Tuesday, 31 January 2012


So - this is it. That was January 2012.. I promised you the CASABLANCA factor post about this month's theme "On The Run".

Just by the way - it was so much fun to see it in cinema - with some people in the audience who didn't know CASABLANCA (1942) before.. 

Can you imagine how wonderful that is when people hear those great lines for the first time? 

Especially my beloved Claude Rains made a deep impact there..

One of the connections of CASABLANCA to my On The Run Series is quite obivous: It's a film about people trying to escape from the Nazis - on their way in to a new life - the other connection is nothing to actually see: Most of the cast (and I love the cast - it causes my love for this film) actually were refugees or emigrants:

There are of course Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) - a famous resistance fighter on their way to America to go on fight against the Nazis (well.. she is more or less "just" his wife..)

~ Paul Henreid (who is one of my favourites) was really an avid anti-fascist. ~

Even Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is running away from his past - and maybe his love..

Ugarte - a criminal - is not running fast enough.. He is personated by Peter Lorre - who was a guest before on my On The Run Series - what I forgot to mention there: He also used another way to run away: he was addicted to morphine..

Conrad Veidt (another one of my favourite actors.. he played Major Strasser) fleed Germany with his then wife who was Jewish. 

Michael Curtiz who directed this film moved to Hollywood in 1926. 

The pickpocket was personated by the wonderful Curt Bois - another great comedian Germany lost because of the Nazis.

There are of course more characters on the run like a young couple trying to get enough money:  Annina (Joy Page) and Jan Brandel (Helmut Dantine)

Helmut Dantine (Jan Brandel) was born Helmut Guttman in Vienna, Austria in 1917. He lead a Anti-Nazi-youth movement there - but when Austria was annexed he was arrested - and sent to a concentration camp for three months. After that his parents made sure that he left to live in America with a friend. They themselve died in a concentration camp later..

Have Herr & Frau Leuchtag (Ludwig Stössel and Ilka Grüning both were also emigrants in real life) here in one of my favourite scenes of this film:


- as much as I love it - it breaks my heart. Can you imagine to leave your home, your friends, your language? I don't want to use ageism - but I can imagine that Herr & Frau Leuchtag didn't plan to leave their home (country) at the age they are now..

Back in those days AUFBAU the monthly German Jewish magazine (setted till 2004 in New York, USA - it moved then to Zurich, Switzerland) told it's readers who were in the main German Jewish imigrants (as obviously were it's writers..) not to speak German in public. So for they're home country didn't accept them as one of them anymore - in their new country they still were Germans - which was much too easily of course taken as a pseudonym for Nazi.. 

~ common sight in WWII  - this picture was taken in Germany - but does that matter at all? ~

A classic question from German journalists nowadays is to ask people who fleed the Nazis and came back later, why they returned to "the land OF the comitters". This actually made my grandfather angry whenever he heard it - and makes me still sad: So it was after all NOT the land of the ones who had to leave it? It is after all the land of the Nazis? As my grandfather used to state: "So the Nazis after all have actually won the war..". It is just a question of phrasing - I know.. but still..

And the trouble is - and I know I might sound a bit shizophrenic: If you're leaving your home you can't come back. It might be the same place - but it isn't home anymore. You have changed - and the people you knew have changed too. If you leave you'll leave forever. But that is no question which was actually to consider if you were Jewish/homosexual/or-what-ever-else-Nazis-think-is-not-good-enough-for-"their"-country  in 3rd Reich. 

I could of course go on and on with all those cast members and their connection to January's series - but I fear that January will be gone before I have finished this post.. And I fear that I might have already put some of my readers off with all those refugees talk in the end of this post..

So: thank you all for listening!

Hope to see you next month again at Rick's Café Américain - here at my blog!

Yours very well and truly


Monday, 30 January 2012

Start with a smile.. ..and some snow

This week Germany awaits winter.. Finally. No more grey skies and rain - apparently it will be quite cold - and we might have snow..

So what better picture than Ingrid Bergman enjoying winter weather?!

To all of you: A wonderful week - no matter what the weather might be like.. 

Yours very well and truly


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sommy puppy love.. ..with Walter Slezak

 Can you imagine a time when (my beloved) Walter Slezak actually was known as a romantic lead?

* May 3, 1902 (Vienna, Austria)

† April 21, 1983 (Flower Hill, New York, USA - suicide)

Oh - yes.. he was. It was way back in Germany - before his love for good food start showing.. 

Have one pic from this time:

~ this was made in the late 20's.. ~

He was quite dashing - wasn't he?

Of course.. - it's Tuesday.. - so here are some puppy love pictures - also from the late 20's:

 Have a wonderful day you all!

Enjoy your meals!

Yours (very well and) truly


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sparks in my interest..

Welcome to this new series in which I will present newer films I'd like to watch - not all in cinema - but someday.. 

 Let's start with: 



I really want to see that one! I know there are arguements whether the music is appropriate or not - actually I am a bit more interested in how nowadays actors cope with this task to not be able to be based on their lines.. 

 Besides that: Jean Dujardin was hilarious in French James Bond spoofs

- international title: OSS 117 : LOST IN RIO



- intern.: OSS117 : CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES

I am afraid I like this spy far better than 007..  or at at least better than that what I saw of Mr. Bond yet.. 

Back to the cinema:

I also am very interested in


Leonardo DiCaprio is not my type at all - but an amazing actor! And the story is more than just interesting..

Speaking of stories - there is a  book waiting for me to read it.. But now I think I'll first watch the film..


Then we have the new film by one of my favourite recent directors: Tarsem Singh.
His films are unbelievable. Great visual experiences - I can't wait to watch that one!


And at last a film I present with a little whimsical smirk..



Hope you'll watch some nice films!

Thank you very much for listening!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Some puppy love.. ..with Dalida

Welcome to this new issue of Some Puppy Love.. 

Todays guest is Egyptian singer, actress and todays's birthday girl (well.. one of them..) : 


* January 17, 1933 (Cairo, Egypt)
† May 3, 1987 (Paris, France)

A few words about this very, very fascinating woman:

  • She was born as Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti - which later became Yolanda Gigliotti.

  • Her mother tongue was Italian - but growing up in Cairo she also learned French and Egyptian Arabic. Actually she would later sing in several langues: French, Arabic, English, Greek, Dutch, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, German and Hebrew. (I think that's about it..)

Hear her sing her version of the title song of NEVER ON SUNDAY (1960):
... I just love this song..

  •  Her career went for 30 years from 1956 to 1986. She received 55 golden records - and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc.

    ~ Dalida is giving autographs - and looks just stunning. ~

  • In 1967 - shortly after they announced that they wanted to get married - her then lover Italian singer/actor Luigi Tenco commited suicide - Dalida found his death body.

~ Dalida Luigi Tenco. ~
  • Her husband Lucien Morisse also comitted suicide some years after their divorce - and so did her ex-lover the magician Richard Chanfray - who actually must have been one of the most irritating people - stating that he had several powers due to Alchemy - like making gold out of lead.. (I wonder how he happened to be broke most of his life then..) 
~ Dalida & Richard Chanfray ~

  • Also Dalida took her own life. She took some (actually too many) barbiturates and left a note saying "La vie m'est insupportable... Pardonnez-moi." which you could translate into "The life is insupportable for me... Forgive me."

When I was a child I often mixed her up with Hebrew singer and actress Daliah Lavi - to whom we listened very often.. Both had kind of a hoarse singing voice - actually something with which I share a bit with them.. 

I love both very much and I certainly hope to grow up to be as beautiful as those two women were in their "advanced youth".. - to me they were for sure..

Well.. but you're here to see some dogs - aren't you? 

So here we have Dalida with an anonymous dog - maybe a professional model..

~ epitome of showbiz - and a dog for the tender-hearted.. ~

I am quite happy to announce that Dalida  brought one of her best friends with her! 

Please say hello to Gerda - Dalida's pug!

~ two lovely ladies.. ~

Gerda looks a little irritated here.. ~

~ quite a lovely snapshot of Gerda and Dalida - this sure looks like fun! ~

And again - my favourite picture is the last in this series:

~ ... ~

Thank you all for listening!



Monday, 16 January 2012

Start with a smile.. ..and a cup of coffee..

Start your week with a smile - and a nice cup of coffee or tea.. 

like my heroine Barbara Bates does here in a break during filming RHAPSODY (1954) with John Ericson.

Most of you will know her from ALL ABOUT EVE. (1950)

In 1969 she took her own life. 

Even behind a lovely smile can live some grave sadness..


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Swinging with a star - Jack Carson

Some of you might still remember this series - it shall bring you some more or less swinging star to start your weekend with a song..

I hope you are all able to see this clip - and that it isn't blocked in your area.. 

It's my beloved Jack Carson in a film I love: 


singing matching the topic of the month:

Run, Run, Run

(The lyrics are by Jule Styne - and the music by Sammy Cahn - it is obviously a little clip from the German dubbed version but the song is "original Carson"..)

Thank you very much for listening!

Have a lovely weekend!



Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Some puppy love.. ..with Karl Dane

Welcome to a new issue of my puppy love series.. 

And this one actually today maybe a bit teary-eyed.. 

Our guest today:

Karl Dane

 * October 12, 1886 (Copenhagen, Denmark)
† April 14, 1934 (Los Angeles, California, USA)


I don't think that he is too well-known - that's why I wrote a bit more - but quite not enough about Karl Dane

He was born as Rasmus Carl Therkelsen Gottlieb. His childhood wasn't an easy one - not enough money and apparently his father was more interested in alcohol than anything - or anyone - else. So young Carl is said to have done what many children do when they are in trouble: they escape into fantasy worlds - via imagination, music, books and theatre (and nowadays: films and telly).. 

In 1916 he emigrated to the United States of America - leaving his wife and two children in Denmark - planning to send for them later. That never happened - his wife filed for divorce. Leaving him apparently  - I wasn't there, you know.. - very sad and lonely in a country which language he hardly spoke.

He first worked in Brooklyn as a mechanic - before he went on to Hollywood. There he would gain some smaller parts but eventually started kind of a career as "the villainous hun" - WWI was going on and the mood was quite anti-German. This might be why he changed his name officially into Karl Dane when he became an American citizen in 1919.. The tall actor (6'3½ = 1.92m) should also become more popular as a comic actor - mostly used as comic relief. 

Two of his most famous films are THE BIG PARADE (1925) and SON OF THE SHEIK (1926).

~ With Scottish actor George K. Arthur he formed the comedy team Arthur & Dane - here in ROOKIES (1927)~ 

In the rising days of the talkies studios decided that his thick Danish accent wouldn't allow him to continue his career - and who could be funny with a foreign accent? ... This might be also one cause for the nervous breakdown Karl Dane suffered from - which of course didn't help to revive his career. His last film was THE WHISPERING SHADOW (1933) in which his friend Béla Lugosi starred.

Karl Dane then would sell hot dogs - outside the MGM studios - where he used to work so successfully before. His business didn't pay out and soon he was again about to find a job to gain some money - reportedly he even asked (and was neglected) for a job at MGM as a carpenter ($5 a day..).

In 1934 at the age of 47 he committed suicide by shooting himself into the head. His 28 year old friend Frances Leake found him - he didn't show up when she invited him to visit a show to cheer him up - and she was worried.. 

The more fortunate Danish actor Jean Hersholt is said to have convinced MGM studios to pay for his funeral - he denied that.

It is also said that the day before his death Karl Dane was pickpocketed and most (if not all) of his capital was taken from him: $18.. 

No happy ending here, isn't it?

Let's have a look on more brighter days of Karl Dane:

~ his nickname actually was The Great Dane.. ~

~ Here he is with George K. Arthur and Jack Benny. ~

And let's not forget that it's still a Some Puppy Love post!

Karl Dane was very fond of animals. Apparently after the filming of  THE TRAIL OF '98 (1928) he rescued two dogs.

I do not know whether those are said dogs - but I certainly like to share those pictures with you:

~ I think this is a really nice picture - a charming Karl Dane and a very smart looking dog. ~

and have one of my favourite pictures of Karl Dane:

~well.. yes.. one of these dogs is actually a deer - a dear deer indeed.. ~

Thank you very much for listening!

And if you could do me a favour: Whenever you watch one of his films: please watch out carefully for The really Great and still so sad Dane!

Thank you very, very much!



Monday, 9 January 2012

Start with a smile.. ..and run with The Who

The Who are one of my favourite bands - always in my Top Ten. That's about that.


Start your week with a smile!

The Who: 

Pete Townshend, Roger DaltreyKeith Moon †, John Entwistle †

Spend some time with good friends - because you don't know how long they will stay with you..

Please, make some funny faces today - and enjoy being happy and alive!

And of course (because this it the month's theme..):

run like Roger Daltrey does in TOMMY (1975) the The Who Rock-Opera directed by Ken Russell :

Thank you for listening (and hopefully also smiling!)



Sunday, 8 January 2012

We'll run until we're BREATHLESS..

As I said before: I will from now on post a lot more about European films – and I will begin with the film which was one of the most influential films for an important movement in European films: The Nouvelle Vague – which means: New wave – and we’re not talking about feminine guys wearing a frown and heavy make-up.. As I now learned in English it is called French New Wave.. well.. we never stop learning.. (or: at least we shouldn't..)

But let's talk about the film by Jean-Luc Godard:



Engl. title: BREATHLESS - literally it would mean: "at the end of breath"

here's the poster for the anglophone viewer:

and here for the German:

In a nut-shell:

The little gangster Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) whose business is stealing cars – has shot a police officer during a stop-and-search operation. Now he is on the run. ~ Any question left WHY this film has made it into this month's theme? ~

Michel wants to go to Italy. For that he needs money – and he wants to take American student Patricia (Jean Seberg) - 
with her he has an on and off affair - with him.

So he heads to Paris where she lives – but: will she come with him? And will she help him at all?

 ~ Michel - having Patricia where he wanted her.. ~

Watch out for...

...Jean-Luc Godard - he appears very late (almost the end of the film) as a bystander/informer sporting sunglasses and reading a newspaper.

... Humphrey Bogart - that is: for his picture - Michel is looking at it.. This film is meant as kind of a hommage to the classic film noir.. 

~ same bed - different outfits.. think what you want..~

  • À BOUT DE SOUFFLE was filmed in 1959 on real location in Paris - and: yes, you're going to see a few of Paris' landmarks..

  • This film is based on a script by François Truffaut - which is based on a newspaper article about a real murder of a police officer.

  • Jean-Paul Belmondo believed after filming that this was one of the worst films ever made and never thought that it would actually made it into cinemas - not to speak of being such a success..

  • Jean-Luc Godard was looking for a leading lady who was internationally known - Jean-Paul Belmondo was almost unknown outside France at that time. - Godard was acquainted to Jean Seberg's then husband François Moreuil - that's how he found her in the end.

  • Besides the title itself there are no credits.
  • The score was delivered by popular Jazz-pianist Martial Solal.
  • Michel uses Laszlo Kovacs at some points as his name - this is a reference to a film by Claude Chabrol in which Jean-Paul Belmondo's character had that very name: À DOUBLE TOUR (1959).

    ~ puzzle: on this picture a french actor is hidden 
    - can you spot Jean-Paul Belmondo here? ~

  • This was Godard's first full-length movie.
  • When the filming of À BOUT DE SOUFFLE started the script wasn't finished yet.. Sometimes Jean-Luc Godard would give the actors their lines just when they were about to film a scene - this way keeping the film more off-handed.

  • Jean-Pierre Melville - a famous french writer/director who addopted his family name from famous author Herman Melville and who appears in this film as a writer giving an interview - later stated that he gave Godard the advice to cut all scenes which slowed the film, when Godard asked him for tips. That was what Melville would do with his own works, too.. What he did not expect was how Godard worked out his tip: Instead of cutting out complete scenes he just took parts of scenes - which lead in the end to the famous jump cuts for which À BOUT DE SOUFFLE is now famous..


  • The end-scene - in which Michel dies after Patricia sold him out to the police, who shoot him - is kind of puzzling:

    Michel says: "C'est vraiment déguelasse.." - which can mean "That's really disgusting." or in French slang "That makes me sick/ want to puke" .. Maybe you can decide for yourself what he actually said.. I am going with the latter - Michel isn't actually the poetic type..
~ picturing the cliché of a French film: sitting in a café chatting.. ~

You should watch this film if you are a fan of...

... 60s films 

... French films

... not so happy - but more realistic endings

... young men telling young women that they love them to make them having sex with said young men - and calling them ugly if said young women don't want to. (or just:  courtship..)

... dialogues about sex - without really showing a sex scene (just implying one..)

... 60's french  magazines of the Playboy kind - Michel is browsing through one - and you will have a look at the nude girls, too..

... each and every Jean - but especially: 

Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo & Jean-Luc Godard

Never ending story:

There is a re-make - also by the name of BREATHLESS - from 1983 in which Richard Gere and Valérie Kaprisky played the lead characters - obviously here the nationalities are reversed - also this film takes place in the United States of America.

~ international understanding.. ~

Quotes corner:

Michel: "If you don't like the sea ... or the mountains ... or the big city ... then get stuffed!"

German author Bertolt Brecht once stated that theater shouldn't allow audience to identify with the characters - and that's apparently what Godard decided to do with the character of Michel. He is quite arrogant and selfish.. He is the only one to know what's right - and he's frequently insulting all other people around him.. (well.. they are quite dumb, aren't they..)

The dialogues in this film are as much vulgar at some points as they are philosophic. Maybe that's what makes it so interesting. It's like life: a mixture of beauty and filth - with a higher rate of filth.

At some points it's quite funny, too:

When Patricia asks Michel whether he would know William Faulkner he answers:

 "No. Did you sleep with him?

And here one of my favourite sentences:

Patricia: "It's sad to fall asleep. It separates people. Even when you're sleeping together, you're all alone."  [that is actually what I like about it..]

~ Patricia answering Michel's question about with how many men she had had sex with.. ~

I like this film - mostly because it isn't romantic. Frankly, the older I get the more cynical I become. Who knows maybe I am not too fond of Michel because he is a lot like me..? Well.. as long as I don't look like him.. after all I AM female.. Though I would prefer to be like Patricia..

~ ... ~

Speaking of Patricia: I also like this film very much because it sports the unbelievable pretty Jean Seberg. Her character is one of my favourites. And: I could watch her for ages. The pictures of her from this film are just breathtaking (pardon the pun..) She is so delicate and elfin.. I am actually very much in love with her - though next to her I'd look like a dray horse..

Have a few images of her:

And if you like to: you can now watch the whole film here - with English subtitles:

Thank you very much for listening!