Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Crack

In '66, British comedic actor Terry-Thomas, he of the gap-toothed grin, was arguably at the peak of his career, starring on television and in films made throughout the world. Here he is in TOP CRACK, one of the highest grossing releases in Italy in '66.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mick

Happy Birthday to Mick Jagger, seen here in a teen mag pinup from '66!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Metal Men

One of my early favorite comic books in '66 was METAL MEN, the quirky adventures of robot heroes written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. I saw yesterday where they're supposedly considering a film of the property. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Not Too Bad-John Lennon

Here, recorded in 1966, is John Lennon's rarely heard early version of the song that would become STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER by the Beatles the following year. Here it's just entitled IT'S NOT TOO BAD.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nevada Smith

Everything Steve McQueen touched in the sixties seemed to make him more iconic, including '66's NEVADA SMITH in which McQueen portrays the backstory behind a character previously portrayed by Alan Ladd in THE CARPETBAGGERS. With a top cast, great cinematography and old pro Henry Hathaway directing, NEVADA SMITH was yet another of the roles that made Steve McQueen STEVE MCQUEEN!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Golden Bat

Not really a bat tie-in. The Golden Bat character had apparently been around for years already and has since returned over and over including in animation. This live-action version from '66 featured future cult star  (and Tarentino favorite) Sonny Chiba. And yes, it does resemble Todd McFarlane's Spawn a
bit, too, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Rounders

THE ROUNDERS was a fun '66 modern western that nobody watched. It was based on a 1965 movie starring veterans Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford...

...which was based on an earlier book of the same name.

But the main reason the movie was noticed--in fact the way it was marketed!--was for the backsides of actresses Sue Anne Langdon and Hope Holiday. 

The TV version couldn't get anywhere near that naughty but stars Patrick Wayne (Yes, The Duke's son) and Ron Hayes did share the screen with some mighty pretty ladies. There was also a cantankerous horse named Old Fooler who was discovered for the film version and went on to appear in many movies over the next decade or so. 

The producers didn't think all that was enough, though, so they threw in veteran scene chewer Chill Wills. Wills had some controversial moments in the sixties such as his hit-you-over-the-head Oscar campaign for THE ALAMO and his major support of George Wallace for President in '68. Never seemed to hurt his career though. His presence made the show more interesting...but didn't save it. THE ROUNDERS lasted only until January of '67.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Un Homme Et Une Femme

Sometimes labeled today as pretentious and overly artsy, Claude Lelouch's UN HOMME ET UNE FEMME (A MAN AND A WOMAN), starring Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant was one of the most successful imports of the sixties and the well-known Francis Lai music remains nostalgically wistful to this day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spider-Man Poster

Although clearly based on Steve Ditko's classic Spider-Man, I'm not at all sure this authorized Marvel poster actually features art by Ditko. In fact, it seems to have the same overinking that the Hulk poster from that same collection, credited generally to Kirby, also has. I'm thinking most likely some outside artist redrew them on the larger scale.

Friday, July 6, 2012

One Fearful Yellow Eye

Travis McGee, John D. MacDonald's boat-dwelling PI, had his 8th book in '66. Sort of a combination of Mike Hammer, Phillip Marlowe and James Bond, the character's book titles were known for always featuring colors, thus presaging all the later fictional detectives whose titles featured numbers, letters, cats, etc.

There would be years and years of equally successful McGee appearances but '66 was most definitely an early peak!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Conan the Adventurer

Robert E. Howard's Conan had been out of print since his pulp days but for some small press hardcovers in the fifties. In '66, Lancer brought the character to a mass audience once again, adorned with a Frank Frazetta cover. The books set Frank on his way to being the acclaimed fantasy artist he became and inspired Roy Thomas to push Marvel to license the character (which the would do 4 years later).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Return of Barney Fife

From '66, Don Knotts' guest starring return to THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. R.I.P. Andy.