CYD STRIPS!

Behold the only striptease (sort of) performed by Cyd Charisse, from the opening credits of the Dean Martin Matt Helm spoof ‘The Silencers’ (Phil Karlson, 1966). Once again it’s Cyd dancing, not singing. Cyd’s voice seems to have always been dubbed–by India Adams in ‘The Bandwagon’ and Carol Richards in ‘Silk Stockings’. In this case, the ghost singer is a very young Vikki Carr, the only of the aforementioned women to go onto a properly visible career in her own right. Richards was best known as the voice doing the duet with Bing Crosby on ‘Silver Bells’ (presumably she dubbed Marilyn Maxwell singing the same song in ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’). Adams was an extremely talented jazz singer who spent her life in the shadows of others more famous; not only was she an in-demand voice artist for actresses who couldn’t sing (she dubbed Joan Crawford in ‘Torch Song’ and ‘Johnny Guitar’), but she spent years in London as Ginger Rogers understudy in ‘Mame’. What a drag. Still she was gainfully employed and lived a long life, dying in 2016 at the age of 90-ish. Cyd’s performance in this is far less demanding than her usual balletic/athletic/erotic/exotic numbers but, as always, impeccably delivered and sensuous right up to (and a bit beyond) what the law would allow in movies of that time. Happy Cyd-tease!

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