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23 March 2010 @ 10:30 pm
The Rocketeer meets the most interesting people  
One of my favorite bits from Dave Stevens. The expressions on the faces of Betty and Monk are just priceless.

While Disney's THE ROCKETER was a perfectly enjoyable movie, it's too bad that legal considerations required many of the characters to be modified from the original. In Dave Stevens' strips, Cliff Secord runs into a series of classic characters from the pulps and B-movies.

In the movie, the rocketpack was invented by Howard Hughes, but originally it was the creation of none other than Clark Savage Jr. In this shadowy sequence, we see Renny, Johnny (with eyeglasses) and Long Tom (with the eyeshade). Doc is clearly based on James Bama's version, which in turn came from model Steve Holland. The gadget vest is conclusive.

Cliff's sort-of girlfriend Betty is none other than 1950s pin-up queen Bettie Page. Actually, Dave Stevens did a lot of revive interest in Bettie, and he got in touch with the elderly woman to help her out. I don't know of she ever received a cut of profits from all the merchandise, posters, T-shirts and such with her likeness but I certainly hope so.

The actor who played Lothar in the movie was heavily made up to resemble actor Rondo Hatton, who unfortunately did look like that in real life. Hatton suffered from acromegaly, and appeared in movies like PEARL OF DEATH and HOUSE OF HORRORS where his character "the Creeper" was a pyschotic killer who broke the backs of his victims (as does Lothar).

And this intimidating fellow calls himself Jonas. Those who have read the early novels of the Shadow know that messages could be left for him at a mail slot in a locked office door marked "B. Jonas."
stevegreen on March 24th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
Whilst Cliff's girlfriend had Bettie's face, her body was often that of Stevens' then-wife, the actress Brinke.
dr_hermes on March 24th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't catch that. I know who she was, I've seen some of her movies with the likes of Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer. But I didn't notice the different body types.

Obviously, the art needs to be studied more closely, not a chore.
michaeldoty on March 24th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Shameless plug time. The Rocketeer's adventures were recently collected in hardcover. Buy it here for $20- http://www.amazon.com/Rocketeer-Complete-Collection-Dave-Stevens/dp/1600105386/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269400474&sr=8-1 Well worth the money.
dr_hermes on March 24th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
dr_hermes on March 24th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
It is. Somehow I forgot the paragraph explaining who "Jonas" is, but I'll add it now.
full_metal_ox on March 26th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
When I saw figure skater Evan Lysacek on the Vancouver Olympics, his prodigious schnozz had me mentally costuming him in a long black coat, muffler, and fedora: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Evan_Lysacek_Podium_2009_Worlds.jpg
dr_hermes on March 26th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
That would work fine, he has the strong jawline.

If I had to come up with an actor right this second, I might try Adrian Brody from KING KONG and THE VILLAGE. In a different world, Universal might have cast Basil Rathbone as Lamont Cranston against Lionel Atwill as a mastermind.