Saturday 14 May 2016

1965, Film: “The Great Race”

The American comedy "The Great Race" is released on 1 July 1965. The film, written and directed by Blake Edwards, stars Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk. The music was written by Henry Mancini.

Edwards based the film loosely on the 1908 New York to Paris Race. As an admirer of silent comedy films he dedicated "The Great Race" to the comedians Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). The film included several silent era visual gags, slapstick, double entendres, and absurdities.

Tony Curtis as "The Great Leslie"
Jack Lemmon as Prince Friedrich Hapnick
Natalie Wood as Maggie DuBois
The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) and Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon) are two daredevils at the turn of the 20th century. Leslie, a classic hero, is always dressed in white. He is handsome, courteous, talented and very successful. Fate, a melodramatic villain, is usually dressed in black with a top hat. His great plans are always doomed to fail. Leslie proposes an automobile race from New York to Paris. The Webber Motor Car Company builds a new car for Leslie named "The Leslie Special". Professor Fate builds his own vehicle, the "Hannibal Twin-8", with several hidden devices of sabotage. Other cars enter the race, including a New York City's newspaper car driven by the beautiful journalist Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood)...
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Keenan Wynn
  • Academy Awards, USA: Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects: Treg Brown (1966)
  • Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA: Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing (tie “With Von Ryan's Express” (1966)
Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
Keenan Wynn, Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis
Main Cast
  • Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate and Prince Friedrich Hapnick
  • Tony Curtis as Leslie Gallant III ("The Great Leslie")
  • Natalie Wood as Maggie DuBois
  • Peter Falk as Maximillian "Max" Meen
  • Keenan Wynn as Hezekiah Sturdy
  • Arthur O'Connell as Henry Goodbody
  • Vivian Vance as Hester Goodbody
  • Dorothy Provine as Lily Olay
  • Larry Storch as Texas Jack
  • Ross Martin as Baron Rolfe von Stuppe
  • Hal Smith as Mayor of Boracho
  • Denver Pyle as Sheriff of Boracho
  • Marvin Kaplan as Frisbee
  • George Macready as General Kuhster
Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood
Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk and Hal Smith
Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk
Natalie Wood
  • The film features the largest pie fight ever staged, with a running gag that The Great Leslie remains clean while everyone else is covered in pie. It was filmed over five days and 4000 real pies were used.
  • When Prof. Fate, Max and Maggie DuBois drive into the Russian town, Maggie speaks a full sentence to the townspeople in Russian. Natalie Wood was of Russian descent and spoke fluent Russian. 
  • Six "Hannibal Twin-8" were built powered by a Chevrolet Corvair six-cylinder engine. "The Leslie Special" was designed and built by the studio, Warner Brothers, using parts from several cars. Four cars were build
Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood
"The Great Race" Trailer (1965)

Saturday 7 May 2016

1964, Cars: NSU Spider

German carmaker NSU presents the new NSU Spider, the world's first Wankel engined car, on 29 September 1964. The Spider was unveiled at the “Internationale Automobilausstellung in Frankfurt” in 1963 (12/09/1963 – 22/09/1963). The two-door cabriolet, based on the NSU Sport Prinz, was designed by Bertone.

The engine invented by Felix Wankel, differed from a classic piston engine due to the quasi-oval design of the combustion chamber, containing a rotor that ascribed within the chamber an epitrochoid shaped trajectory, enabling the combustion pressure to be converted directly into a rotary motion. The rear-mounted 498 cc engine had a power output of 40 kW with a top speed of 150 km/h.
NSU Sport Prinz
NSU Spider
NSU Spider
NSU Spider
Between 1964 and 1967 2,375 NSU Spiders were built. In 1967, the model was withdrawn with the introduction of NSU's second rotary-engined car, the Ro 80.

NSU Spider (The Netherlands, 1964)

Wednesday 4 May 2016

1963, Fashion: Mary Quant, Ginger Group Line

In 1963 London fashion designer Mary Quant launched the Ginger Group Line to distribute her designs. With this new line Quant moved into mass-production. Shortly afterwards, Quant cosmetics and underwear were introduced marketed using the famous Quant daisy design. By that time, Mary Quant was the leading fashion designer outside Paris.

Jean Shrimpton in a Ginger Group Line dress
Jean Shrimpton in a Ginger Group Line dress

Jackie Bowyer in a Ginger Group Line outfit
Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington in Ginger Group Lines dresses