Monday, December 17, 2012

They Died in September 2012, Part IX: Turhan Bey

One day you, too, are going to die... in the past eight instalments of They Died in September 2012 we have presented people, both known and unknown, who worked in the film industry that have beaten you to it. One day, you'll join then — so enjoy yourself why you still can — but will you leave half as much behind, or have you a wasted life? 
Among those that died in September 2012 were at least three names whose careers are impossible to encapsulate in but a few films. The first, Stanley Long, has a separate entry here at A Wasted Life; the second, Herbert Lom, had all of Part VII dedicated to him; and now, in the second-to-last blog entry for They Died in September 2012, Turhan Bey is the third and final "Big One" to go in September — for us here at A Wasted Life, in any event.
And because he has so many films to his name that we find worth presenting, Part IX is dedicated to the (dead) man alone. As always, when it comes to all the films he took part in, the list is hardly 50% complete... May he rest in peace.
But before we get to career review of Turhan Bey, a message from Terry Jacks:

Terry Jacks - Seasons In The Sun - MyVideo

Turhan Bey
30 March 1922 — 30 September 2012

Born Turhan Gilbert Selahattin Sahultavy in Vienna, Austria, on March 30, 1922 to a Turkish diplomat and a Czechoslovakian mother of the Jewish faith, following the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany and his parents' divorce he and his mother immigrated to the USA in 1940, finally settling in Pasadena. Spotted by a talent scout while acting in a play, he was put under contract as Turhan Bey by Warner Brothers, where he didn't stay long. Moving over to Universal, he never became a huge star but did go on to enjoy a successful career as Hollywood's "Turkish Delight" from 1941 to 1953. 
The momentum was taken from Bey's acting career in 1946 when he was drafted into the army for a two-year hitch and Universal didn't renew his contract upon his return. According to all on-line sources we could find, Bey decided to return to Austria in 1949 after his star faded in Hollywood. We here at A Wasted Life, however, the scandal mongers that we are, suspect there is more to the story: Richard Lamparski, in his rather useless book Whatever Became of... (Bantam, 1980), refers to how "Bey refuses interviews with the explanation that he does not wish to have revived the scandal that made him leave Hollywood." Lamparski also quotes Bey as once having told a fan, "I could have stayed there and defended myself because I was innocent, but I decided not to. It wasn't worth it to me." Whatever the scandal was, it is neither revealed in Lamparski's worthless book nor could we find details about it on-line.
In any event, what is known is that the perennial bachelor, who in his day was "romantically linked" to Merle Oberon, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner, left Hollywood to pursue a career as a fashion photographer and occasional stage director and never married. Bey remained in Old Europe until the mid-1990s when a short trip to Hollywood to accept an award resulted in the appearance on a variety of TV shows and some movies. His last known appearance as an actor was on Babylon 5 (1995-1998), followed by a documentary, Andrea Eckert's Turhan Bey, Vom Glück verfolgt. Wien — Hollywood — Retour (2002). Turhan Bey died from Parkinson's disease on 30 September 2012 in his home town of Austria, Vienna. His body was cremated on Monday, October 8, 2012.

Footsteps in the Dark
(1941, dir. Lloyd Bacon)
This Errol Flynn flick is often given as the first film appearance of Turhan Bey (in a small speaking role as Ahmed), but truth be told that alone in 1941 Bey appeared in four other films, all which were B-productions and far more likely the type of film with which a studio would test new property. Rest assured, however, Footsteps in the Dark is his first "A" project. We here at A Wasted Life find the film entertaining but inconsequential, as we say in our review, to which the title above is linked. Over at The Films of Lloyd Bacon, they say: "Footsteps in the Dark (1941) has nothing to do with Georgette Heyer's 1932 novel of the same name. Rather, it is a comedy mystery starring Errol Flynn. He plays a wealthy businessman who has a secret life as a mystery writer. Eventually he gets involved in a real murder case himself, turning amateur sleuth to solve the mystery. The film is at its best in its first half. These are the sections with the most about Flynn's double life. The second half tends to neglect this aspect, and just be a conventional whodunit, one that goes on way too long. The first half has some delightful comedy as well, including Flynn's impersonation of a Texas rancher. Flynn's character is getting to try out all sorts of roles, something that the public has always enjoyed daydreaming about. In general, the comedy in this film is much more interesting than the mystery." You see Bey (in a turban, off course) for a few seconds in the trailer below.

Shadows on the Stairs
(1941, dir. D. Ross Lederman)
D. Ross Lederman one of the many forgotten directors that were active in Hollywood from the start and, as such, helped shape the industry but — without a single "classic" to their names, due in part to their overly 9-to-5 attitude and the B films they made — have long been forgotten. This B-film here, a typical Old Dark House programmer based on a play named Murder on the Second Floor (which originally opened in New York on 11 September 1929) by Frank Vosper (1899—1937), overflows with old familiar faces and United Kingdom accents and, as so often, has Turhan as Ram Singh — in a turban. At imdb, Terrell-4 explains the film: "In London in 1937 the Armitage Rooming House is run by Mrs. Stella Armitage (Frieda Inescort) with help from the maid (Phyllis Barry) and from her daughter, Sylvia (Heather Angel). Her husband, Tom Armitage (Miles Mander), is an older, distracted man who concentrates on solving chess puzzles. Among the roomers is a mysterious young man from India, Ram Singh (Turhan Bey); a smooth older man, Joe Reynolds (Paul Cavanaugh), who seems to know Mrs. Armitage rather well; a handsome writer, Hugh Bromilow (Bruce Lister), who is keeping something secret and who has eyes for Sylvia; and a talkative spinster, Miss Phoebe Snell (Mary Field), who loves describing her romantic dreams at length to anyone who'll listen. Right at the start we learn that there is some sort of skullduggery that involves Ram Singh, Joe Reynolds and a heavy chest Singh spirits into his room from the foggy London docks. The last character is the rooming house itself, a three-story dwelling filled with heavy furniture and dark corners, balustrades and carved oaken doors, dim lamps and pots of aspidistra. The movie is only one hour and five minutes long. In those 65 minutes we have murder, suicide, presumed adultery, corpses, disappearing lodgers, locked rooms, smuggled gold, a creeping specter with a shawl over its head, comic bobbies and bemused inspectors, threats and counter threats... and young love."
The full, public-domain film:

The Gay Falcon
(1941, dir. Irving Reis)
Turhan Bey plays "Manuel Retana" in this film from an earlier time when a man could be named "Gay" and still be considered a "real" man. George Sanders (of Good Times [1967]) played the Saint for five RKO films (The Saint Strikes Back [1939], The Saint in London [1939], The Saint's Double Trouble [1940], The Saint Takes Over [1940] and The Saint in Palm Springs [1941]) before moving on to play Michael Arlen's Saint-knockoff "The Falcon" for four films (in a series that lasted 16 movies). This film, the first of the series, is also the only one to actually be based on an Arlen story. The Video Vacuum says: "[...] FYI, the title [The Gay Falcon] refers to his first name, 'Gay,' and not his sexual preference because he's definitely a ladies' man. The Falcon (Sanders) is engaged to be married and promises his bride-to-be to give up his crime-solving ways. He takes a job as a Wall Street broker but is lured out of retirement to investigate a rash of jewelry thefts centering around a wealthy socialite. When the jewel thieves frame The Falcon's bumbling sidekick (Allen Jenkins) for multiple murders, Gay tries to clear his name and bring the villains to justice.
Roughly the first 7.5 minutes of The Gay Falcon:

Arabian Nights
(1942, dir. John Rawlins)
John Rawlins entered the film biz in 1918 and, before becoming a director of second features in the early 30s, worked as an actor, stunt man, gag writer, comedy writer and assistant director. As a King of the Bs, he even directed some beloved characters in films – for example, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947 / full film) and Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), as well as episodes of The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1941). Arabian Nights, the first use of 3-strip Technicolor by Universal, was the first of six "exotic" films to team John Hall with Maria Montez (who drowned in her bathtub in Paris on 7 September 1951), usually with Turhan Bey there somewhere as well. The film features the début of Acquanetta, and Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges is also on hand playing Sinbad; Bey is the "Captain of the Guard." At-a-Glance says: "How do you make a film out of a story that's essentially just a framework for a collection of real stories? By being completely unfaithful to the source material, of course! Scheherazade (one of the greatest fictional names, I submit) is captured by a wicked caliph, and it's up to Jon Hall to rescue her. As with most of the Maria Montez / Jon Hall adventures, this one has its share of demonstrative dialogue and overacting, but the film is fun. A nice touch is the appearance of Aladdin and Sinbad (whose real stories are the most famous of the Arabian Nights tales) appear intermittently as comic relief."
Two minutes of 3-strip Technicolor:

The Mummy's Tomb 
(1942, dir. Harold Young)
The first "horror film" of director Harold Young, a name no one remembers, though he does have the honour of being the director of a Rondo Hatton film: The Jungle Captive (1945 / trailer). The Mummy's Tomb is perhaps one of the worst of all the "original" Mummy films, if only because it is hardly a full film: of the 60+ minute running time, over 11 minutes is spent recapping the previous film (mostly with flashback footage) not much movie there. We say "original" because the first true Universal Mummy film, Karl Freund's masterpiece The Mummy (1932 / trailer) never truly had a sequel; it was re-launched and loosely remade as The Mummy's Hand (1940 / trailer / full film) and then followed by three more films, this one here and The Mummy's Ghost (1944 / trailer) and The Mummy's Curse (1944 / trailer / full film). (In turn, Hammer's The Mummy [1959] was, in substance, a remake not of The Mummy but of The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Tomb combined.)
The Mummy's Tomb was also the first of the Mummy films to feature Lon Chaney Jr. in a role he is known to have hated. Classic reveals the plot of this cheapie: "Thirty years after the events of The Mummy's Hand, Stephen Banning (Dick Foran) has retired to the Massachusetts town of Mapleton, where his son, Dr. John Banning (John Hubbard) routinely dismisses his tales of mummies as nonsense. However, the new Priest of Karnak (Turhan Bey) has come to this quiet New England burg with Kharis the Mummy (Lon Chaney Jr) in tow, promising annihilation to anyone who desecrated Ananka's tomb or who happens to be related to a desecrator. As the bodies start to pile up, John must put aside his disbelief and stop Kharis before a moldy hand closes around his own throat." 

Unseen Enemy 
(1942, dir. John Rawlins)
Groovy poster. Turhan Bey plays a conniving Jap — as the Japanese were called in those days — named Ito in this wartime piece of propaganda. All Movie explains it all: "The Unseen Enemy in this wartime meller is Nick (Leo Carrillo), the outwardly effusive manager of a San Francisco waterfront café. To make enough money to ensure his daughter Gen's (Irene Hervey) entree into society, Nick sells his services to a gang of foreign spies, who then use Nick's establishment as a rendezvous point. The plan is to covertly send out a Japanese vessel for the purpose of raiding and destroying American merchant ships. The spies' secret code is hidden in the lyrics of a song called 'Lydia', which the unwitting Gen performs on request day after day. When our heroine finally figures out that something is amiss, she teams with government agent Sam (Andy Devine!) to foil the bad guys. Nick finally redeems himself in the final footage, inevitably at the cost of his own life. In an unusual move for 1942, all the cast and production credits for Unseen Enemy were reeled off at the end of the picture, rather than the beginning."

The Mad Ghoul
(1943, dir. James P. Hogan)
The Mad Ghoul was director James P. Hogan's follow-up project to the equally obscure and entertaining B-film The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943 / 10 minutes); it was also his last film, as he died of a heart attack soon after finishing The Mad Ghoul. The late, great blogspot Arbogast on Film rightly calls this little gem "a deceptively sophisticated concoction": "Going in, the scenario is strictly boilerplate: a mad scientist (George Zucco of The House of Frankenstein [1944]) gulls a promising chemistry student (David Bruce) into being the guinea pig in his latest experiment to reconstitute an ancient Mayan nerve gas, which renders its subject pliant, obedient and, it bears mentioning, hovering in a twilight zone between life and death. When it is discovered that the condition is as irreversible as it is terminal, 'fresh heart substance' from recently-interred corpses must be obtained in order to restore a simulacrum of vivacity... and who better to do the dirty work than the Mad Ghoul?" A suave Bey is along for the ride, as is the always enjoyable Evelyn Ankers.
Bey and Evelyn together in a scene from the film:
(1943, dir. Raoul Walsh)
Bey is on hand here as "Hassan." We here at A Wasted Life were not particularly enamored by this film when we saw it, as you can tell by our review of the film, to which the title above is linked. For the benefit of a doubt, Leonard Maltin finds the film entertaining: "[Background to Danger is a] slam-bang WW2 story with Raft swept into Nazi intrigue in Turkey; terrific car chase caps fast-moving tale." In Lewis Yablonsky's biography of George Raft (aptly entitled George Raft [Signet, 1975]), the film is given little attention — he only mentions that Raft was so annoyed by co-star Lorre blowing smoke in his face during the interrogation scene that he later decked Lorre in his dressing room.

Captive Wild Woman 
(1943, dir. Edward Dmytryk)
Turhan Bey doesn't really appear in this film, and he isn't even listed in the credits, but: the voiceover at the end of the film is his voice. Edward Dmytryk was a few films away from A-film respectability when he made this fun cheapie. (Of all his films, we here A Wasted Life like Pelos Bairros do Vício / Walk on the Wild Side [1962 / credit sequence] the most.) His career was briefly derailed when he became one of the so-called "Hollywood Ten" who refused to cooperate with HUAC, but after a few months behind bars he finally gave a few names and ruined a few other careers before hightailing for England, where his own soon regained momentum. He remained active as a director up until 1975, when he retired to become a respected film teacher and author. Over at the NY Times, Hans J. Wollstein explains the film: "A mad scientist turns a gorilla into a beautiful young woman in this well-made Universal potboiler [...]. John Carradine stars as Dr. Sigmund Walters, whose Crestview Sanitarium witnesses strange and unsettling experiments. The doctor's newest scheme concerns Cheena (Ray 'Crash' Corrigan), a female gorilla that he has stolen from the Whipple Circus. Injecting the ape with sex hormones obtained from Dorothy Colman (Martha Vickers of The Burglar [1957]), the evil medico attempts to turn the animal into a semi-human creature. When Dr. Walter's longtime nurse, Miss Strand (Fay Helm), objects to this blasphemy, she is summarily murdered and her brain transplanted into the ape woman's skull. The result is named Paula Dupree (Acquanetta), a beautiful but mute creature. At the circus, Paula rescues lion tamer Fred Mason (Milburn Stone) from an attacking animal and a grateful Fred makes her his assistant. The team is highly successful but a lovesick Paula becomes jealous of Fred's girlfriend, Beth Colman (Evelyn Ankers), a condition that turns her into a half-ape, half-woman. Failing to kill Beth, Paula returns to the sanitarium, where Dorothy is being prepared for more experiments. The girl is rescued in the nick of time and an enraged Paula, now completely returned to simian form, kills Walters. Escaping, the ape once again saves Fred's life before being put down by an arriving police officer." Acquanetta returned to play Paula Dupree again in the first sequel, Jungle Woman (1944), but in Harold Young's The Jungle Captive (1945 / trailer) — which features Rondo Hatton — she was replaced by Vicky Lane. 

White Savage
(1943, dir. Arthur Lubin)
Arthur Lubin made better films than this one — for example, The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946 / 3 minutes), an odd spin-off that has nothing to do with the original Spider Woman (1944 / trailer), which was a Sherlock Holmes film, Black Friday (1940 / trailer) and Impact (1949 / full film) — but worse ones as well (for example, Phantom of the Opera [1943 / trailer]). Leonard Maltin is right when he says "Standard escapist fare, in glorious Technicolor, with island princess Montez trying to remove obstacles that bar marriage to shark-hunter Hall." High on the camp factor, but not much more. Over in the UK, lorenellroy, who found the film racist at times, was not thrilled by White Savage: "Maria Montez, a statuesque Latino, is improbably cast as a South Sea islands Princess who rules over Temple Island. The floor of the temple is submerged and it contains a number of solid gold bricks. The significance of this is lost on the inhabitants of the island but not on the villainous Sam Miller (Thomas Gomez — giving the only halfway decent performance in the movie). He resolves that when the time is ripe he will seize the gold and marry the Princess, too. He is not above murdering any who get in his way and he ensures the Princess' brother (Turhan Bey) is in his debt by cheating him at cards thus making sure the young man is perpetually in hock to him. Enter the dashing Kahoe (Jon Hall), a shark hunter needing her permission to set up operations near Temple Island. He works out Miller's schemes and hindered rather than helped by sidekick Orano (Sabu) and the local factotum, part lawyer, part policeman Dr Wong (Sidney Toler in Charlie Chan mode) sets out to thwart his plans and win the hand of the Princess. The acting is generally woeful and the script trite. The ending is lively enough and there is some fun to be had at its sheer awfulness. [...]"
The Fertility Dance 3.5 minutes of White Savage:

The Climax
(1944, dir. George Waggner)
A revisioning of the relatively lost film, The Climax (1930), from the director of the infamous short Red Nightmare (1962 / full film) and the original Wolfman (1941 / trailer). The Climax is the first known color film to star Boris Karloff; aside from Karloff and, of course, Turhan Bey (as Franz Munzer), other favorite faces seen in the movie include Gale Sondergaard and Thomas Gomez (of Phantom Lady [1944]). To save some dough, The Climax was filmed on the set of Arthur Lubin's turkey, Phantom of the Opera [1943 / trailer]). Over at Universal Horror, they say "The film [...] rates as inoffensive filler. It's not exactly a bad movie, just a bland one [...]." The plot, from TCM: "Dr. Hohner (Karloff), theatre physician at the Vienna Royal Theatre, murders his mistress, the star soprano when his jealousy drives him to the point of mad obsession. Ten years later, another young singer (Susanna Foster) reminds Hohner of the late diva, and his old mania kicks in. Hohner wants to prevent her from singing for anyone but him, even if it means silencing her forever. The singer's fiancée (Bey) rushes to save her in the film's climax." Though the film is in color, the trailer here is in B&W. Lead good gal Susanna Foster (as the singing Angela Klatt) was supposedly madly in love with Bey in real life...

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
(1944, dir. Arthur Lubin)
More Maria Montez and Jon Hall Technicolor fluff, once again directed by Arthur Lubin, and once again with Turhan Bey in the background — but by now in a part big enough to be the third headlining star on the poster. According to Wkipedia, "The film is derived from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights but its story departs greatly from the tale of the same name and includes an actual historic event. [...] The story takes place in Persia, yet Jamiel (Turhan Bey) hoists the shahada, which is the traditional Saudi Arabian flag." Plot, as told on TCM: "Ali Baba (Hall), son of the Kalif of Bagdad is brought up by the 40 Thieves after his father is killed by the soldiers of Hugalu Khan (Kurt Katch), who received the necessary information by traitor Cassim (Frank Puglia). Ali becomes the leader of the thieves and they are fighting for the freedom of his land. Per chance Ali captures the fiancée of Hugalu Khan, who turns out to be his girl friend Amara (Maria Montez). After a few misunderstandings Ali uses her wedding day with Hugalu Khan as the day for the liberation of Bagdad."

Frisco Sal
(1945, dir. George Waggner)
Turhan Bey's only western film, which is the only reason we present it here. He costars alongside his gal from The Climax, Susanna Foster, who one film later retired from the movies, not to return again until the decidedly unknown Wade Williams project, the 1992 remake of Detour. (The original 1945 version, found here, is a Poverty Row masterpiece that any true film fan should see at least once.) Maltin explains: "Tepid costume drama of New England choir singer Foster journeying to San Francisco's Barbary Coast in the Gay '90s on the trail of her long-missing brother." Bey plays Dude Forante, the romantic interest of the film — and the possible murderer of the missing brother.
Full film:

Parole, Inc.
(1948, dir. Alfred Zeisler)
Though born in the USA, Alfred Zeisler (26 September 1897 — 1 March 1985), of German descent, had a productive career in Germany well into the mid-thirties, after which, like so many, he decided to leave the country to the Aryans and returned to the US. (While in Germany, he produced two accepted classics, the original Viktor und Viktoria [1933 / a song] and Gold [1934 / full film].) Parole, Inc., a relatively uninspired film, was one of his self-produced directorial jobs for the Poverty Row house Eagle-Lion; Turhan Bey hogs the poster, but the hero is Miles O'Shea. A lowly Lyle Talbot (of Ed Wood's Jail Bait [1954], among other great films) appears as the Police Commissioner. Ozus' World says: "Parole, Inc is told in flashback from a hospital, where federal agent Richard Hendricks (Michael O'Shea) is recovering from being shot in the leg and being severely beaten. Hendricks tells how the governor, police commissioner and state's attorney general held a secret meeting to put an end to corruption within the state parole board, whereby they are letting out on parole violent criminals (more than half of the crimes are done by repeaters). It's Hendricks job to report only to them and infiltrate the gang involved, and he takes on the identity of a bank robber who fled the country after his bogus parole. By frequenting a gangster hangout club owned by Jojo Dumont (Evelyn Ankers), Hendricks makes contact with those who bribe the parole board. He soon uncovers that the big boss is a lawyer named Barney Rodescu (Turhan Bey), who is also Jojo's boyfriend. After working his way into the gang's confidence, he aims to trap them and the corrupt parole board members in a farm owned by the lawyer. But things go wrong [...]. The story [...] is just about as far-fetched and ludicrous as the acting. It also lacked suspense, any surprises and the production values were shoddy. The only good thing is that it moves along at a fast clip and is over in a flash."
Full film:

The Amazing Mr. X
(1948, dir. Bernard Vorhaus)
Turhan Bey has the meaty role as the main bad guy in this relatively popular, moodily shot cult film from Bernard Vorhaus. Bernard, Jason's third cousin five times removed, made his directorial début in 1933 with The Ghost Camera (full film), and thereafter even made an occasionally interesting film (other than Mr. X) such as The Last Journey (1936 / opening credits), Bury Me Dead (1947 / full film) and So Young So Bad (1950 / clip). But Bernard's Hollywood career was one of those destroyed by Edward Dmytryk, who denounced him to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s; found to have Communist sympathies — he was "prematurely antifascist", a bad sign indeed — his career in the US ended and he moved to Europe, where he eventually found work again as an assistant director named Piero Musetta. One of our favorite blogs, Noir of the Week, opens their review of this film as follows: "A unique supernatural thriller, The Amazing Mr. X, chronicles the antics of Alexis (Bey), a questionable spiritualist who has created an elaborate hoax based around conjuring spirits, mainly targeting wealthy grief-stricken widows haunted by their memories. Capitalizing on the desperation of those who have lost loved ones, he conducts dramatic, convincing séances for his clients, to satiate their desire to relive their pasts by contacting the dead." Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) is one such client...
Full film:

Stolen Identity
(1953, dir. Gunther von Fritsch)
To quote the German film history website Edition Filmmuseum, "Abenteuer in Wien / Stolen Identity was the first Austrian-American co-production since the introduction of sound film and the first Austrian production filmed in two versions: a German version and an American version with different actors in the main parts." According to them, if nothing else, the neglected — if not forgotten — film "is a forgotten little masterpiece of an Austrian Film Noir." And according to imdb, the English-language version of this duel production is also Turhan Bey's only credit as a producer; he isn't seen in the film itself. Based on the novel Ich war Jack Mortimer ["I was Jack Mortimer"] by Alexander Lernet-Holenia, the English Stolen Identity was directed by Gunther von Fritsch, a director of ''The March of Time'' newsreels who occasionally made a rare film, his most famous being The Curse of the Cat People (1944 / trailer); in turn, the German-language version of Abenteuer in Wien / Stolen Identity was the last directorial project of Emil E. Reinert. The casts were for the most part different, though a few actors were in both films (such as the Francis Lederer or Inge Konradi, who play the same characters in both versions, or Manfred Inger, who plays different characters). While perhaps a bit less officious than Edition Filmmuseum, the film blog Ozus' World finds that the English-language version "had a good feel for postwar Austria through its excellent location shots." They also explain the plot in detail: "Austrian Toni Sponer (Donald Buka) drives the cab of his benefactor Heinth (Manfred Inger) without a license (he can't get one because of a criminal record in petty crimes), and because he has no passport the trapped Toni can't get out of Vienna — something he wants to desperately do. On New Year's Eve, he can't sober up the drunken Heinth and so Toni's forced into working his shift. Toni picks up a wealthy American businessman, Jack Mortimer, at the Westbahnhof train station and while he goes inside the station for his bags, his fare gets popped. Not wanting to identify himself to the police and thereby go to jail for driving illegally and have Heinth lose his cab, Toni tries to report his fare's death anonymously by phone. After that failure, he decides that this is his best chance to escape, and steals Mortimer's identity by taking his passport. Problems arise when Mortimer, who was planning to fly to the States with Karen Manelli (Joan Camden), the unhappy wife of the renown pianist Claude Manelli (Francis Lederer), is concerned when she goes to meet Mortimer at the hotel as arranged and there's a stranger there instead using his name. The wife immediately suspects something fishy and reports it to the police. They arrest Mortimer on suspicion of identity theft, but Claude identifies him as the real Mortimer and Claude should know since Mortimer was best man at his wedding. Claude explains to the gullible police that his wife has a history of mental illness and is always making up stories. Karen is now convinced Claude murdered Mortimer, but still can't understand the stranger's connection and arranges to meet him in a theater. Their meeting clears up Toni's reasons for running away and Karen explains how she has been kept on a chain by her possessive and imperious hubby and how she is watched closely by his oily manager Kruger (Egon Von Jordan) to make sure she doesn't run away. Returning together to Toni's place, they drink a New Year's toast with Toni's loyal friend Marie (Inge Konradi), a possible girlfriend, and both plan to escape together to the States. At the airport Claude is waiting for them with the police, and gives Mortimer the choice of getting on the plane alone and getting away with stealing Mortimer's identity or getting arrested for his murder. At first Toni decides to take the plane, but turns back and has the cops arrest him and convinces them to arrest Claude for the murder. Karen tells Toni she will wait for him when he gets out of his expected small jail sentence."
44 seconds of the German version by Emil E. Reinert:

Prisoners of the Casbah
(1953, dir. Richard L. Bare)
A Sam Katzman production, this was Turhan Bey's last film — a sand and sandals exotica flick, like those of his earlier days but this time around with a lower budget and headlining a non-exotic Gloria Grahame — before he skedaddled to Vienna to become a fashion photographer, where he remained until 1993 when he instigated a slight career revival with his guest appearance on TV's SeaQuest 2032. We would think that director Richard L. Bare, whose lackluster career includes Flaxy Martin (1949) and the cult turkey Wicked, Wicked (1973 / trailer), was up to typical par in a film that Maltin shrugs off as a "low-budget costumer with diverting cast in stale plot of princess and her lover fleeing killers in title locale," but The Lair of Boyg infers that the film might contradict our expectations: "There are countless Technicolor gems amongst the forgotten Hollywood studio pictures of the '50s. Prisoners of the Casbah is one of them [...]. Prisoners is one of those gorgeous Arabic epics, full of vibrant colors, sword fights, and pretty harem girls. There's always a scheming vizier (Cesar Romero), of course. One wonders why Sultans and Emirs bothered appointing viziers, since they always turn out to be evil. There's a twist with Prisoners: the lovely Princess Nadja (Gloria Grahame) is a spoiled brat and she's totally infatuated with the vizier Firouz rather than our brazen hero, Ahmed, the Captain of the Guards (Tuhran Bey, a favorite of mine). While the Emir would like Ahmed to marry his daughter and take the throne, the Captain despises the loathsome woman as much as she despises the playboy Captain. These twists on the format are refreshing and open the representation of genders and the various other format stereotypes to scrutiny."

Possessed by the Night
(1994, dir. Fred Olen Ray)
Like so many forgotten names of the past, Turhan Bey did us all the favor to stoop and take part in a T&A-heavy Fred Olen Ray direct-to-video project alongside Henry Silva (of Alligator [1980]), Sandahl Bergman, Shannon Tweed and others. The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review offers the following plot description: "Frustrated by writer's block, horror novelist Howard Hansen (Ted Prior) wanders into a Chinatown curio shop where the owner's son lets him buy a twisted, one-eyed creature in a jar, even though his father does not want it to be sold. Back home, the creature in the jar mentally forces Howard to have rough sex with his wife (Bergman). Meanwhile, Howard's agent Murray Dunlap (Frank Sivero), who has been stealing money from Howard, now faces threat from mobster Scott Lindsay (Silva) to pay up owed money. Murray installs 'secretary' Carol McKay (Tweed) in Howard's house and secretly instructs her to steal Howard's manuscript for a romantic novel so that he can sell it for the owed money. Under the creature's influence, Howard has sex with Carol and she becomes a mentally unstable psychopath." Who knows when or where Calvin (Bey) shows up...
Shannon Tweed works out in Possessed by Night:

Virtual Combat
(1995 dir. Andrew Stevens)
After a Fred Olan Ray film, can an Andrew Stevens movie be far behind? This time around, director Andrew Stevens, the man behind the masterpiece The Terror Within II (1991), rips off one of Denzel Washington's lesser films, Virtuosity (1995 / trailer), which features a then still relatively unknown Russell Crowe as the bad guy. This direct-to-video tax write off, starring that great Shakespearean actor Don 'The Dragon' Wilson, is as far as we can tell Turhan Bey's last film role — you even see him in the trailer. The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review is there again to explain the film: "Dr Lawrence Cameron (Turhan Bey) perfects a process whereby he can clone characters from virtual reality simulations into flesh and blood bodies. He incarnates two women from virtual sex programs but then the process is taken over by Dante (Michael Bernardo), the character from the tenth and most impossible level of a virtual combat program, who uses it to emerge into the real world. Businessman Jason Burroughs (Ron Barker) takes the clones over the border from the Las Vegas grid into Los Angeles. When gridrunner police officer John Gibson (Ken McLeod) is killed by Dante, his partner David Quarry (The Dragon) heads to the Los Angeles grid to stop Dante." To quote It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie: "Sound dumb? It was. But painfully so. There was certainly much to laugh at, but most of the movie was so painfully slow and dull (even the fights were slow and dull) that the overall experience is a bad one."

And herewith They Died in September 2012 was originally meant to end. But wouldn't you know it, after doing one last review of our favorite "Freshly Dead" websites — Wiki's Deaths in 2012, Variety's Obits, Boot Hill, Life in Legacy, The Actor's Compendium, and Gone but Not Forgotten — we found a whole slew of late additions. Thus:

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