Hogmanay is the title the Scots give to The Last Day of the Year (some countries have a name for everything). That clay is almost upon Playboy for the fifth consecutive time: hence, the magazine you now hold in your hands is our Fifth Anniversary Issue.
Playboy, December, 1958, Vol. 5, No. 12. Published monthly by HMH Publishing Co., Inc., Playboy building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Ill. Entered as second class matter August 5, 1955 at the post office at Chicago, Ill., under the Act of March 3, 1879. Printed in U.S.A. contents copyrighted (c) 1953 by HMH Publishing Co., Inc. Subscriptions: In the U.S., its possessions. The Pan American Union and Canada. $14 for three years, $11 for two years. $6 For one year, elsewhere add $3 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address: Send both old and new addresses and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Main advertising office, Howard Lederer. Eastern manager. 720 fifth Ave., New York. N. Y., CI 5-2620; Western advertising office, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Ill., MI 2-1000; Los Angeles representative, Fred E. Crawford, 612 S. Serrano Ave., Los Angeles, Cal., DU 4-7352; San Francisco representative, Blanchard-Nichols assoc., 33 post st., San Francisco 4, Cal., YU 6-6341.
The use of recorded messages for answering the telephone is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. You call a friend and get a mechanical voice which drones: "This is a recording, Mr. Johnson is not at home. If you would care to leave a message, please wait for the tone signal. Beep." For the benefit of readers who are unsettled by conversations with machines and wish to unsettle the machines' owners in return, we offer these several responses:
It took Eugene O'Neill, dead since 1953, to give the new Broadway season A Touch of the Poet, and a touch of distinction that may not be matched for the rest of the year. Poet is the only important segment to survive from a cycle of 11 plays lost or destroyed during O'Neill's long illness. In it, he hints at what he had in mind for the cycle -- the ups and downs of an American family from the 1800s to the present; fortunately, it stands by itself as sturdy and complete drama.
So far, there's no candy bar named The Tunnel of Love, but otherwise Peter de Vries and Joseph Fields have got about all the mileage from it anybody could expect. De Vries wrote the novel; he and Fields turned it into a Broadway play; then Fields and Martin Melcher. using Fields' screenplay, made the movie. The screen Tunnel is a frank, funny, but overlong tale of exurbanite neighbors who guzzle gin and talk fancy about sex. One of the couples, Richard Widmark and Doris Day, are distressed at their failure to make a baby. Doris keeps innumerable charts chronicling her temperature and physiological cycles; when she decides her moments of fertility have arrived, she summons Widmark for his services. Standing by like a friendly Coke dispenser has a debilitating effect on Richard's psyche, and his relief knows no bounds when they decide to adopt a kid. This project involves getting scrutinized for immorality, etc., by an adoption-agency lady, who turns out to be delectable Gia Scala. Seeing Widmark scampering in his shorts upsets the professional in her but titillates the libidinal. After he squabbles with his wife, Gia dates him and he, full of tall ones and tranquilizers, wakes up alone in a motel, not remembering the night's entertainment, but in possession of a note from Gia that says he was "wonderful." A later note from the friendly sociologist informs him that she's pregnant. Could be, it develops, that the baby Widmark will adopt is his own. A twist, eh? Gene Kelly's direction is slick, with Doris Day her wholesome self, Widmark straining a little in a comic role, and Gig Young doing a good job as Widmark's philandering character reference.
Indications are that John O'Hara planned From the Terrace (Random House, $5.95) as his magnum opus. It's certainly magnum in size (over 1000 pages). Scope, too, is magnum with over 100 characters (including a clutch of old buddies from earlier novels) and a 50-year time span. Centrally, it tells the story of Alfred Eaton, rejected second son of a steely Pa. steel magnate, whose elder brother was the apple of his father's eye. Alfred was a cinder. His reaction: misery in childhood and an exaggerated self-reliance in maturity. Though he became a power in Wall Street and, during World War II, a powerhouse in Washington, this is a non-success story. As we're told near the end, with Aesopian finger-pointing, Alfred never learned how to get along with other people. So he left Washington under a cloud and wound up rich but rudderless, uxorious (via a second wife) but ulcerous, futureless at 50. Of course it's infinitely more complex in the reading, as we follow him through boardroom and bedroom, and his first wife from boredom to whoredom -- with side trips into the conflicts and complexes of their myriad friends. As O'Hara warns in a foreword, Alfred's is "not a pretty story" though it has its "moments of beauty." O'Hara handles both aspects expertly but there's an over-all feeling of plethora; and those who remember the cold, hard, gem-like Appointment in Samarra may put it down with a feeling of disappointment in O'Hara.
After a few stunning singles, including A Very Special Love,Johnny Nash (ABC-Paramount 224) gets his chance to soothe a raft of standards (Imagination, That's All, etc.) in his first LP. He's a new and polished entrant into the Johnny Mathis school of celestial piping and his debut is the mellowest of ear balm ... Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (Capitol W1053) is, as you might expect, a slowtempoed journey to unrequitedsville during which an in-voice Frank, backed by a knowing Nelson Riddle, offers solace to "the Losers," as Frank likes to call them. Willow Weep for Me, Angel Eyes, What's New and a specially-scripted Only the Lonely, by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, are the standouts in another smash Sinatra platter. Extra dividend: a painting of a punchinellopussed Frank on the cover ... Ungimmicked and gently swinging is Carmen for the Cool Ones (Decca DL 8738), not a hipster's reading of the Bizet bit, but rather Carmen McRae thrushing prettily to beat the band (Fred Katz') on the likes of Any Old Time, The Night We Called It a Day, All the Things You Are ... Other eminently listenable pop vocal platters: Eydie in Love (ABC-Paramount 246), Miss Gorme alternately nuzzling and belting the lyrics to some of this generation's most romantic roundelays (When the World Was Young, In Other Words, Wee Small Hours, etc.); Dakota Staton's Dynamic! (Capitol T1054), on which Dakota rears back and roars like a Fury to the utter delight of everyone within listening range, easily half the population of the U.S.A. ... For contrast, try the winsome whisperings of Julie Is Her Name, Vol. II (Liberty 3100), Miss London's latest exercise in sexy breath control, backed by naught but a bass (Red Mitchell's) and guitar (Howard Roberts').
From time to time we and some of our authors -- notably Philip Wylie -- have commented on the encroachment of women into areas of our national life which had been part of the masculine domain. We and our authors have also observed the morbidly clinical and anti-romantic intrusion of the female (as opposed to the feminine) point of view into matters pertaining to the relations of the sexes -- as in The Pious Pornographers (October 1957). To us, one of the most flagrant examples of this distaff envelopment (which has prompted the writing of such lugubrious books as The Decline of the American Male) may be found in the nation's press. Here, daily, for all to see, is the work of two marriage-happy women, Abby Van Buren and Ann Landers, nationally acclaimed as the ultimate authorities on emotional problems. Far be it from us to put them down. Doubtless, they are well intentioned and button bright when it comes to ladling out pungent advice to the lovelorn and the troubled. What's glaringly lacking, of course, is the point of view of the masculine free spirit. It's our belief there's something very wrong in this and we propose herewith to do our small part to rectify it. What follows are verbatim letters to Ann and Abby and their answers (as released by the Chicago Sun-Times and McNaught Syndicate), and italicized emendations and corrections as a knowing bachelor might pen them.
You are a writer (said my neighbor Avery) and I remember when I was in college and had a brief go at English Lit, and somewhere it said that the best writing is the kind where it points a moral, so now I got one for you.
From the hippest of the hip to the squarest of the square, all classes of tipplers seem to derive equal pleasure from liqueurs. A chick who doesn't have the faintest idea what ingredients go into Pernod or prunelle will nevertheless receive the same luxurious wave length from these drinks.
Above, I to r: baby buffalo-hide stud box, suede lined; $17.50. Hamilton Chanticleer wrist alarm, in 10k gold-filled case, waterproof; $95. Hamilton Golden Tempus tells the time in all zones, 14k gold case; $175. Phrase book for 5 languages, pigskin cover; $12. Scottish cashmere scarf; $20. Cowhide cigar case; $7.50. Thorens wind-up razor with two heads and case; $17.50. Minox camera with built-in light meter and case; $169.95. Olivetti Lettera 22 portable typewriter; $88. Outdoorsman sunglasses of graduated density, with case; $21. Italian calf passport case, with currency converter; $17.50. Stag-handle utility knife with corkscrew, bottle opener, etc.; $15. Shipmate briar pipe with hinged cap; $12.50. Brush and manicure set in pinseal leather; $12. Pullman slippers with case; $12.90.
Merry Miami Model Joyce Nizzari, our Playmate for the merry month of December, is spending the holidays bronzi-fying her velvety exterior not in Miami, but at Sun Valley, enjoying the combination of winter sports and solar brilliance that has made this idyllic Idaho fun-in-the-sun spot famous. During the rest of the year, Joyce lives in Florida with her parents and makes like the highly successful young model she is. An 18-year-old winner of more local beauty contests than you can shake a bathing suit at, she was the nominee of the Hialeah Junior Chamber of Commerce in this year's Miss America contest and appeared on our July cover, incognito under a pair of sunglasses. Remember? Letters came pouring into the Playboy Building as soon as the July issue went on sale -- letters asking "Who is she?"; letters requesting that she "Take off those sunglasses!"; letters demanding that we "Make her a Playmate!" So, OK, we have.
The sexy wife of a busy husband recently won a divorce, charging her hubby with lack of attentiveness. "If anything ever happened to me," the stacked missus claimed, "my husband wouldn't even be able to identify the body."
The pump room, Ambassador East, Chicago, opened its classic Queen Anne doors just two decades ago; in the intervening years, while other more-or-less-elegant dining and drinking spots have come and gone, it has solidly entrenched itself in the hearts of bon vivants -- and beautiful women -- the world over. For the urban man of leisure, the Pump has become the scene in the Midwest. Here one finds a combination of relaxed smartness and that indefinable air of excitement that hovers over those places which -- through a skilled admixture of decor, menu and service -- attract and keep a glamorous clientele.
In a field where the current lack of demand has made directors of live TV drama as scarce as the whooping crane, John Frankenheimer is a very rare bird indeed. Even as the plague of quizzers and run-of-the-million filmed oaters has forced other directors to go thataway, Frankenheimer, whose memorable Playhouse 90 efforts have included The Troublemakers and Emmy-copping The Comedian, has turned down a batch of TV plums this season to take his first crack at Broadway (he directs Faraway the Train-Birds Cry, which opens in New York this month). But although he's playing the field, 28ish, leading-man-handsome Frankenheimer has no intention of forsaking his old love; he has four big 90 dates this season. He can't resist the challenge of live television: "It's a one-shotter. Right or wrong, it's for keeps and no one's around tomorrow for script or cast revisions." He also expects his less-active fellow directors to be coming out of the hills soon. "The canned Westerns and quiz show monsters will destroy themselves," John predicted even before the big quiz scandals. "I don't believe the public has a 12-year-old mind." Proof? The great audience acceptance of his recent Rod Serlingscripted "racial" drama, A Town Has Turned to Dust (dealing with the lynching of a Mexican boy)."I fought the sponsors for 10 months to put that one on," he recalls. Frankenheimer explodes the barnacled myth of the young television director as a blob of insecurity who burns himself out at 31. "This is like any other business," he explains. "You've got to know how to pace yourself and understand yourself. I still have a lot to learn but I have worlds of confidence in my ability and I hope to direct all my life." One of the medium's highest-paid directors today, his first TV job was as a parking lot attendant for NBC just five years ago. While he's proud of being personally nominated for four Emmies and of winning the Radio-TV Daily Critics Award in 1956, he also self-deprecatingly acknowledges his bombs: "The Death of Manolete and Eloise should have never happened." Frankenheimer is regarded as being an unregenerate task-master ("If you don't drive them, you get last minute panic") who has a knack for cracking a whip and getting his cast to love it ("I'd work for that man for nothing," pledges actress Dana Wynter). Producer Martin Manulis, a longtime associate, says of him, "He digs deeper than many directors with twice his years and experience. He's always looking for motivation, sympathy, excitement. What makes people tick." The consensus along TV row is that NBC's former parking lot attendant can park his own car on Kazan's street any day.
"Man," commented one of André Previn's cool friends recently, "André is the only cat in the world who has a personality that's split three ways, not two. He's sort of a schiz-and-a-half, musically." Jazz pianist and arranger (with a batch of LPs and jazz concerts under his belt), classical conductor and soloist (Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco Symphonies), conductor and/or composer for two dozen films (including Gigi, Kiss Me Kate and It's Always Fair Weather), Previn is, musically, one of the most protean personalities around. In spite of his cherubic face and a general teenage appearance, which belie his 29 years, Previn is a 15-year vet at MGM (he could retire on a comfortable studio pension at a doddering 33, if he liked). He also wins the man-sized awards (Berlin Festival and Screen Composers Association Awards for the ballet film Invitation to the Dance) and gets the man-sized jobs: Sam Goldwyn recently borrowed him from Metro to musical-direct the important upcoming opus, Porgy and Bess. ("It will probably have more music in it than any other Hollywood film ever made.") But lest anyone fear that Porgy is forcing him to neglect his other two lives, Previn is currently on a North American tour, playing and lecturing on both classical music and jazz. Despite his constant switching of musical suits, Previn never finds himself playing Mozart in the middle of a chorus of Squatty Roo. "I couldn't," he says. "If you bring the classical pattern to jazz, you wind up in an entirely different rhythm and the result is that you stop swinging." But he often finds himself inadvertently using jazz jargon at the most inappropriate times. "I was conducting the Firebird once and reached a point in the Infernal Dance that demands a really evil sound. 'Play it funky,' I said without thinking, and almost put the Los Angeles Symphony out of business." If it weren't for the perennial bugaboo, Making A Living, Previn would probably give up his film career and concentrate solely on conducting and composing. Jazz or classical? "Both," he insists. "Outside of technical and interpretative differences, there isn't much of a boundary between them. To me, there are only two kinds of music, good and bad. And there is so much bad music around these days, good music can use all the help it can get." Considering the brilliance pouring out of Previn, it's getting plenty.
American prestige, which has been taking a general world-wide clobbering lately, received a dramatic lift one day last June when a streaking Ferrari out-zoomed the field and captured auto-racing's European classic at Le Mans. France. Behind the goggles in the winning car was Phil Hill, a wiry, 31-year-old Californian who became the first Americano ever to triumph in the annual 24-hour plasma-chiller. For Hill. Le Mans was the heady culmination of a torrid streak that carried him to unprecedented victory in the other Big Three international sports car events in a row (Caracas, Buenos Aires and Sebring). An intense, restless cockpitman. Hill has an uncanny ability for getting maximum performance out of his car without taxing tires or brakes, and for knowing how to straddle the thin, dangerous line between Taking Chances and Recklessness. Considering his death-taunting antics in his daredevil-may-care youth ("I drove like a madman in those days. I look back at them and shudder"), he has probably matured more as a driver during the past eight years than any other racer. Destiny had Hill wired for the gas trail from the beginning ("In grade school I used to duck out of baseball games and browse through auto dumps"). At 13 he was screeching around Santa Monica canyon in an ancient Model T and was referred to affectionately by the local citizenry as "that crazy Hill kid." After a brief, unhappy fling with midget cars, he tasted speed in a modified MG-TC in Los Angeles' Carrell Speedway in 1949 (winning the heat race, trophy dash and main event) and he was never the same again. He quit college (UCLA) and hit the racing circuit in earnest, scoring his first big win at Pebble Beach in 1950 ("It was in a brakeless, clutchless Jag, that almost had a headless driver"). In 1954 he picked up second place money in Mexico and Sebring ("and a case of ulcers in California"). In 1956 he won the Swedish Grand Prix and Messina competitions. Then in '57 and '58, the previously mentioned Big Four triumphs and the Governor's Cup at Nassau. Conceded to be America's top driver and a threat now for leading spot on the international driving roster, Hill is a Ferrari team member, having a long and almost unbroken association with Ferraris since 1952. Unusually outspoken, the trimly handsome bachelor makes as many enemies with his frank opinions of people and life as he makes friends with his charm. The only times he can relax are when he's going 150 miles an hour in his car or sitting still to classical music from his wall-to-wall hi-fi. But there'll be no relaxation at all in the racing ranks now that Phil Hill has hit his stride.
Above: no models these, but full-size automotive delights for racing-and vintage-car fans. Left: the new Elva Courier, English import with fiberglass body and an MG engine, lightweight for either production racing or touring; $2850. Right: authentic 1903 Surrey now being remanufactured, has two forward speeds, gets 65 miles to the gallon, with top speed of 35 mph; $1095. From I to r: maple bow with fiberglass front and back, target or hunting weight; $24.50. Steel-tipped hunting arrows; $12.50 a dozen. Leather quiver with extension cuff; $21. Duck-cloth golf bag with leather trim and special sleeve for shoes and sweater; $45. Tournament Abercrombie and Fitch golf clubs; woods $13.50 each; irons $10.50. Raccoon coat; $395. Hedland water skis of genuine ash in banana shape; $36.50. Vocaline two-way radio receiver and transmitter with 10-mile range; $149.50.
Several years back, before the upheavals in the Middle East, the Sheik of Sharja and I sat together at his palace and had some coffee in the afternoon. His palace is white; it smoldered in the Arabian sun, and the red-and-white flag of Sharja hung like a damp handkerchief on the flagpole over it -- Sharja being a tiny country on the Persian Gulf that we don't often hear of. Outside, in the palace's shadow, a thousand men and women celebrated the end of Ramadan, the month of the Mohammedan calendar when nothing can be eaten from dawn to sunset; now, it was the first of Shawwal, and things aplenty were being eaten by the people in the palace's shadow, and their voices drifted into the arabesque room where the sheik and I were sitting. Dark men from Persia and Pakistan sang in a high, unearthly wail, and swayed giddily from side to side, as a priestess at Delphi might have, and others of them beat a tom-tom with loose, boneless hands. They, and the Arabs who were watching, wore the robes of the desert, white headgear, and a black agal -- a coil of braid that formerly was a camel fetter -- to hold the headgear down. The children, in the same robes, were frolicking in the tree (in Sharja, there is only a single tree of any dimensions) or on half a dozen swings, beneath it, and their mothers sat like hawks on the sands nearby. The mothers of Sharja (continued on page 86) Sheiks of Araby (continued from page 69) wear iridescent, hawklike masks that cover the eyes and nose, instead of veils; their lips are dyed with henna, and their eyes are made radiant by belladonna drops; and their robes are altogether black. The sheik was dressed as the other men, but his robe was trimmed in gold, and his agal was golden, too; he carried a sword, and an awful dagger in his sword belt, and the scabbard of each was filigreed in gold.
Anne, the loveliest and most virtuous maiden of her province, went walking one afternoon along the bank of a stream. When she had come quite far from her village, she suddenly spied a youth she knew, Guillot, bathing in the water. What she saw pleased her, for Guillot was a well-made young man with neither fault nor lack; and she concealed herself behind some shrubs and let her gaze wander where it would, from one attraction to another.
If Auto Racing's your cup of tea, you can get it either hot or cold in February: on the beach and International Motor Speedway at Daytona, where Nascar's annual stock car race is held, or on the ice at Muskoka Lake, Ontario. And if you beat the rush to the Florida contest (it draws a real crowd) chances are good that you can stay at nearby Ormond Beach where Ellinor Village, a relaxed, sprawling, cottage colony, consumes a considerable number of beachside acres. Prices for a cottage run $12-$27 a day, and from there you can try a boat trip up the jungle-banked Tomoka River. Yachting bugs make a note right now: early February is the Miami-Nassau run; later on, the Nassau Cup races.