Jlewis

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Everything posted by Jlewis

  1. Soap hunks and divas

    I got to hand it to you, TopBilled. Your analysis of the history of soap operas is even more penetrating than mine for vintage theatrical short films of the 1910s-80s. Daytime TV does reflect the changing times of America.
  2. Soap hunks and divas

    I can see there has definitely been progress. Ten to fifteen years ago, that scene would still be taboo even though there were thousands of heterosexual counterpart scenes that would raise no eyebrows. The one sad part now is that every gay guy on TV looks like a Ken Doll who has spent 4-5 days a week in the gym since he was 12. Definitely more hunks than divas.
  3. Soap hunks and divas

    I didn't want to sound too pessimistic in my above post. Yet we all know that social progress never follows a straight line. Instead it meanders forward and then backwards. Hopefully it moves forward again. It was a decade ago that I recall women I was working with discussing General Hospital. Apparently there was a gay couple on that show and the comments were along the lines of "Well... I guess that show has to include a couple like that to please them." The pronoun "them" was emphasized in pronunciation to distinguish from "us", the ladies discussing. They taped the show but fast forwarded "all of the gay stuff". Again, to be fair, this was a decade ago and maybe, just maybe, those same viewers would be more tolerant today? In addition, they were just temporarily annoyed rather than outraged. They weren't going to write ABC in protest as sometimes happened in the past. We had this discussion on other threads, comparing the progress of gays on TV with that of interracial heterosexual couples. An inventory of those in daytime soaps is worth a discussion all to itself since I seriously doubt there have been any more of "them" than gays and lesbians. Going back through the decades, I was reading up all of the outrage over Petula Clark having an innocent but interracial "bonding moment" with fellow singer Harry Belafonte on her TV special taped in March 1968. NBC was swamped with angry letters and Clark, in particular, suffered a bit of a downturn in her career. Her latest movie with Fred Astaire, Finian's Rainbow, hadn't been released yet and it was speculated that, because she wasn't entirely forgiven, its box-office was hurt to some degree. Chrysler Motors was also upset that they sponsored her show. Nonetheless NBC executives stood by their airing and even decided to push the envelope further. When an actual, more pronounced, interracial kiss occurred on the same network with Star Trek that November (between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner), there was again plenty of outrage but it wasn't as bad as earlier. This was partly due to the surprise of the Martin Luther King assassination and resulting civil unrest that happened in-between. Maybe American TV viewers had gotten a little more tolerant as a result? Apparently not tolerant enough since Star Trek was quietly cancelled the following spring and it would still be quite a while before you saw more interracial affection shown on TV. Remember also that, despite Guess Who's Coming To Dinner being a smash at the box office around the same time as Petula/Harry's TV controversy, the only real display of affection between Sidney Poitier and Katherine Houghton was fleetingly seen in a taxi rear-view mirror. Otherwise that movie was all talk-talk-talk and no action. Also, just because a movie is popular does not mean that the movie-goers flocking to see it necessarily approve of what they see. (Even my own mother said multiple times that she thought it was a "cute" movie but that didn't mean she approved of those kinds of marriages because they are "so unfair to the children". Mind you, she is deceased and I try my best to get over all of my parental issues after all of this time.) It is interesting to note that British TV had interracial kissing well before American TV. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_interracial_kiss_on_television Although a British soap, Emergency Ward 10 featured an interracial kissing scene in 1964, this article in People, dated June 20, 1977, suggested that society on the other side of the Atlantic was still not ready during daytime. http://people.com/archive/interracial-love-in-the-afternoon-tv-soaps-arent-ready-for-it-tina-andrews-finds-vol-7-no-24/
  4. Soap hunks and divas

    There is a very specific line drawn in the sand that you do not cross. You may be able to cross over it sometime in the future, but the time isn't right now. Especially given the present political climate. Television, like a public forum such as this one*, must please a large demographic and there must be a middle ground where those easily offended won't be. Gay relationships will be tolerated as long as they maintain a certain protocol on screen. Until a large enough portion of that population can handle it, you just can't depict heterosexuality and homosexuality equally on screen. The same is true in public parks, beaches and other areas: it is totally acceptable behavior for a man and a woman to embrace and show affection. You will see a lot of that everywhere you go regardless whether you want to see it or not. However it is only acceptable for the same genders to do the same in very discrete areas or specified urban districts where it is more commonplace a.k.a. West Hollywood, Greenwich Village, parts of San Francisco or Winton Manors. Likewise a cable network like Bravo can show a series with gay characters, albeit more chaste than any heterosexual counterpart, provided those who say "I don't mind others doing it as long as I don't have to see it" can easily flip past with their remote. It doesn't matter whether the TV producers or owners of a website are tolerant. It matters whether or not a large portion of the public is. *One of the reasons, perhaps not the only reason, why a post got removed recently may have been due to a shot of two women looking like they might... potentially... kiss each other.
  5. I guess there was something wrong with my above movie trailer post. Oh well... at least I didn't get any messageboard "demerits" this time. This is why I always give plenty of warning in every post in case there is anything to be concerned about so that all readers can tread lightly. Never want to offend anybody. Sometimes I do get too opinionated and this is not good in the era we live in today where opinions are seldom neutral.
  6. Getting into some taboo subject matter here, but no need to panic. I will be very discrete. I hope. Yet prepare for frequent visits by the TCM Moderator. There are two "crown jewels" of the "Golden Age of Porn" that I previously just saw excerpts from over the past couple decades of movie watching, but... thanks to the all reliable Pornhub... I got to sit through them in their entirety. One was Wakefield Poole's Boys In The Sand, released December 1971 as the first feature length all-male sex film. The other was Gerard Damiano's strictly heterosexual Deep Throat, released six months later and needing no introduction since, of course, it was the film most responsible for opening the flood gates. Before both of these films, you also had Russ Meyer's "nudie cuties", nudist documentaries that gradually removed the concealing volley balls from This Nude World (1933) through The Raw Ones (1965), naughty Swedish imports like I Am Curious, Yellow (Jag är nyfiken – en film i gult) (1967, the one film TCM was brave enough to broadcast one middle-of-the-night), Andy Warhol's Blue Movie (1968), Ur kärlekens språk (1969, with its fully clothed experts talking and happy unclothed couples demonstrating), History Of The Blue Movie (1970) and Bill Osco's Mona The Virgin Nymph (1970) in addition to the countless under-the-counter shorter films going back to the dawn of the 20th century that were dubbed "smokers". Yet they haven't been subjects of popular documentaries like Inside Deep Throat and I Always Say Yes: The Many Lives Of Wakefield Poole. Ooooh boy. Where to begin? I guess I will start by saying that former is a piece of fine art, if slightly boring fine art, while the latter is unashamedly a piece of junk, if entertaining junk. Everybody from Frank Sinatra to Vice President Spiro Agnew (allegedly) saw Deep Throat back then, even if some of these same folks wouldn't be caught dead watching the much more innocent Boys In The Sand. There are scenes here that give me an awful after-taste, like both Dolly Sharp and Linda Lovelace being too willing to allow multiple guys enjoy them at once. Also I didn't like the later scene involving alcohol drinking "down under". No... I am not getting into details here. Harry Reems as Linda's good doctor is quite lovable, always smiling and seems confident enough in his masculinity to allow the women to dominate him. Their scenes in his office are quite enjoyable, both when he is trying to find her "tingler" (cue stock shots of bells banging, fireworks and Apollo launches) and when she unwraps his "little" bandage later. Much of the comic dialogue is pretty lame, but it certainly was lampooned enough in many TV sitcoms (albeit toned down to please the FCC), especially the running joke involving Harry talking to either his recorder or telephone while "in action" with his other nurse. The final scenes with Linda's ex-husband "Wilbur" (I won't mention his last name) call to mind Bye Bye Birdie with Linda imitating Ann-Margret's "awwww Hugo" talk with Bobby Rydell. Artistically Boys In The Sand is a lot more interesting than Deep Throat, which... let's be blunt here... resembles a low-budget "B" of the period. This classier production was shot like a silent film (all pantomime) with only a music score, much of it quite good with Indian sitars included for part 3. (Actually the music in the other is good too, much it original songs with great humor.) Boys displays double exposures, lots of soft focus and some special effects work which remind me of the contemporary shorter films of James Broughton like The Bed, Golden Positions and Dreamwood. There is also an overall theme full of meaning and symbolism. In part 1, Casey Donovan emerges from the sea and changes places with the other guy on shore, returning to the woods where the former emerged from. In part 2, Casey is shown waiting by a mail box, then orders a magic potion that he throws into a pool and a new man emerges as his next lover. It concludes with a different man waiting by a mail box. In part 3, Casey is shown in bed restless, but a telephone man later visits him in a rare (for that time) inter-racial scene, then they trade places with the latter laying alone on the bed. If you use this film as an example and not some of the rougher offerings made in later years, you could potentially prove to the right-wing conservatives that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Everybody is enjoying themselves and there is no harm done apart from not using "rain coats" in this pre-HIV era. Casey is fully nude two-thirds of the film's running time (and sporting a very white central region since he couldn't avoid those tan lines) and his actions with three different guys are mostly seen in long-shot with occasional periodic closing-in shots done very tastefully and artistically. The earliest scenes show less than the later ones (so as not to shock the prudish viewers too soon) with foliage casting shadows over the bodies. In contrast, Deep Throat has many close-ups that were merely edited in and you aren't 100% positive the "parts" all belong to the same actors; much of it resembling those clinical films shown in medical schools. Sadly there is also a lack of kissing in the heterosexual film as well, but Boys has a LOT of it, along with eye-gazing, rubbing and gentle caressing. It appears that Casey had met each of his partners before filming and already got acquainted with them, while Linda seems to have been instructed what motions to do once she saw a certain anatomical part placed at eye level. With the exception of Harry and possibly Wilbur, I don't see her all that "connected" emotionally with any other guy on screen. Casey really likes the guys he is with and has this tantra like, both "maternal" and brotherly, dedication with each. My overall impression seeing these back to back is that gay film makers of the early seventies who wanted to show sex and nudity had to get around it by making their material look worthy, at least in pictorial quality, to something shown at the Museum of Modern Art. (Amusingly Greta Garbo made her final screen appearance, just walking down a city street, in one such film, Adam & Yves, which likely wouldn't find distribution without that selling point.) While Deep Throat was very taboo breaking like other heterosexual sex films of its era, there was less of a need to be "art" since audiences were already more comfortable watching intimacy between opposite genders than same genders.
  7. No YouTube "age restriction" on this trailer.
  8. Soap hunks and divas

    Now you know how ignorant I am about soaps since I have no clue who is a "diva" or not.
  9. Soap hunks and divas

    So many famous stars started on daytime. You can also add Meg Ryan. One embarrassing confession: although many (mostly women) in my childhood years were soap addicts, I never acquired the taste. I was OK with primetime soaps like DALLAS primarily because they were no different than other TV dramas shown once a week. It was hard for me to stay committed to something shown daily with so much else going on in my life. The medical profession was one I had zero interest in, although I did watch GREY'S ANATOMY in its early years mostly because of all of the sex going on. Again that was not a soap opera. Of course, there tended to be more sex in daytime than primetime anyway.
  10. No Words

    He left the business quickly. Per the imdb.com, "Amid his brief time in front of the lights and cameras, Herren had something of a roller-coaster personal life which included dating Barbara Thinnes, ex-wife of actor Roy Thinnes. He lives inauspiciously in Santa Barbara, California and could still be found on the beach until his death at the age of 68." Even his official obituary is nebulous, which isn't specific as to the exact day in September 2014 he died so we don't know if he celebrated his last birthday or not. I guess he didn't.
  11. No Words

    Not to mention, Raquel certainly didn't suffer. I guess this is Myra's big day with both him and Tom Selleck on the radar for we TCM posters.
  12. Soap hunks and divas

    Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) drying him off by the pool in Sunset Blvd.
  13. Soap hunks and divas

    It is a topic worth discussing much like false eyelashes on women in the 1960s and the fad for flat chests with the same gender back in the roaring '20s, which Marilyn Monroe is jealous of with Jack Lemmon's "Daphne" in Some Like It Hot. The one who was likely guiltiest for encouraging "bodyscaping" in the 1980s and the '90s was Calvin Klein whose models dominated the two decades appealing to men both gay and straight. It is also an appropriate topic for this thread because the first wave of "hunks" shaving it off were in daytime soaps of the 1980s. More along the gay route, another Calvin might have also contributed to this trend a decade earlier. We all discussed Calvin Culver / Casey Donovan on the other thread. In the film that made him famous, Boys In The Sand, he sported moderate hair on his chest. Yet he was very smooth when he starred as Eddie in Radley Metzger's Score a year later. However, this was done deliberately because the other two guys in that film, Gerald Grant and Carl Parker, were typically early seventies hairy and it was also part of the play dialogue: his wife Betsy (Lynn Lowry) favors him that way and this prompts a joke involving bisexual "predator" Elvira (Claire Wilbur) liking both hairy chests (her husband) and no hair (but Betsy rather than Eddie in this case). (What can I say? I can't stop referencing that movie because it provided me with so many unexpected laughs in-between the eye-raising hanky panky scenes.)
  14. Hey! The more couples do together, the longer they stay together. That VH1 video enforces the popular belief emphasized in recreations of the era like The Ice Storm that many were "spouse swapping" with keys at parties. While it is true that happened on occasion, a far greater number of married couples were happily faithful to each other but watched these movies simply to get new ideas to make their marriages better. It isn't so much about finding new partners as finding new things to do with the same partner. Lol!
  15. Soap hunks and divas

    Also his popular show began at the start of the decade. This was also the era of Richard Chamberlain, the leading mini-series king, remaining free of the razor as well.
  16. Soap hunks and divas

    The seventies was a rather hairy decade. The eighties marked the trend towards plucking it all out like feathers in a dead chicken.
  17. Here are two PG-rated documentaries covering the above material, with all nude scenes "blurred" and just the occasional anatomical discussion left in to shock the Victorians. One curio: while frank technical sex words are left in, the mention of "drugs" as recreation in the first video is bleeped out even though there's little question what the word is. VH1 had an interesting 12-part series called When ____ Ruled The World, profiling all kinds of pop culture from stand up comics to The Partridge Family. This August 4, 2004 edition covers the golden age of porn. What is really great about it are the interviews with those involved in the industry, some like Marilyn Chambers, Jamie Gillis and John Leslie regrettably passing away a couple years after this. Unfortunately this was first shown when there still wasn't as much acceptance and discussion of gays on TV as today. Although it is quite possible that this show might have planned to mention key films like Boys In The Sand, all material discussed in the final edited-for-TV version is strictly heterosexual with just a fleeting reference to lesbianism. Making up for what VH1 overlooked is this talking heads piece with just frank talk and no pictures. First shown in 2008 as a companion piece to another documentary Wrangler: Anatomy Of An Icon. I may have covered this video on another thread a while back. Jamie Gillis is also featured here too, sadly only two years or so before he died.
  18. Soap hunks and divas

    Certainly not Hawaii Five-O in scenic wonder.
  19. Soap hunks and divas

    I think we need more than just pictures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPvInajr4Xk
  20. TopBilled’s Essentials

    Saw this one a looooong time ago. The plot is eerily familiar and I can't remember exactly what it was remade as.
  21. I double checked everything. I hope it all reads as G-rated here. I try my best to be a good Scout.
  22. The Golden Age of you-know-what... Part 2 June 12, 1972: Gerard Damiano's strictly heterosexual Deep Throat, filmed in Miami that January with Linda Lovelace and Harry Reams in the lead, opens at New York City's New World theater. Subject to a flood of censorship battles and getting banned in several states, it becomes the most talked about feature of the decade. Johnny Carson and Bob Hope can't stop making jokes about it. Later the title is used in conjunction with an informant on Nixon's Watergate scandal. October 14, 1972: Fresh from his success in The Godfather, Marlon Brando rocks the Hollywood establishment again with the New York Film Festival premiere of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Tango In Paris, distributed by United Artists. Some are offended by the rather abusive relationship depicted on screen. The fact that Brando only appears partially nude also gets criticism. Why should just Mara Schneider be shown full frontal? Bertolucci takes this criticism seriously though and make sure both Robert de Niro and Gérard Depardieu are shown full frontal in his later 1900 (filmed 1975). December 17, 1972: Artie and Jim Mitchell's Behind the Green Door features newly popular Ivory Snow soap box model Marilyn Chambers. It is famous today for the group lesbian scene, trapeze activities and artsy "climax" done with slow motion and solarized printing, but what was more controversial back then was her interracial scene with Johnny Keyes. January 21, 1973: Ralph Blumenthal in the New York Times defines the word "porno chic" to describe the many "respectable" New Yorkers lining up to see Deep Throat and Behind The Green Door, a total contrast to what was earlier labeled the "raincoat crowd" (middle aged men sneaking into adult theaters fearful of getting exposed). March 28, 1973: Gerard Damiano's second triple X feature, The Devil In Miss Jones featuring Georgina Spelvin, opens at the 57th Street Playhouse in NYC. It would gross a shocking $15 million dollars by early 1974. June 21, 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court decides on Miller v. California, defining the word "obscenity" as lacking "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value". This began with a California publisher and mail order distributor named Marvin Miller facing charges in 1971. After 1973, X-rated films began to lose some of their temporary mainstream acceptance and became more common in major cities rather than suburban areas, often distributed with both "hard" and "soft" versions for different markets. On the plus side, story material and dialogue writing got better so that the producers could defend their product as "art". August 1, 1973: After backing a production of Macbeth earlier, Hugh Hefner of Playboy puts money into something more in tune with his centerfolds. The Naked Ape is a slightly silly documentary/comedy with both female and male nude scenes and featuring singer Johnny Crawford and future Dallas star Victoria Principal. Yet the film is so tame compared to the competition that it later received just minor edits for a "PG" rating. September 4, 1973: The line between porn and mainstream Hollywood narrows with Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now featuring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland at their most intimate. It is widely speculated that the two "did it" on the set, but later the general consensus is "no, it was mostly clever editing". December 1973: Preview of Radley Metzger's Score, based on Jerry Douglas' off-Broadway play and filmed in (then) Yugoslavia during the summer of 1972 with Calvin Culver/Casey Donovan, Claire Wilbur, Gerald Grant, Lynn Lowry and Carl Parker. Its release is held up until two versions are edited, one "soft" and one "hard", the latter mostly due to the male/male scenes. Unlike most other Metzger's films of the seventies, this is quite bisexual in tone with its swinging couples intermingling with their own genders. Spring 1974: The Screen Actors Guild relaxes previous restrictions against performers appearing in hard core films. June 26, 1974: The soft-core Emmanuelle opens in Paris, making a big star of Sylvia Kristal. Following United Artists' success with The Last Tango In Paris, Columbia quickly buys the U.S. distribution rights. Since the company went bankrupt the previous two years and The Way We Were was only helping slightly, it was obvious now that Hollywood had to conform to the new era. In later years, the character in this movie would receive criticism from feminist groups due to her playful willingness to allow men take advantage of her. July 30, 1974: Release of Bill Osco's sci fi sex film called Flesh Gordon includes elaborate effects by future famous names like Rick Baker. Filmed mostly in 1971 on a $470,00 budget, its release is delayed due to law suits with Universal claiming authority over the earlier Flash Gordon serials. September 1974: Peter de Rome's Adam & Yves features a brief appearance by Greta Garbo walking outside her apartment in NYC. (Reportedly the screen legend was more amused than outraged by her "cameo" in an otherwise gay erotic movie.) December 26, 1974: Radley Metzger is using the alias "Henry Paris" on his more explicit features such as the critically acclaimed The Private Afternoons Of Pamela Mann. February 19, 1975: Richard Dreyfuss plays a 1930s stag film maker in the British feature Inserts. Spring 1975: Directors Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress decide to combine full male nudity, Roman soldier bonding, religion and a Latin screenplay for the British produced Sebastiane, currently filming in Sardinia. May 10, 1975: Sony launches Betamax in Japan, predating VHS as a new form of home entertainment. It is available in the United States by November. November 4, 1975: Aside from the already popular "soft" Emmanuelle, Lasse Braun's Sensations is among the first "hard" European (Netherlands) features to make a substantial profit in the United States. Initially shown at Cannes in May. November 23, 1975: Pier Pasolini's Salo is given its first showings in Paris, just a few weeks after the Italian director's murder, and becomes one of the most widely banned films of the era. February 13, 1976: Ai No Corrida (In The Realm Of The Senses) is previewed. Due to some censorship in Japan, director Nagisa Oshima needed support from France's Argos films as well as that country's services in processing film. March 1, 1976: Radley Metzger's The Opening Of Misty Beethoven is generally regarded as the "golden jewel" of the X-rated genre, "the one movie you can take the sex out of and still have a real reason to watch it". Filmed in New York, Paris and Rome on a big budget, Jamie Gillis plays a Professor Higgins role molding his "Pygmalion" (Constance Money). March 2, 1976: Limited release of The First Nudie Musical. Paramount pulls the plug on its distribution when the higher ups discover that the company's top TV star Cindy Williams of Laverne & Shirley is featured, even though she is fully clothed the whole time. September 1, 1976: The Autobiography Of A Flea, directed by Sharon McKnight with Jean Jennings, John Holmes and Paul Thomas included in the cast, is one of the new attempts to legitimize the genre with elaborate early 19th century costumes... that is, when the actors are wearing them. September 21, 1976: The surprise murder of Paul Bonsky, a partner of Steve Toushin and Jeff Begun's Bijou theater in Chicago, exposes some of the organized crime element behind the business. October 1976: Joe Cage (a.k.a. Tim Kincaid) releases the first of a trilogy of "working man" gay films, Kansas City Trucking Company featuring Jack Wrangler. December 10, 1976: Even Lewis Carroll gets X-rated with Bill Osco's quite campy musical Alice In Wonderland. The more widely seen "soft core" version gets an R-rating. January 1977: Principal photography ends at Dear Studios in Lazio, Italy with Bob Guccione's Caligula, starring Malcolm McDowell, John Gielgud, Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirren. This would be the most expensive feature of this genre and, according to the head of Penthouse, director Tinto Brass "shot enough film to make the original version of Ben Hur about 50 times over". However the producer felt it was too "soft" and decided to add more explicit scenes behind the director's back. In addition, Gore Vidal was involved in some of the writing but soon disowned his participation. April 1977: After a series of arrests starting in July 1974 in different states due to his appearance in Deep Throat, Harry Reems' convictions are finally overturned on the grounds that the film was made before all of the red tape involving Miller v California. Many famous stars in Hollywood had rallied behind him during the past two years. He was even tentatively offered a role in Paramount's soon to be filmed Grease, but then the studio got nervous. June 4, 1977: VHS ("video home system") tapes, standardized by JVC, are introduced to Americans at Chicago's Consumer Electronics Show after modest success in Japan and South Korea. JVC accepts the marketing of adult films with greater interest than Sony does with Betamax. Within a month, the first porn titles are made available for home consumption by Robert Sumner in Manhattan, NYC. July 1977: Although officially directed by Joseph Sarno, Jennifer Welles gets credit on screen as both director and star of Inside Jennifer Welles. October 1977: The FBI gets involved in the industry with a program dubbed "MIPORN" to investigate possible Mafia ties March 8, 1978: The anti-porn movement among conservative Americans takes a bizarre detour with extremist Joseph Paul Franklin shoots Hustler publisher Larry Flynt outside a court house in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Flynt survives but is mostly confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. August 1978: David Jennings directs the very first commercial title shot on videotape instead of motion picture film: Lights! Camera! O rgy! October 1978: Debbie Does Dallas, starring Bambi Woods and widely distributed by David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney's theater chains, gets into all sorts of legal problems with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders due to thematic elements. November 23, 1978: The newest trend is fruit titles. Pretty Peaches is released, following the success of Metzger's Marischino Cherry. That same month, Radley Metzger also successfully releases a PG-rated film, an update of The Cat And The Canary. February 9, 1979: Columbia Pictures releases the mainstream feature Hardcore in which George C. Scott plays a father shocked by his daughter entering the business. May 11, 1979: After releasing Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens, Russ Meyer decides to retire, mostly appearing in documentaries after this point. His favored genre was the "nudie cutie" kind had long been overtaken by the other. August 29, 1979: Al Parker has his biggest hit of the era with the gay themed Inches. Later he would take on film and video producing, being one of the first to advocate "protection" (since I can't use the proper word here) use among performers in the early 1980s even though he himself would pass away to AIDS. September 1979: James Broughton and Joel Singer's Hermes Bird is a bit more unusual than other 11 minute experimental short films. It utilizes the same camera technique used for atomic bomb explosions to show a "male member" (since I can't use the proper word here) growing in slow motion, accompanied by Broughton's thoughtful poetry. At least it is an alternative to all of those time-lapse shots of flowers blooming that everybody had gotten bored with during the past six to seven decades. October 20, 1979: Roughly between 6000 and 7000 attend a Women Against Pornography rally on Times Square, NYC. This marks a major turning point when not just the Christian Right is upset with the new screen freedoms. February 1, 1980: Bob Guccione's Caligula is finally given a respectable showing in the United States. Mostly filmed in Italy during 1976-77 with all editing done by "production crew" instead of actual names, Guccione refuses to submit the film to the MPAA because he considered the rating system "demeaning". February 1980: Linda Lovelace (a.k.a. Linda Borman Marciano) slams the industry that made her a star with a best selling book Ordeal, although many of her accusations were later proven false by multiple witnesses involved in the making of her films. She joins Gloria Steineim in the Women Against Pornography movement. By now, many actresses within the industry start to counter this movement, claiming everybody they worked with acted professionally and have no shame for their profession. Among the outspoken are top stars Marilyn Chambers and Sharon Mitchell. August 14, 1980: The gunshot death of Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratton is a major news event of the era. September 24, 1980: Marilyn Chambers' big hit Insatiable is released by Miracle Films theatrically and later becomes one of the highest selling VHS releases by 1982 (through Caballero Home Video and VCA Pictures). By this time, it is estimated that one half of all VHS videos (but a much smaller number of Sony Betamax) are adult films. This is because Americans are more comfortable watching this material in the privacy of their own home, while producers are able to get over state by state public obscenity charges thanks to an earlier Stanley v. Georgia "right to privacy" case of 1969. April 15, 1981: John Christopher's Centurions Of Rome (Hand In Hand Productions) is the most expensive gay film up to that time, although most of it was shot in New York instead of Italy. George Payne plays Demetrius. Bizarre back story can be read here: http://www.therialtoreport.com/2016/06/05/centurians-rome/ June 5, 1981: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report newsletter reports an outbreak involving Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) among mostly homosexual men. This marks the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. July 1, 1981: The much discussed "Wonderland" murders call into question leading porn star John Holmes as either potentially involved or a witness. Nothing is confirmed, but his career as the most prolific performer in the business ends rather abruptly, hampered further by his addiction to cocaine. Later this same month, a documentary is released called Exhausted: John C. Holmes, The Real Story. October 1981: Francis Delia's Nightdreams is a bizarre avant garde horror experiment that even includes a Cream of Wheat box. December 1981: Anthony Spinelli's Nothing To Hide... included here simply because it was my first to see and be shocked by (around 1984 on VHS) April 23, 1982: Chuck Vincent's Roommates is one of the most critically acclaimed titles of the later "golden age". October 1982: Cafe Flesh, directed by Rinse Dream (Stephen Sayadian), is a sci fi film suggestive of the new AIDS epidemic. It features a future world where only a select few are sexually active and all other humans can only watch. November 1, 1982: Hugh Hefner's Playboy TV is launched to compete with HBO and other early cable networks, offering a stay-at-home alternative to adult theaters. The material offered is quite soft with little sex, but plenty of female nudity. December 10, 1982: Jane Fonda's Workout Video offers a major VHS alternative to porn. Spring 1983: Adult Video News is started by Paul Fishbein, Irv Slifkin, and Barry Rosenblatt to begin monitoring sales success much like Billboard did popular music. December 1983: The first gay porn feature shot exclusively on video for VHS is Matt Sterling's A Matter Of Size. April 1984: Anthony Spinelli's Reel People (for Arrow Film & Video) utilizes both professional porn actors with "amateur" enthusiasts with no prior camera experience, a fore shadowing of Reality TV. May 21, 1984: To please his conservative base, President Reagan agrees to revive the old Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography to determine exactly how harmful the industry is with innocent Americans, especially now with home video dominating. Many question if 1969's right-to-privacy Stanley v. Georgia case should be overturned for the protection of children who shouldn't be watching such filth when their parents aren't home supervising. The following year, Attorney General Edwin Meese would preside, prompting a new name: The Meese Commission. September 1984: The poorly received The Princess And The Call Girl marks the end of Radley Metzger's two decade career as the top producer of high quality adult films. Unlike his earlier efforts, it receives little theatrical distribution and is mostly shown on the Playboy Channel. January 28, 1985: Wade Nichols would be the first porn star to die from HIV complications... and sadly NOT the last. Al Parker, Casey Donovan and Richard Fisk below them in Falcon Studios' The Other Side of Aspen (1978)
  23. Might as well continue our merry little history lesson. The Golden Age of you-know-what... Part 1 April 4, 1969: Life magazine cover reads "Sex in the lively arts: How far is far enough?" How little readers at the time knew what was in store for them. May 25, 1969: Midnight Cowboy (United Artists) is released with an X-rating June 13, 1969: Andy Warhol's Blue Movie, filmed in October 1968, is shown at the Warhol Factory in NYC. This is the first U.S. feature film to show the sex act on screen with Viva and Louis Waldon. Shortly after moving to the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theater, the film is confiscated, the staff arrested and the manager fined $250. Later Warhol decided to published uncensored stills in a book through Grove Press. It would get screened once again in New York without any fuss... in 2005. July 4, 1969: Artie and Jim Mitchell open their first theater in San Francisco showing explicit short films, one of 25 established in that city by the end of the year. Prior to 1972, over half of all adult films produced in the United States, both short and feature length, are also filmed here. July 25, 1969: The Stewardesses combines the X-rated (still "soft core" in this case) genre with 3-D August 8, 1969: Matt Cimber's Man & Wife: An Educational Film For Married Adults opens in Los Angeles, getting around some of the court room fuss by being quite "academic" in tone. In Sweden, its counterpart Ur Kärlekens språk (Language of Love) would premiere on October 2 and become an even bigger hit internationally with its fully clothed psychologists talking about sex on couches and nude models tastefully demonstrating how it is done in dimly lit, but psychedelic colorful, set-ups. August 31, 1969: Medium Cool is the first major studio release (Paramount) to have male and female full frontal scenes. September 1969: Bob Guccione's Penthouse competes with Playboy for the U.S. publishing market after modest success in the U.K. Both he and Hugh Hefner would actively get involved in movies as well. Before taking on Macbeth with Roman Polanski, Hefner would first back his Playmate of the Year, Victoria Vetri, on her limited acting career with a bit role in Polanski's earlier Rosemary's Baby and the mostly completed, but not released yet, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth. Guccione would later have ties with Polanski as well, adding additional financial assistance to Chinatown in 1973. October 14, 1969: Opening in Rome, Luchino Visconti's The Damned marks Warner Brothers-Seven Arts as the third major studio (following Paramount and United Artists) to receive an X-rating from the MPAA. Even while filming in the autumn of 1968, the studio hastily grabbed the distribution rights and contributed to the production costs due to the director's established popularity. Set in Nazi Germany in the thirties, it recreates the "Night of the Long Knives" massacre. November 10, 1969: Women In Love (Ken Russell director) opens in the U.K., reaching the U.S. the following February. Although Glenda Jackson would become the second actress after Julie Christie to win an Oscar despite appearing nude and the first to expose her bosom, it is more famous for its male leads, Alan Bates and Oliver Reed, baring it all. March 1970: Producer/theater owner Alex de Renzy releases a documentary on sex films "for educational purposes". Censorship In Denmark: A New Approach features footage from one of the earliest adult film trade shows in Europe: the Copenhagen Sex Fair held the previous October. Rival producer John Lamb follows it up a few months later with another documentary, Sexual Freedom In Denmark. April 7, 1970: Midnight Cowboy wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first and last X-rated film to do so. Its rating is soon changed to "R" without any cuts made. Spring 1970: Stevin Touchin joins ranks with Paul Gonsky and Jeffrey Begun's Bijou theater and Festival group in Chicago, catering to the mid-west market. June 17, 1970: Russ Meyer goes mainstream, courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Richard Zanuck, for that company's first X-rated feature, Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. This one boasts a prominent film critic (Roger Ebert) as a key writer. June 24, 1970: Michael Sarne's Myra Breckinridge, another X-rated offering from 20th Century Fox, is more controversial for its idea (a man getting his gender changed in order to wreck havoc on the Hollywood establishment, much of it presented as a dream) than what was actually shown. On the plus side, Raquel Welch and Mae West still look great in some glitzy fashion and another film critic (Rex Reed) attempts to act. Gore Vidal, author of the original book, obviously hates it and makes sure his name is removed from the publicity credits. Legend has it that when he found out director Sarne was out of show business years later and working for a pizza place, he stated "this is proof of God's existence". Intriguingly, United Artists quietly releases its more-to-the-point The Christine Jorgensen Story that same month with a lot less outrage from the press, but also seen by a far smaller crowd. August 6, 1970: Bill Osco's Mona: The Virgin Nymph opens in San Francisco without screen credits to avoid legal attack. However it later cracks Variety's box office listings, a first for a "hard core" adult feature. September 1970: Mike Henderson's Electro Sex '75 is the first adult feature advertised in New York City newspapers. October 1970: Charles Keating, the business tycoon and anti-smut crusader appointed by President Nixon to the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, successfully delays the publication of the group's findings, which he feels are waaaaay too favorable towards the impact sexual material has on well adjusted American citizens. As he declares, "At a time when the spread of pornography has reached epidemic proportions in our country and when the moral fiber of our nation seems to be rapidly unravelling, the desperate need is for enlightenment and intelligent control of the poisons which threaten us – not the declaration of moral bankruptcy inherent in the repeal of the laws which have been the defense of decent people against the pornographer for profit." White House speech writer Pat Buchanan assists Keating in drafting a new "dissent report" to counter the findings of the other committee members. As successful as he is persuading politicians in Washington D.C., Keating is less successful shutting down a stage performance of Oh Calcutta! in his beloved Cincinnati, Ohio. October 17, 1970: Ever the literary among the adult genre, Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet supplies tasteful female and male nudity, with love making scenes in a library full of books. As the trailer brags, Andy Warhol calls it "an outrageously kinky masterpiece". December 1, 1970: James Broughton's Golden Positions is a popular short film featuring full frontal nudity in a series of tableaux. It is part of the first International Erotic Film Festival organized by Arlene Elster in San Francisco. December 1970: In New York City, Alex de Renzy's second documentary History Of The Blue Movie is tentatively shown, showcasing clips including A Free Ride (1915), The Beach (1921), Smart Alec (1951) through more recent scenes he himself had produced for his own theater in 1969-70. January 15, 1971: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is Hollywood major #5 to receive its first X-rating for a documentary called The Body, co-produced by Anglo-EMI in the U.K. Early 1971: Chuck Holmes launches Falcon Entertainment (with Jim Hodges and Vaughn Kincey) in San Francisco, one of the first gay porn distribution companies, initially in publishing and soon in film as well. It is also the the most durable of the early adult companies, continuing today. April 23, 1971: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is a landmark X-rated "blaxploitation" feature notorious for an under age scene involving the director and star Melvin Van Peebles' son. October 1971: John C. Holmes (Estes) enjoys success as one of the very first male stars in the new genre with an X-rated spoof on private eye films, Johnny Wadd (directed by Bob Chinn) October 13, 1971: W.R. - Mysteries Of An Organism, directed by Dušan Makavejev, is shown uncut and X-rated at Chicago's film festival. By now, all foreign imports are shown uncut in major U.S. cities and censored for the more conservative areas of the country. November 20, 1971: Japan is much more prudish than the United States, focusing on very "soft" core, but the nation is mighty prolific. Nikkatsu of Tokyo, one of the big companies with a history going back to 1912, releases its first pinku eiga or "pink film", Danchizuma hirusagari no jōji (Apartment Wife: Affair In The Afternoon). This is part of a Roman Porn-o series. By 1988, 1100 features of this kind were put out by this one studio alone. December 12, 1971: One year after it was previewed in Italy, Pier Pasolini's Decameron, featuring plenty of full frontal nudity in a medieval Italian setting, is successfully released in New York City by United Artists and Produzioni Europee Associati. December 20, 1971: Probably more polarizing than any "blue" movie up to this time is Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, also rated X due to its violent message. December 29, 1971: Wakefield Poole's Boys In The Sand opens in New York City as the first feature length film with hard core male/male sex scenes featuring Casey Donovan/Calvin Culver in the lead. It was filmed that July-August in Fire Island, New York. January 1972: Larry Flynt starts The Hustler Newsletter, which four years later later evolves into a major competitor to Playboy and Penthouse. February 1, 1972: In an audio tape made public decades later, preacher Billy Graham is heard telling Richard Nixon in the Oval Office that "Liberal Jews are the ones putting out the pornographic stuff." February 1, 1972: Ralph Bakshi's Fritz The Cat is the first animated feature to get an X-rating in the United States. March 17, 1972 (per Wikipedia): John Water's Pink Flamingos... well, I did sit through it twice on VHS in the eighties. Couldn't get over the chicken scene. April 1972: The second widely released all gay feature and the first shot in Los Angeles is L.A. Plays Itself, directed by Fred Halsted. Subsequent early gay features of prominence include Jerry Douglas' Park Row (also with Casey Donovan and released February 1973) and Peter Berlin's Nights In Black Leather (another early '73 limited release). Also in April 1972, box-office star Burt Reynolds creates a mini-sensation appearing buck naked (but with Little Burt covered) in a Cosmopolitan magazine spread. Around this time, William Rolster popularizes the three X-ratings used by film producers in Adam Film Quarterly, three Xs being the most explicit. 42nd Street in NYC at the start of the new decade.
  24. Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    She has no shame about HER body, showing it off in two films as I recall.
  25. Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    The whole problem with skimpy outfits is twofold: 1.) The primary places where you can wear them are the same places where you can also wear nothing (much more comfortable than a rubber band around your "junk"). Anywhere you must wear clothes, these aren't considered "enough clothes" for the prudish sharing the same public beaches and pools. 2.) Contrary to what Hollywood and Pornhub teaches you, the majority of Americans do not look like they just stepped out of a gym and, therefore, hardly feel "sexy" in these skimpy outfits like the models showing them off. With Number 2 in mind, I do think it is very healthy for everybody to visit a nude beach, bath house, sauna or nudist group at least one time, simply because you are destined to see somebody sporting a body just like yours including, for the men, all sizes "down under" and, for the ladies, all sizes "high up"... and, for everybody, all sizes in the "back end". You suddenly realize that so much about your physical appearance that worries you is really in your mind. While there will always be those who are more muscular and glamorous than you (and, yes, they will be strutting and hoping they are center stage even though they will get old and lumpy like the rest of us eventually), there will also be many who are fatter and scrawnier than you as well. Don't ask me why I was motivated to add this clip...

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