Dancing with Oskar Werner
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The Magic of Oskar Werner
The first film I ever saw Oskar Werner in was the stylish 60's sci-fi flick FAHRENHEIT 451. I was struck by Oskar's beauty, his magnificent voice and his gentle manner. He was an actor that really stood out as unique.
COLD WAR FILM STAR
Oskar Werner had a relatively short film career in Hollywood and English films, his German films from the 1950's are unavailable to his fans in the US like myself, but he made some excellent films in the short time that he was a big film star. His most famous film is JULES ET JIM by Truffaut, not one of my particular favorites, it is a classic of the New Wave cinema. My personal favorite is FAHRENHEIT 451, also by Truffaut, and the WWII film DECISION BEFORE DAWN. Werner also made a great presence in the Richard Burton Cold War spy film THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD based on Le Carre's novel. Oskar was nominated for an Oscar for his role in SHIP OF FOOLS, a rather faded 60's soap opera film set on a ship during WWII. Oskar Werner's performance is better than the film itself although Vivien Leigh and Lee Marvin also contribute to an interesting story on board the ship. Werner's final role was in THE VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED, a story based around true events of Jews leaving Germany around the time of Kristallnacht, the story is poignantly told and glossed up with such 70's stars as Katherine Ross, Malcolm McDowell (in a doomed romance with one of the ship's passengers), Cabaret's Helmut Griem (see my webpage for Helmut here), and the glamorous Faye Dunaway who plays Oskar Werner's wife (she attends one dinner party wearing a fabulous black evening gown and monocle!). Dunaway and Werner are wonderful together.
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