Saturday, December 31, 2022

Who Are Those Singers & Musicians ~ Jula De Palma


Julia De Palma was born Iolanda Maria De Palma in Milan, Italy on April 21, 1932. Her singing career began in the early 1950s on radio with, showman, composer, and pianist Lelio Luttazzi [1923-2010]. In the beginning she sang French songs such as “C'est si bon”, “Maître Pierre” and “Rien dans les mains, rien dans les poches”. Her powerful and sophisticated voice gained fame thanks to interpretations of many jazz classics: her albums ‘Jula in Jazz’ (1958), and ‘Jula in Jazz 2’ (1959), contained songs like "I've Got You Under My Skin", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)," and "Blues in the Night".

In 1957, she married composer Carlo Lanzi. In 1959 she performed at the "Festival di Sanremo," where she shocked the audience and the press with her passionate performance of the song "Tua." Since it was considered "too sexy," she didn't appear on national television (RAI) for several years. However, the public maintained their interest in her.

In 1970 she was the first female artist to get a recital of her own at the Sistina theater in Rome, gracing with her refined vocal abilities such standards as ("That Old Black Magic", "I Won't Dance" and "St. Louis Blues"); the bossa nova tune "Desafinado"; and some great Italian selections, two of them made famous by Mina ("Bugiardo e incosciente" and "Non credere"). This successful performance became available on the LP ‘Jula al Sistina’.

In 1974, after many years of success, she retired from music and moved with her family to Canada. In 2001, she made a brief comeback on Italian television.

De PALMA, Jula (Iolanda Maria De Palma) [4/21/1932, Milan, Lombardy, Italy -     ] – singer, married to composer Carlo Lanzi [1931-2022] (1957-    ), mother of divorce lawyer Simonetta Lanzi.

Find a Place to Die – 1968 [sings: “Find a Place to Die”, “Era un cow-boy”]

Special Birthdays

Gaston Modot (actor) would have been 135 today but died in 1970.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Spaghetti Western Trivia – “Carambola” could have been


When director Ferdinando Baldi was directing “The Unholy Four” he was working on a story for a future film. It was called “Carmabola” and he originally thought of it as a dramatic film not a comedy. He was had asked George Eastman and Leonard Mann to play the leads. As time went on and the focus of the Spaghetti westerns changed from drama to comedy and the success of “They Call Me Trinity” he decided to follow the trend and changed his film to a clone of the tremendously successful film. He then cast Michael Coby (Antonio Cantafora) and Paul Smith as his main protagonists.

RIP Tamara Baroni


Italian actress Tamara Baroni died at her home in Natal, Brazil on December 28, 2022. She was a week short of turning 76. Baroni was born in Parma, Italy on January 3, 1947 and finished fourth in the 1967 Miss Italy beauty contest. She then became a model and married to Gianni Garbellini which was later annulled. Tamara became a journalist for several newspapers in her hometown of Parma and also wrote two books of poetry. She appeared in a few films but preferred the stage. She moved to Brazil with her third husband Gianni Garbellini and three children. After her acting career she became a realtor. Tamar appeared in one Euro-western “A Gunman Called Dakota in 1971 as Scott’s daughter.

Mark’s Vinyl Corner – “The Grand Duel” LP


"The Grand Duel"

Composer: Luis Bacalov


Label: Scare Flair Records

Limited edition: 500 copies

Complete and expanded score sourced from the original master tapes, remastered for vinyl.

Liner notes: Mike Malloy

Available: 12/30/2022

The Grand Duel by Luis Bacalov is now available on vinyl for the first time, and just in time for its 50th anniversary, which is also today. The complete and expanded score has been sourced from the original master tapes, remastered for vinyl, and includes fresh new artwork from Tony Stella, and liner notes from Tough Guy Film Expert Mike Malloy. Scar Flair Records is offering this iconic score in a limited edition of 500 copies. It has cues handpicked by Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill and will be offered in two random colors: Van Cleef Black & O-Ren White.

Filled with sinister music not typical of the western, The Grand Duel is a powerful score by Academy Award Winning composer Luis Bacalov (Il Postino: The Postman) that had cues handpicked and used to perfection by Quentin Tarantino in his 2004 film Kill Bill Volume 1 for the animated Origin of O-Ren Ishii scenes. It features harmonica playing from Franco De Gemini (Once Upon a Time in the West), vocals by Edda Dell’Orso (The Ecstasy of Gold in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), as well as choir work from I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni (Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy).


Track listing unavailable at present time.


Chaske Spencer on Western mini-series The English

 “As an actor that happened to be Native American, I had to sit on the sidelines for a long time, waiting for something like this”

The Up Coming

By Sarah Bradbury

December 15, 2022

The English is the new miniseries from writer-director Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman, Black Earth Rising), which first premiered at this year’s London Film Festival and has now landed on BBC iPlayer. It follows Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), who tumbles into the Wild West looking for vengeance for the death of her son and becomes an unlikely travelling companion of Eli Whipp, a member of the Pawnee Nation and former cavalry scout who has enemies on both sides.

Both invoking and playing upon the tropes of a Western, there’s much to admire in the series’ breathtaking cinematography and references to the rich history of films from the Golden Age of the genre, from John Ford to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. Stunningly executed yet still boldly violent and bloody, it walks a tightrope between being very stylised yet also viscerally involving. Beyond the vast, dusty landscapes, rich textures, colours, costumes and brazen brutality, though, it’s the performances and shared chemistry between Blunt and Spencer as Locke and Whipp that cut through the tension built by Hick with sizzling electricity to keep viewers hooked. Both are endlessly watchable in their roles, delivering the to-and-fro of their dialogue with wit and panache and bringing a delicious push-and-pull factor to their character’s interactions, like magnets attracting and repelling one another, each one both drawn to but unsure if they can trust the other.

The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking with Spencer about his own love of Westerns growing up, how contemporary issues also infused his character and how phenomenal it was to work with Blunt. He also shared how the story can have relevance to our own destabilised world today and that, as a Native American actor, he’s often had to wait in the sidelines – until now.

Hi Chaske, lovely to meet you, For those who haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, what can they expect from The English?

A lot of action, a lot of adventure, a lot of Wild West, a lot of horses and probably some tears – bring some handkerchiefs!

It’s very much within the Western genre, but it’s also playing with its tropes and bringing something fresh. What stood out for you when you read Hugo’s script? 

When I read it, I felt very excited to start filming. And the layers of Eli… I was blown away by how many layers this character had, he’s just so multi-faceted, he just fascinated me. And when I read it, actually, I knew I could do the role, but it also scared me too, because, “Can I? Can I do this shit? I hope so…”. But Hugo had laid the groundwork and the roadmap; he’d given me a lot of the information and where he wanted to go in – movies that inspired him as a kid watching Westerns. And once I got into that world – his world, The English world – it was very easy. I grew up with Westerns. I’ve seen a lot of Westerns and a lot of people have, they’re just a fun genre, so I knew exactly where to pull from. I knew what he was talking about.

How did you see the character of Eli? He doesn’t say much, but it’s clear there’s so much going on underneath that restrained nature. In some ways, that must be more challenging to play than when you have a lot of words to work with. How did you figure out who he was and how to portray him?

Well, I took all the information from the history, so that helped me out a lot. But at the end of the day, I had to make it my own. As a child, I grew up with a lot of vets – Vietnam vets and stuff – from the baby boomer generation. So I grew up with a lot of guys like that. Plus, I knew some vets who had gone over to Afghanistan and was fortunate enough to meet and talk with them in my past. And I just pulled from that, because I can only take history so far. And that’s where I started making it my own. And I just kept seeing him as an ex-Vietnam biker, strolling through the West on his Harley Davidson, listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival. That’s how I felt he was. I know it doesn’t really apply to what Eli is, but that’s what I brought in, because that’s how I felt he was and I felt like he should have those restraints. And, also, it’s a double-edged sword with that type of character because, obviously, I’m a pretty animated guy! So I had to tone it down a lot. But it was also comforting to know that I had a limit; I have a little area that I can’t go out of. When I work, usually the first couple of weeks, I’m nervous: I’m trying to figure out everyone’s working style, the director, my costar – we’re just trying to figure everything out. And I’m usually in character a lot during those [weeks] from the beginning. But once I get that pattern down, and when I feel comfortable, then I can kind of play around with it. And I would say that it didn’t take me that long to find that character once we started filming, because we’d been prepping for so long, and I had this guy down months before. I’d even say during the audition – I kind of knew where he was just from the breakdowns – so when I went in to audition it felt very comforting to have that restraint, in a way. It was a fun character to play. I mean, he’s the ultimate badass, you know? I wish I could be that! But it’s fun to pretend to be.

Emily is one of these extraordinary actresses who could so easily have been typecast but continues to choose fascinating roles and make them her own. And there’s so much chemistry between you two on screen, particularly the scenes where you have this amazing dialogue. What was it like working with her? Did having an extended rehearsal period help to make sure that chemistry was there?

Oh God, working with her was phenomenal. I loved working with her, really, she was so much fun. I’d known Emily Blunt’s work before I got to meet her, and I’m a fan of a lot of her movies. I really liked her work in The Girl on the Train. I was working on another film years ago, and I went to go see that by myself, and she blew me away. I think I was on Woman Walks Ahead, and I ended up talking with one of the actors about it, saying, “It’s phenomenal, just watching that movie blew me away”. And then finally getting to meet her and working with her – it was the best. What I’ve always admired about her is that she could easily take the road less travelled. And yet she doesn’t. To me, she’s like this character actor trapped in this leading actress’s body; she finds these characters, and she just gets them. And, with Cornelia, watching her work and watching her piece it together – I definitely took a lot of tips, I never told her that, but I definitely watched her enough to where I could say, “Okay, I see how she’s doing this, I’m going to steal that, I got to steal that from her”. She was so supportive. And the chemistry –  it’s great when you work with nice people, who are just about the work, and you still have fun. And I think our chemistry had a lot to do with just knowing we had these amazing characters and knew what the stakes were with them. Because if we just phoned it in, you would see it, and it would be horrible. So, working with her, I liked it because she ups the game. And working alongside her – I’ve never had an easier job. You’re talking about what you had for dinner, where you went out to dinner the other night with your friends, and you just go right into dialogue, and I like that. Because I’ve been on projects where I’ve had to maintain my energy to stay in that character. I’m not a method actor, but to try to keep in that vicinity. With this, it was already there because we worked and rehearsed so much that we could turn it on really quick. And it was fun – it made it fun. It was just little ideas and things we threw at each other about doing some of those scenes. When I got the job, we talked a lot about our own lives and where we could relate to our families, movies we liked, working on The English and what we brought to the table and how we figured these characters out. I love working with people like that because it gets down to almost like math – it’s kind of mathematical, placing everything where it should be. And at the end of the day, when you finish some amazing scenes with your scene partner, you feel really good. You want to go home with a happy smile on your face – or it depends on the scene: if we did something really sad, you go home and have some tequila I guess!

Like many period pieces, the show hits on issues that remain relevant today, such as dimensions of race, of identity. And, in the case of your character, perhaps those are not accepted by either the country they’re living in, nor by their own community. Would you say a lot of people will relate to in the series, despite it not being set today?

I think so too. I want to tread really lightly on this part, but I would say that The English, to me, reflects today’s instability and that, really, you don’t know what’s going to happen. In a Western, it’s very brutal, and there’s no certainty and – I don’t think it’s just my country, I think it’s happening all over the world – we’re in a place of uncertainty, and it’s quite terrifying, actually, if you really think about it. I don’t want to bring a big cloud over, like you should watch The English and think of that, but I think the audience could relate to the scary part of a Western, the instability, the you don’t know if you’re gonna make it to tomorrow. I don’t know if we’re exactly there in the world, but I know we’re in pretty scary times of, “I don’t know what’s gonna happen: what’s gonna happen over in Ukraine, what’s gonna happen here in this country”. Anything could happen, and it’s quite unnerving and it can be anxiety-inducing. I think The English kind of captures that – the instability of that, of just not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow. And I think that we in this world are kind of there right now. And I hope things work out, because we got a good thing going; this place is pretty amazing. And I’m not just talking about the country, I’m talking about the world right now – we could blow it if we’re not careful.

Each scene, if you paused it, could be a photograph – the aesthetics are just incredible. However, it doesn’t shy away from brutality either, straddling this place between being very stylised, but also being very engaging and visceral. What was it like working on these sets? And when you watched the final product, did the way it looked really strike you?

Oh, yeah, it always strikes me because, when I see what I read on the page, it’s never what I think about on the screen. In fact, I’m always blown away when I see the end product. I knew it was going to be gorgeous, just because of the locations we were shooting in and the time of day we were shooting. And when I finally saw it all piece together – it’s beautiful. I saw it on the little screen because they sent it to me, because I had to watch it all before we started going to press. But when I saw it on the big screen… I think it should be seen on the big screen. It’s such a beautiful movie. That first opening shot in the hotel when we first meet Cordelia and Eli’s tied up – it’s just gorgeous. It’s like out of George Stevens’s Giant, or John Ford. You see a lot of that in the cinematography. I could tell when we were shooting, I knew it was gonna be beautiful, but I didn’t know how beautiful it was gonna be. They blew me away.

It plays with a genre that has a long history to create something fresh, and one of the things that stands out is the casting and particularly the inclusion of Native Americans, who, in the past, were overlooked. In what ways does this take on the genre feel more contemporary?

You know, I’m not the first Native actor that’s done a lead role like this – there are a few of them, but it’s pretty rare. It’s rare. For years, as an actor that happened to be Native American, I had to sit on the sidelines for a long time, waiting for something like this. And, finally, a character comes out like Eli in The English. I knew it was an homage to the Westerns of before, to the Man With No Name in the A Fist Full of Dollars to Paul Newman in Hombre, Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West. I could see in Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid – I could see where the blueprint was being made for this character. So it was a fun character to play. It’s just like when I was a kid, going out in my backyard and playing cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians. That’s all it was. I think I leaned over to Hugo and said, “We’re like kids who get really expensive toys. But we never leave the sandbox, you know?” We’re just there, and that’s fine. It’s fun to work with my kind of people. We’re just big kids with big toys. And we’re here to entertain.

Was there an aspect that you loved the most? You were already au fait with riding a horse but there was a lot of that, then there were the costumes, the hair…

Well, right when I put on the wardrobe and they shaved my head, I really became Eli. We were in wardrobe fitting, my head was shaved, then we put the big coat on and, oh my God, my walk changed, my voice dropped – I became Eli right then and there. It’s like, “I know this guy”. It helps when you get the wardrobe. And right before we’d go on set, I would get hair and makeup and get all set up, and I would blast Creedence Clearwater Revival or Bruce Springsteen just to get in that Americana mode, and it just changed everything. Music really does affect how I work as an actor. Like I said, my walk changes, my voice drops a little bit – that’s what I love about doing roles like this. I wish I was like him!

Finally, can you tell us what you might be working on next? ,

I’m working on Marvel’s Echo. That should be out next summer. I hope people see it, I really enjoyed working on that film too. And all I can say is that my character is a disco guy…

Sound like quite a contrast! Thank you so much for your time.

Special Birthdays

 Ljubiša Bacic (actor) would have been 100 today but died in 1999.

Robert Hossein (director, screenwriter, actor) would have been 95 today but died in 2020.

Paolo Villagio (actor) would have been 90 today but died in 2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

RIP Ruggero Deodato


Italian director Ruggero Deodato died in Rome, Italy on December 29, 2022. He was 83. Ruggero was born on May 7, 1939, in Potenza, Italy, and grew up outside Rome. One of his close friends at the time was Renzo Rossellini, the son of famed Italian director Roberto Rossellini. Knowing Ruggerio's love for the movies, Renzo persuaded him to work as a second unit director on some of his father's productions. From 195819-67 Deodato worked as a second unit director for several cult film directors such as Anthony M. Dawson (Antonio Margheriti), Riccardo Freda and Joseph Losey. Deodato's directorial debut was the action-fantasy :Hercules, Prisoner of Evil” (1964), replacing Margheriti who quit the production. Deodato's claim to fame was the spaghetti western “Django” (1966). His career took off in 1968 when he directed a number of films based on comic-book characters and musicals. It was while shooting one of these films that Deodato met, and later married, Silvia Dionisio. From 1971-75 Deodato worked in television, directing the series’ All'ultimo minuto’ (1971) as well as TV commercials, including ones for Esso Oil, Band-Aid and Fanta. Deodato returned to filmmaking with an erotic melodrama and a police thriller. At the same time his marriage fell apart. In 1977 Deodato directed the notorious “Jungle Holocaust” (1977) and later “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980). Deodato traveled to New York City and directed the disturbing thriller “House on the Edge of the Park” (1980), a semi-follow-up to Wes Craven's “The Last House on the Left” (1972). Deodato made “House on the Edge of the Park” (1980) in just 19 days on a tiny budget. He then returned to directing action and horror flicks. Ruggerro directed 1969’s “In the Name of the Father” starring Paolo Villaggio. He also an assistant director on “Django” and “Ringo and His Golden Pistol”, “Navajo Joe” both (1966), “The Hellbenders” and “Wanted” (1967).

English voices of the Spaghetti Western – Mel Welles


Ira W. Meltcher aka Mel Welles was born in Astoria, Queens, New York on February 17, 1924. Prior to his Hollywood acting career, Welles held a variety of jobs, including clinical psychologist, writer and radio deejay. After some stage work, he wound up in Hollywood, making his film debut in “Appointment in Honduras” (1953). His best and favorite role, as flower shop owner Gravis Mushnick in director Roger Corman's horror comedy “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), was one of his last before leaving the US in the early 1960s and forging a long acting-producing-directing career in Europe.

In the early 1960s, he left the United States initially to make a film in Germany. After the producer was arrested, he travelled to Rome to act, produce and direct mostly uncredited primarily in Europe several film productions including the cult horror films “Maneater of Hydra” (1967) and “Lady Frankenstein” (1971). His fluency in five languages proved to be most helpful where he started a dubbing company that by his own estimate dubbed over 800 European made films. He also served as a film consultant. Later, he returned to the U.S., appearing in a number of films, doing voice work, and teaching voice acting.

WELLES, Mel (Ira W. Meltcher) [2/17/1924, Astoria, Queens, New York, U.S.A. – 8/18/2005, Norfolk, Virginia (heart failure)] – director, film, TV, voice actor, married to Mary Verduce (Mary Janet Carsey) [1937-1973] (1948-195?) married to producer Annie Marie Welles [1940-    ] (1959-2005) father of Teri Welles (Esther Meltcher), actor Kevin K. Welles [1962-    ], actor Sherwood ‘Woody’ Welles, married to Meri Welles [1937-    ] father of  Melanie Welles Ridlon, Adam Welles.


Mel Welles’ English dubbed voices:

The Great Silence – 1968 [English voice of Luigi Pistilli]

Cut-Throats Nine – 1972 [English voice of unknown actor]

Special Birthdays

 Giorgio Capitani (director) would have been 95 today but died in 2017.

Vsevolod Abdulov (actor) would have been 80 today but died in 2002.

Robbie Fields (actor) is 70 today.

Eva Hassmann (actress) is 50 today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

RIP Christian Roberts


RIP Christian Roberts. British actor Christian Roberts died on December 26, 2022. He was 78. Born Christian Charles Roberts in Southmoor, Berkshire, England. He’s best remembered for his  film debut role as the rebellious Denham in the 1967 film “To Sir, with Love” starring Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson and Lulu. He was educated at Cranleigh School, Surrey and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Much of his acting career was in theatre. Roberts lone Euro-western appearance was as Adam Galt in the 1969 British film “The Desperados! starring Jack Palance and Vince Edwards and George Maharis.

New book release Clint Eastwood: A Timeless Legend


Clint Eastwood: A Timeless Legend

Authors: Antonio Raimondi, Rocco Raimondi



Publisher: ‎ Independently published

Language: English

Pages: 197


ISBN-13: ‎979-8371110794

Available: December 25, 2022

Who Are Those Guys ~ Claude d’Yd


Claude d’Yd was born Raymond Jean Claude Perret in Paris, France on September 16, 1922. He was the son of French actor Jean d’Yd [1880-1964] and brother of actresses Ginette d’Yd, Renée d'Yd and Berthe d’Yd. Claude was a stage, film and TV actor but was best known in France as a voice dubber and is best associated for dubbing the voice of William Devane. He specialized in dubbing; his characteristic voice is very often associated with American actor William Devane. He also dubbed an important character from the television series ‘Hercule Poirot’ in its French version: Inspector Japp. Claude appeared in one European Western as McGregor in "Dynamite Jack" (1961) with French actor Fernandel. He died in Saint Maurice, Val-de-Marne, France on September 25, 2009, at the age of 87.

d’YD, Claude (Raymond Jean Claude Perret) [9/16/1922, Paris, Île-de-France, France – 9/25/2009, Saint Maurice, Val-de-Marne, France] – theater, film, TV, voice actor, son of actor Jean d’Yd (Paul Jean Félix Didier Perret) [1880-1964], brother of actress Ginette d’Yd (Pierrette Ginette Gabrielle Perret) [1913-2005], actress Renée d'Yd, actress Berthe d'Yd, uncle of production designer, actor Didier d'Yd (Didier Louis Jean François Bouquet-Nadaud) [1933-1991]

Dynamite Jack - 1960 (McGregor)

Special Birthdays

 Freda Jackson (actress) would have been 115 today but died in 1990.

Kitty Mattern (actress) would have been 110 today but died in 1998.

Ivan Desny (actor) would have been 100 today but died in 2002.

Leo Lastumäki (actor) would have been 95 today but died in 2012.

Jane Alexander (actress) is 50 today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

RIP Stephen Greif


British actor Stephen Greif, an award-winning RADA trained actor and voice actor in Television, Stage, Film, Radio, Talking Books and the Audio worlds of Advertising and Corporate presentations, died on December 26, 2022. He was 78. Born on August 26, 1944, in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England. He is most familiar for his roles as Space Commander Travis, in the cult BBC Sci –Fi series "Blakes 7", Harry Fenning the gangster publican in 3 series of the BBC sit-com "Citizen Smith", Signor Donato the opulent Merchant in the Movie "Casanova" and as the Rich playboy in the series of Kenco Commercials. Greif appeared as Torres in the 1990 episode “Ghost Story” on the TV series “The New Zorro” starring Duncan Regehr.

Spaghetti Western Voices “The Sign of Zorro”

 As we know most of the Euro-westerns were co-productions from Italy, Spain, Germany and France which incorporated British and American actors to gain a worldwide audience. The films were shot silent and then dubbed into the various languages where they were sold for distribution. That means Italian, Spanish, German, French and English voice actors were hired to dub the films. Even actors from the countries where the film was to be shown were often dubbed by voice actors for various reasons such as the actors were already busy making another film, they wanted to be paid additional salaries for dubbing their voices, the actor’s voice didn’t fit the character they were playing, accidents to the actors and in some cases even death before the film could be dubbed.

I’ll list a Euro-western and the (I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German and (F) French, (E) English voices that I can find and once in a while a bio on a specific voice actor as in Europe these actors are as well-known as the actors they voiced.


Today we’ll cover “The Sign of Zorro”

[(I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German, (F) French, (E) English]


Don Ramón Martínez y Rayol/Slavatore/Zorro – Sean Flynn (S) Francisco Valladares, (G)

    Thomas Braut, (F) Pierre Vaneck

José – Folco Lulli (S) Vicente Bañó, (G) Klaus W. Krause, (F) Serge Nadaud

Señora Gutiérrez – Gaby André (S) Celia Honrubia, (G) ?, (F) : Nadine Alari

General Rodrigo Gutiérrez – Armando Calvo (S) Armando Calvo, (G) Alf Marholm, (F)

     Claude Bertrand

Manuela – Danielle de Metz (S) Josefina De Luna, (G) Ursula Herwig, (F) Claude Chantal

Don Luis – Mino D’Oro (S) Joaquín Vidriales (G) Wimm Schroers, (F) : Fernand Fabre

Captain Martin/Lieutenant Martino – Mario Petri (S) José Guardiola, (G) Helmo

     Kindermann (F) Jacques Deschamps

Thomas Braut  (1930 - 1979)

Thomas Ulrich Braut was born in Berlin, Germany on May 22, 1930. He was the son of actress Frigga Braut and attended the Düsseldorf acting school under Gustaf Gründgens from 1949 to 1951 where he also took piano and singing lessons. In 1949 he made his stage debut as a chorus messenger in “Die Braut von Messina” at the Grenzland theater in Monschau. Further stage companies were in Düsseldorf, Osnabrück, Cologne, Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin. He was not only active as an actor, but also as a director.

From 1957 he has appearances in film and television productions. He played in Frank Wisbar's war film “Haie und kleine Fische”, in the Heinz Erhardt comedy “Vater, Mutter und neun Kinder”, crime novels such as “Stahlnetz” and in television series such as ‘Derrick’, ‘Das Kriminalmuseum, Notarztwagen 7’, ‘Der Alte’ and ‘Auf Achse’.

Since 1953 Braut began his extensive career as a dubbing actor and lent his voice to internationally known acting colleagues such as Alan Bates, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Richard Burton, Johnny Cash, James Coburn, James Drury, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Ben Gazzara, Toshirō Mifune, Cameron Mitchell, Renato Salvatori and William Shatner.

Braut was married to fellow actress Ursula Herwig [1935–1977] until her death; the couple had one daughter. His cousin Ingrid Braut [1926–2001] was also an actress. After Thomas Braut had already suffered two heart attacks he succumbed to a third attack on December 13, 1979, at the age of 49

Monday, December 26, 2022

RIP Giurato Blasco


Director of photography Giurato Blasco died on December 26, 2022. He was 81. Born in Rome on June 7, 1941. He received his professional training with a series of short-length films, winning the Florence “Festival dei Popoli” with “The Furthest Island”. His camera operator career began at the side of Dario Di Palma, then Rotunno and Kuveiller, collaborating with the greatest directors of the period, such as Fellini (“I Clowns”, “Roma”), Zurlini, Gregoretti, Giraldi, Questi, Wertmuller, Vancini, Pasolini, Maselli, Petri, Monicelli, Lumet, Bolognini and Pontecorvo. Blasco was a camera operator on Sergio Cobucci’s “The Specialist” starring Johnny Hallyday and Mario Adorf.

Spaghetti Western location – La Calahorra-Ferreira train station

 La Calahorra-Ferreira train station has been seen in several Spaghetti westerns through the years such as “Once Upon a Time in the West.”

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and pictured “Pancho Villa”

A 2022 photo of the same location.

European Western Comic Books -lbi Spada: Nuova serie ALBI SPADA (Turok - Star Trek - Magnus - Marshal)


lbi Spada: New series Albi Spada (Turok - Star Trek - Magnus - Marshal)


This comic book series alternates the stories of Turock  (TU) with texts by Paul S. Newman, drawings by A. Giolitti, #1, #5, #9, #13, #16, #19, #22, #25, #28, #30, Star Trek ( ST) with texts by Arnold Drake, drawings by A. Giolitti, #2, #6, #10), Magnus (MA) with texts by R. Manning, R. Kyle, M. Royer, drawings by R. Manning, M. Royer, Dan Spiegle, Paul Norris, #3, #7, #11, #14, #17, #20, #23, #26 and Marshal (MR), with texts by P. S. Newman, E. Freiwald, R. Schaefer, drawings by A. Giolitti and A. Ticci, #4, #8, #12, #15, #18, #21, #24, #27, #29, which from 1973 to 1974 had independent publications always under the generic acronym AlbiSpada. Periodicity is often irregular with long non-publication intervals.

It was first published in 1974 starting with #1 released on July 15, 1974 and ended with #20 in December 1977. It was published by Spada Brothers Editions in Milan, Italy under the direction of Giuseppe Spada. Each edition contained 40 color pages with color covers.


Known Titles:

04 (30.08.74) - "L'assassino" (MR) (The Assassin)

05 (30.10.74) - "Il mostro nascosto" (TU) (The Hidden Monster)

09 (01.02.75) - (TU)

10 (15.02.75) - "Il pianeta rubato" (ST) (The Stolen Planet)

16 (15.11.75) - "Un terribile volo" (TU) (A Terrible Flight)

22 (30.07.76) - "Il mostro dal passato" I (TU) (The Monster from the Past)

Special Birthdays

 Oscar Saul (screenwriter) would have been 110 today but died in 1994.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas 2022


Clint Eastwood’s lost Spaghetti Westerns

 In 1964 few Italians owned their own TV sets. This was one of the reasons why A Fistful of Dollars, which had been released in the fall of '64, did so well. This sudden success of Fistful at the box-office surprised both audiences and the film's producers alike. The State-run broadcaster RAI TV, had yet to start showing Rawhide, dubbed into Italian under the title 'Gli Uomini della Prateria / The Prairie Men'. That didn't occur until around 1967. Still, audiences wanted more of Clint Eastwood.

A second film, if it got made, was still a year away. Then all hell broke loose. Egos were bruised.

Most of 1965 saw the two-feuding groups of ex-friends (Fistful's toppers Arrigo Colombo & Giorgio Papi and director Sergio Leone), suing each other, as well as being sued by Akira Kurosawa and Toho Films of Japan, over their unauthorized plundering of Yojimbo (1961). Colombo & Papi even had the audacity to try and sue Eastwood, for doing the second film, without their permission, which they claimed he needed. They said his contract with them extended to any sequels. The Italian office of the powerful William Morris agency, which handled Eastwood worldwide, settled that case in quick order. These misgiving held up the Fistful's release in most countries outside Europe (including North America) until late 1966.

During the Summer of 1966, Jolly Films, the original producers behind A Fistful of Dollars, lawfully purchased two TV segments, made years apart, of the recently cancelled US tv series Rawhide (1959-1965) from CBS TV. They then set about preparing their 'new' Clint Eastwood film unaware of the brewing storm this would cause. 'Jolly' of course had been shut out of the A Fistful of Dollars direct sequel, For a Few Dollars More (December 1965), and the third film in the series, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (December 1966), which was still before cameras at the time, and wanted retribution.

'Jolly' then set out to make their own sequel by using the Rawhide episodes, and, craftily choose Il Magnifico Straniero, which had been the shooting title of A Fistful of Dollars, for the title for their follow-up.

One can envision 'Jolly' cranking out additional 'new' Rawhide/Eastwood oaters for the next few years to come.

The ruse paid off and Straniero bested such local far as Arizona Colt, Brute and the Beast, A Taste of Killing and Yankee (all August releases that would have been slowing down by October), on its opening sprint. Still, the new Straniero served up 'Boffo' returns as Variety put it. At first audiences were probably thrilled at the prospect of a new western starring 'the Man with the Green Eyes', as he was called in Italy. They most likely quickly caught on to the deception, stopped repeat visits, and caused the box-office coffers to dry up.

Legend has it that Eastwood, who was still on the Continent, making his third oater, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, took offence and sued his old employers, and won. 

One can see from the Anica page for The Magnificent Stranger (August 11, 1966, for an October release), that the Eastwood character's name had not been changed from 'Rowdy Yates'. Oddly one would have thought that 'Jolly' and their dubbers would have just called him 'Il Straniero', to firm up that the film was a sequel to A Fistful of Dollars, and also add to the fun.

The attached Anica page would have been typed up prior to the film's release and may not have actually reflected the character's final moniker.

The lag between the Anica date, and the release (three months), was probably when the Italo dubbing had been done, andthe character's name could have easily been changed to 'Straniero' to complete the process.

All in all, The Magnificent Stranger was sold off to such counties as Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Greece and Spain, before it was withdrawn. 

A year later a second 'new' Clint Eastwood film, El Gringhero (June,1967, sometimes transliterated to 'Gringohero'), was announced. It was touted in the local press and garnered interest, causing eyebrows to arch.

Industry wags got word to Eastwood that another Rawhide movie was in the works, and again he was none too pleased.

This time Eastwood did manage to have the film stopped.

Eastwood took out trade ads denouncing the film and argued that he had never worked for 'Lucas Films of Rome' or for Clarence Brown, an actual American director, who had retired before Rawhide had even started production. The courts agreed and the film disappeared out of sight. Multiple searches for El Gringhero, have yet to turn up any visual evidence of this follow-up Rawhide compilation. It mostly never got past the planning stage.

The title, Gringhero, on the other hand was later used for a Mexican western Un Dolado de Pancho Villa aka 'A Faithful Soldier of Pancho Villa' that was marketed as Mexico amore e sangue per un Gringhero / 'Mexico, Love and Blood for a Gringhero' (June 1968), for its Italian release by Magna Films.

Still later, two official Rawhide movies turned up on Canadian TV (CBC) around 1970-71, Incident at Dead Horse & Incident on Damon's Road, that took full advantage of Eastwood's newfound popularity.

These two English language films were made using actual two-part episodes, that easily fit together, that solved The Magnificent Stranger's central problem. One would think that they would have sent out still sets and ad slicks for both titles. They never resurfaced during the age of video. It's a wonder that CBS didn't put the two Rawhide movies out on North American DVD together. Perhaps they figured that they shouldn't wrangle with 'The Clint'.


By Mike Ferguson

Who Are Those Singers & Musicians? ~ Cesare De Natale


Cesare De Natale was born in Florence Tuscany, Italy on August 1, 1943. He is best known as a songwriter who along with his wife Susan Duncan Smith have worked extensively with the DeAngelis brothers, Guido and Maurizio, in composing songs for several of their film scores.

As Guy he is best remembered for his composition and singing along with Sybil (Sibyl Amarilli Mostert) of the main theme song for 1975’s “Keoma” and with the De’Angelis brothers in their alias group “Dandylion” the songs “Wolf” and “Snake” for the 1977 film “A Man Called Blade”

Cesare is also an accomplished poet and composer in his own right and at one time was a member of the singing group “The Hollipops”.

De NATALE, Cesare (aka Dandylion, Guy, Zenzero) [8/1/1943, Florence, Tuscany, Italy -     ] – author, writer, composer, songwriter, singer, married to producer, actress, songwriter, songwriter, singer Susan Duncan Smith [1946-    ] (1987-    ), member of “Hollipops”.

Keoma – 1975 [sings: “Keoma”, “In Front of My Desperation”] [as Sybil & Guy]

A Man Called Blade – 1977 [sings: “Wolf”, “Snake”] [as Dandylion]

Special Birthdays

 Wadim Berestowski (director, screenwriter) would have been 105 today but died in 1992.

Barry Goldberg (composer) is 80 today.

Marisa Medina (actress) is 80 today.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

RIP Ronan Vibert


Ronan Vibert, a veteran film and television actor who worked with some of the top directors and talent during his long career, died in Florida on December 22, 2022, at age of 58 after a short illness, according to his management. Vibert was born in Cambridge, England on February 23, 1964 and grew up in South Wales before gaining a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and lived most of his life in London. In recent years, he had relocated to Florida. His many films include “The Snowman” with Michael Fassbender, “Saving Mr. Banks” with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, “Dracula Untold” with Luke Evans, “Shadow of the Vampire” with John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, “Tomb Raider 2” with Angelina Jolie, Tristan and the Oscar-winning The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski. He played Perry Cline in 2012’s semi-Euro-western mini-series ‘Hatfields & McCoys” starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.

Spaghetti Western Locations “The Mercenary”

 We continue our search for filming locations for “The Mercenary”. After the battle Paco’s army is defeated and General Garcia arrives in an automobile and confronts Curly who tells him Paco’s army has been decimated but Paco and Sergei have escaped and are headed north. Garcia orders Curly to double the reward and send patrols to the border. Curly replies he’ll try and capture the pair alive.

This scene was filmed at Nuevo Baztán, Madrid, Spain.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: and Captain Douglas Film Locations


50th anniversary of the “The Grand Duel”


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the premier of “The Grand Duel” directed by Giancarlo Santi and starred Lee Van Cleef, Horst Frank, Peter O’Brien and Marc Mazza. The film is about

Clayton (Lee Van Cleef), former sheriff of Jefferson who stops a bounty killer siege on the young Philip Vermeer (Peter O’Brien), who had managed to escape and take refuge in the mountains after being wrongly accused by the Saxon brothers of killing their father, called "The Patriarch". Vermeer was sentenced to death by a corrupt judge, and Philipp believes that Clayton is a bounty hunter, and tries to stay away from him, but is actually taken under his protection. In the end, however, he ends up in the hands of the three Saxon brothers, one of which, the marshal (Marc Mazza), directs the hanging to proceed. Clayton stops the hanging and reveals that he was the killer of ‘The Patriarch’ in order to stop his thirst for killing. At the end of the film a furious duel between Clayton and the Saxons frees the town of their tyrannical rule. The film grossed 477,266 lire on its original relese.


Il grande duello - Italian title

Le grand duel - French title

Drei Vaterunser für vier Halunken - German title

Sabata, o Justiceiro - Brazilian title

Suuri kaksintaistelu - Finnish title

Fataal tweegevecht - Flemish title

Keravnos kato apo ton ilio - Greek title

Monomahia mehri thanatou - Greek title

I megali mahi - Greek title

A nagy leszámolás - Hungarian title

O Grande Duelo - Portuguese title

El gran duelo - Spanish title

Gran duello al amanecer - Spanish title

Den Stora Duellen - Swedish title

Büyük duello - Turkish title

Hell’s Fighters - U.K. title

The Great Duel - English title

The Big Showdown - English title

The Loner - English title

Storm Rider - U.S.A. title

The Grand Duel - English title


A 1972 Italian, French, West German film co-production [Mount Street Film (Rome),

     SNC (Paris), Corona Filmproducktion (Munich), Terra Film (Berlin)]

Producers: Henryk Chorscicki, Ettore Rosboch

Director: Giancarlo Santi

Story: Ernesto Gastaldi

Screenplay: Ernesto Gastaldi, Albert Kantof

Cinematography: Mario Vulpiani [Eastmancolor, CinemaScope]

Music: Luis Bacalov, Sergio Bardotti

Running time: 100 minutes



Sheriff Clayton - Lee Van Cleef (Clarence Van Cleef, Jr.)

David Saxon, Patriarch - Horst Frank

Philipp Vermeer/Newland - Peter O’Brien (Alberto Dentice)

Marshal Eli Saxon/Joe Buck - Marc Mazza (Marco Mazzacurati)

Adam Saxon/Jeff - Klaus Grünberg

Elisabeth - Dominique Darel

Anita - Sandra Cardini (Alessandra Cardini)

Big Horse/Anthony/Peacock - Jess Hahn (Jesse Hahn)

Hoak/Skinny - Antony Vernon (Antonio Casale)

Borghese - Gastone Pescucci

Madame Oro - Elvira Cortese

Mrs. David Saxon - Anna Maria Gherardi

Old John - Giovanni Filidoro

Deputy - Bob Clark (Robert Clark)

Joe Barrel - Hans Terofal (Hans Seitz)

Saxon henchman - Ray O’Connor (Renato Capitini), Memè Perlini (Amelio Perlini)

Bull - Giorgio Trestini

Hotel owner - Maria Teresa Piaggio

Bouncer – Mimmo Crao (Domenico Crao)

Saloon patron – Romano Milani

Saloon patron - Maurizio Streccioni, Angelo Boscariol, Salvatore Baccaro

Hangman - Furio Meniconi

Undertaker - Mimmo Rizzo (Giacomo Rizzo)

One-eyed man - Giancarlo Badessi

Townsman - Pierogiorgio Plebani, Aldo Formisano, Massimo Ciprari

Onlooker at hanging – Giovanna Sanfillipo, Anna Manduchi

Bounty killers - Franco Fantasia (Francesco Fantasia), Angelo Susani, Sergio Sagnotti

With: Vittorio Sancisi, Ottorino Poletini, Luigi Antonio Guerra, Michaelangelo Mastroni, Gianni Di Segni, Clemente Cipriano, Luigi Masironi, Luigi Scavran

Master of arms – Sergio Sagnotti

Special Birthdays

 Jiri Brdecka (screenwriter, songwriter) would have been 105 today but died in 1982.