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The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Past chats with our guests.

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Monika Henreid
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » June 30th, 2013, 3:22 pm

Monika Henreid wrote:
Professional Tourist wrote:Monika, thank you for your visit to SSO this weekend. I'm wondering if you might care to comment on your father's work in live theater, here and/or in Europe.

I know he appeared twice on Broadway, in the 1940-41 season in Flight to the West (under the name Paul Hernried), and in the 1972-73 season in John Houseman's production of Don Juan in Hell, following a national tour. [There had been a second national tour of DJIH for the 1974-75 season, wherein Mr. Henreid was replaced by Kurt Kasznar in the part of the commander.] I'd be interested to hear of any thoughts your father may have shared with you regarding DJIH. Thank you.

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Having technical issues...will be back soon to answer questions!


Dear Professional Tourist;
My father's experience with DJIH was not a particularly good one. He and Houseman did not get along...two entirely different schools of thought ... of both performances and design. My father loved the material but just felt that Houseman and Montalban had missed the point. In my father's autobiography, LADIES MAN, he goes into it with more detail if you are interested : )
Thank you for asking about his theatrical career. So many have forgotten that he had one. He started as a stage actor in Vienna appearing in 17 plays between 1933 and 1937, then starring in three long-runs in London from 1936 to 1940. In the States, he starred in six including an oratorio, a musical, a comedy and then also directed a beautiful production of JEDERMAN(Everyman) starring Vic Morrow.
Again, Thanks for asking : )

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Professional Tourist » July 1st, 2013, 2:17 pm

Monika Henreid wrote:
Monika Henreid wrote:
Professional Tourist wrote:Monika, thank you for your visit to SSO this weekend. I'm wondering if you might care to comment on your father's work in live theater, here and/or in Europe.

I know he appeared twice on Broadway, in the 1940-41 season in Flight to the West (under the name Paul Hernried), and in the 1972-73 season in John Houseman's production of Don Juan in Hell, following a national tour. [There had been a second national tour of DJIH for the 1974-75 season, wherein Mr. Henreid was replaced by Kurt Kasznar in the part of the commander.] I'd be interested to hear of any thoughts your father may have shared with you regarding DJIH. Thank you.

Image
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Having technical issues...will be back soon to answer questions!

Dear Professional Tourist;
My father's experience with DJIH was not a particularly good one. He and Houseman did not get along...two entirely different schools of thought ... of both performances and design. My father loved the material but just felt that Houseman and Montalban had missed the point. In my father's autobiography, LADIES MAN, he goes into it with more detail if you are interested : )
Thank you for asking about his theatrical career. So many have forgotten that he had one. He started as a stage actor in Vienna appearing in 17 plays between 1933 and 1937, then starring in three long-runs in London from 1936 to 1940. In the States, he starred in six including an oratorio, a musical, a comedy and then also directed a beautiful production of JEDERMAN(Everyman) starring Vic Morrow.
Again, Thanks for asking : )

Monika, thanks for your reply and for the info. I was surprised to read that your father did not have a good experience with DJIH, which would explain why he did not participate in the second national tour. Kurt Kasznar had worked with Mr. Houseman on stage previously, so they two may have been a better fit. I am interested to know more about the issues, so I've ordered a copy of your father's autobiography. Thank you for the referral, I am looking forward to reading it. :)

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby ChiO » July 1st, 2013, 3:33 pm

To follow-up JackFavell's questions regarding your father as a director:

1. Who, if anyone, did he view as a model for his directing?

2. Did he have a personal relationship with Otto Preminger or Edgar G. Ulmer given the Max Reinhardt connection?

3. Was there a sense of competition (friendly or otherwise) among the directors who were German and Austrian emigres?
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Monika Henreid
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 1st, 2013, 7:09 pm

Post by JackFavell » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:38 pm
Ms. Henreid,

I'm so sorry to badger you with so many questions. I was hoping to draw these out during the course of the weekend... but the technical difficulties got in the way. :oops:

May I ask, do you pronounce your name Mah-nika or Moh- nika? My husband's family is from Germany and their family pronounces it Moh-nika. I've been curious ever since I found out you were visiting here. :D


" Both really. Family and European friends say Moh. American friends usually say Mah.
(you can call me Ray, you can call me Jay. Just don't call me late for dinner. : ) Remember that line? )"

Who were some of the intellectual ex-pats that you remember seeing at your house growing up?

" Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Lion Feuchtwanger, Thomas Mann, Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini, Arthur Rubinstein, Sacha Heifitz, Gregor Piatigorsky, Bertholt Brecht, Hanns Eisler, Francis Lederer, Jean Negulesco, Fritz Lang, Salka Viertel, Leon Askin, Henry Koster, Joseph Pasternak, Peter Lorre, Otto Preminger, Ingo Preminger, William Wyler, and Billy Wilder were some of the neighborhood social circle, all immigrants and refugees."

Your father and Bette Davis seem like they had a great rapport. Is this the case?

"My father and mother and Bette were great friends for 48 years. She was always at our home when she was working or visiting the West Coast. And we spent many many days with her and her family at her homes, one of the highlights of which was Thanksgiving dinners. But that's another story."

Did he get to know or become friends with any of his fellow studio actors, or perhaps crew members? I know he was in at least two pictures with Eleanor Parker, John Qualen, and of course, Bette Davis. Were there any people from the movies who became lifelong friends?


"Hugh Marlowe and Paul Stewart were his 'best buds'. He met them both in NYC when he first came to this country in 1940. They remained life-long friends. My father was the last of these '3 musketeers' to pass. There were many other friends but these were the two with whom he shared his hopes and dreams, his joy and frustrations, his opinions and ideas. They played chess and talked into the wee hours."

One of my favorite of Ms. Davis' movies is Dead Ringer, it's so perfectly plotted out in front of the camera. Would you say that this is your father's style of movie making as a director? Did he have a very well defined, methodical style or did he change his style to fit the project he was working on? Did he use storyboards at all?

"My father was an intellectual, a thinker as well as an artist. He craved, even demanded, precision. He did his 'homework' and expected the same of his co-workers. He was meticulous in thinking through how a scene should play and although he didn't use story boards, he would scope out camera angles and moves and lighting on a blueprint of each set."

His camera angles and blocking all seem so precise and well worked out. For instance, there's a scene in which Bette has to undress her dead sister (played by herself) which could have come off very badly, since it's obviously a double. But it doesn't, all you think about is how hard it would be to undress and redress a dead body. It's a great scene. He obviously had a mind for these types of directing problems.

"Actually he and Bette loved the challenge of this scene because Bette WAS both the dead and alive twin. They both had to think ahead to the editing so the moves would match. On a personal note, I LOVED working with both of them in this film. Challenging, yes, but beautiful !"

I am a big fan of the movie Hollow Triumph (also known as The Scar). It's really suspenseful, and I think he gives such a complex, neurotic, and powerful performance. He didn't 'bring the character home' with him, did he? I hope not! :D I am pretty sure he wasn't keen on method acting.

"Work was work, home was home. Even when I worked with him as an actress and we had 24/7 contact, the two areas were kept quite separate."

Did he ever tell you about his method for breaking down scenes or his way of getting into character? I know he was influenced by Max Reinhardt, but I'd love to know any specifics or stories about his marking of scripts or character work behind the scenes.

"This is much too complicated to answer like this. But I will say that he was always looking for 'the truth'. His truth, the characters truth, the truth in the storyline...the authenticity of the relationships. Sometimes you had to peel away many layers, sometimes it was all right there in the writing."

Hollow Triumph and Dead Ringer both have a delicious sense of irony. In fact many of his movies seem to have some witty or wry twists or dialogue. Did your father enjoy ironic twists in films or TV shows? He did so many Alfred Hitchcock episodes it almost seems like his irony is his forte as a director and as an actor. Do you have any anecdotes to tell about Hollow Triumph?

"The more twists and turns with good reason, the more interesting. The more you could keep an audience involved the better. My father also had a great sense of humor."

How About Between Two Worlds, an eerie film in which he gave a really beautiful performance?

"He admired and enjoyed working with John Garfield."

Did he have a favorite leading lady? There are so many greats - Bette, Maureen O'Hara, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Bennett, Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland. Did he ever discuss directing with Ida Lupino?
Your father was outspoken at a time when it was dangerous for people to speak out against the HUAC. How did he and your family deal with being blacklisted?
Did he enjoy making Of Human Bondage? I think he's quite good as Philip, even though at first glance, he might not seem right for the part. Did he want to play it? Did he have to work to get the role?


"Actually maybe at this point I should suggest you read my father's biography, LADIES MAN. :)
... and mine when it comes out next year : )
FB: PAUL HENREID, BEYOND VICTOR LASZLO

Again, I'm sorry if I've overloaded you with questions. I just had so much to ask you about your dad! :D

"Thanks for all your interest !" : )

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Monika Henreid
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 1st, 2013, 7:31 pm

ChiO wrote:To follow-up JackFavell's questions regarding your father as a director:

1. Who, if anyone, did he view as a model for his directing?
"My father was always his own man. He sometimes spoke of directing styles but I don't remember him pointing out others."
2. Did he have a personal relationship with Otto Preminger or Edgar G. Ulmer given the Max Reinhardt connection?
"He of course knew Otto but the real relationship was with Ingo (Otto's brother) who was my father's agent and close friend for many years."
3. Was there a sense of competition (friendly or otherwise) among the directors who were German and Austrian emigres?

"Honestly I don't remember any...not in our home anyway. Please remember, I am not a film historian... just a kid who grew up surrounded by Hollywood. : )"
Facebook Page - PAUL HENREID, BEYOND VICTOR LASZLO

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 1st, 2013, 8:47 pm

The SSO is grateful to Monika Henreid because she has agreed to extend her visit until Wednesday due to technical difficulties with our server, and we will be able to discuss her father's films airing on Tuesday evening, July 2.

Monika, thank you for your generosity!

My next question concerns the wonderful harpsichord music for Dead Ringer. I feel that the suspense and the emotion conveyed by the actors in the film was enhanced by such an unusual score. Can you tell us anything about it?
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 1st, 2013, 9:46 pm

My father was involved in every step of the making of DEAD RINGER which included the music. He wanted a score that would convey a mood without overwhelming the story or the characters but that it should have character of its own. He loved classical music (everyday the great concerti and operas were playing in our home - from '78s to CDs, he had them all), so he wanted a concerto. And no one was better to do that in 1963 Hollywood than Andre Previn. To give it that extra mysterious almost creepy sound, he specifically wanted to use the harpsichord. At first no one understood. But my father, sticking to his vision as always, prevailed and Andre created a wonderful, meaningful score.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 1st, 2013, 11:27 pm

Rita Hayworth wrote:Monika,

In Thief of Damascus back in 1952 ... he worked with John Sutton, Jeff Donnell, and Lon Chaney Jr. ... and a surprisely Robert Clary as Aladdin ... this is one of my sentimental favorite films of which he went out to stop Khalid played by John Sutton and to me it is one of the rousing Arabian Adventures ever ... and another surprise to see Philip Van Zandt to played Ali Baba and the 40 thieves ...

Can you share anything about this film back in 1952?


I know it is funny to quote myself here ... I hope you can answer these questions ...

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby JackFavell » July 2nd, 2013, 8:55 am

Thank you so much, Ms. Henreid, for typing your fingers off trying to answer my numerous questions! I actually owned my own copy of your father's autobiography for some years. I appreciate your filling in some personal information. It's wonderful that you are staying extra days! I can't wait for your new book to come out. Thanks again. :D

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Hibi » July 2nd, 2013, 10:13 am

What was it like being directed by your father in Dead Ringer? Did you act in any other films? Bette really put you through your paces (as a character) ordering you around in that. I read that much of the film was filmed at the Doheny estate? Any anecdotes you could tell us from that film shoot? Thanks!

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 2nd, 2013, 11:57 am

While we're waiting for Monika's next response, you might want to take a peek at her tribute to her father on TCM: http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/6405 ... -2013.html

It's fabulous!

And here's a recent interview on Stephen Dimmick's The Daily Dimmick as he interviews her on the Red Carpet:
http://dailydimmick.com/2013/07/02/moni ... hollywood/
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Professional Tourist » July 2nd, 2013, 6:09 pm

Thank you for those links, Sue Sue -- wunderschön!
Monika is groovy. 8)

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 2nd, 2013, 6:12 pm

Agreed! Thanks, PT.

Monika, I just enjoyed seeing your tribute to your father on TCM, and found so much to admire in his films screened last evening.

As Reverend Arthur Nicholls in Devotion, my favorite scene is the one at the dinner table with Ida Lupino as Emily Bronte when Reverend Nicholls describes how he helped a poor man at the pub who had obviously been over-served. Lupino's anger melts when she realizes he is discussing her brother, Branwell. Any comments about Ida Lupino or your father's association with her?

Also, any comments on how In Our Time reflected your father's personal experiences in Europe during the 30s?
Did he seem reticent or resigned to those events?
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 3rd, 2013, 11:18 am

Hello Hibi ...
ANY time spent with my father was an education : )
He was a passionate, insightful, dedicated to his craft man. He was a wonderful director for many reasons not the least of which was that he understood the actors' process so well. A great communicator, he took the time with me and ALL his actors - including Bette : ) - to work through the scenes to get the result he wanted or needed for the story to work, to be believable. Both he and Bette were perfectionists and to tell the truth I also suffer from that affliction : ). So we would rehearse and rehearse .... and rehearse. Most of our 'takes' were in the single digits. My father had a great reputation for bringing in projects on time and under budget.
Happily, I had the opportunity to work with him a few other times, both on stage and film. And I worked as his assistant on a number of films. We had a multi-layered relationship both personally and professionally.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 3rd, 2013, 11:48 am

The Doheny Estate is a magnificent home from a time gone by.
http://www.greystonemansion.org/History.html
Filming on a 'real location' rather than working on a 'soundstage' brings its own adventures and difficulties. The house is enormous and looking through it in my spare time was wonderful. Most of the rooms were empty and the ones we used as 'sets' were primarily dressed by our scenic designer and art director. On a sound stage you can control the atmosphere and noise. On a 'live' location you cannot. It takes a little - or a lot - of extra patience to work on location and outdoors. But it was certainly worth the effort!
What a place. It has lived many lives in many movies. It can be toured and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Los Angeles. Also there is a play presented there based on the true murder/suicide that shocked society...starring my old friend Darby Hinton. You may remember him as a child star playing Fess Parker's son in the DANIEL BOONE TV series.


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