Saturday, March 12, 2011

Internet Research

Here's an example of why internet access is a boon to writers, despite all the crap out there. 

In the pre-Hayes Commission days, the 1934 movie "Tarzan and His Mate," starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan, had a four-minute sequence in the middle of it that featured Tarzan and Jane swimming around in the local water hole. Tarzan had on his loincloth, but Jane was nekkid. (Actually, there were three versions of the scene shot, so that locals could pick the one they wanted to avoid obscenity laws when they screened it. Pretty quick, all three versions were excised after complaints from the League of Decency.)

Eventually, Ted Turner bought the film rights, found the cut footage, and had it restored.

Tarzan grabs Jane's dress and tosses her into the pool from an overhanging tree branch. She loses the dress, hits the water, and he dives in after her.

They swim around under the water. It's pretty tame by today's standards. You can see Jane's backside, but the water is murky and dark enough so you don't see much else, and certainly not at normal play speed in theaters or on TV.

For a while, I thought that was O'Sullivan herself, but eventually found out that it was an Olympic swimmer,  Josephine McKim, who doubled her. Not so much for the nudity aspect, but because the underwater scenes needed a good swimmer who could hold her breath and do the acrobatics. 

And all this information is on the net, if you but ask the right question ...

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