A “Raw” Look into 7-12/13-1968 in Miami, Toledo, and Pittsburgh – The Streets Are Wild
“Nudity in itself is not obscene” were the words many Adult film makers wanted to hear, and by Mid-1968, the Green Light was raised and the Exploitation Army marched with cameras rolling! While the 1957 Roth decision was official following the judgement of The Garden of Eden, films were still going to battle especially when the subject of Male Nudity was in question. It was obvious that a 1968 Ginzberg case was possibly the last step and that Miami papers were seriously hyping the “Nudity is no longer obscene” line wvwn though it was firmly in the law for a little over a decade.
Although The Raw Ones was released in 1966, it still had a lot of problems trying to get played even if the film was a classic Nudist Colony film where there was no sex but a lot of frolicking around, Classical music, and narration. The main objection, as it was in the more conservative areas of The US, was the showing of Male nudity – which I think was the possible reason why a few seconds made the serious Social/Political I Am Curious (Yellow) was held up even if it was down. Still, by 7/12/68, things were a little more open as seen by this ad for the Nudist film, nicely filmed by the one and only Jack Hill for John Lamb, stating about the Supreme Court Decision about nudity which unleashed a number of films that used those words to justify the existance for many films such as Girls Come Too which wrapped up then-recent Nudist footage around the Irving Klaw/Bunny Yeager flick Nature’s Sweethearts, released by Leroy Griffith’s Monique Productions.
Trivia – The B was Where It’s At., certainly not the United Artists film of 1969.
From 5/29/68 (Toledo Blade) here’s the then-hot news story of the cinema world.
Florida was one of the states that had a strong Nudist Colony Movie scene, and it was only natural that the decision was to be advertised in full effect especially as the Adult/Art movie theaters were finally being allowed to advertise in the the papers that would save space for them. Thankfully, the Miami News was one of them, and the resources on hand can allow historians that have no access to the papers themselves at least have some historical point to see when things happened.
Before moving on to the time in review, here’s another from the Miami News from 9-27-68 with another celebration of the decision. Don’t know too much about The Tramp, but I do know that Harry Novak’s Tales of a Salesman (D: John Lawrence) featured the camerawork of a future Award Winning cameraman going under the name of “William Zsigmond”.
Back to 7/12/78!
Over at the Towne in Miami, a Joseph Brenner double play was with two pretty serious films, the imported Hot Hours (Dir: Louis Felix) and The Seducers, a 1962 film with Shelia Britt (D: Graeme Ferguson)
The Teensploitation flick The Angry Breed was also playing at a few theaters in the Miami area. Starring Jan Sterling, and with a story by the ill-fated Rex Carlton, who passed away back in May, 1968. The film was released by Commonwealth United, a name Exploitation fans should know through films like Jess Franco’s Venus in Furs.
Also in Miami Exploitation and Horror wise: The Thunderbird DI had Hot Bed, The Love Robots, and Piece of the Action. The Love Robots was one of several Japanese films Bob Cresse picked up with this one Directed by the one and only Koji Wakamatsu (United Red Army, Go Go Second Time Virgin). The Hot Bed was a Dale Berry film which features a lot of strippers, Rock and Roll, and a lot of cool stuff going on by the Texas-based Nudie film maker (the film is now with Something Weird Video) and Piece of the Action (Piece of Her Action) was a Jerry Denby film with William Kerwin!
Over on the 79’th Street, it’s The Love Rebellion, one of Joe Sarno’s films for Cannon, and Barry Mahon;s Run Swinger Run – talk about a mix of the good and The Mahon!
Over at the Hi Way DI, there’s a listing saying “Werewolf/Crawling Thing/Evil Creature/Strangler”…the 4’th flick is possibly the Burt Topper production of The Strangler from 1964 with Victor Bruno. Crawling Thing? Possibly “The Crawling Monster” which MIGHT (no conclusions) be The Creeping Terror (I am going by the AFI book’s mention of …Monster being an aka for the infamous crawling costume flick, but what I am sure is that there was the “Crawling Thing/Creature of Evil” show. Enough guessing for now…
Over at the Gayety was An Angel of Love and “co-hit”. The one thing I know of is that Angel… was released by Distribpix and Directed by William Henniger. starring Coral Byrde. by the description in the AFI books, it sounds like a good one with all of the usual ingredients of a Roughie.
At the Ohio, the classic Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein double bill was there, the Westwood had Radley Metzger’s Carmen Baby for the 7’th week, and the Showcase had the big hit of the year with 2001, which was playing pretty much everywhere then.
Dorothy Provine as Bonnie Parker? Hell yeah! For those who did not want to go into the Hippies and Love Rebellions of the day, there’s the good old Crime Flick! Both of these films were from 1958, and future superstar Charles Bronson was already a familiar face on TV and Westerns although by that time his career was moving into films that would see here-and-there play which was happening until 1972’s The Valachi Papers and especially1974’s classic Death Wish turned him into the star he is.
The Drive In Winner was AIP’s Wild in the Streets, playing with The Hellcats at the Regent, Blue Dell, and Mt. Lebanon; Maryjane at the Greater Pittsburgh; and the Tom Laughlin classic Born Losers at the Cinema 22 and Whitehall!