Saturday, April 19, 2014

Catherine Spaak: The Year in Review - 1966

1966 Japanese Pinup

Catherine was featured on the cover of the January 28, 1966 edition of Life:

Mademigella di maupin opened well in Italy in January or February, prompting producer Silvio Clementelli to schedule another film with Catherine (what would become Non faccio la guerra, faccio l'amore, filmed in the Fall).
  • The February 16, 1966 Variety (with a February 8, Rome date-line), has an article, "Catherine Spaak's Next."  The article says:  "Success in Italo keys of latest Catherine Spaak starrer, 'Mademoiselle de Maupin,' produced by Silvio Clementelli for Jolly Films, has prompted Clementelli to a rapid followup.  Next on Miss Spaak's slate is 'La Sirena' (The Siren), to be directed by Franco Rossi, with Clementelli producing.  It likely will be via an Italo-Yank pre-production deal which the producer is currently mulling."
In early March, Catherine vacationed with Sabrina at a resort near Turin.  This press photo is dated March 3, 1966:

Here are additional photos from that trip that ran in the March edition of Hola.

By April, Catherine had signed on for her first Hollywood film, Hotel, to be shot in New Orleans and on the Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood.  Catherine arrived in America in the last week of April, and filming began in New Orleans on May 10, with a week of location shooting there, before returning to the Warner Brothers lot for the remainder of the film, which was completed by late June.  Rex Reed came to New Orleans and interviewed Catherine for a profile called "I Am - How You Say? - A Smart Kid" that ran in the N.Y. Times on June 12, 1966.  Reed described Catherine as "Half kittycat go-go girl, half petulant defiance, she is like a sexy lollipop: soft hair the color of maple syrup, man's shirt rolled up to the elbows, lavender-yellow-black op art belt, fuschia-orange-black op art hip-huggers, Indian moccasins and a man's wrist watch." While in California, Catherine lived in a rental home in the hills overlooking L.A.  Catherine also posed for photographs with John Derek while there.  I have never seen any photos attributed to that session.  I wonder whether the modeling/glamour publicity photos used by Warner Brothers for Hotel were photos taken by Derek.  By the end of June, the film was complete, and Catherine returned to Rome with Non faccio la guerra, faccio l'amore as her next scheduled project.  There was at least one report that Warner Brothers had signed Catherine to do a film a year for five years.
  • The April 6, 1966 Variety reported that Catherine had signed for Hotel with Warner Brothers.
  • The April 11, 1966 Variety reported:  "[Hotel] rolls in mid-May, with sked calling for a week of New Orleans location lensing."
  • The April 22, 1966 Variety reported:  "Catherine Spaak due from Europe Monday to check into Warner Bros. 'Hotel.'"
  • The May 6, 1966 Variety reported:  "Rod Taylor and Catherine Spaak to New Orleans tomorrow to start location filming of Warners' 'Hotel.'"
  • Several issues of Variety reported that Hotel started filming on May 10.
  • The May 27, 1966 Variety reported:   "Catherine Spaak, at WB for 'Hotel,' says her next pic (Italian) translates as 'How To Make A Baby,' but undoubtedly gained something in the translation."
  • The June 3, 1966 Variety reported:  "Italo 'Baby' for Spaak - Catherine Spaak, currently working in 'Hotel' at Warners, yesterday was signed for 'Do You Know How to Make a Baby?' which Franco Rossi will direct in Rome and Yugoslavia."
  • The June 6, 1966 Variety reported:  "Dick Quine clipped off an entire day's 'Hotel' lensing in one take Friday - giving the company plenty of time to ready the lavish $300,000 hotel set for a bash which intro'd fourth estaters to New Orleans' treats such as - sazeracs...Other 'Hotel' treats on hand included co-star Catherine Spaak whom Quine hopes to also star in his next.  He describes her as a combination Audrey Hepburn and Virna Lisi.  Howzat for a combination?"
  • The June 9, 1966 Variety reported:  "John Derek lensed Catherine Spaak - not for Playboy as he did ex-wife Ursula Andress - but purely portrait."
  • I have seen a press photo associated with Hotel, dated June 11, 1966, which states in the caption that Catherine Spaak "has been signed by Warner Brothers for a film a year for five years."  I have not seen that reported anywhere else.
  • The June 22, 1966 Variety reported:  "Actress Catherine Spaak, niece of former Belgian premier Paul-Henri Spaak, claims she has ties with three different countries, so she played hostess on the set of Warners' 'Hotel' last week to the consuls-general of Belgium, France, and Italy."
  • The June 28, 1966 Variety reported:   "Catherine Spaak back to Rome after winding part in WB's 'Hotel,' to begin Italian pic, 'Do You Enow How To Make A Baby?'"
  • The July 6, 1966 Variety reported:   "Catherine Spaak returned to Rome after winding role in WB's 'Hotel.'" 
Here are some pictures of Catherine at her rental home in Los Angeles (from an article in the Spanish magazine Hola):

Here is part of an article about Catherine's work in America:

Based on the above pictures, it appears that these two pictures are of Catherine while in California working:

On a personal sidenote, it's interesting to me that my future favorite actress arrived in America to make her one and only Hollywood film during the week that I was born, and within days she started filming in the same region of the U.S. in which I was born.

Weekend at Dunkirk had its U.S. premiere in New York City on May 18, 1966.

Catherine's father, Charles Spaak remarried a much younger woman in August.  Catherine did not attend the wedding, but the excuse of being in Hollywood making a film doesn't seem to hold water, based on the reporting noted above.
  • The August 22, 1966 Variety reported on the marriage of Catherine's father:   "Vet screenwriter Charles Spaak, 63, married a non-pro Janine Couet, 28. His daughter, Catherine, 21, missed the wedding since she is in Hollywood making a film."
I'm not positive, but I think that this may be a picture of the happy couple:

 By the end of the summer, Catherine appeared at the Venice Film Festival, and she spent September and October working on Non faccio la guerra, faccio l'amore along the coast of Spain and in Yugoslavia.
  • The August 31, 1966 Variety reported that Catherine was among the roster of stars scheduled to appear at the Venice Film Festival.
  • The September 14, 1966 Variety reported:   "Catherine Spaak working on boat for Franco Rosi and his pic, 'I Make Love, Not War'."
  • The October 5, 1966 Variety reported:   "Catherine Spaak, Philipe Leroy to Yugoslavia for windup work on 'I Make Love, Not War'." 
  • The November 16, 1966 Variety reported:  Frank Wolff wound feature role in 'Make Love, Not War' opposite Catherine Spaak, hiked to Nice and Madrid locations for 'Please Don't Shoot the Cannon' with Rosella Como and Gerard Landry." 
Catherine was scheduled to appear in Dino Risi's Il tigre with Vittorio Gassman, but apparently that fell through for some reason.  The film was released in 1967 with Ann-Margret as the leading lady.  Perhaps she was considered a better draw for American audiences.
  • The October 24, 1966 Variety reported:  "Tiger' Role For Spaak. Catherine Spaak has been cast in 'The Tiger,' joining Vittorio Gassman in film to be directed by Dino Risi." 
The December 21, 1966 Variety reported on going rates for actors and directors in Italy.  Catherine was reported to command $100,000 per picture (compared to Virna Lisi and Claudia Cardinale at $300,000 and Gina Lollobrigida and Monica Vitti at $200,000).  Back in 1963, press reports speculated that Catherine was fetching $250,000 per film, so I don't know if that higher amount was just press smoke or whether Catherine's rate had dropped by 1966.  It does not seem likely that her rate would have dropped that much, considering how her films had been performing, so it would seem that the $250,000 figure may have been inflated.

At some point during 1966, Ricordi released Ieri/Vent'anni o poco piu as a single.  Ieri is Catherine's version of The Beatles' Yesterday.  Here are the only images that I have been able to find for that record:

I have not been able to find out the story behind this appearance, but here is a youtube clip of Catherine performing Vent'anni o poco piu on television in 1966:

Here are some pictures/clippings for which I do not have an exact date, but they appear to be from around 1966:

Japanese clippings/pinups from 1966:

An odd poster from 1966:

Japanese clippings that look to be from around 1966:

A Japanese clipping from 1967, but the picture looks to be from 1966:

Magazines from 1966:

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