In 1960, it was not easy to get a ticket for the film “Violet Saleswoman”. Queues were formed in front of domestic cinemas even before the box office opened, the film was watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers in a short period, the song “La violet era” performed by the main actress Sarita Montiel echoed constantly from the radio stations. The diminutive was invented for the purposes of her short Hollywood career, but her real name was Sara).
“Violet seller” was really a phenomenon, no Spanish film was accepted by our audience until then, but the melodrama about a modest flower seller with a beautiful voice who survives and the sinking of “Titanic” became a mega hit, and Sara Montiel a favorite who was followed from film to film: tickets were also sold out for “Carmen from Granada”, in which she performed with her then lover, the famous French actor Maurice Ronet, then for “Sin of Love” and five or six other titles.
This is the life story of Sarah Montiel!
The euphoria subsided in the early seventies, when, like Greta Garbo with whom she hung out in America, she stopped filming, but she made her own TV show and performed constantly. Singing became more important to her than acting, even though she didn’t have a scholarly voice: when, in 1957, during the dubbing of “Her Last Song,” the professional who was supposed to sing her songs asked for a cash payment in advance, Sara did the work herself. Overnight became a favorite of the Spanish audience.
Until then, they knew her, but they did not adore her. Born in 1928, she began acting as a teenager in both Spain and Mexico, at the age of 26 she was in Hollywood where she recorded the popular western “Vera Cruz” with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster as partners, but did not want to sign a long-term contract, knowing that he would present her only as a Latino beauty. On the set of her second American film, Serenade, with Maria Lanza and Joan Fontaine, she met her first husband, the great film director Anthony Mann (she later changed three more), and their relationship died out because they were too often engaged in different parts of the world, and because the role of the proud Spaniard brought Jimenez in his acclaimed spectacle “El Cid” was given to an Italian – Sofia Loren, and not her.
The same thing happened to her as to Bruce Lee: disappointed with Hollywood, he went where he came from, to Hong Kong, without great ambitions, and filmed “The Big Boss”, becoming a world sensation.
And Sara just jumped into Spain between Hollywood engagements and accepted a role in “Her Last Song,” with which her real ascent actually begins.
She was gossiped about not knowing how to act or sing, however, she perfected the image of the prima donna with bright red lips, while the warmth and color of her voice took away the arguments of those who complained about his modest range. Among her most passionate admirers was Pedro Almodovar, who gave her an intriguing dedication in “Bad Upbringing”: there Gael Garcia Bernal performs one of her hits dressed as a woman.
Probably Sarah’s third husband, Jose Tous, is the main culprit for making it so difficult to get a “Violet Saleswoman” on any of the media today: in the eighties and nineties, the releases of her films and albums simply stopped to increase interest in them even later. .
She died in her villa in Madrid on April 8, 2013, of natural causes. There is a lot of talk about making a film about her life, even pop diva Jennifer Lopez has always said that she wants to be portrayed on the big screen. He could show a lot in it, from hanging out with Billy Holiday, incidental love adventures with Ernest Hemingway and James Dean, to a serious romance with Nobel laureate North Oho. If your trip ever takes you to the English Channel, the area where she was born and where Servants’ “Don Quixote” takes place, be sure to visit the museum dedicated to the greatest film legend of the Spanish-speaking area.
I hope you liked the biography of Sarah Montiel?
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