With the exception of Eugene McCarthy, who remains quixotic to most Americans, our politicians are not poets. In the Orient, things are different. Such major revolutionary leaders as Mao Tsetung and the late Ho Chi Minh may be minor poets in their moments of tranquillity. While still a student, Mao began to set down his ideas and experiences in verse, and he continued to write even after he became a leader of the Communist forces in the civil war against the Kuomintang. A chronicle of the revolution, Mao's poetry blends in classical form a lyric sense of the landscape and the personalities of the man and his army, Seven Poems by Mao Tse-tung is extracted from a book of translations by Paul Engle in collaboration with his wife, Hua-ling. Engle himself is a respected poet, lecturer and editor.
Playboy, April, 1972, Volume 19. Number 4. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, its possessions and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year, elsewhere add $2 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 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for Change. Marketing: Victor Lownes, Director of Creative Development; Nelson Futch, Promotion Director; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director: Jules Kase. Joseph Guenther. Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager. 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley, L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
With the season for weekend outings rapidly approaching, we think it's time we apprised you of the latest way to fill those Saturdays--and your lungs: a water-pollution cruise. Not that all major cities have them yet. In fact, some flatly deny there's a reason for them, since they haven't got any pollution. A top official of New Orleans' chamber of commerce, for example, informs us that he doubts if "any of our waterways hold any interest from the standpoint of pollution, although driftwood is common and an occasional beer can is sighted." In many other port cities, the cruising business simply has never been successful, unless it's the kind of cruising done by ladies of the evening. But if the packed boats--at $13 a head--on Chicago Travel Club's all-day 65-mile trips are any indication of interest, we predict that such cruises may be plying the waterways of most major U. S. ports in the near future.
Those familiar with the grim, repressive record of the Soviet Ministry of Culture will be mildly surprised by Soviet Union: Arts and Crafts in Ancient Times and Today, the 1500-item exhibition of decorative arts now touring the U. S. It's neither gray nor preachy; it's almost frivolously bourgeois. Lenin said that art belongs to the people, and this is a people's show, full of kitsch The hundreds of modern objects here--flowered rugs, painted plates, tall glass vases--prove that the Russian masses are just about as tasteful as the American masses. The entire exhibition, the largest ever sent abroad by the Russians, seems cunningly designed to please those of our countrymen who, while they hate the Commies, just love Lawrence Welk. There are also many treasures here, but only the 15th Century icons, those fiercely holy paintings shimmering with gold, seem to have been chosen exclusively for their beauty. A bejeweled saddle is here simply because Ivan the Terrible sat on it. Some bits of Scythian gold, produced 2500 years ago by expatriate Greek craftsmen, were probably included just because they're old. A red-velvet, pearl-encrusted boot in the exhibition seems to have been included because it might once have graced the thickish ankle of Catherine the Great. But most of the objects are modern, and they're here because they sell--and not just in Russia. If there are any tough, experimental artisans working now in Russia, they have been excluded from this show, with all the fear of dangerous individuality that that term implies. Russia's politicians seem to think that they have a winner. For past cultural exchanges, they hid behind such middlemen as impresario Sol Hurok, but a welcoming address by Premier Kosygin is posted in this exhibition and Madam Yekaterina A. Furtseva, minister of cultural affairs and an important Soviet personage since the days of Stalin, visited the show. While it's being seen in Washington, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Boston and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met is hoping for a chance to show treasures from the Hermitage), a reciprocal exhibit--of computers, Princess phones and such--will be touring the U. S. S. R.
Wolfgang Wickler's The Sexual Code: The Social Behavior of Animals and Men (Doubleday) is a provocative contribution to the budding science of ethology. Wickler's major point: Biologically predetermined behavior does not exist for man nor any other animal. Behavior keeps changing--it is the mechanism by which animals adapt to new environments--and changes in physical structure follow behavioral changes. The implications of this view are important. If behavior is so plastic, then alternation of sexual roles, utilization of sexual organs for purposes other than procreation, the existence of a wide variety of sexual and social behaviors are as natural as breathing. Our notions of maleness and femaleness can then be understood as deriving from the need for a division of labor in early human societies. If that need disappears, argues Wickler, the segregation of sex roles may go the way of the dodo. Flawed only by a heavy-handed attempt to beat the moribund horse of theological morality, The Sexual Code suggests that appeals to the court of natural law would encourage greater sexual freedom and behavioral and social experimentation. Neither so wise nor so careful, and marked by an irritating tone of condescension, is Desmond Morris' Intimate Behavior (Random House). Despite his background in zoology, Morris seems to misunderstand the lessons of evolution. Convinced that there is an immutable human nature, he regards Homo sapiens as the final product in an evolutionary process. Instead of questioning the different effects of various types of human behavior--differences in child-rearing techniques, in amount of tactile contact, in relative isolation or sociability of infants--and their possible adaptive significance, Morris appears to assume that context is irrelevant; the behavior that produces emotional disorder in one culture will produce similar disorder in others. He seems inordinately fond of eliciting gasps of surprise from a naïve audience. Hence, he equates adult activities with their infantile correlates: A fur coat is the adult substitute for a mother's body; cigarettes satisfy a need for unrequited oral satisfaction; courtship is nothing more than a repetition of the pattern of bonding and detachment that marks the mother-child relationship. No one can argue against Morris' basic point that human beings need love, physical contact and intimacy. But his simplistic reductions offer little understanding of the thousands of patterns by which these basic needs are satisfied to produce different kinds of adults.
New York City seems to be experiencing a soup renaissance. La Potagerie on Fifth Avenue near 46th Street, a sleek, colorfully tiled, self-service caravansary, offers generous 14-ounce helpings of soup as the only entree--and in stunning diversity. Depending on the day, you can choose from about 15 souperb selections, including Saint Gingolph's Savoy Alp Soup (cream base with chunks of chicken breast and mushrooms), Upper Income Bean Soup (black bean with diced ham and potato), Wall Street Chowder (a kind of Manhattan clam chowder but light on the tomato; plenty of clams and unexpected morsels of turnip, squash and eggplant), 11th Arrondissement Soup (onion with baked cheese crust), Four and a Half Hour Lentil Soup and even Fruit Grog, served only in the summer. Potagerie's fixed price, $2.25 at lunch, $2.50 for dinner and Saturdays, also covers bread or croissant, mugs of coffee and a simple dessert (the crème caramel is a winner) or fresh fruit and port du salut. Domestic red and white wines by the glass and Lowenbrau on tap are available. When you've passed through the serving line, a comely young lady will tote your food to your table on a Chinese-red lacquered tray. No tipping allowed. Hours are 11 A.M. to 11 P.M. Monday through Friday; 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. on Saturday. Closed Sundays. No reservations necessary. Further evidence of New York's swing to soups may be seen at The Front Porch, a new eatery set in an old apothecary shop at the corner of West Fourth and West 11th streets in the Village. The attempt here is for "homemade," and while it's not like Mother used to make--let's face it, no commercial venture can be--The Front Porch does an honest, imaginative job. Fresh produce is used where feasible, the whipped cream is bona fide, not shot from guns, and the fruit breads are baked on the premises. The heart of the menu is soup--three offerings a day, drawn from a library of over 140 recipes: A thick soup, such as Bonaparte Stew (beef, prunes, wine, vegetables), is served with white or whole-wheat Italian bread; a cold soup--Plum Sour Cream, Spinach Vichyssoise, Bombay Refresher (apple, coconut, zapped with curry)--is served with fruit bread; and a potage, maybe Anneta Anghelerie's (peas, mushrooms, parsley), with black bread. The desserts at The Front Porch are Southern style and strictly caloric. McNetry's Miracle, for example, is a delicious chocolate mousse layered with bourbon-soaked cake and pecans. Soups are $1.50 for a large bowl, 95 cents for an appetizer portion. Desserts are 95 cents, with many large enough for two. A sandwich of the day, chili and beverages (no liquor) complete the limited menu. Open 12:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 12:30 P.M. to 12 A.M. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Closed Mondays. No reservations are necessary here, either.
On one level, Le Boucher (The Butcher) might easily qualify as a fine thriller, the sort of hair-raiser that whoops to a climax when a sexy schoolmistress in a French provincial village finds herself alone at midnight--the only woman still alive who can positively identify the homicidal maniac at large in the district. Very little is missing here, in terms of sheer suspense. But trust Claude Chabrol, a film maker whose style is characterized by restraint and precision, to add resonant undertones from beginning to end. Chabrol creates suspense not through shock but through subtle and surprisingly human contradictions; he delivers a wistful love story about the tentative, hopeless relationship between a psychopathic killer and a seductive schoolmarm who has been trying for years to avoid deep emotional involvements. Playing the teacher, exotic Stephane Audran (Mme. Chabrol offscreen and frequently starred in her husband's films) mixes a sophisticated blend of fear, longing, frustration and primary female instincts, all perfectly complemented by Jean Yanne's sympathetic performance as the butcher, a returned army veteran who has spent 15 years carving up meat for the troops. While Chabrol clearly implies a connection between the sanctioned butchery of battle and the dark deeds men do quite apart from war, he never stoops to sermonizing. Le Boucher is too fashionably amoral for that, yet it speaks eloquently about violence by catching the rhythm of life and death in a small French town where even multiple murder cannot seriously disturb the status quo.
Ever since several million pre-inflation dollars were shelled out to restore San Francisco's crumbling Palace of Fine Arts in 1966, harder civic heads have been wondering aloud just what in hell to do with it. Happily, they now have their answer. Turn it into the Exploratorium, a science museum as unique in its dimensions as the palace itself, a vast and absorbing midway of self-discovery in science, technology and human perception that dwarfs any other show in town. An 18th Century classical relic of the 1915 Panama--Pacific International Exposition, the palace is an awesome three-acre vault of moldy gingerbread that strikes the eye as a huge hangar for some futuristic swept-wing colossus. Big bird has flown the coop, but in its nest, like the warehouse of Citizen Kane's Xanadu, are more than 200 treasures to delight the heart and stimulate the mind of anybody, any age, who ever dug rummaging in grandpa's attic on a rainy day: lasers, holograms, fiber optic tubes, polarized lenses, kaleidoscopes, gyroscopes, radio-wave transmitters, electronic sound makers, a crawl-through tactile dome--and more optical illusions than the great Blackstone ever had up his sleeve. Plus such esoterica-made-understandable as a harmonograph (a gravity-operated drawing machine) and a solar harp (a steel string strung across a whale's jawbone with a wooden resonator and vibrated by a photocell).
The heartstrong and willful Mary Stuart and the calculating and autocratic Elizabeth are classic competitors. Plays, movies, books and operas have analyzed and embellished their conflict, their effect on history and history's effect on them. (See this month's review of the film Mary, Queen of Scots.) Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Robert Bolt's new drama about the titanic cousins is large-canvased, with a chronological and geographical sweep that perhaps would be more fitting on film. From France to Scotland to England, over a period of about 40 years, the play travels--and occasionally travails--a course somewhat closer to the facts of history than to the spice of fiction. Bolt's Elizabeth is not he vengeful villainess and his Mary is not the uplifting heroine of Schiller's Mary Stuart, and Bolt makes no attempt, as Schiller did, to fantasize an encounter between the ladies. But in trying to restore balance, he ends up tilting in favor of Elizabeth. Much of this imbalance is a result of the performances. As Elizabeth, Eileen Atkins is glorious. Hers is a daring, at times comic, and very complete characterization, that manages to keep the queen imperious yet shows the woman--occasionally a vulgar woman--beneath the legend. Claire Bloom, as her adversary, is miscast. A cool, careful actress, she lacks passion, impetuosity and flourish. One cannot imagine nations at her feet. She reduces Mary to a petulant "mooncalf," to use Elizabeth's description of her in the play; and as Mary diminishes, so does the play. Furthermore, the argument beneath the drama lacks the moral complexity of Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. Yet Vivat! is never dull and is often quite theatrical. As the two women battle for supremacy, it is a triumph for Queen Eileen I. At the Broadhurst, 235 West 44th Street.
Not long ago, I talked my virgin girlfriend into sleeping with me. Feeling in love and also somewhat obligated, I later bought her an engagement ring and asked her to marry me. She is 17 and I'm 19 and we're now engaged to be married. I'm beginning to realize that I don't really love her and feel as if we're heading for tragedy instead of a happy marriage. She says she loves me very much and she is a sensitive person whom I certainly don't want to hurt. I'm afraid my immaturity and thoughtlessness may end up ruining our lives. Is there any way out?--B. L., Seattle, Washington.
Nothing brings a warmer glow to Hollywood's gloomy faces than a revival of the overnight success story--the performer who was unknown one day and a star the next--that was so common during the film capital's halcyon days. In the case of Jack Nicholson, the overnight success story took 14 years to write. After a long apprenticeship--mostly as a heavy--in a plethora of low-budgeted B movies, Nicholson finally scored with his funky, funny portrayal of George Hanson, the football-helmeted, alcoholic A.C.L.U. lawyer in "Easy Rider," which brought him instant recognition and an Academy Award nomination. The critical praise he's received for subsequent performances as the restless, predatory, self-destructive antiheroes of "Five Easy Pieces" and "Carnal Knowledge" has firmly established this balding, sleepy-eyed native of Neptune, New Jersey, as an improbable but curiously contemporary star.
Montego Bay. The tires of the 707 squeal and burn. Seat-belt buckles click. Pass immigration. Customs. Get a complimentary rum drink. Shuffle and mumble and evade the crowd at the door, the hustlers, cabdrivers, baggage handlers. The cars are European. Traffic is on the left. It is hot. Sugar cane. Runaway slaves. Pirates. Mountains. Tropical fertility. Captain Blood. Jamaica--the island where the ganja grows up to 20 feet high. A lid costs two bucks. A pound costs 20.
Way Back, bathtubs were about as exciting as bath water. They came in one far-out model -- white porcelain -- and a soak session was always solo. But no more. The tubs shown here -- built for up to six -- are all purchasable off the peg. So turn on to one and watch bath night become a sybarite's delight. Rub-a-dub-dub!
Practically all of us tend to take it for granted that intelligence is a good thing and lack of intelligence a bad thing. A little reflection will show that it's not so simple. Being bright can create real problems, and very bright people often suffer under handicaps undreamed of by their less gifted brethren. Nor are these, as one might suppose, simply the burdens imposed by a heightened awareness, a greater sense of life's complexities, a more poetic and sensitively tuned soul. They are, on the contrary, distressing in quite practical ways and they almost always start early. The following conversation between a second-grade teacher and a bright pupil is a case in point:
Have I Found the Greatest Restaurant in the World?
Roy Andries De Groot
Which is the world's greatest restaurant? This impossible question was broached during a Manhattan lunch with a gourmet friend some months ago. We agreed that the food at this particular restaurant was none too good and the service almost too bad. So our conversation turned to great restaurants we had known and I mentioned the almost-perfect cuisine and service of the restaurant of the brothers Troisgros in the small French town of Roanne, about 87 kilometers northwest of Lyons. I had last visited Troisgros back in 1961, when it was rated with only one star in the Guide Michelin. Now the brothers had three stars and the gourmets of the world were beating a path to their tables. My friend asked: "Do you think Troisgros might be the greatest?"
The best restaurants in the world are, of course, in Kansas City. Not all of them; only the top four or five. Anyone who has visited Kansas City, Missouri, and still doubts that statement has my sympathy: He never made it to the right places. Being in a traveling trade myself, I know the problem of asking someone in a strange city for the best restaurant in town and being led with great flourishes to some purple palace that serves "Continental cuisine" and has as its chief creative employee a menu writer rather than a chef. I have sat in those places, an innocent wayfarer, reading a three-paragraph description of what the trout is wrapped in, how long it has been sautéed, what province its sauce comes from and what it is likely to sound like sizzling on my platter--a description lacking only the information that before the poor trout went through that process it had been frozen for eight and a half months.
Regardless of whether you call the inflatable edifice pictured below a bubble building, hemisphere house or pumped-up pleasure palace, we're sure you'll agree it's the most revolutionary concept in mobile living since somebody invented the trailer--and a lot more fun. Created by a Los Angeles design group named Chrysalis, the polyvinyl Pneudome, when collapsed, fits into a 42"x60"x12" box. To turn on the bubble-house machine, simply spread the dome out on a flat surface, fill the base ring with water (optional cable anchorings also available), then attach the portable air blower to an external port--and up she rises. In about eight minutes, you have nearly 500 square feet of living space to do with as your imagination dictates. And, to make sure your air castle doesn't crumble, you keep the blower going; a gentle current of air not only ensures that the pad remains inflated but ventilated and dust-free, too. Although opaque models are also available, we prefer the transparent number, shown here. The price for a Pneudome that's 25 feet in diameter and ready to rise is about $1950 including blower--a sum that surely won't blow your bank account. For more information, write to Playboy Reader Service, 919 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
The first Hitchhiker at the bend of the road out of Mill Valley, heading up the coast toward Stinson Beach and Bolinas, had a face like an abandoned coal-mine disaster site--collapsed shafts of blackened meat, eyes smokily polluted by internal fumes, crevices and sun-bared teeth. Frank shivered at that scene of death.
Surprisingly enough, the foremost reason for Playmate Vicki Peters' move from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Southern California three years ago was not the change in climate. As a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities area, 23-year-old Miss April was accustomed to those infamously raw northern winters: "Winter sports are so popular in St. Paul that I actually looked forward to cold weather." It was Vicki's career ambition that prompted her to head for Los Angeles, where she intended to become an actress. "I'd modeled and thought I could do that while looking for film opportunities." Vicki did find steady employment--posing before a still camera (she was featured in Playboy's September 1970 uncoverage, The No-Bra Look)--but she had less success getting movie parts. "I had some minor roles, but got depressed with my lack of real progress." Her professional life continued to languish until she met a prominent young commercial photographer, Harry Langdon (son of the silent-film star). "Harry and I began dating and I got interested in his work. Then one day he asked me to fill in for his secretary, who was taking a vacation. I agreed to do it for a couple of weeks. That was almost two years ago, and I've been there ever since." What's been especially rewarding for Vicki is the full range of responsibilities she's assumed--from darkroom developing to taking up the camera herself. "I've learned about everything there is to know at a photo studio. It's a thoroughly creative process and I've become fascinated with it. Now, although I still have ideas about an acting career, I think I'd be equally happy to stay in this business. I'd also like to make movies. And the possibility of directing excites me, too. There are a lot of ways I could go. A number of film people I've recently met might be able to help me in the future." No matter how many professions Vicki tries, readers will agree that there's certainly no danger of her suffering from overexposure.
Now that the mercury is inching its way up the thermometer and old man winter is almost out the door, it's time we once again turned our attention to prognosticating the male-fashion trends for the coming six months. The majority of suits, we foresee, will be shaped two-buttons with wide lapels and deep center vents--a look in which you may invest with confidence, as it is now firmly entrenched as a contemporary classic. Lest you fear that you're going to be typed, we hasten to add that there will still be plenty of opportunity for you to express your individuality by picking and choosing from the multiplicity of new fabrics, treatments and interesting color combinations--particularly plaids--that will soon be available. (text concluded on page 140)
Suppose the Nation's alienated young decided to stage a take-over of Vermont. Not by staging a weekend rock festival at Rutland and then hanging around the Green Mountains like freaked-out trolls. Not by lacing the water supply with assorted chemical brain scramblers. Not even by trashing the 14-kt.-gold-leaf dome off the Statehouse in Montpelier. Suppose they decided to do it by the book, within the system, the hard-hat--approved American way--by ballot.
Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! The echo from 50 voices shouting as one shattered the early-morning calm in the First Life Insurance Building, Tokyo headquarters of Yoronotaki K.K., Japan's largest fast-food franchiser. A few rays of sunlight filtered through the shaded windows, forming tiny yellow spotlights on the two rows of Japanese office workers, the men with white shirts and dark ties and the women wearing light-gray smocks over their street clothes. They stood stiffly at attention, backs straight, arms by their sides with fists clenched, eyes front-- like 50 life-sized toy soldiers, made in Japan.
Last Year's The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker, starring Richard Benjamin (above) as a voyeur, was greeted by near-universal apathy--with one bright exception: Tiffany Bolling, a smoldering newcomer who, the critics agreed, was just about the only good thing in the film. Tiffany's name is the genuine article, not a marquee monicker. "Mother thought I'd be a boy, so she didn't have a girl's name picked. She got Tiffany out of a jewelry ad in the paper she was reading at the hospital." Tiffany, now 25, started singing in coffeehouses at 16; she still sings, and the Thank God the War Is Over cut from her album Tiffany was considered for a Grammy nomination. At 20, she got her first movie role, a bit in the 1967 film Tony Rome, starring Frank Sinatra --with whom, incidentally, she's been linked in the gossip columns in recent months. (Tiffany's version: "I've known Francis for a long time, and I love him dearly, but I don't see him often.") Television viewers will recall Tiffany from guest shots on numerous shows--most recently The Bold Ones--and as a regular in ABC's short-lived series The New People. We got Tiffany to talk about her life and her work. Sample observations: On her career--"I'd like to be in the category of a Vanessa Redgrave or a Grace Kelly, but maybe a bit more earthy." On love--"I'm a romanticist. I believe in courting. If a man and a woman just ball right away, they never get into each other's minds." On women's lib--"I love being a woman and I've never really felt put down. But I do think men have been uptight with women; they tend to say, 'OK, you just be quiet and serve me.' " On youth-- "Young people are underdogs. First they're told, 'Shut up, you're just a kid.' Then they're told, 'Get out there and do what you're supposed to do'; but by then they don't really know what that is." On religion--"I'm not a Jesus freak or anything, but all my life I've had some sort of religious tugging. I feel strongly that we're all born with a spiritual creative force, that everybody has some kind of god within. Not a wrathful, puritanical god who goes after sinners, because I definitely believe in pleasure, in the sensuality of being." And we get a lot of good old-fashioned sensual pleasure out of looking at the beauteous Miss Bolling.
The poems of Mao Tse-tung are a personal-political autobiography. Alone among national leaders of the 20th Century, Mao has combined a powerful poetic imagination with a hard military mind. When he set down the principles of guerrilla warfare with which he conquered mainland China, he wrote them in terse, rhymed couplets. Has any other general in history turned his theory of fighting into verse?
No Reader, I take it, has been so naïve as to rush to this article in the hope that I am about to unleash the great secret of (let's use the scientific term) precognition. If I knew how to foretell the future, I would not be writing about it: I would be too busy backing tomorrow's winners. Moreover, if such a secret could be generally imparted, of what use would it be to you? Everybody, including the bookmakers, would know tomorrow's winners. Indeed, there would not be much point in holding the race. No, the gift of accurate prediction is a thing we have to either discover for ourselves (as the Invisible Man discovered invisibility) or dream of having magically conferred on us. Science, which grants no favors, would give the precognitive faculty to the whole world, with the indifference with which it has already given television and transistors and laser beams. It would if it could. Nobody thinks it will: We can leap space miraculously but not time. This is maddening, since time doesn't--in the old priestly argument quoted in one of Graham Greene's novels--seem to have any solidity in it: "The present has no duration, and it comes between the past, which has ceased to exist, and the future, which has not yet started to exist." Yet the tough frosted-glass barrier is there. But, so science seems cautiously to admit, not for everyone. Precognition is a faculty that the superstitious past accepted, the materialistic 19th Century scoffed at and the pragmatic present is working on.
"Talking about acting bores me," says actor Jon Finch. "Outside of work, I never give it too much thought." To audiences and critics, however, the performances of this 30year-old British bachelor have provoked anything but boredom, and many are saying that the youngest thespian in screen history ever to play the lead in Macbeth--Roman Polanski's latest and Playboy Productions' first film--has a distinguished career before him. Finch drifted into acting; he qualified at 18 for study at the prestigious London School of Economics, but opted for a stint in one of Britain's parachute regiments instead. Thereafter, a temporary job as a stage manager near London led to production work with theater companies in London's West End. "I had no real ambition to act," Finch confesses, "but stage managing pressed me into understudying and directing." Finally, in 1967, he landed his first dramatic part in the BBC television series Z Cars. More TV appearances followed, in addition to supporting roles in two horror films, until 1969, when Finch starred in his own TV series, Counterstrike, in which, he says, "I played some Milky Way alien trying to save the world from itself." Subsequently, a French-series pilot and an acclaimed cameo in John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday led to his most challenging assignment to date--Macbeth. As the Scots warrior, Finch plays, according to Playboy Contributing Editor and Macbeth co-scenarist Kenneth Tynan, "a superb young general in the prime of his condition who has thrown away his life in the space of a few seconds, by one murderous action." In the film, Finch's first as a lead, he revealed enough talent to earn him two more starring roles: in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy and in screenwriter-director Robert (A Man for All Seasons) Bolt's historical film Lamb. Such success, in Shakespeare's words, can be as evanescent as "a brief candle," or--as we'd like to think for Jon Finch--as lasting as a star.
For six years they've been one of U. S. auto racing's rare examples of harmonious and enduring teamwork--two men whose skills mesh as neatly as gears, producing that combination of business, technical and driving abilities it takes to finance and field winning cars in any category of big-league speed. Both on road courses and on oval tracks, with a variety of cars, Roger Penske and Mark Donohue have become the dynamic duo of American motor sports. The two joined forces in 1966, after Penske had wrapped up a meteoric three-year professional driving career and stepped out of the cockpit to form a team, with Donohue soon becoming number-one wheelman. Both had come up through the ranks of amateur road racers, knew car design and speed technology and believed in meticulous prerace preparation. Both are college graduates with degrees in engineering and both are 35 this year. Penske has had the savvy to parlay racing into a multimillion-dollar automotive empire of car dealerships and high-performance products--Roger Penske Racing Enterprises, headquartered in Newtown Square, near Philadelphia--and Donohue has the dual skills to prepare and pilot winning machines. Of the two, Penske is the extrovert--sociable and persuasive; Donohue is modest and friendly, in a quiet way. For both men, this year's racing program will be their toughest test. On the U. S. A. C. championship circuit, they're going after the Indy 500, and the NASCAR Grand Nationals will be their first attempt at stock-car racing. In the Can-Am road-race series, they're determined to unseat the dominant McLaren team with a hot new 12-cylinder Porsche, shown in the picture minus its skin. Campaigning in such diverse fields of racing may seem like trying to keep three wives happy at the same time; but if it's possible, Penske and Donohue look like the men who can do it.
Wearing a swank faded pink silk suit that shines in the spotlights, he rasps into the mike with a voice that forces images of vocal cords shredding and ready to snap. "... Oh, Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore...." The crowd, fastest sell-out in the history of Madison Square Garden, is getting it on: Rod Stewart's back in town. He's billed as just another member of the Faces--but everybody's hungry for a new superstar and he's got too many good moves to avoid it. Onstage, he jumps like Jack Flash himself, baton-twirling the chrome mike-stand, flamenco-stomping time like a rock-'n'-roll bullfighter. At 27, he's got his act clown, and it didn't happen overnight. In the early Sixties, he was more interested in soccer than in music--playing well enough to seriously consider offers to turn pro (a piece of his past that shows up in concert when he happily boots a few dozen soccer balls into the audience). Then, slightly Dylan-struck, he knocked around Spain and France, playing banjo for folk singer Wiz :Jones--landing uncelebrated back in London, his home town. Stewart worked as a gravedigger for a while, moonlighting as harp player in a local band. He soon got into a full-time gig with John Baldry's Steam Packet, but nobody heard much of him until Jeff Beck, ex--bad boy Yardbird, picked him as lead singer for a loud, energetic group that lasted two years and let Stewart really find his style. After that one exploded in 1969, Rod drifted into the Faces and, since then, he insists, he's just been playin' in the band. But he easily nailed the top male-vocalist slot in our 1972 Jazz & Pop Poll, and Rolling Stone recently named him rock star of the year--so whether he likes it or not, Rod Stewart, with a hoarse bluely voice that sounds like a long night of bourbon and cigarettes, is what's filling places like the Garden to the brim and making him much more than just another Face.