THE GIFT HORSE by Hildegard Knef


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Winging her way over here from Europe where this has displaced Papillon, and traveling at a speed faster than the sound of her own words (that's very rushed indeed), Miss Knef tells her story which begins with the occupation of Berlin when the grandfather she loved took some pills, tied up his chin with a handkerchief and pulled up the sheet. She herself was schooled under Heft Hitler: ""I hate hate, hate the fact that I know hate, am at its mercy, hate gritty-scratchy like tarred sandpaper, bilious, stinging-nettle, breathless"" -- yes, breathless always as she darts in and out of the conquered city, escapes the Russians and a prison camp (""Hitler kaputt, Germanski kaputt, you for Sibir"" -- which cannot be echt) and as Life magazine would show, built her career as an actress in the ruins. Five years later she was signed by Selznick, reached the U.S. without money or a passport but with a new husband who didn't last, had Marlene guarding her in Hollywood while astrologer Carroll Richter was guiding her, did a few minor films, made one for Anatol Litvak and was then branded the ""Sinner"" and ""slinky slut,"" starred in the Broadway success Silk Stockings, and when last seen (by a page)was in Switzerland starting a new life with a new life -- an infant. In her headlong fashion, Miss Knef says just about anything she pleases and it does add a touch of spritz although we can't see her success duplicated here on the scale which it achieved on the continent.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1971
Publisher: McGraw-Hill