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May 2020
This Blog is offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, thin-skinned baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
The Reality behind the Fantasy! - The Story behind the Spectacle!
No inflated endlessly long stories, but short and crisp. 
'Even your Goose-bumps will have Goose-bumps!'
Photos beat content!
Welcome to the manege of madness! - Have a pleasant trip!

Jeen of www.hansmeyer.info sent me these photos of the original uniform jacket that Hans Meyer was wearing in 
'Cannon for Cordoba'. 
A few smaller parts of the jacket are missing, but it's still in great shape.
The strong charisma of Hans Meyer is perfectly supported by a matching costume.
Many of the costumes for 'Cannon for Cordoba', especially the Military Uniforms, were provided by the 
Western Costume Company located in Los Angeles.
Western Costume is a costume warehouse in Hollywood, California which supplies costumes and costuming supplies 
to the film and TV industry. 
One of the oldest businesses in the industry, the company outdates any studio or production company currently in operation.
The Western Costume label sewn into the jacket reveals some information.
The Company, Hollywood’s Best Wardrobe Supply Store, generally only deals with studios and filmmakers but each year, 
prior to Halloween, they opens its doors to the general public. 
And from time to time, Western Costume also hosts auctions where fans can get original movie costumes.
Of course, only if you are the lucky highest bidder!
The uniform jacket of Svedborg - Hans Meyer - General Cordoba's diabolical right hand.
Hans died on April 3, 2020 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, at the age of 94.

Producer Harry Saltzman and Director Guy Hamilton discussing a shot on location for 'Battle of Britain'.
The elaborately produced war movie epic offers a lot for your eyes.
A bunch of thrilling scenes like the brilliantly choreographed dogfight sequences (Camera Ship B-25) or the 
grand scale fireworks of Physical Effects Supervisor Cliff Richardson (Hell breaks loose in Duxford!).
On the other hand, it's just another Epic that tells its story, far too often with plain dialogues and pale actors.
The only actor that comes to my mind spontaneously is Hein Riess and his over-the-top and 
enthusiastic portrayal of Goering.
It's quite a show to see him stomping around barking at his subordinates in his shining ornate sky blue uniform 
studded with sparkling gold insignia.
Check out this: Hein Riess - When the cake speaks, the crumbs have a break!
But such bright spots are too rare.
'Battle of Britain' is a cool movie, but it offers not much that could make the difference.
'The Longest Day' has nearly the same problems.
Too much documentation and too little entertainment. 
An a lot to huge playground for the action with greatly choreographed scenes, but too many actors come and go 
and nobody remembers their toothless dialogues.
These big epics are missing the cynical power that small and bold productions often offer.
Movies like 'Play Dirty' or 'Castle Keep' with their dirty and surreal tone were ahead of their time.
Seat buyers didn't like them, but decades later these films are highly valued by fans.
Interesting characters and every dialogue a subversive pleasure.
For more informations about the filming of 'Play Dirty', I recommend:
Quote from 'Play Dirty': 'War is a criminal enterprise. I fight it with criminals'.
A mighty 'Castle Keep' report will follow soon.

Director Gordon Douglas and actress Lee Remick between two takes for the filming of 'The Detective', 1967.
'The Detective' is a smashing journey back into the gritty and violently uncompromising 60s thriller genre.
Another groovy cooperation of Gordon Douglas and Frank Sinatra.
Corrupt cops, the King of Cool ...and the young Jacqueline Bisset with a short hairstyle.
A rough and highly entertaining backroom show that makes you happy: The filming of 'The Detective'.
My favorite of the Douglas/Sinatra jam sessions is the swinging 'Tony Rome', 
the coolest private eye of the sixties.
Here you find some behind the scenes pics of Franks Cruise Adventure: Assault on a Queen.
('The Detective' - Rare Kodak 2.25 transparency)

'Stand and Deliver. Your informations or your life!'
For upcoming stories about the good old world of 80s creature makeup effects I would love to get in contact 
with the people who 'glued together' all these wild rubber toys for the death-defying horror flicks from this decade.
If you can contribute in any way, please contact me:

'The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter' got only mixed reviews and didn't go well at the box office.
It certainly wasn't the fault of the young actor Jonathan Brandis (1976-2003) who played Bastian, 
his first Big Screen starring role.
He did what the Director George Miller expected from him with great joy of playing and real enthusiasm.
Jonathan even did his own stunts for the tangled show.
Here you see him fighting for his life in an ice-cold creek.
Overall the somewhat naive film is not that bad.
It offers some cool surprises and well done scenes.
Expert Colin Arthur did the creature special effects makeup.
The famous creatures of Part 1 are back accompanied by some colorful new ones.
Excellent Set pieces and Fantasy design elements from the Production Design and Art Department. 
Check out the great designs by Conceptual Artist Ludwig Angerer.
Some great and convincing Special Visual Effects created by the British old master Derek Meddings.
A lot of things are done right.
Unfortunately, the cook didn't have a good recipe.
The filming of the scene with Bastian (Jonathan Brandis) in the creek (Kodak 2.25 transparency). 
Cinematographer David Connell (standing on the bank) and his Crew (David Worley/...) use a camera crane 
to bring the lens down to Jonathan in the water who is clinging to a branch.
The branch that was securely attached to the bank is full of leaves, which repeatedly impairs the view for the guys.
It seems like the whole crew is there to see this little stunt.
Director George Miller can be seen standing on the right wearing a blue cap.
I think they used the 'Eisbach' in Munich as location for this shot.
One of the world's most famous spot for river surfing in the middle of the big city of Munich.
All year round the side-arm of the Isar attracts large numbers of surfers, including professionals, 
from all over the world.
Jonathan Brandis surfing on the Eisbach in Munich.
With the right camera setting the shallow creek is a perfect choice to play a deadly raging river.

The Finnish beauty Lena von Martens on a Samuel Bronston Production press photo released for the spectacular epic 
'The Fall of the Roman Empire'.
Like many other pretty and young Girls in the 60s she jumped into the Movie business for a few years.
Many of these girls disappeared without a trace after their short film career.
A case for CSI moon-city-garbage!
Lena von Martens (1940-2015) lived in Paris for some time and worked as international Photo model.
The provocative filmmaker Roger Vadim discovered Lena and gave her a role in his strange film 'Vice and Virtue'.
Her husband Peter von Martens turned out to be violent from the start, an alcoholic who wasted the money Lena had earned. 
Lena attempted suicide, got divorced, and eventually became Italian.
She moved to Italy and got a few small roles in typical Italian 60s Genre flicks. 
B-Movies like 'Sette a Tebe', 'Asso di picche - Operazione controspionaggio' or her last film,
the Lucio Fulci Franco Franchi-Ciccio Ingrassia trash hit 'Come svaligiammo la banca d'Italia', 1966.
In Italy she met her new love, Salvatore, and married him shortly thereafter.
Another tragic relationship.
Salvatore was a well-known member of the Mafia.
Lena enjoyed her colorful life as Mafia Princess for some time.
But her great love had other ideas and forced her into prostitution.
Her first customer was the producer of one of her films!
The beautiful dream of the up-and-coming movie star was over, she made her living as a hooker.
In her autobiography she writes openly and unsparingly about her offbeat life.
'Kaikki minun roolini', 'All my roles', is the appropriate title of the book.
The autobiography, pictured on the right, appears on ebay every now and then for tiny money.
It is written entirely in Finnish, which easily makes translating some chapters a time-consuming adventure.
But what I've read so far is pretty exciting stuff.
I'll try to get through it!
Picture taken out of the book - Lena and Salvatore. 
Her own caption of the pic is: 'Mafia Princess'.
Rare photo of Lena von Martens. For Salvatore, she became a busy prostitute.
Lena visiting the stunning wooden fortress set built for 'The Fall of the Roman Empire' in the mountains 
near Valsain, Spain.
She is gorgeous in her role as Barbarian Girl Helva.
Christopher Plummer was immediately on hand, faster than everyone else, to explain Lena how to use the sword. 
He is said to have pushed Stephen Boyd aside to be the first to show Lena his fencing skills.
Plummer and Boyd's fight ends in an furious chariot race that you can watch live here: 
'Never push me to the side again when I'm chasing a girl ...you maggot!'
Lena skiing around the film set. 
No problem for a girl from Finland. Maybe she taught the boys how to ski? 
Snow was always a problem during filming. 
If the filming unit needed snow for a shot, there was no snow, 
then a day later it was snowing too much, etc ... etc.
This Extra was uncontrollable.
A popular Bronston promotional photo. 
Lena von Martens (Helva) relaxes between scenes.
The blonde girl was an eye-catcher on the Set.
Everyone stared at her, even if she only caressed a young cow.
'The Fall of the Roman Empire' - Helva on another common Sam Bronston Production promo shot. 
The promotion department did a bunch of different photos with Lena von Martens.
Noticeable fewer photos were taken of one or the other main actor!
The photographers (Ken Danvers, Antonio Luengo, ...) certainly had more fun photographing 
the pretty Lena than a grumpy Hollywood star.
The wooden figure was specially made for the film.
Movie mogul Samuel Bronston loved details like that.
You can find fine wood carving, artistic sculpting and elaborate painting in all his great movie epics.
A lot of real artists and experts worked on his productions.
Because of this immense effort, every Bronston epic is a spectacle.
The films may have their weaknesses, but the individual pictures and scenes are always an incomparable experience!
Such shows are no longer performed today.
The next case in our CSI:'Starlet' line will be about Astrid Heeren.
On this rare 35mm slide, you see her relaxing during a break in filming the bizarre 'Castle Keep', 
on location in the Kamenica Park of Novi Sad.
The German girl was a top fashion model of the 1960s, did only a handful of movies and then she disappeared 
from the radar.
A curious thing is, Astrid had a small role in the same Roger Vadim film as Lena von Martens!?
The two know each other? Both worked as fashion models!
Anyway, the old crook Roger Vadim had a good eye for pretty girls.
Here you find stories about two other short careers in the film business: 
- Danish Dynamite Kitty Swan!
- German Candy Greta Baldwin!