Our formally gowned cover girl languorously doodling the Playboy Rabbit in the sand promises that the August issue at hand is designed for balmy-weather idyling. There are feasts for the eye, palate-piquing goodies, humor droll and satiric, thought-provoking articles, and fiction evocative and gripping.
Playboy, August, 1964, Vol. 11, No. 8. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., Its Possessions, The Pan American Union And Canada, $17 For Three Years, $13 For Two Years, $7 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 to Playboy, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director, Jules Kase, Eastern Advertising Manager, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Branch Offices: Chicago, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., MI 2-1000, Joe Fall, Midwestern Advertising Manager; Detroit, Boulevard West Building, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250, Joseph Guenther, Manager; Los Angeles, 8721 Beverly Blvd., OL 2-8790, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager; San Francisco, 111 Sutter St., YU 2-7994, Robert E. Stephens, Manager; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N. E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Our belief that film criticism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, was recently reaffirmed when we encountered the following tongue-in-cheek review of the Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant whodunit, Charade, which ran in The Philatelic Investor, a stamp collectors' monthly:
James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie is a staged broadside, like The Deputy. The difference is that Baldwin sees things in blacks and whites. The hero, Richard Henry (Al Freeman, Jr.), who is based on Emmett Till, is a renegade Southern Negro, the son of a minister, who has gone North to be seduced by dope, white women and racial hatred. Returning to the South, he vilifies the white world around him. All whites are Mister Charlies, and their day has come. Above all, he hates Lyle Britten (Rip Torn), the trashiest white in town, and tells him so. Lyle returns the favor by killing Richard; the murderer is tried and acquitted. Baldwin juggles time so that Richard doesn't stay dead; he keeps coming back for a little bile longer. Burgess Meredith's staging of this Actors Studio production is free-flowing: The stage is almost bare of scenery, and lights turn empty space into "Blacktown" and "Whitetown," but the novelty is superimposed. Blues is more old-fashioned melodrama than modern-day morality play. There is even an Uncle Tom in the cast, and a teary-eyed mammy, and a rumpled-likkery-Southern-white-editor-with-a-conscience. There are those who may feel that Baldwin has reduced racial conflict to a battle of sex. Superficially, this may be true--but on a deeper level, it can be claimed that his insights into the neurotic-sexual content of white and Negro racism break new ground in polemical theater. Richard's denunciation of Lyle is mainly a denigration of his sexual powers, and Lyle's wrath is mainly a fear that his wife will be raped. Playwright Baldwin, like essayist and novelist Baldwin, writes with passion, as well as purpose, and at times his dialog soars as it sears. The Negro actors, like the Negro characters, are more convincing than their white counterparts. Al Freeman, Jr., makes Richard a surprisingly noble figure, and Diana Sands, as his girlfriend, evokes tears with her cry of anguish at his murder. At the ANTA, 245 West 52nd Street.
Robert Gover's Here Goes Kitten (Grove, $3.95) is a sort of sequel to his One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding (Playboy After Hours, December 1962)--about another misunderstanding, also involving a hundred dollars. J. C. Holland, three years after his famous black-and-white weekend, is doing PR for a county government and has dinner with Herman Pennypacker, his fat boss, in a night club. Who is the sexy singer? Kitten, the sex slinger. A postparty party is arranged at a nearby motel, and the porcine Pennypacker dies (or does not die, depending on who's telling the story) in the course of coition with Kitten. As in the earlier book, the tale is told from alternating viewpoints--Holland's and Kitten's; and it's concerned with the chicanery of politics and money, commercial sex and other kinds of pussyfooting. The language is still uninhibited, and there are a lot of laughs; but number two lacks the blast of number one. The original Kitten was most moving as the closest thing to a jungle cat on this continent. Now, although still relatively ignorant, she is knowledgeable about night life and showbiz, a relatively hip hater of the square world. Before, she didn't know hip from square, she just was The story's thin, but the horny puritanism of Holland and the scratching of Kitten's claws keep us reading. What's next--Son of Kitten?
Bedtime Story presents Marlon Brando in what the producers call his "first straight comedy role"--which implies that The Teahouse of the August Moon and Guys and Dolls were crooked. Brando brandishes sex appeal as a GI in Germany who floors the Fräuleins so frequently that his colonel has to hurry up his discharge. He thereupon teams with David Niven, a pretended prince who has been making riches on the Riviera by making rich ladies. The two become partners, then rivals--the piece de résistance being Shirley Jones. Brando and Niven agree that whoever gets her is king and the other will clear out. Brando's performance is more mugging than miming, while Niven is, as always, nifty. Miss Jones is gullible and gorgeous, and Dody Goodman puts in a brief appearance as a nutty widow. The script, by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning, starts slow, but picks up in pace and invention, and ends strong. Ralph Levy, a new director from TV, is no standout, nor is the Eastman Color. Still, the match between Brando's brute cunning and Niven's finagling should split a side or two.
I Enjoy Being a Girl / Barbara McNair (Warner Brothers) is a rare delight from beginning to end. Miss McNair is a singer whose talents allow her to effortlessly deliver the likes of The Best Is Yet to Come, If I Had a Hammer, I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise and the title tune, an ebullient bell ringer.
Not too long ago, through a peculiar turn of events which I won't go into, I came upon my girl's diary, and was astonished to see that she had outlined--and in the minutest detail--our sexual activities. In fact, thumbing through, I saw that the book contained very little else besides such descriptions. I'm at a loss to decide how I should respond to this peculiarity. Should I pretend I never saw the book? Should I tell her to stop making entries? Or to destroy it?--W. T., Newport News, Virginia.
It Wasn't by Chance that the Japanese authorities scheduled this year's Olympiad (the 16th) in October: Early fall, after late-summer typhoons have spent their clout and temperatures become uniformly mild, is unquestionably the best time of year to visit Japan. The games, including track and field, yacht racing, basketball, boxing, cycling, fencing, soccer, hockey, judo and all sorts of aquatic sports, will add something extra this year to a trip that every unattached male should make while he's still able to make it--unattached. Tokyo's new National Gymnasium, complete with sheltering roof, is already constructed and ready for the contests, to be held from October 10th through 24th. Quick, nonstop jet flights--about 14 hours from California or 10 hours from Seattle ($783 economy class; $1260 first class, for a round trip)--make a two-week sojourn eminently feasible, but it's sensible to scrape up at least another fortnight in order to see more than Tokyo. (There is space for only a few words about Japan's big apple here; for a more complete picture, see On the Town in Tokyo, Playboy, November 1961.)
Brought up in the Negro ghetto of St. Louis, Richard Claxton Gregory seemed destined to remain, like so many of his race, the prisoner of a deprived environment. He grew up, however, to become the first Negro comedian to break into the big leagues of show business, and the only entertainer of any color to commit his fame and fortune--even his physical well-being--to the cause of racial equality. Few people would seem less likely to become a leading figure in the civil rights movement--yet, for good or ill, he has assumed just such a role.
"Grummit!" The sound, unlovely at best, gained no beauty by being spat out with surprise and glee into a glass of iced coffee. The spitter, Clayton Horne, wiped his chin and gazed with glittering eyes across the studio commissary table. "Sure I know Grummit. Why do you ask?"
Racing was one of the big foundation stones under the Ford Motor Company: The publicity that sprang from Barney Oldfield's campaigning in Henry Ford's "999," a rough but fast dirt-track car, was the prime mover that sent the company rocketing off on the way to being the colossus it is today. Ford had tried twice: Two companies had been shot from under him; in 1902, he began to put together the third and last one.
You wonder what the border cops could've thought to see us two big-winged birds, me and Priest, en route from the old French Riviera to Rome on his Church-bought motorcycle, him puffing heavy on a giant-size cigar, steering us down the white line when there was one, and me black colored with my guitar between my knees in the sidecar, hanging on for Christian love, praying for rain or a roadblock.
At odd moments, when sunk in contemplation of some cosmic navel, the vague suspicion that I am, at heart, an anarchist flashes through my mind. Not that any impulse to strew high explosives in palace gardens or parliamentary antechambers stirs within me; I certainly bear no malice whatsoever toward aged archdukes or young czarevitches.
St.-Tropez, for centuries a little-known fishing village, then the exclusive playground of Paris' bohemian set, is now a world-renowned resort for celebrities (Bardot, Rubirosa, Soraya, et al.), celebrity seekers and just plain celebrants. Perched midway between Marseilles and Menton on a small promontory jutting out from France's sandy, sun-steeped Côte d'Azur, St.-Tropez slumbers tranquilly during the off season, but awakens with esprit in June when vacationers begin trickling in. By July, the ripple becomes a rumble, as sports cars and power boats deliver a cosmopolitan mélange of revelers, most of whose identities are blurred in a mass of bare feet, barer midriffs and barely covered bosoms and bottoms. The onset of August signals the end of the international season: Les Français descend en masse and restore to the town its Gallic flavor, without diminishing its spice and vitality.
As Robert Lindner, author of The Fifty-Minute Hour, once pointed out, the sexual revolution of our time has been mostly abortive. Though society in the last 20 years has taken a more tolerant, not to mention sensible, view of such things as premarital intercourse, sex techniques, homosexuality and obscenity, it would be naïve to assume that this constitutes anything more than the kind of liberal reform that followed the equally abortive revolution of 1905 in Russia. Viewing sex as a social fact rather than a personal sin is certainly an advance of sorts, but it is more indicative of a change in terminology than in point of view. A "healthy" attitude toward sex is probably as much a part of the mood of the New Frontier as the late President Kennedy's physical fitness program, but this is as different from a recognition that sex may be one of the last frontiers as 1905 was from 1917. Despite such diverse breakthroughs as Kinsey, Lolita and Enovid, the authorities still remain to be overthrown, for the simple reason that the authorities are internal.
Synthetics have come into their own. Their early test-tube feel and look have been eliminated and the last vestige of resistance on the part of manufacturers has been overcome. In fact, leading craftsmen now use them as a matter of course, so much so that a complete wardrobe of multihued masculine attire fashioned from synthetic fibers is now available.
While we've Often Featured Playmates with outdoor proclivities, our sportsman's loving cup goes to China Lee, our August Playmate, one of the most athletic young lasses we've ever encountered and also one of the most charming. Twenty-one-year-old China (pronounced "Chee-na") is a Training Bunny in the Playboy Club empire; though she's based in the Windy City (see The Bunnies of Chicago, page 98), her teaching duties take her to a different location with every new Playboy Club opening--a job which suits her peripatetic nature to a T. "If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be 'active,' " China says. "I love to roam, and I love to keep busy." High on her sports agenda is softball: Last season she pitched and won 12 games ("My windmill pitch is unhittable"), leading the New York Bunny softball team to the Broadway Show League championship. Our five-foot, four-inch Miss August is also a pin-toppling bowler (she ran up a 217 at the age of 13), prize-winning equestrienne and jumper, expert swimmer and ping-pong player, as well as champion twister of all Bunnydom. Not surprisingly, she was chosen Bunny of the Month in the first issue of Vip, the Playboy Club magazine. As she told us: "Despite the fact that I'm always on the go, success has come to me without my seeking it. I didn't apply for my Bunny job; I was discovered in a New Orleans hairdresser's shop. While my girlfriends were desperate to get into the movies (and I wasn't), a movieman spotted me and gave me--not them--a bit part in The Troublemakers. I'd like to be a professional singer someday--but I'm not counting on it, so if no one discovers me I won't be disappointed." A native of New Orleans and the only member of her family of 11 not now in the Oriental restaurant line, China says: "Though I was born in America, my folks still follow Oriental ways: They speak the old language, read the old books, and follow the old customs. In this sort of environment, the men dominate and females are forced into the background. I rebelled, and I'm glad I did." So, we might add, are we.
Sam Doric was so hip that he walked about North Beach in San Francisco with his nose lifting the rest of him up toward Telegraph Hill, as if he personally had dropped the feather that sailed through the air of Carnegie Hall when Charlie Parker died. He had that kind of pride. He had the pride of the man who can do anything, blow cello, persuade ladies, learn French. He blew pretty good cello, he had persuaded many a lady, but he had not needed to learn French.
Long before man discovered the sustenance-preserving qualities of the refrigerator, smoke was used to cure fish such as sprats and salmon as well as the flesh of beef and boar and buffalo. Today, we savor smoked frogs' legs, smoked ring-necked pheasant, smoked mussels, smoked capon, smoked Rock Cornish game hen, smoked gruyère cheese, and hundreds of other smoked savories, but for smoke's own delicious sake rather than merely to keep the larder full.
To Aficionados of the female face and form, a stroll down the streets of the Second City affords a scenic, and sometimes spectacular, view of feminine fauna matched by few urban centers in civilized ken. It will come as no news to Playboy Club keyholders that many of these ring-a-ding belles seen brightening the Chicago scene are en route from home to hutch, where they exchange their streetwear for the satin suits and snap-on cottontails of the Bunnies of Chicago.
Fréron had devoted his life and the guile of his dishonest mind to becoming the richest man in Langres and one of the richest in France. Nothing was too wicked or treacherous for him, if he could thereby gain a few francs. And so great was his stinginess that when a woman agreed to bed with him--for money, as none would for pleasure--he would try to cheat her of her wages. For Fréron merely lusted after women; until he met Danaë, he loved only gold.
The Seventh Year in Playboy's reprise of Playmates past (to be climaxed in December by a Readers' Choice pictorial portraying the all-time top ten) might aptly be called the Year of the Bunny: A fully rounded half dozen of our Playmates preceded or succeeded their 1960 photo chores with stints in the newly opened Chicago Playboy Club (see The Bunnies of Chicago, page 104). The roster includes Kathy Douglas (October), Joni Mattis (November)--both of whom went on to successful New York modeling careers--Susie Scott (February) and Linda Gamble (April), who was subsequently chosen 1960's Playmate of the Year. June Playmate Delores Wells Bunny-hopped from the Chicago Club to a Hollywood film career, while shapely Teddi Smith (July) beautified the Chicago and New Orleans hutches before becoming a Playboy receptionist and frequently photographed model for the magazine: Her most notable assignment was the striking October 1963 cover (one of five appearances in that issue) in which she posed au naturel behind a steamy shower glass. Most talented of 1960's Playmates is Stella Stevens (January), whose flourishing film career--she has appeared with such stars as Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis and Glenn Ford--has made her one of our most famous Playmates. If your mind, is made up already, send your top-ten list to Playboy now. Any Playmate who has appeared from December 1953 through December 1963 qualifies for inclusion in our year-end Readers' Choice.
In tandem with Stanley Kubrick in Dr. Strangelove and Mason Hoffenberg in the sex-spoofy, sweetest-selling Candy, Terry Southern's writing has won kudos from film and literary critics here and abroad. His offbeat genius for fetching far-out belly laughs stems from an irreverent, satiric imagination--perhaps the most potent of his generation. As a solo satirist, his work has been equally brilliant, but less well known: His comic novels, Flash and Filigree (1958) and The Magic Christian (1959), received acclaim by hip literati, but were largely ignored by the press. During the Fifties, he was one of the more poverty-stricken members of the post--World War II literary expeditionary force in Paris, which included William Styron, James Baldwin and Norman Mailer; his short stories then, such as the classic Red Dirt Marijuana, were only to be found in small literary magazines. This winter several American and English publishers will reissue editions of all his early work. Though the flavor and substance of his writing can hardly be called provincial, he was born in Alvarado, Texas, and spent much of his childhood on a farm. His literary reputation largely derives from a furiously unpuritanical, furiously funny attack on old-guard bugaboos and sacred cows. For example, he treats sex and the use of relatively harmless drugs (such as marijuana) as pleasurable pastimes, the source of humor--and by extension, joy--rather than with glum seriousness. There is an unbridled wildness to his prose--as wild as the pilot's exultant cry in Dr. Strangelove as he straddles the plummeting H-bomb. Southern's satirical skills have recently been applied, with those of director-producer Tony Richardson (Tom Jones), to the preparation of a filmscript based on Evelyn Waugh's scathingly witty Hollywood novel, The Loved One. Presently, he's at work--this time solo--on a new novel about a great movie director who makes an aesthetic film, aptly titled Blue Movie, in which sexual intercourse is a graphically displayed theme. For zesty literary and film satire at its best, put yourself in line for some salty Southern exposure.
Spindly (5'9", 130 pounds), mile-mannered Tom O'Hara last March ran the fastest 5280 feet ever recorded indoors (his time: 3:56.4). In October, surrounded by the pagodas and shrines of Tokyo, it will be his charge to carry away the garlands of victory in the 1500-meter race of the 1964 Olympics or consume the hemlock of defeat administered by Peter Snell, the great New Zealand runner, whom he has never faced, or by teammate Dyrol Burleson, his most redoubtable foe in the U.S. But, despite his formidable opposition, skinny, pink-haired Thomas Ignatius O'Hara, a 22-year-old Chicago accountant, is, at this point, generally regarded to be the fastest middle-distance runner in circulation and the sport's finest competitor since Roger Bannister, the original four-minute miler. Consequently, he is hopefully expected to bring to his homeland its first victory in the 1500 since 1908, when Mel Sheppard came home in the rather lethargic time of 4:3.2. As a strong-willed will-o'-the-wisp, O'Hara's forte, like that of Man o' War and Arnold Palmer, is his finishing charge. In early 1963, in New York, he almost ran up the spine of Jim Beatty, then king of domestic milers, in the home stretch, encouraging the latter to give up the mile completely to concentrate on the less competitive two-mile event. Since then, O'Hara has been on the right track with comforting consistency, and his surging 60-yard finishing sprints have been harder to beat than a hard-boiled egg. A mousy, retiring, somewhat diffident fellow who resembles a resident bellhop in a somewhat sleazy hotel rather than a champion miler, O'Hara becomes a man-eater once turned loose upon cinder or board--and then, off-track he returns again to his accountant's world of checks and balances. Thus our Olympic hopes in the 1500 this year are based mainly upon paradoxical fledgling accountant O'Hara's unerring ability to make new entries in the record book of track.
Critics of the broadcasting industry have found a vocal champion in the Ivy League personage of E. (for Emil) William Henry, 35, clean-cut young chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Shortly after succeeding tough-minded Newton ("Vast Wasteland") Minow, Henry actively took up the cause of fewer commercials, thus continuing the tradition that the FCC control booth should control. A nation of televiewers has applauded Henry's pleas, but Congress and the broadcasters remain seated on their hands. Undaunted, Henry has kept up the fight, confident that if the broadcasters don't soon shape up, the public will ask him to do the job for them. Although a Yale man (and once an announcer for Yale's WYBC), Henry was one of the young hands who helped mold the Harvard-heavy New Frontier. As a youthful lawyer in early 1960, he happened to meet another promising young attorney, Robert Kennedy, at a Bar Association meeting in Washington; with characteristic Kennedy decisiveness, Henry was soon serving as Kennedy campaign liaison with minority groups. After J.F.K.'s election--in which minority groups played a decisive role--Henry returned to his Memphis law practice, only to be recalled to Washington for a seven-year appointment to the FCC; within a year he was named its chairman. Broadcasters who expected him to relax the stiff policies of Minow's administration soon found the FCC hard line firmer than ever. Henry is less a newsmaker than his predecessor, more a worker; he is genuinely interested in improving broadcast offerings, and broadcasters and listeners agree that his actions over the next five years--which should see the internationalization of broadcasting through satellites, as well as the controversial ascendancy of pay TV--will profoundly affect (and hopefully improve) the entertainment of America's millions.