CIAO TINA!

 

Click here to read a review of the western The Hangman just released on Blu-Ray starring Robert Taylor, Jack Lord, Fess Parker and scene stealer Tina Louise. The reviewer praises Tina’s portrayal and what acting promise she showed. She had already given well-received performances in God’s Little Acre (for which she won a Golden Globe) and The Trip. Tina should have become a top leading lady of the Sixties, but she made the decision to abandon Hollywood to live in Italy for a few years. This hindered her movie career tremendously. She made one prestige movie Garibaldi for esteemed director Roberto Rossellini but it barely was released in the U.S. However, her sword-and-sandal films Siege of Syracuse and Warrior Empress were distributed widely. View the below clip to see some behind-the-scenes footage from Warrior Empress.

When Tina returned to the U.S. she was never able to achieve the silver screen career she deserved. Time on Broadway and being stranded on Gilligan’s Island sidelined it. But Tina was not the only starlet who left Hollywood at an inopportune time. After playing the naive ingenue in Come Fly with Me, For Those Who Think Young and The Pleasure Seekers, among others, Pamela Tiffin was able to finally progress to more mature roles with her turn as the sexy brunette who vexes Paul Newman in Harper. She won raves so what does Pamela e do? She dyes her hair blond and goes off to Italy to escape her marriage where she starred in a number of movies of which only a very few made to the U.S. shores.

In 1965, Carol Lynley did not impress the critics as Jean Harlow in Harlow. However, she followed up with an excellent performance in Otto Preminger’s cult thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing with Laurence Olivier. Variety raved, “Carrying the weight of the movie on her shoulders…Carol Lynley is outstanding.” Redeeming herself, does Carol concentrate on her career? No, she moves to London saying she needs a break since she has been working steadily since age 10. When she returns to Hollywood in 1968 Rowan & Martin and Glen Campbell are in her future as leading men. Thank goodness for the ill-fated SS Poseidon.

 

Comments: 4

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  • Michael H

    Maybe their circumstances and reasons for taking sabbaticals were different, but I think you can attribute some of this to the weakening studio system and their lack of faith in these promising actresses. The fast approaching shift in social, political and sexual mores caught Hollywood off guard and they didn’t know what to do with these beautiful actresses who looked and more like traditional movie stars. Without smart and aggressive personal management, none of them was able to transition into the kind of roles that kept Tuesday Weld and Ann-Margret in the game a lot longer. It’s a shame because each of them demonstrated flashes of real acting talent that needed the right role in an acclaimed film to keep the momentum going. Watching Bunny Lake recently along with The Cardinal renewed my respect for what Carol Lynley was capable of with good material. Tina was always convincing no matter how bad the movie might have been; she always elevated it.
    As for Pamela Tiffin, she was a terrific light comedienne and deserved better than For Those Who Think Young and The Lively Set. Can’t wait for your book forthcoming on her.

     
     
     
    • Great observations. Agree Tina was always much better than her material and producers couldn’t look past Gilligan’s Island. Always thought she should have had some of Jill St. John’s movie roles especially Diamonds Are Forever. Jill was shrill in that one. As for Carol, she was friends with Roman Polanski who wanted her for Repulsion, but studio contracts prevented her from accepting. I wish he would have came a-callin’ again for Rosemary’s Baby where I think she would have excelled! She was fab in Bunny Lake Is Missing and The Shuttered Room.

      As for Pamela, yes she was misused by Hollywood, but who knows what roles she would have gotten if she stuck around. Sorry to say book on hold due to a few reasons.

       
  • Michael H

    So sorry to hear about the book. Bummer.

    Agree about Tina over Jill. Tina was terrific in Stepford Wives. I thought she brought a real magnetism to the brief role of Charmaine. In fact, I wanted more of her and less of Katharine Ross in that film. Of course, Paula Prentiss stole every scene she was in IMO. Loved her.

     
     
     
    • I was never a Katherine Ross fan and would have loved to have seen Carol Lynley or Anjanette Comer or Yvette Mimieux in the role instead.

       
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