While we of Editorial struggle with the problems of producing a smart, sophisticated and always (we trust) entertaining publication, another department is concerned with reminding that grand, gray-flanneled group who control the nation's advertising that Playboy is the best medium for advertisers interested in selling the young man-about-town and man-about-campus.
Playboy, May, 1956, Vol. 3, No. 5. Playboy is published monthly by HMH Publishing Co., Inc., 11 E. Superior St., Chicago 11, Illinois. In the U.S., its possessions and Canada, subscriptions are $13 for three years; $10 for two years; $6 for one year; elsewhere, add $3 per year to cover foreign postage. Please allow three weeks for entering new subscriptions, renewals and for change of address. Entered as second class matter August 5, 1955, at the post office at Chicago, Illinois, under the act of March 3, 1879. Printed in U.S.A. Contents copyrighted 1956 by HMH Publishing Co., Inc.
The title role in Richard III requires (among other things) the talents of a high comedian, because it is written on an almost unrelieved note of sardonic humor. Sir Laurence Olivier is just such a high comedian (among other things) and this is the principal reason why his latest film is a delight to watch. There are other reasons, of course: the bracing bustle of the battle scenes; the Macchiavellian machinations of the plot; the visual beauty of the sets, costumes and Claire Bloom; the perfect performances of such other actors as Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud – but it's Olivier's show, and he knows it. From the time he first fastens his eye on the camera and soliloquizes directly to the audience (making us, as it were, accessories to his crimes), Olivier is pretty much the m.c. of the whole she-bang, stepping in and out of the story (but never out of character) with the agility of the virtuoso. His Richard is intelligent, unscrupulous, efficient, persuasive, ironic: no more, no less. This may not be the well-rounded Richard one might wish (we missed the suggestion of a cripple's inner anguish), but it is a legitimate and devilishly entertaining one – and one who can make convincing that badly-written, unbelievable scene where Richard woos and wins, in a matter of minutes, the widow of a man he murdered. He is aided here, of course, by the home truth that women find evil irresistible, and also by the fact that he wisely divides the scene into two scenes, allowing the lady at least one "No" before the heavy breathing sets in. Olivier, besides playing the lead, directed the film and, with Alan Dent, wrote the screenplay. It is based on a couple of chronicle histories by Shakespeare.
George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, a favorite of ours ever since we essayed the role of Third Bystander in an obscure 1950 production (whereupon Shaw up and died), is now a musical comedy. We rather expected the bust of G.B.S. on our office mantelpiece to glower at this news, but the stony eyes seem to be twinkling instead, for My Fair Lady (the musical under discussion) is a bright bit of work.
"We keep it always the same," said Leon Galatoire, gesturing toward his menu. "Trout marguery, shrimp remoulade, fillet marchand de vin." For 80 years, Galatoire's in New Orleans has served some of the finest French cuisine in the entire U. S., ever since old Uncle Jean Galatoire came from France in 1876. For the last 50 years, Galatoire's has occupied the same location at 209 Bourbon: the walls are lined with mirrors, graceful brass fans reach down from the ceiling, the floor is tile, the windows heavily curtained. The doors of the dignified white structure just off Canal Street are open noon to 9 P.M., closed Mondays. And Galatoire's is always crowded, being a favorite of Orleanians as well as visitors. No reservations can be made. Why? "It is a tradition," says Leon. "There were no reservations when we first opened and – we keep it always the same."
The Olivier Richard is also on tap for ears alone on three LPs handsomely boxed by RCA Victor (LM 6126). This is the original sound track, with every fanfare and footfall left undisturbed, and though the lack of selectivity gives the listener the feeling he is sitting in a theatre lobby overhearing tantalizing chunks of an unseen film, the album makes a fine permanent souvenir of an excellent flick.
"And then, in fifteen minutes in a little stinking summer resort beside a lake, the whole thing collapsed." The whole thing, in this case, happens to be the lives of three grade-A bunglers in Irwin Shaw's painful, penetrating novel of a sour marriage, Lucy Crown (Random House, §3.95), and a corking good one it is. Lucy is a 35-year-old upper-middle-class knockout who chooses adultery as her favorite form of self expression, gets caught between the sheets by her sensitive son, is nailed to the wall by a pompous husband. From then on, the walls come tumbling down as Lucy wanders from Simmons to Sealy "looking for a good opinion of myself in the arms of other men." Son Tony turns into a cynical, sneering expatriate living in Paris, husband Oliver goes completely to seed and finally steps into a hail of German machine gun slugs in a war he should never have seen. What Shaw has etched magnificently is a deadly, too-human pattern of insatiable egos, self-hatred, revenge and final expiation.
Playboy is published monthly by the HMH Publishing Co., Inc., 11 E. Superior, Chicago 11, Illinois. Postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings and photographs submitted if they are to be returned and no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. Entered as second class matter August 5, 1955, at the post office at Chicago, Illinois, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Printed in U. S. A. Contents copyrighted 1956 by HMH Publishing Co., Inc. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any similarity between the people and places mentioned in the fiction and semi-fiction in this magazine and any real people and places is purely coincidental. Subscriptions: In the U. S., its possessions and Canada, $13 for three years, $10 for two years, $6 for one year; elsewhere, add $3 per year for foreign postage. Please allow approximately three weeks for entering new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses and allow approximately three weeks for change to become effective. Advertising: Main advertising office, R. Bolander-Olson, western manager, 11 E. Superior St., Chicago 11, Illinois, MIchigan 2-1000; eastern advertising office, Ellis Meyers, eastern manager, 270 Park Avenue, New York 17, N. Y., PLaza 9-3076; Los Angeles representative: F. E. Crawford, 638 S. Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California, DUnkirk 4-7352; San Francisco representative: A. S. Babcock, 605 Market Street, San Francisco 5, California, YUkon 2-3954; Miami representative: Hale Printup, Langford Building, Miami 32, Florida, MIami 9-2668. Credits: Cover designed by Norman Harris, model Dolores Taylor, photographed by Arthur-James; P. 15-17 photographs by Werner Wolff of Black Star; P. 33 photographs from George Peabody and Associates, Wallace Litwin; P. 57 Russ Meyer; P. 58-59 Russ Meyer and European Picture Service.
849 performances is usually considered pretty healthy for a Broadway show. For a one-man Broadway show, it's more than healthy, it's historical. The one man who recently chalked up that fantastic figure, grossed over two million bucks in the bargain, and is now accumulating even more performances on national tour, is a melancholy Dane who was once employed in a funeral parlor: Victor Borge.
Texas law and the men who make and keep it have always been unique. In witness to this fact is a legal opinion handed down by the Office of the Attorney General in Austin, Texas, a few years back. The opinion concerned the castration of a farmer's bull yearling by employees of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas after the bull had broken into the pasture of the Dairy Husbandry Department and serviced several cows. "The dairy hands lassoed him and castrated him. He was hot and mad and as a result was found dead in the pasture the next day." The farmer demanded and received $20.00 in payment for the death of the bull. When the College submitted this bill to the Comptroller of Public Accounts for payment, the comptroller asked the Office of the Attorney General for an opinion as to whether this was a proper charge to be paid from State funds. The opinion, slightly edited and abridged, follows:
Latest word from the prognosticators of the good life in 198X is that we will all be engarbed in "air conditioned suits." This advance tip gives no indication of whether the compound miracle of tailor and engineer will depend on portable battery power or atomic energy (or perhaps we will just plug ourselves into any convenient outlet?). All of which tumbles us pell-mell into the battle of survival-with-propriety through the summer heat, and a stout brawl it's going to be.
Judge wade price was a distinctively handsome man in his leisurely fifties, a widower for nearly a decade, and for many more years than that he had been presiding judge of the country court. Everyone who had ever known Judge Price thought of him as being scrupulously honest, fair-minded to a fault, and, as he often said to himself, deferent to the honor of womanhood. It was doubtful if anybody could be found who had ever seen him fail to take off his hat when he spoke to a woman or young girl of any age.
Portugal – bless its heart – is the only country we know in Europe where wine is free with every meal at every restaurant, or at least included immovably in the table d'hote price. We've not confined our wine bibbing to meals only, of course: there's little else that will tone up the system as well or do more for the soul than an amber-hued white port, sipped of a sunny morning from the wicker depths of a chair on a cafe ter (continued on page 42)Portugal(continued from page 33) race. It heightens your joy in the wiggling walk of a sturdy varina fishwife, gaily costumed as she passes with a head-carried basket of glistening, fresh-caught octopus, or the green-water reflections of a fleet of slant-masted, high-prowed fragata fishing boats, bright-painted arabesques shimmering in the oily surge of a little harbor.
The may playmate is a New York model named Marion Scott whose career has included everything from fashion photography to posing for the covers of detective and confession magazines. Marion was born in Germany and came to this country with her parents after the war – now lives with them in New Jersey. She is 23, 5'6" tall, with a striking 36" – 23" – 35" figure that helps explain her success as a model. She considers herself "an avid student of philosophy and religion," and is a superior sports-woman, excelling in skiing, riding and swimming. Marion has done well as a model, but would like to do better, and perhaps go into show business. She confides the hope that her appearance as a playboy Playmate may prove the turning point in her career.
We were enjoying one of the more sensational Italian films the other evening, and during a torrid love scene, we heard a small voice near us in the darkened theatre say, "Mommy, is this where he puts the pollen on her?"
It is written that in the town called Eternal Purity there was once a famous temple to which barren women went to pray for fruitfulness. This in itself is not remarkable. The wonder is that, in almost every case, the woman was delivered of a healthy child, just nine months after her visit to the holy shrine.
"Music," as every bonehead knows who has read Act I, Scene I of William Congreve's The Mourning Bride, "hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." Now, Mr. Congreve's Restoration pen was a facile one, and we had always chalked off this high-blown phrase as a pleasant enough bit of fluff, but little more. That's what we thought until catching our first long glimpse of big-eyed, full-mouthed, eminently-configured Meg Myles – sometime singer, sometime dancer, sometime actress and fulltime woman. Mr. Congreve, our savage breast is soothed.