Film Directors With Their Shirts Off: Monkeybitch Uncovered


Something for the ladies! The long-unawaited return of our highly irregular Film Directors With Their Shirts Off presents Joseph L. Mankiewicz, or as Louis B. Mayer not too affectionately called him, Joe Monkeybitch, on the set of CLEOPATRA.

Everyone averts their eyes in awe of their director’s magnificent bosoms.

I’m pleased to note that Liz Taylor will feature in a BBC4 series, The Screen Goddesses, which profiles several of the usual suspects (Monroe again…), but does include Clara Bow, which is practically neolithic by TV standards. It’s great that they’ve taken the trouble to look at someone most of their audience won’t have seen in action. The clips in the ad had all been cropped to 16:9 regardless of their original aspect ratio, but at least they weren’t all from speckly old trailers.

The other bit of news relating to this image is that Mr. Monkeybitch will soon feature in a festive edition of The Forgotten. Can you guess which picture?


12 Responses to “Film Directors With Their Shirts Off: Monkeybitch Uncovered”

  1. David Boxwell Says:

    I was actually hoping for a pic of a shirtless Rouben Mamoulian on the set of CLEOPATRA, especially since his surname positively jiggles.

  2. His mamoulian glands remain unphotographed so far as I know.

  3. Rod Serling’s “Carol for Another Christmas” has been MIA for 48 years, and is finally popping up on TCM. Is this the forgotten one?

  4. It is — I have a distinctly sub-par copy of it, but it’s clear enough to appreciate some very strong scenes and performances in this oddity.

  5. Is there any photographic evidence of Rod Serling with his shirt off? He’ll be smoking a cigarette regardless.

  6. specterman Says:

    Ah, I was hoping it was the much neglected People Will Talk for the Forgotten spotlight. Can’t remember if it has any festive elements but it does have Cary Grant playing with a train set.

  7. People Will Talk may be neglected but it does have the perfect Mankiewicz title (adapted for the career study Movies Will Talk).

  8. I was hoping it would be There Was a Crooked Man about which Monkeybitch quipped “Why not just call it Joe Mankiewicz’s First Western ?”

  9. I never really cared for that one. Mank had been very insightful and sympathetic towards his female characters throughout his career, and then this rather loutish thing comes along… it’s like his equivalent of Frenzy.

    But The Honeypot is an amazing late film.

  10. The Honey Pot is a Masterpiece! Sexy Rexy and Monkeybitch team again with Susan Hayward(so teriffic in his House of Strangers) Edie Adams (clearly playing Monkeybitch’s idea of what Marilyn might have been like had she straightened herself out and “married well”), Cliff Robertson (before Begelman’s check-forgery spree), Maggie Smith (yes, she was young once — hard as that may be to believe today) and Capucine !

  11. Frankly, I have seen Monkeybitch’s PEOPLE WILL TALK a few times — and hate it. The low point, for me, is Cary Grant conducting Brahms, and showing a look of illumination when he realizes that life is stirring within young wife Jeanne Crain’s belly.

  12. Some unkind person once said “Maggie Smith was so beautiful… today you’d have to spread her face out on a table to see what she once looked like.” A cruel comment but an arresting image.

    I hope all you TCM viewers stateside will be tuning in for Mr Serling and Mr Monkeybitch’s magnum opus.

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