Thursday, March 23, 2017

RIP Tomás Milian

Tomás Milian (Tomás Quintin Rodriguez Milian) died at his Miami, Florida home on March 22nd. He was born on the 3rd of March 1933 in Cutono, Cuba near Havana. His father was Tomas Rodriguez, a general serving the dictatorship of Gerardo. After having problems in his childhood and having been the eyewitness of his father’s suicide, he decided in 1955 to leave Cuba to become an actor in America. Arriving in Miami, he began a score of small jobs (dishwasher, valet attendant, etc),which might have proved good inspiration for his latter working class heroes and ever-changing, on-screen personas. After spending a few months in the Navy, to get his American citizenship, he passed an audition at Elia Kazan's Actor's Studio, where he was taught the seminal "Stanislavskij method" of acting. He acted in a Broadway piece that had been written just for him, Maidens and Mistresses and At Home at the Zoo by Meade Roberts. He then wanted to play bigger roles so he left the U.S.A. to go to Italy. Soon he worked with Italian arthouse film-directors and played in several Italian productions. His first big roles in Spaghetti Westerns were in Sergio Sollima's “The Big Gundown” (1967) and in Giulio Questi's infamous “Django Kill!” (1967). After the Spaghetti Western era, his career slowed down. He moved back to America, where he pursued a low-key career as a character actor. You can see him in Stephen Soderberghs's “Traffic” (2001) and Oliver Stone's “JFK” (1991). Having an amazing, more than thirty year-long acting career, there seemed to be no end to the talents of this Cuban chameleon.

50th Anniversary The Cold Killer

On this date 50 years ago had its premiere in Rome, Italy. The film was directed by Guido Celano and starred Dan Harrison (Bruno Piergentili), Philip March, Rita Ferrel, and Lilian Faber.
The film was based on the book La montagna spaccata writtern by W. Charlie Reed.

Uccideva a freddo – Italian title
O Colt Assassino – Brazilian title
Tué à froid – French title
To megalo katharma – Greek title
Mataba a sangre fria – Spanish title
The Killer – English title
The Cold Killer – English title

A 1966 Italian production [Palinuro Film (Rome)]
Producer: Guido Celano
Director: William First (Guido Celano)
Story: La montagna spaccata by W. Charlie Reed
Screenplay: George W. Ballor, George Molten (Palmambrogio Molteni), Amid Trail (Amedeo
Cinematography: Angelo Baistrocchi [Eastmancolor, Panavision]
Music: The Wilder Brothers (John Ireson, Weyman Parham)
Songs: “He Wore a Silver Star” sung by The Wilder Brothers (John Ireson, Weyman Parham)
Running time: 92 minutes

Story: A butler named Jose Desmet, has killed his employer, a former District Judge, who at one time, years before, condemned Desmet's father, a famous outlaw, to death. Then Desmet tries to seduce a miner named Salazar's daughter, who is heir to a goldmine. He also kills another woman and the town doctor because they have found out that he was selling weapons to the Indians. A government investigator, Bill McGregor/Walcom, together with the local sheriff, sets out to put an end to Desmet's atrocities and outlawry once and for all.

Bill McGregor/Walcom - Dan Harrison (Bruno Piergentili)
José Desmont - Philip March (Aimé de March)
Helena/Ellen - Rita Ferrel
Miss Becket - Lilian Faber
Judge - Mario Feliciani
Attorney - Attilio Dottesio
Sheriff - Guy W. Ceylon (Guido Celano)
Saloon patron - Ennio Pagliani
Minstrels - The Wilder Brothers (John Ireson, Wayne Parham (Weyman Parham)
Piano player - Luis Barber (Luigi Barbieri)
Priest - Amid Trail (Amadeo Trilli)
Lester – Claudio Ruffini
Desmont henchman - Ennio Pagliani
With: Claude Mealli (Claudio Mealli), Giorgio Bandiera, Luciano Odorisio, Bill Reed, W. Thomas Green

New DVD Release

Rocco - Der Mann mit den zwei Gesichtern
(Sugar Colt)

Director: Franco Giraldi
Starring: Hunt Powers, Soledad Miranda, George Rigaud

Country: Germany
Label: Koch Media
Aspect ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Languages: Dolby Digital 2.0 - German, Italian, English
Subtitles: German
Running time: 100 minutes
Extras: Trailer, Interviews with Hunt Powers, director Franco Giraldi, historian Fabio Melelli, gallery.
Available March 23, 2017

Special Birthdays

Veljko Maricic (actor) would have been 110 today, he died in 1973.

Ugo Tognazzi (actor) would have been 95 today, he died in 1990.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

RIP Piero Leri

Italian film, TV and voice actor Piero Leri (aka Peter Larry) died in Italy on March 1st. Leri was born on August 4, 1939 in Rome, his career began during the first half of the 1960s in roles as a supporting actor. Despite his good dialect and preparation for his roles and a vague resemblance to his more well-known colleague Giuliano Gemma, he was relegated to that large group of character actors in supporting roles. Beginning in the first half of the 1980s he dedicated his career to occasional dubbing activity. Lieri appeared in three Euro-westerns: “The Man of the Cursed Valley” - 1964 (Torito) [as Peter Larry], “Rick and John, Conquerors of the West” – 1967 (accomplice with Barbara) and “California” – 1977