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Thursday, 16 April 2015

I Know What's in Richard Burton's Case, But What About Marlon Brando's Case?

Yesterday's mention of the Olivetti Lettera 32 case for the late Günter Grass reminded me of another couple of cases of famous people embarking or disembarking carrying their portable typewriter cases

In the case of Richard Burton, seen above disembarking from a private jet with Elizabeth Taylor at London's Heathrow Airport in September 1970, it's very obviously an Olivetti Valentine case. The image might be in black and white, but I can guarantee it's a Welsh red Valentine. On the side of the case is a Welsh dragon sticker.
But I'm much less certain of what Marlon Brando was carrying in his typewriter case when he set off for a vacation in the south of France in early August 1953.
Brando and his then regular lover, fellow actor William Redfield, had been thrown off the Ile De France in New York harbour because, for the fifth time, Brando had lost his passport. Brando was refused an emergency passport by the State Department. 
Somehow the passport turned up and Brando and Redfield hightailed it over to the airport and caught a flight.
 Well, some may say it's a Royal De Luxe. After all:
But this photo was taken in 1955. And it's a case of a different case.
In between, in 1954, Brando was back in France, this time in Bandol in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. And this time pursuing a woman, 19-year-old fisherman's daughter Josanne Mariana-Berenger. Here they are together in a hotel room, with Brando (yes, believe it or, that's a slim him) typing on a ... Royal DL.
One thing we do know for sure, Marlon had his iPad with him:
They got engaged, by the way, but never married. 
Of course, in Brando's case it may have been a case of having more than one typewriter. As in the case of Orson Welles, for example (but mostly an Underwood Noiseless):


Richard P said...

Wow ... Welles using a Lexikon 80E electric.

My guess is that the mysterious Brando case contained a Smith-Corona.

Grass's typewriter looks like a 32, not a 22, in the photo where he's using it.

Fleetwing said...

William Redfield -- didn't know he and Brando were an item. In any event, he was a very fine actor in his own right.

I love this blog, by the way -- full of fascinating and diverse information.

shordzi said...

Grass is 32, it's quite well known.

texbodemer said...

I think (95%) that it's either a Smith Corona Sterling or Clipper...a Silent is also possiblr, but are usually in black cases or the Holiday casr

Vikram said...

I also think it's a Smith Corona Clipper, Silent, or Sterling. I have a Silent and a Clipper and both have cases like that. Nice post!