Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

People We Like: Belinda Lee: England's lost siren

Belinda Lee (1935-1961) was a stunning blonde in the Anita Ekberg or Diana Dors mould who flourished briefly in the mid-'50s with the English Rank Organisation, and then became a star in Europe in the emerging sword-and-sandal Italian movies, and then it was all over in 1961 in her mid-20s when she was killed in an automobile accident in the USA. Too much too soon perhaps?
A stunning beauty while still in her teens, she started out as cheesecake with lots of glamor photos and playing with Benny Hill in WHO DONE IT? and the first ST TRINIANS film in '54. She co-starred with Granger and Simmons in FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG,, 1955, a good comedy THE BIG MONEY, a nice costume drama that I liked when I was a kid in 1957: DANGEROUS EXILE, a romantic drama set in Africa NOR THE MOON BY NIGHT in '58 with Michael Craig and Patrick McGoohan, and others like MIRACLE IN SOHO and EYEWITNESS. She was married to Cornel Lucas a studio photographer, perhaps she was too glamorous for the staid British movie market but then Europe beckoned: 1959-61 saw her kept busy as APHRODITE, MESSALINA, LUCREZIA BORGIA and in JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERN, MARIE OF THE ISLES, CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS. There was also THE LONG NIGHT OF '43 (a wartime drama) and a French new wave LES DRAGUEURS (THE YOUNG HAVE NO MORALS). She became part of the La Dolce Vita set in Italy and had a scandalous romance with an Italian count. Her IMDB page has details of her tempestous life and that fatal accident...
Here is my review of DANGEROUS EXILE, a perfect costume drama of its type:

"DANGEROUS EXILE. One of those rather good Rank Organisation period adventures this 1957 drama features the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who is smuggeled out of the Basteille and escapes by hot air balloon but lands on a small island near Wales. The little prince (young Richard O'Sullivan) is found and protected by local beauty Belinda Lee and her aunt dowager Martita Hunt -
there are however treacherous servants (Anne Heywood, Finlay Currie), the French in pursuit (Keith Michell) and French aristocrat Louis Jourdan also wants the boy. Its stirring stuff well handled by veteran Brian Desmond Hurst and I liked it a lot as a kid, so good to see it again. One of Belinda's best for Rank. There is a poignant moment when her character says that when she is an old woman she can tell her grand-children the King of France wanted to marry her - Belinda though did not make old age, she was killed in a car accident when only 26. She had though become one of the sword and sandal stars on the continent. This is an engrossing period story about what may have happened to the young French prince".


  1. posted some BELINDA LEE pages on my flickr set
    Others coming---good quality jpegs hard to find, so going is slow, but I'll make it, be sure of it