While sorting through a pile of film actor postcards for listing on my delcampe store I came across a signed card (admittedly not in the best condition) of Betty Balfour. I am always fascinated by these old actors and can never resist looking them up on line to see what stories they have to tell and which films they might have acted in.
On the bottom of this postcard it said that Betty was the “Famous British International Star ” of “A Little Bit of Fluff” and “Champagne”, so I typed in “Champagne” and was surprised to see that it had been directed by Alfred Hitchcock!
It was in his first decade of filmaking and was made in 1928, a silent comedy, but apparently was not very good – Hitchcock himself said it had “no story to tell” and Variety magazine’s reviewer observed: “The story is of the weakest, an excuse for covering 7,000 feet of harmless celluloid with legs and close-ups.”! So not one to rush out and get a copy of, but it does have a great period poster advertising the film at the time (below).
Betty herself was Britain’s favourite film star during the 1920s, having started work on the stage in the previous decade. Despite her fame she never tried to break into Hollywood films but she did star in foreign films in Germany (as they were silent I guess it didnt cause any language problems!). Her popularity started to decline in the 1930s with “talkies” although she did work with John Mills on “Forever England” in 1935 amongst a few others. After that references seem to fade away, with her last film being “29 Acacia Avenue” in 1945. There is even a mention on line that after a failed comeback in the 1950s she attempted suicide. She died at Weybridge Surrey in 1977, aged 74.
The signed card I have is shown below and this is available for purchase in Reynard Collectables delcampe store here, along with thousands of other cards and items of ephemera.