Friday, October 31, 2014

Get "Scared Stiff" This Dino-ween!

Hey pallies, likes Happy Dino-ween all you Dino-dudes.  Likes it has been a deep deep Dino-tradition here at ilovedinomartin to celebrate this Dino-holi-day by sharin' this stunnin'ly stellar Dino-lantern that likes puts the awesomeist of awesome accent on our Dino's amazin' Dino-buddahgrin!

And likes, for your total total Dino-viewin' pleasure back 'gain this Dino-ween is  that ultra ubber delightfully delightful Dino-dramady, "Scared Stiff" where our great man goes likes spookin' 'round with his great pallie Jerry Lewis. "Stiff" is such an absolute gas and our ever lovin' Dino and his ever funny partner have never ever had better chemistry then in this coolest of cool caper of scare!

So, likes Happy Dino-ween dudes and always, ever, and only keeps the lovin' focus on our most beloved Dino! Dino-spookin', DMP

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role

Hey pallies, likes today we return with 'nother Dino-installment of Matt Helm acclaim from Keith over at "Teleport City."  Yesterday we were delighted to share his remarkable read, "ASSIGNMENT: DEAN MARTIN" that fantastically focused on the who, what, when, where, and how that led up to our most beloved Dino protrayin' his coolest, hippest, and ever randy self as Matt Helm.  Today we come back to Keith knowin' work with his post "DEATH OF A SILENCER."

In this super scribin' Keith accents the makin' and marketin' of Helmer numero uno, "The Silencers."
With a bevy of beau-ti-ful poses of our Dino and his consorts and wise words from Keith, this is 'gain 'nother powerfully pleasurable read as it is obvious that Keith is truly truly in-the-Dino-know and a deep devotee of our King of Cool.

We are most smitten with Keith's words, "If you forget the Matt Helm of the books, then Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role," but that is simply one example of his remarkable review of "The Silencers."  Likes we woulda encourage you to enjoy Keith's total post, so likes we will say no more.

ilovedinomartin salutes Keith of "Teleport City" for liftin' up the name of our Dino in this wondrous way.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  We hopes to hear much more Dino-scribin's from our newly found Dino-addicted pallies Keith.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP



In February of 1966, audiences got their first look at the finished product that started with the dark, violent Matt Helm novels of Donald Hamilton and ended up in the hands of ill-tempered producer Irving Allen and boozy Rat Packer Dean Martin. Leading up to the release of the first film in the series, The Silencers, there had been a barrage of publicity, most of it focused on the bevy of semi-clad beauties populating the film (Dean Martin himself was busy with other film projects and the launch of his very popular new TV variety show). There was little in the pre-release marketing to inspire hope in fans of Donald Hamilton’s books that this Matt Helm would bear any resemblance at all to the character of the same name in the novels. As the lights went down and the curtains parted (yes, we used to have those in movie theaters), it was time for Irving Allen and Dean Martin to deliver their idea of America’s response to James Bond.

Like many of the Matt Helm novels, The Silencers is a pretty grim and straight-forward affair with surprisingly little jet-setting unless you count Juarez, Mexico across the border from El Paso. And if you’ve been to Juarez, you’ll likely agree that you can go there for a number of reasons, but jet setting isn’t usually one of them. Although it was the first of the movies, The Silencers is the fourth in the series of novels so certain things have already been established in previous stories that would help you understand exactly what is going on. It begins with Matt Helm heading toward El Paso, where he is to retrieve an agent in danger working undercover in a seedy Juarez strip club. Why is it that male operatives always have to go undercover as nerds or journalists or photographers and female operatives always have to go undercover as mistresses, strippers, and prostitutes? Things don’t exactly go according to plan, as they rarely do, and before too long, Matt finds himself traveling north toward the small mountain town of Carrizozo, New Mexico with a mysterious woman he knows hates him and is most likely trying to set him up as he struggles to track down an enemy agent and, along the way, stop the bad guys from hijacking a test missile and redirecting it to blow up a bunch of important scientists and politicians.


In keeping with Matt Helm’s down home stomping ground and behavior, most of the villains he faces are equally low-key. Though there are the occasional megalomaniacs with dreams of conquest, most of the time he’s just facing off against other assassins, thugs, agents, and flunkies. There are no Nehru jacket-wearing masterminds with sprawling secret lairs beneath the ocean. By contrast, the antagonists in The Silencers are camped out in a freezing cold, dilapidated old church outside a small New Mexico town. Likewise Helm’s allies are rarely slick playboys and captains of industry. They are, instead, cab drivers and grumpy fellow agents. He frequently butts heads with Washington not over the classic “your methods are too extreme” argument – they pay him to be extreme, after all – but over the simple and all too real-to-life frustration generated by the fact that there are all these investigative and secret agencies running around and refusing to share information with one another, resulting in lots of on-the-job mishaps and misunderstandings as people on the same side find themselves at odds on the same mission simply because no one told them someone else was out there doing the same thing.

The movie opens with a pointless prologue (the first of many jokes aimed at the Bond franchise) in which four assassins who will never appear in the movie are given four golden bullets etched with the name Matt Helm. These, also, play no role in the movie. We then move on to a colorful burlesque of an opening credit sequence anchored by none less than legendary dancer-actress Cyd Charisse (Ziegfeld Follies, Singin’ in the Rain, and the Eurospy films Maroc 7 and Assassination in Rome) performing rather a risque (by modern movie standards; not by Juarez strip club standards) striptease. So not exactly the book, but it’s not entirely out of left field. However, the movie almost immediately jettisons the plot of The Silencers in favor of Death of a Citizen, the first of the Matt Helm novels. Even then, it’s obvious from the start that Dean Martin’s Matt Helm is more Dean Martin than Matt Helm. Instead of a married man in the Santa Fe suburbs, he is a swingin’ bachelor with a space-age pad that includes a nubile young assistant named Lovey Kravezit (Beverly Adams) and a rotating bed that can slide forward and tilt to dump Helm into his waiting indoor pool/hot tub, complete with a wet bar that drops from the ceiling (he has a similar wet bar in his car).


For a while, the film is content to cruise along with the plot of Death of a Citizen, albeit with all the seriousness abandoned in favor of juvenile sex jokes and Dean Martin cracking wise. The role of Tina is played by Israeli star Daliah Lavi (The Return of Dr. Mabuse and Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body), already a veteran of film as well as a veteran of the Israeli armed forces, meaning that she was probably capable of soundly thrashing most of her male leads, who saves Matt’s life then recruits him back into the service. After some goofing around, the movie switches back to the plot of The Silencers, only with Phoenix, Arizona standing in for Juarez and the seedy strip club being a swinging supper club at a posh resort. There Helm and Tina meet Gail, who here has been transformed from the spoiled but surprisingly tough and resilient woman of the novel into a Jerry Lewis-esque klutz played by Stella Stevens (Disney’s The Nutty Professor and Elvis’ Girls! Girls! Girls!) who bumbles, stumbles and pratfalls her way into the middle of Helm’s assignment.

If Bond films were the epitome of jet-set cool, then The Silencers aimed to be their leering lounge lizard cousin. Everything is cheaper and cruder, but also much less serious — sometimes even witty. The image of Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in a white bikini in Dr. No became an iconic image of dangerous, sophisticated sex appeal. By contrast, The Silencers is like a high schooler drawing pictures of naked ladies on the bathroom wall. Similarly, if Sean Connery was the epitome of cruel, manly cool as James Bond, then Dean Martin was the way less menacing, probably more fun uncle who gets drunk at the family Christmas party. As an adaptation of Donald Hamilton’s novels, The Silencers is a failure. But as a spoof of the genre in general and Bond films in particular — well, The Silencers is indeed dumb and juvenile, but it’s also colorful, entertaining, and as charming as its tipsy lead actor. While Dean Martin’s Matt Helm in’t the cold-blooded killer of the books, he is a fan of judo fights and women in lingerie, so there’s that.


It is somehow both cheap and lavish looking at the same time, with lots of great scenery and costumes but also things like the underground lair of movie villains Big O, which looks like someone crinkled up some brown trash bags and called it a cave. The acting is solid. If you forget the Matt Helm of the books, then Dean Martin brings easy charisma to the role, and the supporting cast, including James Gregory as Matt’s superior McDonald and Victor Buono as the foppish, eyeliner-etched criminal mastermind Tung-Tze (rather than being another in a long line of Caucasians poorly imitating Asians, the role seems to be intentionally making fun of the practice), is giving it a professional effort. Most of the jokes are dumb, but a few are genuinely funny, or at least funny enough to inspire a combination groan and chuckle. It manages to be a decent spy spoof and, if it isn’t exactly a thrill a minute, it’s good-natured enough that you don’t mind hanging around with it while it goofs off.

Critics were predictably split on the movie, with some seeing it as the affable spoof I think it is and others seeing it as a lazy, vulgar cash-in on the Bond craze, which it also is. Minus disappointed fans of the Matt Helm novels, audiences were a bit more unified than critics in their support of the film. Irving Allen already had plans to make more Matt Helm movies — the second was already in production — but the smashing success of The Silencers guaranteed another. Thanks to his clever demand for a portion of the film’s box office, Dean Martin suddenly found himself one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. Although the profits of The Silencers paled in comparison to those of recent Bond film Thunderball, Dean Martin ended up making substantially more money for the film than Sean Connery.


Connery, looking at Martin’s pay-day, thought that maybe as the iconic star of the most popular movie franchise in the entire world, he should be making something a little closer to the bank made by the drunken star of a jokey Bond knock-off. So James Bond walked into the office of producer Cubby Broccoli, pointed to the high paycheck being cashed by the star of the film made by Broccoli’s old partner, and suggested that maybe ol’ Sean Connery ought to have himself a similar profit-sharing plan. Broccoli laughed at the idea, claiming that it was James Bond, not Sean Connery — who had been basically a nobody body builder from Scotland when he was cast in the lead role — who people wanted to see. The Bond series made Connery, so it could just as easily make another guy. Connery was stung, and he made Broccoli put the claim to the test. In the wake of The Silencers, Sean Connery announced that the next James Bond film — 1967’s You Only Live Twice — would be his last.

If the success of Dean Martin and The Silencers caused waves at Eon Productions even while never remotely challenging the Bond films at the box office, it was nothing but sunshine and roses for Irving Allen, Dean Martin, and Donald Hamilton. Between the movie and his TV show, Martin was one of the most popular and highest paid entertainers in America. Even though the film bore only the scantiest resemblance to Donald Hamilton’s source material, interest in his books spiked. In 1966, he released the tenth book in the series, The Betrayers, and enjoyed a greater level of critical and mass appeal than he’d ever had. Irving Allen announced that the next Matt Helm movie was already in production, with Martin reprising his role and the ante being upped in terms of gorgeous locations, action, and beautiful women. Based on one of the darkest and most violent of Hamilton’s novels, the new movie – Murderers’ Row — promised to be very much the opposite of its source material.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They wanted Ocean’s Eleven Dean Martin. They wanted Rat Pack Dean Martin. They wanted fun, drunk Uncle Dino. And boy did they get him.

Hey pallies, likes havin' just published "My Dean Martin Awakening" by scriber Keith over at his fabulous blog "TELEPORT CITY - BRINGING YOU YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW......TODAY!"
we Dino-reasoned that a pallie so so transformed by watchin' a Matt Helm marathon certainly woulda most likely have shared more Dino-adulation in cyberspace script.  So, we gotta 'fess up in vain we tried to search "TELEPORT CITY" for more Dino-action.

Not willin' to give up that easily, we believe that we were truly truly Dino-led to the notion of puttin' Teleport City and Dean Martin in the google blog search engine, and likes when we did, we indeed from the Dino-treasure for which we were searchin'.....none other then a trio of posts accentin' the Donald Hamilton books as well as the Dino-as-Matt-Helm big screen hipster spyster capers.

We have chosen not to post the first of the series as it is only focused on Hamilton and his tomes, 'though those who want to checks this out can simply clicks on the tag of today's post and find their way to Part I.   We share Part II today, tagged "ASSIGNMENT: DEAN MARTIN," which is the most remarkable of remarkable reads that gives the most in depth reportin' of just how our most beloved Dino got to play Matt Helm. Likes we had read and heard bits and pieces of the story, but never ever 'til we came 'cross Keith's post did we know all the behind-the-scenes activity of bringin' Matt Helm to the screen and to havin' our Dino as Helm.

So, we extremely encourage you to indulge in readin' this  most amazin' read by Keith, so you too will know the story-behind-the-story of our King of Cool comin' to play the coolest screen spyster ever!  We express our deepest of deep Dino-appreciato to Keith for all his time, effort, research, and passion in gettin' the word out to his readership 'bout how the flicks on to the screen and how our Dino got to play his ever cool, hip and ever randy self as Matt Helm.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP




Director-producer Irving Allen has been charitably referred to as a bit gruff, or rough around the edges. Less charitably, a bully. Even less charitably, a complete asshole. Working his way from junior editor up through the ranks, he eventually carved out a pretty successful if low-key career as the producer or director of a number of shorts, including the Academy Award winning Climbing the Matterhorn. Wanting more from his career though, he partnered with another struggling producer, Brit Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, to form Warwick Films. Based out of England so they could take advantage of lucrative tax breaks, Warwick made a number of successful “boy’s own adventure” style films that allowed Allen to indulge his taste for costumed mini-epics and Broccoli a chance to make a name for himself with the help of his mercurial but close friend and partner.

Allen had a well-deserved reputation for being abusive and demanding, both as a producer, a director, and as a businessman. He and Cubby sometimes collaborated on projects, but more times than not they trusted each other to work on independent projects. So it was that Broccoli set up an interview one day with Ian Fleming, author of several successful James Bond adventure novels. Fleming was interested in seeing his character brought to life on screen but had so far been unsuccessful in convincing anyone to make it happen. Other than a cheap adaptation of his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, for the American television series Climax! — in which the character was rechristened Jimmy Bond and had his nationality switched to American — James Bond existed only in the novels. The rights to Casino Royale had been sold, though nothing more came of it, and Fleming had collaborated on an initial script for a movie that eventually became the book Thunderball — which eventually became the movie Thunderball and a big legal nightmare for Fleming, which is also why we also have Never Say Never Again. But Cubby Broccoli was very enthusiastic about getting a Bond film made, so he set up a meeting between him and Fleming.

Tragically, Broccoli’s wife fell extremely ill, and in an effort to secure better treatment for the cancer that had wracked her body, he traveled with her to New York, then stayed by her side through treatment and her eventual final days. In his partner’s absence, Irving Allen handled the meeting with Ian Fleming. There was just one problem: Allen hated the James Bond books. In his typically “candid” way, he stated to Fleming’s face that the books were utter rubbish, not even fit to be adapted for television. Not surprisingly, no deal was struck that day. Broccoli was upset with Allen’s uncouth handling of the meeting and rude dismissal of Fleming. Between that and the stress Broccoli felt over his wife’s passing, the relationship between he and Allen became strained. Independent of Allen, Broccoli sought to patch things up with Ian Fleming while Allen himself pursued a personal passion project — a big, lavish biopic called The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Cubby Broccoli eventually entered into a separate partnership with producer Harry Saltzman, founding Eon Studios for the express purpose of making the first James Bond movie, Dr. No (the rights to Casino Royale were tied up elsewhere, and Dr. No was the most recent of the Bond novels). Allen, meanwhile, met with crushing disappointment over his Oscar Wilde movie. Frank discussion and portrayal of Wilde’s homosexuality did not sit well with censors, and the film flopped at the few box offices in which it played.


By the time Dr. No was released, Warwick Films was dead and Bond mania had been born. Allen went on to produce a few more interesting and generally quite good historical epics, including 1964’s Viking epic The Long Ships starring Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, and Russ Tamblyn. The massive failure of another historical epic, Genghis Khan, a year later put Allen in a precarious financial and professional position. In that time, his old junior partner had become quite possibly the most successful film producer in the world, thanks entirely to the the James Bond movies Allen had so obnoxiously chased out his own front door. By the time Genghis Khan flopped, Broccoli has produced four James Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and the same year as Genghis Khan, Thunderball. The entire world was ape for Bond, and most film studios were doing their best to ape Bond’s formula. Allen, always as keen to make a buck as he was to make a picture, shrugged and decided to follow his former partner’s lead. The question was, what would he use as his source material?

Allen knew he didn’t want to start from scratch. While it was unlikely he would develop a juggernaut on the level of James Bond, he still wanted a big success, and the easiest way to do that was to hit the ground with material that already had a built-in audience. Somewhat randomly, Allen was perusing the paperbacks at an airport and picked up one of the Matt Helm novels by Donald Hamilton — Death of a Citizen or The Silencers, “I don’t remember which” he later said, though it’s possible it was both of them given the eventual structure of the movie. Whatever the case, he liked what he read and thought Matt Helm, adventuring around in the American southwest, would make a fantastic counterpoint to British Bond. Hamilton, himself having already sold many stories to be adapted into movies, was more than happy to meet and eventually sign a deal with Allen giving the producer the rights to all of the existing Matt Helm novels, eight at the time. Allen formed a new company to produce the movies and convinced Columbia Pictures — like Allen, they had turned their nose up at Ian Fleming and James Bond and were now looking to play catch-up — to make the movies, though Allen himself had to front a sizable portion of the money.

By all accounts, the initial plan for the movie was to stick very close to the tone of Hamilton’s books. Allen hired screenwriter Oscar Saul (A Streetcar Named Desire) to pen the script and film noir and western veteran Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential, Phenix City Story, Kid Galahad) to direct. Donald Hamilton himself would serve as story consultant. Like Allen and Columbia Pictures, Karlson had his own brush with Bond when he was considered to direct Dr. No until Cubby Broccoli balked at the price tag and went with Terence Young instead. If not all-star, it was never the less an impressive assembly of talent. Both Karlson and Saul were well-respected and had shown the ability to work well in the highly emotional and noirish sort of world Matt Helm inhabited. And while Irving Allen was short-fused and had a number of flops under his belt, he also had a number of successes, and his flops had at least been challenging and ambitious. All that was left was to find the right actor to play the part.

Allen’s first choice was Tony Curtis, but Curtis was involved with his own vanity project and turned the part down. Television actor Hugh O’Brian was next announced to have taken the role, but that didn’t pan out either. Hamilton wanted Richard Boone, star of the hit television show Have Gun, Will Travel, but again, no dice (I’m not even sure he was ever even considered by Allen). Starting to panic a little now as the first day of filming was fast approaching, Allen was throwing the role at the feet of a number of players, including Paul Newman, but no established actor wanted to be the guy who had to compete with Sean Connery as James Bond. Sensing that they would never find the right actor, Allen called in new writers to retool the script. If he couldn’t compete with Bond, Allen reasoned, he’d spoof Bond. And so the Matt Helm project went from a hard-hitting, serious noir take on the Bond style spy movie to a comedy. And once they changed the tone of the film, they changed the tone of the star. After seeing him out on the town one night charming everyone around him, Irving Allen decided he knew who he wanted to play this new version of Matt Helm: comedian and lounge singer Dean Martin.

 Murderers Row 035

No one could really believe Allen was serious, least of all Dean Martin himself. The crooner, harboring fears that after the dissolution of his partnership with Jerry Lewis his film career would be over, was still hesitant to commit himself to a potential film series, so he jokingly made a number of outrageous demands, including 10% of the profits on top of his salary, figuring that they would turn him down and he could go on his merry way. When Irving Allen accepted the deal, Martin shrugged and became Matt Helm. It’s possible that Martin could have handled a more serious script. He’d recently proven himself quite capable of a powerful dramatic turn, both as the drunken deputy in Rio Lobo and again alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in the World War II drama The Young Lions. But everyone, including Dean himself, figured no one wanted to see a dark and violent turn from the popular entertainer. They wanted Ocean’s Eleven Dean Martin. They wanted Rat Pack Dean Martin. They wanted fun, drunk Uncle Dino. And boy did they get him.

The script was further tweaked by some of Martin’s own writing buddies to better incorporate the drunk and witty stage persona Dean had invented for himself after so many years as the straight man to Jerry Lewis’ braying man-child. This included adding a number of musical asides and daydreams for Martin to croon through, and to better reflect James Bond, abandoning the wife and kids and instead making Matt Helm into a swingin’ bachelor. It was a disappointing turn of events for fans of Hamilton’s writing, who had been hoping to see the cruel, violent, unglamorous world of Matt Helm brought to the big screen as a sort of mean, shadowy reflection of the frothy, fantastical Bond movies. Hamilton himself was disappointed and thought going to comedic route to be a bit of a cop-out, but he was also a professional who had sold many stories already, so he knew the drill and doesn’t seem to have taken it too terribly personally, continuing to write new Matt Helm novels in his usual style while, as he stated in an interview taking the money from the Matt Helm movie and crying all the way to the bank.

In 1966, in the wake of Thunderball and alongside another high-profile Bond spoof, Our Man Flint starring James Coburn, Irving Allen, Dean Martin, and The Silencers staggered drunkenly onto American movie screens.

[This part two of a multi-part article. Stay tuned for the next thrilling entry! Read part one here.]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Dean Martin Awakening

Hey pallies, likes his tag is Keith and you'll find his scribin's at the blog "TELEPORT CITY - BRINGING YOU YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW......TODAY!"  'gain doin' some google blog searchin' extra credit we with likes positively  psyched  to have uncovered Keith Dino-homagin' post, "My Dean Martin Awakening," part of his larger post tagged, "LET’S PLAY DRESS-UP: THE RAMBLING PREAMBLE."

As you may read below, Keith's lifestyle was forever altered while in college "during a late night that involved a marathon of Matt Helm films starring Dean Martin."  As Keith pontificates further..."Anyway, after a refined evening of watching Dean Martin slide ass-first down a railway whilst waving a ray gun over his head, I decided I wanted to start upping my style game. Less dumpster diving skate punk, more mod meets cocktail culture with a dash of rockabilly."

Likes how fabulous is that dudes....likes 'nother tremendous true-life testimony of how comin' under the influence of our most beloved Dino is likes a forever transformin' experience....likes once youse encounters our Dino (in the words of "Since I Met You Baby), you're a different man!  We stunnin'ly salute Keith for boldin' sharin' his "Dean Martin Awakening" with his readership, surely helpin' many to cover over to our Dino's side...the coolest of cool side that is.  To checks this out in it's original format, per usual, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-awakened, DMP

My Dean Martin Awakening

I was in college when it hit me during a late night that involved a marathon of Matt Helm films starring Dean Martin and culminated in a pre-dawn viewing through bleary eyes of Mario Bava’s Danger! Diabolik — very possibly the experience that birthed Teleport City in general. I was, at the time, an impoverished punk rock college kid living on thirty or forty bucks a month, usually with disconnected power and phone in my one bedroom apartment in Gainesville, Florida. Until that night, youthful rebellion against “the suits” had led to my wardrobe being composed of a couple pairs of cut-off cargo pants, one pair of jeans, one pair of ratty black Chucks, and like fifty band shirts in varying degrees of disintegration. I cut my own hair — blindly and badly — had glasses that were bigger than my face, and clocked in at maybe right around 105 pounds and 5’7”. Which is to say not only was I (and still am) a nerd, I was a nerd with a body type that was, at the time, very difficult to clothe in anything that looked like it was actually made to fit me rather than something I stole from a much larger person’s wardrobe.

Plus, like many skinny kids, I was under the erroneous impression that wearing huge clothes made me look less skinny (they don’t, but we’ll get to that later in this series). Anyway, after a refined evening of watching Dean Martin slide ass-first down a railway whilst waving a ray gun over his head, I decided I wanted to start upping my style game. Less dumpster diving skate punk, more mod meets cocktail culture with a dash of rockabilly. I know, I know. Mods and rockabilly together? Impossible! But I live in America. We fought a war so we wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not mod and rocker goes together.

There were a few obstacles between me and my newfound desire to own a pair of wingtips and a slim-cut suit. First, as I mentioned, I was pretty broke. Not out on the streets and dying broke. Not four kids and no way to care for or feed them broke. I was broke punk rocker broke, which in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty manageable sort of broke, especially in a town like Gainesville where you could show up at the drop of a hat at any number of friends’ houses and be guaranteed a couch to sleep on and a sack of Taco Bell to tide you over until you got some cash. So I would not want to imply that these were dark and desperate times. I was just broke, as many twenty-year-old kids are. Certainly too broke to pop down to the local haberdashery to pick up a few new suits of clothing to match my new sartorial aspirations. That’s if we had a local haberdashery.

Even if I had the means, I did not have the vocabulary to express what I wanted. This was Gainesville, Florida, circa 1992. There was an Internet, but just barely, and only five people were on it. This was before fashion blogs, the dandy revival, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It was hard to walk into a Sears or Old Navy with a picture of Sean Connery in Goldfinger and find what I was looking for. I did not know the words. What is that kind of suit called? What are those shoes? No idea. And the days of department store clerks being all Are You Being Served? was long gone. if I went to Dillards, I was not going to find John Inman and Captain Peacock waiting to take my hand and guide me through the morass and toward a better-dressed future. I was going to find some minimum-wage schlub who knew nothing, just like me.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating Dino-ween

Hey pallies, likes here's just a bit more Dino-fun to gets all use Dino-philes into the mood for Dino-ween.  Below, from the powerfully provocative blog "THIS IS NOT PORN" comes the extremely evocative pose of our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner Mr. Jerry Lewis in a very very Dino-ween state of mind.

Donnin' pointy hats and leanin' on some great pumpkins Dino and Jerry create the coolest cool Dino-ween atmosphere.....looks at our Dino lookin' at Jerry makin' with facial and hand motions.

ilovedinomartin thanks the pallies at "THIS IS NOT PORN" for sharin' this most classic of classic Dino-ween pose!  As usual, to checks this out in it's original source, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  Dino-weenin', DMP

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating halloween | Rare and beautiful celebrity photos

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis celebrating halloween

Send Some Dino-ween Ecards To All Your Dino-diggin' Pallies!

Hey pallies, likes Dino-ween ain't far off now pallies, likes just a few 'way on this Friday.  So, likes we thoughts we woulda  'gain sends all youse Dino-addicted pallies likes a reminder 'bout the delightful  Dino-resource that ilovedinomartin discovered several Dino-weens ago for all us Dino-philes to use to send Dino-ween wishes to our fellow Dino-holics.

From the "Dean Martin Informationscenter Deutschland"...," comes a completely cool collection of Dino-ecards, likes just waitin' for youse to share with all your Dino-diggin'  pallies on this special Dino-holi-day!

And, likes dudes likes besides sendin' to all the Dino-philes on your list, likes how 'bout sendin' to some of your pallies who are yet to be sold-out to our Dino...certainly a great way to encourage 'em in growin' in their personal Dino-devotion!!!!!  We've included some of the coolest of the cool Dino-ecards with this post, but to view 'em all and make your Dino-selections, just click on the tag of this Dino-report to goes to the original site.

Happy Dino-ween to all our ilovedinomartin Dino-homagers ...and as ever, keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino! Dino-weenin', DMP

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: HALLOWEEN Special! "Me & You & The Moon"

Welcome back, my GHOULISH pallies! Feelin' creepy yet? Man o I LOVE this SPOOKY time of year! Thinks I tell youse that EVERY year! Haha!  Can't help it pals...I'm COMPLETELY sold out with the whole Halloweeny vibe! Gets my blood pumpin'!!! Hahaha!

Now pals...couldn't youse just picture our Numero Uno pallie bein' the PERFECTO Dracula?! Maybe a handsome wise-crackin' devil? I Got it!!! Dino would be the COOLEST...SWINGINEST... BLOOD CURDELINEST Werewolf ever!!! Howwwlll!!! GRrrrrrrr!!! Snarrrlllll!!! Haha! Man...Now THAT would 've been a fun fun flick!

So pallies...with that Wickedy Scary thought in mind...I grabbed today's Serenade from the classic 1956 Martin & Lewis film, "Pardners".

 Dean sets the mood so so perfectly for a Fun & Freaky night while croonin', "Me & You & the Moon".
Can just imagine him lookin' up at that Big Bright Autumn night sky at the end of the vid...And very suavely...turnin' into the HIPPEST beast that ever Howled at the Bella Luna!!! Hahaha!!!

Ok, my children of the night...let's get into our "trick or treat" mode! Hahaha! I'm nut's!
Have fun pals & ALWAYS keep the Dino & the vino flowin'!!!

We don't need to swing in a hammock
We don't need the nightingale's tune
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
We don't need a heavenly setting
We don't need a sleepy lagoon
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Just the three of us
What a situation
Just the three of us
Plus a natural inclination
We don't need flowery season
Love is love December or June
We can make our own weather
Just put us together
Me 'n' you 'n' the moon
We don't need a comfortable parlor
We don't need the phonograph tune
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you' 'n' the moon
We don't need a horse and a buggy
Buggy rides are over too soon
All we need to get going
Is me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Just the three of us
What a pleasure this is
Just the three of us
Plus a couple thousand kisses
We don't need flowery season
Love is love December or June
We can make our own weather
Just put us together
Me 'n' you 'n' the moon
Me...You...and the moon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals,"

Hey pallies, likes here is still 'nother installment of great Dino-readin' from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman self-tagged blog, "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."  We followed a link in his post that was published yesterday, "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points," and discovered "Lucky Berkeleyites," where Weinman made what appears to be his first observations, he tags 'em "A few random points on Artists and Models."

Scribed  in April of 2008, it surely  shows us how observant Mr. Weinman is 'bout one of his, and our most fav flicks.  We won't  take any glory 'way from your Dino-readin' pleasure, and simply simply encourage you to enjoy Jaime's well written words of wisdom.

'Gain we takes our hat off to Mr. Jaime J. Weinman for sharin' 'bout "one of those movies I just love".....our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner in "Artists And Models."  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.   Dino-delightedly, DMP

Lucky Berkeleyites

If you're in or near the Bay area (and I'm not saying you shouldn't be), the University of California at Berkeley is holding A week-long Frank Tashlin retrospective. There have been a bunch of these recently, but all south of the border (the Canadian border, I mean); I especially recommend next Wednesday's screening of Artists and Models because while the DVD version looks fine, I have a feeling that the otherworldly riot of color would look even better on a big screen in a dark theatre.

A few random points on Artists and Models while I'm at it, since this is one of those movies I just love (there are greater movies, maybe even better movies by this director or these stars, but there are few other movies that are more fun), because none of them are worth a separate post in themselves:

1) The plot of Artists and Models, if you look at it rationally, has so many holes in it, even for a comedy, that the script would be thrown out of any screenwriting class. Some of this is probably due to cutting; it's a long movie and some scenes were cut for time (including Shirley MacLaine's solo "Bat Lady" dance, which appears to be lost), and I imagine some of the deleted scenes would explain why Eva Gabor's character starts out thinking that Dean Martin is the person she needs to seduce and then, without any explanation for how she found out the truth, switches to trying to seduce Jerry Lewis. But there are various other unexplained plot points, things that are brought up and then never referred to again (Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals," but this is never addressed), and stuff that just makes no sense, like how can Martin's character draw a best-selling comic book under his own name without Jerry Lewis's character finding out about it? You just kind of have to go with it; it's like a '50s throwback to many silent and early sound comedies that were very loosely structured and informal and didn't ask to be judged by classic principles of story structure. But you can see why Jean-Luc Godard fell in love with Artists; the idea that a movie can ignore all rules of storytelling logic, and get away with it if the individual scenes are entertaining enough, must have been very encouraging to him.

2) The publicity photo of Martin, Lewis, and the four top-billed women in the film (all dressed, of course, by Edith Head, who did some of her best work on this picture), appears to be the one Shirley MacLaine was talking about when she wrote that Jerry Lewis was a real jerk during the taking of a cast publicity photo with these six participants. Apparently he tried to essentially direct the taking of the photograph and tell everybody where to stand and what to do. Viewed that way, it's kind of a metaphor for why their partnership broke up: Jerry standing there trying to control everything, Dean looking a little ticked off. (Click to enlarge).

3) I notice that while Shirley MacLaine's character is called "Bessie Sparrowbush" in the film, many cast lists give the name as "Sparrowbrush." I wonder if somebody sneaked the name "Sparrowbush" past the censors by deliberately misspelling it in the cast list.

4) When I tried to research this film I didn't come up with much (to find out anything about its production I'll have to wait until I can look at Hal Wallis's papers, which are housed at the Motion Picture Academy's library), but I did find a Sheilah Graham column, complete with a quote from producer Hal Wallis, revealing that the part of Dean Martin's love interest was originally offered to Lizabeth Scott, a longtime Wallis contractee who had already been Martin's vis-a-vis in Scared Stiff. Scott turned down the script, upon which Martin asked for Dorothy Malone, his other love interest from Scared Stiff. That same year, Martin also made You're Never Too Young opposite Diana Lynn, who had been his love interest in the two My Friend Irma movies.

Posted by Jaime J. Weinman at 7:32 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind

Hey pallies, likes 'pon discoverin' yester-Dino-day's "Artists and Models patter from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman, likes we remembered 'nother fine post we had by Weinman 'bout this same Dino-subject.
So, through the magic of google blog searchin' we rediscovered the wonderous prose below that Jaime had written way back in December of 2008 at his self tagged  blog "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."

While we had left a comment with Mr. Weinman at the time, we realized that we had never ever shared this with the ilovedinomartin blog readership before, so no time likes the present to do so.
What makes this particular prose so intriguin' is that Jaime as he states in his tag for the post, accents "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points."

As you will read below, Weinman "picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Stories magazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form."  And that particular mag accents "Artists And Models."  It's very very cool how with the help of this issue of Screen Stories Jaime is able to do a great job of explain' some of the hows and whys of the "mysterious missing plot points.

We, as huge huge fans of "Artists And Models" were psyched to have 'gain come 'cross this particular post and be able to share it with all youse Dino-philes.  We salute Mr. Jaime Weinman for his 'specially good scribin' skills in this very informative piece of Dino-literature.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-learnin' and growin', DMP

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points

You all know I'm something of an Artists and Models junkie, and I've always been a little frustrated by the lack of material on it: no DVD extras, little background information, few contemporary articles (as another Martin & Lewis movie, it didn't get much promotion other than alerting people that Dean and Jerry were back again), not even a trailer -- there was a print of the trailer auctioned off on Ebay last week, but I got outbid. Drafts of the scripts and correspondence are presumably available in the Hal Wallis archives at the AMPAS library, but I haven't had an opportunity to go there yet.

In the meantime, though, I picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Storiesmagazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form. (This format would be replaced by the full-length novelization.) The writers for Screen Stories would work on their adaptations based on a copy of the screenplay, but they were not always told about changes that had been made to the script after they got their copy, or scenes that were filmed but cut prior to release. That means that sometimes a "Screen Stories" version will contain dialogue or plot points that were cut from the movie. The Artists and Models adaptation was in this issue I picked up, and in lieu of a script, I thought I'd look at it to see if there were any story points that would clarify some of the perplexing plot gaps in the movie.< As I mentioned in a previous post, the plot sort of falls apart in the third act because the spies inexplicably switch from pursuing Dean Martin to pursuing Jerry Lewis -- without ever actually finding out that Lewis is the one who actually created Vincent the Vulture -- and also because Lewis never finds out that Martin has been turning his dreams into a comic book. (Brief plot recap: Lewis has dreams about a lurid superhero adventure; because he talks in his sleep, Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind; a detail from Lewis's dreams turns out to be identical to a secret government formula, and both the Russians and the Feds want to know more about the source of this comic book.)

If the Screen Stories piece is based on the script, then there was supposed to be a scene that would have cleared up both of these points. It's in the scene before the Artists and Models ball, where Rick (Martin) is helping Eugene (Lewis) get ready, while an evil Russian spy (the improbably cast Jack Elam, who apparently loved this change-of-pace part) listens in. In the film, the scene just has Rick and Eugene doing the old comedy fancy-dress routine ("I can't keep this dicky down, Ricky!") followed by Rick telling Eugene that he'll meet the "Bat Lady" at the ball, followed by a cut to Elam listening in. But the scene was apparently supposed to be longer: while looking for an article of clothing, Eugene discovers a copy of the "Vincent the Vulture" comic with Rick's name on it, leading to the following dialogue:

EUGENE: You've been working for Murdock! How could you write a thing like this?

RICK: But I didn't write the book. I just drew it.

EUGENE: Then who wrote it? I want to know who's got the dirty, filthy, nasty mind to dream that story up.

RICK: All right, you have. You dreamed it up. That story is out of your little subconscious. That's what you talk when you talk in your sleep. But don't worry, I didn't cheat you. Half the loot's in the bank in your name.

EUGENE: You mean I dreamed this dirty, nasty, filthy story?

RICK: You got talent, Eugie. You're Steubendale's Edgar Allen Poe.

Then the Jack Elam character was supposed to overhear this, which explains how the Russian spies know that Eugene, not Rick, is the creator of Vincent the Vulture.

I don't know if this scene was cut from the movie due to length (at 108 minutes it's unusually long for a M&L comedy) or if they just ran out of time to film it; because this movie went over budget, several scenes were planned but not made. It seems strange that one of the parts they would choose to do without is the part that's necessary for the whole plot to make sense, but that's Artists and Models for you; it's not a movie where logical resolutions or sensible plot construction are very important. If they had to choose between cutting this scene and cutting the dicky scene, I kind of see why they went for the latter -- in this movie at least. 

It wasn't planned that way, and I know that I'm really excusing away some serious flaws of storytelling, but the story problems just don't matter to me the way they would in a less crazy film. In the finished film, the thing that gives it some kind of coherence is not the story but the sense of mounting strangeness; every scene is a little more outlandish than the last, as if the movie starts off making fun of Eugene's "wild comic-book dreams" and ends up becoming one. The Godard comparison is still one that sticks with me; Pierrot Le Fou, which I've called his most Tashlinesque film, starts out with a story that makes some kind of logical sense and winds up as a series of wild stream-of-consciousness cartoon sequences.

Not that there aren't plenty of improvements in the finished film. In this version, when Rick runs out looking for Eugene, who is dressed in a giant mouse costume, and Sonia, dressed as the Bat Lady, he asks "Did a woman in a bat costume and a tall thin rat come out?" In the movie, Eugene is dressed in a heavily-padded mouse costume so that Rick can say one of my favorite lines ever: "Did a bat and a fat rat come out here?"

Also it seems like the original script probably had more references to the idea that comic books are genuinely bad for children -- in one scene as recapped in Screen Stories, Rick sees kids acting violent due to the influence of his Vincent the Vulture comics, and that gives him the impetus to quit drawing the comic. (The scene where he quits is in the movie, but with very little setup.) Tashlin really wasn't kidding about not liking mass-market newsstand comics; at the time the film came out, he gave a short interview where he tried to draw a distinction between good cartooning, which is what he did, and violent trashy comics ("I don't know why kids would read that when Treasure Island is so much more exciting"). But because a lot of the anti-comics lines didn't make it into the final film, the movie as it stands has an almost even balance between anti-comics satire and satire of people who are againstcomics, making it a more good-natured and interesting look at the cultural moment than it might have become.

If the recap is accurate, there was also supposed to be a scene at the Artists and Models Ball which would explain how Dean Martin gets back together with Dorothy Malone and why she arrives with the federal agents near the end of the picture. This is pretty well expendable, though; neither of those things really need explaining. But it seems a shame to lose any scene with Malone in her ball costume, perhaps my favorite of all the many great, surreal Edith Head costumes in the film. (In a strange way it does seem to convey the idea that if you crossed a prim comic-book artist with a Vegas showgirl, this is what she'd wear.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Martin and Lewis play roommates, one a suave stud, the other a childlike idiot.

Hey pallies, likes how cool is it that the minin' of one piece of Dino-treasure will often led to more Dino-gold as well.  Case in point.  Just the other day on Monday of this very Dino-week  we shared with you a bit of Dino-funnin' from the blog, "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" that featured a random page from one of the Dino and Jerry comic books.  Well, likes as we often do, we thought we would just search the site for more Dino-delight...and indeed likes we found some!

What we uncovered was a powerful post scribed by Mr. Jaime Weinman who seems to be as smitten as we are by that great great Martin and Lewis classic big screen flick, "Artists And Models."  the "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" pad obviously is a place that often accents comic books and truly truly "Artists And Models" is like the filmed comic book 'bout comic books.

We likes totally totally digs the prose and vid clips that Mr. Weinman has assembled in stunnin'ly speakin' of his passion for what we too consider to be our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partners bestest of bestest film.  Youse Dino-holics seemly need to take the time to bask in each and every word that Weinmen has put to patter!

We salute Mr. Jaime Weinman for his most well scribed review of "Artists and Models" certainly encouragin' his readership to watch this all most perfect Dino-effort.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  And, stop back tomorrow 'cause we have found even more Dino-devotion scribed by Weinman 'bout "Artists And Models."  Dino-delightedly, DMP

My Favourite Comic Book Movie, or How To Keep the Tarnish Off Brass Knuckles
Posted by Jaime Weinman
Published in Comics, Flicks

I once described myself as an “Artists and Models junkie,” which is not a description you hear very much outside France. We all can name movies that somehow manage to bring together a lot of the things we like, and this 1955 film by Frank Tashlin, which I watched again recently, has always been the movie that sums up a lot of things I like about the movies. And one of the things that perversely makes it more interesting to me is that it’s a confused movie: though it’s a satire of comic books and the influence of comic books on children, writer-director Tashlin doesn’t seem completely clear about what his attitude is to the things he’s satirizing. So it’s not only a funny movie, it’s like an exhibit for how a movie can get away from its creators and wind up saying things they didn’t quite intend. In this case, it’s a time capsule for confused, ambiguous attitudes toward comic books at the height of the ’50s anti-comics craze.

First, some background: Artists and Models was Tashlin’s first film with the superstar comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. (He made one more film with the team, Hollywood or Bust, and then made six more films with Lewis starring and producing.) Martin and Lewis play roommates, one a suave stud, the other a childlike idiot; I’ll let you guess who plays which character. Lewis is obsessed with violent comic books, particularly a book called “The Bat Lady,” which he reads to find out “if the Bat Lady’s gonna blow one of the Rat Man’s heads off.” Lewis also talks in his sleep about the adventures of an entirely original superhero, “Vincent the Vulture.”

Later in the film, Martin is invited to pitch ideas to gore-crazed comics publisher Eddie Mayehoff — whose comics empire is actually controlled by his ex-wife, and who falls out with the Bat Lady artist (Dorothy Malone) for submitting a comic with “no blood, not one itsy-bitsy nosebleed… no stranglings, no decapitations.” In desperation to come up with something suitably gory, he starts pitching the story Lewis told in his sleep, and it’s accepted. He can’t tell Lewis, though (how he manages to publish a comic under his own name without his roommate finding out is something the movie doesn’t care about, and neither should we), because Lewis has been turned against violent comics and is teaming up with Malone to create a more suitable kids’ entertainment, “The Adventures of Freddie Fieldmouse.” In a parody of the Senate hearings on comic books, Lewis goes on a panel show (hosted by a real TV host of the era, Art Baker), to explain that comics ruined his life by making him “a little retarded.”

Malone’s roommate is the young Shirley MacLaine, who also acts as Malone’s live-action reference for drawing the Bat Lady character. MacLaine is obsessed with horoscopes and numerology (I mean her character is, in this case), decides that she’s destined to love Lewis. So Shirley tries to get him to stop obsessing over comic-book women and get interested in dating an actual woman.

And as if all this wasn’t enough plot, Lewis’s dreams turn out to contain a formula similar to a secret U.S. rocket fuel formula, and when the comic book comes out, Russian spies — along with sexy Hungarian commie agent Eva Gabor — descend on Martin and Lewis to try and get access to his dreams. Some fans of the film thinks it goes off the rails once the spy plot is introduced; I think it works, because it marks the point where the movie literally becomes what it originally seemed to be satirizing: these people’s lives are indistinguishable from the insane comic books that corrupted Lewis’s mind. Also it’s inherently funny to see serious-looking U.S. authority figures reading “Vincent the Vulture.”

But if the movie seems to come down on the side of wild comic-book reality, that definitely wasn’t Tashlin’s intention going into the project. Tashlin had done newspaper comics, he’d directed Looney Tunes cartoons, and he had written some excellent children’s books. All of these professions were held in more esteem, at the time, than comic books, and Tashlin really did seem to see Artists and Models as his chance to slam the shoddy, cheap comics that had made a mockery of cartooning. He even said so while the movie was in production, telling a newspaper that the movie would express his feelings about comic books, that the only good comic books on the market were “the historical classics” (which at the time meant adaptation of classic books in comics form), and that he didn’t see why kids wanted to read comics when “Treasure Island is so much better.” He said that as a cartoonist he had done some hack work to make money, but that things had gotten worse in the comic book era.

That anti-comics attitude is all over the movie, of course, since the main comic book reader is Jerry Lewis. Any movie that implies that reading comics will turn you into Jerry Lewis is making a very strong case against reading such things. In case that wasn’t bad enough, the other comic book reader in the movie is Richard (George Winslow) a kid who has been turned into a homicidal maniac by reading comic books (and who also calls Shirley MacLaine “mop-head,” which is as accurate a description of her haircut as any).

But several things happened to make the movie’s attitude much more ambiguous than Tashlin’s own. First, a lot of the anti-comics plot points didn’t make it into the movie, and the ones that did were more anti-corporate than anti-comics. Martin was originally supposed to quit comics after he sees kids imitating the violent actions of his comic book superhero. But in the finished film, he quits after seeing the way his publisher is merchandising the character:

Like most good satirists, Tashlin couldn’t ignore the absurdity in any argument, even the arguments he supported. So the anti-comics crusaders, like Richard’s mother, are portrayed as prissy fools, and Malone, the comic book artist who doesn’t want to draw superhero comics any more, is portrayed as a humorless prig who needs to lighten up. (But, like all the women in the movie who aren’t Kathleen Freeman, absurdly hot nonetheless.)

And finally, as I said, the movie starts like a semi-normal light comedy and gets more and more wild and absurd until it becomes totally insane. This is partly because Tashlin never filmed some script pages that would have tied up the loose ends of the plot. But it’s also because when you watch the movie from beginning to end, it’s like the whole story is taking Lewis’s side, turning the world into a riot of action, splashy color, sexy spies and world-domination plots, just like a comic book.

Intentionally or not, final effect is to make us feel like comics, the shame of the ’50s, aren’t really so different from movies, the ultimate middlebrow family entertainment. The ’60s and ’70s directors who loved this movie (like Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette, whose movie Celine and Julie Go Boating was sort of an homage to Artists and Models) certainly thought so.
So it’s a movie that has a lot to say about why there was so much worry and panic about comic books in 1955; it’s also a movie that, almost unwittingly, tells us why movies and comic books have now became interchangeable.

Also, it’s got a scene where a chiropractor and/or massage therapist twists Jerry Lewis’s body into a human pretzel. Which satisfies both our need for cartoon slapstick and our need to see Jerry Lewis suffer great pain.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dean, you weren't very tall last night

 Hey pallies, likes today's Dino-gram to all youse Dino-holics likes ain't what we planned 'cause our partner-in-Dino-devotion none other then our great great pallie Danny-o of "Sunday Serenade With Dino" fame has sent us a really really cool piece of Dino-treasure to pass on to all youse Dino-philes.
Likes don't know how Danny discovered this, but it is a remarkable read that needs to get to our pallies here at ilovedinomartin asap.

What Danny found comes from the blog "Stars And Letters - Letters From Hollywood's Golden Age' where a Miss Clarissa Saunders hold forth.  Accordin' to her bio Miss Saunders is "forty-something, Amsterdam-based and a lover of classic Hollywood films. This blog is my bundle of letters, notes, telegrams, memos etc. written by or addressed to those who made movies during Hollywood's Golden Age. "

Her blog post, "Dean, you weren't very tall last night" is 'bout some telegram correspondence between Mr. John Wayne and our most beloved Dino durin' January 1969.  The subject matter of the written words between the Duke and our Dino concerns Mr. Wayne's concern of how our King of Cool joked about then vice president  Spiro Agnew durin' one of his shows.  We leave it to you to read Wayne's concerns and our Dino's response.

We wanna says our thanks to both our Dino-focused pallie Danny-o for bringin' this to our attention, and, of course, to Miss Clarissa Saunders for sharin' this hugely hugely historic Dino-literature....helpin' each and every one of us pallies grow deeper and deeper in our Dino-appreciato.
To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-awed, DMP

20 October 2014

Dean, you weren't very tall last night

John Wayne was one of Hollywood's most prominent Republicans. In 1968, the Republican Party asked him to run for president thinking it could profit from Wayne's huge popularity. Wayne declined as he believed people would not take a Hollywood actor in the White House seriously. So instead of running for president himself, he publicly supported Republican candidates such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan (even though Reagan had been an actor too).

On 20 January 1969, Richard Nixon and vice-president Spiro Agnew took office. Wayne, who had actively campaigned for Nixon-Agnew, was not amused after friend and fellow actor Dean Martin had made jokes about the vice-president during a show. On 24 January, Wayne sent a telegram to Martin reprimanding him for his conduct. Four days later Martin sent Wayne his reply. Both telegrams can be read below.


Source: heritage auctions/ image reproduced with permission


Telegram- January 24, 1969 
10:10 AM 
(operator DJ)

Mr. Dean Martin
601 Mountain Drive
Beverly Hills, Calif.

Dear Dino:

You weren't very tall last night. Spiro Agnew is Vice President of the United States of America.


Source: heritage auctions/ image reproduced with permission


1969, JAN 28 PM 3 20




John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks' great western "Rio Bravo" (1959). They would appear together in one other western, "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Never try to start reading a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comic halfway through. It will only lead to sorrow.

Hey pallies, likes we shares with all youse Dino-philes today what musta be one of the most random Dino-postin's we have ever come 'cross.  While doin' some more of our extra credit google blog Dino-searchin' we happened upon this very very hip web pad tagged "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" where on September 23 in the year of our Dino 2008 some dude shared what they tagged "The most random panel in comic book history."

That "panel" just happens to comes from volume 34 of "The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis."  It features Jerry proclaimin' to our Dino and a beautiful babe, "Today I am a Leprechaun."
And what is our great man's great reply?  "Jerry don't bother us at a time like this!  We have to catch the potato-jackers!"  Takin' the page outta the context of the whole comic book leaves readers to ponder purely provocative and extremely evocative Dino-thoughts for sure!

We thank the "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" pallie who has given us lush laughter this very Dino-day!  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  Dino-funnin', DMP

From The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis #34.
Never try to start reading a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comic halfway through. It will only lead to sorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: "In Napoli"

Welcome back pals! How's life? Hopefully all is well & this week's Serenade is findin' you in good spirits.

Well pallies...leaves are startin' to fall. Days have grown shorter. Thins' REALLY showin ALL signs of Autumn huh?
Now besides bein' THE SPOOKIEST & one of the COOLEST months of the year...October just so happens to be Italiano heritage month! least that's what we call it here in BEA U TI FUL Worcester, Massachusetts! Yes sir! Haha! the spirit of ALL the cool cool paisanos , like Mr. & Mrs. Gaetano Crocetti, who brought their GREAT GREAT son, Dino, & Italian traditions to America...I decided to celebrate today with a little, "In Napoli"!
This tune is SO SO pretty & the vid has such BEA U TI FUL pics of  WON DER FUL Italy...not to mention Dean's smooth smooth croonin' can almost taste the vino & foods of "the old country"! Ahhhh what a place to be.

So pals, in honor of our Italiano brothers & sisters & ALL our Dino-lovin' pals out there...this one's for youse!
Did I mention that my great grandparents came to America from the Abruzzo region of Italy... just like Dino's fam? No? Oh. never mind then. Hahaha! I couldn't resist sharin' that one, pals! Ha! Enjoy!   

In Napoli beside the sea
It happened on a night like this
In Napoli our hearts were free
And we surrendered to a kiss
There 'neath the stars I saw heaven in her eyes
There 'neath the stars I knew this was paradise
All through the night in sweet delight
We shared the tenderness of love
But with the dawn my love was gone
Just like the fading stars above
My lonely heart cries out, "Please come back to me"
Beside the sea in dear old Napoli
There 'neath the stars I saw heaven in her eyes
There 'neath the stars I knew this was paradise
All through the night in sweet delight
We shared the tenderness of love
But with the dawn my love was gone
Just like the fading stars above
My lonely heart cries out, "Please come back to me"
Beside the sea in dear old Napoli

Saturday, October 18, 2014

.......let’s take a look at the films of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!

Hey pallies, likes more and more often we keeps uncoverin' more and more Dino-commentary from the ol' web, stuff that for whatever reason never made it to front and center when first scribed.  Today we visit at the blog, "MovieFanFare" where blogger Blair Kramer has created a Martin and Lewis centered post tagged "Jerry and Dean's List."  Likes from the get-go we gotta 'fess up that we have a number of disagreements with Kramer's efforts.

First of all the team was always always known as Martin and Lewis, but as you will note Blair puts it the other 'way 'round...."Jerry and Dean's List."  Next instead of declarin' that Martin and Lewis was the greatest comedic team of all time, they rate our Dino and Jerry much lower on the list.

But, likes when Blair gets to his brief reviews and recomendations of the Martin and Lewis big screen efforts, mostly mostly they are favored, but likes not all.  We were most most surprised when Kramer gots to our most fav of fav Martin and Lewis flick, "Artists And Models"....which we consider almost practically perfect, the review sez, "An intellectually hollow attack against the comic book industry inspired by an equally intellectually hollow book called “Seduction of the Innocent.” Shame on Dean and Jerry for making this awful film that is only notable for one thing: Shirley MacLaine‘s first movie appearance.  Please Skip It!"  Not just "skip it," but "Please Skip It!."

So, while we have mucho much different perspectives on mucho much of what Blair Kramer has scribed, we still say thank you very much for doin' your part to introduce the Martin and Lewis comedies to your readership.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.   Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

Jerry and Dean’s List

05.21.12 | Blair Kramer

OK. So they weren’t Laurel and HardyHope and Crosby, or The Marx Brothers. But Martin and Lewis were certainly one of the most successful comedy teams to ever achieve film stardom. And, believe it or not, to this day some of their films are still actually quite funny. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at the films of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!
My Friend Irma (1949). Jerry’s familiar “monkey” character (as Jerry famously referred to himself) was introduced fully formed in this movie. But it all happened by accident. When originally cast as a “normal” person, Jerry just wasn’t funny. As a result, a completely new buffoonish character was created for Jerry to play. It allowed him to be the slapstick clown with whom we are all familiar. And of course, history was made.My Friend Irma is a bit dated but Dean Martin was surprisingly good as a romantic leading man. And a very young Jerry Lewis is something to behold! Recommended.
My Friend Irma Goes West (1950). A film producer who offers Dean a movie deal eventually proves to be an escaped lunatic! Unfortunately, the gang is already headed for Hollywood before the truth is known. So they stop in Las Vegas where they run afoul of a gangster and engage in some over the top slapstick craziness. As a result, Irma and Jerry are actually offered a GENUINE movie deal! Recommended.
At War With the Army (1950) is a military comedy about two entertainers serving in the army. It offers a few decent moments (such as Dean’s imitation of Bing Crosby and Jerry’s imitation of Barry Fitzgerald), but is otherwise forgettable. Skip It.
That’s My Boy (1951). Possibly the best Martin and Lewis film, That’s My Boy takes a look at how some parents just can’t accept the fact that their children must be allowed to make their own choices. Dean is asked to help Jerry become a famous football star like Jerry’s father. But Jerry just doesn’t have what it takes, until… Recommended.
Sailor Beware (1951). Dean wants to go to sea to serve his country. Jerry wants to go to sea for his health. Slapstick nonsense ensues. Fortunately, the comedy keeps it all afloat (such as Jerry remaining topside on a submerging submarine!). Recommended.
Jumping Jacks (1952). More military hijinks as Dean goes from nightclub entertainer to army paratrooper. When he asks Jerry, his civilian partner, to help him stage a show, Jerry is forced to pretend that he too is an army paratrooper! Wonderful comedy ensues when the boys get involved in decidedly crazy war games!Recommended.
The Stooge (1953). I suspect that the script for this film may have contributed to the end of the Martin and Lewis partnership. Dean plays one half of a successful stage act who decides that he no longer needs his partner. Unfortunately, his solo act flops big time. So he hires clueless shlub Jerry to heckle from the audience and engage in “spontaneous” banter. In other words, Jerry becomes an anonymous “stooge.” The Stooge is a very curious film that may well have hit a little too close to home for Martin! Recommended.
Scared Stiff (1953). Boring remake of Bob Hope‘s early 40′s comedy The Ghost Breakers. The boys find themselves sparring with zombies and ghosts within a creepy haunted mansion in pre-Castro Cuba. It’s just too bad the film isn’t funny. Skip It.
The Caddy (1953). In this variation of That’s My Boy, Jerry’s golf pro dad wants Jerry to overcome his fear of crowds and join the pro circuit. To that end, he hires Dean to take golf lessons from Jerry and in so doing, drag Jerry out of his shell. But when Dean proves talented enough to actually turn pro, Jerry becomes Dean’s caddy! This film isn’t a hole-in-one but it offers some great golf-related slapstick. Recommended.
Money from Home (1953). Dean is a gambler in the mid 1920′s who is forced by a mobster to fix a horse race. Complications set-in when he falls in love with the young woman who owns the horse. The climactic slapstick horse race features Jerry as an out of control jockey! Gee… I wonder who wins the race…?Recommended.
3 Ring Circus (1954). Dean takes a job in a circus after leaving the army, allowing his pal Jerry to tag along. This film is worth a look just to see Jerry perform as a genuine circus clown. Recommended.
Living It Up (1954). If only! Lackluster remake of a much better late ‘30s film called Nothing Sacred. Jerry’s doctor (Dean) mistakenly tells Jerry that he has a terminal illness (in this case, radiation poisoning!). So they go on a fling with a couple of girls in New York City! I suspect it really was just indegestion! Skip It.
Artists and Models (1955). An intellectually hollow attack against the comic book industry inspired by an equally intellectually hollow book called “Seduction of the Innocent.” Shame on Dean and Jerry for making this awful film that is only notable for one thing: Shirley MacLaine‘s first movie appearance.  Please Skip It!
You’re Never Too Young (1955). In this remake of Billy Wilder‘s The Major and The Minor, Jerry poses as an 11-year-old boy hiding out in an all-girls’ school. That’s because evil Jewel thief Raymond Burr has hidden a priceless diamond in Jerry’s clothing and he’ll do ANYTHING to get it back! The climactic chase with Jerry on water skis is also priceless! Recommended.
Pardners (1956). Parody of Western movies with Dean and Jerry as partners who go West to take back land that their fathers’ (once again, Dean and Jerry) lost to evil bad guys many years ago. Fortunately, the film contains enough rootin’ tootin’ slapstick to make it worthwhile. Side note: Rumors were flying at the time that the boys were on the brink of professional divorce. So Dean and Jerry broke character near the end of the film to speak directly to the audience. They assured everyone that their partnership was solid and that they would continue to make films together. Yeah. Right. Recommended.
Hollywood or Bust (1956). No they wouldn’t. No they didn’t. Fortunately, Dean and Jerry’s mutual animosity didn’t show on screen in their final film together. Con man Dean forces Jerry to share the brand new car that Jerry won in a sweepstakes. They head for Hollywood together, acquiring a slobbering Great Dane pooch along the way! But when Dean falls for a na├»ve, young lass in Las Vegas, he decides to turn over a new leaf.Hollywood or Bust has plenty of laughs, as well as plenty of ghosts. Jerry said that he and Dean never spoke a word to each other off-camera during its filming. He also said that it’s the one Martin and Lewis film he’s never seen. Too much pain. Recommended.
Next:  Jerry Lewis goes it alone.