• * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.







The Taking of Christina


We have a "Babe in Bondage" day.

For this one the Time Machine goes back to the seventies for "The Taking of Christina" which was an X-rated feature back in the days where they actually used a plot of sorts. Bree Anthony stars as our kidnapped heroine who is tied up and raped. She does however get her revenge in the end. Bree shows it all all with plenty of "Tool Time" action. Caps and a clip.





TV Land

Over in TV Land Alicia Silverstone pays 'Ferguson" a visit and puts on a leg & thigh show. Caps with an HD clip.





Mississippi Mermaid


Catherine Deneuve film clips. Samples below.



Scoop's notes:

MM is a cool movie from nouvelle vogue French director Francois Truffaut. Truffaut was a Hitchcock fan, and once even wrote a coffee table book about the master. In a sense, this film is his homage to the master in that it uses a typical Hitchcock storyline, and was adapted from a Cornell Woolrich novel, following the trail blazed by Hitch with Woolrich's Rear Window. On the other hand, Mississippi Mermaid is actually dedicated not to Hitchcock, but to the French director Jean Renoir, indicating that it's really more about obsessive love than guilt.

It begins with a factory and plantation owner (Jean-Paul Belmondo) on the island of Reunion waiting at the dock for Carole, his classified-ad bride, who is to arrive from France on the ship Mississippi. He knows her appearance from a photograph, but doesn't see her at the pier. Disappointed, he walks back to his car where a stunning woman (Catherine DeNeuve) is waiting, claiming to be Carole. Her appearance does not match the photograph, she tells him, because she had actually sent him a picture of her friend, a less attractive woman, so that he wouldn't decide to marry her for her looks alone. He then admits he also lied by telling her that he was a foreman, so that she wouldn't marry him for his wealth alone.

So they go ahead with the wedding, and everything is blissful for a while. Their marriage goes great, and they put all their liquid assets in joint bank accounts. But then we see her sneak off one day to meet with someone on the island. Who could this be? We don't know. Then something strange happens. Belmondo gets a letter from Carole's sister accusing him of doing something bad to Carole, because she hasn't written or called home in weeks. Belmondo innocently calls home and tells his wife to call her sister, but when he gets home from work that day, an alerted Deneuve has cleaned out their bank accounts and fled the island. Belmondo and the sister figure out that Deneuve was a con artist who killed the real Carole and impersonated her, obviously with the help of an accomplice. The deceived husband and the aggrieved sister jointly hire an expensive detective to track down Deneuve.

The detective has little success at first, but luck intervenes. Belmondo is in Nice recuperating from an illness when he sees a TV ad for a new nightclub, and spies Deneuve dancing at the club as a "dime a dance" girl. He soon confronts her, and she tells the real story of how she ended up with nothing out of the millions of francs she embezzled. Belmondo believes her because she is living in squalor and working hard for poverty wages. He falls in love with her again. Logic tells him he should probably kill her or turn her in, but he sees that she, too, is a victim.

And she is Catherine Deneuve!

There is this little problem, however, in that she's technically a murderess. She and her accomplice tossed the real Carole overboard. And there is also the matter of the detective, who finally catches up with Deneuve, and will not be bribed off the case by Belmondo, because he is also obligated to Carole's sister. So Belmondo kills him and buries him, then goes back to Reunion to liquidate the remaining value of his estate and his business, finally returning to Deneuve to begin life on the run.

This life is not so bad at first, since they have a ton of cash, and nobody knows that the detective is dead, but luck intervenes again. A fluke flood uncovers the detective's buried body, and police begin searching for the fugitive couple in earnest. The police arrive in their room one day while they are out to eat. They realize that they can't go back to the room after dinner, which means they have to leave behind all the cash. In order to remain together, they must thereafter live not only on the run, but penniless as well.

How does it get resolved? You'll have to see the movie to find out, but I think it's fair to say that the ending is not what you expect, and you will probably find it refreshing.

I should now be telling you that you have to own this DVD. The plot is fundamentally an interesting story, written and directed by Truffaut. It stars Deneuve and Belmondo. The breathtakingly beautiful Deneuve takes off her shirt twice. The backdrop includes spectacular locations on the tropical island and in the south of France. And the original 2.35 aspect ratio is now seen for the first time outside of a theater.

Don't get carried away with enthusiasm. The film also has some major negatives:

  • If you have been paying attention to the plot summary, you know that this script has a gigantic plot loophole. We're not talking some minor quibbling point here, but simply a big ol' flub, so big that the entire film makes no sense! You'll recall that Deneuve and her co-conspirator killed the real Carole on the ship, whereupon Deneuve took her place. Unfortunately, this simply could not have happened. They would not have done that because at that time Carole did not know that she would end up married to a rich man. She thought she was going to the island to marry a poor and humble foreman for true love! That means that Deneuve took her place in the hope of conning a poor man. Perhaps the co-conspirators are not the world's smartest criminals, but every criminal realizes that swindling a poor person is not an especially lucrative activity. I haven't read the source novel (Cornell Woolrich's "Waltz into Darkness"), but based on Woolrich's excellent reputation, I don't think such a mammoth error could have been present in the book.
  • Many people have argued that it was not credible for Belmondo to have forgiven Deneuve after she embezzled the money. I actually had no problem with that point, because her explanation was obviously true (she obviously had no money), and because this kind of obsession for a woman is not unknown. I did find the plot's coincidences lacking in credibility: first of all there was the fact that in all of Europe she just happened to end up working in the same city as his sanitorium, and then there was the handy flood.
  • Truffaut did one thing very irritating in his direction. He obviously figured out an excellent method to film the action in a moving convertible. The camera is placed just behind the car, so it can pick up their conversations as well as show the countryside that they traverse. This technique was very effective the first two times he used it in the film, once while driving through city streets, and once through a row of palm trees. Unfortunately, Truffaut just kept doing the same thing over and over again, sometimes for very long stretches. I'll bet 20-30 minutes of this film consists of conversations in moving automobiles.
  • One other thing I found tedious was a very long scene in which Deneuve keeps Belmondo from killing her when they first reunite. She tells her life story up until their meeting at the docks, and essentially the entire scene is done with a "head shot." That was remarkably unimaginative, and the boring, non-visual scene seems to go on forever. If I have to look at a talking head for ten minutes, Deneuve beats the hell out of Jack Black or Clint Howard, but that was a long stretch with no action.
  • The film wasn't well received in the USA in the 70's, but that version had fallen prey to 13 minutes of censorship which made the complex plot and motivations incomprehensible. The DVD (original) version is still complicated, but everything makes more sense now, even if there are a few too many coincidences to be believed.

Those negatives detract from the film's appeal, but they don't keep me from recommending it. No film is perfect, possibly excepting "Shakes the Clown". On balance, Mississippi Mermaid is a worthwhile film, but there is a deal-breaker which forces me to warn you away from this specific DVD. The quality is poor. There are no extras except a trailer. That fact alone would be a major disappointment for a work of one of the masters, but that's not the deal-breaker, which is that the film itself looks bad on this transfer. The source media must have been grainy, faded, and damaged. Apparently, no restoration work was performed to produce the DVD version. That means there is still no decent copy of this Truffaut film! I hope someone finds a pristine print or interneg or something, and creates a properly mastered DVD.



Comments and collages by Mister Grundy

Glamorpusses of Yesteryear!

ANOUK AIMÉE — You might have asked “Who’s That Girl?” as I did when I first caught Fellini’s “8 ½”; Madonna was nowhere in sight, but this woman had the most exquisite face. That part of her is what’s studied in this collage, mainly because she offered little else. The film is from 1969’s fairly obscure “THE APPOINTMENT,” where Sidney Lumet went “Euro” in directorial style, and Omar Sharif developed an obsession over his tres joli co-star.

ANOUK AIMÉE — At least the classy mademoiselle bares a bit of 37-year-old flesh in the little-known MODEL SHOP (1969), without offering the juicier goods. She works as a photographer’s model, where shutterbugs from off the street can come in for an allotted time to snap away. Gary Lockwood, cool and distant as ever, somehow manages to “aime” Anouk.

BARBARA SHELLEY — A pretty heroine from primarily horror films of the 1950s and ‘60s, but woefully not represented in the Scoopy archives, likely because she had the bad manners to remain fully clothed. She repeats her ill consideration here, in 1958’s “BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE,” but at least we can get an idea of how deserving she was of awakening men’s baser instincts. In this film, she certainly catches the “eye” of the hunchbacked assistant.

STEFANIE POWERS — She might have whupped men twice her size as “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.” from around the same time period, but the rickety Tallulah Bankhead easily pushes the 23-year-old around in this 1965 psychological thriller from Hammer Film Studios – how can it miss? The film is “DIE! DIE! MY DARLING!” (a.k.a. “Fanatic”); no nudity, but there’s a “genuine” catfight with the maid, and Stefanie is at her most alluring.

SHARON TATE — What gets lost in the tragic way she is mainly remembered today is that she was a genuine “sex goddess.” Perhaps she has never looked lovelier than as an athletic beach bunny (named “Malibu”) in the lighthearted Tony Curtis romp, “DON’T MAKE WAVES” (1967). There is conjecture that a stunt double might have been used in the scene where Tate takes to the trampoline, and if so, in comparison to views where we know it’s her, it probably doesn’t matter very much.

EVA MARIE SAINT — Tony Franciosa, playing her smitten brother-in-law, referred to her as “Miss Sunshine” in “A HATFUL OF RAIN,” giving an idea of the “saintly” characters she would often play, even with suaver roles, as in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. So that makes it all the more delightful to discover she has exposed some skin, in yet another goody-two-shoes role, as George Segal’s understanding wife in 1970’s “LOVING.” Granted, in order to catch this intimate part while she was 45 or 46, you’ve got to look fast, in a quick frame grab; and in silhouette, to boot.

NANCIE PHILLIPS — “LOVING” (1970) offered Nancie her only role of substance, but at least she did not leave the cinematic scene without preserving her bare wares on celluloid; here, she takes a cue from Charlie’s Angels, and ignores David Doyle, who plays her husband; she lavishes her attention on George Segal, instead.

SHERRY LANSING — Most are aware that the tall beauty broke the mold and became a studio executive, but how many have caught a glimpse of her in her actorly element? Aside from a few television appearances, her role in “LOVING” (1970), as a big shot’s babe, was only one of two feature film stints. She kept her clothes on.

UNKNOWN — Playing a nude model in George Segal’s art studio in 1970’s “LOVING.” Her character’s name is “Ann,” and she even has a line, but older films had the bad habit of being very selective with their credits.

MAI ZETTERLING — At one time a sex symbol, but there appears to be no photos of her in the Scoopy archives. A one-time squeeze of Director Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish actress ultimately left acting to pursue a career in film directing. Yet at age 36 or 37, she graced us with a long shot view of her ample rear end, playing a comedic role, as a woman who distracts Peter Sellers from his wife, in 1962’s “ONLY TWO CAN PLAY.”

HONOR BLACKMAN — Smart, stylish and sexy, she made her mark playing roles in “The Avengers,” and as Pussy Galore in “GOLDFINGER.” In fact, catching her in the 2002 documentary “BOND GIRLS ARE FOREVER” made me want to honor Honor, as it’s not often an older lady could look as stunning as she did in that show. There’s no nudity here, just a study of her from the western, SHALAKO (where she reunited with Sean Connery, in 1968), and a quick peek of Ms. Blackman in granny mode, from 2000’s “THE SIGHT” – when she curiously showed her age a lot more than in the documentary that made me perk up.

SUSANNAH YORK — At the time she started going for older roles, as when she played Superman’s Kryptonian mom, she still demonstrated that when you bite into York’s Peppermint Patty, you’d get a sensation – especially as Alan Bates’ 39-year-old sex slave, in “THE SHOUT,” from 1978. The British blonde was thankfully not coy about shedding her outerwear, and she does not disappoint here.

SHIRLEY JONES — Usually sweetness and light, Ms. Jones went a little against type in 1960’s “ELMER GANTRY,” playing a vengeance-seeking sweet and light prostitute in an Oscar-winning role. No nudity, but a taste of Shirley, at 25 or 26, in rare “sexy” mode.


SHIRLEY JONES — Playing a widow with three sons who makes naval commander Gig Young want to get all hands on deck, in 1963’s “A TICKLISH AFFAIR.” Carolyn Jones must not have been happy about playing second banana to Shirley’s glamor girl, who looks pretty nifty in her very short shorts.

INGER STEVENS — Three years before her untimely death from what appears to be suicide, this beauty born in Sweden, in the role of a missionary, was brutally ravaged by a not-entirely-convincing George Hamilton in 1967’s Civil War potboiler, “A TIME FOR KILLING”; she was 32 or 33, and offered a teasing look at what lay within.

SOPHIA LOREN — In her role as a fast-talking thief who confounds an appealing Marcello Mastroianni, the curvy cut-up lets the bombshells explode in 1954’s Italian comedy, “TOO BAD SHE’S BAD” (“Peccato che sia una canaglia”); Sophia was only 20, at her seductive prime, and we get to see her in a cumbersome bathing suit. The bouncy tune she sings, “Binga Banga Benga,” dangerously implants itself in the brain.

VERONICA CARLSON — For an actress whose claim to fame was unabashed sexpot, primarily in Hammer horror films, there’s hardly a sign of her in the archives… probably because she insisted on modesty, mainly trading off on her cleavage. In 1975’s “THE GHOUL,” one of her last films when she was 31, Veronica plays an assertive partygoer who winds up in a spooky mansion, in line to meet Peter Cushing’s cannibal son. No nudity.

DEBORAH KERR — This classily beautiful Brit often played prim-and-proper roles, so it may be a kick to catch her in what may pass as wilder moments. In 1959’s “BELOVED INFIDEL,” where she played F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lover, Kerr affords a look at her swimwear-clad body (surprising some with her curvaceousness, at age 38), and even gets a spank from leading man Gregory Peck.

JANICE RULE — Once promoted as a sex symbol, she’s barely known today; she couldn’t help but gain attention as the erotic and flirtatious party girl wife of Robert Duvall, in “THE CHASE” (1966), when she was about 35. Here, she nicely cuts loose in a form-fitting dress. Around the same time, the striking actress also shined as Dean Martin’s heroine in the Matt Helm film, “THE AMBUSHERS.”




Donatella Versace (warning: have eye-wash handy)

Abbey Lee Kershaw (Aussie fashion model)

Britney Spears ... nipples


Film Clips