Donald says they didn’t do it
I guess with the passing of Ms Taylor this week, it makes me, us?, all a little nostalgic for how they used to do it old school styles. Literally.
Have mentioned it several times before but if you’re interested in how it works in Hollywood, you should learn about how it USED to work first. Back when Jack Nicholson swaggered around LA with a heavier, and much younger, cock. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind. It’s a must.
And now a new book called Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex) that touches on that era will soon be released by Peter Bart, former editor of Variety. In a memorable passage, he writes about the infamous love scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie from Don’t Look Now. For years people have wondered whether or not there was, um, actual penetration. Bart says he visited the set that day and had access to the director Nicolas Roeg:
"It was clear to me they were no longer simply acting: they were f-cking on camera."
According to Bart, he then had the following whispered exchange with Roeg:
Bart: Nic. Don't they expect you to say "cut?"
Roeg: I just want to be sure I have the coverage.
Bart: His dick is moving in and out of her. That's beyond coverage. (Source THR)
Now you may think this is the best thing you’ve ever heard in your goddamn life. But it gets better. At the time, Julie Christie was dating Warren Beatty. Beatty saw a rough cut of the film and lost his sh-t about his lady’s lady bits being too exposed.
This is WARREN BEATTY. Complaining that a woman – his woman – was being portrayed too graphically???
Please tell me you can appreciate the amazingness of this anecdote.
Bart claims that Beatty charged up to the studio and demanded to participate in the editing process himself. This line is an instant classic:
“I want to cut the movie with you, pussy hair by pussy hair..."
F-ck! Why doesn’t this sh-t happen anymore???
Well, according to Donald Sutherland, it never happened at all. He has issued a denial of Bart’s account.
"Peter Bart mendaciously writes that he witnessed the shooting of the love scene in Don't Look Now and saw sex. Not true. None of it. Not the sex. Not him witnessing it. From beginning to end, there were four people in that room. [Director] Nic Roeg, [DP] Tony Richmond, Julie Christie and me. No one else. Wires under the locked door led outside, and this was 20 years before video monitors." (Source THR)
I guess some things you want to leave in the 70s.
The book comes out in May. I’m all over it.
Also, if you’re curious about That Scene, click here but do note, it’s very, very not safe for work.