Blue Views--remember to click photos to enlarge them...in some cases, it is well worth it.

Monday, July 26, 2010


all I ever wanted.
had to get away.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

After Dark November 1972 (Part 3)

This is the final post for the After Dark November 1972 issue. This is going to feature the fashions that were featured in the issue. Some of the photos will be from their winter fashion layout, while others will be from ads or features. Now, remember, in After Dark sometimes the fashions aren't what they're wearing, but could be what not they're wearing.

It has been said that the really fashion conscious people in the world know how to accessorize. What better way to accessorize than with the After Dark "Carry-All". Since this issue was out before Christmas, they wanted to make sure that you ordered one for you or that special someone in your life. In fact, if you ordered right away, they'd even send a gift card from you with it. I wish I could find one of these on eBay. They had the Tote, the Case, or the Duffle available with or without the logo (why would you want it without?) and it was available in Natural, Brown, or Navy Blue. Each was $16.00. Only After Dark would advertise their "Carry-All" bags with a girl fully clothed and the two guys au naturel.

One of After Dark magazine's other features is "Editor Out-Takes". When they have photos that don't really fit any feature they are showing, they collect them in a feature of their own. This month's issue had Zizi Jeanmaire who I posted in Part 1 of this issue. Giuseppe Conte-Nosiglia was another person featured. He was an actor/model from Peru who went by the name Pepe. Here he is in short-shorts, wedgies and knee-high socks.

And here he is without them.

You wouldn't see fashion designer Keith Hodges show his collection on the New York catwalks. He designed clothes for Barbie and Ken. Sandra Bocas, the model blocking our view was with the Ellen Harth, Inc. model agency.

Do you live in London? Did you live there in 1972? If you did, you might have bought your meat from this man. Colin Clarke took this photo of a London butcher. If I was a vegetarian, I might have still went and bought a side of beef from this side of beef.

With this issue coming out in the winter, the fashion layout that month featured sweaters and wool knits. The photos taken by Colin Clarke feature some reallly great looking models, unfortunately, this is one of those times when the models aren't named. The warm look of 100% Shetland shped wool with stud closings and covertible collars by Sabre of England.

Two sweater basics with stripes on rib pattern in wool, also from Sabre of England.

A gray flannel overcoat with flapped patch pockets by Van Gils.

I love the neckline on this next sweater which is also 100% Shetland. It doesn't hurt that this model can wear horizontal stripes and still look slim and trim.

Finally, N.J. Menko's 100% wool knit shirt suit would keep you warm, but I think you have to zip it up.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this ad for Smitty's Fashions looks like a Frederick's of Hollywood ad that I used to see in all the magazines.

The After Dark shopping guide had a couple of interesting things they recommend. The first is a "Bobby" coat of the London police constable. Supposedly, it was authentic in every detail, right down to the plicshed metal buttons and the silver-finish police district numbers on the shoulders. To top it all off, you got a police whistle attached to the lapel by a short chain that could be tucked into a special inside pocket. I would totally wear that this winter if I could get me one.

Was anyone else fascinated by the cigarette holder that Gloria Swanson used in Sunset Blvd.? The ultimate stocking stuffers for that Christmas were the 14K gold Sunset Blvd. cigarette holder and the "Amy-Popper" pendant.

Louis Miele's Travel Lines feature took you to the Caribbean. Club Calet in San Juan, Puerto Rico was owned and managed by Terry Halloran and Steve Decker.

Or travel to St. Thomas and you could have been served by beachboy Denis O'Connor at the Lime Tree Beach Hotel.

In many issues, there were two-page ads for a store that has the curious name of "My Mother Lives in Cincinnati". It was a fashion and gift catalog store located in South Laguna, California. Loving the fashions of that time period, like I do, I had to share some of the clothes. First is the sensuous slip-on widepants.

Muslin widepants.

A muslin cavalier shirt with slip-on flares.

A lounging Hapi coat.

Chic Dashiki for him or her.

A muslin halter for her and muslin hooded shirt for him with multicolor print cotton flares for both.


Saddle brown suede western jacket.

And last, but definitely not least, because I would buy these now...a suede leather safari jacket with patch flares in the same suede in contrasting browns.

That's it, now go look at your wardrobe. Do you have any of these? If so, I'm green with envy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

After Dark November 1972 (Part 2)

In my last post on this issue, I mentioned how there weren't any real articles of substance to enjoy, but there was a great little puff piece on Siegfried and Roy. With their magic and large cats, Siegfried and Roy were taking Las Vegas by storm.

Foster Hirsch did a great little article titled, "Now You See Them, Now You Don't". It was about the "Also Stars". The ones in the supporting roles of the hit movies of the year. People like Madeline Kahn who turned in an amazing performance in What's Up, Doc? and stole the picture from Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand.

Robert Redford had great support from Don Porter in The Candidate. Instead of being a caricature, Don turned in a believable character.

Junior Bonner had an incredible supporting cast in Robert Preston and Ida Lupino.

One is a Lonely Number featured Trish Van Devere supporting Janet Leigh.

The best supporting role in any film from that year had to be Cloris Leachman in The Last Picture Show. Of course, she went on to win the Oscar for it, too.

Does anybody remember The First Edition? I always thought that Kenny Rogers was a solo performer. To top it all off, Mickey Jones (at the top of the photo) is an actor I recognize from films like Total Recall and many, many TV performances including Charlie's Angels, V, and the pilot film of Misfits of Science to name a few.

I never realized that Kenny Rogers was one of the New Christy Minstrels. It seems he left that group to form The First Edition with guitarist Terry Williams.

The things you learn. In the next post for this issue, it will be about the fashions (or sometimes the lack thereof). Until then, here is an ad for a record album that perplexes me. I'm sure Jim Bailey is a great impressionist, but sometimes I think that in order to appreciate their talent, you have to see them in person.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alexis is so mean!

Funny Face Friday presents: Joan Collins

Another photo from the book that shows a different side of the Dynasty diva.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eye knew it!

Who was that four-eyed beauty in my last Blues Clues post?

It was none other than 80's Dynasty diva, Joan Collins!

Joan was going through eyes to match her own for the wax figure of her at Madame Tussaud's in London.

I, too, think they'd make excellent earrings!

These photos are from the must-have book by Eddie Sanderson, Joan Collins: Portraits of a Star.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strong as Steel, Soft as Velvet

What's On? Wednesday: Velvet

In 1984, producers Aaron Spelling (Charlie's Angels) and Douglas S. Cramer (Wonder Woman) teamed up on a TV pilot called Velvet. Influences from both of their shows are evident. This may have been Spelling's first attempt to revive the Angels concept before Angels '88. The premise is four women work for a government agency under the guise of aerobics instructors. They each have a specialty and get to use them in solving the case. I remember when it aired as a TV movie of the week on ABC and was hoping for the show to develop. Unfortunately, the movie was really bad. The writing was obvious, the acting was atrocious, and the production was lame. Did it stop me from watching? Hell, no. This is one of those "so bad, it's brilliant" movies. Throughout the years, I could catch it on a Sunday afternoon or a late night feature and would make sure I got to see it. Sometime in the early 90's I remembered to tape on my VCR. Then later, I transferred it to a new tape and cut out the commercials. Recently, I transferred it to DVD. The quality has degraded, but it doesn't stop me from watching it at least twice a year. My recent purchase of some photo stills from the film also included the official synopsis. I don't usually put a synopsis in my posts, because you can usually find a synopsis of any movie or show somewhere on the internet. Well, guess what? This is one show that there isn't a synopsis out there. So for your enjoyment and reading pleasure:

Velvet (1984): A woman of many accomplishments, Mrs. Evelyn Vance (Polly Bergen) is the organizer and prime motivator behind Velvet International, a chain of aerobics studios with branches in 160 major cities around the world. In actuality, Velvet International is a front for the N.S.I.A. (National Security Intelligence Agency), a unique government bureau.

Three of Velvet’s aerobics teachers are operatives. Each of the trim, athletic and beautiful girls possess a particular expertise necessary to handle the dangerous and challenging missions that take them to the Velvet clubs around the world. The three girls are: Loren “Boots” Dawes (Mary-Margaret Humes), leader of the team. She is a weapons and demolitions expert and a covert activity rated frog-person;

Cass Dayton (Leah Ayres), a champion skydiver, parafoil expert and a pro-driver who can maneuver everything from a harvesting machine to an 18-wheeler;

and Julie Rhodes (Shari Belafonte-Harper), a trained nurse, motorcycle jockey and survival expert. (I guess Aaron wanted to use his lucky charm name "Julie" like he did and would do in The Mod Squad *Julie Barnes played by Peggy Lipton*, Charlie's Angels *Julie Rogers played by Tanya Roberts*, The Love Boat *Julie McCoy played by Lauren Tewes*, Fantasy Island *Wendy Schaal played Mr. Roarke's god-daughter Julie*, Models Inc. *Kylie Travis played Julie Dante*, and Hotel *the character of Julie Gillette was played by Shari Belafonte!!!*)

Mrs. Vance receives Velvet’s latest assignment from a State Department official (William Windom) who informs her Professor Charles Vandemeer (Bo Brundin) and his young son Billy (David Faustino) were kidnapped immediately after landing in Los Angeles.

Vandemeer, the country’s top defense specialist, has been working on a new laser system that could render nuclear attack from any source completely useless. Velvet’s mission is to retrieve the professor. If this is not possible, they must eliminate him, because if he falls into enemy hands, his knowledge could tilt the balance of power.

Mrs. Vance gathers her three girls together in the hidden “war room” of Velvet’s Washington D.C. headquarters, the nerve center of the organization. She introduces them to Ellen Stockwell (Sheree J. Wilson) who, due to the nature of their assignment, will be working with them temporarily.

Endowed with the same natural attributes as the others, Ellen possesses a superior intellect, can aerobicize as well as the others, and is an ace chopper pilot.

Before the girls embark on their mission, Stefan (Michael Ensign), the master craftsman who designs Velvet’s more unusual weapons, outfits Ellen with several innocuous bits of female paraphernalia, all lethal weapons.

The girls wing their way to Los Angeles and check into a hotel. Ellen and Julie head for Velvet’s L.A. club where they receive additional instructions from Mrs. Vance, via the club’s sophisticated computer, then teach a class before regrouping with their co-workers.

Meanwhile, at the hotel, Cass and Boots have finished a poolside aerobics demonstration and, soon after, meet their L.A. contact (Paul Tuerpe) who identifies himself to Cass and informs her that the kidnappers have sent a ransom note. He arranges to meet the girls in their suite, but when they arrive, they find him submerged in a tub full of water, dead. A manila envelope rests beside the tub.

Directions inside the envelope lead the girls to an amusement park where a courier hands them another envelope which sends them on a treacherous path to a second location—a lighthouse—where yet another envelope awaits them. This time, the girls learn the kidnappers’ ransom demands…$10 million in emeralds, to be placed inside a tote bag. The girls will be contacted soon with the final instructions for its delivery.

Professor Vandemeer’s terror-stricken wife, Nora (Ellen Geer), hospitalized for injuries sustained in the kidnapping, gives the girls’ mission an added sense of urgency. Her son, Billy, has only 48 hours to live. He suffers from kidney disease and requires a delicate operation that only two doctors in the world can perform. One of them, Dr. Edward Yashima (Clyde Kusatsu) of L.A., had scheduled his surgery in a matter of hours.

Boots and Cass interview the professor’s brilliant young assistant, James Barstow (Leigh McCloskey), at his hotel. He, too, is concerned for Billy, his godson, but he’s unable to provide them any clues to the kidnappers’ identities.

The two Velvet operatives are followed as they leave Barstow’s hotel. Cass uses her driving expertise to throw off the driver of the other car, but in the process, discovers he, too, is a pro-driver. A few telephone calls provide Cass with the names of a handful of drivers. Placing those names in the computer, she comes up with a suspect—Mats Edholm (Judson Scott)—a Swedish stuntman who dropped out of sight two years ago. In a televised appeal to the kidnappers, the Velvets superimpose an on-screen message in Swedish to Mats, offering him money and immunity from prosecution in return for his help.

Their strategy works. Late that night, Mats arrives at the hospital’s emergency entrance with the sick Vandemeer boy. As soon as the boy is safely placed on a gurney, the four girls surround Mats and take him back to their hotel for questioning. Barstow is called in hopes he can identify Mats. An all-night interrogation produces nothing. Mats is afraid to talk. The girls go into another room momentarily, leaving Barstow to watch Mats. The girls are stunned when, seconds later, Barstow informs them Mats jumped from the balcony to his death.

Barstow and the Velvets crash the elegant lawn party at Dr. Yashima’s palatial mansion so the girls can talk to Yashima, who they’ve been unable to reach. Five of the kidnappers also crash the party and, in the melee that follows, two of them are shot, Dr. Yashima is killed, and Boots deliberately allows herself to be captured by the other three, who flee the scene. Boots has recognized one of the kidnappers, Erika (Andrea Marcovicci), a former college classmate.

Later, dressed in full black fatigues and wearing ski masks, like four of the kidnappers at the party, Cass and Julie break into Barstow’s room and trick him into exposing his part in the kidnap plot. This comes as a shock to Ellen, who is with him at the time and had begun to fall for his charms. Barstow knows only that the professor is being held captive on a boat; he doesn’t know where. Mrs. Vance has arranged to fly in the other doctor able to perform Billy’s surgery, and before turning Barstow over to the police, the girls accompany him to the hospital to lend the boy a few encouraging words before facing surgery. While there, a message in a bouquet of flowers delivered to the boy’s room gives the Velvets final instructions for the delivery of the emeralds.

Ellen waits in the chopper at the airport, while Cass and Julie, following instructions, turn the jewel-filled tote bag over to an outlandishly dressed courier at Marineland. He hurls the bag over the cliff and into the arms of Erika, who takes off across the water on a jet ski to a waiting speed boat. Cass and Julie watch helplessly as the speed boat disappears around a peninsula.

Back on board their main craft, Erika can’t resist harassing Boots, whom she’s always envied. Going through her purse, Erika unknowingly triggers a radio transmitter which allows Ellen to get a fix on the boat.

While the Velvet operatives speed toward to the marina, the three kidnappers, Breed (Bruce Abbot), Cullom (Stoney Bower) and Erika, plan a trip for their two captives. The professor will be sold to the Russians, while Boots will have an unfortunate accident. The boat is loaded onto a huge cradle attached to a tractor-trailer. With their prisoners securely bound in the boat, Erika and Breed sit in the truck’s cab beside Cullom, who pulls it out onto the highway.

Unknown to them, Ellen pilots the chopper overhead. Seated beside her is Cass who parafoils down onto the boat to free Boots. Breed and Erika have spotted the girls and move from the trailer to the boat to do battle. Meanwhile, Julie, on her motorbike, positions herself next to the cab, lands on the door, knocks out Collum, and attempts to gain control of the truck. A shot from Breed’s gun, ignites a fire in the gas tank, lending added danger to the situation. Cass knocks Bred out, while Boots sends Erika flying off the boat and into an oleander bush along the highway. Julie is having difficulty gaining control of the truck because Collum’s feet and arms are in her way, and the gas tank fire is raging out of control. Ellen drops a cargo net from the chopper, picking up Boots and Vandemeer, while Julie and Cass leap off the truck onto the shoulder of the road. Seconds later, the huge tractor-trailer and boat plunge off a cliff onto the rocks below.

Professor Vandemeer is safe; Billy’s operation is a complete success; Barstow faces federal conspiracy and kidnapping charges before the State of California tries him for the murder of Mats Edholm; and Erika, who is wanted on three continents, will be in a full body cast for a year.

The Velvets rendezvous with Mrs. Vance and Stefan, return the emeralds, and, to their delight, learn that Ellen will be a permanent member of their team.

My recent post with Polly Bergen reminded me I needed to do a post on Velvet, so I hope you enjoyed it. If you ever get a chance to see it, make the time. The theme song itself is worth a listen. Thankfully, someone was good enough to post the opening titles with the theme.


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