Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Babe of Yesteryear: Gigi Darlene, Part I: 1961-63

Blonde Babe of Yesteryear Gigi Darlene (4 Mar 1943 – 1 Jan 2002) was one the multitude of attractive, intriguing actresses of New York's low budget sexploitation film scene of the sixties. We would hazard to say, at the risk of offending many, that her thespian skills were definitely less impressive than her knockout figure and alluring presence.* That said, her vacuous sexiness is a perfect fit to the classic, surreal roughie to which she perhaps owes her lasting appeal: Doris Wishman's Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965).
* To present an opposing view, the Rialto Report is of the opinion: "Occasionally an actress was noted for her looks. Less frequently she was notable for her acting ability. Gigi Darlene had both. She was a star. She was blonde, beautiful, and expressive. A pouting, petulant kitten. She combined an unexpected innocence with a knowing and sultry confidence. The monochrome screen lit up with her feline presence. Her talents were in demand and she made regular appearances in New York sexploitation films."
A ubiquitous presence in NYC sleaze films from around 1962 to '67, she seemingly disappeared overnight. Something that the sexploitation film-makers of the time noticed enough that amidst the opening credits of Michael Findlay's 1968 roughie The Curse of Her Flesh (trailer), which are presented in the form of graffiti scrawled on a filthy restroom wall, and between all the other crude comments, a simple question is scrawled: "Whatever happened to Gigi Darlene?" It was a simple query that became a cult question, but it also long remained a rhetorical one. The last, at least, until 11 May 2014, when the fantastic sleuths of at the Rialto Report finally answered the question of "Whatever Happened to Gigi Darlene?" 
Music not from the film –
John Barry's Swinging City with
images from The Curse of Her Flesh:
The bio at imdb is based entirely on their research: "Gigi Darlene was born Heli Leonore Weinreich on March 4, 1943 in Berlin, Germany. [...] After threatening to run away from home at age sixteen, Gigi in 1959 was allowed by her mother to immigrate to Flushing, Queens, New York City, where she lived with a couple of family friends. [...] Darlene eventually moved to Manhattan; she lived on West 43rd Street and began posing for photo shoots for various men's magazines. Gigi branched out as an exotic dancer making the rounds at clubs in New York, New Jersey, and Long Island. While dancing at clubs Darlene met and befriended future soft-core movie actress Darlene Bennett.** [...] Darlene started acting in assorted low-budget sexploitation features that were made throughout the early to mid 1960's. [...] She often co-starred with Darlene Bennett in these films. [Heli's acting / dancing /modeling pseudonym, Gig Darlene, was inspired as much by the 1958 film Gigi (trailer) as by her good friend Darlene Bennett.) Gigi was working as a featured dancer at a club in New Jersey when she first met her future husband Edwin Greal, who did a stage show as a hypnotist using the pseudonym Charles Lamont. Darlene and Greal got married on August 29, 1966. Gigi moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey after marrying Greal and agreed to stop acting in movies. Greal and Darlene eventually formed a stage act together and went on the road. [...] They resided in Vegas for five years [as of 1975] and continued to do stage shows before eventually moving to South Florida in 1980. Alas, shortly after moving to South Florida Greal died at age 56 on December 18, 1980. [...] Gigi in 1981 went on to obtain a Real Estate license in Fort Lauderdale and sold time-share apartments on and off for twenty years. Moreover, Darlene was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and worked as an extra in movies*** that were shot in South Florida. Gigi died from stomach cancer at a hospice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on New Year's Day in 2002. She was 58 years old. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered off the pier in Deerfield Beach, Florida into the Atlantic Ocean."
** On 11 April 2021, the fantastic sleuths of at the Rialto Report also managed another scoop with their online article "Black and White Dreams of Darlene: Looking for the Bennett Sisters." 
*** None of which are listed on any filmography of hers that we could find.
Claudia Wheeler –
The Price Is Right:
About the album above: 
Assuming that the website 45worlds is right, then Claudia Wheeler's novelty double-entendre LP The Price Is Right, with a demurely delectable Gigi Darlene on the cover, was released in 1962, the same year Gigi had her first film role in Sarno's lost Lash of Lust (versus un-credited inserts, as in the US release of Juventud a la intemperie / The Unsatisfied). The songs on the LP (The Price Is Right – Take Down Your Drawers, Miss Hemingway – If You Can't Find a Nail, I'll Give You A Screw – I Never Saw A Crack Like That Before – Get Cha Hands Off My Bowling Ball – Don't Stick Your Finger Into My Business – Little Boy Blue, Let Me Blow Your Horn – The Daring Young Girl On The Swing – He's A Ball Buster – My Orange Juice Man – Suzy Que – "G" String – The Ol' Cat House – They Call Me The "Mink" Girl) were all written by Jack Betzner and/or Joe Davis, the latter of whom actually founded Beacon Records, the releasing firm. Who knows who Claudia Wheeler is, for as professionally as she sings she seems not to have had a well-documented career. Over at Frank's Vinyl Museum, however, Frank supplies the detailed bio info given on the albums inner sleeve: "Claudia Wheeler is a native of Detroit who started out as a dancer in 'the best known clubs and theatres'."



Juventud a la intemperie
(1961, dir. Ignacio F. Iquino)
The American trailer to this Spanish movie is the original source of our liquor/sex/violence GIF to the left. This slab of what was originally some Spanish, Franco-era propaganda disguised as a juvi crime film is the earliest semi film credit we could locate for Gigi.* Titled The Unsatisfied in the US when it hit the exploitation cinemas, despite all its original and added sleaze, the movie heavily posits the idea that the young & restless are worthless and the old fashion way of the older generation is best for us all. (Is it odd, or to be expected, that this Fascist attitude basically describes that of today's Republican Party?)
* Timeline-wise, when it comes to her film appearances, this movie should probably be listed later in Gigi's career. True, it was made and released in Spain in 1961, but her scene was added much later, for the US release in 1964. So her appearance in The Unsatisfied is not actually her film debut, though The Unsatisfied is, in its original cut, perhaps the oldest of the movies she appears in...
Trailer to
The Unsatisfied:
Over at All Movie, Sandra Brennen has a quick synopsis: "In this crime melodrama, the son (Manuel Gil of The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh / Blade of the Ripper [1971 / trailer] and The Profile of Satan [1969 / trailer]) of a police commissioner falls in love with a girl (Marisol Ayuso) who entices men to join rigged card games. She falls for the young man too, and tells him the truth about her employer. As a result, she is killed. Unfortunately, the young fellow is blamed for the crime until an investigation is launched. He eventually clears his name and the crooks are brought to justice."
The original star attraction of the movie is of course the French pin-up model, singer, exotic dancer and actress Rita Cadillac (13 May 1936 – 5 April 1995), who plays the nasty gal Hilda and sings a few songs — Cha-cha-cha corazoncito and Comme il est doux! — neither of which we could find online... so here's a later disco song of hers instead.
Rita Cadillac's
Merenquendê:
The Unsatisfied is available at Something Weird, where they say that the "slick, well-made, nasty little movie [...] gives off a very different vibe and boasts a very different flavor than the typical U.S. teens-in-trouble film". They also explain how Gigi Darlene came to appear in the movie: "When Lee Hessel's Cambist Films released a U.S. version of it in 1964, additional shot-in-New York skin scenes were cleverly added by insert specialist Jerald Intrator (24 Sept 1920 – 28 Oct 1988), the man who added June Roberts to The Pink Pussy [a.k.a. Harassed, Where Sin Lives and, without June, Acosada] (1964 / trailer) and put the extra sex into The Curious Dr. Humpp (1969 / trailer). Typically well integrated, the inserts include a surreal moment just five minutes into the film in which two topless gals in a dressing room exchange words ('I'll kill you for that, you witch!'), then suddenly fight to the death with a pair of scissors as a third gal blandly looks on: 'C'mon, break it up, the phone's ringing!' As quickly as the fight started, it abruptly stops, and the third gal happily shows off the (then-new) topless bathing suit she's wearing! Wow. Other U.S. inserts include: a high-haired honey in the back room of a club whose drink is spiked by a creep who then carries her away.... A thug with a knife and a topless gal pose for the cover of a detective magazine.... Two semi-naked models discuss men and — Hey, look! The model on the left is GIGI DARLENE, looking as adorable as ever...."
As late as 1966, as can be seen by the advertisement above (found at screen 13), The Unsatisfied was still on screen if only as second feature — in this case, with Hire-A-Model aka Rent-A-Girl (1965, see Part II) at the Strand Art Theatre in Kansas City.
Director Ignacio F. Iquino (25 Oct 1910 – 29 April 1994) had a long and fruitful career doing low budget Spanish genre films, one of his sleaziest and bloodiest being his only horror movie, Secta siniestra / Bloody Sect (1982 / trailer).
Poet and propagandist Frederico De Urrutia (1907 – 1988), a good Franco fascist if there ever was one, wrote the screenplay for Juventud a la intemperie; a known anti-Semite and pro-Nazi, his literary highpoints include his timeless tome La paz que quiere Hitler ["The Peace that Hitler Wants"] (1939), which excused the NS invasion of Poland, and edited Poemas de la Alemania eterna ["Poems of Eternal Germany"] (1940), which idolized Hitler as "the restorer of an inherited Germania of the Nibelungs and champion of the cross in front of Jews, Freemasons, Capitalists and Communists". A Proud Boy despite his age if there ever was one, he co-wrote the Charlton Heston vehicle Call of the Wild (1972), which we took a look at in our RIP Career Review Maria Rohm.
Opening to Malocchio (1975),
the only horror film
Frederico "The Fascist" De Urrutia wrote.


Lash of Lust
(1962, writ. & dir. Joseph W. Sarno)
A good title dies hard. The poster above is not to the Lash of Lust which, probably, is Gigi Darlene's true "feature film" debut. The poster above is to a lost California-filmed exploitation movie (filmed in 1968, released in 1972) starring another beautiful (and deceased) Babe of Yesteryear, the West Coast's Bambi Allen (2 May 1338 – 21 Jan 1973).
We'll return to that movie further below, but first, let's look at Joseph "Joe" W. Sarno's (15 Mar 1921 – 26 Apr 2010) Lash of Lust, for which we could not find a poster online and, indeed, there might not even be one. The NYC-filmed Lash of Lust in discussion is director Joe Sarno's first official directorial credit, although his uncredited work the year earlier on Nude in Charcoal a.k.a The Secret of Venus (1961, poster[s] below and above) is generally accepted as his true directorial debut.
Sarno's Lash of Lust is also a lost film, so check your attic. There doesn't even appear to any publicity material for the film out there, much less a poster, and most online sources, including the New York Times, claim that it was never officially released. The movie not only features the credited move debut of Gigi (as Gigi D'Arlene) playing Dornia, but also is the credited debut of Madame Olga herself, Audrey Campbell (5 Aug 1929 – 8 June 2006), as well as of the legendary Dyanne "Ilsa" Thorne (14 Oct 1936 – 28 Jan 2020). Three cult babes extraordinaire, all in first directorial credit of the legendary Joe Sarno — if the film truly is lost, then we're talking about a major low-culture loss if there ever was one.
Trailer to
The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies (2013):
The New York Times, by the way, describes Sarno's Lash of Lust as "an erotic costume drama about Gaul in the time of the Romans, shot in the forests of upstate New York."
If that was the plot, then needless to say the movie was not inspired by Hodge Evens' 1961 non-literary classic The Lash of Lust (cover above), nor did it inspire the 1964 non-literary classic Lash of Lust! (cover below) by J.D. Ford (a.k.a. Jim and Darlene Rutherford), the author(s) of L is for Lesbian and Lesbians in White, amongst other fine literature.
Seven years after Sarno's Lash of Lust was never released, the un-celebrated Al Adamson (25 July 1929 – 2 Aug 1995) — see our review of Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) or our RIP career review of Jim Kelly and/or Babes of Yesteryear look at Marilyn Joi — filmed his equally lost exploitation western, Lash of Lust (1968/72), poster way above, at the infamous Spahn Ranch. Credited to a "George Sheaffer", the flick had nothing to do with Gaul or Romans: it was "an adults-only sex western that concerned women being kidnapped and abused. This time he actually came into contact with the bearded, Christ-like Manson, as Al reported in a later interview. 'We were shooting a scene and Manson came over with three or four of his girls. I don't know if they were the ones that did the murders or not. Manson and his followers were ogling the naked actresses. His women were all taking their tops off and being a bit of a nuisance. In the end we had to physically throw them off the set. It's hard for me to understand how people can follow a guy like that... [The Dark Side]"
 
As the advertisement above (found at the great blog Temple of Schlock) reveals, unlike Sarno's movie Adamson's actually got at least a limited run and was screened, somewhere along the way, with the apparently equally lost and equally obscure Albert Zugsmith production, Tom Jones Rides Again (1971), which may just be an unknown a.k.a. title for another movie.
If one is to believe the L.A. Times, Tom Jones Rides Again is probably the last movie to feature the forgotten comedian Thelma White (4 Dec 1910 – 4 Jan 2005), the lead bad gal of that great slice of exploitation fun, Tell Your Children a.k.a. Reefer Madness (1936).
Full movie —
Tell Your Children a.k.a. Reefer Madness:


Girls on the Rocks
(1962, dir. Manuel S. Conde)

A.k.a. Karzin in Cuba — but: "There seem to be two versions of this movie. Clearly they are the same movie, but Girls on the Rocks and Karzin in Cuba contain different scenes. Girls on the Rocks is the longer movie. Maybe it's the director's cut, I don't know. [indiefilm]"
According to the American Film Institute, Gigi Darlene is to be found in this semi-nudie cutie that once proclaimed that it had been smuggled out of Cuba. (The gals never get completely nude, so it really isn't a full-fledged nudie cutie.) The general masses, however, tend to agree with the imdb, where someone wrote in the trivia section, "Although the American Film Institute lists her name among the cast, New York sexploitation actress Gigi Darlene is not in this Cuban-produced film." Here at a wasted life, we haven't seen this film but can well imagine that the AFI has confused this movie with 1963's 50,000 B.C. (Before Clothing), looked at further below, which is also known as Nudes on the Rocks.
Has nothing to do with the movie —
Bob Crewe Generation's song Girls on the Rocks:
Something Weird, which would surely mention Gigi if she were in the movie, sells the flick, which they reveal was originally entitled Drums of Cupid. They have the plot: "After their yacht sinks in a storm, an all-girl orchestra is washed up on a deserted island... and immediately start singing and playing their instruments on the shore! Within minutes they also discover a handsome loincloth-wearing muscleman in a tree: 'Are you Tarzan of the apes?' 'Oh no. He was my papa. Me Karzin Jr. Me grow up!' The girls are impressed, especially when he starts to flex. Which is why the girls' prissy chaperone won't let Karzin come too near. But that changes when a bunch of cannibals attack and destroy their hut before Karzin chases them away. With their shelter in ruins, Karzin guides them to his elaborate estate: a beautifully-furnished adobe mansion complete with records, paintings, and a TV set, allegedly the remains of other shipwrecks. The kicker here is that Karzin's a fake. So are the cannibals. And instead of being on a deserted island, the girls are actually along the coast of Florida. Karzin is actually the foreman of the estate who digs playing the hero to these confused girls, while the cannibals are Cuban dancers. But — oops! — the ultra-conservative couple who really own the estate unexpectedly return from their vacation and are shocked to find it crawling with near-naked girls... [Francois Pinky]"
S.W. goes on to quote Manuel's wife, Maria Conde, who says "My husband was shooting newsreels of the political situation for a newsreel company [Movietone] in New York. So he produced this film in Cuba, on the outskirts of Havana and, when he came to the United States on one of his trips, he just brought it in with the other newsreels. Actually, he got full support and help from the revolutionaries all through the production! Since he had a permit to go to New York to develop color film — there were no color labs in Cuba at the time — one day he just gathered up the family and everything he could carry and he's gone. And those two films went with him.' Or 'Smuggled Out of Havana Right Under Castro's Nose!' as the ads so happily boasted."
(Re)search My Trash saw Karzan in Cuba and wrote: "It's never good to base a film on just one joke, even if the film is — like this one — only 45 minutes long, because the novelty wears off way too quickly. So on a story level, Karzin in Cuba is a big disappointment. At the same time, though the film was never intended to be big drama (or big comedy for that matter) but an early nudie cutie, with girls running around in skimpy outfits, and sometimes even topless, and as such the film is enjoyably cheap and cheesy, and while certainly not a masterpiece of schlock cinema, it has a certain so-bad-it's-good-quality that makes Karzin in Cuba easy to like — provided of course you don't take the film seriously at all and don't see it through a feminist's eyes."
Cuban-born Manuel S. Conde — not to be confused with the Filipino actor Manuel Condo (9 Oct 1915 – 11 Aug 1995) — had a long career in American grindhouse cinema, though there is some evidence out there that some of what is credited to him might actually be by a son named Manuel Conde. (Anyone out there know for sure?) One or the other was the cinematographer on one of the great sleaze disasterpieces of horror, Walt Davis' Evil Come, Evil Go (1972) as well as on the hilarious Tempest Storm thriller, Mundo depravados (1967 / scene / poster above).
Evil Come, Evil Go (1972):
First 37 minutes of



1000 Shapes of a Female
(1963, dir. Barry Mahon)
While this Barry Mahon (5 Feb 1921 – 4 Dec 1999) nudie-cutie is not (yet) listed in Gigi's filmography at imdb, All Movie lists her on the cast, an assertion supported elsewhere online.
This innocuous tale was scribed by the forgotten Sande N. Johnsen, who followed it up in 1964 by writing and directing The Beautiful, the Bloody, and the Bare, a nudie horror also set amidst an art setting; Johnsen's most popular movie, however, appears to be his 1966 J.D. movie, Teenage Gang Debs.
Trailer to
Teenage Gang Debs (1966):

"[Barry] Mahon's films from this period generally avoid contravening the doctrine of obscenity law, with films such as 1,000 Shapes of Female, Bunny Yeager's Nude Camera (1963 / full film), and Bunny Yeager's Nude Las Vegas (1964 / full film) deploying the premise of sociological study of the 'artist at work.' The film 1,000 Shapes ratifies its content through the focus on the lives of Greenwich Village artists in New York and is narrated by an art dealer, David Green, who is arranging a show of nude paintings. The film operates in a mode Mahon himself called 'semidocumentary,' as it portends to bring to light a particular bohemian and geographical milieu of cultural production, on given legitimacy and popularized by the commodifcation of beat culture as well as the renown of abstract expressionism in the late 1950s and early 1960s. [Elena Gorfinkel in her book, Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s]"
Something Weird, which sells the film, breaks down the artists and supplies the confirmation of Gigi Darlene's appearance: "Paul (Sande Johnson, who wrote the script) is new on the scene and has an epiphany after he accidentally gets paint on model Darlene Bennett. His brilliant idea is to apply pigment on the boobs and butts of actual nude girls and have them press their wet bodies against a blank canvas! But it will take some persuasion to get the models to go along with his kooky concept. GIGI DARLENE (in a red wig) will have none of it, but other gals willingly comply and slather themselves for art's sake. Marty is a primitive artist in the tradition of Picasso and Gauguin. He is also a pompous ass who tells his beautiful model, 'You're gonna be the mother of all mothers... Eve... Everything a woman should be!' Marty promptly encourages her to have warm nurturing thoughts while she poses like a bump on a log. The art dealer is also eager to have Byron (Byron Mabe [10 April 1932 – 12 May 2001]) and Margie (the great Audrey Campbell, Madame Olga herself), a married couple who are up-and-coming artists, participate in his exhibition. Eager to please, Margie does a painting of a busty nude, all the while talking recipes and in-laws with her. Later, Margie gets naked and plays muse and model for her most appreciative hubby. Then there are the wackadoos and nonconformists who find more unorthodox means of expression — to the bewilderment of the females who pose for their bizarre whims. From throwing darts at paint-filled water balloons (?!) to the joker who dunks his head in a paint bucket and proceeds to use his hair to create 'art' (??!!), nut-jobs abound. Eventually, Paul finds the right gals for his 'Three Graces' and directs them to imprint their naughty bits on a giant canvas. Voila! — it's a masterpiece in the making! To celebrate their success, the artists throw a party — complete with bongo-beating and stimulating conversation. It's a relatively well-behaved party until one slutty broad does an impromptu and much-needed striptease.... Surprisingly entertaining with actual on-screen dialogue, 1,000 Shapes of a Female is another skin classic from producer-director Barry Mahon, who made an entire career out of various female shapes. No, this ain't art, but at least it's naked! [Lisa Petrucci]"
The advert further above is for a showing at the Capri Art in Delaware; elsewhere, at a showing at the Pointer Drive-In in North Carolina, Mahon's film was teamed with the "serious" 1962 shot-in-Japan Italian movie L'Isola delle Pescatrici, a.k.a. Violated Paradise, based on the  Italian writer Fosco Maraini's 1960 novel L' Isola Delle Pescatrici (The Island of the Fisherwomen).
The full movie —
Violated Paradise:


50,000 B.C. (Before Clothing)
(1963, dir. William Rose)
 
"I want posterity to know all about my posterior."
Zelda (Gigi Darlene, credited as Hedi Lenore)

Gigi Darlene is Zelda, the sexy cavewoman who has a thing for decrepet old men. Oddly enough, though "Hedi Lenore" gets star billing on some posters, like the one above, the girl shown is not Gigi!
In his book Prehistoric Humans in Film and Television, Michael Klossner has the plot to this nudie-cutie with "rock-bottom" production values and "abundant nudity, all female, all breasts and butts, with no full frontal": "Short, homely, middle-aged ex-burlesque comic Charlie (Charlie 'King of Hokum' Robinson) flees the shrilly complaining wife and accidentally rides in a crazy inventor's time machine (which looks like a taxi) to the Stone Age. Here almost all the women are nude; the men are not. The really ugly caveman king cracks burlesque jokes with Charlie. The caveman's problem is Gorax the Giant (Eddie Carmel [16 March 1935 – 30 July 1972] of The Brain that Wouldn't Die [1959/1962]), who kidnaps women and threatens to eat anyone who gets in his way. Diminutive Charlie manages to kill Gorax with a trick and is awarded a nude woman as a mate. He returns to modern times, gets another taste of his nagging wife and decides to go back to the old days, when men had everything."
Klossner was less than impressed by this movie in which "men don't have to get naked and don't have to be handsome or desirable [and] any schlemiel can score", and points out one scene he particularly disliked, "a nasty scene in which a girl in bikini dances with a snake in front of ugly men, until the snake strangles her; the men don't try to help her."
Tom Weaver, in turn, writes in his book A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers: "It occurred to me half-way through [...] that I was perhaps seeing one of the most bizarre old movies I was ever likely to see. The scene which caused this thought to cross my mind: A feeble-minded twentieth-century schnook (played by a seedy-looking older actor obviously at death's door) staggers around a prehistoric land of topless cave girls, doing burlesque comedy routines, wearing a tuxedo and a stovepipe hat which just happens to explode any time he whistles 'Dixie.' And this is the movie at one of its more lucid moments!"
It seems to have taken the combined creativity of three men to come up with the tale told in this movie: based on an idea by director William Rose and producer Herbert Lannard, Arnold Drake (1 March 1924 – 12 March 2007) wrote the screenplay. Drake was a comic book writer (posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008) who seriously made the world a better place by co-creating the original Guardians of the Galaxy with Stan Lee as well as the original Doom Patrol for DC and, our personal favorite from our youth of yesteryear, DC's Deadman. Drake came to work on 50,000 B.C. (Before Clothing) by way of the early grindhouse classic The Flesh Eaters (1964), which he scripted and also produced, when that film's director, Jack Curtis (16 June 1926 – Sept 1970), introduced him to the nudie's producer, Herbert Lannard.
Trailer to

The Flesh Eaters:
By the way, Arnold Drake followed up his script for 50,000 B.C. with the script for the cult thriller Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965 / trailer), a fact we mention only as an excuse to embed a tasty photo below of Sal Mineo (10 Jan 1939 – 12 Feb 1976), who starred in that movie. Bisexual Minio, murdered by mugger Lionel Ray Williams, was once engaged to Jill Haworth; "According to Mineo biographer Michael Gregg Michaud, Haworth cancelled the engagement after she caught Mineo engaging in sexual relations with another man."
Of director William Rose's "impoverished American nudie film" that has "the flat lack of creativity associated with 60s industrial films" — Herbert Lannard actually was an industrial film filmmaker — DVD Talk says, "The film is incredibly polite, from its put-the-camera-anywhere direction to the demure smiles on the faces of the girls. [...] Many of the soft-core nudie films of the day look as though the producers made a deal with some bar owner to round up the usual babes for a weekend shoot, and got a strange yield of willing but sometimes not-so-gorgeous talent. [...] At least some of B.C.'s women, you'll be happy to know, are exceptionally ... talented, real strippers who probably found steady work in sleazy men's magazines, while dreaming of an entree into Playboy or Hollywood. Some are B-girls on the way down, but others might be hot numbers on the way up, somehow sidetracked into the humbling world of triple-Z filmmaking. At any rate, when they smile and pose, a few actually look comfortable, as if enjoying themselves. In the depressing world of softcore adult movies, it really helps to have talent that doesn't appear to be miserable. Too many of the women in these things look as if they're trying to score some cash to bail their boyfriends out of jail, or get their kids back from the foster home. There seems to have been enough time to do some real makeup and hairdressing, which is a big plus."
DVD Drive-In, however, like many people, hated the film: "Comedian Charlie Robinson is incredibly irritating and if you think the fact that Darlene and OLGA herself Audrey Campbell are in the film would make it worth viewing, forget it. Darlene thankfully isn't dubbed, her luscious accent left intact, but her screentime is incredibly short. Campbell doesn't get any lines in herself. Darlene looks great, but the film doesn't and isn't."


She Should Have Stayed in Bed 
(1963, dir. Barry Mahon)

This is the first Mahon film that his wife, Clelle Mahon (21 Nov 1925 – 29 Dec 2008), supposedly wrote — some four years earlier, she had also acted in his first movie, Cuban Rebel Girls a.k.a. Assault of the Cuban Rebel Girls (1959 / full film), written by and starring Errol Flynn (20 June 1909 – 14 Oct 1959, of Footsteps in the Dark [1941]), who died before the movie came out. We mention this purely as an excuse to embed the nude Errol Flynn photo below.
But, to return to Clelle's script, as the voiceover to the movie states, "There isn't much to the script, all this guy does is chase that girl. Back and forth, down the halls. Anyone could shoot this stuff."
AFI has the plot: "A photographer (Michael Lee Barron) of nudes waits for a woman (Terry Moore, possibly Terry More) he hopes to hire for a magazine layout. He is standing in front of a fashionable East Side apartment building inhabited by a group of beautiful, aspiring young actresses and models. When the woman returns and the photographer approaches her, she thinks he is trying to molest her, and she flees into the building. The photographer follows in pursuit. Inside the building, the tenants prepare for the day's activities, dressing and undressing. The photographer is slowed in his pursuit by a delivery boy carrying a wedding cake. The fleeing girl calls a policeman, and the chase is reversed. Cornered, the photographer explains that he only wants to make a job offer. The girl accepts and poses nude in the photographer's studio."
They also point out "The plot originally centered on a movie director filming in an apartment building. He allows his camera to stray into various apartments. The censors [the New York State Board of Regents] took exception to the peeping tom aspect of the film, and its format was changed for release. Also known as She Didn't Stay in Bed."
Trailer (with Gigi) to
She Should Have Stayed in Bed:
Gigi Darlene has a big part in this movie (Not!): She's the "Blonde reading novel" who is "wasted in a brief scene with another girl trying on lingerie, with no implication of lesbian attraction included."
Amongst the women that bare skin is a woman the world forgot, Alice Denham (21 Jan 1927 – 27 Jan 2016), "a writer, film actress and Playboy centerfold in mid-century bohemian New York." Not only was she the centerfold of the July 1956 issue, but the magazine also published a short story of hers in that issue, The Deal. You should check out her dish-all memoirs, Sleeping with Bad Boys (2006).
The musical composition by Fluxus artist Al Hansen,
Alice Denham in 48 Seconds:
If we are to believe the purported website of former Golden Age of Hollywood actress Terry Moore, who was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952 / trailer) and played the lead female role in the first, classic version of Mighty Joe Young (1949 / trailer), and ignore the omission in both imdb and Wikipedia, she played the part of the model pursued by the photographer... A possibility, we would guess, seeing that by 1978 she had even made an Al Adamson movie, the Jim Kelly vehicle Death Dimension (trailer), and posed for Playboy in August 1984.


The Molesters
(1963, dir. Franz Schnyder)

 
"Why, he had to be peeping through the keyhole, of course."
 
This movie exists in two basic versions: the original Swiss version, Der Sittlichkeitsverbrecher ["The Sex Offender"], and the later version that was re-cut as an exploitation movie and released in the US, The Molesters. An uncredited Gigi Darlene is found in some of the insert scenes added for the US, namely as the "Girl Being Whipped" (also on hand, the Babe of Yesteryear Darlene Bennett as the "Woman with Whip" — you see her in the trailer).
Trailer to
The Molesters:
Filmed in 1962, it premiered in Zurich on 27 March 1963. When released in Germany, the movie, which includes footage of an actual medical castration of a man, was rated as a "Valuable" film — in other words, a movie that one should see for the benefit of society. It was nevertheless a flop. Of the original version, Hervé Dumont, the director of the Swiss National Film Archive (Cinémathèque Suisse), wrote in his book Geschichte des Schweizerfilms [History of Swiss Film]: "The one-sided typology of the criminals (homosexuals are rich and/or artistically active) directly reflects the prejudices of the screenplay authors and their public."
To roughly translate what the Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) writes about the original version at the website:
"Generations of cinema and television viewers shudder when they remember the 'Schoggi-Igeli' [chocolate hedgehog] with which Gert Fröbe lured blonde little girls into the forest in order to abuse them in the 1958 classic, It Happened in Broad Daylight (trailer). The success of that crime film prompted the Praesens-Film company to bring the burning theme of child abuse (between 1945 and 1962 more than 100,000 sexual offences against children had been registered in Switzerland) to the silver screen in the form of a feature docu-drama. The producers also wanted to build on their earlier successes with the depiction of sensitive topics such as Frauennot - Frauenglück [Misery and Fortune of Woman] (1929) or Feind im Blut [Enemy in the Blood] (1931).
Misery and Fortune of Woman
directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein (22 Jan 1898 – 11 Feb 1948)
"Based on real cases, backed by criminal records and with special attention given to the then-modern methods of forensic research, [Wolfgang Menge (10 April 1924 – 17 Oct 2012)*], Richard Schweizer [23 Dec 1899 – 30 March 1965] and Franz Schnyder [5 Mar 1910 – 8 Feb 1993] wrote the script, which was inspired by an idea by Schnyder. The film begins with the prologue: 'What you see really happened. Files, medical histories and confessions of those affected are the basis of this report. Only the names of people and places have been changed.' The film did not have the success expected..."
* Co-scripter Wolfgang Menge cowrote the great Edar Wallace krimi The Red Circle (1960) as well as The Green Archer (1961 / German trailer).
Particularly noteworthy is the film's zither soundtrack, by the great Walter Baumgartner (19 Nov 1904 – 3 Oct 1997), a Swiss composer who worked often with two greats of European exploitation movies, including Jess Franco and Erwin C. Dietrich. We couldn't find it online, but below you can listen to his nicely sleazy (if oddly familiar) theme to Franco's Blue Rita a.k.a. Das Frauenhaus.
Walter Baumgartner's theme to
Blue Rita:
Funnily enough, whereas the original version was found socially relevant in Germany — "Prädikat: Wertvoll" — when the American edit hit Cleveland, the Plain Dealer, the city's largest newspaper, rejected the ads and wrote in an editorial that "no normal person could find either entertainment or helpful information in The Molesters". [Source: Jeffrey Sconce's Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics]
In any event, the most commonly found English-language description found online (for example, at My Duck Is Dead) is as follows: "In exploring sex offenses, particularly against children, this film reveals the inner workings of the Zurich police and INTERPOL as they pursue persons accused of voyeurism, rape, fetishism, sadism, and masochism. After the criminals are arrested and given psychological tests, they may be sentenced to an institution or undergo brain surgery (with their consent) in order to be rehabilitated."
Screen 13, whence the above advertisement comes, was moved to write: "There was a time when a lot of sick topics were all over the Exploitation map, several of them not being the kind you really want to see. The advertising for this film may have promised something more on the line of Olga's House of Shame (1964), those who seen the trailer knew that this was going to be a different ride all together, although sadly it was not going to be a pretty picture. Picked up by the one-film Aristocrat Films in the US, this was a dramatic look at the procedures of INTERPOL and the capture of sex offenders... while choosing stuff that would bring in those offenders in the theater! Yikes! [...] Only in The 60s that a film about this sordid topic would aim for both the arthouse and grindhouse, and in Toledo, it just went down to the grind at the Esquire, which would later be known for its adult films after 1969 [...]. The whistle for the first 1,000 women who saw this was clearly a good idea, considering the type of people who might want to see this film. [...] The black-and-white style was perfect for the ugliness and occasional campy humor — check out the courtroom scene about the 'raspberry mole' being the major clue to capturing one of those ultra creeps! Throw in possibly some influence through the classic film M (1931 / trailer), and some attempts at courtroom drama, and there you have it."

More Gigi Darlene to come...

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