Monday, December 10, 2012

They Died in September 2012, Part VIII

Follow this link for They Died in September 2012, Part I 
Follow this link for They Died in September 2012, Part III
Follow this link for They Died in September 2012, Part V

Follow this link for They Died in September 2012, Part VI 
One day you, too, are going to die... but the following people, both known and unknown, have beaten you to it. (Darn.) Will you leave half as much behind, or have you a wasted life?
In any event, as we've already mentioned almost a dozen times: the list of those who died in September is hardly 100% complete, but the project is almost at an end — after this blog entry here, only two more come.
May all those here mentioned rest in peace — most of them are probably already forgotten.... just like you, one day.
In their honor, let us sing a song....

The Hearse Song, performed by Harley Poe:

Ted Boy Marino
18 October 1939 — 27 September 2012
Known as Ted Boy Marino, he was born Mario Tarino in Fuscaldo Marina, Calabria, Italy. In 1953, at the age of 12, he arrived with his parents and five siblings in Buenos Aires where he subsequently worked as a shoemaker. In his free time Mario took up weightlifting and wrestling, and by 1962 he was buff and already participating regularly on television wrestling matches in Argentina and Uruguay. In 1965, he reached Brazil, where he became a popular good guy wrestler, Ted By Marino, eventually achieving legendary status. By 1968 he had already made his first film appearance, and with the decline of his wrestling career in the 1980s he began making regular cameo appearances on TV, as well as on stage. On 27 September 2012, following emergency surgery for thrombosis, Ted Boy Marino had a cardiac arrest and died at the age of 72 at the Pro-Cardiac Hospital in Botafogo, Brazil. Below are his three film projects that we know of.

Dois na Lona
(1968, dir. Carlos Alberto de Souza Barros)
Needless to say, a wrestling film. (Were you expecting Shakespeare?) Ted Boy Marino plays Ted, a simple mechanic asked by a businessman from the freestyle Wrestling National Championships to wrestle. In order to fix the matches, the bad guys kidnap Ted's gal. Over at imdb, by mmegiraldi-1 of Brazil, who seems more enamored by one of the other actors in the film, says the following: "[...] In this spoof comedy [Renato Aragão] plays the best friend of a wrestler and gets involved in a scheme to manipulate fights and there's some crime (but not real criminals) involved, which he 'fights' in his not very unique clowny way that generates most of the laughs. Pretty obvious and yet passable, it was made for kids (or what the kids supposedly enjoyed back then) and has a few good moments [...]. Still, it's an interesting document of Mr. Aragão's pre-stardom years, and if you like wrestling matches..."
The full film in Portuguese:
Dois na lona (1968) from Dan on Vimeo.

Os Paspalhões em Pinóquio 2000
(1980, dir. Victor Lima)
We do not vouch for the veracity of the following explanation for, as so often, we more or less guessed what the computer-generated translation was saying. Plot: An unscrupulous owner of a factory of toilet paper plans to pollute the rivers in cities, thus leading to an outbreak of diarrhea. Everything is going well until the three biscateiros, Kiko, Bira and Curió, cross his path and decide to defend population. (What any of that has to do with Pinocchio — or, "Pinóquio" — is beyond us here at A Wasted Life.) Ted Boy Marino is there somewhere.

Os três Palhaços e o Menino
(1982, dir. Milton Alencar)
We do not vouch for the veracity of the following synopsis: The three clowns work in a circus, the owner of which is also head of a gang of bandits. The bandits kidnap the son of the richest man in town and hide him in the ghost train of the circus. But the boy's sister asks the three clowns for help — they are, in fact, three fearless defenders of law and, after many adventures, they manage to save the boy and his sister and also arrest the bandits. Ted Boy Marino is there in the image above and somewhere in the film...

Michael O'Hare
6 May 1952 — 28 September 2012
O'Hare, possibly best known for his first season turn as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair on the science fiction series Babylon 5 (1994—98) died of a heart attack at the age of 60. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he studied English Lit at Harvard University before taking up drama at Juilliard. He tended to concentrate on stage work more than on film or TV. 

(1984, dir. Douglas Cheek)
O'Hare made his debut on TV in the PBS mini-series The Adams Chronicles in 1976 and was even seen briefly in films like The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981 / trailer) and the ridiculous tear-jerker The Promise (1979 / trailer), but this cult favorite — it won "Best Fantasy Film" at Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film in 1985 — is the first film of his we see as worthy of mentioning. He appears in a small part as "Fuller." The acronym C.H.U.D., by the way, stands for "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller" or "Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal," depending on whom you ask. The plot, according to The Dreamin' Demon: "The city of New York is experiencing a rash of disappearances. These started within the homeless population, in particular, the homeless that dwell in the underground network of tunnels, subway lines and sewers that lie beneath the city. This is noticed by ex-con and soup kitchen worker, A.J. Shepherd (Daniel Stern), who notices that fewer and fewer of his regulars are coming up for air. A.J. reports this to deaf ears and cannot get anyone to take notice… but hell, these people are ignored when around, forgotten when they are not. But when reports start coming in of people being attacked and dragged into the sewers by monsters, the authorities can no longer ignore the problem." The movie was followed in 1989 by C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (trailer).

The Ambulance
(1990, dir. Larry Cohen)
Michael O'Hare is to be found somewhere in this mildly entertaining and definitely lesser Larry Cohen film as "Hal." As Video Vault says: "I was originally drawn to this title because it was by Larry Cohen, one of the great off-beat genre directors [...]. The story has an interesting premise; however, it is lost in the execution and [Eric] Robert's mullet and his overacting. An abundance of plot twists and odd supporting cast make this a barely watchable 1990s thriller." Plot (taken from Film Gumbo): "When extrovert comic book artist Josh Baker (Eric Roberts of American Strays [1996]) tries to pick-up the woman of his dreams (Janine Turner), she has a diabetic turn for the worse. The only thing picking her up is an ambulance. Furiously searching for his female fantasy, calling every hospital in existence to no avail, he soon starts to smell a conspiracy. Is it just a case of an obsessive and overactive imagination or is there something more malevolent at work? Needless to say, several people are going home in an ambulance before the end of this particular mystery."

أحمد رمزي‎
23 March 1930 — 28 September 2012
Former Egyptian actor and heartthrob of the 1950s and 1960s أحمد رمزي‎ — that's Ahmed Ramzy to you and us (or is it "yzmaR demhA"?) — died at the age of 82 as a result of injuries sustained on 28 September 2012 when he fell on his head in the bathroom of his house on the North Coast of Egypt. Ramzy, born Ramzy Mahmoud Bayoumi in 1930, was the son of an Egyptian orthopedist and university professor and his Scottish housewife. While attending Victoria College in Alexandria, Ramzy met Michel Dimitri Challhoub, who later became known as Omar Sharif; they remained life-long friends and even acted together on occasion — in fact, they both appeared in Ramzy's acting debut, the 1955 film Ayamna El-Helwa (aka Our Happy Days). Ramzy specialized in playing womanizers and playboys, and by 1973 he had pretty much left the industry. According to Ahram Online, the belly dancer / actress Nagwa Foaud, who married Ramzy for 17 days in 1963, says that the actor was a gem, in terms of appearance and culture, and was always gentle with people.

أيامنا الحلوة
(1955, dir. Helmy Halim)
Ramzy's acting debut. Aka Ayyamna al-Holwa and Our Best Days; in 1996, the centennial of Egyptian cinema, this romantic music film was selected as one of the best 150 Egyptian film productions. The plot, as supplied at Wikipedia: "Faten Hamama plays Hoda, a poor woman who leaves an orphanage to live with three young men (Ahmed, Ali, and Ramzi) in a room on a building rooftop. The three of these men fall in love with her, but she prefers Ahmed, who is played by Omar Sharif, and the others accept that and stay loyal to their friendship. When, one day, Hoda gets sick, the three men urgently work hard to gather enough money to pay for her surgery. The film is not conclusive about what happens to Hoda, but she is supposed to live with her sickness for the rest of her life and can hardly work or get married. What the film shows is the love and fraternity that is created in her friends through her sickness."
The whole film, in (we would assume) Arabic:

حب و دموع‎,
(1955, dir. Kamal El Sheikh)
Aka Hob wa Dumoo and/or Love and Tears. The plot, as supplied by Wikipedia: "Faten Hamama plays Fatimah, a woman who is forced to leave her fiancé (Ahmed Ramzy — playing "Ahmed") for an old man who her father is in debt to. Her father kills the man and gets killed himself. She is forced to work in a cabaret but returns to her love, Ahmed."
The whole film, in (we would assume) Arabic:

صراع فى الميناء
(1956, dir. Youssef Chahine)
Aka Siraa fil-mina and/or Dark Waters. Ahmed Ramzy is in another film with Omar — and Faten Hamama. We do not vouch for the veracity of the following plot description, but as much as we can figure out from the incomprehensible computer-translation of a text we found online, "After three years at sea, the sailor (Omar Sharif) returns to the port city of Alexandria ready to marry Hamidah (Faten Hamama). He finds out that she has fallen in love with and married Mamdouh (Ramzy), the wealthy son of his boss. He takes advantage of Mamdouh's murder of a rebellious dockworker to win back Hamidah's heart."
The whole film, in (we would assume) Arabic:

The Slave
(1962, dir. Sergio Corbucci)
Aka Il figlio di Spartacus and The Slave: The Son of Spartacus — a sandal film directed by the man who brought us the spaghetti western masterpieces Django (1966) and The Great Silence (1968). Unlike most Italian musclemen movies of the time, The Slave, which is the last Italian sandal movie made by Steve Reeves (who took his shirt off on-screen for the first time in Ed Wood's Jail Bait [1954]), was shot mostly on location in Egypt. Ahmed Ramzy gets big billing on the Egyptian poster, but nowhere else, as he actually has a relatively minor part as "Murdok, a Lydian chief" in this unofficial sequel to the Kubrick film, Spartacus (1960 / trailer). Plot, according to "In 48 B.C., Julius Caesar sends a young centurion named Randus (Steve Reeves) to investigate the rule of the corrupt Grassus (Claudio Gora of An Angel for Satan [1966 / full film]) in the province of Lydia. En route by sea, Randus's ship runs aground and he is captured by a band of slave drivers. But he leads a revolt and the slaves defeat and destroy their captors. By means of an amulet he wears, Randus is then identified as the son of Spartacus, the gladiator-slave who was crucified twenty years earlier for warring against Rome. Arriving in Lydia Randus is met by Grassus, his wily mistress Clodia (Gianna Maria Canale of I Vampiri [1956 / full film]), and her warring brother Vezio. Outwardly pretending friendship, Randus secretly carries on his father's work by leading the enslaved Lydians in a revolt against the tyrannical Grassus. Although he is unmasked by Clodia and imprisoned, he is rescued by his followers who kill Grassus by pouring molten gold over his face. Clodia is exiled to the desert and Vezio is slain in combat by Randus. Caesar (Ivo Garrani of the classic film Black Sunday [1960 / trailer / full film]) then arrives and decrees that the rebellious Randus be crucified. But the entire populace pleads for his life and Caesar, a diplomat as well as a warrior, grants Randus a pardon."

ثرثرة فوق النيل‎
(1971, dir. Hussein Kamal)
Aka Thartharah fawqa al-Nīl and/or Adrift on the Nile. Based on the novel by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Adrift on the Nile is said to have been Ahmed Ramzy's favorite film — and a stoner film. Wikipedia says: "The film addresses the decadence of Egyptian society during the Gamal Abdel Nasser era. It tells the story of a simple Egyptian worker, Anis (played by Emad Hamdi), who cannot tolerate the hypocrisy of the Egyptian government (for whom he works at the Ministry of Health) and the illiteracy of the Egyptian public and decides to hide from all the problems in the country by taking up smoking hashish in a shisha, a popular smoking habit in Egypt, to escape from reality. Anis (who used to work as a teacher) meets with an old student, Ragab (Ahmed Ramzy), by chance. Ragab invites him to the small boat in the Nile. And Anis discovers soon enough that he isn't the only person who smokes shisha but a bunch of other elite, middle class and low class people are all on the boat. He soon discovers that everyone is smoking to forget the reality and hypocrisy of Egyptian life."
The whole film, in (we would assume) Arabic:

I giardini del diavolo
(1971, dir. Alfredo Rizzo)
Ahmed Ramzy has a small part as a general in this Italo-war film, the directorial début of the actor Alfredo Rizzo (of masterpieces like The Playgirls and the Vampire [1960 / trailer], Curse of the Blood Ghouls [1962 / trailer], Terror-Creatures from the Grave [1965 / full film] and Bloody Pit of Horror [1965 / trailer / full movie]). Plot description from Score the Film's Movie Blog: "1942. The Anglo-American Army and the Africa Corps are face-to-face in the desert, separated by some mine-fields which the soldiers have named 'the devil's garden'. A huge German fuel deposit supplies Rommel's army in North Africa and an allied 'commando' has to blow it up. Commanded by an English major, the patrol, after various ups and downs, is reduced to only six men and three prisoners: a chaplain, a Red Cross nurse, both German, and an Italian Lieutenant. These three persuade the others to give up their task and follow them in search of the tomb of Pharaoh Cambyse and its fabulous treasure. But an ancient curse lies on the gold, which causes the death of whoever finds it." This film was later edited into Jess Franco's non-masterpiece, Oasis of the Living Dead (1982).
Trailer to Oasis of the Living Dead (1982):

Dawn of the Mummy
(1981, dir. Frank Agrama)
OK, imdb say that the Ahmed Ramzy who helped produce this film is a different Ahmed Ramzy than the actor, but we also know that the actor Ahmed Ramzy made at least one film with the director Frank Agrama, Sour Grapes aka El ainab el murr (1965), and, what the heck, they could actually be the one and the same Ahmed Ramzy. The plot of this laughably bad horror film, according to Wikipedia: "A group of fashion models travels to Egypt for a fashion shoot. While shooting in a tomb, the models accidentally revive an ancient curse which awakens a mummy and its band of flesh-eating zombies." We've seen this turkey — our review is found here. In all truth, though, were we to watch the film nowadays, we'd probably give it a better review — it is highly entertaining in a bad-film way.

Nao Saejima
23 March 1968 — 29 September 2012
Nao Saejima, a popular Japanese model and adult video and Pink Film actress, died of cancer at the age of 44. Born in Tokyo, the 5' 2¼" (1.58 m) actress made her AV début in 1987. Slim and with nicely sized naturals, she quickly became a popular sex star and had appeared in about 40 adult videos by 1989; she retired in 1990, but returned to the biz for a brief time in 2002. She was also active as a writer, singer and artist. Along with fellow breast babes Yui Saito and Midori Hayama, Saejima was one of the original members of the "all-porn pop trio" RaCCo-gumi when it released its first single in 1988, Lemon Kiss, but her later was music was of a decidedly different direction.
RaCCo-Gumi singing Watashi:

Saejima Nao: Kankin
(1988, dir. Sachi Hamano)
Who knows what the film is about, as the poster reveals more skin than it does plot and there are no English-language reviews of the film to be found on-line. Director Sachi Hamano, Sometimes credited as Chise Matoba, is one of the few female Pink film-makers around; the most prolific woman director in Japan, she has made more than 300 films since entering the Pink Film biz in 1971. Since 1998, she has shifted to her focus to non-Pink films.

Akume kinenbi
(1988, dir. unknown)
The plot is as unknown to us as the director, but we are sure that it is neither new nor groundbreaking, but serves well enough as a reason for female and males to get together and exchange body fluids.

Saejima Nao: Ijo kofun
(1989, dir. Masahiro Kasai)
Translated title: Abnormal Excitement: Nao Saejima. Unbelievably enough, All Movie knows the plot to this film: "[A] soft-core supernatural thriller about a woman (porn star Nao Saejima) with the ability to commune with spirits. After joining her husband (Toru Nakane) in a get-rich-quick scheme involving bogus séances, Saejima incurs the wrath of the King of the Underworld, who takes her to his kinky kingdom of sexual horrors. Nakane and a Chinese monk have to follow her to the spirit world in order to get her back, setting the stage for some mildly titillating set pieces." Sounds good to us... regrettably, we couldn't find any video documentation on-line.

Dangerous After School, Female Teacher Special
(1989, dir. unknown)
The plot is as unknown to us as the director, but we are sure that it is neither new nor groundbreaking, but serves well enough as a reason for female and males to get together and exchange body fluids.

Shikiyoku kaidan: hatsujo onna yurei
(1995, dir. Satoru Kobayashi)
English title: Erotic Ghost Story: Female Ghost in Heat (and/or) Lusty Ghost Story: Rutting Woman Phantom. According to the Tokyo Reporter, the film is "a lust-filled tale of a doctor being pursued by a female spirit." Nao Saejima played the doctor's wife. Satoru Kobayashi, who died of bladder cancer on 15 November, 2001, was the director of what is now considered Japan's first Pink Film, 1962's Flesh Market (aka Nikutai no ichiba), which is the first Japanese film to ever show breast on-screen. Today, it is a (mostly) lost film: the last remaining 21 minutes are preserved in the National Film Centre.

Dôtei hôrôki
(2009, dir. Yûichi Onuma)
Based on the novel by Shirô Maeda, A Page of Madness says: "Dotei Horoki is another smartly directed low-budget foray into male sub-culture, this time the phenomena of the 30-year-old virgin. Hiroshi Yamamoto is certainly up for the task, riding the delicate line between pathos and just plain creepiness. Playing a terminally shy University of Tokyo professor, his quest takes him from bleak strip club to attempted romance and relationship with a former student. Love and dating in Japan have rarely been portrayed with such funny and uncomfortable intimacy. [...] Shot on video, Dotei Horoki shows its seams a little, but the smart characterizations, script and direction make up for it."

Yume de aimasho: Wonderland
(1996, dir. Hisayasu Sato)
Aka Meet Me in the Dream: Wonderland. The director is known to us, but the plot is not. We are sure that the film is neither new nor groundbreaking, but serves well enough as a reason for female and males to get together and exchange body fluids.

Edgar Külow
10 September 1925 — 29 September 2012
Just a few days after his 87th birthday, actor Edgar Külow died in Berlin from complications arising from a fall. Külow was born on September 10, 1925 in Werdohl, Westphalia; a member of the German Communist Party, following the war he decided to move to the eastern portion of Germany and attended acting school in Leipzig. By 1959, he was doing cabaret and soon thereafter could be seen on East German TV. Films soon followed, and his career on stage and on the small screen survived the fall of the Wall. Below, the few films he did that we find of interest.

Schüsse unterm Galgen
(1970, dir. Horst Seemann)
Aka Shots under the Gallows; an East German version of Robert Lewis Stevenson's famous classic, Kidnapped — the poster seen here comes from the Polish release. Edgar Külow plays "Red Fox." Progress Film Verleih gives the plot as follows: "Mid 18th century in Scotland. David Balfour (Werner Kanitz), son of a poor teacher, is told by his dying father that he is the true heir to Balfour Castle where his uncle Ebenezer (Herwart Grosse) lives. David sets out to inspect his heirloom. But his greedy uncle is not willing to give up his good life, captivates David and is about to sell him as a slave to America. The young man finds friends who fight with him for his rights: the noble rebel Alan Breck (Thomas Weisgerber), the beautiful farmer's daughter Catriona (Alena Procházková) as well as the people from the surrounding farms."

Die Legende von Paul und Paula
(1973, dir. Heiner Carow)
From the soundtrack: The Puhdys — Wenn ein Mensch lebt:
Aka The Legend of Paul and Paula. Edgar Külow appears as a photographer in this "tragicomic" East German hippy film. Based on a novel of the same name by Ulrich Plenzdorf, the film was almost banned by the GDR due to its obvious political undertones, but that great believer of freedom of speech and opinion Erich Honecker personally decided to let it be released; the movie went on to be a hit, both in East and West Germany. Rightfully so, 'cause it's a good film. (True, we originally went to see the film 'cause we wanted to get under the dress of an East German babe, but the movie was good enough to distract us from our initial goal.) Plot: Paul (Winfried Glatzeder), a minor bureaucrat in East Berlin with a family is bored by his job, his wife, his life. Paula (Angelica Domröse), who works in a grocery store and (like so many East German women) is a babymaker, lives in a run-down old building across from the new high-rise in which Paul lives. The two meet at a club and fall in love but when one of Paula's children dies she almost decides to marry a boring old fart so as to finally have security in life. Paul, on the other hand, decides to give up all the security his state-sanctioned life would give him and does everything he can to win her back. He does so, but then an even greater tragedy strikes... one of our favorite scenes (of many) is the one in which Paul rejects his wife and then pulls a man out of the wardrobe; like so many scenes in the film, it can be interpreted in so many ways... That the film was a hit is not surprising; that it ever got released is. The music, of course, is by the Puhdys, an East German band that still walks on water for people from that side of the nation.

Kit & Co.
(1974, dir. Konrad Petzold)
Dean Reeds sings (from the film Sing Cowboy Sing [1981]):
Edgar Külow plays O'Hara in this Dean Reed film based on Jack London's novels Smoke Bellew and Kid & Co. Featuring some of the biggest DEFA stars of the time — Dean, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Manfred Krug, among others — the flick was a hit in East Germany. The German website more or less says: "Attracted by adventure and reports of sensational gold finds, around the end of the 19th century the journalist Kit Bellow (Dean) ships out to Alaska. No sooner does he arrive than does he out himself as a greenhorn to the successful female prospector Joy (Renate Blume). With his new friend Shorty (Rolf Hoppe), whom he pulls out of a mud puddle at the side of the road, he finally arrives in Dawson City. Before achieving his great desire of raising the treasures from the fabled Gold Lake and of also winning the heart of the beautiful Joy, Kit and Shorty must first overcome some insidious subterfuge and experience turbulent adventures."
Dean wrestles doggy in Kit & Co.:

Hebe Camargo
8 March 1929 — 29 September 2012
The Queen of Brazilian TV, Hebe Maria Monteiro de Camargo Ravagnani, died at the age of 83 at home in Sumaré, São Paulo, Brazil. Hebe Camargo began her career as part of a singing duet with her sister Estela, Rosalinda e Florisbela. She made a film appearance in Oduvaldo Vianna's 1949 review film Quase no Céu and, during the following decade, she went into television and never left, though she did in the course of her life and career make a few odd appearances in film. A cancer sufferer towards the end, her smile never left her and she looked good with a bald head. She died in her sleep on September 29, 2012. 

Liana, a Pecadora
(1951, dir. Antonio Tibiriçá)
We could find nothing about this film on the web, other than this poster.

Zé do Periquito
(1960, dir. Amácio Mazzaropi & Ismar Porto)
A comedy — and as we all know, humor is culturally related. Hebe Camargo sings — you see her in the trailer. The real star of the film is off course Amácio Mazzaropi, who also wrote and co-directed the movie. Mazzaropi is a super-popular Brazilian comic actor (1912—1981) seemingly unknown outside of Brazil. The following plot description comes from deciphering a computer translation of the Portuguese text at the Amácio Mazzaropi Virtual Museum: "Mazza is a shy and poor gardener of a college who falls in love with a young student and in his innocence is led to believe, by the influence of some malicious guys, that she feels the same for him. This is enough to instigate a series of hilarious situations [...]. Is this romance impossible?"

As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor
(1970, var. directors)
Hebe Camargo appeared somewhere during the course of this multi-episode telenovela based on the eternally popular Portuguese romance of the same name by Júlio Dinis. First published in 1867, the novel "is set in the second half of the nineteenth century in a Portuguese village, and related the story of Margaret and Clara and her romances with the sons of the farmer, José das Dornas, Daniel and Pedro." To date, three feature-film versions have been made of the book, one in 1924, the next in 1935 and then in 1961. The cool poster above is of the 1935 version, the dull poster below of the 1961, and the black-and-white image to the left is related to the TV series from 1970.
Theme music:

Coisa de Mulher
(2005, dir. Eliana Fonseca)
The trailer makes it look like a bad TV comedy, but it's supposedly a feature comedy — again, as we all know, humor is culturally related. The plot, according to at imdb: "The story of five women, living in the same building: Catarina, tired of her marriage; Mônica, dreaming of marrying still a virgin; Mayara, wanting to be a mother by any means; Dora, recently divorced; and Graça, who wants to succeed in her profession. Their lives change when they meet Murilo, a journalist, who starts using their intimate confessions for his column in a magazine, under a female name." Also according to imdb, Hebe Camargo appears somewhere in the film as "Hebe."
Director Eliana Fonseca's first (short) film, Frankenstein Punk (1986):

Boris Ratser
1930 — 30 September 2012
The Soviet dramatist Boris Mikhailovitch Ratser died in Munich, Germany, on 30 September 2012, at the age of 82. In Russia, Ratser had been part of the productive playwright-duet of Boris Ratser and Vladimir Konstantinov, the latter of whom passed away in the late 1990s; since 1995, Ratser had been living in Germany with his family. According to one on-line source, Ratser wrote over 60 plays, 10 filmscripts and 15 books, but over at imdb he is listed as having co-scripted (with Konstantinov) only five. A computer translation of some Russian titles — "Jewish Happiness" and "Shalom, America!" — indicate that he might have a Jewish background, but in all truth we could find little info about him on the web

(1978, dir. Georgi Tovstonogov)
Aka Khanuma; this TV movie is a remake of the 1926 film of the same name directed by Aleqsandre Tsutsunava (28 January 1881 — 25 October 1955), who is considered the first feature-film director of Georgia — to clarify for those of you from the USA: the country, not the state. Both film versions are based on the play by the Georgian playwright Avksenty Tsagareli (9 February 1857 — 12 August 1902), who is described in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia as "one of the finest representatives of realistic drama." The image above is for the 1978 version, the groovy poster below is for the 1926 film. The plot: Prince Vano Pantiashvili (Vladislav Strzhelchik) has blown his fortune, so to replenish the funds for his fun-loving lifestyle he decides to marry the daughter of a rich landowner who would like to gain the title for his family. But the girl is already in love with her teacher; with the help of friends, she outsmarts her elders for a happy end... A non-embeddable full version of the film can be watched here at YouTube.

(1985, dir. Aleksandr Belinsky)
Aka Maritsa; a television version of Gräfin Mariza ("Countess Mariza"), "an operetta in three acts composed by Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán, with a libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald" that originally premièred in Vienna on 28 February 1924 and that had, by 1985, already been filmed four times previously, including by the unjustly forgotten Richard Oswald in 1932. The poster below is for the 1925 version by Hans Steinhoff, the director of Hitlerjunge Quex (1933 / full film), who died in an airplane crash on 20 April 1945. Plot, from a computer translation of a Russian-language blurb: "Young rich widow flees from unsolicited suitors in the family estate. She does not want to hear about love. But the handsome manager forces her to feel this wonderful feeling. But proud Maritza won't admit it to herself." A non-embeddable full version of the film can be watched here at YouTube.
Christine Görner & Rudolf Schock — Hei, Mariza, hei from the 1958 version directed by Rudolf Schündler:

(1992, dir. Yan Frid)
Aka Tartyuf; director Yan Frid, a student of Eisenstein, fought in both World Wars and is considered by some as a Russian master of musical comedies. This television film is, of course, a version of Tartuffe, the first film version of which was made in 1925 by the great F.W. Murnau — all films are, of course, based on the comedy by Molière, Tartuffe, or The Imposter. A non-embeddable full version of the film can be watched here at YouTube. Above, the DVD cover to the Russian version; below, the poster to Murnau's version.
Tartuffe sings in Russian:

Autran Dourado
1926 — September 30, 2012
Award-winning Brazilian novelist Waldomiro Freitas Autran Dourado, born in Patos de Minas in 1926, died from a bleeding stomach on September 30th at the age of 86 in Rio de Janeiro. Among his novels to have been translated into English are A Hidden Life (1964), Voices of the Dead (1967) and Bells of Agony (1970).

Uma Vida em Segredo
(2001, dir. Suzana Amaral)
Director Suzana Amaral, a Buddhist who had eight children when she entered film school (she now has nine) and is a fan of Bollywood films, made a film version of Dourado's novel of the same name, which was published in English as A Hidden Life in 1964. Over at imdb, ElianaG explains the plot: "Biela (Sabrina Greve) is a timid country girl, who has always lived on a large but family-worked farm with her father, her only original family member. When the father dies, she moves to her cousin's house in town, as he becomes her tutor and estate administrator. His wife, genuinely warm and well-intentioned, attempts to help Biela adapt to the town's social life, trying to transform the very rough country bumpkin into some resemblance of a city girl. But, Biela only feels at ease in the company of her element, the simple and rustic hired help. She even insists in taking her meals in the servant's cantine, and eventually wants to move into the domestics' sleeping quarters. Meanwhile, she meets Modesto (Eric Nowinsky), starting a very shy, somewhat forced relationship. But, the young man travels away and does not return, making Biela feel humiliated and miserable. One day, when she rescues a stray dog on the street, she finally starts to follow, and stick to, her own ('secret') way of life."

Robert Allison Wade
8 June 1920 — 30 September 2012
Robert Allison Wade, initially with his writing partner H. William Miller (11 May 1920 — 21 August 1961) and, after the latter's death, by himself, was a prolific author of fast-paced pulp fiction under the nom de plums Wade Miller, Whit Masterson, Dale Wilmer, and Will Daemer. After months of ill health, he died at his San Carlos home at the age of 92. Of the books, Charles Ardai, editor of Hard Case Crime, once said, "It wasn't art with a capital A. It was potato chip reading, but a really good potato chip is a great thing to eat. And these guys made tasty potato chips." Wade and Miller began writing as a team at the age of 12, when they had to write a one-act play for English class; the partnership lasted 30 years. Their first novel, Deadly Weapon, was published in 1946; for the following 15 years they treated writing like a 9-to-5 job and produced two to three books a year. They once explained their writing method as: "Wade writes the nouns and Miller the verbs."

Guilty Bystander
(1950, dir. Joseph Lerner)

Based on the novel of the same name, this is the first known screen adaptation of a "Wade Miller" book. The always readable blogspot Noir of the Week explains the plot of this Zachery Scoot vehicle directed by the unknown Joseph Lerner: "The no-budget B noir Guilty Bystander establishes its oppressively bleak tone as soon as the opening credits finish rolling. In the first scene, Georgia (Faye Emerson) shows up at a fleabag motel to see her ex-husband Max Thursday (Zachary Scott of Flaxy Martin [1949]), an alcoholic ex-cop turned house detective. She needs to tell him that someone has kidnapped their two-year-old son. But before she can deliver the news, she has to kick her way through the empty beer bottles on the floor of his small, dingy room and rouse him from his attempt to sleep off a hangover. Max lets her know he’s not really in the mood to talk that is, until he gets the bad news. Georgia only has one clue for him — a note from a neighbour in the boarding house where she lives, telling her that he took their son for a walk. He never came back. This inciting incident kicks off a plot as convoluted as they come. [...]"
Producer Rex Carlton, by the way, went on to an interesting career in exploitation: among other cheapo projects, he co-wrote and co-produced the cult classic The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1959), and co-scripted and produced Nightmare in Wax (1969) and Al Adamson's Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969). He supposedly killed himself in Los Angeles, CA, on May 6, 1968, because he was unable to pay the mob back the money he had borrowed to finance his latest project.

A Cry in the Night
(1956, dir. Frank Tuttle)
Based on the novel All Through the Night. Rumor has it that during the filming, Natalie Wood (aged 18) had a relationship with Raymond Burr (aged 39), despite Burr being gay. This was director Tuttle's second-to-last film; he retired three years later after making Island of Lost Women (1959). Steven Puchalski of the always great magazine Shock Cinema says: "[...] Natalie Wood stars as Liz, a pretty teen who visits Lover's Loop one night with her boyfriend (Richard Anderson). Their chaste petting is interrupted by a brutish peeping tom (Raymond Burr [...]) who slugs Liz's date and hauls her back to the abandoned factory where he lives. But this slow-witted pervert picked the wrong victim, since Liz's dad (Edmond O'Brien) is a cop who soon has every officer in town on the case. Burr's hulking creep Harold Loftus is clearly positioned as the film's big bad villain, but O'Brien's wildly over-protective father is actually a more frightening creation. He's a hot-headed bulldog with a badge who's ready to blame everyone for his daughter's plight — the boyfriend who was knocked senseless, the lazy cops on the job, Harold's domineering shrew of a mother (who, in the film's biggest laugh, has a framed photo of her beloved son that's scarier than any DMV mugshot!) — instead of simply looking in the mirror. Brian Donlevy co-stars as the police chief who tries to restrain this violent, one-dimensional blowhard. The police procedural segments are strictly routine, with the most entertaining moments belonging to Natalie and Burr, who almost makes us sympathize with this mother-obsessed man-child. Shucks, he's just a 'slow' outsider who wants a girl of his very own, who'll eat the apricot pie usually reserved for his mom (nope, no underlying subtext there, folks). [...]"
A scene from A Cry in the Night:

Touch of Evil
(1958, dir. Orson Welles)
Based on the novel Badge of Evil. Another Orson Welles masterpiece... What!?!?!! You've never seen this film? Are you fucking crazy? One of the best film noirs ever — and what a killer cast! Every other filmmaker in Hollywood pays homage to the opening tracking shot (shot in Venice, CA, standing in for TJ) in some film at one point or another in their working life...
Opening tracking shot:
Touch of Evil was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993, by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" — and it is. Leonard Maltin says: "Narc Heston and corrupt cop Welles tangle over murder investigation in sleazy Mexican border town, with Heston's bride Leigh the pawn of their struggle. Fantastic, justifiably famous opening shot merely commences stylistic masterpiece, dazzlingly photographed by Russell Metty. Great Latin rock score by Henry Mancini; neat unbilled cameos by Joseph Cotten, Ray Collins, and especially Mercedes McCambridge. Reconstructed according to Welles' notes in 1998, at 111m. Beware 95m. version." We disagree with the last, sort of: just like alk-free beer is better than no beer, any version is better than no version — but you just can't help but notice something's missing.

Kiss Her Goodbye
(1959, dir. Albert Lipton)
Based on the novel of the same name; this forgotten no-budget film features the screen début of shower Andrew Prine (playing Kenneth 'Kenny' Grimes) seen walking a horse here to the left — and Sharon Farrell (of Marlowe [1969 / trailer], It's Alive [1974 / trailer] and Night of the Comet [1984]); they were even briefly married for a few months in 1962. As far as we could find out, Albert Lipton never directed another film — the experience of doing this thing, which according to one on-line source was almost doomed by Fidel Castro's 1959 takeover because it was being filmed in Cuba, may have been enough for him. The soundtrack by Johnny Richards, in any event, is easily gotten on CD even if the film itself seems to be unavailable. Over at imdb, however, marcslope of New York City seems to have seen this flick, which (s)he calls "A nasty little piece of work": "Late-'50s indie with a putrid aroma, about an average Joe (Steven Hill) trying to protect his mentally retarded but nubile sister (Sharon Farrell) from the attentions of uncomprehending suitors. Not much happens, but from the frenzy of fanfares in the bloated musical score, you'd think we'd dropped the A-bomb on Moscow. I also notice that while the movie shakes its little finger at these guys for slobbering all over its heroine, it has no compunction about endless footage of Sharon Farrell in a bikini, Sharon Farrell in a tiny waitress outfit, Sharon Farrell at a playground innocently showing her panties. Her character makes no sense — she's an incoherent screaming idiot one minute, a perfectly rational miss the next — and Elaine Stritch, as a youngish widow stuck on the brother, doesn't fit comfortably into a conventional role. (The character also has an infant son, who is the basis of one dramatic incident and then is promptly forgotten.) Steven Hill, as the guy, maintains his dignity in another inconsistent role, [...] but it's one of those lurid Bs that makes you run for the shower once it's over." Sounds good to us...

The Yellow Canary
(1963, dir. Buzz Kulik)
Based on the novel Evil Come, Evil Go; film script supplied by Rod Serling. The plot, according to Wikipedia: "Andy Paxton (Pat Boone) is an arrogant, obnoxious pop idol who is about to be divorced by his wife (Barbara Eden) and constantly abuses his staff. On the same night he begins an engagement at the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles, his infant son is kidnapped. Despite the pleas of Lieutenant Bonner (Jack Klugman), the lead police officer on the case, Paxton insists on playing along with the kidnappers, even though they keep stringing him along and have no problem with killing people." Barbara Eden was a hot tamale when she made the film, literally generations away from the face-lift addict she is today.

Kitten with a Whip
(1964, dir. Douglas Heyes)
Based on the novel of the same name by "Wade Miller", with Ann-Margret (over)acting up a storm — but, damn! Ain't she a pretty thing? As far as we can tell, this dated piece of sleaze was TV director Douglas Heyes's first attempt at a feature film, and what a film it is — pure teenage-hating trash! Vilified in its day for its exploitive nature, today it is pure camp. TV Guide thinks the flick sucks donkey dongs, calling it "a thoroughly hideous and unpleasant movie" that should "merit only your disdain." But over at Shock Cinema, Steven Puchalski, a man whose judgement can better be trusted, sees things differently: "[...] A surprisingly sleazy juvenile delinquent flick, with a killer performance from everyone's favorite sex kitten. John Forsythe stars as a suave, fat cat politician, whose palatial house is 'borrowed' by a bleach blonde cutie named Jody (Ann-M), dressed in nothing but a nightgown. Not unlike Goldilocks, Forsythe discovers Jody napping in his bed, and the guy is mildly intrigued by this disheveled dish with the crazy curves. And (since his wife is conveniently away) Forsythe's sympathy goes out to the teen when she tells him she a runaway from an abusive home. But he quickly learns that Jody's not your ordinary jailbait. She's on the run from the cops, after breaking out of a detention home, setting fire to the place and stabbing a guard. And pretty soon the tables are turned, with Ann-M playing mindgames on the increasingly nervous dweeb and threatening Forsythe with rape charges. A few thrill-crazy (though unbelievably clean-cut) hoods join the party and provide a smidgen of bloodshed, but Ann (as well as the viewer) quickly gets bored with their cretinous hijinx, and she eventually dumps the punks and takes Forsythe on a Mexican joy ride... Lemme tell you, this flick is without a doubt the finest showcase of Ann-Margret's talents. She's a tough, no-nonsense bitch, using sex 'n' a smile to get what she wants, and this harder edge makes her more alluring than ever. [...] Douglas Heyes' direction is cheap but energetic, complete with an endless supply of hip dialogue and a no-compromise finale that had me cheering. Kitten is a much-loved, vicious li'l B-movie with Ann-Margret proving once and for all that she's a slut goddess extraordinaire."
The easiest way to ruin a man's reputation:

Warning Shot
(1967, dir. Buzz Kulik)
TV director Buzz Kulik accidently made another rare feature film with this adaptation of a "Whit Masterson" novel originally entitled 711 — Officer Needs Help; the film was originally made for TV but ended up getting a cinema release.
A very TV-movie-looking opening credit sequence:
Reel Film Review, which actually finds the film a bit dull, offers the following plot: "Warning Shot casts David Janssen (of Moon of the Wolf [1972]) as Sgt. Tom Valens, a 10-year veteran of the police force who finds himself in hot water after fatally shooting a prominent doctor. When said doctor's gun (which we see during the altercation) is nowhere to be found, Valens is charged with murder and indefinitely suspended from duty – forcing the cop to embark upon a surreptitious investigation to clear his name. [...]" Over at Star Pulse, however, Bruce Eder likes the flick: "[...] There are all kinds of period details that make this movie especially entertaining to see in the 21st century; Warning Shot came out of the ferment of the mid-'60s, a period in which the public was questioning the role and purpose of the police, and it sings with topicality, in its casting and look, and the Jerry Goldsmith score, a bold, angry-sounding jazz-rock-blues amalgam. Thanks to director Kulik's penchant for lots of odd camera angles and very busy editing, coupled with Joseph Biroc's carefully lit color cinematography, one does get a true '60s analog to the classic 1940s crime film in terms of visual style, and with a considerably greater dose of violence [...]."
B&W TV spot:

The Manhunter
(1972, dir. Don Taylor)
Based on the pulp novel The Killer, by "Wade Miller." Former actor turned director Don Taylor had the luck of being married to the beautiful scream queen Hazel Court (of The Mask of the Red Death [1964]), whom he possible met when directing her in an early Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, The Crocodile Case (1958). Taylor was primarily a TV director who occasionally made a rare feature-film such as Ride the Wild Surf (1964 / trailer), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971 / trailer) or Damien: Omen II (1978 / trailer). Over at, Hal Erickson explains what you need to know about this forgotten and rarely screened film: "Big-game hunter David Farrow (Roy Thinnes) is hired to track down bank robbery suspect Clel Bocock (William Smith of Uncle Sam [1996]). While on the job, Thinnes becomes emotionally involved with Smith's wife, Mara Bocock (Sandra Dee). The climactic showdown takes place in the swamps of Louisiana. Filmed in 1968, Manhunter was slated for a 1969 theatrical release, but didn't show up until 1972, and then on British television. The film made its American network-TV debut April 3, 1976 [...]."

The Death of Me Yet
(1971, dir. John Llewellyn Moxey)
Another TV film by John Llewellyn Moxey, once one of the more prolific TV movie directors around; born in 26 February 1925 in Argentina, he began his career in England and moved onto the US, where he retired in 1991. Of the very few feature films he ever made, we here at A Wasted Life find two of special note: his last cinematic project, the German-British Rialto Edgar Wallace thriller Psycho Circus / Circus of Fear (1966 / trailer), and his best film, the early-career, public-domain low-budget horror film Horror Hotel / The City of the Dead (1960 / trailer / full film). The Death of Me Yet, based on the "Whit Masterson" novel of the same name, is cold war thriller starring Doug McClure made as an ABC Movie of the Week. Over at imdb, herbertatara of swinging New Haven, CT, explains the film: "McClure plays a trained Soviet agent who is sent to the US to become a trusted citizen in a small Midwestern community in a town whose main employer is a military contractor. It is basically the 'sleeper cell' concept with which we are all-too-familiar today. He plays his role to the hilt as a small town editor and devoted husband to Rosemary Forsyth with whom he is deeply in love. The trouble, of course, is that he loves his new life. In his mind, heart, and soul, he has become an American. Enter deliciously menacing KGB agent and former mentor Richard Basehart. Then McClure's life really begins to unravel when a gritty, grizzled, and somewhat sadistic FBI agent named Chalk (think Laird Krieger in I Wake Up Screaming) gets on his tail and begins to suspect who and what McClure really is. The biggest flaw in the movie is that McClure has so much better chemistry with vibrant and vulnerable Soviet girlfriend Meg Foster [of Leviathan (1989)] than with frigid Rosemary Forsyth [...]. And Forsyth is just awful as an actress. That said, it's still a great deal of clever and fast-moving fun as long as you view the shoddy production values in its context as a movie-of-the week.
Full movie:

Follow the link for They Died in September 2012, Part IX: Turhan Bey.

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