Illuminations
Page 3 of 14

Dressed to Kill
by Jonathan Woods

"No blatant sex..."

Whatever happened to Pussy Cat? She seemed so ripe with the promise of consequence-free fun. For the brief duration of this 1963 New Year's Eve Party, she sustained the levity and uncomplicated kinkiness that so characterized Her decade.

It is fitting that in an episode where John Steed was so blatantly pawed that Cathy Gale got dressed as a monk. Steed played the cowboy; later, that role would be assumed by a woman named Wilde.

But back then, Here, these ghostly partiers can go into the movie theaters and see From Russia with Love—brand new. Just two months ago, John Kennedy was President of the United States and alive. The year ahead will give them the New York 1964 World's Fair with the theme "Man in a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe." Soon they will see A Hard Day's Night, Dr. Strangelove and Goldfinger, and watch their country emerge as the world's leading cultural influence.

This precarious moment, pressed under glass, is beautifully preserved—anticipating the enormous changes on the horizon. The chill I feel when watching "Dressed to Kill" comes not only from when it is, but also what it is... and all those precious elements it contains that have been forsaken in the name of progress.

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Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

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