Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Image result for Dean Martin "Non Dimenticar" live

Hey pallies, likes it's the end of the joyous month of June, and as we have been powerfully ponderin' just where to place our final awesome accent on our month long coolest of cool celebration of The Day That Coolness Came To Earth, we have chosen to once 'gain share our potently personal perspective on our Dino's amazin' descent   to our planet, The Day That Coolness Came To Earth, that we first posted here on the centennial anniversary of our most beloved  Dino's birth three Dino-years 'go.

We tagged that post NEVER FORGET DINO and it follows below.  We gotta 'fess up that our love for our Dino continues to grow with each new Dino-day  and we continue our mission passionately of doin' our little part of makin' sure that the life, times, and teachin's of our Dino continue to be lifted up so that truly truly WE WILL NEVER EVER FORGET DINO!

Hey pallies, likes it's here pallies....the centennial celebration of THE DAY THAT COOLNESS CAME TO EARTH.  It is exactly one hundred years ago this very Dino-day that our most most beloved Dino descended to our planet, bein' born in Stuebenville, Ohio, the first born child of  Italian Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti and   Angela Barra Crocetti.

Touchin' 'n tender tributes have begun powerfully pourin' in from all parts of the known Dino-world, and we are simply doin' our best to gets the lovin' links recorded in draft format, and as time permits to gets 'em swankly shared with pertinent patter scribed by us for all your Dino-readin' enjoyment. Likes we are now guessin' that these huge huge homages of our one and only Dino will pour into at least July, if not August and September as we hopes to share each and everyone with all youse Dino-philes!

Likes we have waited long for this day to come, and truth be told pallies, we have pondered long and hard what we here at ilovedinomartin woulda shares with other Dino-holics who gather 'round this humble little Dino-waterin' hole.  What oughta be ilovedinomartin's unique contribution to our reverent remembrance of the life, times and teachin's of our Dino.

Well, we ain't gonna tries to gives youse more facts and figures 'bout the life and times of our King of Cool, but openly opine 'bout just how cool our Dino was, is, and will ever be!  It is our thought that our Dino grew hipper, randier and cooler throughout his life....and stays that way in our hearts forever.  We are of the opinion that our Dino's coolness peaked sometime in the early seventies as his personal persona became completely congruent with performance persona.

We hold that our Dino's  journey to complete coolness was absolutely  accelerated by an event in October of 1969 and he never looked back.  It was in 'Vegas baby 'Vegas...our Dino's playground that he consented to have his pix taken with the then Miss USA, Miss Gail Renshaw, and after havin' dinner with her, he was absolutely smitten and made plans to break his ties with his second wife, Jeanne.

Image result for gail renshaw dean martin

While his amorin' of Miss Renshaw cooled in a few months.....Dino eventually moved on to  makin' the scene with Miss Cathy Mae Hawn, who would become wife numero three.  Our Dino traded early to bed, early to rise (for golfin') for makin' the scene with Cathy at such swingin' spots as the Candy Store Discotheque.  Our Dino in this total total transformation of cool chose to wear the mod fashions of the day, let his hair grow longer, likes 'specially his sideburns and even changed the color of his hair.

Image result for dean martin catherine mae hawn

These changes are deeply  documented on episodes of his television show from 1970 onward.  Today. on this coolest of cool awesome anniversary of THE DAY THAT COOLNESS CAME TO EARTH, we are goin' to share what we consider to be an extraordinary example of just how cool our Dino became....sharin' with all youse Dino-holics a Portrait Of A Swinger....Dino '72, awesomely accentin' a Dino-croon from the exquisite episode that aired on .November 23, 1972.

We gotta 'fess up that the seeds of our Centennial Celebration Post began on Sunday, April 23 of this Dino-year when our bestest of best Dino-bro, Danny-o posted his wonderful weekly edition of his Danny G.'s Sunday Serenade With Dino accentin' our swingin' Dino croonin' "Then I'll Be Happy" which you can locate  HERE.
In his swank scribin's our Dino-holic bro Danny sez......

"So...we ALL know...our FEARLESS leader, Dino Martin Peters, TOTALLY digs our Dino bein' his COMPLETELY "RANDIEST"...as he puts it...durin' the 70's. Haha!!

I loves his Dino-descriptions!

Now, pals o mine...it just so happens...I may have stumbled upon a Dino-tune that I aints EVER 'member hearin' before!

It's FUN!
IT'S...IT'S...SWINGINLY 70's!!!

You can see how much fun Dean was havin' at this time of his life!
The "blonde" years...as I call them. Haha!!

I pulled it from Dino's show circa 1972."

We, likes, of course, were marvelously moved by our Danny-o's touchin' 'n tender thoughts, and likes of course greatly greatly grooved on the Dino-croon, which is truly our Dino at his coolest of cool, hippest of hip, randiest of randy.  So, likes that took us on a Dino-search to see what else we coulda finds from the Dino-episode from which "Then I'll Be Happy" came from.

Animated GIF

Likes that special search led us to yet 'nother youtube Dino-vid featurin' the entire episode that first aired on the peacock channel on November 23, 1972 and we featured it in the April 27 post found  HERE.  Well, likes pallies as we were lost in the deepest of deep Dino-wonder as we viewed swank segments of that vid, we fell head-over-heels in Dino-rapture as we watched our most most beloved Dino croonin' the Italiano tune, "Non Dimenticar."

Likes, to our way of Dino-thinkin' this is our Dino at the potently powerfully pinnacle of his makin' his personal persona coolly coolly completely congrugent with his performance  persona.  We feature a terrific trio of the grooviest of groovy gifs from our Dino's live perfect performance....as he pontently pauses to light his Kent cigarette, as he extraordinarily entrances us with his wry look and irresistible glance, and as he completely coolly completes the croon and takes a deep draw on his smoke.....while wearin' his signature tux and sportin' his modishly long side burns....our swingest of swingin' swinger Dino.

So on this 100th Anniversary of THE DAY THAT COOLNESS CAME TO EARTH, we share with youse what we boldly believe is one of the bestest of best examples of our most beloved Dino at his perfect peak of coolness, hipness, and randier then randy.....croonly his virile version of "Non Dimenticar."

Animated GIF

We looked up the lyrics of this stunnin' song and learned that "Non Dimenticar" means "never forget," so it is the potently powerful perfect song to share on this amazin' anniversary of our Dino's descent to our planet.  WE WILL NEVER EVER FORGET OUR MOST BELOVED DINO, and WHAT HE MEANS TO US!  YOU HAVE COMPLETELY CAPTURED OUR HEARTS AND WILL HOLD 'EM FOREVER!  Below are the lovin' lyrics that speaks of our deepest of deep devotion to our one and only Dino

"Non Dimenticar"

Non Dimenticar means don't forget your heart my darling
Don't forget to be all you mean to me

Non Dimenticar my love is like a star my darling
Shining bright and clear
Just because you're here

Please do not forget that our lips have met
And I held you tight dear
Was it dreams ago
My heart felt this glow only just tonight dear

Non Dimenticar although you travel far my darling
It's my heart you'll own so I'll wait alone
Non Dimenticar
Non Dimenticar although you travel far my darling
It's my heart you'll own so I'll wait alone Non Dimenticar

On this day of the coolest of cool celebration of the 100th anniversary of our Dino's descent to  us, we  offer our awe-filled appreciato to our Danny-o, who started us on this Dino-quest, and, of course, our deepest of deep devotion to our Dino, the first, last, and only  reason for ilovedinomartin bein' 'round. Likes, of course, you will note that we have also included the vibrant vid of our Dino croonin' "Non Dimenticar" for your Dino-viewin' Dino-pleasure.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Monday, June 29, 2020

Dean Martin celebrating his birthday with Jerry Lewis through the years along with other special moments between the friends.

Hey pallies, likes as we were preparin' last Saturday's Dino-devotional awesomely accentin' the vibrant vid from June 7, 1989 when our most beloved Dino's most beloved partner, Mr. Jerry Lewis, surprised our King of Cool by bringin' out a huge huge birthday cake while our Dino was performin' at Bally's Grand in our Dino's playground, 'Vegas, baby, 'Vegas, we delightfully discovered that Donazify, who had posted the vid at youtube, had also swankly shared his coolest of cool creation of the vid tagged, "Dean Martin birthday tribute with Jerry Lewis, which was Donazify's  homage to our Dino on his 100th birthday.

This virile vid shared below opens with this most lovin' quotation from Mr. Lewis:   "I miss Dean.   I fell in love with him the day we met.  I wish he were here.   He was a miracle that God put in my life, and working with him was a feeling that I'll never ever forget." -Jerry Lewis"

Next up is a clip from one of the Martin and Lewis Colgate's that we ain't ever remembered seein' before that has Jerry tellin' the audience and the viewin' world 'bout our Dino's up comin' birthday and askin' 'em to join him in "wishing him a happy birthday."

Likes next is our Dino croonin' one of his most memorable tunes, "Memories Are Made Of This," while a mighty marvelous montage of memorable moments between our Dino and Jerry, includin' both potent pixs and cool clips,  The incredible image 'bove of our Dino and Jerry kissin' on the set of "The Stooge" truly shows how much love there is between these partners in comedy.

Finally, this touchin' and tender trib by Donazify ends with those lovin' moments at Bally's Grand when Dino kisses Jerry and they openly profess their love for each other.   We believe that this was the last time that our Dino and Mr. Lewis appeared it public and what a wonderful memories it is not only for our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner, Jerry, but for all us Dino-philes as well.

Likes, once 'again we thank our pallie Donazify for his time, energy, and talent makin' this hugest of huge homage of our Dino and his partner, Mr. Jerry Lewis.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Dean Martin birthday tribute with Jerry Lewis


Dean Martin celebrating his birthday with Jerry Lewis through the years along with other special moments between the friends. In honor of Dean Martin's 100th birthday!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons"

Welcome back, mi amici!

How's Summer 2020 treatin' youse so far?
Pretty damn well here in ol' Massachusetts!

Cants' complain a bit, my friends.

Seems like Mother Nature is on a "Vaca" or somethin'.
Weather has been pretty consistent.
Blue skies.
Steady 80's.
Just bea-u-ti-ful bright days & calm breezy nights, pallies.

And even this damn virus seems to be on a downward trend, here...at the moment, anyway.

Amen to that & Fingers crossed!

So as we wind down this cool cool month long celebration of "The Day That Coolness Came to Earth"...I just gots to thinkin' 'bout what this particular season has in store for us.

Sure, we'll have plenty of hot & humid days.
Some beachin' & poolin'...thins' like that...hopefully.

But, like us all...I wonder if Corona will be controllable someday soon...or will it kick in worse?!

Will the protestors & the politicians ever see eye to eye...or will we always be at each other's throats?!

Our world seems to be spinnin' the wrong way, mi amici!
It's 'nough to drive us all mad!

I guess we got plenty to dwell on as we're chillin' out at home.

But what else, pals?
Everyones goin' stir crazy!
What can we all do all Summer long??!!

Knowin' myself...not too much!

I'm more of a chill out kinda fella, anyway.

Probably the way our bestest pal, Dino was.

We all read how he was mostest happy just relaxin' on a golf course or watchin' a western at home.

Yup, that was Dean...& that is me.
I know...I know...I'm always lookin' for any & every little similarity 'tween Dino & myself.
But, hey!
Why not?!
Who better to compare to & model after?
Am I right, pallies?


And guess what else?

When I'm chillin' & doin' ab so lute ly nothin'...I'm actually...usually...thinkin' 'bout my past.
Yea, that's me too.
Forever melancholy.

Well, pals...just so happens...that as i'm ponderin' those days & Summers gone by...Dean seems to be in just 'bout every thought.

The background music to my life.

The people I've known.
The places I've gone.

They all seem to somehow have Dino attached.

What can I say, my friends? He's my inspiration.
A connectin' energy that links it ALL together.

Today's Serenade..."I Love You, For Sentimental Reasons"...is one of those Dino-jams that goes through my thoughts all the time.

Perfect background to my memories of perfect Summers.

Let's check it out & see where it brings youse, mi amici.
Maybe back to last year.
Maybe takes you on a new journey forward!
Now THAT'S a great thought!

Either way, pallies...It's GREAT havin' Dino walkin' along with you!
Guidin' us through it all!


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Jerry Lewis surprises Dean Martin at his birthday celebration at Bally's 1989.

Jerry Lewis, 1989, presenting Dean Martin with a cake for Dean's ...
Hey pallies, likes as we were reverently ruminatin' 'bout our most beloved Dino's birthday, we felt very much led by our Dino to search google images with the terms Dean Martin birthday, and the incredible image 'bove awesomely appeared on the 'puter screen.   Likes we remembered readin' 'bout our Dino's 72nd birthday while he was playin' in his playground, 'Vegas baby 'Vegas, at Bally's Grand on June 7, 1989.  That's the eventful evenin' when his beloved partner Mr. Jerry Lewis beautifully brought out that huge huge cake on stage durin' our Dino's performance.

Likes seein' the powerfully potent pix sent us to wonderin' if perhaps there just mighta be a youtube vid that captured these marvelous moments of Dino-history...and indeed we immediately found the vibrant vid below that completely, coolly captured this touchin' and tender time between our our beloved Dino and his most beloved partner in comedy, Mr. Jerry Lewis.

Havin' found both the pix and the vid, it further mightily  motivated us to search that greatest of great Dino-bio, "DINO: Living High In The Dirty Business Of Living" by supreme scriber Mr. Nick Tosches for his remarkable reflections on this sweet sweet movin' moment between our Dino and Mr. Lewis.  Here is how Tosches' perfect prose remembers it"

He knew where he was, and he knew who that was, wheeling out the big birthday cake toward him on the stage of Bally's Grand.   The monkey look good.   God bless him since he'd gotten off the shit.   Open- heart surgery agreed with him.

"Here's to seventy-two years of joy you've given the world," Jerry said, "and why we broke up, I'll never know."

Yes.   Seventy-two.  He knew. Seventy-two  years ago today.  The little house on Sixth Street.  The feast of St. Anthony.

"You surprised me," he said.  It was true.   "I love you," he said, "and I mean it."

We gotta 'fess up pallies that as we read, and then listened to on the vid, the luminously  lovin' wonderful words spoken between our Dino and Jerry, our heart was wonderfully warmed and when we saw our Dino kiss Jerry and saw the almighty affection that they truly have for each other, our heart was filled to overflowin' with Dino-happiness.

We give grateful gratitude to a pallie tagged Donazify, who posted the youtube vid; to the pallie who posted the Dino-image on the 'net; to Mr. Nick Tosches for his swank scribin' of his Dino-tome; to Mr. Jerry Lewis for his joyful grandest of grand gesture of surprisin' our Dino on his '72 birthday; and most of all to our mighty marvelous majestic Dino for, as Mr. Lewis sweetly stated, "years of joy you've given the world."

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Jerry Lewis surprises Dean Martin at his B'day '89

Jerry Lewis surprises Dean Martin at his birthday celebration at Bally's 1989. From the Joe DiCesare collection.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The National Italian American Foundation Wishes Our Dino Happy Birthday!

Hey pallies, likes today we takes all youse Dino-philes to yet 'nother powerfully potent platform on the ol' world wide web for yet 'nother powerfully potent presentation hugely homagin' our most most most beloved Dino on the 103rd amazin' anniversary of our King of Cool's descent to our humble planet on June 7, 1917, that which we speakth here at our little ilovdinomartin conclave as The Day That Coolness Came To Earth.

Likes in doin' some on-goin' Dino-researchin' at our pallie google's supreme search engine, we arrived at the Twitter site for The National Italian American Foundation (official logo noted on the left).  The NIAF  "is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes Italian American culture and heritage," so likes it's a no brainer that they woulda wanna shouts out to the world their reverent remembrance of one of their own, and as they sez in their precious post, that our Dino "was one of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century.

We gotta 'fess up that it totally totally thrills us to find such a mighty marvelous mixture of Dino-adulation comin' from such a mighty marvelous mixture of swank sources simply continually to delightfully demonstrate how far and wide, how high and deep, likes how totally ubberly universal is the absolute amore pallies everywhere have for our King of Cool.  We thanks the outstandin' organization o the National Italian American Foundation for proudly professin' their deepest delight in our one, our only Dino!  To checks this out in it's original source, likes simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Happy Birthday to #DeanMartin who would be 103 years old today! Born Dino Paul Crocetti, (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), Martin was an American actor, singer and comedian. He was one of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

On This Day In Dino-history: June 25, 1952

Hey pallies, likes once 'gain we are incredibly indebted to our pallies at google Dino-'lerts for this  delightful  Dino-devotion on this 25th day of June.  Likes we were sent by a Dino-lert to the online presence of  "stl TODAY - ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, where we learned  that each and every day of their powerful publication of this noteworthy newspaper they sweetly  share "a curated collection of some of the best AP images that were taken from that date."

Likes this Dino-day, the folks at stl TODAY   shared an incredibly intriguin' image of our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner in comedy, Mr. Jerry Lewis, in a tangle with orchestra leader  Mr. Dick Stabile on a movie lot on June 25, 1952.  Likes we did a little internet searchin' and we discovered that this Dino 'n Jerry pose was captured on the set of Martin 'n Lewis fabulous flick "The Stooge."

We thinks it is such a cool idear to feature Dino-pixs on the Dino-day of the year that they were shot, so we will try and be on the Dino-lookout for more primo opps to does just that.  We thanks the pallies at google Dino-'lerts and the pallies at stl TODAY for givin' this choice chance to share 'nother energetically engagin' incredible image of our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner, Mr. Jerry Lewis.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

25 head-turning photos that were taken on June 25

The Associated Press has won 31 Pulitzer prizes for photography, since the award was established in 1917. Each day we offer a curated collection of some of the best AP images that were taken from that date. Not all of these photos were prize winners, but each of them is certainly tells a story. 

1952: Martin and Lewis

1952: Martin and Lewis
Hijinks in front of film and TV cameras is not enough for Dean Martin, left, and Jerry Lewis, right, as they clown with orchestra leader Dick Stabile on a Hollywood movie lot, June 25, 1952. (AP Photo/Gerald K. Smith)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Happy Birthday My King

Hey pallies, likes we are energetically  enterin'  our last fabulously full wonderful week of our 2020 celebration of the 103 anniversary of our Dino's entrance onto our planet, what we here at ilovedinomartin lovin'ly tag, "The Day That Coolness Came To Earth."  Likes pallies we never ever  tire of fantastically findin' multiple more sweet sources of Dino-adulation and one of the purely powerfully potent places of the deepest of deep Dino-devotion is the incredible Instagram.

 Likes there are literally literally tons of Dino-philes showin' this absolute amore of our Dino via Dino-poses of all swank sorts at Instagram.  Today, with the help of our pallies at google Dino-search we were lovin'ly led to the Instagram home of a chick tagged Jocelyn who tags her presence there as "vintagecelebsdaily."  Her recent Dino-birthday remembrance, "Happy Birthday My King," is a purely potent pose of our most most beloved Dino holdin' on to a microphone while takin' a deep draw on his ever present cigarette.

In doin' a wee bit of Dino-searchin' we can tell all youse Dino-holics was snapped by LIFE mag photographer Mr. Allan Grant in the year of our Dino 1958.  Likes this is truly an iconic image of our incredibly iconic Dino and we sez our thanks to Miss Jocelyn for doin; her perfect part in spreadin' Dino-appreciato to her remarkable readership 'specially on this 103rd anniversary of our King Of Cool's birth.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters


Happy Birthday My King

Happy heavenly 103rd birthday to legendary musician and actor Dean Martin❤️ ♡︎

1 part microphone, 1 part charisma. Stir. Get the quintessential ...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Matt Helm’s Coral Red Jacket in Murderers’ Row

Hey pallies, likes welcome back for a splendid second helpin' of awesomely amazin' adulation of our most beloved Dino as swingin' spyster Matt Helm in Helmer duo, "Murders' Row."  Likes today we vibrantly visit once 'gain with Mr. Nick Guzman, one of the most marvelously magnificent, beautifully bodacious bloggers on the entire world wide web.

Mr. Guzan is that fabulous fashionista who hangs his hat at "BAMF Style -Iconic style from movies and TV" and who deeply digs sharin' potently powerful posts on  our Dino's trendy threads, 'specially as Matt Helm, 'specially from "Murders' Row.

Likes today we are totally totally thrilled to share Nick's February 7, 2020 Dino-devotional tagged
"Matt Helm’s Coral Red Jacket in Murderers’ Row," an incredibly inspirin' installment that we have been savin' for a special Dino-occasion, and what coulda be better then our mighty month-long celebration of our Dino's 103 anniversary of his descent to our proud planet?!?!?!

We gotta 'fess up Dino-holics that, likes ever since we first gloriously gazed on our mighty man Dino in "Murders' Row," which is likes over 50 years 'go we have been swankly supremely smitten with our most beloved Dino spectacularly  sportin' that "coral red jacket" through much of this viral vid.
Likes as youse will read below, Nick has done his yet 'nother wonderfully wise, magical mixin' of
profoundly potent prose and sensationally spectacular screen caps of our Dino in that groovy sport's coat.

Likes, per usual, we coulda pontificate on and on 'bout how greatly grand is Guzman's incredible insights into Dino as Helm, but that woulda just makes all youse Dino-philes have to wait longer to delve deeply into Nick's perfect prose and potent pixs.  So, let's just shout out our awesome appreciato to Mr. Nick Guzan for more awesomely amazin' Dino-prose that brings such Dino-pleasure to our Dino-diggin'!

To checks this out in it's original source at Nick's pad, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Matt Helm’s Coral Red Jacket in Murderers’ Row

Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)
Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)


Dean Martin as Matt Helm, smooth secret agent
New Mexico to French Riviera, Summer 1966
Film: Murderers’ Row
Release Date: December 20, 1966
Director: Henry Levin
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Tailor: Sy Devore
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Today is National Wear Red Day, observed the first Friday of February to raise awareness of the dangers of the heart disease. In recognition, I wanted to feature an example of a movie or TV character prominently wearing red beyond just the usual red shirts, sweaters, or ties. Enter Matt Helm.
After Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to produce loose adaptations of Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm spy novels, they quickly got to work developing a film franchise focused more on spoofing the Bond-mania that was sweeping the world, starring Dean Martin reprising his lounge lizard stage persona as the American counter-agent. In 1966 alone, the two first two entries—The Silencers and Murderers’ Row—were released back to back.
The quartet of Matt Helm movies eventually produced never garnered much critical acclaim but they were relatively well-received by audiences at the time and, despite following in 007’s footsteps, ostensibly established the more lighthearted, gadget-focused tone that would be aped by James Bond movies during the following decade.
Murderers’ Row even shares a similar premise with You Only Live Twice, the Bond adventure that would be released six months later, as Matt Helm fakes his death at the start of the movie… though Helm’s faked death is played for considerably more comic value, to the extent that a sham wake is held in Helm’s honor at a bar called Chez When, attended by a wealth of past loves. Of course, Helm is alive and well, meeting his boss “Mac” MacDonald for a covert rendezvous at a service station, where Mac assures Matt that he needs to stay “dead” to more effectively complete his next mission:
Mac: Matt Helm is dead, and he’s gonna stay dead.
Matt: Now just a darn minute-
Mac: Direct from the White House, Matt.
Matt: Well, I ain’t votin’ for him again.
The next day, Matt lands via Pan Am flight at Nice-Cote d’Azur airport, still wearing the same clothes as the day before. As Mac assured him, there was an identical Thunderbird waiting for him… as well as a bottle of Scotch to deliver his briefing.
Unfortunately for the functioning alcoholic Helm (but fortunately for his fellow drivers), the Ballantine's bottle in Matt Helm's Thunderbird contained only a briefing... and nary a dram or drop of the good stuff.
Unfortunately for the functioning alcoholic Helm (but fortunately for his fellow drivers), the Ballantine’s bottle in Matt Helm’s Thunderbird contained only a briefing… and nary a dram or drop of the good stuff.
Helm’s task? To track down Dr. Normal Soleris (Richard Eastham), a scientist who has been kidnapped by a secret evil organization led by Dr. Julian Wall (Karl Malden). His “investigation” brings him into contact with Dr. Soleris’ vivacious daughter Suzie (Ann-Margret), first outside a dead lead’s bungalow and again in a dizzying discotheque where he’s wrongly arrested for murder!
Matt: Now, just a doggone minute, I got some rights too. I’m an American citizen.
Police caption: We will play “The Star Spangled Banner” when you’re in the electric chair.
Matt: Ah, then I have to stand up.

What’d He Wear?

When we first see Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row, he’s dressed for comfort during a photo shoot in a matching powder blue knit short-sleeved shirt and elastic-waisted pants. It isn’t until he greets Mac in his Thunderbird that Martin is dressed in Matt’s usual outfit of a tailored jacket and turtleneck.
Production photo of Ann-Margret and Dean Martin in Murderers' Row.
Production photo of Ann-Margret and Dean Martin in Murderers’ Row.
Matt Helm’s sport jackets were typically made from bolder colors and unique cloths, so this coral red single-breasted jacket made from a lightly napped cloth suggestive of cashmere would have a very fitting place in Helm’s wardrobe. While the costume design is credited to the prolific Moss Mabry, I’m not sure if Martin’s clothing was tailored by Sy Devore, the “tailor to the stars” who dressed Dino and his Rat Pack pals in real life up until his death in July 1966.
This red sports coat is fully cut and styled in accordance with the era’s fashions with slim notch lapels and low two-button stance. The jacket has double vents, two-button cuffs, and patch pockets: one on each hip and one on the left breast, dressed with a rich gold satin silk pocket square worn in a rakish puff.
Our turtleneck-loving hero doesn’t let us down, wearing the first of three under his red jacket. This light canary yellow roll-neck is knit from a lightweight material, possibly merino wool or an acrylic blend, and worn untucked.
Matt leans back for a big gulp, revealing the narrowly rolled polo-neck of his yellow skivvy.
Matt leans back for a big gulp, revealing the narrowly rolled polo-neck of his yellow skivvy.
Matt’s slacks are a shade of rust brown that nods toward maroon to coordinate with his red jacket. Likely cut similarly to his other trousers, they are single reverse-pleated with buckle-tab side adjusters, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms.
Matt steps into Dominique's bungalow, blissfully unaware that he'll be arrested for her murder by the end of the day.
Matt steps into Dominique’s bungalow, blissfully unaware that he’ll be arrested for her murder by the end of the day.
Matt completes the look with a pair of brown sueded leather Chelsea boots, a style embraced and popularized by mods of the mid-1960s despite its relatively staid origins a century earlier when Queen Victoria’s shoemaker J. Sparkes-Hall had developed his “patent elastic ankle boots.”
Thanks to countercultural stars like Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles—who commissioned Anello & Davide to modify them into the iconic “Beatle boots”—Chelsea boots were revived by trendsetters on both sides of the pond and remain a mainstay of major shoemakers. My particularly favorite Chelsea boots are the rugged, comfortable, and stylish Blundstone 550, which I own in “antique brown” leather with black outsoles and side gussets.

The Gun

Issued inside Matt Helm’s Thunderbird is a gun case for this new equipment, a Hy Hunter Bolomauser modified AR-7 pistol with a delayed trigger that you can read much more about in this post about the blue double-breasted blazer he wears when using the pistol to greater effect.
Matt finds himself far more interested in…

What to Imbibe

… a fifth of Ballantine’s Finest hidden in a secret compartment within the gun case. The boozehound at the wheel is delighted, until he realizes that the bottle is merely a vessel for his tape-recorded mission briefing.
Drinking, driving, and gunplay... all at the same time? Matt isn't setting a very good example, is he?
Drinking, driving, and gunplay… all at the same time? Matt isn’t setting a very good example, is he?
Dean Martin often incorporated bottles of Scotch into his stage act, particularly his preferred J&B Rare which he drank on the rocks in the first Matt Helm movie, The Silencers. Only Ballantine’s returned as the prominently seen on-screen bottle for Murderers’ Row, perhaps signifying a shift in Dino’s tastes.
The Ballantine’s brand traces its history back to 1827, when George Ballantine opened a small Edinburgh grocery that included a selection of whiskies for sale. George slowly but steadily grew his clientele over the next thirty-odd years until handing over the reins of the store to his son Archibald and focusing more on the spirited spirits trade, eventually creating his own whisky blends. The family name remained over the generations to follow through sales and acquisitions as Ballantine’s continued to grow in popularity in the world market.
Teased by the empty Ballantine’s bottle, Matt pulls out his flask. It isn’t the first we’ve seen him drinking in a car, having brought highballs to his initial front seat briefing with Mac.
At least they're not actually driving!
At least they’re not actually driving!
I can’t stress enough that not only is drinking and driving a bad idea but Helm’s need to actively take pulls from his flask or glass while behind the wheel—played for laughs—is extremely not recommended by this author… even when you’re given a bottle in your government-issued Thunderbird.

The Car

…and let’s talk about that government-issued Thunderbird, shall we? After Matt and Mac toast with highballs in the front seat of Mac’s coupe and get briefed from a sliding TV panel on the dash, Mac reassures Matt that “there’s a car just like this waitin’ for you” at the airfield in Cannes. Indeed, Matt deboards to find a pea green 1966 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau just steps away.
Matt Helm gets acquainted with his latest ride.
Matt Helm gets acquainted with his latest ride.
The Ford Thunderbird was already closing out its fourth generation when Matt Helm’s 1966 model rolled off the production line. The marque was introduced for the 1955 model year as Ford’s response to the sporty Chevrolet Corvette, though Ford wisely positioned its new two-seater Thunderbird as a “personal car” that offered performance-oriented luxury and comfort in a uniquely styled package. The approach worked, and Thunderbirds actually outsold Corvettes by more than 23-to-1 in 1955, the T-Bird’s first year on the market. The Thunderbird underwent some design revisions (including the famous Continental-style spare tire over the rear bumper) and performance upgrades over the next two model years. When the last 1957 Thunderbird rolled off the line following a banner sales year of more than 21,000, it was the last two-seat car that Ford would offer for a quarter century.
The next two iterations of the Thunderbird saw the addition of a back row of seating and, in 1961, a bullet-like redesign that emphasized Space Age sleekness and was only powered by the new 390 cubic-inch V8 engine, mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. The Thunderbird had risen from a boutique novelty to a visible icon of American success, serving as the Indianapolis 500 pace car, composing part of JFK’s inaugural parade, and heavily featured on TV shows like 77 Sunset Strip. The bullet-like third generation gave way to a more squared appearance for the fourth generation, which began with the 1964 model year, as the big three U.S. automakers tried to find their footing in an increasingly performance-focused era.
This fourth generation of the Thunderbird was a transitional period as Ford determined how to balance its initial vision of luxury, the car’s increasing weight, and the trend toward performance-oriented muscle cars. From the start, the Thunderbird had always opted for luxury rather than performance, allowing its GM and Mopar competition to show off at the drag strips. While Ford was unveiling its sprightly Mustang for 1964, it also pushed out a new, even heavier Thunderbird model that required approximately 11 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour, even with the considerably powerful 390 V8 that remained standard. With curb weights topping 4600 pounds, at least 100 more than the prior generation, Ford determined that the Thunderbird would need some added boost if it wouldn’t be totally left in the dust, and—for only $86 more—drivers could upgrade to a 428 cubic-inch V8 offering 345 gross horsepower and a slightly reduced 0-60 time that at least stuck to single digits.
For the 1966 model year, the Landau style option that had been introduced in 1962 was refreshed and replaced by the blind quarter formal-roofed Town Landau that would become the year’s best-selling model, accounting for just over half of 69,176 Thunderbird sales in 1966.
WIKI: “For 1964 the Thunderbird was restyled in favor of a more squared-off appearance, which was mostly evident when viewing the car from the side or rear. Hinting at its roots in the previous generation Thunderbird that it evolved from, the new model retained a similar grille design with quad headlights and a 113.2 inches (2,875 mm) wheelbase. As before, the new Thunderbird continued to be offered in hardtop, convertible, and Landau versions. The 300 horsepower (220 kW) 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8 continued as the standard engine for the Thunderbird. It was paired with a 3-speed automatic transmission. For 1965, sequential turn signals were added, flashing the individual segments of the broad, horizontal tail lights in sequences from inside to outside to indicate a turn. Also new for 1965 were standard front disc brakes, and doubled sided keys. Even though it was the last year of the generation, 1966 saw a stylistic revision for the Thunderbird highlighted by a new egg-crate style grille with a large Thunderbird emblem at its center and a single-blade front bumper. The rear bumper was restyled to include new full-width taillamps. Engine choices were also revised for 1966. The standard 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor produced 315 horsepower (235 kW). Newly optional and taking the top position for performance was a 345 horsepower (257 kW) 428 cu in (7.0 L) FE V8. The 428 cost only $86 over the base engine, and was a popular option.[9] This would be the last year for the convertible until the “retro” models of 2002-05.”
1966 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau
Body Style: 2-door hardtop coupe
Layout: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (RWD)
Engine: 390 cid. (6.4 L) Ford FE V8 with Ford 9510 4-barrel carburetor
Power: 315 bhp (235 kW; 320 PS) @ 4600 RPM
Torque: 427 lb·ft (579 N·m) @ 2800 RPM
Transmission: 3-speed Ford “Cruise-O-Matic” automatic
Wheelbase: 113.2 inches (2875 mm)
Length: 205.4 inches (5217 mm)
Width: 77.3 inches (1963 mm)
Height: 52.7 inches (1339 mm)
Feeling rightly confident that the Mustang was the brand’s contender against GM and Mopar muscle car competition, Ford wisely kept building the Thunderbird in the luxury personal car segment, moving its design upmarket more in line with its Lincoln models. Unfortunately, the convertible option that had been available from the beginning was dropped for 1967 when the even larger fifth generation of the Thunderbird was introduced. Sales would steadily drop until 1971, the last year of the fifth generation which leaned in heavily to the luxury offerings with Neiman Marcus offering a pair of “his and hers” Thunderbirds for $25,000 total.
As usual, each generation of the Ford Thunderbird meant a massive design overhaul until production was quietly discontinued in 1997, closing the tenth generation. A five-year hiatus gave Ford time to refresh, and a retro-influenced eleventh generation of the Thunderbird was introduced in 2002, returning to the original formula of a futuristic two-seater with the first convertible option in more than 35 years. The new Thunderbird was an instant hit with more than 31,000 sold in 2002, but the novelty soon wore off and—after sales failed to break 10,000 in 2005—the Thunderbird was again discontinued with no new models on the roads in the last fifteen years.
Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers' Row (1966)
Dean Martin as Matt Helm in Murderers’ Row (1966)

How to Get the Look

While Dean Martin’s trademark tuxedos often made their way into the final scenes of his Matt Helm adventures, Dino’s attire as the American counter-agent was not surprisingly as laidback as the entertainer himself, consisting of simple items like a sport jacket, turtleneck, trousers, and boots in eye-catching colors that would get Helm maximum attention with minimal fuss.
  • Coral red napped cashmere single-breasted 2-button sport jacket with slim notch lapels, patch breast pocket, patch hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and double vents
  • Yellow turtleneck with ribbed-knit neck, cuffs, and hem
  • Rust brown single reverse-pleated trousers with buckle-tab side adjusters, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Chocolate brown sueded leather Chelsea boots
  • Chocolate brown socks

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the movie or the whole four-film Matt Helm series.

The Quote

I’m sorry I missed my funeral. How’d it go?