Netherlands Cocktail Party for “Lisa” June 20, 1961 – Photo Pics of Dolores Hart and Stephen Boyd in Amsterdam

These are some of my favorite pictures of Stephen Boyd and Dolores Hart together – from the Netherlands National Archive website. They attended this cocktail party together in Amsterdam to promote the filming of “Lisa” in June of 1961.


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For more about Dolores Hart and Stephen Boyd, see

Stephen Boyd in “War of Nerves”, Television Chrysler Theater Program 1964

During Stephen’s 1960’s fame, he filmed 3 television programs – “To The Sound of Trumpets” for Playhouse 90, “The Wall Between” for General Electric, and “War of Nerves” for the Bob Hope Presents Chrysler Theater.  You can view “To the Sound of Trumpets” at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. I have yet to find the a copy of “The Wall Between” (more information to come on that in a future blog). But luckily his performance in “War of Nerves” is actually available to view for free on YouTube! See below for the link!

Stephen filmed this program just after finishing “The Fall of the Roman Empire” in Europe. He came back to Hollywood to film this TV show during the summer of 1963, before returning to Europe to start work on “The Third Secret” with Pamela Franklin. The program aired on network television on January 3, 1964.  This Chrysler Theater show was actually directed by renowned film director Sydney Pollack (very early in his career), and also features French icon Louis Jourdan in a small role. The film is set in Paris (or Hollywood’s set version of Paris), and revolves around the actions of the French terror group the O.A.S. Nowadays, many people have never heard of the O.A.S., but back in the 1960’s they were very prevalent. The O.A.S. was a right-wing paramilitary group which sprang into being in 1961 after Algeria won her independence from France.  Stephen’s character, Robert MacKay, is an American living in Paris studying architecture. He encounters a mysterious and lovely student, played by Monique LeMaire, in a French café, then witnesses an assassination. He becomes entangled in the identification of the assassin, and subsequently becomes a target of the O.A.S. himself.  Louis Jourdan plays the evil mastermind behind the O.A.S. activities, and Monique LeMaire is eventually softened by MacKay’s innocence and persistence, leaving behind her harsh idealism about the O.A.S.

Stephen is almost overly muted in this performance, which goes along with how he was acting during this time. His characters in “The Fall of the Roman Empire”, “War of Nerves” and the “The Third Secret” almost mirror each other – the quiet, contemplative hero. But Stephen was also criticized during this time for being ‘dull’ on screen. After hearing those reviews, Stephen took it upon himself to totally change his screen performance in the mid-60’s, which can be seen in both “Genghis Khan” and “The Oscar”. He looks great in this production, although you can tell that his forehead was shaved higher, which makes him look different than his normal cinema persona. In fact, his hair is still growing back during the filming of “The Third Secret”. I am not sure why the studio though it necessary to do this- maybe to make him look less villainous?

The reviews of the production were very good when this was televised. This just preceded the release of “Fall of the Roman Empire” in April of 1964.

View “War of Nerves” on YouTube…

Season 1 episode 12 of the anthology series “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre”, directed by Sydney Pollack, with Stephen Boyd, Monique LeMaire, Émile Genest, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Marsac, Jacques Roux, Bernie Hamilton et al. Original air date: 3 January 1964.


“Stephen Boyd is glad he escaped ‘Cleopatra’ role with Liz Taylor” by Sheila Graham, 1962

Below, a photo from EBay by Terri Arden of Stephen in March 1961. Stephen was required to go blonde for the role of Anthony in “Cleopatra” as the original director of the project, Rouben Mamoulian, did not want Boyd to resemble his “Ben Hur” character Messala in any way. Interestingly, Boyd would get a bleach job again as Livius for the filming of “The Fall of the Roman Empire” in 1963 – another Roman role.

Tacitus on the battle in the Teutoburg Forest


Lucius Stertinius was dispatched by Germanicus with a flying column and routed the Bructeri as they were burning their possessions, and amid the carnage and plunder, found the eagle [4] of the nineteenth legion which had been lost with Varus. The troops were then marched to the furthest frontier of the Bructeri, and all the country between the rivers Amisia [Ems] and Lupia was ravaged, not far from the forest of Teutoburg where the remains of Varus and his legions were said to lie unburied.


Germanicus upon this was seized with an eager longing to pay the last honor to those soldiers and their general, while the whole army present was moved to compassion by the thought of their kinsfolk and friends, and, indeed, of the calamities of wars and the lot of mankind. Having sent on Caecina in advance to reconnoiter the obscure forest-passes, and to raise bridges and causeways over watery swamps and treacherous plains, they visited the mournful scenes, with their horrible sights and associations.


Varus’ first camp with its wide circumference and the measurements of its central space clearly indicated the handiwork of three legions. Further on, the partially fallen rampart and the shallow fosse suggested the inference that it was a shattered remnant of the army which had there taken up a position. In the center of the field [5] were the whitening bones of men, as they had fled, or stood their ground, strewn everywhere or piled in heaps. Near lay fragments of weapons and limbs of horses, and also human heads, prominently nailed to trunks of trees. In the adjacent groves were the barbarous altars, on which they had immolated tribunes and first-rank centurions.


Some survivors of the disaster who had escaped from the battle or from captivity, described how this was the spot where the officers fell, how yonder the eagles were captured, where Varus was pierced by his first wound, where too by the stroke of his own ill-starred hand he found for himself death. They pointed out too the raised ground from which Arminius had harangued his army, the number of gibbets for the captives, the pits for the living, and how in his exultation he insulted the standards and eagles. 


And so the Roman army now on the spot, six years after the disaster, in grief and anger, began to bury the bones of the three legions, not a soldier knowing whether he was interring the relics of a relative or a stranger, but looking on all as kinsfolk and of their own blood, while their wrath rose higher than ever against the foe. In raising the barrow Caesar laid the first sod, rendering thus a most welcome honor to the dead, and sharing also in the sorrow of those present.

[Indulging in a little fantasy, my two favorite subjects; ancient Roman history and photos from Stephen’s movie The Fall of the Roman Empire]

For a great novel based on the events of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 a.d., read this excellent book “Give me back my Legions!” By Harry Turtledove.