Happy Birthday Marisa Mell! (Feb 24, 1939)

What Happens When a Cancer Meets a Scorpio?

Stephen Boyd and Marisa Mell made a splendidly handsome couple during their brief romantic relationship and marriage in 1971. Since they both were quite convinced about the power of astrology, I think the below summary of their two water signs is pretty apt. Stephen was a Cancer sign, and Marisa was a Scorpio.

IMG-022

“The element of Water is associated with the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, and it also rules the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Houses. … Water signs are intuitive and sensitive, and they feel more intensely than the rest. They are emotional and nurturing, and like a river, they run deep… When Cancer and Scorpio make a love match, the resulting relationship draws together the energies of two emotionally intense Signs. They both see life as a passionate and deeply emotionally exercise of human connection. The Moon (Emotion) rules Cancer, while Mars (Passion) and Pluto (Power) both rule Scorpio. A relationship between a Cancer and a Scorpio can go from one extreme to another, and although Cancer partner will try hard to stabilize it, it might be too difficult if Scorpio doesn’t have enough respect for their own emotions. When they find an emotional link, they can go very deep in search of true love, and unite on a level that is unreachable for other zodiac signs. This can make them speak without words, understand each other’s thoughts with only one shared glance and be synchronized in their approach to their future together. These Signs feel a strong sexual attraction, and when they are together the temperature in the room tends to rise! (www.astrology.com)

If their emotions aren’t shared on a deepest possible level, or Scorpio partner refuses to deal with them, it could be too hard for Cancer to handle the self-destructive nature of their partner. Their connection needs to be sincere and pure, in order for both of them to be ready to give in to this intense emotional contact. (http://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/compatibility/cancer-scorpio/)

CANCER AND SCORPIO

Cancer

Cancer and Scorpio match

Cancer

Screenshot_20171119-080156~01~01.png

IMG_0016-010

IMG_0009-010IMG_0013-010

Stephen Boyd & Marisa Mell in “Marta”, 1971

Stephen Boyd is hoping he has better luck with “Marta,” shooting in Spain, than he did with “Imperial Venus,” which he filmed some seasons back with that Venus Gina Lollobrigida.

In Marta, Stephen ‘s playing his first nude love scene since his “Venus” endeavor, though American audiences would never know it. Venus was never released in the U.S. The Customs Service seized and held onto the print. That must have been some nude scene! (The Ithaca Journal, January 26, 1971)

In early 1971 Stephen Boyd traveled to Madrid to begin filming a production of “Marta”, a Giallo inspired Gothic romance about madness and obsession. The movie was based on a play “Estado Civil” written in 1969. The film involved love scenes with co-star and Austrian beauty Marisa Mell which required both stars take off their clothes, a situation all too familiar to Boyd! The first time Stephen encountered this was with French icon Brigitte Bardot in “The Night Heaven Fell (1958)” early on in his movie career. Miss Bardot, however, did most of the stripping down. “The Night Heaven Fell” was only shown in the USA as an “Adults Only” screening. Four years later Stephen was cast in a somewhat haphazard Italian production of “Imperial Venus (1962)” with Gina Lollobrigida. During this film it was Boyd who had to strip down to nothing under a bedroom sheet. Stephen was not pleased. Despite the sheet, “Imperial Venus” was still censored and banned from release in America. By the time “Marta” was released, the 1960’s had taken its toll on what was considered allowable on the movie screen. Nudity and rough language were no longer just exclusive to European audiences. Films had drastically changed. Still, the international version of “Marta” was initially censored, this time in Europe, in countries like Spain! “Marta” was eventually released both in Europe and in America after some extensive cuts.

“There were very serious problems…We had to make a lot of cuts. There was a specific scene that cost us a good deal. We did not realize during the … mixes because many of the scenes were positive in black and white, but the final copy in color, once finished, which the censors saw, contained a scene after all the cuts… in which Mell revealed everything under a thin nightgown. The worst thing is that we could not cut that, because it was an important scene, it was not one of those that we had more or less planned for the international version, and it was necessary to follow the story.” (José Antonio Nieves Conde (director) interview from Die Feuerblume (Marisa Mell Biography) by André Schneider, Page 335)

Below are some tactfully edited snippets from the unedited production and some very nice cast shots of Stephen Boyd and Marisa Mell on the set of “Marta” in and around Viñuelas Castle in Spain. Mell is sporting both a blonde wig and her own long dark tresses, as she played a dual role in the film. This was the beginning of a very special relationship Stephen Boyd had with actress Marisa Mell. You can certainly see the chemistry they had together both on and off the screen!

martacloseupp.jpg

martatable.jpg

martalaugh.jpg

martahand.jpg

1117278582

martacastlefun.jpg

martacastlee.jpg

martashoulder.jpgmartashoulder.jpg

Fullscreen capture 12292015 70951 PM.bmp - Copy

Marisa Mell Censored IMG_0003

MarisaMell Censored IMG_0003 (1) - Copy

MarisaMell Censored IMG_0003 (2) - Copy

MarisaMellDevoreuseDhommesIMG_0005-001 (2) - Copy.jpg
MarisaMellDevoreuseDhommesIMG_0005-001 (7) - Copy

MarisaMellDevoreuseDhommesIMG_0005-001 (9)

“I’m a completely practical actor” – Stephen Boyd interview from 1973

This is a fascinating article that really makes you realize what a working, adaptable actor Stephen Boyd was – and a survivor!

“I’m not Laurence Olivier. I’m a completely practical actor. I have a commodity value and sometimes I get close to the limit of my value, sometimes not. But I don’t overprice myself. Even if I won an Oscar, I wouldn’t change my price.”

Stephen Boyd Likes U.S. Best

By Bob Thomas, Associated Press Writer

Mar 1, 1973

Hollywood (AP) – “No matter what it says on my passport, I consider this my home. I’d like to stay here all the time, but how can I, when all the film-making is elsewhere?”

Irish born Stephen Boyd admits that is he “one of those rare birds among actors.” Whenever he has time between films abroad, he returns to his house in nearby Tarzana.

The last seven years of Boyd’s career comprise a case study in a film star’s survival, one which other actors might profit from studying. Particularly those who are sitting beside their swimming pools, waiting for their agents to call.

Stephen Boyd, now 44, became a star with his powerful performance as Messala in “Ben-Hur.” He finished a nine-year contract with 20th Century Fox with “Fantastic Voyage,” then played the lead in “The Oscar.” That proved to be his last Hollywood film.

“It was in 1966 and the studios were shutting down,” he recalled. “I decided I didn’t want to wait for my agent to telephone. I saw what independent producers were doing, especially abroad, and I made up my mind to join them.”

Boyd formed a partnership with English producer Euan Lloyd, and they worked for 18 months on projects that never reached fruition. Then he decided to avail himself of the lush field of film making in Europe.

“During the past two and a half years,” he said, “I have made nine films – for Italian, English, French, Australian, American companies and two co-productions of Italy and Spain.

Stephen Boyd (R) during the filming of ‘Kill’, directed by Roman Gary, 1971, Madrid, Spain. (Photo Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)

“Some, Like ‘Kill, Kill, Kill,’ will be released in this country, some may not. The Italian-Spanish films were aimed strictly at the Latin market – they’re more emotional, overdone, theatrical.

“The Italian producers don’t even concern themselves with the American market any more: they’ve been cheated too many times by American producers. They can do all right on their own. One of my Italian-Spanish films, ‘Marta,’ made $780,000 in its first seven weeks.”

martaimgwatermark.action.jpg
Stephen Boyd mingles at a “Marta” event in Madrid, 1971

Some American stars have despaired of entering the jungle of European independent production, but Boyd said he had encountered no real problems. He goes over each contract with care and retains the English speaking rights for his own company.

“Language is no problem,” he said, ”I make all of the films in English, and the foreign languages can be dubbed in later. I understand Italian and French, and I’ve found that you can get along with any language if you know your own language well.

“There’s no problem with budgets, either. Most of them run around $750,000, which represents more than a million- dollar film made in Hollywood. The reason is that union and overhead charges are such that a million-dollar picture in Hollywood only provides $630,000 of entertainment on the screen.”

Spanish Clippings (8)~01.jpg
Maria Mahor, Stephen Boyd and Analia Gade at “A Million For a Blonde” premiere event in Madrid (1971?)

Boyd declined to discuss his earnings from European films, but he obviously earns more than when he was a contract actor. He is realistic about his position:

“I’m not Laurence Olivier. I’m a completely practical actor. I have a commodity value and sometimes I get close to the limit of my value, sometimes not. But I don’t overprice myself. Even if I won an Oscar, I wouldn’t change my price.”

Boyd recently finished a two-hour movie for television, “Key West,” and Warner Brothers hopes that it will become a series.

“So do I,” said the actor, “I’d like anything that will keep me in the United States of America.”

Stephen Boyd at Madrid Airport, 1973 – www.lafototeca.com
Stephen Boyd arrives in Madrid in 1973 – www.lafototeca.com

Love and Magik 1971- Stephen Boyd and Marisa Mell

IMG-022

“I would prefer that the story of my love for Stephen Boyd not be told. It inspires me today, and it hurts me today. It was so difficult, strange, beautiful and sad that I can hardly bear to think of it.” (Marisa Mell from “Cover Love”, 1990)

Stephen Boyd’s whirlwind romance and marriage with actress Marisa Mell had elements of the truly bizarre and mystical in it, including exorcisms, a gypsy ritual blood exchange and reincarnation.

Where to begin? This story begins in 1971, an era steeped in all sorts of social occult phenomena. “There has always been a current of magic and mysticism under the mainstream of Western culture…for a few years in the 1960’s and early seventies this exploded into a fully fledged ‘occult revival’, involving some of the most famous people in the world, like the Beatles.” (“Turn off Your Mind; the Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius” by Gary Valentine Lachman) The sixties saw it all, from drugs to rock n roll to magicians to Charles Manson. In Lachman’s preface he explains that by the late 1960’s, magical ideas and the occult had reached an unprecedented audience through all forms of media.

“Marta”, a lush, Giallo film which starred Stephen Boyd and Marisa Mell, was filmed in Spain in late 1970. Marisa Mell recalls first seeing Boyd when they met to begin the filming of the picture, and she felt immediately attracted to him, as if she had known him from before. Boyd was reluctant to engage Mell during this time. As she was desperately trying to begin an affair with him, he was cold and dodged her attempts. The hooks were already set, but Boyd was not willing to acquiesce to Mell’s more than obvious attempts to seduce him. He was friendly and professional above all. Amidst all of this underlying tension, Mell and Boyd were called upon to act out a few very intense, graphic love scenes for the film. According to Mell, it was torture. She longed for Boyd, but yet he would not succumb to her charms off-screen.

wp-1490933084298.jpeg

martafotonovelimg-007-701.jpg.jpeg

Filming “Marta”

After the movie was over, Mell and Boyd were apart for about 6 months. When they were reunited for their next film, “The Great Swindle”, Boyd was now interested in pursuing Mell, who was still hurt from his previous rejections. Boyd was gentle and persistent, according to Mell’s account, wooing her with flowers and dinner dates. Eventually on one of these dinner dates, Boyd invited her back to his apartment, and then the love affair began in true earnest. Mell was a stunning beauty and Boyd had always seemed to fall for exotic brunettes. But this relationship was far beyond a whim. After years of enjoying bachelorhood, Stephen Boyd suddenly proposed to Marisa Mell after the first night they spent together. Mell describes a whirlwind marriage in a gypsy camp, including horse carriages, a bonfire, singing, dancing and a blood exchange between her and Boyd as their wrists were cut and pressed together to seal their bond as husband and wife. She also describes how they both became obsessive about each other afterwards, spirituality intertwined to the point of being inseparable. It is a heart wrenching account to read. After the “Great Swindle” was a wrap, the two actors didn’t even stick around to complete the English overdubs. They immediately left for Rome. Once there we can assume they stayed in Mell’s Rome apartment for several weeks.

Boyd and Mell during the filming of The Great Swindle…inseparable.
At some point, concerned that their obsessive passion was somehow ‘evil’, Mell and Boyd took a trip up to a small Italian town called Sarsina. It was here they tried to expel the ‘evil’ from their relationship by partaking in the local cult exorcism ritual of St. Vicinius. This involved wearing a mystical metal collar around their necks and receiving a blessing from the priest. This type of blessing is used to free people from ‘evil spirits’.

“Perhaps you smile today over such hocus-pocus. At that time I felt is was not ridiculous, although I see myself as a clear-headed woman. But my connection to Stephen just had something very mystical, inscrutable in itself, and he felt the same way. Sometimes love is like a deadly disease, sometimes it makes you feel that you are damned for all eternity.” (Marisa Mell, “Cover Love”, 1990)

To explain the Sarsina visit and the ‘collar blessing’ which Boyd and Mell partook in, you can read more about the cult of St. Vicinius here – http://www.sarsina.info/en/culto-religioso/st.-vicinius.htm

Pilgrims visit a church in Italy where a priest puts the relic on them and says a prayer. ‘You feel protected from the forces of evil,’ one says. ….In rural, Roman Catholic Italy, many people remain very religious, and very superstitious. The two belief systems coexist, tightly intertwined and surprisingly complementary.The cult that has emerged here in Sarsina, a town in the hills between Tuscany and the northern Adriatic Sea, centers on the metal collar. Legend has it that St. Vicinus, bishop in Sarsina around AD 300, used it first as a form of self-castigation when he prayed. It resembles a shackle that might be used on a slave. He would put it around his neck attached to a heavy stone to focus his mind in penitence. Eventually he began to use it to ward off evil spirits. St. Vicinus became one of the church’s early exorcists, and the fame of the collar and its purported powers have endured. (The one used now is not said to be St. Vicinus’ original but is believed to date to the 8th or 9th century, roughly the same time the church was built.)

June 1956: A man being restrained while an Italian priest performs an exorcism. The ring in the priest’s hand is the penitent-ring of Saint Vicinius, which will be placed around his neck.
Keystone Features/Getty Images

Stephen was into his share of mystical religions and peripheral interests, including Scientology and astrology. From even as far back as 1957 he used to consult a clairvoyant in London concerning his film choices and life decisions. “I am superstitious, though, even to the point of having a clairvoyant in London to whom I turn for suggestions. This man usually contacts me every week…He’s an amazing person who is incredibly right most of the time.” (Stardom Magazine Stephen Boyd Interview, 1960)

Stephen was also attuned to astrology, which attracted his interest in in the mid-1960’s. “I’m Cancer, and Leo rising, and if you want to get a clue to my character you must read up on Cancer and Leo and combine the two…I take it quite seriously. We Cancers tend to attract strong people. We open our arms to them, and then strangle and crush them. They can’t breathe….The Water is Cancer, see. It embraces the key, but the key can’t breathe.” (1967 El Paso Herald Post Stephen Boyd interview)

Marisa Mell herself was a Pisces (a water sign like Cancer), and also very in touch with astrology. “I believe in astrology but I don’t need it…It ruins your nerves if you take it daily.” (Marisa Mell Daily Press Interview, Oct 8, 1967) Mirko di Wallenberg, a blogger who has intensely studied Marisa Mell’s life, shared this: “Marisa was very religious by upbringing, less during her career, but picked it up again when she came back to Austria after her career ended in Rome. She was very into spiritual things like hand reading, parapsychology, fortune telling, talking to the deceased… and even at the end of her life she became a follower of Sai Baba; she hoped that this would turn her life around and when she became sick with throat cancer hoped to be healed by him.”

Marisa Mell getting her palm reading. Above photos courtesy Mirko di Wallenberg. Visit Mirko’s amazing Marisa Mell blog

Apparently the exorcism did not work as Boyd and Mell had hoped. In fact, Stephen Boyd became physically ill and feverish because of the intensity of their ‘passion’, as Mell explained it. He literally picked up his bags one day and walked out the door in order to extricate himself from the relationship. Mell begged him to stay, but to no avail. Boyd hopped on a plane to Belfast and she never saw him again.

Marisa Mell, in early 1972, after Boyd’s departure, had this to say about the break-up of their relationship. It was not your usual explanation. “We both believe in reincarnation, and we realized we’ve already been lovers in three different lifetimes, and in each one I made him suffer terribly.” (The Akron Beacon Journal, June 16, 1972)

Marisa Mell was so overpowered by her brief relationship with Boyd that she dedicated an entire chapter about it in her autobiography, “Cover Love”. I am indebted to Mirko di Wallenberg who runs a fabulous Marisa Mell blog for sending me this chapter. You can read the full account here.

To compound the mysticism of this relationship, Marisa Mell would end her chapter about Boyd in the 1990 autobiography “Cover Love” by saying that after Boyd’s death in 1977, she could feel his spirit speaking to her from another place. Considering the bizarre and occult nature of this love affair, you have to consider the possibility of this. It seems Marisa Mell and Stephen Boyd were destined for each other, but tragically could only find a very brief interlude together in this lifetime.

IMG.jpg

Above three photos by Frontoni, Angelo

Above photo by Gianni Ferrari during filming of Marta, 1971

Stephen Boyd, obviously aglow during his brief love affair with actress Marisa Mell.