A blond beefcake in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND 8x10 PORTRAIT Blond STAR

Troy Donahue in a publicity photo for Palm Springs Weekend (1963).

Palm Springs wanted nothing to do with “letting loose,” thank you.

As soon as Variety announced on February 6, 1963, that a movie was going to be made based on a wild weekend in the desert, Palm Springs sprung into action.

Under the Variety headline “Palm Springs Hates ‘Weekend’ Film,” Frank Scully, whose “Scully’s Scrapbook” was Hollywood’s dish of the day, described the mood of the village: “One councilman, Harry Paisley, tossed his shawl aside and said, ‘It reads like the work of a 13-year-old boy, the most terrible thing I ever read… They make a fool of our police chief, our hotels and everything else.’”

Meanwhile, the desert prepared for possible trouble. “Just in case, three members of a five-man police detail have been assigned to the film company,” reported the trade paper. This extra precaution was taken after the movie’s stars and 64 extras “in pigtails, suntans and swimsuits” descended on the Riviera Hotel.

To everyone’s relief – and no right-minded person’s surprise – Palm Springs Weekend was filmed sans incident. That is, unless you count Connie Stevens‘ mild bout with sunstroke; or the crickets that drowned out Troy Donahue and Stefanie Powers; or the soapsuds-filled sound stage swimming pool that nearly asphyxiated half the cast.

Read more: Palm Springs Life.

PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND 8x10 PORTRAIT Blond STAR1

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