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!


Dan said...

Mantee and Roberts had just the kind of fuzzy, burly bodies that fill my fantasies. Thanks for this deliciously disturbing post.

paintbrush said...

That is some Grade A sleuthing. Well done!

A said...

Pernell Roberts! Big sigh.

Great post!

Ptolemy1 said...

Watching Bonanza it's interesting to me to compare and contrast Roberts with Landon. Roberts wanted more of a chance to show off his dramatic chops (which he seemed to be sure he had), and thought of the show as beneath him. He's either being a brooding brother or has an attitude in many of the episodes, I can't tell which. Landon on the other hand cooperated big time, was goofily charming, participated as director for many episodes and eventually segued himself into that show about the prairie...Landon is remembered much more than Roberts these days. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere. Very attractive man though, the moustache flatters him.

Harris to me was like Heston, one of the ways he proclaimed his machismo was showing off his body. A Man Called Horse (where he's naked a LOT), Wrestling Ernest Hemingway...he definitely didn't' mind. I will also add he made a fab Dumbledore, although my fantasy was always to have had Van Dyke give it a try. Thanks

Gingerguy said...

The sporting life seems a little more appealing to me after seeing this. Actually the shot of all the Ruggers in the tub rang a bell. Robbie Williams from Take That boy band had a good solo career twenty years ago and did an album (cd) cover or inset just like that but all the players were him in different poses. I never know what I will find here Poseidon! As a child I had a crush on Mr Clean so funny to see your reference ( on a real off topic point I was waiting on a table once and had a bald actor showing his Agent Mr Clean head shots). I am not really tempted to watch any of these movies but maybe take a cold shower over Paul Mantee. Now that's a Man

bitter69uk said...

Your research into these matters is invaluable! THANK YOU!

Shawny said...

This Sporting Life is very good. Don't let the word "Sporting" deter you. And I will never forget when I saw it because of the locker room scenes.

Forever1267 said...

Paul Mantee! My goodness, what a chest!

Thanks for the sleuthing, Angels!

Poseidon3 said...

Dan, me, too... I think it has something to do with the sort of friends my father had when I was a kid in the 1970s!

Thank you, paintbrush & A!

Ptolemy1, I used to watch "A Man Called Horse" on TV as a kid all the time, despite those cringe-inducing ritual scenes, because of the skin on display. Same thing "The Naked Jungle," which was on a LOT. As for Landen, he also went on the the successful "Highway to Heaven" (which I couldn't get into)... Quite a run!

Gingerguy, I do try my best to keep y'all guessing as to what's up next, even with the semi-regular topics. That is hysterical about a customer selling himself as Mr. Clean...! I liked a "real" one versus animated, that's for sure. (Baldness was a true novelty back then. Now almost a requirement among some groups.)

bitter69uk, Thanks much! I visited your blog (could not comment there) and enjoyed it. I'm actually watching "Summer Storm" as I type this! I had never even HEARD of it except perhaps peppered into someone's resume. If you wish to share the link: https://ok.ru/video/2560399182363

Yes, Shawny! It's really more of a British "kitchen sink" drama if I recall right. The locker scenes are wondrous. There was once a VERY successful British play called "The Changing Room" filled with nudity (and I think it was done in America, too), though it's never done now...

Forever1267, glad you liked this! Thanks.

Poseidon3 said...

Apologies to anyone who was confused by my typo above. I meant to write "The Naked Prey," which has Cornel Wilde being chased by African natives while wearing practically nothing! However, I heartily endorse "The Naked Jungle" as well as a very fun to watch adventure movie. Thanks!

rigs-in-gear said...

Your blog never fails to tease and please. I love your bathing entries. There's something so dirty about getting clean. Whether it's nostalgic movie-star gossip or a reminder that beefcake is eternal, you always delight.

hsc said...

Thanks for the framecaps from ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS!

On Paul Mantee's IMDb page, it claims that early on he posed for physique photos for two photographers-- the well-known Dave Martin of SF and the more obscure "George Larrieu."

A Google Image search turns up three pages from some unidentified magazine, where he posed for George Larrieu as "Paul Marianetti," his real name, and the text connects him with Hawaii.

IMDb said Mantee won a physique title while in the military in Hawaii, and the photos are basically '50s bodybuilding photos in posing trunks, so this *could've* been just a "mainstream" bodybuilding mag-- though the text calls him "one of our most-requested models," which indicates a more "specialized" audience, in addition to more photos out there.

There's also a single frontal nude photo that turns up on Google Image, but it's possibly a Photoshop patch job. OTOH, it *does* look like the type of nudes Dave Martin shot around this time-- though it could be simply Mantee's head on a similar-sized Martin model's body.

Has anybody ever confirmed an actual set of photos of Mantee done with Martin, who was a big name in vintage "physique photos," and whose work has gotten archived?

Thanks for a great post, Poseidon! Love to all and be safe and well, everyone!

Poseidon3 said...

rigs-in-gear, thank you so much! I'm glad I can still get people in a lather with my posts and haven't yet circled the drain. Ha ha! I do appreciate it.

hsc, thanks much for the added info on Mr. Marianetti (what fun to have pulled those strings!) I have closely looked at the frontal shot you refer to and, while I'm definitely no expert at ALL, it seems real to me! And consistent with other pics of him (including the ones from "The Fantastic Journey.") He was a downright dollbaby in those years, no matter what...! What a snuggable face! (Yes, I made that word up.)

Poseidon3 said...

hsc, I think I have that book (or another one) that describes the way she came to his studio and how he liked to work with a nearly blank canvas. Those (many, many) portraits are part of what led to my obsession with JC. She loved posing and seemed game for almost anything he asked for. Others, even under his guidance, could come off stiff or uncomfortable, but there's something free in so many of her shots. Thank you!

SonofaBuck, I appreciate it! We happened to have PERFECT weather all through the long holiday weekend, so I was hardly indoors at all except to sleep. (That was followed by a tornado this week!) Looking forward to more pool time tomorrow and Sunday. Thanks!

hsc said...

I agree, the alleged Paul Mantee nude looks pretty convincing, at least at the size/resolution floating around the internet. It's definitely not a glaring "cut'n'paste" job, like some "celeb nudes" you find out there.

And the three "posing trunks" photos shot by "George Larrieu" from that unidentified '50s "muscle" magazine are unquestionably Paul Mantee, and appear to have been made and published contemporary to David Martin's active period of producing nude work.

So, the likelihood of the nude image being authentic is strong.

However, the main reasons I question its authenticity are:

1) the first time I heard about it was on a discussion board (Datalounge, IIRC) where people were split, with some saying the build was close but the nipples didn't quite match-- and a B/W photo with a black background is the easiest to fake: and

2) David Martin (who was based in SF) usually shot *sets* of photos of a nude model rather than a single photo, and a large amount of his work has survived and is archived in university libraries and other resources-- as well as Martin's documentation of who his models were (including a number of Stanford athletes).

Therefore, it seems likely that other shots of Paul Marianetti/Mantee would exist, or at the very least, there would be documentation of the modelling sessions in Martin's studio records; and most importantly,

3) IMDb perpetuates a LOT of total crap about performers in their credits, bios and "trivia" sections, and errors are easily introduced and extremely hard to get rid of.


One thing I remember about that George Hurrell book was that he worked around any sort of stiffness that his subjects had by getting them off-guard and NOT posing them.

IIRC, with Crawford he would just put on some records, get her in position under the lights, and engage her in conversation while holding the shutter release cable in one hand-- and then he just grabbed the things her face was doing while they gabbed.

He said that the famous sultry "reclining" shot of Veronica Lake was achieved when she turned up complaining of not having gotten enough sleep. So he had her get all dolled up and "let her take a little nap" on a sofa, with her famous blonde mane carefully arranged around her head on the pillows.

Meanwhile, he quietly got everything in place, and then gently called out to her-- and when her eyes flickered open and looked towards his voice, he clicked the shutter release and got one of the sexiest pinup shots of its day. Without posing.

Man, he was a genius.

Michael R said...

There is a Eurospy movie with Mantee entitled A Man Called Dagger and he is so handsome in it.

Poseidon3 said...

hsc, if the pic is a fake, at least they didn't go for some lunatic version wherein he has a "John Holmes" or something. I mean, I can tell from other projects how he was put together, so it seems reasonably accurate, even if fake. We'll likely never know at this point. Everything about Hurrell and his tactics is fascinating. I never tire of seeing his portraits of the stars. That's neat about (half-crazy) Veronica Lake.

Michael R, I will DEFINITELY be on the lookout for that! Thanks!