Monday, 9 May 2016

Film Review, July 1978 Issue

Come with me back some 38 years, to a time when a trip to the cinema was the only way to watch a film in widescreen, stereo and HD. Film Review's July issue, 1978, was a belter of a magazine. I've struggled to leave out loads of photos this time. There's lots of films and lots of adverts we haven't seen before too.

The cover shows Bruce Lee, whose final film was about to release, some five years after his death in Hong Kong. Henry Winkler had a couple of films out at that time but whether he managed to shake off the role of the Fonz as far as his fans were concerned is a questionable point. I had to leave Mr Winkler on the cutting room floor, so to speak, this time but I've tried to make up for it by including two photos of Lesley-Anne Down for whom I have to confess I had a soft spot!

Inside the front cover is an advert for Southern Comfort that we have seen before so I'll skip to the Contents page where Peter Ustinov dressed for his part in The Thief of Baghdad is reading a past issue about himself in Death On The Nile.

Jenny Agutter and Michael York cosy up together at a press party to mark the start of filming of The Riddle Of The Sands. Having already worked together on sci-fi film, Logan's Run, they were looking forward to making the new film in which two Englishmen on a boating holiday in the early 1910s, stumble unexpectedly on the Kaiser's Navy rehearsing to invade Britain.

There is a piece about actress Suzanne Danielle, 21, who was to make her screen debut as Emmannuelle in Carry On Emmannuelle. Kenneth Williams' expression just about sums things up for us and Suzanne's debut comes after her appearance on screen (and in a previous issue of this magazine) in the film The Golden Lady. The best thing in that film was the theme song by The Three Degrees, come to think of it...

And so to the first of several adverts for you this time. Timex were the brand name for cheap watches as much as Biro was for ballpoint pens at the time. They tumbled from grace along with several famous brand names in the seventies. This ad features a digital watch, a movement (if you'll forgive the pun) they were late in entering, allowing Sekonda to grab a huge chunk of the market.

Ah... and our old friend Bacardi. The number of times I wandered up and down the full length of Blackpool beach looking for that bar...

And Bruce Lee gets a two page spread as Vincent Firth remembers the man and fighting machine that was Bruce Lee. I never really got into martial arts films. I enjoyed Kung Fu on the telly but Enter The Dragon remains the only Bruce Lee film I've seen.

I've had to chop the bottom off this photo to preserve my blog's wholesome reputation. It's not that I'm a prude - I still have the full scan on my hard drive... [Ahem!] Ah, yes, moving on... Christopher Neil plays the title role in Adventures of A Plumber's Mate. Not what you'd call sophisticated fare, it carried on the traditions of the still ongoing Confessions series. Suzy Kendal is the young lady being rudely interrupted. Soap by Camay... He was a bright lad, Christopher Neil. As well as acting he was a record producer with some very famous names to his list of credits. He played a huge part in the career of singer Sheena Easton, being seen on TV's The Big Time coaxing her through the recording of her hit single Modern Girl. He also wrote and sang the theme tunes for the two Adventures of... films that he made.

Babycham. Along with Cherry B, Pony and Snowball they were a young lad's favourite tipple - to get for his girlfriend.

The sensual, rather than erotic, Bilitis gets a full two-page article. You couldn't make this now as it featured nude footage of early teenage girls. It now has to be judged in the context of its time. The photo features Patti d'Arbanville (she about whom Cat Stevens wrote the song Lady d'Arbanville) and Mona Kristensen.

A full page portrait of the lovely Lesley-Anne Down. She won the title of Britain's Most Beautiful Teenager in 1969 when aged 15. By 1978 at the age of 24 she had been in a number of films including Countess Dracula, narrowly escaping the bath tub of Ingrid Pitt and then took the part of Lady Georgina Worsley in TV's Upstairs Downstairs.

Now she was in a period where movie roles were coming thick and fast. She is seen with Harrison Ford in Hanover Street and also had appeared in The Betsy, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, A Little Night Music and had recently been filming with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland on the thriller The First Great Train Robbery.

In those days of rasping coughs and only a dawning belief in the truth of the Government warnings on the adverts and packets, new brands of cigarettes were still coming out and Three Fives was one such.

One for the ladies, here is Oliver Tobias for a short while one of the most envied men by his non-acting contemporaries. The inset photo shows him attempting mouth to mouth or some other such form of resuscitation on Joan Collins in the film The Stud.

Peter Sellers as bumbling agent Clouseau comes up against the looming gaze of Valerie Leon in The Revenge of The Pink Panther.

Kris Kristofferson with his "rig" in Convoy a film inspired by a novelty record that somehow hit the excited approval button of a world eager to give themselves silly names and talk to complete strangers over Citizen's Band (CB) radio. "Ten-four good buddy, what's your twenty?"
"Er, I'm in a ditch, I was looking at the CB to change the wavelength..."

Remember those hot 1970s summers with ring-pulls on cans; the hot debate over Coke Vs Pepsi; Panda Cola, Tab (What was that again?)

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