With the advent of leap year, young men's thoughts turn not only to the tender traps laid by marriage-minded maidens but to the no less time-honored quadrennial ritual of electing a President. Our timeliest article this month. Lower the Voting Age, is concerned with that sizable body of Americans--12,000,000--who are between the ages of 18 and 21 and who will not be voting in November. The author is Jacob K. Javits. senior U. S. Senator from New York and one of the most respected of liberal Republicans. No stranger to the demands of the writer's craft. Senator Javits has penned two books. Discrimination. U. S. A. and the more recent Order of Battle: A Republican's Call to Reason.
Playboy, February, 1968, Vol. 15, No. 2. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc, Playboy building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In The U.S., Its possessions. The Pan-American Union and Canada, $20 for three years, $15 for two years, $8 for one year. Elsewhere add $4.60 per year for foreign Postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address: Send Both Old and New Addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Illinois 60611, and Allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer. Advertising Director: Jules Kase. Associate Advertising Manager, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Sherman Keats. Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, MI 2-1000. Detroit, Joseph Guenther, Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250: Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, YU 2-7994; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont RD., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Thanks to the activities of the Citizens for Decent Literature and other such public-spirited groups, we are all aware of the sinister menace of the four-letter word. But how many of us know that public order and morality are also endangered by the three-letter word? If the reader, like the editors, has never given much thought to this threat, he can be assured that at least one clean-minded organization has already explored the dimensions of this creeping menace: the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Early last year, the AAMVA circulated to state motor-vehicle authorities a bulletin informing them which three-letter combinations were "objectionable" and should not appear on automobile license plates. When we read a copy of this tabulation of taboos, sent to us by a thoughtful correspondent, we were, quite frankly, stunned at the flood of bumper bawdiness that might engulf our highways if the intrepid AAMVA were not out there protecting us. As a public service, therefore, in this deadline month for '68 plates in most states, we offer the following report on the association's alphabetical excisions.
"Debate on the accuracy and adequacy of the Warren Commission's work." The New York Times editorialized sourly in September 1966. "is now approaching the dimensions of a lively small industry in this country." The first wave of "revisionist" books brought Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment to the top of the best-seller lists and seriously shook much of the American public's confidence in the findings of the Warren Commission. Defenders of the Commission quickly counterattacked, reaffirming the official version of the assassination and dismissing its critics as moneygrubbing publicity hounds. The counter-counterattack is now under way, with a barrage of new books blasting the Warren Commission, its defenders and its apologists. Their tone and quality are uneven, ranging from strident and sparsely documented polemics to sober and scrupulously researched studies of the Commission's evidence. A few build a disturbingly persuasive case against the Warren Report and deserve serious attention.
For years, the Vine Street-to-Malibu reaches of Los Angeles boasted three emphatically Italian restaurants where film colons went as much to look and be looked at as to wine and dine: Martoni's in Hollywood. La Scala in Beverly Hills and Mateo's in Westwood Village. Every night, these trattoria-style hangouts were packed with the greats, near greats and not-so-greats of Tinseltown: but today you'll often find vacant tables in these elegant eateries. The establishment that's taking the bread-stick-and-chianti play away from them is Stefanino's, at the west end of Sunset Strip, on the dividing line between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Though armed with a bill of fare that easily equaled the big three's offerings, restaurateur Steve Crane (owner of L. A.'s The Luau. An Petit Jean and The Scam, as well as nine Kon-Tikis around the country) tried for a year to get this spacious, lushly decorated marinara dispensary in the social swim--and in the black--but failed to make as much as a dent in the venerable tripartite monopoly. What he clearly needed was a major-domo who numbered 5000 show-business people among his personal friends and didn't have an enemy or an ill-wisher among them. Crane found his man in 38-year-old Nicky Blair. Following his pal Tony Curtis (then Bernie Schwartz) to Hollywood 15 years ago, Blair (then Nicola Macario) kept busy playing feature roles in films and television shows, plying trades that ranged from carpetlaying and house painting to cooking for--and socializing with--such acquaintances as Curtis, Dean Martin, David Janssen and Marilyn Monroe. When he finally took over Stefanino's the January before last, the S. R. O. rope went up immediately and for good. Stefanino's is the place for people who are dying to eat Steak Sinatra (bite-size chunks of prime New York steak sautéed with green peppers and pimento) and to get a good look at Sinatra enjoying same. Hollywood's newest and liveliest ristorante is more than a mecca for the movie colony; it's also the best place in town to get home-style Italian provincial cuisine. Among the dishes Nicky recommends--and most regulars regularly relish--are Cannelloni, a delicate egg pasta wrapped around seafood and graced with a subtle wine sauce: Veal Cutlet Valdostana, thin layers of veal, prosciutto and mozzarella covered with batter, sautéed in wine sauce and served with mushroom caps and asparagus hollandaise; Cioppino in casserole, a classically thick, rich Italian fish stew: and the pièce de résistance, Breast of Chicken alla Crane: deboned leg and breast of chicken pounded flat, wrapped around a spinach filling, dipped in batter, deep-fried to crisp the outside, then baked and served with a fruity brown sauce, rice and spiced peaches on the side. Plus, of course, a plentiful selection of broilings, fish dishes, pastas, salads, sweets and cheeses, with a most excellent array of wines to wash them down. Nicky's on hand seven nights a week--slim, trim and expansively ingratiating. Tell him your name once and he'll remember it. You'll remember the restaurant.
Producer-director Stanley Kramer approaches big issues like a professional masseur. He lays hands on them, all right, but the soothing treatment may soon persuade you that there is no problem at all. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner uses the theme of interracial marriage as home base for a high-toned tearjerker teaming Katharine Hepburn and the late Spencer Tracy (in his last screen role). And despite the efforts of two such enduring, endearing heavyweights. Dinner looks opportunistic, pat and obvious. Wouldn't you know that the Negro brought home by their daughter (Katharine Houghton, Hepburn's real-life niece, who has learned nearly everything auntie knows about smiling through her tears) after a whirlwind courtship in Hawaii has to be Sidney Poitier? And wouldn't you know that Sidney is not just a doctor but a world-famous physician whose credentials make Justice Thurgood Marshall sound like a Newark agitator? And wouldn't you know the happy couple won't have to suffer through any painful adjustment to life in a white-dominated society, because they plan to go straight from the altar to darkest Africa, where they will operate a mobile medical school and save millions of lives? One wonders why Tracy, as publisher of a fighting-liberal West Coast newspaper (what else?), should withhold his parental approval for even a moment. Because the idea is timely and the talents are choice, however, no amount of rigging can rob the movie of its sentimental impact. Emotions are stirred, as intended, through a hundred heavily charged fade-outs right up to a red-white-and-blue finish, when Tracy rids himself of residual prejudice in a 20-minute valedictory scene that the Great Society can be proud to call its own.
Simply Streisand (Columbia) may be Barbra girl's best recording to date. There are almost none of the strident Streisand and upper-register nasalities that have marred her otherwise captivating performances in the past. Her repertoire is almost faultless (but Stout-Hearted Men, even taken at ballad tempo, is still banal, unfortunately); it includes My Funny Valentine, When Sunny Gets Blue, More Than You Know and The Boy Next Door.
It was Eugene O'Neill's wish that More Stately Mansions be destroyed at his death. Faced with the first American production of the unfinished play, it would be easy to say that his instructions should have been followed. Mansions is not complete and, in Jose Quintero's production, is not entirely stageworthy. Nevertheless, the work is a valued possession, an artifact of America's greatest playwright. Sprawling, prolix, it still bears the mark of O'Neill: dramatic encounters, soul-searching soliloquies, penetrating psychological revelations and a grand theme--as much about America in the early 1800s and the wages of business success as it is about interfamilial love and hate. Mansions is an essential work for O'Neill fans: the question is whether it should have been offered to the public in its present guise. It is billed simply as a play by Eugene O'Neill, when the truth is that it has been wrenched from a mass of raw O'Neill material by Quintero. Credited only as the director. Quintero is actually a somewhat meddlesome midwife. He has, for example, reinstated a draggy first scene (cut when the play was first produced in Sweden), which serves only to link it with A Touch of the Poet--the only play O'Neill completed in his projected nine-play cycle--and to remind one how far superior a work Poet is. In spite of the impressive production values (sets that look like American primitive paintings and a high-powered cast), the work remains not a play but an outline. Much of the dialog sounds like shorthand for detail never brushed in. Transition is almost entirely lacking. Simon Harford (Arthur Hill), a Yankee businessman beset by a haughty, possessive mother (In grid Bergman) and an earthy, assertive wife (Colleen Dewhurst), swerves suddenly from nice patsy to fiendish manipulator, which is unnerving to both actors and audience. Mansions should be accepted for what it is--a beginning. With less pretension, the fragments could have been staged, or even read. The scenes could stand alone, without being forced into the mold of a play. And what scenes! The titanic ladies vie for possession of their man with an intensity not likely to be equaled on Broadway this season. At the Broad-hurst, 235 West 44th Street.
Can you define some cool terms for me? I hear these words used every day by the hippies at my college and am embarrassed by my ignorance of their meaning. What is a "nickel bag," a "dime bag" and an "oh-zee"?--J. P., Knoxville, Tennessee.
For too many years, Spain has been a vacation retreat primarily for Europeans. Of the nation's more than 18,000,000 visitors during 1967, fewer than 900,000 were from the U. S. But the times, they are a-changing: Spain's sparkling and sophisticated cities of Madrid and Barcelona, plus her Mediterranean beaches--the Continent's best--promise to attract more Americans this year than ever before.
Among professional-football fullbacks, Jim Brown remains the legendary standard by which all others are measured. At six feet, two, and 230 pounds, Brown was the most powerful and elusive running back ever to play the game. With a massive neck, steely arms and thighs thicker than most men's waists, he could drag tacklers with him as he ran, send them flying with a straight-arm, sidestep them with his misdirective footwork and out-distance them with his flashing speed. During nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, this gut strength and incredible agility--combined with a juggernaut determination to win--netted him 15 N.F.L. records that most sportswriters agree won't be topped easily or soon. Before a budding alternate career as a movie actor and militant involvement in the race struggle provoked his abrupt resignation from pro ball in 1966, Brown had crashed his way to a record lifetime total of 126 touchdowns and led the league in yards gained for eight of his nine seasons, piling up a whopping 12,312 yards in the process--also an all-time record.
F, Ravaged Florentine, grieving, kicked apart a trial canvas, copy of one he had been working on for years, his foot through the poor mother's mouth, destroyed the son's insipid puss, age about ten. It deserves death for not coming to life. He stomped on them both, but not, of course, on the photograph still tacked to the easel ledge, sent years ago by sister Bessie, together with her last meager check. "I found this old photo of you and Momma when you were a little boy. Thought you might like to have it, she's been dead these many years." Inch by enraged inch he rent the canvas, though cheap linen linen he could ill afford, and would gladly have cremated the remains if there were a place to. He swooped up the mess with both hands, grabbed some smeared drawings, ran down four rickety flights and dumped all in the bowels of a huge burlap rubbish bag in front of the scabby mustard-walled house on the Via S. Agostino. Fabio, the embittered dropsical landlord, asleep on his feet, awoke and begged for a few lire back rent, but F ignored him. Across the broad piazza, Santo Spirito, nobly proportioned, stared him in the bushy-mustached face, but he would not look back. His impulse was to take to the nearest bridge and jump off into the Arno, flowing again in green full flood after a dry summer; instead, he slowly ascended the stairs, pelted by the landlord's fruity curses. Upstairs in his desolate studio, he sat on his bed and wept. Then he lay with his head at the foot of the bed and wept.
Were they really too young to know true love? Manuel was just going on seven and Jeanette was just past five and a half. Manuel had first tasted the fruits of love one Easter afternoon with Nursey at Luna Park, and that had been eons ago. Jeanette had dear Uncle Malcolm, her mother's younger brother, who had put years on her in the course of 20 minutes during an intermission of The Elves and the Shoemaker in the church basement. When first Manuel and Jeanette met, then, at the Fairies Concert, an educational program under the auspices of the P. T. A., they were ready for each other. Mature beyond their years, they discussed the possibilities of free love or marriage, deciding sensibly upon marriage. "It will kill our parents," said Jeanette amiably, but they concluded it was better that they marry and kill their parents than sin. "But what if it doesn't kill our parents?" asked Manuel, who could foresee all manner of trouble ahead under those circumstances. "Oh, it will," declared Jeanette. "I do hope so," replied Manuel, embracing her passionately and thinking how wonderful it was to be young and in love.
Until This Winter, Coty award winner Bill Blass was predominantly--and internationally--known for his high-style female fashions. Now his first collection of sophisticated yet casual attire for men is available and it's bound to make headlines. Blass' bold approach to pattern and color combinations, as well as his original treatment of coat shapes, gives the wearer a with-it look that's neither faddish nor extreme. And Blass, perhaps more so than others, designs clothes for a specific occasion; his trim tailored raincoat pictured here, when coupled with rain slacks, becomes a coordinated rain suit that can be complemented with a Blass high-turtleneck pullover and a rain hat. Men's casualwear wardrobes build up gradually. Blass keeps this in mind by turning out wearables that are independent yet readily interchangeable. His tissue-wool high turtleneck, for example, looks great with evening clothes, tweeds, corduroys or the rain suit. Blass emphatically designs for the man who takes his casual clothes seriously. His styles, fresh from the drawing board, typify the upbeat upheaval that has brought fashion elegance and élan to today's urban scene.
The Campaign To Lower the voting age in the United States from 21 to 18--and thus to involve 12,000,000 young Americans in the most basic process of democracy--appears closer to victory now than at any time since it began in earnest in 1942. For the first time, both the majority and the minority leaders of the U. S. Senate are among 40 members of that body cosponsoring a resolution that calls for a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18. On the other side of Capitol Hill, some 45 similar resolutions were introduced during the past session in the House of Representatives. These proposals have the support of President Johnson, former President Eisenhower, the hierarchies of both major political parties and an array of nationally prominent groups ranging from the National Student Association to the AMVETS. They also are endorsed by most of the country's adult population. Last April, Mr. Gallup seemed almost surprised when he reported that 64 percent of the adults polled by his organization thought that 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds should be permitted to vote, the highest percentage in favor since Gallup first presented the proposition in 1939. Yet with all this high-level and grass-roots support, there is almost no chance that a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age will become a reality any time in the near future. Why?
"This Is A Time for telling it like it is," Joanna Pettet told Playboy recently. "If there's a reason for taking the camera beyond the bedroom door, today's audiences will demand that the film maker do just that." The camera goes well beyond several dusty south Texas doors in Blue, which stars Joanna opposite Terence Stamp, to reveal dimensions of physique and feeling unexplored in her four previous film successes (The Group, The Night of the Generals, Casino Royale and Robbery). Joanna once was a Playboy opponent, putting down the magazine, its Editor-Publisher and The Playboy Philosophy in the May 1966 Cosmopolitan; but times and Joanna's outlook have since changed--as evidenced by her appearance in our Girls of "Casino Royale" feature a year ago and even more so by this special pictorial on a now-confirmed Playboy fan. Life can still imitate the rags-to-riches Broadway musical: Joanna arrived in New York when she was 16 to begin dance lessons with Martha Graham at the Neighborhood Playhouse. She won a role in the comedy Take Her, She's Mine and garnered such praise that the lead was hers when the show went on tour. Back in New York, parts followed in The Chinese Prime Minister and then in Poor Richard, which set up the big break. The Group's writer-producer caught her in one performance and signed her immediately as his film's Kay. "That role used the greatest range of emotion," Joanna told us, "but the level of intensity is higher in Blue. Each day was totally exhausting." Herewith, Joanna in another mood.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian mystic who has introduced the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Mia Farrow Sinatra, among others, to the joys of contemplation, can also count Nancy Harwood among his followers. When Miss February faces the "altar" in her bachelorette pad in Burbank--it's adorned with artificial flowers of psychedelic intensity from Mexico--she forgets not only the cares of a part-time college student but also the care-nots of a 19-year-old coming of age in Southern California. "It's like getting high without drugs," explains the pharmacist's daughter--who got the message when she and many others, including pop idol Donovan, meditated with Maharishi recently at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium: "You could actually feel your neighbors going up, up and away."
The Motormasters of Detroit once took a fairly dim and distant view of the sports-car resurgence that began in 1946 when a tiny band of ex-GIs waded ashore with the news that the crafty Europeans knew how to make small and lively two-seaters that had no apparent function but fun. These pioneers found that there were a few Americans, most of them rich and social and centered around the Ivy League colleges, who had known all about MGs and Bugattis and things in the 1930s. The two groups joined and their small piping cries of pleasure began to be heard in Boston and New York and environs. In 1948, they even managed to entice a few people to come to see a sports-car race, at Watkins Glen, now the venue of the Grand Prix of the United States. Detroit saw all this as a cloud not as big as a baby's hand. Still, in the fullness of time, the Chevrolet Corvette came along, billed as a genuine made-in-America sports car, but it wasn't really fast and it wouldn't really handle. Jaguar owners, blowing it off at will, were not impressed, nor would they be by the Thunderbird. The Corvette grew up to be a brute, indeed, and fantastic value for money; and now, in the year of grace and wonder, 1968, purists are beginning to concede that it is verily a sports car.
Although She may one day outgrow valentines, no girl ever out-grows extravagantly rich desserts. Frenchmen at the table, especially during the month of hearts and arrows, love to repeat their old saying, Le dessert est tout le diner pour une jolie femme. The whole dinner? Like most aphorisms, it seems particularly exaggerated these days, when toutes las jolies fcmmes, almost as avidly as men, devour their onion soup gratinee, their thick chateaubriands and their bowls of salad studded with roquefort cheese. But all during the dinner, the back of every girl's mind, the dessert, like an unmentioned but impendeing rendezvous, is awaited as the grand finale. A sumputous dessert differs from ever other course on the menu. It doesn't depend upon appeatie any more than the use of one's hand is dependent upon a diamond ring. Like all lovely baubles, it's rich and rare only when the donor knows what and how go give.
Mr. Jim Bishop, the man who takes us into the bathtubs of the mighty, has written A Day in the Life of President Johnson, a book that preserves for the ages the manner in which the President shaves, eats beef for breakfast and pauses with just one leg in his pants to summon an aide.
If beauty is skin-deep, then the Miss Nude Universe Contest, held each year outside San Bernardino, California, puts more sheer pulchritude on parade than any other pageant in the world. Unlike the Miss America competition --which confuses amateur theatrics and adolescent etiquette with the genuine article--the Miss Nude Universe Contest requires only one thing of its finalists: that they be beauteous in the buff. The annual event came about, says Mel Hocker, its founder and director, because swimsuit runoffs are only cover-ups. "Those beauty contests allow girls to show themselves off in foam-rubberized disguises that create figures the girls possess only in their dreams," Hocker says. "And since they're required to wear the same bathing suits, they all look like peas in a pod. When a young woman appears nude, however, you can bet she retains her individuality." Entrants in the Miss Nude Universe Contest are graded on four counts: figure, face, poise and personality (these last two reflected in the girls' carriage and composure). The unclad contestants are given up to five points in each category; in case of a tie, the girl with the best over-all suntan is declared the winner. The event, staged each year in the alfresco setting of the Oakdale Guest Ranch, attracts a host of sun and fun worshipers who--like the candidates for the title of empress of epiderm--are required to attend au naturel. The same holds true for the judges; the intrepid anatomy appraisers have already been appointed for the next contest and include former heavyweight boxing contender Lou Nova; George Liberace, violin-playing brother of the pianist; photographer Russ Meyer, who directed The Immoral Mr. Teas; and Jennie Lee, president of the Exotique Dancers League. Although candidates for the crown have come from Argentina, Canada, England and Germany, only Americans have thus far captured the title. Upon being crowned, the newest Miss Nude Universe--Kellie Everts --promptly challenged the winners of the Miss America, Miss Universe and Miss World contests to a true show of beauty. No takers have yet come forward.
On the bank of a river in the Ukraine there once lived a ferryman and his wife. He was strong as an ox and nearly as clever and he earned his bread by rowing travelers from bank to bank. She had a supple body and a face like a flower--but the first was so neglected by her husband that the second was often full of longing. One day, a Volga sailor appeared on the other side of the stream and shouted for the ferryman.
This year, hi-fi and video buffs should have a ball updating their rigs. New design techniques have occasioned manufactures to undertake both major and minor retooling programs and the result is a cornucopia of highly sophisticated equipment now spilling into a receptive market. The initial change-over about three years ago from space-wasting tubes to tiny transistors opened the door for companies to streamline their chassis and cabinet styles. Within the past year, other changes have taken place--not all of them so readily noticeable. For example, the earlier germanium transistors that originally came as part of a solid-state package now have been replaced by the stronger silicon type. While this may not send the average window-shopper rushing in to buy, the wise audiophile knows that silicon transistors pay off in both the long and the short run, because they offer additional stability in operation as well as a larger capacity to carry heavier power loads without breaking down. All in all, the ultrahigh quality of today's solid-state gear is the rewarding result of savvy spawned by space-age communications. What works for Telstar works equally well for Telmar, Sony, McIntosh and others.
"They teach you there's a boundary line to music," Charlie Parker said. "But, man, there's no boundary line to art." The sounds of the year just past were the sounds--often electronically driven--of the cracking of boundary lines. A San Francisco rock group, Big Brother and the Holding Company, made the most powerful impact of any unit at the Monterey Jazz Festival. The year's most significant new guitarist, 24-year-old Larry Coryell, started 1967 as a member of The Free Spirits, a rock combo, ended it with the jazz group of Gary Burton, but remained his own world-encompassing-self. It is Coryell who speaks for the new generation of musicians: "If music has something to say to you--whether it's jazz, country blues . . . hillbilly, Indian or any other . . . folk music--take it. Never restrict yourself."
Truman Capote, The author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's, Talks about his image and ego, his nonfiction novel and its critics, his parties and the jet set, in an exclusive Playboy Interview