Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, August 24th is the sixth birthday of Poseidon's Underworld. Hard to believe it's been toddling along all that time. Looking back at that very first post, I do think I've stuck to my goals with it pretty closely, though the style of the posts has morphed here and there over time.


Like young Miss Temple, we're ever-evolving and (hopefully) growing with each passing year.
Shirley Temple
Sometimes we're sexy,
Brigitte Bardot
Sometimes we're scary,
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark & friend.
Sometimes we could use a good, stiff drink!
Betty Ford
Sometimes we think this birthday will be the last.
Marilyn Monroe on what would be her last birthday.
Shirley Temple as a teen.
We're ever-reluctant to give up, however. A couple of weeks ago, I was sure that my new work computer system and monitor had sounded the death knell of the site, but I've managed to arrange my screen to remain mostly hidden for the time being! (And now I'm also a contortionist!  LOL)

So for now we're still plugging along, slow but steady. We're getting rather close to the site's 500th post! I hope to make it a good one. Just know that if the days between posts stretch rather far, it's only because I haven't been able to finish one, not that I haven't wanted to. THANK YOU so much to all my readers, regular and otherwise, who have supported this blog with your attention and comments. It's still ad-free, which is how I hope it will always be, though I could probably rake in some serious dough if I changed it. Till next time, Poseidon!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun Finds: Modern Screen, August 1973

Well, I've done it again! I was spelunking through a local antique mall and found this poor, distressed, heavily-abused magazine among the assorted bric-a-brac of a certain vendor's booth. Dated August of '73, it would have hit the streets a couple of months before that actual date. The poor thing was yellowed and barely held together, but I did what any other archeologist would do. I excavated it and have attempted to archive its contents the best I can! (Something Dr. Brockton of Trog taught me? LOL) You may need to open in a new tab or window to read the pages clearly.

First up is a review of the then-new feature film Paper Moon. The magazine gives the pic, especially star Tatum O'Neal (who would go on to win an Oscar), high marks and applauds it for harkening back to the good old days. (I do, however, seem to recall Paper Moon featuring at least some language that would NOT have been found in a 1930s movie!) On the same page is a photo of one of my best friends of the '80s & '90s, Aqua Net hairspray! I always used the Super Extra Hard-to-Hold Unscented in the lavender can, though. Remarkably, I'm not completely bald today, but it's coming...

I'm devoting a fair amount of coverage to longtime columnist Dorothy Manners' gossip section because we all love to read the various tidbits about this star and that. No matter how many times I see it in print, I always have a hard time imaging Liza Minnelli in a relationship with EITHER Desi Arnaz Jr. OR Peter Sellers. I mean, can you imagine Liza having Lucille Ball as a mother-in-law?! Then again, I've often had trouble buying into Ms. Minnelli's relationship's and marriages, especially that last one!

On this page, we're already back to Ryan O'Neal and daughter Tatum, this time describing the torment she was going through at being separated from him after they spent months filming their movie. O'Neal was dating Ursula Andress at the time and on the cusp of filming Barry Lyndon, which didn't see release until 1975! The project mentioned with Orson Welles didn't come to fruition. There is also mention of Patricia Neal's daughter Tessa Dahl, who acted with her mother in Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973) alongside Bobby Darin, Cloris Leachman and Ron Howard. She did very little on screen after that (and her older, British boyfriend Freddie Eldrett never worked on screen again after 1967!)

An interview with the rather reclusive Al Pacino has him opening up about his childhood and even a bit about his love life. I had no clue that he and Jill Clayburgh had been an item for five years! Another blurb focuses on the (ill) health of Burt Reynolds and Laurence Harvey and blessedly includes a shirtless photo of Burt lifting a weight.

This page offers up a couple of treats. There's a photo of Carol Burnett receiving a trophy in the wake of a Friar's Club Roast in her "honor." Then there's one of her after being hit in the face with a cream pie, allegedly unexpected! We also see Miss Doris Day on the town astride her trusty bicycle. No one, perhaps not even Doris, realized that she would never again act in a movie or on TV after 1973. The article mentions the irony of Burt Reynolds' and Dinah Shore's exes appearing in television ads during Dinah's show, the recent marriage of Mannix' Gail Fisher and, sadly, the widow and son of Clark Gable being forced to sell their beloved ranch.

I positively love this page, riddled with Old Hollywood stars. At the top ate Alexis Smith and Alice Faye with some unnamed buddies. Where was Smith's husband Craig Stevens this night?! Joan Fonatine appears to have goosed her date right when the picture snapped. Joan Bennett receives a mother of the year award with her daughters and granddaughter. Then we have an highly unusual pairing - Myrna Loy and Lainie Kazan! It says that Kazan was fired from the 1973 Broadway revival of "The Women" (which Loy was in, as was Alexis Smith) because they "wanted a blonde." Wigs hadn't been invented yet in 1973?? That was a rough year because Kazan was also replaced in "Seesaw" by Michele Lee shortly before opening! Finally, Terpsichorean titans Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are reunited for a tribute to them.

Interesting reading here about Debbie Reynolds and her then-hit Broadway show "Irene." She talks about moving from Hollywood to New York with her kids, Carrie and Todd (Carrie is in the show, too, seated prettily on the floor!) and a potentially deadly accident that Todd had with an old "prop" gun. Of course, one burning question is: Why did Irene Sharaff decide to costume the petite, still-in-shape musical comedy star as if she were one of those Barbie doll birthday cakes in which the person icing it was unable to stop until he covered the arms and got all the way up to the chin?!

The final page has an article about motion picture up-and-comer Marisa Berenson, on the verge of costarring with Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon. The article suggests that they might become lovers even though he was then dating Ursula Andress and even still married to Leigh Taylor-Young! Maybe the columnists knew him pretty well. LOL The final part of the page is devoted to some letters from readers and Manners' responses to them.

This was a fun feature! "Catching Up With..." (a precursor to, or is it rip-off of, those "What Ever Became Of..." books that I adore.) We get a contemporary photo of Laraine Day, who left the movie business in the late-1940s, tired of the empty promises of studio execs and eager to begin a new life in New York City with her second husband. She worked on TV and still did the occasional film (such as 1954's The High and the Mighty), but her more high-profile years were finished. (She looks lovely - a lifelong avoider of smoking & drinking of any alcohol, coffee or tea! - but those eyebrows!! Wowza.)

Day was a devout Morman, though married three times in all! The final marriage was to a man who converted to her religion and was her most satisfying. They wed in 1961 and remained together until 2007 when they died about six months or so apart. The final page of the interview had some remaining copy about her working with C.B. DeMille whose difficult reputation she didn't encounter (though he did have a man following him around with stools to put down for him) and Josef von Sternburg who required people to write his or her name on a chalkboard if they wanted to speak to him and he'd call on them when he was ready! Marlene Dietrich was a glamorous visitor to the set with ruby and diamond garters on her famous legs. Day's last screen work was as a guest on Murder, She Wrote in 1986.

Next we come to a feature on Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland. Both of these stars were married to other people when they first met. The night Bronson met Ireland at a party, he went up to her then-husband David McCallum and - kidding or not - told him, "I must warn you, I'm going to take your wife away from you." McCallum had no response.

In time, the two did draw together, a mutual interest in painting solidifying their connection. Their shaky, respective marriages were dissolved after a lengthy period of time and The Bronsons became a new, inseparable, blended family. Her three plus his two and then one together, shown in this spread, went on location together whenever possible and the couple strove to avoid long separations.

Bronson earned every single line in that craggy face. His father died when he was ten, leaving he and his fourteen siblings in the care of a mother who was, needless to say, overwhelmed and penniless. Bronson and his brother worked double shifts in a coal mine as kids at base wages to try to help pitch in.

Bronson and Ireland worked together many times in movies until she died of cancer at only age fifty-four in 1990. Bronson lived to be eighty-one, passing away in 2003 of pneumonia and complications from Alzheimer's Disease.

For some reason (the heavy black border/background?), I had so much trouble scanning these next two pages. In any case, fans of Al Pacino might be happy with the large photo of him. I always forget that he was once involved with Tuesday Weld.

The article delves into their relationship as two wounded souls brought together by difficult childhoods. He had a possessive, erratic, emotionally disturbed mother who kept him close by and she had a pushy, demanding stage mother who drove her to an early nervous breakdown. (She later became a wild child, simultaneously dating Frank Sinatra and big John Ireland when she was FIFTEEN, which doesn't say a lot about the sensibility of those two gents either.)Weld married Dudley Moore in 1975 and Pacino has never married but has three children from two women, one of who is Beverly D'Angelo.

This feature "Cooking With a Star" focuses on Shirley Jones, then married to Jack Cassidy and wrangling stepson David and three other sons Shaun, Patrick and Ryan for the occasional family dinner. The Partridge Family, which starred David and her, was still in full swing, but Shaun's and Patrick's fame as actors was still to come. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1975 and Cassidy died in a 1976 fire. Ms. Jones is still with us now at eighty-one and has been married to outspoken comic Marty Ingels since 1977.

Up next, young love in bloom, courtesy of The Waltons star Richard Thomas and Sian Barbara Allen, who costarred in the creepy 1972 feature film You'll Like My Mother alongside Patty Duke and Rosemary Murphy. Allen later appeared in two episodes of The Waltons.

A ton of photos were taken of the young couple posed in various stages of '70s chewing gum and deodorant ad bliss.  LOL Thomas did marry in 1975, but not to Allen. It was to a woman named Alma with whom he had four kids before divorcing in 1990. He married his present wife in 1994. Allen apparently wed at some point, too, but I don't know the details. She retired from acting in 1990 and turned to writing instead.

I must confess that I was never attracted to Thomas, though I know that many people have been and are. Somehow when I was a kid, that mole on his face disturbed me. I didn't really ever warm up to it as an adult either! Ha! And I also cannot deny that I never considered Allen "pretty" as the author of the article does.

Still, they were pleasant, talented performers, just not my own personal cup of tea. If you looked closely at a few of these shots of Thomas, you will see that he seemed to have something of a Walton's Mountain of his own peering out from those salmon-tinted trousers.








See?

Speaking of trousers, how about the high-waisters on Mr. Lawrence Welk?!? I love Mr. Welk as much as the next gay... er, guy, but this is not a good look on him! I've read two or three of Welk's autobiographical books and they are all entertaining and uplifting, if a tad heavy on the religious aspects at times.

Nevertheless, he had a lot to say about the morals and morale of people and I must say some of it ought to have been taken to heart by those who probably would rather take a bullet than read any of it. In fact, the last book of his I read warned of things that could have been written yesterday, yet the book was about forty years old! Whatever anyone thinks, he was certainly a mentor to many people and lived a highly positive life before passing away at eighty-nine in 1992 of pneumonia. His biggest legacy for me, however, is a raft of colorful shows with chiffon and camp galore!

This color photo is of Dean Martin and, at far left, his then-new bride Cathy Hawn. In what was something of a midlife crisis, Dino left his wife of 24 years, Jeanne, and married the younger (natch!) Cathy. The article allegedly includes all sorts of quotes from her about their wedding night, though if she intended to stay married to Martin for long I doubt she said all this verbatim shortly after her wedding (of between $50,000 and $100,000!), at least not to a gossip reporter!

Martin, it turns out, was suffering from severe ulcers and apparently wasn't able to lay claim to the marital bed ('cause, you know, I'm sure they "waited"...) Martin, already the natural father of seven, adopted Hawn's seven year-old daughter Sasha. The marriage, however, was over by 1976 at Martin's choosing. I did have to chuckle about how the article states that Cathy "began removing flowers from my hair" in anticipation of their honeymoon night. Um... from the looks of things, that might have taken until morning all in itself!!! The ornate wedding had 200 dozen lilies of the valley flown in from Paris along with 150 white lilacs and other flora. Despite the divorce, Martin and his prior wife Jeanne did remain lifelong friends (after she got a nice settlement!)

This article about Michael Landon is billed as "gossip," but it was actually quite a serious story! Landon, another prolific Hollywood progenitor, had fathered three children with his first wife and would ultimately produce four more with his second (and two more still with a third wife!), but also had a step-daughter with second wife Lynn, who he unsuccessfully attempted to adopt. It was she who was involved in the accident relayed in this article (her picture is on the NEXT page of the spread.) Then nineteen, she was in a roll-over car wreck that killed her female friend and two male companions! She did, however, survive and make a full recovery despite massive head injuries and broken bones.

Here we see Cheryl Landon as well as a story on Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen, not yet married thanks to a drawn out divorce and custody battle with her husband, producer Robert Evans. McQueen went to Jamaica to film Papillon (1973) and MacGraw joined him there at a rented beachfront estate. Against his advice, she swam in the ocean below the house and was caught in an undertow that almost swept her out to sea! McQueen had to jump in fully-clothed and retrieve her, causing a day-long rift in their relationship. The twosome did wed in 1973, but the marriage was over by 1978.

This story is suggestively designed (Richard Burton teaching his sixteen year-old stepdaughter Liza Todd love lessons?!), but is actually about how the much-married Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband Burton showed Liza how love should be by example.  Ahem! Todd was born during Taylor's third marriage. Her father died and Taylor wound up with his best friend, who was married to someone else, then she left that man for Burton!

Not only that, but Burton and Taylor divorced in 1974, then remarried each other for about a year before divorcing again! Love lessons indeed. Mama had two more husbands after that! But, anyway, the article describes how Burton's undying love for Taylor was demonstrated with gifts, protectiveness and passion. Todd, by the way, looks at this point to be the spitting image of her father Mike.

This gossip section is called Marvene on the Scene. She chats about meeting up with a Speedo-clad Mark Spitz at a pool in which he refused to swim because the water was too warm! Also, she offers love advice to Dinah Shore regarding her then-boyfriend Burt Reynolds. Pictures include Carroll O'Connor, Alan Bates and Patty Duke and John Astin.

On the next page we discover that John Wayne, having had an entire lung removed due to cancer, is still smoking. Other ailing stars noted include Susan Hayward, Laurence Harvey and Betty Grable. Hayward held on until 1975, but the other two were gone before the year was out. Photos on this page include Dinah Shore with Frank Sinatra, Mark Spitz on his wedding day and the just-deceased Lex Barker.

I've continued the pages by Marvene because her stories are pretty interesting and entertaining. Here, she continues about Grable and then talks about nearly being cast in a bit role in Mame (1974) with Lucille Ball. Before she could even finish writing about Lucy's plans for a grandbaby between Desi Jr. and Liza Minnelli, Liza had dumped Desi for Peter Sellers!

Moving on, we hear more about Minnelli and Sellers as well as further info regarding Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen, Robert Evans and then Lois Chiles (misprinted as Lois Childs!) A couple of blurbs concern Barbra Streisand and Merle Oberon (!) as well as more gossip about the cost of Dean Martin's and Mark Spitz's weddings. Elizabeth Taylor's recent bout with the measles is also discussed along with more on Lex Barker. By the way, I cannot tell you how adversely I was affected as a child by undergarment ads like the one shown here! LOL

Those who are aware of the post-mortem allegations made against Barker by Lana Turner's daughter will note that Turner's reaction to Barker's death is completely at odds with the attitude she described in her book. We may never know the full story there. There is a blurb about Cary Grant's recent datemate and another about Marlon Brando nearly falling into a pond. 1973 was a bad year for celebrities. Robert Ryan is quoted as having "licked" his lung cancer, but, in fact, died that year. There are tidbits about Jackie Onassis' lifestyle and then, hilariously, a photo of Marvene in makeup for a scene in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), erroneously called "Battle of."

She continues describing her adventure with chimpanzee makeup on the next page. She also mentions a tennis tournament with Bill Cosby (hopefully she didn't accept any drinks from him!), and another with Robert Stack. She finishes with a blurb about Mae West and a blind item about a cheating TV star.

This page is a tad out of order, but I didn't want to break up Marvene! It's an interview with British actor Edward Fox, then hot from Day of the Jackal (1973.) In the interview, he discusses filming a nude scene with Delphine Seyrig and how impersonal it all was, almost like an army induction exam. He also reveals that he and actor brother James Fox have drifted apart somewhat thanks to James' recent, serious immersion into religious teachings. He also notes that he felt he was not nearly as handsome as his brother and, thus, led a different type of career.

The final two things I am featuring from the magazine are for amusement purposes. One is this ultra-tacky wig ad with a lot of tacky pictures and hooty names.
The other is a crossword puzzle that was printed in the magazine!  If you want, you could print it off and try your hand at old time Hollywood trivia...  Till next time, my loves!  Poseidon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Joan Goes Ape!

In 1925, an eager young hopeful with dance experience made her way to Hollywood and broke into the movies in choruses and bit parts. By 1927 she was a leading lady and by 1928 she was a star! But by 1970, our girl had clung to top-billing for over forty years and was reduced to “starring” in some less-than-prestigious horror fare. Trog (1970) would be the last feature film to star legendary movie icon Joan Crawford.
One can almost envision a simultaneously clever and cruel trailer for the film: “On an otherwise ordinary day of exploring, these three brave young men descended into an unknown cavern...”
“...down, down they went, unaware of the unspeakable horror that awaited them...”
“...suddenly they were confronted with the eons-old, prehistoric terror from a time long gone...”
“...they faced the savage, staggering fright of...”
“...JOAN CRAWFORD!”
To be honest, the film makes beefcakey promises in its first twelve minutes that are never again kept. The college-age men (two of them anyway) must strip down to their boxer shorts and wade through an underground lake. One of them is more than a bit gangly and nerdy to boot.
But the other is beefy, built and beautiful in the extreme! His hunkalicious haunches are never on display as much as one would hope (or as much as the other stringbeany guy), but what we do see is dreamy.
Unfortunately, the trio stumbles upon a hideous cave-dweller, a half-man/half-ape (actually a half-man/half-Halloween costume!) who is not at all happy to have any interlopers coming into his underground abode.
The troglodyte (“TROG!”) proceeds to kill one guy (Geoffrey Case) and scare the bejesus out of another (John Hamill.) The third one (David Griffin) manages to get the surviving one to a nearby institute run by a top anthropologist, Dr. Brockton (Miss Joan Crawford.)
There, Hamill is kept under sedation until he might one day be able to articulate what happened to him apart from delirious mutterings such as, “That face! That horrible face!” (Not exactly the nicest thing to be saying while awakening to the sight of Crawford hovering over one's bed, eyelashes looming along with the ever-present smear of lipstick!) And, sadly, we never see Hamill again!

The police, led by inspector Bernard Kay, want to know what exactly happened in the catacomb and sincerely doubt the story from Griffin, the only person to exit the cave with his senses intact. He feels that it's either a prank gone wrong or a cover-up.

Crawford, on the other hand, fully believes Griffin's story and wants to be taken to the cave. She wants to get down there and see for herself what lurks beneath before the police head down there with guns blazing.

In one of the movie's screamingly funny absurdities, Crawford is bedecked in a smart, taupe, stirruped pantsuit and a miner's helmet and suddenly appears down inside the cave which heretofore was shown to be a significant challenge for the three strapping young men to get down to! Her lone concession to having had even the slightest difficulty is a brief brushing off of the front of her (spotless) jacket, as if perhaps a granule of debris ended up there during her spelunking...

Even though we're expected to believe that the sixty-five year-old Crawford made the arduous trek down this treacherous cave, she seems tentative when it comes to walking upon (convenient) stone steps across the water and allows Griffin to help her navigate them.

After poking about briefly, Griffin is ready to give up and head back to the surface, but Crawford persists, eventually finding a portal in the rock. Griffin tries to convince her that there's no point in looking on any further and suggests that she cannot explore this newfound hole, but she shoots him one of her patented, "Listen here, buster..." expressions and proceeds on.

She defiantly sticks her head and her trusty camera through the hole just in time to find Trog angrily raising a huge boulder he intends to hurl at her!
Safely back at her institute, Crawford shows her photographs to policeman Kay, but he is still unconvinced that the whole thing isn't some sort of wild scheme or prank. Finally, the authorities are coerced into going down into the cave to retrieve Trog so that Crawford can study him as a missing evolutionary link.

Later, at the entrance to the cave, workers are furiously clearing the cave entrance of brush, making a big to-do of dragging little sapling trees around, but acting as if they weigh a ton!

A plethora of newspeople, soldiers, gawking public and even hamburger and ice cream stands are parked, waiting to see what is dredged up. The reporter shown here is played by David Warbeck, an actor who was in line to play James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973) if Roger Moore was required to do another season of The Persuaders and was held in paid reserve as a back-up Bond for several years.

Note that Miss Crawford seems to have a mini-troglodyte all her own attached to the back of her head. The hefty wind reveals her own strawberry blonde locks being blown forward while her attachment remains stiff and plastered into place!
Anyway, with cameras rolling and lights blazing, everything seems fine until the cave explorers hear a violent splash of water. We meet a hapless diver who Trog picks up and kills when he discovers that his home has been infiltrated!

Trog scampers to the surface, emerges into the harsh daylight and proceeds to terrify most of the people there. (Observe that the hamburger stand is selling Pepsi, the company Crawford worked for in the wake of her last husband's death and whose product she mercilessly promoted during the late-'50s through the early-'70s.)

Having had enough of all this foolishness, Crawford retrieves and cocks her rifle, armed with a hypodermic dart, and shoots the creature several times until he falls at her feet. She then arranges to race him to her place where she can monitor and study him.
Back at the institute, Trog is placed in a sizable cage with a shallow, straw-filled pen inside for "comfort." (There's so little straw in it to provide padding, one wonders why they bothered!) Crawford tentatively attempts to communicate with the beast along with her daughter (Kim Braden.) They feed him raw fish and lizards, which he hungrily devours.

Crawford invites the press and some local leading citizens to come and take a look at her new find, warning them not to disturb the creature during their visit. Among them is Michael Gough, who previously was shown disputing the existence of the creature and now that it's been proven to exist, wants it dead (!), feeling that his upcoming housing development will be compromised if buyers know that a caveman has been unearthed and is lurking about!
One of the reporters in attendance is portrayed by Rona Newton-John, older sister of Olivia, who was pursuing a minor acting career at this time which didn't extend beyond a few more years.
Another reporter decides to take a flash photo of Trog, which sends him into a frenzy and causes Crawford to bark at him for disobeying her rules.
Crawford and Braden gingerly show Trog various toys, such as a spaceship (which he destroys) and as walking baby doll (which he opts to cradle.) The doll is amusing to say the least, with stringy blonde hair that's out of place and a mechanism that causes it to sllooowwwlly totter across the floor, shifting side-to-side unnaturally.
There is experimentation with music also, with classical selections to "soothe the savage breast" while jazz makes Trog want to destroy things! (It often has the same effect on me, too. Maybe my hairy chest is giving something away about my background...)

Another test involves reaction to color. Trog is cool with blue and groovy with green, but goes bananas when Crawford pulls out a cardboard circle that's red!
After being reprimanded by Crawford for his destruction of the red circle, Trog shows surprising tenderness when he caresses Crawford's scarf, eventually taking it from her and putting it around his own thick, hairy neck!
They also eventually take Trog outside to play ball and he seems to grasp the idea of catching it and rolling it back to his new friends. That is, until a German shepherd strolls onto the grounds and begins wanting to fetch the ball himself and then begins barking. This drives Trog over the edge and he begins fighting with the animal, ultimately killing it!
Now Crawford & Co. are in a bit of trouble because Gough has forced a town council meeting in order to force her to destroy the creature. He's even enlisted one of her trusted doctors to back him up at the hearing.

Gough's behavior at this meeting is completely off-the-hook to the point of absurdity. He never stops interrupting, even after being warned not to do so. Somehow, despite obstacles, Crawford manages to get a continuance rather than be made to kill Trog.
A cache of international scientists is brought in to meet with Crawford and assess Trog. Among them is Robert Hutton, a renowned surgeon, who wants to operate on Trog so that he might be able to speak! Another doctor is played by Golda Casimir, who had played the Bearded Lady in Crawford's prior film Berserk! (1967) and for some reason feels the need to scream most of her lines here.
Trog goes under the knife and later, in the movie's tackiest moment of all, we see his thoughts during the procedure played out on screen. He has an extended memory involving all sorts of (stop-motion) dinosaurs howling and fighting with one another. The footage is lifted from a previous movie, an old Irwin Allen documentary called The Animal World (1956.) Having this garish footage in the movie allowed Trog's trailer to punch up the cro-magnon angle a bit, but it's truly an unnecessary, cheap move that smacks of filler.
Crawford, armed with reports from the doctors and with Hutton by her side, returns to the next council meeting to plead her case for Trog. Again, Gough is insufferable and outrageous in his animosity towards the creature and her and is finally hauled out of the room by a security guard.

Now truly antagonized, Gough sneaks into the Brockton Institute and clobbers one of the security guards. He then heads into the laboratory and begins trashing the place, unlocking the cage and working Trog up into a frenzy so that he'll escape, be proven a danger and then eliminated.
Trog definitely lives up to the expectations of Gough and goes on killing spree! He enters the village at dawn, tossing a market owner through his own storefront window and giving the local butcher a taste of his own medicine by flinging the poor sap onto a meat hook! Then he upends a car with the driver still inside, which bursts into flames.
Next, he stumbles into a playground (which is strangely PACKED with children although the entire village seemed to be empty but for the three unlucky people Trog came up against!) Attracted by the sight of another ball, he heads into the area to play.
All the kids and mothers run screaming for their lives while one unfortunate girl just so happens to be coming down a slide right as Trog nears the bottom and, thus, is right in position to snatch her away!

Obviously reminded of the wobbly blonde doll he was once given to play with, he captures the little girl and heads back to his old underground abode.
There, a mass of people - military, press and local citizenry, have gathered to witness the capture of Trog and, hopefully, the retrieval of the little girl. No one wants to listen to Crawford as she exclaims that she could probably approach Trog herself and get the little girl back. Even the little girl's hysterical mother feels the need to come over and give Crawford a tongue-lashing. (Her reaction to everything below is greater than what wound up in the final cut.)
Ignoring the soldiers and police who have ordered her to stay back, she enters the mouth of the cave (which is suddenly bereft of people even though it was crawling with workers and soldiers a moment before) as her name is hilariously shouted, "Docccttooooor Brrooocccckton!" Under threat of being shot, she descends into the cavern one last time.

In a eye-popping continuity gaffe, Crawford's almost straight hair (having been pressed down by the outside wind) is suddenly tightly curled and neatly coiffed once inside the cave! Perhaps there's a beauty shop located in the cavern, though God knows Trog never patronized it!
I won't proceed to spoil what happens next though the movie's own lobby cards didn't mind giving away the ending (why did they so often do that??) Though this photo isn't from the movie itself, it promotes a happier ending than what awaited some of the characters! LOL  This sort of shameless promotion of Pepsi-Cola was a frequent part of Ms. Crawford's latter career, though it's a priceless shot of the performers.

Trog has made its way onto several (many!) lists of all-time worst movies and it certainly isn't good. However, during a recent high-def, widescreen viewing, I couldn't help but be struck by the still-present professionalism of Miss Crawford. Her full commitment to any role she played was still palpable here, even in this dreck. It's also, of course, filled with hooty campy moments that make for an unintentionally amusing viewing, best done in small groups of snarky friends. Nevertheless, I could watch Joan Crawford read a phonebook aloud and NO ONE can match those amazing, expressive eyes, even at this late stage.

Some fans of the film have, over time, become so fond of its loony charms that they've even gone to the trouble of creating a stage musical based on it! Chicago's Hell in a Handbag Productions put forth "Trogg! A Musical!" in 2011, with the playwright (a gay male, natch!) portraying Joan while Trog is depicted as a rather good looking caveman with spiky hair. The production incorporates aspects of 1960s Beach Party movies into the mix as well.  Though I tend to shy away from things like this, the show was reviewed as being clever and funny.
As mentioned above, this was Miss Crawford's final appearance in a feature film. She did a bit of TV, the last being an enjoyable episode of The Sixth Sense before officially withdrawing from public view in 1974 after a series of unflattering photos were published of her and an unwell Rosalind Russell. Crawford had always been proud of her appearance and up until that incident was frequently called upon as a hostess (see below a photo from 1972 in which she is entertaining some foreign dignitaries and industry men.)
Now Joan had enjoyed some cromagnon-ish costars in the past (even her eight-time leading man Clark Gable had been described by Darryl F. Zanuck as looking "like an ape!" in 1931 screen test!), a couple of which included Jack Palance in Sudden Fear (1952) and Barry Sullivan in Queen Bee (1955), but Trog tops all of them in that department.

In 1977 at the age of seventy-two (give or take - her birth year is in dispute even now!), Crawford passed away of a heart attack while simultaneously battling untreated pancreatic cancer. Having once remarked, "If you're going to be a star, you have to look like a star, and I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door," she receded from view once confronted with evidence that she may not look the part anymore.

Gough enjoyed a lengthy, busy career as a character actor, having first appeared in the 1948 film Anna Karenina with Vivien Leigh. He proceeded to work in many movies, quite a few for Hammer Films, the studio who produced Trog. He'd also costarred in Crawford's prior film Berserk! He also took home a Tony award in 1979 for the play "Bedroom Farce." Later, he popped up in films of varying prestige from Out of Africa (1985) to Batman (1989) and three of its sequels (as Alfred the butler) as well as Sleepy Hollow (1999.) By then he was ready to retire, but lent his voice to two further Tim Burton films, having built a strong relationship with the director by then. He died in 2011 of natural causes at the age of ninety-four.

Kay also enjoyed a lengthy and prolific career with an early role in Carry On Sergeant (1958) followed by countless TV appearances. He performed in movies as diverse as Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Shuttered Room (1967), Darling Lili (1970) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), continuing to work up until 2010. On Christmas Day of 2014, he passed away at the age of eighty-six.

Braden barely registers here as Crawford's daughter, though she soon went on to successfully play the title character in the British miniseries Anne of Green Gables (1972) and its follow-up Anne of Avonlea (1975.) a highly sporadic career followed, though she amassed a new set of fans playing Patrick Stewart's wife in the 1994 movie Star Trek: Generations. It was the last time to date that she has worked on screen. She is currently sixty-six (and wouldn't it be nice to know what she thought of working with La Crawford?)

Griffin went from work on British television in the early-'60s to roles in various movies such as If... (1968) and Battle of Britain (1969.) He continued to balance the occasional film role with plenty of television and in 1991 won the part of Patricia Routledge's exasperated neighbor Emmet on the Underworld favorite Keeping Up Appearances, a show that lasted until 1995. He's only appeared in a handful of things since that and is currently seventy-two (and, again, wouldn't it be great to hear his take on working with Crawford?)

Hutton had worked in movies from 1943 on (inheriting a couple of roles that would have gone to James Stewart had Stewart not enlisted in the service during WWII.) By the mid-'50s, he was still appearing in films, but was leaning far more heavily into television roles. In the mid-'60s, he moved to England where he did a few episodes of The Saint and the occasional horror feature. (He also wound up in Anthony Newley's outre 1969 flick Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? as an insurance agent.) Retiring in 1975, he lived until 1994 when he dwindled in a nursing facility after a serious fall. He was seventy-four.

Chloe Franks, who played the little captive girl, proceeded to work with a couple more vintage stars such as Shelley Winters in Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1972) and Elizabeth Taylor in A Little Night Music (1978.) After exiting the biz in 1983, she was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis and eventually a campaigner for rights of disabled people. She is currently fifty-two.

And what about Trog, himself? The unfortunate missing link was played by a diminutive wrestler named Joe Cornelius. At 5'5" he was well-matched to (the surprisingly petite) 5'3" Crawford, and was even shorter when hunkered over. His physically demanding profession allowed for him to move adeptly as the troglodyte. Much has been made over his horrendous makeup and costume (allegedly leftover in part from 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1969!) and they really didn't do a very good job in making his face a deep grey while his body remained peach, the mask and hairy cowl just hanging over a normal human body.

However, credit must be given to Cornelius for succeeding in conveying some emotion behind that ticky-tacky facade. His eyes are expressive and his body language is usually appropriate. It's actually rather sad when Gough bursts into the laboratory and starts to bait him when he's right on the threshold of finally articulating and perhaps even becoming docile among modern man. For those who've always wondered, here is what Trog looks like out of his get-up. Mr. Cornelius is still alive today at eighty-six!

I saved Hamill for last because I always try to end posts with a bit of a treat if I can. The blond bodybuilder had been a mighty popular physique and posing strap model in the mid-1960s and parlayed his good looks into a movie career.

The same year as his work with Crawford, he acted alongside Beryl Reid and Flora Robson, two stalwart British talents, in The Beast in the Cellar (a moody chiller.) There was also the apocalyptic thriller No Blade of Grass this same year, in which the world's wheat and rice crops are threatened by a virus.
He kept very busy on TV and the occasional movie such as Travels with My Aunt (1972) starring Maggie Smith. (One can't say he was working with slouches!) He soon, however, began to segue into saucy, racy sex comedies which paid the bills at the time, but ultimately hampered his legitimate acting career.

By the late-'70s he was already out of the business (notwithstanding a single 1989 appearance on TV.) He instead began to support himself with a pine furniture making business. He is now sixty-eight (and is yet another person whose recollections of the stars he worked with in his early career would be fascinating to hear.)
Although I was tempted to make the above picture "the end," this publicity photo below of Miss Crawford's on-set chair, shaded by a Pepsi-Cola umbrella, seems to make a lasting statement regarding the latter part of her life and career, so I couldn't resist using it instead. How neat that someone took it during the making of Trog!