Once Upon a Time: American Actors Abroad

In what I hope will be a new series, we take a look at Hollywood actors who accepted offers to make films in Europe and other parts of the world. This has long been a topic near and dear to me and I find the concept fascinating. We all know how ruthless Hollywood could be in the past. Pictures in the golden era were made by committee with an eye to what studio heads thought the public would accept. Actors were placed in boxes and were usually only offered roles that suited their public personas.

We’ll no doubt check in with Eurospy movies. Image courtesy Indiegala Bolg.

Throughout history, I’ve also been intrigued by the “upstart”; entities that challenged established institutions, offering the masses an alternative. The sports world had the World Hockey Association in the Seventies and more recently the LIV Golf series. Even more obliquely I consider the anti-hero revisionist westerns of the Sixties to have rose up and challenged the way mainstream oaters were made. These things often engendered positive changes in these institutions; NHL players got more control over their careers and PGA golfers enjoyed increased purses on their tour. Westerns got grittier into the Seventies and you never knew if the “hero” was going to be alive by the time the credits rolled.

There may have been a stigma at the time to making films abroad. Today these films are celebrated and I like to think that here at Vintage Leisure particularly we have illuminated some of the more engaging actors and entertaining films from the “other” Hollywood including American B movies but also the international films we’ll be looking at in this series.

From Clint Eastwood to Dan Vadis. From sword-and-sandal to spaghetti. From Spain to Iran. From Giallo to Poliziotteschi. Grab your passport and get ready for plenty of stamps.

Behind the scenes at Cinecitta

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