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Tag Archives: 1970s

She’s Got Legs

A couple of months ago, I took all of the Hasbro Toys commercials in the Duke University AdViews Archive and burnt them onto two DVDs for the household to enjoy. As far as I can tell, all of the commercials are from the ’70s. Multiple ads for iconic toys like G.I. Joe, Weebles, Mr. Potato Head, the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Charlie’s Angels dolls and Hungry Hungry Hippos make up a big chunk of the set. There are also quite a few delightful obscurities, however, including the commercial below (which I also uploaded to YouTube). According to their Wikipedia page, Leggy Fashion Dolls were on the market for just one year, in 1972-73. Sue, Jill, Nan and Kate dress in different groovy styles, but what they all share in common are their freakishly long legs. Love it!

Phyllis, with Syphilis

One of the benefits to Netflix‘s growing instant streaming library is the addition of rare and hard to find stuff, a veritable avalanche of new movies popping up seemingly without much fanfare. Among the latest batch was the 1975 TV movie Someone I Touched starring Cloris Leachman. C’mon, a movie in which the lead is a 40-ish, comfortably married woman who gets an STD? Count me in! This soapy drama is a bit of a forerunner to the kind of material Lindsay Wagner, Jacklyn Smith, Meredith Baxter Birney et al suffered through in the ’80s and ’90s — campy as all get out but also with moments of surprising depth and emotion. Leachman plays Laura Hyatt, a writer who enjoys a luxe California home and stable marriage with construction foreman James Olson. Their world goes into turmoil, however, when public health official Andrew Robinson informs Olson that he has contracted syphilis — just in time for the wife to announce that she’s pregnant! Will the baby be born diseased and (gasp) armless?

The film is somewhat leaden paced with moments of utter ridiculousness (tiny waisted, 48 year-old Leachman is supposed to be four months preggers?), but both of us actually enjoyed it tremendously. It sorta reminded me of those ABC Afterschool Specials from back in the day, only with a decidedly adult subject matter. Leachman looks fab with a great wardrobe and a huge mane of blonde hair, and she works in an office with a freaky mechanical doll hovering over her (and a drawing of said doll hung on the wall!). In addition to starring, she also sings the sappy title song by “The Morning After” composers Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. There’s also a nice scene with Olson wandering through a very ’70s supermarket. Although I’ve had issues with the picture quality on many Netflix streaming movies, this one looked visually pristine. If you’re seeking a serious/kitschy look at how ’70s-era adults dealt with infidelity and STDs, look no further.

Related: review of Someone I Touched.

California Déjà Vu

From this video of TV show opening credits of 1979, a long forgotten one — California Fever. I used to watch this every week, but I honestly don’t remember a thing about it except the theme song (sung by actor Jimmy MacNichol) and that pulsating red circle in the opening. The montage also includes Real People, a show I watched zealously week after week. I had a little boy crush on Sarah Purcell.