Friday, September 26, 2014

Sneak Preview of Coming Attractions - The "Pretty Maids" of PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW 1971

    Next week on Tue. the 30th there's a post going up here on Roger Vadim's PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW from 1971 in honor of Angie Dickinson's birthday on that day. PRETTY MAIDS (in which Angie co-stars as one heck of a substitute teacher) was one more weirdly quirky movies to come out of a major studio during the 70's (which is really saying something) - but more on that tomorrow. For me, one of the more fascinating things about it is it's supporting cast of young actresses that reads almost like a whose who of female cult actresses in regards to the coming decade. Here ya go !

   Brenda Sykes - Born in 1949 she was married to musician Gil Scott Heron and appeared in BLACK GUNN (1972), CLEOPATRA JONES (1973) and the major studio exploitation classic MANDINGO (1975), along with it's followup DRUM from 1976 (which is due on blu-ray from Kino later this year).

   Margret Markov - Best known for the Filipino New World exploitation/women in prison favorites THE HOT BOX (1972) and BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA (1973), she also appeared in the biker flick RUN ANGEL RUN (1969) and the New World woman-in-prison thing transplanted to ancient Rome THE ARENA from 1974.  Born in 1948 she's been married to producer Mark Damon (HOUSE OF USHER and THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT ) since 1976.

   Joy Bang - Born Joy Wener in 1945 (Bang was her married name), this cute as heck actress is one of the quintessential late 60's & 70's actresses (both in looks and personality). She appeared in the cult hippiesploitation EVENTS (1970), one of my favorite 70's horror movies MESSIAH OF EVIL (1973), was one of Woody Allen's girlfriends in PLAY IT AGAIN SAM (1972), showed up in the Filipino horror NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMEN (1972 - which was released earlier this year on DVD from Scorpion) and CISCO PIKE (1972).

   June Fairchild - A very pretty & talented actress who kept fairly busy in the 70's, she also had led a very interesting life prior to her acting career as being a fringe member of the 1960's L.A. music scene. Her personal life took a rather tragic turn in recent years when she ended up homeless on the streets of L.A., but happily she's seemed to have turned herself around. She had a small but memorable role in HEAD (1968) as "the jumper", plus was in DRIVE HE SAID (1971), DETROIT 9000 (1973) and DIRTY O'NEIL (1974). Along with Catherine Bach she was picked up by Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges in a both short and amusing scene from THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT (1974). In addition she was the "Ajax lady" in UP IN SMOKE (1978) and appeared in Mae West's SEXTETTE (1978). As her birthday is coming up in Nov., I'll be doing a little more in depth post on on her (besides her being one of my favorite 70's actresses).

   JoAnne Cameron - She was the Paramount's original choice for the lead in LOVE STORY before it went to Paramount production head Robert Evan's girlfriend Ali MacGraw and later was in HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE (1969) along with playing the title role in the TV series ISIS (1975-76)

   Although not one of the "Pretty Maids", you've also got Barbara Leigh who was cast as Vampierlla in the never made Hammer Film of the same name, plus was in STUDENT NURSES (1970) and TERMINAL ISLAND (1973). She also appeared with then boyfriend Steve McQueen in the wonderful JUNIOR BONNER from 1972 and was a longtime employee of Playboy Enterprises before retiring.

And not to leave anyone out here are the remaining "Pretty Maids"

   Gretchen Burrell - Although PRETTY MAIDS is her only acting credit she was married to musician Gram Parsons from 1971 until his death in 1973.

   Amy Eccles - Born in Hong Kong in 1949, she's now a real estate agent in So. Calif. and is probably best known as Dustin Hoffman's young bride in LITTLE BIG MAN (1970). She also appeared in Stephanie Rothman's GROUP MARRIAGE with blog favorite Claudia Jennings.

  Diane Sherry- She appeared in SUPERMAN (1978) as Lana Lang and is now a short story author.

Luck guy Director Roger Vadim surrounded with clockwise Joy Bang, Gretchen Burrell, Margaret Markov, June Fairchild and Brenda Sykes. 


  1. Wow - I have not seen this one - what a lineup! Is this the feature written by Gene Roddenberry where he might have been revealing more about his inner man than he wanted us to know?

    1. It's a bit of an odd duck, but it works in some weird way and the lineup is pretty unbelievable (and I didn't even get to male leads here). HA ! - not sure about "his inner self", but it sure reveals something here.

  2. Im glad you are gonna cover this one. It was so odd, but so enjoyable. Somewhere between a coming of age drama, a comedy, and a murder mystery!

    1. I was really surprised to discover how much I enjoyed it. It's always been in the back on mind to watch and last time Warner Archives had one of their 5 for $50 sales I threw it in my order. Your right it is odd, but somehow it does work.

    2. I really like Amy Eccles too. Ive been meaning to look her up.

    3. She is gorgeous. The only other things I really remember her from is Little Big Man and a small role in Stallone's Paradise Alley. The April 1971 Playboy has a nice 5 page photo spread/article on the movie.