Sunday, September 17, 2006

Things That Aren't Scopitones, But Should Be

The scopitone aesthetic -- sleazy sexploitation presented as wholesome family entertainment -- was, as I've said, not limited to Scopitones themselves; it was an integral part of '60s entertainment, with stripteases in family-oriented musicals and all. The Matt Helm movies were full of this kind of family-friendly leering, as in this scene from The Wrecking Crew where Sharon Tate has to humiliate herself and even Dean Martin looks a little embarrassed for her -- or maybe he just hates Hugo Montenegro's music as much as I do:

Or this truly appalling number from The Pleasure Seekers, a musical number that really -- especially since the movie isn't a musical -- has no purpose whatsoever except letting Ann-Margret shake everything that's shakable:

Someone really needs to psycho-analyze '60s entertainment and explain why this weird combination of wholesomness and sleaziness became the hallmark of the era.

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