Horst Buchholz


  1. Alain Delon, Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and his Brothers, Italy, 1960.        He knew Italian maestro Luchino Visconti was interested but the bisexual German was furious on receiving Viscointi’s telegram demanding a swimsuit photo.  “How dare he! Well, he can fuck off.” They met years later at Cannes, Buchholz still steaming. Visconti denied any such cable, looked into it and  reported back said that a over zealous assistant  had sent it. Yeah, sure!
  2. Glenn Ford, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1960.  No sure which would have been the most absurd casting for Julio Desnoyers – Dirk Bogarde, Montgomery Clift or Glenn Ford.  They were all too old – 49, 40 and 44 – when Julio’s sister  was  Yvette Mimieux at…  18.  MGM then looked at the pretty boys – Horst Buchholz, 27, Alain Delon, 25,  George Hamilton, 21.   Brando, 36,  also refused:  “Didn’t Valentino do that? I don’t dance the tango.”  Until Bertolucci called in 1972.
  3. Richard Beymer, West Side Story, 1961.        Director Robert Wise’s second choice  for Tony.  The first?  Elvis Presley.  Buchholz  made Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three that year in Berlin and  James Cagney really hated working with  him. “The German James Dean” was uncooperative and into various scene-stealing moves.  “I was going to knock Buchholz on his ass, which at several points I would have been very happy to do”.
  4. Karl-Heinz Boehm, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1961.     The first director, Richard Brooks, selected Germany’s James Dean opposite George Hamilton and Alain Delon… The Three Petty Boys of the Apocalypse.  Vincente Minnelli made the pic. Badly.
  5. Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia, 1962.
  6. Alain Delon, Il Gattopardo/The Leopard, Italy-France, 1963.       Warren Beatty was handsome. Luchino Visconti wanted – as per usual – pretty.  His choices  came down to the actor known in  Germany as the French Horst Buchholz… and the  actor known in France the German Alain Delon!
  7. Clint Eastwood, Per un pugno di dollari/A Fistful of Dollars, Italy-Spain-West Germany, 1964.     
  8. Alain Delon, Lost Command, 1966.       Buchholz was inheriting the French star’s roles in Fanny, Marco The Magnificent, Cervantes, during 1961-67. But he was hardly right for this one – about the French army in what was then called Indochina. Particularly when Delon had actually served in the war there.
  9. Tony Curtis, The Boston Strangler, 1968.       An odd choice for an Italian-American serial killer  – when Hollywood wanted to re-name the German star: Henry Buckholt. “Tony Curtis acts better than he has in a decade, ” noted Chicago critic Roger Ebert. He was right, as always. Yet the film flopped and all but buried the Curtis career, dwindling ever downward into such garbage as Lobster Man From Mars, Tarzan in Manhattan, The Mummy Lives and Christmas in Connecticut directed by… Arnold Schwarzenegger. So maybe Buchholz, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford and Stuart Whitman were right to refuse go play Albert DeSalvo.
  10. Peter McEnery, The Cat and the Canary, 1978.       London producer Richard Gordon nearly sued the German star when he suddenly quit the fifth movie version of the Agatha Christie pastiche of 20s’ playwright John Willard. Casting director Rose Tobias Shaw solved the problem: Move McEery from Dr Blythe to Wilder and bring in Daniel Massey as the medico and… checkmate! No one fretted (well, maybe Buchholz) that auteur Radley Metzger was more famous as the New York porno director, Henry Paris.
  11. George de la Penna, Nijinsky, 1980.      First Albert DeSalvo, now Vaslav Nijinsky – an odd place, Hollywood.  No wonder Mr Buckholt left the building!
  12. Christoph Eichhorn, Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), Austria-West Germany-France-Italy, 1981.       Wanted by Visconti for Hans Castorp in his take on Thomas Mann. However the classic novel did not reach screens until Bernard Sinkel’s torpid version, also featuring Rod Steiger, Marie-France Pisier and Hans Christian Blech.
  13. Frank Finlay, Lifeforce, 1984




 Birth year: 1932Death year: 2003Other name: Casting Calls:  13