Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Julie Ege 1943-2008

This is a publicity shot. In Creatures the World Forgot she kept her top on and had dark hair.

A joyous picture

I was saddened to learn of the death, at the end of April, of Norwegian actress Julie Ege. Julie was the star of the Hammer prehistoric film, Creatures the World Forgot (1971).

The coast at Sandnes in Norway. Also very, very attractive

Born Julie Dzuli in the Norwegian coastal town of Sandnes in southern Norway she became a model before moving to Oslo and winning the Miss Norway contest in 1962 (surely one of the harder beauty contests to win?).

Miss Universe finalists 1962. Julie is on the middle row second from the left

She went onto the Miss Universe competition but didn't even make the last fifteen, incomprehensibly.

She worked as an au pair in London before appearing in a film in Norway and then returning to London.

Then her husband persauded her to appear in Bob Guccione's Penthouse magazine. Guccione started Penthouse in London four years before the American edition and indeed, even when the magazine appeared in the US most of the early Pets were from Europe.

Unlike her French equivalent London-based sex symbol, Pascal Francoise, Julie never appeared as a Pet in the US edition but she did go on to make a string of. largely, sex comedies in the UK in the early seventies. Her Penthouse appearance did get her a brief role as the Scandinavian babe in the Bond film OHMSS and she also appeared in one of my favourite films of the seventies, the hugely underrated The Final Programme (1974). She was also incandescently beautiful in Roman hairdo and dress in Frankie Howard's Up Pompeii (1971).

How she looked in Creatures the World Forgot.

But it is for her appearance in Creatures that the World Forgot that we remember her here. By this stage Hammer no longer required their heroines to wear fur bikini tops and Julie was always ready to strip off if the part required it artistically but it was her female co-stars who appeared topless not Julie.

When faced with Julie many directors seemed to have these artistic leanings (although she claimed she only appeared nude in 3 brief scenes in all of her films).

A timelessly beautiful girl.

As a teenager in the seventies when, frankly, there were very few really attractive women in the media (100 Sexiest Women of the year? You'd be lucky to come up with a handful for the whole of the decade!) Julie was the personification of gorgeous Nordic naughtiness for me and most of Britain in the early and mid-seventies.

She became a famous personality over and above her film career and achieved a national profile in a way that, for example, Caroline Munro, for all her cult following, never did. She made her last UK film, The Amorous Milkman (!) in 1975 and apart from a few TV and stage appearances in Norway left show business to train as a carer.

She was first diagnosed with cancer in 1986 and although that was successfully treated she was stricken with lung cancer in 2002 but continued to work as a nurse.

Julie in 1999

This picture of her in 1999 shows that she was still gorgeous at 56.

As a cavegirl we really can't give her anything but:

Cavegirl Rating: 9/10 (and she only loses a point for the dark wig)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Where is Ayla?

Someone has left me a comment asking why there is nothing about Ayla, from Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear book and film, on this site.

Well, a very good question, Kayla (which sounds like a cavegirl name in itself - but also could mean you are an oil rig worker from one of the more remote areas that look at this blog-look at the map at the bottom!).

Kayla says "I mean...Ayla is tall, blonde, large breasted cavewoman. What more could you want?" This is true, although my personal taste in women runs to slim, athletic types with dark hair.

Jean M Auel's Earth's Children series is a sequence of novels set around (I think) 20,000 years ago. I put off reading the first one for many years as I had got it into my head that Jean Auel was actually a Frenchman (rather than a lady from Chicago) and I don't usually enjoy translated books as there always seems to be something stilted about them. I was, of course, confusing The Clan of the Cave Bear with Quest for Fire by J.-H. Rosny Aîné.

Well, facing one of my London to Los Angeles flights a couple of years ago I picked up The Clan of the Cave Bear at the airport and enjoyed it a lot. So much so that I bought all the other books in the series. Ms Auel famously knows her stuff when it comes to prehistoric techniques in such areas as weaving, tool-making and pharmacology (I am not able to judge on her descriptions of prehistoric sex, which are quite frank for a middle-aged lady). I have read The Valley of Horses and have nearly finished The Mammoth Hunters but these are big, dense books and you need time to do them justice; something I am usually short off except on long plane trips.

So where is our feisty heroine on these pages? The fact of the matter is that there are so many cavegirls and only so much time. I fully intend to feature Ayla in the future but I want to watch the film of The Clan of the Cave Bear first (featuring the appropriately statuesque Darryl Hannah).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Neolithic men raided other tribes for women and pigs

Christmas (or whatever cavemen had) for a Neolithic tribesman

A recent re-examination of a 7,000 year old mass grave in Talheim, German, has demonstrated that Neolithic men would raid other settlements for women. Tests proved that this post-raid gravesite showed that whilst all the men and children originated from the one tribe the (few) women came from different ones. Most of the victims had been executed or shot in the back with arrows (presumably whilst fleeing). The fact that there were no women of the tribe in the grave indicates that the women of the tribe had been kidnapped, it is assumed. The women who were in the group could conceivably have been raiders killed in the fighting, researchers postulate. Equally, I would have thought, if women-raiding was prevalent then they could have been women who did belong to that tribe but had originated elsewhere as a result of their own raiding. Or maybe they were just the really ugly ones who weren't worth stealing.

The Talheim gravesite

Dr Alex Bentley of Durham University, who led the team, said: "there is a theory that the most violent feuds in developing communities are motivated by women and pigs and this would slot into that theory." Quite. It was tough being a stone-age cavegirl (or a pig) but at least women's worth was high.