Playboy Magazine and the notorious Bunny Girls charmed their way into Metro yesterday with the announcement of a new Mayfair Playboy club opening in London. We were surprised to learn that it was as early as 1966 that Hugh Hefner opened his first popular London nightspot, and so we had a cheeky browse through the British Pathé archive to see if there were any Bunnies in there and WOW:
Sexy seductive videos of 1960s Bunny Girls…
Why did nobody mention that these reels existed before? It just goes to show, there’s nothing unworthy of a search in British Pathé’s colossal online archive. These bunnilicious archive clips are a dream:
“A race called Bunnies. A Bunny is an American creation, she’s a cross between a hostess showgirl and a barmaid waitress, well versed in the art of charming the cash customers in a string of international clubs.” This 1960s newsreel ‘Inside The Playboy Paradise’ is a now a historical treasure, an in-depth British Pathé reel exploring the Playboy world of Bunny Girls. Once again, ‘Charity’ is put forward as the reason behind making the clip, but today we can all see it as an intelligent advertisement for Hugh Hefner’s nightlife funworld that simultaneously exposes for the viewer some trade secrets of Hefner’s world.
“A Bunny is paid the best part of £2000 a year, she is trained to perfection, meticulously groomed and rules are strict – no dating customers for instance” A ‘Bunny Mother’ then teaches the Bunnies how to dip – a way of serving drinks to avoid thrusting “busty substances in the punters’ faces.”
“Quite a job! Quite a sight!” marvels the narrator. 148 models attended this London contest, all vying for the prize of a Caribbean Cruise, a screen test (not a screening), and presumably a husband. The Bunnylicious girls stand in line whilst judges George Lazenby, Stuart Whitman and David Niven Junior make their decision. Diane Turner from Nottingham is crowned the winner. We prefer the high society girls sat in the background smoking, joking and having a whale of a time.
A wonderful clip of a 1960s fashion party held in the former Playboy Club, attended by The Duke and Duchess of Bedford, the Earl of Lichfield, stars of The Avengers Patrick McNee and Linda Thorson, and of course a cast of Playboy girls (and some rather sharp male models too). The whole event, rather bizarrely, is to raise money for the National Association of Boys’ Clubs, whatever that is. We love the “Playmate of the Month” award. Oh behave!
Priceless footage of the iconic Jane Marlow singing ‘What’s Love About?’, but it’s the “countertop caberet” that British Pathé were interested in. This ‘Gaiety Bar’ brings on the dancing girls in a horse-drawn carriage, who then proceed to jig on the stage before drunken and delighted old gentlemen. The waitresses are our very Bunny Girls, and so we had to add the clip to our cute collection.
“The curvy bunnies are gone flat out” – A fun piece of footage in which Bunny Girls participate in a charity pancake race, The Battersea Pancake Race.
“It wasn’t coppers they wanted, it was folding money” quips the narrator as a group of Bunny Girls chat up some police officers with their fundraising shakers. This fun 1967 clip has great shots of the Bunny Girls dancing and celebrating their fundraising efforts in a nightclub. Does anyone know who the band are?
Join a discussion on these clips on our Facebook Group: British Pathé Film Archive