February 2012

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Two decades before A Nightmare on Elm Street there was Nightmare at Elm Manor, a Harrison Marks nudie/horror short from 1961 featuring June Palmer being menaced by Marks’ regular stooge Stuart Samuels. It all starts when June decides  to put on lipstick before going to bed. Not sure what the actual title of the film is as it doesn’t appear on any Kamera film list I’ve seen.

Renown photographer Weegee (a.k.a Arthur Fellig (1899-1966))  befriended George Harrison Marks and Pamela Green when he was in London in the early ’60s. Famed for his graphic crime photos of the ’30s and ’40s few people realise that in 1966, two years before his death, Weegee starred as himself in a nudie cutie exploitation film, intended to be a pseudo-documentary of his life, called The Imp’probable Mr. Wee Gee, in which he falls in love with a mannequin and travels to Paris and London. Very curious…one to look out for sure! Any info on Weegee in London would be much appreciated.

The Imp’probable Mr. Wee Gee is available from Something Weird.

Byron Rogers wrote a collection of articles on tracking down and meeting an array of quirky, whimsical and eccentric individuals, some of which were printed in the Sunday Telegraph a number of years ago. He did a piece on Doug and Pam called The Icon and Dambuster. He also wrote one on the photographer Jean Straker called Squire among the Pin-ups. Both articles are collected in the book On the Trail of the Last Human Cannonball and Other Small Journeys in Search of Great Men. The book is a wonderful read. Available from Amazon.

The Last Human Cannonball: And Other Small Journeys in Search of Great Men

The Last Human Cannonball by Byron Rogers

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The Dambuster and the Bombshell
Douglas Webb
The King’s Breakfast

This three-page comic adaptation, of the scene in which Pam gets murdered, appeared in the Italian magazine Diva: Cinema 1951 -1965. It accompanied the article Dalla parte del mostro PEEPING TOM (1960) and was published back in 1989. I’m afraid I don’t know who the artist is.

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The Filming of Peeping Tom
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Naked as Nature Intended was released in Japan in 1963, two years after its UK release. This is a hansai sized poster, approx. 20.0″ X 28.5″, from that release. The picture is of Pam on a swing at Spielplatz. The photo was originally taken by Douglas Webb. It would be interesting to get hold of a Japanese review of the film.

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Cut scene from Naked as Nature Intended
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Maurice Poole, one of the leading authorities and collector of Windmill Theatre memorabilia, will discuss the history and importance of The Windmill Theatre as well as introduce a rare 1969 documentary and display a collection of colour photographs taken in the early 1940s (taken by the House manager at the time). Also in attendance, two original Windmill Dancers, who will be on-hand for Q&A.

Purchased in 1930 by Laura Henderson and managed by Vivian van Damm (she left the theatre to him after her death in 1944, although van Damm went on to call Mrs. Henderson ‘a great strain on one’s nerves’ in his 1952 memoir), the theatre produced some memorable and elaborate revues. Famed for pioneering tableaux vivants of motionless female nudity (‘if you moved, it’s rude’), The Windmill Theatre was never closed during even the worst times of the Blitz. The phrase ‘we never closed’ quickly and jokingly turned into “we never clothed’ and the theatre went on to thrive during the war.

The theatre was inherited by van Damm’s daughter after his death in 1960 only to close in 1964 and reopen as a cinema. After a decade showing films, the theatre was then reopened as a club by famed impresario Paul Raymond and thrived in the 1970s, only to close for a second time in 1981.

Monday, Feb 6th
Sanctum Hotel, 20 Warwick Street, private cinema downstairs
£5 members, £10 non-members