The 1960s: Groundbreakers
Comments by Scoop this
Splendor in the Grass
Beautiful Natalie Wood raised eyebrows with this scene,
which was scandalous at the time
The Pawnbroker was not just scandalous - it
was officially "condemned" by the Catholic Legion of
Decency, which of course made it "must viewing" for
teenage perverts like me. This was the movie that
totally shattered the taboo and the "code" - it
presented lengthy exposure with no coy camera tricks in
a movie with the Hollywood cred of an Oscar nomination,
plus a highly respected director (Sydney Lumet) and a
name star (Rod Steiger).
It turned out to be an excellent, somber movie dealing
with weighty matters, in which Rod Steiger delivered the
performance of a lifetime, so I'm glad the Legion
unwittingly directed me there, but the nudity was not at
all erotic. The titular Pawnbroker is a Holocaust
survivor who sees a prostitute naked, which causes him
to have flashbacks to his naked wife, who was raped by
Nazis and subsequently died in Auschwitz.
So not really your basic teenage jack-off fodder.