Keeping the gears moving here at P.U. (I'll say!) with another brief post. This time, we look at a scene from the 1973 (though filmed in '71) revisionist western character study Kid Blue
. The story concerns a young ne'er do well (Dennis Hopper) who winds up living in a town and attempting to go legit. He comes under the wing of a respectable couple (Warren Oates and Lee Purcell) who both grow fond of him.
Hopper (who was about 35 at the time of filming yet somehow retained a sort of baby face in the midst of copious drugs and alcohol!) takes on legitimate work in an attempt to go straight. He'd initially been involved in a robbery gone awry prior to arriving in town.
Oates is an upstanding citizen with a pretty young wife. Things ought to be hunky-dory with them, yet there seems to be a bit of a disconnect, principally in their marital relations.
One night, Oates has Hopper over for a visit and is ecstatic to reveal a spanking new nickel-plated bathtub, costing $12.29 (not including freight!)
Then he begins quizzing Hopper on when the last time he had a bath. Determining that it's been about two weeks, Hopper senses that he may be about to partake in one whether he likes it or not. But Oates has an even better idea. Since the wonderful warm water is too good to "waste on just one person," he suggests that they "do like the old-time Greeks" did and take a bath together
|Hopper suggests that perhaps the Greeks had larger tubs than this one! Oates won't be put off, though... Purcell promises not to look as Hopper prepares for his warm (not to mention cozy!) bath. |
|Perhaps sensing something in the air, Hopper asks what the Greeks did "afterwards?" Oates explains that they sorta "laid around, drank wine... one thing or another." |
|Before that can truly sink in, Oates asks a bemused Purcell to wash his back some. He also indicates that Hopper will soon have his turn, which he swiftly declines, though - again - he's not going to get out of this that easily.|
|Just about then, Oates gets soap in his eyes and can't open them from the sting. (Lord knows it was probably lye soap back then!)|
|Purcell's motherly predilections soon seem more affectionate than expected.|
|Hopper, who is utterly unresponsive to Oates' thinly-veiled overtures (which are semi-subconscious on his part anyway), finds himself a skosh more intrigued by what Purcell has to offer.|
|Following bath time, the trio has no clue how to properly dispose of the water! Hopper slinks downstairs in his cowboy hat and a towel and scores an enema bag with tube, which seems to really delight Oates...! But really all Hopper intends to do is use the tube to siphon the water out the window. Both wear their towels in a Grecian toga fashion.|
|Perhaps two of the last actors imaginable one might find sharing a narrow 6' long bathtub together (they had nine wives between them in real life), this was a fun and intriguing sequence in an uneven film. Reportedly, Oates was creating concoctions with hallucinogenic mushrooms, Dexedrine and LSD after work while Hopper was in the middle of his own drug and alcohol scene at this time (fresh off a 9-day marriage to Michelle Phillips!) They both, however, deliver thoughtful, coherent performances nonetheless. |