Thursday, October 29, 2015

Look, I'm Only Teasing!

Well, yes, I'm teasing, but I'm also curling, piling and shellacking! It's a hair-brained post devoted to some of my favorite big-tressed looks of the 1960s, '70s and beyond. We've followed this strand before here and here, in case you wish to revisit some of the other amazing looks that have been put forth over the years. Our cover girl today is Priscilla Presley, sporting a teased, towering 'do that apparently can withstand the force of a jet engine! She and then-hubby Elvis are looking terrific here in everything from clothing to makeup.
Elvis costarred with Miss Nancy Sinatra in Speedway (1968) and the occasion called for her frosted locks to be forged into a fun, back-hoed, up 'do.
An even more serious pileup occurred with Austrian actress Susan Denberg, whose brief career included Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), shown here.
 Yvette Mimieux is looking rather stacked here.
German actress Elke Sommer could usually be counted upon for a pretty big 'do.
  Sommer's 1966 campfest The Oscar was made at a time when tall hair was at or near its pinnacle.
 Natalie Wood chatters on the phone at home wearing soup can-size curls.
We adore Elizabeth Taylor's elaborate hair confection here.
 Ursula Andress is all curled up in 1979's The Fifth Musketeer.
Probably our all-time favorite movie hair belongs to Ava Gardner in Mayerling (1968), thanks in no small part to the fact that she's the one wearing it!
The outrageously voluminous hair might seem a bit much to take in but, truth be told, her character in real life, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, was known and admired for her considerable locks.
Check out this doozy, sported by Shirley Jones, who is congratulating her then-husband Jack Cassidy on his role in the Broadway production, "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman" (Actually, it was a flop, though several attempts with varying degrees of success have been made in an effort to revise and revitalize the property.)
The world of gospel music was often a fertile breeding ground for big hair. Listen and you might hear the aerosol cans buzzing as The Harmonettes get ready.
And brace yourself for this combo, Mama with a washboard of curls heading heavenward while the daughter learns how to balance a cornucopia of curls atop her own wee head!
Hee Haw (1969-1997) has also provided some teasy looks over the years. Here we find Junior Samples sandwiched between Dianne Scott and Gunilla Hutton.
Frequent guest star Lynn Anderson is positively impenetrable here!
Another familiar guest on the show, Jeannie C. Riley has a serious mane going.
But series regular Lisa Todd seems to have really won in the Hee Haw hair-off!  Wowza!
Now let's look at a few movies, starting with 1964's Youngblood Hawke, which seemingly had one hell of a hairspray budget. Suzanne Pleshette has her raven locks curled, teased and set.
The story, set amid the publishing world, has her attending this function and that, always decked out.
Sometimes, a large piece is added to the top for added drama!
She's shown here with the film's star James Franciscus and another hair hopper, Eva Gabor. In a typically ridiculous example of anachronism from this era, the story takes place in the 1940s, yet not one woman looks like anything other than 1964...
Eva piles her hair even higher than Miss Pleshette in her handful of glitzy scenes.
This film gives us a pretty good look at what Eva looked like before she dove into the false eyelash drawer that would be her stock in trade through Green Acres (1965-1971), which was right on the heels of this.
Also costarring in the movie is French actress Genevieve Page.
   Miss Page gets dolled up with a diamond-encrusted 'do during one of her key scenes in the film.
Movies are always more entertaining to me when they include styling of this nature!
In 1968, Jane Fonda appeared in one segment of the Poe anthology film Spirits of the Dead. She played a spoiled, selfish Contessa who sets her romantic sites on a cousin of hers (who, amazingly enough, was played by her own real life brother Peter! You can probably thank her kinky husband at the time and the director of this, Roger Vadim, for that.)
The hair designer went all out here, particularly in this archery sequence! (Apologies for the graininess of this one...)
She also had a big teased 'do in this scene with a young admirer/plaything.
In 1969's Age of Consent, which stars James Mason and Helen Mirren, Mason is courted by a lonely widow played by Andonia Katsaros.
Katsaros possesses one vivid head of vibrant red curls.
A few days ago, I got a serious treat. After waiting for thirty years (yes!), I FINALLY got to see the 1971 Joan Collins movie Quest for Love, which had eluded me all of that time. Some treasured soul has put the alternate reality romance on youtube and one of my faithful readers and friends turned me on to it. Collins, who has long been one of our idols, is dressed and coiffed beautifully. 
Not only does she look dazzling over and over (and not just in the glamorous moments, but in other more subdued ones), but the little-known gem of a film contains what I and more than a few others consider to be the best acting she ever did on screen. She's absolutely marvelous, filled with emotion and nuance, throughout.
If you have any affection for Miss C. and her work at all, seek this hour and a half movie out on youtube and give yourself a Halloween treat.  
Another loyal reader, knowing how much I worship and adore this stuff, sent me a scan of this book cover! See, you too can determine how best to apply and arrange your favorite falls and wiglets! The cover girl on this tome is none other than Susan Blakely of The Towering Inferno (1974.)
 Also came this one, featuring supermodel-turned-actress Lauren Hutton.
Inside, Hutton goes brunette in the lower left corner for a wiglet demo.
We'll wrap this up today with shots from one of the campiest miniseries ever to come out of that genre's hey day, The Last Days of Pompeii (1984.)  Lesley-Anne Down starred as a whore with a heart of gold (and hair for days.)
Here we see her plying her trade before some gentlemen (although they appear pretty snug on their little chaise!)
Down has a huge heap of hair, but her styles are nothing compared to high priestess Olivia Hussey who must have needed a brace in-between takes on this project! (Poor Linda Purl, as a blind slave, has to make do with that simple side-roll look.)
Hussey has the good fortune to be adored by the humpy Nicholas Clay. But, seriously, look at her hair!
In another scene, her up-do lives up to its name in spades! She's lucky her hood will cover as much of it as it does.
Hussey and her brother Benedict Taylor are under the heavy influence of evil priest Franco Nero (who in this miniseries is shorn close to the scalp.)
  Lovers of big, elaborate hairstyles cannot afford to miss this the next time it heads their way!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Guest Who! Passing the Baton

Today we peer at a notable television guest star combo that signifies a changing of the guard, an out with the old and in with the new, if you will. Here we see a baton-wielding ruler, Cyd Charisse, as she runs herd over a secret colony of women in a 1978 episode of Fantasy Island.

Charisse was an MGM dancer who rose from supporting parts in a variety of movies (such as Singin' in the Rain, 1952) to the status of leading lady in several legendary musicals from The Bandwagon (1953) to Brigadoon (1954) to Silk Stockings (1957), among others. When the hey day of movie musicals began to wane, she attempted to branch out into dramatic parts (as in Two Weeks in Another Town, 1962) as well as comic roles, but the demise of Marilyn Monroe and the subsequent cancellation of "Something's Got to Give" (1962), in which Charisse had a showy role, stalled things considerably.

By 1978, her roles in movies and on TV were sporadic and the films included campy, low-budget fare such as Warlords of the Deep (1978.) Thus, here she was playing another exotic, imperious, mysterious type in sequins and chiffon. She was not called upon to demonstrate a particularly wide variety of expressions!
She would work on TV less than ten times after this, mostly in cameo roles. Her Queen Delphia was part of the fantasy of Robert Morse, who sought the Island of Lost Women for its variety of pleasures. He thinks it's an honor to be selected as King of the Harvest because he gets to choose as many wives for the occasion as he wants, but soon discovers that he'll also be burned on a pyre the following morning!

Among his bevy of admirers is this blonde cupcake, making her on-screen debut. (And already flexing her acting muscles in finding the grating Robert Morse sexually appealing!)

In a wholly unnecessary and completely decorous role, it's the first credited part for Michelle Pfeiffer!
It's rather fascinating to watch a selection of other young actresses, none with the physical appeal or inner luminosity equivalent to Pfeiffer, take center stage in the episode while she is relegated to a line or two and the occasional reaction shot, knowing that she would one day emerge as a top leading lady in Hollywood films.

She was hardly idle after this, though. She immediately went into the short-lived series Delta House (1979), based upon the movie Animal House (1978), followed by another fizzle, 1980's B.A.D. Cats, about cops who investigate auto thefts. The high-profile bust Grease 2 (1982) was followed by Scarface (1983) and a run of hits that also gleaned her three Oscar nominations (for Dangerous Liaisons, 1988, The Fabulous Baker Boys, 1989, and Love Field, 1992. She lost to Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist, Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy and Emma Thompson in Howard's End.) She is, today, fifty-seven, one year older than Charisse was when she filmed this Island episode! However, she remains in demand for the occasional feature film, working only when she feels compelled to do so.