One of the things I picked up during my trip to Tokyo that I wanted to share with readers is a Japanese film magazine from 1965 called Eiga Story, found at a flea market table in Ueno Park amidst tons of other old film magazines and comics. On the cover is a photo of Hayley Mills, who’d been a child star in Disney movies (e.g. POLLYANNA and THE PARENT TRAP), and had finally graduated to teenage roles at the time, getting her first screen kiss that year in THE TRUTH ABOUT SPRING. I opened the magazine on the spot and was happy to see excellent-looking color spreads devoted to popular Hollywood films and stars of the time with b&w entries devoted to numerous releases in Japan of Hollywood and European films. Since I was going to films regularly in 1965 and had even seen some of these films during their initial release, I was curious to see what Hollywood films got the most hype during their release in Japan.
Despite Hayley Mills being on the cover, I couldn’t find anything about her in the magazine. Instead, the actors highlighted inside are three international male sex symbols of the time: Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Connery had just come off the third James Bond film, GOLDFINGER; McQueen’s THE CINCINNATI KID was about to be released; and Belmondo’s highlighted films are PAR UN BEAU MATIN D’ETE and ECHAPPEMENT LIBRE. There are color shots of the men, spreads on several recent films, and candid shots of them at home, at play and promoting their films.
I love the full-page ads, including some fold-outs, offering movie posters that look much more dramatic with Japanese lettering.
APACHE RIFLES, starring Audie Murphy:
MAJOR DUNDEE, starring Charlton Heston:
ONCE A THIEF, starring Alain Delon and Ann-Margret:
GUNS AT BATASI, starring Richard Attenborough:
GOLDFINGER, starring Sean Connery in his third film as James Bond:
THE SATAN BUG, starring George Maharis:
The magazine offered color spreads devoted to two musicals from opposite ends of the studio spectrum: the big-budget Broadway adaptation THE SOUND OF MUSIC, the year’s most popular film at the U.S. boxoffice, and GIRL HAPPY, an Elvis Presley vehicle that was one of three quickie musicals the star made that year.
Other stars given color treatment in the magazine:
“Dandy Man” Dean Martin,” the star of that year’s KISS ME, STUPID:
Kim Novak, another star of KISS ME, STUPID:
James Garner, star of that year’s THE ART OF LOVE:
Tony Curtis, star of that year’s THE GREAT RACE, which I saw in 1965:
Jack Lemmon, star of that year’s HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE and co-star of THE GREAT RACE:
Connie Stevens, the star of that year’s TWO ON A GUILLOTINE:
French star Alain Delon, the star of that year’s ONCE A THIEF:
Gene Barry, the star of TV’s “Burke’s Law”:
Debbie Watson, the star of TV’s “Karen”:
Italian star Claudia Cardinale (dressed appropriately for the occasion):
French star Catherine Spaak:
Some of the movies that get b&w spreads:
Richard Brooks’ LORD JIM, starring Peter O’Toole, a film I saw in 1965:
FLIPPER’S NEW ADVENTURE
The Disney swashbuckler, DR. SYN, ALIAS THE SCARECROW:
A Hollywood film from 1962 that was just getting its Japanese release, ADVISE AND CONSENT, with Henry Fonda, Don Murray, Franchot Tone and Walter Pidgeon
The Italian comedy with Claudia Cardinale, IL MAGNIFICO CORNUTO (THE MAGNIFICENT CUCKOLD):
Which also has an inside back cover ad in color:
The Italian comedy, 3 NOTTI D’AMORE (THREE NIGHTS OF LOVE), with Catherine Spaak:
Production shots from LE BAMBOLE (THE DOLLS), with Elke Sommer:
The Italian drama, I COMPAGNI (THE ORGANIZER), with Marcello Mastroianni:
Billy Wilder’s KISS ME, STUPID, starring Dean Martin, Kim Novak and Ray Walston, which gets four pages:
KISS ME, STUPID was considered controversial in the U.S. and deemed “smutty” by critics and was marketed here as an adult film. None of that seemed to bother the Japanese. The magazine even includes two pages of dialogue from the film in its “Let’s Enjoy English Conversation in Movies” section:
THE LONG HOT SUMMER, a film from 1958 finally getting its release in Japan, starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Lee Remick and Orson Welles:
And a page devoted to Peter O’Toole at Haneda Airport, Tokyo:
There are more text-heavy sections on other films, with fewer pictures, elsewhere in the magazine:
TWO ON A GUILLOTINE, starring Connie Stevens, a film I saw in 1965:
CRACK IN THE WORLD:
Jerry Lewis in THE DISORDERLY ORDERLY:
STRONGROOM, a 1962 British crime drama:
THE SATAN BUG, which I also saw in 1965:
The French spy thriller, BANCO A BANGKOK POUR OSS 117 (PANIC IN BANGKOK, aka SHADOW OF EVIL), with Kerwin Mathews and Pier Angeli:
Some films are represented only by drawings, like this one of a climactic scene in Francois Truffaut’s THE SOFT SKIN (LE PEAU DOUCE):
And THE YELLOW ROLLS-ROYCE:
Curiously, there’s only one Japanese film featured in the entire magazine, RED BEARD, by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune (in his last film for Kurosawa):
That year’s Golden Globe winners (for 1964 releases) are featured, including, in the picture below, top left and right: Marcello Mastroianni, winner of World Film Favorite – Male; bottom left, James Stewart, winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, with presenter Carroll Baker (his HOW THE WEST WAS WON co-star); and, bottom right, Julie Andrews, winner of Best Actress—Comedy or Musical, for MARY POPPINS.
And here is Carolyn Jones with George Cukor, Best Director for MY FAIR LADY.
There’s a TV section that seems to be devoted solely to American television:
Top picture below: Danny Kaye and Elke Sommer from “The Danny Kaye Show”; bottom picture: Carroll Baker and Bob Hope in “The Bob Hope Comedy Special”:
Picture below, top, L-R: Richard Chamberlain and Joby Baker; Julie Newmar and Dick Van Dyke; Bottom: Hugh O’Brian and an actress I can’t identify:
A comedy number I can’t identify that seems to be spoofing the Beatles:
Hollywood star Nick Adams was in Japan in 1965 making two monster films, FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD and GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO, yet there’s no coverage of the star or either film, a curious omission. Maybe it was in another issue?
I also note the absence of several major Hollywood stars at the time. There’s no mention of John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Doris Day, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, or Audrey Hepburn, who was particularly popular in Japan. My guess, of course, is that they were in other issues of the magazine that year. I have no idea how often this magazine was published.
In any event, I find it interesting that so much of American and European pop culture was on display, to varying degrees, in Japan in 1965, twenty years after the end of World War II. I daresay a comparable American movie magazine of the time wouldn’t have given a fraction of the coverage to foreign films that we see in this magazine. Nor were there any American magazines, as far as I can recall, which covered foreign films for a general audience. There were magazines like Film Comment and Film Culture, but those were aimed at film buffs and scholars, a specialized audience.
Finally, here are some shots of Ueno Park, the flea market and table where I found the magazine: