Divas of Fascist Cinema

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Il volto scolpito nel marmo, uno sguardo insieme sensuale e spietato che allude all’erotismo più feroce di quei giorni bui. Le labbra violacee evidenziano un sorriso amaro, sprezzante, fiero del proprio sublime incanto. Sono le dive del cinema fascista, in un’Italia umiliata dalla guerra regnano sulle superfici dell’illusione per regalare un sogno a chi di illusione perisce.

The face sculpted in marble, a sensual and ruthless glance that alludes to the most ferocious eroticism of those dark days. The violet lips show a bitter, contemptuous smile, proud of its own sublime charm. They are the divas of Fascist cinema, in an Italy humiliated by war thay all reigns on the surfaces of illusion to give a dream to those who are diyng by illusion.

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Alida Valli – From a Fresh Look to a Dark Lady – Venturini

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Alida Valli. Ghergo

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Luisa Ferida

Leda Gloria

Seductive Leda Gloria – Ghergo

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Leda Gloria – Venturini

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Elisa Cegani – Ph unknown

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Elisa Cegani from in “LA CORONA DI FERRO” di Alessandro Blasetti, 1941. Winner of Coppa Mussolini award

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Clara Calami: the first italian “Dark Lady” actress

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Clara Calamai. I think she worn Ferragamo platform shoes. Could be now

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Elsa De Giorgi – Peek-a-Boo hairstyle. Ph Venturini

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A perfect face. Elsa De Giorgi

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Amazing Beauty: Doris Duranti, the most loved by dictators

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Doris Duranti, the fascist actress, by Elio Luxardo

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Isa Mirande: the platinum italian Dietrich

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Isa Miranda, who arrived in Hollywood, was greeted with clamor by the public and by Paramount

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Renate Müller: the tragic antinazi Diva

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Quando un’anima nasce, le vengono gettate delle reti per impedire che fugga. Tu mi parli di religione, lingua, nazionalità: io cercherò di fuggire da quelle reti

“When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets”

James Joyce

Padre pubblicista e madre pittrice, un talento innato per la recitazione e una bellezza fuori dal comune, che le costerà la vita. Renate Müller nacque a Monaco il 26 aprile del 1906, e a soli 19 anni debuttò a teatro con “Ein Sommernachtstraum” (Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream) diretta da Pabst.

Trasferitasi a Berlino, nel 1929 ebbe il suo primo ruolo cinematografico in “Peter Der Matrose” (Peter the Sailor). Il successo fu immediato e fino al 1937 comparve in 25 film , tra i quali il celebre “Die Privatesekretärin”, tradotto anche in inglese e ”Viktor und Viktoria” del 1933.

La fama raggiunta, i capelli biondi, i bei occhi azzurri, destarono l’interesse del regime nazionalsocialista, che pressò Renate con sempre maggiore insistenza affinché lei divenisse il volto per i film di propaganda del partito. Numerosi quanto le richieste furono i rifiuti della bella attrice, ma la vita nella Berlino di quel tempo era difficile: sospetti, dicerie, semplici invidie di colleghe potevano essere la causa di processi sommari, deportazioni, omicidi, e Renate aveva un angoscioso segreto che doveva restare nascosto.

Così cedette alle pressioni e nel 1937 recitò in quella che sarebbe stata la sua ultima comparsa in celluloide: “Togger”, pellicola dal contenuto antisemita. Hitler fu sedotto dall’attrice, perfetta incarnazione dell’ideale di donna ariana, ma nonostante le sue lusinghe lei rifiutò di essergli amica. Goebbels insospettito da tanta distanza e dai suoi continui viaggi nella nemica città di Londra, prese a farla pedinare dalla Gestapo.

L’inconfessabile segreto emerse: Renate aveva un fidanzato, viveva in Inghilterra ed era un ebreo. Si persero così, tutto d’un tratto, le notizie sulla bella ragazza: nuove star ariane presero il suo posto sugli schermi. Si diffusero strane voci secondo le quali Renate era stata ricoverata in manicomio a seguito di ripetute crisi di nervi, abuso di alcol e di morfina. Repentino giunse il finale di questa triste storia, il 7 ottobre del 1937 l’attrice fece un lungo volo dalla finestra della sua casa a Berlino. Il corpo fu in fretta cremato presso il Wilmersdorf Krematorium per essere sepolto in gran silenzio all’interno del Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde a Berlin Steglitz. Ai tanti fan fu proibito di partecipare ai funerali, il governo cercò di placare gli animi affermando si fosse trattato di suicidio, ma dei vicini di casa della ragazza, in silenzio, dissero di averla vista precipitare dal balcone all’arrivo in cortile degli uomini della Gestapo. Molti altri, invece, giurarono che furono proprio i soldati ad aver lanciato nel vuoto l’attrice che in vita rifiutò di esser lanciata sugli schermi di un cinema maledetto.

Luciano Lapadula

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Father publicist and mother painter, an innate talent for acting and a beauty out of the ordinary, which will cost her life. Renate Müller was born in Monaco on April 26, 1906, and at the age of 19 filmaker Pabst made her debut with “Ein Sommernachtstraum” (Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream). Transferring to Berlin, in 1929 she had his first film role in “Peter Der Matrose “(Peter the Sailor). The success was immediate and until 1937 appeared in 25 films, among which the famous “Die Privatesekretärin”, also translated into English and “Viktor und Viktoria” of 1933. The fame achieved, the blonde hair, the beautiful blue eyes, aroused the interest of the National Socialist regime, which pressed Renate with increasing insistence to use her face for the nazi propaganda films. Life in Berlin – at that time – was difficult: suspicions, rumors, simple envies of colleagues could be the cause of summary trials, deportations, murders, and Renate had an anguishing secret that was to remain hidden. So he gave in to pressure and in 1937 she played in what would have been her last appearance in celluloid: “Togger”, a film with anti-Semitic content. Hitler was seduced by the actress, the perfect embodiment of the ideal of an Aryan woman, but in spite of her flattery, she refused to be his friend. Goebbels, suspicious of her distance and her constant journeys in the enemy city of London, began to  follow the woman by Gestapo. The unconfessable secret emerged: Renate had a boyfriend, lived in England and was a Jew. Thus, all of a sudden, the news about the beautiful girl was lost: new Aryan stars took their place on the screens. Strange rumors were spread that Renate had been hospitalized as a result of repeated nerve crises, alcohol abuse and morphine. The end of this sad story came to a sudden, on October 7, 1937, the actress took a long flight from the window of her house in Berlin. The body was quickly cremated at the Wilmersdorf Krematorium to be buried in great silence inside the Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde in Berlin Steglitz. To the many fans it was forbidden to attend the funeral, the government tried to appease the soul by saying it was suicide, but the girl’s neighbors, in silence, said they had seen her fall from the balcony to the men’s Gestapo. Many others, however, swore that it was the soldiers who had launched into the void the actress who in life refused to be thrown on the screens of a damn cinema

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Renate Müller: the tragic anti-nazi Diva. 1930 c.

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Crossdressing

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Amzing blue-eyed and blonde hair, she was considered to be one of the great beauties of her time. From 1932.

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6450 1, 1931 1932.

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The true circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear.

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Window for a tragedy

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