Thursday, September 1, 2022

Sending a "Flareup!"

Considering my adoration of almost anything from about 1966-1970 and a fondness for the wonders of Raquel Welch, it's a wonder that I had never once laid eyes upon the surprisingly obscure Flareup (1969) until just a couple of weeks ago. Of course, after watching it, I can sort of see how it proceeded to slip through the cracks, but it does have its share of interesting facets nonetheless. (You may wonder, HOW can a movie featuring Welch as a go-go dancer not maintain lasting appeal when she is such a physical icon for One Million Years, B.C., 1966, Myra Breckinridge, 1970, and others? Well... because in general the movie fails to deliver on any promises of excessive skin.) Even though it bears only the most vague similarity (kind brunette is stalked madly) to Sleeping With the Enemy (1991), I couldn't help thinking about the later film while enduring this one.

The James Bond-ian title sequence features someone dancing who is certainly not Raquel Welch, though she can definitely get her groove on. 

If you want to wind up in the E/R and possibly ICU, do a shot each time the word "flareup" is sung in the Les Baxter title song. Flareup was directed by James Neilson, who'd begun in TV, then did several Disney movies (!) before trying to shift gears to more adult fare. After this, it was back to TV for good.

We begin at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas where nightclub dancer Sandra Giles is all done up and ready to keep a lunch date with some girlfriends. As she steps into a taxi...

We see a grimacing Luke Askew watching carefully.

He pulls out of the lot to follow her and we can see that Miss Celeste Holm is currently headlining in an abbreviated version of the Broadway smash Mame.

Meanwhile, at another hotel, the other two gals are strolling to a table for lunch.

Here we meet Pat Delaney and Welch, who are soon joined by Giles.

She can't even make it to the table before Askew is confronting her. Turns out he's her ex-husband, who wants her back. He blames her career as a dancer for their troubles, with particularly disdain for fellow dancer Welch as having turned her against him.

Making her way to the table, she explains that "Robere was in a creative mood" while assembling her hair. Then Askew comes back, demanding that she come with him!

She decides to just plain leave, but he's got other plans!

Having been shot by the loon, she drops to the grass, her hair only able to partially lessen the impact.

Still blaming Giles' friends for her reluctance to be with him, he turns his attention to them!

His gunfire causes a melee on the hotel grounds, with poolside guests scrambling for cover or coming forward to see what's happening. After firing a few more rounds, an alarm is sounded and he's forced to flee the place.

Stunned Delaney and Welch can only react in horror at what the crackpot has done.

Among the throng of onlookers is none other than the ubiquitous Leoda Richards, our very favorite extra! Giles is taken to the hospital while the other gals report to the police station for further questioning.

The strain across Welch's face comes from trying to relay to the detective that Askew has never gotten over his divorce and that he blames everyone but himself.

After a call to the hospital, Delaney informs the others that Giles is still in surgery.

Don Chastain, in charge of the case, reveals that Askew has been up on charges before involving narcotics and domestic violence and that he hasn't been to work for a week.

Delaney heads to the hospital while Welch is needed back at the club to perform her "specialty dance." Both are informed that they will receive police protection, though Welch says she's more interested in having Askew arrested than her being shadowed by a cop.

Welch's character is Michele and, sure enough, she is the headliner at the Pussycat a' Go-Go.

Inside, we find a topless dancer flailing around next to a live band. One member of said band has an endless smile plastered across his face, so he really must have loved this gig! This film was rated GP (later to be revised to PG), but there is titty for days sprinkled throughout. Had it been made in the mid-'80s, it surely would have been rated PG-13.

In the dressing room (note the "pussycat" wallpaper), Welch is being consoled by two other performers there. Kay Peters is combing her hair when... agitated Welch orders her to stop. Now we just know that this scenario and reaction is not unique to Flareup!

Since the other dancer, Carol-Jean Thompson, can't stop saying "She'll be all right. I just know it," Peters is getting snarly, too. She tells her cohort to "turn the record over."

Joe Billings, the remarkably considerate owner of the club, asks Welch if she is up to performing. She (in her dressing gown that coordinates with the psychedelic swirls on the wall!) responds that she is because it may take her mind off of Giles. 

Thus, we're treated to the main event, only about ten-minutes in. Raquie flings and hurls herself around the stage in a get-up that, while skimpy, is hardly as revealing as anything worn by any other dancer. And she remains covered. This is ART, bitches.

While Welch is splaying around the stage, Billings stands in front of the paying (and in some cases salivating) clientele!

Soon enough, it's back to the other semi-nude flouncing from gals without a studio contract.

Thompson, whose dance we don't have to get to see, is horrified when her boss cancels a date she had lined up. He tells her the guy was bad news.

Back in the dressing room, Peters is still trying to console a downhearted Welch.

Thompson tries to get her to come to the party with her, since her date has been sent packing, but Welch demurs. She plans to head over to the hospital to visit Giles.

Peters has some plans of her own, though, to help Welch get her mind off things... and it starts with a shoulder rub! But Welch tells her how life is. This part made me think of when Marlene Dietrich used to offer to wash various starlets' hair, but they couldn't always be certain she meant the hair on their head! LOL

Having narrowly escaped that scene, Welch arrives at the hospital in time for a teary Delaney to announce that Giles has hemorrhaged to death after surgery.

Soon enough, this will be the least of their troubles, though, as Aksew is lurking in the parking lot!

Delaney is being escorted by her police "protection" when Askew comes barreling in to run them both down!

Briefly blinded by the headlights, Welch has to scramble for cover the best she can.

Fortunately, a hospital security officer (played by Gordon Jump of all people!) takes aim at Askew and sends him off before he can do Welch in.

This turn of events gives our girl a chance to experience most of the seven stages of grief all in a row and all while turning towards the camera.

I always enjoyed Raquel Welch (she was one of the first stars I ever recognized) and her physical assets are undeniable, but I really disliked a lot of her mannered acting choices in this movie. One exception - along with a few others - is her feral reaction to Jump insisting that she wait for the police to arrive at the scene. 

In a blind panic mixed with fury, she drives off and simply heads 300 miles to Los Angeles without packing so much as a g-string.

Once there, she checks into an affordable hotel and tries to collect herself.

The following morning, she places a collect call to Pussycat a' Go-Go to apologize to her boss for disappearing on him. He tries to get her to return, but with Askew still at large she won't have any of it.

Understanding her plight, Billings is kind enough to suggest a club she may find work in as he knows the owner well. Meanwhile, the club bartender (Ron Rifkin) is eavesdropping on the conversation.

The club Billings recommends is called The Losers. Welch is to go there and ask to see Jerry Benton.

Bedecked with a new get-up, Welch sets out to find her potential new place of employment.

James Stacy, the parking attendant at The Losers, witnesses her recklessly tearing into the parking lot, almost taking out another car in the process!

The two of them indulge in some patter with him informing her of a flat tire and her informing him that she's a little nervous to go inside.

He offers to help settle her nerves with a sip from his (nearly empty) Coke!

Not even a year later, Raquie was helping to hawk Coke (and garishly hideous Coke accessories) professionally in conjunction with a TV special she'd been signed for!

Next Stacy reaches into his pants and asks Welch if she would like to smell his good luck charm (I am not making this up!) He withdraws a piece of rosewood, which she sniffs before entering the club. This seems to do the trick in terms of establishing their "meet cute."

Once inside, she asks for Jerry Benton.

Benton turns out to be Jerri, not Jerry. Fans of The Patty Duke Show will be surprised to see Jean Byron (Patty mom on the show) as a strip club proprietress, though she's clearly one with a heart of gold.

She tells Welch that she's hired on the basis of her old boss' recommendation with no need to audition. She tells the new hire to drop by later that night to check the place out.

Meanwhile back in Vegas, the drug-addicted Rifkin is accosted and brutalized into telling Askew whatever he knows about Welch's current whereabouts.

At The Losers, Welch demonstrates a trick she learned from her old boss. She marches up to the lip of the stage and stands directly in the way of the view of paying customers...!

We find that the featured dancer in this club (which does have a more dignified band) is played by none other than Mary Wilcox.

Wilcox even warranted a publicity still for her trouble. (Longtime readers will recall the rather unusual actress for her work in the shodderific horror flick Love Me Deadly, 1972!)

After stopping at the club to go over her music and lighting, Welch runs into Stacy once again in the parking lot. He ultimately convinces her to gift him a lift and ultimately spend the evening with him.

They head up into the hills overlooking L.A. and begin to connect over their mutual senses of isolation and lack of family. Before the night is over they've begun to kiss passionately.

Meanwhile, the ever-driven Askew has begun to hitchhike his way to La La Land and is picked up by an old man. When the old man begins to question him a little too much, Askew's loopy side comes to the surface.

Askew then prefers to do his own driving and takes matters into his own hands.

At the hotel, Welch is having nightmares about the series of ordeals she's recently been through. She's awakened with a start by the telephone.

It's Stacy. He wants her to come to his place for security, but she refuses, not wanting to drag him into her whirlpool of drama.

Soon enough, though, she's changed her mind and pops up at his apartment with her small selection of wardrobe changes.

We like Stacy's chest, though this is the only time we get a decent look at it.

He can't get his shirt on fast enough once she arrives!

Stacy is a man of many hobbies including photography, bullfights (!) and also model planes.

He shows Welch what it takes to get his propeller going! It's this way throughout the movie, but Welch over-indicates every gesture while assisting him.

She also affects the most annoying giggle ever recorded on film... very artificial. There's also an agonizing tendency to exclaim "whoo!" every so often for reasons known only to her. Anyway, they continue to bond over her various issues.

Meanwhile, Askew has arrived in Los Angeles and has the young lovers under surveillance! (This movie could easily have been called, "Relentless," a title that was later used for a Judd Nelson serial killer film.)

Stacy has a day off and takes Welch to the beach for a horseback ride.

Neither Black Beauty, nor Seabiscuit nor even Pegasus ever swung their mane around the way Raquie does in this lunatic sequence!

After their ride, the roll around in the sand and then reflect on the "good thing" they've got going. I mean, it's been 24-hours since he slipped her the Coke bottle!

She asks him if he would ever pick up and go with her if she ever had to leave. Considering her circumstances, it's not exactly a theoretical question!

In fact, while they're doing a dry version of Burt & Deborah, Askew is on the bluff above them!

He's about to take aim and blow them away when a sudden lifeguard Jeep careens by.

Arriving back at his car, there's a policeman who has taken note of the stolen vehicle and so he has to make a run for it! He only manages to slip away after hitting someone, which prompts the officer to stop.

Back in Vegas, Chastain is trying to locate Welch and presses Rifkin to reveal whether he knows anything or not. He claims ignorance.

Peters gets tough with Rifkin and threatens to expose his drug habit to their boss if he doesn't tell Chastain what he needs to know. Right now.

Arriving home, Welch suddenly decides she'd wanted to put gas in the car but forgot. (!) She thanks Stacy for their lovely day and heads off to the service station.

She asks for the attendant to check her oil, but he's unfamiliar with her foreign car, so she has to indicate where the stick is. In a moment of (intentional) hilarity, he looks at the curvaceous Welch and asks if she works at the hospital down the street, to which she facetiously replies, "Yeah, I'm a brain surgeon." The phone rings and he darts off to answer it. It's for HER!

Thinking it might be Stacy, she's horrified to discover that it's the deranged Askew, full of threats.

What's more, he's calling from right across the street!

Once she puts this together, she bolts out of the service station, hops into her car and takes off in a streak.

Of course she does what any rational person would do in the overcrowded, teeming bustle of a large city. She heads to a totally deserted zoo!

She's chased all through the place by the relentless Askew, with animal noises accenting the way she's being stalked as prey until finally she collapses into the arms of a police officer.

Awakening in a hospital room, she's greeted by a supportive Stacy and by Chastain, in from Las Vegas in an effort to nab the elusive Askew.

She tries to get Stacy to flee to Mexico with her. He tells her he's all in. Knowing she'll be in the hospital overnight, he leaves her until tomorrow and heads to work.

Then Chastain informs her that she'll be going back to Las Vegas with him, to be in total police custody. She'll have none of that, so the L.A. detective tells her she'll have to stay in his custody until time to be extradited to Vegas as a material witness to the prior killings. With this, distrusting the police's effectiveness, she is utterly resistant.

She sneaks out of the hospital and takes a cab back to Stacy's apartment to wait for him there. Not the best idea...

Now trapped in the apartment with Mr. Cray-Cray, the only thing keeping her alive is that Askew wants to kill both Stacy and her together -- and Stacy is expected home from the nightclub any minute!

As usual, I won't spoil the finale of this epic, but you may watch the movie (in a print I wish was better) right here. I was fortunate enough to catch this recently on TCM, who aired a far cleaner, crisper rendition of it.

At this time, Welch was on the way up with her film career. Her famous poster from One Million Years B.C. (1966) had made her incredibly famous, but she had still to prove her mettle as an actress. Efforts like Bedazzled (1967) and The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968), among others, focused a lot of attention on her body. Myra Breckinridge (1970) might have done more harm than good as it was so poorly received. She performed in popular fare until The Three Musketeers (1973) showcased her comedy and resulted in a Golden Globe award. Things went along swimmingly enough until the early-'80s when her controversial firing from Cannery Row (1982) led to a years-long career crisis. But she bounded back on TV (including her Emmy-nominated Right to Die in 1987), which provided a worthwhile home until 2017 when she stepped into semi-retirement. She is 81 today.

Stacy began acting on TV at age 21, soon winning small roles in movies such as Sayonara (1957) and South Pacific (1958.) After working several dozen times on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, he landed a regular role on Lancer, a TV western, which was still in production during Flareup. He'd already been wed to and divorced from Connie Stevens and Kim Darby. His promising career was irrevocably damaged in 1973 when a drunk driver smashed into his motorcycle, killing his girlfriend and resulting in the loss of one of his arms and a leg. Stevens came to his rescue with a fundraising gala and he was able to win some acting parts after his recovery, but in time the wheels began to come off and he ran afoul of the law over an unhealthy interest in underage girls. His career over since 1992, he died in 2016 at age 79 from a reaction an antibiotic injection. 

Stacy was a handsome, charming, creative actor whose life went south in the wake of his tragic accident.

Askew's name isn't familiar, but his face certainly is to mid-1960s movie viewers thanks to parts in Hurry Sundown, Cool Hand Luke (both 1967), The Devil's Brigade (1968) and Easy Rider (1969), among others. Menacing as hell, even with those "wook mommy, I cut my own" bangs, he dotted the cast of many a TV show and movie in the 1970s. In time, he'd amassed many credits over a 40-year career, the last of which was ten appearances on Big Love. He died in 2012 of lung cancer at age 80.

Chastain is not particularly well-remembered, though he was familiar to me thanks to five separate guest spots on The Big Valley. He'd appeared on numerous other TV westerns and at the time of Flareup was a regular on The Debbie Reynolds Show. Later, he recurred on Rhoda and Alice, worked on daytime soaps and had the distinction of working opposite Eva Gabor in the musical "Applause!" He was claimed in 2002 at the age of 66 by colon cancer, having worked on TV nearly to the end.

This was at the dawn of Rifkin's career. He'd only done one episode of Gidget and a film called The Devil's 8 (1969) prior to this. Soon, he was supporting Ken Howard and Blythe Danner in the short-lived series Adam's Rib before proceeding to a long and very busy career as a TV and movie character actor. Later on, he enjoyed lengthy stints on both Alias and Brothers and Sisters. Married since 1966 to his wife Iva, their half-century+ union counts as a rare success in TinselTown. he is currently 82.

In the 1950s, Bryan had appeared in epics like The Magnetic Monster (1953) and Jungle Moon Men (1957) balanced by many appearances on television. Having worked in a recurring part on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, she then did more than a hundred episodes of The Patty Duke Show. Afterwards, Byron worked quite steadily on TV - albeit mostly in small roles - until 1999 until, fittingly, her final project was The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights. Byron, who'd been wed to Michael Ansara prior to Barbara Eden, died in 2006 from an infection after hip replacement surgery. She was 80.

Delaney will seem familiar to those of a certain age because she went on to portray the mother on the 1975 TV series Swiss Family Robinson, opposite Martin Milner. She played a wide variety of types, from floozies to ladies, from the late-1960s through the 1990s, including daytime soaps like Days of Our Lives and General Hospital. Retired since 2004, she passed away in 2018 at age 81 of undisclosed causes. 

Peters and Thompson only enjoyed spotty careers onscreen after this. Peters showed up in The Seven Minutes (1971) and did Days of Our Lives and a few episodes of CHiPs, among a few other things. Somehow she wound up with a few generous closeups here as well as a bit of meaty dialogue, but it didn't end up generating much further success. Thompson only did two other small films roles and that was the extent of her other credits.  

Wilcox, as we noted earlier, did Love Me Deadly, but also had parts on Days of Our Lives and in movies like The Lawyer (1970), Lepke (1975) and The Big Bus (1976) along with plenty of TV work. (She'd been part of the Second City Players and appeared in various SCTV projects.) She later became an Anglican priest! 

I close with an assortment of promotional materials I found interesting.

If there's a proper headshot of Welch for this movie, I've yet to see it. This was the principal pic that made the rounds (and which served as the basis for the movie's poster.) Wikipedia incorrectly states that she dances to Credence Clearwater Revival's "Suzie Q," when in fact she dances to a composition called "Michele" after her character. The film's poster ditched her gold headress.

This German poster ditches the headpiece, too, but really spices up her hair (and nipples!)

This Spanish poster demurely adds a skirt to her French-cut costume!

Speaking of French, this poster bears no relation whatsoever to any look that Welch sports during the movie...!

Inspiration seems to have come from various photo shoots or sketch characterizations that Welch adopted during her colorful career.

So that will bring us to the end of this post before I wig out any further. Ha ha! Till next time!


Gingerguy said...

Of course I watched this! luckily on TCM, the opening sequence is great. That dancer is really good, so good I looked for YouTube clips of the credits. All I got was the trailer with a voice over saying that other girls were good dancers but Raquel was the best-so not true! this blond was way better. The opening sequence of "Psycho Beach Party" I think was inspired by this film.
I loved the demure luncheon looks of the off duty dancers. I also caught the Marquee for Mame and Celeste Holme. Hilarious.
I love Raquel too, her newsboy cap and sunglasses combo were very mod.
The coke ad looks ahead of it's time, was that a coke smartwatch and hip hugger logo cellphone case?
That is not the only time you can see Raquel and horses. She had a tv special with Tom Jones where she runs around in a meadow with horses wearing a peach satin cape.
I happened to read "Pure Ivory" by James Ivory of Merchant/Ivory and he mentioned directing Raquel in "The Wild Party" (also on TCM that same day). He said she had come to fame being a sex symbol but was obsessed with being taken seriously.
This recap was so much better than the movie!

rigs-in-gear said...

I'm going to have to restrict my reading of your entries to the privacy of my home, as I attracted stares over my guffawing at your witty take on Flareup. Particularly the remark about Giles hair "only able to partially lessen the impact". It looked like it should've bounced her back upright. I notice Raquel's hairstyles are much less contrived than those of the supporting cast. But from the subsequent Coke ad, it appears she had the "no barrel curls" clause removed from her contract. Thanks for the fun read. Once again, I'll suggest to friends that they read your synopsis, skip watching the flick and just say they did.

A said...

Great post. Love Raquel. I think Coke tie-in is hilarious and she makes it look glamorous. James Stacy was also so hot.

Thanks again, Poseidon!


Dan said...

It’s hard to describe, but Raquel has always been a blank to me. The few things I’ve seen her in, she just doesn’t register. It always seems some vital element is missing. The lesson being you can be extraordinarily attractive and have little to no screen presence, while someone far less conventionally attractive can have tremendous presence (Simone Signoret and Anjelica Huston come to mind).
Anyway, thanks for saving me the trouble of actually watching this magnum opus myself.

BryonByronWhatever said...

Likewise, I had never heard of this film and, considering that by 1969 she had already headlined more high-quality films, one wonders if this was filmed earlier and released after she had had a few hits. Also, reading the comments, I think I need to read James Ivory's book as I recall at the time of the making of "The Wild Party" that he was quite open regarding the difficulties they faced working with her. Perhaps time does heal everything.

Ptolemy1 said...

Raquel is quite a phenomenon. Interesting that you posted Reynolds before her, I think of them as a sort of 70's pair. I'm gay as a day in Wilton Manors May but one only need watch the practically softcore opening credits of "Fathom" to understand her sex appeal. AND she wasn't a blonde! Strong ethnic undertones add to the allure. She has obviously drunk from the same cup as Joan Collins, and remains goddess-like. Was she a good singer? A good actress? I don't really care; I love looking at her.

joel65913 said...

I love Raquel as well but must admit in her early flush of fame she was never what could be called the most naturalistic actress. She worked hard and became much better though she never ever seemed relaxed in her characterizations the way say Julie Christie or Lee Remick were.

I have seen this hooty mess of a movie but it has been long ago and my memory of it is fuzzy. It's from her period as a contract girl so she had to do pretty much what the studio handed her or loaned her out for. It's also in that time when the studios were floundering around trying to stay current with the marketplace that resulted in such eye burning atrocities as "Skidoo" and "The Big Cube" so it's best viewed as a time capsule.

Unknown said...

I am a huge fan of Miss Welch, dating back to her wearing a white wet suit while swimming around a man's brain in "Fantastic Voyage." Her career was like the Chicago Cubs. I was ALWAYS rooting for her to prove her career naysayers wrong, and she came very close to pulling off some solid performances in uneven films. As the Cubs finally won the World Series, Raquel won the Best Actress Golden Globe in 1975, besting Diahann Carroll, Cloris Leachman, Helen Hayes and Lucille Ball (Oh "Mame"). I peed myself and never doubted Raquel's talents since.
Let's not forget James Stacey as the object of adolescent affection from Hayley Mills and Deborah Walley in Disney's "Summer Magic" in 1963. Walley snagged him, but if Hayley would have seen his hairy chest, she would have fought harder.
I saw Don Chastain in the Eva Gabor version of "Applause" in summer stock. Very dashing in the Bill Sampson role and he had a very deep singing voice. However, the memorable part of that production was Miss Gabor. She had broken her ankle and was dragging this huge cast around with her while wearing some stunning gowns. Since the theater was in-the-round, her makeshift dressing room was set up in Row 5 so she could make her quick changes. A real trouper!!!

hsc said...

At the time this movie came out, I was a *HUGE* Raquel Welch fan, and I'm flabbergasted that I have absolutely zero memory of ever having heard of it-- especially since it was U.S.-made and distributed by MGM!

However, I grew up in a town that was sort of the very end of the "movie distribution food chain," so some things just never made it to our screens, not even at the drive-in theaters in second- or third-run.

(Things were a lot different back in the days before multiplexes and most movies "opening wide"-- not to mention before home video, internet and streaming!)

By the early '70s, I had managed to find a number of Raquel's "lesser efforts" turning up on the late show-- things like THE BIGGEST BUNDLE OF THEM ALL, FATHOM, and the Italian comedy SHOOT LOUD, LOUDER... I DON"T UNDERSTAND (which was a hoot every time the announcer would bring us back from commercial breaks with "We now return to SHOOT LOUD, LOUDER [long pause] I DON'T UNDERSTAND!").

I even got to see her 1965 breakthrough role in the low-budget independent BEACH PARTY knockoff A SWINGIN' SUMMER, in which she coincidentally played a character named "Jeri"-- a bookworm who by the end of the film undoes her bun, takes off her glasses and baggy sweater, and turns into a total babe-- and which coincidentally starred none other than James Stacy!

But for some reason-- maybe the "Go-Go" club elements made it just a little too sleazy?-- FLAREUP never seemed to show up on local TV, so this post is a total revelation!

And this film has it all-- Contrived plot! Lots of "acting" from Raquel and an obsessed psycho! Cheesy outdoor "romantic" scenes capped with "a dry version of Burt & Deborah"! (LOVE that reference!) Ridiculous big hairstyles! Hideous outfits! "Go-Go" dancers! Clubs with names like "Pussycat a' Go-Go" and "The Losers"! All this AND-- The Special Participation of Miss Leoda Richards! Wow!

And BTW-- what was up with someone naming a girlie club "The Losers"? It sounds like their selling point was that the women who worked there were a bunch of lower-end bump 'n' grinders that were so desperate, they could be yours for the night for the price of a few drinks!

(Maybe that "no audition necessary" thing wasn't so much Jerri displaying a "heart of gold" as displaying "We have a very low bar here at 'The Losers' and that rack obviously puts you over it.")

Yet another great find, entertainingly presented! And a Happy 82nd Birthday to Raquel tomorrow (Sept. 5th)!

As always, thanks to Poseidon for all you do and love to all! Be safe and well, everyone!

hsc said...

One other thing-- what's with that weird German retitling "DEAD BEES DON'T SING"? Is there actually anything involving bees in the movie?

Around this time, I guess you were starting to get a wave of oddly-titled stalk-and-kill films in Europe (a popular genre known as *giallos* in Italy, *krimis* in Germany), many of them having animal references, like THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and THE BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA.

Still, I'd think they would've gone with "DEAD *BIRDS* DON'T SING" or "DEAD BEES DON'T *STING*" instead.

Shawny said...

The name Flareup is mostly associated with a malady like hemorrhoids or something of that nature. Is it me or does J Stacy have large areolas? Maybe that's what the title was referencing?

Christopher Simons said...

Thank you, Poseidon, for another masterful and mirthful post. Your wit and encyclopedic knowledge of show business minutiae are a real joy. Actually, I just watched some of Raquel's TV specials last week:

Funny how she has no female guest stars....

As a fan of things camp, you may want to follow, if you don't already. The comments are as fun as the posts.

Take care,

Poseidon3 said...

Hello friends! Wow, this post seems to have lit a fire under some of you, resulting in many great comments! :-)

Gingerguy, I agree about the opening dancer (and her fun ponytail, too!) I ought to read "Pure Ivory" (which I didn't even know about!) Perry King was the closest thing to nude in "The Wild Party" which is one reason I sat through it. And Merchant-Ivory was usually good for some surprise frontal here and there in their tasteful flicks. I have seen some of that special with Raquel (isn't that the one where TJ sings "I Who Have Nothing" to her? LOVE that song.)

rigs-in-gear, it makes me SO happy that you get my off-beat sense of humor to the point where you actually *DO* LOL, which I suspect some people type without actually doing so. I was surprised that RW let her costars all have the elaborate 'dos in this, but I suspect she was aiming for the '70s and its freer hairstyles. Ahead of the curve... Thank you!

A, glad you liked this. It was tragic the way Stacy's life unfolded. My mother made me watch a TVM he made after the accident called, "Just a Little Inconvenience." She was very intrigued by him.

Dan, I think for my own part that often on screen RW lacks sincerity. So artificial! And yet, not long after this, stripped of the lashes and lip liner, she really came across far better in "The Three Musketeers." There was an understated simplicity there that helped sell the comedy.

BryonByron, I wonder if you're right and this was a little late in coming out. One really would think it would be better known, but it's sort of a tease. She never dances again, even at the second place, after that first "fling."

Ptolemy1, I often think of them together, too, but Burt and Raquel did NOT get along during "100 Rifles" and for "Fuzz" they were as separate as possible all through filming, but they later settled their hash. She held onto her astonishing looks for a long, long time, but in very recent years she messed up her face horribly.... I was distraught the last time I saw her a couple of years ago. Whatever she'd had done, it was not in any way effective. :-[

Part II coming up!

Poseidon3 said...

I've learned the hard way not to try to fit too much into my replies and to break it up if it's running long...

joel65913, yes. She was very studied and almost mechanical. And because she WAS rather adult underneath (already a wife and mother), she was unconvincing much of the time if she tried to play "girlish" as she was in this. That laugh...! Awful.

Unknown, I love "Fantastic Voyage!" She made a striking impression in her wetsuit. And as I've said, she was so good in "Musketeers" and in other things afterwards. I even tuned into the fast-diminishing "Central Park West" to see her back in the '90s, but it was too late to save that sinking ship.

hsc, isn't that crazy? I tell you, it's so obscure, but on the surface it would seem like something her fans would just eat up. So glad that TCM resurrected it in - as I say - a great looking print that outdoes the one I had to link. That's hysterical about the announcer on "Shoot Loud!" I had no idea she'd been in a prior James Stacy movie. Thanks for pointing that out! This movie has "boobies, boobies, boobies!" so maybe the TV stations just opted out of trying to show it (even though those moments could easily be augmented out - see what i did there? Ha ha!) From what I could tell, Pussycat a' Go-Go AND The Losers were real and true clubs of that time! Thanks!! P.S. - I have no recall of anything about bees. It all sounds like a gimmick gone wrong in the re-titling...

Shawny, HA! I think the way his chest hair is situated, it gives the optical illusion that they are larger than they really are. (And the picture quality isn't up to snuff.) There IS an actual flareup of a sort in the movie, but I didn't give it away. ;-)

Christopher Simons, thanks for the links and especially for your kind words about P.U. <---right??! I'm glad you and others enjoy machete-ing your way through my endless showbiz ramblings....! I appreciate it.

EricSwede said...

Another great post. I too love Raquel Welch, when you look like that...her movies are fun. I'm happily surprised I'm not the only one who enjoys them. Here's a bit of trivia from the gossip graveyard about Don Chastain. He made a nice splash in the Diahann Carroll "No Strings" on B'way in 1962. He could sing. Unfortunately he somehow pissed off Richard Rodgers (don't remember the exact issue but it was petty) and Rodgers did his best to wreck his career and he didn't appear on B'way again until 1966. He did TV but his career momentum was kinda ruined.

Poseidon3 said...

EricSwede, thanks for that backstage info! I appreciate it. His voice was SO resonant, I bet he really could sing. But as an actor in a movie, his voice because sort of annoying. Hard to describe it in writing. It had an "announcer-y" tinge to it. Dick Rogers could sometimes really live up to his name sometimes! LOL

Chuck K. said...

Hi Poseidon and everyone!
I read showgirl at Losers Club as Mary Wickes instead of Mary Wilcox, ha!
Got to find out about Raquel's controversial firing in "Cannery Row". Fun post as always!

Ken Anderson said...

As a Welch fan, for the longest time, "Flare-Up" was on my list of movies I'd heard about but never seen. Finally getting a look at it when it screened on TCM was a major eye-opener. Wow! It's actually a marvel Welch continued to get hired at all after this.
Your review of it, however, provides the icing on the cake, for it's great to relive the horrors of this opus through your eyes. And with the assist of so many terrific photos and hilarious asides. Thanks for the laugh and the always informative extras!

Sandysha said...

Rachael Welch made her first screen debut with James Stacy in A Swinging Summer. She did a good job for the most part in that movie. Maybe because the part was smaller. I'm sorry to say in Flare-Up, she wasn't that good. The saving grace of this movie was James Stacy, who was in his second session of Lancer at the time and was one of the show's heartthrobs. Wayne Maunder was the other.

It may have been Welch who attracted the men to this movie, but it was the handsome and talented James Stacy who brought the women in.

Poseidon3 said...

Chuck K, the movie would have turned a profit with Mary Wickes as a stripper... I feel sure!! LOL Glad you liked this. Hope you find the "Cannery Row" thing interesting, too.

Man, Ken, if YOU hadn't ever seen this movie it really was flying low on the radar. I'm so glad you got a kick out of my snarky rundown of the film. As a dancer, you must have been cringing at some of the "numbers" shown. I appreciate your remarks a lot!

Sandysha, I was able to catch a little bit of "Lancer" on a local, over-the-air channels that shows old TV westerns on Saturday mornings. I never knew it to be rerun anywhere else like so many others are. They also showed "Hondo," "Nichols" and "Shane," all short-lived shows. Stacy was very charming! Sad the way his path went after that accident.