Raquel, Raquel! 60’s Sex Symbol And “C-C-C-Catfight Seinfeld Star” Raquel Welch!

Enter the world of sex symbols…a world of movie trailers that boldly proclaim:

“Introducing Raquel Welch, the amazing star discovery of this, or any year!”

Celebrating the 60’s Sex Kitten Raquel Welch!

Yep, let’s go back to an era when one of the world’s most beautiful women became the world’s biggest star – all based on a very revealing movie outfit!

Raquel Welch burst onto the movie scene in the mid-60’s with a popular movie that resulted in the most iconic pin-up poster of the 60’s…first, where is all began: she was born Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, the first of three children born to Bolivian Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo, an aerospace engineer, and his Irish-American wife Josephine Sarah Hall.

This image, of Raquel in the animal skin bikini, was the best-selling pin-up poster of the 60’s, and turned her into an international sex kitten – a picture that was taken originally from the set of her first movie, the smash hit “One Million Years B.C.”

One Million Years B.C.

The movie was the perfect vehicle for Welch – a story of life in prehistoric times, when there was little dialogue and fewer clothes…

Narrator: This is a story of long, long ago; when the world was just beginning.

I LOVE when the trailer proclaims, “Introducing Raquel Welch, the amazing star discovery of this, or any year!”

The film was a big hit, even though the plot was, shall we say, prehistoric:

Caveman Tumak is banished from his savage tribe. He finds a brief home among a group of gentle seacoast dwelling cave people until he is banished from them as well.

Missing him, one of their women, Loana leaves with him, deciding to face the harsh prehistoric world with its monsters and volcanoes as a couple. Yes, this was an excuse to show Raquel Welch looking like this for the entire movie:

And it included such memorable dialogue between Raquel and her co-star:

Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
Ahot: [pointing to himself] Ahot.
Tumak: Ahot.
Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
[pointing to herself]
Loana: Loana.
[pointing to Tumak]

Loana: Nnn?
Tumak: [misunderstanding] Ahot.
Loana: [pointing to Ahot] Ahot.
[pointing to herself]
Loana: Loana.
[pointing to Tumak]
Tumak: Tumak.

Yes, this is dialogue from the movie. But it didn’t matter, as it catapulted Raquel to stardom, and she followed up with a wide variety of roles that showcased her beauty more than her acting ability…

And of course, sexy photo shoots like this kept her popular with the guys, so naturally she teamed up with one of the biggest male action stars of the 70’s…

Fuzz. 1972. Police in Boston search for a mad bomber trying to extort money from the city. The cops in charge of finding this “mad bomber” are Burt Reynold, Raquel Welch and Tom Skerritt.

According to IMDB, Raquel Welch did not like Burt Reynolds because of unsavory comments he made while they were filming “100 Rifles” together. So, in this movie Welch insisted that she not have any direct scenes with Reynolds. The closest they get is during the interrogation. Even when in the same room they never have direct eye contact.

Burt was on the cusp of becoming a superstar here…and this funny, action-packed comedy helped keep his career trajectory going up for years to come. Of course, pictures like this also reinforced that she was America’s sexiest star…

This next film helped showcase a tender side to Raquel – one of her best acting performances ever as part of a terrific ensemble cast of Hollywood veterans!


The Last of Sheila.

This is one of my favorite films of all time. A classic “whodunnit” written by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim. Yes, THAT Anthony Perkins and THAT Stephen Sondheim. In real life they were great friends and both loved puzzles.

They loved puzzle so much that they they wrote a movie that celebrated them, directed by Herbert Ross. Movie Producer James Coburn invites a Director, Writer, Starlet, Agent, and a hanger on or two to spend a week on his yacht off the French Riviera.

The reason? To play a game…but there is something far more serious at play…Dyan Cannon, James Mason, Raquel Welch and Richard Benjamin co-star in one of the best mysteries ever, with plenty of twists and lots of tongue in cheek pokes at Hollywood.

Christine: [while suntanning] I have to do 25 minutes on my stomach.
Alice: To make up for the 25 minutes you spent on your back, last night?

Raquel was perfect as Alice, the sex kitten who has a few secrets, a lot of insecurity, and a warmth we hadn’t seen from Raquel in the movies. She does a GREAT job here – and is integral to the plot that unfolds…

The film takes place off the French Riviera, one of the most beautiful places in the world. You see that in the movie, but the weather is fickle, which caused problems during filming…

Shooting the monastery sequence just off Cannes proved to be troublesome for Raquel Welch. Gale force winds and rain disrupted the night shoot, and Welch was reluctant to leave her Venice hotel for fear of getting stuck in the storm. “This glamorous picture in the wonderful sunny Cote d’Azur has turned out to be a bit of a splodge,” Welch told a journalist. “This is not my idea of an enjoyable evening, but they’re paying you the money. I just go ahead and do it and don’t complain.”

Again, a great movie, and a terrific job by Raquel, who would, unfortunately, fall back a bit in her next few films, utilizing, shall we say, her greatest assets…


Mother Jugs & Speed

Yes, you read the name of the movie correctly. In case you were wondering, Raquel is NOT the fast one in this movie…but she did star with Bill Cosby and Harvey Keitel..once again, Raquel worked with a number of big stars in the 70’s along with headline a few films on her own as well, such as “Hannie Caulder” and “Kansas City Bomber”…

This goofy comedy had a very simple plotline: A new law says that the first ambulance that arrives at an accident obtains the contract to transport the injured person. The result is ruthless competition between several companies. Raquel showed up to look pretty and live up to the title…

Tony Malatesta: They don’t call me Speed for nuthin’.
Jugs: Well, let’s hope they don’t call you Speed for everything!

But just when you thought she didn’t have more to offer, here comes Jerry Seinfeld with a classic episode highlighting Raquel’s comedic chops!

C-C-C-CATFIGHT!

Finally, “Seinfeld” fans know that Raquel did a terrific job on the episode where Kramer wins a Tony and Elaine has a problem with her “arm swinging” co-worker…a classic!

There are plenty of other highlights for Raquel – “Kansas City Bomber”, “Hannie Caulder” and “100 Rifles” just to name a few – and lots of Broadway and TV stuff as well – congrats Raquel – keep swinging those arms!



Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Exploitation films, Grindhouse, Movies, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, TV Show, Uncategorized

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8 replies

Trackbacks

  1. Richard Burton Freezes Raquel Welch! “Bluebeard’s” Classic “Euro-Sleaze!” | johnrieber
  2. Jayne Mansfield – The Tragic Life Of Hollywood’s Legendary Sex Kitten! | johnrieber
  3. Iconic Sex Kitten Jayne Mansfield! Her Fascinating Hollywood Life! | JR-Sploitation!
  4. Suck Down Some “White Lightning!” “Hicksploitation!” Burt Reynolds’ “Gator!” Good ‘Ol Boy Action Classics! | johnrieber
  5. “Sexy” Nun Raquel Welch! “Dirty” Devil Vomit Bags! Classic Euro-Sleaze! | JR-Sploitation!
  6. Raquel Welch! Dinosaur Slayer! Burt Reynolds Feud! “Seinfeld” Catfight! A Million Reasons To Love This Iconic Sex Kitten! – johnrieber
  7. Happy 4th Of July From Raquel Welch! – Action A Go Go, LLC
  8. Iconic Hollywood Sex Kitten Jayne Mansfield! A Successful Career And Tragic Hollywood End… – JR-Sploitation!

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