At no point in the classic Alfred Hitchcock film “Northwest by Northwest” do we witness star Gary Grant’s bare butt writhing and thrusting on top of a naked Eva Marie Saint as he caresses his co-star’s dainty but proud breasts.
That's because “North by Northwest” was made in the 1950's, before people began having sex.
Or at least began having sex in the movies.
What we see is the train they’re traveling on roar into a tunnel, the sight of which motivated me to beg my parents to take me on train trips where there were lots of tunnels.
Back in the 50's and early 60’s, the epitome of celluloid sex was a profile shot of rapidly maturing Mouseketeer Annette Funicello turning sideways or a glimpse of Barbara Eden's navel on a day the “I Dream of Jeanie” makeup man ran out of putty.
Nowadays I know every square inch of Anne Hathaway's anatomy almost as well as the Jewish guy who married her.
It was 1968 when naked boobs first came to neighborhood movie houses. I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked up at the screen and saw something that looked like eyes when a hot young blonde nonchalantly peeled off her top in the movie “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.”
I raced home and put my entire collection of National Geographics up for sale.
Boobs thereupon began bouncing abundantly anywhere and everywhere on the silver screen.
Nowadays everything goes in movies including any sense of propriety. It's a rare film that doesn't feature Mark Ruffalo hammering Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman switching teams with Mila Kunis, or Fred Willard and Paul Reubens responding in kind in the audience.
But except where truly warranted or my mood truly warrants it, I’d rather watch “Frozen.”
No, we shouldn’t return to Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint acting like saints until the rapid approach of a well-timed tunnel. There were layers of reality and story-telling lost back in the day due to the sensitivities of the times. There was something charmingly naive too, and a quality missing today that helped to make many of the older films classics.
It has never been my burning passion to see Ethel Barrymore or Dame May Whitty frolic nude on a beach on Turner Classic Movies. The great screwball comedies starring the likes of Gary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are better without the alternate connotations of “screw” and “ball.”
As for great classics like “Casablanca” ...
"Did you leave me for Lazlo because he had a bigger penis?"
"No, Rick, I left you because Victor Lazlo is my husband and was even when I knew you in Paris.
And he has a bigger penis."
Nah, gimme my film classics straight - uncut, crotch-less, boob-less, and with a minimum of writhing.
I'm all for seeing bare boobs a'bouncin' when it's appropriate and/or I'm bouncing off the walls hot for it.
I'm glad I got to see Isabella Rossellini's tits in “Blue Velvet.”
But I'm even gladder I never got to see her mom's.