Cider House Rules


Here's a film where all the back stories are more interesting than the film itself.

This film was controversial for a number of reasons. It took a pro-abortion position, and it evoked a measure of compassion for a father guilty of incest with his daughter. Those controversies were magnified under the glass of an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, which was rather unusual for a film which scored only 68% from the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and received only two stars from Roger Ebert. On the other hand, many people loved the film for its big heart and its beautiful photography. James Berardinelli picked it among his top ten of that year.

As for me, I weighed the pros and cons and went with my heart rather than my head. Here's what I wrote at the time:

"OK, maybe Cider House shouldn't have received its Oscar nomination because of some of its faults, but faults or no faults, I am here to ask you to forgive all the film's flaws, cinematic and otherwise, because they just aren't important when you consider the big picture. The film really only has one underlying message. It argues that we should love each other more in general, our children most of all, and we should not create children unless we plan to love them. It delivers that message powerfully and simply, as Irving's novel did.

And when you get right down to it, everything else is less significant than that.

So watch it with your kids and hug them when it's over."

Anyway, there's kind of an interesting story behind the nudity as well. I originally saw this film on an Oscar screener, and that version included a brief but clear topless flash from Charlize Theron. In those days, we never used film clips, and the damned thing was on VHS anyway, because DVD had not yet taken over, so I did some stills, made a crappy collage, threw out the screener, and awaited the official release.

Only one problem. The full scene never appeared on any version of the film, nor in any "deleted scenes." My crappy collage (see below) seems to be the only record that the scene ever existed.

The film is now out on Blu-Ray, and the remaining scene (clip one in the zip file) is still a beautiful look at Charlize Theron's bottom and her pretty face. The other scene (clip two) simply shows where the topless scene used to be. Here's the zip file.



  • * 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.





K.D. Lang film clip (captures below)




Since it is Oscar weekend:

This year's Oscar hopeful, Melissa Leo, as she looked 26 years ago in her film debut.

(captures below)

And another film clip featuring Joanna Frank (captures below)


Scoop's note:

Actually, I'm not sure whether Always was her screen debut. Maybe. Depends on how you define it. Always was first screened at the Toronto film festival on Sept 7, 1985, but hit the theaters a bit later (October 4th). Streetwalkin' was actually released to theaters a bit earlier - September 20, 1985. A TV film called Silent Witness was also in the race, having been aired first on October 15th of the same year.

Just for info, here's a collage from Streetwalkin'

and one from Silent Witness



Film Clips

Katharina Schuttler in The Promise, s1e2 (2011 TV; aired February 13)

Keira Knightley and Eva Mendes in Last Night (2010)

Laura Vandervoort in River World (2010 TV)

Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (2010) in 1080p (see below)

A young Nicole Kidman (age 24) does full frontal and rear nudity in Billy Bathgate (1991),  now seen in 1080 HD She's almost unrecognizable from the similar scenes 8 years later in Eyes Wide Shut.

That Amadeus chick, Elizabeth Berridge, in The Fun House (1981)

Annamaria Clementi in Ishyri dosi... sex (aka "Operation Orient"; 1978; see below)

Rosaria della Femmina joins Annamaria Clementi in another clip from Ishyri Dosi ...Sex


Rita Hayworth in her most famous role in Gilda (1946). She was married to Orson Welles at the time, but he was not involved in this film.

Vanessa Hudgens in Hawaii in 2007 (slight upgrade and some additional images)