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The Callgirl, The Cabinet Minister and The Chair

Posted by Dave Rosen on

Included in the June website update is a US one-sheet for the 1963 movie The Christine Keeler Affair.

Many of us may know about (or maybe vaguely heard about) the Profumo Affair in the UK in the early 60s: Senior cabinet minister has an affair with a beautiful young woman who is also seeing a Soviet diplomat, a huge scandal ensues and the country can't get enough of the salacious details.

In the very midst of what we would now call a media frenzy, a savvy operator signs Christine Keeler ("the woman" who, btw, only just died last year) to appear in a quicky semi-documentary insta-movie he throws together. To promote it he hires a photographer to do a photoshoot with Keeler at comedian Peter Cook's nightclub The Establishment in London.

Brits see pics from the notorious shoot of Keeler near-naked astride a mid-century chair and go crazy for...the chair! (Which, it turns out, is a cheap knockoff of designer Arne Jacobsen's Model 3107. ) Everybody suddenly needs that chair in their sitting room or bedroom or wherever. They fly out of stores.

A similar image of Keeler appears on this poster for the movie, which, by the way, is never released theatrically in the UK. Instead it opens in the US, where it is released in November, 1963 and where any media attention it may have garnered is immediately obliterated by the assassination of JFK.

Anyway, ultimately, the portrait of Keeler ends up in the National Portrait Gallery and the actual chair she posed on is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum!


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