Saturday, April 20, 2013


Apparently this was a thing. From either a simpler time or a time that was a lot more complicated than we thought.

Friday, April 12, 2013


The final movie for AndressFest'13, 1979's 'The Fifth Musketeer', was a controversial one. It was a German production, and the Germans, bless their smutty little souls, had filled it with loads of nudity. The British distributors, who considered themselves to be more morally upright than a bunch of bratwurst-eating perverts, cut out all of the nudity before releasing it. Unfortunately since the incidental nudity was so pervasive, this meant that key scenes had to be deleted, thus rendering the whole plot incomprehensible.

Fortunately the brave and resourceful enablers of AndressFest managed to track down an uncensored American copy, and so we could view this seminal work in all of its prurient glory.

There’s not a lot of point in going into the plot of ‘The Fifth Musketeer’ – it’s basically ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’, only they gave the final release a less interesting name for some unfathomable reason. However it is notable for its... interesting... casting decisions.

Having the two primary female roles filled by Sylvia Kristal and Ursula Andress is a no-brainer. If it's the late 70s and you want naked ladies who are famous for being naked ladies, then Sylvia and Ursula are the natural choices.

It's the male roles that are a little more problematic.

Beau Bridges as King Louis XIV

This casting decision makes perfect sense if you can credit the idea of Beau Bridges playing King Louis XIV. Which you can't. Nobody can. It's like asking Gary Coleman to play Abraham Lincoln, only less hilarious.

Rex Harrison as Colbert

Rex Harrison did his best, but most of the time he looked brittle and uncomfortable, probably because he suspected that he'd be the butt of innumerable 'Dr Doolittle' and 'My Fair Lady' gags for the rest of his career. A prophesy that the assembled AndressFesters were happy to fulfill.

"Why can't a woman be more like a man?"

Oh, yeah, THAT'S why.

Alan Hale Jr as Porthos

Alan Hale Jr was selected to play Porthos not because of suitability for the role but because of synchronicity. His father, Alan Hale Snr, had played Porthos in the 1939 film 'The Man in the Iron Mask', and Alan Hale Jr himself had played the son of Porthos in 1952's 'Sons of the Musketeers'. So when the role of Porthos opened up in 1979, it must have seemed like an in-joke too perfect to resist. It's just a pity that by then everyone on the planet knew him as the Captain from 'Gilligan's Island' and kept expecting him to call someone “Li'l Buddy”.

Lloyd Bridges as Aramis

To be fair, no one could have predicted that within a year Lloyd Bridges would be universally known as The "Looks-Like-I-Picked-The-Wrong-Week-To-Quit-Smoking/Drinking/Amphetamines/Sniffing Glue” Guy.

But let’s face it, the male cast were only there to provide some sort of context for the women. Whenever 'The Fifth Musketeer' dragged a little, either Sylvia or Ursula were always at hand to fall out of their blouses and pick up the pace.

Sylvia had fun as Marie Therese of Spain, but Ursula had the better role as the evil royal mistress Louise de la Valliere, which gave her plenty of opportunities to toss her hair and vamp it up, flouncing about in enormous period costumes then inevitably whipping them off to reveal the naked lady we all know and love.

Ah, bless you, Ursula Andress, and your little cotton socks. Which you never wear since that would detract from the whole “nude” thing.