Stephen Boyd takes Raquel Welch out on the town in NYC…but forgets his wallet! 1965

Handsome movie star Stephen Boyd, in town from Hollywood, forgot his wallet when he took beautiful brunette star Raquel Welch from the St. Regis Hotel to see the comedy, “Luv”. Miss Welch, starring with him in ‘Fantastic Voyage’, had no money either, not even enough to take care of the 75-cent fare. But cabbie Bruce Mullins cashed Miss Welch’s $10 check – in the theater rush hour, yet. You’d better never knock New York cabbies to them!” (Detroit Free Press, Feb 15, 1965)”

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Stephen Boyd – 50th Anniversary of “The Caper of the Golden Bulls”, 1967

The Paramount Picture action/adventure movie which starred Stephen Boyd, Yvette Mimieux and Giovanna Ralli was released on May 24, 1967, which makes this month the 50th Anniversary! Talk about a movie which needs a little love. It is still waiting for its DVD release, let alone a Blu-Ray edition. Come on Paramount Pictures! So this is not the finest piece of cinema ever made – but it could be luscious a looking movie, and one can only imagine if the colors were enhanced how amazing it would be visually. As it is, the only current available version is a dull looking copy with bad sound. I dubbed a little bit of a better version from VHS tape recently, but this film needs help and restoration badly.

Joseph E. Levine produced the picture, and was so impressed with Stephen Boyd from “The Oscar” that he immediately signed him to this project, based on the action novel by William P. McGivern.  Stephen Boyd definitely commands the screen in this movie with just raw charisma.  Stephen is simply playing the stalwart, good-looking protagonist here (even though he is a professional bank robber!), but with his stunning handsome looks in a sexy 60’s wardrobe by Edith Head, and his perfectly taut and chiseled naked torso flashing during the climactic bank robbery, he doesn’t need to do much. Giovanna Ralli definitely steals the show with her vibrant smile, perky Natalie Wood-like charm and a thick, syrupy Italian accent.  Her chemistry with Boyd seems genuine. Yvette Mimieux is also entertaining as the clever ‘dumb’ blond who actually wins out in the end by outwitting everyone else. The characters don’t really get a chance to develop too much but – its a caper movie, as the title obviously indicates. You can’t expect “Dr. Zhivago” here, folks. Several other entertaining character actors, such as Vitto Scotti, William Slezak and Arnold Moss, enhance the cast to make this a perfect summer, escape action movie. The unique part of this movie is that it involved the robbery of the Banco Nacional during the ‘Running of the Bulls’, or the ‘Feria del Toro San Fermin’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fermín). This is an annual event which takes place in one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite towns in Spain called Pamplona. Thousands of people attend the event in July every year.

The key day of the festival is 7 July, when thousands of people accompany the 15th-century statue of Saint Fermin through the old part of Pamplona. The statue is accompanied by dancers and street entertainers, and different political and religious authorities including the city mayor.[12] During procession a Jota (an ancient traditional dance) is performed for the saint, a rose is offered in the Saint Fernin well, and the “gigantes” (enormous wood-framed and papier-mâché puppet figures managed from inside) dance and twirl while the cathedral bell named María (Mary) peals.[13)  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fermín)

The ‘gigantes’ plays a key role in the movie during the bank robbery, as does the “Running of the Bulls”. The cast was flown to Pamplona, Spain in July of 1966 to film the action sequences involving the ‘Running of the Bulls’, and then returned to Hollywood in August to complete the picture on the back-lots and sounds stages of Paramount Studios.

Reviews of the film were lukewarm at best.

“Now comes along one of the weakest entires ever, “The Caper of the Golden Bulls” (citywide), a waste of time for all but the least discriminating audiences and a waste of the talent of its stars, Stephen Boyd, Yvette Mimieux and Italian actress Giovanna Ralli.

It seems that Boyd and some of his service buddies,feeling guilty for having bombed a French cathedral by mistake during World War II, took to robbing German banks after the war to pay for its restoration. (A more far fetched gimmick to make cross good guys would be hard to imagine)…Indeed, the real crime is perpetuated on the actors: Miss Mimieux has but a bit part as Boyd’s girl friend, Miss Ralli has been allowed to play so broadly that one would never guess that she is one of the most accomplished young European actresses and not just another Italian starlet, and Boyd, who comes out of this mess best, has been surrounded by a bunch of unfamiliar and unappealing cohorts…The excitement of the running of the bulls…has been vitiated by the murky, washed-out look of the Pathe Color print.” Kevin Thomas, 14 June 1967, Los Angeles Times.

It sounds like even when the film came out it needed a little color enhancement! Regardless, I really enjoy this movie every time I watch it. It’s just a fun film, and the more you watch it, the more you enjoy the minor characters which, perhaps during the first viewing,  didn’t capture your attention. And it is also one Stephen Boyd’s most attractive roles. I am proud to say – Happy 50th Anniversary to “The Caper of the Golden Bulls”!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Stephen Boyd Golfing Tales

It’s hard to imagine that Stephen passed away 40 years ago on June 2nd! What a fine actor and a warm, Irish personality he was. He still retains a substantial worldwide fan-base (including many of you who have commented on this blog, in fact!).  I have enjoyed so many of his movies and his roles.  This blog has been devoted to sharing stories and photos about Stephen Boyd,  his movies and his life. So for this particular anniversary I thought I’d share a few fun stories about Stephen on the golf course. Why? Well, golfing was Stephen’s favorite pastime, and it was also what he was doing when he had a heart attack on June 2, 1977.

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Stephen got hooked on golfing about the time came to Hollywood full time. It was apparently actress Elana Eden, who Steve dated in early 1960, that got him interested in the sport.

Maybe it’s the influence of Elana Eden that has turned Stephen Boyd into such a wild-eyed golf enthusiast that he gets up at 6 o’clock practically every morning to get out to the links. – Louella Parsons, 10 March 1960, Philadelphia Inquirer 

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Soon Stephen was golfing at just about any moment he could- including overseas film locations, where he spent most of the early 1960’s.

“It’s crazy,” new golf addict Steve Boyd told me. “While working in Madrid this summer I played a lot of golf. One day I saw George Sanders on an opposite fairway. His caddy was lugging a bag full of clubs and Sanders was swinging away like Arnold Palmer. But he was playing without a ball.

“Later at the clubhouse, I asked him, ‘What the devil were you doing out there?’

“He explained that he was off his game and it was his method of returning to a more relaxed swing. As a matter of fact, playing without a ball in Spain is a great idea,” Boyd chuckled, “You have to search for it even if you hit it straight down the fairway. What they call a fairway looks like our rough.”

Boyd was in Madrid for filming of “Fall of the Roman Empire.” Since becoming a golf nut, with a Palm Springs home only a wedge shot from a country club, he refers to the movie as “that golf picture.”

The first letters of the words in the title, he points out, spell out “FORE”

At the moment Boyd is swinging away on Palm Springs courses after completing “The Third Secret.” in England. He once scored a 76, but has not broken 80 recently. – Erskine Johnson, 26 January 1964, The Jackson Sun

Stephen usually preferred to golf alone or with close friends, and he enjoyed the silence and calm of the golf course.

The actor says he spends half of his weekends golfing at Palm Springs- alone.

“In three and a half hours on the course along I play a better game than when I’m with a foursome. There’s no tension, no nerves. And at the end of that time, all your problems are gone.” – Gene Hhandsaker, 25 September, 1966 Oakland Tribune, Stephen Boyd ‘Filmland Loner’

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Another fun story, which I am sure Stephen told many times over, happened during the filming of “Slaves” during the summer 1968. The movie was filmed near Shreveport, LA in July and August of that year. It must have been hideously hot and humid, but this did not deter Stephen from golfing!

Stephen Boyd took time off from work on “The Slaves” to play golf at the nearby Shreveport, La., Country Club. And he got a hole-in-one he’ll be talking about for years. He got his ace on the 165-yard third hold when he belted his seven iron three feet in front of the pin and, “like it had eyes,” Stephen sighed, “the ball took one bounce and dropped in.”

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Bravo Stephen! A Hole-in-One!

Stephen appears in two of his 70’s movies practicing his golf moves (you wonder how demanding these movie schedules were if Stephen had time incorporate putting and swinging during actual filming!)

A scene from “A Million for a Blonde” in 1972—Stephen’s character in the film gets to mix a little romance with golfing here with an unnamed actress. Lucky lady!

 And also “The African Story” from 1971, where Stephen gets to show off very impressive golf swing during a scene with Marie Du Toit.

Stephen’s last day came on a golf course near his home in Tarzana, California called Porter Valley Country Club (photo below). It is located about 10 miles due north of his house. Stephen had just returned from Hawaii from the filming of the tenth season premiere episode of “Hawaii Five-O”. He was getting ready to film “The Wild Geese” with producer Euan Lloyd and a slew of great international stars, including Roger Moore (RIP!), Richard Burton and Richard Harris. Tragically, he would not get to make this film. It was a Thursday morning when Stephen decided to go golfing with his wife, Liz Mills. Somewhere between the fifth and sixth tees Stephen felt ill in the golf cart and collapsed. He had experienced a fatal heart attack, and he died a short time later.

Hopefully Stephen Boyd is still golfing in heaven as I write this blog. It was a tragedy to lose Stephen so early in life (only 45 years old), but the fact that he was doing something he loved with someone he loved (his wife Liz Mills) adds a little consolation to the tragedy.

RIP Stephen Boyd. Your fans still appreciate you and your work!

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Stephen Boyd and Joan Collins

Stephen first met Joan Collins in late 1956 when he filmed the Darryl F. Zanuck production of the somewhat controversial racial drama “The Island in the Sun” in the Barbados. Joan Collins doesn’t mention any specific love affair with Boyd in her auto-biographies, but clearly the two became good friends during the filming of the movie. “Where this leaves Arthur Lowe Jr., I wouldn’t be knowing, but Joan Collins and newcomer Stephen Boyd are doing the Boyd-meets-girl bit as though it came naturally on location in the British West Indies.” Shamokin News Dispatch, Pennsylvania Nov 30, 1956

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Michael Rennie, Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd and John Justin in 1956 during the filming of ‘The Island in the Sun.’

In August of 2016, Joan Collins tweeted the photo above.

Joan Collins was always game, and during film assignments she projected the appearance of ‘just one of the boys’ –like playing cards and chatting with her male co-stars. She also defended herself over the years from unwanted paramours which included producer Darryl Zanuck and renowned woman chaser Richard Burton.
A little more than a year later, Boyd and Collins were reunited during the “Bravados”. There is one comment in a newspaper that their apparent ‘hot’ relationship from “Island in the Sun” had turned ice-cold at this point. “Joan Collins and Irish color Stephen Boyd, who were a red-hot love match last year during the West Indies filming of “Island in the Sun” are colder than an Eskimo’s icebox on the Mexican location of “Bravados.” Joan receives daily letters from Nicky Hilton and Arthur Loew Jr. and she and actor Henry Silva have become mucho simpatico during this hegira south of the border.”  (Indianapolis Star, Mar 7, 1958).

A month later, however, in another interview, Boyd seems to be amiably teasing Collins.

Logansport Pharos Tribune, Indiana April 1, 1958

Joan Collins has taken over the title of Cinema City’s number one bachelor girl now that Jayne Mansfield and Natalie Wood have retired from the field.

The outspoken English lass sat at the table in the 20th Century Fox commissary and discussed her love life over a platter of marinated herring. Two of her nervous suitors, actors Henry Silva and Steve Boyd, listened painfully while she outlined the requirements she expects of a husband.

“He must be intelligent, understanding, seven years older than I am, and terribly attractive,” she started out.

“He has to be dominating without appearing to be and able to support me better than I can support myself.

Boyd looked at Silva, “Do we qualify?” he asked.

Silva, who appears in Joan’s new picture “The Bravados” with Boyd, shook his head disconsolately.

“I’m not so sure I’d want him to be an actor. They’re dreadful bores. Present company excluded,” she hastily amended.

“There are too many qualities about actors that I find annoying. They’re more interested in themselves than they are in a girl when they go out on dates.”

 “Why should I marry? What can a husband offer me apart from children. I like being independent and self-sufficient. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do, yet I wouldn’t marry a man who didn’t try to dominate me.”

Undaunted, Boyd asked, “What are you doing tonight.”

“Don’t call me,” Joan said, preparing to leave. “I’ll call you.”

During the filming of “Ben-Hur”, Boyd would talk about Joan Collins, and apparently hurt her feelings by describing their relationship as ‘just good friends.’

“But although today Boyd lives in a Hollywood bachelor apartment, he still likes to date a pretty girl. There was a time when people thought he’d hitch himself to Joan Collins. Snorts Boyd, “Just good friends and she’s an English shoulder to lean on. We’ve been pals since we did Island in the Sun. That’s all there is to it.”

The story was echoed by la Collins herself—except, she seems sorry to hear Boyd attached so little depth to the friendship. But it appears the actor makes friends easily with his co-stars and they remain that way after the picture is finished.”

The two actors would remain friends as they would appear several years later together in December of 1962, arm in arm, at the London premiere of “The Longest Day”. Collins appears in a lovely feminine pink dress with a long string of pearls necklace and Boyd in an elegant tuxedo. They make a very glamorous looking couple. Boyd had just finished filming “Imperial Venus” in Rome with Gina Lollobrigida, and he was just about to head off to Spain to begin filming “The Fall of the Roman Empire” with Sophia Loren.

Below are some pictures of Boyd with Joan Collins at “The Longest Day” premiere. Also view their arrival at the premiere on the YouTube video below.

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Stephen Boyd Televised Biopics

As far as I know there have been two televised biopic’s about Stephen Boyd. The first one aired when Stephen was still alive in 1971. This was called “Stephen Boyd Portrait”, and featured interviews and film clips about Stephen and his career. “Ralph Nelson talks to Stephen Boyd about his acting career. Guest appearances are made by Elke Sommer, Tony Bennett, Ernest Borgnine, Camilla Sparv, Broderick Crawford and director William Wyler. Extracts inc. The Night Heaven Fell, Assignment K.”(The Age, Melbourne Australia, February 4, 1971)

This is another long lost item – but if anyone happens to have a copy, of course, please let me know! I would love to see this- it sounds  awesome.

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The second biopic aired in 2011 called “Stephen Boyd: The Man Who Never Was”. It aired only in the UK, but luckily it has been posted on Daily Motion to view. Despite the somewhat irritating title, this is a good biopic. However, I regret to say, it contains very little as far as Stephen Boyd interviews. You see a few snippets here and there (Which I compiled for You Tube and they last 2 minutes). You would think if you had rare interviews to share,  you could just play the full interview! It also leaves out quite a bit of Stephen’s actual story and life. It focuses mostly on portraying Stephen as the good Irish son – but it neglects to mention even his first wife, Marisa Mell, Brigitte Bardot, Stephen’s worldly travels and even his interest in Scientology. We are left with a very limited look at the man himself. Nevertheless, it is a Stephen Boyd Biopic, so I shouldn’t complain. There are also some interesting stories told by his family and other actors about Stephen and Liz Mills, his last wife.  See for yourselves!

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Stephen Boyd explains Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner appeal, 1958

“A bundle of curves” : Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot

French Sexpot Described by British Actor

By Lee Belser

Corsicana Daily Sun March 3, 1958

It isn’t necessary to be a sexpot to be a movie star, but it helps.

In the case of France’s Brigitte Bardot it is phenomenal and in the words of one of her recent co-stars “she is even Frenchier than the French.”

Stephen Boyd, a moody-looking Britisher is on location here with “The Bravados” company just finished a picture in Spain with the French sex kitten.

“She is terrific,” He said. “She knows just what she’s doing and where the money is coming from.”

Doubts Temperamental

Bardot, whose films are drawing American customers by the thousands, is reportedly one of the wealthiest gals in France and one of the most temperamental.

“I don’t really think she’s temperamental,” said Boyd, “She just does as she pleases and if she takes a notion to stop working for a few days the company waits until she decides to come back.”

This procedure would go over like a lead balloon in Hollywood, but Bardot’s French film bosses seem to thrive on it and financially the returns couldn’t be better.

Boyd explains her success in a few well chosen words:

“She gives adults that same feeling of sneaking cookies out of the cupboard that they had at the age of six.

“They giggle and try to explain their interest as pure amusement, but actually it’s their animal adolescence showing.”

Amazed at Cowboy Role

The tall, slender actor who is rather amazed to find himself, a Britisher, playing the role of a cowboy in an American movie, says there’s only one Hollywood actress who has the same type of glamour.

“And that’s Ava Gardner,” he declared. “She’s older but she had the same animal magnetism. It’s the sort of thing that the man in the street can’t resist. It’s a symbol of things that are not openly discussed.”

“Neither Gardner not Bardot would ever have to act,” he added. “All they have to do it appear and the impact would heat up an asbestos wall.”

Boyd, who is known to American audiences chiefly for his portrayal as “the man who never was,” is being hailed as the greatest screen find since James Mason, but he laughed and said:

“How can a mere hunk of man compete with a bundle of curves like Brigitte Bardot?”

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Stephen Boyd and Brigitte Bardot in the racy “The Night Heaven Fell” film from 1958

Stephen Boyd has Respect for Stars of Westerns while filming “The Fall of the Roman Empire”, 1963

HOLLYWOOD (AP) – Stephen Boyd writes from Madrid that his current role on “The Fall of the Roman Empire” has given him new respect for Western stars. Boyd is on horseback or chariot for most of the picture and says he is learning a new style of acting.

“It’s one thing to be able to act and another thing to ride a horse, ” says the rugged young actor. “But when you have to act on the back of a horse, this opens up an new field – horseback acting.”

“An actor can easily step into a close-up on the exact mark set by the cameraman but riding into a close-up or stopping the beast on the exact spot required is, no pun intended,  a horse of a different color”

Feb 17, 1963, Express and News, San Antonio

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