With special guests the Slaymates of the year.
Today we have some beautiful rarities, a set of door panel posters made for the 1968 Dean Martin spy movie spoof The Wrecking Crew. Martin played the wise-cracking and woman-loving Matt Helm, a character created by novelist Donald Hamilton. There have been a lot of loveable drunks in cinema, but Martin certainly was one of the most popular. Boozy Matt Helm was a perfect role for him, and the first film became the launching point for a series that stretched to four entries.The Wrecking Crew was the last film, coming after 1966's The Silencers and Murderer's Row, and 1967's The Ambushers. The movies were populated by a group of women known as “Slaymates,” and the actresses on the posters below are posing as members of that deadly cadre. They are, top to bottom, Sharon Tate, Elke Sommer, Nancy Kwan, Tina Louise, and a fifth woman no other website seems able to identify, but who we're pretty sure is Kenya Coburn.These posters are 51 x 152 centimeters in size, or 20 x 60 for you folks who measure in inches, and they caught our eye mainly because of Tate. There's been renewed interest in her, including portrayals in two 2019 films—The Haunting of Sharon Tate and Quentin Tarantino's new effort Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Her poster is definitely one of the nicest pieces of Tate memorabilia we've seen.
We glanced at The Silencers a while back and found it just a little too dumb to consider slogging through the series, but maybe we'll have another go at it. We're sort of newly interested in Tate too, and since The Wrecking Crew was her next-to-last screen role, we want to have a look. Allegedly, Dean Martin quit this highly successful franchise because it felt wrong to go on with it after the Tate–LaBianca murders in August 1969. From what we've read about the era, Martin was far from the only person who felt as if that event changed everything. These days Tate's death makes anything she's in seem ironic and portentous, even, we suspect, a piece of fluff like The Wrecking Crew.
If there's a reward here it's going to be damned hard to get.
In a reward based system, Tina Louise would be the carrot, but since it looks like the punishment part is anything from a bump on the head to a hole in the heart, perhaps it's best to just to stand pat. Born in New York City as Tina Blacker, Louise is best known for playing sultry Ginger Grant on the television comedy Gilligan's Island, but she is also a veteran performer from such films as God's Little Acre and Warrior Empress, the latter of which gave the world the above promo shot. It was made in 1960.
There’s no horse or carriage, but if you want, we can go on a different type of hayride.
This week’s page from the Goodtime Calendar of 1963 features the work of German born glamour photographer Peter Basch, whose photography appeared in magazines like Life, Look, and Playboy. This particular model is unknown to us, but during his career Basch photographed pretty much every prominent celebrity, among them Mansfield, Bardot, Andress, Belmondo, Mastroianni, Brando, Dali, Cocteau, Monroe, et. al., and published them in numerous photography books that sold well and made his name internationally known. Some of those appear below, with cover stars Candice Bergen, TIna Louise, and Brigitte Skay.
As the end of the year grows near, the Goodtime editors seem to be running on empty with their quips. We still can’t figure out why they can get images from some of the best photographers of the day, but can’t find better quotes. Since speech is free for anyone to use as long as it’s attributed, they have access to pretty much everything that has ever been said by humans in all of history, but instead settle for the wisdom of guys like Jim Conway and Johnny Morgan. Oh well. It’s a mystery.
Sep 29: Men really understand women—some say they don’t because it’s cheaper that way.
Sep 30: A fence between makes love more keen—German Prov.
Oct 1: Women’s slacks: Cutting to get to the bottom of every figure problem.
Oct 2: Modern wife: A woman who knows her husband’s favorite dishes and the restaurants that serve them.
Oct 3: “A man never knows that a woman has any old clothes until he marries her.”—Jim Conway
Oct 4: “If it wasn’t for marriage, husbands would have to fight with strangers.”—Johnny Morgan
Oct 5: “The only time an experienced husband puts his foot down is when his wife’s finished vacuuming under it.”—Henry Morgan
Check out the above shot of American cinema legend Cary Grant, looking his debonair best on the cover of the Chilean movie magazine Ecran. And on the back cover is Tina Louise from the days before she was banished to Gilligan’s Island. "Ecran" is not, as far as we can tell with our imperfect language skills, Spanish, but rather French. The word means "screen," but we don't think the magazine is affiliated with French film magazine L’Ecran. We could be wrong about that, though. In any case, we have more issues of Ecran we'll show you later. This one was published in 1959.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1911—Team Reaches South Pole
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, along with his team Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. After a celebrated career, Amundsen eventually disappears in 1928 while returning from a search and rescue flight at the North Pole. His body is never found.
1944—Velez Commits Suicide
Mexican actress Lupe Velez, who was considered one of the great beauties
of her day, commits suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. In her note, Velez says she did it to avoid bringing shame on her unborn child by giving birth to him out of wedlock, but many Hollywood historians believe bipolar disorder was the actual cause. The event inspired a 1965 Andy Warhol film entitled Lupe
1958—Gordo the Monkey Lost After Space Flight
After a fifteen minute flight into space on a Jupiter AM-13 rocket, a monkey named Gordo splashes down in the South Pacific but is lost after his capsule sinks. The incident sparks angry protests from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but NASA says animals are needed for such tests.
1968—Tallulah Bankhead Dies
American actress, talk show host, and party girl
Tallulah Bankhead, who was fond of turning cartwheels in a dress without underwear and once made an entrance to a party without a stitch of clothing on, dies in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia complicated by emphysema.
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