In 1969, a British-born, Scottish-reared journalist, relatively unknown beyond the circulation limits of the Glasgow Herald, wrote a book of purportedly historical import: Flashman: From the Flashman Papers. It was about the improbable Afghan War adventures of Harry Flashman, the bully from the classic novel Tom Brown's Schooldays---but, according to Time magazine, ten out of 42 American reviewers swallowed it whole, as a genuine memoir. Recognizing a good thing, Flashman's creator, George MacDonald Fraser, produced a pair of sequels, featuring Flashman in exploits reminiscent of The Prisoner of Zenda and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Herewith, we're delighted to begin the fourth volume of Flashman's adventures: Flashman at the Charge (of the Light Brigade, what else?). It will be issued in book form this fall by Alfred A. Knopf. The latest yarn, of which the first of three parts appears this month (with illustration by François Colos), was "plotted and researched," says Fraser, "in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, and in hotels, planes and taxis between Kiev, Tashkent and Samarkand, in the intervals between losing to Mrs. Fraser at rummy."
Playboy, April, 1973, Volume 20, 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 $15 per year. 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: Robert A. Gutwillig, Marketing Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Michael Rich, 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 Sut ter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
Retired Colonel David H. Hackworth, writing in Harper's, accused the Army of being run by incompetents and bogged down in bureaucratic red tape. The Army's chief of information, quoted in the Durham Morning Herald, replied to the charges: "I'm afraid that Hack-worth spent so much time in Vietnam that he was pretty well out of touch with what the Army was really doing." We'll buy that.
Running the rapids of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon isn't quite as hairy an exploit as it was back in 1869, when a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell led the first exploratory voyage through what was then uncharted wilderness. It took almost a month, and three of Major Powell's party never made it; deciding it would be safer to climb out of the canyon than risk further white water and the possibility of starvation, they left the main group and, it's believed, were killed by Indians on the canyon rim. Enough other corpses and memorial markers got scattered around the canyon in following years to keep the traffic down. In fact, by 1949---80 years after Powell---only 100 persons had made the trip. But times, as they say, have changed; thanks to the introduction of inflatable rubber boats and the boom in leisure-time recreation, Grand Canyon voyages have become so safe---and so popular---in the past few years that the National Park Service has had to limit passengers to a total of some 16,000 annually.
Diane Arbus killed herself in July 1971; last November a retrospective of 112 of her photographs opened to critical acclaim at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, before going on tour. It wasn't altogether a case of the artist's work being enhanced by death; during the past decade, Arbus' photographic vision---intense, powerful and disturbing---attracted a following among photographers and the public that assumed cult dimensions.
"And now we have the Malcolm Legend," mourns Peter Goldman in a sensitive retelling of The Death and Life of Malcolm X (Harper & Row), "his gifts and flaws and passions and private ironies ... all smoothed flat and stylized, like the holy men burning coolly in a Byzantine icon." Goldman's Malcolm is neither holy nor wholly profane, but rather a man in combat with his private demons. We see Malcolm the young Harlem tough, hustling, pimping, sniffing coke; Malcolm the convict, turning on to the preachments of the messenger of Allah, Elijah Muhammad; Malcolm the convert, winning souls for the Black Muslims, scaring hell out of "the white devils"; and finally, Malcolm the apostate, rejecting the messenger's word in favor of a message more militant, more black. In the end, says Goldman, Malcolm largely triumphed---if not over history, at least over his personal devils: "At some point in his life, feeling hate became a necessity for him no longer; he still enjoyed outraging white people, but his main purpose was to demonstrate to black people that ... they could make Whitey shiver in his boots a little." In those vivid days, the racial wave of the future seemed nonviolent, and King, not Malcolm, was its prophet. But, as Goldman observes, "Malcolm's day came later, out of the ashes of the riots and the desperation they revealed in the black casbahs of the urban north." His vindication, being posthumous, quickly turned into cultism; enterprising promoters sold millions of Malcolm T-shirts, and two companies attempted movie biographies, with James Baldwin and Louis Lomax prominent among the relays of scriptwriters. Baldwin's scenario, One Day, When I Was Lost (Dial), is now available. It isn't very illuminating. We glimpse myriad flashbacks through Malcolm's rearview mirror, while Malcolm drives uptown to a speaking engagement at the Audubon Ballroom---to his death. All the obligatory bases are touched---Malcolm's early and pathetic dependence on "white folks," his conversion to Islam, his final, fierce commitment to black nationalism. But, true to Goldman's lament, it is "all smoothed flat and stylized." Malcolm comes through as a saint, still thundering from the tomb (voice over) against "the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America," as the curtain falls.
Reading is an old brick-red Pennsylvania city, industrialized beyond its willingness. But for fanciers of the not-so-sacred mushroom, Joe's at 450 South Seventh Street is a mecca of earthy delights. The mushrooms, culled and culinaried by Joe and Wanda Czarnecki, don't come in cans, because the Czarneckis pick them in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. The Czarneckis' restaurant can be best described as unobtrusive---distinguished only by a discreet sign next to what was the ladies' entrance back when ladies didn't enter by the front door. Once inside, however, you'll immediately notice that the walls are adorned with photos of---you guessed it---mushrooms, and a stately sideboard is laden with more of the same, dried, pickled and otherwise preserved. Obviously, this must be the place. Cocktails, overpriced but honest, are delivered by Wanda, a prompt and accurate woman who knows her wines and spirits as well as she knows her food. Imbibers beware, however, because Joe's is not a watering hole and you'd be well advised to limit yourself to a brace of drinks before anointing your palate with Joe's truly unique Wild Mushroom Soup, a rich, dark concoction---earthy and primeval---that smacks of Transylvanian wood choppers deep in a Carpathian forest. If you must try something other than the soup, make it a plate of pastries called piroshkis, delicious little nibbles stuffed with a mushroom purée, that are eaten with just a tad of spicy Chinese mustard. Like the soup and appetizer, Joe's salads are à la carte; the best is simply a plate of tossed greens topped with the house clear French dressing. Eight entrees are offered, ranging in price from a Stuffed Breast of Chicken with Chanterelle Sauce at $6.50 to the top-of-the-line Filet Mignon en Croute with Duxelles of Wild Mushrooms---a medium-sized Beef Wellington with puffball that's worth every penny of $8.25. As an alternative to the filet, try the delicious Baked Lump Crab Meat with Wild Mushrooms or a mushroomless Javanese Steak with Fried Rice (en brochette) cooked in a Javanese sauce with a Chinese mustard base. All entrees, incidentally, come with candied baby carrots and, alas, a rather pedestrian baked potato. Desserts at Joe's, you'll be relieved to learn, are not derived from the ubiquitous mushroom. Wanda makes them, and the best are the tarts (mocha rum, peach and black bing cherry) or Almond Cream Cheesecake. Later, as you linger over draughts of coffee, Joe may emerge from the kitchen and regale you with tales of his quests for the ever-beckoning mushroom, or discuss his mycological and ecological inclinations. Maybe he'll even invite you to go along on one of his hunts. Craig Claiborne does. Joe's is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., except during August and September, when he and Wanda search for new growths. Reservations are absolutely necessary, since the dining room seats only 52 (215-373-6794). Most major credit cards are accepted.
It seems almost an understatement to call Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers a masterpiece, for he has made more than his share of superlative films, but none so pure and definitive as this. The soul-searching anguish Bergman poured into The Seventh Seal, The Silence, Winter Light and similar tormented dialogs between man and God is no longer the major issue. The wiser, mellower Bergman of Cries and Whispers appears to accept the absence of faith as inevitable; yet in its place he feels an aching nostalgia and envies those innocents whose simple belief in God's love and goodness can still shield them against the inescapable pain of being alive. To spell out a touching and at times excruciating fable of human frailty, Bergman focuses his camera like a laser beam on four women in a country manor at the turn of the century---three sisters, two of them called home to watch and wait while a third suffers the climactic horrors of terminal cancer, and a housemaid named Anna, a devout peasant girl whose capacity for love and compassion represents a Biblical ideal. "Pray for us who are left here on the dark, dirty earth under a cruel and empty sky," intones the minister who has no certain faith of his own to give death a meaning. It is the Madonnalike Anna who cradles the dead girl in her arms---or dreams that she does---in a Pietà sequence after the surviving sisters have turned away in revulsion, sickened by death and unable to make life bearable. The opportunities Bergman provides for actresses are legend, and Cries features four towering performances. Harriet Andersson as the doomed Agnes plays her protracted death scene with harrowing intensity, while Kari Sylwan's beatific Anna, and Liv Ullmann's shallow Maria---a spoiled beauty engaged in dalliance with the family physician---are only fractionally overshadowed by Ingrid Thulin in the film's most difficult and complex role. Thulin is Karin, the embittered eldest sister whose rage and loathing for her husband compel her (in one of the more striking of many flashbacks, which may be either real or imagined) to bloody their marital bed by grinding a shard of glass into her vagina. Cinematographer Sven Nykvist's creative collaboration with Bergman has never counted for more; Cries and Whispers is a poetic composition in movement, made up almost entirely of crimson-red backgrounds---with a choreographed ensemble of women in stark white or mournful black, implying volcanic passions under an immaculate overlay of Victorian reserve. On the sound track, Bergman reproduces a recurrent, subliminal murmur of whispers and cries that sound like faraway calls for help, echoes of the past. That the calls are rarely answered, that all of us are held incommunicado within a maze of unsynchronized mutual need is Bergman's statement---if a drama so rich and resonant can be reduced to a statement. And he makes it with the unquestionable authority of genius.
Finally, Tommy (Ode) has become what it ought to have been from the first, a bona fide opera. Four years after the initial, overpraised success of The Who LP, producer Lou Reizner prodded Pete Townshend to help flesh out the libretto to clear up the story line, contracted with David Measham and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir, had Wil Malone arrange the music and, with much difficulty, got together a cast of 12 pop stars to sing the character roles. The result has all the continuity, force and musical drama that the original lacked. It's impressive to hear people such as Townshend, Sandy Denny, Steve Winwood and Richie Havens contributing their vocal talents to one production. Especially right for their parts are Roger Daltrey as Tommy, Merry Clayton as the Acid Queen and Rod Stewart singing Pin Ball Wizard. And the music, while it sometimes smacks of Bernstein, is functional and effective in amplifying the action. A bonus in this set is the packaging job, with stunning artwork and graphics. A stage production has already premiered in London, and there is talk of New York and a film. Whatever happens, the record is here now, and it has been worth waiting for.
Every season Neil Simon writes another play and unfurls another hit high over Broadway. An expert jokesmith, he keeps threatening to write a serious comedy, but something---could it possibly be talent?---stops him short. His latest, The Sunshine Boys, isn't nearly serious enough, and it isn't quite as funny as Simon at his best (such as in The Odd Couple, which could have served as an alternate title for the current effort). But for Simonizers, it should be Neilly enough. The Sunshine Boys are a famous vaudeville team, long retired, Lewis (Sam Levene) having walked out leaving Clark (Jack Albertson) holding the straight lines. Now Albertson's worshipful agent-nephew (Lewis J. Stadlen) has coaxed the two inimical friends back together for a television repeat of their Dr. Kronkite skit. Simon's method is not, as in John Osborne's The Entertainer, to probe the torment beneath the laughter, but to brush in the surface reality. There is a happy humanity to The Sunshine Boys, but there is also a lack of penetration into the meaning of their partnership. This leads to reiteration rather than revelation. Despite their shared acerbity. Lewis and Clark are sweet souls and the actors endow the characters with additional amiability. It is Albertson's evening as he wrenches everything (even his own heart attack) into a comedy skit with himself as star performer. Levene is mostly called upon to react---double takes and slow burns. Aided by Alan Arkin's assured direction, The Sunshine Boys radiates nostalgia for the fair-weather days of vaudeville. At the Broadhurst, 235 West 44th Street.
I am Catholic and Caucasian, and my fiancée is Oriental. Both of our families would be dead set against our forthcoming marriage if they knew it was pending---and that's the problem. How do we break the news to them? We intend to go ahead but would like to do so without hassles, broken hearts and severed relationships. We're not trying to run away from our backgrounds or customs nor trying to be what we're not. We love each other and want to marry but would like to do so without having to give up our parents. How should we proceed?---E. G., Brooklyn, New York.
Why should freedom of speech and freedom of the press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?
For almost two decades, from 1944 to 1961, Tennessee Williams wrote a series of corrosively eloquent, strangely compelling plays on subjects seldom confronted before outside the nether world of fantasy and nightmare: "A Streetcar Named Desire" (homosexuality, nymphomania, promiscuity, rape), "The Glass Menagerie" (loneliness, sexual frustration), "Summer and Smoke" (profligacy, frigidity), "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (greed, alcoholism, impotence, more homosexuality), "Baby Doll" (crib fetishism, pedophilia), "Orpheus Descending" (blowtorch killing), "Sweet Bird of Youth" (castration, dope addiction, V. D.), "Suddenly, Last Summer" (cannibalism, madness) and "Night of the Iguana" (panty fetishism, masturbation, coprophagy). He got away with it not because he served up aberrant sex and violence with such realistic fervor, as some critics had it, but through shining epiphanies, through his unique vision as a poetic symbolist and mythologer. Not surprisingly, Williams won three New York Drama Critics Circle Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes before he turned 50.
We humans value our secrets as highly as we do our gold watches and money clips, and just as muggers wait in parks to rifle our pockets for things to pawn, spies make a living stealing and trading those secrets. They've become very damn good at it by now. They can get into our businesses and houses (it's so easy for them) or onto our telephones or even into our martinis. They can use the light of the stars to photograph us where it's too dark for an ordinary thief to see, and about two years ago they began jimmying the locks around the deep and dark parts of a man's mind where the real secrets are: lies, hatreds, jealousies, fear, love, the hidden chemistry of human behavior---which is really what they were after all the time and which they once weren't able to photograph or record or bribe out into the light. Even starlight.
Pornographic films often make money but rarely make stars. In the Fifties there was Candy Barr, the Texas stripper, whose notoriety may have been due as much to her imprisonment for marijuana possession as it was to her sexual prowess in the legendary stag film, Smart! Alec. It took more than a decade and millions of feet of film before the patrons of porn found another sex star worthy of the name---Linda Lovelace, leading lady of the record-breaking skin flick Deep Throat. It was Linda's first screen performance, and she really blew it. Circus sword swallowers possess an unusual ability to align mouth and throat, control their breathing, suppress the instinctive gag reflex and do their thing. So does Linda. The movie wasn't titled Deep Throat for nothing. In it she performs oral feats exceeding anything ever recorded on film and apparently defying the laws of anatomy.
"Organized Crime cannot exist without the help of your so-called honest citizen. All we are is a service organization." "Joey" was sitting two feet across from me, busily attacking a late-night snack of two eggs over easy, bacon crisp! and coffee with milk, not cream. He had spent a good portion of the evening attempting to convince me that organized crime in America was, in reality, an unusual combination of the Sisters of Mercy and Murder, Inc. At times he was totally convincing.
The Crepe, that paper-thin pancake with the chic French name, is in a culinary class by itself: Although lacy-thin, it's so tender that it can almost be cut with a sharp glance, yet so durable that it can be folded into any shape and firmly hold any filling without breaking or tearing. The crepe is also versatile, with every country in Europe using it in appealing ways ranging from the elaborate to the simple. In France, where the crepe is held in esteem and where the ways with it are the most creative, leftover lamb, chicken or any meat is chopped, seasoned, rolled in a crepe, covered with a sauce, sprinkled with cheese, browned in the oven and served as a tasty luncheon treat that makes its meat base seem mundane by comparison. In Vienna, I've had dinner with Hungarian friends who served their superb goulash wrapped in crisp crepes, and I've eaten buckwheat crepes stuffed with tuna and beans with embarrassing gusto at a Breton family table. Once, to immortalize a classic hangover I acquired in Rome, I ate ten cannelloni, crepes stuffed with three kinds of cheese and jeweled with bits of prosciutto ham, washing down those recuperative fluffy delights with a full bottle of the restaurant's house white Frascati. I've had whole herrings rolled in crepes and sauced with sour cream in Amsterdam; at an afternoon tea in Norway, I've eaten the tiny pancakes filled with tart cloudberries and sprinkled with sugar. Although I have yet to sit at a Russian table and enjoy crepes fat with glistening pearl-gray Beluga caviar, I haven't given up hope of savoring that ultimate in crepe cuisine.
We are reliably informed that the typical playboy reader pays very close to $2500 each year in Federal income taxes. Some pay more, some pay less and some (the very rich) pay nothing at all. But on the average, $2500 a year is the figure, and this is a lot of money. Many of us don't realize we're paying so much, due to the deceptive way in which the income tax is both collected and spent. There is deception going in, because the tax is extracted from our pay checks a bit at a time, in a manner deliberately calculated to minimize pain. (The man who designed the withholding system, Milton Friedman, has seen the error of his ways; when we were taping our February interview with him, he said, in effect, that if he had to do it over again, he wouldn't.) The deception going out is even more insidious, because the Government spends money in sums so large that nobody can visualize them. We think this is bad. Taxpayers ought to be able to visualize how their money is blown. To help you determine where yours is going, we've unearthed instances where the amounts spent are small enough to be comprehensible to the man footing the bill. That's you. Now that April's here, imagine your $2500 paying its share of any of the projects described on these pages. Take your choice, sign your check---and eat your heart out.
Her friends all thought Julie Woodson was crazy to walk off the set of Super Fly. But the producers hadn't told her beforehand about the nude love scene she was supposed to play---and, for what she considered rip-off wages, it just wasn't worth it. So Julie---an accomplished model who works for the Eileen Ford agency and has appeared in various TV commercials---decided she could afford to wait a while longer for her first movie role. Now that she's seen Super Fly, she doesn't regret her move: "I hated it, except for Curtis Mayfield's music, which carried the whole thing. But most of the black movies coming out are just garbage--- they're all about sex and drugs, they put down the blacks and exploit the actors. Until the money comes in for some good black movies---and until I can get some roles that call for acting instead of just looking good---I'll stay off the screen." The same qualities---a sense of direction and a bit of will power---that made Miss Woodson get up and split also helped her escape from her home town of Hutchinson, Kansas. "If I'd stayed there," she allows, "I'd probably have a lot of children by now, and I'd probably be on welfare." But she left there at 12 and went to California with her father (her parents are divorced). While Julie earned a degree in business from San Diego City College, she worked as a stewardess for PSA, and after finishing school, she switched to TWA. That brought her to New York, where she began modeling for the Black Beauty agency. That led, in turn, to her association with Eileen Ford and to TV spots on behalf of hair sprays, cold remedies, yoghurt, diapers and other products. Julie isn't crazy about her work, but she admits she'd like to be the top black model in New York. She'd also like the chance to use her business acumen to start her own company someday---no specific ideas yet---and she's banking her money with that in mind. In her spare time, Julie studies acting and practices karate (an art she feels is necessary in New York City). Eventually, she would like to settle down and raise a family. Such is her maternal instinct, in fact, that when she lived in L.A. she would go to local orphanages and "borrow" youngsters for weekends. But family building will have to wait. Right now, Julie's concerned with making her vision of the good life a reality---and she seems to be well on her way.
The husband and wife were having difficulty in deciding what to give up for Lent, but finally, in a fervent spirit of atonement, they agreed on sex. As the weeks slowly passed, they began to regret their choice, but still stuck to it, sleeping in separate bedrooms and also locking the doors to control temptation. Finally, the glorious Easter sun rose and the wife was awakened by a series of thunderous knocks on her door. "Oh, George," she called out, "I know what you're knocking for!"
The past few years were the best of times for men's fashions and the worst of times for men's suits. Sales slumped to all-time lows, probably because it was an era of sartorial self-expression---and suits were a symbol of the establisment. Now the fashion ride has turned and suits are back in style. Some models will be funky updatings of Forties looks, while other unlined and untailored versions are perfect for the Seventies. So check over the styles shown here, then---suit yourself.
On a warm night, nearly midnight, in the heart of July, Skin Lathrop drives Annmarie's Ford pickup into the plate-glass side of a drive-through hamburger stand, deep in the sprawled suburbs south of San Francisco. Although the accident does not occur at a high rate of speed---because Skin is at that moment pulling out of the drive-through and trying simultaneously, in a complex maneuver, to consume an onion ring---it is complicated by the fact that just 45 minutes before, Skin had piggishly consumed the last of Annmarie's personal stash of reds, which he had discovered concealed in a tiny magnetized box secreted beneath one of the engine mounts. Although Skin tries to pull away from the scene of the accident, he happens instead---due to entirely unavoidable chemical misjudgment---to accelerate directly into the rear of a Volkswagen bus just pulling out onto the highway, thereby immobilizing all vehicles concerned and immediately drawing the attention of a passing highway-patrol car.
Only the comic madness of illustrator Tomi Ungerer could begin to capture the frustrating love/hate relationship that most of us have with the telephone. Unchecked, Ma Bell can be a strident mistress who too often screams when someone's in the tub, refuses to speak until all alone or rudely wrests whoever's within earshot from the arms of Morpheus (not to mention a more comely substitute). The Wellsian solution to the problem, of course, was for man to create a machine to control a machine, and that's what's shown here---the latest and best electronic answering devices now on the market. Several of them can be monitored from any phone in the world; one comes with three announcement channels that can be prerecorded for answering during different periods of absence; another changes its message as fast as you can switch cassettes; and yet another asks questions of the caller and actually shuts up when spoken to. All allow whoever's on the line plenty of time to rap (almost three minutes on some) and there's no way to stop blabbermouths from ringing back for more. Say goodbye to your phone hang-ups.
It is a little hard to keep this in focus, but the problem that everyone in Munich worried about before the Olympics was whether the swooping Plexiglas tent that covered part of the big stadium would trap the sun's heat, poach the athletes and turn the plastic running track to peanut butter. The possibility was raised in the local press that the nation's lovingly prepared Olympic games might in this way become a laughingstock, a disaster.
When she was a little girl in Montreal, Dayle Haddon was---well---puny. To build up her physique, Dayle's parents sent her to dancing school. It worked. By the time she was 13, she was a member of Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes. At 18, she'd filled out sufficiently to be voted Miss Montreal. When a friend sent her photo to a fashion magazine in New York, a new career began for Dayle; for the next several years, she was a successful photographer's model. Last year, to be near her boyfriend, she moved to Hollywood---and, almost on a whim, showed up at the tryouts for a Walt Disney film, The World's Greatest Athlete. "I interviewed more than a hundred girls for the part of Jane, the student tutor who falls in love with a jungle boy," recalls producer Bill Walsh. "Only Dayle had the quality of innocence essential to the role." Soon after landing the part, Dayle, 23, was cast in another production, Last of the Big Guns, starring Keir Dullea. "The two films are as different as night and day," Dayle says. "Big Guns required more acting, more emotional involvement from me. Keir portrays a smalltime hockey star and, as his girlfriend, I play a pivotal role in his downfall." Next, Dayle hopes, will be The Way of the Warrior, a film written by Richard Taylor---who also took these portraits. If Taylor writes as well as he shoots. Warrior should be a winner.
Ribald Classic: Two Tales: Ripe Pears and a Legal Affair
There was a young man named Jeannot who kept an orchard near our town. It was small, but it lay in the fertile land between the convent and the river and it produced premium fruit. With the help of one boy and a few pickers in harvest time, Jeannot managed to have a marvelous crop each year---but this was because he spent most of his waking time nurturing, fertilizing, watering, pruning and worrying about frost or blight. The pride of his orchard was a great pear tree that bore the most succulent, golden pears in Anjou.
According to Andre de Dienes. the Hungarian-born lensman who produced the pictures on these pages, the loveliness of the women he shoots is beyond question. But to describe these photos as lovely would be a bit imprecise. "I can't really describe them at all." says De Dienes, "and I won't tell you how I shot them, because that's a secret I'd prefer to keep to myself. All I can say is that the technique I used is extremely complicated and that I practically ruined my eyes with the damn thing." Such hardships, however, aren't unusual for De Dienes. Over the past 35 years, he has braved Sahara heat, Florida hurricanes and hostile movie stars to shoot the kind of glamor and nude photography that has made him famous. Longtime Playboy readers will remember the Marilyn Monroe pictorials we featured over the years; De Dienes' shots of her were among the first we published. He has also compiled six books of nude photography and is busy shooting the seventh, an expanded version of the technique he's explored here. As a photographer, De Dienes has never been short on new approaches. He conceived his current one when a model showed up drunk at his studio. "I was furious," De Dienes recalls. "Her posing was weird, dreadful. When I developed the shooting, I was even more distressed, and out of spite I distorted her photos. Thereupon, I discovered a whole new way to photograph nudes." Though these images may share resonances with the Freudian-inspired symbolism of painters Salvador Dali and Giorgio de Chirico, De Dienes denies that the work of such surrealists influences his own. "I don't think an artist should be influenced by anyone," he says. To him, these photographs evoke a carnivallike spirit more comical than anything else. For others, his distorting lens highlights the essential qualities of the female form. But it's not our task here to judge his work; whether you think these studies are funny, sexy and/or bizarre, we believe they do an admirable job of defining themselves.
There's a camaraderie among young black politicians, probably because there are still so few of them. When Algernon Johnson "Jay" Cooper. Jr., a former aide to Robert Kennedy, sent out word that he was running for mayor of Prichard, Alabama, the faithful---mayors. Congressmen and state legislators---made tracks South or sent help. The population of the tired blue-collar Mobile suburb (about 41,000) is almost evenly split between blacks and whites, but after a runoff election with racial overtones (poor blacks received calls from employees of the white city administration threatening to cut off their welfare checks if they voted for Cooper), Prichard was the largest city south of the Mason-Dixon line with a black mayor. A coalition of whites and newly registered blacks---and the antipathy of both toward the three-term incumbent who left the debt-ridden city near receivership---put Cooper over. The 28-year-old graduate of Notre Dame and NYU law school quickly set about mending racial fences by inviting George Wallace to speak in Prichard. "Half of my constituents are white, and I'd say 80 percent of them are supporters of Governor Wallace. I thought it was something they would appreciate." The white majority on the city council is more of a bottleneck in Cooper's plans: "They continually try to limit my power." But Cooper's Northern contacts already have secured a large urban-renewal grant from HUD and a commitment to buy $2.000,000 in municipal bonds for a new city hall. "I spent a number of years away from home trying to learn certain things and getting to know certain people so they could be used to help at home. Whether you're talking about Nixon Republicans or Democrats on the Hill. I think we're pretty well plugged in." Cooper admits there may be a white exodus from Prichard, but one local newspaperwoman says, "You'd be surprised how many white people really like the man. They realize he's got his stuff on the road."
Setting: Interior, East Harlem hospital. Time: Now. Subject: Infant drug addiction. This scenario doesn't describe a film shown for a few legislators at some closed-door drug-abuse investigation but a sequence seen by millions of metropolitan New Yorkers on ABC's Eyewitness News. Hardly the standard TV news fare. But then, Geraldo Rivera, the scene's writer-producer, isn't your standard broadcast journalist. He is 29, bilingual, Puerto Rican, long-haired and, by his own admission, "the best there is." In June 1970, ABC's New York affiliate found Rivera in an uptown legal-aid office, where he was representing such groups as the militant Young Lords. At first, he was assigned to the Beautiful People beat (days not entirely misspent; Rivera met his wife, Kurt Vonnegut's daughter, as a result). Within a year, however, he'd convinced his news editors that "there are so many rotten things going on in New York" that they gave him a crew all his own. Rivera wept and raged onscreen while his cameramen zoomed in on Lower East Side "shooting galleries." a feces-smeared mental institution and migrant-labor hovels. "Unlike most newsmen," he says, "I want nothing to do with objectivity. The essential question for me is: How can I be most effective in changing society?" Such questions provoke a variety of reactions: the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters top-newsman-of-1971 award, for one; an involuntary leave of absence from his station after he openly endorsed George McGovern, for another. Critics claim his journalistic style undermines the credibility of TV news, because he often becomes, rather than reports, his stories. But Rivera embraces the notoriety. "I'm very much an egotist," he says, "and I'm aware of my own mortality. I believe my function is to change the world in some measurable way before I die. And if I have to shake New York and the institutions of journalism to their very foundations to do it, I will."
The finest documentary of last year---perhaps of any year---has got to be The Sorrow and the Pity, a four-and-a-half-hour film that combines cinéma vérité interviews with old newsreel footage to re-create the Nazi occupation of France. Undertaken for, but later rejected by, French TV---partly because it contends that 90 percent of all Frenchmen supported the Vichy regime---Sorrow has scored at all the international festivals; and its director, Marcel Ophuls, 45, traveled from his Munich home to New York in January to accept a special critics' award. Ophuls---whose father, Max, was a brilliant film director of the Thirties. Forties and fifties---claims, surprisingly, that he really prefers comedies to documentaries, which he finds spiritually as well as physically tiring to shoot. "People complain about how wearing four and a half hours of human weakness and blackness can be on the spectator: I say: What do you think it's like to live with it for ten months?" A native German---and a Jew---Ophuls fled with his family from the Nazis, going first to France, then to the United States. In 1950 he returned to France and got started in movies. After serving as assistant director on several pictures, he made Banana Peel, a fairly successful comedy, on his own. A job producing half-hour historical films for French TV led to a more ambitious three-part series, beginning with a five-hour two-part film on the 1938 Munich Agreement. Next came The Sorrow and the Pity. Currently in production---after a side trip to Northern Ireland to make A Sense of Loss, a poignant record of the conflict there---is the third film of his planned trilogy on France and the Nazis: it deals with the early postwar years. Why will audiences sit through these lengthy and painful reexaminations of history's blacker episodes? Ophuls thinks it's because "I don't share the documentary-film ethic. I'm not a purist about it. I look for everything that is amusing or startling, and I try to entertain." That he unquestionably does.
Huey Newton tells how he rose from illiteracy to the leadership of the black panther party---and why he's convinced his archrival, eldridge cleaver, is out to kill him---in a powerful Playboy Interview