(February 11, 1948 – June 21, 2019)
Actress Susan Bernard (in the striped bikini, above), who spends most of Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) being menaced by various freaks, has passed away at 71.
Miss Bernard, the Playboy Playmate for December, 1966, was the daughter of the noted Hollywood photographer Bruno Bernard. She published a few books of her father’s incredible photographs. And she was in two episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and a regular on General Hospital.
That’s Susan leaning on the MG in the center. That’s a 1964 Porsche 356C on the left, along with (L-R) Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams and a 1958 Triumph.
Filed under 1965, Russ Meyer
Directed by Frank Sinatra
Starring Frank Sinatra, Clint Walker, Tommy Sands, Brad Dexter, Tony Bill, Tatsuya Mihashi
None But The Brave (1965) is usually shrugged off as simply “the only picture Frank Sinatra directed,” which it is. But it’s also a pretty solid war movie, a lot better than reviews at the time would have you expecting. Two groups of soldiers, one Japanese and one American, are stranded on the same little Pacific island. They establish a pretty shaky truce in order to survive.
It was shot in Hawaii, and during production, Brad Dexter saved Sinatra (and Ruth Koch, the wife of producer Howard W. Koch) from drowning after getting caught in a riptide. In Japan, it was distributed by Toho, the Godzilla movie people. And Tommy Sands was Sinatra’s son-in-law at the time, and he’d divorce Nancy the same year.
It’s got great Panavision cinematography by Harold Lipstein. Sinatra had cinematographer William H. Daniels working as a producer, and with those two master craftsmen on board, how could it not look great? And that, for me, is why I’m so happy Warner Archive is bringing None But The Brave to Blu-Ray. It’s out next week, I think. Recommended.
Warner Archive has put a July release date on their complete, unedited set of Jonny Quest cartoons. “All 26 episodes… are yours in a 3-disc set, as originally first broadcast in prime-time on ABC-TV during the 1964-65 season.”
There are people scattered across the Free World going absolutely nuts about this piece of news. I’m not that far gone by a long shot, but I’m plenty stoked.
Directed by William Asher
Starring Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Brian Donlevy, Buster Keaton, Beverly Adams, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Mickey Rooney, Len Lesser, Bobbi Shaw, Michele Carey, The Kingsmen, Frankie Avalon, Elizabeth Montgomery
Okay, so maybe the whole Beach Party thing was starting to run out of steam by the time they got around to How To Stuff A Wild Bikini (1965). But who cares? All the elements are in place, from Frankie and Annette to Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and Bonehead (Jody McCrea) to the later addition Buster Keaton (as Bwana in this one).
It’s plenty stupid and tons of Pathécolor, Panavision fun. And I’m so stoked that it’s making its way to Blu-Ray from the folks at Olive Films. They did a tremendous job bringing Muscle Beach Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) to high definition — let’s hope they get around to Bikini Beach (1964). Coming (in off the curl) in late June.
Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, Michael Redgrave, Anton Diffring
Anthony Mann’s next-to-last movie, The Heroes Of Telemark (1965) is a based-on-fact secret-mission-in-the-snow picture in the Where Eagles Dare (1969) vein. It’s quite good — and it’ll certainly benefit from the leap to Blu-Ray. The skiing sequences, with Olympic ski coach Helge Stoylen and his students serving as camera operators, are terrific.
Sony has recently announced that it’s coming. Perfect for some snowy night around the fire.
(February 26, 1943 – November 21, 2018)
Just saw that Michele Carey has passed away. She didn’t make many movies, but when you’ve worked with John Wayne, Howard Hawks and Robert Mitchum (El Dorado, 1967) and Elvis (Live A Little, Love A Little, 1968), not to mention Frank Sinatra (Dirty Dingus Magee, 1970) — what else do you need? Oh, and then there’s How To Stuff A Wild Bikini (1965).
She’s terrific in El Dorado — everyone is. She holds her own up against some real heavyweights, in a movie that relied on Hawks’ typical rambling, improvisational tone. That’s no small task.
Back in 1965, Young Dillinger (1965) played as a twin-bill with Mario Bava’s Blood And Black Lace (1964). This ad’s for the opening in L.A., but they played everywhere this way — even drive-ins not far from where I’m sitting here in North Carolina. Man, what a “blazing double-blast of thrills and shocks” this must’ve been.
One’s in gorgeous black and white, the other in eye-popping Technicolor. One is a cinematic love letter to the Tommy Gun, while the other favors all sorts of things with blades. Both are lurid, violent masterpieces — the stuff that makes early 60s genre movies so wonderful.
Incidentally, and the reason I came across this, both of these pictures have seen some recent video activity. Young Dillinger was just made available on DVD by our friends at Warner Archive (the movie’s terrific and the disc looks great), and VCI is prepping Blood And Black Lace for a Blu-Ray due in October.
So, with a little coordinated eCommerce, you can recreate June 9, 1965 in the privacy of your own home.