History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes

(Illustrated)

1955-1956



The History of Sex in Cinema
Title Screens
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description
Screenshots

How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955)

Newcomer Sheree North, an attempted carbon-copy, dumb blonde replacement for the suspended Marilyn Monroe, starred in this Nunnally Johnson comedy opposite star Betty Grable, after the unwilling blonde star walked off and refused to do this picture for Fox.

[Note: The studio continued to place North in a series of Monroe-like bombshell roles in the mid-to-late 1950s, including: The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956), the musical The Best Things In Life Are Free (1956) and the drama No Down Payment (1957).]

The film was a semi-remake of She Loves Me Not (1934), a Paramount Pictures production directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Bing Crosby, Miriam Hopkins and Kitty Carlisle.

San Francisco cabaret-burlesque showgirl Curly Flagg (Sheree North in her first starring role) and fellow burlesque chorine Stormy Tornado (Betty Grable in her final film) were performing as "interpretive dancers" on stage in a men's only strip club. After they finished their number, they witnessed the onstage shooting of fellow headlining dancer Cherry Blossom Wang (Noel Toy). The stocking-masked killer, a bald-headed barber known later as Mr. X (Milton Parsons), escaped through the rear dressing room window. The two strippers, to follow the killer and avoid police, also fled through their rear dressing room window into an alleyway with overcoats covering their skimpy costumes. With all the money they had, the two took a bus from the city south to College City (near Los Angeles) to hide out in an all-male Fraternity Hall or dormitory at Bristol College.

 

[Note: The plot about the witnessing of a murder and subsequent flight to avoid detection from gangsters was similar to the one found in Some Like It Hot (1959).]

While Curly remained outside, Stormy entered and met Fillmore "Wedge" Wedgewood (Robert Cummings), a perpetual, mature-looking student in his late 30s, who learned that she was one of two missing witnesses to a murder in SF, due to recent news reports and headlines about the crime. When Curly came into the building, she accidentally happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - in one of the frat rooms, and was hypnotized my amateur hypnotist Eddie Jones (Tommy Noonan), who was attempting to induce hypnosis in his thick-headed, rich and hunky roommate Toby Marshall (Orson Bean) (who had actually been expelled). To test the hypnotic effect in the heavy-eyed Curly, Eddie suggested that whenever Curly heard the word "Salome," she would begin performing a strip-tease dance. For the remainder of the film - for the next 24 hours until 10 pm the next day, she remained in a trance (and could not be 'ungoofed'). If triggered by the word "Salome," Curly would begin dancing at inopportune moments. She also obeyed any specific commands given to her by Eddie, who ordered her to be "very, very nice" to the College President Dr. Tweed (Charles Coburn).


Hypnotized Curly Acting "Very, Very Nice" to Dr. Tweed

In one of the film's more talked-about sequences, the college graduation ceremony, both Curly (still entranced) and Stormy attended dressed with graduation caps and gowns, to avoid the police and questions about the murder. When the graduation speaker mentioned the Battle of Salamis - and Curly thought she heard "Salome," she stripped off her gray college commencement gown and performed a wild, frenzied and energetic rock and roll dance (bump and grind) to "Shake, Rattle & Roll." It was advertised as "the screen's first Rock 'n' Roll dance scene."

Curly's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" During Bristol College's Commencement Ceremony Until Chaos Erupted After Gunshots

She swept the diplomas off a small table before lying back on it and kicking her legs up, and then she continued to gyrate atop the table. The bald-headed killer, seated in the audience, shot and missed Curly, but was soon apprehended and positively identified by the two dancers as he sat in the back of a cab parked outside the police station, before they were allowed to leave. As the film ended, the two "material witnesses" had each found boyfriends for romance - Curly with Toby, and Stormy with "Wedge," but were still being affected by Eddie's attempts to hypnotize a pretty female.


Murder of Cherry Blossom Wang On Stage

Strippers Curly (Sheree North) and Stormy (Bette Grabe) Escaping Scene of Crime Through Back Window

"CHINESE STRIP DANCER SLAIN - Masked Man Escapes After Shooting in San Francisco Night Club"

Fillmore "Wedge" Wedgewood (Robert Cummings)

Curly - Accidentally Hypnotized in Eddie's Room (l to r): Toby, Curly, Eddie


The Bald Man Shooting At Curly During Her Dance From the Audience


The Two Couples Together: Curly with Toby, and Stormy with "Wedge"

The Killer Identified





Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)

Henry King's adaptation of Han Suyin's novel of the same name was filmed on location in the British Crown colony of Hong Kong in Cinemascopic color. It told of a forbidden, transgressive, cross-cultural and inter-racial, clandestine romance between two lovers during China's Civil War (in the year 1949):

  • Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones), a beautiful Eurasian (half-English, half-Chinese) doctor, the widow of a Chinese Nationalist general from mainland China
  • Mark Elliott (William Holden), a calm, suave American newsman/correspondent, unhappily married (in a trial separation) and unable to obtain a divorce

[Note: There was considerable controversy over the casting of Jennifer Jones as a Eurasian.]

They began to see each other quite regularly, for dinner dates and moonlight dancing. The two engaged in conversation after they had gone swimming, and later returned to retrieve their clothes among some rocks - at nighttime - turning their relationship from platonic to more traditionally heterosexual:

Han: Mark, could I have a cigarette?
Mark: I've never seen you smoke.
Han: I rarely do.
Mark: You still think we have no destiny together?
Han: I have decided one thing. That you must decide. For you are stronger than I am.
Mark: No, I think you're the strong one.
Han: Then you are wrong. For you are gentle and there is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.

The Oscar-winning title tune swelled in the background as their two cigarettes merged and ignited. They joined their two cigarettes together as a symbol (his burning cigarette lit hers, symbolic of the sexual consummation of their love -- and sublimation of their passion).

In a melodramatic final scene, Mark reluctantly bid her farewell from a hilltop (where they often went to share kisses). He explained that he had been given a new assignment to cover the Korean War. Mark told her that he didn't have time to get a present for her: "I have to go now and I don't want you to be sad...And I don't want you to come down the path with me. I want to look back and see you here." She promised that she would be there for him at their familiar meeting place ("I will be here when you come back to me. I promise") as they kissed and the theme music swelled - with the lyrics:

Once on a high and windy hill, in the morning mist, two lovers kissed, and the world stood still...

[Note: The hilltop meeting place was located in California, not in Hong Kong.]

In the film's conclusion while Mark was on assignment during the Korean War, Suyin (whose residency at the hospital was not renewed) and her adopted daughter Oh-No (Candace Lee) lived with a friend. She received frequent letters from him sent from the war-front. As Mark was typing a news-report, he marveled that a white butterfly landed on it - possibly a sign from Suyin. Then, she received devastating news via newspaper that Mark was killed (he was the victim of an air-attack strafing). At the same time she had just received a letter from him - that stated:

I do not know what is to happen, darling. But this I do know: Life's greatest tragedy is not to be loved. God has been good to us, Suyin.

She was gratified knowing that his letters would continue to arrive one by one for awhile. She began to have rekindled memories of him and his voice. She heard him (in voice-over) tell her - as she rushed through town to rendezvous with Mark's spirit at their favorite hilltop meeting place - words of comfort:

Suyin... there is nothing fair nor unfair under heaven. God has been good to us, Suyin. It makes me very proud of you to know that any unhappiness of your own could never blind you to the pain of others. (Momentarily, she saw Mark from the tree waving to her) (She heard Mark's voice offer: Give me your hand.)

I often think that healing is man's salvation, and I envy your ability to help. You deal with suffering, but you can do something about it. I can only stand and watch. We have not missed, you and I. We have not missed that many-splendored thing.

Rushing to Their Favorite Meeting Place to Rendezvous with Mark's Spirit

Han Suyin with Mark Elliott



Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones)
with Mark Elliott (William Holden)



Farewell Scene


Mark on the Korean War Front Before His Death

Suyin - Reading Mark's Letter at the Time of His Death



Breaking Down and Weeping at the Foot of the Tree

Picnic (1955)

Joshua Logan's widescreen Technicolored version of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play (with a screen adaptation by Daniel Taradash) was a rural romantic drama. It was set during Labor Day in a small Kansas town.

The drama began with the arrival of unemployed, egotistical, bravado-filled, handsome and charming drifter Hal Carter (William Holden), an ex-college football star, in a small Kansas town to visit his ex-fraternity brother and friend Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson), the son of the wealthiest man in town - grain industrialist Mr. Benson (Raymond Bailey). Carter - who was often seen during early scenes with his shirt off (and considered "naked as an Indian") - engaged in a growing acquaintance with Marjorie "Madge" Owens (Kim Novak), Alan's red-haired girlfriend, a dime-store clerk.

Alan worshipped and idolized Madge, who was dissatisfied with just looking pretty: "After the picnic tonight, let's get away from the others...We'll take a boat out on the river... I wanna find out something, I wanna find out if you look real in the moonlight... You are the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

Carter stayed long enough to attend the quintessential, All-American annual Kansas town's Labor Day picnic in Riverside Park, with Alan and Madge's smart younger tomboyish sister Millie (Susan Strasburg) as his 'date', a college-bound high-school senior (who was sneaking cigarettes). Madge was elected as the picnic's Queen of Neewollah (Halloween spelled backwards), when she professed: "I'm very proud and I'll try hard to be a good queen. I'll try hardest of all not to get conceited."

The Annual Labor Day Picnic
The Crowning of Madge as Queen

Shortly later, Hal noticed Madge as she arrived at the dance dock in a swan-shaped paddle-boat. There was incredible circling camera work (by James Wong Howe) during the sensual slow "mating" dance of sexy Hal Carter and "Madge" Owens (in billowing pink) to "Moonglow" under colorful Japanese lanterns on a boat dock landing at night. It was filmed in basically one-take with a circling camera under colorful Japanese lanterns on a boat dock landing at night, although one cutaway showed two observers commenting on how "graceful" they were together.

After Hal's dance with Madge, he was approached by a drunken and aging, "old maid" schoolteacher Miss Rosemary Sydney (Rosalind Russell), the Owens' boarder, who was in a desperate and distressing relationship with store owner Howard Bevans (Oscar-nominated Arthur O'Connell). Jealous, she forced herself onto Hal for a dance while admiring his physique:

"You remind me of one of those old statues - one of those Roman gladiators. All he had on was a shield."

Rosemary's Embarrassing Advances and Criticism of Hal

When he rejected her and pushed her away and his shirt was torn, Rosemary turned on him and bitterly derided him for ignoring his 'date' Millie (who had become drunk) while he was going after pretty-looking Madge:

"You've been stompin' around here in those boots like you owned the place, thinkin' every woman you saw was gonna fall madly in love. Well, here's one woman didn't pay you any mind. Raggin' about your father. And he wasn't any better than you are. Struttin' around here like some crummy Apollo. You think just 'cause ya act young, why you can walk in here and make off with whatever you like. Let me tell you somethin'. You're a fake! You're no jive kid. You're just scared to act your age. Buy yourself a mirror sometime and take a look in it. It won't be many years now before you're countin' the gray hairs, if ya got any left. And what'll become of ya then. You'll end your life in the gutter and it'll serve you right, 'cause the gutter's where you came from, and the gutter's where you belong!"

After the embarrassing scene at the dance, Madge followed Hal and they drove to the town's train station - he threatened to leave. They had a heart-to-heart talk about his failed life beginning when he was a boy in a reform school/jail: ("What's the use, baby? I'm a bum. She saw through me like an X-ray machine. There's no place in the world for a guy like me"). His confessions brought an encouraging kiss from Madge (alongside the rail tracks). She also told him: "I get so tired of just being told I'm pretty" - it was the start of a romantic relationship between them.

In the final scene the next day, Carter kissed Madge goodbye as he professed his love for her, before leaving for Tulsa to work as a hotel bell-hop: ("I gotta know how you feel. Last night I thought you liked me....I love you, Madge. Do ya hear?...Do you love me? Do you?....I'm catchin' that freight. Meet me baby. We'll get married. They'll give me a room in the hotel. It'll be OK until we find somethin' better....Look, baby. I got a chance with you. It won't be big time, but that isn't important, is it?...Come on...Listen, baby. You're the only real thing I ever wanted. Ever! You're mine. I've gotta claim what's mine or I'll be nothin' as long as I live...You love me, you know it, you love me, you love me! You love me!").

Running off to Freight Train: "You love me, you know it"

Then, he jumped onto a passing freight train. There was an amazing aerial helicopter shot of Madge's bus following Hal's freight train (bound for Tulsa) - eventually catching up and going in the same direction at the same speed.



Meeting for the First Time: Hal Carter and "Madge" Owens

Madge's Dissatisfaction with Idolizing Boyfriend Alan




Hal with Madge Dancing Together on Boat Dock




After the Embarrassing Incident With Rosemary, The Start of a Romance Between Hal and Madge




The Next Day - A Goodbye Scene and a Profession of Love to Madge: "You're the only real thing I ever wanted"

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Director Nicholas Ray's affecting drama Rebel Without a Cause (1955) sympathetically viewed rebellious, restless, misunderstood, middle-class American youth alienated from adults in a Los Angeles suburb.

The main characters had self-absorbed, hypocritical, indifferent or unloving (or missing) parents. In the opening scene in a Los Angeles police station, the three main teenaged characters were introduced:

Introduction of Main Characters in Police Station
Jim Lying Drunk on Sidewalk Before Arrest
Judy's 'Dirty Tramp' Speech
Orphaned 'Plato'

One was Judy (Natalie Wood), a nubile teen with a desperate need to be loved who was first introduced at a police station. The pretty, unloved Judy teenager in a bright-red outfit with matching red lipstick was cited for curfew violation.

In a scene with a hidden incest subtext, she explained to the detective how she was upset about her father (William Hopper) who had resisted and reproached her grown-up sexual maturity. He caused her pain when he labeled her a "dirty tramp" - after she had applied red lipstick and dressed up for him, and then fled the house and was picked up wandering around at 1 am in the morning:

"He must hate me...I don't think, I know. He hates me. He looks at me like I was the ugliest thing in the world. He doesn't like my friends. He doesn't like one thing about me. And he called me, he called me a dirty tramp. My own father!...I mean, maybe he doesn't mean it, but he acts like he does. We were all together. And we were gonna celebrate Easter. And we were gonna catch a double bill. Big deal! So I put on my new dress and I came out and he grabbed my face and he started rubbing off all the lipstick. I thought he'd rub off my lips. And I ran out of that house...I don't even know why I do it...I'll never get close to anybody."

The second teen was alienated Jim Stark (James Dean) who was found lying on a sidewalk curb with a wind-up toy monkey next to him. He expressed his frustrated rage and agony when he screamed at his often-bickering and love-smothering parents, Mr. Frank Stark (James Backus, the voice of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo) and his mother Carol Stark (Ann Doran) who came to pick him up:

"You're tearing me apart!...You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again."

In Ray's office, Jim's bottled up energy caused him to box bare-knuckled with Ray's large wooden desk, venting his pent-up crazed energy; he then continued his description of his dysfunctional family that kept moving from town to town to protect him, especially his passive, weak, henpecked and 'chicken' father: "It's a zoo. He always wants to be my pal, you know? But how can I give him anything? If he's, well, I mean I love him and all that type of stuff, and I-I mean, I don't want to hurt him. But then, I don't, I don't, well I don't know what to do anymore, except maybe die...."

Jim also expressed a wish that his henpecked, ineffectual "chicken" father (a weak and timid role model) would one day stand up to his domineering mother who was only concerned about keeping up an image of respectability: "If he had guts to knock Mom cold once, then maybe she'd be happy and then she'd stop pickin' on him, because they make mush outta him... I'll tell you one thing, I don't ever want to be like him...How can a guy grow up in a circus like that?...Boy, if, if I had one day when, when I didn't have to be all confused, and didn't have to feel that I was ashamed of everything...If I felt that I belonged someplace, you know, then..."

Jim Pummeling Officer Ray's Desk with Fists - in Frustration
Jim Counseled by Officer Ray About His Dysfunctional Family
Jim About His 'Chicken' Father: "I don't ever want to be like him"

The third teen was emotionally-disturbed, anguished 'orphan' John "Plato" Crawford (Sal Mineo) who had killed a litter of puppies. The juvenile was also portrayed as homosexual (he idolized a picture of movie-star Alan Ladd in his school locker).

Just before Jim's first day of school at Dawson High, he questioned Judy in his neighborhood: ("You live here, don't you?") - followed by her response: "Who lives?"; she asked: "You wanna carry my books," then refused his offer of a ride and went off with a carload of other teens: ("I go with the kids"); the delinquent gang was led by her leather-jacketed boyfriend Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen); her last words to Jim were an insult: "I bet you're a real yo-yo."

After a school field trip, there was a choreographed, tense switchblade knife fight scene outside the Griffith Observatory's planetarium between HS newcomer Jim and challenger Buzz.

When Jim returned home after the fight, he found his frilly, apron-clad father ludicrously positioned on his knees on the upstairs landing cleaning up a spilled tray of food - his cowardly, emasculated father was not willing to admit the accident to his mother: "Shhh. Listen, I'd better, better clean it up before she sees it" - Jim pleaded with his weak and foolish dad to stand and be a man, and was unable to receive advice about how to stand up and defend one's honor when challenged.

In her home, the unloved Judy forced her father (William Hopper) for a kiss at the family's meal table after he had returned from work ("Daddy?...Haven't you forgotten something?"), but he pushed her away: "What's the matter with you? You're getting too old for that kind of stuff, kiddo. I thought you stopped doing that long ago...I'm tired. I'd like to change the subject....I'd just like to, that's all. Girls your age don't do things like that. You need an explanation?"; Judy begged to be loved and appreciated: "Girls don't love their father? Since when? Since I got to be 16?" - then, when she tried to steal another kiss, her father slapped and chastised her with a reprimanding tone ("Stop that! Sit down!"); Judy fled from her unwelcoming father; after he called her a "glamour puss," she left the house and slammed the door: "This isn't my home." Her father admitted: "I don't know what to do. All of a sudden, she's, she's a problem." Her mother (Rochelle Hudson) attempted to be reassuring, but admitted that she too didn't know how to help their problematic adolescent daughter: "She'll outgrow it dear, it's just the age...It's just the age when nothing fits."

16 Year-Old Judy Lacking Affection From Her Father

In the challenge known as a "chickie run" next to sea-side cliff edge; just before the race, Jim offered his outstretched hand to pink-sweatered Judy; tragically, when trapped inside his hot-rod car by his jacket sleeve, Buzz's vehicle plunged over the edge and he was killed.

The Deadly "Chickie Run"
Buzz Just Before Hot-Rod Car Accident
Jim and Judy Touching Hands After Buzz's Death

After Jim's return to his home following the lethal chickie run, he drank milk directly from the bottle, and then put the cold glass on his forehead and cheek to cool himself; he wished to appeal to his parents following the tragedy of Buzz's death; as his mother approached from upstairs, the camera revolved an entire 180 degrees counter-clockwise to reflect his point of view - he told his parents that he needed a "direct answer" this time, because he was "in trouble": ("They called me chicken. You know, chicken? I had to go because if I didn't I'd never be able to face those kids again. I got in one of those cars, and Buzz, that - Buzz, one of those kids - he got in the other car, and we had to drive fast and then jump, see, before the car came to the end of the bluff, and I got out OK, and Buzz didn't and, uh, killed him...I can't - I can't keep it to myself anymore").

Father: "Did anyone see you there?"
Mother: "No I don't want you to go to the police"
Jim to His Mother: "You're not tearing me loose again"
Jim Choking His Father

His weak-willed, indecisive father first wanted Jim to not get involved ("Did anyone see you there? Did anyone see your license plate?"), and then his mother refused to have him go to the police; his father could not offer support: "But you know that you did the wrong thing. That's the main thing, isn't it?"; Jim wanted to tell the truth to the authorities as his father had instructed him, but his mother suggested that he just not "volunteer" the information, or that they move away again to get away from the problem; Jim objected ("You're not tearing me loose again") and became enraged at both his cowardly father and mother for not standing up for him: ("You better give me something. You better give me something fast...Dad, let me hear you answer her. Dad, Dad, stand up for me"); his father was powerless and impotent, and buried his head in his hands; Jim physically attacked his father and choked him before contemptuously leaving.

Under a moonlit sky, Jim found Judy sitting next to his driveway when he drove up- she was wrapped tightly in a pink coat to keep warm. She greeted him with an affectionate name: "Hello, Jamie," and he was surprised. She warned: "They'll be looking for you...It doesn't matter to them," referring to the earlier, deadly chicken-run car race. She admitted: "I'm just numb." He leaned forward and confided in her:

"You know something? I woke up this morning, you know? And the sun was shining and it was nice and all that type of stuff. And the first thing - I saw you. And, uh, I said, 'Boy, this is gonna be one terrific day, so you better live it up, because tomorrow you'll be nothin'.' See? And I almost was."

She apologized to him for her earlier behavior that morning and the way she bowed to peer pressure: "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I treated you mean today. You shouldn't believe what I say when I'm with the rest of the kids. Nobody, nobody acts sincere." He kissed her for the first time, sweetly on the right side of her forehead. She asked: "Why did you do that?" He responded: "I felt like it," and she said lovingly: "Your lips are soft."

Jim, Judy, and misfit Plato - all three acting as a "family" - explored and toured a deserted mansion and an empty swimming pool; Plato assumed the part of a real estate agent leading the pretend 'newlyweds' through the run-down Gothic property with a lighted candelabra: ("Well, what do you think of my castle?"); like a surrogate family, Jim had his head in Judy's lap, with Plato the 'child' at their feet; before leaving to explore further, Judy and Jim noticed the sleeping Plato's red and blue mismatched socks and laughed - Jim commented: "Must have been a nervous day..."

Settling down, Judy opened her heart to Jim in a very intimate sequence, as she laid next to him and confessed why she was falling in love with him. She asked: "Is this what it's like to love somebody?...What kind of a person do you think a girl wants?" She agreed that she wanted "a man" - "but a man who can be gentle and sweet - like you are." To her, Jim was a man who was very different from her irresponsible and unloving father. She added: "Someone who doesn't run away when you want them. Like being Plato's friend when nobody else liked him. That's being strong."

She transferred her love for her father to a new heroic man and ideal partner - Jim. He had the traits of a man who was brave and strong (and wouldn't run away or abandon her), caring, responsible, gentle and sweet with peaceful instincts.

Jim: (responding favorably): "Oh, wow...We're not gonna be lonely anymore. Ever, ever. Not you or me."
Judy: (confiding, as she nuzzled closer) "I love somebody. All the time I've been, I've been looking for someone to love me. And now I love somebody. And it's so easy. Why is it easy now?"
Jim: "I don't know. It is for me, too."
Judy: (confessing her love) "I love you, Jim. I really mean it."
Jim: "Well, I'm glad." (He turned toward her and their lips found each other.)

In the final tragic, senseless and violent scene at the planetarium - after being pursued by Buzz's gang, Plato barricaded himself in the observatory; to calm him, Jim traded his red jacket for Plato's gun (and secretly removed the bullets before returning the gun); outside, Plato appeared armed when he rushed at the police with an unloaded gun, and was shot down; Jim tried to protect his friend, but failed; he called out with his arm outstretched: "I got the bullets, look!"; feeling powerless after Plato was killed, Jim knelt down and crawled next to his friend's body, mourning over the death of his surrogate 'son' who was unable to reach the adult world - he asked Plato: "Hey jerk-pot. What did ya do that for?"

The disconsolate words of Plato's family's distraught black housekeeper (Marietta Canty) who delivered his epitaph: "This poor baby got nobody. Just nobody." By film's end, due to homophobic attitudes, the 'gay' character (the real 'rebel' of the picture) was killed.


Jim to His Father in Police Station: "You're tearing me apart!"


Judy: "You wanna carry my books?"

Judy's Statements to Jim: "Who lives?", "I go with the kids", and "You're a real yo-yo"


Jim Called a "Chicken" by Buzz: "You shouldn't have called me that"

Jim's Switchblade Knife Fight at Planetarium Against Buzz


Jim's Emasculated Father


Plato (Sal Mineo) Idolizing Alan Ladd


Jim: "This is gonna be one terrific day"

Jim and Judy's First 'Kiss' After Her Apology: "Your lips are soft"




The Trio of Characters in a Deserted Mansion

Laughing at Plato's Mis-Matched Socks





Judy's Profession of Love for Jim


Jim Removing Bullets from Plato's Gun

Plato Shot Dead

Jim's Failed Effort to Protect Plato: ("I got the bullets, look!")

"Hey, jerk-pot. What did ya do that for?"

Jim's Anguish


The Words of Plato's Housekeeper

 

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

In director Billy Wilder's romantic sex-comedy The Seven Year Itch (1955), married, paperback publisher and Manhattanite Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell), who was prone to fantasy, faced a dilemma; after seven years of marriage to his wife Helen (Evelyn Keyes), he bragged that he never had a sexual urge or "itch" for another woman:

"Seven years we've been married and not once have I done anything like that. Not once. Don't think l couldn't have either. Because l could have, plenty. Plenty. Don't laugh, Helen. l happen to be very attractive to women. This isn't a thing one likes to tell his wife but women have been throwing themselves at me for years. That's right, Helen. Beautiful ones, plenty of them. Acres and acres of them"

And then he fantasized in three scenarios about attempted seductions that he had refused, including a spoof of the From Here to Eternity beach kissing scene.

In a vegetarian restaurant on 3rd Avenue, plain, nudism-loving and middle-aged health-food waitress (Doro Merande) espoused the virtues of nudity and naturism to customer Richard - she explained that although she didn't accept tips, she did solicit contributions for a fund established for a nudist camp:

"Nudism is such a worthy cause. We must bring the message to the people. We must teach them to unmask their poor suffocating bodies and let them breathe again. Clothes are the enemy. Without clothes, there'd be no sickness, there'd be no war. I ask you, sir, can you imagine two great armies on the battlefield, no uniforms, completely nude? No way of telling friend from foe. All brothers, together"

Married New Yorker downstairs resident Richard was introduced to his light-headed, gorgeous and voluptuous upstairs neighbor - The Girl (Marilyn Monroe as a quintessential blonde); she had forgotten her outer building key so she hit his buzzer to get in, allowing her entrance to the upstairs apartment that she had rented for the summer.

During a "balcony scene," the Girl innocently told Richard how she kept cool during the summer:

"Let me just go put something on. I'll go into the kitchen and get dressed...Yes, when it's hot like this - you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox."

Richard fantasized seducing the Girl by playing Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto, while wearing an elegant red dressing gown, as she begged him:

"Rachmaninoff...It isn't fair...Every time I hear it, I go to pieces...It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over. I don't know where I am or who I am or what I'm doing. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't ever stop!"

During a 'party' scene, Richard helped to fasten the straps of her seductive white dress, while she was holding a bottle of champagne and a bag of potato chips:

"I figured it just isn't right to drink champagne in matador pants. Would you mind fastening my straps in the back?...Potato chips, champagne, do you really think you can get it open?"

There was a long struggle to open the bottle, then the Girl's reassurances: "Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in champagne? It's real crazy. Here...Isn't that crazy?...Everything's fine. A married man, air-conditioning, champagne and potato chips. This is a wonderful party."

In a memorable "Chopsticks" sequence, she was startled that he banged out the tune Chopsticks. She exclaimed: "Chopsticks! I can play that too. Shove over." She joined him on the piano bench, and they sang: ("Bum bum bum bum bum bum...") and played together. When they finished, she giggled and gushed: "I don't know about Rachmaninoff, whether it shakes you and quakes you and stuff, but this really gets me...and how!" After another hearty round of the song, she admitted: "I can feel the goose-pimples...." She began again, but he stopped. When she asked why ("Don't stop. Don't stop"), he approached his musical partner with a romantically-snooty Charles Boyer-like accent:

"You know why...Because, because now I'm going to take you in my arms and kiss you, very quickly and very hard."

She jerked backwards, and his lips never quite reached hers as expected. They fell backwards off the piano bench as she blurted out: "Hey! Wait a minute." They were left sprawled on the floor together:

"What happened? I kinda lost track."

The Famous Subway Scene
 

One of film's most iconic and immortal sexual poses was found in this film - it was the Girl's famous pose in a white dress flying and billowing up around her knees. The sequence began as they left a movie theater screening. They discussed the movie they had just seen: The Creature From The Black Lagoon. She felt sympathy for the creature:

"Didn't you just love the picture? I did. But I just felt so sorry for the creature at the end...He was kinda scary-looking, but he wasn't really all bad. I think he just craved a little affection - you know, a sense of being loved and needed and wanted."

She stood spread-legged astride a New York subway vent grating to cool herself during a hot summer, when a train whooshed by underneath her. She smiled as moving trains below blew and lifted her dress upwards above her legs with a rush of air: "Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway. Isn't it delicious?"

She attempted, unsuccessfully, to keep her dress down; standing close by, Richard gaped at her and observed: "Sort of cools the ankles, doesn't it?"; soon, another train came by, and she squealed with child-like delight as it blew her skirt up one more time ("Oh, here comes another one!").


Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell)

Spoof of "From Here to Eternity"


Waitress Espousing the Virtues of Nudity


The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) - The Upstairs Neighbor


Balcony Scene: "I keep my undies in the icebox"


Richard's Fantasy of Seducing The Girl With Rachmaninoff


Strap-Fastening Help





Playing Chopsticks Together

To Catch a Thief (1955)

The Hitchcock thriller To Catch a Thief (1955) had a few sequences of seductive, passionate kissing in an amorous affair between:

  • John "The Cat" Robie/Mr. Conrad Burns (Cary Grant), a suspected (yet retired) jewelry thief
  • Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), a beautiful, quiet and lanky socialite

He had escorted the lanky blonde back to her hotel suite - and to his complete surprise, she unlocked her hotel room door, turned - and then after a warm glance into his eyes, she placed her arm around his shoulder and passionately kissed him (the kiss was initiated by her). Without a word, she then backed away, and shut her door. He slowly turned toward the camera with a satisfied smile on his lip-stick stained lips.

Later, she invited him to join her for a picnic basket lunch and a drive in her open convertible sports car ("I have my car and a basket lunch with chicken and beer"). After a tense and swervy car ride to evade a pursuit car, she parked at a "lonely and secluded" picnic spot that she had picked out, overlooking the seaside town, where they shared the contents of her picnic basket placed on the front seat. (He sat on the floorboard with his legs out the open passenger door.) Their conversation was particularly saucy and filled with witty double entendres and sexy innuendo. When she passed him a beer, he asked: "You got an opener?" In a famous provocatively-teasing line, Francie made an offer to Robie, referring to the fried chicken (and more) that she had brought on the picnic, causing him to do a double-take:

Frances: "Do you want a leg or a breast?"
Robie: "You make the choice."

She was enticed by the possibility that he was a famed jewelry thief, and wanted to join him: "The Cat has a new kitten. When do we start?" When he tightly gripped her arm, she told him: "You're leaving fingerprints on my arm." He pulled her down on top of the picnic basket to 'steal' a kiss from her and make her part of the lunch feast.

Another time, while real fireworks exploded through the open doors of Frances' hotel suite in the background (over the water in the night sky), other 'sexual' fireworks burst within the room between them - she had invitingly turned out the lights: "If you really want to see the fireworks, it's better with the lights out. I have a feeling that tonight, you're going to see one of the Riviera's most fascinating sights. I was talking about the fireworks....The way you looked at my necklace, I didn't know."

Acting as an exploitative predator, she enticed him by displaying her white strapless gown and his main weakness - her sparkling, glistening diamond necklace as the ultimate prize (the word 'diamonds' also referred to her bare decolletage and breasts). She asked if he was staring at her valuable necklace that he was frustratingly "unable to touch." "The thrill is right there in front of you, but you can't quite get it." She stroked her necklace and tantalizingly discussed the diamonds she was wearing. She encouraged him to extol the beauty of both her diamonds -- and her breasts.

"Even in this light, I can tell where your eyes are looking. (He sat down next to her.) Look, John. Hold them. Diamonds. The only thing in the world you can't resist. Then tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. (She kissed his fingers, one by one, and then put her necklace in the palm of his hand.) Ever had a better offer in your whole life? One with everything?"

He responded: "I've never had a crazier one." She purred: "Just as long as you're satisfied." He remarked about her fake diamond necklace: "You know as well as I do. This necklace is imitation," to which she replied: "Well, I'm not." (They kissed) The scene climaxed with the white-hot, orgasmic peak of the colorful fireworks exhibition bursting in a vibrant closeup in the night sky, illuminating the intensity of their kiss. The scene was one of filmdom's most blatantly-sexual images.

Orgasmic Fireworks Between Frances and John "The Cat" -
Admiring Her Jewels

After their very seductive encounter, Frances accused Robie of being responsible for the loss (theft) of her mother's jewels (and her own sexual loss of virginity): "Give them back to me...Mother's jewels!"; Robie confessed her identity ("My name is John Robie. I used to be a jewel thief several years ago"), but denied stealing Mrs. Stevens' jewels; however, later in the film, Frances apologized for accusing him of being the thief - and confessed that she loved him ("I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU") and would help find the real burglar.

In the film's conclusion after a costume ball, Robie tracked the real cat from the villa's rooftop during the evening; he noticed a black-clad figure exiting a window and traversing the rooftop - he froze, spied the figure, and then chased after it; Robie caught up to the masked thief - grabbed the person - and unmasked Danielle Foussard (Brigitte Auber); a light was directed toward the rooftop and caught Robie in the spotlight, but he finally proved he was innocent and revealed the real masked copycat thief - young blonde Danielle Foussard, who fell and dangled from the roof's gutter until she confessed that her father Foussard (Jean Martinelli) and restauranteur Bertani (Charles Vanel) had planned all of the robberies [Note: Danielle was the daughter of the head waiter at Bertani's restaurant].

In the final short scene set at Robie's Cote d'Azur villa, Frances (still wearing her gold gown from the costume ball) urged and pressured Robie into declaring his love for her; he obliged her by repeating what she had dictated to him: "Without you, I couldn't have done. I needed the help of a woman. I guess I'm not the lone wolf I thought I was, Francie"; as they were about to say goodbye, he pulled her arm toward him for an embrace and kiss; Frances had finally nabbed him - as she noted in the last line: "So this is where you live. Oh, Mother will love it up here!"





Frances (Grace Kelly) with John Robie (Cary Grant) at Her Hotel Door





The Picnic Question:
Leg or Breast?



Frances to Robie: "I'm in love with you"




Robie's Unmasking of the Real Cat Burglar


Together in the Closing

The Ambassador's Daughter (1956)

The film market became segmented when studios realized that they could release and distribute differing versions of films for domestic and international audiences.

In this UA film, a romantic comedy made in CinemaScope, in a scene set in a Parisian nightclub, Joan Fisk (Olivia De Havilland), daughter of the US Ambassador to France and American GI Sgt. Danny Sullivan (John Forsythe) watched a stage revue - of dancers with strategically-placed red fans. He reacted: "It's alright if you're crazy about feathers."

She remarked that his mouth was "open" - "Why, you're blushing!...Certainly you are!" He denied her accusation, but then claimed that he was heating up: "It's hot in here" as he pulled on his collar. She agreed with him that she wasn't watching the show, not because she was uncomfortable like he was, but because "the subject matter doesn't interest me." She was astounded by his reaction:

"You're the first grown man I've ever seen blush. I didn't think they could do it!"

In the European version (before being censored for its provocative raciness), the dancers were topless.




...and God created woman (1956, Fr/It.) (aka et Dieu…créa la femme)

This ground-breaking 'art-house' international film from director Roger Vadim, although heavily-edited (with no explicit sex and almost no nudity), was denounced by the National League of Decency. Due to its notoriety, it became the biggest foreign box-office success of the 50s - its titillating content and positive reception inspired other producers to incorporate nudity into their films to attract audiences, and helped initiate the trend for art house theaters to become adult-film venues as well.

It was a star-making vehicle for international sex symbol and 'sex kitten' Brigitte Bardot, who portrayed 18 year-old, free-spirited, sexually-tempting, nymphomaniacal, often barefooted orphan Juliette Hardy, living in the small fishing village of St. Tropez. Throughout the film, there were references to her as a tart, a little slut, heartless, shameless, a disgrace, a wild child, a bitch, and much more.

[Note: Bardot was the director's wife at the time of filming. Vadim also directed the similarly titled 'And God Created Woman' in 1988 with an entirely different story, with Rebecca DeMornay as the lead character Robin Shea.]

In the story, the hedonistic, mischievous, freedom-loving and carefree female was the object of attention from many males, including two brothers:

  • Eric Carradine (Curd Jürgens), an older wealthy entrepreneur/tycoon
  • Antoine Tardieu (Christian Marquand), the older Tardieu brother, a cad; his poor family was involved in the shipyard business
  • Michel Tardieu (Jean-Louis Trintignant), Antoine's younger, nerdy, inexperienced, sweet and naive brother
Flirtations with Eric, Antoine and Michel

Flirting with Eric at Clothesline

Flirting With Antoine on the Bus

Dancing and Kissing With Antoine in a Local Bar

Eric Kissing Juliette's Hand

Juliette Kissing Antoine

Michel Proposing to Juliette

The romantic drama opened in St. Tropez with a view of the naked rear-end of the tanned starlet lying down sunbathing in her backyard and silhouetted against a laundry clothesline with a hanging white bedsheet. She flirted with rich businessman Eric on the other side of the laundry, who claimed he had a present "forbidden fruit" for her - he tricked her by presenting her with a toy red Simca convertible. He flattered her: "With that mouth, you can have anything you want," but she kept him at bay. Singing, she playfully called herself a "gold-digger." Eric was frustrated by being blocked from developing a hotel-casino resort along the St. Tropez coast, due to the Tardieu family's ownership of a small shipyard - and Antoine refused to sell, even for an offer of 4 million.

With her sole means of transportation, a bicycle, Juliette had a flat tire and was forced to take a bus to town. As the bus pulled up carrying Antoine to St. Tropez to visit his family at the shipyard, a passenger alerted Antoine to Juliette's shapely rear-end - he peered at her through the bus' front window as she hailed the bus to stop:

"Antoine, check out that girl. Her ass is a song."

Juliette - who worked part-time in a local St. Tropez bookstore, had her eyes set on Antoine on whom she had a crush, but he only wanted short-term affection. After kissing and dancing with her in town, she overheard him in an adjoining uni-sex bathroom speaking bluntly about her: "I'm going to have her tonight...Girls like Juliette are good for one night, then you forget them." She walked away from him and briefly and spitefully visited instead with Eric on his luxurious yacht, where she warned him about her sex appeal: "It's dangerous. You won't ever forget me" as he kissed her hand. Shortly later, Antoine was promising to take her back to his hometown of Toulon the next day, but it turned out to be a false promise.

To keep Juliette from being returned to the St. Mary's orphanage until she was 21 and more responsible by her stern and moralistic guardians/step-parents, the Morins, Eric suggested to Antoine that he marry Juliette, but he rejected the idea. She even thought she wasn't ready to settle down when asked by Michel: "I like to have fun too much." The priest also cautioned Michel: "That girl is like a wild animal. She needs to be tamed. You're not a man yet." However, she ultimately accepted a marriage proposal from Michel, although the impetuous and reckless temptress was more interested in Antoine. When asked by the priest to say "I do," she glanced over at Antoine for a long paused look before assenting.

On the way back from the wedding to the Tardieu home, Michel was taunted by a waterfront ruffian named Rene (André Toscano) ("You better get used to sharing"), and was forced to fight for Juliette's honor - an ominous start. At his home in his bedroom, she treated his injuries as a reward for his bravery, and then after noting his handsome chest, she stripped off her wedding dress and voraciously kissed Michel. The newlyweds kept the family waiting at the dinner table while they made love, and afterwards, she rudely prepared a tray of food for the two of them to eat privately in the bedroom - she curtly explained: "I'm taking care of him. Good night."

After the Wedding to Michel - Passionate Love-Making

Although Eric continued to try and bed the married Juliette, he was always thwarted. She said she was very pleased with Michel (and especially his smile): "Everything I love, I've got here - the sea, the sun, the hot sand, music...and eating." With an offhand comment, she gave Eric the idea to offer the Tardieu family a 30% stake in the port's shipyard, rather than an outright purchase of their shipyard. The deal and contract was solidified, with Antoine appointed as the manager of Eric's shipyard to protect the family's investment. It would necessitate Antoine living in St. Tropez to run the shipyard - potential trouble for the newlyweds with his presence. Juliette's first reaction was to run to Eric and demand: "Antoine can't come back...I beg you, don't let him come back."

After Michel and Juliette were married for awhile, she told him she was scared - undoubtedly because of her desires for Antoine, and that their marriage was crumbling: "You have to love me very much...Tell me you love me, that I'm yours, that you need me....It's difficult being happy."

When Michel was in Marseilles for the day, Juliette took out one of the Tardieu sail-boats (with a faulty engine) and it caught fire out on the water. Antoine swam out to the boat to rescue her, and helped her swim to a nearby island. He was rewarded for saving her by her seductive enticement with an unbuttoned, soaking wet, braless one-piece shirt/dress, as she stood and laid in front of him. She followed him up the beach where Antoine took advantage of the opportunity to engage in a love-making tryst and sexual fling with the unfaithful Juliette behind a bent palm tree (conveyed by a before/after shot). Afterwards, she confessed her love for Antoine to the youngest boy Christian Tardieu (Georges Poujouly), and said that she was "feverish" and "miserable" and that everything was "ruined."

In the conclusion, jealous and angry Michel returned and was informed of his wife's infidelity by his mother (Marie Glory) - she urged him to order Juliette to leave the household immediately for the family's sake. Angered, Michel also spoke to Antoine who called Juliette a promiscuous "bitch whore." With a gun in his possession, Michel found a desperate, drunken and bizarrely-acting Juliette erotically and madly dancing the mambo barefooted in the Bar des Amis, accompanied by the "Whiskey Club" calypso-styled band rehearsing in the basement of the bar. Writhing about, she often flashed her black panties under her open dark green skirt, and claimed she was just having fun to try and escape.

The Mambo Scene With Juliette's Wild Animalistic Dancing

Michel could not stop the disobedient and frenzied Juliette from being provocative in public. When Eric stepped into the middle of the conflict after Michel pulled out his gun, he was superficially wounded by Michel's gunshot. Although Michel angrily slapped Juliette four times, she just smiled back at him.

Eric needed to be driven by Antoine to be treated by a surgeon-doctor in Nice, to avoid scandal in town. As they drove along, Eric told Antoine about the dangers of remaining in St. Tropez with Juliette: "That girl is made to destroy men," and as Antoine's boss, he ordered Antoine to leave St. Tropez to save himself. Eric's last words to the reckless-driving Antoine before they continued on to the doctor were: "Let's get out of here. I don't want to die in this wreck."


Eric to Antoine: "That girl is made to destroy men"

Michel and Juliette Hand-in-Hand

The last view in the film was of Juliette and Michel joining hands as they entered their home, although he had a few moments earlier viciously slapped her face four times in the bar.




First Glimpses of Juliette
(Brigitte Bardot)


Rear-End View of Juliette With Her Bike Seen From Bus

Juliette In Bookstore


Juliette Overhearing Antoine Speak About Her as a One-Night Stand



Marriage with Michel




Sexpot Juliette Usually Seen In Various States of Undress








Juliette's Love-Making With Antoine



Michel Confronting Juliette Doing the Mambo

After Being Viciously Slapped Four Times by Michel

Baby Doll (1956)

Tennessee Williams' play was adapted by director Elia Kazan for the pot-boiling Southern drama Baby Doll (1956) - harshly condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for its depiction of older aged men pursuing an under-aged female. The controversial psychosexual drama was adapted from Tennessee Williams' play.

In the story, a rural, middle-aged Mississipian, a deeply-indebted cotton gin operator named Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden) had just married thumb-sucking, white-trash, 19 year-old 'baby doll' child bride "Baby Doll" Meighan (Carroll Baker) with only a fourth grade education. He had married her as an uneducated, naive child bride two years previously. She continually repulsed him because union with him wouldn't be sexually-consummated until her 20th birthday - two days away as the film opened.

Baby Doll slept in a small crib-bed in the nursery while sucking her thumb as the desperate, feverishly-horny and sexually-frustrated Archie peeked at her through a hole in the wall (and thrust with a penknife to make the hole wider - as her mouth opened and closed around her thumb). She caught him watching her, and confronted him: "Do you know what they call such people? Peepin' Toms!"

Archie Accused of Being a "Peeping Tom" by Baby Doll

Shortly later, Archie barged in on Baby Doll who was in the bathtub, taunting and teasing Archie by bathing in front of him - and when he attacked her (off-screen), she yelled: "Get your hands off me...I'm movin' to the Kotton King Hotel the very next time you try to break our agreement. The very next time!"

During a visit to town, Archie was the local laughing-stock - everyone knew that he was sexually-unsatisfied and ruled by his stuck-up, spoiled, child bride. While she sat in the back seat of his open car in town, he brought her a single-dip ice cream cone which she pleasurably and childishly licked - another blatant sequence of teasing temptation. Baby Doll knew that she had him wrapped around her finger: "What you've done is bit off more than you can chew." When she realized that their furniture was being repossessed, she threatened to move to the Kotton King Hotel in town and get a job, since Archie Lee could no longer provide for her. Her stipulation with Archie Lee was that he had to provide a furnished home for her - or otherwise his rights to her as a wife would be forfeited.

Archie's vengeful and competitive business rival was a covetous, wily, sleek, beady-eyed and cocky Sicilian named Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach). He was the manager of the up-and-coming Syndicate Plantation and Gin Company that had stolen away all of Archie's business in Tiger Tale County and had received recognition for his business success from a local Senator. Resentful and retaliatory, later that night, Archie took a kerosene can and set the Syndicate gin building on fire. Although some of the locals weren't sympathetic to the Sicilian outsider and refused to side with a foreigner against a local boy, Vacarro insisted on justice and carrying on his own investigation - he immediately suspected Archie. Vacarro announced that he would take twenty-seven wagon loads of his cotton for ginning to Archie Lee's gin, until his own gin could be rebuilt.

Archie Lee was elated with his newfound prospect for business, and wished to extend every bit of hospitality to Vacarro, including entertainment by his willful child bride virgin while he worked ginning the cotton ("I believe in the good neighbor policy. You do me a good turn and I'll do you a good turn, Mr. Vacarro. Tit for tat and tat for tit is the policy we live on...Honey, honey, honey...Now I want you to entertain this gentleman"). Ultimately, Vacarro's aim during his time at Archie's place was to pursue the truth and bring forth a confession from Baby Doll about Archie's guilt. At the house on a hot afternoon, the virile Vacarro went to use the old-fashioned pump in the yard at the side of the house to get a nice cool drink and vigorously pumped the well - a sexual symbol and contrast to Archie's thwarted and elderly masculinity.

There were numerous seduction scenes of Baby Doll by Vacarro to 'take' the virginity of Baby Doll and deflower her to get back at her husband for arson. He first tried when he played "chauffeur" in the back seat of a rusty, old wheel-less Pierce-Arrow limousine in the side yard, where he flattered her about her charm bracelet, and she admitted she was shy one day from being 20 years old.

When she stepped up to the porch, the rotting, wooden step crumbled and she fell backward into his arms. As they casually wandered over to an old decepit double-swing on the property, she admitted that Archie hadn't returned home until long after the gin fire.

The film's next most notorious, highly-sexual seduction scene was sizzling due to the sexual reactions that an overcome, writhing Baby Doll exhibited on a double-seated plantation swing in the yard. Vacarro continued his cat-and-mouse, teasing interrogation about the arson (and Archie Lee's complicity) as he advanced closer. She became agitated and nervously fingered her hair ribbon due to his taunting questions. He sat next to her on the swing and proposed letting the swing's motion ease her tensions, and then put his arm around her. During the course of their discussion, he decided to exchange his burned-down gin for her seduction - referring to Archie Lee's 'good neighbor policy': ("You do me a good turn and I'll do you one").

Seduction on Porch Swing

After noticing a small piece of cotton lint fiber on the front bodice of her dress, he delicately removed it and blew it away, and then inched closer and closer to her and pressed on her, as he complimented her on "the ab-so-lute delicacy of your skin." She actually realized that he was "getting familiar" and told him "I don't like to be touched" - claiming that she was ticklish. The seduction scene was severely criticized - but mostly for what was not shown just below the camera's frame - was he possibly reaching under her dress?

When she left the swing feeling weakened and began moaning and claimed she was dizzy, he pursued her up to the house, following close behind her as he brushed on her arm with his riding crop. Still breathless, she requested that he stop his playful use of the whip: "Cut it out. Feels funny...Feels funny, all up and down. Quit switchin' me, will ya?...Cut it out or I'm gonna call." Soon after as she felt scared about his suspicions about her husband, she basically conceded to his assertion that Archie was involved: "I knew the fire was not accidental. And you know it was not accidental too."



After the Swing Seduction: "I feel so weak!" -- Vacarro Followed Her to the House

Baby Doll was left alone when Archie drove away into town to obtain machine parts, after Vacarro demanded repairs to his outdated and run-down gin machinery. In the house with her after preparing lemonade, Vacarro joined her upstairs where she was changing her wet clothes. In a memorably lewd sight - Vaccaro mounted and sat astride a small wooden hobby horse in the child's nursery - rhythmically rocking back and forth on the tiny toy whose head was hardly visible between his legs - gyrating back and forth to the raunchy accompaniment of the rock song "Shame on You." Then, he moved from room to room, playing a childhood game of hide-and-seek with Baby Doll - who was nearly undressed in a slip although covered with a blanket.

Eventually, he was able to trap her in the upper attic (with rotting timbers) where she had fled and locked the door. There, he threatened to cave in the entire attic floor unless she signed an incriminating statement attesting to the fact that her husband set fire to the gin and that Archie had lied about his alibi. Afterwards, he accepted her invitation to take a nap in her crib - it was entirely possible that during a fade-out as she knelt over him and covered him with her blanket, he was able to succeed in having sex with the nubile bride.

When Archie returned, he jealously reprimanded Baby Doll for being with Vacarro, dressed only in her slip: "Ain't I told you not to slop around here in a slip?" Vacarro had been invited for supper at Baby Doll's request. Just before supper, he was able to accomplish a further seduction of Baby Doll in a sneaky and steamy kissing scene behind a wall, seen from Archie's POV (although Archie's back was turned and he was on the phone in the other room trying to encourage his rough friends to come over from the Bright Spot Cafe and deal with Vacarro). The two were in a darkened adjoining room under a bare-bulb. Vacarro told Baby Doll: "I do my own justice," and then lasciviously looked at her:

Vacarro: "I find you different this evening in some way." (Baby Doll responded with a wanton look)
Baby Doll: "Never mind that...."
Vacarro: "Grown up, suddenly."

Baby Doll rolled her head over to look at Vacarro and purred: "I feel cool and rested for the first time in my life. That's the way I feel. Rested and cool." Her hand reached up for the beaded chain on the light bulb above her head and switched off the light. She engulfed Vacarro and herself in darkness. They kissed as she breathed heavily - and then they kissed again (in full close-up).

Vacarro Seducing and Kissing Baby Doll in Adjoining Room

Vaccaro also flirted with Baby Doll at the stark dinner table when they shared hunks of bread dipped in raw, uncooked greens, while moaning, giggling and exchanging looks.

The film ended with Vacarro confronting Archie with Baby Doll's signed affidavit. Vacarro further enraged Archie by admitting that he had coaxed other favors from Baby Doll, and that there existed a "certain attraction" between them - after a crib-nap, a sung lullaby, and "the touch of cool fingers."

Archie responded by retrieving his shotgun and chasing Vacarro outside while Baby Doll called the police. Both Baby Doll and Vacarro hid in the fork of a pecan tree in the yard until the police arrived and promptly arrested Archie (when Vacarro presented the signed affidavit for the crime of arson) at around midnight when Baby Doll turned 20. It was left ambiguous whether Baby Doll or Aunt Rose Comfort (Mildred Dunnock) would be cared for in the future; Baby Doll asked: "We got nothin' to do but wait for tomorrow and see if we're remembered or forgotten."


Archie With Shotgun

Archie Arrested for Arson

To Be Remembered or Forgotten the Next Day?


Baby Doll (Carroll Baker)
in Crib

Baby Doll in Bathtub

Baby Doll Licking Ice Cream Cone in Town


Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach) Honored For Business Success by a Senator

Competitor's Cotton Gin Set on Fire by Archie Lee



Baby Doll Introduced to Silva


The Virile Vacarro Pumping Water





Vacarro in Car with Baby Doll


Falling Backward Into Vacarro's Arms on the Porch



In the Nursery, Vacarro Rode a Hobby Horse


Baby Doll Signing the Affidavit Against Archie



Vacarro in Baby Doll's Crib with Her


Baby Doll In Her Slip


Vacarro Invited For Late Supper

Baby Doll and Vacarro Eating Uncooked Greens

Archie Incensed by Vacarro and Baby Doll

Bus Stop (1956)

This Joshua Logan film - a romantic comedy, was adapted by George Axelrod from a play by William Inge.

The film opened on a ranch in Timber Hill, Montana, where naive and virginal 21 year-old cowboy Beauregard 'Bo' Decker (Don Murray) and his father figure Virgil Blessing (Arthur O'Connell) were introduced. Bo was counseled by Virgil to find a wife: "Bo, you're 21 years old and we're on our way to a big city, Phoenix, Arizona. It's time you met up with a gal." It would be Bo's first time off the ranch. They were on their way to the Phoenix area for a rodeo, where he was going to compete in calf-roping and bull-riding events.

On the bus, cowhand Bo declared his intentions to marry an angel: "But if I do find me a gal, it ain't gonna be one of them gals from all those magazines. I already decided. I'm gonna get me a angel." Virgil suggested he set his sights lower: "You just figure on pickin' out some plain-lookin' little ol' gal, with a cooperatin' nature and a good personality. I mean, we gotta be realistic." But Bo was persistent and stubborn about what he wanted: "I'm gonna find me a real hootenanny of an angel! She gives me any trouble, she's gonna find herself with them little old wings just pinned right to the ground!"


Virgil and Bo On the Bus to Phoenix

Bo to Compete at The Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix

During a brief restaurant stop at Grace's Diner, the uncouth, troublemaking Bo ordered three raw hamburgers and drank an entire quart bottle of milk with one gulp. As they were leaving Virgil had to apologize to the owner Grace (Betty Field) after Bo insulted the establishment: "We're never gonna make Phoenix sittin' around this broken-down, miserable restaurant." One of the diner waitresses, Elma Duckworth (Hope Lange), also boarded the bus to travel to Phoenix to visit her sister.

The first view of the film's star (Marilyn Monroe) was in an open window at the run-down, honky-tonk nightclub known as the Blue Dragon Cafe - the dim-witted, wanna-be saloon singer (or chanteuse - pronounced "chantooze") Cherie (pronounced Cherry, meaning "dear one") was fanning herself to keep cool. Her enraged boss pulled her inside her dressing room and called her "an ignorant hillbilly" for lazing about, and for being late for her shift. She was from the Ozarks in River Gulch, Arkansas, and claimed to her friend - cafe waitress Vera (Eileen Heckart) that she was bound for Hollywood ("Look where I'm goin'...Hollywood and Vine") where she hoped to "get discovered. You get tested, with options and everything! And you get treated with a little respect, too").

In the cafe/club floorshow, Cherie sang an off-key, inept, but innocently sensual rendition of "That Old Black Magic." Once Bo arrived and saw Cherie performing, he confidently confirmed: "That's her, Virge....That's my angel." Upset that she wasn't being treated respectfully by the audience, he stood on a table and shushed the patrons ("Can't you see the little lady's tryin' to sing?"). At the end of the number, she turned a red spotlight on herself to look "aflame."

Cherie (Marilyn Monroe Singing in a Night-Club
"That Old Black Magic"

After Bo saw her perform, the love-struck, stubborn Bo introduced himself - and tried to win her over with a memorized speech describing his intention to find an "angel" to marry. He forcefully demanded that she join him outside:

"My name is Beauregard Decker, ma'am. I'm 21 years old and I own my own ranch up in Timber Hill, Montana, where I got a fine herd of Hereford cattle, a dozen horses, and the finest sheep and hogs and chickens in the country. Now, I come down for the rodeo tomorrow with the idea in mind of findin' me an angel, and you're it. Now, I don't have a whole lot of time for sweet talkin' around the bush, so I'd be much obliged to you if you'd just step outside with me into the fresh air. What'd you say?"

She politely declined his invitation: "We're not allowed to go out with the customers, but you could buy me a drink if you wanted. I'm so dry I'm spittin' cotton." They became acquainted in the alleyway, where she thanked him for quieting the audience: "It was real nice the way you made everybody shut up in there, like you had respect for me." He was thrilled when she said she was physically attracted to him: "You're so big and strong and, well, so darn healthy-lookin'." He immediately imagined or assumed that they were engaged after kissing her, and that they would be married at the rodeo the next day.

[Note: The passionate kissing scene between Bo and Cherie had to be reshot after major filming had ended - it was common knowledge that censors routinely cut love scenes in films with open-mouthed kisses.]

Bo bragged to Virgil: "We're engaged...We'll get married out there!..At the rodeo....I know she's my angel. That's good enough for me." He disregarded her objections about all of his far-fetched proposals, or Virgil's complaint that she had hustled him for drinks.


Waking Up an Exhausted Cherie in Her Bed

'Bo' Reciting the Gettysburg Address

The next day early in the morning, Bo, who thought it was their wedding day, woke up an exhausted Cherie in her boardinghouse bedroom - apparently, she was naked beneath her sheets - and she immediately rejected him: "I have no intention in the world of marryin' you." To impress her with his mind, he cluelessly recited or quoted the Gettysburg Address as she was lying in bed. She tried to interject: "I hate parades. I'm not goin'." They were interrupted by the landlady (Helen Mayon) entering through the door with an announcement: "If you go any further, Mr. Lincoln, you're gonna miss the parade."

During the rodeo while she watched in the bronc-riding competition, Cherie told her friend Vera about Bo buying them a marriage license: "This mornin' after the parade, he dragged me down to the city hall and bought us a marriage license" - and she admitted she signed it: "Well, I had to do somethin'. He was makin' such a fuss in front of all those people." She also showed off an engagement ring he had bought for her. When she realized Bo had planned for a wedding at the rodeo, she fled with Vera.

Back at the boarding house as she evaded Bo, she told Vera: "If I'm not careful, I'm gonna end up in East No Place, Montana, with nothin' but him and a bunch of cows." However, Bo was still persistent, telling Virgil: "I'm gonna find her and I'm gonna marry her, and that's all there is to it." When the rodeo ended (and Bo had won $4,000 for winning almost every event), he announced that he had bought three tickets back to Montana - including one for Cherie. Trying to flee from him, Cherie told Bo point-blank that she couldn't marry him:

"I just can't lie to you and I can't marry ya, and I ain't goin' to Montana with you. And good-bye forever."

And then, she became angered when he grabbed her costume's tail and tore it off - she hysterically screamed at him: "You ain't got the manners they give a monkey! I hate you! And I despise you! And give me back my tail!" Vera assisted Cherie in escaping out the back dressing room window, with her suitcase bound for the bus depot (bound for Los Angeles).

Instead, Bo literally roped her and dragged her onto his bus to Helena, Montana. During the trip, Cherie conversed with fellow bus traveler Elma Duckworth, the waitress from Grace's Diner who was returning home, confessing that she had been "abducted." Virgil offered advice to Bo about the alleged kidnapping: "There are some gals who don't like to be pushed and grabbed and lassoed and drug into buses in the middle of the night."

Cherie spoke about her beliefs concerning love and the kind of man she was looking for:

"I don't know why I keep expecting myself to fall in love, but I do. Well, I know I expect to someday. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if there's the kind of love I have in mind....Maybe I don't know what love is. I want a guy I can look up to, and admire. But I don't want him to browbeat me. I want a guy who'll be sweet with me, but I don't want him to baby me either. I just gotta feel that whoever I marry has some real regard for me aside from all that loving stuff. You know what I mean?"

In the film's conclusion, the bus became stranded due to a snowstorm, and the passengers had to seek shelter inside Grace's Diner. It was common knowledge that Bo was bullying and harrassing Cherie after kidnapping her, and the "bull-headed" Bo was still stubbornly determined to have Cherie: "Cherry, I'm tellin' you, you're gonna marry me, and I ain't gonna discuss it no more!" Virgil accused Bo of not just fighting for what he wanted, but for being a bully: "There's a big difference between a fighter and a bully, Bo." Both Virgil and the bus driver Carl (Robert Bray) physically fought against Bo outside the diner and he was "whipped" and subdued - they forced him to promise to apologize to everyone in the place, including Cherie, and to "quit(s) molestin' that poor little girl."

Finally, Bo apologized to everyone for the fight, but was hesitant to speak to Cherie ("I can't face up to her. She's seen me get beat"). However, he humbly asked for her forgiveness:

"Cherry, it wasn't right of me to do what I did to you, treatin' you that way, draggin' you on the bus, and tryin' to make you marry me whether you wanted to or not. Do you think you can ever forgive me?"

Bo was prepared to depart without her, but Cherie came up to him to admit she was more "wicked" than he was led to believe, because she had a lot of boyfriends in her past: "I ain't the kind of gal you thought I was at all." Bo also admitted his inexperience with women: "You are the first gal that I ever had anything to do with." As the bus was ready to leave, Bo and Cherie shared a good-bye kiss.

Cherie began to realize that Bo was a man who could show her respect when he professed his sincere love to Cherie in the film's conclusion. He asserted that he loved her just the way she was, even though she had many other previous boyfriends: "Well, I've been thinkin' about them other fellas, Cherry. And well, what I mean is, I like you the way you are, so what do I care how you got that way?" She gave a heartwarming, kind reply when touched by his sweetness: "Bo, that's the sweetest, tenderest thing anyone ever said to me." Then, he bolstered up his courage ("guts") and gently asked her to resume their relationship: "I still wish you was goin' back to the ranch with me, more than anything I know" - and she breathlessly responded: "I'd go anywhere in the world with you now. Anywhere at all!" - they happily hugged and spun around - deciding to get married and live on his Montana ranch.


Bo's Sincere Apology to Cherie

Goodbye Kiss

"That's the sweetest, tenderest thing..."

Bo was overjoyed: "She's gonna marry me!", and Cherie was ecstatic also: "Ain't it wonderful when somebody so terrible turns out to be so nice?" - she crumpled up and threw away her road-map to Hollywood. Outside as the bus was ready to leave, Virgil decided to stay behind, to give them more freedom and independence. After they said all their goodbyes, the couple boarded the bus to Montana.


'Bo' Decker and Virgil Blessing

"I'm gonna get me a angel."


First View of Cherie at Blue Dragon Cafe

Cherie Told Vera Her Dream: To Go to "Hollywood and Vine"

Cherie In the Bar Hustling Customers for Drinks (Actually Tea and Soda)


Cherie Introduced to Beauregard 'Bo' Decker


In the Alleyway Getting Acquainted With Kisses

Bragging: "We're engaged!"


The Next Day at the Rodeo Parade

At the Rodeo, Cherie Told Vera That She Had Signed a Marriage License and Had an Engagement Ring


At the Blue Dragon, Cherie Told Bo "Goodbye Forever"

"Give me back my tail!"



Bo Literally Roped Cherie Onto Bus Bound For Montana

Cherie To Bus Passenger Elma: "I'm being abducted"


Cherie's Conversation on Bus Ride with Elma

Bo Still Determined to Get Married

Bo Subdued After Fight


Conclusion: Bo and Cherie Would Stay Together

Boarding the Bus

The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Frank Tashlin's mid-50s film starred buxom (42DD) blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield in her best-remembered film at a time when she was competing for top honors with another blonde sexpot, Marilyn Monroe. It was filled with ribald sexual humor (racy for its time) and the display of Mansfield's exaggerated hourglass figure that both brought battles with the Production Code Administration.

Mansfield starred as curvaceous aspiring, no-talent blonde moll Jerri Jordan (real name Georgianna), retired ex-slot machine mobster Marty "Fats" Murdock's (Edmond O'Brien) girlfriend/fiancee. Alcoholic, bankrupt publicity agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) was hired for $10,000 to attempt to train her to be a rock 'n' roll singing star in six weeks in this spoof of the record industry. Murdock told Tom: "That's where you come in. You're gonna make her into a star...So you got nothin' to worry about except to concentrate on buildin' the dame into a big canary. Only remember, hands off, like you got the rep for...Tommy boy, I'm puttin' her in your hands, figuratively speaking. You got six weeks to have her a star"; Tom was unsure he could transform her so quickly:

Tom: "Six weeks? Oh, easy, Fats. Rome wasn't built in a day."
Murdock: "She ain't Rome. What we're talkin' about is already built. Right?"
Tom: "No argument."

A former cartoonist, Tashlin inserted outrageous, saucy sight-gags into the film, and named his two main characters Tom and Jerri. As curvaceous Jerri (wearing a tight-fitting dark blue dress and broad-rimmed hat) walked down the street (swiveling her hips to the tune of "The Girl Can't Help It"), the ice in a delivery man's truck immediately melted, and when she climbed the steps of an apartment stoop past a milk delivery man, the bottle he was holding popped open and spurted out frothy milk (an ejaculatory image). Inside the building, another man's glasses cracked (all to the tune of Little Richard's "She's Got It") at the sight of her climbing the stairs.


Milk Bottle Popped Open

Sight Gag: Two Milk Bottles (Lactating Joke)

Jerri climbed to the second floor for her first meeting with recently-hired agent Tom Miller; after entering his bedroom, she held up two recently-delivered glass bottles with fresh milk to her gigantic, well-endowed chest - one in front of each breast - an obvious visual gag, and greeted him: "Good morning, Mr. Miller!" - he was aghast until she explained: "But Mr. Murdock sent me over....So you can start working on me"

At breakfast when she was cooking, she provocatively leaned forward while pouring his coffee and serving the meal to tell Tom about how she was ready for domesticity and motherhood with Murdock: "I'm domestic. I hope you like eggs souffle....It's not exactly a breakfast, but it's eggs. I figured you for strong coffee... It's one of my favorite pasttimes... cooking... keeping house, you know, keeping everything neat. How's your souffle?...I'm glad you like it, Mr. Miller... You know, sometimes I think I'm mixed up...You should see me in the morning without makeup. I'll show you sometime. 'Pretty' is just how good you apply your base...I just want to be a wife and have kids. But everyone figures me for a sexpot. No one thinks I'm equipped for motherhood!"

Tom took Jerri to a succession of nightclubs, to show off her appeal in a sexy, form-fitting red dress. Jerri performed an attention-getting walk to a night club's powder room in a stunning red dress) for maximum effect during Little Richard's rendition of "She's Got It," when Tom instructed her about 'Operation Powder Room': "Take your stole off and go to the powder room...Just visit a while. But on the way there and back, walk by the reservation desk"; shortly later, he spoke about the successful strategy: "See how the strategy pans out? The first time out, and already four owners are drooling over you."

In another sequence, torch singer Julie London (as Herself) made an ethereal-ghostly appearance to tipsy Tom Miller alone in his bachelor pad one evening - she was his former client and the object of his unrequited love; he placed the 33 rpm record "Julie Is Her Name" on his turntable, to play her signature tune "Cry Me a River"; as her song began to play, he poured himself a drink in the kitchen and imagined her slowly materializing before his eyes - haunting and tormenting him in various locations and in suggestive and provocative poses in various costumes throughout his two-story home - he was unable to escape from her; she was visible at his kitchen table, on his living room couch, again in the kitchen, lounging on his bed, standing by his fireplace mantle, and standing partway up his staircase; as she sang the last few lines at his front door hallway, she slowly vanished from sight; he sadly sank down onto his hands at the top of the stairs as the song ended.

The Haunting Julie London: "Cry Me a River"

In the finale, Jerri sang (dubbed) the dreamy "Every Time It Happens" (during the Rock 'N' Roll Jubilee) when accompanied by Ray Anthony and his band.

By the end of the film, basically a love story, she revealed that she really had singing talent and also that she truly loved Tom - whom she married in order to have children.



The Entrance of Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield)


Jerri Walking Down Street


"No one thinks I'm equipped for motherhood"



Walk to Powder Room: "She's Got It"


Jerri: "Every Time It Happens"


Jerri with Tom (Tom Ewell)

Liane Jungle Goddess (1956, W. Germ.) (aka Liane, das Madchen Aus Dem Urwald)

The "adults only" exploitational adventure fantasy, based upon the Tarzan films, was shot in Agracolor, and was directed by Eduard von Borsody. It proclaimed that the film's title character was Germany's "answer to Brigitte Bardot." The tagline of the roadshow, drive-in film sensationalized the plot:

BEAUTIFUL AND PROUD...YET MORE SAVAGE THAN THE BLACK JUNGLE SHE RULED.

[Note: The film's sequel was Nature Girl and the Slaver (1957) (aka Jungle Girl and the Slaver), and a remake Lana, Queen of the Amazons (1964).

There were a number of jungle-girl films previous to this film, including Trader Horn (1931), The Savage Girl (1932), the 12 chapter serial Queen of the Jungle (1935), The Jungle Princess (1936), the 12-part Republic serial The Tiger Woman (1944), Blonde Savage (1947), Jungle Goddess (1948), Daughter of the Jungle (1949), and Captive Girl (1950) (a Jungle Jim film).]

To the sound of tribal drums, stock footage of semi-naked African native girls in a tribal dance appeared under the opening credits. The film opened at the camp of the Danner expedition from Germany. While out in the jungle, the camp's photographer Thoren (Hardy Krüger) discovered a lion cub, and soon after, the group was attacked by Botos tribal warriors, and Thoren was captured and about to be executed.

All of a sudden, blonde teenaged Liane (15 year-old Marion Michael at the time of filming) appeared and saved Thoren's life by ordering his release. Apparently, she was worshipped as a goddess by a native tribe, and was called Chia-Hee or Kiyahi (pronounced Key-a-hee). She lived in a tree house high above the huts of her native tribe.

Teenaged jungle girl Liane was topless and wearing a G-string bikini composed of of shells and beads, who was adept at climbing ropes, swinging on vines (into a small pond for swimming), and battling foes. Although she was always half-naked in the jungle scenes, her perky breasts were mostly obscured by her long-flowing blonde hair and the pet lion cub Simba she held in her arms.

Teen Jungle Goddess Liane (Marion Michael)

[Note: Michael was only the second German actress to ever appear nude in a film. The first was Hildegard Knef in the scandalous film The Sinner (1951, W.Germ.) (aka Die Sunderin).]

A brutish hunter named Keller (Reinhard Kolldehoff) caught her in a big game net, and brought her back to the camp. The camp's doctor Dr. Jacqueline Goddard (Irène Galter) noticed that one part of the girl's necklace was a charm (pendant or medal) that was engraved with an "L" (referring to her real name Liane). The girl was given a shower, had her hair cropped shorter, and was redressed with a blouse (tied at the waist) and short shorts.


Caught in Net and Captured

Showered and Dressed

Most of the remainder of the story was about the possibility that the girl was the long-lost grand-daughter of a German millionaire ship tycoon Theo Von Amelongen (Rudolf Forster), back in Hamburg, Germany. After reading a newspaper account of the discovery of the girl, Theo mused: "Why couldn't it be she? The age is right. It was 18 years ago the ship went down..." She was returned by ship to Port Said, Egypt, and then flown to Germany from there.

The film contained a major sub-plot about Theo's nephew Viktor Schöninck (Reggie Nalder) who felt threatened as Amelongen's sole surviving heir, and feared losing his inheritance. After perjury and destruction of evidence failed, he even went so far as to stab his uncle to death, but lost his life during a car chase pursuit. In the film's conclusion, Liane happily received the full inheritance from her grandfather, returned to Africa, and again discarded her clothes to frolic in the jungle lake.




Opening Credits

Bare-Breasted Natives

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Director Vincente Minnelli and MGM brought playwright/screenwriter Robert Anderson's hit Broadway play to the screen with a watered-down, almost sexless, yet still bold story - completely reflective of its repressive era in the mid-50s. The controversial, highly-edited film was one of the first key films dealing with teenage homosexuality and fitting in, without playing to obvious stereotypes.

Portrayed as a lengthy flashback (at the time of a Chilton School reunion ten years later attended by the protagonist), the film told about sexually-confused, effeminate (delicately featured) and misunderstood 17 year-old prep-school senior named Tom Lee (25 year-old John Kerr). In the film, words used to describe Tom did not include "homosexual" (the word was forbidden by censors) although other derogatory, ostracizing and mocking terms were used: "strange" and "off-horse," for instance.

As a student, Tom was a tennis pro, but also enjoyed sewing (taught to him by a maid when he was five), gardening, and reading, and he took a part in the school play A School for Scandal - to be held before the Saturday night dance - requiring him to dress up in a woman's dress for the part of Lady Teasdale. (He mentioned what his father's reaction would be: "My dad's going to hit the roof when he hears I'm playing a girl"). He also liked guitar playing (and singing) and folk music, rather than dating girls or playing football on the beach.

17 Year-Old Tom's Pursuits and Interests: Guitar, Gardening, Reading and Sewing

One of Laura's friends, a faculty wife named Mrs. Mary Williams (Mary Alan Hokanson), complimented Tom on his button-sewing skills: "You'd make some girl a good wife."


Tom - Tea (and Sympathy) with Laura

Tom To Play Female Part in School Play

Tom Left Out of Sports Activities

The young man found the most sympathetic ear in the person of his housemaster's wife, patient and understanding housemother Laura Reynolds (Deborah Kerr). With problems in her own troubled one-year emotionless marriage to Bill Reynolds (Leif Erickson), also the school's athletic coach and interested in 'masculine' activities, including being an avid outdoorsman and member of a mountain-climbing club. Bill mentioned, along with other rowdy 'manly' boys on campus that bullied and tormented Tom, that he had a nickname ("Sister-Boy"): "He got himself a little nickname: 'Sister Boy'."

The only person who treated Tom decently and often defended him was his socially-accepted, athletic roommate Al Thompson (Darryl Hickman). Tom's divorced father Herb (Edward Andrews) was both ashamed and embarrassed about his son's reputation. He was also coercive and demanding - wishing Tom would pursue more masculine (machismo) activities and interests: ("You are known by the company you keep"), even though Tom was an exceptional tennis player. Tom refused to get a fashionable crew-cut ordered by his father ("You know, you ought to get a crew cut like the other fellows, Tom") - the style preferred by other males.

In one scene, Laura eavesdropped on her husband Bill and Tom's father Herb speaking about their concerns for Tom. Herb mentioned he was 'humiliated' attending Tom's tennis match earlier in the afternoon: "I went to the tennis match this afternoon, and I was humiliated. Come back to a 25th reunion just to be humiliated....And in the locker room: 'Sister Boy' they called him." Bill described why the "strange"-acting Tom was being ostracized:

"Well, Herb, he's a strange kid. He keeps to himself. He's different from the rest of them, and naturally, they just resent it."

Herb then asked: "Why isn't he a regular fellow, Bill? He's had every chance to be since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Boys camps, boarding schools. I've always seen to it that he was associated with regular guys. Why doesn't some of it rub off?" Laura overheard and interrupted them to weakly defend Tom to them: "I think he is a regular fellow, whatever that is." Bill called Tom an "off-horse," and concluded the conversation by stating: "He certainly isn't a chip off the old block, Herb."

Afterwards, Bill reprimanded Laura for interfering: "And I wish that you wouldn't try to tell him about his own son....Look, Laura, stay out of these things." And then Bill insisted that Laura should only be "an interested bystander" in the problems of the boys. He reminded her of what the Headmaster's wife had warned her about the job as a Master's wife:

Bill: "All you're supposed to do is once in a while give the boys a little tea..."
Laura: (finishing his sentence) "...and sympathy."

The love-starved and refined Laura courageously befriended Tom - risking her marriage. (She explained to Bill how she saw in Tom similarities to her first young husband John whom she married when he was 18. She mentioned how he foolishly proved how "conspicuously brave" he was - and was killed in WWII. She remembered: "He was kind and gentle and lonely....In trying to prove he was a man, he died a boy.")

As Tom's father was about to leave, he visited his son in his room and complained about the frilly curtains, and the fact that Tom was playing a female role in a play. He insistently demanded that he not participate: "You're not going to play that part" and had Tom phone the play's director to cancel out. As the call was being made, Laura intervened and explained to the director an acceptable excuse - that Tom's father had wanted him to concentrate on his final exams.

During the night's traditional bonfire and pajama fight activity (when "the new boys put on their pajamas and the older boys try to tear them off"), it was expected that Tom would be unfairly assaulted and unable to defend himself. However, when everyone avoided Tom, his roommate Al courageously jumped in and ripped off his PJs, to include him. As a result, Al was pressured by his father to move to a new dorm in the new year with a different roommate: ("He wants me to room with Mike Farrell next year. He says Mike's a regular guy"), meaning that Tom would be less protected. Al confided in Master's wife Laura about his own concerns about Tom's obviously 'different' behavior:

Mrs. Reynolds, he does act kind of - Well, why does he have to walk so…Why doesn't he talk about the same things the other guys talk about?...He's never had a girl up for any of the dances....All the time alone, wandering off up to the golf course, taking off on his bike, listening to phonograph records alone over in the choir room.

Laura described how 'easy' it would be to "smear a person" by making up suggestive insults: "You'd be surprised how quickly your manly virtues would be changed into suspicious characteristics." Al refuted her interference by calling her a 'bystander': "You're just a bystander! You're not going to get hurt. Nothing's going to happen to you one way or the other."

However, as a result of his discussion with Mrs. Reynolds, in a prominent scene set in a music room adorned with statue busts and instrument music stands, Al attempted to show Tom how to walk in a more virile fashion.

Meanwhile, Laura became more bold in her support of the tormented Tom, while at the same time feeling like she was growing apart from Bill. Early on, she told her husband: "We so rarely touch anymore. I keep feeling I'm losing contact with you....You seem to hold yourself aloof from me, and a tension seems to grow between us and..."

To prove his worth and heterosexual preference, a pressured Tom phoned the town's The Joint soda shop waitress Ellie Martin (Norma Crane), who was known to have an "easy" and bad reputation, to invite her to the Saturday night dance - it would be his first date. Before leaving for his date, Tom spoke to a supportive Mrs. Reynolds, who boldly described her attraction to him. She hinted that she liked Tom for his similar characteristics to her first young husband. She also reached out to Tom to support his personal struggle, and tried to be humanly nice to him without being pitying. She told him her motivations: "I guess it's because I like you. No one else seems to." Tom impulsive kissed her, and they embraced each other. However, she was worried for Tom's sake as he left for his ill-fated date, and her husband unexpectedly returned from his cancelled mountain-climbing trek.

During Tom's date with Ellie after he entered her apartment, he was awkward, jumpy and nervous in her presence. When she asked him to dance and felt his soft girly hands, she insulted him by using his nickname: ("You've got soft hands, almost like a girl's. Oh, is that what they call you, Sister Boy!"). Ashamed, he suicidally reached for a knife in her kitchen drawer, as she cried: "Stop him, he's got a knife! He's crazy!", before he was apprehended by nearby neighbors and the campus police and threatened with expulsion.


Tom's Awkward Date With Ellie

Tom Humiliated When Called 'Sister-Boy'

The next day, Tom's father arrived - boasting of his son's masculine prowess with a woman until he learned the additional facts of the suicide attempt. In the Reynolds' apartment with her husband, Laura explained Tom's motivations to go on a date: "Is there to be no blame, no punishment for the men and boys who taunted him into doing this? What if he had succeeded in killing himself? What then?" Laura blamed her husband for standing by as Tom was humiliated as an outsider: "You wanted to humiliate the boy in the eyes of the school because if he was right, then you had to be wrong. If he could be manly, then you had to question your own definition of manliness." She held her husband responsible for insisting on rigid codes of manliness, while providing a new definition:

"Manliness is not all swagger and swearing and mountain climbing. Manliness is also tenderness and gentleness and consideration."

She explained how she knew what Tom was forced into doing: "Last night, I know what Tom had in mind to do...I knew what he was going to do, and why he was going to do it. He had to prove to you bullies that he was a man and he was going to prove it with Ellie Martin. Well, last night, I know this is a terrible thing to say, but, last night, I wish he had proved it with me." She said she was miserable about Tom's condition - and tried to remedy it: "My heart cried out to this boy in his misery, a misery imposed by my husband. And I wanted to help him as one human being to another, and I failed" - and also she admitted that she was herself "miserably lonely." Bill lambasted her for her 'mothering' instinct: "You were more interested in mothering that boy up there than becoming my wife." She asked him: "Why won't you let me love you?" and without answering, he abruptly left. [Note: It was unstated, but it was possible that Bill had supported Tom's persecution because he himself was really a self-hating, closeted gay.]

In the film's most infamous scene, Laura searched for Tom and found him in the woods near the golf course's 6th tee. To his surprise, she thanked him for the kiss they earlier shared: "That was the nicest kiss I ever had - from anyone." (She was referring to his attempt to kiss her the night before, when she seemed to rebuff him.) She attempted to comfort him, but he wouldn't listen. She extended her hand to him - and offered herself to him for another kiss, to prove that they could both show affection toward each other. She told him, as she held his face in her hands:

"Years from now when you talk about this - and you will - be kind."

Although not shown, it was implied that Tom resorted to an affair with a transgressive Laura to be 'cured' of his sensitive nature, and to help her fulfill her own needs.

The flashback ended, returning to 10 years later in a tacked on epilogue (part of the framing technique). Tom had returned for his school reunion as a happily-married novel writer. The film's main revelation was that Bill and Laura had divorced - she had no choice but to leave him after giving herself to Tom, and had moved out west somewhere: (Laura wrote: "I couldn't go back to Bill after that afternoon with you and pretend that nothing had happened, and my not going back ruined his life"). The Reynolds had broken up as a consequence of Laura's indiscretion. Presumably, Laura had suffered afterwards for her adultery - the breakup of her marriage was the punishment that the repressive censorship code required.

The film ended with a voice-over from Laura in an appreciative letter that she never mailed to Tom, but had enclosed in a box forwarded to Bill. He read it as she stated: "I have just read your book, your novel about your days in school, about us. It is a lovely book, tender and romantic and touching." She implied that what they had done was wrong: "You have romanticized the wrong we did and not looked at it clearly." She ended with a very memorable statement: "About one thing you were correct. The wife did always keep her affection for the boy, somewhere in her heart."

Tom - 10 Years Later - Reading Laura's Letter

Tom at Chilton School Reunion Before Flashback to 10 Years Earlier


Laura's Manly Husband - Coach Bill Reynolds (Leif Erickson)


Tom Was Bullied and Called "Sister-Boy"

Tom's Embarrassed Father Herb Lee (Edward Andrews)


Laura Overhearing Herb and Bill Calling Tom "Strange"

Bill Reminding Laura To "Stay Out of These Things" and Only Give the Boys "Tea and Sympathy"


Herb to Son Tom: "You're not going to play that part!"

Laura - Conflicted About Trying to Help Tom Beyond Just "Tea and Sympathy"



Tom's Roommate Al Explaining His Room Change and His Concerns About Tom to Laura

Al Teaching Tom to Walk in Music Room



Laura Feeling Separated From Husband Bill


Growing Attraction Between Tom and Mrs. Reynolds Just Before His Date - A Quick Kiss


Laura Questioning Her Husband's Complicity in Tom's Behavioral Issues

Laura Admitting Her Love For Tom: "Last night, I wish he had proved it with me"

Laura's Confession About Being "miserably lonely" To Her Husband


Laura's Statement to Tom:
"That was the nicest kiss I ever had - from anyone"


Laura's Concern for Tom

The Kiss Between Laura and Tom ("Years from now when you talk about this - and you will - be kind")

The Violent Years (1956)

Director Ed Wood, Jr. wrote the screenplay for this cautionary, exploitative B-movie thriller - tauted by the film's narrator as documenting events from "today's glaring headlines." The tagline was:

UNTAMED GIRLS OF THE PACK GANG! Teenage Killers Taking Their Thrills Unashamed!

The hour-long film told about female teenage/juvenile delinquency (due to faulty parenting) involving a menacing teenaged high school girl gang (often wearing tight sweaters) who sometimes dressed up as men. They had the uncaring attitude of "So what?" - and identified themselves by male names - each of the four main characters were introduced with separate screens, in front of a classroom blackboard with the terms: "Good Citizenship -- Self-Restraint -- Politeness -- Loyalty." Each girl was contemptuous of the words.


Paula

Phyllis

Geraldine

Georgia

(l to r): Phyllis, Georgia, Paula, Geraldine
  • Paula Parkins - aka "Paul" (ex-Miss Hollywood and Playboy's October 1955 Playmate Jean Moorhead), a privileged yet troubled teen, the neglected daughter of a wealthy newspaper publisher-editor and his wife
  • Phyllis - aka "Phil" (Gloria Farr)
  • Geraldine - aka "Jerry" (Joanne Cangi)
  • Georgia - aka "George" (Theresa Hancock)

The preachy narrator in voice-over described how the wayward teens had become violent - mostly due to lack of parental care and discipline: "This is a story of violence - a violence born of the uncontrolled passions of adolescent youth and nurtured by this generation of parents. Those who are in their own smug little world of selfish interests and confused ideas of parental supervision refuse to believe today's glaring headlines - but it has happened. Only the people and places have been given other names."

In the film's brief opening, Judge Raymond Clara (I. Stanford Jolley) issued a decision to two parents, Carl Parkins (Arthur Millan) and his wife Jane Parkins (Barbara Weeks). He declared that they had neglected their daughter Paula for 15 years and would not honor their request (unknown until the conclusion of the film).

The film's action began with a flashback to the male-dressed female foursome (with bandannas covering their faces) committing an armed gas station robbery and then viciously assaulting one of the attendants.

The next sequence was the film's most notorious - a preposterous "male rape" scene in which the four spoiled 'bad girl' friends criminally attacked, at gunpoint, a young couple named Johnny and Shirley, who were making out in a convertible. They accosted the lover's lane couple, bound and gagged the female with her own torn-up skirt (after having her disrobe to steal her sweater) and tossed her in the car's backseat.

They ridiculed the "pretty boy" and "handsome" male for only having $11 to rob: "Maybe he's got more to offer than his money?...Big, strong, a little pretty maybe?" The four girls led him to a secluded woodsy area and began to undress him. Paula approached forward to 'rape' him (off-screen), as she began to remove her sweater. As the rape was occurring, the female victim in the car untied her bonds to free herself, and ran off for help.

The Daily Chronicle headlined the crime in the next scene:

"YOUNG MAN ROBBED, CRIMINALLY ATTACKED BY FOUR GIRLS."

Afterwards, the gang met with their local, older and hardened crime boss Sheila (Lee Constant), a fence for their stolen items. She was allegedly an anti-American Communist when she suggested that the girl gang vandalize a local public HS - funded and as part of a "well-organized foreign plan" - a Communist plan to destroy America through its educational system.

Before following Sheila's orders, the girls engaged in a celebration of Paula's 18th birthday by holding a make-out petting pajama party with local male mobsters. Uninvited adult guest Barney Stetson (Glenn Corbett), a star reporter from the office of Paula's father Carl Parkins, arrived to speak to Paula and deliver a birthday present. He pointed at a particularly amorous couple nearby - as he looked past Paula's own low-cut dress covering her breasts. He remarked: "That's a cute pair," with her salacious and tart reply: "They have their points." Stetson also engaged in a fist fight with Paula's older lowlife boyfriend Manny (Bruno Metsa) and knocked him out for dating the younger teen.

Following the party, the female gang entered a school and trashed a classroom, but stopped shy of destroying an American flag when they heard police sirens. "Phil" was shot to death by police during a gunfight from a second-floor window, and died as she spouted: "It... It was... wasn't supposed... to be this way..." Paula retaliated by gunning down one of the officers. And then as they fled from the school, Geraldine was shot in the back and killed by one of the officers.


Gun Fight With Police From Classroom

Geraldine Shot and Killed During Flight

Sheila Murdered by Paula

When they returned to Sheila's place to seek payoff money and disguises to escape, Sheila was uncooperative and threatened to report them to authorities. Paula also shot her in the stomach and killed her. After leaving Sheila's place, the two criminals Paula and "George" were pursued by the highway patrol, and as a result of a crash into a storefront window, "George" was killed and "Paula" was hospitalized in prison until she recuperated and then was put on trial.

Teenaged Paula's criminal "thrill-seeking" activity and "utter disregard for life itself" led to the innocent-looking girl (who was still a minor and not eligible for the death penalty) being found guilty and charged with first degree murder. The judge sentenced her to reside in the state penitentiary for women (after the age of 21) to serve a life sentence.


Paula Receiving Decision During Trial

Paula Found Guilty

As the film ended, it was revealed that Paula was pregnant (and had undoubtedly conceived during the male rape on Lover's Lane). She asserted to her parents: "I don't want my baby in a place like this." And then after they left her room, she remorselessly shrugged off her life with the regularly-repeated phrase: "So what?" Her parents received the news that she died in the prison hospital giving birth to a baby girl.

The flashback came to an end, and Paula's parents were back before Judge Raymond Clara. Now, it was revealed that the Judge - after a long lecture in which he shamed the parents for their lack of parental care - denied them request for adoption and custody of their grand-child. Excerpts from action scenes were replayed. He feared a repeat of Paula's neglectful upbringing. Instead, the baby girl would be a ward of the state, placed in foster care and then adopted out to a loving family


Armed Gas Station Robbery and Assault



Gunpoint Robbery of a Parked Couple (Johnny and Shirley)



'Bad Girl' Paula (Jean Moorhead) With Gun

Tying Up and Gagging Shirley



Paula Approaching to Rape Male Victim (Off-screen)

Headlines of Crime: "Young Man Robbed, Criminally Attacked by Four Girls"


Sheila (Lee Constant)



Make-Out Petting Party With Local Gangsters

- "That's a cute pair."
- "They have their points."


Paula Injured From Car Crash and Hospitalized While Detained in Prison


Sentenced to Life in Prison After the Age of 21 - And Pregnant: "So what?"



Judge's Decision About Adoption of Child Issued to Paula's Neglectful Parents


Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985-1 | 1985-2 | 1986-1 | 1986-2 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Index to All Decades, Years and Features


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