Gli angeli dalle mani bendate: Storia di pugliato degli antichi ad oggi (1975)
All along, we’d thought Gli angeli dalle mani bendate was a boxing documentary – at least, that was how this film was recorded in other sources. However, it appears that this was instead a film about the making of a boxing documentary, so the cast and a synopsis, in both English and Italian, has been added to the film page.
“The Orient Express” (1979)
“La Valee des Peupliers” (1985)
More detailed information and a episode synopsis has been added to the film pages for both The Orient Express and La Valee des Peupliers, which also aired a few years later as “Tycoon Valley”. As the source is French, the synopsis has been included in the original French and with an English translation.
“A Certain Smile” (1958)
Two “candid” photos of Rossano and Christine Carere have been added to the film page – the photos were taken as part of a longer interview with Rossano, and were taken at his & Lidia’s home. Another photo of Lidia from that same spread has been added to his biographical section, in the “Lidia Brazzi” section.
Brazzi Fans’ Thoughts on … “The Latin Lover”
This topic is one of my favorites … I’ve been reading about the subject off and on since I first became aware that Italians truly blamed Hollywood for the rise of the “Latin Lover” characterization — one of the reasons I questioned the perception was the 10-volume autobiography written by Casanova – personally, I strongly hold the opinion that the original “Latin Lover” was indisputably Italian, while Hollywood merely took the previously existing ‘character type” and put a face and a name to it – first Rudolfo Valentino, and later, of course, Rossano Brazzi. As part of the “Brazzi Fans’ Thoughts on …” section, I’ve added the Latin Lover page, with Dorotea Marciak’s initial thoughts on the subject – I will definitely be adding my own comments on this!
A viewer’s comment on the film has been added to the film’s web page – thanks Dorotea!
“Elvis Has Left the Building!”
From the mailbag: “This will give you a hoot. A lady (fifty-ish) came to see about a portrait. She saw a poster I have on the wall of Rossano in A Certain Smile and assured me that he was still living. She is one of those people who cannot be contradicted, so I gave up trying! Maybe we are wrong. Perhaps, like Elvis, he is alive, but has “left the building.”
[Editor’s Note: (LOL!) No, his family can pretty much assure the lady – whoever she is – that Elvis has indeed “left the building”! I personally like to think that he occasionally peeks over my shoulder, thumbs through an invisible Italian-English dictionery and whispers, “Ah yes, here’s the word: “spell-checker”!]
South Pacific Versions
I’ve added one review of the more recent version of South Pacific, with Glenn Close and Rade Sherbedgia to the South Pacific web page – if anyone else would like to add their views on the two versions, feel free to do so! Speaking of which, the Mitzi Gaynor biography, which sometimes airs on A&E Network, has some clips of Rossano on the set of the film, described by one fan thusly, “There are clips of Rossano bare to the waist walking about, sitting in Mitzi’s chair and on the set rehearsing his first scene. There are spectators looking on and I do believe one is Lidia. A plump lady in a low neckline wearing a necklace looks very much like her.” A special you definitely need to check out.
Update on the Brazzi Family
Some of you have expressed concern over Maria Lidia, and her living in Argentina, which is going through a severe political and economic crisis. Several foreign investors did, in fact, pull out of Argentina – and the firm she worked for was one of them. Luckily, despite a 40% unemployment rate, she was able to find another position with another company and is doing as well as can be expected – everyone is keeping one eye on her, and her sons! Carlo will soon be transferred by his architectural firm and will soon begin another assignment, this time in El Salvador – he had been in Ecuador. Ilse is also doing well, although Blackie – the poodle she and Rossano purchased together – is experiencing difficulties with his health. Keeping him – and Ilse – in your prayers would be a big help.
Did Rossano Brazzi Live Next Door to Jimmy Durante?
We do know that Rossano had a home in the Los Angeles area – although we’re not quite sure if he rented or bought, so – by gosh, we’ll ask someone who actually knows the answer to that! (I have a vague memory in my mind of someone telling me it was near Palm Springs, but don’t hold me to that.) Meanwhile, Connie’s daughter purchased a candid photo off of E-Bay and made a few humorous changes to it – really does look like Durante’s dressed up like a bounty hunter, doesn’t he? – which explains the caption. Do you think perhaps Rossano is finally teaching Jimmy how to pronounce his first name correctly? (It was Jimmy who completely mangled it on the Dinah Shore Show, calling him “Rossana”). Meanwhile, with Connie’s permission, we’d like to share a candid photo of Rossano, somewhere in the Los Angeles area, having a friendly chat over the garden wall. Thanks, Connie! (And thanks to your daughter, too, for finding this!)
Addition 27 August 2002: Maria Lidia’s comment: “What a lovely picture Connie got from her daughter! That was certainly not the house I went to when he was in Beverly Hills, though later they bought a house. I remember spending some afternoons with zia Lidia and mother going to see houses on sale. I’m sorry, but I don’t know about Jimmy Durante being his neighbor.”
And the mystery continues …!
Master of Love (1972)
The text of a wonderful review from the March 1973 issue of Penthouse Magazine has been added to the film page. The review is actually so positive, we’re hoping that someone – somewhere! – out there has a copy of this film.
The photo added to the film page was taken from the cover of the German Illustrierte film-buhne”, number 1119, date of issue unknown. The photo makes him appear to be wearing a strange set of false eyelashes, but in fact, those are the shadows of his own (long) natural ones in the harsh lighting.
Dark Purpose (1963)
A photo taken on the set has been added to the film page. The text on the reverse of the photo reads: “The camera crew rehearses a scene with Rossano Brazzi and Shirley Jones in the courtyard of an ancient Italian villa for “Dark Purpose”, starring Miss Jones, Brazzi and George Sanders, a Brazzi-Barclay-Hayutin production in technicolor for Universal release.”
Honeymoon With A Stranger (1969)
One of our members had asked actress Janet Leigh about her memories of the making of this film, and she replied with a wonderful letter. As some of the letter was personal, the date and the personal portion had (understandably) gone missing, but I’ll try to find out the exact date of the letter. Meanwhile the pertinent text and a photo of Janet from Little Women has been added to the film page.
La resa di titi (1945)
A photo of the Spanish version of the poster from “A Merry Chase” or “La resa di titi (1945) (not to mention the name of the director, obtained by squinting at the photo carefully), which we didn’t have on the film page – has been added.
Picture-Goer Magazine, 15 March 1955
Another article from Picturegoer dated March 5, 1955 comes right on the heels of The Barefoot Contessa – Summertime hasn’t even been released yet. If you’re a woman from anywhere except Italy, you will love his take on women outside of his native land … (well, he was being interviewed by the British Press, at the time – what else could he say?). Poor Rossano – as soon as he enthused about women in one part of the world, all of his fans from everywhere else were brokenhearted. From his perspective, this end of the business had to be one of the most nervewracking juggling acts in the world – and yet somehow he managed to please everyone, if by no other method than being photographed in a pair of rarely worn denim jeans and looking divinely sexy in them. Whatever he did, it worked! Special thanks to Connie for sending in the magazine!
… many thanks to Connie Liss for finding the distributors’ manual for the film Criminal Affair (1968), which is also known by the more humorous Italian title, “Seven Men and One Brain”. In addition to the photos and the film synopsis provided the manual, we also included the :30 text for a radio spot which was part of the merchandising for the film. And you’d think, being the writer, story editor, director, star and everything else but the caterer, Rossano would have found something more interesting to say about himself, but alas! Do you think perhaps he was too busy doing everything else?
… and thanks again for the information on the film Ritorno (1939), which was the subject of a Cinevita press book in 1942.
Two More Films …
… have been added to the database: the first is Il Destino di Tasca, from 1938, and Piccolo Hotel from 1939. Both films appear to have been made before Rossano’s first spoken role in The Trial and Death of Socrates. As Emma Gramatica appears in a speaking role in the second of these two films, we can only assume that his appearances in these films were non-speaking supporting roles done while he was still a member of the Gramatica’s theater group. In fact, in the second, he isn’t even credited with the appearance.
Cast and film data has been added to the pages of two other films: Piazza San Sepolcro, which was never released, and Il sesso del diavolo, which was directed by his brother Oscar and appears to have been filmed in Istanbul.
There is a soundtrack for Interlude, now long out of print that you may be able to find in used record outlets or web sites. The album, put out by Coral Records, has the soundtrack of Interlude on one side and the soundtrack from Tammy and the Bachelor with Debbie Reynolds on the other – so try looking for it under both titles. The album’s catalog number is CRL 57159. The lovely cover photo of Rossano making out with June Allyson on the grass is just an added bonus!
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