Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role


Hey pallies, likes today we return with 'nother Dino-installment of Matt Helm acclaim from Keith over at "Teleport City."  Yesterday we were delighted to share his remarkable read, "ASSIGNMENT: DEAN MARTIN" that fantastically focused on the who, what, when, where, and how that led up to our most beloved Dino protrayin' his coolest, hippest, and ever randy self as Matt Helm.  Today we come back to Keith knowin' work with his post "DEATH OF A SILENCER."

In this super scribin' Keith accents the makin' and marketin' of Helmer numero uno, "The Silencers."
With a bevy of beau-ti-ful poses of our Dino and his consorts and wise words from Keith, this is 'gain 'nother powerfully pleasurable read as it is obvious that Keith is truly truly in-the-Dino-know and a deep devotee of our King of Cool.

We are most smitten with Keith's words, "If you forget the Matt Helm of the books, then Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role," but that is simply one example of his remarkable review of "The Silencers."  Likes we woulda encourage you to enjoy Keith's total post, so likes we will say no more.

ilovedinomartin salutes Keith of "Teleport City" for liftin' up the name of our Dino in this wondrous way.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  We hopes to hear much more Dino-scribin's from our newly found Dino-addicted pallies Keith.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

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DEATH OF A SILENCER

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 KEITH
In February of 1966, audiences got their first look at the finished product that started with the dark, violent Matt Helm novels of Donald Hamilton and ended up in the hands of ill-tempered producer Irving Allen and boozy Rat Packer Dean Martin. Leading up to the release of the first film in the series, The Silencers, there had been a barrage of publicity, most of it focused on the bevy of semi-clad beauties populating the film (Dean Martin himself was busy with other film projects and the launch of his very popular new TV variety show). There was little in the pre-release marketing to inspire hope in fans of Donald Hamilton’s books that this Matt Helm would bear any resemblance at all to the character of the same name in the novels. As the lights went down and the curtains parted (yes, we used to have those in movie theaters), it was time for Irving Allen and Dean Martin to deliver their idea of America’s response to James Bond.


Like many of the Matt Helm novels, The Silencers is a pretty grim and straight-forward affair with surprisingly little jet-setting unless you count Juarez, Mexico across the border from El Paso. And if you’ve been to Juarez, you’ll likely agree that you can go there for a number of reasons, but jet setting isn’t usually one of them. Although it was the first of the movies, The Silencers is the fourth in the series of novels so certain things have already been established in previous stories that would help you understand exactly what is going on. It begins with Matt Helm heading toward El Paso, where he is to retrieve an agent in danger working undercover in a seedy Juarez strip club. Why is it that male operatives always have to go undercover as nerds or journalists or photographers and female operatives always have to go undercover as mistresses, strippers, and prostitutes? Things don’t exactly go according to plan, as they rarely do, and before too long, Matt finds himself traveling north toward the small mountain town of Carrizozo, New Mexico with a mysterious woman he knows hates him and is most likely trying to set him up as he struggles to track down an enemy agent and, along the way, stop the bad guys from hijacking a test missile and redirecting it to blow up a bunch of important scientists and politicians.

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In keeping with Matt Helm’s down home stomping ground and behavior, most of the villains he faces are equally low-key. Though there are the occasional megalomaniacs with dreams of conquest, most of the time he’s just facing off against other assassins, thugs, agents, and flunkies. There are no Nehru jacket-wearing masterminds with sprawling secret lairs beneath the ocean. By contrast, the antagonists in The Silencers are camped out in a freezing cold, dilapidated old church outside a small New Mexico town. Likewise Helm’s allies are rarely slick playboys and captains of industry. They are, instead, cab drivers and grumpy fellow agents. He frequently butts heads with Washington not over the classic “your methods are too extreme” argument – they pay him to be extreme, after all – but over the simple and all too real-to-life frustration generated by the fact that there are all these investigative and secret agencies running around and refusing to share information with one another, resulting in lots of on-the-job mishaps and misunderstandings as people on the same side find themselves at odds on the same mission simply because no one told them someone else was out there doing the same thing.

The movie opens with a pointless prologue (the first of many jokes aimed at the Bond franchise) in which four assassins who will never appear in the movie are given four golden bullets etched with the name Matt Helm. These, also, play no role in the movie. We then move on to a colorful burlesque of an opening credit sequence anchored by none less than legendary dancer-actress Cyd Charisse (Ziegfeld Follies, Singin’ in the Rain, and the Eurospy films Maroc 7 and Assassination in Rome) performing rather a risque (by modern movie standards; not by Juarez strip club standards) striptease. So not exactly the book, but it’s not entirely out of left field. However, the movie almost immediately jettisons the plot of The Silencers in favor of Death of a Citizen, the first of the Matt Helm novels. Even then, it’s obvious from the start that Dean Martin’s Matt Helm is more Dean Martin than Matt Helm. Instead of a married man in the Santa Fe suburbs, he is a swingin’ bachelor with a space-age pad that includes a nubile young assistant named Lovey Kravezit (Beverly Adams) and a rotating bed that can slide forward and tilt to dump Helm into his waiting indoor pool/hot tub, complete with a wet bar that drops from the ceiling (he has a similar wet bar in his car).





  

For a while, the film is content to cruise along with the plot of Death of a Citizen, albeit with all the seriousness abandoned in favor of juvenile sex jokes and Dean Martin cracking wise. The role of Tina is played by Israeli star Daliah Lavi (The Return of Dr. Mabuse and Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body), already a veteran of film as well as a veteran of the Israeli armed forces, meaning that she was probably capable of soundly thrashing most of her male leads, who saves Matt’s life then recruits him back into the service. After some goofing around, the movie switches back to the plot of The Silencers, only with Phoenix, Arizona standing in for Juarez and the seedy strip club being a swinging supper club at a posh resort. There Helm and Tina meet Gail, who here has been transformed from the spoiled but surprisingly tough and resilient woman of the novel into a Jerry Lewis-esque klutz played by Stella Stevens (Disney’s The Nutty Professor and Elvis’ Girls! Girls! Girls!) who bumbles, stumbles and pratfalls her way into the middle of Helm’s assignment.

If Bond films were the epitome of jet-set cool, then The Silencers aimed to be their leering lounge lizard cousin. Everything is cheaper and cruder, but also much less serious — sometimes even witty. The image of Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in a white bikini in Dr. No became an iconic image of dangerous, sophisticated sex appeal. By contrast, The Silencers is like a high schooler drawing pictures of naked ladies on the bathroom wall. Similarly, if Sean Connery was the epitome of cruel, manly cool as James Bond, then Dean Martin was the way less menacing, probably more fun uncle who gets drunk at the family Christmas party. As an adaptation of Donald Hamilton’s novels, The Silencers is a failure. But as a spoof of the genre in general and Bond films in particular — well, The Silencers is indeed dumb and juvenile, but it’s also colorful, entertaining, and as charming as its tipsy lead actor. While Dean Martin’s Matt Helm in’t the cold-blooded killer of the books, he is a fan of judo fights and women in lingerie, so there’s that.

  





It is somehow both cheap and lavish looking at the same time, with lots of great scenery and costumes but also things like the underground lair of movie villains Big O, which looks like someone crinkled up some brown trash bags and called it a cave. The acting is solid. If you forget the Matt Helm of the books, then Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role, and the supporting cast, including James Gregory as Matt’s superior McDonald and Victor Buono as the foppish, eyeliner-etched criminal mastermind Tung-Tze (rather than being another in a long line of Caucasians poorly imitating Asians, the role seems to be intentionally making fun of the practice), is giving it a professional effort. Most of the jokes are dumb, but a few are genuinely funny, or at least funny enough to inspire a combination groan and chuckle. It manages to be a decent spy spoof and, if it isn’t exactly a thrill a minute, it’s good-natured enough that you don’t mind hanging around with it while it goofs off.

Critics were predictably split on the movie, with some seeing it as the affable spoof I think it is and others seeing it as a lazy, vulgar cash-in on the Bond craze, which it also is. Minus disappointed fans of the Matt Helm novels, audiences were a bit more unified than critics in their support of the film. Irving Allen already had plans to make more Matt Helm movies — the second was already in production — but the smashing success of The Silencers guaranteed another. Thanks to his clever demand for a portion of the film’s box office, Dean Martin suddenly found himself one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. Although the profits of The Silencers paled in comparison to those of recent Bond film Thunderball, Dean Martin ended up making substantially more money for the film than Sean Connery.



  

 
Connery, looking at Martin’s pay-day, thought that maybe as the iconic star of the most popular movie franchise in the entire world, he should be making something a little closer to the bank made by the drunken star of a jokey Bond knock-off. So James Bond walked into the office of producer Cubby Broccoli, pointed to the high paycheck being cashed by the star of the film made by Broccoli’s old partner, and suggested that maybe ol’ Sean Connery ought to have himself a similar profit-sharing plan. Broccoli laughed at the idea, claiming that it was James Bond, not Sean Connery — who had been basically a nobody body builder from Scotland when he was cast in the lead role — who people wanted to see. The Bond series made Connery, so it could just as easily make another guy. Connery was stung, and he made Broccoli put the claim to the test. In the wake of The Silencers, Sean Connery announced that the next James Bond film — 1967’s You Only Live Twice — would be his last.

If the success of Dean Martin and The Silencers caused waves at Eon Productions even while never remotely challenging the Bond films at the box office, it was nothing but sunshine and roses for Irving Allen, Dean Martin, and Donald Hamilton. Between the movie and his TV show, Martin was one of the most popular and highest paid entertainers in America. Even though the film bore only the scantiest resemblance to Donald Hamilton’s source material, interest in his books spiked. In 1966, he released the tenth book in the series, The Betrayers, and enjoyed a greater level of critical and mass appeal than he’d ever had. Irving Allen announced that the next Matt Helm movie was already in production, with Martin reprising his role and the ante being upped in terms of gorgeous locations, action, and beautiful women. Based on one of the darkest and most violent of Hamilton’s novels, the new movie – Murderers’ Row — promised to be very much the opposite of its source material.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They wanted Ocean’s Eleven Dean Martin. They wanted Rat Pack Dean Martin. They wanted fun, drunk Uncle Dino. And boy did they get him.



Hey pallies, likes havin' just published "My Dean Martin Awakening" by scriber Keith over at his fabulous blog "TELEPORT CITY - BRINGING YOU YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW......TODAY!"
we Dino-reasoned that a pallie so so transformed by watchin' a Matt Helm marathon certainly woulda most likely have shared more Dino-adulation in cyberspace script.  So, we gotta 'fess up in vain we tried to search "TELEPORT CITY" for more Dino-action.

Not willin' to give up that easily, we believe that we were truly truly Dino-led to the notion of puttin' Teleport City and Dean Martin in the google blog search engine, and likes when we did, we indeed from the Dino-treasure for which we were searchin'.....none other then a trio of posts accentin' the Donald Hamilton books as well as the Dino-as-Matt-Helm big screen hipster spyster capers.

We have chosen not to post the first of the series as it is only focused on Hamilton and his tomes, 'though those who want to checks this out can simply clicks on the tag of today's post and find their way to Part I.   We share Part II today, tagged "ASSIGNMENT: DEAN MARTIN," which is the most remarkable of remarkable reads that gives the most in depth reportin' of just how our most beloved Dino got to play Matt Helm. Likes we had read and heard bits and pieces of the story, but never ever 'til we came 'cross Keith's post did we know all the behind-the-scenes activity of bringin' Matt Helm to the screen and to havin' our Dino as Helm.

So, we extremely encourage you to indulge in readin' this  most amazin' read by Keith, so you too will know the story-behind-the-story of our King of Cool comin' to play the coolest screen spyster ever!  We express our deepest of deep Dino-appreciato to Keith for all his time, effort, research, and passion in gettin' the word out to his readership 'bout how the flicks on to the screen and how our Dino got to play his ever cool, hip and ever randy self as Matt Helm.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

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ASSIGNMENT: DEAN MARTIN

SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 KEITH

Director-producer Irving Allen has been charitably referred to as a bit gruff, or rough around the edges. Less charitably, a bully. Even less charitably, a complete asshole. Working his way from junior editor up through the ranks, he eventually carved out a pretty successful if low-key career as the producer or director of a number of shorts, including the Academy Award winning Climbing the Matterhorn. Wanting more from his career though, he partnered with another struggling producer, Brit Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, to form Warwick Films. Based out of England so they could take advantage of lucrative tax breaks, Warwick made a number of successful “boy’s own adventure” style films that allowed Allen to indulge his taste for costumed mini-epics and Broccoli a chance to make a name for himself with the help of his mercurial but close friend and partner.


Allen had a well-deserved reputation for being abusive and demanding, both as a producer, a director, and as a businessman. He and Cubby sometimes collaborated on projects, but more times than not they trusted each other to work on independent projects. So it was that Broccoli set up an interview one day with Ian Fleming, author of several successful James Bond adventure novels. Fleming was interested in seeing his character brought to life on screen but had so far been unsuccessful in convincing anyone to make it happen. Other than a cheap adaptation of his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, for the American television series Climax! — in which the character was rechristened Jimmy Bond and had his nationality switched to American — James Bond existed only in the novels. The rights to Casino Royale had been sold, though nothing more came of it, and Fleming had collaborated on an initial script for a movie that eventually became the book Thunderball — which eventually became the movie Thunderball and a big legal nightmare for Fleming, which is also why we also have Never Say Never Again. But Cubby Broccoli was very enthusiastic about getting a Bond film made, so he set up a meeting between him and Fleming.

Tragically, Broccoli’s wife fell extremely ill, and in an effort to secure better treatment for the cancer that had wracked her body, he traveled with her to New York, then stayed by her side through treatment and her eventual final days. In his partner’s absence, Irving Allen handled the meeting with Ian Fleming. There was just one problem: Allen hated the James Bond books. In his typically “candid” way, he stated to Fleming’s face that the books were utter rubbish, not even fit to be adapted for television. Not surprisingly, no deal was struck that day. Broccoli was upset with Allen’s uncouth handling of the meeting and rude dismissal of Fleming. Between that and the stress Broccoli felt over his wife’s passing, the relationship between he and Allen became strained. Independent of Allen, Broccoli sought to patch things up with Ian Fleming while Allen himself pursued a personal passion project — a big, lavish biopic called The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Cubby Broccoli eventually entered into a separate partnership with producer Harry Saltzman, founding Eon Studios for the express purpose of making the first James Bond movie, Dr. No (the rights to Casino Royale were tied up elsewhere, and Dr. No was the most recent of the Bond novels). Allen, meanwhile, met with crushing disappointment over his Oscar Wilde movie. Frank discussion and portrayal of Wilde’s homosexuality did not sit well with censors, and the film flopped at the few box offices in which it played.

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By the time Dr. No was released, Warwick Films was dead and Bond mania had been born. Allen went on to produce a few more interesting and generally quite good historical epics, including 1964’s Viking epic The Long Ships starring Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, and Russ Tamblyn. The massive failure of another historical epic, Genghis Khan, a year later put Allen in a precarious financial and professional position. In that time, his old junior partner had become quite possibly the most successful film producer in the world, thanks entirely to the the James Bond movies Allen had so obnoxiously chased out his own front door. By the time Genghis Khan flopped, Broccoli has produced four James Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and the same year as Genghis Khan, Thunderball. The entire world was ape for Bond, and most film studios were doing their best to ape Bond’s formula. Allen, always as keen to make a buck as he was to make a picture, shrugged and decided to follow his former partner’s lead. The question was, what would he use as his source material?

Allen knew he didn’t want to start from scratch. While it was unlikely he would develop a juggernaut on the level of James Bond, he still wanted a big success, and the easiest way to do that was to hit the ground with material that already had a built-in audience. Somewhat randomly, Allen was perusing the paperbacks at an airport and picked up one of the Matt Helm novels by Donald Hamilton — Death of a Citizen or The Silencers, “I don’t remember which” he later said, though it’s possible it was both of them given the eventual structure of the movie. Whatever the case, he liked what he read and thought Matt Helm, adventuring around in the American southwest, would make a fantastic counterpoint to British Bond. Hamilton, himself having already sold many stories to be adapted into movies, was more than happy to meet and eventually sign a deal with Allen giving the producer the rights to all of the existing Matt Helm novels, eight at the time. Allen formed a new company to produce the movies and convinced Columbia Pictures — like Allen, they had turned their nose up at Ian Fleming and James Bond and were now looking to play catch-up — to make the movies, though Allen himself had to front a sizable portion of the money.

By all accounts, the initial plan for the movie was to stick very close to the tone of Hamilton’s books. Allen hired screenwriter Oscar Saul (A Streetcar Named Desire) to pen the script and film noir and western veteran Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential, Phenix City Story, Kid Galahad) to direct. Donald Hamilton himself would serve as story consultant. Like Allen and Columbia Pictures, Karlson had his own brush with Bond when he was considered to direct Dr. No until Cubby Broccoli balked at the price tag and went with Terence Young instead. If not all-star, it was never the less an impressive assembly of talent. Both Karlson and Saul were well-respected and had shown the ability to work well in the highly emotional and noirish sort of world Matt Helm inhabited. And while Irving Allen was short-fused and had a number of flops under his belt, he also had a number of successes, and his flops had at least been challenging and ambitious. All that was left was to find the right actor to play the part.

Allen’s first choice was Tony Curtis, but Curtis was involved with his own vanity project and turned the part down. Television actor Hugh O’Brian was next announced to have taken the role, but that didn’t pan out either. Hamilton wanted Richard Boone, star of the hit television show Have Gun, Will Travel, but again, no dice (I’m not even sure he was ever even considered by Allen). Starting to panic a little now as the first day of filming was fast approaching, Allen was throwing the role at the feet of a number of players, including Paul Newman, but no established actor wanted to be the guy who had to compete with Sean Connery as James Bond. Sensing that they would never find the right actor, Allen called in new writers to retool the script. If he couldn’t compete with Bond, Allen reasoned, he’d spoof Bond. And so the Matt Helm project went from a hard-hitting, serious noir take on the Bond style spy movie to a comedy. And once they changed the tone of the film, they changed the tone of the star. After seeing him out on the town one night charming everyone around him, Irving Allen decided he knew who he wanted to play this new version of Matt Helm: comedian and lounge singer Dean Martin.

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No one could really believe Allen was serious, least of all Dean Martin himself. The crooner, harboring fears that after the dissolution of his partnership with Jerry Lewis his film career would be over, was still hesitant to commit himself to a potential film series, so he jokingly made a number of outrageous demands, including 10% of the profits on top of his salary, figuring that they would turn him down and he could go on his merry way. When Irving Allen accepted the deal, Martin shrugged and became Matt Helm. It’s possible that Martin could have handled a more serious script. He’d recently proven himself quite capable of a powerful dramatic turn, both as the drunken deputy in Rio Lobo and again alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in the World War II drama The Young Lions. But everyone, including Dean himself, figured no one wanted to see a dark and violent turn from the popular entertainer. They wanted Ocean’s Eleven Dean Martin. They wanted Rat Pack Dean Martin. They wanted fun, drunk Uncle Dino. And boy did they get him.

The script was further tweaked by some of Martin’s own writing buddies to better incorporate the drunk and witty stage persona Dean had invented for himself after so many years as the straight man to Jerry Lewis’ braying man-child. This included adding a number of musical asides and daydreams for Martin to croon through, and to better reflect James Bond, abandoning the wife and kids and instead making Matt Helm into a swingin’ bachelor. It was a disappointing turn of events for fans of Hamilton’s writing, who had been hoping to see the cruel, violent, unglamorous world of Matt Helm brought to the big screen as a sort of mean, shadowy reflection of the frothy, fantastical Bond movies. Hamilton himself was disappointed and thought going to comedic route to be a bit of a cop-out, but he was also a professional who had sold many stories already, so he knew the drill and doesn’t seem to have taken it too terribly personally, continuing to write new Matt Helm novels in his usual style while, as he stated in an interview taking the money from the Matt Helm movie and crying all the way to the bank.

In 1966, in the wake of Thunderball and alongside another high-profile Bond spoof, Our Man Flint starring James Coburn, Irving Allen, Dean Martin, and The Silencers staggered drunkenly onto American movie screens.

[This part two of a multi-part article. Stay tuned for the next thrilling entry! Read part one here.]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Dean Martin Awakening


Hey pallies, likes his tag is Keith and you'll find his scribin's at the blog "TELEPORT CITY - BRINGING YOU YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW......TODAY!"  'gain doin' some google blog searchin' extra credit we with likes positively  psyched  to have uncovered Keith Dino-homagin' post, "My Dean Martin Awakening," part of his larger post tagged, "LET’S PLAY DRESS-UP: THE RAMBLING PREAMBLE."

As you may read below, Keith's lifestyle was forever altered while in college "during a late night that involved a marathon of Matt Helm films starring Dean Martin."  As Keith pontificates further..."Anyway, after a refined evening of watching Dean Martin slide ass-first down a railway whilst waving a ray gun over his head, I decided I wanted to start upping my style game. Less dumpster diving skate punk, more mod meets cocktail culture with a dash of rockabilly."

Likes how fabulous is that dudes....likes 'nother tremendous true-life testimony of how comin' under the influence of our most beloved Dino is likes a forever transformin' experience....likes once youse encounters our Dino (in the words of "Since I Met You Baby), you're a different man!  We stunnin'ly salute Keith for boldin' sharin' his "Dean Martin Awakening" with his readership, surely helpin' many to cover over to our Dino's side...the coolest of cool side that is.  To checks this out in it's original format, per usual, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-awakened, DMP





My Dean Martin Awakening

I was in college when it hit me during a late night that involved a marathon of Matt Helm films starring Dean Martin and culminated in a pre-dawn viewing through bleary eyes of Mario Bava’s Danger! Diabolik — very possibly the experience that birthed Teleport City in general. I was, at the time, an impoverished punk rock college kid living on thirty or forty bucks a month, usually with disconnected power and phone in my one bedroom apartment in Gainesville, Florida. Until that night, youthful rebellion against “the suits” had led to my wardrobe being composed of a couple pairs of cut-off cargo pants, one pair of jeans, one pair of ratty black Chucks, and like fifty band shirts in varying degrees of disintegration. I cut my own hair — blindly and badly — had glasses that were bigger than my face, and clocked in at maybe right around 105 pounds and 5’7”. Which is to say not only was I (and still am) a nerd, I was a nerd with a body type that was, at the time, very difficult to clothe in anything that looked like it was actually made to fit me rather than something I stole from a much larger person’s wardrobe.

Plus, like many skinny kids, I was under the erroneous impression that wearing huge clothes made me look less skinny (they don’t, but we’ll get to that later in this series). Anyway, after a refined evening of watching Dean Martin slide ass-first down a railway whilst waving a ray gun over his head, I decided I wanted to start upping my style game. Less dumpster diving skate punk, more mod meets cocktail culture with a dash of rockabilly. I know, I know. Mods and rockabilly together? Impossible! But I live in America. We fought a war so we wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not mod and rocker goes together.

There were a few obstacles between me and my newfound desire to own a pair of wingtips and a slim-cut suit. First, as I mentioned, I was pretty broke. Not out on the streets and dying broke. Not four kids and no way to care for or feed them broke. I was broke punk rocker broke, which in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty manageable sort of broke, especially in a town like Gainesville where you could show up at the drop of a hat at any number of friends’ houses and be guaranteed a couch to sleep on and a sack of Taco Bell to tide you over until you got some cash. So I would not want to imply that these were dark and desperate times. I was just broke, as many twenty-year-old kids are. Certainly too broke to pop down to the local haberdashery to pick up a few new suits of clothing to match my new sartorial aspirations. That’s if we had a local haberdashery.

Even if I had the means, I did not have the vocabulary to express what I wanted. This was Gainesville, Florida, circa 1992. There was an Internet, but just barely, and only five people were on it. This was before fashion blogs, the dandy revival, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It was hard to walk into a Sears or Old Navy with a picture of Sean Connery in Goldfinger and find what I was looking for. I did not know the words. What is that kind of suit called? What are those shoes? No idea. And the days of department store clerks being all Are You Being Served? was long gone. if I went to Dillards, I was not going to find John Inman and Captain Peacock waiting to take my hand and guide me through the morass and toward a better-dressed future. I was going to find some minimum-wage schlub who knew nothing, just like me.


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating Dino-ween

Hey pallies, likes here's just a bit more Dino-fun to gets all use Dino-philes into the mood for Dino-ween.  Below, from the powerfully provocative blog "THIS IS NOT PORN" comes the extremely evocative pose of our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner Mr. Jerry Lewis in a very very Dino-ween state of mind.

Donnin' pointy hats and leanin' on some great pumpkins Dino and Jerry create the coolest cool Dino-ween atmosphere.....looks at our Dino lookin' at Jerry makin' with facial and hand motions.

ilovedinomartin thanks the pallies at "THIS IS NOT PORN" for sharin' this most classic of classic Dino-ween pose!  As usual, to checks this out in it's original source, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  Dino-weenin', DMP

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating halloween | Rare and beautiful celebrity photos



Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating halloween

Send Some Dino-ween Ecards To All Your Dino-diggin' Pallies!


Hey pallies, likes Dino-ween ain't far off now pallies, likes just a few 'way on this Friday.  So, likes we thoughts we woulda  'gain sends all youse Dino-addicted pallies likes a reminder 'bout the delightful  Dino-resource that ilovedinomartin discovered several Dino-weens ago for all us Dino-philes to use to send Dino-ween wishes to our fellow Dino-holics.

From the "Dean Martin Informationscenter Deutschland"... www.dean-martin.de," comes a completely cool collection of Dino-ecards, likes just waitin' for youse to share with all your Dino-diggin'  pallies on this special Dino-holi-day!

And, likes dudes likes besides sendin' to all the Dino-philes on your list, likes how 'bout sendin' to some of your pallies who are yet to be sold-out to our Dino...certainly a great way to encourage 'em in growin' in their personal Dino-devotion!!!!!  We've included some of the coolest of the cool Dino-ecards with this post, but to view 'em all and make your Dino-selections, just click on the tag of this Dino-report to goes to the original site.

Happy Dino-ween to all our ilovedinomartin Dino-homagers ...and as ever, keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino! Dino-weenin', DMP









Sunday, October 26, 2014

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: HALLOWEEN Special! "Me & You & The Moon"




Welcome back, my GHOULISH pallies! Feelin' creepy yet? Man o man...do I LOVE this SPOOKY time of year! Thinks I tell youse that EVERY year! Haha!  Can't help it pals...I'm COMPLETELY sold out with the whole Halloweeny vibe! Gets my blood pumpin'!!! Hahaha!


Now pals...couldn't youse just picture our Numero Uno pallie bein' the PERFECTO Dracula?! Maybe a handsome wise-crackin' devil? I Got it!!! Dino would be the COOLEST...SWINGINEST... BLOOD CURDELINEST Werewolf ever!!! Howwwlll!!! GRrrrrrrr!!! Snarrrlllll!!! Haha! Man...Now THAT would 've been a fun fun flick!


So pallies...with that Wickedy Scary thought in mind...I grabbed today's Serenade from the classic 1956 Martin & Lewis film, "Pardners".

 Dean sets the mood so so perfectly for a Fun & Freaky night while croonin', "Me & You & the Moon".
Can just imagine him lookin' up at that Big Bright Autumn night sky at the end of the vid...And very suavely...turnin' into the HIPPEST beast that ever Howled at the Bella Luna!!! Hahaha!!!

Ok, my children of the night...let's get into our "trick or treat" mode! Hahaha! I'm nut's!
Have fun pals & ALWAYS keep the Dino & the vino flowin'!!!

We don't need to swing in a hammock
We don't need the nightingale's tune
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
We don't need a heavenly setting
We don't need a sleepy lagoon
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Just the three of us
What a situation
Just the three of us
Plus a natural inclination
We don't need flowery season
Love is love December or June
We can make our own weather
Just put us together
Me 'n' you 'n' the moon
We don't need a comfortable parlor
We don't need the phonograph tune
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you' 'n' the moon
We don't need a horse and a buggy
Buggy rides are over too soon
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Just the three of us
What a pleasure this is
Just the three of us
Plus a couple thousand kisses
We don't need flowery season
Love is love December or June
We can make our own weather
Just put us together
Me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Me...You...and the moon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals,"

Hey pallies, likes here is still 'nother installment of great Dino-readin' from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman self-tagged blog, "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."  We followed a link in his post that was published yesterday, "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points," and discovered "Lucky Berkeleyites," where Weinman made what appears to be his first observations, he tags 'em "A few random points on Artists and Models."

Scribed  in April of 2008, it surely  shows us how observant Mr. Weinman is 'bout one of his, and our most fav flicks.  We won't  take any glory 'way from your Dino-readin' pleasure, and simply simply encourage you to enjoy Jaime's well written words of wisdom.

'Gain we takes our hat off to Mr. Jaime J. Weinman for sharin' 'bout "one of those movies I just love".....our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner in "Artists And Models."  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.   Dino-delightedly, DMP

Lucky Berkeleyites

If you're in or near the Bay area (and I'm not saying you shouldn't be), the University of California at Berkeley is holding A week-long Frank Tashlin retrospective. There have been a bunch of these recently, but all south of the border (the Canadian border, I mean); I especially recommend next Wednesday's screening of Artists and Models because while the DVD version looks fine, I have a feeling that the otherworldly riot of color would look even better on a big screen in a dark theatre.

A few random points on Artists and Models while I'm at it, since this is one of those movies I just love (there are greater movies, maybe even better movies by this director or these stars, but there are few other movies that are more fun), because none of them are worth a separate post in themselves:

1) The plot of Artists and Models, if you look at it rationally, has so many holes in it, even for a comedy, that the script would be thrown out of any screenwriting class. Some of this is probably due to cutting; it's a long movie and some scenes were cut for time (including Shirley MacLaine's solo "Bat Lady" dance, which appears to be lost), and I imagine some of the deleted scenes would explain why Eva Gabor's character starts out thinking that Dean Martin is the person she needs to seduce and then, without any explanation for how she found out the truth, switches to trying to seduce Jerry Lewis. But there are various other unexplained plot points, things that are brought up and then never referred to again (Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals," but this is never addressed), and stuff that just makes no sense, like how can Martin's character draw a best-selling comic book under his own name without Jerry Lewis's character finding out about it? You just kind of have to go with it; it's like a '50s throwback to many silent and early sound comedies that were very loosely structured and informal and didn't ask to be judged by classic principles of story structure. But you can see why Jean-Luc Godard fell in love with Artists; the idea that a movie can ignore all rules of storytelling logic, and get away with it if the individual scenes are entertaining enough, must have been very encouraging to him.

2) The publicity photo of Martin, Lewis, and the four top-billed women in the film (all dressed, of course, by Edith Head, who did some of her best work on this picture), appears to be the one Shirley MacLaine was talking about when she wrote that Jerry Lewis was a real jerk during the taking of a cast publicity photo with these six participants. Apparently he tried to essentially direct the taking of the photograph and tell everybody where to stand and what to do. Viewed that way, it's kind of a metaphor for why their partnership broke up: Jerry standing there trying to control everything, Dean looking a little ticked off. (Click to enlarge).





3) I notice that while Shirley MacLaine's character is called "Bessie Sparrowbush" in the film, many cast lists give the name as "Sparrowbrush." I wonder if somebody sneaked the name "Sparrowbush" past the censors by deliberately misspelling it in the cast list.

4) When I tried to research this film I didn't come up with much (to find out anything about its production I'll have to wait until I can look at Hal Wallis's papers, which are housed at the Motion Picture Academy's library), but I did find a Sheilah Graham column, complete with a quote from producer Hal Wallis, revealing that the part of Dean Martin's love interest was originally offered to Lizabeth Scott, a longtime Wallis contractee who had already been Martin's vis-a-vis in Scared Stiff. Scott turned down the script, upon which Martin asked for Dorothy Malone, his other love interest from Scared Stiff. That same year, Martin also made You're Never Too Young opposite Diana Lynn, who had been his love interest in the two My Friend Irma movies.


Posted by Jaime J. Weinman at 7:32 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind

Hey pallies, likes 'pon discoverin' yester-Dino-day's "Artists and Models patter from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman, likes we remembered 'nother fine post we had by Weinman 'bout this same Dino-subject.
So, through the magic of google blog searchin' we rediscovered the wonderous prose below that Jaime had written way back in December of 2008 at his self tagged  blog "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."

While we had left a comment with Mr. Weinman at the time, we realized that we had never ever shared this with the ilovedinomartin blog readership before, so no time likes the present to do so.
What makes this particular prose so intriguin' is that Jaime as he states in his tag for the post, accents "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points."

As you will read below, Weinman "picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Stories magazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form."  And that particular mag accents "Artists And Models."  It's very very cool how with the help of this issue of Screen Stories Jaime is able to do a great job of explain' some of the hows and whys of the "mysterious missing plot points.

We, as huge huge fans of "Artists And Models" were psyched to have 'gain come 'cross this particular post and be able to share it with all youse Dino-philes.  We salute Mr. Jaime Weinman for his 'specially good scribin' skills in this very informative piece of Dino-literature.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-learnin' and growin', DMP


Thursday, December 18, 2008


ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points



You all know I'm something of an Artists and Models junkie, and I've always been a little frustrated by the lack of material on it: no DVD extras, little background information, few contemporary articles (as another Martin & Lewis movie, it didn't get much promotion other than alerting people that Dean and Jerry were back again), not even a trailer -- there was a print of the trailer auctioned off on Ebay last week, but I got outbid. Drafts of the scripts and correspondence are presumably available in the Hal Wallis archives at the AMPAS library, but I haven't had an opportunity to go there yet.

In the meantime, though, I picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Storiesmagazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form. (This format would be replaced by the full-length novelization.) The writers for Screen Stories would work on their adaptations based on a copy of the screenplay, but they were not always told about changes that had been made to the script after they got their copy, or scenes that were filmed but cut prior to release. That means that sometimes a "Screen Stories" version will contain dialogue or plot points that were cut from the movie. The Artists and Models adaptation was in this issue I picked up, and in lieu of a script, I thought I'd look at it to see if there were any story points that would clarify some of the perplexing plot gaps in the movie.< As I mentioned in a previous post, the plot sort of falls apart in the third act because the spies inexplicably switch from pursuing Dean Martin to pursuing Jerry Lewis -- without ever actually finding out that Lewis is the one who actually created Vincent the Vulture -- and also because Lewis never finds out that Martin has been turning his dreams into a comic book. (Brief plot recap: Lewis has dreams about a lurid superhero adventure; because he talks in his sleep, Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind; a detail from Lewis's dreams turns out to be identical to a secret government formula, and both the Russians and the Feds want to know more about the source of this comic book.)

If the Screen Stories piece is based on the script, then there was supposed to be a scene that would have cleared up both of these points. It's in the scene before the Artists and Models ball, where Rick (Martin) is helping Eugene (Lewis) get ready, while an evil Russian spy (the improbably cast Jack Elam, who apparently loved this change-of-pace part) listens in. In the film, the scene just has Rick and Eugene doing the old comedy fancy-dress routine ("I can't keep this dicky down, Ricky!") followed by Rick telling Eugene that he'll meet the "Bat Lady" at the ball, followed by a cut to Elam listening in. But the scene was apparently supposed to be longer: while looking for an article of clothing, Eugene discovers a copy of the "Vincent the Vulture" comic with Rick's name on it, leading to the following dialogue:


EUGENE: You've been working for Murdock! How could you write a thing like this?

RICK: But I didn't write the book. I just drew it.

EUGENE: Then who wrote it? I want to know who's got the dirty, filthy, nasty mind to dream that story up.

RICK: All right, you have. You dreamed it up. That story is out of your little subconscious. That's what you talk when you talk in your sleep. But don't worry, I didn't cheat you. Half the loot's in the bank in your name.

EUGENE: You mean I dreamed this dirty, nasty, filthy story?

RICK: You got talent, Eugie. You're Steubendale's Edgar Allen Poe.


Then the Jack Elam character was supposed to overhear this, which explains how the Russian spies know that Eugene, not Rick, is the creator of Vincent the Vulture.

I don't know if this scene was cut from the movie due to length (at 108 minutes it's unusually long for a M&L comedy) or if they just ran out of time to film it; because this movie went over budget, several scenes were planned but not made. It seems strange that one of the parts they would choose to do without is the part that's necessary for the whole plot to make sense, but that's Artists and Models for you; it's not a movie where logical resolutions or sensible plot construction are very important. If they had to choose between cutting this scene and cutting the dicky scene, I kind of see why they went for the latter -- in this movie at least. 



It wasn't planned that way, and I know that I'm really excusing away some serious flaws of storytelling, but the story problems just don't matter to me the way they would in a less crazy film. In the finished film, the thing that gives it some kind of coherence is not the story but the sense of mounting strangeness; every scene is a little more outlandish than the last, as if the movie starts off making fun of Eugene's "wild comic-book dreams" and ends up becoming one. The Godard comparison is still one that sticks with me; Pierrot Le Fou, which I've called his most Tashlinesque film, starts out with a story that makes some kind of logical sense and winds up as a series of wild stream-of-consciousness cartoon sequences.

Not that there aren't plenty of improvements in the finished film. In this version, when Rick runs out looking for Eugene, who is dressed in a giant mouse costume, and Sonia, dressed as the Bat Lady, he asks "Did a woman in a bat costume and a tall thin rat come out?" In the movie, Eugene is dressed in a heavily-padded mouse costume so that Rick can say one of my favorite lines ever: "Did a bat and a fat rat come out here?"

Also it seems like the original script probably had more references to the idea that comic books are genuinely bad for children -- in one scene as recapped in Screen Stories, Rick sees kids acting violent due to the influence of his Vincent the Vulture comics, and that gives him the impetus to quit drawing the comic. (The scene where he quits is in the movie, but with very little setup.) Tashlin really wasn't kidding about not liking mass-market newsstand comics; at the time the film came out, he gave a short interview where he tried to draw a distinction between good cartooning, which is what he did, and violent trashy comics ("I don't know why kids would read that when Treasure Island is so much more exciting"). But because a lot of the anti-comics lines didn't make it into the final film, the movie as it stands has an almost even balance between anti-comics satire and satire of people who are againstcomics, making it a more good-natured and interesting look at the cultural moment than it might have become.

If the recap is accurate, there was also supposed to be a scene at the Artists and Models Ball which would explain how Dean Martin gets back together with Dorothy Malone and why she arrives with the federal agents near the end of the picture. This is pretty well expendable, though; neither of those things really need explaining. But it seems a shame to lose any scene with Malone in her ball costume, perhaps my favorite of all the many great, surreal Edith Head costumes in the film. (In a strange way it does seem to convey the idea that if you crossed a prim comic-book artist with a Vegas showgirl, this is what she'd wear.)