Friday, March 24, 2017
FRIDAY FEMME FATALE: MYLENE DEMONGEOT
In the period between the late 50s and mid-70s, Europe supplied many beauties for appearance on the silver screen with portrayals as Greek goddesses, spy girls and eye-candy in giallo films. Mylene Demongeot was one of them. She played in precious few of our beloved genre films, but is nevertheless more than worthy of attention.
Perhaps her most popular role in this regard is playing Andromeda opposite Steve Reeves in the 1959 peplum film co-produced by France and Italy, THE GIANT OF METROPOLIS (La battaglia di Maratona).
Jaques Tourneur, who had directed a series of very effective horror films in the 1940s (CAT PEOPLE, etc.) bowed out in the middle of directing this film after declining a contract extension. Mario Bava, who was the cameraman, was asked to step in and finish the directorial duties. Galatea Film rewarded Bava's efforts by allowing him to develop his own project. The name of the film would be BLACK SUNDAY (1960).
In her biography, Miss Demongeot claimed that Steve Reeves was only making films to earn the money for a ranch and horses. She also said that Reeves physical appearance was "show muscle", and he barely had the strength to lift her. According to her, Tourneur seemed to be not interested in working on this film and gave most of the directorial work over to Bruno Vaïlati.
Shown below is a photo spread of the then very popular Mylene Demongeot from the October, 1965 issue of CONTINENTAL FILM REVIEW.