The nostalgia craze, which looks like it's here to stay, has certainly summoned many glorious things from the past—old movies, old clothes, old songs. Now, even the old Depression may be coming back for an encore. Banks are closing just like in the good old days and Gerald Ford is beginning to sound a lot like Calvin Coolidge. And if that's not enough to have you stashing your pennies beneath the floor boards, check out our special Depression package, Who's Afraid of Hard Times?, in which Larry L. King casts a melancholy eye backward and William F. Rickenbacker takes a cautionary look forward. King, who was born and raised during the last Depression, recalls what it was like to be wiped out and reduced to picking cotton on a Texas farm. On a slightly more positive note, Rickenbacker, son of Captain Eddie and author of several books on the economy, blames our economic problems on a wishy-washy Government but feels that another depression can he avoided. We'll just have to wait and see.
Playboy, March, 1975, Volume 22, Number 3. 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: Richard S. Rosenzweig, Director of Marketing; Emery Smyth, Marketing Services Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlied, Director of Public Relations, Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Herbert D. Maneloveg, Associate Advertising director; Jules Kase, Joshph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 747 Third Avenue, New York. New York 10017; Chicago, Sherman Keats, Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E, Stephens, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street.
Lynda Haggard showed up for jury duty at the district courthouse in Albany, Oregon, wearing a pants suit. The judge dismissed her, explaining that he didn't allow pants suits in his courtroom. Mrs. Haggard protested: "I can think just as well with my pants on as with my pants off." The judge, thinking things over, was impressed with Mrs. Haggard's logic and rescinded his ban.
Alexander the Great looked around one day, saw that there were no more worlds to conquer and began to weep. World markets, of course, are another thing entirely. Take Chile, for example; the CIA and I.T.T. already have. As described in Global Reach (Simon & Schuster), the overthrow of the Allende regime is almost a minor example of how the short-range political interests of any given country can be made to serve the long-range interests of the global corporations. Gunboats don't work anymore. From our Government's point of view, it was cheaper and politically less hazardous to attack South American Marxism with the economic weapons of a huge international company. The message was simple: Your service will be disconnected unless your balance is paid. Recent revelations about the CIA and I.T.T. in Chile make the book particularly timely, but its purpose is to examine the roles that virtually all such "planetary enterprises"—companies such as I.T.T., Shell, G.M., G.E., Pfizer and Exxon—play in determining the welfare of millions of people, particularly in poorer countries. It's the position of authors Richard J. Barnet and Ronald E. Müller that the global corporation is the first institution in history dedicated to central planning on a world scale and that such corporations today have more power than any government to organize people (meaning technologists and labor) and goods (meaning everything from food to factories). Barnet and Müller devote much of their book to explaining why and how traditional economic theories have helped spawn an elite supranational business community with the kind of clout the United Nations can only fantasize about. The book is—for a treatise on economics, at least—readable and enlightening, but, alas, somewhat utopian.
The saga of the Corleone family resumes at andante tempo in The Godfather Part II, writer-director Francis Ford Coppola's three-hour-plus epic describing what happens to the Godfather clan after Brando. Though it's a tough act to follow, even Brando's role as Don Vito Corleone is reprised in a series of flashbacks, occasionally awkward or irrelevant, hyped by Robert De Niro's vital portrayal of the young Vito as a Sicilian immigrant with a taste for power. There's far less violent action and old-fashioned excitement than in the original, because Coppola (in collaboration with Mario Puzo) chose to shape the sequel as a deeply shadowed, almost operatic study of a crumbling family dynasty. Replete with another eloquent musical score by Nino Rota, Part II rates a lower mark as sheer entertainment but a big A for integrity on a project obviously initiated to milk a hot property bone-dry. The cast of characters at center stage is essentially the same, led by Al Pacino in a brilliant encore performance as Michael Corleone, along with Robert Duvall as the consigliere, Morgana King as Mama Corleone, Diane Keaton as Michael's bitterly disillusioned wife, Talia Shire as his neurotic thrice-married sister and John Cazale, a scene stealer as the eldest and the weakest Corleone son. One welcome addition to the ranks is Actors Studio's Lee Strasberg, pungently playing a Jewish crime czar named Hyman Roth as if he hoped to be mistaken for the Mafia's own Meyer Lansky. A power struggle between Michael and Roth provides a semblance of plot upon which Coppola works intricate variations. Pacino as Michael has become a cool and ruthless predator—buying up judges and Congressmen, rubbing out or ruining any man who questions his authority, claiming victims at his whim, all ostensibly in defense of the family's honor. Moving from New York to Las Vegas, from Cuba during the era of Batista's downfall to a Washington, D.C., caucus room, where a Senate committee carries on a futile probe of organized crime, Godfather Part II is more ambitious and cynical, but also more diffuse, than its brash forebear. Here, sweeping social landscape is the thing, with the players moved like pawns through an ancient drama of retributive vengeance. Every new horror seems inevitable, because the characters believe it so. And in the dimly lit, overheated rooms where their intrigues are hatched, cinematographer Gordon Willis catches precisely the insular claustrophobic air of a feudal castle full of fearful and suspicious 20th Century Borgias. Gone are the cozy domestic scenes seemingly saturated with the aroma of home cooking—this remote don's castle is a heavily fortified Xanadu where men, women and children serve life sentences. Skeptics who thought the first Godfather's progeny too lovable or romanticized will find no further cause to complain that the Corleones are merely the Waltons in wolf's clothing. The second time around, Coppola has caught them red-handed.
Red Queen to Gryphon Three (Bell) is Renaissance courtly love in a chemical cracking plant. The ancient griffin tore to pieces whatever crossed its path, and on side one, at least, Gryphon continues the tradition. Keyboard and guitar combine with bassoon, recorder and krumhorn to effect fantastical syntheses of Mozart and Cream, Handel and Quicksilver Messenger Service, as if the mythical griffin must dance a stately pavan before vaporizing its lady into mustard gas. Opening Move and Second Spasm are the best adaptations of English Renaissance music we've heard. Richard Harvey's recorder work on Second Spasm is unsurpassable. Lament and Checkmate on side two, composed in the Russian romantic vein, are less convincing; but in hard times, half an interesting album seems better than none at all.
Walk into Sardi's or the Algonquin Hotel or along Shubert Alley and you realize that the British invasion of Broadway is complete. The majority of shows that opened during the first half of the season, and almost all the ones that thrived, were British. The big dramatic hit was Peter Shaffer's Equus; the boffo comedy winner, Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular; and the top family show, the durable Sherlock Holmes. At Tony-award time, it will be an arm wrestle between the Angles and the Saxons. There is Jim Dale, a scampering Scapino in his rumpled ice-cream suit; John Wood, a spiffy Holmes; Peter Firth worshiping the great god Equus and whinnying on cue for his analyst, Anthony Hopkins; Donald Sinden delivering his London Assurance; Rex Harrison paying homage In Praise of Love, by Terence Rattigan. The invasion has been mostly masculine—As You Like It stars an all-male cast—but here comes late-comer Maggie Smith, in Private Lives. As soon as one Britisher moves out, another arrives. The theater tenanted by the mad Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, in Good Evening, was next booked by Peter Ustinov, offering his guide to Who's Who in Hell. Wherever one turns, there is another British Peter—the Peter playwrights (Shaffer and Nichols, and Barnes making a deal), the Peter directors (Brook and Hall, due soon). There are also Franco Zeffirelli (by now at least demi-British) and Frank Dunlop (whose Neapolitan Scapino makes him a Franco Dunloppo) and a pair of directing Johns, Dexter and Gielgud.
Some of the guys at work were talking the other day about the peculiarities of making love to a woman for the first time. We discovered that, almost against our will, we tend to revert to a high school approach—"measuring" our progress from first base to second base to third base (where, on the advice of the base coach, we stop for some cunnilingus), then on to home. My first-night feeling is, "I can do better than this. Hell, I have done better than this." I can't figure out why we repeat that amateur mating dance. What do you do on first dates?—M. V., Tallahassee, Florida.
If, in these days of raised female consciousness, someone were to write a liberated version of the old "hard-working boy makes good" stories, he could find a ready-made model in the sports world's first genuine woman superstar. Billie Jean King is a living testimonial to the tradition that anyone of modest background who has talent, wants something badly enough and is willing to work his or her ass off can be successful. She's the best-known woman tennis player in the world—and the richest; she's becoming a dynamic sports promoter; and she's even launching a new career in television.
All was Serene: the air, the dry weeds, the dunes, the sky, the flat, windless sea. Bernal, inside the house, opened the window so he could breathe into himself the utter quiet, the space without birds, insects or planes. There was a hint of wild sage this year; perhaps the rains had been heavier during the past winter. Yes, why not leave the planet to all green and rooted things? Everything animal, he said to himself, was a monstrosity, an episode that was soon to be finished. Because on this particular Tuesday, Bernal and his daughter were still, as far as they could discover, absolutely alone in the world.
Muscles of Iron, the stamina of a long-distance runner and the sheer sensuous pleasure of being really fit—sounds hip, you say, but getting to your friendly neighborhood health club is too much of a hassle. Well, assemble a private gym right in the sanctity of your crib, turning that spare bedroom, perhaps, into a mini–workout salon. Furthermore, there's no law that says you can't get a little help from a shapely friend.... It sure beats waiting for the old rocking chair to getcha.
There Oughta Be a Law, or if there ain't a law, then there oughta be a place where all the loonies can do their thing without driving a poor cop nuts. Like they have in London, where I took the wife and kids on my last vacation—Hyde Park, where all the religious kooks can stand up on their soapboxes and yell at each other without screwing up traffic. We got enough trouble on the streets of New York with stoned-out hippies think they're on L.A. freeways, buses hogging three lanes, crazy cabbies think they own the streets, winos gorking out in the middle of intersections and trucks parking anywhere they damn please and to hell with all the citizens leaning on their horns behind them. What we sure enough don't need is 31 different flavors of religious fruitcakes crapping up traffic, too, let me tell you, Charley.
The fastest way to gather a crowd for a cassoulet party is to simply call out the ingredients—browned young goose, creamy great-northern beans, boneless pork loin, garlic-scented sausage, onions, tomatoes, herbs and bread crumbs—then quickly stand aside to avoid being trampled. Anatole France described the cassoulet's savor as the kind "that one finds in the paintings of the old Venetian masters, in the amber flesh tints of their women." Amber tints aside, in making a good cassoulet, you start with about ten times as much flesh as beans. By the time the cassoulet has finished baking in the oven, and the beans have plumped out like a triumphant army overriding a country and being swallowed up by it at the same time, the amalgam of flavors will be such that when you taste a single bean, you taste everything. The home of the cassoulet is the Languedoc region of France, where the geese and the garlic roam. In its birthplace, pork is the principal meat in the cassoulet, (concluded on page 189)Cassoulet(continued from page 83) often with only a token amount of goose, sometimes just a stuffed neck or a leg of confit d'oie, a form of preserved goose in which the meat is kept for weeks in its own rendered fat. Playboy's cassoulet, to be practical, reverses the order and gives the goose star billing. It's an opulent yet free-and-easy party dish and at the table is outranked in size only by a huge salad of leafy greens in an olive-oil dressing. For working hand in hand with the cassoulet, let there be chunks of crusty sourdough French bread and bottles of pinot noir ready to be poured semichilled—between room and refrigerator temperatures—as many cassouletiers prefer it.
Margot Kidder, incurable diarist and ubiquitous film star, confided her ambitions to her diary when she was a little girl in Vancouver, British Columbia. When she was a bit older, Margot became acquainted with Playboy, as she recounts here in reminiscences that are typically frank, personal and unpredictable. If you're a hang-glide enthusiast, you may have seen daredevil Margot kiting solo over the sere hills of Southern California (her feats recorded in a (text continued on page 91) documentary on the sport for ABC-TV's "The American Sportsman" series). She first soared across movie screens in "Gaily, Gaily," went on to play a psychotic killer in "Sisters" and was cast opposite Stacy Keach in last year's "Gravy Train." Her current credits include "The Great Waldo Pepper" with Robert Redford, "Black Christmas" with Keir Dullea and "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud," which co-stars Michael Sarrazin and Jennifer O'Neill (Margot as Jennifer's mother, believe it or not). For a change of pace, watch for her as the seductive Miranda in a forthcoming film version of "Ninety-Two in the Shade" with co-stars Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, directed and adapted from his own best seller by novelist Thomas McGuane. Plus many more to come. And now that she has been properly introduced, we'll let Margot speak for herself:
Kristofferson stood still, gazing blankly over the other man's shoulder. Most of the time he is loose and easy, the deep blue eyes level and good-humored. But tonight he was tight, stiff. He was backstage trying to get up for the concert, but his friend Dennis Hopper had introduced this New Mexico politician who was running for governor. A big bespectacled man wearing a black suit all pasted up with stickers bearing his own name, he was jawing earnestly at Kristofferson. Kristofferson was trying, but he was having that kind of day.
Some of the holy men and strange prophets who have drifted across the deserts of Washington in recent years have at least been good for a laugh. Sun Myung Moon, the visiting Korean who hinted he was Jesus Christ and spent most of his time singing patriotic songs in the park across from the White House—we'll miss him, now that he's gone into eclipse with his hero Nixon. And we'll miss those funny fellows who used to turn up to preach a sermon for select White House congregations, preachers such as Rabbi Louis Finkelstein of New York, who once declared passionately, "The finger of God pointed to Richard Milhous Nixon, giving him the vision and the wisdom to save the world and civilization."
It's a long hop from Oslo, Norway—where Ingeborg Sorensen's mother minds the family drugstore while her father and brother are out driving cabs—to the Hollywood suburb of Bel-Air, where Ingeborg now lives in the company of four Venezuelan monkeys and a toy dachshund. Rest assured, though, that she got from O to B in the most logical way—via Japan, where she toured department stores a few years ago, showing off Norwegian fashions as part of a Nordic festival. An American photographer suggested that she try Hollywood and she figured, "Well, I'm halfway around the world anyway; instead of going home by way of Alaska and Moscow, I may as well go via Hawaii and Los Angeles." So Ingeborg—a former Miss Norway and Miss Europe who was also runner-up in the 1972 Miss World contest—paid a visit to the Southern California glitter capital. Then another. And after shuttling back and forth a few times between L.A. and Oslo, she moved to Hollywood for good. And it has been for good, as far as Ingeborg is concerned. She's been very busy making TV commercials, and you've probably recognized her already as the blonde who says "Watch Joe Namath get creamed!" in the Noxzema commercial ("How was Joe to work with? I'll just say very nice"). Ingeborg is currently studying acting with Jeff Corey—she's already made a couple of films but nothing she's inclined to brag about—and fully intends to be prepared for the big movie opportunity she's certain will come her way. Her family isn't too crazy about her living in Hollywood ("We're extremely close, like most European families, who always want to have the people they love around them"), but, she declares, "I have to live my own life." Not that Ingeborg, who visits Norway about twice a year, doesn't miss it: "People care more about one another there than they do here, and they go out of their way to show affection. You always know you have friends. Here you have friends one day and if you don't have them the next, you don't much care. I'm sure that L.A. isn't typical of America, though. Perhaps the film industry has something to do with it, but the truth is that a lot of the people I've met out here are very artificial. As it happens, most of my friends—the people I spend time with—are Scandinavian." But even if she wishes the folks in L.A. were "a little more real," Ingeborg doesn't want to sound overly critical, because she does like living there. "Otherwise, I wouldn't stay." The Southern California climate is a prime attraction: "If there's a fuel shortage here and you can't turn on the heat, you won't freeze. Norway is cold, and you would freeze." And she manages to enjoy herself, riding horseback, sketching or simply socializing. Then, too, she has her pets: "Any time I feel really lonely, I can talk to the animals—though I might have to get rid of the monkeys, because they're getting jealous of the dog, and I'd rather hold on to him." Now, what was that nonsense about leading a dog's life?
A woman suing her husband for divorce charged that he was too uncouth to be lived with. "He's an inveterate tea drinker, your Honor," she explained, "and wherever we go, he always drinks his tea with his pinkie sticking out."
Sir: Mr. Walcott, director of the Geological Survey, has just been in to see me, having seen the President. He has shown me some interesting photographs of Professor Langley's flying machine. The machine has worked. It seems to me worth while for this Government to try whether it will not work on a large enough scale to be of use in the event of war.
Man's Arrogance has led him to believe that he is the only intelligent life form in the universe. The sheer size of the universe is enough to discredit any such belief. To the naked eye, 4500 stars are visible (at night). With the aid of a telescope, the number is greatly increased. Each of the solar systems in the universe is estimated as large as infinity.
How I Found the car was I went with the truck looking for some plows and a harrow and a mowing machine, horse-drawn stuff we had a chance to sell to a fellow who was farming produce on shares—tomatoes, in particular. You can't cultivate tomatoes with a tractor. The sticks are too high. He had located a pair of mules. He was a Do-Right, but that is another story. A Do-Right is a member of a small religion we have in west Tennessee wherein a man pledges that he will do right and if a Do-Right is not lazy, he's a fair credit risk. So he needed the implements and I said I'd go look and see if I could locate them over on my grandmother's place.
On November 15, 1763, the assembled House of Lords listened to Lord Sandwich read a long, indecent poem called "Essay on Woman." It was, of course, a parody of Alexander Pope's famous "Essay on Man" and was purported to have been written by John Wilkes. His lordship was trying to add some weight to the charge of seditious libel against Wilkes and—as one of the most dissolute, foulmouthed noblemen in England—thoroughly enjoyed this effort to do his old friend in. Lord Lyttleton rose in protest and asked that the reading be stopped, but the noble lords cried, "Read on! Read on!" and, when the recital was over, cheerfully voted the poem a "most scandalous, obscene and impious libel."
Last September, the President of the United States called a bunch of economists together and asked them to look at the mess the country was in and to come up with some ideas for cleaning up the mess. He got all shades of opinion—red, brunet, blond. He was told that the mess was caused by too much money, too little money, too many Arabs, too much laissez faire, not enough laissez faire. So much for the problem. As for the solution, he was told that all would be well if we simply had more money, or less money or just about the same amount of money, more spending, less spending or just about the same amount of spending, less regulation, more regulation, more self-discipline, higher wages, lower real wages, sunspots, price controls, crotch crickets, index numbers, jambalaya.…
I don't know your reaction to all this woolly depression talk (though I might if I knew your age), but here's one ole boy it scares. Not mildly worries, mind you, or causes an occasional fretful tic, but simply disorders his mind and his innards. There are millions of us, in our mid-40s or over, who vividly recall the economic bust of Hoover's time. And a high percentage of us fear another depression more than we worry about heart attacks, cancer, hardened arteries or like awards planned for us by the actuarial charts. Short of nature's most perverse inversion, that of burying one of my own children, I can't think of a more frightening nightmare.
After a long hiatus, the Hollywood screenwriter's name has meaning again in the movie credits, and Robert Towne, 39, is one very good reason why. As the writer of Chinatown, he has assured himself an important place in the 1974 Academy Award sweepstakes. (Towne got a 1973 Oscar nomination for his adaptation of The Last Detail, reworked especially for his old friend Jack Nicholson.) Our picture of him may seem strange, but it's apropos; Towne often walks at night in the mountains around Los Angeles; in fact, Chinatown took shape during nighttime strolls. A native of Southern California, Towne can remember the area as Raymond Chandler described it—lush and pastel, the air filled with a sinister kind of excitement—and a feel for Chandler's L.A. permeates Chinatown, which may eventually have a sequel. Although Towne wrote his first story at the age of five, he did some other things—commercial fishing and mortgage banking—before settling into screenwriting. He put the final polish on Bonnie and Clyde and wrote the crucial last scene between Brando and Pacino in The Godfather, but he is quick to admit that "actors are a screenwriter's collaborator; they will, and should, affect the characters." His career has not been without conflict. For instance, he won't work with director Roman Polanski again—ego problems, he says. He removed his name from the credits of The New Centurions after viewing the first 20 minutes of the finished film; it made him dizzy. Recognition has changed his life very little, although he says, "It's easier to avoid getting down to work now." His newest film, Shampoo, written with Warren Beatty (who is also one of its stars), opens this month. Currently, Towne is adapting portions of the original Tarzan novel into something more akin to his own concerns about the natural world and its possible destruction. "If I ever made millions, I'd do something eccentric—like trying to save an endangered species from extinction." Why not? He's done it with screenwriters.
"The Bluebloods, the fakers and the big shots have been draining this lousy town for too long," charges Edward Hanna, the feisty 51-year-old mayor of Utica, New York, whose "people's government" has been outraging the establishment there since his election 16 months ago. "They're all in bed together—the banks, who don't give a damn, the lousy monopoly newspaper and the Chamber of No-Commerce." Hanna claims that Utica (population 91,000) has been struggling under the highest taxes and the worst unemployment rate of any city its size in the country. Evaluating the situation, he decided: "It was either leave town or run for mayor." He ran as an independent Populist—and, in a four-way race, won 40 percent of the vote. Within minutes of taking office, Mayor Hanna ordered the demolition of five and a half acres of dilapidated downtown buildings to make way for shops, parks, a Holiday Inn and Utica's own version of Rome's Spanish Steps. Subsequently, he has cut the city's payroll, lowered taxes and managed to put the budget in the black. Hanna, whose parents immigrated to this country from Lebanon, owns a rope factory and two photo-equipment businesses and, until recently, accepted "only a lousy dollar a year" of the mayor's $20,000 annual budgeted salary (the law said he had to take it all). He has to be restrained from writing out personal checks for hard-luck cases when there are no municipal funds available. No nine-to-fiver, he spends 16 hours a day in his office, dubbed "the town's living room," where citizens wait to talk with "Hizzoner" personally about everything from real-estate deals to barking dogs, and to listen to him roar invective at the city council, the League of Women Voters and others who oppose him. His critics say he is tactless (he agrees), that his diatribes are doing Utica more harm than good, that he suffers from egomania and won't delegate authority. Undaunted, Hanna counters all that with, "I have everybody here against me—but the people."
One day back in 1944, a 30-year-old electronics engineer named Jose Silva set forth through the streets of Laredo—for his induction center. Now getting drafted is certainly an unlikely beginning for our story. But he was so intrigued by the psychiatric quiz he got that day that he went to the library and started reading up on psychology. Then on hypnosis. Then on brain waves. He was delighted to find that mental activity was measurable—and he started to visualize the brain as a kind of resonance circuit: "When impedance equals zero, that's the ideal situation for making use of energy." Later, while operating his own electronics firm, he began working with his kids to see if he could help them tap the deeper impulses of their minds. Their schoolwork soon showed improvement—but when they began to answer questions that he hadn't asked, he knew he was on to something: "The development of the intuitive factor—the so-called sixth sense." He continued his research—at a cost of about half a million bucks—until 1966, when he taught his first paid "mind control" course in Amarillo. Today, Silva Mind Control has centers in every American state—it's also taught in schools and prisons—plus 16 foreign countries (and the list is growing). It's a 48-hour, no-machines course that teaches you to quiet the "beta" activity of your brain—that's so-called normal consciousness, which keeps tying itself up in knots—and let the deeper "alpha" impulses be your guide. As Silva pointed out—he was speaking by phone from Costa Rica, where he'd just dedicated a new center (next week, Mexico City; the week after, Atlanta, Georgia)—mind control is a practical thing: "It can be used for business ... health ... education ... for better family understandings...." But that's not all. For Silva has a vision of a new, improved species of man, thanks to his program: "We are off base right now, and we need to become more humane.'' Agreed. Mind Control may not have all the answers, but we need whatever help we can get.
This stanza begins with a pain in our Fanny. She has a backache, and after exhausting the usual do-it-yourself remedies, She seeks out the more exotic treatments administered by those pledged to the hypocritical oath.''' We find her at Dr. Feelgood's. Why? What better place than a doctor's office to give us an excuse to undress Little Annie Fanny?