Saturday 25 May 2019

1962, Film: “Un singe en hiver”

The French comedy / drama film "Un singe en hiver" ("A Monkey in Winter" (USA) / "It's Hot in Hell" (UK)) was released on 11 May 1962 in France. The film, directed by Henri Verneuil and written by François Boyer, Henri Verneuil an Michel Audiard , was based on 1959 novel with the same title by the French writer Antoine Blondin. Main stars are Jean Gabin and Jean-Paul Belmondo, two actors from a different generation. Gabin was the most successful actor in pre-war French cinema and Belmondo came straight from the "Nouvelle Vague". The music was composed by Michel Magne.

Albert Quentinis (Jean Gabin), an hotel owner, vowed never to drink again if he, his wife and their hotel survived the second world war. They did, so Albert keeps his vow. Soon after the war, Albert comes in contact with Gabriel Fouquet, a young man with alcoholic problems. The divorced Gabriel came over to visit his young daughter Marie (Sylviane Margollé) in a nearby boarding school…
Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet and Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin
Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin
Main cast
  • Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin
  • Suzanne Flon as Suznne Quentin
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet
  • Sylviane Margollé as Marie Fouquet
  • Noël Roquevert as Monsieur Landru
  • Paul Frankeur as Monsieur Esnault
  • Gabrielle Dorziat as Madame Victoria
  • Geneviève Fontanel as Marie-Jo
  • Anne-Marie Coffinet as Simon
  • Hella Petri as Georgina
Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin and Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet
Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin, Suzanne Flon as Suzanne Quentin
and Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet
  • Director Henri Verneuil makes a cameo in the film. When his name appears on the screen in the credits, he is the German officer who goes up the stairs.
  • In the flamenco scene at cafe Esnault, Belmondo does not dance, he is doubled for close-ups by a Spanish dancer.
  • The bullfighting scene with the cars is performed by Belmondo himself. The cars are: a Citroën DS, an unidentified car probably Alfa Romeo, a Cadillac 1956, a Peugeot 404, a Ford Anglia 105E and an unidentified English car probably Daimler.
  • The film was shot in Villerville, France. In 2012 Villerville celebrated the 50th anniversary of the shooting with various events. The village was decorated with portraits of the two main actors.
Jean Gabin as Albert Quentin, Sylviane Margollé as Marie Fouquet
and Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet
Sylviane Margollé as Marie Fouquet
and Jean-Paul Belmondo as Gabriel Fouquet

"Un singe en hiver" Trailer (1962)

Sunday 19 May 2019

1961, Belgian Comics: "Suske en Wiske", "De wolkeneters"

In 1961 a new "Suske en Wiske" (UK: "Bob & Bobette" or "Spike and Suzy", US: "Willy and Wanda") album is published: "De wolkeneters" (English tranlation: "The Cloud eaters"). The series “Suske en Wiske” was created by Willy Vandersteen in 1945.

N° 41: "De wolkeneters"
- two-coloured
- never published in English
- story and drawings by Willy Vandersteen
- published in French ("Bob et Bobette") as "Les cavaliers de l'espace"
- published in Finnish ("Anu ja Antti") as "Avaruuden Robotit"
- published in Swedish ("Finn och Fiffi") as "Robotama Frán Rymden"
- re-edited as N° 109 in the coloured series (1970)
N° 41: "De wolkeneters"
The story was pre-published in the newspapers "De Standaard" and "Het Nieuwsblad" from 28 September 1960 until 6 February 1961.
Wiske (Suzy) and Suske (Spike)
Lambik (Ambrose)
Jerom (Jethro)
The main characters are Suske (Spike), Wiske (Suzy), Schanulleke, aunt Sidonia, Lambik (Ambrose), Jerom (Jethro), professor Barabas, Theofiel Boemerang, Kumu, Kosmo and the little Robots. The locations for this story are Belgium, the asteroid Adonis, the moon, Mars, Deimos (satellite from Mars), Kumulolis and Kosmopolis (both fictional).
Aunt Sidonia, Suske (Spike), Wiske (Suzy) and professor Barabas
Theofiel Boemerang, Suske (Spike) and Wiske (Suzy)
One evening aunt Sidonia, Wiske (Suzy) and Suske (Spike) visit Lambik (Ambrose) and Jerom Jethro). After watching some television suddenly a mysterious object falls straight through the roof into the basement. Lambik reports it to the police, but they can't do anything. Suske and Wiske secretly take pictures of the object in the crater. Later that night Lambik finds a trail from the pit to Wiske's room…
Wiske (Suzy) and two little robots,
the left one is from Kumulolis the right one from Kosmopolis
Jerom slaps his fist on the table after reading a newspaper article in which Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev struck his shoe on the table at a UN meeting in New York. In the 1970 coloured version Jerom kills a a fly on a table.
Reference to a newspaper article in which Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev
struck his shoe on the table at a UN meeting in New York
  • Ford (1956)
  • robot car 1
  • robot car 2
Ford 1956
Robot car 1
Robot car 2

Monday 13 May 2019

1960, Car spotting: Renault 4CV Brochure / Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris

Photo on the back of the French Renault 4CV brochure from 1960. This photo is quite remarkable as in this promotion for the Renault 4CV there are at least eleven Simca’s, nine Citroën’s and only seven Renault’s.

Bottom to top, left to right

First row
Citroën ID/DS, Renault 4CV, Simca Vedette Versailles.

Second row
Simca Vedette (Versailles or Régence), Simca Vedette Trianon.

Third row
Peugeot 403 Break, Peugeot 403, Simca Vedette (Beaulieu or Chambord), Peugeot 403.

Fourth row
Citroën ID/DS, Citroën ID/DS, Citroën ID/DS, Renault 4CV, Citroën Traction Avant.

Fifth row
Citroën ID/DS, Simca Ariane Taxi, Citroën ID/DS.

Sixth row
Renault Dauphine, Simca Ariane Taxi, Citroën Type H, unidentified car probably Simca Aronde, Simca 9 Aronde, Renault Goélette.

Seventh row
Peugeot 403, Simca 9 Aronde Break, unidentified car, unidentified car probably American.

Eighth row
Bus, unidentified car probably American.

Ninth row
Simca Vedette (Beaulieu or Chambord), Ford Vedette Sedan, Citroën 2CV.

Tenth row
Renault Dauphine, Renault Dauphine, Simca Aronde P60, unidentified car, Renault Dauphine.

Saturday 4 May 2019

1977, Science and Technology: Space Shuttle Enterprise First Test

On February 15, 1977, the Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) made its first three taxi-test (ALT-1 - ALT-3) on a concrete runway. The Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) were a series of taxi and flight trials to test the vehicle's flight characteristics both on its own and when placed on top of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. On August 12, 1977, the Enterprise made its first free flight (ALT-12) at 499 km/h. The shuttle was lifted to a height of 25,000 feet by a Boeing 747 and then released, gliding back to Edwards Air Force Base on its own. A total of 16 ALT flights were conducted in 1977.

Space Shuttle Enterprise separating from the
Shuttle Carrier Aircraft during Approach and Landing Tests
August 12, 1977, the Enterprise made its first free flight (ALT-12) at 499 km/h
Originally the first orbiter was planned to be named Constitution and would be unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans (Trekkies) to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named after the Starship Enterprise. Most of the cast of the original series along with Gene Rodenberry were guests at Rockwell's, Palmdale California plant for the opening. The Enterprise was a test space shuttle not intended for flights in space. It was used for test flights and public relations tours. The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-worthy orbiter, it made its first flight in 1981.
Left to right: NASA Administrator Dr. James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley (Dr. "Bones" McCoy); George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); Gene Rodenberry (series creator); a NASA official and Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov) (September 17, 1976)
All ALT flights
  • ALT-1 Taxi test n°1 February 15, 1977 (143 km/h)
  • ALT-2 Taxi test n°2 February 15, 1977 (225 km/h)
  • ALT-3 Taxi test n°3 February 15, 1977 (253 km/h)
  • ALT-4 Captive-inert flight n°1 February 18, 1977 (462 km/h)
  • ALT-5 Captive-inert flight n°2 February 22, 1977 (528 km/h)
  • ALT-6 Captive-inert flight n°3 February 25, 1977 (684 km/h)
  • ALT-7 Captive-inert flight n°4 February 28, 1977 (684 km/h)
  • ALT-8 Captive-inert flight n°5 March 2, 1977 (763 km/h)
  • ALT-9 Captive-active flight n°1 June 18, 1977 (335 km/h)
  • ALT-10 Captive-active flight n°2 June 28, 1977 (499 km/h)
  • ALT-11 Captive-active flight n°3 July 26, 1977 (501 km/h)
  • ALT-12 Free flight n°1 August 12, 1977 (499 km/h)
  • ALT-13 Free flight n°2 September 13, 1977 (499 km/h)
  • ALT-14 Free flight n°3 September 23, 1977 (467 km/h)
  • ALT-15 Free flight n°4 October 12, 1977 (447 km/h)
  • ALT-16 Free flight n°5 October 26, 1977 (455 km/h)

Documentary narrated by William Shatner

Wednesday 1 May 2019

1976, Belgian Comics: Robert en Bertrand: "Geheim document"

In 1976, "Geheim document" (Eng.: "Secret document"), the 13the album in the Belgian comics series "Robert en Bertrand" was published by the "Standaard Uitgeverij". The series, set in the 19th century, in Belgium, The Netherlands and France, was created by Willy Vandersteen in 1973. The characters are based on a play written by Benjamin Antier and Fréderick Lemaitre and the novel by Koen Ravestein (Raf Verhulst) from 1890.

Robert and Bertrand, are two tramps chased by a policeman/detective "Number 17" (probably based on Marty Feldman). Other characters are Moldavian Prince Joeki a protégé of Robert and Bertrand, and Magistrate Mangin.
N° 13 "Geheim document" ("Secret document")
No 13 "Geheim document"
- full-colour
- never published in English
- story and drawings by Willy Vandersteen
Bertrand, Prince Joeki and Robert
Countess Blache de Touflor aka Maria Lanewska
The story was pre-published in the newspapers "De Standaard" and "Het Nieuwsblad". The main characters are Robert, Bertrand, Prince Joeki, Countess Blache de Touflor aka Maria Lanewska, Peulemans, James Pond, Number 17.
James Pond and Peulemans
During a demonstration in Amsterdam, Robert can calm down the horse of Countess Blache de Touflor, but Bertrand is arrested ...
Number 17
- 3 unidentified cars
Unidentified car 1
Unidentified car 2
Unidentified car 3