Monday, December 5, 2016

Born Today December 5: E. or Eugenie Marlitt


Friederieke Henirette Christiane Eugenie John was born on this day in Arnstadt.  Her father was a popular portrait painter, and as such, his daughter would gain a patron in the Princess of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen after studying music with her.  She was sent to court in Vienna for three years because she was such a fine singer; while there she attended the Vienna Conservatory focusing on opera.  However, she became completely deaf after a virulent ear infection and returned to her patroness in Sonderhausen 1853.  The Princess then suggested that she take up novel writing as all her correspondence was so well penned.  For the purposes of writing, she returned to the birth town.  She published under the name E. Marlitt (or, rarely, as Eugenie Marlitt). Her works spanned between 1864 and 1874 and comprised both short stories and novels.  He works were exclusively published in Die Gartenlaube and were so popular that subscriptions doubled during the time that he works appeared in the publication. More that half of the films that used her novels for source material were produced in the silent era, with the first in 1917:  Im Hause des Kommerzienrats.  The last silent film to use her work for the basis of a screenplay was Das Geheimnis der alten Mamsell in 1925.  The first sound film to use  her work came in 1945 just before the end of the second world war and was produced in Mexico.  The most recent use of her work in a film was in 1985 and was made in what was then West Germany.  She died of natural causes in her hometown on the 22nd of June in 1887 and wad buried in the cemetery there.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

13 Days Of Creepmas: Vintage Christmas "Wierdness"

13 Days Of Creepmas: Scrooge or Marley's Ghost (1901)

This is the very first film treatment of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas ghost story.  

Born Today December 3: Ludvig Holberg


Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg was born on this date in Bergen Denmark-Norway (now exclusively part of Norway).  He was a playwright, philosopher, essayist and historian.  He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen and taught himself languages, history and law.  During this period, it was customary for law students to travel abroad for purposes of study; it was his travels that lead to an interest in writing.  Though he wrote prolifically in philosophy and history, it is his comedic plays that became of interest to the world of film (he was also a prodigious writer of satirical poetry).  The first film to make use of his work for a narrative production came in 1908 with Jeppe paa bjerget, a short Danish film produced by Nordisk Film.  One other film in the silent era made use of his plays for a screenplay:  Skomakarprinsen (1920), a feature length comedy produced in Sweden.   The latest film to use is work for a screenplay came in 2002, with a made for television film in Denmark, Jean de France. A lifelong bachelor, Holberg died in Copenhagen Denmark-Norway (now the capital of Denmark) on the 28th January 1754 at the age of 69.  He is interred in an elaborate crypt in Sorø klosterkirke (Church of Soroe Cloister) in Sjaelland, Denmark.  For more on his highly influential life, follow the link to Wikipedia below.  

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Born Today November 13: Hermione Baddeley


Hermione Youlanda Ruby Clinton-Baddeley was born on this date in Shropshire, England, UK.  She is best know stateside for her numerous television roles in the 1970's, as well as supporting roles in films like Mary Poppins (1964) and Alister Sims' A Christmas Carol.  Though very well known for these roles, and her recurring role as Mrs. Naugatuck opposite Bea Arthur in the series Maude, Baddeley actually started acting in films in the late 1920's and had stage career before that.  Her first film appearance came in 1927 in the role of "Calamity Kate" in the British silent comedy A Daughter In Revolt.  She made one other silent film in 1928 entitled Guns Of Loos, which was set during World War I.  She would go on to be one of the great female character actors of her generation.  Starting in the 1940's she also forged a long stage working career with playwright satirist Noel Coward. During the span of her career, she was nominated for both a Tony award and an Oscar (as a point of trivia: her Oscar nomination came for Best Supporting Actress for Room At The Top (1959), hers was the shortest performance time to ever be nominated for that category.).  She continued to work right up until the time of her death.  She passed away in California on 19 August 1986 after a series of small strokes.  She was 79 years of age.  Though she died in the U.S., her remains were shipped back to her home country and interred there in the St. Mary and St. Melor Parish churchyard in Wiltshire. 

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