Hardy Krüger


  1. Horst Buchholz, Die Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull a (US: Confessions of Felix Krull), West Germany, 1957. When the  Dresden-born Robert Siodamak was the first director to consider filming Thomas Mann’s unfinished 1954 novel he had some strange notions  for the young con-man hero.      West German stars OE Hesse and Martin Held were in their 50s versus Hardy Krüger at 29.  Oskar Werner, 35, wrote of his interest to Mann’s bohemian actress daughter, Erika (she was a co-writer of the script) but  he lost interest when the next director, Rolf Thiele, insisted he make  a screen test.  Werner was furious. “He  can see  me  on the stage every night!”  Kurt Hoffman  eventually  directed Horst Buchholz  – billed in the US as HenryBuckholt.  United Artists asked him to keep that credit for The Magnificent  Seven, Nein!

  2. Riccardo Garrone, Eva, France-Italy, 1962.     Exiled US film-maker Joseph Losey wanted Krüger and Stanley Baker again, after their Blind Date (US: Chance Meeting), 1959. But that was a UK film – Eva was a Franco-Italian co-prod,. And that meant he had to use some Italian actors. So the producing Hakim brothers refused – among thereasons why Baker told me “they couldn’t produce a fart out of a tin of beans.”

  3. Richard Harris,Il Deserto rosso(UK: The Red Desert), Italy-France, 1963.     Krüger met with the leading lady, Monica Vitti but her fella, director Michelangelo Antonioni, voted Irish.  And Harris told me: “I knew exactly when his love affair with me was over.” He fled the film before completion to get to LA in time for Major Dundee,1965, leaving Antonioni to cope with a double. David Hemmings (warned off the slow Antonioni by Harris when agreeing to Blow Up, 1966) said Harris was sacked for punching out the director.
  4. Maximilian Schell, The Black Hole, 1978.   One Swede, three Germans and six Brits were dsicussed for Dr Hans Reinhardt – heading a mission aboard the US spaceship, Palomino, to find habitable spots in space. Max von Sydow; Anton Diffring, Curd Jürgens, Hardy Krüger; plus Harry Andrews, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp, Hardy Kruger Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Donald Pleasence and Patrick Troughton. This was Disney’s first attempt at science fiction – and a PG rating.  Never got it right until buying Lucasfilm and the Star Wars  franchise.  In 2014.
  5. Frank Finlay, Lifeforce, 1984.  

    Footnote>>>  I first interviewed Krüger in  May 1958.  He  was shooting Bachelor of  Hearts with Sylvia Syms in Cambridge – and I was still doing my National Service in the RAF, around the corner in Brampton. A journo is always a journo,  no matter what he’s forced  to wear! 

 Birth year: 1928Death year: 2022Other name: Casting Calls:  5