Thursday, October 6, 2011

Elke Sommer: Another in the long line of '60s blondes I pretended to be when I was little and even now a little bit

Actor, singer, dancer, and painter Elke Sommer bewitched my idolization-prone brain at an early age, when I first saw 1964's A Shot in the Dark on VHS. Yup, that far back, har dee har, VHS's are lame and obsolete.

In this superior sequel to the immensely popular Pink Panther from a year before, Sommer was not only drop dead gorgeous, but she also got the joke of her wide-eyed, damsel-in-distress character, making her an endearing parody without mocking. Despite her ingenue status, her wrongly accused Maria is obviously more together than Sellers' Daffy Duck meets Pepe Le Pew Inspector Clouseau, yet she never acts exasperated or jaded when in the company of her clumsy protector.

This may sound heretical, but I think Sommers both prettier and more charming than, say, Brigitte Bardot or Britt Ekland. She has the kittenish poutiness that made Bardot famous, along with the Germanic appeal and shizamwowza bod of Ekland, yet in either less generic extremes or with softer charm. Or, frankly, I'm just forever beguiled by her dainty Maria, as we tend to immortalize the favorites from our youth.

You know what you guys really want? Another kitchy video, of Sommer showing off what I assume are her own pipes in this cheese-tastic, groovylacious song "Oh I Love You" from 1965. The title's the only English part. I wish I looked this tantalizing in emerald green.

The related videos look...disturbing at best. Stop tainting the goofy but clean childhood memories I have associated with this nice lady, internet!


  1. Hey, Laura, me, too! I first was enthralled by her in "A Shot in the Dark", but it was a goofy film called "The Art of Love" that did it for me. I wanted that hair and that turned up nose. She was a 60s dream girls, for sure.

  2. I was fortunate enough to get a turned-up nose of my own rather than the snozzes my brothers got. But I look terrible as a blonde. Alas.

    For some reason, I never think much about Sommers's film career, because I associate her with seventies-era television and talk show appearances.

    Oh, and welcome back.

  3. FlickChick, I love the hair, nose, and that wide grin, too. It's sad she was never more famous.

    Thank you, Vulnavia! I had a temporary job that was eating up most of my time (pff, real life), but hopefully I'll be more active now.

    I've never tried it, but I'm kinda sure I would make a pretty terrifying blonde.

  4. Gosh.. I love that song.. and Elke Sommer..