For fans of French cinema, author Chuck Zigman has written the
definitive book on the career of iconic French actor Jean Gabin
entitled The World's Coolest Movie Star: The Complete 95 Films (and
Legend) of Jean Gabin, Volumes I and II featuring lengthy biography and
introductory chapters which place Gabin and his silver screen persona
into perspective. Voted one of the Best Performing Arts Books of 2009
by the Independent Publisher Book Awards and Foreword Magazine, this
impressive publication features over 100 photographs and forewords by
Michele Morgan and Brigitte Bardot.- Tom Lisanti
Click here to read more and to purchase your copy today.
the last thirty years Taschen have consistently produced some of the most
lavish and eye-catching photography books ever published. This latest book, Los Angeles: Portrait of a City by Jim Heimann and Kevin Starr,
covers the history of L.A in photos, from the first known picture taken
in 1862 through to the present day. Whilst those first few chapters of photos
and maps are interesting, particularly to historians, for movie fans the real
gold comes later on. There are photos reproduced here from a variety of
collections, from personal archives to news media. There are even pictures
taken by the actors themselves, such as this one that Dennis Hopper took in his
car in 1961.
L.A. from the vantage point of Dennis Hopper's lens.
book you can see Edward G. Robinson in reflective mood as he sits surrounded by
memorabilia in his office, or a bikini-clad Jayne Mansfield reclining in a pool
with dozens of floating toy replicas. We can even be present at the first
Academy Award ceremony in 1929. Some photos depict film making in its early
silent days. It’s incredible to see the elaborate indoor/ outdoor sets built to
ensure they captured as much light as possible, and it demonstrates that even
then, like modern-day movie sets, there are always plenty of people standing
around with no evident job role. There are also on set photos from some Busby
Berkeley musicals, demonstrating the amazing set design and vast camera cranes
needed to capture the choreographed action.
I interviewed former 60s starlet Salli Sachse about 12 years ago for my first book Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema.
Her name may not be familiar, but to fans of American International
Pictures’ series of beach movies her face is easily recognizable. With
her waist-long honey brown hair and adorable smile, Salli, literally
plucked off the beach in San Diego, appeared in almost every beach
party film beginning with Muscle Beach Party (1964) through The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) and everything else in between including Bikini Beach (1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965).
Recalling her time with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, Salli
remarked, "Frankie and Annette were very easy going and a pleasure to
work with but they weren’t real beach people. Frankie was raised in
Philadelphia so I don’t think he ever saw a surfboard in his life! And
Annette refused to wear a bikini. She would only wear a one-piece but
I think that had something to do with her contract with Walt Disney.
Annette was such a straight girl—a good Italian Catholic. Because we
grew up on the beach, a lot of us thought we were so cool compared to
Frankie and Annette. I remember that on one movie we were filming some
beach scenes late in the afternoon. It was really chilly and we were
fighting the light. Wrapped in terry cloth robes, a group of us
huddled together to keep warm. Carl the prop man handed us a bottle of
brandy. We were surprised when Annette took a couple of swigs. She
got a bit tipsy and was clowning around. It was the only time I ever
saw her let herself go wild.”
When the beach films became passe during the turbulent late sixties, Salli graduated to playing a drag strip groupie in Fireball 500 (1966) to a biker chick in Devil’s Angels (1967) to her most famous role as the LSD freak-out girl opposite Peter Fonda in The Trip (1967) to playing a hippie paramour of rock star Christopher Jones in Wild in the Streets
(1968). Unfortunately, along the way there was heartbreak when her
husband Peter Sachse tragically died in a plane crash in 1966 while
Salli was in Hong Kong filming The Million Eyes of Su-Muru.
Salli chucked her movie career in 1969 to concentrate on modeling
then photography then studying art in Europe during the seventies.
Returning to the U.S., she earned a Masters in Psychology and became a
counselor for "at risk" teens.
In August 2006 Salli was reunited with beach party regulars the
late Mary Hughes, Patti Chandler, and Linda Opie for a photo shoot
celebrating surf culture in the 1950s and 1960s for Vanity Fair. Below is a photo taken by Salli's friend while visiting the shoot. Pictured are Mary, Salli, Patti and Linda.
Today Salli Sachse has a new web sitewhere fans can peruse pictures of Salli from her Hollywood and
modeling days or purchase her beautiful art work. And she is currently
working on her memoir, which should prove to be a very interesting
Click here to order Fantasy Femmes of 60s Cinema from Amazon
Sign of the times: the iconic symbol of Hollywood may be placed amidst new developments.
The legendary Hollywood sign's iconic status as an undisturbed iconic symbol of the film industry is in danger of losing its cachet. There are frantic efforts underway to raise enough funding to stave off a development that would crowd out the sign and greatly undermine the rural area surrounding it. Click here for details.