Jane Birkin Passion Flower Hotel programmes

JB Passion Flower Hotel London005

JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester005Jane Birkin appeared alongside Francesca Annis and Pauline Collins in a musical comedy, Passion Flower Hotel, in 1965.  The play was written by Wolf Mankowitz, with music by John Barry and lyrics by Trevor Peacock.  They might have been young and up and coming back then but in retrospect the cast makes pretty impressive reading: Bill Kenwright (I really like his version of I Want To Go Back There Again and don’t care what anyone else says about it!); Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy; Nicky Henson (of Psychomania fame!); Michael Cashman (of Eastenders fame).

Passion Flower Hotel opened at the Palace Theatre, Manchester on 30 July 1965 and transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre in London on 24 August 1965, running for 148 performances until 1 January 1966.  There was an original cast album of songs from the play – I have a copy of it somewhere in my collection and I remember not being 100% sure where Jane was on the album.  There were just a couple of bits where I thought it could be her but it’s very hard to distinguish as she’s mainly part of the chorus.  Obviously it’s very dated nowadays but I wasn’t massively impressed with the musical upon listening to the album.  Excuse wonky scanning…JB Passion Flower Hotel London010

The story was, I suppose, quite controversial for the time: young girls at boarding school discuss losing their virginity and decide the best way is to set up a “service” for the local boys’ school situated across the lake from them.  Apparently, Jane, as required for the role, sang badly and danced badly and chanted “I must, I must, increase my bust!” but none of this put off John Barry who she started dating during this period and married just a few months later in October 1965.  Such a quick worker!

The two programmes for the play don’t differ massively but they do have different photographs of the cast in them so I’m including them both here:

JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester001JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester002JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester003JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester004JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester007JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester008JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester009JB Passion Flower Hotel Manchester006JB Passion Flower Hotel London001JB Passion Flower Hotel London002JB Passion Flower Hotel London003JB Passion Flower Hotel London004JB Passion Flower Hotel London006

JB Passion Flower Hotel London007JB Passion Flower Hotel London008JB Passion Flower Hotel London009JB Passion Flower Hotel London011JB Passion Flower Hotel London012

JB Passion Flower Hotel London013

Jane Birkin – the missing TV plays from the 1960s

A little while back I did an in-depth review of the 1967 Armchair Theatre play Poor Cherry which featured a very young and lovely Jane Birkin.  Jane also appeared in two more Armchair Theatre plays from 1965 (Armchair Mystery Theatre: The Finishing Touch) and 1968 (Armchair Theatre: Recount) but these are both believed to be missing.  With no chance of seeing them I thought it would be nice to find out a bit about both of these early appearances.  My friend Tim came up trumps with his TV Times archive and here are a few bits and pieces I found:

Recount 1aRecount 3aRecount 2aRecount 4a

No photos of Jane, unfortunately, but an interesting thing to note is that the TX date given elsewhere is 18 April 1968 and it’s clear from the TV Times that it was actually broadcast on 20 April 1968 – unless it’s a regional difference, of course.  There is one photo of Jane from Recount but it’s an agency photo so I guess I might be asked to remove it…

Jane Recount

Pity we can’t see this as she looks gorgeous here.  Next up, some bits and pieces about Poor Cherry to add to my previous article:

Poor Cherry 1aPoor Cherry 2aPoor Cherry 3aPoor Cherry 5aPoor Cherry 4a

Poor Cherry was broadcast on 9 September 1967.

Finally, The Finishing Touch:

Jane Birkin The Finishing Touch 1The Finishing Touch 2The Finishing Touch 3

Great photo of the cast and these articles are a good way of finding out a little more about the plays.  One thing to note, elsewhere this is referred to as That Finishing Touch but here it is clearly called The Finishing Touch.  The broadcast date was 18 July 1965 and this was Jane’s first appearance in a television show.  Hopefully one day the two lost episodes will be found and we’ll be able to see them but in the meantime the information from the TV Times is most useful.

Many thanks to Tim for letting me have access to his TV Times archive discs!

Point de chute – or the day I started to identify with Johnny Hallyday

Point de chute (Falling Point) is the first film I ever saw with Robert Hossein as director. I thought it was wonderful – even if it did star Johnny Hallyday. I’ve never been a fan of Hallyday’s but it seems he really is a rather good actor. I had already seen him in Patrice Leconte’s L’Homme du train (The Man on the Train) and he was excellent in that too. It’s a pity he didn’t prioritise his acting career over his music.

Anyway, this film is one of my favourite films now and it made me seek out other films directed by Robert Hossein. I’ve seen a few – there’s no doubt he’s a real talent as both an actor and a director. I read somewhere, though, that Point de chute was a rip-off of another movie – Hubert Cornfield’s film of 1968 (pre-dating Point de chute by two years) The Night of the Following Day. I took a look at the plot summary of this film and it certainly sounds very similar but I can’t imagine that it could actually be a better film than Point de chute – it seems to be more sordid and brutal. Point de chute is a film of subtleties; it’s very sensitive. Actually, it’s perfect.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I saw it and when I later saw Robert Hossein’s 1969 film Un corde, un colt (The Rope and the Colt) with a very similar escape scene (a red haired lady running through the sand) and the crumbling of food at the dinner table, it reminded me of Point de chute and I decided I should write something about it. It’s been a long time coming but here it is finally:

Falling Point 17

* SPOILER ALERT * The article below contains the entire plot of the film

The plot summary is that a gang of criminals kidnap the daughter of a wealthy man and demand a ransom. The girl is taken to a cabin on a deserted beach until the ransom has been the paid. One of the criminals, Vlad, is appointed to keep an eye on the girl whilst the other gang members make contact with the family and organise delivery of the ransom. Vlad and the girl wait patiently for payment to be made – once payment has been received she will be freed and he will also be able to leave the isolation of the cabin. But the girl sees Vlad without his disguise on and so the gang leader has decided that it is too dangerous to let her go once the ransom has been paid. Vlad, who they hold responsible for this incident, will have to kill the girl. The ransom is a long time in coming though and Vlad and the girl slowly develop an understanding of each other. This makes it impossible for Vlad to kill the girl and when the gang turn up with his share of the ransom money they find the girl still alive. Vlad won’t let the gang kill her and he turns his gun instead on the gang. He lets the girl go free and takes the gang leader’s car so he can escape himself. But the car won’t start and as Vlad heads off along the beach on foot, the gang leader takes a rifle from the car and shoots Vlad in the back. The girl, hearing the gun shot and seeing Vlad collapse, runs back to him and is subsequently shot herself. They try to reach other by crawling through the sand and are within a hand’s reach of other when they die.

There are five main characters in the story: Johnny Hallyday is Vlad (also known as the Romanian); Pascale Rivault is the girl; Robert Hossein is the boss; Albert Minski is Eddy (the other gang member); Robert Dalban is the Inspector.

The story is basic enough but it’s the way Robert Hossein, as director, manages to draw the spectator into the narrative and gets you to identify with the characters that makes it so good. The film is shot in both colour and black and white – the significance of this becomes clear as the story develops. The black and white sequences are events following the deaths of the two main protagonists – Vlad and the girl – and are confined to the police inspector and his investigations. The colour scenes are flashbacks to the kidnapping and the events leading up to the deaths. The flashbacks contain information that the inspector is not privy to and may never know but the black and white sequences act as an aid to assist us with our journey through the story.

Falling Point 3Falling Point 2Falling Point 4

The film starts with a black and white sequence where the police inspector enters the cabin on the beach. He sees books, beer cans, a flute, masks and a radio. He notices bullet holes in the door.

Falling Point 5Falling Point 6Falling Point 7

The two masks here resemble the two dead protagonists at the end of the film

fALLING pOINT 8Falling Point 9

Then he goes upstairs to a room where he finds some crumpled up notes on the floor. He reads the notes to himself and we hear his inner voice: “How long are they going to keep me here? I’m afraid.” and “They locked me in the attic. I’m cold. I don’t know how long they’re going to keep me here. I feel sick.” He finds a notebook hidden under the mattress and reads what is written – “I have to find a way out. I don’t know how to do it with that horrible guy downstairs. I can see him between the door’s planks.”

Falling Point 10Falling Point 11Falling Point 12

The police inspector then closes the door and looks through the hole in the door.

Falling Point 13

The main story is cued by the inspector’s reading of “I can see him between the door’s planks” and the act of looking through the hole – the next scene is in colour and it is a girl looking through the hole.

Falling Point 14

Is the inspector trying to identify with the hostage? And are we, as spectator, identifying with the inspector? At this point we don’t know quite where we’re situated – we know less than the inspector knows because we do not know the reason the police are investigating on the beach. But we hope that his investigations will lead us through the entire story – as it turns out we only identify with the inspector in the respect that he is looking to solve the mystery of what happened to the girl and we also want to know what happened. We have identified with him to a certain extent – seeing the items on the table as he saw them (from his point of view) and we have also been privy to his inner voice when he read the notes out to himself – but on one occasion when the inspector reads the girl’s notebooks the internal sound we hear is of the girl herself reading it out. From this point forward the information we witness as spectator is more detailed and differs to the information available to the inspector.

The narration is, on the whole, unrestricted. As a spectator we know and see more than anyone else. We see things that Vlad does not see and we see things that the girl does not see. We know more than the inspector. In order to identify with the two protagonists we need to see and hear what they see and hear. But we’re not identifying with just one of the protagonists, spectator placement alternates between the two characters and we identify with both of them – and, interestingly, they begin to identify with each other too.

Falling Point 19Falling Point 15

The narrative is not completely unrestricted – we never learn whether the girl’s dad called the police; we don’t know what the boss and Eddy are doing away from the cabin. Our views shift constantly between Vlad and the girl, seeing their external behaviour and also shots from their point of view or sound perspective. I would argue that we identify slightly more with Vlad than the girl (we never even learn her name) because we go into his mind more – when he imagines the girl at school and when he imagines her running along the beach. We know from accessing his fantasy visions that he is thinking about the girl’s life, the life she led, and that he can see her smiling at him and then in fear of him: he knows from reading her note book that she thinks he is nice but she will surely be afraid of him when she realises he has to kill her. This fantasy sequence reveals the strong probability that he will actually be incapable of killing her.

Falling Point 122Falling Point 123Falling POint 124Falling Point 125Falling Point 126Falling POint 127Falling Point 128

We know how the girl feels from a combination of her external behaviour – she is often seen crying, she appears to be afraid – and the insights we gain from her writing in her note book; that Vlad goes from being “the horrible guy downstairs” to being “nice”. Subtle clues to a growing identification are also provided by the looks exchanged between the two characters. One of the first incidents involving the girl identifying with Vlad takes place early on in the film, when she takes Vlad’s mask and tries it on: in one gesture both taking on his personality – this is your mask, I am wearing it to identify with you – and also losing her own identity, which is of course what Vlad hoped to achieve by wearing the mask.

Falling Point 51Falling Point 52Falling Point 53Falling Point 54Falling Point 55Falling Point 56

There’s no real reason for her to do this and, in fact, it makes Vlad angry – he slaps her – but is he angry because she has seen him without the mask or because she is wearing the mask? We don’t know. Interestingly, once the girl has tried his mask on, Vlad goes upstairs and reads her school reports and notebooks – enabling him to get into her mind. Of course this is a mistake but Vlad does not realise this at the time.

Falling Point 58Falling Point 59Falling Point 60

The film is about looking – so it’s appropriate that Vlad should imagine the girl at school with a telescope

Once we have seen the kidnap sequence, the story order is on the whole chronological until Vlad is given the order that when the time comes he will need to kill the girl. At this point there is a second black and white scene with the inspector in the present tense; but this is the inspector’s final appearance until the protagonists’ deaths when he reappears to signify the end of story.

Falling Point 75

The kidnap sequence is interesting from an identification point of view. The kidnap is standard – they follow the girl home from school and execute the kidnap when the chauffeur gets out of the car to open the gates to the family’s mansion home. The incident is seen from two perspectives – an unrestricted external view, followed by the girl’s subjective point of view. This is not quite a point-of-view sequence because although we see her perspective of the chauffeur going to the gate and the car arriving, the shot then alternates to an objective one as we see the surprise on her face and then it briefly returns to her perspective before changing to the chauffeur’s point of view as the car races towards him. It then returns to her perspective as she looks on but when we see her running it is no longer from her perceptual visual space. As the chloroform starts to overcome her we see an approximation of her view – slowly becoming more and more blurry – but this is clearly from an external stand point. It’s obvious we are supposed to identify with the girl – but with the added advantage of seeing and knowing more than she does.

Falling Point 20Falling Point 21Falling Point 22

Second view of the kidnapping – point of view shots:Falling Point 23Falling Point 24Objective shot:Falling Point 25Point of view shot:Falling Point 26Objective shot:Falling Point 27Chauffeur’s point of view shot:Falling Point 28Objective shots:Falling Point 29Falling Point 30

Shot from external stand point but representing the girl’s visual experience:

Falling Point 31


Falling Point 36Falling Point 37Falling Point 103Falling Point 104

Although we often see the characters looking through the hole in the door and experience their views of each other, we are reminded that we know more than both of these characters when the girl tries to escape by climbing out of the window. We see her legs dangling from the roof and we also see the man outside – she doesn’t know he is outside and he doesn’t know she is trying to escape.

Falling Point 41Falling Point 42Falling Point 43Falling Point 44

Vlad’s reactions to the girl’s escape attempts are of interest too. Instead of being angry on this occasion he just looks at her and she instinctively knows that she must go back to her room.

A later attempt at escape is seen as sport – when the girl runs past Vlad who is sitting in the car listening to the radio, he doesn’t even hurry to give chase. He does not appear to be annoyed at all and in fact smiles broadly before running after her. Again, when she falls she knows she must get up and go back to the cabin.

Falling Point 64Falling Point 65Falling Point 66Falling Point 67

Whilst the chase might not be the “romantic walk by the sea” that the boss suggests, Vlad certainly seemed to enjoy it.

I should say, too, that sound and music are of great importance in this film. Even when there is no music, the film is saturated with loud sounds of the sea and sea birds. The soundtrack is provided by Robert Hossein’s father, André Hossein, and is perfect for the film. Given that we bring to the film our knowledge that Johnny Hallyday is a musician, it’s not surprising that his character should be playing some music in the film – reinforcing a sense of identification with the character.

Falling Point 39

The girl sees Vlad through the hole in the door as he plays his flute but this music – at this point, part of the film’s plot – later becomes part of the non-diegetic soundtrack, appearing within the film as a commentary. So when Vlad is told to stay downstairs whilst the boss and Eddy torture the girl to make a tape of her screaming, this piece of music reminds us: this is Vlad’s song, he played this when he was sitting alone before.

We know very little about the two main characters – all we know is that the girl is from a wealthy family and that Vlad is a criminal – not a first timer, we know he has worked with this gang before. On the surface they would seem to have little in common. And yet somehow there are parallels and reasons for them to identify with each other – they have both been thrown into this situation together and they are both locked away in the cabin and wanting to get out. They are both waiting. They also have a musical motif – a certain piece of non-diegetic music is played during key scenes with and about the two characters.

The first occurrence of this musical motif is when Vlad reads the girl’s school reports and imagines her at school. The second occurrence of the musical motif follows the incident with the beach party revellers – Vlad and the girl watch together from the door as a gang of people laugh and dance on the beach. There is a mirroring of body language as they both stand in the doorway together, watching, both imprisoned in the cabin against their wills – the girl as a hostage and Vlad as the one chosen by the gang to be exiled in this way.

Falling Point 76Falling Point 77Falling Point 78Falling Point 79

After the party people have gone, Vlad and the girl sit together at the table downstairs and this is when the musical motif appears. This is one of the most beautiful sequences for me in terms of identification and the way the two protagonists feel in each other’s company. Vlad eats an apple in silence and subtly pushes a sandwich towards the girl. They only look at each other when the other is looking away – there appears to be an embarrassment between the two of them. The girl hesitates for some time before crumbling off a tiny piece of the sandwich and playing with it before coyly putting the crumb in her mouth. Vlad watches her. The girl takes another tiny bit of the sandwich, fiddles with it and twists it between her fingers. She looks so sad at that moment and has tears in her eyes – she looks at Vlad and he looks away. She puts her head down on the table crying as Vlad looks at her, when she looks up he is still looking at her but again catching her gaze he looks away. She eventually runs up to her room in tears.

Falling Point 80Falling Point 81Falling Point 82Falling Point 83Falling Point 84Falling Point 85Falling Point 86Falling Point 87Falling Point 88Falling Point 89Falling Point 90Falling Point 91Falling Point 92Falling Point 93Falling Point 94

Eddy and the boss had indicated that the method of creating a recording of the kidnapped person physically suffering is “tried and tested in America”. Although Vlad dissuaded the boss from continuing with the recording and using it, it does not stop the girl from using the tried and tested method on Vlad by repeatedly playing her own excruciatingly loud blood-curdling screams on the tape player. It works a treat. From the girl’s external behaviour it is obvious she is trying to get a reaction out of Vlad – she even looks at the hole to check if he is looking towards the room and smiles when she is playing it, until eventually he shouts to her that he’s had enough. The girl gets what she had wanted – a reaction and Vlad’s presence in the room.

Falling Point 95Falling Point 96Falling Point 97Falling Point 98Falling Point 99fALLING pOINT 100Falling Point 101Falling Point 102

This is another sequence with the musical motif – a shared moment of identification: Vlad looks at the atlas; the girl looks at Vlad; Vlad looks at the girl; Vlad sits down looking at the book; Vlad looks at the girl; the musical motif kicks in; Vlad looks at the girl; the girl looks at Vlad; Vlad looks at the girl; the girl looks at Vlad; Vlad looks at the girl; the girls looks back and almost smiles. Vlad smiles to himself and says out loud: “Hey, I know that place!”; Vlad laughs and looks at the girl; the girl looks away but she is smiling. Vlad sees the girl smiling, stops reading and leaves the room. At the point he drops the atlas the music stops. The moment is over.

Falling Point 106Falling Point 107Falling Point 108Falling Point 109Falling Point 110Falling Point 111Falling Point 112Falling Point 113Falling Point 114Falling Point 115Falling Point 116Falling Point 117Falling Point 118Falling Point 119

It is at this point that he goes outside with the flute to play the same sad song that indicates his loneliness there. It’s befitting that at this point he receives the message informing him that he has one hour to kill the girl as the boss and Eddy are coming to collect him with his share of the ransom. As Vlad takes the shovel to dig a hole for the girl’s body Vlad’s theme plays non-diegetically.

Falling Point 120Falling Point 121

Vlad’s identification with the girl proves to be his downfall. So strongly does he identify with her that he even dictates a letter to her written by him on her behalf in first person; instead of saying to the girl, “”Write that you are okay and that you’ll be freed when the ransom’s paid,” he gives her his pen to write with and says: “My dear daddy, I’m alright. They didn’t hurt me…” etc

The girl’s belief that Vlad is not like “the other two”, that he is different and not totally aligned to their way of working – nice, even – is validated at this point. So strong is the girl’s belief that Vlad will not kill her, even when she knows the time has come, she follows Vlad outside to the beach and heads towards the hole. They even share another moment of mirroring of body language as they both look up to the sky at the same moment , their gazes following the same course until they share a look. As she pushes some of the sand into the hole with her foot, Vlad raises the gun as if to shoot but she turns and without even flinching or showing any fear she almost smiles and declares: “I’m hungry!” At this point the musical motif recommences and Vlad puts the gun away, the girl smiles and walks towards him.

Falling Point 129Falling Point 130Falling Point 131Falling Point 132Falling Point 133Falling Point 134Falling Point 135Falling Point 136Falling Point 137

What follows does not appear to make any sense – time is running out for Vlad and the girl but there she stands eating a sandwich and smiling: the last meal. It is perhaps their innocence that allows them to share these final moments – Vlad getting sprayed with beer when he opens a can and them both laughing about this – as the boss’s car pulls up.

Falling POint 138Falling Point 139Falling Point 140Falling Point 141Falling POint 142Falling Point 143Falling Point 144­­­­

Vlad is indeed incapable of killing her but also unable to allow the boss and Eddy to kill her; this throws them together further in the conflict as he now puts his own neck on the line. With this development Vlad aligns himself with the girl and this seals his fate – the gang want the girl dead and they also want Vlad dead too.

Falling Point 152

The final sequence of their story is heart-breakingly sad – Vlad repeatedly tells the girl to go away before telling the boss and Eddy: “I’m sorry. I didn’t want things to be like this. It’s not my fault, you left me alone with her too long.”

Falling POint 146Falling Point 147Falling Point 148Falling Point 149

At 69 minutes into the film the boss finally removes his dark glasses – to shoot Vlad – and although it’s not much of a disguise it’s the first time we have seen his eyes and his full identity

Although the girl has a head start she stops when she hears an altercation between Vlad and Eddy and again when she hears the boss shoot Vlad in the back

Falling POint 154Falling Point 155Falling Point 157Falling Point 158

The musical motif recommences for this final part of the film where the girl starts running towards Vlad, despite the fact that she too is putting herself in the firing line, and it signals the end for her. The boss shoots the girl and flees the scene.

Falling Point 159Falling Point 160Falling Point 161Falling Point 162

At this point the musical motif stops. Then moments later it recommences as Vlad and the girl, dying, look at each other and try to reach each other by dragging themselves along in the sand. They just reach each other and the girl suddenly drops dead.  The music stops at this point.

Falling Point 163Falling Point 164Falling Point 165Falling Point 166Falling Point 167Falling Point 168Falling Point 169

There is no real sense of finality in terms of the investigation – will the inspector find out what we know? Will he find the boss and Eddy? What are the final consequences? But it doesn’t matter now as the two characters we identify with – the ones we spent time alone with – are now dead.

Falling Point 170

Robert Dalban, who had previously been in H-G Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques, which also featured a very young Johnny Hallyday

I doubt very much that Marlon Brando in The Night of the Following Day would have moved me as much as Johnny Hallyday did in this film. He was excellent. It surely must be the best thing he has ever done. And Pascale Rivault – what a great actress she was and so beautiful too.

If you’ve not already seen Point de chute I have no doubt totally ruined it for you by telling you everything about it – sowwy! (although you were warned with the spoiler notice…) – but I would say see it for yourself anyway. I’ve seen it 3 times now and it gets the same reaction from me every time – I have to have the hankies at the ready!

I hope this article hasn’t been too much “all over the place” – there is so much to say about Point de chute but it’s quite hard to rein in your enthusiasm. Excuse me if it’s a bit free-form in places.

Other things I should tell you about the film:

  • Point de chute means stopping-off point or falling point – a very appropriate name for the film
  • Filming took place over 6 weeks at a beach near Royan in the south-west of France
  • The kidnap sequence took place at the Château de la Roche Courbon (also in the south-west of France)

Falling Point 34Falling Point 35


Sky Saxon in Mondo Hollywood

Mondo Hollywood 34

I recently saw this little gem of a film Mondo Hollywood (dir Robert Carl Cohen, 1967) and who should I spy in the background there but Sky Saxon of The Seeds! Well, I’m pretty sure it’s Sky Saxon but I’ve not seen any other reference to him having been in the film so do correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyway, I would recommend seeing this film if you like the 1960s and eccentric characters. What I like about Robert Carl Cohen’s film is that instead of it just being sensationalist and any excuse to throw in a few bare breasts (although there are some!) somehow he has found interesting characters and people who you want to know more about.  There’s also a bit of politics thrown in, but in an accessible sort of way, with vox pop interviews and opinions from the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade and a Peace Rally.

Mondo Hollywood 3

Apparently the film met with some criticism at the time of release, but this story about the banning and the subsequent lift of the ban is quite amusing. That’s film censorship for you:

Mondo Hollywood 1Mondo Hollywood 2

The film is available on DVD so you will be able to find it and I’m sure you’ll want to after you’ve heard about some of the subjects:

  • Gypsy Boots – I’m not totally sure what this guy does other than hanging out and trying to get himself noticed at film and sports events but he seems to do a bit of singing and dancing, sort of, when he’s not eating carrots or satsumas

Mondo Hollywood 4

  • Estella Scott – I love this lady, she’s a really nice person: a hard worker (“a good worker”, as she puts it), a supportive mother and wife, and someone who does charity work to help under privileged children to go to college to make them into “better men or women of tomorrow”. Here’s the proud mum at her daughter’s wedding:

Mondo Hollywood 19Mondo Hollywood 30Mondo Hollywood 31Mondo Hollywood 32

  • Mr Lewis Beach Marvin III – described as a millionaire, this guy is a committed vegetarian who hangs out with his monkey friend Mister President in the garage he sleeps in and on his mountain (he owns it!) in Malibu where he has a place he calls Moonfire.  Apparently he later fled to Panama, but I have read elsewhere that he died there under “suspicious circumstances”, gulp!

Mondo Hollywood 5Mondo Hollywood 44Mondo Hollywood 45

  • There’s a group of beauticians and hairstylists in the film – they’re all kind of experimental in their approaches to hair and beauty, it has to be said. Jay Sebring, who was later murdered by the Manson Gang, has been working on a revolutionary new approach to covering up hair loss that seemed to involve marker pens, paper and sellotape but the results actually were very good:

Mondo Hollywood 7Mondo Hollywood 6

  • Sheryl Carson, the beautician, likes to paint bodies and also embraces the “Are you a boy or are you a girl?” issue that was rife in the time of the long hairs:

Mondo Hollywood 43You may be a boy, you look like a girl – sort of…

Mondo Hollywood 41Mondo Hollywood 42

Looks a bit like The Divine David to me!

Mondo Hollywood 55

Sheryl Carson said that she developed kits of body make-up and when she was into LSD she so wanted to get the colours of the crayons inside her that she made a crayon sandwich and ate it!

  • Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon were visiting Hollywood at the time the film was made so there’s a fair bit of footage of her hanging out at Universal Studios to meet the stars, here’s “Princess Meg” (as the Americans call her) with Alfred Hitchcock on the set of Torn Curtain:

Mondo Hollywood 10

There were plenty of film stars hanging out, of course:

Mondo Hollywood 52

Mary Pickford

Mondo Hollywood 53

Nancy Sinatra and Michael Caine

Mondo Hollywood 54

Brigitte Bardot

  • Bobby Jameson – a singer/songwriter who seems to be quite full of himself, I think, and not really that good.  Just my opinion, of course, but he was hyped in the 60s and he’s certainly worked with the big names. The most impressive thing for me is that he worked with Curt Boettcher. Bobby seems to have left home and gone back again lots of times and he’s either starving or being touted as a star – he doesn’t seem to like either of these situations. I’m not quite sure what Bobby does like – he seems to be a bit troubled. “I am not free, no one is free,” he says. Then, to top it all he gets taken to court for spilling a milkshake in his own lap in a restaurant. I’m not sure he’s a “dangerous criminal to society” but apparently he’s accused of “disturbing the peace” – they heard his music, then?

Mondo Hollywood 11Mondo Hollywood 33Mondo Hollywood 35Mondo Hollywood 36Mondo Hollywood 37

  • Here’s a “very, very popular” exotic dancer with the rather dubious name of Hope Chest:

Mondo Hollywood 13

She seems to be popular with guys like this:

Mondo Hollywood 14

  • One of my favourites now – Theodore Charach, an actor who fancies himself as an Orson Welles type (“a boy genius”) and who declares he is “still searching, searching for an image that will set the world on fire”. He seems to have plumped for the monster image because kids have monster birthday parties – going for a type of Monster Mash delivery on the recordings he makes. Are you ready for Teddy and his friends?

Mondo Hollywood 15Mondo Hollywood 16Mondo Hollywood 17Mondo Hollywood 20Mondo Hollywood 40Mondo Hollywood 46Mondo Hollywood 47Mondo Hollywood 48Mondo Hollywood 49

Here’s Teddy with Mrs Helen White, who was a silent movie actress and appeared in Erich von Stroheim’s The Merry Widow

Mondo Hollywood 50Mondo Hollywood 56

  • Peanuts – a cute transvestite, who is called Peanuts “I guess because I’m so tiny” and who gets “turned on” by the clothes at Frederick’s of Hollywood:

Mondo Hollywood 21

  • A topless waitress – just because that’s what they do in Hollywood. This lady says she thinks you can’t get a job “unless you’re gonna show your knockers” – health and safety, ladies, health and safety!:

Mondo Hollywood 222

  • At Topanga Canyon there’s a lecture on LSD, or a “psychedelic session” if you will, hosted by Richard Alpert, PhD. Here they talk about perceptual alterations and travelling with the mind:

Mondo Hollywood 223Mondo Hollywood 224Mondo Hollywood 225Mondo Hollywood 226

  • And here’s dancer Vito with his strange pal who seemed to like hanging out at the waterfall posing all casual, like:

Mondo Hollywood 51

Vito has a much younger, gorgeous wife called Szou and a cute young kid called Godo, who sadly died that year

Mondo Hollywood 228

  • Here’s Valerie Porter, described as a B-Movie actress (although I can only find one credit for her on IMDB, Three Blondes in His Life, dir Leon Chooluck, 1961) but she seems to do sculptures of Pan and also engages in kinky role plays with her friend Mary Ewalt Guggenheim. Very rum!

Mondo Hollywood 227Mondo Hollywood 60

I don’t know if Valerie has a high opinion of herself but she says: “Everything bores me to death. The only thing I find interesting is myself.” Well!

Here’s a round up of a few other bits and pieces:

Mondo Hollywood 8Mondo Hollywood 12

Gail, who later married Frank Zappa

Mondo Hollywood 18

Nat King Cole’s beautiful daughter, who was Princess of the Month at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Mondo Hollywood 39Mondo Hollywood 38

Helen and her friends have tea parties and try to help young people in the arts to develop their careers

Mondo Hollywood 58Mondo Hollywood 59

Jimmy Carl Black of The Mothers of Invention

Mondo Hollywood 61

Frank Zappa

Mondo Hollywood 62

DJ Rodney Bingenheimer

Mondo Hollywood 63

Just because I like him I’m going to end with a few more pictures of Theodore Charach, who later wrote an expose of the Robert F Kennedy Assassination – maybe he found his image that would set the world on fire after all:

Mondo Hollywood 56Mondo Hollywood 57

The Beast of Sunset Strip

Mondo Hollywood 229

See Mondo Hollywood as soon as you can!