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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 » July 10th, 2013, 1:49 pm

Hello again to all you wonderful, inquisitive fans . : ) I am delighted to continue this dialog. Thanks for inviting me.

I must ask you to be patient with me, Erik, on any comments regarding THIEF OF DAMASCUS. I have not seen it in many, many years. Luckily, for us, it is playing on TCM on Tuesday July 16th, 11:45pm Pacific time(very early morning of the 17th -Eastern, central and mountain time) and I will be happy to comment then after a 'little refresher' viewing : )
------------------------------------

First of all, Masha, I must make a correction. Answering an earlier question, I said the logos on the train were in NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH. My mistake. My father noticed the incorrect logos on the train in a scene from GOODBYE MR.CHIPS and brought it up with the director who said there wasn't time to change it and besides no one would notice. Well, the audience DID notice and my father was very disapppointed. ( He would be disappointed in me if I hadn't made THIS correction : ) )

Between 1950 and 1955, my father made four buccaneer/pirate type movies. LAST OF THE BUCCANEERS-1950, THIEF OF DAMASCUS-1951, SIREN OF BAGDAD-1952 and PIRATES OF TRIPOLI-1955. They were not "great" movies but were all quite fun. Good 'popcorn' fare. : ) All of them will be shown on Tuesdays on TCM this month. He also made films in England, STOLEN FACE-1951 and MAN IN HIDING-1951, that I remember.

This was part of his blacklisted period so these were done to 'pay the bills/feed the family'. They were "B" films not expected to do particularily well but have a 'comfortable' release. No one could say for sure if they would be moneymakers. As always there are two sides...good news, bad news. The bad news was that because these were independent productions, my father wouldn't be paid his full salary. The good news was, that because of that, he took a percentage of the profits and as they were all successful -except for SIREN OF BAGDAD-, he made a healthy living despite being blacklisted by the major studios.

I would need a little time to think about the next question, Masha. As a child, one is not always privy to the thinkings and doings of adults. Maybe I will remember something.

No matter what, my father always invested himself - his whole self - into a project, like it or not, obligated or not. He had great integrity. Good work and fulfilling his word of honor were of critical importance to him.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 10th, 2013, 2:55 pm

No Problems Monika ... I understand and I am thrilled to see it on TCM that day. Thanks for telling me this ... it is one of my favorites. :)

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 10th, 2013, 3:37 pm

Monika, thanks so much for joining us again this week.

I was just wondering about your father's personal interest in his career. Did he seem happiest as an actor or a director? And what films of his do you consider your personal favorites?

We are all so lucky that you are visiting! :lol:
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 10th, 2013, 3:57 pm

Back to Jack : )
Did your father always want to direct pictures? How did his first directorial effort come about?

I don't know that he ALWAYS wanted to direct films but once he did, he found that he really loved it and wanted to continue. Ultimately he directed 7 feature films and over 300 television shows. Not bad for an 'accidental' second career . : )
In 1948, right at the beginning of his being blacklisted by the major studios, my father optioned a novel, HOLLOW TRIUMPH, which had been brought to him by a Hungarian director, Steve Sekely. The deal was that my father would produce and star in it, and Sekely would direct for a new independent film company called Eagle Lion Pictures. My father got Daniel Fuchs to write the screenplay and Joan Bennett as his leading lady. Almost no time at all into production, the company heads called my father in and told him that it was awful and he needed to get rid of Sekely. "How?", my father asked. "The whole deal revolved around Sekely directing." The 'heads' said that they would shut down the film and after a reasonable amount of time would start up again and hire a new director. However, Sekely would still get the screen credit. Not at all happy, my father waited a week and then approached them. He was then informed that HE was the new director. AND so ...

Can you mention Mr. Henreid's difficulties after escaping the Nazis, coming to England only to find that the English were mistrustful of him?

In England, my father was a star on the stage and had a good start in film, but he was still an Austrian. At that time being an Austrian was considered being a German and that, by extension, a Nazi or at least a Nazi sympathizer. He and my mother were considered Enemy Aliens First Class and were under the threat of being separated, interred or worse, deported. As luck and the winds of fate would have it ... well, his life reads better than most Hollywood scripts. That's why I'm writing a book and doing a documentary about him and his life...his whole life not just his career.
PAUL HENREID, BEYOND VICTOR LASZLO
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-Hen ... 4473116233

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Monika Henreid » July 10th, 2013, 4:19 pm

And to Christy...

My father was happiest when he was working. Period. The better the quality script, the greater his co-stars' talent, the more challenging the role and the story and plot twists, the happier he was. But once he was established as a director he would say that he was glad he 'didn't have to make faces anymore'. I think that says it all : ) and yes, he usually had a smile on his face when he said it.

My favorite film, first and foremost and always was and forever will be THE SPANISH MAIN. I have such a personal, organic connection to it. My response to your very first question here at SSO is the answer. It is the fulfillment of a little girl's dream...to have her father be a hero. In this case, on the screen as a freedom fighting pirate and off the screen because he held me in his arms and kissed away my tears when I was frightened.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 10th, 2013, 9:10 pm

Thank you, Monika.
We'll be watching next Tuesday! :lol:
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 11th, 2013, 12:22 am

Sue Sue Applegate wrote:Thank you, Monika.
We'll be watching next Tuesday! :lol:


Me too ... :) :!:

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby moira finnie » July 11th, 2013, 12:39 pm

Hi Monika--
Please accept my belated thanks for being our guest this month and for stopping by each Wednesday. I have been embroiled in moving for the last few weeks, but have caught up with this thread and always enjoy your father's appearances in films. I hope that you will keep us informed of the publication of your book since we would like to post any news about that project here. I hope that you won't mind, but in anticipation of your return here next week, I would like to ask a few (dozen :shock: ) questions:

1.) I have always been fascinated by the distinguished émigré community that contributed enormously to Hollywood films during the studio era. Your father appears to have been among the most successfully assimilated individuals among this talented group, some of whose members struggled to find their way in this country. Did his mastery of English come easily to him, enabling him to adapt to the British stage and screen and later, to the atmosphere of the studio system in America? How did he regard those individuals, including his distinguished and influential mentor, Max Reinhardt, who found it much more difficult to get their footing in the New World after their forced flight from Nazi-dominated Europe?

2.) Did your father ever comment about his earlier film experiences at UFA and have you ever had a chance to see his earlier, German language films? I know that he made one film in France and another in Germany in the early '50s, but wondered if there was ever a time after the war when he wished he could return to Europe permanently to pursue his career in his native tongue? Were his eventual return visits to Europe bittersweet?

3.) Your father was particularly good at portraying individuals marked psychologically by the war, which was particularly evident in his vulnerable characterizations in Between Two Worlds, Deception, and his excellent, unsung work in 1962's The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (his grittier scenes in Vincente Minnelli's often too glossy re-telling of the Vicente Blasco Ibáñez tale remind a viewer of the subject matter's painful reality). Did he ever express any reluctance to explore the darkness that such characters demanded of him?

4.) One of the distinctions of your father's film work during the studio era was his ability to hold his own in films when he was cast opposite some notorious scene-stealers, which was particularly noticeable in Now, Voyager (1944), and Deception (1946), and Song of Love (1947). How do you think he approached making his characters vivid enough to contrast with Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and especially Claude Rains in the delightfully baroque--or more accurately--rococo Deception?

5.) Aside from his discontentment with some of the heavily dramatic roles that he was assigned at Warner Brothers and his sometimes strained relationship with Jack Warner, were there aspects of the studio's bustling atmosphere and the people he worked with there that he recalled with fondness or admiration? How did your father find the character actors he worked with in his films?

6.) Were there any film directors he worked with that he respected and learned from during his time in Hollywood? I know that he directed 29 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" over the years and wondered if he ever commented on any interactions he might have had with Hitch, or his noted production team of Joan Harrison and Norman Lloyd?

7.) With the decay of the studio system, did he feel that the quality of writing and production in films diminished or did he relish the opportunity for exploring fresh topics in new ways in independent production like his friend Ida Lupino? Or was it sometimes, as you hinted earlier, a matter of professional survival and hoping for a distinguished project to come out of other work?

8.) One of the reasons that I like your father's films is that he brought depth and feeling to those roles that were often negligible or clichéd in the hands of less skilled actors. The Scar aka Hollow Triumph (1948) is one example of a genre movie that he elevated above its usual limitations, but I recently had a chance to see one of the least known but most strangely poignant of his movies, Stolen Face (1952). Playing "a mad doctor" who seeks to reproduce the face of a woman he loved in one of his patients (Lizabeth Scott in a more animated mode than usual in a dual role), he manages to evoke his character's loneliness, arrogance and despair, even injecting some humor into the plight of a man whose life is (nearly) destroyed by his Cockney-spouting creation. This film, which has been described as the flip side of The Scar and anticipates some of the themes in the classic Eyes Without a Face was directed by a mainstay of Hammer films, Terence Fisher, early in his career. Do you know if this was "just a job" or did your father find that it was a challenging film for him? What was his impression of Lizabeth Scott? Did the Grand Guignol aspects of this story appeal to him?

9.) If you don't mind my asking, could you please discuss your mother Lisl's background, her personality and how that affected her life as the wife of a very driven actor-director during their fifty+ year marriage, and the dancing school for children that she established and ran for several years in Beverly Hills?

Thank you in advance for any insights you might share here and please forgive my many questions. I am just so glad you are here!
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby kingrat » July 16th, 2013, 11:06 am

Monika,

Thank you so much for meeting with us and continuing to answer our questions. I'm particularly interested in two of the films which will be shown this week, Between Two Worlds and Of Human Bondage. To several of us at SSO, Between Two Worlds is a much better film than its reputation, in most ways an improvement over its source, Outward Bound. You mentioned that your father enjoyed working with John Garfield. What else did he have to say about this film, his romantic co-star Eleanor Parker, the other actors, or the little-known director, Edward A. Blatt? Are you personally fond of this movie?

Your father is less than ideally cast in Of Human Bondage, but if you can accept the explanation about his character's origins, in some ways this version of Maugham's story surpasses the Bette Davis/Leslie Howard original. Did your father like working with Eleanor Parker (I think she's quite good) and with the director, Edmund Goulding? Was he satisfied with the finished film?

I know from Jean Negulesco's memoir that he and your father did not get along on the set of The Conspirators. Was this an equally unhappy experience for your father? Lew Ayres' biographer told us that Negulesco neglected the actors of Johnny Belinda to concentrate on the visuals. Was that also true for The Conspirators, and how did your father like working with Hedy Lamarr?

Again, thank you so much for chatting with us. As you can see, we appreciate your father's work and believe that some of his movies ought to be much better known.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » July 16th, 2013, 11:44 am

Tonight's Paul Henreid Star of the Month Celebration continues:

Never So Few (1959)
Siren of Bagdad (1953)
Hollow Triumph (1948)
Joan of Paris (1942)
Thief of Damascus (1952)
So Young, So Bad (1950)

Monika will be with us soon to answer questions!
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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 16th, 2013, 1:08 pm

Sue Sue Applegate wrote:Tonight's Paul Henreid Star of the Month Celebration continues:

Never So Few (1959)
Siren of Bagdad (1953)
Hollow Triumph (1948)
Joan of Paris (1942)
Thief of Damascus (1952)
So Young, So Bad (1950)

Monika will be with us soon to answer questions!



I'm setting my DVR to record most of these movies ... Sue Sue and watch them when I can ... all of these are classics!

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby kingrat » July 16th, 2013, 2:32 pm

The little-known Joan of Paris is really quite good, with Michele Morgan giving a strong performance as the young Resistance fighter.

I see that my questions are really about next week's films.

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Re: The Silver Screen Oasis Welcomes Monika Henreid!

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 16th, 2013, 3:41 pm

Masha wrote:I will be watching: Siren of Bagdad (1953) and Thief of Damascus (1952). They are pure entertainment which asks nothing of the viewer but to sit back and enjoy the ride. :)


Same here ... I just love these two films! ... I'm very happy that you are a Thief of Damascus fan! :D


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