Gold Diggers of 1933

Brainscan’s comments and collages (and film clips in the Funhouse members’ section):

Gold Diggers of 1933 was one of the last movies to make it into distribution before Hollywood decided to enforce the Hays Code, largely in response to local, state and federal government censorship, or threats along those lines. This movie is, in many ways, precisely why Martin Quigley and Father Daniel Lord wrote the Code in the first place (in the cruelest of ironies, Father Lord’s motivation as a Roman Catholic priest was to protect children). No one back then was filming bare breasts or bare behinds, but what many producers worked to do was skate the thin edge of nudity. Movies used uncredited and scantily clad chorus girls, women in dressing rooms, stars in lingerie or in the tightest-fitting costumes and an occasional profile of nude women in silhouette. Gold Diggers of 1933 checks each of those boxes.

Let’s start with Joan Blondell, who never, ever disappointed, and sho’ ’nuff she does not in Gold Diggers. One short scene early in the movie has her put on nylons,

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but a longer and more revealing scene showed her in a nightgown, brushing her hair – carefully brushing to reveal as much side-boobage as anyone could imagine.

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That gal was something and, as her career from 1934 onward shows, she had dramatic and comedic talent out the wazoo, without the need to get almost nekkid to get hired. Born 50 years later, she would have had an entire wing of the Funhouse devoted to her.

So that’s a start. Gold Diggers also has one chorus gal in skimpy clothes,

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a bunch of ’em in a dressing room

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and a bunch more in a routine that is supposed to have the gals undress behind a backlit curtain. We get to see unmistakable boobage in silhouette.

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Another of the movie’s stars, Aline MacMahon, also spends some time in lingerie (and in a bath tub, but she might as well have been in an overcoat for all we can see). Not perfectly sure, but it seems we might have some nipplage barely covered by silk.

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And then there is Ginger Rogers. I had no hope of seeing anything at all from Ms. Rogers, and sure enough as she sings some stupid song in pig latin you see nada.

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A short scene in which she is kind of, sort of disrobed by a guy sent to confiscate all the costumes and props of a live show also reveals nothing much… until you pay attention to south of the equator. Let’s just say Ginger wears some of the tightest fitting and flimsiest shorts you can imagine, so that as she moves, they also move… into some intimate regions. Yup.

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Gold Diggers is a silly, fluffy movie made 4 years into the Great Depression with a message that we’d be okay, all of us, very soon. Uh, no. So far as the title is concerned, three of the four women in the movie are indeed Gold Diggers by the Kanye West definition, for two of them marry heirs to a fabulous fortune and another hooks up with a guy just a rung lower (he is the family’s lawyer). They spend no time at all with impecunious fellows.

Scoop’s captures and notes on the nudity:

The Blu-Ray version of this film makes it very clear that at least some of those women behind the screen were topless.

Look below at number 2 from the left and the farthest right (and that woman on the far right has some shapely figure):

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And below, center, is the distinct outline of a nipple. That alone was risque by 1933 standards.

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The full scene hints at other possibilities

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Scoop’s notes on the film:

The historian William Manchester called 1932 America’s worst year. It was the very nadir of the Great Depression. Families were starving. Able-bodied men, unable to find work, were forced to stand in breadlines. Cheery films like this were meant to be an anodyne for our psychological suffering.

As seen in that light, it’s kind of an odd film in that the musical numbers progress in a reverse order, from optimistic to pessimistic. The first number is the snappy “We’re in the Money,” filled with lovely women wearing coins and dollar signs, giving off a message that “this depression is no match for our spunky spirit.” The last number is the somber, depressing “Forgotten Man,” which portrays the brave men who put their lives on the line in WW1, men who were still able and willing to work, but were forced to resort to charity in order to feed their families in the Great Depression. While the number celebrates their bravery, it also laments the society’s inability to reward them accordingly for that valor. I actually finished this film feeling kind of sad. I think it made the damned depression even more depressing.

It’s not much of a movie, but I always tell people to watch it just to see Busby Berkeley’s choreography. His musical production numbers are always so lavishly over-the-top that they can’t fail to bring a smile to your face. They are filled with infinite lines of chorus performers moving in precision formations, and they always include some overhead shots of the patterns formed by the dancers as they create a living kaleidoscope or some recognizable figure. And these numbers always were as sexy as the censors of their era would allow, as covered above by Brainscan. Granted, some of you may be laughing because the numbers are so ridiculous, but I figure a laugh is a laugh, irrespective of whether you consider his work genius or kitsch. (I vote for both genius and kitsch, making him the Bill Shatner of choreographers.)

Rita Moreno did very little screen nudity in her lengthy career. Her only nipple exposure, for example, was accidental. That’s a shame because these near-nude captures from the closing scene of Marlowe demonstrate that she really had an impressive figure.

(Well, at least her legs were great. In a previous post from this film. Some of the commenters noted that her breasts appear to be prosthetics.)

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I love the stories of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and most of the movies made from them, but I did not love this film. It’s not because the plot is confusing and riddled with holes. That’s true of almost all of the Hammett and Chandler works. They are all about the atmosphere and characterization, not the actual cases being solved. The problem with this version of Chandler’s “The Little Sister” is the re-imagining of Philip Marlowe to suit the skill set of Jim Garner. As opposed to Bogart or Mitchum, who were laconic cynics, Jim Garner just wouldn’t stop babbling, bantering and conning. He was basically Jim Rockford and/or Bret Maverick. Garner was to Marlowe as Roger Moore was to James Bond – too flippant, too jokey.

I also would have preferred to leave the story in the 1940s instead of having Marlowe deal with hippies in the late 60s. I suppose that was a cost-saving move, since no sets had to be altered or created to turn 1969 LA into 1969 LA.

One of the surreal aspects of the film was Bruce Lee as an colorfully dressed mob enforcer who threatens heavily armed men with his martial arts expertise, ala the famous scene in Raiders. At least the guy in Raiders brought a sword to the gunfight. Lee doesn’t even have a throwing star, or anything else that can work from more than six feet away. Needless to say, this peacock is only useful for doing a bunch of fancy kicks and chops before he is eliminated. Jim Garner actually taunts him by telling him that he looks kind of gay, and I had just been thinking, “Is this character supposed to be a gay stereotype, or is he supposed to be so clueless that he doesn’t realize he is ridiculous?” I never did get it.

Per Variety: “Bo Hopkins, the actor who has appeared in classics like ‘American Graffiti,’ ‘The Wild Bunch,’ ‘Midnight Express’ and ‘The Getaway,’ died Friday. He was 80 years old.”

Weirdly, the facts surrounding his demise are in dispute. The Hollywood Reporter says he died Saturday, and was 84 years old. Take your pick. Wikipedia chose the “Saturday at 84” option.

I had more or less forgotten him, and the images from these articles reminded me of how much he resembled Alexander Skarsgård.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” Director Teases Slasher Film Plot

“Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” will see Pooh and Piglet as “the main villains…going on a rampage” after being abandoned by a college-bound Christopher Robin. “Christopher Robin is pulled away from them, and he’s not [given] them food, it’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life quite difficult.”

“Léa Seydoux has several nude scenes in the new Mia Hansen-Løve film Un beau matin aka One Fine Morning.

Just over half an hour into the film, Léa is shown naked from behind while lying horizontally on bed. About 10 minutes later, Léa is seeing someone off when she shows them her breasts to try and entice them to stay. Later on, Léa is naked and grinding on top of someone for a bit.

Un beau matin is currently playing at Cannes.”

from “Recapped

From my mailbox:

Hope you can help on this one.

I’ve been re-watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker and every time a comely guest star is on the show, I take time to look them up to see if they’ve done anything in their careers.

Well, I ran across Lara Parker of Dark Shadows fame, who apparently starred in a Showtime late night soap opera called A New Day in Eden (1982-83) for one season of 66 episodes. It was billed as “TV’s first “nude” serial” along with other shows during that time like Romance and Loving Friends and Perfect Couples (1983).

The main reason I bring this up, is apparently this is a ‘lost show’ (along with Loving Friends, which only has one episode on YouTube, and that one edited). Also, I mention it because every episode apparently had one of the main cast or guest star showing some skin. Lara Parker apparently has a few episodes where she’s topless as well. There were other known soap actresses in this show as well who showed a little something as well. This show has very little information on it in IMDB and I had to go to secondary sources to find out anything about it. The forum I found apparently has the most detailed information on it online (as well as brief clips from promos for the show), as well as some other mentions of Lara’s nudity and some bits about the show.

I know you’ve managed to unearth some lost movies and scenes, hopefully you might be able to do so again, apparently there are a bunch of 80’s and 90’s cable shows lost to time that were never released on home media and if someone didn’t record it when it was broadcast, they’ll never be seen again.

I’m still looking for another late-night cable program about a office worker who sneaks into his office on the off hours and gets it on with a robot secretary which is against company policy, all I remember about it, it played before Kiss of the Spider Woman (if memory serves) other than that I don’t know anything else about it. But I digress.

I’m sure if it still does survive someone has it on a rotting VHS in their basement that has never been digitized, but who knows maybe some intrepid fan took the time to cap something / anything from the show so it’s not ‘lost to time’.

Thought I’d put it out there to you and see if you’d have better luck that I’d have had.


Unfortunately, my answer to this interesting query was “I got nothin’.” I don’t even remember this show at all, which is odd because I was a Lara Parker fan. Anybody else have something to offer?

(Mr. Skin also came up empty-handed.)

This Italian site says it is available on Canale 5, for what that’s worth.

Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney are all leaving the show. The first four are pursuing other opportunities in showbiz, while Mooney has been offered the all-night shift at White Castle.

Kidding aside, this is a seismic shift in the SNL tectonics. Che is the (co-)head writer, McKinnon is arguably the most talented cast member, and Davidson has achieved rock-star status on the show, on the level of Murphy or Belushi.

This is a made-for-Netflix series about Clark Olofsson, the controversial Scandinavian criminal who inspired the term “Stockholm syndrome.”

You may be familiar with that Chuck Barris biopic, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” which combined what was really known about Barris with his own fanciful tales of his secret life as an assassin. That resulted in a movie that was not a comedy, and in fact often assumed quite a serious tone, but created a sense of dark-comedic absurdity by taking all of Barris’s claims at face value.

This series proceeds from a similar premise. It assumes that all of Olofsson’s claims about his life are true and proceeds from there. In this case, as opposed to the Barris film, there is a light tone and a constant wink to the audience – sometimes literally, when the lead character breaks the fourth wall. As a result, it seems less like the story of a violent lifelong gangster than a Hal Needham film about a good ol’ boy who happens to be Swedish.

There was some brief, weird nudity in episode one, but I’ll get back to that later.

Let’s begin with episode two, which featured

Sophie Apollonia

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and Hanna Bjorn

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Episode three contains two scenes with Agnes Lindstrom

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And episode five brings back Hanna Bjorn for a second spirited session of sport-humpin’, and this one could be a candidate for our year-end list.

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Finally getting back to that scene in episode one – I don’t know what to make of it. CGI vag? Beats me. The actress is Sandra Ilar.

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This is a new HBO mini-series which takes “true crime” drama into a second derivative. It’s not really about the Kathleen Peterson murder, but rather about the making of the documentary that was made about the case, although such an approach also requires it to tell its version of the fatal incident, the investigation, and the murder trial.

Next year, we will probably see a documentary about the making of this drama about the making of the documentary about the case.

And so on.

I have HBO Max, so I tried to get into it with the best of intentions, but could not. I got halfway through episode one, got bored and gave up, but I did make clips of the nudity in the first three episodes. (Well, episodes one and three. Episode two has nothing.)

Toni Collette’s body was autopsied in episode one. You know how that goes. At the moment, there’s no way for me to say exactly how much of Toni appears in these images. Is it Toni covered with prosthetics? Is it a lifeless object molded from her body? I guess we will have to wait for the special features of the documentary about the making of this drama about the making of the documentary about … something. I forget what exactly.

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Toni has two brief scenes in episode three:

She is getting a massage and turns over, briefly exposing her breasts.

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Colin Firth eats her ass.

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R.I.P. Naomi Judd, age 76

I kinda feel that I write the best baseball obits, and can usually find things to say about old-time movie and TV stars that other people miss, but I’m out of my league here. The AP, linked above, did a much better obit than I could have.

As to the cause of death: “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.” People have interpreted that to mean “suicide,” although that has not been stated explicitly. Suicide does seem to be a reasonable inference, not only because of the cryptic wording of the daughters’ statement, but also because Naomi had discussed it the the past.

I see her name every day, but I don’t really know who she is. One thing I do know: she looks good naked.

There is a controversy circulating on the internet that Olivia Casta is not a real person at all, but might actually be the nom de toile of Maria Tretjakova, a 30-something Russian model who is using the Faceapp teen filter to make herself look younger.

(As the good lord intended when he gave Faceapp to Moses as a supplement to the famous commandments. It was years before anybody understood the technology because it turns out that god is pretty smart, as evidenced by that whole “creating the universe” thing. Fortunately the app was preserved, first in the Ark of the Covenant, then later in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong Pizza restaurant, until Al Gore came along. Some say that Gore invented the internet just so he could use Faceapp to look younger.)

I will have to ask my own secret identity, Socrates “Sock” Puppet, whether the Tretjakova/Casta thing is true.

Oops. I guess it’s not a secret any more.

Bill Murray behaved inappropriately? There’s a shocker! Don’t you hire Murray BECAUSE he will behave inappropriately?

(Kidding aside, I guess judgment should hinge on the nature of the inappropriate behavior. I am assuming he didn’t go full Polanski, but I don’t know that.)

I think you history buffs will find a lot to hate in this article.

Robert E Lee had some successes, but was not an especially effective general, and there are far greater ones left off the list. Two examples might be England’s Henry V and America’s Andrew Jackson. And I hear that Genghis Khan guy was pretty good, not to mention Hannibal, Frederic the Great and Jan Sobieski.

Napoleon? Well, he’s on the list and Kutuzov isn’t, but the last I heard, Napoleon invaded Russia with 600,000 men and was lucky to return with his horse and a couple of stale baguettes. Kidding aside, he left about 500,000 of his men dead in the Russian snow. As I’ve noted several times, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was arguably the single stupidest thing any human being has ever done – in any field, not just restricted to the military. So he was bold and won many victories, but is maybe not the best general of all time.

(Yes, I know that Andrew Jackson was a despicable human being, but his military record was astounding. I suppose you could posit that his legendary victory at New Orleans was the result of incompetent opposition, but either way it was one of the most impressive triumphs in military history. He cobbled together a rag-tag army, and absolutely slaughtered a force of 8,000 British regulars, losing only 13 men in the process. For decades, January 8th and July 4th were celebrated with almost equal fervor.)

All comments and collages by Brainscan:

Students and faculty in the film department where I went to college talked of this movie with deep reverence and the sort of high falutin words otherwise reserved for the work of Eisenstein and Orson Welles. Beautifully written, wonderfully directed and photographed, edited and acted with consummate skill by everyone involved, and since one of the actresses was Marilyn Monroe at her most vulnerable – and she is in just about every scene – a healthy male cannot keep his eyes off the screen.

Clark Gable plays the part of an alpha male, a silver-backed primate with powers diminished and eyes grown cloudy. He was feeling his age, both actor and character. Within weeks of the movie’s completion, Gable was dead.

Monroe and her character were frightened and fragile, so clearly doomed that even someone who knows nothing of Monroe would have to feel the pain she shows in her face throughout the movie. Some scenes are terribly hard to bear, knowing as we do that Monroe would be dead from an overdose in a matter of months. And the last scene when Monroe and Gable ride away together is impossible to watch more than once. She looks as though she should be happy but she knows it is all temporary, this moment with him, and she knows what is to follow. Yikes, it hurts to think about. And Gable has the look of a man who knows he has won the prize again, one last time before the end comes so very soon.

Anyway, enough of this brouhaha. Marilyn gets very close to revealing her natural wonders a couple of times and now that The Misfits is on HD, I grabbed it and threw together a clip and a few collages.

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Scoop’s comments:

The film was released in February of 1961. Clark Gable had already died by then, leaving behind a pregnant, much younger wife. (His grandchild, Maria, was born two years before his son, John Clark!) Marilyn Monroe would follow him during the next summer, at the tender age of 36. In four more years, Monty Clift would complete the trifecta among the film’s stars when he was found dead in his apartment. He was 45.

They were three of the most troubled people in Hollywood.

  • Gable’s psyche never recovered from the grief he experienced after the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, in a plane crash.
  • Although Clift died of heart disease, his last 10 years, following his 1956 car accident, were called the “longest suicide in history” by his former acting teacher.
  • I’m sure you all know what happened to Marilyn.

Ain’t that the truth!

I used to watch a lot of Westerns on TV in the late 50s and early 60s. Even though I have not heard most of the theme songs since then, I can still sing a couple dozen in their entirety, even when I can’t really recall the show. I’m not just talking about The Rebel and Have Gun Will Travel, because those songs became charted hits and still pop up now and then. I mean the really obscure ones that I’ve never heard again in the past 60 years. For example, I can sing the themes to Johnny Ringo, Bronco (Layne) and The Adventures of Jim Bowie, although I can’t picture anything about the shows. And the songs bring back vivid memories of the old shows I really liked, like Sugarfoot, Yancy Derringer and Cheyenne. If the lyrics to the theme songs from Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp were poems or snippets of prose, I’d never remember them, yet I seem to remember every verse verbatim.

My favorite was one with quite a touch of bittersweet poetry:

Cheyenne, Cheyenne, where will you be campin’ tonight?
Lonely man, Cheyenne, will your heart stay free and light?
Dream, Cheyenne, of a girl you may never love
Move along, Cheyenne, like the restless cloud up above.

The wind that blows, that comes and goes, has been your only home.
But will the wild wind one day cease and you’ll no longer roam?

Move along, Cheyenne; next pasture’s always so green.
Driftin’ on, Cheyenne, don’t forget the things you have seen,
And when you settle down, where will it be? Cheyenne

In a similar, less personal vein, if you have ever run into an occasion where the theme songs to The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island have come up, you realize that almost every baby boomer can sing these songs word for word, note for note. That was an old-time thing wasn’t it? So many shows used to have theme songs that explained the entire premise of the show.

People even recall the tune and words for songs they used to hate, like Copacabana. It is an amazing phenomenon, and not always a pleasant one, as you know if Seasons in the Sun has ever become an earworm.

Shocking, politically incorrect, crude, insensitive, unfiltered – and always fucking hilarious.

Gilbert’s roast of Joan Rivers, in which he even manages to crack up the prickly Greg Giraldo:

The Post paid homage to Gilbert’s most tasteless jokes.

Norm MacDonald spends two hours with Gilbert on the former’s podcast:

Part 1

Part 2

(In that podcast, Gilbert turns out to be a surprisingly good mimic. I read somewhere that in his early days as a comic he insisted on coming out last, whereupon his entire act consisted of mimicking and ridiculing the other comics. Allegedly, Seinfeld refused to appear in any show that also included Gilbert.)


As I mentioned in a previous post, my friend, who has mainstream tastes, rated CODA about an 11 out of 10, and didn’t really like any of the other nominees that much. She ranked Belfast second, but a distant second, and King Richard third. She totally despised Licorice Pizza and Power of the Dog.

I am also OK with the choice of CODA. I liked it a lot, and I might have voted for it myself, although I’m not sure because I liked some of the others as well, and I haven’t watched Drive My Car yet. CODA is basically an entertainment picture that is at heart a typical coming-of-age picture, albeit involving some atypical people. (CODA is an acronym for Children of Deaf Adults.) It has some deep underlying themes, but never preaches, and it buries the messages subtly inside a good story. It is totally family-friendly, in addition to being totally accessible to mainstream audiences. Even the critics liked it (95% at RT), which is unusual for a schmaltzy Disney-like story. I’m fine with heart-warming material. I still cry when I think about Old Yeller. Anyway, I haven’t really heard of anyone who saw it and didn’t like it. The only really critique of it is that it is neither bold not challenging. Of course, few people have seen it, but I hope the Oscar will change that.

Will Smith – what can you say? He had the best moment of his life and the worst only a few minutes apart. This was supposed to be his night to get respected, and instead the world sees him as a cowardly little bitch, sucker-punching a guy who is much smaller and obviously can’t fight back in that situation. Rock stayed amazingly calm. Man, it’s a good thing Will and Jada never attracted any attention at the Golden Globes. Imagine how Will would react once Ricky Gervais started in on Jada and her pretensions!

Rock’s joke wasn’t mean-spirited. It was just cutesy, and presented no reason for that kind of reaction. On the other hand, Rock did make a mean joke about Jada on a previous Oscar night, and Will may still have been seething about that one.

The tepid alopecia joke Rock made tonight:

“Jada I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”

The mean joke he made in 2016:

“Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”