Some of the fondest memories of my childhood were provided by the former Dino Paul Crocetti of Steubenville, OH, a/k/a Dean Martin. Not that I was a big fan of his crooning or comedic stylings; but I knew whenever Dino appeared on the cathode ray tube, he would be accompanied by a bevy of bouffant & bikini babes who would invariably leave my Roebucks in a highly tightened condition.
Case in point: the Golddiggers. This scantily clad singing / dancing troupe began simply as "Dean's Girls" when his TV variety show debuted in 1965, but were rechristened as the Busby Berkelyesque "Golddiggers" for a 1968 summer replacement series. They continued as a Dean feature for the '68 and '69 season, and during the Moon landing summer of '70 starred in "Golddiggers in London," with comedy relief provided by bug-eyed Brit Marty Feldman. This was the program that first introduced Monty Python to the US audience. Here are the Golddiggers in action with Dean circa 1968:
Dean Martin's Golddiggers were disbanded in 1972, and replaced with a pared down quartet of girls named "the Ding-a-ling Sisters" for the waning years of Dean's series. What they lacked in numbers they made up for in frenzied go-go action. Witness this bit with Dean and Sinatra, circa '72:
Hot stuff, but Dino's TV series paled in comparison to his Matt Helm spy-spoof theatrical movies. I kept a vigilant watch on the TV Guide for Matt Helm reruns, because the innuendo was bigger (and the bikinis smaller) than anything made for the small screen. Between 1966 and 1969 four of these classics were made, with a boozy, lecherous Dean surrounded by some of the hottest dames ever to wear white fur unmentionables. Here's a sequence from "The Silencers" (1966) which featured a Stella Stevens and an opening title vamp by a lovely Cyd Charisse.
The second Matt Helm release of 1966, "Murderer's Row," paired Dino with Ann-Margaret at the the peak of her kittenish powers. Here's the closing scene featuring some alluring extras:
Next up: "The Ambushers" (1967), and a scene seared forever in my brain.
Dean's final Matt Helm appearance was in 1969's "The Wrecking Crew," co-starring Sharon Tate and with fight scenes choreographed by Bruce Lee. It would be the first screen appearance by Chuck Norris and the final for the tragically ill-fated Tate, who would soon after be murdered by the Manson family. Here she is is in a knockdown dragout with the exotic Nancy Kwan:
On behalf of lechers everywhere, thank you Dean Martin. We lift a highball glass in appreciation.