FH readers are aware how much I love holiday images and DreamCap's Jimbo suggested I check out some of the old calendars from COLT. I did just that! Above is a shot from the 1981 calendar, but on the next page, we go back thirty years to 1989. Check it out on PAGE 2 HERE:
'On Halloween in the seaside town of Wells Harbor, Maine, Rynn Jacobs is celebrating her thirteenth birthday alone in her father Lester's house.'
First off, there is no male nudity in 1976's The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. But... there were two actors who peaked my interest, and a very interesting story about the films one brief nude scene. Directed by Nicolas Gessner, the 70's horror flick is considered by many as being an underrated gem, and also as the film which presented Jodie Fosters's first great performance.
Filmed in rural Quebec, on a very small budget, the film focus's on 13 year old Rynn (Foster), a child who's absent poet father and secretive behaviors bring about suspicious from her conservative small-town neighbours in the the Maine town in which the movie is set. The movie was originally adapted at a play, as you can see how well it would on stage as you watch. There are only really four main roles, all characters who get great opportunities to shine.
As a fan of Foster's, I heard of this film, and seen promotional images, awhile ago, but it was only this past year, with a cable airing, that I finally watched. It was creepy, it was silly, it was incredibly engaging. The acting was first rate, maybe especially by the late great Canadian film and stage actress Alexis Smith.
Foster, 14 at the time of filming, is also incredibly engaging as Rynn and both of her male co-stars, Scott Jacoby and Martin Sheen really intrigued me. Martin plays the skin crawling creepy Frank Hallet, a man with a little too much interest in the 13 year old Rynn. Soctt Jacoby plays Mario, the young magician who's also drawn to Rynn, but in a more murderous, but age appropriate way...
I knew that I had seen Jacoby before, but couldn't quite place him. A quick IMDB search solved the mystery. Although Jacoby had many great roles in the 70's and 80's, it was his turn, over 20 years later, as Dorthy's son Michael Zbornak on The Golden Girls that triggered my déjà vu.
Scott is the half brother of actors Billy and Bobby Jacoby. I featured Billy on FH in a piece about 1985's Just One of the Guys. (HERE:) and also loved his role in 1981 Bloody Birthday (HERE:) in which Jacoby's character murders the stunningly hot, and naked John Avery, just after having sex in a van.
Some of you may also know Scott from roles on The Rookies, Trapper John M.D and Marcus Welby M.D. Scott also co-starred with Martin Sheen 4 years later in That Certain Summer. (1973). In that film, Jacoby plays a teenager who discovers that hi father is gay. Hal Holbrook played his father, and Sheen played Holdbrook's character's lover. I haven't seen That Certain Summer yet, but will add it to my long list.
Oh, and about that nude scene... it wasn't one of the male co-stars, but it was Foster's character Rynn. Although Foster was only 14, and her character only 13, they included a rather creepy (word of the day) nude scene of Foster nude in a love scene with Mario. (Jacoby). The stories are that Foster wasn't thrilled about the scene so her mother suggested using Foster's sister Connie, who was 21 at the time.
The scene was incredibly controversial at the time for the film's release and was edited out of some copies of the release. Although there were rumors Foster walked off the set in protest, Gessner claims Foster only regretted the scene after it was shot, not before. Foster's request that the scene be deleted was denied by the Canadian producers of the film. I'm of two minds, it was gratuitous for sure, but it also made sense given how adult like Rynn was portrayed. It also added to the ick factor which was part of Rynn's interactions with both Mario, and especially Frank.
If you like character driven horror you may enjoy The Little Girl Who Live Down The Lane, I certainly did. I also didn't realize how hot Martin Sheen was, and at certain moments is the spitting image of his son Emilio. This of course had me looking for Sheen nude scenes, two of which I found. Check them out on PAGE 2 HERE:
'When we arrived on Fire Island, we headed directly to the house in Cherry Grove that we used as our base. The boys practiced their recruitment pitches while changing clothes and we took off for the beach in search of models.'
Last weekend, I introduced FH readers to New Manhattan Studio's work with Ethan. (Summer Rewind). As I noted in the piece, I chose to began at the end of the summer, with Wes' August shoot with Ethan in The Berkshires. Ethan's journey to modeling however, was exactly mapped out or panned. It began earlier in the summer, with NMS's Alex connected Staten Island college student on Facebook.
'Alex and I had been working together for about a year when we decided to head out to Fire Island to see if we could recruit any new models for the studio from the beaches and boardwalks. We would recruit in the morning for a photo session in the afternoon. Alex asked Ethan to join us, and since neither young man had ever been to Fire Island, each jumped at the chance to head out there on a Saturday morning in mid-June.'
'Landing on Fire Island for the first time is a rite of passage in New York’s gay community. After a couple of hours in the car and a ferry ride from Long Island, the dock lined with rainbow flags signals that you’ve arrived in Oz. There are two sizeable gay communities (out of many) on the 25-mile long barrier island: Cherry Grove and The Pines. They are separated by more than a mile of wild dunes.
'It was early in the season and the beaches were still lightly populated at this hour; finding potential models was harder than anticipated. As we passed through the unmarked but well-known area between the Grove and the Pines, the few people on the nude beach were people you didn’t want to see on a nude beach. Still, it was Fire Island and there were a number of attractive men out and about that Saturday morning. To draw attention to our effort, we began shooting Alex and Ethan, frolicking in the surf.'
'The recruitment pitch was an abject failure, however. Each person Alex and Ethan approached quickly rebuffed them. I was struck by how swiftly and resoundingly they were striking out. After walking the length of the beach between the two communities, we left the beach and headed into The Pines for lunch. Walking the boardwalks we discovered that we were not alone in our attempts to recruit models. Every other post seemed to sport a flyer for a major porn production company, post cards were everywhere, recruiting models for a video being shot on the island that weekend.'
No wonder Alex and Ethan's solicitations were being so quickly rebuffed! At lunch, Wes sat down to reassess his goals for the day. In the end, he decided it was best to abandon the recruitment effort. To salvage the trip however, and the fact he had his camera, a great location to shoot, the decision was made that Alex would be the focus, and model for the day.
'Fire Island’s notorious Meat Rack, where most of these photos were shot, wends through a wild stretch of sandy dunes and dense scrub brush between the two gay communities on the island. It’s about a mile of winding paths leading through at-times dense overgrowth.'
'Without being graphic, it is possible to see just about anything along the Meat Rack; it’s an open-air carnival of cruising and sex alfresco, day and night. It’s also a physically attractive area, largely desolate and starkly beautiful. It is a perfect venue for shooting our type of work.'
'We found a pleasant glade just off the path. When Alex began posing with a tree trunk he attracted a small audience of appreciative onlookers. Traffic through the rack was light that afternoon but there were curious passers-by. Some kept on moving along the path as if embarrassed by the unexpected nudity, most noticeably slowed their gait to enjoy the passing view, some stopped to watch the nude model at work. One appreciative onlooker was Ethan. When he saw how much fun Alex was having as a model, he decided he wanted to get in on the action, too.'
'And thus came to pass Ethan’s first modeling session. It would not be his last. The boys left the island that night with memories of modeling in the surf and dunes and hundreds of photos documenting their first trip to Fire Island.'
Ethan's portfolio was one of the original galleries on the New Manhattan Studios site. Ethan also made an appearance in one of Wes' first books, and his art nudes have long been available in the Art Prints galleries. Wes says however, that they held back from heavily promoting their work with the 20-year-old out of deference to his privacy given Ethan's decision not to pursue modeling.
Six years later, Wes feels it's time to bring broader attention to the images, and his work with the striking young model. This includes a new book Ethan, just released on Blurb. Check out the preview HERE:
It's always interesting to me to see which actors I'm drawn to, when, and most importantly why. I of course have known of actor Martin Sheen since I was a kid. I certainly heard of Apocalypse Now and knew of his politics and of course his sons Charlie and Emilio. I hadn't however, really seen him in much.
I've attempted twice now to binge The West Wing. I always enjoyed the episodes I watched, (4 so far) but never felt compelled to continue. I will plow through one of these days, the show is referenced so often, I want to watch more. I watched a few episodes of the first season of Grace & Frankie, but again wasn't really drawn to continue. I liked it, I just didn't love it. This show to, I hope to return to at some point.
It was watching and writing about The Little Girl Who Lived Down The Lane that for the first time, had me wanting to see more of Sheen. Sheen was great in the 1976 horror flick, creepy and totally memorizing in his role as Jodie Foster's far too attentive next door neighbour.
No Drums, No Bugles (1972)
In researching Sheen, despite his long career, he appears to have only two nude scenes on his resume. I knew of his nude scenes in 1979's Apocalypse Now, but hadn't seen or heard, of his nude scene seven years earlier in 1972's No Drums, No Bugles.
In the film, Sheen plays a West Virginia Farmer who objecting to the Civil War, leaves his family to live on his own in a cave in the woods. As you can see from gif above, at one point Sheen runs naked through a field after taking a dip in a near by pond. I attempted to find a DVD of the flick, but it was only released on VHS. The place I could find a copy was on Youtube, which is what I made to make the poor quality caps below.
In researching Sheen for this piece, there were a few, two in particular, of his credits that have me wanting to check out. The first is Badlands (1973) below, in which he co-stars with Sissy Spacek playing a James Dean like character on a killing spree. I was also intrigued reading about the 1975 TV movie Born Innocent, in which Sheen plays an escaped mental patient who kidnaps a teenage farm girl (Linda Blair), who eventually becomes his friend and lover. Both sound like they could be interesting.
'In 1959 a lot of people were killing time. Kit and Holly were killing people. He was 25 years old. He combed his hair like James Dean. She was 15. She took music lessons and could twirl a baton. For a while they lived together in a tree house. In 1959, she watched while he killed a lot of people.'