voices). Although her film career is in decline, Pier Angeli turns in a passionate performance as the partisan Maria, whose father and three brothers were murdered by the Germans. In this often dark and serious film, Pier Angeli's luscious beauty is absolutely refreshing. One inexplicable scene during the final attack on German headquarters has Maria, for no good reason, confessing to Vincent that she slept with the American commando! This film played only in a handful of theatres in the U.S. because the releasing company, Continental Distributing specialized in artistic and pretentious foreign films. Red Roes For The Fuhrer found a larger audience when telecast on local, American television stations! Pier Angeli paid her bills and kept her career alive by making one European film after another. Her next film would be shot in the Middle-East!
26) Per mille dollari al giorno (1966) (as Annamaria Pierangeli) .... Betty
Review by Ralph Schiller
Por Mil Dolares Diarios (1966) is a Spanish-Italian co-production of Petruka Films and Tirso Film. It was released by United Artists in the US as Renegade Gunfighter. Por Mil Dolares Diarios was filmed in Technicolor and shot in the Techniscope wide-screen process with a running time of 76 minutes. It was produced and directed by Silvio Amadio who co-wrote the film's story and screenplay with Tito Carpi and Luciano Gregoretti. The film score was composed by Gino Peguri, including the Western ballad My Gun Is Fast sung by Bobby Solo. Por Mil Dolares Diarios (In English: One Thousand Dollars Per Day) is a rugged and fast-paced 'spaghetti' Western shot entirely in Spain. Pier Angeli rides tall-in-the-saddle playing a classic Western romantic lead. In 1870 Texas, the Union Pacific Railroad needs a right-of-way to lay track through Sun Valley to bypass the mountains. However the local ranchers are robbed and swindled of their properties by the evil Clark Brothers (based on the real-life Western outlaws the Younger Brothers). When Hud Baker's (Zachary Hatcher) parents refuse to sell their land, they are gunned down in cold blood by Lon Clark (Manuel Gil), while his brothers Jason (Reuben Rojo) and Wayne (Mirko Ellis) laugh. Hud wants revenge and uses his last gold to hire a famous, but now-crippled gunfighter Carranza (Pepe Callo) for his teacher. A year passes and Hud is now the fastest, deadliest gunfighter in the west. When he leaves for Sun Valley, the paternal Carranza gifts Hud with a pair of his finest Colt .45 six-guns! Hud returns to discover that his girlfriend Betty (billed in the Spanish credits with her Hollywood name Pier Angeli for box office) has married his best pal Steve Benson, (Mimmo Palmara, billed as Steve Palmer) who is now the town sheriff. Betty begs Hud to leave town but lawman Steve warns him not to take the law into his own hands or face the gallows. At the Clark ranch a horse-drawn funeral hearse drops off a paid coffin for Lon with a note saying he will be dead in two days! Lon is terrified and the Clark brothers hire Hud as a bodyguard for one thousand dollars per day. Hud plays cat and mouse with the brothers, and one-by-one slays cowardly bullies Lon and Jason! When Wayne realizes that Hud is the phantom killer, who plays a harmonica just before each killing, he turns himself into Sheriff Steve for protection. Steve secretly takes Wayne for trial in Houston and has his wife Betty make love to Hud, who has been watching the jail like a hawk. Hud again falls in love with Betty until he bitterly realizes she distracted him as Steve and Wayne escaped out the back door. Hud pursues them into the desert and is about to draw on Steve when Apache Indians, appearing out of nowhere, ambush them. After a bloody battle, Hud, Steve and Wayne are about to be massacred but suddenly the U.S. Cavalry rides to the rescue! At the Houston trial, Wayne's crooked, shyster lawyer Sullivan (Corrado Annicelli) pays off the Judge (Tom Felleghy), who dismisses the case on a technicality! A gunman and his gang are hired to kill Hud. Steve, disgusted with justice, sees Hud walk into the gunman's trap on main street and warns him. Hud wipes out the gang but a crazed Wayne runs into the street with both guns blazing. Wayne shoots at him point blank and at close range, but miraculously Hud dodges every bullet! Then Hud uses his last shot to kill Wayne Clark! Back in Sun Valley, the land is returned to the ranchers and Sheriff Steve tells the town that Hud is the real hero. When Hud saddles up, Betty pleads with him to take her. Hud shakes his head and rides off into the sunset like Shane! The End. Por Mil Dolares Diarios is a good 'spaghetti' Western film with plenty of six-gun action, Apache Indian attacks, and bugle-sounding cavalry charges, all jam-packed into a 76 minute running time! Producer-director Silvio Amadio keeps the film moving at break-neck speed with nary a dull moment. He also co-wrote the first-rate, revenge screenplay of Por Mil Dolares Diarios which might have been written by the great Western author Louis L'amour. Silvio Amadio had previously directed Pier Angeli in the excellent sea adventure film, White Slave Ship (1961). Por Mil Dolares Diarios was handsomely produced in widescreen and the gorgeous Technicolor cinematography taking full advantage of the picturesque locations in Almeria, Andalucia, Spain. Gino Peguri composed a rousing Western score that highlights the film's exciting action scenes and wrote the sage, Western ballad My Gun Is Fast with English lyrics sung by Bobby Solo over the opening and closing credits. The villainous Clark Brothers are played with great zest by Mirko Ellis, Reuben Rojo, and Manuel Gil. The broad-shoulder Mimmo Palmara is quite good as the righteous Sheriff Steve who should be as happy as the Clark Brothers to see Hud leave town and stay far away from his beautiful wife! Unfortunately the skinny, baby-faced Zachary Hatcher is barely convincing as the good son seeking vengeance in a role perfect for Charles Bronson or Steve McQueen! Pier Angeli is ideally cast as Hud's former love Betty, who had married his best friend on the rebound. With her dark, raven hair pinned-up, and wearing one colorful, costume, period dress after another, Pier Angeli is simply radiant and gives a sincere, heart-breaking performance of a woman torn between two good men. In the 1960's and 1970's many Hollywood movie stars, desperately in need of work, traveled to Spain to shoot 'spaghetti' Westerns including Henry Fonda, Yul Brynner, James Mason, Gina Lollobrigida, Audie Murphy, Robert Taylor, Van Johnson, Broderick Crawford, Jack Palance, Sean Connery, Claudia Cardinale. Brigitte Bardot, Rod Steiger, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, and many others. Minor players like Bronson, Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood actually became movie stars thanks to their 'spaghetti' Western movies. For Pier Angeli, Por Mil Dolares Diarios was released in the U.S. by United Artists as Renegade Gunfighter (1966) on the lower half of a double-feature with little fanfare and no Hollywood comeback. United Artists was too cheap to pay Pier Angeli to dub her own voice in English, and instead used a deep-voiced actress who sounds nothing like her. Sadly, Pier Angeli's next films were not nearly as good. Note: Three years after Por Mil Dolares Diarios, Sergio Leone produced and directed Once Upon A Time In The West (1969) to great acclaim and box office on both sides of the Atlantic with the similar storyline of a young man avenging the death of his parents while haunting their killers by playing a harmonica! Coincidence? That movie made a superstar out of Charles Bronson!
... alias For One Thousand Dollars Per Day (USA)
... alias Por mil dólares al día (Spain)
... alias Renegade Gunfighter (USA)
25) Battle of the Bulge (1965) .... Louise
Review by Ralph Schiller
Battle Of The Bulge (1965) is a Sidney/Harmon Production with Cinerama Inc. Productions, and United States Pictures, Inc. for Warner Brothers Pictures. It was released on December16,1965 with a running time of 170 minutes. It was filmed in Technicolor and shot in widescreen Ultra-Panavision. It was directed by Ken Annakin. The screenplay was written by John Melson, with Milton Sperling and Philip Yordan (who both produced). An outstanding film score was composed by Benjamin Frankel. Battle Of The Bulge played in select U.S. theatres in the wide, curved- screen Cinerama process. After the enormous, box office success of The Longest Day (1964), 20th Century Fox's colossal, all-star, World War Two, motion picture about the "D-Day Invasion" of Normandy, Warner Brothers, headed by Jack L. Warner, produced their own epic, Battle Of The Bulge (1965), also on a big budget with an all-star cast. The film's nearly all-male cast was graced by the presence of Pier Angeli in a brief but unforgettably tender role of a doomed Belgian girl. By December 1944 the German army had suffered many defeats and lost ground to the Allies. Over-confident American forces are certain Germany will surrender unconditionally before Christmas. An American intelligence officer Lt. Colonel Kiley (Henry Fonda) warns the division commander General Grey (Robert Ryan) that the German army is massing forces with many tanks for a counter-offensive. The general's aide Colonel Pritchard (Dana Andrews) scoffs at Kiley's prediction. Berlin has in fact recalled their best tank commander from the Russian front, Colonel Kessler (Robert Shaw) to lead a tank brigade of the superior, newly built, double armor-plated, Tiger tanks, which dwarf the medium-sized American tanks. German soldiers, who were raised in America and speak fluent English, led by Lieutenant Schumacher (Ty Hardin), are parachuted behind American lines to disrupt communication and supplies. American army Major Welensky (Charles Bronson) and his front-line troops destroy several tiger tanks before they are captured by the Germans. The well-executed counter-offensive, led by Kessler's tank brigade, is successful. The surprised Americans retreat after suffering heavy casualties. As the Germans advance, General Grey orders the evacuation of Army headquarters in Ambleve. American Army Seargent Guffy (Telly Savalas) runs the black market from a hotel in the city with a lovely Belgian girl, Louise (Pier Angeli). Guffy gives her half the money they made and warns her to leave ahead of the German army. Louise cries "When a woman goes into business with a man, it is forever! I will wait for you" A shocked Sgt. Guffy asks, "How come you feel about me this way when I never laid a hand on you?" She smiles, "That's why. You love me." Louise demands a kiss from Guffy before he leaves. He gives her a fatherly one but Louise grabs Guffy in a tight embrace and kisses him passionately. Back at the front, Sgt. Guffy is horrified when told that Kessler, his tiger tanks and the German army had completely destroyed Ambleve. Louise is among the dead. Sgt. Guffy realizes too late that he lost the only woman he ever loved. The American forces finally fight back and eventually win. Colonel Kessler is killed, and his tiger tanks are destroyed. In truth the battle ended because the German army actually ran out of petroleum fuel! Battle Of The Bulge is a magnificent, motion picture achievement, and one of the finest war films ever made. It was a smash hit at the box office for the Warner Brothers studio. Battle Of The Bulge was lavishly shot in Spain at the extensive Samuel Bronston Studios (since demolished), on what was then an enormous $6,500,000 million dollar budget. Generalissimo Francisco Franco provided Warner Brothers with the Spanish army for extras, plus scores of tanks for the incredibly realistic battle sequences. The screenplay by John Melson, with Milton Sperling and Philip Yordan contained many human-interest stories detailing courage and cowardice on both sides of the war. Jack Warner, himself, chose the director of The Longest Day, Ken Annakin to direct Battle Of The Bulge. Once again, Annakin proved himself to be a great movie director with his brilliant work on this film. The film score by Benjamin Frankel had audiences, on both sides of the Atlantic, jumping in their seats through the exciting battle sequences. Frankel's music also enhanced the heartfelt love scene between Pier Angeli and Telly Savalas. One great scene has Colonel Kessler meeting his new tank officers only to discover to his dismay that they are only young boys, and not veteran soldiers. Suddenly one of the young men stomps his riding boot, which triggers all of them to stomp their polished boots in unison as they proudly sing the German Army Panzer Division song, Panzerlied (written by Kurt Wiehle in 1933). This rousing rendition convinces Colonel Kessler that he can win the war with these young men! Pier Angeli (with her Hollywood billing) does not appear in Battle Of The Bulge until half-way through the film for only a single scene, lasting no more than three and a half minutes! Nevertheless, she gives a wonderful, heart-breaking performance when Louise finally declares her love to a rough, Amercian soldier. She fights back tears to say goodbye, somehow knowing she will never see Guffy again! After making movies for 15 years, Pier Angeli, in the Battle Of The Bulge, was truly a gifted, experienced, dramatic actress, who could do so much with so little. Her delicate, sincere acting on a tragic, star-crossed love adds heart to this big war film. At this point in his career Telly Savalas was a popular character actor seven years away from television stardom as New York Police Lieutenant Kojak. Jane Allen interviewed Telly Savalas for her biography, Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life, where he said, "I know I'm no Rock Hudson, and I was beginning to worry that I was destined to play loveless character roles for the rest of my life. It gives a man spirit and a new look at himself when he can make love to a girl like Pier Angeli." Cast members Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Robert Ryan, Charles Bronson (just four Yeras away from super-stardom), give good performances, one and all, but Robert Shaw is brilliant as the victory-obsessed, German Army Colonel Kessler. Shaw enjoyed a great film career until his sudden death in 1978 at age fifty-one from a heart attack. Appearing in this big budget Hollywood production, and box-office hit, Battle Of The Bulge, was a terrific career move for Pier Angeli. Although only age thirty-two during filming, Pier Angeli looks at least ten years younger, showing Hollywood that she was willing, able, and ready to work in major, motion pictures again. Sadly, there were no offers from the big Hollywood studios. She returned to minor European films, which were poorly distributed in America, if at all. Ironically in Battle Of The Bulge, Pier Angeli had no scenes with future co-stars Dana Andrews (Spy In Your Eye 1965 her next film), and Ty Hardin (King Of Africa 1967).
... alias Battaglia dei giganti, La (Italy) [it]
24) Berlino Appuntamento per le Spie (1965) ....Paula Krauss
Review by Ralph Schiller
Berlin, Appointment For A Spy (1966, AKA Spy In Your Eye) Berlin, Appointment For A Spy was produced by Italian International Film and Publi Italia di Lucio Marcuzzo in widescreen Pathecolor with a running time of 85 minutes. It was released in the U.S. by American-International Pictures under the title Spy In Your Eye. It was directed by Vittorio Sala with a screenplay written by Adriano Bolzini, Roman Ferrara, Adriano Baracco, and the film’s producer Lucio Marcuzzo. The musical score was by Riz Ortolani. Made during the height of the secret agent fad in the middle 1960’s, Berlin, Appointment For a Spy is an entertaining but silly, poor step cousin of the ‘007 James Bond’ series! What is remarkable is that three Hollywood stars who had seen better days, Pier Angeli, Dana Andrews and Brett Halsey co-star in this low-budget, foreign quickie and still do fine dramatic work. In fact they deserve medals for keeping a straight face throughout filming! In the ‘Cold War’ era an East German Nobel Prize-winning scientist and his lovely daughter Paula Krauss (Pier Angeli) make a dash for freedom at the border, ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ into West Berlin. The Russian border guards foil the escape, kill the scientist and capture Paula. Unfortunately the trigger-happy Russians realize that the prized formula for a secret invention also went to the grave with Paula’s father. The girl is brutally interrogated by the Russian KGB but insists she knows nothing of her father’s formula. Red Chinese agents also try to assassinate her hoping the Russian get blamed for bungling everything! The American CIA Chief, a battle-scarred, one-eyed, patch-wearing Col. Lancaster (Dana Andrews) sends his best agent, the suave Bert Morris (Brett Halsey) to East Berlin to rescue Paula and bring her safely to the West with the secret formula! Col. Lancaster undergoes surgery for the first successful eye-transplant but doesn’t realize that the Russians had slipped a tiny camera inside the eyeball which is the spy in your eye! Before too many secrets fall into Russian hands, Lancaster with Morris’ help identifies the espionage leak and the TV camera is removed. The U.S. Air Force does a parachute drop over the Russian zone for the intrepid Morris who meets his contact, a hunchback in a three-piece suit! After one amazing and unbelievable adventure after another, Bert Morris rescues Paula from a train bound for Moscow and a Siberian prison camp. Sure they get captured again but Morris, like his British counterpart Bond, whips out another gadget (that has yet to be invented) and escapes to West Germany with Paula. Naturally the good-looking couple fall head over heels in love as the bullets fly and Paula shows Morris the coveted secret formula that was cleverly tattooed into her scalp under the hairline! Berlin, Appointment For A Spy is enjoyable if one doesn’t take the ridicules plot too seriously and goes along for the fun. It follows the James Bond formula of “guns, gals, and gadgets” with location filming in Paris, Beirut, Venice and Berlin. The hunchback’s large hump is actually a radio transmitter with a retractable blade that he uses to kill unsuspecting Russian soldiers on the train to Moscow! No he doesn’t have a telephone in his shoe like secret agent 86 Maxwell Smart, but he has one in his umbrella! Bert Morris uses dehydration pills which induce severe thirst that force enemy agents to talk! The producer also made sure to add a gorgeous femme/fatale enemy agent Madeleine (Tania Beryl) to tempt Morris and included a risqué bathtub scene with Pier Angeli who is stunning to look at in this cheapjack production. Both the direction by Vittorio Sala, who made a career out of cheap, Italian action films and Westerns, and the musical score by Riz Ortolanio, who went onto better things, are routine at best. The screenplay by the producer and his three assistants is right out of a bad comic book! Brett Halsey plays Bert Morris completely straight with effortless charm and wit. Halsey was a rising star in Hollywood before spending over 10 years in Europe cranking out dozens of action films and Westerns, few of which enjoyed American release. Like his character Bert Morris, Brett Halsey had an impeccable eye for drop-dead beauties and married four of the including film stars Luciana Paluzzi and Heidi Bruhl! Halsey continues acting and is also a successful novelist (including a book based on his years in European film-making entitled The Magnificent Strangers). Movie great Dana Andrews is also excellent as CIA Chief Col. Lancaster in Spy In Your Eye. Once a top film star for both Twentieth Century Fox and the Samuel Goldwyn studios during the golden era of Hollywood, Andrews made four Italian action films in a row for which he was highly paid. However he always refused to include them in his resume and movie credits! Unfortunately he shares no scenes with Pier Angeli. Pier Angeli is perfect as the beautiful Paula trapped behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ who wins her freedom and romantic love in the arms of a handsome, fearless American agent and she steals every scene she is in with her luminous, photogenic eyes! At the end, Paula finally flashes her million-dollar smile at the man who saved her and we can almost forgive the film’s nonsense. As Spy In Your Eye, this Italian film was picked-up for American release by a studio American-International Pictures,that specialized in movies for ‘Drive-In Theaters’ with Vincent Price horror films, Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon ‘Beach Party’ epics, and motorcycle flicks! After Spy In Your Eye, Pier Angeli returned to Hollywood to co-star in her last major American film, for Warner Bros., The Battle Of the Bulge with Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Robert Shaw and Dana Andrews. Then sadly she returned to foreign film productions.
... alias Spy in Your Eye (UK) (USA)
... alias Bang You're Dead
... alias Berlin, Appointment for the Spies (USA)
... alias Cult of Violence
... alias Epitaph for a Spy
23) Missione mortale Molo 83 (1965) .... Hélène Blanchard
Review by Ralph SchillerM.M.M. 83 is a French-Greek co-production produced by France Cinema Productions, Films d’Equipe, and Olympic Film. It was filmed in EastmanColor and shot in a widescreen process with a running time of 85 minutes. It was directed by Sergio Bergonzelli with a musical score by Piero Piccioni. The producers are uncredited in the American television release. The screenplay was written by director Bergonzelli, Bitto Albertini, Charles L. Bitch, and Victor Andres Catena. M.M.M. 83 is a weak, low-budget, European espionage film and easily the worst of the three “Secret Agent” movies (OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok, Berlin, Appointment For A Spy) that Pier Angeli shot overseas marking a further career decline. In Palermo, Sicily at the “Mediterranean Grand Prix” race, a racing fan and British scientist is murdered in the grandstand by an assassin. His briefcase, containing a valuable formula for a secret new energy fuel, is stolen by agents of an unnamed foreign government. However the keys to the secret formula are still in the hands of the scientist’s fellow colleague Robert Gibson (Gerard Blain). The British government sends Secret Agent Jack Morris (Fred Beir) to guard both Gibson and his keys. Enemy agents pursue the pair all over Europe to London, Paris, Athens and Berlin but the ever daring Morris outfoxes them all. After several close calls Morris and Gibson become pals with the scientist introducing the secret agent to his beautiful, innocent fiancée Helene Blanchard (Pier Angeli). Besides romancing other attractive women, Morris saves Helene from being kidnapped by enemy agents. The doe-eyed beauty falls in love with the British agent who declines a romance out of loyalty to his friend Gibson. After several violent car and boat chases, the enemy mastermind behind the operation to steal the secret formula, is unveiled as none other than Robert Gibson! He orders the death of Agent Morris and plans to sell the keys to the highest bidder for an exorbitant sum. Helene, completely disillusioned with Gibson, rejects him romantically on their honeymoon cruise to his great annoyance. Suddenly, and without explanation, Jack Morris appears, wearing a white dinner tuxedo, and turns Gibson over to “Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Helene is overjoyed to see Morris who proposes marriage with an embrace and a kiss. The End. M.M.M. 83 is a dismal, cheapjack production with a plot that makes no sense what so ever. Its lackluster EastmanColor cinematography never takes full advantage of the picturesque scenery of so many beautiful European cities. M.M.M. 83 was a box office flop in Europe and was never released to U.S. theatres even though its leading lady was fading Hollywood star Pier Angeli. In the USA it was sold directly to American television as part of a package of cheap European/Mexican horror/action films. M.M.M 83 was poorly directed without flair by Sergio Bergonzelli. He later directed Pier Angeli again in an even more, wretched Italian film In The Folds Of The Flesh (1970) before his career sank into directing soft-core pornographic movies. He died in 2002. Piero Piccioni, who composed many excellent film scores for top Italian and American productions film, wrote a noisy and irritating score for M.M.M. 83. Piccioni, son of a major Italian politician, was involved in an infamous 1953 murder case in Rome. He was later acquitted but it destroyed his father’s political career. Piccioni had romanced exotic international film star Alida Valli and he died in 2004. The producers couldn’t afford a decent leading man for the starring role of the British secret agent Jack Morris and settled for a little know American TV actor Fred Beir who never starred in his own television series let alone in big Hollywood movies. Beir gives a colorless performance as the dashing hero Morris as he unsuccessfully imitatates suave, handsome French film star Louis Jourdan. Ironically Jane Allen’s outstanding biography Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life documents that Pier Angeli and Fred Beir had a passionate love affair during the making of M.M.M. 83 because of the intense cruelty of her husband Armand Trovajoli. Fred Beir died in 1980. Pier Angeli has ‘Guest Star’ billing (in the American TV release) and although the film is poorly dubbed, she does speak fluent English in her enchanting voice. Always the professional, dramatic actress Pier Angeli (our Anna Maria) gives the only good performance in a film completely unworthy of her talents. At age 33 she looks gorgeous and a good ten years younger in one, top-of-the-line fashion outfit after the other. In fact she probably never looked more attractive in her entire career. M.M.M. 83 was a complete dud everywhere but Pier Angeli was well paid for this little seen film. At least her next film, an Italian Spaghetti Western shot in Spain, enjoyed an American release by a major Hollywood studio.
... alias M.M.M. 83 (USA)
... alias Objectif Hambourg mission 083 (France)
22) Banco à Bangkok pour OSS 117 (1964) .... Lila
Review by Ralph Schiller
OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok (1964) OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok is a French-Italian co-production, produced by P.A.C., Compagnie Industrielle et Commerciale Cinematographique (CICC), and DaMa. Cinematographica. It was filmed in EastmanColor and shot in a widescreen process with a running time of 118 minutes. It was directed by Andre Hunebelle and the producer was Paul Cadeac. The screenplay was written by Pierre Foucaud, Andre Hunebelle, Michelle Lebrun, Raymond Borel, Patrice Rohmm, and Richard Caron based on the novel Lila In Calcutta by Jean Bruce. The prolific French author Jean Bruce created the character of daring handsome, secret agent Hubert Bath in his 1949 pulp novel OSS 117, four years before Ian Fleming wrote his first 007 James Bond novel. The French public loved OSS 117 and Bruce cranked out another 87 novels. In 1963 Jean Bruce was killed in a car accident and his wife Josette wrote another 143 OSS 117 novels under the name J. Bruce. After she retired her daughter Martine and her husband Francois picked up the pen to write a further 23 novels. Finally French cinema called and the first film in this series, OSS 117 Is Not Dead was filmed in 1957 with Ivan Desny as the OSS agent. With the international success of the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962), the French studio made OSS 117 Unchained (1963) which was filmed in black & white. They hoped for an American release by casting Hollywood star Kerwin Mathews in the title role. For the next film, OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok the budget was increased to shoot in color with overseas location filming in Bangkok, Thailand and even added American film star Pier Angeli as Mathews’ leading lady. In modern, exotic Bangkok, American OSS agent Christopher Lemmon (Raoul Billerey) is murdered for getting too close to finding the source of cholera vaccines that actually carry bubonic plague. Lemmon discovers that shipments from a legitimate British pharmaceutical company are hijacked and replaced with identical-looking, infected vaccines causing outbreaks all over the globe. Lemmon was betrayed by someone inside the Bangkok OSS branch office. Back at OSS headquarters in Washington D.C., the agency dispatches their best man, OSS 117, Hubert Bath(Kerwin Mathews) to find the source of the plague vaccines and to bring Lemmon’s killer to justice. No sooner does Hubert arrive in Bangkok do assassins try to run his taxi off the highway, break into his fancy hotel room to kill him, and even try kidnapping him. While being briefed at the OSS branch office, Hubert catches the beautiful receptionist Eva Davidson (Dominique Wilms) eavesdropping. OSS 117 learns that agent Lemmon’s primary suspect was the successful hypnotist, magician and mind-reader Dr. Sinn (Robert Hossein) who is also romantic with Eva. Dr. Sinn warns Hubert to return to Washington for his health but the ever-romantic OSS 117 meets the good doctor’s enchanting sister Lila Sinn (our Pier Angeli) and he is instantly smitten. Hubert charms her all over picturesque Bangkok including a romantic dinner on the city’s magical riverfront. Soon Lila falls in love with the American agent. Dr. Sinn is the head of a unilateral, world organization dedicated to wiping out the world’s population with bubonic plague except for a chosen few given his immunizing vaccine. Never the less OSS 117 keeps thwarting all of Dr. Sinn’s plans. A car bomb nearly kills the American agent and a heart-broken Lila thinks her lover is dead. Eva, a traitor to the OSS, murders her station chief with a knife in the back. Lila, who knew nothing of her brother’s grandiose plans for the world, is held prisoner in Dr. Sinn’s secret lair hidden inside an ancient Buddhist monastery outside of Bangkok. The intrepid and courageous OSS 117 breaks into the monastery and is shocked to find a large underground laboratory with hundreds of loyal technicians manufacturing bubonic plague to ship all over the world. Dr. Sinn, wearing Count Dracula’s cape, calls his minions to a meeting and details his plans for world destruction and conquest. In the name of humanity, Eva turns against Dr. Sinn and is quickly executed. Hubert rescues Lila, who is overjoyed to see that he is still alive. OSS 117 detonates incendiary charges that destroy the laboratory and battles Dr. Sinn in a fight to the death. Dr. Sinn dies in the flames while Hubert and Lila depart in a van with fellow OSS agents just as the monastery is wiped off the face of the Earth! OSS 117 stops the van long enough so he and Lila can enjoy a passionate kiss! The End. OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok is exciting, high adventure and is equal to any of the James Bond films of that era with non-stop action and romance! No expense was spared in the making of this lavish production using the French widescreen process Fran Scope. The producers also wisely changed the location of the novel from Calcutta, India to the more colorful intriguing Bangkok, Thailand. Interior scenes were shot at the Studios de Boulogne in Paris but the producers took full advantage of picturesque Bangkok with their gorgeous EastmanColor photography. The film was made with the full cooperation and assistance of the Royal Thailand government which was boosting tourism to their splendid capitol city. It was directed with great skill by Andre Hunbelle who keeps the action, romance and comic touches moving at a fast clip for its nearly two-hour running time. He also directed three films in the series. The music composed by Michel Magne is outstanding and he even composed a short trademark melody for OSS 117 himself, reminiscent of Simon Templar’s melody in The Saint series. Kerwin Mathews is ideally cast as the bold secret agent OSS 117 and seems to be having the time of his life swashbuckling through the film while romancing Pier Angeli. Like his British counterparts James Bond and Simon Templar, OSS 117 goes through rugged action while never wrinkling or staining his impeccable, tailor-made suit! Mathews is best remembered today for starring in three classic fantasy films, The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958), The 3 Worlds Of Gulliver (1960), and Jack The Giant Killer (1962). He worked again with Pier Angeli in her last film Octaman (1971). French star Robert Hossein does excellent work as Dr. Sinn under-playing all of his scenes in a quiet tone of voice and thereby making his character that much more frightening. Any other actor would have overacted to the hilt. Pier Angeli co-stars as the beautiful but innocent Lila Sinn, who against her better judgement falls in love with a dangerous American agent, and she does outstanding work. She plays her role with great sincerity and helps make this film a big cut above all the other secret agent movies. In the end OSS 117 wins her heart while saving her life as well as saving the free world! Pier Angeli never looked more stunning than she does in this film while wearing the latest Paris fashion design labels! Incredibly although Pier Angeli and Kerwin Mathews were fluent in French, arcane French film industry union rules at that time, mandated that the voices of all foreign actors be dubbed over by paid French actors! Although OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok was a tremendous box office success in France and Europe, it was virtually unseen in the USA. In 1966 a badly-edited version of the film re-titled Shadow Of Evil (the OSS 117 books were not translated into English and were unknown in the USA) was released by the minor Seven Arts distribution company and sank without a trace. Ironically ten years later the 007 James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) was also set in Bangkok, Thailand with many plot elements similar to OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok. Note: OSS stood for the Office Of Strategic Services, America’s first spy agency that was later formed into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947. In the US, OSS 117 Panic In Bangkok is part of a pristine, five film DVD OSS 117 set from Kino Lorber Video.
... alias OSS 117 minaccia Bangkok (Italy)
... alias Panic in Bangkok (USA)
... alias Shadow of Evil (USA)
21) Sodom and Gomorrah (1962) (as Anna Maria Pierangeli) .... Ildith
... alias Sodoma e Gomorrah (Italy)
... alias Sodome et Gomorrhe (France)
... alias The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah (USA)
20) Ammutinamento, L' (1961) .... Polly
Review by Ralph SchillerL’ammutinamento (1961) is an Italian-French co-production produced by Giorgio Agliani Cinematografica, Gladiator Film, Illiria Film, and Champs-Elysee Productions. It was released in France as Les Revoltees de l’Albatross (1961) and in the United States by American International Pictures as White Slave Ship (1962). It was directed by Silvio Amadio and written by Sandro Continenza, Marcello Coscia, and Ruggero Jacobbi. It was produced by Giorgio Agliani and Rodolphe Solmsen. L’ammutinamento has an original musical score composed by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino with a running time of 100 minutes. It was filmed in Eastmancolor and in the widescreen process TotalScope. The U.S. release White Slave Ship has a running time of 92 minutes with a different film score composed by Les Baxter. L’ammutinamento is a good adventure epic and sea tale. Pier Angeli stars as a cynical, tough 17th century wench who battles for her love and freedom across the seven seas. In 1675 London, England, convicted prostitutes in Newgate Prison are lined-up to be sold into slavery. The women, chosen for their beauty, board a slave ship, The Albatross, headed for the English colonies in the American continent. Joining the ladies in the dark cargo holds below deck are violent male convicts and a few political prisoners discarded into the new world including a dedicated young Dr. Bradley (Edmund Purdom). Middle-aged Lord Graveston (Mirko Ellis), his much-younger elegant wife Lady Graveston (Franca Parisi), his beautiful daughter Anna (Michele Giradon) and son Jimmy (Rento Speziali) are paying passengers. The Albatross is under the able command of Captain Cooper (Ivan Desny) but some crew members treat the men and women prisoners inhumanely during the long voyage. Voluptuous trollop Polly (Pier Angeli) has a lover among the criminals in the hold (Franco Capucci). She uses her sexual prowess to distract the guards and free the prisoners. Cutthroat pirate Calico Jack (Armand Mestral) leads the convicts in mutiny and puts the Captain in irons. To Dr. Bradley’s dismay, the convicts slaughter half the crew for sport. As captain of The Albatross, Calico Jack takes Lady Graveston for his lover but she thwarts him by committing suicide. During the voyage one of the prostitutes gives birth to a healthy baby. Polly is furious when she sees her lover try to assault Anna before being physically prevented by Dr. Bradley. The Albatross sails through a hurricane typhoon with Calico Jack too drunk to take the wheel. Dr. Bradley frees Captain Cooper who saves his ship and sails her into blue waters. With most of the rations below destroyed by spilled seawater, a vindictive Calico Jack orders the women tossed overboard in chains! Polly’s lover laughs when the first women are drowned but the crew is outraged. They battle the convicts for The Albatross and their women! Polly kills her evil lover with his own dagger while Dr. Bradley and Calico Jack fight to the death. Calico dies by a lance and a deck fire aboard The Albatross attracts the attention of a passing English frigate. The navy boards the ship and a grateful Captain Cooper says that the convicts are dead and that the only survivors are his crew and paying passengers. With full provisions from the English navy, The Albatross sails into North American waters. Anna and Dr. Bradley declare their love for each other while Polly blissfully cares for the orphaned baby. A crew member crew shows an interest in both of them as Polly smiles back at him because she needs a good man for husband and father to her baby in the new world! Everyone on the Albatross looks forward to a life of freedom in the Americas. L’ammutinamento is an exciting, old-fashioned swashbuckler with plenty of sword-fighting and lusty romance! It was filmed in lush and gorgeous Eastmancolor in the widescreen, TotalScope process. With beautiful, colorful 17th century costumes and a handsome, elaborate English sailing ship The Albatross specially built for this production, one expects Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power to appear! It was well-directed by Silvio Amadio who keeps the action moving while getting fine performances from the entire cast. Amadio directed several Italian action films which top-lined fading Hollywood stars in need of work before slipping into naughty Italian sex comedies. L’ammutinamento is enhanced by an absolutely enchanting and thrilling film score composed by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino which captures the film’s high adventure and lusty romance. Lavagnino was one of Italy’s finest screen composers who wrote many superb film scores. Sadly when American International Pictures released the film in the U.S. as White Slave Ship (1962), the studio removed Lavagnino’s perfect score and replaced it with one composed by Les Baxter, head of the studio’s music department. The original screenplay, well-written by Sandro Continenza, Marcello Coscia, and Ruggero Jacobbi underlines the inhumanity of human slavery. Although nearly the entire film is confined to the shipboard set, one never stops caring about the characters in the story thanks to the screenplay, Amadio’s direction and the professional cast of players. Pier Angeli enjoys top-billing in L’ammutinamento before the title under her real name Anna Maria Pierangeli and gives the performance of her career. For once she’s not the demure, fragile, innocent heroine (that role is played by French actress Michele Giradon as Anna), but instead plays the earthy, lusty trollop Polly who has been with many men of all types! Never the less when she is betrayed by the man she loves for another woman, Polly kills him and in doing so turns the tide of battle against the convicts. At the end thanks to happenstance, Polly is a free woman who saves an orphaned baby that she adopts for her own. Pier Angeli was never photographed more striking or more beautiful then she is in L’ammutinamento! Her luminescent eyes light up like stars in the sky whenever she holds that precious, adorable baby! Pier Angeli’s next film was a major Hollywood production shot in Italy. The romantic lead is played by one-time MGM star Edmund Purdom who gives a stiff performance as the heroic Dr. Bradley. His character is nearly identical to Errol Flynn’s Dr. Peter Blood in the classic film based on the Rafael Sabatini novel Captain Blood (1935). Purdom spent the rest of his career in minor European films and died in 2009. Armand Mestral actually steals the film with his wonderful performance as the evil and often amusing pirate Calico Jack in a role that top character actor Wallace Beery would have played during Hollywood’s golden era. Ivan Desny, who made both Hollywood and European films, does excellent work playing dedicated sea captain Cooper. American International Pictures released L’ammutinamento in the U.S. as White Slave Ship a year later in 1962 minus ten minutes of running time. Anna Maria Pierangeli was billed under her Hollywood name Pier Angeli. The studio ballyhoo said “Caged in a black pit of horror!” and “13 women journeying to a living hell!” White Slave Ship was released to second run theaters on a double-feature with an Italian-made action film Warriors 5 starring Jack Palance.
... alias Revoltés de l'Albatros, Les (France)
... alias White Slave Ship (USA)
19) The Angry Silence (1960) .... Anna Curtis
Review by Ralph SchillerThe Angry Silnce (1960), AKA La Tortura del Silenzio (1960) The Angry Silence is a British production from Beaver Films and was released by the British Lion Film Corporation in Great Britain. It was filmed in black & white in a widescreen process with a running time of 93 minutes. It was produced by Richard Attenborough, Jack Rix and Bryan Forbes, who also wrote the screenplay based on the story by Richard Gregson and Michael Craig. The musical score was composed by Malcolm Arnold. The Angry Silence is a brilliant, outstanding motion picture, and one of the finest British films ever produced. This landmark film is distinguished by contributions from the entire cast and crew, including a heart-breaking performance by Hollywood star Pier Angeli. The lifeblood of a small, working-class, English city is a large, engineering factory which sends critical parts to plants all over Britian. The factory provides employment, income, and security to the city's able-bodied men and women who live a lower, middle-class existence from paycheck to paycheck. Tom Curtis (Richard Attenborough) and his beautiful, kind, Italian-born wife Anna (billed as Pier Angeli) struggle to make ends meet with two small children and a baby on the way. Anna loves Tom but fears that in his heart he really doesn't want the baby. Their boarder is Tom's best friend Joe Wallace (Michael Craig), who will move out to make room for the new child. Joe is a local, poor man's Errol Flynn even though he fails to seduce lovely, office secretary Pat (Penelope Horner), who wants marriage, family, and home like Tom and Anna. The local union chief Bert Connolly (Bernard Lee prior to playing 'M' in the James Bond movies) picks up a mysterious stranger Travers (Alfred Burke) from the train station. This man, with snake-like eyes, doesn't work for the union but is a professional, outside agitator to help Connolly permanently shut down the factory and cripple the British economy. Travers poses as an ordinary factory worker but obeys orders from his Communist, Marxist superiors. Connolly confronts the factory plant manager Davis (Geoffrey Keen who later replaced Bernard Lee as 'M' in the 007 Bond films) with trivial demands, threatening a 'wildcat' (unauthorized by the national union) strike. Davis sees right through Connolly for a phony and calls his bluff. Connally riggs the workers 'democratic' strike vote and the plant shuts down. Tom and some of the workers return because they cannot afford to lose their pay. The local union is plagued by thugs led by Eddie Barrett (Brian Bedford), and his stooges Gladys (Brian Murray) and Mick (future film star Oliver Reed). They smash windows in the homes of the 'scabs" (laborers who defy a strike by working) and set their cars on fire. The remaining men join the strike including Tom until he is threatened in his own home by Connolly. Tom reports to work while Travers warns Connolly to teach him a lesson. Management gives in to the Connolly's demands and everyone returns to work. For defying Connally, Tom is sent to "Coventry", which means no one at the factory will speak or associate with him. Joe is uncomfortable about snubbing Tom but goes along with the mob. Connolly demands Davis fire Tom but he refuses. The factory owner Martindale (Lawrence Naismith) wants to sacrifice Tom mainly because his nagging wife never forgave him when the young man stole away their best maid Anna to marry her. The British press cover Tom's silent torture, making him into a national hero while giving the union a back eye of adverse publicity. At one point a TV journalist (Daniel Farson playing himself) interviews Gladys and Eddie asking them why they are giving this cruel treatment to Curtis. They admit they don't know and just went along with the union vote. A stunned Farson asks them on camera if they always vote in favor of things they don't understand. Tom is captain of the workers football team but his teammates force Joe to tell him he is tossed out. Anna explodes saying enough is enough because Joe has betrayed his closest friends, and she asks him to move out of their place. Later Tom's adorable little boy Brian (Stephen Lindo) is beaten and tarred by mean boys. Travers spreads a rumor to incite the workers that because of Tom Curtis, the owners are going to fire most of the workers. The men support the strike not realizing after the factory is shut down it will never open again. Martindale calls the national union for help which sends their top man Thompson (Russell Napier) to put an end to the irresponsible strike. Pat implores Joe to stand up for Tom before something terrible happens but he cowardly refuses. When he learns that Tom is in hospital in surgery, Joe finds Anna weeping in the waiting room, and promises to protect her and the children. Tom will recover but is blind in one eye from a vicious kick to the head. The ambulance driver (Raymond Phillips) says Tom spoke his wife's name Gladys before going in coma. Joe tracks down Gladys and Eddie before beating the living daylights out of them both. At the factory rally Thompson denies the false rumors but the workers are hostile after having been whipped up into a frenzy of violence by Travers and Connolly. The mob is about to attack Thompson and torch the factory to the ground when Joe drags a severely beaten Eddie up to the podium. Joe tells the mob that union thugs beat Tom so savagely that he has lost an eye. Joe publicly admits to being ashamed and that Tom has suffered enough. The mob is shamefully stunned into silence. Joe walks away but is followed by Pat who realizes that he finally showed courage. Thompson calls off the strike and the men return to work. Travers knows that the plant will never close now, thanks to Connally's blundering. He slinks away in the night to catch the next train to London where he will report to his Soviet bosses, who will send him elsewhere to spread anarchy and chaos. The Angry Silence is a superb motion picture. It is a masterpiece that grabs the film's audience by the throat and never let's go until the final credits. In Britain it generated controversy over the character of Travers being a Communist agent. Most British union leaders were dedicated to higher pay, safer working conditions, and regular employment for their rank-and-file members. However, history has revealed that some were actually undercover Russian agents who foolishly believed in the illusion that the Communist system was a worker's paradise, and tried to wreck the British economy. The screenplay by Bryan Forbes, based on Richard Gregson's and Michael Craig's story, is first-rate for which The Angry Silence received its only Academy Award Oscar nomination for Original Story and Screenplay. It lost the Oscar to a Jack Lemmon comedy written and directed by Billy Wilder, The Apartment (1960). Craftsman and Oscar-winning film director Guy Green did tight, flawless work keeping the story moving fast and intense. Green previously directed Pier Angeli in the under-rated British thriller SOS Pacific (1959). Malcolm Arnold, who won an Oscar for his famed score of Bridge Over The River Kwai (1957), also did great work composing an emotional, dramatic score for The Angry Silence. The stark black & white cinematography of the factory scenes were shot in Ipswitch, England to heighten the film's drama. Interior scenes were shot at Shepperton studios outside London. The entire cast of The Angry Silence rises to the occasion with top-drawer performances led by Richard Attenborough and Michael Craig. Beaver Films was Attenborough's film company which produced several intelligent and compelling motion pictures. Richard Attenborough won two Oscars as producer and director of Gandi (1982) before his death in 2014. In The Angry Silence, Pier Angeli gives a magnificent, unforgettable performance as Tom's loving wife Anna Curtis, an Italian immigrant who doesn't understand the hatred and violence against her beloved, brave husband. In order to make glamorous Hollywood star Pier Angeli more believable as a plain housewife, the producers toned-down her make-up, and costumed her in shapeless, drab dresses. Nevertheless, she still looked radiant! The film's best dramatic moment is the scene when Anna confronts best friend Joe over his heartless betrayal of Tom with a furious monologue that ends with unscripted Italian expletives! Director Green and Attenborough were so impressed they did not reshoot the scene! In The Angry Silence, Pier Angeli gives the performance of her life and she deserved to win the Academy Award Oscar for Best Actress in a Starring Role. She wasn't even nominated. For more about The Angry Silence, including behind-the-scenes, read Jane Allen's great biography of Anna Maria, Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life, which explains the politics of her Hollywood snub. The Angry Silence was released in the U.S. by Valiant Films, a minor distribution company. It was seen by small audiences and accomplished nothing for Pier Angeli's movie career in Hollywood. Pier Angeli was now, almost without exception, exiled to European films.
... alias Tortura del silenzio, La (Italy) [it]
18) Moschettieri del mare, I (1960) .... Consuelo
Review by Ralph SchillerMusketeers Of The Sea (1962), AKA I Moschettieri Del Mare (1962) Musketeers Of The Sea is a French-Italian co-production produced by France Cinema Productions and Morino Film. It was filmed in EastmanColor and shot in a widescreen process with a running time of 112 minutes. It was directed by Steno with a musical score by Carlo Rustichelli. The producers were Robert Chabert, Alfredo Mirabile, and Orlando Orsini. The screenplay was written by Steno, Vittorio Metz, Marcello Fondato, and Roberto Gianviti. Musketeers Of The Sea is an ambitious, overlong and often entertaining swashbuckler that fails to recreate those glorious adventure films of Hollywood’s golden era due to terrible miscasting and ridicules slapstick comedy. Our story begins in 17th century France, at the royal palace where the King of France (Mario Scaccia) catches the Captain of his legendary Musketeer guards, Pierre de Savigny (Channing Pollock) in bed with the King’s own mistress! With the help of two bumbling thieves Moreau (Aldo Ray) and Gosselin (Philippe Clay), de Savigny escapes to become a buccaneer on the seven seas. In the pirate’s haven of Tortuga, de Savigny is told by lusty tavern wench Consuelo (Pier Angeli) about a great treasure in Spanish gold at the rich port of Maracaibo. These three musketeers immediately set sail in their galleon for Maracaibo to loot the gold! Consuelo demands a share of the gold and first sword-fights and then romances de Savigny to win her passage on the ship. In Maracaibo the benevolent Spanish Governor (Carlo Ninchi) is betrayed by his duplicitous deputy Gomez (Hollywood star Robert Alda) who imprisons him and confiscates the gold. The Governor’s beautiful, innocent and virginal daughter Gracia (also Pier Angeli in a dual role) once had an infant twin sister who was captured by blood-thirsty pirates twenty years ago! The Musketeers arrive in port with Consuelo when Gomez, an admirer of great beauty, proposes marriage to Gracia. When she refuses to marry him, Gomez puts her and her father in irons below deck on a ship headed for Spain with the gold. The Musketeers discover that Consuelo and Gracia are the identical twins separated at birth and come to their rescue. On the bridge of his buccaneer galleon, de Savigny launches a valiant attack on Gomez’s ship. The happy pirates storm the ship while the two idiot Musketeers, Moreau and Gosselin, free Consuelo, Gracia and their father the Governor. The evil Gomez is slain by de Savigny in an exciting duel to the death on the decks of the ship. The grateful Governor appoints de Savigny, who has won the hearts of both twins, as his new Deputy. Consuelo, knowing in her heart that only Gracia is the right choice for a respectable spouse for Deputy Governor de Savigny, pushes her sister into the arms of the gallant musketeer. Gracia and de Savigny embrace and kiss while the two fools enjoy the women in the Governor’s court! The End. Musketeers Of The Sea is an enjoyable and sometimes amusing film even in Italian. It has beautiful period costumes and sets, plus two exciting sea battles staged at sea on real sailing ships with three masts. The EastmanColor cinematography is first-rate making for a very picturesque sea-adventure. The film was popular at the box office in Europe but was never released in the U.S. even though it starred three famed Hollywood actors, Pier Angeli, Robert Alda, and Aldo Ray. Musketeers Of The Sea was ineptly directed by Steno who was a top comedy director of the Italian cinema but the wrong man for this adventure film. Steno frequently halts the romance, action and excitement so he can insert another slapstick comedy sequence that is not particularly funny and goes on far too long. Musketeers Of The Sea is distinguished only by Carlo Rustichelli’s thrilling film score which was far better than this film deserved. Incredibly the starring role of the swashbuckling hero Pierre de Savigny was handed to a professional magician and novice actor Channing Pollack! Although Channing handles a sword efficiently, he is simply no Errol Flynn or for that matter even Tyrone Power! Although heavily made-up with wigs and fake mustaches to look as much like Errol Flynn as any human being possibly could, Channing has none of the great swashbuckler’s charm or acting talent. He is also incapable of doing light comedy keeping a frozen grin on his face at all times. Channing was a very popular magician on both sides of the Atlantic and Musketeers Of The Sea was his attempt to become a movie star. After just a few more films Channing returned to pulling rabbits out of a hat. Robert Alda is outstanding as the cunning and treacherous villain Gomez who craves power, gold, and a beautiful girl to boot, in a role that would have gone to Basil Rathbone in a swashbuckler epic starring Flynn or Power! Alda in his first film Rhapsody In Blue (1945) became a star playing the great composer George Gershwin. Sadly during the Hollywood ‘Red Scare’ this gifted actor was blacklisted and for years his career was limited to cheap ‘B’ movies or foreign films. Robert Alda, a professional who never stopped working, died in 1986. His son is famed film and TV star Alan Alda. Musketeers Of The Sea also marks the sad decline of Aldo Ray, who was a brilliant dramatic actor and Hollywood film star. In a comedown for Ray, he is reduced to playing Moreau, one-half of a fourth-rate comedy team with Philippe Clay. The fading movie star destroyed his own career as a leading man with his avid pursuit of women and alcohol. To survive Ray was making films in Britain and Europe, and was grateful that Musketeers Of The Sea had no U.S. distribution. A humbled Aldo Ray returned to Hollywood and continued doing great work in many films until his death from cancer in 1991. Musketeers Of The Sea stars Pier Angeli (billed under her real name Anna Maria Pierangeli) but unfortunately, although Italian-born and raised, her enchanting voice is dubbed (thanks union rules) by actress Maria Pia Di Meo. She gives a wonderful performance playing the dual role of identical twins separated at birth. One is the serene and demure Gracia, daughter of the Spanish governor, while her twin Consuelo is a sensuous Tortuga tavern wench who was raised by pirates! Beautiful Gracia is immaculate in appearance with her well-coiffed hair and dressed in elegant flowing gowns but the vivacious Consuelo is dressed in a tight-fitting bodice dress that shows off her figure, and wears her raven hair down to her shoulders. No doubt the biggest challenge for Pier Angeli in making Musketeers Of The Sea was keeping a straight face during the comedy antics of Aldo Ray and Philippe Clay! Although Pier Angeli was well-paid, Musketeers Of The Sea did nothing for her career. Every major Hollywood movie studio rejected it for an American release, although Pier Angeli at the age of just 29, was still at the peak of her beauty and talent. In the late 1960’s a truncated and cheaply dubbed version of Musketeers Of The Sea was dumped on American television as part of a package of low-budget European films starring mostly faded Hollywood actors. Pier Angeli would not make another film for two years but at least her next was a good one.
... alias Il était trois flibustiers (France)
... alias Musketeers of the Sea (USA)
17) SOS Pacific (1959) .... Teresa
Review by Ralph Schiller
SOS Pacific (1959) was released by the Rank Organisation in Great Britain. It was filmed in black and white and shot in a widescreen process. It was directed by Guy Green with a running time of 90 minutes. The screenplay was written by Robert Westerby based on an original story by Gilbert Thomas with additional sequences and dialogue written by Bryan Forbes. The producers were Patrick Filmer-Sankey and John Nasht for Sidney Box Associates. The original film score was composed by George Auric. SOS Pacific is an expertly-made, suspenseful, nail-biting, British-produced thriller that was made during the increasing ‘Atomic’ hysteria of the ‘Cold War’ era with to-notch dramatic performances from the entire ensemble cast especially Pier Angeli. On an island in French Polynesia, British sea-plane Captain Jack Bennett (John Gregson) begins his trans-Pacific flight to Australia. Pilot Bennett is a reckless heavy drinker with an airline consisting of one single plane that is badly in need of repairs and maintenance. Captain Bennett frequently abuses his professional co-pilot Willy (Cec Linder) who warns him about the plane’s bad safety conditions. A beautiful-looking flight stewardess Teresa (Pier Angeli) is also Bennett’s lover but she harbors no illusions about his alcoholic temper. The flight has only a motley group of passengers on board. A tough, waterfront prostitute, Maria (Eva Bartok) expelled by the French police) , an American fishing trawler, sea captain Mark Reisner (Eddie Constantine) under arrest for smuggling and in the custody of a British police officer Petersen (Clifford Evans), a German nuclear physicist Krauss (Gunnar Moller), and a British spinster Miss Shaw (Jean Anderson). Also on the flight is scruffy beach bum and petty thief Whitey Mullen (Richard Attenborough) who was forced on the flight by the police as a material court witness since he informed on Mark Reisner! With his plane short on fuel (his shoestring airline didn’t have enough money for a full tank) Captain Bennett takes a shortcut through an area restricted because of a major hurricane. However the actual reason is that the U.S. Navy is conducting a Hydrogen Bomb test on an island atoll! The faulty wiring in the plane’s radio causes a fire in the cockpit with deadly fumes killing the co-pilot Willy and nearly poisoning Bennett. Everyone on the plane does their part to help except for Whitey who is a craven coward. Mark, a World War Two pilot, ventilates the cockpit and keeps the plane steady until Bennett recovers. As the plane’s engines go out one-by-one, Bennett with Mark’s help glides the plane to a crash sea landing in sight of an island. Yes, it is the very same island as the H-Bomb test! The passengers and crew leave the sinking plane in two rubber life-rafts and row to the desert island. With Captain Bennett suffering from a minor head wound caused by the plane crash, Mark takes command of the castaways and Teresa is impressed with his heroic nature. While Petersen is chopping firewood, the lazy Whitey steals the policeman’s revolver. He destroys one life-raft and escapes with the other. Krauss and Mark find man-made, concrete bunkers on the island. One building contains live sheep and goats but the other contains remote-controlled movie cameras trained on an island key two miles away in the reef. The nuclear scientist is horrified when he sees a steel tower on the key because he knows it contains a Hydrogen bomb. He says the cameras will record the blast and that the U.S. Navy will send a radio-controlled airplane to fly over the tower. An electronic signal from the plane will detonate the bomb and destroy both islands. A countdown clock shows they have exactly five hours before detonation. Krauss insists if they can get to the island and sever the main power line they will prevent the detonation of the H-Bomb! Teresa swims to the wreck of the sunken plane to get the needed tools. On her way back she gets weak and nearly drowns until Mark dives in and saves her. Bennett now sees that Teresa loves the American sailor. Miss Shaw comforts Maria who sobs like a frightened child at the thought of death hours away. Mark takes the tools and swims the two miles to the island key with the tower. Half-way through the bay a pack of sharks head towards Mark. Bennett sees this and realizing that he no longer has anything to live for, sacrifices himself by swimming in the water after ripping off the bandage on his head wound. The sharks smell blood in the water and quickly devour Captain Bennett. Teresa is horrified at the sight but Mark makes it to the island key. Mark climbs the tower but suddenly Whitey appears and shoots at him. Although wounded Mark continues to climb while the U.S. Navy sends out the robot plane. Whitey, out of bullets, climbs the tower to kill Mark. Instead, after a battle to the death, Whitey is killed in a fall from the tower. Mark uses an ax to sever the main power line just in time and the plane passes over harmlessly. The American Navy observes everything and sends a rescue ship. On board a grateful Petersen thanks Mark by saying that he is no longer under arrest with Whitey the material witness dead. Mark and Teresa embrace, kiss and look towards their future together just over the horizon. The End. SOS Pacific is a grand adventure film that kept movie audiences on the edge of their seats for the full 90 minutes thanks to Guy Green’s tight direction, a splendid screenplay and wonderful performances by the entire cast. SOS Pacific is also enhanced by George Auric’s outstanding symphonic film score which highlights the story every step of the way. The desert island sequences of SOS Pacific were beautifully photographed on Las Palmas island of Spain’s Canary Islands which would have looked spectacular in color had the budget permitted. The interiors were filmed at the Rank Organisation’s Pinewood Studios outside London. Pier Angeli is truly the heart and soul of SOS Pacific giving a brilliant, natural performance as disillusioned flight stewardess Teresa who finds love under adverse conditions. SOS Pacific (1959) was Ms. Angeli’s first film after being off the silver screen for a year after finishing her seven-year contract at the famed MGM studios with Merry Andrew (1958). Unfortunately her fine dramatic work was noticed only in Britain where the film was a hit. In the USA, Universal studios finally released SOS Pacific in 1960 on the lower-half of a double-feature with a cheapjack, kiddie-monster movie Dinosaurus! According to Jane Allen’s outstanding biography Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life, when Pier Angeli arrived in London to make the film both Richard Attenborough and John Gregson were instantly smitten with her natural beauty (they ignored the gorgeous Eva Bartok who took it all in stride after being romantically involved with Burt Lancaster while making The Crimson Pirate in 1952 which resulted in a love child). Both Attenborough and the screenwriter Bryan Forbes were also astounded by her acting talent, and decided right then and there to offer her the co-starring role in The Angry Silence (1960) easily one of her finest films. John Gregson, a likable British star, plays against type as a washed-up, rummy airline pilot Jack Bennett. Eddie Constantine is the leading man and does good work as the intrepid sea captain Mark Reisner. Later Constantine became a big European film star in action films, often playing private detective/secret agent Lemmy Caution. With a bigger budget his role would have been offered to major Hollywood stars like John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, or even Kirk Douglas! Unlike the British cast, Constantine spent the entire shoot with his beloved wife and children. SOS Pacific is a hard to find DVD outside of Great Britain but it is a lost treasure.
... alias S.O.S. Pacific (USA: poster title)
16) "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse" .... Bernadette Soubirous (1 episode, 1958)
... alias Desilu Playhouse
15) Merry Andrew (1958) .... Selena Gallini
... alias Principe del circo, Il (Italy) [it]
14) The Vintage (1957) .... Lucienne
... alias Clandestini della frontiera, I (Italy) [it]
13) Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) .... Norma
... alias Lassù qualcuno mi ama (Italy) [it]
12) Port Afrique (1956) .... Ynez
... alias Porto Africa (Italy) [it]
11) Meet Me in Las Vegas. (1956)..(uncredited).... Herself, Cameo appearance
... alias Viva Las Vegas! (UK)
... alias Donne... dadi... denaro (Italy) [it]
10) The Silver Chalice (1954) .... Deborra
... alias Calice d'argento, Il (Italy) [it]
9) Flame and the Flesh (1954) .... Lisa
... alias Fiamma e la carne, La (Italy) [it]
8) Mam'zelle Nitouche (1954) .... Denise de Flavigny/Nitouche
Review by Ralph Schiller
Mam'zelle Nitouche (1954) is a French-Italian co-production of Paris Film Productions, Rizzoli Films, and Panitalia. This French language film has a running time of 90 minutes, and was shot in Eastmancolor. It was directed by Yves Allgret who co-wrote the screenplay with Albert Milaud from an original story by Milaud, Ernest Blum and Henry Meilhac. It was based on composer Herve's comic opera of the same name with the libretto written by Milaud and Meilac. Raymond and Robert Hakim were the producers and Georges Van Parys wrote the fine musical score. Mam'zelle Nitouche is a remake of the French-language film Mamselle Nitouche (1931). Mam'zelle Nitouche is beautifully filmed, charming romantic fluff built around the comic talents of French movie comedian Fernandel with film star Pier Angeli imported from Hollywood as his leading lady. In 1883 Paris with it's gaslight, cobblestone streets, a church organist Celestin (Fernadel) at the convent Sainte-Eustache, leads a double life. After playing religious hymns all day at the convent and its school for proper young girls, the shy browbeaten Celestin changes clothes to become the dashing Floridor, composer and conductor of the Comique Opera at the Lyric Theatre! He even makes passionate love to the opera's beautiful, young star Corine (Michele Courdoue) who is also the mistress of the aging commander of the local regiment Major de Lonueville (Jean Debucourt). The Major's sister is the convent's Mother Superior (Renee Devilers). One girl at the convent, Denise de Flavigny (Pier Angeli billed under her Hollywood stage name) sees through Celestin's charade and joins in on the fun! She quickly memorizes his entire opera/ballet, La Belle De Robinson. The Mother Superior foolishly allows Celestin to escort Denise to meet her betrothed for the first time, a Lieutenant La Vauzelle (Francoise Guerin). Instead Celestin locks her in a hotel room so he can pursue Corine but an angry Major is quick on his heels! By pure happenstance Denise gets into mischief at the hotel and meets the young, handsome Lieutenant. Although it's love at first sight for both, she claims to be the opera star Mam'zelle Nitouche! Then Corine loses patience with her two fools, and leaves the opera mid-performance. Denise steps up and effortlessly performs the star's role to the audience's delight. After further amusing mix-ups Denise admits her charade to the Lieutenant who loves her more than ever! Corine returns to the opera while keeping both the Major and Celestin in her pocket! Mam'zelle Nitouche is pleasant entertainment with no less than six musical numbers and songs shot in beautiful Eastmancolor. This handsome production has lavish sets and the entire cast is dressed in colorful, authentic period costumes . Even so at ninety minutes, the film is simply a shade too long. Beloved French comedian movie Fernadel is a comic delight as Celestin but he doesn't have enough good comedy material to work with. Although he made a few Hollywood films, Fernandel's humor did not translate well into English for American movie audiences. The great Fernandel remained a top star in France and starred in over 140 films until his death in 1971 at age 67. Pier Angeli, now a major Hollywood movie star on loan from the famed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, shines in Mam'zelle Nitouche giving a vivacious, and sparkling performance as the innocent Denise who finds first love, and true love. While speaking perfectly flawless French, Angeli in one gorgeous costume after another sings and dances her way into the hearts of the audience. Her enchanting, lovely voice is showcased in both a solo number and a captivating comic duet with Fernandel. Yves Allgret routinely directs Mam'zelle Nitouche like a pedestrian stage play rather than a vibrant motion picture of a popular French farce. He also co-wrote the overlong screenplay with Albert Milhaud which needed another re-write. Discerning viewers will see rising French movie comedian Louis de Funes making the most of a small role as a cynical, regimental sergeant who catches Fernandel hiding from the Major among the recruits and drags him into the Army! Unfortunately for Pier Angeli, Mam'zelle Nitouche did absolutely nothing for her Hollywood career as this French-language film with an American movie star was never released in the U.S. When she returned to Hollywood, MGM loaned her out to Warner Brothers to make the dull, lackluster bible epic The Silver Chalice (1954) with Paul Newman. Pier Angeli would not make another outstanding motion picture until Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), again with Paul Newman. Note: The original comic opera Mam'zelle Nitouche is actually based on the composer Herve's private life. Like Fernadel's Celestin, during the day Herve worked in a Paris convent as a church organist and by night as a bon vivant composer and conductor of light operas with an amorous interest in beautiful showgirls! As they say, fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong!
... alias Oh No, Mam'zelle (UK)
... alias Santarellina (Italy)
7) Sombrero (1953) .... Eufemia Calderon
6) The Story of Three Loves (1953) .... Nina Burkhardt (segment "Equilibrium")
... alias Equilibrium
... alias Three Stories of Love
... alias Storia di tre amori (Italy) [it]
5) The Devil Makes Three (1952) .... Wilhelmina (Willie) Lehrt
... alias Lupi mannari, I (Italy) [it]
4) The Light Touch (1952) .... Anna Vasarri
... alias Immagine meravigliosa, L' (Italy) [it]
3) Teresa (1951) .... Teresa Russo
2) Domani è un altro giorno (1951) .... Luisa
1) Domani è troppo tardi (1950) .... Mirella
... alias Tomorrow Is Too Late (USA)
5) "Girl Talk" .... Herself (1 episode, 1968)
Episode dated 27 September 1968 (1968) TV episode .... Herself
4) Estoril y sus fiestas (1960) .... Herself
3) "What's My Line?" .... Mystery Guest (1 episode, 1956)
Episode dated 17 June 1956 (1956) TV episode .... Mystery Guest
2) "Toast of the Town" .... Herself (1 episode, 1954)
... alias The Ed Sullivan Show (USA: new title)
Episode #7.31 (1954) TV episode .... Herself
1) The Million Dollar Nickel (1952) .... Herself
Thanks to www.imdb.com
Thanks to Ralph Schiller for Movies reviews!