Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Mai Zetterling



Born: May 24, 1925

Died: March 17, 1994

Aged: 68 years from cancer

Married: 2 times

Affairs: Herbert Lom, Tyrone Power (he gets around!)

Beautiful green-eyed Swede who enraptured audiences by her elfin features. She was born in Sweden, lived a very short time in Australia but they went back to Sweden where she started her film career under the tutelage of Ingmar Bergman. Her early films with Bergman catapulted her to stardom and starring with some of the big names of the day. She became  a sex symbol and could act in drama as well as comedy. In the mid 60's controversy erupted when she started to direct! (How dare she). She directed film that often dealt with sexual themes of homosexuality and sexual repression. her one film " Alskande Pir" was banned at Cannes for being sexually explicit and showing nudity. She is ahead of her time since women directors were and still are rare in the Hollywood industry. She went back to acting in the early 90's.

Films: "Torment", "Frieda", "Music in Darkness", "Quartet", "Only Two Can Play", "Knock on Wood", "The Witches"

Quote: "I have been a child, a girl, a party doll, a mistress, a wife, a mother, a professional woman, a virgin, and a grandmother. I have been a woman for more than 50 years and yet I have never been able to discover precisely what it is I am, how real I am. I ask myself-perhaps my femaleness is just a human disease."



59 comments:

  1. I know the name, but I do not know if I have ever seen her act. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and a job well done!

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    1. I have seen her in Knock on Wood and found her splendid

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  2. I've been a party doll too. :)

    I hope it's not too terrible that I haven't heard of any of her movies. She's quite the beautiful woman. And, congrats to making it though the Challenge!

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    1. Not terrible at all! Oh I have been a party doll and more:)

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  3. Hi, Birgit! I recognize her name but I honestly don't remember seeing any of her movies or television appearances. I admire Mai Zetterling for learning the ropes and switching to the other side of the camera as an avant-garde director.

    I learned from this post. Thank you for choosing Mai Zetterling as your Z topic, dear Birgit!

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    1. Glad you learned about some actors:) She was quite innovative and rare being a female director

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  4. She is new to me... I thought I knew more, but your posts have proven me wrong... thank you for opening my world up a little bit bigger.

    "Z" we made it... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. Glad that I stumped some people:) Glad you liked my A to Z:)

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  5. Good for her, challenging stereotypes.
    Well, Birgit - we did it! Again - I’ve really enjoyed doing the challenge with you for a second year, and thanks for all your support in between too. You are one of my most faithful readers.
    Anabel's Travel Blog
    Adventures of a retired librarian

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    1. I am glad I follow you and you have been faithful too. Yes we did! We conquered the A to Z! I am now having a glass or 5 of wine

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  6. She was a looker. Her quote is one that I think a lot of women can relate to.

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  7. True there weren't many women directors back in the day. And as you said, not many now.
    Congratulations on finishing the Challenge!

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  8. Afraid I don't her or any of the films you listed. Congrats on finishing, hope to continue to see you after the challenge.
    sandy at Bridge and Beyond

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    1. She is a rare one to know about and hope to see you too:)

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  9. I've never heard of her, but she's GORGEOUS, and that quote is quite a quote.

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    1. It is quite the quote and I think I played most of those characters too

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  10. I have heard of her, but never knew she directed anything.

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    1. She did and to find out they were racy is just grand:)

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  11. The Witches! Awesome movie. Great actress.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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  12. Doesn't seem to be many woman directors at any time period. Maybe a bunch of lesser know on tv

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    1. Very few women directors...very few

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  13. How interesting that she was a director. I can't imagine the opposition she faced back then when even now it's not common for women to direct.

    I'd never heard of her either - learned about lots of interesting people thanks to your posts this year.

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    1. Glad you got to know some new people and glad she was a director when so few women were and are

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  14. I remember The Witches. She was good in that, and awesome for her for pioneering female directors.

    Congrats on surviving the challenge! :)

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    1. She was quite good and inspirational

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  15. Another wonderful discovery for me. I'm wondering now what Mai Zetterlings ears look like, LOL. Are they pointed? I can only imagine Hollywood's reaction when they realised what a beautiful woman with brains could direct.

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    1. Hmm maybe she is the female Spock:) since she has brains behind that beautiful face

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  16. She sounds like my kind of gal, pooh-poohing what society says women must and must'nt do. Be interesting to see if Cannes would consider movie sexually explicit today.

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    1. Yes I wonder about that film also & would love to see it. We would probably think it is quite tame now

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  17. BIRGIT ~
    Good job on 'A To Z'.

    I don't think I've seen any of Zetterling's movies. And I gotta say, even for a guy who knows quite a good number of old movies and old film actors, you came up with several that I didn't know much if anything at all about.

    You've got me beat in the 'Classic Film Department', and that doesn't happen too often, I assure you.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Yeah! Thank you for that wonderful compliment! I try to come up with names that popped into my head. I saw her in Knock on Wood with Danny Kaye and loved her. I saw that movie when I was a kid and loved her name. Hey....what is your favourite Film Noir?

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    2. My favorite Noir is 'SUNSET BOULEVARD'. My second favorite, not far behind, is 'CASABLANCA'. (Yep. I'm one of those folks who argue that 'Casablanca' IS Film Noir.)

      Have you seen 'TOUCH OF EVIL' by (and with) Orson Welles?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  18. I do not recognize her at all. I'll have to check out one of her movies.

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    1. She was the early muse of Ingmar Bergman. I had seen her in Knock On Wood which I thought she was great in

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  19. She was ahead of her time. I remember reading that most of the "brilliant ideas" attributed to Desi Arnaz were actually Lucille Ball's--she would give him the ideas and he would present them as his because at that time, nobody would take a woman seriously, even if she was a big star.

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    1. I did not hear that about Desi Arnaz taking the credit. I know he was quite innovative with the show-making sure there were 3 cameras filming. They did buy RKO studios and both headed the co. Lucille Ball was the reason Star Trek was on the air plus other shows as she was more business minded

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  20. We need more female directors. Good on her!

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  21. I don't know her work at all. Judging from the quote, though, she certainly must have been a fascinating woman.

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    1. I think she is and had looks and smarts

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  22. She was gorgeous and you are right, ahead of her time. I liked her quote. Congrats on making it through the challenge! I know I said it before, but did enjoy your theme :) Now to next year's challenge!

    betty

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    1. Thanks:) She was ahead of her time and I love that quote also

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  23. Wonderful job with the challenge! I loved reading your very entertaining posts. Such a diverse group of actors / actresses, fascinating to read about - things have changed but not nearly enough. Women still have to work harder to prove themselves, racism is still very much alive, etc.

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    1. We always have to work harder and ask for what we deserve and then we are labelled bitchy. Thanks for the support:)

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  24. Sounds like an interesting woman, very pretty too.

    Congrats on finishing the challenge. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. You are welcome! She is interesting and not too many know about her

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  25. I hadn't heard of her. Sounds like she was an interesting woman, and very pretty.

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    1. Pretty, intelligent, innovative, gutsy-what is not to like?

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  26. A wonderful post with which to finish the A to Z Challenge. I have really enjoyed your trip through the alphabet and have learned a lot.

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    1. Thank you so much-glad you enjoyed it-love your blog too

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  27. Congrats on finishing the a-z, Birgit! Enjoyed your second round of Hollywood stars.

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  28. We did it! A to Z. Congrats and hope to see you sign up again next year!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Co-host
    Z is for Zombie

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  29. She was ahead of her time. In those days, "party dolls" and controversial directors were usually not one in the same. I guess not much has really changed. Wait a minute, hasn't Madonna done some directing? You've done an incredible job dishing about these fabulous film stars! Congrats Birgit!

    Julie

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  30. Pretty face and I learned about her at your blog!

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  31. Wow- she really was ahead of her time. Good for her for going after her dreams and doing what she wanted. She is definitely an inspiration!
    ~Jess

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