The Nude Bomb
“No one can say, now, when the nudity explosion will occur. But when it happens it will be bitter, noisy and exciting.”
~ Murray Schumach in The Face on the Cutting Room Floor, The story of movie and television censorship, 1964.
Schumach gets points for realising that nudity was inevitable. As early as 1964, breasts and buttocks were massed, quivering, on the Hollywood horizon, ready to engulf the town. That very year, Sidney Lumet struck a decisive blow for bareness by forcing female nudes upon the public in THE PAWNBROKER, a film so obviously creditable and worthy and impossible to enjoy, the censor was forced to give way and open the nipple floodgates. Although looking at it today it’s somewhat strange how well-fed the naked ladies of the Nazi concentration camp “joy division” are. But then, Rod Steiger looks pretty well-fed for a prisoner too, especially since presumably he’s NOT supposed to be screwing the guards for preferential treatment. Although you never know, I suppose.
Above we have Dame Nudie Dench, I think playing Titania, appropriately enough, in Peter Hall’s long-vanished film of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Has anyone seen it? Is it dreadful?
For some reason the sentence “Nice rack, Dame Judi!” strikes me as deeply amusing, but I suppose I’ll grow out of it.