Master of Disguise
I didn’t know this until a friend pointed it out — John Chambers, Oscar-winning makeup artist on PLANET OF THE APES (Arthur C Clarke theorized that the reason 2001 didn’t win is the Academy didn’t realize Kubrick hadn’t cast real apes) worked for the CIA, and designed makeup kits to allow American prisoners to escape the Iranian hostage crisis in disguise.
The image comes to mind of a troupe of nervous Dr Zaiuses sauntering awkwardly past the guards.
Chambers is played by John Goodman in the forthcoming movie ARGO, which details this story.
The illustrations here come from an auction site which recently sold a bunch of Chambers’ effects, including the escape kit above. Also for sale: George C Scott’s nose from PATTON ~
I used to work in a memorabilia shop when I was 19, and I went through a period of craving all this stuff — we sold posters mainly. Some of them were real beauties. But being surrounded by the stuff all that time had a weird effect — I came to see it as ultimately irrelevant to the movies. I decided to concentrate on the films themselves rather than on ephemera. Having no money helped make that decision easy.
Still, I’m as big a sucker as anyone for the totemic power of a movie-related object…
The Chambers yarn is now a movie from Ben Affleck. “Based on a declassified true story…” And apparently King of Comics Jack Kirby was also involved…