Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Richard Gere

What Actors Have Gone Full Frontal on Film?

Viggo Mortensen at the 2008 Chicago Film Festival.

In the 1980 film “American Gigolo,” Richard Gere boldly went where no male actor had dared go before: full monty on film. As Julian Kaye, Richard had a scene standing next to a window in a bedroom (with co-star Lauren Hutton) that started a trend that shows no signs of  abating. It was an important moment in cinema: a break-through,  baring one’s all for one’s art.
Here are 10 examples of Full Frontal since Richard let it all hang out (pun intended).  It does not include those that are closer to porno, like the shower scene in 1980’s “Can’t Stop the Music” with Valerie Perrine (The Village People sang “Y.M.C.A.” in that one, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the film’s quality) and it doesn’t include the edited sequence(s) in “Fast Times at Ridgewood High” or the really obscure Dutch film “The 4th Man” (Paul Verhoeven). The list also excludes “All the Right Moves” (1983) with Tom Cruise and Lea Thompson, where the camera lingered lovingly over the near-naked pair and panned downward.

And, since I’ve mentioned Tom Cruise, it doesn’t include FEMALE full frontal nudity, which has been done  to death for years. If it did, I’d be citing “Risky Business” and the scene with Rebecca DeMornay removing her dress to reveal  she had nothing on underneath, because Tom was not the one showing skin on the silver screen that time. There was also the overly long “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” with Tom Berenger wearing almost nothing and Darryl Hannah literally wearing nothing, but I’ve left it off the list, too, because that  film about missionaries bringing more than just religion to the poor oppressed natives of South and Central America had  Tom wearing almost nothing, but I think there was a loin cloth or some such involved in the scene where he is nearly starkers.

So, who/what are the few, the bold, the Full Monty Minions?

Here are 10 that you can check out at your leisure. In some cases, don’t blink or you’ll miss it/them. Number Ten represents full frontal male nudity, but not from the likes of  Tom Cruise or a Richard Gere (more’s the pity).

1)      Richard Gere, (1980), “American Gigolo” and  “Breathless” (1983)

2)      Harvey Keitel, “The Piano” and “Bad Lieutenant” (Harvey took it off so often that, for a while, people were saying that it wasn’t truly an indie film unless Harvey was nude in it. More’s the pity that the actor enjoying nudity so much wasn’t someone a lot more attractive; you almost had to shout “Put it on! Put it on!” from your seat in the audience.)

3)      Jason Segel, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

4)      Ewan McGregor: “The Pillow Book,” “Trainspotting,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “Young Adam” (And you thought Harvey Keitel was addicted to shedding his clothes at the drop of a plot point.)

5)      William H. Macy, “The Cooler.”

6)      Bruce Willis, “The Color of Night” (swimming pool scene)

7)      Kevin Bacon, “Wild Things”

8)      Jaye Davidson, “The Crying Game” (Is he a he or a she?)

9)      Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises” (One of the most horrifying fight sequences ever filmed.)

10)  Also, although hardly “star” turns, (which the list above is mainly involved with),

let’s not forget the fat guy in “Borat” (Ken Davitian), the phallic scene in “Boogie Nights” with Mark Wahlberg (no, it wasn’t all real), and the guy offering a beer in “Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story.”

So, there you have it: men who will bare their souls…and a lot more…for their art. Actors who have actively stripped to wearing nothing but a smile. Enjoy!

25+ Romantic Films for the Mature Film-goer…

richard_gere_3-330x296In looking for the “Most Romantic Films for Audiences Over 50,” I couldn’t narrow it down to 10, but went for 25 and The Films of Richard Gere. Hope you like it. Let’s hear your nominees!

1)      “The African Queen” (1951) – Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart are Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayer in a Jon Huston-direcxted film based on a C.S Forester novel.

2)  “The Quiet Man” (1952) – John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in a John Ford film.

3)      “From Here to Eternity” (1953) – Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster in the surf on the beach, with an all-star cast including Montgomery Clift, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra in a come-back role, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Warden in a film directed by Fred Zinneman.

4)      “Sabrina” (1954) – Audrey Hepburn in a love triangle with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.

5)      “Picnic” (1955) Who can forget the sexy dance performed by William Holden and Kim Novak?

6)      “Marty” (1955) – Misfit butcher Ernest Borgnine won an Oscar as a less-than-handsome man looking for love, and finding it in Betsy Blair’s Clara Snyder. Paddy Chayefsky story and screenplay.

7)      “The King and I” (1955)- Deborah Kerr as Anne Leonowens and Yul Brynner in the role of his life as King Mongkut of Siam.

8)      “An Affair to Remember” (1957) – Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant as Tory McKay and Nickie Ferrante, and a great theme song.

9)       “Raintree County” (1957) – Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

10)   “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) – Audrey Hepburn as Holly GoLightly in a Blake Edwards-directed film from the Truman Capote novel, with George Peppard as Paul and Buddy Ebsen as the ghost of her past.

11)  “Splendor in the Grass” (1961) – Natalie Wood as Wilma “Deanie” Loomis and Warren Beatty as Bud Stamper, in an Elia Kazan-directed film from writer William Inge.

12)  “Love with the Proper Stranger” (1963) – Steve Mcqueen is Rocky Papasano and Natalie Wood is Macy’s shopgirl Angie Rossini, struggling with the fact that abortion is highly illegal in 1963.

13)  “Dr. Zhivago” (1965) – David Lean directed Omar Sharif as Dr. Yuri Zhivago and Julie Christie as Lara.

14)  “This Property is Condemned” (1966) – A Syndey Pollack film from a Tennessee Williams screenplay, which Francis Ford Coppola scripted and which starred Natalie Wood as Alva Starr and Robert Redford as Owen Legate.

15)  “Barefoot in the Park” (1967) – Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are Paul and Core Bratter in this Neil Simon play, and thenlove breaks out between Charles Boyer, as Victor Velasco, and Mildred Natwick as Ethel Banks, the mother-in-law.

16)  “Love Story” (1970) – Arthur Heller directed this film from Erich Segal’s book (and screenplay) starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.

17)  “Ryan’s Daughter” (1970)- Sarah Miles and Christopher Jones in another David Lean film, from a script by Richard Bolt.

18)   “Grease” (1978) – John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson made summer romance fun.

19)  “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1981) – It was hot the first time, with Lana Turner, and Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson did  this Bob Rafaelson screenplay project justice, even if it does involve scheming to kill Jessica’s husband.

20)  “Dirty Dancing” (1987) – Patrick Swayze is Johnny Castle and “nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Jennifer Grey played Frances “Baby” Houseman (pre-nose-job) and Jerry Orbach was her dad.

21)  “No Way Out” (1987) – Kevin Costner and Sean Young getting it on in a limo. Hot, hot hot.

22)  “When Harry Met Sally” (1989) – Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. The most romantic thing about the movie is/are the cameos at the end with real-life couples who have been together for decades.

23)  “Ghost” (1990) – Demi Moore and the late Patrick Swayze as Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen.

24)  “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993) – Nora Ephron directed Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Later they’d try “You’ve Got Mail,” but not as successfully.

25)  “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995) – Richard LaGravenese wrote the screenplay based on the Robert James Waller novel, and Clint Eastwood was Robert Kincaid, the roving photographer who catches the eye of Iowa farm wife Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep).

And last, but certainly not least, no list would be complete without the category: The Romantic Films of Richard Gere (at least those that worked). “Yanks” (1979); “American Gigolo” (1980); “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982); “Breathless” (1983); “No Mercy” (1986); “Pretty Woman” (1990); “First Knight” (1995). There’ve been a couple of others from Richard that I won’t mention, but “Unfaithful,” where Richard plays the cuckolded husband to Diane Lane’s unfaithful wife, was romantic…just not for Richard.

I would have mentioned “It Happened One Night” (1934) and “Casablanca” (1942), but I added 10 years to someone who is “over 50” (meaning born in 1959) and, while those films definitely belong on the list, you’d be definitely “over 50” and probably over 80, if you saw Clark (Gable) and Claudette (Colbert) when that Oscar-nominated film was new. For today’s movie-goers (of which I am one), let’s not forget the very recent Best Picture of the Year, “Slumdog Millionaire,” a love story for the ages.

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