Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Poseidon Quickies: You're Soaking in It!

Along with other topics like showers, swimwear and the like, I also like to keep tabs on who in the past took a bath on screen. I've had many posts on the subject and recently accrued just a few more examples, albeit one of them is not exactly a bath. But I think you'll forgive me the blurred line of demarcation when you see it. As for our cover boy today, Pernell Roberts, this one really took some digging. However, when I go into Charles Townsend Detective Agency mode, I can be hard to dissuade! Ha ha!

This portrait has made its rounds on the Internet for many years and I have featured it here before. But I never could figure out WHERE it came from! I figured it wasn't a PG-13 installment of Bonanza...!

After some strenuous searching, I concluded that the snap was taken during the making of the movie Tibetana (1969), later renamed The Kashmiri Run. Filmed in Spain, it was one of Roberts' futile stabs at being a cinematic leading man after he departed the Ponderosa in a huff over the western show's alleged mediocrity. The poster outright lies to the viewer, prominently showcasing a dual nude scene of the leads which never happens in the finished film. (Furthermore, most available prints skip over this section - in which most of the characters' clothing is stolen - altogether.) 

Roberts' costar was Alexandria Bastedo, who plays nearsighted and is saddled with heavy glasses for much of the time, but was in reality a quite stunning gal. She costarred in the British spy series The Champions alongside Stuart Damon and looked incredible throughout.

Also missing from many prints is the bath that hirsute Roberts takes late in the proceedings. But for you, I have found evidence of it.

Roberts shows no actual nudity in the scene, but it's fun to know from the behind-the-scenes photo shown earlier that he was indeed naked in the soapy water of the tub.

What really got us onto this topic again was the recent mention in the comments of another post about Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and the super-sexy bath which Paul Mantee takes! The widescreen film makes it hard to see Mantee's bare backside, but it was one of the rare times in the universe in which panning & scanning for TV actually helped, because many of us were goggle-eyed as this seemingly innocuous moment showed up on our old TV screens back in the day!

Closer inspection reveals that the sequence was filmed two ways. One was Mantee jumping in the water naked (and being shown in lloooonnngshot emerging afterwards naked.)

For moments inside the makeshift tub/pond, he was oufitted in tan trunks.

They are plainly (and sadly) visible as he flails around in the water. Nevertheless, he's so cute we barely notice.

Things kick up another notch when he gets out of the water and wraps up in a scrawny towel, his glorious chest taking center stage.

Interesting getup, the little towel and combat boots (with a weirdly-phallic yellow container hanging around.) This was the day to be working on the set, though. Whew!

Recognize Mr. Clean?

This is Richard Jaeckel, who usually sported a head of blond hair, as an obsessed, very violent U.S. Army Lieutenant in The Philippines during WWII. The movie, Once Before I Die, was filmed in 1964, but didn't see release until 1967 and was one of John Derek's projects.

At one point, Jaeckel takes a moment to re-shave his head and wash up in a babbling stream.

As is often the case in movies, he isn't left alone for long...!

He's soon joined by the film's leading lady (and Derek's then wife) Ursula Andress!

Not content to chat with him from the sidelines, she edges closer to him...

...and plops down into the refreshing water amid the island's sweltering climate!

Needless to say, this does unnerve the tough guy to a certain extent. It starts to look like Jaeckel may truly be bare-assed in the water.

She's gently taunting and enjoying herself during this little bit of repartee (and looks amazing, of course!)

Finally, he's had his fill of conversation with Andress and begins to depart. We can see some tan line and...

...then, sure enough, we find he's been filming the scene au naturel.

This movie is pretty obscure, thus this scene rates as obscure as well. I think there was a mid-'80s VHS release and then nothing until it became available as an on-demand DVD. One bit of trivia: Derek later directed the execrable Tarzan the Ape Man (1981), with Richard Harris and his fourth wife Bo Derek, and this movie has two Tarzans in it! Ron Ely (who allegedly got his hands on Ursula during filming!) and an uncredited Jock Mahoney.  

Speaking of Richard Harris, he figures into our final example. 1963's This Sporting Life examined the rough and tumble experiences of a rugby player, on and off the field. The inset demonstrates how intertwined these gents become during the scrum.

Harris' character is injured early in the film (and he was also knocked out cold during the scene, requiring a day to recover!) While he is recuperating, we're treated - and I do mean treated! - to a gaggle of his teammates knocking about in a nearby spa tub.

These players are still all hepped up from their time out on the field and gleefully wrestle with one another and grasp each other in a rowdy session of horseplay.

Just above them to the left, other players are having a shower...! Today's army of towel-changers and private, curtained stall-washers would probably collapse at the mere notion of any of this bonding behavior.

We're thankful for a record of this unabashed intimacy (and thunderstruck that it's taking place in a 1963 film!)

These performers certainly became well-acquainted that day.

I'm scarcely finished though. In the meantime, Harris is chatting up fellow player Jack Watson.

As they continue to speak, we catch glimpses of glorious glutes in the background!

These locker room sequences are brimming over with handsome, fit men from the team, trotting around in various stages of undress. To the right here, with patterned towel, is popular character actor Colin Blakely. He figures into a later moment with Harris in the spa tub, which is up next.

Harris and Blakely, arms and legs and God knows what all over the place, playfully quarrel over a bottle of beer...

I suspect that Harris had some sort of modestly panel on during this, but can't really tell.

In any event, he and Blakely are careful to contort enough to not show too much.

Even so, it's still quite a stunning sequence, especially for the time.

Perhaps their arms were meant to obscure the camera's viewfinder, but the location of their limbs is also rather erotic.

And as you'll see, so is that beer bottle!

But we're STILL not done...! After enough of this faux-bickering, Watson takes a hose and begins spraying the two men with it.

Right before the water hits.

Blakely doesn't care for this one bit and quickly gets out of there.

But Harris begins to embrace it and stays put while he's washed down by the stream of hose water. Harris was Oscar-nominated for this role, but the statuette went to Sidney Poitier that year for Lilies of the Field. Which brings us to...

The End!