I usually wear floor length hoop skirts but for certain occasions this crimson mini is just the number.
Sometimes when classic literature was remarketed for mid-century audiences the pulp style makeovers were stretches. But in this case it works. Le amicizie pericolose is a 1964 Italian translation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 French epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, aka Dangerous Liaisons. The story features one of history's greatest femmes fatales—Marquise de Merteuil, whose pride and sexual vanity is the seed of an unspeakable tragedy. There's also an homme fatale—the serial seducer Vicomte de Valmont, whose dick eventually gets him in a crack so tight he can't escape.
The book has been filmed six times, and cinephiles argue which version is the best. While Glenn Close as the Marquise in 1988's Dangerous Liaisons was astounding, and Annette Bening's turn as the character in 1989's Valmont was also good, we recommend checking out Roger Vadim's 1959 adaptation, which was set in modern day Paris. Actually, even the 1999 Gen-X version Cruel Intentions is pretty good, which just goes to show how rich the source material is. There are also Korean and Chinese versions from 2003 and 2012 respectively.
The amazing femme fatale in red mini-dress and spike heels on the Grandi Edizioni Internazionali edition above—who of course looks nothing like the hoop skirted and white-powdered Marquise de Merteuil described by Laclos—was painted by the abundantly talented Bendetto Caroselli. Repackaging classics in this way (such as we've shown you before here and here) is usually a form of false advertising, but in this case we suspect many readers came away satisfied.
Getting down to the fine details.
Two issues of Adam to share—one from Australia and one from the U.S.—proved too much work for one day, so we posted Aussie Adam yesterday, and today we’re on to the American Adam. These magazines have no relationship to each other apart from coincidentally sharing a name. U.S. Adam relies on photo covers rather than painted art, shows a dedication to cheesecake photography that far outstrips its Australian cousin, and also has less fiction. However, what fiction it does offer extends beyond Aussie Adam’s adventure and crime focus, such as the short piece from counterculture icon Harlan Ellison called, “The Late Great Arnie Draper.” We’ve scanned and shared the entirety of that below if you’re in a reading mood.
The striking cover model here goes by the name Lorrie Lewis, and inside you get burlesque dancer Sophie Rieu, who performed for years at the nightclub Le Sexy in Paris, legendary jazzman Charles Mingus, and many celebs such as Jane Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Sharon Tate, and the Rolling Stones. There’s also a feature on the Dean Martin movie Murderer’s Row, with Ann-Margret doing a little dancing, and blonde stunner Camilla Sparv demonstrating how to properly rock a striped crop-top. We managed to put up more than forty scans, which makes this an ideal timewaster for a Monday. Enjoy.
Carmilla’s in the mist.
When we shared a poster for Roger Vadim’s Il sangue e la rosa way back in 2009 we didn’t talk about the movie. But since we found this beautiful alternate promo to show you, we thought we’d watch the film again to refresh our memories. It’s an ethereal gothic drama about a woman caught in a love triangle who is subsequently possessed by a vampire after an accidental explosion opens the monster’s centuries buried tomb. It feels like a supernatural version of Emily Brontë, but the source material was actually from Sheridan le Fanu, whose vampire story Carmilla predates Bram Stoker’s Dracula by more than twenty years. Long on lustful gazes, lingering fog, and lilting harp music, short on chills and thrills, Il sangue e la rosa is more of a Vadim art piece than a conventional film, but it has some charms, personified by Elsa Martinelli and Annette Vadim, aka Annette Stroyberg. Il sangue e la rosa premiered in Italy today in 1961. See the other poster here.
Passant le temps à Saint-Tropez.
An idyllic scene on the French Riviera is revealed in these three photos, as Danish actress Mirette Stroyberg and her sister Annette Vadim—who was married to director Roger Vadim and had starred in his film Les liaisons dangereuses, aka Dangerous Liaisons—walk on Pampelonne Beach one afternoon in 1959. Remember—the good life is as near as the next sunny day.
Confidential goes full throttle on the high seas.
On this Confidential from February 1965 the publishers give their cut-and-paste artists a month off and grace the cover with a simple portrait of Brigitte Bardot and her famed pout. Inside the editors air out her love life in a way that today would be called slut shaming—pretty much stock-in-trade for Confidential. The suggestion is she won’t come to the U.S. to act because she’s busy Morockin’ around the clock with Moroccan-born producer Bob Zaguri. Elsewhere in the issue you get Romy Schneider, Jean Harlow, Alain Delon, Peter O’Toole, love behind the Iron Curtain, and an outraged report on pharmaceutical companies marking up medicines 200%, 500%, even 7,000%. Yes, medicines cost too much in the U.S. even back then. But don’t take our word for it. Take Confidential’s—their story ends by declaring that drug companies have Americans by the balls and the only way to avoid the drug price racket is to not get sick.
But moving on, as we mentioned last week, we wanted to look at tabloid attitudes toward gay culture, and this issue has two articles along those lines. The first involves gay cruises off the Florida coast, an activity Confidential informs readers was devised as a way to avoid Dade County vice cops. Once the boats were in international waters therewas no law, local or federal, which could be applied against shipboard activities. We’ll come back to that in a sec. The other story involves what Confidential describes as the middlesex—i.e. people who lack strong masculine or feminine characteristics. The story is concerned with this only as a social issue and makes no mention of physically intersex persons who genetically are neither male nor female.
For Confidential the issue is simple—men are no longer macho enough and women are no longer (submissively) alluring enough. Of course, gay men are the ultimate villains here, and to make the topic emotional for readers Confidential paints a picture of an America devoid of Jayne Mansfields and Lana Turners. The article’s author Harold Cimoli sums it up this way: “As female busts and hips grow ever narrower even Playboy may have trouble keeping its broad-watchers supplied with bosomy playmates.” And there’s also this tidbit: “Designers of both types of clothing are poaching unforgivably on the styles of each other. The main hope must be the evolution of an entirely new style of ensemble for these new phenomena and a new branch of the industry to supply it.” Were they really this comically worried about visual identification issues? Of course they were—what could be more disturbing to guardians of a prevailing social structure than people managing to wriggle out of their pre-assigned boxes?
The story on gay cruises is a bit more typical of mid-century tabloids—it’s just a takedown piece. Gay men are blithely described as “lavender lads,” “minces,” and other words we wouldn’t dare dirty our website with. The effusiveness of the magazine’s hateful and sneerful terminology suggestsjust how certain Confidential editors were that homosexuality was completely beyond the pale. And yet, nearly every issue harped on the subject, either directly or indirectly. For instance, here we get full reportage on a maritime cabaret show featuring drag queens, followed by detailed descriptions of music, dancing, and gambling. You’d almost think the writer Gaye Bird—nice, right?—was actually there.
The cruise is eventually reported to the boat rental agency in Miami, whose owner vows that he will never again allow his vessels to be used for such debauchery. The response from the organizer of the cruises was this: “There are approximately one-hundred thousand boats or ships of some sort or another. I think we’ll be able to find some way to balance supply and demand.” Ouch—zinged right in the Econ 101s. Doubtless Confidential expected the congressional switchboard to light up over this outrageous appropriation of boats meant for exclusively heterosexual usage, but whether it happened we can’t say—the story ends there. And Confidential readers were left to endure thirty days of disquiet until the next gay bashing issue came out. We won't wait quite that long—we'll explore this subject in another tabloid soon. More scans below.
It’s one thing to jilt a woman, and other thing entirely to jilt a woman who has a gun.
This is one of the cooler posters you’re likely to see. It’s a West German promo for Brigitte Bardot’s 1961 comedy La bride sur le cou, aka Please, Not Now! A production image from the movie was used on one of the Goodtime Weekly calendar pages we shared last July, which you may want to have a look at. Basically, La bride sur le cou is a screwball comedy about Bardot's broken love life. It starts with an amusing sequence of her driving through Paris leaving chaos in her wake, and the rest of the movie continues in the same vein, with a gas explosion, a bobsled hijacking, a waiter who levitates, and more. All of this starts when Bardot realizes her boyfriend is cheating. She follows him to a restaurant and hits him in the face with a cream pie bought especially for the purpose, and for this act earns the attention of a persistent suitor who spends the rest of the movie trying to get her in bed. But Bardot is interested only in exacting revenge against her ex, which she intends to achieve by shooting his new girlfriend. La bride sur le cou is completely silly, but it has great direction, comedy that works on both subtle and outrageous levels, and an overwhelming aura of good-natured fun. It’s also very sexy. Highly recommended. It premiered in West Germany today in 1961.
Whisper promises a nude Elizabeth Taylor. Does it deliver?
Elizabeth Taylor nude! Those sneaks at Whisper raised the hopes of millions of readers who bought this March 1965 issue, but inside revealed that the whited-out silhouette on the cover with Richard Burton is in reality a wooden statue of Taylor made to promote her role in The Sandpiper. It was to be unveiled at a party aboard the Queen Mary, but producer Joseph E. Levine connived a way for the sculpture to be stowed below decks so his star Carroll Baker wouldn’t be upstaged. In the end, nobody at the party saw the Taylor statue and Carroll Baker—once again wearing that amazing dress, by the way—ruled the day.
Elsewhere in the issue readers are treated to a story about French gadabout Roger Vadim, who had been involved with Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, and various other high profile women, but at the moment was with rising star Jane Fonda. Whisper outs Vadim on pretty much every bad act of his life and issues a dire warning to Fonda that she should get out of the relationship while she can. Fonda must not have listened, though, because she and Vadim were married for eight years and along the way made a classic movie called Barbarella and a daughter named Vanessa.
Whisper also tells the story of a girl cruelly sold into prostitution by her mother, shares the seedy career tribulations of a hard luck New Orleans stripper named Babs Darling, and exposes the vast flesh racket in Seoul, South Korea, where sex slaves from the “reeking slums” of the city were being purchased by American soldiers, some them “Negroes.” Best line: Themselves the descendents of slaves, they now own light-skinned slaves of their own. The next sentence should be, but isn’t—And white soldiers, many the descendents of slave owners, scoff: “Amateurs.” Scandal, irony, outrage, sex, death, crime, and plenty of casual racism—Whisper delivers it all. Nude Liz Taylor? Not so much. Scans below.
A great future in plastics.
Somehow, among many casual cinema fans, Barbarella is thought of as Jane Fonda’s starmaking role, if not her debut. It wasn’t. She had debuted eight years earlier and had already earned three Golden Globe nominations and a BAFTA nomination for her acting. The fact that she was so established makes her decision to play Barbarella all the more remarkable, though there's little doubt the film's director, her then-husband Roger Vadim, had some influence. This shot, a centerfold from Photoplay magazine, is from 1968, and below you see a shot that is aaaalmost identical, but, if you look closely, not quite.
Brigitte Bardot really knew how to steam up a camera.
This week’s Goodtime Weekly Calendar image comes from Brigitte Bardot’s 1961 comedy Le bride sur le cou. In the movie she performs a little dance, first while hiding behind a towel, and later undraped. Lots of reviews describe the scene as a nude dance, but it isn’t really. Bardot was famous for showing her lovely backside, but in this particular scene her body is blurred because she faces the camera, and it’s obvious as well that she’s wearing something to cover what would have been a pretty sizeable ’60s bush. If you watch the scene, you’ll think you’ve suddenly developed cataracts. But shooting her through what looks like a thick layer of sauna steam makes sense within the film’s reality because the dance is basically the daydream of another character. Director Roger Vadim, who was also Bardot’s husband, created some sharp focus promo stills, and those are the source of the above image, with tinting and a nuclear explosion added by the good folks at her promotional agency Parimage. A couple of unaltered shots appear below, along with those weekly Goodtime quips we know you can’t live without. Oh, and to our French friends and readers, yes, we know that “bride” doesn’t mean the same in English. We’re just taking license because, hey, after four years of thinking up headers we’ll grasp at anything.
July 14: “Once you’ve seen a Brigitte Bardot movie you’ve seen her all!”—Henry Morgan
July 15: “Foreign pictures are getting so popular, they’re starting to make them in this country.”—Simmy Bow
July 16: Honey-dew vacation: Vacations you spent in hearing, “Honey, do this and Honey do that.”
July 17: “A learned man: One who used to keep his money in his sock till a midget picked his ankle.”—Mitch Miller
July 18: Henpecked husband: A man who gives his wife the best ears of his life.
July 19: Courtesy: Smiling while your departing guest holds the screen door open and lets the flies in.
July 20: Hangover: Something orbiting in the head you didn’t use the night before.
French starlet Brigitte Bardot turned heads in Saint-Tropez more than half a century ago.
Continuing the process of cleaning off our French shelf, we have an issue of the pin-up magazine Stop. This one, issue #18 from 1962, is devoted entirely to Brigitte Bardot, and inside you get studio and outdoor photography of the legendary sex symbol, plus production stills from several of her films. The cover image of her in front of the Eiffel Tower is iconic, but the image in panel sixteen, just above, is one of the most famous ever made of her. It was shot by Willy Rizzo in Saint-Tropez during the 1956 production of Roger Vadim’s Et Dieu… crea la femme, aka And God Created Woman, and it pretty much sums up the quality of Bardot’s sex appeal. Saint-Tropez was just a sleepy seaside village back then, so you can imagine what all those crusty fishermen in the cafés thought the first time they saw this woman walking barefoot along their waterfront. Mermaid? Tramp? Angel? Waif? Bardot had all those elements and more, which is a large part of why—in addition to her copious talent—she became such a transcendent star. Today she remains in the public eye, if controversially, and it’s ironic that someone who once united people in their appreciation of her beauty, acting and singing is now such a polarizing figure. The above photo isn’t the only image that survives from that famed Rizzo session, so just for the fun of it, we’ve posted a few more below to help you dream about springtime.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1937—Chamberlain Becomes Prime Minister
Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who is known today mainly for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938 which conceded the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany and was supposed to appease Adolf Hitler's imperial ambitions, becomes prime minister of Great Britain. At the time Chamberlain is the second oldest man, at age sixty-eight, to ascend to the office. Three years later he would give way to Winston Churchill.
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
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