Home Entertainment Raquel Welch: a strong and powerful personality with a rarely-tapped gift for comedy

Raquel Welch: a strong and powerful personality with a rarely-tapped gift for comedy

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Raquel Welch: a strong and powerful personality with a rarely-tapped gift for comedy

The time period “intercourse image” reeks of a bygone age of smirking sexism, and fairly often feminine stars landed with this tag could be given some unique outfit. Ursula Andress had her ivory-white bikini with chunky belt buckle in Dr No; Jane Fonda had her smooth one-piece with black stripes and thigh-length boots because the glam astronaut in Barbarella.

However probably the most outrageous piece of sex-symbol costuming of all time was given to Raquel Welch, who was known as upon to rock a revealing doeskin two-piece in her position as Loana the Truthful One within the 1966 dinosaur journey One Million Years BC, that includes stop-motion dino motion by Ray Harryhausen, and primarily based on the less-than-scientific notion that people and dinosaurs coexisted.

Loana was the ultrasexy cavebabe who had three traces within the movie, however the poster picture of Welch on this fairly extraordinary outfit made her a legend. Welch turned naughty-but-nice shorthand for a luscious star that blokes of all ages would secretly or not-so-secretly lust after; a kind of sitcom gag, like dads watching Prime of the Pops and ready for Pan’s Individuals to come back on.

Kenneth Branagh’s latest film Belfast has a shot of Welch entrancing a saucer-eyed household viewers on this movie. And actually, Welch turned much more of a legend in Britain for a publicity stunt in 1972, when – in London to advertise her British-produced western Hannie Caulder – she declared herself to be a Chelsea FC fan, dressed up in Chelsea strip for the photographers and went to a Chelsea dwelling match in opposition to Leicester Metropolis within the itchy-bearded firm of Jimmy Hill. Welch was a robust, highly effective persona, who didn’t simper or blush however regarded completely amused, as if she may eat any of her admirers for breakfast.

Welch with Strother Martin, Jack Elam and Ernest Borgnine in Hannie Caulder.
Welch with Strother Martin, Jack Elam and Ernest Borgnine in Hannie Caulder. {Photograph}: Cinetext/Paramount/Allstar

In reality, Welch had cult-classic moments earlier than and after her ersatz-Jurassic apotheosis. She had appeared with Frank Sinatra in a now-forgotten thriller known as Woman in Cement (and actually had a tiny look within the Elvis Presley movie Roustabout). She had been one of many crew within the wonderful sci-fi film Implausible Voyage, shrunk to microscopic measurement and despatched into the physique of an essential scientist to restore his mind – and inevitably she needed to mannequin a figure-hugging wetsuit.

In Stanley Donen’s Bedazzled, with Peter Prepare dinner and Dudley Moore, through which hapless Dudley sells his soul to the satan, Welch seems because the determine of Lilian Lust who clambers into mattress with him carrying ketchup-red lingerie. Welch obtained no essential respect for her lead efficiency within the little-liked film model of Gore Vidal’s novel Myra Breckinridge in 1970: her taking part in a transgender character is maybe the least of the movie’s issues.

However like so many performers caught with the “intercourse image” job description, Welch had a present for comedy which was generally indulged and generally not: she scored an excellent success together with her efficiency because the sly Constance de Bonacieux in Richard Lester’s all-star Dumas romps The Three Musketeers and The 4 Musketeers, having a steamy indiscretion with Michael York’s D’Artagnan.

And she or he has actual presence in James Ivory’s Hollywood Golden Age drama The Wild Get together from 1975 (an affect on Damien Chazelle’s Babylon), through which she performs the loyal mistress of a has-been star who’s internet hosting an orgy for influential moguls.

Her superstar within the Nineteen Seventies was colossal and it’s a pity that no film-maker may fairly carry out of her that mixture of drollery and brassy bodily energy that would properly have produced an amazing comedy. However she was an icon: an attractive warrior who was greater than a match for human or dinosaur.

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