Isaac de benserade knew, and put in four short lines, the ubiquity and importance of the bed in human life: "In bed we laugh, in bed we cry;/And, born in bed, in bed we die./ The near approach a bed may show/ Of human bliss to human woe." True in De Benserade's 17th Century, it is just as true in our own time; which is why Playboy devotes 14 pages of this November issue to a variegated, elegant portfolio on the bed. It includes an insightful treatise on The Psychology of sleep by Dr. Theodor Reik (renowned analyst, student and personal friend of Sigmund Freud; author of Listening with the Third Ear, on love and lust, and many other books); a probing into The Physiology of sleep by John Pfeiffer (author of the Human Brain and the changing universe; onetime CBS science Director and member of the editorial board of Scientific American); a piece on male bedroom raiment by Robert L. Green, Playboy's Fashion director; Desmond Russell's appealing photographic array of beds and belles from other times and places; and finally, The Playboy bed: this being the specially designed last word in posh pads, resplendent with stereo, convenient potations and viands, books, dictating equipment, and all manner of good things you can incorporate into a custom-built bed of your own that will do much to further "human bliss" and send "human woe" packing. We couldn't avoid calling the overall portfolio And so to bed.
Playboy, November, 1959, Vol. 6, No.11. Published Monthly by HMH publishing co., INC., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, ILL. Second class postage paid at Chicago, Illinois. Printed in U.S.A. contents Copyrighted (c) 1959 by HMH publishing Co., INC.
When we were in Paris recently, the Office du Vocabulaire Franc,ais solicited our signature on a petition to drum the barbaric term le parking out of the French language. This move stemmed from no dislike of motorists: it was merely the Office's opening gun in a campaign to root out all "gaudy and useless anglicisms" – a campaign that, it seems to us, is foredoomed because of the extent to which anglicisms have already permeated the noble lingo of Racine and Voltaire. Consider, for example, an evening in the life of a typical Parisian playboy: Le téléphone rings and, after a cheery allô, he accepts an invitation to une surprise party at Le Racing Club. There, amid les snobs at le bar, he and a mademoiselle flirtent shamelessly over un cocktail. Since she is interested in neither le bridge nor le tennis – not to mention le hockey – they take le car to un dancing where, between licks of le jazz hot and le rock 'n' roll, the band occasionally obliges the less nimble with un slow. The floorshow opens with une striptease and climaxes when all les girls swing out in le French can can. Of course, anyone wending his way toward le w.c. (water closet) must beware of les pickpockets because nowadays les gangsters are everywhere, le fair play nowhere. Homeward bound, the couple may stop at un snack bar, setting for un sandwich since notre boy is perhaps not un millionnaire. After proposing un picnic for le weekend, he escorts his date home. There, momentarily forgetting that he is un gentleman, he grabs for le pull-over she so amply fills, only to desist abruptly at a warning growl from her ferocious – and orthographically wondrous – bouledogue.
They never had it so good, says Alan Harrington of the employees who enjoy Life in the Crystal Palace(Knopf, $4.50) – his fictional name for a real-life, large, successful, benevolently paternal organization where he worked – and, he avers, it couldn't have done them more harm. For here, in the beautiful glass building, set in its suburban campus, there were none of the tensions and terrors of the rat race as described in the recent spate of business novels, none of the jockeying for status described by such popularizers of business sociology as William H. (Organization Man) White. The Crystal Palace, a "private civil-service state," had a personnel director who impersonally screened all applicants on the basis of tests made up by experts he'd never seen. This assured that each job holder would be reasonably capable, not too ambitious, "well adjusted" (to what?) and genteel. If you did get a job there, your security began the day you started work; from that day on, you lived in coddled ease, marking time on your way up the automatic escalator of promotions while you waited to retire on a handsome pension at 65. Harrington is a sensitive chap, a good writer, a keen observer. His detailed descriptions of the deadly daily delights of the Crystal Palace are wondrous to behold – for here is system based on best intentions slaying the life force. Harrington couldn't take it; he'd had his hard times but they seemed marvelously vigorous and individual to him. One day Herb Gold suggested he write a piece about his experience in the Crystal Palace for The Nation. Harrington did so – so half hoping the result would be his firing. But no, the munificent men of management were genuinely interested in the article, and kind. That did it: Harrington quit, his maverick iconoclasm finally unable to tolerate the treacle of contented mediocrity. A fun book, a provocative one, and well worth reading despite a few spots of careless writing.
When the sun hangs highest in the Washington sky, more and more rising young officials head for the corner of 3rd and G Streets, Northwest, and The Place Where Louie Dwells. Part of the attraction is the Low Calorie Luncheon consisting of two gibsons (200 calories), salade caviar (225 calories) and black coffee, or for the real hungry, five gibsons (500 calories), five saltines (25 calories) and black coffee. Co-hosts and partners are Emory William (Bill) Reisinger II, a 35-year-old chemical engineer and attorney, and David Louis (Louie) Schap, 34, who got his restaurant training as traffic manager for a ready-mix cement company. The specialty of the house is steak – sirloin, porterhouse, strip, filet – and stroganoff, which is openly advertised as a means of unloading over stocked items at an incredibly high price. The surroundings are authentic Early American, the building having been completed before 1820. Louie is open from noon until mid-evening. Closed Sundays.
The Blue Angel, a "modern" version of 1930 Josef von Sternberg classic, is sluggish and tedious. Updating the action to place it in 1956-59 Germany was a blunder almost as bad as casting May Britt as Lola-Lola (Marlene Dietrich in the original), a nightclub singer and whore who charms a high school botany prof to destruction. Planting Curt Jurgens works like a coolie to give substance to the role of the rapidly deteriorating schoolmaster (Emil Jannings' old role) but his turning into a groveling hunk of libido at every flash of May's lingerie is plain unbelievable, since Miss Britt, despite azure eyelids, plays the part as though she were a Bennington junior. She's just not evil enough to warrant all his degradation; a sincere masochist could find better pickings elsewhere without half trying. The blue-tinted atmosphere of the nightclub is slick instead of sordid as the story demands. Some plusses, however, are the accurately tinny German-nightclub music, a nostalgic reprise of Falling in Love Again, and the performance of Theodore Bikel (see page 86) as a sadistic-fawning troupe manager. Edward Dmytryk's direction is self-consciously ponderous for this day and age, and Nigel Balchin's screenplay, considering what he had to work with seems curiously timid. We're still waiting for a remake that is at least as good as its original (to say nothing of better) and we have a hunch we'll wait a long, long time. Down with remakes! Vive les reissues!
Dedicated Wagnerites and neophytes alike will find ample cause to rejoice in the first available complete LP recording of Das Rheingold (London OSA 1309). Not only is it superbly performed; stereo seems to have been meant for this sort of operatic grandeur and spaciousness, and the full exploitation of its potentials as utilized here – with virtually no yielding to the temptation of overdoing stereo effects (well, maybe a little on the anvils) – comes as close to recording perfection as we've encountered. The seldom-heard opera, first in the tetralogy called The Ring, resounds with a Gothic splendor wonderfully suited to the Norse and Teutonic myths from which Wagner drew his epic of dwarfs, giants, gods and goddesses, Rhine maidens and mortals in the heroic mold. An impressive cast, under the direction of Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, seems to have been inspired to do its best: Flagstad, lured out of retirement last October especially for this session and singing a mezzo role as Fricka, has never sounded better in any recording – or any live performance of hers we've heard; Claire Watson (Freia), Gustav Neidlinger (Alberich), Walter Kreppel (Fasolt), Paul Kuen (Mime) and Set Svanholm (Loge) pour forth in full-voiced fervor yet with total control; George London as Wotan is expectably impressive, though he seems a bit out of his metier now and then (a small matter, really), and Eberhard Wachter, a comparative newcomer who sings Donner, quite obviously has a rich Wagnerian career ahead of him. If all this sounds like a rich layer-cake of superlatives, it's no more than this great three-disc offering deserves.
General Offices, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio Street, Chicago 11, Illinois. Return Postage must Accompany all Manuscripts, Drawings and Photographs submitted if they are to be returned and no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. Contents Copyrighted (c) 1959 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 in the fiction and semi-fiction in this magazine and any real people and places is purely coincidental.
That was coombs for you; he had to pick a night like this to settle his affairs. Chet Brander tightened the muffler around his throat and dug his gloved hands into his overcoat pockets, but there was no way of barricading his body from the subzero cold. The city streets seemed glazed with ice, and the taxis rumbled past the corner with clouds of frost billowing from their exhaust pipes. The wind carried knives; Chet winced at every thrust, and was almost tempted to forget the whole thing. But he couldn't afford it. Tonight was payoff night, and he longed to get hands on the money that had lingered so long in Frank Coombs' pocket.
The first time Ina Rogers ever heard of Boy Baylee was in March of the year she married him. She was singing then at a bar and grill on 79th and Broadway, a pleasant and futureless engagement of three half-hour gigs with her guitar and the piano accompanist with an hour between each during which the management hoped, without pressure, that she would be pleasant to the paying customers. She liked the work. It was three years now she had been trying to live with her life: since the polio death of Tad, her son by an adolescent marriage that had gone sour. It was a wound that would never heal. But she felt that everyone must do the thing they did as best they could. She thought she could do better. She had a soft, thickdark delivery, a good scat improvisation and a nice smile.
When acting was acting (as opposed to introverted shrugs and butt-scratching), when the thespian ego was encouraged and nurtured like an altar flame, when the paranoid princes and princesses of players were to the grand manner born – in those glorious days, a performer who did not indulge in devilish onstage pranks and unscheduled improvisations, or fall prey to blood-freezing mental blackouts in the middle of The Big Scene, was considered a timorous tyro unworthy of that noble nomenclature, Ham.
Background, I to r: West Michigan Furniture walnut Slim Jim desk, formica writing surface, filing drawer, $160. Phono Trix transistor tape recorder and playback, works on flashlight cells or 110 AC, five lbs., 90 minutes per tape, $99.95. Zenith Golden Triangle cordless transistor clock radio, swivel mount, 7-jewel clock runs a year on flashlight cell, $150. Laverne chair of molded shatterproof Enrevalglas, foam cushion, $280. Alexander Shields velvet smoking jacket, $100. Playboy Cartoon Album, Crown, $4.95. The Permanent Playboy, the best from the magazine's first five years; Crown, $4.95. The Wayward Wife, short stories by Alberto Moravia; Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, $3.95. Mason 22-inch roulette wheel of rosewood, ebony and bird's-eye maple, with case, $550. Middleground, I to r: Lady Duchessa Italian-made 14-cup espresso machine, $135. Bell & Howell automatic slide projector, zoom lens, and remote control, $179.95. Parker desk pen, in nonskid marine propeller base, $22.95. Harman Kardon Stereo Festival receiver, AM and FM tuners, dual preamps and 15-watt amps, walnut case, $289.90. Dunhill tobacco trio, Early Morning, Aperitif and Nightcap, $5. Foreground, I to r: Gerber tungsten steel carving set, $32.50. Hurricane cast-iron Hibachi, $12. Revere electric eye-matic still camera with flash, sets exposure automatically, $154.50.
Bottom row, I to r: Hensoldt Diagon 7 x 50 water proof prism binoculars, eyepiece focusing, $137.50.Sturm, Ruger .44 Magnum hunting pistol, adjustable rear sight, $96. Town and Country transmitter-receiver citizen's band radio, for boat or car, range 10 miles, $149.50. Fenjohn 16mm. underwater movie camera, f/1.5 wide angle lens, pressure tested to 200 feet, battery operated, $1990. Nikon 35mm. reflex camera with Nikkor f/2 lens, instant return automatic mirror and diaphragm, $329.50. Top row, I to r: Loyal game set, 12 English darts and board, four decks of cards, $27.50. Al Liebers VL & A matched handmade laminated woods, True Temper shaft, $120 set of four. Post Power Pak underwater propulsion unit straps to the back, shielded propeller, speeds to 4 mph, $299.95, with Voit aqualung, 71.2 cubic foot capacity, $85, and Voit 50-fathom compensated regulator, double hose, $75. Remington Sportsman 58, 16 gauge skeet gun, $161. Voit slalom ski, maple and mahogany, sculptured V hull, laminated toe, neoprene bindings, brushed metal rudder, $33. Hitachi 8 transistor marine and standard band radio, telescopic antenna, earphones and case, $75. Cricketeer Ballantyne of Peebles natural shoulder sports jacket, $39.95. Gladding polyethylene tackle box, crackproof, unsinkable, with cantilevered lure trays, $15.95.
Clockwise, from 5: stone-finished replica of Chinese T'ang horse, 12" high, $22.95. Hamilton 12-diamond watch in 18k white gold case with 14k gold markers, $2000. Kent of London matched military brushes, natural boar bristles, $200. Kent of London outsize shaving brush, badger bristles, $75. Tiffany gilt traveling alarm in natural pigskin case, $75. Mark Cross traveling bar in cowhide case, service for 8 in taste-free chrome metal, flasks, drinking cups, jiggers, openers, olives and bitters bottles, funnel, knives and spoons, $200. James B. Lansing Ranger-Minigon linear-efficiency stereo speakers, can be used side by side with curved surfaces joined, or separated, in walnut, $243 each. Fostoria traditional American coin glassware, old fashioned and highball, $24 a dozen, decanter and stopper, $9.50. Frank Brothers custom-tailored suit preparatory to first fitting; wool, $195, cashmere, $225. Alfred Dunhill rotating brass 8-day clock, thermometer, calendar, barometer and hygrometer, $210. African ebony walking stick with gold top, $75. Sidney Rubeck Italian silk umbrella with folding handle, $35. Alfred Dunhill 14k gold cigarette case holds 16 smokes, $695. Wilt slim twosuiter in Spanish bullhide, combination lock, shoe rack and organizer tray, $125. Caswell Massey Jockey Club men's cologne, $85 a gallon.
In the cab, Joe Dennis put his arm around her and she leaned into him deftly and precisely. Her ear was at his mouth, white and fragile in the dimness, and he kissed it. "You're just about the most beautiful girl who ever lived," he said. He meant it; he was perfectly sober.
It is news to nobody that Hollywood is the cutie capital of the country, racking up more shapeliness per square inch – or maybe we mean round inch – than any other city in the nation, probably the world. To its sun-drenched purlieus swarm America's loveliest lasses, all eager for film and TV stardom. Of course, stardom doesn't usually come overnight and while they're waiting the hopeful honeys take jobs as waitresses and car hops, cashiers and receptionists – which accounts for the high degree of pulchritude among Hollywood's hired help.
What must surely be the final version of the traveling salesman's gag has come our way. It concerns a hapless merchant on the move who ran out of gas on a lonely country road, trudged to the nearest farmhouse and asked if he could spend the night. The farmer promptly shot him in the head with a shotgun.
A few months ago I stood before the bust of Freud that was mounted in the yard of the University of Vienna in 1956, the centenary of Freud's birth. A few hours later I lectured at the Psychiatric Clinic, where I first heard him lecture more than 50 years ago. So many memories of my student years emerged. How often did I sit in that yard cramming for exams!
It was four o'clock in the morning. Private David S. bent over a wash basin to clean up, glanced casually into the mirror above the basin – and received the shock of his life. He saw cobwebs on his face, a mass of clotted dirty material clinging to his cheeks, nose, chin. He tried to brush the stuff off, but it stuck fast. Then he looked down at his hands, and noticed with horror that they were covered with cobwebs too. "I called for help," he later said, "and the corpsman came in and said there was nothing there, and I was just having trouble with my eyes!"
Playboy contends that a gentleman's bed is much, much more than a place to placidly assume a supine position after a wearying day at the office. It is, or should be, a major furnishing in any well-appointed bachelor's diggings, a sumptuous haven in which the gentleman can take his ease, with eyes open or closed, yet not be completely cut off from the niceties and conveniences of apartment living. In addition to the solid comfort of the bed itself, he should have fingertip control of what goes on, and off, in his pad (air conditioning, lights, heat, door control, drapes, etc.), plus a convenient, functional setup for assuaging his basic entertainment and gustatorial needs (stereo hi-fi, TV, snack bar, serious bar, etc.). Especially designed by Playboy for the man who prizes luxurious lounging and sleeping, the bed you see above fills the bill perfectly.
At the outset of his lifelong adventure in earning and spending, every young man should rid himself of the outmoded idea that there is something shameful about going into debt, or remaining there. Increasingly these days you are greeted by invitations to enjoy all manner of goods and services right now and pay for them eventually. Succumb freely, without feelings of guilt, to these enticements: it is, in a very real sense, your duty to yourself and your country to get in there and owe your bit.
Once upon a time there was a young man whose passion for women was great. One day he saw the fairest of the fair enter a house with her husband, who wore a long and wicked scimitar at his side. It took a small inquiry to learn that the husband was a merchant of cloth and that he was the most jealous and the most dangerous man to be found anywhere. It looked as though there would be no chance for the young man to meet the lady, and so he sent a go-between, an ancient hag, who vowed that if it were at all possible, she would gain the goal he had set, no matter how difficult it appeared to be. When she returned to report failure, the young man decided that he must take matters into his own hands.
"You've heard of wandering jews?" bulky Theodore Bikel asks his concert audiences; then he jabs a thumb at his own chest, and when the ripple of amusement subsides he claws a sonorous chord from his guitar and, in a darkly resonant voice, sings a series of Jewish songs he's learned in Israel, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Russia. Although he also sings other than Jewish songs (eight LPs of all kinds cut to date), Palestine-reared Bikel specializes in the exciting, flavorful, often poignant melodies of his people. "Through my songs I reaffirm my identity as a Jew." It's the only label he proudly acknowledges. "I dislike labels. I am many things. I'm not a Folk Singer [though he sings in 17 languages, has an enormous following in folk music circles, and his record sales surpass Burl Ives'], I'm not an Actor [though his gallery of stage and screen roles runs the gamut from ages 25 to 85, through several nationalities including a Deep Southerner, and his films include I Want, to Live!, The Pride and the Passion, The Enemy Below, The African Queen, The Little Kidnappers and the recent remake of the classic The Blue Angel], I'm not a World Traveler [though he's seldom in one country for very long], I'm not a Restaurateur [though he's half-owner of Hollywood's two most successful espresso houses, The Unicorn and Cosmo Alley]." Crowning his hydra-headed career, this month Bikel opens on Broadway opposite Mary Martin in The Sound of Music (Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, Lindsay and Crouse script, Leland Hayward directing). Since Miss Martin's past leading men have included Yul Brynner, Ezio Pinza and Charles Boyer, 35-year-old Theo (never call him Ted) may add a new characterization to his brimming repertoire: that of romantic leading man.
The world's most Famous Jazz spot is Birdland, and the man who runs Birdland is 32-year-old Morris Levy, called "Moish" by friends and other one-syllable names by enemies. Also, he owns another jazz club called the Roundtable, a gaggle of music publishing firms, and the zooming record company, Roulette, which has cornered such top talents as Count Basie and Joe Williams. Levy – in childhood, a brawling Manhattan street arab always bucking for sultan–battled his way up from shoeshine boy and parking-lot jockey. He fell in love with jazz not when he heard his first Charlie Parker record, but when a jazz session he helped stage in a struggling restaurant started making money. And yet he regards Birdland as a sacred temple: "No novelty acts here. You don't make a joke out of jazz in this joint." Last January, Levy's older brother, Irving, was fatally knifed at Birdland while minding the store, and the Broadway grapevine, as grapevines will, linked the death with rumors of Moish's dubious business connections. A 200-pound six-footer with a Satchmo voice, twice-divorced Levy is very big for skindiving, art and girls, with three bases of operation: a sumptuous Central Park West apartment, a hunting lodge in upstate New York and a home in Florida. He has just shelled out a half million dollars for a building on Broadway to house the complete Roulette operation from recording to final pressing. The Levy syndrome, recently delineated by a crony, is nothing new: "All Moish wants is to be liked–but on his own terms." The terms are often stiff, but–liked or loathed–Morris Levy is one of the most thrusting forces on the jazz scene today.
What makes a Hollywood Columnist? Three academic degrees? A background in teaching? A rigid avoidance of cocktail parties? Choosing one's friends outside the movie industry? Hardly. And yet they have made one Hollywood columnist, 36-year-old Joe Hyams, whose literate daily column for the New York Herald Tribune is globally syndicated in over a hundred papers. Hyams is respected where other columnists are merely feared. "It's no use lying to him," Hollywooders admit. "Joe never settles for anything less than the truth." At his rate of three interviews a day, Hyams estimates he's conducted at least 5000 so far. To do it, he travels extensively, swatting Kim Novak's bottom in Beverly Hills ("to show her I was serious"), taking notes in Ava Gardner's roaring Ferrari in Spain, and quizzing a nude Brigitte Bardot in France. Massachusetts-born Hyams got his real start in 1951, when Hy Gardner hired him as a legman on the Trib. Within a year, Joe was assigned the Hollywood beat but got nowhere until a pal supplied him with a private book of stars' phone numbers. He soon began firing back exclusive quotes, thus earning a byline, raises, and a reputation for quality. Of his own attitude and method, Hyams says: "I regard Hollywood as a primitive culture, and I examine its tribal customs and curious rites with scientific detachment."
If winter's got you down, Spain's Costa del Sol will lift your spirits: especially Torremolinos, where a luxury hotel room with bath plus three meals (any one of which is likely to run up to nine courses) comes to about $6 a day at the new rate of exchange. Daytime temperatures run betwixt 70 and 80 in the winter – fine for golf, skeet, tennis, surf fishing or swimming from some of Europe's most magnificent and uncluttered beaches. Andalusian eventides are filled with the stutter of castanets and the piercing high notes of gypsy singing at rustic nightspots such as Pogo's. Key city of this 140-mile beach playground is Malaga, which puts on a month-long winter carnival starting January 15. It's resplendent with regattas, auto races, concerts, plays, dancing.