Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pierre Brice, the Famous French Film Unknown

Pierre Brice, inconnu du cinema francais – French title
Winnetou darf nicht sterben – German title
Pierre Brice, the Famous French Film Unknown – English title

A 2006 French, German co-production [Ere Production, ARTE France, France 3 Alsace, (Paris),
Movieman Productions (Munich), NDR (Hamburg)]
Arte GEIE, Ere Productions (Berlin)]
Producers: Christian Mozinger, Hans-Jürgen Panitz
Director: Oliver Schwehm
Screenplay: Oliver Schwehm
Photography: Oliver Schwehm [color]
Music: Klimperei
Running time: 52 minutes

Pierre Brice (Pierre Le Bris), Rik Battaglia (Caterino Bertaglia), Marie-José Nat (Marie-Jose Benhalassa), Marie Versini, Damiano Damiani, Mario Adorf, Michael Petzel, Christopher Barker, Vince Froehly (Vincent Froehly), Christiane Krüger

A legend on the other side of the Rhine, Pierre Brice is unknown on this side! In France, his resemblance to Alain Delon may have overshadowed his cinema films. But in Germany, he is more famous than Claudia Schiffer.

Born in Brest in 1929, Pierre-Louis Le Bris made a timid debut in “Ça va barder” by John Berry in 1955, then turns in “Le Miroir à deux faces de Cayatte” and “Les Tricheurs de Carné”, alongside new comers Jean-Paul Belmondo, Laurent Terzieff and Jacques Charrier.

Aware that the competition between the young players will be tough, he sets out to try his luck in Italy and Spain. In 1962, he was spotted by a German producer who wanted to adapt the adventures of Winnetou, imagined by novelist Kark May. Pierre Brice learns his role phonetically and keeps his charming French accent. It gives the Apache Chief an exotic side that seduces the crowds. Henceforth, his portrait and the posters of his films will be placed in the rooms of all German teenagers ...

This tender and funny portrait leaves a lot to Pierre Brice who explains why the character of Winnetou is liked so much by the Germans and how it was difficult for him to play any other roles.

His life is marked by the eleven adapted adventures of the works of Karl May, by the TV series inspired by the hero (including Winnetou the Mescalero, 7x52mn, directed by Marcel Camus for Antenne 2) and the Return of Winnetou released in 1998!


Special Birthdays

Karl May (writer) would have been 175 today, he died in 1912.

Frank Butler (actor) would have been 165 today, he died in 1926.

Pablo Aragues (producer, director, screenwriter) is 35 today.

Friday, February 24, 2017

RIP Antonio Casale

Italian director, assistant director and actor Antonio Casale died February 4th. He was 84 years-old. Casale was best known as an Italian character and supporting actor, who appeared in eight Italian spaghetti westerns-between 1965 and 1976, sometimes credited as Anthony Vernon. Casale is probably most famous throughout the world for his brief appearance in the role of the dying Bill Carson in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. He also appeared as the bounty hunter Hoak in the opening scene of “The Grand Duel” and in the role of one of the passengers on the coach that humiliates the protagonist Juan naively considering him only as an insignificant peon in “Duck You Sucker”. When the Euro-westerns were finished his face was often seen in police and crime films.

RIP Barbara Hudson (Brunella Bovo)

Italian actress Brunella Bovo died in a Rome hospital on February 21st. She was 86 years-old. Born in Padova, Veneto, Italy on March 8, 1930 she’s best remembered for her role in “The White Shiek” (1952) as Wanda Giardino Cavalli and starring Alberto Sardi. Her lone Euro-western appearance was as Nora Danders in 1965’s “Colorado Charlie” where she used the alias Barbara Hudson. Bovo is the sister of actress Mariolina Bovo.

RIP Chris Wiggins

Veteran British born Canadian actor Chris Wiggins died in Elora, Ontario, Canada on February 19th. He was 86. Chris was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England on January 13, 1931 and started out as a banker in his home country of England before he began his acting career in Canada, where he moved in 1952. Wiggins is probably best recognized for his role as Jack Marshak, the benevolent, resourceful expert on the occult in the syndicated television horror show Friday the 13th: The Series, which ran from 1987 to 1990. Another well-known role was Johann Robinson (Father) on Swiss Family Robinson. In addition to his television and film work. Wiggins appeare in two Euro-westerns “Welcome to Blood City” (1977) as Gellor and the TV mini-series “By Way of the Stars” 1992-1993 as Captain Harris.