From Show Biz to Sunday School
By Sharon Leann Wyatt aka Sharon Leigh
LINDA AND THE BARROOM BRAWL part 3
Once again Linda gave it her all, but her effort was in vain. The action was still going strong all around the bar room set, and Linda tried once more, but it was to no avail, and the director wasn’t about to let this continue. If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been a very funny bit, but the script did not call for any comic relief, and the director yelled out a furious…”cut!”
I had noticed Linda’s difficulties, and just knew the “cut” was due to her not being able to lift herself up on the bar. I felt for her, but could do nothing in her behalf. The director rose out of his chair, and stalked across the set toward poor Linda. Linda was never one to back down, especially when she knew she was right. So she stood her ground as she pointed out that the bar was armpit high, and that she was no gymnast. She also reminded him that she had suggested that the actor she was with lift her up on the bar at the given time, thus saving the shot. “You didn’t listen to me, and now look at the mess we’re in.” The director backed down, and actually apologize loud enough for everyone to hear. The scene was started over from a place a few beats before Linda’s faux pas, and finished without a hitch, with James Drury, lifting her to the bar top, and the stuntman receiving a blow harder than it normally would have been had Linda not been so angry at the “darling” director! Linda and the stuntman (goose egg and all) became fast friends from then on. He always said he was glad to be on the good side of a lady who could deliver a blow like that with the candy glass bottles.
Oh yes, that gunfight that I was in the middle of, well, I survived, and that stuntman in the saloon girls clothes, well he was the one that was hurled through the window. That five minute fight took all day to shoot, by the time they did all the close-ups of fists, bodies, and bullets flying. And they say Hollywood glamorizes the old west!
BEACH BLANKET BIMBOS
In the mid-60s Hollywood was just beginning to stretch its wings. Censorship was loosening the reins of their moral code, especially on the dress code. At one time too much décolleté and the navel were not considered proper, and therefore were not shown. I am speaking of television. There was an entirely different set of rules for the movies, which provided a little more room for their artistic expression. I use that term loosely. Therefore, “Bikini Calls” were becoming more and more prevalent. I’m certain that the term “bikini call” is self-explanatory. Even the moviemakers were finding use for the “bikini call,” and would be sure to find a place in the script, where bikini-clad cuties could romp about playfully.
It was very obvious to me, and many of my confederates, just why these scenes were being included in the story lines. Clearly as we were doing these ridiculous directions given us, the crew was getting their jollies. In many other cases it would be the actors who would insist there be calls for itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikinis just so they could find their jobs just that much more, for the lack of a better word, stimulating! I despised these calls! There was nothing worse than hearing the casting directors say the word bikini, in describing the mode of dress for the day’s work. Not only did these calls come up in the dead of winter, they were usually jobs on the set, and not at all outdoors. And somehow, on a rainy day in February, sitting or cavorting around a pool doesn’t sound at all enticing.
So the bikini became a necessary part of the extras wardrobe. I went out of my way to find something not too small, a discrete one with plenty of ruffles and bows. Some how…..(continued next month)