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June 07, 2011

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Andy

I seem to remember Preminger punishing us in Skidoo with his new ability to show whatever he liked--via Carol Channing's see-through bra. Did I imagine that? More horrifying to think that I did.

bill

Oh, if only Hitchcock had been able to make KALEIDOSCOPE...

Tom Block

I wish some of the old-school guys, like Wellman, Hawks and Minnelli, had been able to put nudity in at least a couple of their pictures just to see how they would've handled it, but there are some others who it would've been a downright boon for--Ray, Lang, Walsh, Joe Lewis, even Ophuls. I watched "While the City Sleeps" in the middle of the night last night, and as it was Lang did everything but shove the camera up Rhonda Fleming's skirt.

christian

Dyan Cannon despised Preminger and they barely communicated through filming. Shocker!

jbryant

Does Burgess Meredith's razor wrangler get a credit? And how flattering that it took more than a Penguin Pocket edition to protect his modesty, such as it was.

I've wanted to see this ever since Rex Reed named it worst of its year. While not a guarantee of quality, it often meant there was more to a film than met Rex's eye.

Victor Morton

Tom:

Who cares? What do you think about getting a gay Jewish doctor to commit euthanasia on Jean-Luc Godard??

Seriously ... aren't moments like what you cite in WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS the classic argument AGAINST screen nudity? That the old-school directors were able to convey lust or eros without it. Frankly I think that Lang's fetishizing of Fleming would have been far too much if he could show her nude; in other words, nudity would have required him to dial back his erotic direction of her.

As for Ophuls, I could see LOLA MONTES, parts of LA RONDE and the third section of LE PLAISIR profiting from some nudity. CAUGHT, MADAME DE, other parts of LA RONDE, and the first two-thirds of LE PLAISIR -- absolutely no way. It'd have been like dropping bricks in a goldfish bowl.

Tom Block

Who's Godard? He sounds like a wanker.

>aren't moments like what you cite in WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS the classic argument AGAINST screen nudity? That the old-school directors were able to convey lust or eros without it.

That indeed is the classic argument, and people always seem eager to sign off on it. I'm in awe of their resourcefulness and would never think the canon could be improved by nuditizing the old pix, but neither am I convinced that they didn't suffer from not having at least *the ability* to get more graphic. (Which is different than simply *being* more graphic.) It's like telling a painter the only blues he can use are very pale ones; sure, you can do a lot with pale blue, but sometimes what's called for is BLUE. And I meant it when I said I'd like to see what the old guys would do with it--I get the feeling we'd have more variety in our current sex and nude scenes, such of them as there are. (There was a shot in "Blue Valentine" that made me sit up a bit just because it wasn't an angle I'd seen a thousand times before.) It's hard not to think more freedom wouldn't have opened up a whole new world of content for guys like Ray and Mann while cancelling out those squirrelly compromises, e.g., the ridiculous "no whorehouse" edict for "Kane". That one in particular has always stung.

lazarus

Glenn, I hope you're going to give Hurry Sundown its own write-up. I know it's not supposed to be some lost masterpiece either, but it always looked to me as the more interesting of these two films, especially on a visual level. Plus, what a cast (even though the thought of Michael Caine playing a Southerner scares me).

Kent Jones

Lazarus, It's ot entirely clear to me whether or not you've seen HURRY SUNDOWN, but I don't think it's interesting visually or on any other level. I'm sure that it will have stiff competition if I ever get around to seeing ROSEBUD, but it lingers in my memory as the very worst of Preminger's films.

skelly

I'd certainly agree with Kent Jones - saw HURRY SUNDOWN for the first time just a few days back and it's the worst of the Premingers I've seen (think I've seen 27 - but not ROSEBUD, sounds like I shouldn't rush out).

jbryant - as you probably know REX REED had a bit part in HURRY SUNDOWN - so he probably had it in for Preminger (not that his view on SUCH GOOD FRIENDS would matter much one way or the other).

Completely agree with our host; SUCH GOOD FRIENDS is truly fascinating.

D Cairns

Rosebud sees Otto-eroticism of a far more conventional sort, with nude Kim Cattrall, Isabelle Huppert, etc. There may be some kind of mise-en-scene interest, but you'd have to furiously ignore everything else to appreciate that.

Thanks for the nude Burgess!

jbryant

skelly: Actually, I had forgotten Reed was in HURRY SUNDOWN (my one viewing of the film was on TV when I was a kid; tried to watch on Netflix Instant Watch a while back, but the pan-and-scan was a deal breaker).

I did, however, name my old band Hurry Sundown. Good thing we never went pro; turns out there's a Missouri band of the same name that tours and records (though they got the name from a song by The Outlaws, not the movie).

Partisan

Ah, nudity in film. Obviously the desire for PG-13 ratings, and the idea you can't have nudity in PG-13 films is one reason. But as long as film directing, or at least film directors that sites like this one pay any attention to, is the most male dominated profession outside most religious hierarchies, I can't say its rarity is that much of a problem.

Fabian W.

I sometimes wonder what "Forty Guns" would feel like with nudity.

Now that this isn't totally off-topic (though I still apologize) - "Park Row" seems to be finally available on DVD, from MGM's Archive On-Demand Service. Can anyone comment on this, Image quality and the like? And I'd always heard that Criterion was working on this. Is that totally out the window now?

Kent Jones

jbryant, isn't "Hurry Sundown" an old blues song? (I don't mean the Hawkwind song, "Hurry On Sundown.") There's a man in WILD RIVER singing it in the distance as Montogomery Clift and Lee Remick enter the old house.

The sax job exchange between Jane Fonda and Michael Caine in HURRY SUNDOWN is, if memory serves, the absolute low point of the movie.

haice

I remember as a kid in the late sixties gathering around the TV like other middle-American families to watch such films as HURRY SUNDOWN on ABC'S Sunday Night a the Movies or SECRET CEREMONY on NBC'S Saturday Night at the Movies.
Very strange.

Brian Dauth

Mankiewicz had female nudity in THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN . . . but cut the shot (he also toned down the violence which had the effect of making it more chilling).

As for ROSEBUD: I saw it a few years back at MOMA, and while no masterpiece, it was better than I had expected or been led to believe.

jbryant

Kent: Madlyn Davis had a song called "Hurry Sundown Blues" in the '20s; that might be it. There's an Earl Robinson and Yip Harburg song titled "Hurry Sundown," but I think it was written for Preminger's film. If so, it obviously couldn't be the one in WILD RIVER.

Re the Caine/Fonda "saxual" encounter: It's probably a good thing my band's sax player hadn't seen the film.

As for nudity in classic films: if Mankiewicz had been able to shoot Linda Darnell in the buff in A LETTER TO THREE WIVES or NO WAY OUT, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of puberty alive.

wholesale jerseys

I wish some of the old-school guys, like Wellman, Hawks and Minnelli, had been able to put nudity in at least a couple of their pictures just to see how they would've handled it, but there are some others who it would've been a downright boon for--Ray, Lang, Walsh, Joe Lewis, even Ophuls.

Johan Andreasson

The song in ”Wild River” must be ”Hurry Sundown (See What Tomorrow Brings) by Richard Huey and Clarence Williams. Huey’s recording of it is on the album ”Jazzin’ The Blues Vol. 4”.

Tom Block

>Mankiewicz had female nudity in THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN . . . but cut the shot

He should've kept going.

Brian Dauth

THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN... was cut too much I think. There is a raggedness to the continuity that affects the final reels. But even mutilated, his genius shows through. I always thought LONESOME COWBOYS and TWACM... would make a lovely double bill of Westerns from a queer perspective.

Cadavra

CROOKED MAN is definitely one of Mank's most underrated films. I sometimes show it to people, who end up surprised at how much they like it...though there was one clod who complained mid-way that he couldn't enjoy it because he couldn't tell what was coming next. It never occurred to him that this might be considered an asset by most people.

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