Barbara Bouchet: Queen of Giallo

Barbara Bouchet was born Barbel Goutscher on August 15, 1943, in Reichenberg, Sudetenland, Germany (now the area is known as Liberac, Czech Republic). She was the eldest of a family of siblings that included two sisters (Eileen and Annette) and two brothers (Peter and Wolfgang). The family moved to Munich when she was ten. Fritz, her father, a photographer by profession, secured a position with the Viewmaster Company. Ingrid, her mother, was an actress. But it was another actress, Christine Kaufmann, who impressed the young blonde. Kaufmann’s appearance in the film Der Schweigende Engel (1954) as a deaf ballet dancer made such an impact on Bouchet that she decided to pursue a career as a ballet dancer.

 As a young teenager, Barbara Bouchet studied classical ballet before moving to America with her parents, where the Goutscher family endured hardships as immigrants to the New World. Then one day Bouchet gave a photo of herself to a male admirer, who sent the picture to a talent search contest. Winning the “Perfect Gidget Contest,” Bouchet’s first taste of Hollywood was a screen test (that resulted in no parts) and a date with the actor James Darren (for publicity purposes). Still continuing her dancing academics, she roomed with a female friend in Los Angeles and began taking modeling lessons, finally abandoning her interest in ballet. She won her first beauty contest at the age of 14 when she became “Miss China Beach.” Other wins in beauty contests followed, as well as acting lessons (at the Hollywood Professional School). Bouchet began making commercials and was spotted by Doris Day’s husband, who gave the young woman a walk-on role in a film. Her rising fame as a model garnered her magazine covers and more prominent television commercial work, leading to bit parts in such films as A Global Affair (1964), John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1964) and Bedtime Story (1964), as one of Marlon Brando’s adoring girl friends. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for the male audience members, she was usually cast as the beautiful girl in the bikini.

Your family actually fled Sudetenland, the future Czechoslovakia. Can you give us some insight pertaining to this notion that your family left Sudetenland under duress?

Bouchet: Well, at that particular time, Sudetenland was part of Germany. But, yes, It eventually became Czechoslovakia. They mainly spoke German there. My father is from Sudetenland, and my mother is German. And after I was born we actually fled from the Russians.

MV5BYWNlMWY5ZjgtZmQ4OC00OTcxLTkxYzgtY2YzMDQ5NTc3MDFiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk5NzQ5Ng@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,723,1000_AL_

“Mr. Gutscher,” they said to my father, “take your hat and go,” because my father’s side of the family owned a cinema called Adria Kino. The word “kino” in German means “cinema.” It’s still there: Adria Kino. So my mother got on a train with a bunch of soldiers and took me with her to Germany, where her aunt and uncle lived. We settled in a small little town in Moos, which is near Plattling… close to Regensburg in lower Bavaria. Her uncle had a farm there which had a butcher shop, a beer distillery, a hotel upstairs… everything in one. And her aunt owned a big apartment complex, so she gave our family an apartment with two rooms. It wasn’t a very big apartment because the bathroom was outside. Very chic,  And my mother’s uncle had field workers, so food had to be cooked everyday for these laborers. Big pots of food. And whatever was left over came down to us.

Did you have a lot of siblings?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Five kids altogether. I was the first-born. And life was good, I have to say. You know what?  kids, you feed ’em, give them a bed… and they’re happy! We grew up in the countryside with the cows and pigs and horses.

And your father was a photographer, right?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Initially he was a cinematographer. But when he left Czechoslovakia, yes, he became a photographer. And eventually he got a better job in Munich with Viewmaster; you know, those round discs with little negatives in them. You’d put them in a machine and just go “click,” and you’d have a slide show. So when my father got that job, we moved to Munich and got a much nicer apartment.  That’s when I enrolled in my first ballet school. I’d seen a movie with Christine Kaufmann called THE SILENT ANGEL, where she portrays a deaf and dumb ballet dancer. “Oh!” I said. “I want to become a ballet dancer!” So my parents signed me up at this school in Munich. We lived there about a year.

And why did you leave Munich?

BARBARA BOUCHET: A clairvoyant told my mother that one day she’d go across “the big sea.” And she put that in her head and kept it there. And after two families from our small town had moved to America one family to California, the other to New York they kept sending my mother letters stating how great it was in the States. And my mother finally said, “I want to go.”

She wrote to the family in California, asking them to please look for a sponsor for us, otherwise you couldn’t go there. And they eventually found one: an owner of big cotton fields in Five Points, California (near Fresno). Weil, he was looking for handymen, and he got three: mom, dad, and me. So, he was going to pay for our transfer to America from Munich. My father was hoping that the note from this sponsor would never arrive, but when it did, my mother bugged him until he said, ‘‘Okay.’’ So we flew to America on an airplane with propellers, landed in New York, were sent down to the New York train station with big tags on our titties saying who we were and where we were going. .. Then we traveled across the US by train. I was 12 and was always looking out the train window for cowboys and Indians. Didn’t see any.  So we ended up in Five Points, where they gave us a little hut with three rooms out in the countryside, and we had to start picking cotton. Very hot. And we kids went to school and learned English. There was also a lady who owned her own ranch nearby, she offered to pay for my ballet school, which was located in Fresno. She even took me there once a week. So once we paid off our debt because you had to pay it off… whatever amount your sponsor had spent to get you to America we were now free people. It was actually like being a slave. A year or two after we’d bought our freedom, we moved to San Francisco. Our apartment in the Mission District… it was filled with cockroaches. Nice, big cockroaches. But we kids came from the country so we were used to a lot of things. And everybody collected their own cockroach and kept it in a matchbox. We’d even have cockroach races. We had fun with our cockroaches! [laughs] So today, I don’t have a fear of them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other than the roaches, tell us about life in the Mission District.

BARBARA BOUCHET: It was mainly populated with Mexicans back then. Still is, I believe. Then again. I’d been going to school with Mexicans in Fresno County, so to me it wasn’t anything strange. But to them, I was strange because among all of these dark- skinned, dark-haired kids was this tall girl with long blonde hair, bangs, and big blue eyes. They didn’t like that. You gotta remember, kids can be cruel. It doesn’t matter what race you are. Just being somewhat different can make you an outsider. So they used to throw gum into my hair, and I’d have to cut it because you can’t get gum out of hair.

And one day a Mexican girl in my class said to me, “Are you calling me out?!” I didn’t even know what she was saying. And everybody said, “Say yes! Say yes!” Well, after school I found out what she meant. She called me out to a fight. And she had a ring on her finger with an arrow on it… I still have a scar from the cut that arrow made… Anyhow, after that incident, she got thrown out of school and I left the school because I told my father, “Dad, I’m not going back there. They can’t stand me. I stick out like a sore thumb.”

We eventually moved out to the Sunset District, which is where I went to high school. By then, Dad got a job photographing weddings, Communions and baby showers. And when he’d photograph a wedding, it was heyday at our home. He’d go to the weddings and take his camera bags. But he’d always take extra bags, in which he’d put goodies from the weddings, [laughs] And when he came back home, he’d say to us kids, “Look what I got!” And then he started taking a lot of pictures of me. Around that time, he’d taken a color picture of me wearing a white blouse, a red velvet vest, and a light-blue patterned dirndl skirt; you know, the kind of clothes young serving girls wear in German beer halls. And after he’d taken that picture, I gave it to a boy whom I liked. There used to be a TV show in the Bay Area called THE AMERICAN DANCE PARTY (The KPIX Dance Party), which I used to watch all of the time. Kids would go there and dance to the music. And a producer from the show called me up one day and said, “Congratulations. You won the Gidget Contest.” I said, “What do you mean?” ‘Well, didn’t you submit your picture to the contest?” Apparently somebody did. Not me, though. As it turned out, it was the boy to whom I gave the picture, He submitted it. GIDGET was a popular movie with Sandra Dee and Jimmy Darren, and I don’t look anything like Sandra Dee, who was a tiny little thing with short blonde hair. I said, “But I don’t look like her.” And the producer who called me up, he just said, “It doesn’t matter. You won.” It was my father’s color picture that won, actually. The other contest- ants probably sent in black-and-white photos of themselves. But mine was a real color photograph by a real photographer. So my prize was a dinner with Jimmy Darren and a screen test in Hollywood, which was the first time that the notion of acting even entered my head. Anyhow, while I got the dinner with Jimmy Darren, the screen test was never discussed. But it put a bug in my ear.

Consequently, while I was here in San Francisco, I signed up with an agency to learn how to model. My agent around this time was Jimmy Grimme, and he was the one who changed my name. My real name is Barbel Goutscherola. Then it became Goutscher. Jimmy said, “Where are you gonna go with that name?” And since he loved French names, he said, “Barbel will become Barbara. And Barbara Goutscher… Barbara Gouche… Barbara Bouch… Barbara Bouchet! Yeah. That’s fine.” And that was it. The thing is, everyone thinks that I’m French, Well, it was actually a time when they all changed their names. Tab Hunter… Rock Hudson… Back then, you couldn’t possibly have a name like Barbara Goutscher. Today they keep them, though. Actors and actresses have Slavic names and various other ethnic names. And I guess it was during the summer holiday that one of the models who worked with my father, Dolores Erickson, moved down to LA, and I asked her if I could stay with her. And she said yes. Now, around this time, things were not going so hot between my parents. The minute my mother got to California, she wanted to go back home because it was not what she expected. She was hoping for a better life and ended up having to work in cotton fields. Very unhappy. And things weren’t working out between my parents.

Barbara Bouchet - London Airport
Barbara Bouchet – London Airport

Tensions?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Yeah. So at a certain point I said, “I want to go down to LA and stay with Doris,” which is what I did. But then I decided that I didn’t want to come home anymore. I was 15 and my mother said, “Yeah. Fine.” But my poor father… I realized now what he went through. When one of my sons turned 15, I looked at him and thought, ‘If my son would now tell me, ‘Mom, I’m going to New York or LA and staying there,’ I’d go out of my mind.’ He would have been just a baby, totally inexperienced about the world. And I realized how much my father suffered. It was my father who suffered, not my mother. And I later asked her, “Mom, why did you tell me, ‘Go’?” And she said, “Because your father was in love with you. And I could not accept that. I would not stand for it. It was only you. you, you. And he was always photographing you, even nude, by the lakes and all of that.” But I didn’t think anything of it. I never had a problem with it.

Which explains why nudity wasn’t an issue for you in many of your Italian movies.

BARBARA BOUCHET: No. Nudity has never been a problem with me. Nor was it a problem at home. But my mother felt that my father was into me and ignored her second daughter and all of that. And she wanted me out of there. So, when I went down to LA and said, “I’m not coming home anymore,” my father came down to take me home. I said, “No!” and ran out of the apartment. I remember running down to a phone booth to call mom, and dad broke that phone booth and dragged me back to my apartment by the hair. And he beat me to a pulp. “Even if you kill me,” I told him, “I’m not going home!” I was rebellious. And I didn’t go home. What I did was sign up at The Hollywood Professional School in LA, which gave me the possibility to go out on interviews for acting roles. Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw were in my class. We didn’t learn much, but I did my school duties, and if I needed to go out on an appointment for an acting job, they’d let me.

How did you support yourself?

BARBARA BOUCHET: I was selling shoes, delivering Chicken Delight to different homes… I just made my own living and never looked back. There was no way to look back, anyway. At home, nobody was going to give me a cent, what with four kids there. I remember my father said that I didn’t exist for him anymore. I cried when he told me that,  But… I had my mind set. I was sure of myself and that I didn’t need anybody. I worked. I ate. I stayed at my girlfriend Dolores’ house. It was as simple as that. One day I did go back home to visit, though, and I saw that my parents were really in a bad rut. My dad kept saying to my mom that he was going to leave her. And she’d become desperate. So one day while I was at home, I faced them and said, “Dad, either you get out of here forever, or you stop torturing mother about leaving and not leaving and this and that.” Poor guy. Today, in retrospect, I realize that my father didn’t have it easy. It was hard on him being in a foreign country, leaving his homeland, having all of these kids. Then the wife becomes unhappy, the daughter leaves… I mean, the whole world was falling apart around him. But I only realize all of this now in retrospect. I remember one time he came after me, and I jumped off the balcony and that was the end of my dancing career. I thought I was going to hit the grass when I jumped, but I hit the concrete instead and broke both of my feet and a leg. My father was standing at the balcony, looking down, laughing, and saying, “If only Hollywood could see their star now.” It was only one story down, but smashing upon concrete from even a one-floor drop was still pretty bad. My mother said, “Please don’t say what happened. Just say that you did it on your own without your father chasing you.” And I never said what really happened.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bouchet appeared as the voluptuous, bikini clad Ava Vestock in the low budget American spy film Agent for H.A.R.M. (1965). In this near-Poverty Row production (that, coincidentally, wound up satirizing the European Bond rip-offs instead of the Bond films themselves), an agent named Adam Chance (Peter Mark Richman), who works for H.A.R.M. (Human Aetiological Relations Machine), is assigned to protect a defecting Eastern European scientist from attacks by enemy agents. Making matters more complicated, the scientist has developed a super weapon that destroys flesh. Whenever you find yourself chuckling at the straight-faced histrionics of the cast (including genre veterans Robert Quarry and Wendell Corey), you can always admire Bouchet’s fine form. During this period she also appeared on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in “The Project Deephole Affair” (3/18/66). As the aptly named THRUSH agent Narcissus Darling, she gets to tangle with U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) over schlmo Buzz Conway (Jack Weston), whom THRUSH believe is a geologist with an earthquake-making device.

Barbara Bouchet Agent for H.A.R.M. (1965)
Barbara Bouchet Agent for H.A.R.M. (1965)

 A screen test for the film In Harm’s Way (1965) led to an association with tyro producer-director Otto Preminger, who not only signed her to play Kirk Douglas’ ill fated philandering wife, but also to an exclusive seven year contract. However, since Preminger’s cinematic output was approximately one film every one or two years, Bouchet was stuck doing nothing and getting paid for it. Unfortunately for cinemagoers, it kept her out of the public eye for almost a year until she asked Preminger to release her from the contract and he later obliged. Bouchet commented, “After I did In Harm’s Way, Preminger used to get a lot of fun out of telling me that so and so had asked about me for a film role, and he said “No, she belongs to me!’ He pays you every week and you belong to him…. You belonged to the producers at that time and they could do with you whatever they wanted. If they wanted to loan you out and make money on you, they could. Preminger didn’t want to loan me out, which just left me sitting there.” A determined Bouchet desperately wanted her independence, so “I got on a plane and I flew to New York. I spoke to him (Preminger) in German. He liked that, when I spoke to him in German. I said, ‘Otto please let me out. I don’t want to be under contract anymore. I want to move on,’ and he just let me go.”

 

So when did you start actually getting movie parts?

BARBARA BOUCHET: From my late-teens to 20, I got a lot of little walk-on roles in movies with big-name stars, Bedtime Story (1964), with Marlon Brando and David Niven. What a Way to Go! (1964), with Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine. A Global Affair (1964) with Bob Hope. Sex and the Single Girl (1964) with Tony Curtis. But I was working. And my parts kept getting a little bit bigger each time. But when I did Otto Preminger’s In Harm’s Way (1965), that was a turning point in my career.

Tell us about your Preminger experiences.

BARBARA BOUCHET: Well, he was a tyrant. I remember there was a screen test… Paula Prentiss was being screen tested, and I was sitting there watching it, and Otto was screaming his head off at her. Afterwards I went into the dressing room and there was Pauia Prentiss. I looked in the mirror at her and asked, “Are you okay?” She said, “Yeah. But I need that.” I’ll never forget that, I ran into Paula two months ago… didn’t recognize her… and I mentioned it to her, and she said, “Yeah, that must have been when I was drinking.”

Michèle Morgan, Barbara Bouchet, and Otto Preminger at an event for In Harm's Way (1965)
Michèle Morgan, Barbara Bouchet, and Otto Preminger at an event for In Harm’s Way (1965)

So when it was my turn for a screen test with Preminger, I said to him in German, “If you scream at me, I won’t be able to do anything,” And he responded in German, “Well, you saw what I don’t like.” But I saw so many things. Anyhow, in the end I just did my thing. That’s it. He wasn’t a tyrant with me because I spoke his language. And he signed me to a seven-year contract with Paramount Jill Haworth and Paula Prentiss, as well. Regarding my role for IN HARM’S WAY, I told Otto that I didn’t know how to swim. And he said that I had to learn to swim if I was going to even have the possibility of being considered for this particular part. So I went to learn to swim. Still can’t swim, though. Couldn’t swim to save my life.

But you didn’t have to go that far into the water for your IN HARM’S WAY beach scene.

BARBARA BOUCHET: No. But there was the problem of me lying on the rock when the water came over me, because if I fell in, I wouldn’t know how to swim. But I did learn to swim a little bit. I remember they wrote something in the papers about me… It was either Hedda Hopper or Louella Parsons… I don’t remember which one. Well. Otto read it and said to me, “You know, they say that you and I have a thing going together. So, why don’t we?” And I said, “No. Just hang onto what they wrote but forget about getting together.”

At Paramount, I had to report every week to the studio, and I remember Otto’s desk was down at the other end of his office, which was so big. And my shoes wobbled as I walked all the way down to his desk because he scared the hell out of me. But he was always good to me. Jill Haworth would come out of his office and say, “Why does he always say to me, ‘Why can’t you be like Barbara?… Why can’t you be like Barbara?”’ But Otto had his rules. The hair had to be parted in the middle, not on the side. You could only wear certain types of clothes. You couldn’t go to certain restaurants. You couldn’t go to nightclubs. And you could not leave Los Angeles. At the time, producers would put actors under contract, pay them a fee, and then they’d sometimes loan them out to other studios for a bigger fee.

Well, after IN HARM’S WAY, Otto did a film with Tom Tryon and there was no part in it for me. So at a certain point he said to me [with heavy Austrian accent], “You know, [legendary producer/agent] Charlie Feldman come to me, and he want you for a film. But I don’t need the money. So I say, ‘No.’” And I thought, ‘Oh shit. That means he’s never going to loan me out to any- body else. I’m stuck here, and God knows when he’s going to do another film where there’s a part for me.’

So one day I said to him, “Otto, we’re on the second year of my contract, and you’re not using me. You said that you’re not handing me over to anybody else to work. My career is going to go down the drain if I don’t work, Can I get out of my contract?” And, lo and behold, because I speak German, he said, “Yes.” Then he said [in Austrian accent], “Oh, remember, Charlie Feldman like you.” But I didn’t want to deal with Charlie Feldman because he had a reputation of being a lady’s man. Anyway, Otto let me go, and then I did SWEET CHARITY for Bob Fosse.

What was Fosse like?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Fosse?  With him I was just worried that he didn’t like me. He never said anything to me. He just let me do my scenes. But at a certain point I said, “Mr. Fosse, don’t you like me?” “Why do you say that?” he asked. “Because you never give me any input, or correct me, or say. That’s good.”’ “The reason I don’t say anything about your acting,” he said, “is because it is good.” And I said, “Well, then would you please say, ‘That’s good’? I need some kind of feedback.”  That’s all. He was very quiet. Yet after SWEET CHARITY, I was out of work.

Barbara Bouchet Sweet Charity (1969)
Barbara Bouchet Sweet Charity (1969)

But this one guy who was a producer a short, ugly creature with big ears and bug eyes he approached me about doing a film in Paris. I figured, ‘Well, I gotta work,’ so I told him, “Okay. Let’s go.” So we went to Paris. And I remember the first night there, he took me to the Eiffel Tower and said, “Okay, tomorrow you go shopping. You buy some clothes, a fur coat, some jewelry…” And I said, “Well, isn’t the wardrobe lady supposed to do that?” And he said, “No, no  for you.” I said, “Yeah? And what’s the catch?” “Well, we’re going to the Cannes Film Festival, and I reserved a suite for us.” I said, “No. Let’s do it this way: I don’t go shopping, and you cancel the suite.” We bickered back and forth, and in the end he said, “Okay,” and I didn’t go shopping. So we go to Cannes, arrive at the hotel, and he had not cancelled the suite, because they ushered us into a suite with a living room and large bedroom.

So what did you do?

BARBARA BOUCHET: I went into the bedroom, got a pillow and a blanket, threw them on the couch in the living room, said, “You gotta keep your promise.” went back into the bedroom, and locked the door, And one time when we were in the lobby, a man came up and asked me, “Are you Barbara Bouchet?” I said, “Yeah.” “My name is Carlo Ponti,” he said. I didn’t even know who the hell he was. My little guy was all excited. And Ponti said, “I would like to have a meeting with you in Cap Ferrat tomorrow.” After Ponti left, the little guy said, “He’s Sophia Loren’s husband! He’s a big producer! Now remember, you belong to me.” “Yeah, yeah,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.”

So I went to Cap Ferrat, figuring that Sophia Loren would be there. I knew who she was. At that time she was also the president of the festival. But she wasn’t at Cap Ferrat. And, at a certain point. Carlo Ponti asked me, “What is your body like?” and I said, “It’s fine, thank you.” [laughs] He didn’t know what to say to that. He eventually said [in thick Italian accent], “I suppose the director will decide.” “Yeah,” I said. “Who is the director?” And he said, “I want you to go to London to visit this director for a film I am producing. His name is Michelangelo Antonioni.” I’d never heard of him. And it was for a movie called BLOW UP.

What happened?

BARBARA BOUCHET: When I went to meet Antonioni at the designated hotel in London, I remember it was raining, and we were sitting in the bay window him there, me here  and I said, “Well, Mr. Antonioni, what’s this film all about? What’s my part in it?” And he said [in heavy Italian accent], “I am… very tired. I don’t feel like talking about it now.” I said, “Oh, that’s interesting. I fly from Nice to London to meet with you, and you don’t want to talk about it.” And I knew exactly what he wanted, so I said. “Goodbye,” walked out, went to the lobby, found a phone, pulled out Charlie Feldman’s card, and called him. “Hello, Mr. Feldman? Barbara Bouchet. I’m here in London, and I’m available for your movie.” “Cool” he said, “You got the part.”

So then I called my agent, Paui Kohner, and said. “I’m in London. Charlie Feldman has just offered me the part of Miss Moneypenny in CASINO ROYALE.” Paul said, “Yeah, you and 3,000 other girls.” “What do you mean?”

“He’s testing every woman in town and out of town for the part. Everyone! All of ’em. So don’t count on it.” “But” I said, “I’m not testing. I got it.” “Yeah, sure.” So I called the New York office, explained the situation to them, and said, “You know, Paul is saying ‘you this and you that.’ But I got the part. So will you handle it?” And they did. Another seven-year contract, this time with United Artists.

Whatever happened to the little fellow back in Nice?

BARBARA BOUCHET: I never went back, instead, I stayed in London. All of my clothes were in Paris. He kept them. I said. “Yeah, you can keep them. If you want, you can even wear ’em.”  So I stayed in London and started living and working there.

www.tvn.hu_3e9d26fd50e8ecba8e38f6ede01d0f85

Returning to Europe, an abortive screen test for Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up brought her into contact with independent film producer Charles K. Feldman who was then casting actresses for his film version of the James Bond adventure Casino Royale. Bouchet recalls, “It just happened that I ran into Charles Feldman at the Cannes Film Festival. I was there to meet Michelangelo Antonioni about a film and I met Charley Feldman on the plane on the way down there. He was just starting up production on Casino Royale. He said ‘Ya Yike for you to be Ms. Moneypenny.””

 Apparently, Feldman had secured the film rights to the lan Fleming novel of the same name from the author years before Bond producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the film rights to the other books in the series. In effect, Feldman was allowed to make his own James Bond film called Casino Royale, and the producers of the Sean Connery series (at that time) could do nothing about it.  Since the film was being directed by five filmmakers simultaneously (John Huston, Val Guest, Ken Hughes, Robert Parrish and Joe McGrath), and the script written and constantly re-written by as many, if not more, screenwriters, much of the storyline became hard to follow and seemed to ramble on. Bouchet’s sequences were primarily directed by Val Guest, a veteran of many British thrillers and science fiction films, but the chaotic shooting schedule dragged on for a year (which did not seem laborious for her since she was also tied to Feldman with a multi-year contract at the time).

Casino Royale (1967)

 Essentially this film version of Casino Royale is a chaotic but delightful affair. As a whole, the film concerns an attempt to thwart a threat to the free world. The criminal organization S.M.E.R.S.H. is a danger to world peace; the American, British, French and Russian forces combine to ask retired secret agent James Bond to reconsider going back into service to save the world and defeat the evil Genius Dr. Noah.

 Bouchet’s segment is called by Bond film aficionados the “Moneypenny’s Daughter” sequence. As the daughter of the original Miss Moneypenny, the longtime secretary to the late spy agency head M (John Huston in the film’s prologue), Bouchet’s role as the new Moneypenny is to take up the mantle from her mother. She assists James Bond (David Niven) in selecting a new A.F.S.D. (Anti-Female Spy Device) that will combat a rash of recent secret agent assassinations. What this device is, is never actually explained, but Moneypenny (Bouchet) lines up the best of Bond’s newest protégées and kisses each one, fully on their lips, to test their stamina. Moneypenny decides that the studly Agent Cooper (Terence Cooper) is the man for the job. But the next segment of the film reveals that the mild-mannered author of books on card tricks, Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers), has been selected for the job, being the newly recruited agent with the A.F.S.D. Bouchet turns up later in the film before the chaotic pop art climax.

1 - pvTCCHj

 

And how long were you involved with the Casino Royale (1967) project?

BARBARA BOUCHET: The filming in London lasted an entire year and a half.

Most of your scenes are with David Niven.

BARBARA BOUCHET: And to this day, David is still my favorite human being. I fell in love with that man. He was so great. So nice, sweet, and funny. I had a fabulous time with him. We just laughed all the way through the movie. But it was a long haul. I had a boyfriend back in America named Gardner McKay who was not very happy with me being gone for a year and a haif. So I lost him on the way. But work had to come first at that time.

CASINO ROYALE had at least five directors. Which one directed you?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Val Guest. And I mostiy worked with David Niven, Terence Cooper and Woody Allen. We filmed at Pinewood.They built so many sets… and tore a lot of them down… never even used them. I mean, they really threw money around like it was nobody’s business. But [script-wise] they were winging it. It was crazy. But it was ahead of its time in terms of that whole craziness.

I remember how I’d sit in my trailer waiting for scones to arrive in a little wagon. And I’d fill up my room with these pastries and eat them. Boy, did I start ballooning. One time I bit into one of those things and ate the cap to one of my teeth. So I couldn’t work until the dentist replaced it. And being in England, I was missing the sun. One day I went out and laid in Hyde Park in my bikini and got arrested. You can’t do that at least not back then. So I finally said to David Niven “David, I need the sun. I cannot be in this weather all of the time. It’s making me very unhappy.” He said, “Well, I go home every weekend to the south of France. Just get on the same plane as I do and take the same plane back home. We work together, so don’t say anything. Just go.” Which is what I did. But I was stupid. First I ran into Tom Jones over the weekend and had a fling with him. Then I got myself a lot of sunshine… and came back suntanned.

I suppose Val Guest…

BARBARA BOUCHET:…was pissed. They had to change everything around until my skin got white again. Oh, yeah. They were not happy. So after CASINO ROYALE, I did one more film for Charlie [Feldman] in England, which was with Richard Johnson, called DANGER ROUTE (1967). And I hooked up with Richard as a boyfriend. He was divorced from Kim Novak, and we moved in together. And then I did a play under his contract, MISTER ROBERTS, with John Kerr and Hugh O’Brian. It was here at the Circle Star Theatre… in the round. Not long after that, Charlie died, so my contract was dissolved.

And why did you decide to make the career move to Europe?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Well, first I got out of LA because there was a gentleman who got hooked on me. He was quite old, and at the time I really didn’t have any money. So he invited me to fancy restaurants and all of that and I went. But then he started bringing me boxes of emerald necklaces and earrings and the rest. “This is yours,” he told me, “but I want you to be my woman.”That didn’t sit too well with me. Then he tried even more of that kind of stuff, which also didn’t sit well with me. But it was all very calm-like. It came to a head, however, when he brought me to this mega-villa in Bel Air. Big gates. They open up. The Rolls Royce came to a stop outside the place, and I thought, “Uh-oh. Here I go. I’m gonna get into trouble.” He takes me inside, and I thought he was going to try to jump my bones. But he didn’t. And I couldn’t help but notice that there were pictures of Bobby Evans everywhere.

Robert Evans, the movie mogul.

BARBARA BOUCHET: Yeah. He lived there. He was head of Paramount at the time. And this older guy says, “This is where you’ll live.” “But,” I said, “Bobby Evans lives here.” “He’ll live somewhere else,” he told me. “Just say ‘yes.’” He was really laying It on heavy, I must have been 23 or so. and he was in his 50’s, which was old to me at that time. “I can’t do it,” I told him. Then he got mad. “You know,” he said, I can ruin your career for the rest of your life. And I will.” Oh, God. So I got a plane ticket, went to New York, moved in with a Japanese girl- friend who lived there doing modeling, and I went to look for work as a model. They all said, “What are you doing here? Aren’t you an actress?” “Yeah” I said, “but… I’m having some difficulties.” And that year in New York? It’s so damn cold there in the winter, it cuts your nose off. Oh! Awful. So one day Paul Kohner calls and says, “There’s these Italians here who saw your picture in HOLLYWOOD VARIETY,” because SWEET CHARITY was coming out at the time, “and they want to see you.” “Well, I’m in New York,” I told him. “They’ll come to New York.” So we met in New York at the Plaza Hotel, and they offered me a film in Rome.,, and that’s when I went to Italy.

Bouchet remained in England to act in the deadly serious espionage film Danger Route (1968). In the role of Mari, she comes into contact with a British agent (Richard Johnson) sent to kill a Russian scientist who has defected to the Americans. That same year she guest starred on the seminal science fiction show Star Trek in the episode “By Any Other Name.”

 The sudden death of producer Charles Feldman released Bouchet from her contract with him, and she found a prominent role in the film Sweet Charity (1969) as Ursula, the satin mini-dress and mini-mink stole wearing socialite fiancée of a Latin movie idol. The film co-starred Shirley MacLaine, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ricardo Montalban and others. But the changing mores of the sixties found that cinematic versions of Broadway musicals were becoming passé, and the film had little life beyond its initial box-office theatrical run and cult interest.

Star Trek
Star Trek “By Any Other Name.”

 Ironically enough, it was her promotional work for the American made Sweet Charity that led to her being “discovered” yet again, this time by an Italian producer, who not only wanted to put Barbara in his next film Colpo rovente (1970), but was also willing to publicize Barbara, and heavily promote her as a star in Italy. Not surprisingly, Colpo rovente was not only her first Italian film, but gave Barbara the opportunity to leave the U.S., and start fresh in the Italian film industry. From 1970 onwards, Barbara was flooded with acting offers for numerous thrillers, sexy-comedies, and dramas, in 1972 alone, she appeared in no less than 14 features. L’Asino D’Oro: Processo per Fatti Strani Contro Lucius Apuleius Citta dino Romano (1970). In Il Debito Conjugale (1970), another sexy comedy, she was allowed to showcase her seldom acknowledged knack for physical comedy, and in the ribald softcore sex comedy Calde Notti di Don Giovanni (1971) she left little to the imagination in a role that flaunted her often nude body.

Barbara Bouchet Cerca di capirmi (1970)
Barbara Bouchet Cerca di capirmi (1970)

 In an early 70’s interview with Jean Houghton, Barbara was asked if doing nude scenes bothered her. Her reply was that as long as the required scenes were in good taste and that there was a “need” for them, then she had no problems with them. In the same interview, Barbara discussed her method of dealing with the curious Italian eyes on the film set:

 “For example, on one film, Don Giovanni,  the very first day I had a nude love scene. So I took my clothes off and said “Okay, now?” Just for a second there were oohs and aahs and then nobody looked – they couldn’t have cared less. But if I had a sheet here and there, they would have tried to see if they could see something more. But if you hit them straight in the eye with it, they’re bored in five minutes.”

Amuck (1972)

One of the better giallos you did in the ‘70s was Amuck (1972); a suspenseful, Hitchcockian film rather atypical of the genre in that its focus wasn’t specifically on some faceless serial killer liquidating sexy young babes.

BARBARA BOUCHET: We actually filmed AMUCK! in the Philippines. Rosalba Neri co-starred with me. She now lives in a big castle in Rome after having married a rich businessman. Actually, we ran into each other when I got married, because I had my wedding at her castle,  And after Rosalba got married, she never wanted to act again. She’s into her horses, her stables, and living in her castle.

Amuck (1972)2

Amuck (1972) Summary: Greta, a beautiful blonde American, is the new secretary to Richard Stuart, a famous novelist who lives on an island with his sexy wife Eleanora. Sally, the former secretary, had disappeared without a trace. What Richard and Eleanora do not know is that Greta has a secret motive for taking the job: to find out what happened to her lost lover, Sally.

Greta learns that Sally was accidentally killed in the heat of passion during one of the kinky sex games the Stuarts hold in their mansion from time to time; a hulking man-brute named Rocco lost control and strangled the girl. The bizarre couple then kill their butler when he attempts to blackmail them over the incident. All that remains is for Greta to be disposed of, then the crimes will never be uncovered. Eleanora lures Sally into a three-way private orgy with Rocco and herself, in an attempt to get the easily excited Rocco to repeat his careless crime of passion, one last time.

Sounds quite nice, actually. A few years after AMUCK! you starred in the Euro-crime title Death Rage (1976) with Yul Brynner.

BARBARA BOUCHET: I remember I was pregnant at the time with one of my sons. I also remember that I didn’t get along with Yul Brynner at all. He did something in front of me which totally turned me off.

What was that?

BARBARA BOUCHET: He was in his dressing room going over lines, and he took off his stinky socks and threw them at the wardrobe lady’s face. “Wash them,” he told her. I didn’t like that at all. So when I found out that he was superstitious with regard to carnations, I anonymously sent a big bouquet of carnations to his dressing room.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Death Rage (1976) Summary: A chance for revenge brings a hit man out of retirement in this crime drama directed by genre specialist Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony M. Dawson). Sal Leonardi is a well-connected American Mafioso who, while vacationing in Naples, visits a racetrack and is persuaded by good natured tout Angelo (Massimo Raniei) to put his money on a long shot. While Angelo sometimes works around the odds at the track by putting front-running horses off their stride with a pellet gun, in this case Angelo’s horse wins without outside interference and pays off big. But after Sal collects his winnings, he’s spotted by Gennare Gallo (Giancarlo Sbragia), a local mob boss who holds a grudge against Sal’s partners; guns are drawn, Sal and his bodyguards are killed, while Angelo, who is also a police informant, is stripped of his winnings. Back in New York, Leonardi’s partners are eager to even the score against Gallo, and they approach Peter Marciani (Yul Brynner), a former hired killer who retired after the traumatic murder of his brother. Peter is persuaded to assassinate Gallo when he learns that the Italian mobster was behind the murder of his brother; Peter flies to Naples and finds an ally in Angelo, but he soon learns that there’s more to this story than he’s been led to believe.

Cry of a Prostitute (1974)

And what about your most infamous spaghetti-crime movie, Cry of a Prostitute (1974) ?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Recently I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I should look at this one.’ So I watched it and thought, ‘I have a strange brain,’ because I block out certain things from my mind.

Like Cry of a Prostitute?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Well, I realized I had no previous memory ol the film because it was so violent. Henry Silva even sticks my face into the carcass of a pig.

Cry of a Prostitute (1974) Summary: Barbara Bouchet stars as a reformed hooker in this gang-war thriller. For reasons uniquely her own, Barbara joins forces with professional assassin Henry Silva. Her aim is to put an end to an Italian gang war, although Silva doubts it can be done.

You’re very good at doing ‘distraught’ to the 9th degree, as is quite evident in Cry of a Prostitute and Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971).

BARBARA BOUCHET: It just comes out of me. I never went to acting school. I just go into a scene and imagine myself in the situation. In Italy I had a hard time convincing them to put me in things other than sex comedies though. That’s why I got out of the business.  When I hit 39, I told myself, ‘I can’t continue doing sex farces. I’ll soon be turning 40 and going into another phase of my life. I want to do serious, meaty parts.’ And I kept telling the press, “Make me ugly, make me old, but give me a part that I can sink my teeth into,” So, that’s been a rather tough road for me to travel down.

Black Belly of the Tarantula
Black Belly of the Tarantula

I’m sure many fans agree with me when I say that some of the best stuff you did was in the Italian giallo genre.

BARBARA BOUCHET: And I had so much of that kind of work that my agent at the time didn’t want to lose a job, so he’d say, “Well, Barbara can’t do it, but I have so-and-so.” All foreign girls and blondes with blue eyes. He never lost a film because he always had someone to take my place just in case I couldn’t do it. And he built an agency on that. He also cheated us out of a lot of money. We actresses knew nothing about each other, but he told us all separately that we couldn’t have bank accounts in Italy because we were foreigners. So he took all of our money and, supposedly, put it into separate accounts in Switzerland, and then every month he’d say that he’d have to go to check out my money in Switzerland, so I would give him the money to go there. And he would take the same amount of money from all of the other actresses he represented. Now, when I met my husband, we went to Switzerland and found that all of my money was gone. The agent was gone, too. The guy was a real wheeler-dealer, just using women. A bad seed.

Sorry it worked out that way. But you also did a lot of work in the Euro-crime genre, like the classic Caliber 9 (1972) with Mario Adorf…

BARBARA BOUCHET:…who is German. The other star in the movie, Philippe LeRoy, is French. And the main actor, Gastone Moschin, is Italian. It’s one of the biggest cult movies I did, and it’s considered Fernando di Leo’s best movie. I did another film with him called BLOOD AND DIAMONDS/Diamanti sporchi di sangue (1977) which didn’t do as well. But when we were making CALIBER 9, I had no idea it was going to become so famous. At the time, it was just another movie to me.

Di Leo seemed to really like filming female go-go dancers like your character in CALIBER 9 with the camera below them and at tilted angles.

BARBARA BOUCHET: That was his thing. I did that dance scene in a real nightclub, and it was closed to the press, closed to almost everybody. I wasn’t supposed to say anything, either. Next thing you know, it was out; A picture of me on that dancing cube all over the newspapers. Somebody took it and printed it.

And what was Di Leo like as a director?

BARBARA BOUCHET: A very quiet, organized person. A sweet man, easy to work with. A gentle soul.

Caliber 9 (1972) Small-time gangster Ugo Piazza (Gastone Moschin) is released from prison. He tries to convince the police, the mafia, his psychotic ex-friend Rocco (Mario Adorf) and his girlfriend Nelly Bordon (Barbara Bouchet) that he wants to go straight, but everyone believes he has $300,000 of stolen money hidden somewhere.

Do you still get a lot of fans coming up to you, wanting to discuss CALIBER 9?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Are you kidding? Well, let’s put it this way. Young people studying cinema, they know about it. When I go to autograph signings, a precise group of fans know about that film.

And one of the more well-known giallo movies you did was Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972).

BARBARA BOUCHET: Yes. Those two films CALIBER 9 and DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING are really my most famous ones.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972) Summary:The film details the investigation of a series of child-murders involving young boys who are either strangled or drowned by an insane individual in small town Accentura, Italy. The local witch (Florinda Bolkan] is wrongly accused and released without charge. However, the superstitious villagers refuse to believe her innocence, and they pillage her with chains during a bloody scene that will break your heart. The police and the media are then back to square one looking for the murderer: Could it be the town’s perverted peeping tom? Or the stunning ex-drug- addicted socialite, Patrizia (Bouchet), who often flaunts her naked body in front of the young boys?  Filming for Don’t Torture a Duckling started on May 2 in 1972, shooting on various rural locations all over Italy for one month. Despite controversy, the film had its first public screening in September of the same year and gained a few encouraging reviews. However, because the film criticized not only the Catholic Church, but also government bureaucracy and rural peasants (portraying them as superstitious and ignorant primitives) , it was practically blacklisted, receiving only minimal theatrical release in Europe and the US.

Where was DUCKLING filmed?

BARBARA BOUCHET: I was just there: a region of southern Italy called Puglia. And a month ago, I was invited to Puglia, to Monte Sant’Angelo, where they really honored me. Monte Sant’Angelo where my scenes for the movie were made was one of those small, little, white stucco, Greek-like towns way up on top of a mountain. Totally isolated. Beautiful. But at the time, I didn’t see any of it because I was staying down below at a hotel in the flatlands, and they would drive me up and stick me in this apartment to film my scenes. And when I returned after all of these years to the apartment where I did many of my scenes for DUCKLING, the man who owns the property he was a very young man when we filmed the movie showed me where we shot my scenes. He said, “You see this dresser? You told me, ‘I’ll give you a check for it. Just write in how much you want.’”

What was working with Lucio Fulci like? 

BARBARA BOUCHET: I got along with him very well, as I did with most of my directors. Fulci was like anybody else; he was very precise, he explained things very well, but other than that, I went to set prepared and I did my job, and that’s just it. Some directors let you say your piece, and some don’t. I simply followed whatever Fulci wanted, and he was lovely to work with.

Don’t Torture a Duckling was a very controversial film. Were you aware of this possibility when you signed on?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Honestly, no, not at all. You know, I had just moved to Italy and I knew nothing about the country, and I didn’t really bother myself with it. I wanted to be an actress, and a part is a part whether I’m a hooker, a princess, a killer, whatever. I have never looked at my work in a different way. It was just my role, a job. Afterward, yes, I realized it a little bit. I had to go into the police department at one point because they thought we used a real child for a violent scene in that film , but of course it was a dwarf. The police were concerned, but we explained to them how we made the movie, and it was fine. Once that was cleared, everything was OK. To be honest, I have very few memories of working on that film because it was just another part. I’ve done so many movies, so many thrillers.

She starred or costarred in supporting roles) in a number of violent crime movies and erotic thrillers. Among them, she appeared in the politically charged thriller The Man with Icy Eyes (1971) (a.k.a. L’Uomo Dagli Occhi di Ghiaccio), about a journalist (Antonio Sabato) who becomes immersed in a labyrinthine plot involving the assassination of a U.S. Senator. In the film, Bouchet played Anne Saks, a promiscuous model who becomes involved in the web of corruption. In Amuck! (a.k.a. Alla Ricera del Piacere, a.k.a. Replica of a Crime, 1972), she co-starred as Greta Franklin, a woman searching for the answers in the mysterious disappearance and death of her childhood friend, becoming entangled in a bizarre web of erotic mind games masterminded by the mentally corrupt Farley Granger (assisted by Rosalba Neri as his devilish, bisexual companion Eleonora). Bouchet’s acting expertise is showcased as never before as she must contend with unwanted erotic advances, drugs, pornography and murder.

 

 Bouchet is still best known for starring in several Italian giallo titles; namely, Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) The French Sex Murders (1972), The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), and Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972). In 1974, Barbara married Italian producer Luigi Borghese, and in 1976, they had their first son Alessandro, who’s birth led Barbara to appear in fewer roles than she had previously so that she could spend more time with her family. This new aspect in Barbara’s life may have also led to her decision to alter the types of roles she chose.  By 1975, Barbara started to leave the thrillers after having been murdered, terrorized, and abused countless times (check out her treatment at the hand of Henry Silva in Cry of a Prostitute (1974) and expressed a desire to devote more of her time to comedies and dramas, some of which became the most successful in Italy at the time.

 

 The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) Two sisters, Kitty and Evelyn, are cursed by a family painting depicting a hundred year-cycle in which a Red Queen is raised from the dead to kill seven times. Hoping to end the cycle, their grandfather, Tobias, orders the painting removed from their sight. Years later Kitty accidentally kills Evelyn during a fight. The death is covered up by their older sister, Franziska, and everyone, including Tobias, is told that Evelyn immigrated to the United States. This doesn’t sit well with Kitty, who is willing to allow Franziska to cover up the murder but feels overwhelming guilt. When their grandfather dies from a fear induced heart attack, a series of murders begin to occur around Kitty, all of which appear to have been caused by a red cloaked Evelyn. The police begin to suspect that Kitty and her married lover Martin are the perpetrators of the murders, especially after Martin’s institutionalized wife is found dead. It’s eventually revealed that Kitty had only stunned Evelyn, who was also not her biological sister – Tobias had adopted her as an additional way of ending the hundred year-cycle. Evelyn’s true murderer was Franziska, who murdered her at the start of an impulsive plan to be the only person to inherit Tobias’ vast fortune. Resentful that she was not the main beneficiary despite providing his daily care, Franziska recruited some of Kitty’s co-workers, who were unhappy of Kitty’s station and preferential treatment by Martin. After murdering her female accomplices Franziska tricks Kitty into entering the basement of Tobias’ mansion, where she tries to slowly drown her via flooding. Realizing the truth, Martin confronts Franziska and gets a confession, only for the woman to be shot by her own husband, Herbert, who had thus far been complicit with her actions. Herbert then leads the police to Kitty’s location, saving her from death, but drowning himself in the process. Kitty and Martin are taken to the hospital

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Another big star at the time was Edwige Fenech. She was your brunette counterpart in the giallo genre when It was really exploding. Actually, you’re both in Sex with a Smile (1976)

BARBARA BOUCHET: Yes, but in different stories. Edwige and I are considered something like the Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren of Italy. Yes, we’re opposites from the same period. Back then, a producer would say, “Give me Barbara or give me Edwige. Either one is fine,” because we were both marketable. They could sell our movies to foreign countries, so it didn’t matter whether they used her the brunette, or me the blonde. And at that time, she had a companion who produced all of her films: Luciano Martino.

Related no doubt to director Sergio Martino.

BARBARA BOUCHET: Yes. Luciano is Sergio’s brother. Luciano also did a lot of my films. But Edwige?… She’s a different creature, let’s put it that way. She’s not very open, not friendly, and she was never able to accept me. I don’t know why, because there was enough work out there for all of us.

Was it a form of professional jealousy?

BARBARA BOUCHET: She’s always been that way. And I can honestly say that I’ve never been that way because I had so much work that I wasn’t even looking at what she was doing. I’d just keep working. But I really realized that she had a problem with me when she went into production work. She hooked up with the filthy rich guy who’s Chairman of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. When he left her, she made a deal with him that she wouldn’t talk in any way, shape, or form about anything pertaining to their relationship. But she wanted to produce. So he helped her produce a TV show: and the first one she did was really good. Her ex-boyfriend Luciano Martino also helped her. So after the show aired, I called Edwige and said. “Congratulations! I couldn’t possibly do production work. I just don’t have the knack for it.” Then I said, “Well, if you’re going to produce more shows, think of how great it would be, the two of us working together: you produce and I act.” But she didn’t want to have anything to do with that idea. Luciano, who’s been going with my girlfriend for nine years now, would tell me, “God, she couldn’t stand you.”

The only film we did together aside from Sex with a Smile was a comedy La moglie in vacanza… l’amante in città (1980). And before we started filming that movie, Edwige said to the makeup artist, “I want to get second call for makeup.” In other words, the makeup person would first do my makeup, then do hers. But what it really meant was that Edwige would get more time to sleep. And the makeup artist said, “Why don’t you change off every once in a while?” No way. “I want second call,” she said, “and that’s it!”

La moglie in vacanza… l’amante in città (1980)

I remember when we were making La moglie in vacanza… l’amante in città  she walked by the dining room where I was sitting by myself in a corner eating my dinner. She was in her fur coat, walked by and said, “Ciao! We’re going out for dinner.” And I said to myself, ‘Well, if it was me, I would’ve said, ‘Hi, Edwige. You’re sitting here by yourself. Why don’t you come and have dinner with us?’ No. She’s just the opposite. She can’t stand me. But you know what, I’m a happy camper, and she’s a very unhappy camper. She’s also very lonely.

How so?

BARBARA BOUCHET: Edwige has a son by a director whom she never mentions who was raised by her parents. Then she became involved with Luciano Martino, who would never marry her. And after that, when she got together with Luca di Montezemolo, she was really high falutin. But he also wouldn’t marry her, and he eventually left her. In fact, a year after he left Edwige, Luca married a young blonde who was closer to his social status. He wasn’t able to marry Edwige because she… There was just a lot of baggage. And the public wouldn’t accept him if he married her because he was running for public office. As I say, she’s an unhappy camper.

Diamanti sporchi di sangue (1977
Diamanti sporchi di sangue (1977)

Diamanti sporchi di sangue (1977) A man is arrested and condemned to five years in jail for robbery. After serving his term, he is out for revenge on the gang members he considers were to blame for his arrest. The prize for this deadly fight is a large cache of diamonds.

Working with director Sergio Martino several times, Barbara starred in Sex with a Smile (1976) (40 Gradi All’Ombra del Lenzuolo). In this sexy comedy, a wealthy Swiss woman (Bouchet) is coerced into sleeping with a complete stranger for several million dollars; her episode was just one of many interesting moments in this sexy multi-story comedy that became a worldwide financial hit. Bouchet also appeared in a similar role in the equally popular follow-up, Sex with a Smile 2 (a.k.a. Sfoghiamoci Cosi Senza Pudor, a.k.a. Love in Four Easy Lessons, 1976). Bouchet’s last memorable role in a genre film was in Sergio Bergonzelli’s crime melodrama The Diamond Connection (Diamanti sporchi di sangue (1977). In 1979 her career was rewarded with the Italian “Valentino” award, which was bestowed upon her as recognition for her work in the Italian film industry. One of her lat roles was La moglie in vacanza… l’amante in città (1980) with Edwige Fenech. As her roles on the big screen became more infrequent, she was seen more often on television. In the eighties she co-hosted the Italian program The Beauty Centre Show and became a spokeswoman for a European health spa. Barbara Bouchet finally returned to the U.S. and co-starred (with Gregory Peck) in the mini-series The Scarlet and the Black (1983). 

FILMOGRAPHY

A Global Affair (1964) as Woman
What a Way to Go! (1964) as Girl on Plane (uncredited)
Bedtime Story (1964) as German Girl (uncredited)
Good Neighbor Sam (1964) as Receptionist (uncredited)
Sex and the Single Girl (1964) as Photographer at Anniversary Party (uncredited)
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1965) as Astrid Porche (uncredited)
In Harm’s Way (1965) as Liz Eddington
Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966) as Ava Vestok
Casino Royale (1967) as Miss Moneypenny (James Bond 007)
Danger Route (1967) as Marita
Sweet Charity (1969) as Ursula
Surabaya Conspiracy (1969) (Stoney) as Irene Stone
The Syndicate: A Death in the Family (Colpo rovente, 1970) as Monica Brown
Cerca di capirmi (1970)
L’asino d’oro: processo per fatti strani contro Lucius Apuleius cittadino romano (1970) as Pudentilla
The Conjugal Debt (Il debito coniugale, 1970) as Candida
The Swinging Confessors (Il prete sposato, 1971) as Signora Marchio
Le calde notti di Don Giovanni (1971) as Esmeralda
The Man with Icy Eyes (L’uomo dagli occhi di ghiaccio, 1971) as Anne Saxe
Nokaut (Instant Success, 1971) as Barbara
Black Belly of the Tarantula (La tarantola dal ventre nero, 1971) as Maria Zani
Non commettere atti impuri (1971) as Nadin
Una cavalla tutta nuda (1972) as Gemmata
Caliber 9 (Milano calibro 9, 1972) as Nelly Borden
Amuck! (Alla ricerca del piacere, 1972) as Greta Franklin
Valerie Inside Outside (Valeria dentro e fuori, 1972) as Valeria – wife of David
Casa d’appuntamento (1972) as Francine
Winged Devils (Forza ‘G’, 1972) as Karin
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte, 1972) as Kitty Wildenbrück
Don’t Torture a Duckling (Non si sevizia un paperino, 1972) as Patrizia
1001 Nights of Pleasure (Finalmente… le mille e una notte, 1972) as Mariam / Princess
La calandria (1972) as Lucrezia – wife of Ferruccio
Racconti proibiti… di niente vestiti (1972) as Lucrezia degli Uberti
Anche se volessi lavorare, che faccio? (1972)
My Pleasure Is Your Pleasure (Il tuo piacere è il mio, 1973) as La prostituta
Ricco the Mean Machine (1973) as Scilla
Ancora una volta prima di lasciarci (1973) as Luisa
Cry of a Prostitute (Quelli che contano, 1974) as Margie
La svergognata (1974) as Silvia Lorenzi, Fabio’s wife
La badessa di Castro (1974) as Elena di Campireali, abbess of Castro
My Mother’s Friend (L’amica di mia madre, 1975) as Barbara
Down the Ancient Staircase (Per le antiche scale, 1975) as Carla
Amore vuol dir gelosia (1975) as Corinna
Duck in Orange Sauce (L’anatra all’arancia, 1975) as Patty
Sex with a Smile (40 gradi all’ombra del lenzuolo, 1975) as The Woman (segment “I soldi in banca”)
Tutti possono arricchire tranne i poveri (1976) as Contessa Federici Fontana
Death Rage (Con la rabbia agli occhi, 1976) as Anny
The Hook (To Agistri, 1976) as Iro Maras
Sex with a Smile II (Spogliamoci così senza pudor, 1976) as Violante (Segment “L’armadio Di Troia”)
Diary of a Passion (Brogliaccio d’amore, 1976)
L’appuntamento (1977) as Ingrid
Blood and Diamonds (Diamanti sporchi di sangue, 1978) as Lisa
How to Lose a Wife and Find a Lover (Come perdere una moglie e trovare un’amante, 1978) as Eleonora Rubens
Travolto dagli affetti familiari (1978)
Liquirizia (1979) as Raffaella
Saturday, Sunday and Friday (Sabato, domenica e venerdì, 1979) as Enza (segment “Domenica”)
La moglie in vacanza… l’amante in città (1980) as Valeria Damiani
I’m Photogenic (Sono fotogenico, 1980)
Spaghetti a mezzanotte (1981) as Celeste La Grasta
Per favore, occupati di Amelia (1981) as Amelia
Perché non facciamo l’amore? (1981) as Manuela & Diana Robelli
Crema cioccolato e pa…prika (1981) as Eleonora
Diamond Connection (1984) as Doctor Karen / Leyla
Our Tropical Island (Mari del Sud, 2001)
Gangs of New York (2002) as Mrs. Schermerhorn
 

CREDITS/REFERENCES/SOURCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY
Fangoria#311
SHOCK CINEMA#44
European Trash Cinema#31

2 thoughts on “Barbara Bouchet: Queen of Giallo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s