Thursday, May 31, 2012

From my collection: Mari Lynn, Laura Mason and the Bowery Boys

There isn't very far from The Three Stooges, whom we discussed in the previous posts, to The Bowery Boys. Except, of course, that the Stooges did their slapstick routine in around 15 minutes while the Bowery Boys stretched theirs out to sometimes an interminable feature length. But like the Stooges at Columbia, Monogram/Allied Artists' Slip, Sach, Bobby, Whitey, Chuck, etc. were surrounded by luscious chicks who, in real life, wouldn't have given the overgrown “teenagers” a second, or even fifth, look. But there they nevertheless were: a parade of Hollywood starlets that included (in the early 1940s) Ava Gardner and, later, the curvy Veola Vonn.

Marianna Lynn (top left), who turns up as Huntz Hall's daughter in Paris Playboys (1954), later simplified her name to Mari Lynn and appeared on such television programs Wells Fargo and Perry Mason. But let's briefly explain how she came to play Huntz Hall's daughter. Actually, Hall plays a dual role in Paris Playboys, his usually dumb-as-a-bag-of-hair Sach and Sach's doppelgänger, a Parisian rocket scientist. Comedic melee ensues. Marianna/Mari was Miss Belgium Universe of 1952.

More voluptuous even than Mari Lynn, Laura Mason was sometimes billed as “The Body” and was heavily promoted by Allied Artists in connection with her performance as a Vampira-style Vampire in The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954), a pre-Addams Family haunted house affair that plays just as you'd expect. Miss Mason, who also advertized “Hollywood Bread” (“only 42 calories per slice!”), later turned up as one of the handmaidens in the infamous Queen of Outer Space (1958) and then toured the burlesque circuit.


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