EL FRANCONOMICON / I'M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

Robert Monell & Alex Mendíbil Blog Alliance

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SOLEDAD MIRANDA: R.I.P.

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ABOVE: Soledad Miranda in SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (Jess Franco, 1970).

Go to Amy Brown’s excellent, informative Soledad Miranda website for essays, information, pictures, videos and to order Soledad Miranda songs, albums, videos, photos, links and more. Link BELOW…

www.soledadmiranda.com

The late, great Soledad Miranda would have been 73 years old today. Her life was cut short by a tragic automobile accident on 18 August, 1970. She was about to sign a multi-picture contract with the tyro  German producer Artur Brauner, who was very impressed with her in the successful Jess Franco films (especially VAMPYROS LESBOS) he co-produced.

Her last film role was as a secret agent posing as an exotic dancer in Jess Franco’s THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA (1970), not one of her best films or roles but she had an intoxicating presence in her slow motion performances, the kind of thing she and Franco excelled at. She had worked as a skilled dancer on stage and screen in Spain since the beginning of her career.

My favorites of her Jess Franco roles were as the female leads in Franco’s EUGENIE DE SADE and SHE KILLS IN ECSTASY (both 1970), in which she proved she could express a wide range of rapidly changing emotions with flawless timing and skill. She really didn’t need words. She would have been perfectly at home in silent era pictures, in which the players had to telegraph emotions with their faces, eyes and bodies.  She makes quite an impression in the Portabella documentary, CUADECUC, VAMPIR (1971), a black and white, dialogue free experiment, shot during the shooting of Franco’s EL CONDE DRACULA. She is shown preparing and playing her role as the doomed Lucy and is as totally transfixing as she is in Franco’s full color commercial feature starring Christopher Lee. Her haunted eyes and despairing body language eloquently replacing the conventional dialogue.

She was credited in most of her Jess Franco films as Susan/Susann Korda or, as in EUGENIE DE SADE, Susan Korday.  She also had roles in such unfinished Franco projects as JULIETTE (1970) and the lost SEX CHARADE.

ABOVE: With Paul Muller in EUGENIE DE SADE…

According to the IMDB she appeared in 36 projects , including such Euro-westerns as SUGAR COLT (1966) and 100 RIFLES (1969), in the latter she played a hot blooded Hotel Girl opposite Burt Reynolds. Some filmography writers credit her as being in the William Shatner shot-in-Europe western WHITE COMANCHE (1968), but I haven’t been able to spot her in the film despite numerous revisits.

Early roles include her first, an appearance as a dancer in Jose Maria Elorrieta’s musical comedy LA BELLA MIMI (1960), and a cameo in Jess Franco’s musical comedy, QUEEN OF THE TABARIN CLUB (1960), which was her first appearance in a Franco film.  According to Franco, Soledad was part of the entourage of the film’s star Mikaela [Wood], which is how he discovered her. She remains uncredited for her very brief appearance. Beside all this she was a singer, recording artist, dancer, stage performer and a popular figure in Spanish fan magazines during the 1960s. Thanks to Amy Brown and her Soledad Miranda website for additional information.

It’s difficult to speculate on what would have happened to her had she lived. But she was on an upward spiral when she passed away nearly 46 years ago. And in many ways, through her films and legacy, she is more alive than ever.

 

 

(C) Robert Monell, 2016

 

Written by Robert Monell

9 julio 2016 a 8:52 PM

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  1. Thanks Robert nice article!

    Amy Brown

    10 julio 2016 at 12:22 AM


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