Friday, March 29, 2013
Florence Marly (from my unpublished "FADEOUT: The Final Film Of ...")
Nee Hanna Smeklova and hailing from Czechoslovakia, Florence Marly became a French movie star after being discovered studying at the prestigious Sorbonne. Or that is what her publicity claimed and who are we to contradict anything at this late day and age? We know that she escaped the Nazi occupation of Paris ("in the nick of time," of course) and made a couple of films in faraway Argentina before returning to liberated France. By 1949 she had secured a contract with Hollywood's Allied Artists (the former Monogram) and was seen opposite no less than Humphrey Bogart in TOKYO JOE, where she looked Garboesque in an Ingrid Bergman kind of role but without Ingrid's warmth. Yet despite such high profile assignments she kept hightailing it to South America and was at one point suspected of being a communist sympathizer and refused re-entry. That finally cleared she did her fair share of ooh-la-la parts on television, and through marriage to an Austrian nobleman became the Countess Wurmbrand-Stuppach. Off-screen, she feuded with Ursula Andress and was squired around town by (the gay) director Curtis Harrington, who would eventually cast her as his titular QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966). Sadly, she died of a heart attack at the young age of 59.
The Final Film of Florence Marly:
DOCTOR DEATH: SEEKER OF SOULS (Cinerama, 1973) D: Eddie Saeka. CAST: John Considine, Barry Coe, Sheryl Miller, Stewart Moss, Leon Askin, Jo Morrow, Florence Marly (Tana). After answering an ad from a reincarnation expert (Marly), Barry Coe enlists the help of a stage magician cum mystic (Considine) who can bring dead people back to life. Sort of. Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, in his final feature film performance, plays a member of Dr. Death's audience, verifying that the corpse on stage is "sointenly" very dead indeed. Prior to this fiasco, Florence Marly produced, wrote and starred in Space Boy, a science-fiction short subject that still manages to evoke groans among even the most ardent fans of the genre.