Kendall, Suzy

the famous actresses of the Italian Genre cinema
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Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 27/05/2019, 11:16

Suzy Kendall
Suzy Kendall (pseudonym of Frieda Harrison) was a British actress very active in Italy in the early seventies, where she participated in several blockbuster movies.

Biographical note
Suzy Kendall was born on 1 January 1937 in Belper (England). Her family is involved in interior decoration with a shop in Belper, at the beginning of King Street, opposite the hotel Ritz. She study design and painting at the University of Derby, specializing in the textile and fashion sector. Then, she found employment at the British Celanese manufacturing industry.

Before entering the entertainment world, although lacking any real training in this sense, she work as a model and at the age of 28, on the advice of her agent, she adopt the pseudonym of Suzy Kendall and debut in some British TV series, including the sci-fi R3 (1965), covering little roles.

In 1965 she debuts on the silver screen as an extra in a movie of Agent 007 series, Thunderball, by Terence Young, which immediately follows another little appearance in the film The Liquidator by Jack Cardiff, with Rod Taylor, a popular Australian actor with whom she will still have the opportunity to work.

She gain greater visibility thanks to the musical Up Jumped a Swagman (1965) by Christopher Miles, in whose opening credits she is cited as debutant ("introducing"), and with the following thriller Circus of Fear (1966), by John L. Moxey, in which she works alongside stars of the caliber of Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Klaus Kinski and another British actress who will get some fame in Italy: Margaret Lee.

On the subject of student rebellions is her following film: To Sir, with Love (1967), by James Clavell, a sort of English version of "Blackboard Jungle", thanks to which she has the possibility of supporting, with a more substantial role than usual, the American celebrity Sidney Poitier and to acquire a certain fame also at international level.

This film will bring her closer to her first starring role, in a claustrophobic thriller that will anticipate some of the typical situations of Kubrick's masterpiece, "A Clockwork Orange", titled Peter Collinson's Penthouse (1967). The final result of the work will however leave the bitter in the actress's mouth, despite the appreciation shown by the public for its praiseworthy interpretation. Following is another (and better) film for Collinson - always starring - the social drama Up the Junction (1968), the second film version of the controversial novel by Nell Dunn.

In 1968 she married the English comedian and musician Dudley Moore, co-starring with her in a somewhat comical and typically British comedy: 30 is a dangerous age, Cynthia (1968) by Joseph McGrath.

The opportunity to work abroad also comes with an Italian-Yugoslav co-production that does not go well: her character is that of a femme fatale of the First World War, vaguely inspired by the figure of Mata Hari, enriched by some notes of lesbianism; the title of the work is Fraülein Doktor (1969). The director, Alberto Lattuada, will take care to blame her for the blatant fiasco of the film.

The following work, also in co-production with Yugoslavia, is the English comedy The Gamblers (1970) by Ron Winston: filmed in Dubrovnik, this film will also go onto the screen a little on the sly.

The occasion to achieve success, arrives around 1970, thanks to the director Dario Argento, who wants her in the role of Julia in the Giallo L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo. The incredible outcome of the film, of which part of the credit certainly goes to her exciting interpretation, favors writing in three other British films, always linked to the thriller genre: Darker Than Amber (1970), by Robert Clouse, again with Rod Taylor ("The birds"), Assault (1971) by Sidney Hayers, a film that traces the pattern of the first Argentinian film, but with a soporific English aplomb, and Fear Is the Key (1972), by Michael Tuchner, again a vibrant action-thriller which tries to enter among the films in vogue in those years, the "underwater" ones.

There are two characteristics that distinguish her and reward her as an actress: the first the ability to understand her ideal cinematographic dimension and to specialize within it; the second, is the great credibility that she manages to bestow on her characters. Her only "fault", is that of having done her debut in the cinema no longer young, suffering so throughout her career, a sort of race against the time to try to win more demanding and brilliant roles.

In 1972, her desire to interrupt her career to give birth to a child clashed with her husband's intentions, whose professional progress at that time was on the rise. These disagreements, combined with the constant distance of the two for work reasons, are the conditions that will lead them, by mutual agreement and peacefully, to divorce.

She returns to work in Italian cinema the following year, as the protagonist of the Giallo I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale a.k.a. Torso by Sergio Martino, a film that consecrates her as a scream-queen of the genre and that receives excellent profits, even in the United States. Also in 1973, she interprets the erotic drama Storia di una monaca di clausura, by Domenico Paolella, together with Eleonora Giorgi and Catherine Spaak, which can be considered one of the best works of the “nunsploitation” vein.

In the most prolific moment of her career, she continues to alternate Italian and English cinema, and for the direction of veteran Freddie Francis ("Dr. Terror's House of Horrors"), she works in two horror-thrillers that will turn out to be rather weak: the film Tales That Witness Madness (1973), and Craze (1974), alongside Jack Palance; in this second film, the actress is deprived of the characteristic golden crown adorned with fringe, in favor of a curly brown hair, in order to place her in contrast to the other supporting actresses, the "very blond" Diana Dors and Julie Ege.

Among the two directions by Francis, she also interprets her latest Italian film, the masterpiece thriller by Umberto Lenzi, Spasmo (1974).

She ended her career with the Gerd Oswald's German drama Bis zur bitteren Neige (To the Bitter End, 1975), starring along with Maurice Ronet, and Stanley's sexy British comedy Adventures of a Private Eye (1977) by Stanley A. Long.

With the desire still unfulfilled to become a mother, at the end of the Seventies she decided to abandon the scenes definitively and at the same time withdraw from all worldliness.

Married with Alexander James Christopher ("Sandy") Harper, a coffee merchant, she publishes a book dedicated to cosmetics: "Natural Appeal: Fragrant Natural Preparations for the Care of Skin, Hair and Body" (1980), she dedicated to the study of piano and gives birth to the daughter Elodie (Harper), now acclaimed mystery novelist ("The Death Knoch"), also awarded by Stephen King, as well as journalist of the English TV channel "ITV News Anglia".

In 2012 she received a nostalgic citation, as a "special guest screamer" among the credits of the misunderstood British thriller "Barberian Sound Studio", by Peter Strickland, a film that reused the actress' archive sound material and whose plot centers around a technician of sound involved in the making of a Giallo movie shot in the Italy of the seventies.

Filmography
1965
  1. Thunderball a.k.a. Agente 007 - Thunderball: operazione tuono .... Casino player (uncredited)

    1966
  2. Circus of Fear a.k.a. Il lungo coltello di Londra .... Natasha (credited as Guest Star)

    1967
  3. The Penthouse a.k.a. Un attico sopra l'inferno .... Barbara Wilson (credited)

    1968
  4. Up the Junction .... Polly (credited)

    1969
  5. Fräulein Doktor .... Fraülein Doktor (credited)

    1970
  6. Darker Than Amber a.k.a. Grande caldo per il racket della droga .... Vangie (credited)
  7. L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo .... Julia (credited)

    1971
  8. Assault a.k.a. Terrore al London College .... Julie West (credited)

    1972
  9. Fear Is The Key a.k.a. Gli ultimi sei minuti .... Sarah Ruthven (credited)

    1973
  10. I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale .... Jane (credited)
  11. Storia di una monaca di clausura .... Mother Superior (credited)

    1974
  12. Spasmo .... Barbara (credited)
Attachments
Suzy Kendall portrait.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 23/10/2021, 22:37, edited 76 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 10/04/2021, 22:51

In Dario Argento's first Giallo L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970) as Julia

She plays the girlfirend of the protagonist (Tony Musante), targeted by the killer. Although she is not the protagonist of the film, in fact she is the protagonist of the most important and most tense sequence: a memorable interpretation that made her known to an international audience.
L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970) Kendall.jpg
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L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970) 002.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 22/10/2021, 19:14, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 24/04/2021, 18:19

Co-star in Assault (1971) as Julie West

A british slightly morbid thriller. The story centers on a mysterious girl rapist who roams near a boarding school. She plays a teacher who trying to shed light on the crimes that are being committed. Not one of her most interesting films due to the lack of tension that the director manages to convey an for the aged soundtrack.
Assault (1971) 1.jpg
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Assault (1971) 4.jpg
Assault (1971) 5.jpg
Assault (1971) 6.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 22/09/2021, 14:26, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 20/09/2021, 19:00

Starring beside Robert Hoffmann in Umberto Lenzi's giallo Spasmo (1974) as Barbara

Like the rest of the characters, she plays an ambiguous and mysterious role, that of the new girlfriend of the protagonist, who approaches him in a mysterious way. The film is refined and the erotic and violence moments are very "soft": a perfect script for the slightly icy charm of the actress.
Spasmo (1974) 1.jpg
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Spasmo (1974) 4.jpg
Spasmo (1974) 6.jpg
Spasmo (1974) 7.jpg
Spasmo (1974) 8.jpg
Attachments
Spasmo (1974) 5.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 22/09/2021, 22:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 22/09/2021, 14:20

Crossing the nunspoitation genre with Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) as the Mother Superior

This is probably the finest example of italian nunspoitaion movie. The british actress plays the part of an austere cloistered nun at the head of the convent, who, like other nuns, suffers the charm of a novice (played by Eleonora Giorgi). An unusual role as a cruel woman, but in need of love.
Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) 1.jpg
Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) 2.jpg
Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) 4.jpg
Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) 5.jpg
Storia di una monaca di clausura (1973) 6.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 29/09/2021, 23:41, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 22/09/2021, 16:34

In Sergio Martino's Giallo I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale (1973) as Jane

Here she plays an American art teacher who is trying to specialize at the University of Foreigners of Perugia. Meanwhile, various murders begin to fall on the other students and without realizing, she will also fall in the hands of the maniac.

While she played a secondary role in her first italian Giallo "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo", here the director Martino understands her great value as dramatic actress and he gives her the leading role of his movie. What comes out is the best role of Suzy's whole career, which we could call her "swan song". Especially in the second part of the movie, the actress manages to impress an incredible pathos, for which to this day this film is remembered as one of the best of all its genre.
I corpi presentano tracce (1973) 1.jpg
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I corpi presentano tracce (1973) 9.jpg
I corpi presentano tracce (1973) 10.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 29/09/2021, 23:37, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 22/09/2021, 17:21

Circus of Fear (1966) as Natasha

A "mild" thriller, starring Christopher Lee and Leo Genn, on a script by Edgar Wallace. Suzy is the only female presence alongside Margaret Lee (although they don't have scenes together) and she plays a lion tamer involved in a police investigation into a theft whose culprit works in a mysterious circus. Unfortunately, the suspense does not take off, also due to the fact that star Christopher Lee plays hooded for most of the film and for the soporific and unwatchable Inspector played by Heinz Drache.
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 1.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 2.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 3.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 4.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 5.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 6.jpg
Il lungo coltello di Londra (1966) 7.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 29/09/2021, 23:40, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 22/09/2021, 22:10

Her debut as a background actress, near Roger Moore, in Thunderball (1965) as Casino player
Thunderball (1965) 1.jpg
Thunderball (1965) 3.jpg
Thunderball (1965) 4.jpg
Thunderball (1965) 5.jpg

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 29/09/2021, 23:25

In Lattuada's Fräulein Doktor (1969) as Fraülein Doktor

With an absolute starring role, as a really lived efficient and mysterious Germany spy in service during the First World War, called Fraülein Doktor. The film at times is very crude when it shows the effects of gas on the soldiers, and alternates these grim moments with other ones more peaceful, up to dwelling on explicit scenes of lesbianism. The public did not particularly appreciate the combination and the film proved to be a fiasco. However, artistically, the professional interpretation of the actress must be acknowledged, and the careful historical reconstruction of the environment too.
Fraulein Doktor (1969) 1.jpg
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Fraulein Doktor (1969) 8.jpg
Fraulein Doktor (1969) 9.jpg
Fraulein Doktor (1969) 10.jpg
Fraulein Doktor (1969) 11.jpg
Last edited by Emiliano on 09/10/2021, 10:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kendall, Suzy

Post by Emiliano » 03/10/2021, 22:28

Fear Is The Key (1972) as Sarah Ruthven

In this action movie she's the daughter of an oil tycoon taken hostage by a fugitive. After daring pursuits in full "Seventies style", the girl accept to help the criminal to recover a treasure at the bottom of the sea.
The figure of the hostage in panic seems to be a role in which she manages to immerse perfectly. The film is a pleasant entertainment, even if the rhythm, after a good first half, fades in the second.
Fear Is the Key (1972) 001.jpg
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