It will probably come as no surprise to you that Playboy gets its share of unusual phone calls and letters. Few are as compelling as the call received this year from Federally protected witness and confessed contract killer Donald Frankos. Why was this Mob guy different from hundreds of others? Frankos said he knew who had killed Jimmy Hoffa. Intrigued, if skeptical, we dispatched private investigator Lake Headley, who has worked on other projects for Playboy and recently wrote, with William Hoffman,The Court Martial of Clayton Lonetree, to verify Frankos' claim. The result, The Hit on Jimmy Hoffa (illustrated by Gary Kelley and Kinuko Y. Craft), makes fascinating reading. Is Frankos telling the whole truth? We'll let you judge for yourself.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1989, volume 36, Number 11. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $26 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $39 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $39 U.S. Currency only. For New and Renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6--8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007, and allow 45 days for change. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017: Chicago: 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins. Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
There's nary a dull moment in Johnny Handsome (Columbia), with Mickey Rourke once again showing the slow burn and sizzle that originally cinched his claim to stardom. Adapted from a novel by John Godey, director Walter Hill's dark revenge drama is a film noir full of gleaming evil. Rourke starts out as a hideously malformed criminal whose life is changed by plastic surgery, a lot like Joan Crawford in her 1941 star vehicle A Woman's Face. Mickey, however, winds up having more in common with James Cagney's do-or-die classics. Stabbed in prison after taking the rap for two double-crossing colleagues on a New Orleans robbery, he comes out with a new face, a new job, a new life--and old scores to settle at whatever cost. In a supporting cast that's all aces, Elizabeth McGovern plays the nice girl who comes along too late to save him, while masterful Morgan Freeman hovers over the action like a Greek chorus foretelling Johnny's fate. Rourke's enemies are a treacherous duo played with go-for-broke style by Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin, with Barkin as the nastiest screen bitch since Baby Jane. You must have guessed by now that Johnny Handsome is a lean, mean, suspenseful psychodrama of the old school, and Rourke comes out of it magna cum laude. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
When the Oscar for Best Art Direction is awarded in 1990, one hot nominee is sure to be 45-year-old Anton Furst,Batman's production designer. Furst modestly acknowledges that the brooding, stylized Gotham City he conjured up for this made-in-England megahit nearly stole the show. "I know they're saying the design has been a very strong part of the film's success. It was, I believe, the biggest outdoor set built in Europe since Cleopatra. We took up the whole lot at Pinewood." Furst, an Englishman of Russian descent who was in special effects before becoming a full-fledged production designer, says Batman was not his toughest assignment. That honor goes to Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. "You know Kubrick. Very brilliant but doesn't like to travel. We had to re-create Vietnam in England with total accuracy. So we bought palm trees in Spain and trucked them across the Continent. In Batman, we could invent our own reality." Furst is currently talking to Columbia Pictures about Awakenings, to be directed by Penny Marshall, with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro starring. "I'll be building it in New York. It's a film about encephalitis, sleeping sickness, people taking a drug that's sometimes hallucinogenic, so we'd have to reconstruct their reality in the design. What I'd go for is Dada-esque, almost Magritte." While he's in demand for more highbrow, high-tech fantasies, Furst admits being partial to such cinematic golden oldies as The Red Shoes. "What I'd like to do next is a great musical, an updated Busby Berkeley kind of film. You suppose that's possible nowadays?"
The Big Picture: How giant is a giant screen? Mitsubishi just made it 70 inches. Set for a fall unveiling, the VS-7002R is the biggest rear-view-projection TV ever. With 700 lines of resolution and six speakers, it'll sell for $5999.
"My all-time hall-of-fame movies to rent are 2001, Blade Runner, Blue Velvet and A Clockwork Orange--for the obvious eyeball reasons," says pioneer inner-space scientist Timothy Leary. "But my secret favorites are horrible films that I rent and re-edit. For example, I select a crucial, dramatic scene from the monster movie Rambo and replace Stallone with an ugly gorilla running amuck in a native village, shouting patriotic slogans with a Minnie Mouse helium voice. I put my version in the box and return it."
Best Lonely-Guy Video:Attracting Birds to Your Backyard with Roger Tory Peterson;Best Video Snack:Edible Wild Plants;Televangelist Video of the Month:Sex in the Bible;Best Didn't-We-All Video:I Married a Witch;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:How to Use Soft Plastic Lures;Best Video Epic:How to Play Harmonica Instantly (three volumes); Best Live-on-the-Edge Video:How to Have a Moneymaking Garage Sale;Best It's-a-Living Video:Be a Juggler.
If the line-up for this year's Fall Classic doesn't do it for you, consider a video trip around the world series with Major League Baseball Productions' 46-tape collection of series highlights (1943--1988). Before you step to the plate to watch, be forewarned: Screening these videos is a lot like baseball and sex--if you're not enjoying it, you're not doing it right. So bring low expectations, a sense of humor and a remote control with rewind, slo mo, freeze action, fast forward and volume control. To save you time, here are some choice moments:
Clint Black'sfirst LP, "Killin' Time," is one of the hottest country debuts since Randy Travis' "Storms of Life." "It'll all sink in," Black says, "when I get a big check and three weeks off." As a loyal Don Henley fan, Black sounded out the ex-Eagles' new one, "The End of the Innocence."
Stephen king recently signed a four-book contract for roughly $40,000,000, and The Dark Half (Viking) is the first book. So it's pretty hard to pick this novel up without thinking, OK, Stephen, show me something worth $10,000,000. Within the first ten pages, he gives it his best shot. King takes us through an astonishing scene in an operating room where a malformed eye, part of a nostril, three fingernails and two teeth are removed from the brain of an 11-year-old boy. These are the remains of his twin brother, devoured in an act of in utero cannibalism. How's that for a start?
In the fun and frolic of sports journalism, there is hardly anything more amusing--to me, at least--than a writer gathering all of his moral standards into a large pile, then climbing on top of it to belch at his fellow man.
OK, men, it's time to fess up and admit that we have been pulling a gigantic con on the universe. We pretend that we are mature and responsible individuals with reasonable expectations of our women, but we know that in reality, we are the neediest, greediest, lustiest, hungriest creatures on the planet. What is worse, most of us try to cover up our insatiable natures. We lie to the women we love about what we want from them, and we do it on a daily basis--because what we want from the women in our lives is everything, and we want it now!
They are everywhere. They are a plague on our houses. They spring from the abysses of the city's rancid darkness to frighten the simple citizenry. Their eyes gleam red with eager malice as they prowl and drool through the gutters and the alleys of our streets. They are a poisonous epidemic, leaving disease and decay in their wake. They are a scourge.
My wife and I are both 31 and have been married for six years. We both have degrees and, while we hold professional positions, I would describe ourselves as middle class as opposed to Yuppies (perhaps because our three-year-old son takes precedence over our social life most of the time--but not always, as I'm about to explain). We have many friends who are beautiful, handsome and, above all, fun. Our parties are full of drinking, dancing, hugging and parting kisses. About six months ago, something just clicked in my head; I woke up one morning and looked at my wife and thought, I'd love her to fuck Frank. I put the notion in motion by having more parties, speaking more provocatively and always pairing off with Frank's wife, Shirley, so my wife would be alone with him. I was hoping that they would develop a closer relationship. They did and I got closer to Shirley. Anyway, we had dinner at Frank and Shirley's with a number of others. After the meal, everyone danced a little and poured a lot of wine. After all of the other guests left, the four of us popped another cork and before you could say "Refill," we had our clothes off. There on the deep pile, I made it with Shirley while Frank made it with my wife. The fantasy had come true and we tried it again the next weekend, with less alcohol. After that encounter, I started to feel that I had made a big mistake. I talked to my wife about it and found out that she had been indifferent to the idea from the start. She added that it wasn't a particularly good idea but that she'd seen "the fire" in my eyes and felt that I'd get over it in time. I am not jealous about my wife's role, nor am I mad at Frank. How could I be? I designed the swap and, besides, my wife is thrilled that this chapter is closed. As for Shirley, men would kill to make it with her because she is so beautiful, but I cannot recall the sensation or what her body looked like. I am, however, feeling very uncomfortable. It's not too threatening--I mean, I won't go crazy over this--but I definitely have something to work through, since I have been off center for the past seven weeks. My question is, What is the psychological basis for wanting to share one's wife with another man?--D. F., Seattle, Washington.
If we learned one thing from the Fifties, it was this: Senator Joseph McCarthy loomed as the largest villain, but he was not the only one. McCarthyism existed in part because the silent majority denied the danger posed by one man who saw evil everywhere.
"Although we want and expect children to be healthy sexually when they are adults, we punish them for masturbating, for touching their genitalia and for engaging in childhood sexual rehearsal play with playmates of their own age. If we truly wanted to encourage the sexual well-being of our children, we would teach them about healthy sexual relations instead of teaching them that sex is bad. Because of our antisexual attitude toward normal sexual development, we have literally created an epidemic of sexual disorders which surface in adolescence and maturity."
We first heard about the new Kinsey report at He's wedding. One of the guests mentioned that he had read somewhere that a recently unearthed study claimed that the sexual revolution of the Sixties had never happened. "If that's the case," he said, "what was I doing in the hot tub all those years?" At first, we filed this with all those Enquirer stories that claim space flight was a media invention--that man didn't walk on the moon in 1968 but that the whole thing was shot in an abandoned warehouse in Arizona.
A quarter of a century ago, back when Christian virtue supposedly still prevailed, in the good old days before the Supreme Court made abortion legal, I drove a bleeding woman across the California border from Mexico. She was near death from a botched Tijuana abortion and I was about to become an accomplice to murder. Not because the fetus of seven weeks had been removed but because the mother could have died--just another statistic of her time, proving that the danger of death from an illegal abortion is 30 times greater than that from a legal one.
John Clark Gable is living proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The only son of the late Clark Gable, 28-year-old John makes his film debut this fall in Bad Jim, a 21st Century Film Corporation Western. The classic Gable look--arched eyebrow and wrinkled brow--perfectly suits the movie's Western theme. Gable the younger also fits nicely into the Westernwear pictured here, in dude-style duds such as a snap-closure yoked shirt, a lambskin duster, snug jeans and, of course, cowboy boots. (Bolo ties and metal collar tips complete the look.) A throwback to those frontier days when cowboys roved the land, the dude look was originally more practical than fashionable. Take the stylish mid-calf, high-heeled boot, with ornate leather tooling, overlays and decorative stitching. Its height protected the wearer from brush and gravel; the stitching helped the leather wear longer; the heels kept the cowhand's feet from slipping out of the stirrups. The wide-brimmed hats helped protect the cowboy from the elements and shaded his eyes as he rode into all those sunsets. Today's urban cowboy can sport Western-style demiboots and Stetsons with his business suits in honor of J. R. Ewing. Although authentic dude style demands the worn-leather look, you don't have to stand in the elements for the same effect. Weathered leather goods can be bought at Western-apparel shops. Remember: The fashion frontier is where you make it. In the film It Happened One Night, Clark Gable took off his shirt to reveal that he wasn't wearing any undershirt--which sent the underwear industry into a tail spin. John Clark Gable has a fashion statement of his own to make: Go Western, young man!
Chess is a strange, strange game. It's played on nothing more complicated than a regular checkerboard. A child can learn the movement of the pieces in a few minutes and the full rules of the game (a good deal simpler than, say, Monopoly) within an hour. The object of the game is as straightforward as football, kick the can or capture the flag: two armies, one black, one white, each trying to beat the other. Nothing to it.
Before she was the witch goddess of Knots Landing, she was a sweet-as-honey blonde in photographer Earle Doud's studio, a brownstone in Manhattan. In the streets, flower children marched as the Age of Aquarius dawned. In Doud's studio, Donna Mills let her hair down. The Chicago-born actress had landed a small part on Broadway, as a sultan's wife in Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water, in late 1966, about the time these pictures were taken. "She was dating a friend of mine," Doud recalls, "and we became close. She was funny, vivacious, talented and, of course, one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen." He remembers the time they were playing charades with a group of friends on Fire Island. When it was Donna's turn, she left the room. "Next thing we knew, she was yelling and pounding on the glass front door. No one could figure out her clue--Knock on Any Door?--so we gave up. Only then did we realize she was pounding on the door because she had locked herself out!" Doud admits that he was a bit in awe of Donna's beauty. "But when I asked her if she'd like to do some pictures, she agreed." Her most striking features, then as now, are what Doud calls "those very large, gorgeous, wide-open eyes. They are so large and hypnotic they made it easy to focus the camera," he says, laughing. "I did not photograph her in a leering manner. I treated her with the respect she deserved." Shortly after the Donna shooting, Doud stopped working as a photographer (he is now a successful comedy writer whose credits include 17 comedy albums)--partly because he was tired of the grind but also because his new wife wasn't tickled about his taking pictures of nude women. He put his negatives in a file cabinet and forgot about them. His soon-to-be-famous subject went on to stardom in soap opera (Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing), movies (Play Misty for Me)--and, since 1980, Knots Landing. Still a fan, Doud has finally decided these photos should be published--as, he says, a tribute to Donna's timeless beauty. Last season was Donna's swan song as the blue-eyed meanie of Knots Landing. "I had been playing Abby for nine seasons.... It was just time to let her go and say goodbye," she told TV Guide. But Abby was plenty nice to Donna Mills. She made her a prime-time star. Which may explain Donna's warm feelings for the character. Two years ago, she told Playboy that she psyched up for business meetings by asking herself, "What would Abby do?" Two decades ago, posing for Doud, she might have looked in the mirror and asked, "What will Donna do?" The answer, for Donna as for Abby: Just what she wants. Now Donna has her eyes on "new projects." There will be movies, guest shots, maybe a sequel to the make-up video in which she shows Abby fans how to make their eyes look evilly good, but no more unforgettable images of a young Donna letting her hair down.
She came from some tribe in the farout. At first, she was plain as june pie, her teeth crooked, hair dull, face freckled and homely. No one gave her a second look. Then she went off to the clinic and got everything fixed. They shortened her nose and straightened her teeth and pointed her chin. They trimmed her eyes and widened her mouth. They reset her eyes and dyed them the color of sunlit emeralds. They plenished and brightened her hair. They carbo-rinsed her skin and tinted it dusky rose. They stretched her neck and squared her shoulders and lengthened her legs. They narrowed her waist and tapered her hips to match. They tucked her in and filled her out and rounded her off in all the right places.
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard our nonstop flight to Dallas, with connecting service to Honolulu. This afternoon, we're pleased to be showing two films on board: 'Revenge of the Nerds, Part Four,' edited for flight, and a delightful nature short on otters. If you'd like to rent a headset, the charge...."
Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans
President Reagan glanced over the audience gathered in the Rose Garden that warm October morning in 1982 and smiled. He was about to deliver on his campaign promise to get Government off the back of business. He was signing into law one of his Administration's major pieces of deregulation legislation. The Garn--St Germain act would sweep away 50 years of savings-and-loan regulatory law that Reagan believed was preventing thrifts from competing in the complex, sophisticated financial market place of the Eighties.
<p>Last year had its bad news and good news for Reneé Tenison. First came the downer: Just before she was to appear in the 1988 Miss Idaho USA beauty pageant, she broke out with "the worst acne I've ever had. Before I went on stage, I knew I wouldn't win." And she was right. She didn't. But then came the upper: Her boyfriend, bodybuilder Dale Parkinson, who was the 1983 Mr. Idaho, had sent photos of Reneé to us for our 35th Anniversary Playmate Hunt, and the day received a call from Playboy inviting her to Chicago to pose for our centerfold. By the time she arrived, her skin was clear Reneé was, as you can see, in top form. Reneé, who grew up in Melba, Idaho, is special for many reasons. First, she's a twin, and her sister Rosie is every bit as beautiful as Reneé. And then Reneé's parents' marriage is interracial--one of the first such in the state of Idaho, which is not known for its black population. "My mom, who is white, and my dad, who is black, met each other in the Fifties, and they had to go to Nevada to get married, because no one would marry them in Idaho. When they came back to Melba [population approximately 300], they couldn't even go to the grocery together. I really admire them for staying together. There aren't many blacks in Idaho, maybe three thousand out of a population of more than a million." We wondered if Reneé didn't sometimes feel isolated. "Well, I'd rather say I felt special. Being different was an advantage because it made me stand out, and I'd rather stand out than be a wallflower." Idaho, she says, has come a long way since her parents were married. "In the last Presidential primary, I was a Jesse Jackson supporter, and I didn't think he had many fans in Idaho, so I was shocked when he did well in our Democratic primary. I think it was because he was speaking to workers, and people in Idaho are hard workers. Also, people here are very religious and they admired what Jackson was doing as a preacher." Since she was discovered by Playboy, Reneé and her boyfriend have bought a house in Boise, where they intend to settle down after they get married. As for her future, Reneé has two fantasies: to design clothes and to make a guest appearance on the television show A Different World. "Perhaps an episode in which the new girl on campus just happens to be a Playmate." Not a bad idea, Cos, if you're listening.</p>
As fierce winds swirled down the city streets, a policeman noticed an elderly woman standing on a corner holding tightly to her hat as her skirt blew up to her waist. "Look, lady," he said, "while you're holding on to your precious hat, everybody's getting a good look at everything you have."
Elvis may have sung praises to blue-suede shoes as the Fifties drew to a close, but in this, the last season of the Eighties, suede's still hot, but the color is brown. Brown-suede shoes are showing up in everything from casual moccasin styles to the businesslike wing-tipped oxford. (The British have been wearing brown-suede wing tips and cap toes with dark business suits for years.) Loafers with crepe or rubber soles go well with the kind of hefty corduroy trousers and heavy knit sweaters we'll be seeing this fall. It's not your typical Presley wardrobe, but it's certainly worth some very high stepping.
Right at the foot of the bridge at the Rogue River exit off Interstate Five in southern Oregon is a mom-and-pop convenience store, the Market Basket. Rogue River being a pretty small town--last census figures give it a population of 1590--situated on a crossroad to several scenic attractions, most of the Market Basket's customers are tourists. They're on their way to or from visiting Oregon Caves National Monument or Crater Lake National Park, fishing the Rogue or beachcombing on the Oregon and California coasts. That may change this month as locals flock in to meet, and perhaps congratulate, the mom of the Market Basket partnership, Margaret Nelson. "People have been asking when my pictures are going to come out in Playboy," Margaret told us. Seems that her husband, James--or Bud, as he's better known--told one friend, and "You know how word leaks out," she said. Although Bud had originally submitted his wife's name for the 35th Anniversary Playmate Hunt, he's "a little nervous about customers' reactions," Margaret admits. "But so far, I haven't had any negative responses. People say to me, 'You're going to be in Playboy? Gee, that's great!' " A native Oregonian, Margaret attended Oregon State University in Corvallis for three years, switching her major from pharmacy ("Too much chemistry and math") to business administration. "Then six years ago, I got married and started raising kids"--Bud's sons James, now 13, and John, 11--"and working in the store." This past spring, she finally earned her degree in business from Southern Oregon State College in Ashland. With, she reports proudly, "A grades!"
Style is an often overlooked part of leadership and living. I always use my own style to dramatize my ideas, my plans, my expectations. Whether I am writing a memo or traveling the globe, I expect my style to help communicate my ideas.
When it comes to steam on the screen, 1989 may go into the record books for the way it kept raunch under wraps. A generally conservative social climate and the ongoing AIDS menace are largely to blame. But that doesn't mean that films from now on will be limited to pure, polyunsaturated abstinence. The deal makers who decide what movies you'll see and how much they'll show are shrewd realists. They know that cinema without sex would be like rock music without a hard beat, team sports without balls, Warren Beatty without a date. So sex is still with us but is more often linked to some dramatic purpose, real or imagined. Such outspoken films as Dangerous Liaisons, The Accused, Casualties of War and the British-made Scandal have ample sexual content, drawn from history and yesterday's headlines. Even the year's top comedies for grownups--from the dark, highly praised sex, lies, and videotape to Cousins and the relatively outrageous Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills--might accurately be described as studies of sexual mores, making statements that go well beyond mere sexploitation. It (text continued on page 138) seems fair to conclude that screen lust circa 1989 is changing in ways that strongly suggest a new wave of romance and moral responsibility.
Legend has it that the captain of the H.M.S. Blazer, eager to spiff up his crew for Queen Victoria's 1837 coronation, designed what today is the world's most versatile sports jacket. For years, the styling of blazer buttons went unchanged until Ivy Leaguers, along with wearing neckties heralding their alma maters, decided to trade anchors for emblems and took to wearing college insignia on their sleeves and jacket fronts. Now you can buy blazer-button sets (large front-closure buttons and smaller sleeve ones) or individual buttons in a variety of looks, from heraldic shields to simple sterling-silver discs. All make a neat personal statement that says you have your fashion act smartly buttoned up.