Friday, May 24, 2024

Fun Finds: Movies Illustrated Magazine, Dec 1965

Before my recent fall, which rendered me barely mobile and with a damaged finger on my right hand, I'd been foraging at an outdoor antique show and found what promised to be an interesting vintage periodical. As it turned out, it was pretty disappointing, but I bring you the highlights anyway, with commentary as warranted. Just the era itself, the end of 1965 heading into 1966 seemed to be a no-brainer, but the rag fell short of living up to its promises. For example, the blurb "The Truth About Male Sex Symbols" left me waiting for plenty of beefcakey pictures of this hunk or that. Um... Nope! And the color shot of Natalie is the only color to be found apart from the back of the publication which has a camera ad featuring Art Linkletter (!) But, oh well... Let's see if there is anything worth perusing.

Well, this is a good start! Miss Raquel Welch at the dawn of her career success. The curvaceous bombshell was already a mother of two. One Million B.C. (1966) was just around the corner and would cement her as an international sex symbol. (Though, for her, this became something to overcome rather than bask in.)

At first glance I thought it was Vince Edwards who was standing with A-M in this photo. Instead it was singer John Andrea, newly-signed to 20th Century-Fox. After a couple of singles (and a huge publicity push), he was released without ever having appeared as an actor in any of their movies or TV series.

People had such naivete back in the day... writing a fan magazine to see how you could reach Alfred Hitchcock in order to personally pitch him your story idea?! Sounds about as crazy as a 1986 19 year-old calling Los Angeles long-distance to personally tell Richard & Esther Shapiro a "brilliant" plot twist that desperately needed to happen on Dynasty! LOL (Can't imagine who that was....) Circle of Love (1964), by the way, was a Roger Vadim remake of La Ronde (1950) which had color and semi-nudity, but was not considered an improvement on the original. 

You always know in a column like this that the fur is going to fly from obsessed and deranged fans. Ha ha! We all have opinions. I know I do. But I try not to be too fierce in my shredding of most people I'm not into because they are usually someone's favorite.

I hadn't been aware of the tiff between Garner and Franciosa, though I can picture those two disparate types not hitting it off. Kelly didn't direct any Gershwin musical. His next task in that vein was a semi-animated TV version of Jack and the Beanstalk (1967) with music by Sammy Cahn. However, he did direct a 30-minute TV sitcom pilot (!) - An American in Paris (1964) - with Van Johnson and Jan Sterling. It didn't sell. I had no clue that Gene's second wife was named Jeanne (was it pronounced like his or like Jeannie?!) She had previously been the spouse of Kelly's collaborator and frenemy Stanley Donen! It was a big mixed bag of emotions between them and Kelly's prior wife Betsy Blair. Lawford would divorce Pat Kennedy in 1966.

Though Bing Crosby tended to receive what few good reviews Stagecoach (1966) garnered, there was no Oscar nom. My favorite comment from any reviewer of that movie is from the 1987 book The Motion Picture Guide: "Wayne Newton sings 'Stagecoach to Cheyenne' (Lee Pockriss and Paul Vance). It's the kind of song one dislikes upon first hearing and hates upon the second." Welch's planned movie didn't happen (though Travis did a foreign-made rendition of his story in 1972), but she wound up marrying her manager Curtis. (He'd previously been engaged to Linda Evans in the early-1960s!) They divorced in 1972. I had no clue what on earth Kid Rodelo (1966) was, but when I saw Janet garbed up for it... Well, let's say it makes me miss my now-unavailable movie site even more!

Sharif really became proficient at bridge and for a while was one of the world's top competitors. (I think he even wrote a column about it for newspapers at one time!) I love Sands of the Kalahari (1965) and doubt that I'd have enjoyed Peppard in it better than Stuart Whitman. (His movie with Rock Hudson emerged as Tobruk, 1967, and it doesn't appear that the "Don Juan" movie ever came to be. Incidentally, he was paid $400K for Tobruk, not $525K.)

I think we know why not much developed off-screen between Cardinale and Hudson. Trivia Tidbit: During the filming of Hugh O'Brian's Ambush Bay (1966), his costar Mickey Rooney came down with a severe infection/fever and had to be hospitalized upon his return to California. While he was in the hospital, his wife was murdered by her lover, who then killed himself! Connery tried with The Hill (1965) and A Fine Madness (1966) to escape "Bond," but neither movie was a box office success.  

The story of stuntman-turned-actor Bob Morgan was horrific. A mini-avalanche of stacked timber fell on him during How the West Was Won (1962) and cost him a leg. He was slowly nursed back to health by his wife Yvonne De Carlo (of The Munsters), with only a couple of gigs along the way. He did return to the screen, sporadically, but he and De Carlo divorced in 1968. He lived to be 82, passing away in 1999.

The Sandpiper (1965) was one of the hotly anticipated films of new power couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

I don't know if these more revealing shots of the scene in question were ever used in a European cut of the film (I found nothing to that effect) or if they ever saw the light of day anyplace. (Wouldn't the male costar in question have been Charles Bronson!?) Did the scene even make it into the picture at all?

The movie does feature a "nude" wood carving of Taylor, commissioned by the production, but it reportedly toppled over years later, riddled with termites!

A key reason I chose this magazine was for this feature and, wow, was it a let-down!

I mean, it's an okay read, but where are the corresponding "sexy" pictures?

It would be moderately interesting to know who readers wound up selecting as the new King & Queen of Hollywood at this time.

Due to complications with her marriage and her employer, Carroll Baker's Hollywood career was already over, though the world at large may not have realized it. She went to NYC to work on the stage, then to Europe where she won steady employment. It was a decade before she made another movie in America.

I love both Doris Day and Rod Taylor, but this is not considered to be much of a feather in either of their caps.

In 1965, magazines bursting with photos from movies, such as Movies Illustrated, would have been a godsend to fans. It's less so now in our click and find world of the internet, though perhaps there could be some unusual stills found along the way.

Poor Brandon deWilde was killed at only age 30 in an automobile accident. Michael Parks became a familiar face, but never was able to make it to true "star" level, despite many movies and TV appearances. Lana's hair as seen in the photo is my least favorite look on her. Ever.

Child, I thank the Lord that Davis, Sothern and others turned to the horror genre. Some of those offerings are among my favorite cinematic guilty pleasures! I love watching Mary Astor. In fact, during this week's convalescence, I re-viewed Return to Peyton Place (1961) and savored every facial expression and inflection she delivered even more than I had before (which is saying something!) I think you'll be startled by who is the subject of "What Ever Happened To...?" later in this issue. It was 1965.

I don't know how many times I have watched Inside Daisy Clover (1965), though I found it on DVD very cheap several months back and gave it another shot, but I cannot warm to it.

There are many elements in place that ought to make it a fave of mine, but it just isn't.

I do recall enjoying the reed-thin Katherine Bard in a series of sleek get-ups and I always enjoy watching Christopher Plummer. I don't know if the captions here are 100% accurate. I think it was implied that Redford was a homo, though - as has happened more than once - the actor played against what the script called for and resisted that depiction as much as he could. It made for some confusion, story-wise.

This rather daring explosion was referred to earlier in the magazine. Who knew if a dangerous projectile was going to manage to reach the star!?

This blew my mind. I had no idea that in 1965 people would wonder "Whatever Happened to Victor Mature!"

Apart from his resume as a cinematic leading man since the 1940s, he'd been top-billed in 1959's all-star Irwin Allen knock-off The Big Circus and had headlined a couple of early-1960s European-made sagas. 

But, as it turns out, he had indeed retired around 1961 "when it wasn't fun anymore" and had slid from view. At the time of this article, he was at last making another movie opposite Peter Sellers, After the Fox (1966), in which he parodied the image of an egotistical actor.

Regardless of his alleged modesty, there is a famous (and real) photo of Mature out there in the altogether, lying on a bunk reading (and showing off his "Mature-ity.") Interestingly, Mature never acted on TV at all, always remaining a movie performer, until the very last role he ever did. In the 1984 TV-movie Samson and Delilah, he played Samson's father (having essayed the title role himself in 1949's Samson and Delilah!)

I adore all-star casts and am hopelessly drawn to them, yet so often in war-time ones, such as Battle of the Bulge (1965), I wind up feeling pretty cold. Maybe just too many explosions and bleak settings and not enough compelling acting. (And I never thought much of Barbara Werle, pictured here.)

Perhaps this would play better on my new 65" widescreen TV than is did when I watched it the first time.

I feel like I have watched King Rat (1965) and yet I scarcely recall anything about it! 

One would think that all these sweaty, swarthy, shirtless men would have stuck in my memory, but I swear I have no distinct recollection about the movie!

I always enjoy seeing which movies were in theaters around the same given time (sometimes we sort of lump all old/classic movies together and neglect the competition that may have existed for box office receipts.) I mean, I wouldn't think of The Loved One playing at the same time as The Agony and the Ecstacy (both 1965), for example! I found out early on that The War Lord has a strong cult following in Europe, though it was not much of a success here. My God, the reviewer really hyped it up! Based on a Broadway flop, the movie fizzled in theaters as well. I would also like to know who among you ever knew that Mike Connors and Robert Redford ever costarred together in a movie....! (And Mike got higher billing.)

I do believe this one has thus far escaped me. I usually enjoy movies with Rock and/or Claudia, but I may have confused their later teaming in A Fine Pair (1968) with this and then missed it all together!

Lots of changes occurred here! I do believe that "My Last Duchess" arrived in theaters as Arrivederci, Baby! (1966) and "Tale of the Fox" emerged as The Honey Pot (1967.) "13" had Deborah Kerr in Kim Novak's place and was renamed Eye of the Devil (1966.) "There's No Place Like Space" was released as Hold On! (1966) and "10:30 of a Summer Evening" became 10:30 PM Summer (1966.) When The Idol (1966) was released, it was with Jennifer Jones, not Kim Stanley! On a volé la Joconde (1966) was how "The Theft of the Mona Lisa" (a remake of a 1931 film) came to light. "Mother Superior" was retitled The Trouble with Angels (1966) and "Hawaiian Paradise" became Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966.) They merely lopped off part of the title for How to Steal a Million (1966.) "Running Scared" got the new title of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966!) "Summer Fires" was released as Mademoiselle (1966) and "The Moving Target" became Harper (1966.) Ironically, the movie Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966) kept that title! 

And that click you here is the end of this post. Or is it...?



Remember me mentioning the way Janet Leigh was garbed for Kid Rodelo? Get a load of this!

I somehow doubt that the movie is as loopy as these publicity pics, but it was certainly an eye-opener.

I also delved a little bit further into singer John Andrea. He seemed to have all the ingredients one would need for success. Good looks, a reasonable (or better) voice and a pleasant personality. But somehow it just never congealed into a lasting career.

You can see and hear him for yourself on YT via some appearances on American Bandstand and Hollywood a Go Go. His singles were very "studio" with heavy backing vocals and layering, but you could tell that he could at least really sing, just maybe not distinctively enough to separate him from the pack of other, similar personas at the time.

His contract at 20th Century Fox was not kept long (he worked with Reprise afterwards) and that's a shame because if he'd been able to hold on just a skosh longer, he'd have made a PERFECT Tony Polar in Valley of the Dolls (1967), far better than the one who got the part... Another aspect that may have stymied Andrea's teen appeal is that already by this point, he was a married father or two and that can't be underestimated when it came to fan worship at that time.

Neither John Barrymore, nor Rudolph Valentino ever did anything to melt my butter, but if you're going to do an article on their statuses as sex symbols, you might at least use photos that give even a scintilla of why that might be. So I'm adding these in at the tail end.

Valentino was a master at delivering "the smolder."

And now... The End!


Christopher Simons said...

Thank you for another vastly entertaining and informative entry, Poseidon. Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending positive energy! This may lighten your spirits:


hsc said...

Even though you found this magazine "pretty disappointing," I thought it was great!

Sure, that cover blurb "The Truth about MALE SEX SYMBOLS" promises way more than it delivers, but that was typical of "movie mags" in this period-- particularly any mag that ran juicy cover blurbs on "Liz & Dick" or "Jackie." (Oh, wait, that was *ALL* of them.) Usually, whatever juicy nugget the blurb implies turns out to be something totally mundane and innocuous-- like some celeb's "bedroom secrets" turning out to be "fresh bed linens every night." (Yeah, I'll get the upstairs maid on that one immediately.)

At least this magazine actually delivered on the "LIZ EXPOSED! Her Big Secret at Big Sur" cover tease, with a juicy story of Liz cavorting nude in the surf with a nude male co-star while shooting "alternate spicy 'European' takes" for a forthcoming movie that was already controversial enough in the expected U.S. version. And even though the lack of any alternate footage from THE SANDPIPER showing up or even being referenced has tossed this pretty solidly in the "bullsh!t" pile, at least at the time it was published it was enough of a common practice to have been plausible.

(And kudos to the writers for not sourcing this to a crew member on that closed set who blabbed under strict anonymity, but to a wandering free-spirited guitarist who managed to get a hidden vantage point where he could see everything going on-- while most likely "gently strumming his instrument" to accompany the action.)

And while the rest of the magazine doesn't rise to *that* level, there's still a certain loopy quality of writing and editorial content it has that's highly amusing.

For example, finding it necessary when covering a forthcoming film (with "two hot-blooded Italians" "in double harness") where "Frank and Tony will fight it out for the affections of Virna Lisi" to then clarify "in the script of course"-- and then topping that by adding that the film's title "Assault On The Queen" "refers to a ship and nothing else!!!" (Three exclamation points-- and the actual title, ASSAULT ON *A* QUEEN, probably would've gotten five!)

And the letters from readers are lulus, with the lists of favorite performers (Susan Hayward, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis) and dislikes ("lazy, retired actresses" like Greta Garbo and Grace Kelly) suggesting a readership made up of queens and middle-class housewives "of a certain age." (IOW, *our* people! Hah!) Admittedly, some of the stars revered by this crowd still had a couple of good movies left-- but most were on the brink of retirement, death, or a string of horror movies and "special guest star" appearances on TV shows.

Overall, I'd still rank this issue as a true "Fun Find"-- even if the promised "Male Sex Symbols" thing turned out to basically be a setup for a reader's poll to name the new "King (and Queen) of Hollywood."

Thanks for yet another fun post, Poseidon! Hope things improve for you soon, and thanks for all you do! Love to all, and be safe and well, everyone!

hsc said...

And looking at the magazine again, I'd like to add a few other points:

From this vantage point, there's a certain poignancy in the readers' questions about contacting Brandon de Wilde (several years later, the answer would be "a Ouija board") or what upcoming films stars Tallulah Bankhead or Yvonne De Carlo might be considering.

(Tallulah actually had one final film credit the next year, as a voice in the animated THE DAYDREAMER-- but while Yvonne's fan would've been pleased with her future stage roles, her upcoming films over the next three decades included embarrassments like Russ Meyer's "crossover" flop THE SEVEN MINUTES, as well as no-budget crap like BLAZING STEWARDESSES, NOCTURNA, SATAN'S CHEERLEADERS, SATAN'S DOG, and CELLAR DWELLER.)

In contrast, there's a certain level of humor in seeing a star on the cusp of being a household name alternately identified as "Raquel Welsh" and "Racquel Welch" in addition to "Raquel Welch." (And FWIW, her forthcoming breakthrough film was eventually titled ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. to distinguish itself from the original film-- yet another of the numerous title changes to films covered in this issue!)

Also, while the reader request for contact info to pitch an idea to Hitchcock seems amusingly naive, note that the advice was to approach through a literary agent-- and the preceding page *just coincidentally* had an ad for "Leslie Goodwins Productions" of Hollywood, an agency soliciting submissions of story ideas for T.V. and motion pictures!

And some of the other ads were amusing, too-- like the "8MM-MONSTERS!" ad featuring stars like Steve McQueen, Bela Lugosi, and, uh-- *Ward Ramsey*, who provided nice beefcake to your post on DINOSAURUS! And this is followed by another ad from "Hollywood House" featuring rubber stamps of your favorite stars *and monsters*. (I know there was a "monster craze" in full swing among the younger set, but did that potential buyer really cross over into *this* sort of magazine?)

Another ad from "Hollywood House" seems more up the alley of this magazine's readers-- the "HOLLYWOOD CAREER GUIDE" with helpful topics like "Developing your hidden talents," "How to make your own contacts and how to make them pay off," "What do I do when I get in to see the Casting Director?," "SELL YOURSELF," and "What happens after the cameras STOP rolling?"

And then there's the ad that was ubiquitous in comic books for years, the "Jeri of Hollywood" ad hawking FREE photos of your favorite stars-- including "Jeri Lawrence" herself in the "100 TOP STARS" list. (Who the hell *WAS* she, anyway? From the looks of the ad, she was the prototype for Marlo Thomas in THAT GIRL.)

And EVERY ad in this magazine, including the "Perfect Photo Club" featuring Art Linkletter on the back cover, has the same mailing address as the magazine itself-- 6425 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA 90028! (I strongly suspect that address was simply a mail drop for numerous businesses, including MOVIES ILLUSTRATED itself, which probably was just pasted together in somebody's home office.)

Thanks again for finding and sharing this fun little slice of mid-60s nostalgia, Poseidon! Love to all, and be safe and well, everyone!

Gingerguy said...

I found this very dishy. That Janet Leigh photo looks like it came from "The Bettie Pages" or something Mercedes McCambridge dreamed in "Johnny Guitar"
Daisy Clover is SO depressing and kind of haunted me as a kid when it was on repeatedly. I found it full of shocks like Redford being gay (not ambiguous to me) and Plumnmer being a very inappropriate boss right after a failed honeymoon.
Vince Edwards was a cutie and that's AM dressed for "Stagecoach" I believe/ Your phone call to The Shapiro's is legendary in my mind. Someday I must know details as I am watching Dynasty season 5 and the plots are certified lunacy.
I remember the Omar Sharif bridge column. I loved the gossips (we had Suzy and Liz Smith) and he was always on the same page.
Total agreement on Lana's short hairdo. Brunette or blond it was ageing and made her look hard. This was so fun, wishing you a quick recovery

Poseidon3 said...

Christopher, thank you! I'm glad you liked this. I visited the site and it was fun. LOVE all those glitzy clips.

hsc, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this mag. Maybe it's because I was raised on The National Enquirer's gossip page that tended to include a color photo of some hunk of the moment in a Speedo or something close that I was hoping for at least a few shirtless or swimming pics to compliment the article on make sex symbols. But oh well. I, too, caught the hysterical "Assault on a QUEEN" reference!!! I think Frank Sinatra covered that later in "The Detective!" And it was probably the first time I ever saw someone say Grace was "lazy!" She made a LOT of movies during her limited career and then went on to a life of public service in Monaco! Greta, while perhaps not "lazy," always seemed like she could take or leave her career as an actress. And wasn't poor Yvonne in "Motel Hell" also? Maybe she ought to have turned "lazy" as well near the end and said no to some of that stuff. Ha ha! I cannot believe you were canny enough to connect the dots with the mail-in address...! Amazing!!! I'm so dense it never once registered for me.

Gingerguy, HILARIOUS about Mercedes "dreaming up" that shot of Janet - and apt! I have wracked my brain trying to come up with the memory of what I called out to L.A. for... I used to always have hair-brained ideas. One of them was when they gave Doris Day an achievement award and she actually showed up, she announced that she felt ready to come back. Well... NO ONE bit and she didn't come back. But I got it in my head that she ought to be Krystle's long-lost, believed-dead sister Iris, who was always being talked about. (Sammy Jo's mother!) And since it was Rock Hudson who wound up being revealed as Sammy Jo's real father... well. Hello! I know that whatever it was I called out there about, it was this IMPERATIVE plot twist that HAD to happen. Of course, I was so dim-witted it didn't even occur to me that the season was probably all "in the can" and no changes could possibly be made in any case. LOLOL

Velvet_trashbag said...

Hello Poseidon! (off-topic post)

Your blog has kept me stitches for years! Thanks for all the hollywood hair-dos and sexy guys!

I don't know if you've seen this auction, but I wanted to share it with you. I follow these hollywood auctions, always hoping to get some star-adjacent trinket, but invariably, some queen outbids me and gets Doris Day's teapot for $1500, when it should have been MINE!! Anyway- hope you are feeling better and keep up the great work! Happy browsing this auction! It looks FAB!


Julien's Auctions:

Jimbo said...

Not the kind of Bulge I’m used to seeing on your blog but entertaining nonetheless.

C.L. Young said...

You're really going to stand there (or lie there, because of your injury) and say that Rudolph Valentino doesn't do a thing for you when one of the pictures you posted shows he has a bulge that won't quit? Yeah, the chest isn't all big, muscular, and hairy like you like it, but the smoldering look and the bulge make up for it.

Poseidon3 said...

Velvet, thanks much! I'm glad I could provide you with some diversion and entertainment over the last decade and a half. I hadn't seen that auction, but then the other day it popped up on FB in my feed (probably because I tend to weigh in on discussions on "The Poseidon Adventure.") Take care.

Jimbo - ha ha! Right...?? I wonder if anyone ever made an XXX movie called "Battle of the Bulge?" Probably. But I'm not gonna Google search it at work. ;-)

C.L. Young, I wouldn't lie! I can see some of Rudy's appeal, but he's not my own "type" at all! But I try to include all sorts of men here in order to provide a spectrum of male pulchritude. Completely off the subject, I watched a movie (little known to me, but likely viewed by many of my readers) called "Stranger By the Lake" (2013) and there was a man in that who was SO my type. (Christophe Paou) He barely bothered to have clothes on during most of the running time. It was a must on BluRay and my new 65" TV. Thanks!

BryonByronWhatever said...

After the earlier failure to launch of Trax Colton, I would have thought Fox would have been more cautious than to try again with John Andrea.