Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema

Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies


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About the Book

Elvis Presley musicals, beach romps, biker flicks, and alienated youth movies were some of the most popular types of drive-in films during the sixties. The actresses interviewed for this book (including Celeste Yarnall, Lana Wood, Linda Harrison, Pamela Tiffin, Deanna Lund, Diane McBain, Judy Pace, and Chris Noel) all made their mark in these genres. These fantastic femmes could be found either twisting on the shores of Malibu, careening down the highway on a chopper, being serenaded by Elvis, or taking on the establishment as hip coeds. As cult figures, they contributed greatly to that period of filmmaking aimed at the teenage audience who frequented the drive-ins of America. They frolicked, screamed, and danced their way into B-movie history in such diverse films as Eve, Teenage Millionaire, The Girls on the Beach, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Three in the Attic, Wild in the Streets, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style. This book is a celebration of the actresses’ careers. They have for the most part been overlooked in other publications documenting the history of film. Fantasy Femmes addresses their film and television careers, focusing on their view of the above genres, their candid comments and anecdotes about their films, the people they worked with, and their feelings in general regarding their lives and the choices they made. The book is well illuminated and contains a complete list of film and television credits.

About the Author(s)

Tom Lisanti is the award-winning author of multiple books about 1960s and 1970s film and television history. He has appeared as a cohost on Turner Classic Movies and has written for Cinema Retro, Films of the Golden Age, Cinema of the ’70s, and Scary Monsters.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Lisanti

Foreword by Chris Noel

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: 143 photos, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2001]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6101-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0116-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Chris Noel      1
Preface      3
Introduction      5
Elvis, Beach, Biker and Alienated Youth Films: A Brief Summary      17

Joan O’Brien      27
Diane McBain      40
Joan Staley      53
Jill Haworth      67
Pamela Tiffin      79
Francine York      92
Joy Harmon      108
Eileen O’Neill      120
Julie Parrish      132
Jean Hale      146
Irene Tsu      158
Chris Noel      170
Lana Wood      184
Celeste Yarnall      197
Judy Pace      211
Salli Sachse      224
Deanna Lund      234
Karen Jensen      247
Linda Harrison      259
Tisha Sterling      271
More Groovy Gals      282

Bibliography      295
Index      299

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Lisanti gives 1960s glamour girls something they never had before in film circles: respect. His approach is a mixture of fun with the seriousness of a film historian. The concoction is irresistible, and it’s fantastic that these gals get their turn to tell their stories and share their good and bad times in the movie world…valuable…highly recommended…an amazing list of interviewees. Lisanti is the supreme chronicler of the ’60s era…simply amazing…excellent writer”—Classic Images
  • “interesting”—Video Watchdog
  • “another pearl from McFarland…wonderful photographs”—Beverly Hills Courier
  • “recommended”—VideoScope
  • “important…well written and always interesting”—Elvis Information Network
  • “thorough, well-researched and entertaining…chock full of good old-fashioned Hollywood cheese-cake photos”—Cult Movies
  • “essential…well-researched and insightful”—Shock Cinema
  • “fans of B-pictures from the psychedelic era will have fun with [this book]”—Burlington County Times