The Arts

As I’m now only a short distance from the Mayan complex of Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan it occasions me to forget the astonishing history of this lost civilisation and recall instead the truly hideous 1970 TV special ‘Raquel!’ which featured Ms Welch singing and posing her way through different world locations with Tom Jones and John Wayne. Here, the Mexican authorities allow a TV crew to clamber all over the national monument in order to create a medley from ‘Hair’. Be appalled.


23 comments on “Raquel!”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    No, not even to see glimpses of Chichen Itza will I watch this.

  2. Paul D Graham says:

    Blimey, that Aires is a bit Denis Wheatley!

  3. Gary Hart says:

    My Eyes! They Burn! Why? Why would you do this?

  4. Jo W says:

    Awful!! Don’t you like us anymore,Chris? 🙁

  5. Brooke says:

    Is it the water, the heat or are you just tired? When I asked for photos of your trip, this is not what I meant. Boo hiss.

  6. Martin Tolley says:

    OK, gonna lose friends here. Just saying there are some of us men of a certain age; (we who had to lie about how old we were to get into the cinema to see Jane Fonda as Barbarella), for whom Raquel Welch in a white flimsy and wearing white boots is just about the best thing we could ever imagine, and we don’t care where it happened, we are just grateful that it did.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Being honest is a good thing, Martin, & I imagine there are many like you out there. If my husband weren’t in hospital I’d be showing it to him, to his great pleasure no doubt.

  8. Ian Luck says:

    I’m with Martin here. I saw Hammer’s daft, but wonderful, ‘One Million Years BC’ (a remake of a 1941 movie starring Carole Lombard, Victor Mature, and Lon Chaney Jr.), and, even as a nine or ten year old, could not take my eyes off Raquel Welch, in that tiny chamois bikini. Not long after, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ was on TV, and again, I was smitten. She had a waxwork in Madame Tussaud’s, and on a birthday treat visit, I could have forgone the other exhibits just to look at her in her costume, which, if memory serves, was from her very odd and campy spy movie, ‘Fathom’. Yes, I was a fan. And why not? Most of the females on TV at the time, other than Diana Rigg in ‘The Avengers’ were (to me, at least), rather dull. There was squeaky voiced Aimi MacDonald, who I never ‘got’, but my father was fond of, and I recently saw why, after seeing her on the proto Monty Python ‘At Last The 1948 Show’, where she appeared wearing some very fetching (and skimpy) black lace underpinnings. Raquel Welch was very beautiful and indeed, sexy, but never in a way that people could find offence with, a trait that is sadly lacking these days.

  9. Brian Evans says:

    I was a confused lad. I went to see “One Million Years BC” solely for Ray Harryhausen’s special effects, but thought the entire point of the “The Avengers” was to see Diana Rigg.

    After seeing the original “One Million BC” with Victor Mature and Carole Lombard, Groucho Marx (allegedly) said: “That’s the first time I’ve seen a film where the leading man has bigger tits than the leading lady.”

  10. Ian Luck says:

    I’ve also seen a comment about Victor Mature, that said something to the effect of: “He has two expressions, bored, and even more bored.”

  11. Peter Dixon says:

    Pure art!.Looks like a 70’s SF book jacket.
    Speaking of skimpy costumes, does anyone remember Sean Connery in Zardoz?

  12. Brian Evans says:

    Yes, I do Peter, unfortunately. He looked more like Raquel Welch in “One million….” than Sean Connery.

    Actually, he came up with a good quote on Michael Parkinson’s show once. When asked how it felt to be playing Harrison Ford’s father in an “Indiana Jones” film he said: “For what they are paying me, I’d play his bloody mother.”

  13. Peter Tromans says:

    Diana Rigg’s only failing was that she wasn’t Honor Blackman.

  14. Ian Luck says:

    Peter – your comment amused me, as it was exactly the same as a comment made in the pub once that resulted in a pagga outside. Ah, the 1980’s!

  15. Ian Luck says:

    Peter Dixon – I’ve watched ‘Zardoz’ several times, and I’m still not sure what’s going on. I like the utterly barking ‘flying stone head’ idea, and wince every time the rifles spill from it’s mouth, after which, some might, at a push pass muster at a fairground shooting gallery, but I reckon they’d all be ruined. Sean Connery in a ponytail and nappy? Nope. What was John Boorman thinking when he made this? God only knows. What I do know, is that like ‘Avatar’, it’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back, and, like ‘Avatar’, if I had paid good money to watch it, I’d be royally pissed off.

  16. Wayne Mook says:

    Wow Taurus has the biggest prince Albert ever. A splendid piece of surreal fun. Which one is Virgo do you think?

    Zardoz is a sight to behold, SF at it’s grandest.


  17. Ian Luck says:

    I apologise, humbly, and deeply – I used the wrong Carole in ‘One Million BC’. It should have been Carole Landis, who killed herself in 1948. I was going through an old external drive and I have a copy (crappy) of the movie, and decided to have a laugh at Victor Mature. I then realised my mistake. I consoled myself with a watch of Stewart Grainger in ‘Scaramouche’. The kids these days who say that they’ll never watch an old movie, are soooooo wrong. When I was a kid, old movies were on TV all the time, and it doesn’t take much exposure, even as a kid, to realise that these old films were good fun, and you start to notice people you like to watch. Burt Lancaster. James Stewart, Stewart Grainger. John Wayne. Humphrey Bogart – many years ago, I got my younger brother to watch ‘The African Queen’, and he loved it. He’d been a bit anti old movies, but that blew him away, as did ‘The Flight Of The Phoenix’, which he thought was astonishing, and he suddenly saw why I watched so many old movies, and he thought ‘Casablanca’ was possibly one of the coolest movies he’d ever seen. (Is the right answer). Old movies ARE COOL.

  18. Helen Martin says:

    Of course you’re right, Ian. How could anyone not love The African Queen, in spite of her brain drilling voice. And Bogart was supposedly playing a Canadian! (The Canadian connection again.)

  19. Helen Martin says:

    (That actress, not the boat, of course.)

  20. Ian Luck says:

    Is Katherine Hepburn the name you’re looking for, Helen? Yes, it was an odd voice she used, and the odd thing is that that kind of voice is the one used by the late, great Carrie Fisher for the voice of Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars’ (1977), especially when she is being rude to Grand Moff Tarkin (the late, and very great Peter Cushing). I did read in an interview with Carrie Fisher that she found it extremely difficult to be nasty towards Peter Cushing, as he was such a gentle and nice man. And there’s another thing – all the classic horror movie stars, sadly all gone now, were basically nice blokes – Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price (my favourite film star, period), Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing. How is that? Conversely, some of the people who make ‘nice’ movies, are anything but in real life.

  21. Brian Evans says:

    Ian, can we agree to differ? “Casablanca” is the second best film of all time……and the winner is, Will Hay, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffat in “Oh! Mr Porter” the priceless 1937 comedy classic..

    I think Katherine Hepburn was a one off. I like her, esp in “Bringing Up Baby” but she was an acquired taste-to the point that she was, for a while, considered “box-office poison.” I wonder if Elaine Stritch modelled herself on her. Ms Hepburn was once in a film (“Love Amongst the Ruins”) with, of all people, heavy smoker Joan Sims who asked her if she minded if she smoked.. The reply was: “It’s not my problem if you want to kill yourself, dear”

    The horror stars mentioned above also had a reputation for being gentlemen of the old school. I hope Admin, who has worked with a lot of actors doesn’t shatter any allusions with, words to the effect: “Ah yes-it’s funny you should say that but……!”

  22. Ian Luck says:

    I didn’t actually say it was the best movie – I like far too many movies to enter into any ‘the best’. My all time favourite movie is 1957’s ‘Night Of The Demon’. It still works on many levels.

  23. Brian Evans says:

    Yes, Ian-me too. I think “Night of the Demon” is a terrific film.

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