Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Brief Camp-ing Getaway!

Oh, duckies... We've been overwhelmed by the final rehearsals and opening of our latest stage show (and positively pounded at work as well!), so we can only arrange for a little "camp"-ing trip until things let up a bit. A round of photos that tickle our camp sensibility for one reason or another. We hope you find them interesting or entertaining! Thanks to our cover boy Mark Damon (and his twirling, whirling friend!)

You know that we like vintage ads, especially vintage underwear ads, so we kick things off with four of them from a series of popular ones that have hooty camp characteristics (as well as some beefcake) now.
Hmmm... I like underwear ads that start off with a man naked but for a towel!
I beg your pardon??
The (cut-off) title of this one was "The Long and the Short of It" (and they were allegedly talking about their briefs...)
This publicity portrait for the kiddie show Space Patrol (1950-1955) has Lyn Osborn receiving some attention from gal-pals Virginia Hewitt and Nina Bara while Ed Kemmer and Ken Mayer look on. Are they jealous of Lyn or of the girls?  LOL
The plot and cast of The Girl in Black Stockings (1957), a murder thriller, has built-in camp value that this rather awkward publicity portrait only emphasizes further. Shown are Mamie Van Doran, Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft and Marie Windsor (though a scenery-chewing Ron Randell isn't depicted here.)
Presumably a portrait taken for a TV special (?), Chita Rivera brings along the camp and a trio of hirsute safety gays.
Populating the TV-movie High School U.S.A (1983) with a plethora of former child actors and sitcom stars past their "best if sold by" date was already a recipe for corniness, but this bizarre photo, in which Gilligan's Island's (1964-1967) Dawn Wells head is quite larger than anyone else's and looms over Michael J. Fox like a Carnival or Mardi Gras decoration seals the deal. Also shown are Father Knows Best's (1954-1960) Elinor Donahue and Make Room for Daddy's (1953-1965) Angela Cartwright. (The movie also included Bob Denver, Dwayne Hickman, Tony Dow, David Nelson and Dana Plato!)
In 1950's Return of the Frontiersman, velvet-voiced Gordon MacRae is serenading Julie London, but Rory Calhoun seems to be taking just as much, if not more, interest in what Gordy's got to offer!
This staged portrait is from the middle of Barbara Stanwyck's career (maybe around 1952's Clash By Night?), not the early days, so it is quite rare to find her doing swimsuit/cheesecake poses. The actress was resistant to anything of this sort from the very beginning of her film career, which started in the very late-1920s.
In the 1962 peplum adventure My Son, The Hero, Giuliano Gemma seems to be positioning himself for something more than a fight with Serge Nubret! Make love, not war, I always say...
I couldn't resist sharing a better view of Gemma's li'l get-up. Look closely at the cute construction of it, how it wraps around his torso. (P.S. - the King's outfit on the right is just the sort of thing that I would - and have - been put into in a show!)
We recently mentioned Vince Edwards' career start during our tribute to The Seduction (1982) and here he is (blond!) in Mister Universe (1950) with a collection of cohorts that includes Bert Lahr, Jack Carson and an unrecognizable Janis Paige.
Sal Mineo, during one of his films such as Tonka (1958) seems to have been caught with his pants down or over a barrel...
What an odd composition of humpy Van Williams for his series Surfside 6 (1960-1962), but then if I looked the way he did, I'd gaze at myself often, too!
Williams' pal and fellow TV hero Adam West had it far worse with this campy shot from Batman (1966-1968)  From the soaked-through chest sweat, we can surmise that the costume was an absolute furnace on that hot beach!
Talk about weird (but not unwelcome!), we have this promotional photo of 4/5ths of the cast of The Rat Patrol (1966-1968), a desert-set WWII action show that starred Christopher George, Lawrence Casey, Justin Tarr and Eric Braeden (then known as Hans Gudegast.) Missing from this uncharacteristically-undressed shot is Gary Raymond.
Here during a break in filming Planet of the Apes (1968), Charlton Heston enjoys a moment with a diminutive actor portraying one of the ape youngsters. We hope it's not an actual child, considering he's having a smoke - through a holder to avoid damaging the extensive make-up!
Even crazier is this shot of a couple of gals grabbing their masks, but not the rest of their simian get-ups!
What, you may ask, is happening here?! No this isn't a snapshot from Fire Island, but a publicity photo for the TV miniseries Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (1979.) The examination of the demise of six male friends' relationships starred Billy Crystal, Tony Musante, Ted Bessell, David Ogden Stiers, Robert Conrad and Jeff Conaway.
Look at him go! Gregory Harrison portrayed a male stripper in the landmark TV-movie For Ladies Only (1981)
You might recognize this couple, but do you know what the project was? No cheating! I'll tell you their names in any case:  Jean Simmons and Bert Convy. Answer a little later below.
The unfortunately silly disaster flick The Concorde...Airport '79 issued this press photo of the plane spinning upside down (something it did over and over, even after the passengers survived it and disembarked... they got back on for more!!)
Just for fun, here's that same press photo upside-down so you can see the flip side!
We really do love Jane Seymour, and she may very well warrant a tribute here one of these days for her stunning work in miniseries TV and Somewhere in Time (1980), but remember in the late-'80s when she was shoving her intensely romantic life down our throats?
She even prepared a coffee table book on the subject, as if members of her general fan base were going to in any way be able to live in a castle with swans floating around and bedeck themselves in jewels and voluminous gowns!
This over-the-top display of home perfection and romantic ecstasy did backfire a bit when she and her husband divorced about six years after the publication of her guide...
Look who we have here! Linda Rogo and Reverend Scott from The Poseidon Adventure (1972)?
Well, not quite, but sorta... this pair of models are wearing the film's costumes in order to demonstrate some of Paul Zastupnevich's work during the presentation of the Best Costume award at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony!
In a trend that went on several times over the course of about a decade, music played while the clothing was shown off by models (or some years, making it even more fun, actresses!) Campy and tacky, but SO MUCH FUN! You can view the whole spectacle here. Do note that the same piece of John Williams music - from The Poseidon Adventure's New Year's Eve party - is reworked for each of the five vignettes!
And now we'll leave you with the answer to our earlier question about what Jean Simmons and Bert Convy were doing, gussied up and in an embrace. They were costars of the fabulously horrendous, thus captivatingly compelling, TV miniseries Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls (1981)! Seen here is David Birney as Lyon Burke and a gaggle of nautical chorines.
Someone somewhere felt the need to cast Bert Convy as the medically (and mentally!)-challenged Tony Polar and Jean Simmons as the fire-breathing diva Helen Lawson. They are shown in the program performing a number from their latest alleged spectacular movie musical! True, both had sung before - he in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway and she in Guys and Dolls (1955) - but they were hardly the types to portray hit musical stars of 1981! Pictured with Simmons is the movie's costumer Jean-Pierre Dorléac, who wrote to me once after reading a blog entry concerning Pamela Hensley, (whose costumes on Buck Rogers he'd designed!) but whose e-mail I accidentally deleted not long after receiving it! My apologies, Mssr. Dorléac!


DJWildBill said...

I love the BatSweat shot of Adam West in the yellow (why not a Speedo?) swimsuit.

Gingerguy said...

Mr Poseidon, I actually had to take notes on this as I was reading it, LOL. "The Girl In Black Stockings" is so crazy, that I forgot Marie Windsor was in it. Probably my favorite tough broad (next to Cathy Moriarity). She is so vicious in "Narrow Margin" that I kept laughing while she was talking and had to rewind. Chita in any decade did incredibly campy numbers ("Pretty For Me" on Hollywood Palace with the rip off skirt is my fave). "My Son, The Hero" looks like he could have gotten that outfit from Munsingwear. That one shot could have been an outtake from a different kind of wrestling movie. Hands-down the most hilarious is "Planet Of The Apes" it looks like a candid pic from a cocktail party, the mind boggles. Last but not least, my roommates and I would wretch at the Jane Seymour commercials for Le Jardin"in the 1980's. She was the worst, all puffed sleeves and romance. I like her though, and she looks great still. Now she does ugly jewelry for some diamond store so she is still promoting her lifestyle in a way. You are so busy and still had time to make me laugh, Happy St Patrick's!!

Roberta Steve said...

Ah, Poseidon, what a fun post to read while I'm having my morning coffee. Lots of fun - a blond Vince Edwards, a cheesecake Barbara Stanwyck, and the hilarious Concord movie promo poster! I think I spy John Davidson and Eddie Albert among the upside down passengers. John Davidson is such a reminder of so much cheesy, badf 70s TV, and I love it! We used to watch Hollywood Squares as kids while my mom was doing her ironing. When John Davidson would give one of the scripted double-entendre answers my mom would shake her head and castgate him for saying such things when he was a minister's son.

Also, I was a bit startled at the sight of Tony Musante (another 70s TV staple) in his swim trunks. Whoa...what was going on there??

Irt was also nice to see a personal favorite, Bert Convy. I had a bit of a crush on him as an adolescent. He was a genial presence on several shows in the 70s and died way too young. He sand the absolute best version of Danny Boy I've ever heard when he was a guest on the Tonight Show. I've scoured YouTube in hopes of finding the clip, but no luck yet. He was a good singer and had appeared in several Broadway shows including Cabaret.

Finally, I am struck by how doing these kind of publicity shots were standard back in the day. I am not so sure today's actors would be so willing to do them!

Thanks again Poseidon for brightening up my day!

Gingerguy said...

Spelling error, we would retch not wretch. But those commercials were wretched.

angelman66 said...

Gregory Harrison bumping and grinding with wild abandon. Pure camp, indeed, but helpful in setting up my pup tent, so to speak!!

Bert Convy, sigh. He and Bobby Van are up in heaven waiting for me to arrive, in their skintight polyester pants. I loved them both!

Thanks as always for the flights of fancy!

Poseidon3 said...

Hello, my loves! We've had quite a time of it in The Underworld. Second week of the show I'm in compounded by a really severe attack of allergies which warranted two prescriptions and three other OTC drugs. Somehow we made it through, though it all begins again tomorrow for the final week.

DJWildBill, I have to assume that since Batman already pretty much wore a speedo for his costume that they felt trunks over it would be campier and more amusing. I think it would have been hooty for him to wear the dark satin shorts and the hood & cape and NOTHING else! LOL Maybe a logo drawn on his chest. ;-)

Gingerguy, I have a friend who positively retches (see? I learned from you!) whenever Jane Seymour hawks her open heart jewelry collection on TV. So I made a picture of her with earrings and a necklace made up entirely from a photo of his face, asking him if he like that any better! LOL (He didn't.) As much as I might poke fun of her OTT romantic glitz and glamour, it is THAT JS that I adored versus the Dr. Quinn era one in her pioneer drag.

Roberta, I remember John Davidson being asked on Hollywood Squares something about a place where Asian women shave their hair off and he said, "Well, on the whole..." but it sounded like "...on the hole." HYSTERICAL! The miniseries with Tony Musante was aired maybe 8 or 10 years ago somewhere because I watched it in its entirety and was surprised at just how much time he spends in that li'l suit. LOTS of macho b.s. and angst in that program, though. I've really enjoyed re-watching Bert Convy on the Buzzr network (over the airwaves) as the host of Tattletales. He was so cute and charming. Interesting that he sang Danny Boy (and so well!)

Angelman, I don't know if ANYONE could forget "For Ladies Only" who saw it when it aired. I recall The National Enquirer running a color photo of Greg (who was at that moment physical perfection) in his black Z for Zorro speedo as publicity for the movie and I decided I was going to have to see it if it killed me. Having the divine Lee Grant along for the ride was gravy (and Patty Reagan/Davis as his girlfriend!) Even if it was cheesy - and it was - he was amazing to behold!

Thanks everyone!!