SIRKI’S SUMMONS – September 29: Houdini & The REAL #1 Bond Girl

Apparently, Prince Sirli needed to dictate a few letters, and so he went and collected the best secretary a spy ever had: Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny – the personal secretary of James Bond’s boss, M – passed away on this day in 2007. Miss Moneypenny was constantly covering Bond’s lateness with the boss, as well as covering for him by saying there was no answer, whenever M tried to call him. Miss Maxwell had one of the longest runs in the series, starting with DR. NO and ending with A VIEW TO A KILL. She even played Bernard Lee’s (M) secretary in OPERATION KID BROTHER (aka Double 007) which was made purely to cash in on Bond’s popularity, starring Sean Connery’s younger brother as the younger brother of “Britain’s greatest secret agent'” when the elder brother is not available.

One year ago today, Prince Sirki reached into a top hat, and pulled out Tony Curtis. Born Bernie Schwartz, Mr. Curtis had a long, amazing career, running the gamut from comedy to high drama. In his one trip to the (semi) fantastic, he played legendary magician Harry Houdini opposite his (then) wife, Janet Leigh in George Pal’s lavish, though extremely fictionalized and white-washed bio-pic, HOUDINI. For the film, Curtis & Leigh underwent four months of extensive training with professional magician George Boston, and performed the classic ‘Metamorphosis’ trick without any camera cuts. He retained his slight of hand traning, and was actually inducted into The Magician’s Society. Writers other than myself have described his career with more justice, but this was his only real ‘fantasy’ film, though, thus his inclusion in Sirki’s Summons.

Finally, on this day in 1993, Prince Sirki summoned Director Gordon Douglas. whose career ranged from The Little Rascals to working with Sinatra & the Rat Pack in ROBIN AND THE 7 HOODS to The King -Elvis Presley – in FOLLOW THAT DREAM. As for being included in Sirki’s Summons, I use one word – THEM! Mr. Douglas directed James Arness, James Whitmore, Joan Weldon & Edmund Gwenn in combat against giant, mutated ants in the sci-fi classic.

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