Sunday, April 3, 2011

Charlotte Rampling

Yesterday I was able to catch a 1975 Robert Mitchum (1917 - 1997) movie called Farewell, My Lovely.  It was a Phillip Marlow detective story, so I had to watch it.  About half way into the movie he finds himself kissing Charlotte Rampling (b. 1946), in her home, as her husband pops in.  Oops!  Rampling plays Velma, the villainess.  (Is that a word?  My spell checker doesn't seem to think so.)

While the movie wasn't the best I've seen of Marlow, it wasn't bad.  Bogart is more intense, but Mitchum brings a more intelligent portrayal, and the movie sticks to the style of a detective novel in the 1930s.  Mitchum is definitely one of the best for this genre, and this one is definitely worth seeking out.

Charlotte Rampling first came to my eye in The Verdict (1982), a courtroom drama starring Paul Newman.  In that movie, she was also not very nice.  She tried to throw Newman off track by seducing him.  The Verdict is well worth viewing, but it does come off as a little dated.

Rampling was born in England and educated in France, so she is well spoken and well educated.  She became a model, and that led to a part as a water skier in The Knack...and How to Get It (1965).  That led to better parts in Georgy Girl (1966) and several TV programs.

She played the hitchhiker in Vanishing Point (1971), and she played Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972) starring Keith Mitchell (b. 1928).  In 1974 she co-starred with Sean Connery in Zardoz.

In 1980 she stars with Woody Allen (b. 1935) in his movie, Stardust Memories.  Later on she was in the 1988 remake of D.O.A., starring Dennis Quaid (b. 1954).  That one would never live up to the original 1950 film noir classic starring Edmond O'Brien.  Rampling has some 95 titles on IMDb, and she is still working.  That's should give you ample opportunity to find her.

Sadly, Farewell, My Lovely isn't available on DVD or BluRay.  The link above goes to Amazon for a download, which is OK if your computer will play to a decent television.  Also sadly, Charlotte Rampling is not a big star...but she is talented, and is still a very good looking woman.  She was beautiful in The Verdict and Farewell, reaching for (and achieving, in my book) an early Lauren Bacall look.  She is a Bit Actress, and a good one.


  1. Thank you for putting your spotlight on another favorite of mine. Charlotte Rampling was a most lovely & sexy young woman - which may have distracted some from her skill as an actress . She and Paul Newman were brilliant in "The Verdict." She was also very good in "The Night Porter" with Dirk Bogarde. You're right, Allen, she resembled Lauren Bacall a bit in her youth. She was married for a long time to composer Jean Michel Jarre, son of composer Maurice ("Lawrence of Arabia," etc.).

  2. Thanks for more insight on Charlotte, Eve. Curious that she isn't a household name, but a lot of her work does not appear to be in Hollywood. Plus, her name doesn't say "STAR" to me. Rampling sounds more like a sheet drying in the wind.

  3. My favorite Charlotte Rampling performance was in GEORGY GIRL, in which she imbues her characters with realistic inner sadness. As for Marlow movies, my favorite is MURDER, MY SWEET, an earlier version of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY.

  4. Thanks, Rick. Rampling seems to have a dedicated following. If you Google search for her images with "safe search" turned off, you will see a lot more of her!


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