20 January 2018

Angelo Ferrari

Italian actor Angelo Ferrari (1897-1945) appeared in nearly 200 films. He started his career in Italian silent films and later got a strong foothold in the German cinema.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/1, 1926-1928. Photo: Schlosser & Wenisch. Signed: 'Sinceramente [Sincerely], Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1447/3, 1926-1928. Photo: Oertel, Berlin. Signed: 'Gentile signorina Susi Schuurmann, Angelo Ferrari. 1926.'

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3342/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3435/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Love-is-stronger-than-death Story


Angelo Ferrari was born in  Fara Gera d’Adda in Lombardia, Italy in 1897. In 1913 and 1914, the young Ferrari became roll skate champion in Italy.

Thomas Staedeli at Cyranos: "Ferrari was spotted by the actress Diana Karenne". She provided the role of a prince for him in the silent film Sofia di Kravonia (Ernesto Maria Pasquali, 1916).

In the late 1910s, he continued with Italian silent films like La serata d'onore di Buffalo/The Gala Night for Buffalo (Carlo Campogalliani, 1916) and Il veliero della morte/The Veil of Death (Carlo Campogalliani, 1917). These films were all produced by the pioneering production company Pasquali Film.

After doing military service between 1916 and 1918, Ferrari worked with well-known director Augusto Genina on I tre sentimentali/The Three Sentimentals (1920), L'incatenata/The Chained Woman (1921) and Un punto nero/The Black Point (1922).

Ferrari starred with diva Francesca Bertini inthe drama La donna nuda/The Naked Woman (1922), based on a play by Henry Bataille. The film was directed by Roberto RobertiSergio Leone’s father,

With another Italian diva, Rina De Liguoro, he appeared in Savitri Satyavan (Giorgio Mannini, 1923). This was the first international co-production of India. The love-is-stronger-than-death story sees Savitri (De Liguoro), the daughter of King Ashwapati and a goddess, fall for Satyavan (Ferrari) who is destined to die within a year. He is killed by a tree and his soul is gathered by the god Yama (Gianna Terribili-Gonzales) but he returns to life and there is a happy ending for the lovers. Some nudity and other 'erotic' images were removed in India to satisfy the censors.

Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in La donna nuda (1922)
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 107. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.

Francesca Bertini in La donna nuda
Italian postcard by G.B. Falci, Milano, no. 115. Photo: La Fotominio. Publicity still for La donna nuda/The naked woman (Roberto Roberti, 1922) with Francesca Bertini.

Cirano di Bergerac (1923)
Italian postcard. Photo: UCI. Publicity still for the Franco-Italian historical film Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1923), based on Edmond Rostand's famous play Cyrano de Bergerac. Caption: the nice phrases of Christian he learned from Cyrano have conquered and seduced Roxane. Linda Moglia played Roxanne.

Angelo Ferrari and Margarete Lanner in In Treue stark (1926)
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 740. Photo: Treuhand-Film / Mondial A.G. Publicity still for In Treue stark/In faithful strong (Heinrich Brandt, 1926) with Margarete Lanner.

Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in Mein Leben für das Deine
Italian postcard, no. 338. Photo: S.A. Stefano Pittaluga. Francesca Bertini and Angelo Ferrari in Mein Leben für das Deine/Odette (Luitz-Morat, 1928), based on Victorien Sardou's play Odette, and released in Italy under the same title. Bertini had already played in 1916 in an Italian version of Odette and would do it again in the sound era in a French version of Odette (1935).

France, Germany, Italy


Angelo Ferrari appeared with Geneviève Félix in the French production L'engrenage/The gear (Maurice Kéroul, Max Reichmann, 1923) before gaining a foothold in the German film business.

His breakthrough role in Germany was as an elegant count in the drama Die grüne Manuela/The Green Manuela (Ewald André Dupont, 1923). The film's plot bears a number of similarities to Carmen. Lucie Labass played a gypsy dancer, who becomes involved with Spanish smugglers. It was the first time director Dupont worked with the cinematographer Werner Brandes and the art director Alfred Junge who were to become important collaborators with him.

In the silent German cinema, Ferrari acted in successful films like Prater (Peter Paul Felner, 1924) with Henny Porten, Die Motorbraut/The Motor Bride (Richard Eichberg, 1925) with Lee Parry, and the Kammerspiel Eifersucht/Jealousy (Karl Grune, 1925) opposite Lya de Putti.

He returned to Italy for another hit, Cirano di Bergerac/Cyrano de Bergerac (Augusto Genina, 1925), a film version of Edmond Rostand's famous play. He played the handsome Christian, who is eager to declare his love for the fair Roxanne (Linda Moglia), but he doesn't have the gift for words that Cyrano (Pierre Magnier) does.

In Germany he then appeared in dozens of films including Rosen aus dem Süden/Roses From the South (Carl Froelich, 1926) opposite Henny Porten, Orientexpress/Orient Express (Wilhelm Thiele, 1927 with Lil Dagover, and the comedy Kopf hoch, Charly!/Heads Up, Charley (Willi Wolff, 1927) with Marlene Dietrich in a supporting role.

Later followed Die Sünderin/The Sinner (Mario Bonnard, 1927) featuring Elisabeth Pinajeff, the German-Italian drama Villa Falconieri (Richard Oswald, 1928) with Maria Jacobini, and the war drama Richthofen (Peter Joseph, 1929). In his German films, Ferrari often played roles such as an officer, a marquis or a prince.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1376/1, 1927-1928.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3630/1, 1928-1929.

Angelo Ferrari
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 5002. Photo: HPF / Micheluzzi-Verleih.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4064/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Schrecker, Berlin.

The Age of the Talkies


Angelo Ferrari’s first sound film was La donna di una notte/The Woman of One Night (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930) featuring the diva of the silent Italian cinema Francesca Bertini. It was an alternate language version of La femme d'une nuit (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930), also starring Bertini.

Because La donna di una notte was edited without his consent, director L'Herbier asked for his name to be removed from the credits. It was still released in Rome and Milan for Christmas of 1931 with his name still appearing.

In the age of the talkies, Ferrari continued to play in well-known German pictures like Barcarole (Gerhard Lamprecht, 1935), Fridericus (Johannes Meyer, 1936), Der Mann der Sherlock Holmes War/The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes (Karl Hartl, 1937) starring Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann, and Tango Notturno (Fritz Kirchhoff, 1937) featuring Pola Negri.

But his parts had become smaller because of his lack of the German language. During the 1940s, Ferrari appeared in more than 50 German films, mostly in small, sometimes even uncredited parts. Some of his films were finished and released after the end of war. The comedy Verlobte Leute/Engaged People, directed by Karl Anton and starring Axel von Ambesser, was filmed in 1945, but had its premiere in 1950 as Das Dementi in East-Germany.

Angelo Ferrari was already five years dead by then. After a stroke, he had died in Niederlehme, Germany in 1945, briefly before the end of World War II. He was 47. (Our sources differ about the details of his death. English Wikipedia e.g. writes that he died in Berlin in 1954, at the age of 66).

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3116/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4848/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Ahrlé, Berlin.

Angelo Ferrari
German postcard by Ross Verlag. Photo: Oertel, Berlin.

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Janiss Garza (AllMovie), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

19 January 2018

Ross Verlag in colour

Ross Verlag published a series of postcards for Great Britain without the Ross Verlag name on the cards. Instead, they had the word 'Foreign' in one corner of the photo on the card. These were all hand-tinted colour postcards with a gloss finish. Although the Ross Verlag number was still visible on the front of these cards, they also usually had another number on the back in the stamp box. Besides these cards for the British market, Ross Verlag also published several hand-coloured postcards for the continental market.

Liane Haid in Die Csardasfürstin (1927)
Liane Haid. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1732/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Die Csardasfürstin/The Csardas Princess (Hanns Schwarz, 1927). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Karina Bell
Karina Bell. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2094/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Harry Piel in Panik (1928)
Harry Piel. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3343/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Panik/Panic (Harry Piel, 1928).

Adolphe Menjou and Kathryn Carver in Service for Ladies (1927)
Adolphe Menjou and Kathryn Carver. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3384/1. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for Service for Ladies (Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, 1927).

Vilma Banky
Vilma Banky. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3482/2, 1928-1929. Photo: United Artists. Collection: Joanna.

Alice Terry and Ivan Petrovich in The Garden of Allah (1927)
Alice Terry and Iván Petrovich. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3538/1. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Garden of Allah (Rex Ingram, 1927).

Ivor Novello
Ivor Novello. British postcard, no. 3865/1. Photo: FPS. At the backside: Real Hand-coloured Photograph.

Greta Nissen and Charles Farrell in Fazil (1928)
Greta Nissen and Charles Farrell. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3917/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Fazil (Howard Hawks, 1928).

Lars Hanson
Lars Hanson. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3971/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa.

Clive Brook
Clive Brook. British postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4010/1. Photo: Defina / First National Pictures.

Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4811/1, 1929-1930. Photo: RKO Radio Pictures. Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Betty Amann and Ivan Mozzhukhin in Der Weisse Teufel (1930)
Betty Amann and Ivan Mozzhukhin. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4871/1, 1930. Photo: Michael Powell / Ufa. Publicity still for Der Weisse Teufel/The White Devil (Alexandre Volkoff, 1930).

Gretl Theimer
Gretl Theimer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5575/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Balázs.

Source: Mark Goffee (Ross Verlag Movie Star Postcards).

It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.

18 January 2018

Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (1918)

The title of the silent German drama Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918) refers to a line by Cicero, retaken by Friedrich Schiller in the closing lines of his play Die Braut von Messina. Worse than a (self-chosen) death, both claim, is guilt.

Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/4. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon and Josef Peterhans in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/5. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon and Josef Peterhans in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

One of the most prolific writers for the German silent film


German actress, writer and producer Hedda Vernon (1866-?) appeared in more than 60 films of the early silent period. During the 1910s she was such a popular film star that she got her own Hedda-Vernon serial. One of these productions was Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld was scripted by German scriptwriter Ruth Goetz, "one of the most prolific writers for film in Germany in the period 1916–1927, with about sixty-five titles including original scripts and adaptations credited to her name", as Mila Ganeva writes on the website Women Film Pioneers project.

Ganeva: "Ruth Goetz was the only woman featured in this special 1918 issue of the Berlin-based trade magazine Kinematograph edited by E.A. Dupont and devoted to the invisible work of scenarists. A year earlier, one of her scripts had been included as a model for aspiring writers in one of the first manuals compiled by Wilhelm Adler. The film based on this script, Noemi, die blonde Jüdin/Noemi, the Blond Jewess (1917), was directed by Hubert Moest and served primarily as a star vehicle for actress Hedda Vernon."

Director Hubert Moest was Hedda Vernon's husband from 1913 to 1920. After having acted together from 1913 on, he directed her in many films at the Eiko studio in the years 1914-1919.

In 1917-1918 many postcards for Vernon's films were released: Die Verworfenen, Die Narbe am Knie, Noemi, die blonde Jüdin (all 1917), and Puppchen, Fesseln, Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld, Mouchy, Das Todesgeheimnis and Wo ein Wille, ist ein Weg (all 1918). All these films were directed by Moest.

Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/6. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon and Josef Peterhans in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/7. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon and Josef Peterhans in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 532/8. Photo: Eiko Film. Hedda Vernon in Der Übel größtes aber ist die Schuld (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Source: Women Film Pioneers Project; Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-line.de - German), Wikipedia and IMDb.