José Greci

┌ the divas of the Italian genre cinema
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PeplumParadise
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José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 19:51

José Greci in Maciste contro i Mongoli (1963)
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Giuseppina Greci, known professionally as José, was an actress active in Italian films from the late 50’s until the early 70’s (with a one-off television role in the 80’s).

She was born in Ferrara, Italy on January 10th 1941 and died on June 1st 2017 in Rome, aged 76. She was the daughter of journalist and television writer Luigi Greci. Roger Browne has been quoted as saying that she married a director, without giving the name. It is also rumoured that she was the companion of writer Dino Verde for many years.

At the age of 15 she enrolled at the Silvio D’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art, where she studied for 2 years, afterwards finding work in theatre and television. In 1957, at the age of 17, she was chosen to play the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in MGM’s production of Ben-Hur, to be shot in Rome. From the ensuing publicity she managed to build a career as a leading lady, predominantly in peplum and eurospy features, and it as one of the brightest stars of those genres that she is remembered today.

Her career quietly fizzled out in the early 70’s. While she did do some very chaste modelling, she never appeared naked or bared her breasts in films or magazines, and I suspect her career suffered as a result, after that became the norm for an actress to maintain a career in Italian cinema. It also can’t have helped that in 3 of her most successful films internationally she was lumbered with different unlikely pseudonyms, not the way to establish yourself as a star when the public doesn’t know what to call you. Like several other actresses featured here whose careers ended around the same time (Wandisa Guida, Gisella Arden), she reappeared once in the 80’s and then a final time in 1993, before vanishing completely from view until the news of her death two years ago.

Her biographical details are gathered from, and concurred by, multiple sources.

I think it unlikely there will be much in the way of new roles to be found for her, possibly some TV work. I did, however, uncover her role, hidden behind an odd pseudonym which had seemingly gone unnoticed by anyone for years, in the western Sfida a Rio Bravo, so it seems that even for leading ladies there can be roles to be uncovered.


FILMOGRAPHY
1958
  1. Canne al vento (TV movie) (credited) .... Grixenda

    1959
  2. Ben-Hur (uncredited) .... Mary
  3. La cento chilometri (credited) .... One of Elena's friends

    1960
  4. La vendetta dei barbari (credited) .... Sabina

    1961
  5. Le italiane e l'amore (credited) .... The wife
  6. Romolo e Remo (credited) .... Estia

    1962
  7. Il sangue e la sfida (poster credit) .... role?
  8. Le sette folgori di Assur (credited) .... Crisia
  9. Maciste, il gladiatore più forte del mondo (credited) .... Revia
  10. Ursus gladiatore ribelle (credited) .... Arminia

    1963
  11. Golia e il cavaliere mascherato (credited) .... Dona Blanca
  12. I dieci gladiatori (credited as Susan Paget) .... Livia
  13. La portatrice di pane (credited) .... Amanda
  14. Maciste contro i Mongoli (credited) .... Bianca de Tudela
  15. Maciste, l'eroe più grande del mondo (credited) .... Regia
  16. Zorro e i tre moschettieri (credited) .... Isabella

    1964
  17. Delitto allo specchio (credited) .... Kitty
  18. La vendetta dei gladiatori (credited) .... Priscilla
  19. Maciste nell'inferno di Gengis Khan (credited) .... Arminia
  20. Sfida a Rio Bravo (credited as Cordin Davis) .... Clementine Hewitt
  21. Una spada per l'impero (credited) .... Nissia

    1965
  22. Operazione poker (credited) .... Helga Firelli
  23. S.077 spionaggio a Tangeri (credited) .... Lee Randall
  24. Sette contro tutti (credited as Liz Havilland) .... Assuer

    1966
  25. Cifrato speciale (credited) .... Lynn
  26. Maigret a Pigalle (credited) .... Arlette
  27. Un milione di dollari per sette assassini (credited) .... Ellen

    1968
  28. All'ultimo sangue (credited) .... Consuelo
  29. La più bella coppia del mondo (credited) .... Signora Gennaroni
  30. Tutto sul rosso (credited) .... Yvette

    1969
  31. Il cenerentolo (TV movie) (credited) .... Loretta
  32. Stasera Fernandel (TV series, episode 6: "Una tranquilla villeggiatura") (credited) .... role?

    1972
  33. Afyon oppio (credited) .... Lucia

    1974
  34. Catene (poster credit) .... role?

    1985
  35. Io e te, amore mio, ci ameremo eternamente (TV movie) (credited) .... role?

    1993
  36. Don Fumino (TV series) - episode 14: "La compagna di scuola" (credited) .... Giudietta

Fotoromanzi
  • "La voce della foresta" (Published in Bolero Film from April to late 1960) - credited
  • "Una vita sbagliata" (Published in Bolero Film from July 1961 to January 1962) - credited
  • "Il fatale amore di Bianca Cappello" (Published in Grand Hotel from June to October 1969) - credited
  • "Non chiudere la porta" (Published in Sogno from June to October 1971) - credited

More Greci!
Images and credit shots are needed for the following "poster credit" and "listing credit" titles
  • Il sangue e la sfida (1962)
  • Il cenerentolo (1969)
  • Stasera Fernandel (1969)
  • Catene (1974)
  • Io e te, amore mio, ci ameremo eternamente (1985)

No way José!
There are 2 films where José has previously been mis-credited as appearing due to "Susan Paget" being credited, an understandable mistake for people who haven't seen the films since she used this pseudonym in I dieci gladiatori. The actress appearing in both these films however is not José, but Fulvia Gasser.
  • Anno 79 - La distruzione di Ercolano (1962)
  • Il vecchio testamento (1963)

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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 19:57

José's earliest known appearance comes in the TV movie Canne al vento (1958) credited, as Grixenda. I am uncertain if this was filmed before or after she shot her role for Ben-Hur, released the following year.
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:06

José came to the attention of the public and the industry when she was chosen, following a well-publicised search, for the role of the virgin Mary in MGM's prestigious production of Ben-Hur (1959). It is actually a very small role with her only being seen in passing and in shadowed long shot in the film, but her screen test can be seen in the making-of found on the blu-ray release, along with the details of how she got cast.
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:14

La vendetta dei barbari (1960) credited, as Sabina
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:19

Le italiane e l'amore (1961) credited, as "The wife", in the segment Un matrimonio
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:22

Romolo e Remo (1961) credited, as Estia
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:26

Il sangue e la sfida (1962) credited with images on the publicity. A film so hard to find that even the leading roles remain unknown.
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:31

Le sette folgori di Assur (1962) credited, as Crisia
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:33

Maciste, il gladiatore più forte del mondo (1962) credited, as Revia
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Re: José Greci

Post by PeplumParadise » 12/04/2020, 20:46

Ursus gladiatore ribelle (1962) credited, as Arminia
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