Saturday 26 April 2014

1963, Film: “Charade”

On 5 December 1963 the American romantic thriller "Charade" premieres in the USA. The film, directed by Stanley Donen and written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, stars Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy. The film was entirely filmed on location in Paris and Megève. The musical score was written by Henry Mancini with animated titles by Maurice Binder. Charade received very positive reviews, it has been referred to as "the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made."

At first Cary Grant, 59 at the time, turned down the role because he felt he would be too old pursuing the much younger Audrey Hepburn, 33 at the time. Screenwriter Peter Stone reworked the script by removing all of the romantically aggressive lines from Grant's character.
Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Cary Grant
Regina "Reggie" Lampert (Audrey Hepburn), on a skiing holiday in Megève, tells her friend Sylvie Gaudel (Dominique Minot) that she will divorce her husband. Afterwards she meets a charming stranger, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant). When she returns to her flat in Paris she finds it completely empty. Police inspector Edouard Grandpierre (Jacques Marin) notifies her that Charles has been murdered...
Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn
Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn
Main Cast
  • Audrey Hepburn as Regina Lampert
  • Cary Grant as Brian Cruikshank (alias Peter Joshua, alias Alexander "Alex" Dyle, alias Adam Canfield)
  • Walter Matthau as Carson Dyle (alias Hamilton Bartholomew)
  • James Coburn as Tex Panthollow
  • George Kennedy as Herman Scobie
  • Thomas Chelimsky as Jean-Louis Gaudel
  • Dominique Minot as Sylvie Gaudel
  • Jacques Marin as Insp. Edouard Grandpierre
Jacques Marin
George Kennedy and Cary Grant
  • Edgar Allan Poe Awards, Edgar for Best Motion Picture: Peter Stone (US, 1964)
  • David di Donatello Award, Golden Plate For the artistic contribution: Universal Pictures (Italy, 1964)
  • BAFTA Film Award for Best British Actress: Audrey Hepburn (UK, 1965)

Charade Official Trailer (1963)

Thursday 17 April 2014

1962, Fashion: Yves Saint Laurent stages his first couture show under his own name

The French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent presents his first rather conservative collection under his own label on 29 January 1962 at Hôtel Forain, rue Spontini 30bis Paris. In July follows the second collection with more adventurous items that hint at street chic, such as suits with tunics.

Yves Henri Donat Matthieu-Saint-Laurent, born on 1 August 1936 in French Algeria, grew up with his two younger sisters, Michèle and Brigitte. In his early teen years he created dresses for his mother and sisters. At the age of 18 in 1954 he went to the Ecole Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. In 1955 Yves Saint Laurent meets Christian Dior and he begins working as his assistant. After a short while he starts to design for Dior’s accessories lines and contributes ideas for the couture collection.
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
On 23 October 1957 Christian Dior dies of a heart attack and in November the company announces that Yves Saint Laurent will be its new design head.
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
In January 1958 Yves Saint Laurent presents his first couture collection for Dior, including his famous trapeze dresses. The same year in August he shows his Arc Line collection for Dior with looser silhouettes and longer, below-the-knee hemlines.
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
Yves Saint Laurent Debut (1962)
In September 1960 Yves Saint Laurent was conscripted to serve in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence. There was speculation that Marcel Boussac, owner of Dior, had put pressure on the government not to conscript Saint Laurent in 1958 and 1959 but reversed his demand and asked that the designer be conscripted after the disastrous 1960 season so that he could be replaced. Saint Laurent was in the military for 20 days when he received news that he had been fired by Dior and replaced by Marc Bohan. He suffers a mental breakdown and is admitted to Val-de-Grâce, a psychiatric hospital in Paris.
Yves Saint Laurent Dress (1962)
Yves Saint Laurent Dress (1962)
After his release from the hospital in November 1960, Saint Laurent sued Dior for breach of contract and won. In November 1961 Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé started their own fashion house with funds from Atlanta millionaire J. Mack Robinson. Ukrainian-French painter, commercial poster artist, and typeface designer, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre designed the iconic "YSL" logo in December 1961

Yves Saint Laurent Collection (French, 1962)

Wednesday 16 April 2014

1961, Cars: Ford Consul Classic / Ford Consul Capri

In 1961 Ford of Britain introduces the new Ford Consul Classic (109E RHD / 110E LHD) ("Consul 315" as export version). The car was intended to fill the gap between the smaller Ford Anglia (105E) and the larger Ford (Consul) Cortina (Cortina Mk I). The car was available with two or four doors. It had a four headlamp front grille, Ford Anglia style "reverse slope" rear window and large "gull wing" tail-fins. Mechanically it was similar to the Anglia, and used a slightly larger 1340cc Ford Kent Engine.
Predecessor: Ford Consul Mk II
Prototype Ford Consul Classic: Apollo with Ford Anglia nose
Prototype Ford Consul Classic: Apollo
Ford Consul Classic 2-doors
Ford Consul Classic 4-doors
Ford Consul Classic 4-doors
After only one year in production the model was replaced by a slightly improved 116E (RHD) / 117E (LHD) with a 1500cc Ford Kent engine.

The Ford Consul Capri, codename "Sunbird", was the two-door coupé version of the Classic. The Consul Capri included four headlights, variable speed wipers, front disc brakes, dimming dashboard lights, and a cigar lighter. The four-speed transmission was available with either a column or a floor gearchange. In February 1963 a GT version became available.
Prototype Ford Consul Capri: Sunbird
Prototype Ford Consul Capri: Sunbird
Ford Consul Capri
Ford Consul Capri
The Ford Consul Classic was was replaced, after a three-year production, in 1963 by the Ford Corsair which was based on the Ford (Consul) Cortina (Cortina Mk I). Only 111,225 Classics and 18,716 Capris were produced, making it one of the rarest UK Fords.
Successor: Ford Corsair with 60s icons Jean Shrimpton and Jim Clark
Ford Consul Capri Car Test (UK, 1961)
Ford Consul Classic Car Test (UK, 1962)

Tuesday 15 April 2014

1960, Deaths: Fausto “Il Campionissimo” Coppi dies at 40

On January 2, 1960 aged just 40, Italian cyclist Angelo Fausto Coppi died in Tortona, Italy, after contracting malaria during an exhibition race in Burkina Faso. Fausto Coppi was the dominant cyclist before and after the Second World War. His many successes earned him the title "Il Campionissimo" ("Champion of Champions"). He received a total of 130 victories between 1940 and 1959.

Angelo Fausto Coppi was born in Castellania on 15 September 1919 as one of five children of Domenico Coppi and Angiolina Boveri. As a child he had a poor health and was hardly interested in school. He left school age 13 to work for a local butcher in Novi Ligure. Cycling to and from the butcher shop and meeting cyclists interested him in racing. At the age of 15 Fausto rode and won his first amateur race. He took a racing licence at the start of 1938 and won his first professional race, at Castelleto d'Orba.
Fausto Coppi and his first racing cycle
His first career success was in 1940, winning the Giro d'Italia at the age of 20. In 1942 he set a world hour record (45.798 km at the Velodromo Vigorelli in Milan) which stood for 14 years until it was broken by Jacques Anquetil in 1956. His career was then interrupted by the Second World War. In 1946 he resumed racing and achieved remarkable successes from 1946 to 1954 Coppi was never once recaught once he had broken away from the rest.
Fausto Coppi setting the hour record (1942)
Fausto Coppi and Jean Robic in the Tour de France (1952)
Fausto Coppi Tour de France Victory (1952)
Major Victories
  • Giro d'Italia five times (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953)
  • Tour de France twice (1949 and 1952)
  • World Championship (1953)
  • Giro di Lombardia five times (1946, 1949, 1948, 1949, 1954)
  • Milan – San Remo three times (1946, 1948, 1949)
  • Paris–Roubaix (1950)
  • La Flèche Wallonne (1950)
  • Setting the hour record (45.798 km, 1942)
Fausto Coppi (left) and rival Gino Bartali (right)
Sersi Coppi, Louison Bobet and Fausto Coppi
Fausto Coppi and Alfa Romeo 1900 (1952)
On 22 november 1945 Coppi married Bruna Ciampolini and on 1 November 1947 their only daughter Marina Coppi was born in Genova. The marriage with Bruna was not a happy one and in 1948 Coppi had an affair with Giulia Occhini ("La Dama Bianca"), the wife of an Italian doctor, Enrico Locatelli. Coppi and Occhini married in Mexico, yet the marriage was never recognised in Italy. Their only son, Angelo Fausto Maurizio Coppi, known as Faustino, was born in Buenos Aires on May 13, 1955.
Marina Coppi and her father Fausto Coppi on a cycle (1952)
Fausto Coppi Victory at the World Championship
with Giulia Occhini, "La Dama Bianca" here in black (1953)
Giulia Occhini ("La Dama Bianca") and Faustino Coppi (Angelo Fausto Maurizio Coppi)
When Coppi returned to Italy just before Christmas 1959, after taking part in celebrations for the independence of Burkina Faso with other Italian and French cyclists, he had a fever that he thought was a simple influenza. His doctors thought likewise but Coppi had malaria from which he died. The French rider, Raphaël Géminiani, who shared a room with Coppi during the trip had the same symptoms, but he was treated in time with quinine and survived. Fausto Coppi was buried in Castellania near the grave of his brother Serse Coppi on 4 January 1960.
Fausto Coppi funeral: last farewell from Giulia Occhini ("La Dama Bianca") (1960)

Fausto Coppi Funeral (Ialian, 1960)

Monday 14 April 2014

1977, Film: “Una giornata particolare”

The Italian film "Una gionata particolare" ("A Special Day") premieres on the Cannes film Festival on 17 May 1977. The Italian release followes on 12 August 1977. Directed by Ettore Scola the film stars Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and John Vernon. The film is an Italian-Canadian co-production, it figures on the list of the 100 Italian films to be saved.

The film is set in Rome in 1938, it follows a woman and her neighbor who stay home the day Adolf Hitler visits Benito Mussolini. A film about war, family, tolerance, women's condition, fanaticism, homosexuality, a story about humanity set in a inhumane fascist background.

Sophia Loren as Antonietta
On 8 May 8 1938 Hitler visits Mussolini in Rome. Antonietta (Sophia Loren) stays home doing domestic tasks while her fascist husband Emanuele and her six children take of to follow the parade. The whole building is empty only Gabriele (Marcello Mastroianni), a neighbor across the complex stays at home. Gabriele is a radio broadcaster who has been dismissed and is about to be deported to Sardinia because of his anti-fascist opinion and his homosexuality...

Marcello Mastroianni as Gabriele
Main Cast
  • Sophia Loren as Antonietta
  • Marcello Mastroianni as Gabriele
  • John Vernon as Emanuele
  • Françoise Berd as Caretaker
  • Patrizia Basso as Romana
  • Tiziano De Persio as Arnaldo
  • Maurizio Di Paolantonio as Fabio
  • Antonio Garibaldi as Littorio
  • Vittorio Guerrieri as Umberto
  • Alessandra Mussolini as Maria Luisa
  • Nicole Magny as Officer's Daughter
Marcello Mastroianni as Gabriele and Sophia Loren as Antonietta
Striking is the cameo of the then 14-year-old Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of the fascist leader and a niece of lead actress Sophia Loren. The son of Benito Mussolini is in fact married to a sister of Sophia Loren. Alessandra plays the role of daughter Maria Luisa.

John Vernon as Emanuele and Alessandra Mussolini as Maria Luisa
  • National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film (USA, 1977)
  • Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film: Italy (USA, 1978)
  • César for Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger): Ettore Scola (France, 1978)
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Director (Migliore Regia): Ettore Scola (Italy, 1978)
  • David di Donatello Award for Best Actress (Migliore Attrice): Sophia Loren (Italy, 1978)
  • Golden Globe for Best Film (Miglior Film): Ettore Scola (Italy, 1978)
  • Golden Globe for Best Actor (Migliore Attore): Marcello Mastroianni (Italy, 1978)
  • Golden Globe for Best Actress (Migliore Attrice): Sophia Loren (Italy, 1978)
  • Silver Ribbon (Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists) for Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista): Sophia Loren (Italy, 1978)
  • Silver Ribbon (Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists) for Best Screenplay (Migliore Sceneggiatura): Maurizio Costanzo, Ruggero Maccari, Ettore Scola (Italy, 1978)
  • Silver Ribbon (Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists) for Best Musical Score (Migliore Musica): Armando Trovajoli (Italy, 1978)

English Trailer

Sunday 13 April 2014

1976, Science & Technology: “Electric Pencil”

In December 1976 the first word processor for home computers, "Electric Pencil", is released by Michael Shrayer. The original version was created for the MITS Altair 8800 in December 1976.

The TRS‑80 (Tandy/Radio Shack, Z-80 microprocessor) version was released almost two years later and it dominated the market until the introduction of "Scripsit" by Tandy/Radio Shack in 1978.

Michael Shrayer
Michael Shrayer purchased an MITS Altair 8800 computer kit in 1975. He expanded the Altair with a paper punch, video display, and keyboard and began writing machine language programs. What became known as "Electric Pencil" started as an improvement to an editor assembler package called "Software Package 1" or "SP-1". Shrayer decided he didn’t want to use a typewriter to write the documentation for "SP-1" but to use his Altair instead. There were no suitable programs available, so he decided to write his own.
MITS Altair 8800
The "Electric Pencil" program was quite unique and Shrayer began selling it through his own company, Michael Shrayer Software, Inc. By 1980 78 different versions were created for different home computers and operating systems. "Electric Pencil" remained on the market into the 1980s, including a version for the IBM PC in 1983.
"Electric Pencil" 2.0