Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fun Finds: November 1968 Inside Movie Magazine

Well, here we are once more with a recovered fan magazine of the late-1960s. I love digging these out of boxes and bins at local flea markets and/or antique shops. I had to fork over $4.00 for this one (the 1968 cover price was $0.35!), but it was so packed with pictures I didn't feel in any way cheated. The official title of the mag is Inside Movie, but it's been awkwardly amended on the cover to be called “TV and Inside Movie.” What an odd name.

Apart from an alluring photo of Barbara Parkins and a paparazzi shot of Jacqueline Kennedy, there is a headline above the title concerning Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens and then a list of somewhat tantalizing names. As with most of these fun find posts, you may have to right-click and open in a new tab or window to read the text more easily or view the photos without distortion.

Inside the issue, a single page story (imported over a large photo) announces the upcoming film version of folk singer Arlo Guthrie's song Alice's Restaurant. I must say that I know next to nothing about Arlo Guthrie and precious little about Alice's Restaurant either. I know that the sole photo I can ever remember seeing from the film was of U.S. Army draftees lined up in their jockey shorts for inspection, but I have never come across the actual film. (And Mr. Guthrie, with his longhair and floppy hat, is the antithesis of what I am drawn to physically.) Sometimes the waters of The Underworld run shallow indeed... He is alive today at sixty-five and was still releasing recordings into the late-2000s. Oh, and here is that photo I am talking about, which was in a film book I had read as a teen.
Another music legend (one arguably even more famous than Guthrie) is Janis Joplin, shown with the band she fronted, Big Brother and the Holding Company. At the time of this article, the band had scored a hit with “Piece of My Heart” and was to be shown in the movie Petulia though Joplin departed for a solo career right about this same time. (The magazine is the “November” issue, but no doubt came out many weeks earlier than that.) She would go on to solo success (notably with “Me and Bobby McGee”) that was cut short by a fatal heroin overdose in 1970 when she was twenty-seven.

Look at this fun ad for a book called Hollywood and the Academy Awards. It could be yours for $2.95 (which included postage and handling. For another quarter you could rush it.) It boasted 200 pages and 200 photos!
Here's a shot of the original female stars of Laugh-In, Ruth Buzzi, JoAnne Worley, Goldie Hawn and Judy Carne, with Worley in one of her customarily “big” and amusing reactions to something or other. These gals are still with us today. Buzzi is seventy-six, Worley is seventy-four, Hawn is sixty-six and Carne is seventy-three. Maybe laughter is the best medicine after all!

I always love these tidbit sections and this magazine in particular seems to have especially clear and well-taken photographs (sometimes they lean towards the dark and blurry in these old rags.) Up first is a blurb about Milton Berle enduring an accident and being one of the few people in his latest film who didn't appear in the nude. (I've never seen the movie, whose full title is actually the unwieldy Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, but based on what I've heard, he may be right! Plenty of people, though, even if sheerly out of morbid curiosity, would like to have seen Uncle Miltie in the altogether since he was reportedly one of Hollywood's all-time “big guns.”)

The column also suggests an affair between Brigitte Bardot and Stephen Boyd and makes note of Carroll Baker's exit from Hollywood after a divorce and an up-and-down film career. There's also a report of Miss Judy Garland pulling a concert no-show. Photos include Mike Christian (who was then a costar on Peyton Place), Eartha Kitt, Walter Matthau and his second wife Carol (who he was married to from 1959 until his death in 2000) and Roger Smith (husband of Ann-Marget from 1967 to the present.)

The second page of the “Flash from Hollywood” section discusses the thievery of White House china by as distinguished a personage as Gregory Peck. Then there's the U.S. Navy's alleged objection to nurses being perceived as being as unappealing as Phyllis Diller for fear that enlistments might go down! A note that Adam West would be remarrying his ex proved not to be the case. Here we have photos of Will Hutchins (recently the subject of a Claudelle Inglish post), Ben Gazzara (whose wife Janice Rule, an actress of note, isn't even mentioned by name! Their marriage was from 1961 – 1982), musician and actor Dean Paul Martin (who, sadly, died in a plane crash in 1988 at only age thirty-five and after having been married to and divorced from both Olivia Hussey and Dorothy Hamill.) Also pictured are John Davidson, Robert Morse and Lost in Space's Mark Goddard.

The cover story on Jackie Kennedy speculates on her possible future marriage to a British lord (which didn't happen) and ruminates on her sadness over the assassination of her brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy. There's also the suggestion that she might coerce Ted Kennedy to move to England, primarily to prevent him from ending up as two of his older brothers did, dead at the hands of assassins.

Another blurb section is called “Don't Print That!”and it contains more fun photos of the stars of the era. There is chit-chat about Dustin Hoffman's decision to do Broadway over movies (he won a Drama Desk Award for the part in question) as well as tidbits about Judy Garland, Ryan O'Neal and others. The pictures of Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett, Sally Field and Michael Crawford are fun, too. Crawford, by the way, was married to this wife Gabrielle from 1965 to 1975 (and they had two daughters together. He's never married again since. There is also, by the way, a third daughter from another relationship that is deliberately kept quiet by the wishes of all involved.)

The next page offers up nuggets about Richard Harris, Katharine Ross, John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, Frank Sinatra and Peter Deuel. Incidentally, Deuel (who later went as Pete Duel) never did marry Beth Griswold (someone I am completely unfamiliar with.) Photos on this page are of Tom Smothers, Dyan Cannon, Lucille Ball, Lucie Arnaz, Glen Campbell, Marlo Thomas and Robert Hogan. The wife (his second) shown with Glen Campbell, Billie Jean, had been married to him since 1959, but he would leave her in 1976 for the wife of his “best friend” Mac Davis. They split in 1980 and he's been married to his fourth wife Kim since 1982.

The article on Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens discusses their turbulent marriage. If you read Fisher's second autobiography, then you know he said that the only thing good between them was the sex (which resulted in two daughters.) The headline mentions “The New Man In Her Life,” but there isn't one! No man is ever mentioned, named or anything else within the article. It just speculates about her past and what her prospects for love are now that she's twice wed and divorced and has seemingly trashed her career and reputation by abruptly exiting the Broadway success The Star-Spangled Girl, which costarred Richard Benjamin and Anthony Perkins. Incidentally, their daughter Joely's name is misspelled throughout the article!
There's a lot of debate as to whether Valley of the Dolls' Barbara Parkins should remain on the hit series Peyton Place or depart for a movie career (the way Mia Farrow did) and she apparently turned to this magazine's readership for career advice (or as a publicity stunt!) The response was overwhelmingly in favor of her sticking with the primetime soap. As it turns out, she did stay with the series, though it was finally cancelled in 1969 anyway. She had appeared in 441 episodes since the show's debut in 1964. After that, she did go on to make several movies of varying quality and success, among them were The Kremlin Letter (1970), The Mephisto Waltz (1971). Asylum (1972) and Shout at the Devil (1976.) Retired since the late-'90s, she is seventy years old now.
Another TV beauty was Linda Cristal (of The High Chaparral, 1967 – 1971.) Having just broken up with Adam West (the title character in Batman), she was now dating Christopher George, who had spent the previous two years starring in The Rat Patrol. I do love her duded-out hair here (take note that these photos are from two separate occasions.) In 1968, she'd already had three marriages, two of which were very brief, and, in fact, would not marry again.

She retired in the early 1980s and is seventy-eight years old. West (who had purchased Cristal a huge ring, which she refused to accept as an engagement ring, but merely as a token of friendship!) would go on to marry his third wife, Marcelle, in 1970 and they remain wed to this day. As for George, he too would wed, for the first and only time, to another “Linda,” Lynda Day, and they stayed married until his premature death in 1983 at age fifty-two.

Earlier, I mentioned the movie Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? This article about Christopher Connelly parodies that film's title in its own headline. It discusses the recently ended relationship that Connelly had been in with his Peyton Place costar Patricia Morrow and his apparent new one with Carol Lynley. Connelly did marry for the first and only time in 1969 to Cindy Carol (who was one of the screen's Gidgets in Gidget Goes to Rome in 1963.)

They divorced in 1988. Connelly died that same year of cancer at only age forty-seven. Morrow went on to marry the son of Frederick Brisson and Rosalind Russell in 1975, though at some point that union ended. She is still alive now at age sixty-eight. Lynley had already been married once from 1960 – 1964 and had a daughter. She never married again, though there was an eighteen year association with David Frost, and is now seventy.

There's a piece on Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom who were wed at the time and being presented here as a threat to the popularity of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Though it's quite possible that they had the acting chops to beat the Burtons, there was no way anyone was going to top the squalid goings on in Liz and Dick's tempestuous lives! This article was just prior to The Illustrated Man, a not-very-successful 1969 film they did together. That was followed up with Three Into Two Won't Go (1969), which concerned adultery.

Steiger and Bloom, in fact, ended their decade-long marriage in 1969 (having one daughter together) and he went on to wed three more times making (with his wife before Bloom) a total of fives wives in his life. The last one, who he wed in 2000, was widowed when he passed away in 2002 at the age of seventy-seven of kidney failure. Bloom wed twice more after Steiger, her last marriage being to author Philip Roth. She is eighty-one at present.

Patty Duke has an article that examines the way her early success in The Miracle Worker (1962) and on The Patty Duke Show (1963 – 1966) made it hard for her to transition to adult roles. The still-recent Valley of the Dolls (1967) is cited as not having worked thanks to the way she was still looking like and being perceived as a youth. She is noted as wishing that her next film, Me, Natalie, will be the one to help her be taken seriously as a young adult actress. As it turned out, she only did a handful of feature films during the remainder of her career, many not very strong, though she stayed very busy on TV and found great success there in series, TV-movies and miniseries (with three Emmys and five additional nominations to prove it.) She is sixty-five now.
A new British starlet was on the scene named Jacqueline Bisset and she was still being groomed and promoted by 20th Century Fox, the studio that brought her to America. One of her more high profile roles came in The Detective (1968) when star Frank Sinatra divorced Mia Farrow and thus took her out of the film. Bisset was in (wearing a short wig), though she didn't get much of a chance to know Ol' Blue Eyes. He was a one take type of guy and not one to linger around the set unless absolutely necessary. At the time, she was dating Michael Sarrazin (her costar from 1968's The Sweet Ride) and in time she would enter a lengthy relationship with ballet dancer-turned actor Alexander Godunov, but she has never married. She is sixty-seven today.
Next up is a feature on Don Matheson, costar of the Irwin Allen fantasy series Land of the Giants. A Korean War veteran with both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, he'd belonged to the Detroit, Michigan police department before segueing into acting in 1962. Having guest-starred on two other Allen shows, he landed his Giants part in 1968.

At the time of this article, he was married (since 1964) to wife Maxine, but their union only lasted until 1969. In 1970, he wed the actress pictured with him here, Deanna Lund, and they had a daughter together, who is an actress herself (Michelle Matheson.) When he and Lund divorced is not clear, but it was definitely after 1976. He is now eighty-two and has been retired since about 1999.

I think it's quite unusual to pick up a movie and TV fan magazine and see a feature on Marge Redmond. Surely these are rather rare photos of the longtime stage and TV actress, assuming various staged tasks around the house. She was costarring on The Flying Nun at this time (and had just lost a Supporting Actress Emmy to Marion Lorne of Bewitched) after having guested on many popular shows.

She was also married (since 1950) to solid character actor Jack Weston, but they divorced at some point after this. Though she is probably best known for playing Sister Jacqueline on Nun, she was just as famous to my generation for playing the fictional Sara Tucker of Tucker Inn in a long-running series of Cool Whip commercials! Now eighty-one, she retired from TV in 1999, but has done occasional voice work and a short film in 2007.

These next two pages are continuations of the earlier gossip segments. First is more of “Flash From Hollywood,” with the latest career and/or romance data on Alejandro Rey, Dick Clark, Twiggy, Lee Marvin and others. Of particular interest to me is the blurb about Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and the continuation of Anne Welles' story. As we know now, the decision to directly link the two films was abandoned and the role meant to be Anne was changed to Susan Lake and played by Phyllis Davis. There's also fun speculation about nude scenes, the casting of Myra Breckinridge (none of which came to pass), a musical film that never was made and singer Charles Aznavour's decision to focus on acting. The chief result of that was the major dud The Adventurers, though he did rebound with some smaller pictures.

“Don't Print That!” continues on the next page. It notes a drug arrest for Terence Stamp, a foundation started by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, a way-off blurb about Diana Ross, documentation of Anne Francis' treatment in Funny Girl, a tidbit about Burt Reynolds' career and “nude” scenes (Reynolds only ever did one real nude scene and it was brief and from the rear) and still more hype about the casting of what would be quite a debacle, 1970's Myra Breckinridge.  The Reynolds movie, by the way, was eventually retitled Sam Whiskey.

As you can see from this issue of TV and Inside Movie, Peyton Place was white hot at the time. Not included in this issue is the color photo here of several of the ladies of the series.  I thought it would be fun to post it here to show off all their fun, crisp clothes and fun, crisp hairstyles.  On the floor are Susan Oliver and Lana Wood.  In back are Barbara Parkins, Dorothy Malone, Pat Morrow, Evelyn Scott and Ruth Warrick.

Of course, this issue is of special value to me because it features full-page photos of three ladies who costarred in 1970s disaster movies, making them members of my own special little club.
I've been trying to post as much as possible, but my summers are always very busy, what with it being swimming season and all the various events that crop up when the weather's nice. In fact, in just a couple of days, I'm off for a three-day weekend to Put-In Bay Island, so it may be another lengthy pause between posts, but I promise to be back in action ASAP with more reflections on vintage TV & movies and the stars that worked on them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If You Haven't Got Anything Nice to Say...

In The Underworld, I generally try to keep things light, positive and fun. Let's face it, the (surface) world – if we dwell on it – can be a really stressful, difficult, even depressing place sometimes. Still, in real life, I enjoy being a remarkably sarcastic and snarky person. Call it a defense mechanism against all the bullshit that comes my way. So, today, we're going to celebrate the fiendish in people. We're going to highlight instances in which one celebrity had something quite mean to say about another. I deliberately avoided ones that I felt were extremely well-known, but some of these might already be familiar to you.  I was also struck by how often the situation was one of the pot calling the kettle black!  Okay now, let the bitchery begin!

Telegram from Gertrude Lawrence to playwright Noel Coward concerning her part in Private Lives: “Nothing wrong that can't be fixed.” His reply? “Nothing to be fixed except your performance.”
Pauline Kael on Sandy Dennis: “She has made an acting style out of post nasal drip.”
Director Joshua Logan (after Paint Your Wagon): “Not since Attila the Hun swept across Europe leaving 500 years of total blackness has there been a man like Lee Marvin.”
Johnny Carson: “Dorothy Kilgallen is the only woman I wouldn't mind my wife catching me with...I don't know why she took so much umbrage at my comments on birth control, she's such a living argument for it.
Louise Brooks on Shirley Temple: “A swaggering, tough little slut.”
Sophia Loren on Gina Lollobrigida: “Who? I never criticize my elders.” and Gina on Sophia: “I do not talk about Sophia. I do not wish to make for her publicity. She has a talent, but it is not such a big talent.”
Elke Sommer: “While I was very fond of Paul Newman and Peter Sellers, I'd have to say that I would rather kiss a tree trunk.”
Laurence Harvey to Capucine: “If you were more of a woman, I would be more of a man. Kissing you is like kissing the side of a beer bottle.”
Turnabout is fair play. Three actresses on Laurence Harvey. Jane Fonda: “Acting with Harvey is like acting with yourself, only worse.” Lee Remick: “The tales I can tell of working with him are too horrendous to repeat.” Hermione Baddeley: “I think I shall risk the halibut. It can't be too awful can it? After you've lived with Laurence Harvey, nothing in life is ever really too awful again.”
Don Rickles to Ernest Borgnine: “Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?”
Anthony Newley on his ex-wife: “Joan Collins is a commodity who would sell her own bowel movement.”
James Caan on Bette Midler: “She's not a bad person, but stupid in terms of gray matter. I mean, I like her, but I like my dog, too.”
Boy George: “Sleeping with George Michael would be like having sex with a groundhog.”
Boy George on Prince: “He looks like a dwarf who's been dipped in a bucket of pubic hair.”
Joan Rivers: “Boy George is all England needs—another queen who can't dress.”
Ann Sothern: “Kathleen Turner's okay in stills. When she talks and moves about she reminds me of someone who works in a supermarket.”
Katharine Hepburn on Sharon Stone: “It's a new low for actresses when you have to wonder what's between her ears instead of her legs.”
Truman Capote on Meryl Streep: “Oh God! She looks like a chicken!...Her nose: that red thin sharp snout—it reminds you of an anteater.”
John Cassavetes: “Ricardo Montalban is to improvisational acting what Mount Rushmore is to animation.”
Joan Rivers on Marie Osmond: “She is so pure, Moses couldn't even part her knees.”
Virginia Mayo: “I must say Jack Palance was a drag. The way he did his work was strange. He was a weird actor and I didn't like working with him at all.”
Julie Andrews on columnist Joyce Haber: “She needs open-heart surgery, and they should go in through her feet.”
Frank Sinatra on his unauthorized biographer Kitty Kelley: “I hope the next time she's crossing the street, four blind guys come along driving cars.”
Ken Wahl on Bette Midler: “In one scene, I have to hit her in the face and I thought we could save some money on sound effects here.”
Stewart Granger on Joan Collins: “She's common, she can't act—yet she's the hottest female property around these days. If that doesn't tell you something about the state of our industry today, what does?”
Mercedes McCambridge on Joan Crawford: “Poor old rotten egg Joan. I kept my mouth shut about her for nearly a quarter of a century, but she was a mean, tipsy, powerful, rotten-egg lady. I'm still not going to tell what she did to me. Other people have written some of it, but they don't know it all, and they never will because I am a very nice person and I don't like to talk about the dead even if they were rotten eggs.”
Zsa Zsa Gabor on Cary Grant: “They are trying to show he's a great lover, but they'll never prove it to me.”
Director John Boorman on Richard Burton: “He's like all these drunks. Impossible when he's drunk and only half there when he's sober. Wooden as a board with his body, relies on doing all his acting with his voice.”
One of the most blistering film and theatre critics ever to hit the press was Yugoslavian-born John Simon, who never made the slightest attempt to hold back his feelings about a production or its stars. Unlike many other critics, though, Simon went after the physical appearances of some performers, mercilessly flogging their features with his stinging words. Here are some of his zingers:

Maximilian Schell: “If a fetchingly cleft chin can be called a performance, Schell can be said to act.”
Liza Minnelli: “She has only two things going for her—a father and a mother.” and on another occasion: “That turnipy nose overhanging a forward-gaping mouth and hastily retreating chin, that bulbous cranium with eyes as big (and as inexpressive) as saucers...”
Doris Day: “The only real talent Miss Day possesses is that of being absolutely sanitary: her personality untouched by human emotions, her brow unclouded by human thought, her form unsmudged by the slightest evidence of femininity...until this sugar-spun zombie melts from our screen there is little chance of American film's coming of age.”
Barbra Streisand: “Miss Streisand looks like a cross between an aardvark and an albino rat surmounted by a platinum-coated horse bun.” and on another occasion: “a horse face centering on a nose that looks like Brancusi's Rooster cast in liverwurst.” and still again: “Miss Streisand's acting consists entirely of fishily thrusting out her lips, sounding like a cabby bellyaching at breakneck speed and throwing her weight around.”
Walter Matthau: “He looks like a half-melted rubber bulldog.”
Judy Garland: “Miss Garland's figure resembles the giant-economy-size tube of toothpaste in girls' bathrooms: Squeezed intemperately at all points, it acquires a shape that defies definition by the most resourceful geometrician.”
Darryl Hannah: “...looks like a linebacker in a Lorelei wig.”
Diana Rigg (who'd performed a nude scene in Abelard and Heloise): “...is built like a brick mausoleum with insufficient flying buttresses.”
Angela Lansbury: “...her eyes go either bulgily whirling...or so narrowly slitty that you couldn't slip a calling card through their openings."
Roger Daltrey: “...performed with a face as long as a mule and a talent considerably shorter.”
Cybill Shepherd: “...comes across like one of those inanimate objects, say a cupboard or a grandfather clock, which is made in certain humorous shorts to act, through trick photography, like people.”
Glenda Jackson: “Quite aside from her age, Miss Jackson is not appealing in any part—face, body or limbs...yet all this could, perhaps, be overlooked if she were an artist. But nothing she says or does stems from genuine feeling, displays of an atom of spontaneity, leaves any room for the unexpected.”
Zoe Caldwell (in Colette): "Miss Caldwell is fat and unattractive in every area of her face, body and limbs although I have never examined her teeth. When she climactically reveals her sprawlingly uberous left breast, the sight was nearly enough to send the heterosexual third of the audience screaming into the camp of the majority. Colette had sex appeal. Miss Caldwell has sex repeal."
Ouch! As an adjudicator for local theatre, I critique three or four shows per season in an in-depth way (usually 7 to 10 pages worth per production!), but thankfully I make it a point to word everything I say, even the negative, in a far, far more considerate way than that! Simon has been declared homophobic by some folks, partly due to his seeming insistence upon savagely trashing the stars and projects that tend to appeal to gays. It might also just be that he is averse to those women who don't fall into the personal stratus he has for defining beauty and/or sexual desirability. These sorts of things can be fun to read about someone else, but we certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them...