"That's not Kat Germain as the nude dead woman in Small Town Murder Songs. She
plays the other cop's wife and is very much alive when her role came up (the
credits are in order of appearance which confirms this). The character's name
for the nude woman is Melissa but no actress is credited for that role. My
theory is the filmmakers recuited one of the local strippers who'll flash her
bush on camera for a thousand bucks."
Here's another film I watched for a Russian class. This one is a quirky
comedy and it features a pretty crazy nude scene. It takes place in Tel
Aviv during the first Gulf War, and
the two main characters
end up getting turned on by making whoopie during the SCUD attacks,
while wearing gas masks. The woman is named Evelyn Kaplun. See below.
A Tale of Two Actresses
Bonnie Bedelia and Meryl Streep are about the same age, and played
the same kind of parts when they were young. Both are good,
sensitive kind-eyed actresses who also happen to look good, but Bedelia was a
hare and Meryl a tortoise in the career race. In 1973 nobody had
ever heard of Meryl Streep, but Bonnie was a constant presence on
both daytime and prime time TV and had also been in some big studio
movies, including Lovers and Other Strangers, and They Shoot Horses.
Bonnie took some time off to raise a family, but Meryl still lagged
far behind. By 1976, Bonnie had established a career AND had borne two children, while Meryl was still unknown. And then Meryl exploded. Here's what Streep
did in the next five years:
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Still of the Night (1982)
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Here's what Bedelia did in that same period:
The Big Fix (1978)
The tortoise won the race. To stay consistent with my rubric, "A
Tale of Two Actresses," I should predictably note that the
1977-82 period was the best of times for Streep, the
worst of times for Bedelia.
Bedelia would win acclaim for her performance as Cha-Cha Muldowney
in her 1983 comeback film, Heart Like a Wheel, and she would later
pick up some face recognition from her role in the mega-popular Die Hard films,
but she would never again be considered in the same casting
as Queen Meryl, who would become enshrined in acting Valhalla.
I'm not saying that Bedelia was a good an actress or would have
become as big a star as La Streep, but I believe Bonnie's career
could have had a radically different trajectory if she had not taken
her extended maternity leave. She might well have become an A-lister
or an Oscar winner, or both.
So it goes.
By the way, her real name is Bonnie Culkin. Yes, those Culkins. Her
brother, Kit Culkin, is the father of the Home Alone kid and his siblings.
This was Bedelia's kinda-sorta topless scene in Lovers and Other
Strangers. (See below.)
I took a date to see this movie in 1970, but I don't remember a
damned thing about it other than the famous Carpenters song (you
know the one - it began "Love, look at the two of us ... ") which
dominated the soundtrack. I also remember that it was filled with
familiar faces, and was written by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor,
who had originally brought it to the New York stage as a play.
That's it. That's all I remember. I don't even remember whether I
By the way, IMDb says
1. Lovers and Other Strangers was Sly Stallone's
first appearance in a non-porn film. He was an extra.
2. Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna are still together. They will
celebrate their 46th anniversary this Sunday!