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Author Topic: The fate of Franco?  (Read 4607 times)

MikeMalloy

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The fate of Franco?
« on: 15 Aug 2008 - 14:31 »

Reading Jonny's review of MARK THE NARC got me wondering again about Franco Gasparri. We've all heard that he was tragically paralyzed in a motorcycle accident circa 1980. But what was he doing between 1976 (the year his final MARK film was released) and 1980? Did he simply go back to modeling?

Of the lead actors in Italian cinema I've talked to, they've all basically said that they could've worked as much as they wanted to back then -- the Italian film industry was just that prolific. So Gasparri could've made more films if he wanted to, I'm guessing...

Info anyone? Wild speculation?
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Jonny

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #1 on: 15 Aug 2008 - 14:37 »

This is something I've been thinking about too Mike. It doesn't seem to add up that he'd make a successful set of films and then drop off the radar.

I'd love to know more about him too. I actually really enjoyed Gasparri in the three Mark films and would've liked to have seen more films with him in after 1976.
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MikeMalloy

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #2 on: 15 Aug 2008 - 14:47 »

Stelvio Massi said somewhere -- maybe on the NoShame EMERGENCY SQUAD dvd? -- that the third Mark film wasn't quite as popular as the first two.

But still ... Gasparri surely could've landed some sort of subsequent film role if he wanted...
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MikeMalloy

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #3 on: 15 Aug 2008 - 14:49 »


I actually really enjoyed Gasparri in the three Mark films and would've liked to have seen more films with him in after 1976.

I'll make you a copy of THE PREY if you don't already have...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0134904/
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Johan Melle

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #4 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 12:39 »

I'm sure Gasparri could have done more films had he wanted to but he already had a very good career as a leading man in fotoromanzi (photo novels). Lots of familiar film actors also had considerable success in photo novels, for example Ivan Rassimov (who usually acted under the name Gill Mayeron), Peter Lee Lawrence (who went under the name Pierre Clement), former Hercules actor Kirk Morris etc. But Gasparri was the biggest photo novel star in the 70s. He was a huge star and immensely popular with the female readers, so he didn't really need to do films.

Stephen Grimes

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #5 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 12:56 »

Here's an interesting Italian site devoted to Gasparri and his fotoromanzi work
Franco Gasparri Fotoromanzi
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Jonny

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #6 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 13:36 »

But Gasparri was the biggest photo novel star in the 70s. He was a huge star and immensely popular with the female readers, so he didn't really need to do films.

I never knew just how popular he was, thanks for the info Johan. Certainly explains why he didn't pursue the film roles.

Cool link Stephen!  :'(
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Johan Melle

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #7 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 19:28 »

That fotoromanzo site is really wonderful! The only downside is that it only covers the fotoromanzi put out by Lancio so it doesn't cover the work these actors did for other companies and doesn't include notable fotoromanzo actors who didn't work for Lancio (Shirley Corrigan, Barbara Magnolfi, Roger Browne, Dorit Henke, Vito Fornari etc)

It's still very cool, though, and contains lots of interesting information!

Jonny

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #8 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 21:26 »

That fotoromanzo site is really wonderful! The only downside is that it only covers the fotoromanzi put out by Lancio so it doesn't cover the work these actors did for other companies and doesn't include notable fotoromanzo actors who didn't work for Lancio (Shirley Corrigan, Barbara Magnolfi, Roger Browne, Dorit Henke, Vito Fornari etc)

Johan! So you're saying there's even more info on this subject?

 ???

We need more info mate!
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Johan Melle

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #9 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 21:55 »

I just meant that there were other fotoromanzo companies such as Sogno, Edistar, Alpe and Condor. I have bought a lot of these on eBay and they feature a lot of cool actors.

Then there are the companies that put out so-called "fotoromanzi neri", which were geared at a male audience and were much more violent and sexy. There was Ponzoni Editore which put out the famous "Killing" series (1966-1969) about violent, masked crime king called Killing. It's surprisingly violent and featured an excellent cast. George Hilton was originally the detective out to get Killing but he left after five issues because he was getting a break in films. He was replaced by Dario Michaelis from I VAMPIRI and THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED. Other familiar actors who appeared frequently in the series were Paul Muller, Rico Boido, Mimo Poli, Renato Baldini, Alberto Farnese, Lea Lander, Vito Fornari etc. It also made stars out of then unknown babes like Erna Schurer, Rosemarie Lindt and Gabriella Giorgelli.

After "Killing" ended they put out a violent, sexy detective series called "Le avventure di Don Archer" starring Alberto Farnese. Lots of great ladies popped up in this series too - Rosemarie Lindt and Erna Schurer returned and Polselli starlet Katia Cardinali was in some issues too.

Ponzoni also put out "Kimba re dell'Africa nera", which was a goofy but fun series starring Vito Fornari as Kimba. It was a complete rip-off of Tarzan (Kimba's woman is even named Jane) but very enjoyable.

Furio Viano Editore released "Genius" from 1966 to 1970. Sort of a rival series to "Killing" - it is about FBI agent Lon Flag (played by Philip Kay) who dresses up in all black and has a noose around his neck to become Genius, a vindicator who goes after bad guys that he can't get otherwise. It was a fun series and the covers were great but the stories were inferior to "Killing". I like the early issues but after a while they changed the name to Genius Strip and pics of half-naked women started to take up too much of the pages for my liking.

There are many others too put these fotoromanzi neri are generally more collectible and hence more difficult to track down than the traditional fotoromanzi geared at female readers. They are well worth getting, however.

Jonny

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #10 on: 19 Aug 2008 - 22:36 »

I just meant that there were other fotoromanzo companies such as Sogno, Edistar, Alpe and Condor. I have bought a lot of these on eBay and they feature a lot of cool actors.

You're a cool cat Johan. How can us mere mortals gain the knowledge you have?
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MikeMalloy

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Re: The fate of Franco?
« Reply #11 on: 23 Aug 2008 - 16:26 »

I first heard about the Mark the Narc films through an article in EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA. The writer described the films as being blatant DIRTY HARRY rip-offs, so I envisioned this leading man playing Mark as being vaguely Eastwoodian in appearance -- or at least being styled to resemble Clint in a general way. I was surprised when I finally saw the films, as Gasparri had longer hair and wasn't what I pictured at all.

Not much resemblance on first glance, huh?



But then I started to notice that the two mens' eyes/eyebrows/bridge-of-the-nose actually did have a resemblance:



And every once and awhile, Gasparri would photograph to look uncannily like Clint:



Is it just me, or does anyone else see it too?

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