|Hollywoodland||May 22 2021|
It's shocking how many Hollywood stars did smack.
Everybody wants to slap somebody sometime. Luckily, actors in movies do it so you don't have to. The above shot is a good example. Edward G. Robinson lets Humphrey Bogart have it in 1948's Key Largo, as Claire Trevor looks on. In vintage cinema, people were constantly slapping. Men slapped men, men slapped women, women slapped women, and women slapped men. The recipient was usually the protagonist because—though some readers may not realize this—even during the ’40s and 50s, slapping was considered uncouth at a minimum, and downright villainous at worst, particularly when men did it. So generally, bad guys did the slapping, with some exceptions. Glenn Ford slaps Rita Hayworth in Gilda, for example, out of humiliation. Still wrong, but he wasn't the film's villain is our point. Humphrey Bogart lightly slaps Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep to bring her out of a drug stupor. He's like a doctor. Sort of.
In any case, most cinematic slapping is fake, and when it wasn't it was done with the consent of the participants (No, really slap me! It'll look more realistic.). There are some famous examples of chipped teeth and bloody noses deriving from the pursuit of realism. We can envision a museum exhibit of photos like these, followed by a lot of conversation around film, social mores, masculinity, and their intersection. We can also envison a conversation around the difference between fantasy and reality. There are some who believe portryals of bad things endorse the same. But movies succeed largely by thrilling, shocking, and scaring audiences, which requires portraying thrilling, shocking, and frightening moments. If actors can't do that, then ultimately movies must become as banal as everyday llife. Enjoy the slapfest.
Broderick Crawford slaps Marlene Dietrich in the 1940's Seven Sinners.
June Allyson lets Joan Collins have it across the kisser in a promo image for The Opposite Sex, 1956.
Speaking of Gilda, here's one of Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth re-enacting the slap heard round the world. Hayworth gets to slap Ford too, and according to some accounts she loosened two of his teeth. We don't know if that's true, but if you watch the sequence it is indeed quite a blow. 100% real. We looked for a photo of it but had no luck.
Don't mess with box office success. Ford and Hayworth did it again in 1952's Affair in Trinidad.
All-time film diva Joan Crawford gets in a good shot on Lucy Marlow in 1955's Queen Bee.
The answer to the forthcoming question is: She turned into a human monster, that's what. Joan Crawford is now on the receiving end, with Bette Davis issuing the slap in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Later Davis kicks Crawford, so the slap is just a warm-up.
Mary Murphy awaits the inevitable from John Payne in 1955's Hell's Island.
Romy Schneider slaps Sonia Petrova in 1972's Ludwig.
Lauren Bacall lays into Charles Boyer in 1945's Confidential Agent and garnishes the slap with a brilliant snarl.
Iconic bombshell Marilyn Monroe drops a smart bomb on Cary Grant in the 1952 comedy Monkey Business.
This is the most brutal slap of the bunch, we think, from 1969's Patton, as George C. Scott de-helmets an unfortunate soldier played by Tim Considine.
A legendary scene in filmdom is when James Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clark's face in The Public Enemy. Is it a slap? He does it pretty damn hard, so we think it's close enough. They re-enact that moment here in a promo photo made in 1931.
Sophia Loren gives Jorge Mistral a scenic seaside slap in 1957's Boy on a Dolphin.
Victor Mature fails to live up to his last name as he slaps Lana Turner in 1954's Betrayed.
Ronald Reagan teaches Angie Dickinson how supply side economics work for the middle class and poor in 1964's The Killers.
Marie Windsor gets in one against Mary Castle from the guard position in an episode of television's Stories of the Century in 1954. Windsor eventually won this bout with a rear naked choke.
It's better to give than receive, but sadly it's Bette Davis's turn, as she takes one from Dennis Morgan in In This Our Life, 1942.
Anthony Perkins and Raf Vallone dance the dance in 1962's Phaedra, with Vallone taking the lead.
And he thought being inside the ring was hard. Lilli Palmer nails John Garfield with a roundhouse right in the 1947 boxing classic Body and Soul.
1960's Il vigile, aka The Mayor, sees Vittorio De Sica rebuked by member of the electorate Lia Zoppelli. She's more than a voter in this—she's also his wife, so you can be sure he deserved it.
Brigitte Bardot delivers a not-so-private slap to Dirk Sanders in 1962's Vie privée, aka A Very Private Affair.
In a classic case of animal abuse. Judy Garland gives cowardly lion Bert Lahr a slap on the nose in The Wizard of Oz. Is it his fault he's a pussy? Accept him as he is, Judy.
Robert Culp backhands Raquel Welch in 1971's Hannie Caudler.
And finally, Laurence Harvey dares to lay hands on the perfect Kim Novak in Of Human Bondage.
Key LargoSeven SinnersThe Opposite SexGildaThe KillersWhatever Happened to Baby Jane?LudwigConfidential AgentPattonThe Public EnemyBoy on a DolphinOf Human BondageQueen BeeBetrayedStories of the CenturyIn This Our LifePhaedraBody and SoulIl vigileThe MayorThe Wizard of OzHannie CaulderVie privéeA Very Private AffairEdward G. RobinsonHumphrey BogartClaire TrevorMarlene DietrichBroderick CrawfordJune AllysonJoan CollinsGlenn FordRita HayworthBette FordJoan CrawfordMary MurphyJohn PayneRomy SchneiderSonia PetrovaLauren BacallCharles BoyerMarilyn MonroeCary GrantGeorge C. ScottTim ConsidineJames CagneyMae ClarkeSophia LorenJorge MistralJoan CrawfordLucy MarlowVictor MatureLana Turner Marie WindsorMary CastleDennis MorganRaf ValloneAnthony PerkinsLilli PalmerJohn GarfieldLia ZoppelliKim NovakLaurence HarveyVittorio De SicaDirk SandersBrigitte BardotJudy GarlandBert LahrRaquel WelchRobert CulpRonald ReaganAngie Dickinson
|Vintage Pulp||May 10 2021|
Welch proves indispensable to yet another ’60s caper flick.
Above you see a promo poster for 大泥棒, or “Great Thief,” made for the 1968 Raquel Welch/Robert Wagner caper flick The Biggest Bundle of Them All. The U.S. poster was painted by master illustrator Robert McGinnis, but we decided to show you the Japanese art instead because it's rare. There are two more Japanese promos below that are also rare. We'll get to the McGinnis version later. In the film, Wagner and his henchmen kidnap an elderly Italian gangster played by Vittorio De Sica and hold him for ransom. Problem is he has no money. At first they don't believe him, but when it finally becomes clear he's broke, Wagner and Co. try to cut bait. But De Sica is terrified all Italy will find out he couldn't pay his own ransom. His reputation would be ruined. So he convinces his kidnappers to join him in a swindle that will maintain his reputation, make him rich again, and earn the kidnappers more money than they ever imagined. De Sica becomes the boss of his own abductors.
For a crime-comedy, it's an ingenious premise, which makes it a shame it wasn't original. Another movie with an almost identical plot called The Happening was in production at Columbia, and when the studio got wind of The Biggest Bundle of Them All it threatened to sue. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer agreed to give Columbia a cut of Bundle's profits and a legal bloodbath was avoided, but in the same way De Sica's big caper doesn't exactly play out perfectly, Bundle's profits didn't blow the roof off MGM headquarters as planned. And no wonder. It wasn't just the script that wasn't original—the film falls into the same category as continental crime capers like Charade, To Catch a Thief, and Topkapi, and those make for crowded and treacherous cinematic waters. Bundle isn't sophisticated enough, or exciting enough, or infused with enough sexual chemistry to compete with better films of its ilk.
Speaking of sexual chemistry, Welch is naturally the big attraction of any movie she's in, and we've seen enough of her work now to understand that she was more of a persona than an actress during this mid- to late-’60s period. In film after film she basically played herself. Here she smiles and quips and poses, and it's all very Welchian in that groovy way her fans had come to expect—bikinis, lingerie, go-go dancing and all. The movie would be worth far less without her. There are also supporting appearances by Edward G. Robinson and Femi Benussi, while future blaxploitation icon Godfrey Cambridge is one of the kidnappers, so there's plenty for stargazers to enjoy here, but we can't call the movie a success. If you have nothing to do some evening, it might give you a few smiles, but not a bundle of them. After premiering in the U.S. in 1968, The Biggest Bundle of Them All opened in Japan today in 1968.
JapanMetro-Goldwyn-MayerColumbia PicturesThe Biggest Bundle of Them AllThe HappeningVittorio De SicaRaquel WelchRobert WagnerGodfrey CambridgeFemi BenussiEdward G. Robinsonposter artcinemamovie review
|Femmes Fatales||Sep 26 2020|
And possibly Arne Jacobsen's greatest feat.
It's never a bad time for Raquel Welch. Here you see her nestled into an egg chair, circa 1970, proving that she's special work from the bottoms of her feet to the crown of her head. These chairs, by the way, were designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the SAS Royal Copenhagen Hotel in Denmark. He designed the building, its furniture, its fittings and fixtures, its souvenirs, and even its airport shuttle. But it was not within even his considerable powers to design Welch.
The shot makes us realize we've posted images of other famous women in iconic chairs, for example, Catherine Deneuve in an inflatable Quasar Khanh chair in 1969, Sylvia Kristel and Mia Nygren in wicker peacock chairs, and a gloriously nude Pam Grier in a Le Corbusier lounge in 1974. Well, we can add Welch to the chair list. Maybe even top of the list.
|Vintage Pulp||Aug 9 2020|
Welch tries to Fathom the spy game in cheeseball ’60s thriller.
This great poster was painted by French artist Vanni Tealdi for the 1967 spy adventure Une super-girl nommée Fathom, originally made as Fathom. The film was based on an unpublished novel by Larry Forrester, and is set in Spain in various beautiful locations around the Costa del Sol, including Nerja, which we discussed not long ago. Sixties icon Raquel Welch plays a member of a skydiving troupe recruited by Headquarters Allied Defenses Espionage and Security—HADES—to locate the fire dragon, which is supposedly a trigger for a nuclear bomb. Mostly the mission involves Welch using her smile and showing off her supernaturel physique, which is the real nuclear bomb, packed with kilotons of destructive power.
She finds herself caught in a web of lies and soon doesn't know who's the good guy, whether the fire dragon is really a nuclear trigger, and whether she shouldn't just run away and catch up with the rest of her troupe. It's all quite lighthearted, and considering what Welch is given to work with scriptwise, she manages not to sabotage herself or the film. However, she was not that great of an actress at this point, so your primary motive for watching this would be to enjoy the scenery—certainly of Welch, but also of Spain. Those two reasons will get you through the film's ninety-nine minutes. Une super-girl nommée Fathom has no known French release date, but it premiered in the U.S. today in 1967, and would have made it to France later the same summer.
SpainFranceUne super-girl nommée FathomFathomRaquel WelchAnthony FranciosaVanni Tealdiposter artcinemamovie review
|Vintage Pulp||Jul 18 2020|
Welch makes world's most unwieldy laundry technique look like a good idea.
This piece of art has two things going for it—it was painted by Italian genius Enzo Nistri, and his painting is of Raquel Welch. We know—we had you already at Enzo. Consider Welch a bonus. El Verdugo is Spanish for “the executioner,” and this is a Spanish poster, despite the artist being Italian. The film is better known as 100 Rifles, a 1969 western about a revolutionary who knocks off a bank to fund the purchase of guns. It's counterculture all the way—Burt Reynolds plays a half-Native American named Yaqui Joe, Jim Brown co-stars as a lawman sent to recover the cash, Welch is also supposed to be Indian, and the subtext of revolution was meant to mirror the social unrest in the U.S. We wrote about it in detail here.
Welch takes a shower in the middle of the film, and you see below we have some promo images of that. A clothed shower? It's silly. Welch did not do nudity*, so the filmmakers should have simply left the scene out. Within the script the shower is an ambush so she can get some Mexican soldiers' guards down then ventilate them, but just set up the ambush a different way. Don't know about you, but if we came across someone showering clothed, whatever the circumstances, we'd immediately start looking over our shoulders because it's strange. That said, the photos are fun. They show what a huge sex symbol Welch was. Douse her with water and men got hot and bothered seeing hardly any skin at all. El Verdugo opened in Spain today in 1969.
*Regarding Welch nude scenes, there's a nude photo of a woman who resembles Welch and is believed by some to have been taken on a movie set. It's plausible in the sense that back then actors got naked for scenes that were nude in scripts but not meant to be shown nude or fully nude onscreen—such as here and here—but we doubt Welch did it.
|Intl. Notebook||Jun 2 2020|
Raquel Welch is a one-woman party on the Costa del Sol.
This great photo shows U.S. actress Raquel Welch when she was filming the 1967 adventure Fathom in Spain, specifically in and around the Costa del Sol towns of Málaga, Mijas, Nerja, and Torremolinos. This moment, in which she shows her ability to turn men into drooling lemmings, is actually a scene from the movie in which she walks from her villa to the sea, along the way interrupting an afternoon dance party. We recognized the spot as soon as we saw it. We've been there. It's a path below the tiny historic center of Nerja and an overlook known as Balcón de Europa, leading down to Playa Calahonda, a rocky beach. Below you see the path viewed from its top, and the bottom photo shows the general area, with the Balcón de Europa on the left. As far as we remember there's no plaque or sign commemorating Welch traversing that path to the sea. Local authorities might consider rectifying that. We'd also suggest putting up a giant version of the above photo. It says Costa del Sol in a major way. As for the actual movie, we'll talk about that later.
|Intl. Notebook||May 12 2020|
Hitchcock says no festival for you this year!
The 73rd edition of the Festival de Cannes, aka the Cannes Film Festival, would have kicked off today in the south of France, but was cancelled a while back. It's just one of a wave of event cancellations that will cascade through the year. Festivals as diverse as Burning Man and San Fermin, aka the Running of the Bulls, have also been shelved. But getting back to Cannes, we thought this would be a good moment to commemorate past fests with some historical photos. Above you see Alfred Hitchcock on a boat with the town in the background, in 1972, and below are about fifty pix from the 1940s through 1970s, documenting various iconic moments, and a few quieter ones. Maybe the Cannes Film Festival will back next year, maybe not. At this point, predicting anything is an exercise in futility. But at least we'll always have the memories.
Edith Piaf sings on the terrace of the Carlton Hotel on the iconic Boulevard de la Croisette at the first Festival de Cannes to be held under that name, in 1946. Back then the event took place in September and October, but would shift to May a bit later.
Diana Dors and Ginger Rogers arrive at the fest the only way anyone should—breezing along the beachfront in a convertible, in 1956, with an unknown driver.
Kirk Douglas holds court on the beach in 1953, and Brigitte Bardot soaks up rays in the foreground.
Michele Morgan poses at the first Festival in 1946. Photo ops of this sort were essential sources of publicity for stars, and would soon become opportunities for non-stars seeking to be discovered.
Case in point. Robert Mitchum poses with actress Simone Sylva in 1954. Sylva was allegedly not supposed to be there, but shucked her top and photo-bombed Douglas in an attempt to raise her profile. It didn't work. She made only a couple of credited movie appearances after her topless stunt.
Romy Schneider and Alain Delon at the 1959 fest.
An unidentified model or actress poses in the style of Anita Ekberg from La dolce vita in 1960. This looks like it was shot at Plage du Midi, which is a beach located a little ways west of the Cannes town center.
A unidentified partygoer is tossed into a swimming pool after La Dolce Vita won the the 1960 Palme d’Or. The Festival is almost as well known for legendary parties as for legendary film premieres.
Another unidentified model or actress poses on the boardwalk in 1979. Generally, you don't have to be known to draw a crowd of photographers—you just have to be nearly bare. She's wearing lingerie, so that explains the interest, though this is modest garb for a Cannes publicity stunt. It's never a surprise to see a headline-seeking film hopeful strip all the way down to a string ficelle féminin, or thong, which is the limit of what is legal in Cannes
Sidney Poitier and Jean Seberg have a laugh in 1961. This was the year Poitier's flick Paris Blues was released, so it's possible he had jetted down from the capital for the Festival.
Philomène Toulouse relaxes on the sand in 1962 while a boy practices the classic French look of disgust he'll be using the rest of his life.
Actor Bernard Blier, 1975.
An unidentified bikini wearer boldly enjoys a lunch in a café on the Croisette, 1958.
Natalie Wood aboard a sailboat in 1962.
Grace Kelly, 1955.
Kelly times two—Grace Kelly and Gene Kelly, hanging out, also in 1955.
Sammy Davis, Jr. poses in front of a billboard promoting his film A Man Called Adam, 1966.
Joan Scott gets sand between her toes in 1955. Scott is obscure. She isn't even the most famous Joan Scott anymore. The IMDB entry for the only Joan Scott near the appropriate age is for an actress born in 1920 who didn't begin acting until 1967. The Joan Scott above doesn't look thirty-five, though, and we doubt she would have been the subject of this somewhat well-known photo without parlaying it into a film appearance before twelve years had passed. So we don't think this is the Joan Scott referenced on IMDB.
Sharon Tate, with Roman Polanski, and solo, 1968.
Marlene Dietrich brings glamour to a tiki themed bar in 1958.
Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock release caged birds as a promo stunt for The Birds in 1963.
Sophia Loren sits with husband Carlo Ponti, who was a member of the 1966 Festival jury.
Raquel Welch poses on a motorcycle in 1966.
Jane Birkin takes aim with one of her cameras in 1975.
Dorothy Dandridge frolics in 1955, when she was promoting her film Carmen Jones.
Cinematic icon Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac in 1965. Dorléac died in an automobile accident a couple of years later.
Robert Redford lounges on the beach in 1972. Based on his outfit you'd think he was in Cannes to promote The Sting, but he was actually there for his western Jeremiah Johnson, which screened May 7 of that year.
Sophia Loren waves to well-wishers in 1964.
Bogie and Bacall paired up and looking distinguished in 1957.
John and Cynthia Lennon in 1965, and John with Yoko Ono in 1971. Every story John told on that second trip probably started with, “When I was here with the first love of my life...” until Yoko smacked him across the mouth.
Rock Hudson and bicycle in 1966.
Unidentified actresses pose on the beach in 1947. To the rear is the Hotel Carlton, mentioned in the Edith Piaf image, built on the Croisette and finished in 1910.
George Baker, Bella Darvi (right—your right, not his), and an unknown acquaintance have a surfside run/photo op in 1956.
Jayne Mansfield and Russian actress Tatiana Samoïlova enjoy a toast in 1958. Mansfield probably shared the story of how she once made Sophia Loren stare at her boobs, and Samoïlova said, “Cheers to you—well played, you provocative American minx.”
French actor Fernandel, whose real name was Fernand Contandin, on his boat Atomic in 1956.
Arlette Patrick figures out a different way to generate publicity—by walking her sheep on the Croisette in 1955.
A pair of water skiers show perfect form in 1955, as a battleship floats in the background.
Jeanne Moreau, for reasons that are unclear, poses on a banquet table in 1958. Most sources descibe this in such a way as to make it seem spontaneous, but we have our doubts. It's a great shot, though.
Two unidentified women take in the scene from the terrace of the Hotel Carlton, 1958. This shot is usually said to portray two tourists, but the woman on the left is the same person as in the bikini lunch shot from earlier, which tells us she's a model or actress, and both photos are staged. Like we said, publicity is everything in Cannes.
Danielle Darrieux and Sophia Loren at the 11th Cannes Film Festival, 1958.
Italian actress Monica Vitti chills on a boat in 1968.
Aspiring stars catch some rays on the Croisette beach in 1955. The two large posters behind them are for The Country Girl with Grace Kelly, and Jules Dassin's Du rififi chez les hommes, both below.
The renowned opera singer Maria Callas, 1960.
FranceCannesFestival du CannesCannes Film FestivalPalme d’OrLa dolce vitaA Man Called AdamThe BirdsAlfred HitchcockEdith PiafDiana DorsGinger RogersKirk DouglasBrigitte BardotMichèle MorganRobert MitchumSimone SylvaRomy SchneiderAlain DelonSidney PoitierJean SebergNatalie WoodGrace KellySammy Davis Jr.Sharon TateRoman PolanskiMarlene DietrichTippi HedrenGene KellyMaria CallasSophia LorenCarlo PontiRaquel WelchJane BirkinJoan ScottDorothy DandridgeRobert RedfordJohn LennonCynthia LennonYoko OnoRock HudsonLauren BacallHumphrey BogartGeorge BakerBella DarviJayne MansfieldTatiana SamoïlovaCatherine DeneuveFrançoise DorléacFernandelArlette PatrickJeanne MoreauDanielle DarrieuxBernard BlierPhilomène ToulouseMonica Vittiposter artcinema
|Femmes Fatales||Dec 20 2019|
Hi everyone. Meet my personal trainer and role model.
There's nothing like a perfect butt, and you certainly see a prime example in the above photo. And as a bonus, Raquel Welch's isn't bad either. This image was shot at Villa Adriana, aka Hadrian's Villa, in Rome in 1966.
|Femmes Fatales||Nov 24 2019|
I can see forever from up here. Man, the smog over London is really bad.
Raquel Welch stands tall in this pin-up poster made for her prehistoric adventure One Million Years B.C. This was sold in West Germany, where the movie premiered today in 1966. In fact, it was the film's world premiere. It was made by Associated British-Pathé and Hammer Studios, and partly shot on British sound stages (as well as in the Canary Islands), but for some reason the filmmakers chose West Germany for a testing ground. They needn't have been so cautious—thanks to Welch an otherwise ridiculous b-flick became a worldwide smash.
West GermanyBritainSpainCanary IslandsHammer StudiosAssociated British-PathéOne Million Years B.C.Raquel Welchsex symbol
|Vintage Pulp||Sep 23 2019|
Come along and ride on a Fantastic Voyage.
There's something about sci-fi movies from the late 1960s that makes them so pleasing to watch. The source material was innovative and ambitious thanks to a crop of fresh new sci-fi novelists, while cinematically, capabilities in special effects, a trend toward elaborate sets, and bold color thanks to improved film processing techniques resulted in more believable and engaging final products.
Fantastic Voyage, for which you see a beautiful Japanese poster above, benefits from all those elements. We queued it up and watched it straight through, impervious to distraction, marveling at the visionary look of it and its fun story of a team of doctors and scientists reduced to microscopic size and injected into a man's circulatory system to find and remove a blood clot deep in his brain.
Thanks to its provenance as a novel by Isaac Asimov it's just scientifically convincing enough—once you accept the idea of a shrink ray—to aid suspension of disbelief. A good popcorn muncher, this one, with a great cast that includes Raquel Welch, film noir legend Edmond O'Brien, and Donald Pleasence. Highly recommended. Fantastic Voyage opened in the U.S. in August 1966 and reached Japan today the same year.
JapanFantastic VoyageStephen BoydDonald PleasenceRaquel WelchEdmond O'BrienIsaac Asimovposter artcinemasci-fimovie review