Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tighten Your Drawstring, It's Swimsuit Season!

Yes sir, it's Memorial Day Weekend and in The Underworld that means one thing. The swimming pools are open for the season again! This is the time of year I anticipate more than any other. As is usual, we commemorate the occasion with a random assortment of male celebrities trotting around in swim trunks (or, whenever possible, Speedos!) Let's cast out our net(ting) and see what we find this time around.

Anyone recognize this fella, lined up to take a dive as part of his military training?
This is William Haines in the silent film West Point (1927.) He costarred with Joan Crawford. If you'll recall, he was a once-hot star who refused to cow-tow to the studio's request to act straight and marry a female, so he said goodbye to the movies and proceeded to a highly-successful interior design career (with Crawford's - and a few others' - help.)
It's hard for some of us to wrap our minds around the fact that men used to have swimsuits that included a top of sorts. Some pearl-clutchers out there when it comes to bare chests would probably like the practice to return, but not I! This is George Brent enjoying an on-screen swim with Bette Davis.
The movie is The Golden Arrow (1936) and this entire 3-minute swimming sequence is available to see here.
Athletic 1930s leading man and later the star of many westerns, Randolph Scott.
Swimming Olypian, famous as Flash Gordon and another star of later westerns, the delectable Buster Crabbe.
1940s & '50s actor Dennis O'Keefe in some skin-tight swimwear.
I'm really not sure what circumstances brought together Charlton Heston, Jan Sterling and Paul Douglas. They never made a movie all together.
This is one of the VERY first appearances on screen of Warren Beatty during a 1957 episode of Suspicion (with David Wayne.) Two years later, he won a recurring role on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and two years after that did the star-making Splendor in the Grass (1961.)
Here we find a very young James Garner in a sweater-like suit (with the requisite high-waists that were once the norm...)
Slim, tan teen idol Troy Donohue is about to cool off in a refreshing pool.
The good-looking cast of Surfside 6 (1960-1962), featuring my beloved Van Williams in a kicky swimwear getup.
We always get a little dewy over Dewey Martin!
This is George Maharis in an early episode of Route 66 (1960-1963) wearing a skimpy li'l suit that he seems to be attempting to cover up to some extent.
This time he isn't preoccupied with the bottom of the suit, but he makes the peculiar choice of pairing it with a long-sleeved, zipped-up windbreaker! Martin Milner goes for a more traditional pair of trunks.
George posed semi-nude in Playgirl and you could definitely make out what was in these Speedos from a few of the shots.
We adore Tab Hunter and like seeing him frolic in the surf for this photo.
This handsome hunk o'spunk is Sean Flynn, Errol's son.
Two TV western stars of long-running shows, Doug McClure of The Virginian (1962-1971) and Michael Landon of Bonanza (1959-1973), team up for an afternoon at the pool.
Ahhh... one of our favorite lesser-known cuties, William Reynolds, having a lounge by the pool.
West Side Story's (1961) Richard Beymer is submerged in this picture.
Hunky Hugh O'Brian is at half-mast toying with his sailboat in this shot.
It's simply not possible to get enough of O'Brian at this particular stage, that being his role in the colorful, sex-charged romantic potboiler Love Has Many Faces (1965.)
Every now and again, he'll rear his head these days in an annoying way, but in his prime Pat Boone was adorable.
We truly adore Frenchman Alain Delon.
Before Michael Phelps was the hot Olympian swimmer, there was Mark Spitz, who was everywhere in the 1970s.
Swivel-hipped singer Tm Jones liked to work out in as little as possible.
Here the hirsute hit-maker boxes in some tiny briefs.
Steve McQueen is cool as a cucumber (or keeps his cool, anyway!) in this shot.
This is from a horror movie called The Sorcerers (1967) with Ian Ogilvy.
He's taking a secret, late-night dip with a lady friend in their undies.
He's also taking some viewers' breaths away, I suspect.
I couldn't resist sharing this shot of the antique store at which his character works in the film! Not sure if it has a men's room in it or not...
Handsome Lyle Waggoner of The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1974) relaxes by the pool with Jo Ann Pflug.
Now entering the infamous Battle of the Network Stars era. Here, Melissa Gibert is partially blocking on Daniel J. Travanti of Hill St. Blues (1981-1987.)
There, that's better.
Today's cover boy, Gregory Harrison, taking part in the games (and with a shorter haircut.)
And now he's traded in his old expression for a smile.
Cutie pie Andrew Stevens (and an annoying velour cover-up!  Lose it!)
This isn't really from the Battle, but Peter Barton did partake from time to time.
Beefy Robert Conrad was always very into it and intense, sometimes acting as a network team captain.
Mark Harmon preparing to get doused in the dunking booth.
Again, not from the Battle, but Sam J. Jones did participate and can be seen elsewhere on this site in his green Speedo.
Leif Garrett emerges from the dunk tank and it looks like something else is emerging in the process!
Now seguing into some clippings that feature the Speedo, we see that Parker Stevenson has discovered the same thing his one-time wife Kirstie Alley once mentioned in a memorable award acceptance speech.
Here's the lowdown on a couple of early-'80s gents, Scott Baio and Douglas Barr of The Fall Guy (1981-1986.)
Days of Our Lives' Peter Reckell.
Adrian Zmed of T. J. Hooker (1982-1985)
And General Hospital's Steve Bond.
Patrick Duffy in Man from Atlantis (1977-1978) before he made a bigger splash on Dallas.
Strongman and former Mission: Impossible (1966-1973) star Peter Lupus, guest-starring on The Love Boat in a 1980 episode.
This blurry footage is all that was available to me, but perhaps someday we'll see it in all its splendor.
Chippendales dancer-turned-actor on The Young and the Restless, John Gibson. You may recall Gibson either from his appearances in Playgirl or for his high-profile engagement to Vanna White before he was killed in a 1986 plane crash.
One-time male model sensation and romance novel coverboy, Fabio.
Brooke Shields is snuggled up to costars Thomas Byrd and Brian Kerwin in the 1984 TV-movie Wet Gold.
Drunken, nasty millionaire John Glover is fond of trotting around in a Speedo in Masquerade (1988.)
It's mostly covered up by a robe, but it seems to have something going on inside. His galpal here, by the way, is Dana Delany in a fairly early role!
British boy band Take That during a playful and affectionate photo shoot in the surf. Good luck finding a group of bodies like this today that are minus a slew of tattoos...
Robbie Williams was my favorite, but he really underwent a transformation after this and rode through a series of rough times (and plenty of ink!)
Nearing the end of this post, we take a quick rear glimpse of Hugh O'Brian.
And now the utterly dreamy John Bromfield. You must check out his tribute here if he's unfamiliar to you.
And with Robert Conrad again, we've come to "The End."

12 comments:

normadesmond said...

my grandfather was convinced i was a dead ringer for gregory.
needless to say, i adored my grandfather.

Ken Anderson said...

I had to look over your post twice: once for the enjoyable print copy and again just to relish the sight of male bodies sans tattoos! Tattoos are great, but I'm starting to forget what bodies look like without the ink. Terrific photos and captions, as always (I'll never be able to unsee that Paul Douglas image. Like when I saw doughy Rod Steiger in "the Illustrated Man") and that parting shot of Robert Conrad is the best! Like the male equivalent of the famous Betty Grable pose.
Here comes summer!

hcat said...

What looks weird is that these older trunks are like Speedos on the bottom, but go way up to the navel on the top. To us today they look like they're all got a permanent wedgie. Say what you will about board shorts, they moved both the top AND the bottom bodaries of trunks significantly downward!

hcat said...

I meant "boundaries" not "bodaries"

Gingerguy said...

Happy belated Memorial Day Poseidon. And these are pretty memorable. Randolph Scott is just gorgeous period. Sean Flynn looks even more like James Franco in that shot than the last one posted. What a beauty. I love Hugh's outfit from "Love Has Many Faces" what a fun, sleazy movie. You may not believe this but I was just talking about Tom Jones and his many bathing suits this past weekend, what a coincidence. He sported them in television specials occasionally. I heard an oft told scandal that he caused a bit of trauma for Cassandra Peterson, when she met up with him in her showgirl youth. There can be too much of a good thing, in a nutshell. I think I watched "The Sorcerer's" but did not catch the name of that store. You are hilarious and got me again with Leif Garrett. Glad I dove in.

F. Nomen said...

Billy Haines is serving Matt Bomer realness in those first two shots.

angelman66 said...

Fantastic roundup, Poseidon, you always have an eye for the Boys of Summer! So many of my favorites here...Battle of the Network Stars was the most amazing show, and the dudes almost always wore speedos!! They need to bring back that show. ( Did you happen to catch that recent celebrity diving show with Greg Louganis? That had some possibilities!)

Thanks especially for Gregory, Alain, Michael Landon, Tab and of course Leif!! My dream dates!
-Chris

joel65913 said...

Hi Poseidon,

A marvelous collection! Cover boy Gregory Harrison, who was gorgeous then and has aged exceedingly well, truly is a boy of summer. His birthday is May 31st so almost every year it will fall during the official start of the summer season. As if it was meant to be!

Love that you were able to go back so far to find those snaps of William Haines. I feel I should like him just on principal, and I do admire his fortitude in staying true to himself, but try though I might I have struggled through every one of his films I've tried to watch. At least in the ones where co-starred with Joan Crawford her star power and vibrancy make the films tolerable but I've given up on his solo vehicles.

I'm guessing that the shot of Charlton Heston with Jan Sterling and Paul Douglas was a publicity shot for Pony Express. Chuckles and Jan co-starred in the film and she was married to Paul Douglas at the time up until his death.

I've always had a soft spot for Dewey Martin. He wasn't the greatest actor but they usually found a way to get his shirt off at least once in his films and he had a more toned physique than was typical of the period without being overdone.

And of course all the wonderful shots from the late and lamented Battle of the Network Stars. LOVE that last photo of Robert Conrad, so good looking too bad he always came across as such a cocky jackass.

Poseidon3 said...

Norma, my grandfather thought I looked like Patrick Swayze (then he put his glasses back on!) LOL No wonder you adored him. :-)

Hi, Ken! I'm glad you enjoyed this (twice!) I try not to rant and rave about tattoos because I know they are highly popular at this moment, but I must say I love the male form left alone as depicted here and elsewhere on my site (though I've long been a person who looks back as much or more than forward!)

hcat, for whatever reason, showing the navel was once worse than showing the lower cheeks of one's behind! High-waisted trunks (and trousers, in fact) were the norm. I prefer low-waist and high-leg myself! (Although my favorite swimwear is nothing at all! LOL)

Gingerguy, I'm glad you liked this. Young Randolph was really handsome. Sean Flynn seems as if he could have had a real movie career if handled right (and if he even wanted it.) "Love Has Many Faces" is in a class all by itself when it comes to the blend of glossy & sleazy! I worship that film. Poor Cassandra! I hadn't heard that one ("in a nutshell!")

F. Nomen, as in the case of several stars, I guess after a while the faces of today begin to resemble some of the ones from (nearly) 100 years ago! Somehow we all retain that shred of individualism even though there have been so many millions of us through the years. Fascinating.

Angelman, I think I saw where FINALLY some of the "Battle of the Network Stars" shows are turning up on DVD. The picture, even then, was always rather rotten on cheap video. I wonder if they've been cleaned up at all... I LIVED for those specials and was glued to the TV during them.

Joel, "West Point" is the only William Haines movie I've seen up to this point. Some of the real early stuff (of anyone's) can be a trial to get through, so I understand what you're saying. Thank you so much for clearing up the Chuck, Jan and Paul thing! I had forgotten that Jan and Paul were ever married. I thought Dewey was adorable and, as you say, often shirtless. "Land of the Pharaohs" was a highlight for me. And, yes, Robert Conrad seemed to have a complex or something, but my God he was great to look at, both in his pretty years and his macho ones!

Thanks everyone!!

Ken said...

Which episode of Route 66 is that from? George Maharis..wow!!!

Poseidon3 said...

Ken, it's been so long that my memory is cloudy. I cannot recall the one with him on a lounger with the lady. That comes at the tail end of an episode from the first season (latter part, I believe.) I do know that the one of him in a jacket with Marty Milner is from Season 1, Episode 24 "Don't Count Stars."

ePastorJames said...

James Garner's high-waist sweater trunks look more like a knitted diaper to me!