From the Cinema Retro archive: a Swedish movie program for the 1959 Hammer version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The 1959 film marked the first Hammer production to be filmed in color and was meant to initiate a series of Sherlock Holmes films starring Peter Cushing as the legendary detective. The film was quite effectively done and benefited from a strong supporting cast including Christopher Lee as the seemingly cursed Sir Henry Baskerville. However, the movie was not a success. Hammer was unsure how to market the flick, and as the art on this program indicates, got cold feet about promoting it as a Holmes story. The studio opted instead to market it as a horror story, playing up the image of the hound even though the deadly canine only appears fleetingly in the climax. The result was that the film was a boxoffice failure and terminated any plans for additional Holmes films, though Cushing would later play the detective on British TV. The movie has aged very well indeed and is well worth a look.
Dean Brierly updates us on the activities of one of our favorite sex symbols
Sexy Stella has launched her own fragrance line.
When the talented and beautiful star of such retro classics as The Nutty Professor, The Silencers and The Poseidon Adventure recently emailed me regarding an update to her website, I just had to share the good news with Cinema Retro’s readers. The more retentive among you may recall my interview with Stella in July 2007 (see Interviews section), during which she discussed her participation in the John Cassavettes cult classic Too Late Blues, including a memorable reaction she provoked from co-star Bobby Darin during a scorching love scene. A visit to her website provides ample proof that one of filmdom’s all-time sirens still has it going on. I mean, what other Hollywood star whose career spans five decades can still pull off glamour shots to this day?
For confirmation, look no further than a new section on her site titled “At Home with Stella,” which harks back to her early modeling career in its presentation of exclusive, brand-new fashion photos taken at her Beverly Hills home. Each of the glossy 8x10 color photos is for sale, and on October 1 (Stella’s birthday), the entire set will be offered as a box of 5x7 greeting cards. Why send boring old Christmas cards when you can express holiday greetings with Stella Stevens bedecked in furs, diamonds and eye-catching décolletage? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.)
Don’t neglect to check out her other photo galleries from the 1960s to the present, consisting of vintage pin-up shots and publicity stills, plus personalized commentary from Stella herself. Your life isn’t complete until you’ve laid eyes on her eye-popping ‘60s and ‘70s photos. (“Here’s Stella with ‘The King’ when he was young and gorgeous,” she writes about promotional shots taken in Honolulu for Girls! Girls! Girls! ) More essential imagery includes her “Motorcycle Mama” series from the 1980s, and most especially her “Black Lace Teddy” set from the ‘90s, for which her caption reads: “One bending forward, one teasing with a riding crop, and one simply sitting pretty, waiting for you.” To which I can only say, please don’t spare that crop.
As if that weren’t enough, the blonde icon also offers a set of his-and-her designer fragrances called (what else?) Sexy. Stella writes: “Gold Label is a whisper-soft traditional style fragrance, elegant, alluring, rich. It fades slowly to a pale aroma reminiscent of delicate baby powder. Fun for all ages.” And for the men: “SEXY Black Label is a powerful, spicy, long-lasting scent. Its fresh, clean aroma is adored by all! Although it’s made for men, many women prefer its dynamic appeal and wear SEXY Black Label. Warning: use it at your own risk!”
In addition to being completely at ease in her eternally seductive skin, Stevens comes across on her website as a smart, independent and down-to-earth woman who retains a refreshingly optimistic outlook as she nears her sixth decade in the spotlight. She also manifests a genuine appreciation for the fans that have followed her career throughout the years. So the next time you find yourself online, click on over to Stella’s cyber pad at www.stellastevens.biz. Once you’ve spent some quality time with the triple threat actress/writer/director, we’re pretty certain it will become one of your favorite Internet destinations. And don’t neglect to leave your comments in her Private Guestbook. Say the right things, and Stella might just leave a special response in your in box, too.