Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Præriens skrappe drenge – Danish title
Pukki villissä lännessä – Finnish title
Hilfssheriff Billy pfeift kein Halleluja – German title
Vier tolle Jungs in der Prarie – German title
Vier aus Texas – German title
Bocken i vilda västern – Swedish title
Prairie Tough Guys – English title
Tough Guys of the Prairie – English title
A 1970 Danish production [Merry Film, Dansk-Svensk Film (Copenhagen)]
Producer: Henrik Sandberg
Director: Carl Ottosen
Story: Carl Ottosen
Screenplay: Carl Ottosen
Cinematography: Calus Loof [Eastmancolor]
Music: Sven Glydmark
Song: “Praeriens skrappe drenge” sung by Dirch Passer, Paul Hagen, Preben Krass, Willy Rathnov
Song: “Sally’s Song” sung by Eva Danne
Song: “Venner venner” sung by Karl Stegger (Carl Sorensen)
Running time: 99 minutes
Jonathan Ignasius Salvatore ‘Biggy’ Jones – Dirch Passer
Shorty – Paul Hagen
Ben – Preben Kaas
Sam – Willy Rathnov (Kaj Rasmussen)
Hank Ericson – Karl Stegger (Carl Sørensen)
Art Ericson – Jesper Kelin
Katy Ericson – Sisse Reingaard  (Anne-Marie Reingaard)
Johnson – Miskow Makwarth
Kari Johnson – Lone Lau
Sally – Eva Danné
Dommer – Ove Sprogøe (Ove Petersen)
Slim O’Hara – Lars Lunøe
Gus – Hans-Henrik Krause
Tucky – Peer Guldbrandsen
Brooke – Benny Hansen
Boy – Nat Russell, Jr. (Nathan Russell, Jr.)
O’Hara henchman – Ole Guldbrandsen
Sheriff of Greenville – Carl Ottosen
Deputy Sheriff – Poul Glargard (Poul Rasmussen)
Bartender – Arne Møller
Indian Chief – Bjørn Spiro
Cowboy – Ib Sorenson
Chief’s daughter – Winnie Mortensen
Chief’s wife – Irene Poller
Trader – Esper Hagen (Esper Andersen)
With: Søren Steen

Old man Johnson mines gold on his land which is stolen from him by the Slim O'Hara gang. They threaten his gold, his life and the deed to the property. O'Hara targets the neighboring land. But he and his gang are met with resistance in the form of prairie Tough Guys: Shorty, Ben, Sam and Jonathan Ignatius Salvatore ‘Biggy’ Jones..
YouTube film clip:

Pan(ned) Atlantic – The dreaded international co-production Part 2

by Dean Brandum
[Continued from April 25, 2014]

Hollywood was suffering its own crises at home during this period. Forced to divest itself of its theatre chains they also faced a post-war slump in the audiences who were now finding their entertainment in other sources, especially television. The various measures set up in Europe to negate a perceived attempt at American domination actually proved a blessing in disguise for the Hollywood studios. After attempting a number of underhanded schemes to access boxoffice funds frozen on the continent, the studios finally relented and began investing in European films. Believing that spectacle would lure audiences back to cinemas, they found Europe offered the scenery required for such exotic epics and that production crews were not only capable but comparatively inexpensive. For a time the giant Cinecitta studios in Rome were known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ due to the number of what would be referred to as ‘runaway’ American productions shooting there. The Hollywood studios also carefully met any requirement for such films to be declared ‘French’, ‘Italian’, ‘British’ or wherever they were shooting in order to receive the due government inducements such as tax minimisations and subsidies offered by that particular country. Although Britain was reluctant to join any pan-European co-production agreements, they also benefited from American involvement, with Hollywood investment paving the way for a number of successful films in the 1960s that were ostensibly British but backed with American finance. In fact, American involvement was so important in Britain that when it was withdrawn late in that decade the British industry ground to a halt, subsisting through much of the 1970s on low budget exploitation product. The success of European genre films in the 1960s also allowed for a number of small distributors in the United States to expand rapidly by importing these films at low cost to an appreciative American youth market, who had become the most important audience for the Hollywood studios. A company such as AIP made a fortune by cheaply acquiring the distribution rights to Goliath and the Barbarians (1959: Carlo Campogallianni) and after similar successes then began financing European productions.
Even within the confines of the action genre the co-produced film would move through various cycles and forms, mimicking successful Hollywood hits or even finding variations on their own profitable formulas. From peplums to gothic thrillers, westerns to detective thrillers, espionage adventures to softcore pornography, it became a business of gambles and speculations, whether a producer could jump aboard a particular genre when it was popular with audiences and if they knew it was time to move on before the audience tired of that particular formula.
From the early 1960s, there was a surge in the number of films co-produced by companies in two or more countries, particularly within Europe. Although their initial aim was for Continental success, many found their way to the United States, often through the distribution arms of the major Hollywood studios, who found them to be ideal product for cheaply buffering their release schedules. The derision for the international co-production from critics in the United States and Britain stemmed from a number of factors. A New York Times review of The Viscount (1970: Maurice Cloche), a West German-French-Spanish co-produced espionage thriller partly set in the USA was typical in relaying several of the prejudices which could be expressed in a short-hand fashion in many reviews for such productions:
“[The Viscount] pretends to the title and the class of a high-born Bond-type picture and all it is is a low-grade gangster film-so low that it thinks Jersey City was the height of elegance as a center of crime in years gone by. Charge that up to the fact that it is one of those European sausage films – ground out by a group of co-producers representing West Germany, France and Spain-and you know what usually happens when the Europeans try to show how wise they are about America….it is the sort of picture they’d be strongly inclined to brush under the rug in Hollywood-or quickly sell to television for burial on the late night shows.” (Crowther).
Within this review is the belief that the film is attempting to defraud the audience, by modeling itself on a genre created, refined and perfected by British and American filmmakers (in this case, the high-class spy thriller). It tries to present a familiarity with the American milieu, yet its background reveals it an imposter in Hollywood guise. The reviewer displays a possible xenophobic streak in his distrust of European comment of American issues (and seems to feel that the newspaper’s readership agrees). The film’s international pedigree is described in a manner that implies financial considerations over artistic ambition (referring to producers rather than a director), with no singular national vision. That it was ‘ground out’ demeans the film as a low-grade factory created product, but one without any class, skill or even pretence to art. The inclusion of “one of those” indicates a pre-supposed knowledge on behalf of the readership in that that they are well-aware of this type of film and its inherent traits. Finally, in a direct comparison with Hollywood product, The Viscount is assessed as being so inferior as to being worthy of the then lowest and last rung of mainstream exhibition – late night television. [To be continued]

Who Are Those Guys? - Jaime Blanch

Jaime Blanch Montijano was born in Collado Villalba, Madrid, Spain on September, 9, 1940. Jaime was born into a family of artists, in which his parents were two known actors, José [1904-1996] and Concha Montijano. His aunt and uncle were also engaged in acting and were very popular, they being Montserrat Blanch [1903-1995] and Modesto Blanch [1909-1990].
Most likely influenced by the environment around him, Jaime began his acting career at an early age. He has an extensive professional background in television and in film, but may be considered primarily a stage actor.

His debut, which took place at the age of 12, in 1952, was in the film "Gloria Mairena" by Luis Lucia, which he followed up the next year in, "God 's War" by Rafael Gil, and "Jeromín", again with Luis Lucia, who would later work on other titles such as "Andalusian Knight", "Un marido de ida y vuelta” and “Ha llegado un ángel”.
Blanch has appeared in many films with some of the most renowned directors of his time, as in Antonio del Real’s " Araña y cierra España", in Pedro Maso “La familia, bien, gracias”, and Alex de la Iglesia in “Acción mutante” and “El día de la bestia”. In appearing in two Euro-westerns he used the Americanized alias Bob Johnson for his role as Hurricane in “The Son of Django” (1967) and his real name in 1968’s “Killer Adios” where he played a prisoner.
As for television, Jaime started working in it in the early 1960s, starring in many of the plays that were issued as part of shows like "Studio 1", "Fiction", "Tengo un libro en las manos” and "Teatro de siempre".
On stage the actor has a great track record. Being impossible to list all the works he has starred in, highlighting just some as “Angelina o el honor de un brigadier”, “La venganza de don Mendo”, “Una visita inesperada”, “La alondra”, “Medea”, “Crimen perfecto” and ”Aquí un amigo” which he directed himself.
Blanch ws married to the actress Marta Puig [1943- ] and then María José Moreno with whom he had two sons born in 1967 and 1971.

BLANCH, Jaime (aka Bob Johnson, Robert Johnson) (Jaime Blanch Montijano) [9/9/1940, Collado Villalba, Madrid, Spain -     ] – stage, TV actor, son of actor José Blanch [1904-1996], actresses Concha Montijano, nephew of actresss Montserrat Blanch [1903-1995], actor Modesto Blanch [1909-1990] married to actress Marta Puig [1943-    ] (19??-196?), married to María José Moreno (196?-1980), father of ? [1967-    ], ? [1971-    ].
The Son of Django – 1967 (Hurricane) [as Bob Johnson]
Killer, Adios – 1968 (prisoner)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New DVD Release

De Hombre A Hombre
(Death Rides a Horse)
Director: Giulio Petroni
Starring: Lee Van Cleef, John Philip Law
Label: Resen
Country: Spain
Discs: 1
Region: B, PAL
Aspect Ratio: 1920x1080p - 2.35:1
Audio: Spanish, English, German, Italian Dolby Digital 2.9
Subtitles: Spanish, English, German Portuguese,
Time: 105 minutes
Available: April 29, 2014

Happy 70th Birthday Agnes Spaak

Agnès Spaak was born on April 29, 1944 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Saine, France. Agnès is the granddaughter the politician Paul-Henri Spaak, the daughter of photographer, screenwriter Charles Spaak [1903-1975] and actress Claudie Cleves, she is the older sister of actress Catherine Spaak [1945- ]. Sometimes credited as Anna Malsson, Spaak appeared in films and television between 1962 and 1974. She left her career as an actress in the mid-1970s, to follow in her father’s footsteps as a photographer.
In 1975 Agnès moved to Milan where she began to work more as a photographer for fashion companies and the publishing house Edilio Rusconi, with whom she collaborated for many years. She then moved to Hachette.
Agnès appeared in 22 films among which were six westerns including “Killer Caliber .32” (1967), “God Made Them, I Kill Them” (1968) and “Hey Amigo, to Your Death” (1970).
Today we celebrate Agnes Spaak’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Reinhardt Koldehoff

Reinhardt Koldehoff was born on April 29, 1914 in Berlin, Germany. The son of a postman initially attended the High School and later took private acting lessons with the acquisition of extras roles at the Grosses Schauspielhaus and the State Opera, in his hometown. In 1936, Kolldehoff made his debut in the National Theatre Altenburg. In 1941, he appeared in the Heinz Riihmann movie “Der Gassmann” his first small movie appearance.
After the war Kolldehoff belonged to the ensemble of the Berlin Hebbel Theater until 1948. Also in the following years he was on stage including since 1955 as the Hamburg Schauspielhaus under Gustaf. However Kolldehoff turned his attention increasingly to a movie career. From 1948, he initially appeared in several films of the East German DEFA, in Erich Engels “Affaire Blum”, Wolfgang Staudtes “Rotation” (1949) and as a returning soldier in Hans Mueller comedy
“Bürgermeister Anna” (1950).
Then Kolldehoff made a film career in West German in international films (here he was often billed as René Kolldehoff). He worked with such actors as Kirk Douglas, Lee Marvin, Catherine Deneuve, Marianne Koch, Hans Albers, O.W, Fischer, Hardy Kruger, Richard Widmark, Roger Moore, William Holden, Jane Birkin, Marlene Dietrich, Gérard Depardieu and Alain Delon. Among the film directors with whom he worked, included Henri Verneuil, Jacques Deray, Claude Chabrol, George Roy Hill, Edouard Molinaro, José Giovanni, Philippe de Broca and Helmut Käutner.
Kolldehoff was used almost exclusively in supporting roles. His gigantic stature and his distinctive voice impressed the public for decades. His appearance predestined him for appearances as a "movie villain" and especially abroad for the type of the "ugly German". Although he took many such roles, Reinhard Kolldehoff was sometimes cast against his usual role type in unfamiliar contexts.
As a voice actor he lent among other things, Lex Barker (only in my wife's sake) and Sam Shepard (in In Days of Heaven ) his voice.
He appeared in only one Euro-western as René Kolldehoff in “Massacre at Fort Holman” (1972) as Sergeant Brent. His voice was heard as that of Ivan Novak’s in “Flaming Frontier” (1965) and Ilija Ivezic in “Rampage at Apache Wells” in the German film releases.
Reinhardt dies in Berlin from Parkinson’s disease on November 18, 1995.
Today we remember Reinhardt Koldehoff on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Remembering Carlo Innocenzi

Carlo Innocenzi was born on April 29, 1899 in Monteleone de Spoleto, Umbria, Italy. He moved to Rome, where he worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Transport, and graduated in violin following the course of Remy Principe. He then studied composition under the guidance of Dobici and Palombi. Innocenzi is best known as a film composer; he composed over 150 film scores beginning in 1933. From 1958 till his death, he focused on peplum (sword and sandal) film scores.
Innocenzi also composed several pop songs, and some of them were not only commercial hits but also became instant classics, notably "Mille lire al mese" and "Valeria ragazza poco seria". He was married to Sonia Pearlwing, who under the name of Marcella Rivi was the author of the lyrics for several songs composed by him.
Innocenzi composed the score for one Euro-western “The Terror of Oklahoma” (1959).
Carlo died in Rome, Italy on March 24, 1962.
Today we remember Carlo Innocenzi on what would have been his 115th birthday.

Monday, April 28, 2014

RIP Micheline Dax

Micheline Dax actress, who has made a successful career in theater and film, primarily in comedies, died Sunday April 27, 2014 in Paris. Born Micheline Josette Renée Etevenon on March 3,1924 in Paris, Île de France, she was one of the queens of French comedy. She was 90 years old. After completing studies at the Simon, she became a stage, radio, TV and voice actress. She was the voice of Miss Piggy, of the famous TV ‘Muppet Show’ and Ursula in “The Little Mermaid”, Calamity Jane on the 1984 ‘Lucky Luke’ TV series and Maa sheep in “Babe”. Dax was very popular on television in the 1970s and 1980s, she was a regular guest on game shows including "Les Jeux de 20 Heures" and "l'Académie des neuf".
She was married to actor Jacques Bodoin since 1960, Michelle Dax leaves behind a daughter, actress and TV host Veronique Bodoin. She was awarded Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, she also made a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 2012.


Torrejón City – International title
A 1962 Spanish production [Tyrys Films (Madrid)]
Producer: Esther Cruz
Director: León  Klimovsky (León Dulfano)
Story: Ramón  Barreiro, Tono (Antonio de Lara Gavilán)
Screenplay: Rafael J. Salvia, Manuel Tamayo (Manuel Castro), José Antonio Verdugo (José Torres)
Cinematography: Manuel Hernández Sanjuán [Eastmancolor]
Music: Gregorio García Segura
Running time: 89 minutes
Sheriff Tom Rodriguez – Tony Leblanc (Ignacio Sánchez)
Tim ‘El Malo’ – Tony Leblanc (Ignacio Sánchez)
Ruth – May Heatherly
Peggy – Mara Laso (María Rizo)
Prostitutes – Mary Begoña, María Alvarez, Himilce (Esther Cruz)
Sam Tio – Antonio Garisa (Antonio Colás)
Fiscal – Venancio Muro
Vulture - Simón Arriaga
Bandit – José Canalejas
Bartender – Agustin Bescos
Hawkeye – Xan das Bolas (Tomás Pena)
Dog – Beni Deus (Venancio Mejuto)
Vaquero – Victor Iregua
Mac – Paco Morán (Fracisco Ruiz)
Butch - Juan Antonio Peral (Juan Peral)
Indio - José Luis Heredia
Sheriff Morris – Antonio Moreno
Ferroviario – Enrique Nunez
Undertaker – Luis Sánchez Polack
Banker – José Luis Zalde
Judge - Víctor Iregua
Ferroviario - Enrique Núñez
Saloon patron – Álvaro de Luna
Rider – Gonzalo Esquirez
With: Luis Alonso. Gonzalo Esquirez

A stranger arrives in the western town of Torrejón City. He is thought to be outlaw ‘El Malo’ and the town is about to lynch him when the truth is learned. He is really a sheriff and is used as bait to capture the outlaw.

Happy 45th Birthday Romain Bertrand

Romain Bertrand was born on April 28, 1969 in France. He’s appeared in only one film which was the Euro-western “The Colts of the Black Gold” (2008) as Killer Bob.
Today we celebrate Romain Bertrand’s 45th birthday.

Happy 70th Birthday Neil Summers

Nicholas ‘Neil’ Summers was born on April 28, 1944 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. His father Walter Summers was a champion bicycle rider and the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when Neil was 14. He worked on TV’s ‘Gunsmoke’ from 1971-1974 as an extra and stuntman. “It’s all I’ve ever done for over forty years,” Summers said. “I grew up watching all the cowboys on TV. I just wanted to be a cowboy in the movies. I had no interest in staying inside. I started working as an extra and they eased me up.”
Neil played Snake River Rufus Krile in the 1972 film “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean”. He was spotted by director Sergio Leone who hired him for the role of Squirrel in “My Name is Nobody” (1973). He quickly became friends with actor Terence Hill and has appeared in seven of Hill’s films and television series including “Lucky Luke” (1990) as Deputy Virgil and the TV series of the same name, “Troublemakers” (1994) as Dodge and Hill’s most recent TV westerns ‘Doc West’ and ‘Triggerman’ (2008).
Today Neil is still going strong as stunt coordinator on the TV series ‘Longmire’.
Today we celebrate Neil Summer’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Kurt Bowe

Kurt Böwe was born on April 28, 1929 in Reetz, Brandenburg, Germany. Kurt was one of six children of a Reetzer peasant family. Already in his youth he was interested in literature and the theater, so in 1949 after he graduated from high school he took the entrance exam at the drama school of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Receiving approval, he studied from 1950 to 1954 German Literature and Theatre Studies at the Institute for Theatre Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin to start an academic career. After his studies, he worked six years as an assistant at the University, where he lectured in theater history and drama. He also played at the student theater, where the then head, Horst Schönemann, persuaded him to pursue acting.
After he had turned to acting, his first engagement in 1961 led him to the Maxim Gorki Theater. Then for a short time at the Volksbühne Berlin, then an engagement at the National Theatre Hall, before he retired in 1973 on the stage of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. From 1973 to 1997 he belonged to the local Ensemble and became at that time one of the most famous and popular performers.
In Berlin in 1961 he started his film and television work, initially in small roles such as in Konrad Wolf's DEFAIch war neunzehn”, and later in main roles, such as the Wolf film “Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz” in 1973. His portrayal of the sculptor Kemmel earned him the breakthrough as a film actor and made him known nationally and internationally. This was followed by countless other film and television activities. He appeared in one Euro-western “Bluehawk” (1979) as Juhn Ruster.
With his distinctive voice, he was also a voice actor and announcer in about 150 radio plays.
Bowe was in 1969 awarded the art prize of the GDR. In 1989 he was awarded the National Prize of the GDR , First Class for art and literature.
Bowe died on June 14, 2000 in Berlin, Germany.
Today we remember Kurt Böwe on what would have been his 85th birthday.

Happy 90th Birthday Donatas Banionis

Donatas Yuosovich Banionis was born on April 28, 1924 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Banionis began his career with some films in Lithuania, but he would later play mainly in Russian language films. He has also worked outside the U.S.S.R. like in the title role Goya of the USSR-GDR coproduction “Goya - oder Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis” (1971), directed by Konrad Wolf and in the title role as Beethoven in the 1976 DEFA-production “Beethoven - Tage aus einem Leben”. He is best known in the West for his performance in the lead role of Tarkovsky's “Solaris” as Kris Kelvin. Donatas appeared in one Euro-western as Gabriel Conroy in “Armed and Dangerous” (1977).
Today we celelbrate Donatas Banionis’s 90th birthday.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

RIP Antonio Pica

Spanish heartthrob Antonio Pica Serrano died in a hospital in El Puerto de Santa María, Andalucia, Spain on April 26, 2014. He was 83. Born on March 21, 1931 in Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Andalucía Spain. After military service he worked on oil rigs and as a diver, until he was discovered when he was discovered by a producer from Moro Studios. Pica went on to appear in more than 70 films, TV series and commercials. Because of his American looks he appeared in such international co-productions as “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (1964) and “Travels With My Aunt” (1972). Pica appeared in 14 Euro-westerns such as: “Fistful of Dollars”, “Django Kill” “For a Few Bullets More”, “Ringo the Lone Rider”, “A Bullet for Sandoval”, “Two Crosses at Danger Pass”. More recently Antonio came out of retirement in 2012 to appear in the Euro-western short film ”The Cockroach” directed by Manuel Ruiz. Married four times he leaves five children.

The Ghost of Jesse James

DATELINE: Hollywood - December, 02, 1991

-"The Ghost of Jesse James," indie television production of 13 half-hour episodes, produced by Sesión, is scheduled to begin shooting. Series is directed and written by Jose Ulloa. Patty Shepard and Craig Hill will topline.
1991-92, Spain
13 X 30 minute episodes.
Production Co: Sesión S.A.
Director & Teleplay: Jose Ulloa Blancas, Executive Producer: Maria Angeles Ots (of Sesión S.A.)
Cast: Craig Hill (as the ghost of Jesse James) & Patty Shepard.
- First announced in the weekly 'Variety' newspaper, December, 1991, 'The Ghost of Jesse James' was to have started filming that same month. Director Jose Ulloa had cut his teeth as an assistant on such spaghetti westerns as '... Around Him Was Death', 'Saranda',  'El Puro,' 'Four Candles for My Colt', 'Too Much Gold for one Gringo' and 'Ten Killers Came from Afar'. He probably met actor Craig Hill, while they both had worked on the war pic, 'When Heroes Die' (US) / 'Suicide Mission' (UK) / 'Consigna: matar al comandante en jefe' / 'Commando di Spie' (1970, José Luis Merino). A few years later when Ulloa came to make his directorial debut on the thriller 'Refuge of Fear' / 'El refugio del miedo' (1974), he choose Mr. Hill as well as Ms. Shepard to star. A decade or two later, with financing from the company that had made his previous film, 'Andalucía chica' (1988), Mr. Ulloa set out to make his own western. This unsold television pilot offered the above trio (Ulloa, Hill & Shepard) a second chance to work together. From the title alone it's hard to ascertain the plot. It was probably set in the present day, with Mr. Hill being a frontier variation of both 'Topper' and the Monte Markham series, 'The Second Hundred  Years'. Casting-wise it wouldn't have mattered much that the  real 'Jesse' had died at the age of 35, as Craig would still have cut a splendid ghostly-figure, as an older worldly version of the infamous gunslinger. Too bad the series never came to fruition, as it could have made a fine ending to Mr. Hill's long career as a spaghetti leading man. Sadly both Ms. Shepard and Mr. Hill are now both gone. 
By Biltmore (Michael Ferguson).

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue our search for film locations for “Texas Addio” (aka “The Avenger”). After Burt disposes of the assassin he returns to his horse and finds his brother Jim sitting on a rock playing a banjo. Jim insists on going with Burt to find the murderer of their father and will not take no for an answer. Burt relents and as they start out Jim asks where they are headed. Mexico Burt replies and Jim cracks a smile. “Mexico!”

The location of the shootout and meeting with Burt and Jim is again in Hoyo de Manzanares just north of the location of Golden City the town set used in “Fistful of Dollars” and many other early Euro-westerns. You’ll see a paved street with several foundations which were used in the Peter Lee Lawrence gangster film “Tiempos de Chicago” (1969). Just beyond it are the rocks pictured. You’ll also see the mountain which can be seen behind the Rojo hacienda in ‘Fistful”.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend       Yoshi Yasuda’s location site:

Happy 80th Birthday Dominique Boschero

Dominique Jacqueline Angele Boschero was born on April 27, 1934 in Paris, Île-de- France, France. She is the sister of producer, actor Martial Boschero. Dominique spent her childhood in Italy with her grandparents until the age of 15, when she returned to Paris. In France, she first worked as a maid in a clinic, and then as a seamstress, finally, thanks to her beauty as a model.

At the age of 18, she made ​​her debut on the stage of the music hall Paris La Nouvelle Eve which started her acting career, making small appearances.
Following an interview with the Italian newspaper Epoca, opened the eyes of Italian producers and she began her film acting career in Italy where she appeared it several films.
She began a romantic relationship with Italian actor Claudio (Camaso) Volontè (the brother of Gian Maria Volonte), they were both hit by a scandal of an alleged bomb at the Vatican. This case and the relationship with the cursed actor, who died by suicide, greatly harmed her career.
Dominique appeared in five Euro-westerns from “A Dollar of Fear” (1960) as Sherry to “The Buzzards and Crows Will Dig Your Grave” (1971) as Myra. She’s probably best remember for her role in “A Train for Durango” (1967) as Helen with Anthony Steffen, Mark Damon and Enrico Maria Salerno.
In 1974 she left the cinema and now she lives in a small village in the Valle Varaita. However, in 1989, she reappeared in the Italian soap opera ‘Passioni’ on Rai Uno.
Today we celebrate Dominique Boschero’s 80th birthday.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New CD Release

Per qualche dollari in piu
(For a Few Dollars More)
Composer: Ennio Morricone
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonte
Label: Retro Gold
Country: Italy
# ?
Discs: 2
Tracks: 38
Total time: 71:57 minutes
Extras: 2nd disc contains the score for Danger Diabolik! 21 tracks 45 minutes, 3 seconds
Available: April 25, 2014
Track listing


La caza del oro – Spanish title
Lo credevano uno stinco de santo – Italian title
Il n’y a plus se saints au Texas – French title
Zwei ausgekochte Halunken – German title
Ena liontari pou to legane Gringo – Greek title
Ton fonazan Ouranokatevato – Greek title
Pistevan oti itan agios – Greek title
Gulljakten – Norwegian title
They Believed He was a Saint – English title
Too Much Gold for One Gringo – English title
A 1972 Spanish, Italian co-production [Cine XX (Madrid), P.E.A. (Rome)]
Producer: Alberto De Stefanis
Director: Juan Bosch (Juan Palau)
Story: Sergio Donai, Juan Bosch (Juan Palau)
Screenplay: Juan Bosch (Juan Palau), Fabio Piccioni
Cinematography: Julio Pérez de Rozas [Eastmancolor, widescreen]
Music: Marcello Giombini
Running time: 96 minutes
Trash Benson – Anthony Steffen (Antonio de Teffe)
Fermin Rojas – Fernando Sancho (Fernando Les)
Paco/Cato – Daniel Martín (José Martínez)
Travers – Luis Induni (Luigi Radici)
María – Tania Alvarado
Jonathan Carver – Manuel Guitián
Dean Carver – Manny Gel (Manuel Salgado)
Preacher – Gaspar ‘Indio’ Gonzales
Padre Javier - Gustavo Re
Molly – Irene D’Astrea
Apache Joe – Juan M. Solano (Juan Miguel Solano)
Silvertop - Antonio Ponciano
Jed Spotless - Ricardo Moyán
Gunman – Juan Antonio Rubio
Prison warden - Raf Baldassarre (Raffaelle Baldassarre)
Sheriff – Jarque Zurbano
Melquiades - Ángel Lombarte
Villager – Juan Torres
Molly’s friend – Carmen Roger
Rojas henchman – Ivan Patiño (Juan Patiño)
Travers’ henchman - Esteban Dalmases

Jonathan Carver, a former transporter for a mining company, took advantage of his profession by one day stealing 28 bags of gold. Sitting in the County Prison for 20 years he has jealously guarded the secret of the hiding place and now, at the end of his sentence, he is awaited by the gunman Trash Benson, Mr. Trevers company, and four other greedy bandits. Aided by Trash and the Mexican Paco, his cellmate, old Carver manages to elude the bandits and dies of heart failure. Led by a clue found by Molly, the temporary allies, Trash and Paco, cross the border into Mexico and travel to San Fermin, the village where the statue of the saint of the same name, fervently worshiped by the people. Carver has hidden the gold in the statue. However they were preceded by the revolutionary bandit Firmin Rojas and they themselves are promptly followed by the bandits. When the battle grows fierce, Trash and Paco risk their lives over and over again. When all the outlaws are killed and many of the villagers needlessly sacrificed, Paco deserts Trash; leaves a portion of the gold to the villagers and runs away from his friend.
YouTube opening credits link:

Remembering Marianne Hoppe

Marianne Stefanie Paula Henni Gertrud Hoppe was born on April 26, 1909 in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany. Hoppe became a leading lady of stage and films in Germany. She was born into a wealthy land owning family and was initially privately educated on her father's private estate. Later she attended school in Berlin and in Weimar, where she began to attend theatre.
Hoppe first performed at 17 as a member of Berlin's Deutsches Theater under director Max Reinhardt. In 1935 she was hired by the controversial German actor and Director of the Prussian State Theatre under the Third Reich, Gustav Gründgens [1899-1963]. They were married from 1936-1946. One of the characters in the film Mephisto is based on her. Another is based on Gründgens. Hoppe made no secret of her contacts with the Nazi elite in the 1930s and 40's, including being invited to dinner by Hitler. Her role in “Der Schimmelreiter” (“The Rider of the White Horse”, 1933) made her famous almost overnight, while her "Aryan" face made her a darling of the Nazi elite. Later Hoppe would label this period of her life as "the black page in my golden book".
During her time acting at the home of the Prussian State Theatre, the Schauspielhaus, Hoppe developed her analytical approach to acting, which she stated consisted in her "taking apart every sentence" and giving the use of language a brilliance. This method was to be associated with Hoppe throughout her working life. 1946 her only child Benedict Hoppe was born from an affair with British journalist Ralph Izzard.
Four years later after her divorce from Gründgens, Hoppe had a great success as Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, and increasingly played avant-garde roles, written by authors such as Heiner Muller (“Quartett”, 1994) and Thomas Bernhard, who became her partner in private life as well. She became a favorite of the young and iconoclastic directors Claus Peymann, Robert Wilson and Frank Castorf. She would appear in two Euro-westerns: “The Treasure of Silver Lake” (1962) as Mrs. Butler and “Massacre at Marble City” (1963) as Mrs. Brendel.
Hoppe died in Siegsdorf, Oberbayern, Bavaria, on October 23, 2002 from natural causes, aged 93.
Today we remember Marianne Hoppe on what would have been her 105th birthday.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Guess Who I Am

I was an American dancer, stage and film actor born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1914.
I was raised in Harlem, New York and became a renowned dancer.
I appeared in over a dozen European films but only one Euro-western.
Guess Who I Am.

Bill Connolly correctly identified this week's picture as Archie Savage.

New DVD Release

Oro Sangriento - Sabata
Director: Gianfranco Parolini
Starring: Lee Van Cleef, William Berger, Franco Ressel, Linda Veras
Label: Research Entertainment SL
Country: Spain
Discs: 1
Region: B
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, 16:9
Audio: Spanish, Englis, German, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: Spanish, English, German, Portuguese  
Time: 106 minutes
Available: April 22, 2014

History of Co-Productions (Part 1)

Pan(ned) Atlantic – The dreaded international co-production Part 1

by Dean Brandum
To any self-respecting, serious film-buff, the term ‘international co-production’ is cause for instant derision and immediate dismissal. Conjuring up memories of turgid and incomprehensible narratives set in far-flung corners of the earth and populated with a gallery of disinterested, fading performers delivering depressingly dreadful dialouge. Once a staple of 1960s-1970s cinema (and later filling many a late night TV schedule), such Europuddings are still concocted, but their multi-national pedigrees are somewhat better disguised.  Indeed, if you follow the production histories of many recent Hollywood blockbusters you will find they are a complex web of financial necessities are considerations, with input from a consortium of international backers. Tax concessions, currency exchange rates, available production facilities, appeal to foreign markets are all woven into the getting a film off the ground. Today’s international co-production may appear more seamless than those earlier forays into a true, global cinema, yet such smoothing of the edges has robbed the mode of its jet-setting soul.
There is little love lost for the original euro-pudding (or ‘runaway production’ as the trade more kindly described it), however, in a regular series, I would like to delve into this rather forgotten past and pay some tribute to the films, their makers and how (and why) they came into being.
For those unfamiliar and those just trying to forget, perhaps a very brief and potted explanation is in order…
“In the age of political integration, co-productions are inevitable and necessary. Indeed, they provide the only strategy to boost the cinema economically and to secure a film’s success at the boxoffice. Worries that artistic input might suffer in purely economic considerations might be justified. But much more important is to find the foundations for workable joint productions with any country in the world which is willing to co-operate…” – Horst Axtmann in 1967
Following the Second World War the European Cinema was in a state of crisis. Individual nations were deep in debt, talent had been decimated and infrastructure destroyed. Assistance to the European countries from the United States arrived swiftly to both wartime allies and enemies in the form of loans and rebuilding programs. A number of American films also arrived on the continent, provided free for educational, inspirational and entertainment purposes.
During the war, Hollywood lost its once lucrative European markets. Apart from Britain, the studios were only importing (and deriving income from) the British Empire, Latin America and a handful of neutral countries of negligible value. With a number of markets now again available, the studios leapt into the void created by the war and the dearth of local product by flooding European cinemas with the backlog of films accumulated over several years. The American industry was also aided by the loss, during the war period, of the many practices such as quotas and tariffs imposed by governments that had restricted the import of foreign (especially American) films. With the approval by the US government for a legal cartel formed by the studios to enhance export opportunities, these factors allowed for a concerted effort by Hollywood to gain a position of power in a vulnerable European film market. That it was detrimental to the European industries was an inevitable consequence.
Yet, the European nations fought back. Apart from the damage to European industry and culture, the American studios were draining currency from desperately poor nations with little tangible in return. Restrictions on film imports were implemented and, in an attempt to stem the currency loss, new regulations were imposed whereby the American companies could only use such funds (or percentages of them) if they were used for purposes of production or investment within the European countries. In 1946 Italy and France signed an ‘experimental’ co-production agreement, ratifying it in 1949. Of the many bi-lateral and more expansive agreements made in the decade after the war, this was the most successful, producing over 230 films by 1957. Germany signed with France in 1951, France with Argentina and Spain in 1953, then with Yugoslavia and Austria two years later. Eventually nearly all of the filmmaking countries (including smaller nations such as Holland, Hungary, Sweden and Denmark) of Europe had passed agreements, often with overlap. Each of these agreements had a complex set of criteria for each participating company to fulfil in order that the production met the requirements of national representation within the pact. This process was often tied in with government initiatives that supported film production, such as subsidies and tax rebates. Various categories were established (often markedly different over each agreement) in which the percentage of investment could be evaluated. This would determine such details as how many performers and crew would be required from that country and, how many scenes would need to be shot there. Indeed, in many cases, having a compatriot fulfil a certain high profile position, such as director, would be regarded highly by the regulators at the expense of some other, otherwise mandatory, requirements.
When quantified in numbers of pure production, the co-production method was highly successful. Between 1949-1964 there were 1091 films made involving at least two national partners. Mostly genre films, the filmmakers adapted quickly to ever-changing market tastes. In the process some genres such as the German ‘Heimatfilme’ (domestic melodramas of the ‘homeland’) which were very popular in the 1950s had vanished by the end of the decade. Action became the key ingredient of the co-production, a selling point that appealed to audiences across all national boundaries. The concentration of spectacle also alleviated the reliance upon dialogue, relegating it to general conversation and exposition. This also strengthened the films’ claims to being truly pan-European, with post-synchronising (dubbing) of the soundtrack made easier. Importantly, action-based genre films, especially those featuring Europe’s most cinematic natural and urban landscapes, could be exported outside of the continent, including to the lucrative US market. Although not within the scope of this discussion, it must be noted that many well received films that played well in the international arthouse market were the product of co-production details. Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963) was an Italian-French co-production, as was Francois Truffaut’s Day for Night (1973). Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1976) was financed through Italian, German, French and American partners. The system did allow an auteur-cinema to flourish, as long as the directors were willing to bend to certain pan-national conditions. [To be continued]

Who Are Those Guys? - René Blancard

René Blancard was born in Paris, Île-de-France, France on March 12, 1897. Blancard attended the Conservatory in Paris where he was enrolled in drama and theater at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier with with Jacques Copeau, and at the Odeon. His career began in the last years of silent films. His career covered more than forty years and he appeared in more than 80 films between 1922 and 1965. He wrote the 1954 screenplay for the film “Marchandes d'illusions”. René appeared as the Sheriff of Big Bend in his only Euro-western, 1958’s “Texas Serenade”.  He was married to silent film star Jane Rollette. René died on November 5, 1965 in Paris.
Blancard died on November 5, 1965 in Paris.

BLANCARD, René (aka R. Blancard, René Blancart) [3/12/1897, Paris, Île-de-France, France –11/5/1965, Île-de-France, Paris, France] – screenwriter, stage actor, married to actress Jane Rollette [1891-1994] (19??-19??).
Texas Serenade – 1958 (Sheriff of Big Bend)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

RIP Peter Schiff

Stage, TV and voice actor Peter Schiff died of pneumonia in Berlin, Germany on April 17, 2014. He was 89.  Schiff was born as the son of theater directors Dr. Hermann Shiff and actress Louise Schulz-Waida. He learned the acting profession at Marlise Ludwig in Berlin in 1951 and received his first engagement at the theater in Greiz. In addition to numerous appearances at the Berlin theater stages, he appeared in many television productions. In the 1960s, Schiff also worked as a spokesperson for radio play productions and included, among other things, a regular cast of Michael Orth's puppet show "The Kullerköpfe".
Schiff also worked as a voice actor translating foreign films into German. In 1968, he lent his voice to the computer HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Schiff was the German voice of Davor Antolic in "Frontier Hellcat" (1964), Benito Stefanelli in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966), Allan Collins in "Sabata" (1969), Victor Isreal in "Catlow" (1971), Robert Duvall in "Lawman" (1972).

RIP John Cabrera

British cinematographer John Cabrera died on Good Friday April 18, 2014 in Denia Spain at the age of 89.
John photographed many films during his career including ‘Gengis Khan’, ‘Paper Tiger’, ‘The Man Called Noon’ and ‘The Call of the Wild’, 'Captain Apache' 'Truiumphs of a Man Called Horse' 'Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold' as well as undertaking 2nd unit on ‘Conan the Barbarian’ and ‘Caravan to Vaccares’ amongst others. Elected to the British Society of Cinematographers in 1970, he will be sadly missed by his fellow members.
John was presented a Medal of Honour which was presented to him by the city of Denia, Spain in recognition of the contributions he had made to the city’s fortunes when the filming of the Samuel Bronston production, “John Paul Jones” (1959), as a result of his efforts. This is the first time in the history that Denia has ever honored one of its citizens in this way.
When the unit arrived to film back in 1958 it caused a revolution in this sleepy fishing village, bringing American dollars, Coca Cola and Mia Farrow (daughter of director John Farrow) to a needy population still suffering the post-war syndrome under the Franco Dictatorship.
John leaves a wife Irene and two sons John and Edward.

DVD Review by Lee Broughton

The Tramplers Directed by Albert Band.  97 minutes.  1965.  Widescreen (1.85:1 anamorphic).  Wild East, USA.  Format: NTSC Region 0. 
Lon Cordeen (Gordon Scott) returns home from the Civil War and is shocked to discover that his Southern hometown is a site of much conflict.  Lon’s father, Temple Cordeen (Joseph Cotten), simply cannot accept that the Confederates have lost the war.  Temple rules the locality with an iron fist and he’s not above lynching any Northerners who come to town with news of emancipation for his slaves.  Furthermore, he’s using his gang of extended family members to forcibly grab any local land that takes his fancy.  When Lon and his brother Hoby (James Mitchum) defy Temple and embark on a cattle drive venture with Charley Garvey (Franco Nero), the scene is set for a savagely fought family feud.
Based on an American source story, ‘Guns of North Texas’ by Will Cook, this show’s larger narrative arc contains elements that aren’t often found in Spaghetti Westerns.  Certainly the focus on the ins and outs of family life in the post-Civil War South and the cattle drive that Lon and Hoby undertake serve to distinguish this show from most other Italian Westerns.  The cattle drive in particular plays an important narrative function here.  Lon and Hoby’s mother wants the two boys to leave the family home before they become as bitter and hate-filled as their father and other brothers.  At the same time, Temple wants Lon and Hoby to prove their loyalty by killing Charley Garvey, a local settler who is courting their sister Bess (Emma Valloni). 
Choosing the most peaceful option, Lon, Hoby, Charley and Bess take their cattle on a drive North and some really quite epic-looking scenes involving lots of animal wrangling follow.  Most of the cattle drive footage was filmed in Argentina but this location footage is expertly integrated into the main feature in a fairly seamless manner.  The disloyalty shown by Lon, Hoby, Bess and (before long) a further Cordeen sister, Alice (Muriel Franklin), soon drives Temple to distraction and he orders assassins to seek out and punish his children.  This results in some pretty good action scenes.  However, director Albert Band saves his best action scene for the show’s finale.  A subplot has the daughter (Ilaria Occhini) of a Northerner that Temple lynched returning to town on a revenge mission.  Her actions result in an impressively action-packed running shoot out that sees Lon and Hoby taking on Temple, their other brothers and their extended family in a fight to the death.  
This unusual but well-paced and compelling little show is quite thoughtfully plotted and well-acted for the most part.  Joseph Cotten is convincing as the fanatical Confederate Temple Cordeen and the lynching of a Northerner that he oversees at the start of the film makes for a pretty disturbing scene.  Gordon Scott is quite commanding as Lon and James Mitchum really impresses as Hoby.  Hoby is the youngest of several Cordeen brothers and Mitchum does a great job of telegraphing how a series of bitter experiences result in Hoby undergoing a personal transformation: he starts the show as a good-natured individual and ends it as a grizzled gunfighter.  Franco Nero gets to play a character who is more of an idealistic lover than a cynical fighter here.  There’s an obviously “psychological” aspect attached to some of the characters’ motivations and actions here and this serves to link the film to some of the more mature US Westerns from the 1950s but the brutality found in the show’s action scenes is unmistakably that of the nascent Spaghetti Western genre.  Ultimately, this mix of approaches makes for an interesting film.
Picture quality here falls between very good and excellent and the presentation’s sound quality is excellent too.  The show’s effective and at times quite unusual soundtrack score (composer A. F. Lavagnino employs un-generic sounding keyboards on a number of occasions) comes through loud and clear.
Extras: a really extensive image gallery and two trailers.  
© 2014 copyright Lee Broughton.