Showing posts with label Pamela Tiffin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pamela Tiffin. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pamela Tiffin ~ One, Two, Three (1961)

I associate Billy Wilder with intelligent comedies that may or may not invovle cross-dressing. He had an amazing way of exploring serious issues with humor and after watching the Cold War comedy One, Two, Three (1961), Wilder is becoming one of my favorite directors of all-time.

While I am writing about this film for my Pamela Tiffin series, I would be remiss to not point out that this is James Cagney's film through and through. He was a pint-sized fireball of... fire and he steals the show! His energy is off the charts and the theme music, Sabre Dance by Khachaturyan (click to play), matches his vitality. This film is also filled with a diverse selection of lively characters all with charming idiosyncracies that keep us holding our stomachs as we burst out laughing.

Cagney plays MacNamara is the head of Berlin's Coca-Cola factory who has his sights on a big position in London. His employees are all Gestapo-trained Germans who click their heels and stand up at attention much to MacNamara's very American dismay. His wife Phylis is a wise-cracking dame fed up with life in Berlin and MacNamara is also courting hot bilingual secretary Ingeborg (and is using her as bait to woo potential Russian business). MacNamara's boss in Atlanta, Georgia sends his daughter to stay with the MacNamaras in Berlin. This is when things get hilariously complicated and MacNamara finds himself in a jam when the daughter marries a Russian communist.

Pamela Tiffin's character Scarlett Hazeltine is really superb. Tiffin is in prime form as the ditzy hot-blooded Southern belle who rebels against her parents by falling in love with any boy in sight. After being engaged 3 times, her parents send her off to Europe which in her case is like putting fox in a chicken coop. Scarlett has a charming Southern accent, says "marvy" whenever she can and thinks it's cute that she secretly married a Russian communist. I love how Scarlett gets so excited that her man is an anti-American propaganda spouting subversive. Wonderful!

Scarlett: Tell him about the wedding rings...
Otto: Forged from the steel of a brave cannon that fought in Stalingrad.

I leave you now with the film's homage to Cagney's most iconic image. See if you can guess what I'm referring to.

MacNamara: How would you like a little fruit for dessert?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pamela Tiffin ~ Harper (1966)

This is the first in a short series about '60s actress Pamela Tiffin, with whom I have a developing fascination.

Harper (1966) is cool. Cool is the best word I can use to describe it. This adjective can be applied to the story, Paul Newman, Pamela Tiffin, the set decor, the designs, the clothes, the cars and the locales. Lew Harper (Paul Newman) is a cool private detective who has been having some bad luck lately. His wife Susan (Janet Leigh) wants nothing to do with him and business as a detective has been kind of slow. His lawyer-friend Albert Graves (Arthur Hill) gets him a juicy job searching for Richard Sampson, the missing husband of an invalid millionairess (Lauren Bacall). Harper sets out to look for the drunk millionaire along with playboy pilot Alan (Robert Wagner) and Sampson's hot daughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin). Harper encounters a medly of strange characters along the way, including Julie Harris as an addict and Shelley Winters as an out of work entertainer, and finds out the sordid details of Sampson's life and the people in it.

Pamela Tiffin's role as Miranda is vastly different from the ditzy brunette roles of the other films I've seen of hers. Miranda Sampson is a bitter and jaded rich girl. She's had a difficult relationship with her father who had an obsession with money, women and booze. Her daddy issues prevent her from having healthy relationships with men. Lawyer Albert Graves is in love with her but she keeps him at arms length only until she needs him. Cool detective Lew Harper is new and exciting and she keeps chasing him even though he rejects her advances everytime. Then there is playboy Alan. Their relationship is purely physical, a way for both of them to pass the time in their otherwise boring lives.

Like most jaded rich characters, Miranda enjoys pushing boundaries and testing people. There is a numbness that comes with privilege and Miranda is desperate for something, anything that will awaken her senses. Driving fast cars and toying with people are among her hobbies. Her step-mother is a constant target of a barrage of insults which are fired right back at her. Miranda needles Harper about his impending divorce and he delivers the great line You've got a way of starting conversations that end conversations.

Pamela Tiffin also tests the limit of gravity by dancing to some cheesy '60s music on a diving board. Now I leave you with some pictures from the film of this breathtakingly beautiful actress. Enjoy...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hot Chick ~ Pamela Tiffin

Female version of the Hot Toddy series...

Name: Pamela Tiffin

Stats: b. 10-13-1942. 24 films including romances and comedies in the early 60s and European exploitation films from the late 60s to the early 70s. She left the business in the mid-70s to raise her family.

Hotness Factors: Gorgeous slender brunette (sometimes blonde) with a face that could dazzle. Her sweet lilting voice is melodic and a bit intoxicating. She's the ditzy girl that drives men wild with desire and confusion. Even the most devoted womanizer turns to absolute mush in her hands.

Dudes She Digged: Married magazine editor Clay Felker in 1962 and divorced in 1969. She was rumored to have dated Pleasure Seekers co-star Gardner McKay. Then she married philosopher Edmondo Danon, with whom she had two kids and they are still married.

For Optimal Hotness Watch:

State Fair (1962) ~ Innocent farm girl makes suave State Fair announcer (Bobby Darin) change his womanizing ways.

The Pleasure Seekers (1964) ~ While in Spain, this all-American good girl makes suave Spaniard (Tony Franciosa) change his womanizing ways.

Come Fly With Me (1963) ~ A ditzy flight attendant makes suave Pilot (Hugh O'Brian) change his womanizing ways.

More on Pamela Tiffin to come...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hidden Gem: State Fair (1962)

Our state fair, is the best state fair in our state.

I have always been fascinated by the way people watch films, especially how they chose the films they see. A person's past repertoire of films seen says a lot about who they are and what motivates them. I like to think that the body of films I've seen shows that I'm adventurous, curious, open-minded, passionate and emotionally-driven. It also demonstrates how I tend to form attachments, especially to particular persons.

State Fair (1962) is one of many remakes of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The film is difficult to find. It is not often shown on TV and it's not available on it's own DVD. Rather, it lives in the bonus materials of it's more popular sibling, the 1945 version. You wouldn't think to look for it there, if you were searching for it. And why would you be searching for it anyways?

I found it because I was actively searching for it as one of the many Bobby Darin films I wanted to see (because I Heart Bobby Darin!). I watched it first, before seeing the 1945 version, and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not usually one for musicals but there was something light and refreshingly bouyant about this film. My favorite part was the feeling I had of having unearthed a hidden gem...

... and then came the domino-effect. Watching this film became a catalyst for watching many more. I loved the music in this film, so I watched the 1945 version to get another dose of it. Then I found that I really enjoyed Dana Andrews in that film, and maybe I should watch another one of his. Oh, and look at that. Alice Faye made her film comeback with State Fair (1962) , her last film after Fallen Angel (1945), which also stars Dana Andrews, so I saw that. Then there was Pamela Tiffin, who I found pleasantly annoying as Bobby Darin's love interest. Then I stumble upon her film Come Fly with Me (1963), a nice '60s romantic comedy, which introduced me to Dolores Hart, who was in another film Where the Boys Are (1960), which of course I had to see. Also, State Fair (1962) was my first introduction to Ann-Margret, and I just had to see another of her films, so I saw Made in Paris (1966). This made me realize, that the '60s weren't so bad and that actually I really love '60s romantic/sex comedies and wanted to watch more of those films and so on and so forth. I could go on (because it did go on from there) but I think you get the drift.

This is very representative of my viewing pattern. I watch one film, I enjoy it, I can't get enough, so I watch a lot more semi-related films. It's a wonder I find time to do anything else. I do however, highly recommend watching this film, if you haven't already. Ignore moral of the story, which is out-dated and quite boring, and enjoy it as a fun and light musical. And who knows, maybe you'll go on a fun-filled film journey afterwards like I did.

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