Playbill soon after its publication some 11 months ago, a slim thriller about a bunch of small-time Boston hoods, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, was being called "the sleeper of the year" and had been purchased by Paramount for 1973 screen release. Its author, first-time novelist George V. Higgins, had a finely tuned ear for dialog and a chilling insight into the life style of the second-echelon crook. That figured: Higgins is Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts--a full-time Federal prosecutor who hits the typewriter nights and weekends. He made up his mind to enter Boston College law school some nine years ago when, after covering the state courthouse as a reporter in Springfield, Massachusetts, he decided trial lawyers were having more fun than he was. "I like trying cases--bank-robbery, extortion, fraud, counterfeiting, hijacking, fence, gun-control cases--but I still like writing," Higgins told us after we sewed up the serialization rights to his second book, The Digger's Game (to be published by Alfred A. Knopf in March). In this issue, you'll find the first of three installments of the adventures of Digger Doherty, an improper Bostonian who runs a bar (both are pictured by artist Warren Linn), has a side line in burglary and is his own worst enemy. We think you'll find Digger even more entertaining than Eddie; you may see him on film, too, since Higgins is busy drafting a screenplay.
Playboy, January, 1973. Volume 20, Number I. 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 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; Robert A. Gutwillig, Marketing Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan AVE., Chicago. ILL. 60611; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Bldg.; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Blvd.; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter st.; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont RD., N. E., Atlanta, GA. 30305.
Women's lib, take note: An article in Science magazine tells the provocative story of the Australian wrasse, a finger-length fish more precisely known as Laboides dimitadus. The male wrasse normally cruises the Great Barrier Reef with a harem of three to six females. When he dies, the most aggressive female in the harem undergoes behavioral and physiological changes that result in her transformation into a male. The zoologist who studied these fish concluded that when a female wrasse finds herself not dominated, she takes on a more aggressive behavior pattern within hours. In less than two weeks, her ovaries have turned into testicles and--in looks, action and bodily equipment--she is indistinguishable from a male. Hmm.
No need to worry about the size of a friend's waist or neck in searching for a fitting last-minute gift this holiday season. As long as you know the dimensions of his or her mind, you can count on your favorite bookstore to supply a work that will suit your friend to a T. Herewith, a few new offerings that strike our fancy.
Looking trim and tough, muscles bulging against his jeans and blue-denim work shirt, Charles Bronson comes to the door with a blonde toddler named Zuleika wrapped around his left hip. Typecast, he would be perfectly at home in a Pennsylvania mining shack, fixing worried eyes upon a welfare investigator, though his home for the moment happens to be a VIP suite in Manhattan's Hotel Pierre. At the age of 50 or thereabouts (but who's counting?), he is one of the highest paid actors in the world--despite the fact that he's been seen in this country mostly as a supporting thug in such epics as The Magnificent Seven, and in The Great Escape and The Dirty Dozen. Though he starred in--and profited handsomely from--Chato's Land, you may not be aware that last year he was voted the most popular actor in the world by Hollywood's foreign press corps. Thanks to films made, and shown, almost entirely in Europe, he receives ecstatic fan mail from Lebanon and Yugoslavia; in Japan, he outdraws every other star, Eastern and occidental.
Holiday cheer for the ears. Here is a sackful of multiple-LP albums for Christmas giving and getting. First for the "heavy" stuff. Seraphim has dipped into the Angel catalog and come up with The Seraphim Guide to the Classics, a ten-LP slipcased set that runs from the Middle Ages through Bartók, Berg and Boulez. The performances are marked by the usual high standards of those artists recording under the Angel label. A less ambitious but no less satisfying project is A Baroque Festival, a twin-LP album on Elektra's Nonesuch label, which contains marvelous performances of the works of Bach, Schütz, Buxtehude, Couperin, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, et al., and seems absolutely perfect for the season. Columbia has put together in three-record sets what it issued previously as single LPs--John Williams: Seven Great Guitar Concertos and The Art of Igor Kipnis. The latter en-compasses the harpsichordist's performances of music from France, Italy and Spain, including the works of Domenico and Alessandro Scarlatti, Rameau, Cimarosa and Soler. The Williams recordings were done with the Philadelphia Orchestra, under Eugene Ormandy, and the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Charles Groves. Both albums are technically brilliant and artistically delightful. Opera buffs can feast on a banquet of Beverly Sills; the peerless diva has five--count 'em, five--operas available on the Audio Treasury label. You pays your money and you takes your choice. There're Donizetti's Roberto Devereux and Lucia di Lammermoor (conducted by Thomas Schippers), plus Maria Stuarda (which has the added attraction of Eileen Farrell in the role of Elizabeth) and Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann. All are three-LP albums. The fifth album (on four LPs) is Massenet's Manon, which finds Miss Sills in the splendid company of Nicolai Gedda and Gerard Souzay. Beverly Sills is a phenomenon and to have five such albums available is phenomenal.
Theatrical recapitulations of the works of popular composers often turn out to be more of a travesty than a tribute. The revivers either spoof the material or turn every tune into an over-production number. Happily, Roderick Cook, who conceived and directed Oh Coward!, and stars in it with Barbara Cason and Jamie Ross, has taken quite a different course. He has simply selected some 50 of Noel Coward's best show tunes, plucked a few words from his plays and his books and put them onto a tiny stage without pretense or apology, along with two pianists, a percussionist and a minimum of scenery. Cook and his partners skip through Coward's devious wordplays with agility and taste. None of them has a strong singing voice, but these songs are more to be talked than sung and all three keep their syllables crisp and their Coward dry. As if Sir Noel himself were overseeing their manners, they suppress emotion; Cook sings The Party's Over Now as if he were on the verge of expiration. The material is old but not dated; even Mad Dogs and Englishmen sounds freshly printed. Coward's verse has an insouciance and an acerbity that have, unfortunately, all but gone out of fashion in the theater. At The New, 154 East 54th Street.
Sexually speaking, my wife is rather inhibited, while I am quite free, which is proving unsatisfactory to both of us. I would like her to have sex with other men (and I with other women); the idea is exciting to me, though she would never agree to such activities. Recently, I had to force her to have oral sex with me. I love my wife and want us both to be happy, but her reluctance to experiment sexually is threatening our relationship. Any suggestions for resolving this problem?--E. M., Lincoln, Nebraska.
During the past few years, the Playboy Foundation has grown rapidly and has extended its activities into many new areas of social and legal reform. It is now a fully staffed operation directed by Burton Joseph, an eminent civil-liberties attorney. Because of the Foundation's past accomplishments and its ambitions for the future, we believe it appropriate to issue an annual report on Foundation activities for Playboy readers.
As a television series, the idea was improbable. Impossible, some said. A similar program had been a hit in England, but who in America would want to watch a weekly situation comedy starring a middle-aged, blue-collar bigot who not only called a spade a spade but indiscriminately maligned members of other minority groups as "spicks," "Hebes," "dumb Polacks," "Chinks" and "tamale eaters," liberal politicians as "pinkos," welfare recipients as "bums on relief" and anyone whose sexual mores differed from his own as a "prevent"? His dutiful wife, the outline continued, would be a well-meaning but simple-minded and slightly addled home-maker whose ministrations to her potbellied spouse would evoke both sympathy and--from militant feminists--rage. Also occupying their lower-middle-class suburban home would be a buxom blonde daughter who didn't believe in God and her Polish-American husband--a college student whose droopy mustache and shaggy hair clashed almost audibly with his father-in-law's reactionary life style. The black family living across the street would provide a handy target for the bigot's rantings, and various episodes would tackle such topics as menopause, impotence and homosexuality.
Once in a hot courtroom in New Zealand, I had occasion to ask a lady who was giving evidence against me for saying fuck in a public meeting whether she was as disgusted and offended by hearing the word rape used in a similar context. She wasn't. I asked her why. She thought for a moment and said happily, "Because for rape the woman doesn't give her consent."
"My others are at the cleaner's," I said, even as I was rolling "I've just come from a funeral" around on my tongue. But that would have made him ask who had died. I had the fluent liar's sense of foresight. Gunstone was calmed.
As a Rule, Pete Turner is very much into reality, photographing products and people for advertisements about zippers, suits, cameras, airlines, detergents, shampoos, cars and motorcycles. Though a good deal of creative thinking goes into those ad shootings, they don't allow much room for the exploration of one's personal erotic fantasies. So when we asked this award-winning New York lensman to capture his private daydreams on film he enthusiastically accepted the challenge. "The assignment was a great change of pace for me, but don't get the idea it was all fun and no work," says Turner, tongue wedged only partially in cheek. "I had my problems--building a special platform for a model's breasts to hang over, designing a leather garter belt, finding 14 vibrators. But the toughest job was lighting a water bed from below so that, in case the bed broke, no one would be electrocuted." We don't find any of Turner's finished products shocking, but they struck us as definite turn-ons.
The story is told that a Mill Valley video-freak commune decided to make the bread for some new equipment with a little advanced, underground, commercial, sellout short subject. So they dressed a girl in a nun's habit and installed her at san Francisco International Airport, where she was greeted at the gate for the hip midnight ten-dollar PSA flight from L.A. by a rabbi who began by chastely kissing her. The bidden video crew filmed audience response as the rabbi embraced her sweetly. He put his hand under her habit. They began to struggle. She was gasping. Her cowl was knocked awry. Also his tie. They were both panting and biting, and his tongue was in her mouth, darting in and out, as she bent backward and eventually tumbled to the vinyl-marble floor, and they rolled around in an ecstasy of Welcome to San Francisco (Joseph L. Alioto, Mayor) while the cameras rolled. Tongues, zippers, cowl, pink folds and crevices undulating.
Coming up, the season of the Super Bowl, when virtually every eye will be glued to the tube. (We can't all be as lucky as playboy artist LeRoy Neiman, an on-the-spot Super Bowl spectator whose rendering of the color and action begins on page 187.) You'll find the viewing more exciting, and more convivial, if you ask other football fans to join you. Of course, game watching is serious business. You wouldn't want to be off somewhere mixing a drink just when a punt return goes 45 yards. Nor would you want to neglect your guests. A flowing punch bowl, combining hospitality, style and convenience,-handles everything neatly. The brew can be prepared ahead of time, and, once set up, it's just about self-sustaining.
When Richard Nixon suddenly grabbed the television mike to announce not only that we were ending our ostracism of Red China but that he would himself visit China sometime before the following spring, the shock waves were everywhere palpable; but Mr. Nixon knew enough about his constituencies, voluntary and co-opted, to know that he might safely proceed from the television studio to a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles, there to celebrate his diplomatic triumph in a highly publicized private dinner at which the champagne corks popped in complacent harmony with the impending public elation. A few precautions were taken, as if by a master electrician running his eyes over the fuses. I sat viewing Mr. Nixon's television performance in the relaxedly hushed living room of Governor Ronald Reagan in Sacramento, with my brother Jim. We were together not only because of ideological consanguinity, or because we are friends, or because we thought foresightedly to man the same fortress at a moment when President Nixon would say something we were alerted to believe would be more than his routine denunciation of wage-and-price controls--we happened to be at Sacramento because earlier that afternoon two of my television sessions had been taped, one each with the governor and the Senator, wherein we probed the differences between their views and mine, when we could discover them. But the coincidence was happy--we could reflect now together on the meaning of Mr. Nixon's démarche, without pressure.
He Took His Aisle Seat--22C--in the 707 for Rome. The plane was not quite full and there was an empty seat between him and the occupant of the port seat. This was taken, he was pleased to see, by an exceptionally good-looking woman--not young, but neither was he. She was wearing perfume, a dark dress and jewelry and she seemed to belong to that part of the world in which he moved most easily. "Good evening," he said, settling himself. She didn't reply. She made a discouraging humming noise and raised a paperback book to the front of her face. He looked for the title, but this she concealed with her hands. He had met shy women on planes before--infrequently, but he had met them. He supposed they were understandably wary of lushes, mashers and bores. He shook out a copy of The Manchester Guardian. He had noticed that conservative newspapers sometimes inspired confidence in the shy. If one read the editorials, the sports page and especially the financial section, shy strangers would sometimes be ready for a conversation. The plane took off, the No Smoking sign went dark and he took out a gold cigarette case and a gold lighter. They were not flashy, but they were gold. "Do you mind if I smoke?" he asked.
The Subject Today will be the metaphysics of obesity and I am the belly of a man named Lawrence Farnsworth. I am the body cavity between his diaphragm and his pelvic floor and I possess his viscera. I know you won't believe me, but if you'll buy a cri de coeur, why not a cri de ventre? I play as large a part in his affairs as any other lights and vitals; and while I can't act independently, he too is at the mercy of such disparate forces in his environment as money and starlight. We were born in the Midwest and he was educated in Chicago. He was on the track team (pole vault) and later on the diving team, two sports that made my existence dangerous and obscure. I did not discover myself until he was in his 40s, when I was recognized by his doctor and his tailor. He stubbornly refused to grant me my rights and continued for almost a year to wear clothes that confined me harshly and caused me much soreness and pain. My one compensation was that I could unzip his fly at will.
I Guess everybody can get off on a little guilt now and then. It even feels good sometimes to stay up all night, smoking cigarettes and fretting about sin. But there is a limit, and somewhere back in the sincere years of protest and marching, some chemical-eyed radical raised the guilty ante by shouting out that if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. It had a Ben Franklin ring to it, all right, and from that point on I was, they told me, guilty for almost everything, which is a lot, and for a while I believed them.
Our Peerless Composer-Cartoonist Shel Silverstein tells us he's exhausted these days, and we can understand why: He's been writing a book on erotic comic strips, working on two animated films and completing a book of children's poems (due from Harper & Row soon)--and turning out songs. Herewith we present Shel's latest lyrics, most of which appear on his just-released Columbia album, Freakin' at the Freakers Ball, featuring Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show and employing almost everyone who was in the vicinity of Sausalito at the time. Says Shel: "We had a gas recording, like when this girl violinist auditioned naked, and we managed to get some music out as well. It's a good album and I want everybody who reads this to go out and buy three copies, because I need an expensive vacation."
The Taxi is on its way. In a few hours the Aer Lingus flight will be taking off from Belfast, heading for Shannon and then Chicago. This is the fourth time in less than a year I'll be saying goodbye to Northern Ireland. Only this time it's different. This time I'm determined not to come back. I like too many people here. I don't want to see them get hurt. I've written enough obituaries already.
It was Gorgeous George who almost singlehandedly transformed professional wrestling from a sport to a spectacle; who ushered television out of the electronics laboratory and into the living room. . . . No one who has grown up in the unremitting hothouse glare of the commercial tube will ever be able to imagine how brilliantly those first feeble sparks of video-at-home illuminated the spirit of postwar America. Yet even then, when a simple test pattern was miracle enough to command our rapt attention, Gorgeous George was Special: A pioneer in scarlet tights and golden ringlets, he pranced and preened his way across the barren plains of the American consciousness, breaking the hard ground from which has since sprouted such unlikely and exotic fruit as Liberace, Little Richard, Muhammad Ali and Monti Rock III.
Not long ago, the Grand Ballroom of New York's Plaza Hotel was once again center stage for the opening night of Playboy's annual Creative Menswear International Designer Collection--a gala fashion show that was to go on tour of the States and Europe--presided over by our own Fashion Director, Robert L. Green. Although the evening has traditionally been a black-tie affair, this year's invitations read "Dress Beautiful," and (text concluded on page 206) Fashion futures(continued from page 117) the 400 guests enthusiastically responded with a colorful array of finery that rivaled the one-of-a-kind offerings (from 65 of the world's foremost designers) being showcased onstage. As in past years, the roster of contributors read like a Who's Who of international fashion and included such sartorial luminaries as Bill Blass, Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy and Yves St. Laurent. A number of women's-wear designers--Bonnie Cashin, Willie Smith, Calvin Klein, Anne Fogarty and Hermés--made first appearances, along with Special Coty Award winners Alan Rosanes and Pinky and Dianne of Flo Toronto. And this year, an innovative fillip was provided by the use of electronic projection equipment that enabled a behind-the-scenes illustrator to sketch each outfit--with the drawing visible to all on a giant screen--as they were displayed by live models on the runway.
Miki Garcia isn't the kind of girl you meet every day. Oh, she's the usual melting-pot mixture (English, Irish, French and Spanish, in her case) and she likes the usual things (popcorn, Tom Jones, All in the Family). But how many women--or men--you know could sustain Miki's frenetic pace? Besides working at two jobs--as a Sacramento model and an insurance underwriter--25-year-old Miki is an amateur lobbyist for homeless animals, civic fund raiser, volunteer instructor for a class of Mexican-American teenaged girls who want to break into the modeling field, assistant director of an annual beauty pageant and owner of three hens, three cats, four pigeons, a rooster and a pair of rabbits. Miki is so busy, in fact, that after winning a dozen contest titles, she turned down the 13th and biggest, that of Miss California World--not because she's superstitious but because it would have conflicted with other commitments, foremost of which was her date to be a Playmate. Miki grew up as an Air Force brat, living in ten cities in four countries before settling in the Sacramento area in 1968. Her Spanish surname, in a locale of lingering anti-chicano bias, caused her some minor problems at first. "Now that I'm better known in town, I do what I can to combat prejudice," she says. "Before the Miss California-Bikini contest, of which I'm assistant director, I combed the countryside making speeches at intertribal council and civic meetings, signing up Indian, Mexican and black contestants. I was sick of all-white beauty contests." This month, Miki and pageant director Jane Pope, a local PR consultant, plan to internationalize their bikini competition with a contest in Hong Kong. Another new side line is the Mikini swimsuit, designed by Miki and crocheted as a fund-raising project by women from a predominantly black Baptist church. What makes Miki run? "I'm not really an activist," she says. "I just want to help people. But this pace is beginning to get to me. Like last night: One of my hens refused to sit, and I was up till all hours hatching eggs under an electric blanket, then feeding chicks with an eye dropper. I'm a wreck." We disagree.
So then, a dusky Sunday afternoon in Bray at a quarter to five o'clock, lighting-up time at 5:15, November first, All Souls' Eve, dedicated to the suffering souls in purgatory, Bertie Bolger, bachelor, aged 41 or so, tubby, ruddy, graying, well known as a dealer in antiques, less well known as a conflator there of, walking briskly along the sea front, head up to the damp breezes, singing in a soldierly basso, "My breast expanding to the ball," turns smartly into the lounge of the Imperial Hotel for a hot toddy.
Jesse goldstein looked up at the faces hovering over him that spring evening in 1971. A little representative of the South Vietnamese government would be speaking soon and the waiting University of Connecticut students were growing restless. Lined up single file in front of the auditorium, the mob cracked and undulated like a snake about to strike. A single undersized cop tried to keep order.
Good Headphones can be the equal of the finest speakers made. You can also high-decibel your favorite rock or opera or rock opera in the middle of the night without disturbing your neighbors; they offer an opportunity to hear fine nuances and channel separation that can be appreciated no other way--and they do all this at a price that's modest when compared with the cost of even a mediocre pair of speakers. Increasingly more popular with today's stereo fans, headphones can run the price gamut from a rock-bottom five dollars for an off-brand set to a high of around $160 for a superb pair of electrostatic phones guaranteed to deliver all ten of the audible octaves and equal or outdo speaker systems costing ten times as much--and which (concluded on page 230) For your ears only (continued from page 155) deliver only about eight and a half octaves. For excellence of reproduction, the better headphones are hard to beat.
The gnome of death presides, it's true. We watch from a corner (overinformed and underknowledged) while our generals hump the planet and our priests bless them on their way (call it the way of the cross), while lizard kings do a death-grip waltz on the bones of the same dance done before and the tribal legions raise their banners one against the other, while the garbage and the bones collect waist-deep around the men who proclaim each absurd war holy.
It's time once again to reintroduce you to the gatefold girls of the year just ended. It began beautifully with a Bunny turned PR girl, London's Marilyn Cole, and finished stylishly with a fashion designer turned Bunny, Hollywood's Mercy Rooney. Everything in between, as we think you'll agree after a long look at these pages, was--and is--equally easy on the eye.
When I was in college, I thought about going to law school, until someone in a movie I saw said, "I'll have my lawyer draw up the papers." It was Clark Gable, or someone equally in command of the situation. Having closed his deal man to man, Clark began to stride toward the door, casually tossing off that final line as he jammed on his hat. I suddenly realized what a lawyer would be left with to say under similar circumstances: "Now I'll have to go back to the office and draw up the goddamned papers."
Super bowl. There were nearly 30,000 empty Los Angeles Coliseum seats at the first Super Bowl in 1967, and the hero of the game--between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs --was an aging pass receiver named Max McGee, whose previous reputation was for moves he had used to escape from the Packer training camp after curfew. The event has since become a certain sell-out, and there have been many more surprising heroes and unlikely moments. Baltimore quarterback Earl Morrall was very bad when he was expected to be good, and very good, two years later, when he was expected to do little more than hold for extra points. Johnny Sample and Tom Nowatzke have been Super Bowl stars, while Mel Renfro, Duane Thomas and Johnny Unitas have, somewhere along the line, been goats of various sizes. But no one has dominated a Super Bowl the way Joe Namath did in 1969. The Jets' victory that year, although considered a fluke by some, gave future bowls an element of 'unpredictability that had been missing from the first two games. playboy's LeRoy Neiman has watched and painted his impressions of three Super Bowls and agrees that, so far, the Jets-Colts game remains the most significant. "I was the Jets' artist in residence that season, so I flew down to Miami with the team. Namath had everyone from Baltimore so furious, because of his statements to the press, that Colts followers were absolutely fanatical. As the Jets' buses pulled into the stadium parking lot on the day of the game, we saw a mob of Colts fans waiting at the locker-room entrance. They started pounding on the bus and trying to shake it while policemen were making a corridor from the bus to the locker-room door. Somebody yelled, 'Let Joe go first,' and Namath said, 'Yeah. Good idea.' The crowd wasn't prepared for him to be the first one out, so by the time they could react, he was in the locker room." Last year, perhaps to avoid that kind of scene, Dallas players took taxis to the stadium. "But that didn't work so smoothly, either. Four or five players, including quarterback Staubach, got caught in traffic and very nearly missed the kick-off. Watching the teams warm up before the game, I asked Calvin Hill to point out Duane Thomas. He did and I began to sketch. A few moments later, Hill came back and said, 'I made a mistake. That's not Thomas.' He pointed to another player and said, 'That's Thomas over there.' I thought maybe Thomas isolated himself so much his teammates didn't even know him. But during the game, he was talking to everybody on the bench. In fact, the Cowboys' bench was fantastically noisy throughout the game. I walked over to the Dolphins' side once, but it was so depressing over there, I left immediately. All in all, however, the atmosphere of a Super Bowl is far from depressing for the impartial fan, and that, with the exception of 1969, is what I am. But I do wish they'd play the game in one of the competing teams' cities. It would seem less contrived if they did it that way." Eventually they will, perhaps, but this year the game returns to Los Angeles, site of the first Super Bowl, and it's a good bet there won't be 30,000 empty seats this time.
Though seemingly complex--with puzzling relationships and flights into fantasy --John Frankenheimer's Impossible Object actually deals with one very simple theme: The search for love, life's object, can be comic and tragic, triumphant and pathetic, or all of these at once. Starring Alan Bates and Dominique Sanda, the forthcoming Franco London Film production of Nicholas Mosley's novel details this life quest in the frustrated affair of two enigmatic lovers. Harry, an English writer, devotes himself to his art while shunning interpersonal relationships; his French mistress, Natalie, according to Dominique, "wants everything but does, not know what everything' means. To her, an 'impossible object' is a dream that seems to be out of reach, but once it becomes possible, the dream changes to one as out of reach as the last." Pursuing that elusive vision, Natalie, married to a businessman (Michel Auclir), begins an entangling liaison with Harry, but her demand for deeper commitment temporarily forces them apart. Torn between Natalie and his wife, Elizabeth, the writer retreats into his imagination and weaves a fantasy--the surrealistic scenes shown here-- about everyman's ideal woman, Hippolyta, who searches him out, seduces him and yet makes no emotional demands on him. In the dream sequence, filmed at the Chäteau du Regard, north of Paris, Hippolyta leads Harry through a garden party attended by many alluring but coolly impersonal women, the kind he finds particularly attractive. But strangely enough, even in the fantasy, he can't flee the real world completely, for appearing at the dream party are Natalie, his wife and his son. The complications, both actual and imagined, that arise later in the film are even more bizarre. But we'll leave those to readers curious enough to seek out the Impossible Object for themselves. It strikes us as a wonderful way to escape reality.
In a time when authors can write about virtually anything in just about any style they happen to like--and very often get it published--deciding what is the very best writing of any year is a little hazardous: like having to choose between good meat and good fish... chacun à son goût and all that. The problem is doubly confounding when you have to decide what is the best writing you've published. After all, if you didn't like it, what is it doing in your magazine? But every year we go back and single out those articles and stories that have given us special pleasure and made us feel that we are privileged to be editors. And that's just about the only standard we use in deciding on the winners of our annual writing awards. To show the winners how pleased we are with our own good taste, we give each of them the silver medallion shown at left and $1000 ($500 for the runners-up). Here are our choices for 1972.
Here's our sweetheart bathing at her sugardaddy bigbuck's newest, poshest penthouse pad . . . an electronic paradise of the future, where environment, the ecology, life itself, 15 controlled by push button . . . a promise of fantastic and joyful things yet to come. A boon for mankind? No. a boon for the electric company? You betchum!