Forgotten today, Marcella Albani was an idol of the European cinema in the final years of the 1920s, making dozens of films in five different countries (Italy, Germany, Austria, France and Czechoslovakia). After sound came, her popularity declined and she turned to writing. One of her novels "La Città dell'amore" was even adapted for the big screen by Mario Franchini, her husband. She went on acting until 1936. After a final appearance in Luis Trenker Der Kaiser von Kalifornien (1936), she retired from acting and led a peaceful life at the Ligurian Coast. Born in 1899, Marcella Albani had been discovered twenty years afterward by writer-director Guido Parish with whom she formed a very successful team. The couple made nearly all their respective films together (mainly tearjerkers and adventure yarns) until 1924 when they parted company. Their first movies were made in Italy until Parish decided to go to Germany. Marcella followed her mentor - who had changed his name to Guido Schamberg - there, and she met with instant success. Very exotic as the elegant Latin lady against a German backdrop, she enraptured German males in flicks such as Frauenschicksal (1923), Das Spiel der Liebe (1924) or Die Flucht in den Zirkus (1926). When she became freelance, she was occasionally chosen by important directors like Joe May, Friedrich Zelnik' or William Dieterle. One thing leading to another Marcella Albani made no fewer than fifty-odd films in only seventeen years. She was not even sixty when, having fallen into oblivion, she died of a brain tumor. Will she be rediscovered some day?
- Lia Berti
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