News Column

Family's movie tribute to renowned character actor ; Nephew of Austrian-born thespian makes film for Viennese museum [Edition 6]

August 2, 2013

YellowBrix

AN actor who featured in James Bond, Carry On and Pink Panther films has been celebrated in a short film made by his Crowborough nephew.

Eric Pohlmann appeared alongside stars such as Orson Welles, Grace Kelly and Christopher Lee in a career spanning 30 years, and his achievements have been documented by his nephew, Martin Stanton, who runs a production company in Beacon Road.

The film was commissioned by the Dritte Mann Museum in Vienna, which is dedicated to the 1949 classic film The Third Man, in which Mr Pohlmann featured alongside Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard and Welles.

When the museum called up I was surprised they had made the link between Eric, my mother and myself. I wasn't even aware there was a Third Man museum, but it was a pleasure to make the film, said Mr Stanton.

Mr Stanton said the project, which he produced in Crowborough, was a real labour of love, adding: I was really excited because I knew how much joy it would give my mother.

A special exhibit has been opened at the museum in honour of Viennese-born Mr Pohlmann, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 18.

My mother and Eric [her brother] were born in Vienna. Eric was the second-eldest of four children and he went into the theatre almost immediately, said Mr Stanton.

Jewish The family was Jewish, and Mr Pohlmann fled Austria for London at the start of the Second World War. He soon learned English and appeared in two plays before he landed a small role as a barman in The Third Man, his first English-speaking film.

He is an actor that everyone of that generation will recognise, even if they don't know his name, said Mr Stanton.

He said making the film was an incredibly emotional experience.

One never talks to one's parents enough about the past, doing it professionally makes you realise that. My father died last year and since then I have thought of so many things that I would have liked to ask him.

Eric was particularly good for his serious roles, but it is the comedy ones I liked the most. I really enjoyed watching him in Carry On Spying, chasing Barbara Windsor around. There was also a great film called Mogambo with Clark Gable.

It always gave me a great buzz to watch him. It was strange seeing him on TV on a Saturday night, and then cycling round to his house on a Sunday to help clean his car. The short film features Mr Stanton's 96-year-old mother, Herta, who now lives in Croydon, talking about her brother, who died of a heart attack in 1979 aged 66.

I miss him dreadfully as an actor and as a brother, and I look at his films and remember him the way he was, she said in the clip.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


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