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LawrenceA

Valentina Cortese (1923-2019)

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Italian actress Valentina Cortese has died. Beginning her film career in the early 1940's, she later appeared in American films including Thieves Highway (1948), Malaya (1949), The House on Telegraph Hill (1951), and The Barefoot Contessa (1953), among many others. Later in life she acted in Juliet of the Spirits (1965), The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968), Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), Jesus of Nazareth (1977), and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Day for Night (1973). 

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I've only seen Cortese in Thieves Highway, and she was very good. I found her intriguing, but I'm not sure why.

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44 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

I've only seen Cortese in Thieves Highway, and she was very good. I found her intriguing, but I'm not sure why.

Perhaps because you, like myself, have always found MANY Italian women or women of Italian descent, "intriguing"?!  ;)

And in MY case, enough to marry one of 'em.

(...the latter sort, that is)

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10 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Perhaps because you, like myself, have always found MANY Italian women or women of Italian descent, "intriguing"?!  ;)

And in MY case, enough to marry one of 'em.

(...the latter sort, that is)

Well, that's true about Italian women, and it also helps that I'm Italian. But I don't think her ancestry had anything to do with it. It was probably more related to the part she played.

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Ingrid Bergman's April 1975 Academy Award Acceptance Speech Winning for "Murder on the Orient Express"

Thank you very much indeed. It's always very nice to get an Oscar. But in the past he has shown that he is very forgetful and also has the wrong timing. Because last year when "Day and Night" won for the best picture I couldn't believe it that Valentina Cortese was not nominated, because she gave the most beautiful performance. [Finds Cortese in the audience:] There you are! She gave the most beautiful performance that all we actresses recognized because, after all, we have all forgotten our lines and always open the wrong doors, and it was wonderful to see her do it so beautifully. Therefore I am... It's so ironic that this year she's nominated when the picture won last year. I don't quite understand that, but here I am and I'm her rival and I don't like it at all. Please forgive me, Valentina. I didn't mean to. Thank you.

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Valentina Cortese was married to Richard /basehart during the 1950s.  She wrote about his infidelities in her autobiography written a few years ago. Her only child . JACK BASEHART died from a complicated PARKINSONS TYPE of illness in 2015.

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She was memorably stylish in "Day For Night" and "Juliet of the Spirits".

RIP, Miss Cortese.

She met and married Richard Basehart.

He moved with her to Italy, where he made "La Strada".

D148-04.JPG

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My in-laws were big fans of Miss Cortese,  while I only know her from the Bogie \ Gardner film The Barefoot Contessa.

I'll have to check out some of her other films. 

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James, I'd recommend Thieves' Highway, where Valentina Cortese has a very sexy scene with Richard Conte. All within the standards of the times, but actually sexier than many more explicit films. The House on Telegraph Hill has been shown on TCM, too. It's less striking than Thieves' Highway, but a solid and enjoyable film. She has a fun scene in Day for Night (mentioned above). You might want to ignore The Legend of Lylah Clare unless you have a weakness for bad campy movies. The badness isn't due to Cortese, but to the script.

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I feel nearly ashamed for not knowing her better, considering the films she has been in. But that face was familiar enough to recognize her from Le Amiche (1955) a BW film by Antonioni that i viewed within the last six months. For some unfathomable reason this very fine movie was not listed in her filmography on her Wikipedia page (in fact, everything she may have done between 1954-61 is not there). Says the Wiki page for the movie, however, "Le Amiche received the Venice Film Festival Silver Lion Award in 1955, and the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon Award for Best Director (Michelangelo Antonioni) and Best Supporting Actress (Valentina Cortese)." I thought she was certainly fine, but I was surprised to learn that she received that distinction since she was only one of a very fine ensemble cast and did not get as much screen time as some of the others.  But I certainly won’t argue the point. RIP.

 

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I'm sorry it's taking her death to make me aware of all these career connections of hers. I pretty much only know her from that famous door opening scene in Day for Night. I have seen The Barefoot ContessaJuliet of the Spirits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but I don't specifically remember her from these films. Now I want to watch them again!

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9 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

 and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but I don't specifically remember her from these films.

She was a giant head floating around on the moon, being chased by Robin Williams.

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MV5BNzA3MDYwNDE2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjM3

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What a coincidence they are showing Thieves Highway on Noir Alley this wknd.

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On 7/10/2019 at 2:11 PM, RoyCronin said:

Ingrid Bergman's April 1975 Academy Award Acceptance Speech Winning for "Murder on the Orient Express"

Thank you very much indeed. It's always very nice to get an Oscar. But in the past he has shown that he is very forgetful and also has the wrong timing. Because last year when "Day and Night" won for the best picture I couldn't believe it that Valentina Cortese was not nominated, because she gave the most beautiful performance. [Finds Cortese in the audience:] There you are! She gave the most beautiful performance that all we actresses recognized because, after all, we have all forgotten our lines and always open the wrong doors, and it was wonderful to see her do it so beautifully. Therefore I am... It's so ironic that this year she's nominated when the picture won last year. I don't quite understand that, but here I am and I'm her rival and I don't like it at all. Please forgive me, Valentina. I didn't mean to. Thank you.

Here you can see Ms. Cortese's response to Ms. Bergman's gracious remarks.

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47 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Here you can see Ms. Cortese's response to Ms. Bergman's gracious remarks

No actor or actress would think this, but that tribute in a way is just as impressive as actually winning the Award. What lovely remarks! So glad you posted this.

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3 hours ago, Hibi said:

What a coincidence they are showing Thieves Highway on Noir Alley this wknd.

Yeah, Eddie mentioned she was "the apple of his eye" during the outro.

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On 7/10/2019 at 4:15 PM, arpirose said:

Valentina Cortese was married to Richard /basehart during the 1950s.  She wrote about his infidelities in her autobiography written a few years ago. Her only child . JACK BASEHART died from a complicated PARKINSONS TYPE of illness in 2015.

Adm. Harriman Nelson was a sailor afterall.

:)

Image result for richard basehart admiral nelson

 

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I was always fascinated by Travelin' Man is sort of a snapshot documentary on just how far we were willing to accept interracial romance in 1961. Ricky mentions a lot of different ports of call where he could love up on women of different skin colors than his own. But he certainly didn't mention stopping anywhere in Africa. That would have gotten the song banned in the entire southern half of the country, if not the entire country.

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21 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I was always fascinated by Travelin' Man is sort of a snapshot documentary on just how far we were willing to accept interracial romance in 1961. Ricky mentions a lot of different ports of call where he could love up on women of different skin colors than his own. But he certainly didn't mention stopping anywhere in Africa. That would have gotten the song banned in the entire southern half of the country, if not the entire country.

So, you think that would've caused it to be banned on the airwaves back then, do ya sewhite?

Well, perhaps you don't know that this song was written by its songwriter Jerry Fuller with hopes that the great Sam Cooke might record it. But, Sam's manager passed on the whole idea and so it went to Ricky.

(...and I'll betcha the reason Sam's manager gave it a pass wasn't because he thought the song didn't have a catchy tune and/or that Sam couldn't have done it justice, if ya know what I mean)

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Wow, definitely didn't know that Dargo. Not sure how that would have gone down with the public. I mean, Tiger Wood's dad was an African-American who I believe came home from military service with a Thai wife.

But I think what white America would have found most horrifying at that time would be the idea of a wholesome white man like Ricky going overseas an romancing an African woman. The Asians and Pacific Islanders after movies like South Pacific actually seemed to be okay with the public.

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