Farley Granger (1925-2011)

On 27 March American actor Farley Granger (1925-2011) died. In a career spanning several decades, he perhaps was known best for his two collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951). I remember him most dearly for his homme fatal role as the perfidious, hysterical and tragic Austrian officer Franz Mahler in Luchino Visconti’s Senso (1954) opposite Alida Valli (1921-2006) as countess Livia Serpieri. During their first night Franz picks up a piece of mirror and looks at himself, with pleasure. When Livia asks himself whether he likes himself so much, he answers: ‘ I just to want be sure that I am myself.’ Later on, while Livia is fighting against her love and asks him to go, he whispers like a little devil: ‘Sorry, I think I understood you badly. I thought you said: Franz, dear Franz, please stay.’ And of course she gives in… In 2008 Farley Granger published his memoirs, entitled Include Me Out. My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway, his frank and entertaining autobiography, co-written with his partner Robert Calhoun. At the time, I tried to contact him through his publisher, but, alas, in vain. Farley Granger died of natural causes at age 85. Rest in peace, caro Franz.

This is a clip from a documentary on Visconti. At 5.30 a part on Senso starts, with an interview with Farley Granger.

~ by Ivo Blom on March 29, 2011.

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