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December 03, 2010

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The Siren

That should have been "costume territory," not "tendency," among other fast-typing errors in the above. You boys done got me rattled.

Kent Jones

"It was only after seeing DON'T LOOK NOW that I understood how depressing it must have been to watch Nagel-print faces like Tom Cruise become the gold standard for attractive leads."

Oh yes. Suddenly - 1984, perhaps - everyone on camera looked like they had just come from the gym; or, been drawn by Tex Avery.

Oliver_C

Hey, what's wrong with Tex Avery?

Vanwall

Having seen both "The Outfit" and "Charlie Varrick" on release, I have to say generally, the press was positively vituperous to both - too much violence!!! - especially Charlie Varrick - and boobs, yes, and the casual attitudes toward both by all the players concerned; I was struck by a curious contrast to the outcry about the Dirty Harry films, because the criminals were the quasi-heroic figures, not cops or other accepted good guys, which could be forgiven a lot by reviewers. I understand Eastwood turned down the Charlie Varrick role - it wasn't acceptable! I think they nailed the reality of crime, organized and otherwise, a lot closer than any cared to admit, and throw in "Gloria, "Across 110th Street", and "Get Carter", and you've got films that were well ahead of the mainstream curve.

Shawn Stone

There are a number of similarly surprising moments sans-bra in precode cinema; there are some parallels between the economic uncertainty and boundary-pushing of the early 30s and early 70s. But the context of the "reveals" of Kay Francis in Cukor's GIRLS ABOUT TOWN and Maureen O'Sullivan in Edgar Selwyn's SKYSCRAPER SOULS are very different. There's no indolence, just youthful eagerness.

Those two films come to mind because I've seen them in beautiful 35mm prints. The same films were not so revealing in other versions--16mm (GIRLS) or on VHS (SOULS).

jbryant

I remember being rather taken aback by Mandy Moore's proudly braless state in 2004's SAVED! (the exclamation point is part of the title, but also fits my reaction). It felt like something coming full-circle (no pun intended) -- after all the relative explicitness in film over the years, the studios had become so comparatively prudish that a couple of irrepressible nipples could once again produce a little frisson. Maybe it had more to do with the context -- Moore, who I think was about 20 at the time -- was playing a high school girl, so maybe it seemed naughtier than if, say, co-star Mary Louise Parker had done it.

But yeah, the films of the early 30s can be eye-opening on this issue. Check out Loretta Young in PLAY GIRL (1932): http://www.theblogofrecord.com/tag/young-loretta-young/

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