Honey West

Los Angeles: Four Star Productions, 1965. Vintage photographic title cards and title design sketches for the seminal 1965 television series, notable for having utilized these photographs rather than filmed performances for its title sequence. Included are ten double weight photographs, several signed by the series' star, Anne Francis, and four title design sketches that were ultimately made into overlays ("Starring Anne Francis," "Honey West" in two different styles, etc.)

The title sequence was originally designed by Format Productions, Inc., the company responsible for the title sequence in "I Spy," "Hee Haw," and other notable television shows of the 1960s and 1970s. The photographs include several shots of Francis, both in action and posed for danger, some with cutout photo overlays, whiteout, etc., to achieve the look needed for the title sequence. Also present are two photos of John Ericson (Honey's assistant Sam Bolt), and one kaleidoscopic shot of a criminal in sunglasses who is laughing maniacally. One photograph, shot and sized differently than the others, is the striking photo of Honey West's pet ocelot Bruce, the image that ends the show's title sequence.

The first American television program to star a female private detective, based on the novels by Gloria and Forrest Fickling, and conceived by Aaron Spelling after seeing the success of Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) as a female crime buster in the British series "The Avengers," but with the female character fully up front rather than part of an ensemble. After being turned down by Honor Blackman (who had at the time wowed audiences as Pussy Galore in "Goldfinger"), the role in the series was given to Anne Francis, who had originally played the character on an episode of the Spelling produced "Burke's Law" on ABC, which served as a backdoor pilot to the series.

Honey’s alluring feline qualities were reflected in her animal-print wardrobe and apartment decor. For sneaking around at night and engaging in energetic fight scenes, she wears a black fabric bodystocking reminiscent of Emma Peel’s leather jumpsuit. Like Peel’s Lotus Elan sports car, Honey’s similar-looking AC Cobra convertible emphasized her independence and vitality. Although the racy content of the novels was excised for television, West often went on solo undercover missions that required a provocative or revealing outfit.

West's partner Friday Bolt communicates with Honey via a radio hidden in her lipstick case and lends a hand when it comes to mopping up the bad guys. She uses a number of James Bond-like gimmicks: a high-tech surveillance van, an exploding compact, a garter-belt gas mask, and tear-gas earrings. West is a black-belt in Judo, as is Sam, who is an ex-Marine.

Nine of the photographs 8 x 10 inches, mounted on black card stock measuring 10.75 x 12.75 inches, with design and production annotations in silver ink at the bottom margin of the black card stock. One photograph (of Bruce the ocelot) borderless, 12.5 x 10 inches. Title designs executed in pencil and colored pencil on drawing paper, 10.25 x 12.5 inches. All material Very Good plus to Near Fine.

[Book #133674]

Price: $3,500.00