Friday, December 30, 2022

Hey There, Corgi Girl...!

Like most humans, we adore the work of one Miss Ava Gardner and are equally mesmerized by her looks. A startling beauty in her youth, she emerged as a fine actress over time (though she sometimes had trouble believing it herself.) In her 1940s and '50s hey-day, she was positively gilded with all the Tinseltown trappings; the gowns, jewels, makeup, etc... and she was dazzling. But unlike a lot of her peers, she didn't cling to this as the years wore on. She allowed Father Time to march acrost her face and simply lived the way she wished to, comfortably. There were few constants in her often tumultuous personal life, but one of them was her devotion to animals, particularly dogs, and most especially to Welsh corgis. So today we offer up a photo essay of Ava and her beloved pooches (chiefly Rags and, later, Cara.) 

There was scarcely a time, even from the beginning of her career, that Gardner didn't have a pet pup on hand.
One thing dogs can give us, and surely gave her, is unconditional love. She was almost never without a big smile when in the presence of one of her corgis.

Ava's canine companions could nearly always be found in her trailer while filming, providing comfort between takes (and fun photo ops in the bargain.) This was during Knights of the Round Table (1953.)

Costumes be damned, nothing was going to interfere with her doggie time.

I hope no one made a mess on the floor...!

I did say they went everywhere. On airplanes, too!

Here they are on a boat!

Between takes on The Naked Maja (1958.)

Taken during Mayerling (1968), which features one of my very favorite Ava looks, her take on Empress Elisabeth "Sisi" of Austria.

In London while filming Tam-Lin (1970.)

With the director of Tam-Lin (and her close friend) Roddy McDowall.

This one is during the filming of Earthquake (1974.) This ornate house dress is only seen fleetingly in the final cut, the scene it was designed for having been hacked out right before release.

The assistant's face behind her here... WTH?

Fun times with actor & pal Charles Gray.

In her later years, Gardner could often be found walking one of her adored friends down the street.

This was nothing new, however. She'd never been "too good" to take her pups out for a spin to do their business.

It's entirely possible, though, that in her final years, passersby had no clue that they'd just laid eyes on AVA GARDNER walking her dog.

Faithful friends right up to the end. 

This was for her unfinished autobiography, which was published posthumously. (She and the author had parted ways before it was done and he used the tapes from their meetings to form much of the book.) I love the dog's expression here, secure in its mistress' arms.

She had her issues, like many of us, but there will only ever be one Ava Gardner and when it came to her canines, she had one huge heart. I adore this portrait of her.

Today is December 30th, so the message here is late! But we do hope your holiday was a great one. And I'll add that I wish every one of my blog visitors a very happy and healthy new year! Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Tubi Tidbits

I had intended to call this post "Tubi Treasures," but looking them over I thought maybe I should be a little less laudatory (especially after poor ol' Bert Convy was flogged in the comments section of a recent post until he ran behind the easel for Win, Lose or Draw, never to be seen again! LOL) In between various chores at work, I can view and listen to Tubi on my screen. This allows me to do the sort of nitty-gritty archival detective work I enjoy (wherein you have the benefit of never having to actually watch any of the product in question yourselves, unless you should happen to want to!) Since this blog began over 13 years ago, I've often profiled such arresting subjects as hairy chests, Speedos, towels, bathtubs, bulges and showers (sometimes to a fault, thanks to my desire to be completest!) And today we're going to take a gander at some more examples, all found while performing archeological digs on the free app Tubi!

First up is this young man. Alex Hyde-White, the costar of what is (in the U.S. anyway) a pretty obscure 1986 movie, Biggles: Adventures in Time. Based upon a series of novels, it was initially conceived to be an Indiana Jones-ish adventure flick...

...but thanks to the smashing success of 1985's Back to the Future, it was augmented to include segments of time travel instead. Hence, Hyde-White, while draped in a towel, shaving, is suddenly zapped to...

...the huge dining table of a WWII-era convent! Looking up his towel as I am prone to do, I wondered...!

Are we seeing this man's balls?? After all, he was fresh from the shower and wearing only the towel.

Biggles began to boggle my mind...

Ultimately, I decided I wasn't seeing what I thought I might be seeing.

And this was borne out when he hopped off the table and revealed lines under the towel. (I'm not saying that actors have to show the world their junk in a movie, but it IS a pet peeve of mine when someone is supposed to be naked under a towel and we can clearly see panty lines...! Sorta takes one out of the reality of the situation, ya know what I mean, Dorothy?)

Anyway, Hyde-White does look pretty good in his li'l towel nonetheless.

He'd been acting on screen since 1979 and his resume even included time travel oriented shows like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Voyagers. (He would late portray Dr. Reed Richards in the infamously unreleased, yet later celebrated, 1994 rendition of The Fantastic Four.)

But I'm betting that his casting in Biggles had something to do with his wholesome, boyish appearance, which doesn't resemble, but does vaguely suggest Michael J. Fox, star of the film this movie was trying to ride the coattails of. Incidentally, this was the very last film in which Peter Cushing appeared.

Okay... Next up is another obscurity, Journey Into Fear (1975), a remake of the Orson Welles 1943 film of the same name. This one stars Sam Waterston, one year prior to Capricorn One, along with a staggering cast of supporting actors. On board with Waterston are Yvette Mimieux, Zero Mostel, Joseph Wiseman, Donald Pleasence, Stanley Holloway, Shelley Winters, Ian McShane and Mr. Vincent Price! But the movie still fizzles in the final analysis.

Since Waterston, soon after having an attempt made on his life, takes a bath, though, we have to document it!

As in the case of virtually all movie baths, he can't possibly be alone. He's joined by the ever-hammy Mostel, who's doing all he can to distract us from Waterston.

The grungy tub and tile makes me wonder why people ever traveled back in the day...!

Tub time over, Waterston rises and is helped with his towel by Mostel, whose body covers up pertinent parts. But notice the copper boiler at the far right and its reflection...

In a tribute to my childhood penchant for trying to watch adult programming on scrambled cable channels, I admit I tried to discern from this reflection whether Waterston was "au naturel" or not! Ha ha ha!! I think he was, but it was too difficult to know for sure in the end.

He is not really my type at all, but I give you the lean and fit (and 35 at the time) Waterston for your perusal.

Most everything I'm offering you today is obscure, including 1979's Summer Camp. This movie premiered a month before (but was completely obscured by) Meatballs. Of course, Meatballs was suggestive and a bit raunchy, but Summer Camp is packed to the gills with T & A (and even P! LOL) We're supposed to be watching this for the girls, but thankfully some male pulchritude slinks in along the way, too.

While it's true that many movies cast people who are too old to play teens in flicks like this, Camp at least offers the conceit that the place is about to go belly-up so PAST participants at the place are invited back in the hopes that they will help subsidize its budget. (However, they mostly just fool around with one another...)

The former summer campers reconvene and are lodged in the same brick dormitories they had when they were kids. (And the cast actually did the same thing, staying on site through filming.)

Here the guys react to having their accommodations pranked by the girls, with short-sheeting, shaving cream and so on.

There's seemingly something for everyone from smooth to hairy, washboard lean to chubby.

And (blessedly for me) not a tattoo in sight.

There was a certain matter-of-factness about underwear scenes like this in the 1970s that hasn't been replicated since. We're all too studied in the staging and lighting of moments like this now.

The end of the film is punctuated with a toga party. Note then-popular Suzanne Somers peering out from a poster on the wall.

During the opening credits of Summer Camp, we're treated to a glimpse of this little scamp in his lifeguard Speedo. It's really the only good look we get of it from the front.

Here we can tell from the tan lines that this was not his usual choice in swimwear...!

His toga party get-up is really more of a Tarzan-like loincloth. All through the movie, he resists the continual advances made towards him from the female campers. But at the end (spoiler alert! - like you care! LOL) he is cornered in an inflated bouncy house and ravaged by a bunch of gals.

He's seen here the following morning, completely deflated after a night of endless ravaging. (But I have to ask... why does he still have that piece of fabric on. That ought to have been shredded in the process.)

I bet that precious few of you have ever seen or heard of this movie, unless you're a fan of Rifftrax and have seen it picked apart by them. It's 1985's Treasure of the Amazon, starring a very grizzled Stuart Whitman.

There is quite a bit of manspreading in this movie.

In fact, I have trouble naming another film that seems to feature as much manspreading as this one!

It's hard to believe that Stu was only 57 here (!), but he's still getting in those occasional shirtless scenes. He's one of several stars featured in the ensemble film.

Also on hand are Bradford Dillman, Donald Pleasence, John Ireland, Emilio Fernandez (of The Wild Bunch, 1969) and Pedro Armendarez Jr. But it's the guy in the middle of this montage who captured my attention.

His name is Clark Jarrett. He'd previously appeared in the teen sex comedy Hot Moves (1984) and really wouldn't do a lot further beyond a stint on the daytime soap Santa Barbara.

Thankfully, as the story progresses, he is sporting some of the teeniest khaki shorts ever presented on a male in the movies.

He is excavating a burial site with Dillman.

And they successfully come upon a little pouch with diamonds in it.

But I really began to wonder if I was going to spy some rocks of my own during this sequence...!

In what has to be a cinema first of some sort, Jarrett plays a whole section of this scene with his bikini-brief-clad balls hanging out the bottom of his shorts!

Mind you, I'm not complaining, I just found it howlingly unusual.

Later when he stands up, the stiff material is still stuck in its gaping position, allowing for more up the leg peeping.

Jim Palmer would be proud to know that his Jockeys made their way to the Amazon! (By the way, this movie is not "good," but it's got many familiar faces, is very beautifully photographed and has a pretty neat musical score, too, so there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half.)

Hidden in this picture of five young men is a future leading man of the 1980s & '90s. The film, The Seniors (1978) is a raucous "comedy" about four college students who form a phony research study which allows them to bed down coed after coed. 

Yep, that's young Dennis Quaid in a very early role. He's go on to a very long, busy career as a leading man and busy supporting actor. In contrast, the guy in the inset is one Rocky Flintermann. He would make only one more movie, in a bit part, before disappearing from the movie landscape. What if I told you that Flintermann got his very first on-screen kiss in this movie... from Quaid!

It's nerdy Flintermann who secures the grant money for the guys' scheme to do sex research and while they are all congratulating him, Quaid makes the peculiar decision to plant one on him, right in the kisser! (I do think it may have been Far From Heaven for his costar, though, from the looks of it.)

No one bats an eye at this. And lord knows Quaid demonstrates that he's into chicks as the movie continues.

He's seen here sharing a shower with one of the subjects of their "study."

His bedroom, like the other three guys, has a revolving door of nubile college coeds coming in to do their thing in the name of research.

Was he ever really this young?

At this point it's all good, but in time the whole plan begins to go out of control (and the movie gets mired down in its not-so-intriguing legal ramifications plot line.) In case it means anything to you, Three's Company's Priscilla Barnes has a featured topless scene in The Seniors, too.

Our final foray into this arena is a total scream and I can highly recommend it to fans of insanely bad cinema. Too Hot to Handle (1977) is a racy hit-woman for hire flick starring Cheri Caffaro. It's worth it to watch this solely for the self-costumed fashions that Caffaro puts on (then takes off!) throughout. This is a mere sampling of them.

Caffaro attracts the attention of her first mark by appearing at his tennis club in the scantiest of swimwear. You might recognize the actor at right.

It's Dutch actor John Van Dreelen, who'd begun in films in the late-1940s and proceeded to roles on the big screen (such as in Von Ryan's Express, 1965, Madame X, 1966, and Lost Horizon, 1973) and countless appearances on TV (in everything from Hawaiian Eye to Perry Mason and Ironside to Charlie's Angels.)

Possessing quite possibly the most egregious comb-over in history, you've surely seen him in something. He worked tirelessly right up until his death in 1992 at age 70. But I can pretty much bet you've never seen him like this...

His character is into S&M and has a sex dungeon in his home! Caffaro is only too happy to oblige him in his pursuits. He's strapped face down on the bed and with the tug of a cord...

He's yanked into a spread-eagle position!

But he likes it.

He really likes it!

During all her duties as a killer for hire, Caffaro finds time for a lover, too. It's Aharon Ipale, who emerged as a busy character actor over time.

This is one hairy dude. I mean it's like wall-to-wall carpet on his chest, which Caffaro enjoys.

Ipale worked on many TV series as a guest and later appeared in Ishtar (1987) as well as playing the Pharaoh in The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), among lots of other things. After this entertaining romp (written and directed, like many of her projects, by her then-husband), Caffaro basically quit acting. She'd become disenchanted with the direction of her career. It's a shame because she was really a scream in this audacious part. You might also be interested to know that another one of her marks in this movie is former 1950s leading lady Corinne Calvet!

The End!