05 January, 2009


From Jess Franco to...

...Joe D'Amato, Edmund Purdom worked with the two most prolific creators of European Trash Cinema [*Original Italian advert for THE MONSTER HUNTER]

Narrated by Edmund Purdom, one of a number of "Mondo" type films to which he lent his voice...

"It's The Dean!"

Michael Curtiz's 1954 epic redefined "wooden"....

In this personal favorite Purdom hunted a homicidal genetic mutant played by "George Eastman"

Prudom had a busy 50 year career with roles in many genres...

Ready to kick butt!

Fitting right into the Poliziotteschi genre as Luigi, the brutal Mafia boss in MR. SCARFACE (US title), Purdom used even more greasy hair cream than nemesis Jack Palance!

As Teddy, an Internal Affairs investigator, Purdom had an unnerving smile plastered on his face throughout this sleazy, obscure 1974 Paolo Lombardo contribution to his Poliziotteschi filmography.

Edmund was definitely over-the-top as the demented King Sveno in this Mario Bava/Giacomo Gentilomo Vichingo.

Edmund Purdom, the British stage, screen and voice actor passed away at the age of 84on Jan. 1, 2009 in Rome, Italy. After appearing on stage in England as a performer in Olivier's company he came to Hollywood where he made his film debut [uncredited] in TITANIC (1953), ironically, according to the IMDB, his last work was as a voice actor in TITANIC: THE ANIMATED MOVIE (2001).

Some will remember him for his early roles in such early 1950's Hollywood spectacles as THE STUDENT PRINCE and THE EGYPTIAN. He seemed rather stiff and uncomfortable in those. I think he was much more suited to (and seemed to be having a lot more fun with) the wide variety of roles he later played in numerous European B genre films. These include Riccardo Freda's 1957 thriller AGGUATO A TANGERI, where he delivers a quite dull performance, the Giacomo Gentilomo-Mario Bava adventure LAST OF THE VIKINGS, in which he atrociously overacts as the mad King Sveno, to the murderous Dean in the notorious PIECES (1981). Then there were the two Jess Franco films in which he appeared opposite William Berger: as Admiral Marlowe UN CAPITAN DE QUINCE ANOS (1972) and as Inspector Crosby LOS OJOS SINIESTROS DEL DOCTOR ORLOFF (1973). A few years ago I recorded an unpublished interview with one of the other actors in Franco's LOS OJOS... who shared with me that Purdom, while professional, was not an easy actor to work with.

I have always enjoyed watching Purdom in whatever he's in but especially his European Trash Cinema appearances. One of my favorites of his ETC roles was his obsessed Greek priest, the title character in Joe D'Amato's THE MONSTER HUNTER, the US Wizard video retitling of ROSSO SANGUE (1981).

What is your favorite Edmund Purdom performance?

(c) Robert Monell, 2009


Stephen Grimes said...

His narration of the Sergio Martino mondo WAGES OF SIN is very entertaining,he's also pretty good in THOMAS E GLI INDEMONIATI made around the same time.

Robert Monell said...

Haven't seen those but would like to.