Sunday, April 14, 2013

Of Mammaries and the Movies, or My Take on Tits

"C'mon, Eva Marie, how about we DO IT right now?  Yes-s-s-s!"

No, that line of dialogue doesn't actually occur in North By Northwest. And what happens next is not a shot of Cary Grant's bare butt writhing on top of Eva Marie Saint's dainty breasts, but a shot of the train they're traveling on roaring into a tunnel.

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. Film makers had to be creative in matters most personal, the result of which was that I was always begging my parents to take me on train trips where I knew there were lots of tunnels.  

Having grown up in the 50's and 60's, I've witnessed a tremendous change in the nature of movie and TV sexuality. Back in those days, the epitome of celluloid sex was a profile shot of the sadly now departed Annette Funicello as she quickly and surprisingly matured out of the Mickey Mouse Club or a glimpse of Barbara Eden's navel on a day the makeup man on I Dream of Jeanie ran out of putty. Nowadays I know every square inch of Anne Hathaway's anatomy almost as well as the Jewish guy who just married her!  

Maybe it's my Boomer mentality, but these changes have not always been for the breast ...  I mean ... best!

It was around 1968 that naked boobs first came to major motion pictures. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first looked up at the screen and saw something that looked sort of like eyes staring back at my unbelieving ones! I was in a movie theater watching an English film called Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush when a young girl simply and nonchalantly pulled off her top, and I went home and immediately put my entire collection of National Geographics up for sale. 

Boobs thereupon began bouncing abundantly everywhere on your and my local neighborhood screens.  The trend started with mostly unknown young actresses, but quickly led to the advent of major actresses no longer forbearing from baring  it all.  A lengthy shot of Susannah York's nipple in The Killing of Sister George evoked criticism from many critics but not from this 18 year old.  Ah, to be young, horny, and a film fan in the late 1960's and early 70's! 

Nowadays of course everything goes in the movies, including any sense of propriety.  It's a rare movie or an animated one 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.  And today --- no longer age 18, damn it! --- my attitude has morphed a bit.  Except where truly warranted,  I find much of the skin stuff at best intrusive and at worst inappropriate, pandering, and yes, even distasteful.

No, I'm not suggesting we go back to Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint acting like saints until the rapid approach of a well-timed tunnel.  For sure, there was many a layer of reality and story-telling lost back in the day due to the sensitivities of the times.  But there was also something charmingly naive too, and a quality often missing today that helped to make many of the older films classics.

It has never been one of the driving goals of my lifetime to see either or both of Abbott and Costello nude.  And when it comes to the great screwball comedies starring the likes of Gary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, I prefer the original connotations of both syllables of the genre descriptor,  not the ones you're thinking about right now, pervert! 

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."

"Well, we'll always have Paris. And unfortunately, we'll always have herpes too!"

"Oh, Rick!  Oh-0h-Oh, Rick! Rick, Rickyes, yes, OHHHHHH!!!! RICK!!!!! 

"Here's looking up you, kid!"

Nah, gimme my film classics straight --- uncut,  crotch-less,  boob-less, and  with a minimum of writhing, thank you very much. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm still all for seeing bare boobs a'bouncin' when it's appropriate and I'm in the mood 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.



Anne Flournoy said...

Oh GAWD. Too funny. "It's a rare movie or an animated one 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."

Thanks for the short paragraphs!! said...

Thanks to Anne Flournoy for directing me here. Great HILARIOUS post... and so true. You flashback-ed me to my youth... to reading between the lines and seeing between the scenes. LOVE it!

Perry Block said...

A great honor to be visited by the creator of The Louise Logs and yes, the paragraphs go short before the name goes on. Now I finally understand the type of topic I need to focus on to command your attention.

By the way, don't miss my next blog post,"John Kenneth Galbraith, Keynesian Economics, and Boobs." I think you'll find it enlightening.

Thanks for commenting!

Perry Block said...

Je vous en prie, Ms. Mudd!

Here's a post I hope you'll like: "Rhinoceros Impoceros," which makes a bit more use of my very limited francais ...

Recruiting Animal said...

I think it's good that nudity etc is not taboo but at the same time I regret that if your son or daughter wants to be an actor or actress they pretty well have to sign on to be a porno star as well. I guess you can't have it both ways but I'd like to.

Perry Block said...

Totally agree, Animal. And thank goodness I don't have a daughter!

russellgayer said...

A lot of the old widows down at the nursing have been yammering about a Fred Willard nude scene. Their rockers zipped up to warp speed when I told them Perry Block was available for wheelchair dances. I can keep you pretty well booked, and at 40% of the take, you'll be making more money than you ever dreamed of.

Perry Block said...

I find a wheelchair dance by me to be at best intrusive and at worst inappropriate, pandering, and yes, even distasteful.

I'll do it, Russell!

norm cowie said...

My wife and two adult daughters get really uncomfortable ... which makes me uncomfortable ... when we're in the same room watching a film with nudity. So I agree, there's a time and a place.

Perry Block said...

Thanks, Norm, that really is the point. Sometimes I'm in the mood for porno, though not as much when I was 18 and would have liked to have been on a steady drip of it. But when you want that kind of stuff, anything goes!

But when I want to see a movie, I want to see acting and a story and sex only if it's appropriate, which usually it's not. A cut-away will make the point just as well. And I'm glad I never had to look at Humphrey Bogart's gyrating tush!