Helmut Berger


  1. Mathieu Carrière, Der junge Törless (US: Young Torless), West Germany-France, 1965.     A year earlier, Italian maestro Luchino Visconti planned his version of Robert Musil’’s 1906 novel with his pretty-boy find as the Austro-Hungarian military boarding schoolboy – opposite Charlote Rampling as the hooker Bozena  Instead, it became the memorable debut of director Volker Schlöndorff… and, indeed, of the New German Cinema. Ironically, Schlöndorff also “inherited” another cherished Visconti dream project, making A la recherche du temps perdu as L’Amour de Swann.
  2. Giancarlo Giannini, The Innocent, Italy, 1976.   Unable to land Warren Beatty or Alain Delon, Italy’s self-important maestro Luchino Visconti turned to the bisexual star he had made of pretty Helmut Steinberger – only to find him making Marxist directorJoseph Losey’s Romantic Englishwoman. “Visconti never forgave me. He detested Losey. ‘You’re working with my worst enemy afte all I did for you – you’re a traitor!’”
  3. Christoph Eichhorn, Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), Austria-West Germany-France-Italy, 1981.     After Alexander Korda failed to produce his dream movie, the Thomas Mann classic was among the 1973 projects of  Luchino Visconti. He met with Mann’s second son, Golo, and talked (of course) to his dream boy Berger. Nothing happened (nor for Plan B, filming Mann’s L’Intrus). German director Hans W Geissendorfer made the ’81 Euro-pudding TV mini series.
  4. Vittorio Mezzogiorno, La Lune dans le caniveau (US: Moon in the Gutter), France, 1983.    “Berger was dead drunk and collapsed under the table,” reported Dominique Besnehard, casting director for  realisateur Jean-Jacques Beineix,  on the hunt for Nastassja Kinski’s brother.  Besnehard knew Mezzogiorno from one of his copine Marlene Jobert’s Italian films, Il giocattolo, 1978.  And so, the Italian actor suddenly had two films competing in Cannes – baffling for festival audiences, as he spoke passable French opposite  Depardieu in the morning screening, and was then speaking with  Depardieu’s (dubbed) voice during L ’homme blesse in the afternoon.  
  5. Oliver Tobias, Mata Hari, 1985.The bare truth version according to Sylvia Kristel.


 Birth year: 1944Death year: 2023Other name: Casting Calls:  5