Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It's Tub Time!

We've done many posts over the last dozen years regarding the art of on screen bathing. (A couple of early ones here and here.) Initial inspiration came from a 1975 book I have called "Movie Stars in Bathtubs," but I've gone on (and on) in an effort to provide further examples of the scenario. Any time I come across an appropriate instance, I save it for a future collection and I now have enough to put out yet another brief installment. Today's cover "boy" is Burt Lancaster, soothing away some of his troubles in a tinted lobby photo from 1963's The Leopard. And now we hurl ourselves back even further than that and work our way forward.

Bet ya weren't expecting me to go back this far! This sequence is from 1937's King Solomon's Mines. An African manservant is dousing someone with a bucket of water...



The joke here is that the person bathing (in a galvanized barrel) keeps his monocle on throughout the deluge!

Turns out it is Roland Young, who plays a clean-freak while exploring the wilds of Africa.

Quirky, bemused Young isn't the first person who springs to mind when referring to on screen flesh revealing.

Yet here he is, with costar John Loder, standing in his makeshift bathtub.

He somehow got in there all right, but is now faced with the prospect of how in the world to get out!

Loder determines that there's no better method than to just rock the barrel over onto its side and spill the naked Young onto the ground!

So that's just what happens.

Trouble is, that's just about the moment when Anna Lee has chosen to come and speak with Young about joining her on her quest to locate her missing father, who's gone off to search for the title treasure.

Presumably, she can see more from her angle than we the audience can and she is amused at the sight of the the bare-assed Young on all fours.


Later in the film, shortly after bathing in the river, Young is only partially dressed when his group is accosted by some hostile natives. But they decide he is a God when they catch a glimpse of his white legs!

In a similar vein, the assisted bath, we come to 1939's The Fighting Gringo. Note the large bucket way up high on the platform, but who's that in the tub?

Upon closer inspection, we discover that it's our beloved George O'Brien!

O'Brien had one of the most notable physiques of Hollywood's golden era.

We like his burly, beefy face, too.


Seems like there are worse ways to earn a living than to be the one washing and drying off ol' Gorgeous George!
Next subject is Mr. Ricardo Montalban in a 1951 swordplay saga called Mark of the Renegade. There are a few occasions in which he shows off his well-defined chest.

And then, as you might guess, he also takes a bath.

Like so many before and after him, his bath is only private for a brief while until it's interrupted.

Montalban maintained his fit physique for many years after this, including his turn as Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) in which he was wrongly accused of having used a prosthetic chest because some believed it couldn't really be his own! 
Flipping the switch for a moment to TV, we have a 1964 episode of Wagon Train. Denny Miller (inset) is trying to convince a filthy Noah Beery Jr. that it's time for his first bath in a long while. 

Beery is having none of it...!

So Miller and his pals take matters into their own hands. They pick him up, take him over to the lake and (off camera) shuck off all his grimy clothes.

Next thing you know, he's lathered up and being forcibly washed by the other guys.



The illusion that he's naked in the water is destroyed when he bucks a couple of times and the camera catches that the actor has on some flesh-toned briefs.


After his impromptu time getting a bath, Beery is also given his first shave in a while.


Then the final touches are applied to his makeover. If you haven't already noticed, former Tarzan Denny Miller had cute buns in his western trousers. He was billed as Scott Miller on Wagon Train because it was determined by producers that Denny wasn't "masculine" enough!

Before and after!

Now we come to Sergio Fantoni, bathing in the 1967 thriller Diabolically Yours.

Star of the film is an amnesiac Alain Delon.

Not sure if what he saw in the tub was memorable or not...! Ha ha!

This is Bud Cort in one of Robert Altman's all-star opuses, Brewster McCloud.

His offbeat character, who longs more than anything to fly, takes a bath in the film in a plastic-lined vessel.

His bath is observed by guardian angel Sally Kellerman (note that her wings are removed...!) This was not a particularly revealing trip to the tub, but the movie offered up one other interesting example.

Get a load of this scene! William Windom, in the tub, plays a corrupt businessman. The man at the chessboard is his assistant William Baldwin.

Already through the film it was suggested though clothing and body language that perhaps this was more than a business relationship. (You can't see it, but Windom's black vest in the inset is fringed along the bottom!)

In this sequence, Windom is put out because a phone call (from a woman) has come in on his line for Baldwin.

So there's an element of petty jealousy involved.

The (implied) naked Windom strikes a distracting pose while Baldwin chats with the caller.

This is clearly not a set, but an actual locale and it's captivating. The spa part is only big enough for one or two people while the rest of the "pool" is also very limited in scope. Shouldn't we all have a mini-pool and spa in our master suite (with putt-putt carpet all around it!)??

Television again. This time a 1976 pilot film called The Quest, starring Tim Matheson and Kurt Russell. The young gents played brothers, one captured and raised by the Cheyenne, who are in search of their sister, still a captive.

At one point in their journey, the guys take time out for a soak at the local bathhouse. 

The establishment is run by Keenan Wynn (whose real life son created the short-lived show which sprang from this telefilm.)


During his bath time, Russell suddenly changes expression and begins staring intently at something over Matheson's way.

Soon enough he pulls a gun and aims it in that direction!

An oblivious Matheson is sitting in his own tub (with legs sprawled apart and out of the water) reading the newspaper.

Suddenly he's jarred out of his complacency by the shot having been fired!

Only afterwards does he realize that a deadly snake had been lurking on the shelf above, ready to drop onto him.

Warm sudsy water, guns, snakes... is it getting hot in here? Paging Dr. Freud!

Wynn is the one faced with cleaning up all the slimy less at the bathhouse. The Quest series was clobbered in the ratings by Charlie's Angels. Fifteen episodes were filmed, but only 11 aired in the U.S. Matheson had previously taken a similar bath in The Virginian years before.

Another TV-movie pilot was the ill-fated The Legend of the Golden Gun (1979.) A hideous rip-off of The Lone Ranger, it spent most of its running time demonstrating the origin story for a character who would not see the light of day again afterwards. Keir Dullea was a featured guest star, playing General George Custer, seen here in his bathtub.

As is so often the case, his bath time is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor.

Get a load of the pipe he can't seem to let go of...

The star of the telefilm, Jeff Osterhage, steps into the tent for a discussion with Dullea.

He's incredulous at the sight of this young man, all duded out in the white buckskin that once belonged to a notorious gunslinger.

Naturally, he wants to examine Osterhage's gun closely...


Then he wants to feel the buckskin, too...! With the glances and the positioning of the weapon, can it even be possible that any homoeroticism is unintentional?



Osterhage is front and center as Dullea exits the tub. Duellea loves this obnoxious pipe and is quite proud of it, even as it threatens to upstage him!

See what I mean? It's got to be one of the rare occasions when a performer uses a prop to draw focus, but as a result, obscures HIMSELF with it!

Osterhage was a neophyte actor and struck this sort of naive, deer in the headlights expression quite often. But at least his pants sometimes added some interest to the proceedings. This was only his second project. His next one brings us to our finale for today...

That's Osterhage in the second tub behind Mr. Chest himself, Tom Selleck. This was in the western TV miniseries The Sacketts.

Looks like it was a fun day of filming!

Not shown in this scene, but starring in the miniseries, is Mr. Sam Elliott, who also possessed a chest o'death. His presence would have generated a holy trinity of hirsute hellaciousness!

Apart from the hairy chests, this scene, along with others from Selleck's career, has made quite a few foot fetishists happy as well!

Looks like it was a great moment for author Louis L'Amour to stop by the filming. Wonder who the lucky boom operator was that day! LOL Selleck did precious little on-screen nudity in his career, but there was that fleeting moment in the culture clash comedy Mr. Baseball (1992) in which he shucked down in the team's bathhouse. Which brings us to...

The End!