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Sixties Cinema - starring fantasy femmes, film fatales, drive-in dream girls and teenage beach movies from the 60's

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Most film buffs remember pretty blonde actress Carol Lynley from The Poseidon Adventure (1972) where she played terrified pop singer Nonnie Parry. This role typecast Carol, with her long golden locks, as the waif-like hippie flower child for most filmgoers.

But for me Carol looked her best with her hair coiffured into the signature Vidal Sassoon hair bob (think Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby) playing against type in two forgetable but-oh-so-fun movies in 1970.

Once You Kiss a Stranger was a camp remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train that pulled a sport and sex switch on the Master. Carol, looking terrific, rolls her eyes as a deranged mini-skirted miss who seduces a dullard married golf pro Paul Burke, and they make a pact to off their adversaries. Burke thinks it is a joke but when Lynley runs his rival over with a golf cart and clubs him to death framing him, the sap sobers up and wants out of the deal. Lynley may be nuts but she is no dummy and has videotaped their lovemaking and conversation and demands he off her shrink or she'll release the edited tape to the cops. (This was quite ahead of its time for 1970!) The film climaxes on the beach with cuckoo Lynley in full Psycho mode as she attempts to run over frumpy Martha Hyer as Burke's wife with a dune buggy!

Norwood reunited True Grit stars Glen Campbell and Kim Darby and surrounded them with a eclectic supporting cast including Joe Namath, Lynley, Dom DeLuise, Fantasy Femme Tisha Sterling, and Meredith MacRae.

Carol plays Yvonne Philips a Southern vixen who accompanies Campbell as naive G.I. Norwood on a road trip to deliver two new cars to a dealership in the Big Apple. Lynley is only on screen for 10 minutes but steals the movie and is a hoot as she bickers with poor Norwood across three state lines. ("My name's not Laverne, it's Yvonne! But I want you callin' me nothing!") When Norwood discovers from Yvonne that the cars are hot ("they are about to burst into flames") he abandons them and her in Illinois--sigh, the last we see of Lynley's amusing character. Clad in a low-cut mini-dress and using a very believable Southern accent, Lynley is the film's standout as she puts down the "country son-of-a-bitch" the entire time. Alas, producers in the 70s never tapped into Lynley's comedic talent and she was rarely cast again in anything humorous.


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