Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Film Review, July 1977 Issue

We move into the second half of 1977 with this issue of Film Review magazine.

Kris Kristofferson - hang on whilst I check that spelling - is on the front cover and also named are Sylvester Stallone, then seriously lowering the alliterative standards are David Carradine and Roger Moore. We'll check with the latter gentleman in a while... And yes - I know you will have excitedly spotted the text "Are You Being Served" and I promise not to disappoint you on that score later on too!

On the inside cover the smooth, if a little fiery, temptations of that fancy Southern liquor invites you to forget your own humble surroundings in the sawdust-floored Dirty Duck - er... Black Swan - and transports us to New Orleans where the jazz ensemble has swung into a hot routine - oh wait... no... it's Donna Summer on the jukebox...

And so onto the films. Robin Askwith poses with two of his lovely co-stars in the upcoming Confessions From A Holiday Camp. On the left is Julia Bond who already has a couple of 70s sex-comedies under her belt. The surprise is Caroline Ellis on the right, who had played the character, Joy, in 17 episodes of a childrens' show The Bugaloos. Seeing her strip off entirely was a bit like suddenly being confronted with Valerie Singleton in the buff - only much more enjoyable... (I imagine...)

Toiletry advert of the month is for Day-Long anti-perspirant deodorant roll-on. And photos of Sue Barker making a racquet...

A couple of pages on and once you have stopped sweating you can have a drink and fend off the sharks with Bacardi.

"Costliest Cast Ever..." is the headline of an article about war epic A Bridge Too Far. Five million pounds had been spent on securing a cast with no less than 14 huge stars. It was based on the true tale of the disastrous allied attempt to secure the bridges in the Netherlands and gain access to the German border.

But, hey! This is what you have been waiting for, right? The TV cast of Are You Being Served take to the stage with a story of a works trip to the Mediterranean. We went to see them during its summer season run in Blackpool. The special effects included a bottle brush on a wire zipping about to represent a centipede... We laughed so much that they turned the same stage play into a full length feature film. No expense was expended. The bottle brush made it into the film...!

Richard Harris is seen in the title role in Gulliver's Travels. The Lilliputians were animated by BelVision, the first time the technique to mix animation and live action had been used throughout a feature-length film.

Charlton Heston dons a beard to play King Henry VIII in a new version of The Prince And The Pauper. It brought Mark Lester back to the screen for the last time until the present day. He made a short film in 2011 (Metered) and is pegged to play King Harold in 1066 which is currently in pre-production and is also currently (2015) filming Fighting Talk. In 1977 he was playing two parts: those of both the pauper, Tom Canty, and Prince Edward, later King Edward VI. It was the sixth version of The Prince And The Pauper to be filmed, the first version being made in 1909.

Roger Moore and Barbara Bach as the leads in the latest James Bond outing: The Spy Who Loved Me. The book was a very strange affair. Written by Ian Fleming, he wrote it from the point of view of a girl who finds herself alone in an American motel with two hoodlums. She is rescued by Bond who happens to drive in by coincidence. The story of the book was ditched entirely for this film which has Curt Jurgens playing the necessary super-villain Karl Stromburg.

This was Roger Moore's third Bond film after Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun and his three-film contract was about to run out. It was uncertain whether he would return as Bond at this time, but as we now know he would continue to make another four Bond films over the next eight years. This is his own favourite of his seven Bond films however.

Which is surely down to the lovely presence of this lady, Caroline Munro. I am biassed - I've been a friend of Caroline's for almost twenty years and a nicer person just doesn't exist. She plays Naomi, the assistant to Stromberg and gets blown up in her helicopter after shooting up Bond's car and watching it drive off a jetty into the sea. The car turns into a submarine (don't try this with a real Lotus Esprit...) and lets fly with a guided missile. (Again - an optional extra...)

So here's a little tale that is not in the magazine... an early appearance by Caroline in the film has her roar up to Bond's hotel in a speedboat, a brown bikini and a filmy little wrap. Not shown on screen is the moment when she sat down in the speedboat on top of a bee and got stung... The bee perished in the deed but what a way to go... Caroline was one of nine Bond girls in the film - I rather think we'll meet others during the next few articles as the film is released!

But this is the Seventies and the sex-comedies just keep on coming...! For the second time in this article, here again is Julia Bond (second from left) with Kate Williams, Graham Stark and the film's star, Nicholas Field in the film What's Up Nurse? attempting to remove a broomstick from the a... er... anatomy of a poor unfortunate soul... By crikey, those were the days...

1977 marked the 50th anniversary of talking pictures. Al Jolson had starred in The Jazz Singer in 1927 and to celebrate, Film review starts a series of articles looking back over the history of different genres of film, starting with Musicals. If anyone wants to liven up their night then I heartily recommend viewing this film. Made in 1933, Ruby Keeler dances her socks off in the wonderful 42nd Street. Stay awake and listen carefully. How did they manage to get some of those wonderful one-liners through the strict Hays Code? Answer: although it came out in 1930, it was not enforced until 1934 - the year after this film came out. An example: a gorgeous 22-years-old Ginger Rogers sits on the knee of a male dancer during rehearsals of a musical number. Embarrassed he shouts "Hey! What are you sitting on?" to which she responds wearily, "Just a flag pole, dearie..."

One of the regular articles in Film Review was Track Events where each month a number of LP albums would be given a short review. This example of fine journalism caught my eye and although there was no photo of the album, I just had to go searching for it. The review starts: 'Another all-star disc is "The Very Best Of The Very Best" which is a sampler of the artists in EMI's "Very Best Of..." series.' That helps, yes?

In the small ads this month Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky from TV's Starsky and Hutch) seems to be fave rave of the ladies whilst the men are placing wanted ads for photos, clippings and info about Raquel Welch, Susan George, Ingrid Pitt and Liz Fraser.

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