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.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Horst Buchholz

That late '50s was a fascinating period for young European actors, with all the opportunities coming their way in the booming international cinema.
We have mentioned the likes of Delon and Belmondo a lot here - as per their labels - but lets have a look at that interesting Horst Buchholz ...
Other French actors on the rise then included Brialy and Trintignant, Robert Hossein and Jean Sorel (usually in genre films like thrillers), Gerard Blain and Maurice Ronet. Marcello led the field in Italy with Raf Vallone, Renato Salvatori, Vittorio Gassman also prominent. Germany had Hardy Kruger becoming very international (in England's THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, BACHELOR OF HEARTS, Losey's BLIND DATE, and the French SUNDAYS AND CYBELE and in Hawks' HATARI! with Blain, as well as with Monty Clift in THE DEFECTOR, 1965, and in Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON), while Carl Boehm went from the kitsch SISSI films with Romy, to being Michael Powell's notorious PEEPING TOM in 1960 and he was later in Fassbinder's very gay FOX AND HIS FRIENDS in 1974.

Horst Buchholz (1933-2003) was initially tagged "the German James Dean" due to the punks and teenagers he played in the '50s, as in DIE HALBSTARKEN (1956), which made him a teen favorite in Germany, he did several with Romy Schneider - MONPTI in 1957 is particularly charming, as per my review, (Horst, Romy labels). Being able to speak several languages he was soon in international cinema: in the English TIGER BAY in 1959 before going to America for John Sturges' western THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, as big a hit a you could get at the time, one we loved as kids. Billy Wilder chose him for his Berlin comedy ONE TWO THREE in 1961 - one of my favourite Wilders - and Josh Logan wanted him for FANNY with Caron, Boyer and Chevalier. He then went Indian for NINE HOURS TO RAMA, which we will be re-seeing and reviewing shortly, a drama about the assassination of Gandhi, made in 1962.  
A versatile actor, Buchholz appeared in comedies, horror films, wartime dramas and other genres, but his best work was mostly behind him by the mid-1960s, again like most popular young actors, he had ten good years. THE EMPTY CANVAS was an odd Italian drama he did with Bette Davis. He could have done roles in WEST SIDE STORY and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and also turned down A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, and continued filming in Europe, later roles included LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Below, with Romy in MONPTI in 1958.
He had married and had 2 children. Usually reticent about his private life, in a 2000 interview in the German magazine "Bunte" Buchholz publicly came out saying "Yes, I also love men. Ultimately, I'm bisexual. ... I have always lived my life the way I wanted." He explained that he and his wife of nearly 42 years had a stable and enduring arrangement, with her life centered in Paris and his in Berlin, the city that he loved.Their son Christopher Buchholz also an actor and the producer of the feature-length documentary HORST BUCHHOLZ ... MEIN PAPA (2005), has publicly acknowledged his father's bisexuality.
Buchholz died unexpectedly at the age of sixty-nine in Berlin from pneumonia that developed after an operation for a  hip fracture. Its another fascinating career. 
Next up: Gerard Philipe.


  1. I'm looking forward to Gerard Phillipe! I don't think Horst was much of an actor however gorgeous he was. Early in his career he did play a bisexual character in a film whose title totally escapes me (Felix something from a Thomas Mann novel?? Please correct me).

  2. Felix Krull - an often-filmed German tale. Didn't know it featured that kind of stuff ....

  3. Yes but obviously suggested rather than shown!