19 June, 2007

Happy Birthday, Rosalba Neri!

The legendary Italian actress [aka Sara Bay] suffers her destiny in Silvio Amadio's ALLA RICERCA DEL PIACERE/AMUCK!/MANIAC MANSION/LEATHER AND WHIPS. Not a very nice Birthday picture, but she's very wicked in this memorably twisted giallo. Made in 1971, with Farley Granger and Barbara Bouchet in the lead roles, the plot, characters and even the quirky music score have recycled countless times (a certain Coen Bros. comedy uses a classic cue).

It's definitely Rosalba all the way.
Hard to believe that she's 68 today!

I think my favorite of her performances is as the pathetic nymphomaniac in Fernando Di Leo's SLAUGHTER HOTEL. And there are many other films of this era in which she dominates the proceedings even in minor roles, often stealing the film from the female lead. She's in full bloom in AMUCK!.

I loved you in EVERYTHING you were in, my dear Rosalba....

A graduate of Italy's prestigious C.S.C., she embodied so many favorite characters in European popular cinema from the mid 1950s to the mid 1980s. Nearly 100 roles in films and TV.

She's terrific in her roles for Jess Franco [but she's always terrific, isn't she?]:

Yaka, the Albanian Police official in LUCKY THE INSCRUTABLE.

Lisa, the sullen enforcer dressed in a man's suit and Fez in THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU.

Zoe, #76 in 99 WOMEN.

The cultist in JUSTINE.

There's nobody remotely like her in contemporary cinema.

(C) Robert Monell, 2007


Marc said...

Congratulations Rosalba! I love her too. Her most memorable movie to me is Slaughter Hotel, where she really sets the screen onfire with her amazing sex appeal.

I still haven't seen Amuck unfortunately, but I did meet her co-star Barbara Bouchet recently at a convention. She aged very gracefully and looks all class but still hot in a 60+ kinda way :-o

scott said...

..and the mother of the very beautiful Francesca Neri, who stole my heart in Bigas Luna's LAS EDADES DE LULU.

Robert Monell said...

This needs a proper R1 DVD release. The old prerecord I have is fullscreen. I also have the 2.35:1 LEATHER AND WHIPS which omits about 20m!

Robert Monell said...

And I'm jealous that you got to meet La Bouchet, Marc!

Mirek said...

I love Rosalba. My kind of woman.

I also saw Bouchet at a convention (in NY state several years ago). Still striking.

Jeremy Richey said...

Great post,
I love Rosalba also and wish more of her films would find a dvd release here in the states. i love the interview with her on the "Amuck" disc, she is so charming.
"The Seducers" with her and Edwige Fenech is one of my most wanted on dvd. The VHS I have of it is such poor quality but seeing these two together in it remains incredible no matter how bad the quality is.
thanks for posting on one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the screen...

Marc said...

I don't think she's Francesca Neri's mother though. Isn't that a common misconception?

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for your comments, Jeremy. I've seen THE SEDUCERS only via a poor quality VHS, but it's very very amusing and a Eurosleaze must-see. There's also the very odd L'AMANTE DEL DEMONIO from 1971 with Edmund Purdom and Robert Woods. Robert wanted to tell me about that the last time I talked with him, but we didn't get around to it.

Robert Monell said...

And I don't know about Francesca Neri's parentage. Maybe someone can enlighten us on that?

scott said...

There's way too many references online citing Francesca as her daughter to be a misconception. They even look alike..

Decadesman said...

She's almost as old as my mom!
I think Seducers/Top Sensation was her best