Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fun Finds: Screen Stars Magazine, February, 1964

It's time for another trip into Hollywood's past, this time the early-to-mid 1960s as we dissect a movie rag that went for the time at only $0.25 an issue! This one had no color content apart from its cover, so it was on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of gloss, but it does contain some neat and rare photos and content, so I think many of you will enjoy the tour of its insides. This likely hit stores in late-1963.
This page highlights some of the movies that were set for release in the near future. Oddly, the paragraph for Mary, Mary (which had been a considerable hit on Broadway) doesn't even mention its male stars Barry Nelson or Michael Rennie. (I thought the movie was dull and overlong myself.) The campy, yet epic, Kings of the Sun is one I want to see again in widescreen hi-def.
I found this page fascinating, revealing the models who posed for the (in)famous Cleopatra advertisement that dominated Times Square for a time. Apart from any controversy over whose body was truly the inspiration for the artwork, the billboard also ran into trouble because of costar Rex Harrison being relegated to an inset. Thus, later versions of the portrait had him awkwardly joining Liz & Dick during their moment together!
This page heralds the "arrival" of Miss Angie Dickinson to movie stardom.
We always adore these sections devoted to the various couplings and goings on in Tinseltown. Debbie Reynolds is shown with her crooked husband Harry Karl (whose child by deceased prior wife Marie McDonald she later helped raise.) Burt Lancaster's toothy blonde son Billy survived polio but nonetheless became interested in and played baseball, later writing The Bad News Bears and its sequels. Sadly, a heart attack claimed him at only age forty-nine.
Predictions of an Oscar for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady were made impossible when she didn't even receive a nomination. Dean Martin's son Craig, whose wedding is pictured here, remained married to his wife Carole until her premature demise in 1987 of a stroke at age forty-eight. (Is a pattern developing here?!)
Well, there's a printing error in the caption for "The Nude Show-Offs" in which Carroll Baker's blurb accidentally gets replaced by Ursula Andress', which itself gets repeated! None of these women were truly "nude" in terms of showing genitalia or even nipples in these films. Attempts at comparing Christine Kaufmann and Greta Garbo equal lunacy. Here, we see the aforementioned Marie McDonald in trouble with the law. She would be dead of an overdose in just over a year at only age forty-two.
Love the photos on this page, first of Jill St. John and Cyd Charisse, then of Jim Hutton and Barbara Eden, who's sporting great hair. But imagine piling up a 'do like that for a "romantic picnic...!"
More fun and rare photos on this page. In the Mail Bag section at the top, wherein Victoria Cole responds to reader inquiries, she mentions that Alan Ladd would be thrilled to hear from a fan, but unfortunately he would be gone of an alcohol & drug combo before The Carpetbaggers was even released. He was fifty.
All sorts of little tidbits here as the segment finishes up (I went ahead and pulled this from the back of the magazine for ease in reading flow.) There is mention of Bob Horton (recently spotlighted in The Green Slime) appearing on Broadway in 110 in the Shade, the musicalization of The Rainmaker. Inga Swenson, Will Geer and Lesley Ann Warren were among his costars.
This piece, done at the virtual height of George Chakiris' movie career after West Side Story, is a highly-fabricated account of how two European beauties were vying for him.
I must admit that I didn't even realize that Chakiris had made a movie with Claudia Cardinale - 1964's Bebo's Girl, one of the movies that helped her ascend to greater acclaim as an actress, though Chakiris won no great reviews for it. (NY Times reviewer Bosley Crowther called him, "annoying, to say the least.") Bardot, for her part, merely met with him about possibly costarring in her next film, Agent 38-24-36, but in the end Anthony Perkins won the role.
This piece highlights the up-and-down marriage of Sandra Dee and her singer-actor husband Bobby Darin.
Their tempestuous union struggled along until 1967, when they divorced after only about six years of marriage.
Miss Elizabeth Taylor in a photo that accompanies the cover story.
There was plenty of speculation about Liz & Dick's relationship in this period before he was divorced and the two of them wed. Always a roller-coaster relationship, they wed in 1964, divorcing a decade later, then remarried a little over a year later, only to divorce again in several month's time! His glib remarks about her shape ("double chin," "overdeveloped chest" and short legs) made the rounds for quite some time!
Hayley Mills fans will like this series of questions and answers (with several pictures) from her.
This is a year-end re-cap of some of the various Hollywood happenings, couplings, splits and so on.

And here we have some predictions for the coming year. Natalie Wood didn't marry beau Arthur Loew, but she did wed Richard Gregson in 1969. They divorced in 1972, whereupon she rewed first husband Robert Wagner! Liz definitely got her wedding day. Connie Stevens wed James Stacy in October of 1963, so they were WAY off on her...! They were right on about George Maharis and Elvis and, to a degree, Troy Donahue. He wed Suzanne Pleshette, but the union was over within months.
In the pre-Internet days, one had to either head to the library or rely upon a book of some sort - perhaps an encyclopedia, from someplace else in order to look up the life of a famous person. Here, the periodical presents the stories of Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young.
Spence's bio is remarkably forthright about his in-name-only marriage and his "understanding" with Katharine Hepburn. He would be dead by 1967 of a heart attack.
Young's bio is a bit less accurate, though there are hints of things here and there, such as her one-time love for Clark Gable and her "adopted" daughter Judy (who was later revealed to be her own child by Gable.)
Just in time for Halloween comes this creepy story on the sex stalkers of Tinseltown!
Because the article actually contains some real names and the frights they went through, I attach it below.
Richard Chamberlain, then of TV's Dr. Kildare and the occasional movie.
I know my remark is more than a little bit flip, but I can pretty much guarantee that this unnamed psychiatrist "didn't know dick!" LOL
This period before the collapse of the Motion Picture Code and the institution of the ratings system was clearly a time when semi-nudity was becoming not only popular, but also controversial.
Lots of rare, behind-the-scenes shots from Love With the Proper Stranger on this page.
Hmmm... one of the downsides of posting only one page of a two-page spread is that sometimes the headline can seem to mean something it wasn't intended to!
...ahhh, now we get it. You won't believe who the "kid" is that is blackmailing Tony Curtis and new wife Christine. The monumental stupidity of this article comes to life when we're told that it's "Bernie Schwartz," Tony Curtis' own young SELF before he took his more user-friendly Hollywood name! The gist is that his poor young self keeps "blackmailing" him into working for more and more and more money and security...
This last photo-essay compares the recent release It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with the comic classics of the silent era.
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I don't recall a Jim Backus shower scene. Then again, the looonnngg movie went through many cuts between its opening and its wide release. Anyone recall seeing the scene?
This is NOT from the magazine, but as a little bonus I wanted you to see the hilarious changes made to the advertising artwork depicted in the early part of the magazine. As Rex Harrison had contractual rights to equal depiction in all promotion of the film, his image was later tacked on to this otherwise languorous depiction of Taylor & Burton. 

3 comments:

Al in PDX said...

I think the Jim Backus shower scene in Mad, Mad, Mad, etc., involved Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett putting him in the shower to sober him up so he could fly them to the buried treasure.

Gingerguy said...

These magazines really make the 60's come alive. Regarding the Cleopatra poster I always assume if it's not a photo the drawing is idealized a bit. Regardless, Liz at 30 was pretty dishy.
Angie Dickinson did't hit it big until 1964? I know she did one Broadway show before that. I always liked that her biggest successes came later in life, I think she was in her forties on "Policewoman" and was very sexy in the campy "Dressed To Kill" at 50.
Was Henry Karl the one that Debbie thought tried to kill her one night, or was that the next one? either way that story about the wife was pretty sad.
I think Barbara Eden's hair is very practical for a picnic, she could take a nap after lunch and use it as a pillow.
Love the photo of Ann Bancroft getting the Oscar news. She really deserved it, the added Joan Crawford drama was pretty crazy.
If Connie Stevens got married in 1963 it can't have been for too long as she married Eddie Fisher after Liz got Dick.
Lol "the boy who's black" that is super crazy. Fun finds indeed.

Poseidon3 said...

Thank you, Al! That does jog my memory a bit. I'm surprised it somehow escaped my annual April Shower posts because I know I had that movie on DVD. May have cleared it out at some point.

Gingerguy, I echo your surprise about the Angie Dickinson blurb. I mean, Rio Bravo was in 1959 and in 1960 she costarred with Richard Burton in The Bramble Bush, followed by movies all her own (The Sins of Rachel Cade and Jessica) in 1961 and 1962! And for my money, Rome Adventure (1962) was a career highlight... Believe it or not, Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher didn't wed until 1967. One thing I always liked about her is that when her ex-husband James Stacy lost an arm and a leg in a motorcycle accident, she spearheaded some of the fundraising to help him out, though his life was - understandably - never the same.