Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Poseidon Quickies: A Brief Shower, By George

It's all about un-challenging, non-think viewing these days as each evening brings the need for decom- pression in the wake of a day amidst manu- facturing, distribution & transportation under the current quagmire we're in. As a result, I've been catching up with some unusual, rare movies that scarcely make their way onto DVD or television. One, the aggressively awful 1970 release The Delta Factor, has little to recommend it besides a few attractive actresses (slumming in a dreary story based on a Mickey Spillane novel), but there was one moment that did cause me to sit up and take notice. 

The principal star of The Delta Factor was one Christopher George, seen here during his tenure as head of The Rat Patrol, a WWII desert-set series that ran from 1966-68. George had, in real life, been a marine as a teen and led a very colorful pre-acting existence in a wide variety of jobs. After shooting the John Wayne film Chisum (1970), he started work on the Spillane espionage flick.

Convicted thief George has been coerced into a job for the U.S. government. Early in the film, he is shown just having taken a shower in his hotel room, which gives us a quick glimpse of his hairy torso.

Exiting the tub and the bathroom, he proceeds to dry off while strolling over to his dressing table. But we soon find out that he has an audience...!

Yvette Mimieux, who's been enlisted to work with him as his wife on the mission, has been observing the situation covertly. And doesn't disapprove of what she sees.

Deducing that he's got nothing to hide at this point, he tosses the towel to the floor and continues his chat with Mimieux head on, so to speak. The rugged George had been sun-baked after those years on Rat Patrol and as a heavy smoker also sported a raspy voice to go with his crooked smile.

Touching a bit on the ladies now in order to help fill out this post. Despite her top-billing, I could only recall one sequence in which Mimieux received anything approaching a close-up! She's endlessly shown in medium and long shots and in a variety of questionable wigs (this is not her own hair either.)

Only she could tell you why there was a decision to cover up her own flattering hair (seen above-right) with some sketchy wigs that look like they might have been found in a waste can outside Jacqueline Bisset's dressing room at 20th Century Fox...!

I thought this one was especially ghastly!

Conversely, Diane McBain's hair receives the sort of brutally punishing treatment that would leave a gal scrambling for Rogaine decades after! It almost hurts to see how her locks were savagely teased, bleached and beaten into this rat's nest.

We've always liked McBain, and she tries hard to inject life into this shoddy movie (directed by Tay Garnett, close to the end of his career. Some blame the endlessly low-angle framing of the movie on his being in a wheelchair at the time!) It's all in vain, though. At one point, Mimieux tears at her dress, briefly revealing a stray boob...

Even playing a hard-nosed madam in one extended scene, Yvonne De Carlo looks better and comes off better than her younger cohorts.

Her stable of "ho"s come in all sorts, from the bizarrely overdressed to the flat out naked...!

George had known actress Lynda Day for quite a while. They'd both been models early on and were even in a bride & groom photo shoot once. But during Chisum, in which she costarred, they fell in love and she left her husband for George. In 1971, they had a daughter with the hybrid name of Krisinda (an alternatively-spelled coagulation of their first names) Casey (after Day's character on Mission: Impossible!) George. He also adopted her son Nicky from the prior marriage.

The couple was tremendously close and very happy, working together any time it was feasible. It always struck me unusual, though, that this husband and father, who rarely - if ever - appeared nude in a movie, wound up posing balls out for Playgirl in 1974!

But he did just that. The shots are readily available though a quick Google search. They feature his faithful canine, a perilous looking knife (!) and a slab of watermelon (!!) When George died suddenly of a heart attack in 1983 at only age 52, it was determined that he suffered from scar tissue in his heart stemming from an accident on the set of The Rat Patrol years earlier. His devastated wife only acted sporadically for a few years after that.


Gingerguy said...

Now I know the reason I woke up this morning was to find this and see Yvette as a brunette. I kind of like her but honestly one of the few things she has going for her on screen is blonde hair, so this looks hopeless. He is hot, and I think he did a stint on Dark Shadows too. I like him better here, a little grizzled to tone down the prettiness. So sad he died young. I think the work quagmire you speak of might be supply chain issues? that is my reason for torturous days at my job. Bless movies for the ability to transport me at the end of the day. Including bad ones.

hsc said...

I just got back online after a solid WEEK of internet outage (screw Verizon!!!) and found this delightful post!

When I was in elementary school, I spotted Lynda Day in a White Rain (hair conditioner) commercial and developed a HUGE crush on her, eventually spotting her name in the credits of a sitcom guest appearance.

A little later, when *ahem* other interests began to emerge, I coincidentally spotted Christopher George in the pilot for THE IMMORTAL, his short-lived TV series and developed a thing for him.

So this was a particularly enjoyable post for me!

BTW, the fairly nondescript, low-budget poster has a couple of noteworthy elements in the blurbs:

"FIST-SMASHING! GUN-BLASTING! SEX-SNARLING!" (WHAaat? "Sex-*snarling*??? You do it, but you really don't like it and you loudly grouse about it the whole time? Yeah, that's hot...)

"THE DELTA FACTOR-- THE PERSONAL GEOMETRIC DESIGN THAT IDENTIFIES THE FEMALE FOR THE MALE!" (Yikes. I suppose "SNATCH" would've been a little too, um, on-the-nose-- but that title would've made a great double feature with SHAFT.)

And notice that there's no MPAA rating on the poster. The distributor was the Walter Reade Organization, which never submitted anything to the MPAA and had previously made a haul with the original unrated distribution of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

Thanks for another great post! Stay safe and well, everyone!

Dean W. said...

Mr. Christopher George.....the best man-tan in Hollywood, outside of George Hamilton! Though, I must say, his faithful canine does look like it has some wolf-blood in him! Thanks for yet another memorable post, Poseidon :>)

Polly Esther said...

Never new much about Mr. George….I always wondered about the lovely Lynda Day’s last name.
Now I know! What a hot hairy torso she got to run her hands all over. LDG was always sweet and beautiful whenever I saw her on tv. I think I saw her on game shows (?) or guest starring on ensemble shows like Love Boat. Don’t think I ever saw a bitchy moment from her.
And what about the tag line for Delta Factor- the whole personal geometric design identifying the female?! Does that mean Delta airlines has a fleet of flying vaginas? EEWWWWW
Love this post, Poseidon, you sure dig deep into the depths of popular culture. Thanks again for a ray of sunshine in an otherwise not so pretty world.

hsc said...

"And what about the tag line for Delta Factor- the whole personal geometric design identifying the female?! Does that mean Delta airlines has a fleet of flying vaginas? EEWWWWW"

HAH! And let's not forget the slogan the airlines had at the time-- "Delta is ready when you are!" (All nice and juicy and ready to receive, apparently... )

Was EVERYTHING about sex in the '70s????

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, I have to agree about Yvette and her blonde hair. It stood out on screen in quite a few things. I can never forget, in particular, "Dark of the Sun" with her struggling in the jungle. I wonder if there is a correlation with her going more dishwater brown and her career decline?! I'm glad I can (occasionally, at this rate!) provide a fun diversion for you. I can't even talk about what I'm going through these days, which is an amazing statement coming from me, the chatterbox... Thanks!

hsc, that's awful about the internet!! At least it didn't happen during the severest lockdown. Can you imagine? I'm so glad you're back in action and that you liked this little post. I really appreciate the additional commentary and information about the poster and the distributor! I have to assume that the lack of a rating also kept this movie (and others?) out of some major theater chains.

Dean W, a couple of years ago, I got the first season of "The Rat Patrol" on DVD (in crisp color) and George was very handsome and effective. But I have to say I also thought his cohorts Gary Raymond and Laurence Casey were every bit as handsome if not more in some ways! The letdown came when the persisted in staying dressed so much of the time. LOL

Polly Esther, thank you so much! I am a pop culture algae eater. LOL Skimming the depths to locate unusual subject matter whenever possible.

Polly Esther said...

Apparently so; remember “I’m Jackie, Fly Me”?
Oh I’ll fly you honey…I have the fuselage and you have the cock pit!
I think it was United Airlines. I think the gorgeous model/flight attendant’s name was different in each commercial.