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About Jlewis

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  1. Jlewis

    Nudist Camp Films

    Different situation with Tarzan The Magnificent, but I will allow you to investigate the YouTube montage "Tarzan (Gordon Scott) loincloth malfunctions" on your own to determine if he is magnificent or not. In movie theaters, nobody noticed at 24 frames per second, but VHS, laserdisc and DVD prompted a whole new audience of investigative eyes with the ability to freeze-frame. The Disney company, in particular, panicked when it made other discoveries on The Rescuers (1977) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988).
  2. Jlewis

    Nudist Camp Films

    I have been away too long and didn't realize we had threads like this. Not surprised at all that it got far off topic, since this isn't something many posters like discussing with any seriousness. Did cover some of this topic on the "time line" on page 3 of this thread: To be honest, nudist films were seldom very good or even cinematic. It is difficult to determine which director or cameraman involved in these was worthy of Hitchcock or Welles status. Actually hard core pornographic films of the 1970s are much more interesting, not so much because they are more explicit but because there was more skill in camera work and story telling involved... at least during its brief "golden age" before stay-at-home-and-watch VHS focused ALL attention on The Act itself and nothing else. The earliest nudie docs were apparently made by the major German companies; I think Variety reviewed one UFA import around 1927 but I can't remember the title off hand. The emphasis was more on female nudity than male, but the men were dropping trou in a couple mainstream dramatic films made in Europe during the late twenties and early thirties with little fuss. Some like G.W. Pabst's Kameradschaft (1931) and Jean Vigo's Zero De Conduite (1933) even had fleeting P-P shots. As expected, it was distributors in the United States and other non-European countries that were the prudes. (Japan didn't even allow kissing in their films before 1947.) This Nude World (1933) was the most popular of the American releases, getting plenty of attention from the press when it succeeded in a few major theaters just before the Production Code took over. The narrator was a radio familiar (and voice in many thirties Warner Brothers shorts) Leo Donnelly. You can buy it cheap from Alpha Video or view a murky copy online. For its time, it isn't all that bad and actually shows quite a bit of nudity, mostly from the back end. Garden Of Eden (1954) was the first in color, the first to get advertised in BoxOffice magazine and other periodicals and eventually the first to get past all of the censorship laws. It all ended with one final court case held on the federal level in 1957 that ruled that nudity by itself in films was not "obscene". Then came the mass flood of copycats, followed by those of Russ Meyer (i.e. The Immoral Mr. Teas, 1959) that added a plot and the humorous label of "nudie cuties". ("Roughies" involved less nudity but more questionable violence and were shown in the same drive-in "dives" that kiddies weren't permitted.) The first American nudist documentary to show full nudity without volleyballs covering the private parts was John Lamb's The Raw Ones, which opened in a few inner city theaters starting December 1965, right around the time that Andy Warhol was starting a fuss with his New York City exclusives such as My Hustler. Speaking of Warhol, you also have to parallel the history of nudist docs with the long stretch of avant garde experimentals that were uncensored by The Code because they were shown exclusively at film festivals to an "art crowd" and not to Middle America. These range from Willard Maas' Geography Of The Body (made in 1943) to the early works of James Broughton such as The Bed (filmed in 1967 but shown February 1968 exclusively in San Francisco for a while) and were not in the same class as the 16mm and 8mm "blue movies" sold under the counter in camera stores for bachelor parties in the 1950s and '60s.
  3. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Yeah, "shmoodle" wasn't often used although "making woo" was, often in animated cartoons of the period. Speaking of cartoons, Vera Vague was, as Barbara Jo Allen, a popular radio personality who appeared in some nifty Columbia comedy shorts of the forties along with her character actress work in features AND occasional cartoon voices, particularly later in her career for Disney. She did the voice of Fauna in Sleeping Beauty.
  4. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I remember Jane Frazee as one of a trio of Alices in those wonderful Joe McDoakes 1-reelers that Warner Brothers released alongside their Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in the forties and fifties. She only appeared in a few titles and lacked a bit of chemistry with star George O'Hanlon, but was also far less aggressive than Jane Harker. Then again, I was probably biased towards both actresses because I absolutely adore Phyllis Coates (still living today in her nineties) who was briefly married to the series director Richard L. Bare and I think he found her his "muse" in her marriage on screen to O'Hanlon.
  5. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Granted, she isn't the first Bond gal to meet her doom since Sean Connery's 007 also had sex with Jill Masterson (Shirley Easton) and, despite Goldfinger being my personal favorite of the franchise, I always felt Sean should have shed a few tears for her. At least here we know George Lazenby's Bond feels emotion over his loss. I think it is because she is played by Diana Rigg, a counterpart action-gal from The Avengers. This was the same series that featured Honor Blackman, whose P-Galore instantly wiped out his memories of both Masterson sisters in Goldfinger. (Even if he didn't exactly score with Mustang-driving Tilly, he certainly wanted to.) I agree that this 007 runs on too long and can use the snippers, but several others are equally guilty of this. I have sat through Thunderball three times and twice I started snoozing during the underwater scenes in the second hour. Yet a lot of effort went into that film's stunts as with this one and the producers wanted enough of it left in-tact on screen. Because of the stunts, I think this one had a longer than usual filming period (October 1968 through June 1969) than most of the others.
  6. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Not strange. The illusion doesn't match the reality. Marilyn Monroe wasn't that great of an actress either, despite how much I love her in Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot. She tried to be a "method" performer too but Bus Stop was pretty broad and over the top. Probably the most famous image of her is the flying dress scene in The Seven Year Itch, which may be her most boring movie apart from that scene. She was great at displaying emotional depth and maternal affection though, which is why she is still greatly loved. Yet she and Jimmy dominate 20th century pop culture as products of that great decade of empty headed consumerism: the 1950s. Acting skills were less important than what Clara Bow equally displayed back in an earlier decade of empty headed consumerism, the 1920s... "IT" appeal. Their images were manufactured across the globe like Mickey Mouse and Coca Cola because of what they represent as illusions. One interesting aspect about Dean was his strong curiosity for cameramen and directors. I could potentially see him becoming or attempting to become a future Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty or Robert Redford taking on directing. However, like Monroe, he wasn't at all disciplined. Both had very scattered and mercurial personalities that sometimes stressed the production crews.
  7. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    I too visited Griffith once, but the Observatory was temporarily closed for maintenance. Also visited Warner's in Burbank the same day and saw the buildings where some of the indoor scenes would have been shot. Yeah... Rebel was very much on my mind then.
  8. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Overblown explains Giant correctly but that is exactly why I enjoy it so much and have sat through it so many times in the past four decades. Reminds me of an early version of Dallas. Actually Liz Taylor is even less convincing than James Dean as she "ages" with fake gray hair and make-up, but I truly luv her so unconditionally in that movie since she is oh so luvable. Although Rock Hudson may not exactly "wow" here like he would in his more demanding later performances such as Seconds, he still gives us a taste of his future straight-man adventures with equally rambunctious Doris Day. Carroll Baker is also nice and sultry in her small scenes wooing Jimmy, a foretaste of Baby Doll. There is so much to luv in Giant, but... as you know... I have peculiar tastes. Oddly Rebel is the movie I try the hardest to like and Natalie Wood makes it easy for me on some levels. All of the women in Dean's films are quite energized. I do agree with Lawrence that it is more a time capsule piece and you enjoy it more for nostalgia. I've always liked Raymond Massey, although I think he was so much better in his earlier masterpieces (Things To Come, Abe Lincoln In Illinois, A Matter Of Life And Death, among others). Don't think he is better or worse than Jimmy in East Of Eden except that I keep thinking of his earlier performances when watching him. He isn't much of a Charles Laughton here stretching himself prior to the stroke scene.
  9. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Yeah, I know Heath is probably a weaker comparison due to a more prolific output, but I was thinking of his career cut short and being toted as a posthumous legend before his career reached its full potential. Also count me in as another fan of Giant, even if I felt Liz Taylor and Mercedes McCambridge gave better performances in that one.
  10. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    I especially agreed that he was over rated when I first watched his movies on TV. Worst performance, in my opinion, is Giant in which he mumbles even more than Marlon Brando. Yet I have appreciated his talent more as time progressed and re-watched his primary trio multiple times. I think his acting in East Of Eden is excellent up until the last act when the script requires him be maudlin in his daddy reconciliation and Julie Harris pretty much has to take over. This is a disappointing aspect to 1950s American cinema always playing safe and requiring a happy resolution before "The End". He was very young when he died, so all we can do is speculate how well he would have progressed. Heath Ledger is a good comparison to him. He may well be as equally over rated had he not challenged himself a bit more than his contemporaries with Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight.
  11. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Far too many. No secrets left to tell. I recall an interview with Sal Mineo taken by the Griffith Observatory location in the 1970s in which he keeps discussing Jimmy's ghost visiting him. Sal was still obsessed with him (and talking to him constantly) after some seventeen years or so. Of course, biographies of Jimmy published before Ellen's "Yup, I'm Gay" Time magazine spread (i.e. when it was finally no longer taboo if you were like Rock Hudson off screen) would only drop nebulous hints here and there. Instead there was so much focus put on his short-lived, but certainly genuine, love affair with actress Pier Angeli. Since the 1990s, however, it is a foregone conclusion that "yup, Jimmy was bi". Of course, I think the spectrum has gone too far in the other direction in recent years, suggesting he was more into guys than gals which isn't accurate either. Intriguingly, he did a lot of pornographic drawings involving male body parts but it seems like he was more obsessed with his own, even taking pictures of himself naked. Had he lived into the post-MPAA era, there is little doubt he would have gone full monty on screen simply because he loved being naked.
  12. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Sometime you should check out the old Dan Peary Cult Movies books, which include an in-depth article on this one. Not sure which of the three books (all published in the '80s) can be read online.
  13. Jlewis

    What's the name of this short

    If it was in black & white and shown on TCM, it might have been Screen Actors, part of a series put out by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and distributed by the individual studios during a two year period. Sometimes these are listed under the heading "The Movies and You". This particular title included shots of Reginald Denny, Gail Patrick, and Dan Duryea. It was distributed by MGM with Hal Elias credited as supervisor and released May 13, 1950. Others in the series: Twenty Years Of Academy Awards (RKO, Carey Wilson) / April 1, 1948 (this one was a two-reeler) Let's Go To The Movies (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / December 31, 1948 Movies Are Adventure (Universal-International, Jack Hively) / January 31, 1949 This Theatre And You (or This Theater And You) (Warner Bros., Felix Jacoves) / June 1, 1949 The Sound Man (Columbia, Aaron Stell) / December 24, 1949 History Brought To Life (Paramount, Jerry Hopper) / March 15, 1950 The Costume Designer (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / July 13, 1950 The Screen Writer (20th Century Fox, Jerry Webb) September 13, 1950 Moments In Music (MGM, Carey Wilson) / November 13, 1950 The Cinematographer (MGM, Jerry Hopper) / January 13, 1951
  14. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    As long as Burt Lancaster isn't mentioned, the leaves will remain on the trees. That discussion involved a little more excitement than this messageboard is used to. I heard he waited until enough of the stars passed away before spilling the truth (if it is the truth). A couple decades from now, nobody will care whom these stars "bonded" with.
  15. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I think I have seen the Shirley Jones TV movie... or part of it. Otherwise these are all titles I am not all that familiar with, even though I have seen plenty from the late sixties. Of course, when I think of this era, I think of the big films that revolutionized "New Hollywood" and made all of the movie reference books. You know, Camille 2000, Goodbye Columbus, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Valley Of The Gwangi... yeah, I do have peculiar tastes myself.

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