Sunday, April 9, 2017

Christopher Jones: Double Feature

I had never heard of actor Christopher Jones until last week. Alberto, a poster on DC, shared images of Christopher modeling nude in the 1968 movie, Three in the Attic. I liked the CFNM element to the scene and after reading a bit about the movie, wanted to find a copy of the movie. It is not really that strange that I had not heard of Christopher, with the exception of one small role in 1996, Jones' carrier really only spanned about 5 years between 1965 and 1970.

His roles may have been minimal, but his screen presence certainly was not. In the few moments I have watched so far, Jones has a strong and intensely sexual presence on screen, something not lost on those promoting his films. I have not seen The Looking Glass War yet, (it is quite expensive on Amazon) but as you can see from the poster below, Jones in tight, unbuttoned jeans were certainly seen as a selling feature.

The Looking Glass War (1970)

I look forward to finding a copy of the film, which also featured Anthony Hopkins. One of the scenes that comes up most when I searched was what looks like an interrogation scene with Hopkins and another actor trying to get info out of the jeans wearing, but shirtless Jones.

Sometimes when you research an actor, you don't find much except info on their movies, but Jones, who died in 2014, had a life far more dramatic than most of the roles he played don television and on screen. After his father was sent to a state hospital for putting a gun to his head, Jones and his brother were taken into care and place in Boys Town in Memphis. As a young boy, Jones became a fan of James Dean after constantly being told how much they looked alike.

Growing up in State care, Jones didn't have a lot of future options and ended up joining the army as a teenager. It didn't last long however, and he ended up going AWOL which led to a one year sentence in military prison. After his release, Jones headed to New York to start an acting career. Jones got his big break starring along side Shelley Winters in a 1961 Broadway production of Tennessee William's The Night of the Iguana. Jones went on to co-star with Winter's in Wild In The Streets. (1968)

Winters introduced Jones to actress Susan Strasberg, daughter of Lee Strasberg. Jones later went on to join Strasberg's famous Actors Studio, and married Susan Strasberg in 1965. Soon after he headed to Hollywood and landed the lead in the series 'The Legend of Jesse James' and upon the shows cancellation, began his work in film. According to wiki, the oddest part of Jones' career occurred after being cast by David Lean in the film 'Ryan's Daughter.'

'The two men (Jones and Lean) had a difficult relationship, as did many actors who worked with David Lean. This intensified when production of the film took 12 months instead of the expected six because David Lean would wait for the right composition of clouds or the perfect storm to brew. Unknown to Christopher, he was drugged during his filming of Ryan's Daughter by Sarah Miles, according to her first autobiography A Right Royal Bastard, which caused Christopher to believe he was having a breakdown. Jones also was involved in a car crash, not knowing he had been drugged. The director and producers never informed him of the drugging. Later, Lean would dub his voice, causing a bad reputation for Jones.'

All of the trauma took a toll on Jones, and his career. He abandoned his acting career and focused his energies into painting, art deco and sculpting in clay. Quentin Tarantino tried to lure him out of retirement for a role in Pulp Fiction, but Jones declined. He did step back in front of the camera briefly in 1996 in a role in Trigger Happy for his friend, director Larry Bishop. Very sad his career ended so early, I can only imagine what movies would have lay head for Jones in the 70's and 80's.

Three In The Attic (1968)

'In the swinging sixties three girls discover they have the same boyfriend who has been playing around with them all while vowing fidelity to each. To teach him a lesson he won't forget, the trio contrive to lock him up and continually favour him with their attentions in turn.'


Anonymous said...

Oh, my--Christopher Jones!

Three in the Attic (which actually came out in 1968, not 1960) was released my sophomore year in college, and played at mainstream theaters. I went with a friend, expecting shlock--which it is--but also knowing we'd see some elusive male butt, which was not all that common in those days.

I've carried fond memories of Christopher Jones and his lovely body with me for nearly fifty years, and was sad years ago when I read of his death. (And if that sentence doesn't make me sound like a doddering old fool, I don't know what would.)

Anonymous said...

It was interesting that there was schools that had the ROTC as alternative to nude swimming. In our school there was no choice -- get naked or fail. The first few times were a bit awkward but soon we looked forward to freedom swim.

During my years in college I worked in Hollywood as an extra. Had no aspirations of a career but it was easy money with lots of sitting around time that was good for studying. With all the hoopla about women and casting I find it interesting that little has been said about men. It was not unusual for the casting call to include stripping to your underwear (bikini underwear was popular then so it was quite a sight) The production didn't havre to have an underwear or even shirtless scene, it was just the director getting his jollies. Behind closed door auditions were sometimes more demanding than underwear or even nudity. Featured extra parts paid more so some directors would give them out to the guys with knee pads(if you get my drift) Many guys quit the business not wanting to participate. By the way, it wasn't only males expecting favors from the guys - there were a couple females that expected it too.