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, 8 July 2014

Romy Horst Delon Belmondo! Fashion! Glamour !

MONPTI. Oh, to be young in Paris in 1957 – Horst Buchholz and Romy Schneider were in this romantic confection from Helmut Kautner. He is a poor Hungarian who lives in an attic and has some colourful neighbours, she appears to be a rich girl whom he meets in the park. There are some lovely romantic moments but (like Romy’s CHRISTINE the next year) there is no happy ending here. We also see a contrasting wealthy but shallow couple and wonder why we see so much of them, this is revealed at the climax, where that car accident robs our couple of happiness. It is a slight tale told to us by the older Monpti, and it all captures that 1950s Paris nicely, I imagine, as it was 1970 when I first got to the City of Light. Romy and Horst (1933-2003) though shine nicely here, he too was a European star before Hollywood beckoned.

I am indebted too to a friend (thanks Mel) who sent me a 1967 documentary on Romy which I did not know about: ROMY - PORTRAIT OF A FACE, by Hans-Jurgen Syberberg,  catching her at a good point, on a ski-ing holiday, where she talks to the camera and discusses her career and life to date, including her teen years as SISSI and working with the likes of Welles and Visconti.. Schneider was one of the most prolific international actresses of her era, with 62 titles in her 43 years (1938-1982), often averaging several a year, 
from her teenage years in Germany to being an icon of French cinema.
(I have about 40 of her titles, with maybe 10 yet to see, see Romy label for reviews).

BORSALINO, 1970. It’s a brilliant idea: take two popular French male stars, set them in a 1930s setting, spare no expense with period detail, kit them out in great suits and give them lots of stuff to do, as they initially fight – over a woman of course, faithless Catherine Rouvel (from CHAIR DE POULE), then they team up and play at gangsters in Marseilles, but their easy-going approach to crime soon changes as they end up in control of organised crime in the city. Add in Michel Bouquet and Corinne Marchand and plenty of local colour and its all a leisurely, blissful movie, which I somehow did not see at the time, despite my affection for the two leads – Belmondo and Delon. 
It was a huge hit at the time, as directed by Jacque Deray (LE PISCINE), and a fashion hit as well, covered by all the magazines, but has not been available here for a long time, but finally, a sub-titled version. It all looks terrific and is one to return to. The two leads are perfectly matched too as they guy their tough-guy images, that first fight of theirs is hilarious. It could well be this hit gave someone the idea to team another popular pair, Newman and Redford, in a similar 1930s setting ? 

1 comment:

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