Betty's Bath and Other Stories DVD
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Directed by Various
Produced in 1920s
Main Language - Silent
Countries & Regions - American film
Carol Hunter investigates the tale of a film canister, an air-raid shelter and women with a very different body ideal...
This is a unique collection of eight short erotic, silent black and white films made in Hollywood by Cine Art Productions in the early 1920s, using studio stages after hours and starring wannabe starlets.
The films are fun and extremely innocent by modern day standards, and are all about girls disporting themselves without clothes in a selection of situations and stories – on the beach, hiding in caves, dressing up in revue and so on. We were fascinated by the bodies of these beautiful young women from a time with a very different body ideal; basically, they look more like real women.
The highlights are The Idol – a recently married woman’s ‘phantasy’ occasioned by the gift of a statuette from an ex-lover – and Betty’s Bath, in which our unfortunate heroine is trapped in the bath by a rat. Rescued by a passing stranger, Betty then has to deal with the man’s unwanted attention – she proves far more adept at ridding her house of this rat!
Jazz Babies tells how the strip poker-playing girls of Mrs Scrivens’ Finishing School are chastened by the unfortunate appearance of Mrs Scrivens herself. ‘Young ladies, this is a finishing school and you are all finished!’ she declaims.
The collection was found about 30 years ago next to a hand grenade in an air raid shelter in West Hampstead, the reels of film stored in canisters hidden either from the bombs or from prying eyes. The vision of people whiling away the hours watching these films whilst hiding from an air raid is probably fantasy – there was no electricity in the shelter for one thing. But it is still interesting to see that they were counted among the valuables that needed protecting.
They have been much viewed over the years so the quality of the pictures is not great, but that doesn’t detract from the viewing experience. We commissioned an original soundtrack for these intriguing films from leading folk musician Jamie Smith with a brief to push the boundaries of silent film accompaniment in an accessible way. We think he’s achieved that and more.
A unique collection of eight short, erotic silent black and white films shot in Hollywood in the early 1920s by Cine Art productions, using studio stages after hours and featuring wannabe starlets with their clothes off.
They were featured in Kevin Brownlow's wonderful series about early Hollywood made for Thames Television some years ago.
By modern-day standards, the films are fun and innocent and feature girls disporting themselves without clothes in a selection of situations and stories - on the beach, hiding in caves, dressing up in a revue.
The films were found next to a hand grenade in an air-raid shelter!
Contains: Betty's Bath, Desert Nymphs, A Girl Review, Hollywood Models, Jazz Babies, The Idol: A Phantasy, Lingerie, Sirens of the Sea
20% of the profits on the sale of this DVD will be donated to Cancer Research.
Length: 36 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Cat No: FF05
Format: DVD B&W
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