Friday, September 5, 2008

TWO ON A GUILLOTINE - The Condors - Max Steiner - Connie Stevens - "Scream Baby" (1965)

This Friday's special treat is still yet another incredible film that was not even near my radar, from 1965, entitled "Two On A Guillotine." Whatever you have to do, this movie must be searched out by any true lover of the genre, and 60's Pop Schtick in general for a number of reasons, so where do you want to start?

Not so weird a role for Cesar Romero as magician John Harley 'Duke' Duquesne! What a great guy and what a great Madman played to raised eyebrow perfection!

Okay, this movie stars one our favorite 60's blondes, Cricket from "Hawaiian Eye" and not a person you normally associate with terror, cute as a button, Connie Stevens as Duke's wife and daughter! Her Co-star is 'How many Disney movies did he make' Dean Jones, which is also a very strange out of context horror role for him too!

Now, I'm thinking Director William Conrad must have had quite a sense of humour, and he knew all about the best things big and small, because at the beginning of the film, he used Richard Kiel as an unnamed guy in a suit at a funeral. Like the man who played the awe-inspiring and almighty "Eegah" isn't going to stand out at 7 foot 2 inches tall in a small crowd!

So Cool! They have the reading of the will on the stage at The Hollywood Bowl!!

Actor/director extraordinaire William Conrad was born September 27, 1920, and moved on in 1994! He was a big man in more than one way, physically, although he was only 5' 7 1/2" tall, and the body of work he left behind is above reproach!! He had the best voice, and did so much narration work including "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" just as an example! Here's Bill in a cameo role as a guy in the mirrored rooms part of The Funhouse and the sounds of an era and a California left behind! "P.O.P."

Now, we're just starting to get warmed up, and here's the real reason why we're so excited about tonight's film! A couple of years ago the multi-facected and multi-talented Spike Priggen over at the Bedazzled blog, introduced me to the wonderful world of Scopitones. I bought a couple of DVD's from him as you all should too! The first Scopitone I ever saw was a song called "Ain't That Just Like Me" by The Condors. It's the 60's classic you never heard that should have been played on the radio in between Cannibal & The Headhunters and Sham The Sham over and over. Not only all that, The Condors are also a pair of the coolest looking and dancin' dudes to ever walk the planet, and I'm almost sure that Outkast lifted their "Uunnhh" for "Hey Ya" from this song, so, I searched and I searched to find more music by The Condors to no avail until last week. Tabonga had purchased some more movies for your pleasure and he told me after watching this one, that it had a band in it, something like The Isley Brothers. So.... In this film, after Connie and Dean have had a full day of fun at the long defunct P.O.P or Pacific Ocean Parkway, Dean suggests that they go someplace to have a nice quiet dinner and talk.

Uh Oh, William Conrad's in charge, so Bam, instead of a quiet diner, they end up in this rowdy club with this incredible band playing something that sounds like another classic, say, something like a cross between "What'd I Say?" & Bunker Hill's "Hide & Seek," and as the camera pans through the dancers and around the room, and finally stops on the band, I screamed, It's the freakin' Condors!!!!I couldn't believe it!! So here's where it was, for you unlucky late cats, it was The fabulous Condors with "Go Baby!!!" Hopefully somebody will release this fim so you can feel it yourself!!

And let me just say, This is probably the singular most funky piece of music in a film since damn near ever!! Period!

Connie and Dean were two of the chosen few to see these cats perform, and they look like they're diggin' it!!!!!!!

I don't know where The Condors came from & I don't know where they went, but if you were ever lucky enough to see them perform live, I envy you!!!

Back to big and small, here Bill Conrad uses the world famous midget actor Billy Curtis in the role of the owner and bartender of "Big Mike's" bar. Billy was in a zillion movies including "The Terror Of Tiny Town" and "The Wizard Of Oz" all the way into the 80's when he passed away!! Check out the sign on the wall for "Dwarf's Bourbon!"

In the end, Connie's Dad does come back to life, but he thinks she's her mother, his wife, well, you can imagine, it gets pretty weird! Here's Connie listening to her Mother sing the very familiar Cole Porter tune "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and a few more goodies!

I'm thinking Connie set some kind of record with the number of screams she did in this film! Find a decent copy if you can!! Go Baby!!


Greg Goodsell said...

Connie Stevens – what more can you possibly say?

bzak said...


I think this post probably has more writing in it than the actual script. Great post!

Brian James Riedel

KRENG said...

I've been out for some time, but so glad to be back. These screamers get better every post. Keep that mouth open...

disctrip said...

This film is now out on DVD from the Warner Archive site or from Deep Discount. You're right, The Condors were a great group.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Now that's good news, now everybody can get a chance to see it!

SID TERROR said...

Here is a link to that clip of THE CONDORS flipping out...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Sid, The freakin' Condors rocked!!

Comrade X said...

I stumbled on the film on TCM this afternoon and was absolutely blown away by club scene with The Condors! I was immediately searching the web to find out who this amazing band was and came across the site here. Love the review too! I also discovered there was a British band of the same name in the early to late 60s as well. I did notice something else about the scene that I found peculiar...Connie Stevens was sure eyeing all the other ladies in the bar.

EEGAH!! said...

Hey X, that's cool they played it on TCM. I would like to see a better copy than the one I wrote about years ago! Yeah, The Condors kill it, and it's good to see our blog used for what it's meant for! Thanx!!

BaileyHowell said...

Great fun! I used to go to the POP amusement park as a teenager. The abandoned POP was in the final episode of The Fugitive tv series when the one-armed man fell to his death. 1965 was a cool year!

EEGAH!! said...

I have very fond memories of Pacific Ocean Park too. It was cool!

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