If you’re looking for mercy you’ve come to the wrong place.
The Big Bird Cage finds writer-director Jack Hill at the top of his form as he sticks star Anitra Ford in a Philippine jungle prison where an evil warden uses the female inmates as slave labor to process sugar. Pam Grier and Sid Haig are revolutionaries who want to recruit women for their cause, so Grier infiltrates the prison and primes the women for a big break out. This is one of the most remembered of 70s B-romps, a sleazefest filled with iconic scenes such as Ford being suspended by her hair, and seven-foot model Karen McKevic slathering her body with grease and dashing naked through camp. The classic poster is above, a brilliant production photo appears below, and if you’re looking for actual reviews, well, there are about a thousand online. Wild, weird, and oh so incorrect, The Big Bird Cage premiered in the U.S. this month in 1972.
Christina Hart offers a special type of in-flight service.
This Japanese poster for the American film The Stewardesses indicates that the movie played in 3D. That wasn’t the case only in Japan—it played in 3D globally and, because it was produced for about $100,000 and grossed $25 million, became the most profitable 3D film released up to that point. The movie was rated X, but it’s a non-porn film, with no actual sex to be found. Basically, star Christina Hart and her fellow stews party and get laid. That’s it. As a bonus for 60s-philes, there’s a psychedelic approach to the filming and some groovy music, along with Monica Gayle doing nude yoga, Hart making out with a stone bust and displaying one of cinema’s earliest bald groins, and various cast members enjoying lots of softcore nuzzling and wriggling. Does that sound your bag, man? Radical. The Stewardesses premiered today in 1969.
She’s always poking around.
French actress/singer Danièle Graule, better known as Dani, appeared in about twenty movies beginning in 1964, including Un officier de police sans importance, aka A Police Officer without Importance, and La fille d'en face, aka The Girl Across the Way, and was last seen onscreen as recently as 2012. We’ve turned this watery image of her vertically because a horizontal orientation would make it too small to truly appreciate. You know the drill—drag, drop, and rotate for a better view. The shot is from the French magazine Lui and is from 1975.
Wanna go out with me Friday? Oh, you’re committing suicide that night? How about Thursday?
Above is one of the great film noir posters—the three-sheet promo for Where Danger Lives (presumably de-seamed by some enterprising Photoshopper). The movie starred Robert Mitchum, Faith Domergue, and Claude Rains, and deals with a doctor who gets involved with a suicidal patient, a situation that simply can’t end well. Like most film noirs, Where Danger Lives is well regarded today, but it’s strictly second tier—watching Mitchum stagger around for half the movie making bad decisions because of a concussion just didn’t engage us, but more importantly there’s no real basis for his relationship with Domergue. Writing it into a script is not enough—the actors need to establish chemistry and heat to make recklessness understandable. When you start asking questions like, “But why would he have any interest in this crazy chick when he already has a great girlfriend?” you know the movie is fatally flawed. If you like noirs, you might be inclined to give this one’s failings a pass—after all, even so-so noir is better than 90% of what’s coming out of Hollywood today. And it has Mitchum, who’s also better than 90% of what’s coming out of Hollywood today. Where Danger Lives premiered in the U.S. today in 1950.
Patachou starts with a little patch of Paris and conquers the planet.
1954’s Montmartre nocturne was a twenty-five minute exposé of the Parisian cabaret Patachou, which Jean Billon and his wife Henriette Ragon opened on famed Montmartre hill in 1948. Ragon went on to release numerous records, and soon became so famous she evolved into a one-name star. The name? Patachou, the same as the name of her club. Montmartre nocturne somehow, despite its brevity, made it to Japan, resulting in the classic promo poster you see above. That isn’t Patachou on the art—she was already thirty-five in 1953 and rocking mom hair, which was considered hip back then (see below). In 2009 at the venerable age of 90 she was made Officier of France’s Légion d'honneur, and she just died a couple of months ago at age ninety-six.
Am I cold? No. The top is of this suit is so much worse than the bottom I’ve decided to spend the day in this position.
Born in Pakistan in 1940, Rosemarie Dexter, aka Rosemary Dexter, established an acting career mainly in Italy and appeared in about forty films between 1963 and 1976, including Casanova 70, For a Few Dollars More, and El desperado. This shot of her in an unusual ruffled swimsuit is from the late 1960s.
Something Nikki this way comes.
USA gyaru pâto 5: Karei naru higi premiered in Japan this month in 1983, and it’s an example of an erotic movie made with an American star for the Japanese market, such as this excellent example we shared way back. The top billed actress on this one is Carol Frazer, who was better known in the U.S. as Nikki Randall, and is a veteran of more than 100 adult productions. She also maintained a presence on mainstream network television, and appeared twenty or so shows between 1973 and 1989. She's joined above by Japanese actress Mayumi Sanjo.
USA gyaru pâto 5: Karei naru higi is so little known that we were unable to find a synopsis anywhere, but here’s what we can tell you for sure—despite the appearance of the posters, it isn’t a porn movie, which we’re sure of due to Japanese censorship laws of the time. We can tell you that “gyaru” is a transliteration of the English word “gal,” and “pâto” is a category of part-time female workers. So the first part of the title is something like “American part-time gal.” We thought the 5 had to do with a series of similar films, but after finding no mention of previous installments on the entire world wide web, we’re now thinking 5 refers to either the number of gyaru in the movie or Randall/Frazer’s designation within the film as the fifth of that category. No idea, really.
The last three words mean, among other things, “beauty,” “become,” and “ceremony.” So there you go—as best we can tell the movie is about a beautiful American sex worker, and some sort of figurative or literal change she undergoes. Usually, when we do this sort of piecemeal translation, someone who actually speaks Japanese writes in to correct us, so let’s hope that happens this time. In the meantime, just for the hell of it, we have a completely not-safe-for-work full-frontal promo image of Randall/Frazer below—not the raciest image we’ve ever shared, but very provocative.
Dougan reminds the world there’s more than one side to her.
This photo shows American actress Vikki Dougan, the woman who was known as “The Back.” We talked about her before, how she emphasized her back with low-cut dresses that, frankly, raise the question of why she wasn’t actually known as “The Crack.” Numerous Dougan photos show her from the rear, looking over her shoulder at the camera. This image shows that she looked equally good from the other side. It dates from 1957.
If you’re going to have an empty life, at least make it a beautiful one.
La poupée d’amour played in the U.S. by the silly title Take Me, Love Me, but was originally released in Sweden as Naná, after the Emile Zola novel from which it’s adapted. Director Mac Ahlberg and cinematographer Andréas Winding deserve credit for making the film look fantastic, star Anna Gaël is certainly beautiful, and the cabaret numbers are entertainingly staged, but on the whole we found this one a bit tedious. The movie is basically ’70s arthouse porn and, thanks to some coupling by Gaël’s body double, still qualifies today as adult cinema, but only barely. Zola’s Naná ended up covered with pustules and dying in agony; this movie wouldn’t dare harsh on its own groovy high to that extent, but Gaël does find happiness elusive, as do her lovers. If you watch the movie you may find enjoyment elusive, but in purely visual terms, it’s a real treat. The Belgian promo poster, also a treat, was painted by Loris, an illustrator whose online presence is small, which means we can’t tell you anything about him/her—not even a full name. But he/she did paint other nice promos, and we may dig some of those up later. La poupée d’amour premiered in France/Belgium today in 1970.
, La poupée d’amour
, Take Me Love Me
, Anna Gaël
, Emile Zola
, Mac Ahlberg
, Andréas Winding
, poster art
, movie review
Caution: emits flames, sparks, and blinding light.
Above, the incomparable Marilyn Monroe in two promos made for U.S. Independence Day. Many actresses posed for similar July 4th shots, but these are two of the nicer ones. And she's wearing those Lucite platform heels again. Man, she absolutely lived in those. See here and here. Monroe made these photos in 1953 when she was filming How To Marry a Millionaire, the hit comedy in which she and two pals move into a fancy hotel and use it to attract rich suitors. Guess who played one of the other gold diggers and was actually top-billed in the film? Betty Grable. Why is that curious? Well, let’s just say Hollywood’s difficulty coming up with new ideas is not a new problem. See the next post.
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