21 September 2017

Fanfare (1958)

During the Netherlands Film Festival, EFSP presents the Unofficial Dutch Film Star Postcards Festival. One of the classics of the Dutch cinema is the comedy Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958). The film was entered into the 1959 Cannes Film Festival. With 2,6 million visitors it is the second biggest box office hit in the history of the Dutch cinema.

Hans Kaart in Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3796. Photo: Jutka Mol-Rona / Sapphire Film Productie. Publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Hans Kaart.

Fanfare, Arena cinema
Dutch postcard by A. de Herder, Rotterdam. The Arena Cinema was located at the Kruiskade, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The presented film was the Dutch comedy Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958), starring Hans Kaart.

Classic Dutch Comedy

Fanfare (1958) is a classic Dutch comedy film of the 1950s directed by Bert Haanstra. The film was entered into the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and the 1st Moscow International Film Festival.

Fanfare belongs to the milestones of Dutch film history. With over 2,6 million cinema visitors it is the second most successful Dutch film of all time, only surpassed by Paul Verhoeven's Turks Fruit/Turkish Delight (1973) with Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven.

Fanfare was filmed in the village of Giethoorn, in the film the fictional place of Brederwiede, a typical 1950s village, with canals instead of roads.

The scenario was written by director Bert Haanstra and journalist/author Jan Blokker. The music was composed by Jan Mul and was performed by the Concertgebouworkest.

The story: after a fight between the two leading musicians (Hans Kaart and Bernard Droog) the brass band in a small village splits up into two separate bands. They both want to win a contest and will do anything to prevent the other band from winning it.

There is also a love story: the young policeman (Wim van den Heuvel) and the girl (Ineke Brinkman) are both children of one of the band leaders.

At the end of the film, the two rival brass bands end up on a music tournament. The two pieces of music of the rival brass bands are combined by a planned coincidence. Haanstra filmed this competition on a meadow in Diever. He used musicians of various corps from the Diever region as a figurant.

The film was Bert Haanstra's feature film debut and is unique in the Dutch cinema. The cost was 450 thousand guilders, but the film raised 1.2 million guilders.

Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard van Leer's Fotodrukind. N.V., no. 659, sent in 1960. This the brassband which performed in Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958).

Andrea Domburg in Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3792. Photo: Jutka Mol-Rona / Sapphire Film Productie. Publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Andrea Domburg.

Ineke Brinkman

Dutch actress and film actress Ineke Brinkman (1934) was active in the Netherlands and Norway. She studied acting with actor Bernard Droog and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

In 1954, she made her stage debut in Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams. In 1958 she played a role in the popular film Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Hans Kaart, Bernard Droog, Andrea Domburg and Wim van den Heuvel.

After a fight the brass band (in Dutch: fanfare) in the small village of Giethoorn splits up into two separate bands. They both want to win a contest and will do anything to prevent the other band from winning it.

In 1960 Brinkman received a prize for her role in the play Five Finger Exercise by Peter Shaffer. Brinkman married a Norwegian in 1958 and soon she moved to Norway. There she went to direct amateur plays and acted at the National Theater and Det norske teatret in Oslo.

In 1977 she founded a cabaret which still exists. She returned in 1984 to the Netherlands for a short time and appeared on TV in the comedy series Schoppentroef/Spades trump (Bram van Erkel a.o., 1984) with Gerard Cox and she also acted in a stage production.

Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel in Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers (IFP), Amsterdam, no. 1920. Photo: publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel.

Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel in Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3794. Photo: Jutka Mol-Rona / Sapphire Film Productie. Publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958)Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers (IFP), Amsterdam, no. 1920. Photo: publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel.

Wim van den Heuvel

Dutch actor Wim van den Heuvel (1928) was the Jeune Premier of the classic Dutch feature film Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958). He played police officer Douwe, who is in love with Marije (Ineke Brinkman).

Fanfare made him well known in the Netherlands and he appeared in many TV plays and series. On stage he performed at the theatre companies Puck, Ensemble, De Nederlandse Comedie, Toneelgroep Centrum, De Haagse Comedie and Het Nationale Toneel.

Films in which he appeared are Kermis in de regen/Fair in the Rain (Kees Brusse, 1962), Ongewijde aarde/Unconsecrated Earth (Jef van der Heijden, 1967) with Ton Lensink, and Minoes/Miss Minoes (Vincent Bal, 2001) starring Carice van Houten.

Wim van den Heuvel was married to actress Karin Haage and since 1972 to actress Guusje Westermann. The actor André van den Heuvel is his brother.

Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel in Fanfare (1958)
Dutch postcard by Int. Filmpers (IFP), Amsterdam, no. 1932. Photo: publicity still for Fanfare (Bert Haanstra, 1958) with Ineke Brinkman and Wim van den Heuvel.

Trailer Fanfare (1958). Source: indebioscoop (YouTube).

Impressions of the shooting of Fanfare. Source: PunterRadio1 (YouTube).

Sources: Wikipedia (Dutch) and IMDb

20 September 2017

Louis Davids

Every year in early autumn, the Dutch film industry and public gather at the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF). For ten days, Utrecht is the capital of the Dutch cinema. During the festival, EFSP provides you daily with postcards of Dutch films and stars from the past. Today we start with Dutch cabaret and revue artist Louis Davids (1883-1939), who appeared in twenty Dutch films, both silent and sound pictures. He is widely considered one of the Netherlands biggest names in performing arts ever and many of his songs are evergreens in The Netherlands.

Louis Davids
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 582. Photo: Godfried de Groot.

Wonder Child

Louis Davids was born as Simon David in 1883 in Rotterdam's notorious Zandstraat quarter into a poor Jewish family. He was the son of the comedian and cafe owner Levie David and Francina Terveen. Both parents were performing artists and their children Louis, his older brother Hakkie and younger sisters Rika and Heintje started their entertainment career at a young age.

5 years old, Louis sang in mini-costume and high hat at all the state fairs with his brother Hakkie playing the piano. Newspapers called little Louis a ‘Wonder child’ or ‘Miniature Comedian’ and he was very successful. A big chance came a few years later. Only seven, he got a contract at Tivoli Theater in Rotterdam, where he performed under the name Louis Davids Jr.

Later he performed with his sister Rika on fairs and in coffee houses and music halls and he became a versatile artist. After an argument with his father, the 13-years-old left for England to be an assistant to the magician Akimoto. A year later, his father brought his son home, penniless but with a lot more experience in variety theatre. Together with his sister Rika he managed to secure a job outside of the fairs, working at the famous theatre Pschorr.

Brother and sister Davids moved to Amsterdam to work with by the variety director Frits van Haarlem at the Carré circus theatre where they had plenty of success in creating revues after English fashion. In the cafe-chantant Victoria in the Nes (a street in the old centre of Amsterdam) they performed songs like Een reisje langs den Rijn (A trip along the Rhine). During that time, the Nes and the artists who performed there were not really highly rated. Louis therefore hopes to return to Frits van Haarlem.

After Rika married English magician John Weil and moved to England, Louis formed a new duo with his youngest sister Henriëtte (Heintje). The second Davids duo was also a success. Heintje’s husband, Philip Pinkhof, wrote texts for the duo. In 1906, Davids married Rebecca Kokernoot with whom he had a daughter, Kitty. He was unhappy in his marriage.

Louis’ breakthrough was Koning 'Kziezoowat in Amsterdam/King Sissiwat in Amsterdam (1906). This was the first major revue in the Netherlands, written by Louis Davids and Frits van Haarlem, and with Davids in the leading role. For this revue four short films with Louis and Heintje Davids were produced by Frits van Haarlem, which became parts of the revue.

In 1909 Davids furthered his success by working with theatre director Henri ter Hall in the revue Doe er een deksel op (Make it a cover). The performances took place in Rotterdam, his birthplace. Rika was back and Heintje had a characteristic role. As with the previous revue, it was especially up to local events and the surprise element was the key to its success.

Louis Davids
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 803, 1925-1926. Collection: Marlene Pilaete.

He, She and the Piano

While on tour Louis Davids met British dancer Margie Morris who had moved to the Netherlands in 1913. Louis and Maggie formed the duo ‘He, She and the Piano’, where Maggie would take on the role as pianist and composer. They wrote dozens of songs together, he the text, she the music.

The charming Morris led him from the comic repertoire towards more mature songs. Margie encouraged Louis' artistic talents and helped him develop his own style. Thanks to the influence of English and American music in her compositions, the level of Louis’s songs increased. Their innovating, a bit jazz-like repertoire soon became known across the country. Davids and Morris also starred in countless revue such as Loop naar den Duivel (Walk to the Devil) in 1915, for which they wrote We gaan naar Zandvoort aan de zee (We go to Zandvoort by the sea), now a Dutch evergreen.

They also started to appear in the Dutch cinema. Their silent films include Amerikaansche meisjes/American Girls (Maurits Binger, Louis Davids, 1918) with Lola Cornero and Beppie de Vries, and De duivel in Amsterdam/The Devil in Amsterdam (Theo Frenkel, 1919) with Eduard Verkade and Louis Bouwmeester.

A famous stage musical from this period, for which they wrote several classic songs, is De Jantjes (The Tars) written by Herman Bouber and Davids in 1920. This hugely successful stage play was also released as a silent film, De Jantjes/The Tars (Maurits Binger, B.E. Doxat-Pratt, 1922) starring Beppie de Vries and Johan Elsensohn, and as a sound film, De Jantjes/The Tars (Jaap Speyer, 1934).

Bouber, Davids and Morris also wrote the stage musicals Bleeke Bet/Bleak Beth (1917) and Oranje Hein/Orange Hein (1918), all situated in the Jordaan. Davids also appeared in other silent films such as the Herman Heijermans adaptation Schakels/Links (Maurits Binger, 1920) with Jan van Dommelen, Adelqui Migliar and Annie Bos, and Menschenwee/People woe (Theo Frenkel, 1921) with Willem van der Veer and Coen Hissink.

Davids celebrated his 25th anniversary as an artist in 1919 in Rotterdam's Pschorr theatre. After his jubilee Louis travelled with Margie, Rika and Heintje to India for a year and a half. In 1922 Margie Morris left him because of his countless infidelities. The couple had never married but they had a son together, Louis. His wife Betsy refused to divorce Louis, so they remained officially married until his death. Both Louis’s children would never have a good relationship with their father in their mature lives.

Jan van Ees, Willy Costello, Johan Kaart jr.
Dutch postcard by Hollandia Film Prod. / Loet C. Barnstijn. Photo: publicity still for De Jantjes/The Tars (Jaap Speyer, 1934) with Jan van Ees, Willy Costello and Johan Kaart jr. as the three 'Jantjes'.

Bleeke Bet
Dutch postcard by Monopole Film, Rotterdam. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen. Still of a set built for Bleeke Bet (Alex Benno, Richard Oswald, 1934), a street in the old neighbourhood De Jordaan in Amsterdam. Set designer was Hans Ledersteger.

The Little Man

Between 1922 and 1926, Louis Davids was the director of the Casino Variété in Rotterdam, but the job of director did not hold his attention for long. In 1929, Davids appeared in the revue Lach en vergeet (Laugh and Forget) with the song which would probably become his most popular title De kleine man (The Little Man). It was written by Jacques van Tol, with whom Davids would work closely until his death in 1939, but Van Tol would be working anonymously.

Despite he was born in Rotterdam, Louis Davids was a popular performer of the ‘Jordaan repertoire’. The Jordaan is a 17th century-built working class neighbourhood in the heart of Amsterdam. Davids also appeared in typical ‘Jordaan films’, a genre based on the popular plays by Herman Bouber and Davids and Morris, such as Bleeke Bet/Bleak Beth (Alex Benno, 1923) with Alida van Gijtenbeek and Jan van Dommelen, and Oranje Hein/Orange Hein (Alex Benno, 1925), starring Johan Elsensohn and Aaf Bouber.

Davids made the transition to sound film in the short Hollandsch Hollywood/Dutch Hollywood (Ernst Winar, 1933), also with Heintje Davids and Fien de la Mar. After the enormous success of the sound version of De Jantjes/The Tars (Jaap Speyer, 1934), he made one more film, Op stap/On the Move (Ernst Winar, 1935), co-starring Fien de la Mar and Frits van Dongen (a.k.a. Philip Dorn). In this musical Davids sang several songs, including his evergreen Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent (When you are born for a nickel).

At the time, Davids was especially renowned for his work for the Scheveningen Kurhaus Cabaret in the summers from 1931 till 1938. There Davids founded the careers of Dutch cabaret stars like Wim Kan, Corry Vonk, and Wim Sonneveld. In 1937 Davids had to give up his cabaret work at the Kurhaus due to his asthma. That year, he was named Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

In 1939, Louis Davids died in Amsterdam, only 55. (Some sources, like IMDb, mention cancer as the cause, other sources mention a heart attack or his asthma as the cause). During the Second World War, Rika and Harkie Davids both were murdered in 1943 in Sobibor concentration camp. Heintje knew to survive the Nazis. After the war she continued to perform and keep the repertoire of her brother alive. Today, Louis Davids’s songs are still popular. They can be heard on the soundtrack of films like Rooie Sien/Red Sien (Frans Weisz, 1975) featuring Willeke Alberti, and TV series like Moeder, ik wil bij de revue/Mother, I want to join the revue (Rita Horst, 2012) with Egbert Jan Weeber.

Heintje Davids and Sylvain Poons sing Omdat ik zoveel van je hou (Beacause I love you so much) in De Jantjes/The Tars (Jaap Speyer, 1934). Source: Pieter de Groot (YouTube).

Louis Davids sings Als je voor een dubbeltje geboren bent (When you are born for a nickel) in Op stap/On the Move (Ernst Winar, 1935). Source: brassens66 (YouTube).

Sources: Heintje Davids, Johan Luger, H.P. van den Aardweg (Louis Davids, Een kleine man die je nooit vergeet – Dutch), M.E.H.N. Mout ( - Dutch), Een leven lang theater (Dutch), Stadsarchief Rotterdam (Dutch), Wikipedia and IMDb.

19 September 2017

Magda Schneider

German singer and actress Magda Schneider (1909-1996) is best known as the mother of film star Romy Schneider, but in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, she herself starred in some 40 films. First she appeared on the screen as a charming Wiener mädel (girl from Vienna) and after the war she often played the understanding mother or aunt.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6561/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6817/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Studio Lenné, Berlin.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7099/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Casparius, Berlin.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7099/2, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Casparius, Berlin.

Otto Wallburg and Magda Schneider in Marion, das gehört sich nicht (1933)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7415/1, 1932-1933. Photo: IF. Publicity still for Marion, das gehört sich nicht/Marion, That's Not Nice (E.W. Emo, 1933) with Otto Wallburg.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 7930/1, 1932-1933. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.


Magdalena Schneider was born in 1909 in Augsburg, Germany. She was the daughter of a plumber, Xaverius Schneider and his wife Maria Meier-Hörmann.

After visiting a Catholic girl’s school Magda studied stenography and office management at a business school and worked as a steno typist for a grain merchant. In her leisure time she studied singing at the Leopold-Mozart-Konservatorium Augsburg and followed ballet classes at the Stadtheater of her native town.

As a soubrette she made her debut in the operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) and played several parts in comedies in the Stadttheater of Augsburg and later also in the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in München (Munich). There she was discovered by director Ernst Marischka, who invited her to work for the Theater an der Wien.

In 1930 she made her first film appearance in Boykott/Boycott (Robert Land, 1930) with Lil Dagover. Two years later she launched her film career after a film test at the Ufa studio.

She could be seen singing and dancing in such films as Zwei in einem Auto/Two in a Car (Joe May, 1932) with Kurt Gerron, Das Testament des Cornelius Gulden/The Testament of Cornelius Gulden (E.W. Emo, 1932) with Georg Alexander and Theo Lingen, Das Lied einer Nacht/Tell Me Tonight (Anatole Litvak, 1932) at the side of the star tenor Jan Kiepura, and eventually the poetic masterpiece Liebelei/Flirtation (Max Ophüls, 1933) co-starring Paul Hörbiger.

Liebelei, based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler, was one of her best films in which she could unfold her whole acting talent. 25 years later, her role in Liebelei was played by her daughter, Romy Schneider, in the film Christine (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1958).

Fritz Schulz and Magda Schneider in Das Lied einer Nacht (1932)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 146/1. Photo: Cine-Allianz-Film der Ufa. Publicity still of Fritz Schulz and Magda Schneider in Das Lied einer Nacht/The Song of Night (Anatole Litvak, 1932).

Magda Schneider
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 441. Sent by mail in 1933. Photo: City Film.

Magda Schneider, Georg Alexander
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 397. Photo: City Film. Publicity still for Ein bißchen Liebe für Dich/A Bit of Love (Max Neufeld, 1932) with Georg Alexander.

Hermann Thimig & Magda Schneider
Dutch Postcard for Glück über Nacht/Happiness Over Night (Max Neufeld, 1932) with Hermann Thimig. Photo: City-Film. Notice the modern furniture & set design.

Albert Lieven, Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 8843/1, 1934-1935. Photo: Badal Filmproduktion. Publicity still for Fräulein Liselott/Miss Liselott (Johannes Guter, 1934) with Albert Lieven.

Magda Schneider and Willi Forst in Ich Kenn Dich Nicht Und Liebe Dich (1934)
British postcard. Photo: publicity still for Ich Kenn Dich Nicht Und Liebe Dich/I Don't Know You, But I Love You (Géza von Bolváry, 1934) with Willi Forst.

Wolf Albach-Retty

During the production of the film Kind, ich freu mich auf dein Kommen/Child, I please me about your arrival (Kurt Gerron, 1933), Magda Schneider met her first husband, actor Wolf Albach-Retty.

They appeared in eight films together, including G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald/Tales from Vienna Woods (Georg Jacoby, 1934), and Rendezvous in Wien/Rendezvous in Vienna (Victor Janson, 1936).

The couple married in 1937 and would have two children, Rosemarie Magdalena, called Romy (1938-1982), and Wolfgang Dieter (1941), later a surgeon. The couple divorced in 1945 (some sources say 1946, others 1949).

Other films in which Magda appeared during the 1930s and 1940s were Eva (Johannes Riemann, 1935) with Heinz Rühmann, Frauenliebe – Frauenleid/Woman’s Love – Woman’s Sorrow (Augusto Genina, 1937) with Iván Petrovich, and Liebeskomödie/Love’s Comedy (Theo Lingen, 1942).

Wolf Albach-Retty and Magda Schneider
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. A 1597/1, 1937-1938. Photo: Sandau, Berlin. With Wolf Albach-Retty.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3640/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann / Ufa.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3826/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Hämmerer / Wien Film. From Tatiana.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3826/2, 1941-1944. Photo: Wesel / Berlin-Film.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. W 88. Photo: Berlin Film / Wesel.

Magda Schneider
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. G 151, 1941-1944. Photo: Wesel / Berlin-Film.

Ambitious Mother

After the Second World War, Magda Schneider found that film offers were scarce, and she mainly appeared in guest roles on stage.

The first post-war film in which she was seen was <1>Ein Mann gehört ins Haus/A man belongs in the house (Hubert Marischka, 1948), that was already filmed in 1945.

In the 1950s, she got more film offers, but she decided to focus herself on the film career of her daughter Romy Schneider. Mother and daughter appeared together in Romy's film debut Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht/When the White Lilacs Bloom Again (Hans Deppe, 1953), Mädchenjahre einer Königin/The Story of Vickie (Ernst Marischka, 1954), Die Deutschmeister/A March for the Emperor (Ernst Marischka, 1955), Robinson soll nicht sterben/The Legend of Robinson Crusoe (Josef von Báky, 1956), and Die Halbzarte/Eva (Rolf Thiele, 1958).

Best known of course is the Sissi Trilogy (Ernst Marischka, 1955-1957), based on the life of Elisabeth of Bavaria. Romy Schneider starred in the title role and Magda Schneider played the role of her mother, Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.

In 1953 Magda married Hans Herbert Blatzheim, a Cologne restaurant owner, who died in 1968. Her last appearance for the cameras was in the TV series Drei Frauen im Haus/Three Women in the House (1968) and the sequel Vier Frauen im Haus/Four Women in the House (1969).

In 1982, Magda married cinematographer Horst Fehlhaber. That same year she was awarded the Filmband in Gold. In the last years of her life Magda Schneider had to bear the tragic deaths of her grandson David in 1981 and of her daughter Romy in 1982.

Magda Schneider passed away in 1996 in Berchtesgaden, Germany. She was 87.

Magda Schneider
Lithuanian postcard by Izd. IRA, Riga.

Romy Schneider and Magda Schneider
Dutch postcard. Photo: Melior. Sent by mail in 1957. Photo: publicity still for Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht/When the White Lilacs Bloom Again (Hans Deppe, 1953) with Romy Schneider.

Romy Schneider and Magda Schneider in Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin (1956)
Dutch postcard by Takken, no. 3092. Photo: Filmex NV. Publicity still for Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/Sissi: The Young Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1956) with Romy Schneider.

Romy Schneider and Magda Schneider in Venice
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg. Photo: Ufa/Film-Foto. The photo was made during the shooting of Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin/Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1957) with Romy Schneider.

Final scene of Liebelei (Max Ophüls, 1933). Source: BD130.

German trailer for Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin (Ernst Marischka, 1956). Source: UweundPiaFan (YouTube).

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia, (German), Fippi2000 (IMDb) and IMDb.