Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Broadway # 4

Okay, this one was not a hit at all. In fact, it was a flop so legendary as to be still talked about by theater buffs all these years later.

It seemed like a good idea, I suppose. A musical version of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S entitled HOLLY GOLIGHTLY, produced by David Merrick from a book by Edward Albee with songs from Bob Merrill and choreography by Michael Kidd and Tony Mordente. Stars were Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain, both hot off of hit, long-running TV series, with future film star Sally Kellerman and Broadway favorite Larry Kert also in the cast.

So what went wrong? In spite of a name change back to Truman Capote's original title, pretty much everything behind the scenes, much of it reflected in long, dull proceedings on stage, too. In fact. when Merrick shut down the production after four performances, he cited how boring it was.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Torn Curtain Trailer

Lesser Hitchcock is still Hitchcock and any Hitchcock is still better than most movies. Here's the trailer for Hitch's movie for '66, a Cold War thriller starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.

Friday, April 27, 2012

War of the Gargantuas

American actor Russ Tamblyn (later of TWIN PEAKS fame) stars in this Toho production that...Aw, who are we kidding? WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS stars two guys in big, hairy monster suits wrestling on tiny sets for about 90 minutes.

Technically the sequel to the earlier FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, the story deals with two overgrown brothers, one raised in captivity and one in the wild. They fight. Seriously, that's really kind of all you need to know. You either like this type of film or you don't.  

I didn't see this movie in 1966 but rather a full eight years later on a double bill re-release with MONSTER ZERO, starring Godzilla and Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Avengers in 1966

Here's the lineup of THE AVENGERS as 1966 began. Not exactly "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" but they had some exciting adventures. Later in the year, the winsome Wasp returned along with Henry Pym, now reincarnated as Goliath. And Hercules was just around the corner. It would still be  awhile before Iron man and Thor returned t the fold. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

It wasn't syndicated around my neck of the woods until a bit later but this Australian version of FLIPPER (with a kangaroo instead of a dolphin) ran from 1966 to 1968 in Australia and showed up for years afterwards throughout the rest of the world.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Batstuff Extra

Found this yesterday in a long-forgotten box on a high closet shelf. My own Robin Fire King Mug from 1966! I posted these pics of it on Facebook and a bidding war unexpectedly broke out and it is now sold!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Snoopy and Squeaky!

The Royal Guardsmen had a big '66 hit with SNOOPY VS THE RED BARON but in Canada, the rights to PEANUTS were apparently tied up elsewhere so the vocal was re-recorded and we got Squeaky (the buck-toothed beaver!) vs the Black Knight!

Thanks to Alex.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marvel Super Heroes # 1

This was one of THE single best comic books of '66! A one-shot special from Marvel reprinting the classic early AVENGERS tale where The Hulk leaves the group, the origin of Daredevil and best of all, one of the first Golden Age Timely reprints, this one featuring the Sub-Mariner vs. the original Human Torch. This was so sought after I must have traded my copy (purchased at Woolworth's!) away because on this very date in 1974 (see my 1974 journal blog!) I traded my friend Terry something for HIS copy...which I still have (albeit with the cover ripped off).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Name is Victoria Winters...

DARK SHADOWS premiered in 1966 with no vampires or werewolves in sight, only a gothic heroine named Victoria Winters. The role was played by Alexandra Moltke, who gave a credible performance as a typical governess but had a fascinating real-life background. 

FROM IMDB: Daughter of a Danish count and diplomat, Carl Adam Greve von Moltke, and wife Mabel Wilson, and paternal granddaughter of Carl Greve von Moltke (1869-1935) and his American wife Cornelia Van Rensselaer Thayer, who had some Dutch American ancestry. 

 In the late 1970s Alexandra was the mistress of Claus von B├╝low, and claimed to be a motive for two alleged attempts by him to murder his wife.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spitting On The Sheriff

Charles Rodrigues is a cartoonist known for his black humor. In later years associated with NATIONAL LAMPOON, here is a collection of cartoons from '66 that had appeared in various men's magazines. For some examples, go here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Raquel in Adam

ADAM was one of many not particularly explicit by today's standards adult mags on the stands in '66. This one had the bountiful Raquel Welch on the cover as she literally stood on the edge of stardom.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tiger Beat, August, 1966

Lloyd Thaxton's name was attached to this early issue of TIGER BEAT because he was a major presenter of pop music on the West Coast. Note that Dino, Desi and Billy appear almost more prominently than John Lennon. Only in '66!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

THE CAT WHO COULD READ BACKWARDS came out in '66, the first of three novels published in that decade by author Lillian Jackson Braun featuring a mystery-nosed reporter and his faithful sidekick, a siamese cat (contrary to the picture on the cover). Braun would return to the series in the 1980's and it would become quite the favorite with mystery readers and cat lovers, two groups with a perhaps surprising overlap.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

California Nights-Lesley Gore

My favorite song by one of the quintessential "girl singers" of the sixties, Lesley Gore. She would go on to sing (lip-synch) this on BATMAN as Catwoman's assistant Pussycat in January of '67 and the album would come out the following month.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Adventures of Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis was amazingly popular in the sixties in spite of a spate of bad movies and a reputation for having an ego the size of the Moon. DC Comics had licensed Lewis along with then-partner Dean Martin for a comic book back in the fifties at the height of the duo's popularity. With the breakup, Jerry got custody of the comic.

Mostly written by Arnold Drake and with art usually by Bob Oksner, the comic book Jerry lived with his bratty nephew Renfrew and a rather obvious and stereotypical witch as a housekeeper. 

As the year began, nearly every issue cashed in on the monster craze. 

The real Jerry had met the Dynamic Duo on television in a brief cameo during a window climb. The comic book Jerry went one better by having an entire infamous but nostalgic adventure with Batman and Robin late in the year.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two Ronald Searle TV Guide Covers

Two 1966 TV GUIDE covers from the great British caricaturist, creator of the Belles of St. Trinain's School, who died in 2011..

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Small Faces

The Small Faces made their Mod debut in 1966 with this self-titled album. Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLaglen and drummer Kenny Jones (later with the Who) were the main group members. In 1969, after a string of UK hits including "Itchycoo Park" (with its undeniable drug lyrics) and the classic concept album OGDENS' NUT GONE FLAKE, Marriott was replaced by singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood (both after leaving The Jeff Beck Group) and the group was renamed simply Faces.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Carol Channing Show

From the department of things you didn't see in '66. These are scenes form the opening of THE CAROL CHANNING SHOW, a seeming attempt to capitalize on the unique and undefinable talents of the great Broadway star of HELLO, DOLLY by turning her into a Lucille Ball clone!

Produced and directed by Desi Arnaz and written by the writers generally credited with being Lucy's best over the years (as well as her favorites), it even looks to have been shot on Lucy's sets! Carol Channing was to have played Carol Hunnicutt (sp?), a small town girl trying and failing to make it in New York City show business.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and someone realized that no one would believe Carol as a ditzy failure.