Renee Carolina Clama was born in Finalborgo, Savona,
Italy on July 4, 1910. She was a British actress who appeared, as a leading
lady, in eleven British films from the late 1920s to the early 1930s including “The
Great Game” (1930) and “Never Trouble Trouble” (1931). Many of her films were
made by Gainsborough Pictures. She married producer Maurice Ostrer in 1933 and
retired from the film industry. Ostrer was head of production at Gainsborough
Studios from 1943-46. He resigned from the studio in 1946 after a disagreement
with J. Arthur Rank who had taken over the studio and went to work in textiles.
The couple raised four children before Maurice died in
1975. Renee died in Ascot, Berkshire, England on June 30, 1990.
Her only Euro-western appearance was as Mary Ferguson in
1928’s “Adventurous Youth”.
CLAMA, Renee (Renee
Carolina Clama) [7/4/1910,
Finalborgo, Savona, Italy -6/30/1990,
Ascot, Berkshire, England, U.K.] – film actress, married to producer, production
manager Maurice Ostrer (Morris
Ostravitch) [1896-1975] (1933-1975),
mother of Daryl N. C. Ostrer [1934-],
author Nigel Ostrer [1935-], producer
Paul Ostrer, Iona F. Ostrer, aunt of writer, actress Pamela Mason (Pamela
Helene Ostrer) [1916-1996], producer Bertie Ostrer (Bertram Ostrer) [1913-1986],
opera singer Diana Ostrer.
Lilo Grahn: “I only read about the Indians from Karl May”
In our deep "western-cinema" research,
sometimes you find something completely unexpected. Among other things, another
rarity has recently been discovered - a curious interview with the female lead
from the DEFA Western studio for “Chingachgook, die große Schlange” (Chingachgook
the Big Snake 1967), German actress Lilo Grahn, given after the movie’s
[Lilo Grahn (Judith) in the DEFA western
"Chingachgook the Big Snake" (1967) / film scene]
Frau Grahn, in the new film from the DEFA studio
“Chingachgook the Big Snake” you have an interesting female role – Judith
Hutter. How did you, such a young actress, known for your work as a stage
actress working in a relatively small theater, end up in this project?
[Lilo Grahn / photo from Filmspiegel Magazine No. 07
went as it should: director Richard Groshopp saw my photos in the casting
bureau of the DEFA studio and invited me to audition for the role. As a result,
I did not play the Indian Wa-Ta-Wa, as previously assumed, but the “Paleface”
- Do you think it makes sense in a film today after more
than a hundred and twenty years, the well-known novel by North American writer
James Fenimore Cooper and play your first big role in it?
GG: I must
admit that before working on this film about Indians, I read only bout them in
Karl May novels. But after reading Cooper's “Deerslayer”, Karl May’s novels
seem superficial to me. Yes, in fact, the plot of these stories are constructed
more than implausible. The main thing for May is, it seems to me, the
one-sidedness of the characters, which are more deeply represented by Fenimore
Cooper. With Cooper, the characters seem more convincing.
[Lilo Grahn / old Gadérov autographed postcard]
With a historical sense of responsibility, he recreates
material from the days when part of North America was a British colony. I agree
that his humanism is not limited to superficial morality. Both the conflicts in
which his heroes are involved, and their actions, are all variegated, lively
and cause the reader to participate in them again and again.
Cooper also has a lot of ethnological knowledge. The
plots of his books are quite fascinating, and I hope that our film, while
remaining faithful to the literary source, will captivate the viewer visually.
Unfortunately, today in many parts of the world in colonized countries, where
there are brutal military methods, you can see the parallels of Cooper's plot.
I hope that the main characters of the film will not go
unnoticed. Both Chingachgook and Deerslayer will definitely find admirers, and
not just young ones. Both Tom, the gloomy sea pirate, and Harry, the scalp
hunter, are also characteristic types. Richard Groshopp is a director with
extensive experience. I was very happy to work with him, to learn from him,
especially when it came to my first big movie role.
- What role do you define for Judith?
I imagine her cold and rational. This is a harsh woman,
living in beautiful but very wild places. She will have terrible discoveries
about the old criminal life of old Tom, who for a long time has replaced her
father. This alone is already bad enough. In addition, there is also
disappointment in love ... In fact, the only thing that I myself did not fully
understand in this exciting and thought-provoking story is why Deerslayer
rejects Judith's love. His argument that love of nature is higher than me - Judith
- does not convince me ... I tried to play Judith in the "Cooper
sense" - so that the viewer felt that this sincere girl could overcome the
pain, turning to the true meaning of life.
Meanwhile, Dr. Gottfried Colditz has already invited me
to participate in the next “Native American” film, to which my “movie father”
from “Chingachgook” Helmut Schreiber wrote the script ...
[Lilo Grahn (Judit) and Rolf Roemer (Deerslayer) in the
DEFA Western "Chingachguk the Big Snake" (1967) / film scene]
As you know, in the third “Indianer” film, “Spur des
Falken” (Trail of the Falcon 1968) Lilo Grahn did not have a chance to play -
the main female role which went to Polish actress Barbara Brylska. Having
starred in several films and in the television series “Polizeiruf 110” (Police
Phone 110), Lilo Grahn remained mainly a theater actress. Unfortunately, she
passed away quite early. She was buried in Berlin with her husband, well-known
graphic artist Herbert Sandberg [1908-1991].
Waltershausen, Thuringia, Germany – 3/14/2007, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.