Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

As Old As Cain, by M.E. Chaber



When Robert McGinnis set about painting a cover for the 1971 Paperback Library edition of As Old As Cain, the third of M.E. Chaber’s Milo March mysteries, he imagined actor James Coburn and actress-singer Goldie Hawn as his models. The girl was nude in his original painting, but that image was thought to be too racy, so he added a bra and panties; later he restored the art to its original state (below).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Drugged Detectives

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In “The Flip Side,” the 20th episode of NBC-TV’s The Outsider (originally broadcast on February 26, 1969), Darren McGavin--playing ex-con-turned private eye David Ross--is drugged by actress Carrie Snodgress. As the authorized Darren McGavin Web site explains, “The psychological drama involves Ross with a plain sister [Snodgress] who hires him to find her missing sister, a glamorous model involved in an underworld ring dealing in narcotics, and gets involved in an extortion racket.”

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Jigsaw was a 1968 film originally produced for NBC as a movie of the week. “However, due to content NBC refused to run it, so Universal gave it a theatrical release instead,” says this write-up in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). TV Guide offers the following synopsis of that now-cultish motion picture:
This drug-related mystery has [actor Bradford] Dillman finding himself in someone else’s apartment with a dead woman submerged in the bathtub. Discovering dried blood on his hand, he wonders if he was responsible for her death during an accidental LSD-induced blackout the night before. He hires [Harry] Guardino [playing private detective Arthur Belding] to find out what really happened. Under Guardino’s supervision he takes a dose of the drug, attempting to recall the previous night's events. They discover Dillman’s co-worker [Pat] Hingle had slipped LSD into his coffee as part of an intricate blackmail scheme. In order to get Dillman’s girlfriend and his job in a government think tank, Hingle set him up.

Amid many special camera techniques which try to approximate the drug’s effects, it turns out that Dillman’s superior, [played by Victor] Jory, had been involved with the dead woman. She had been blackmailed as a result, and when she threatened to go to the police, Hingle killed her, and Jory was complicit. In a confrontation with Dillman, Hingle gets his, plummeting to the pavement from a high-up window of their think-tank office building.

Three of the people in the cast are better known for their TV work: Susan Saint James for
McMillan & Wife (with Rock Hudson), James Doohan for Star Trek, and Kent McCord for Adam 12.
As the second clip above shows, at one point a bad buy portrayed by Michael J. Pollard arranges to send Belding on a hallucinogenic trip of his own.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Duke, starring Robert Conrad

Here’s an NBC-TV promo for the April 13, 1979, series premiere of The Duke, starring Robert Conrad as a former professional boxer turned Chicago private eye. This Stephen J. Cannell production lasted only two episodes.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

A Chaotic Mishmash



The cover shown above, writes Art Scott, co-author of The Art of Robert E. McGinnis (Titan), is “a perfect example of the oddball use of McGinnis images on foreign editions … My Finnish is a bit rusty, but the copyright page tells us this is Assignment Peking, [the 28th entry] in the Sam Durell series. OK, the Asian girl in traditional garb explains why it was used, but are we really supposed to think that’s mod superspy Sam Durell in the background, dressed just like Lee Van Cleef in For a Few Dollars More? The original was painted for a 1962 Dell western by Hal G. Evarts, The Silver Concubine, set in 1883. Like I said, as long as there was a pretty girl …”

Brooks Wilson Ltd., 1966

Robert McGinnis’ original, wrap-around artwork for Brooks Wilson Ltd., by J.M. Ryan (Gold Medal, 1966). Click the image below to enlarge it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

So Young, So Cold, So Fair (Dell, 1958)

This was the first paperback novel to carry a cover painting by Robert McGinnis.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Epitaph for a Dead Beat (1959)

This book and David Markson’s previous novel for Dell, Epitaph for a Tramp (1959), both carried cover art by Robert McGinnis.