There was a time I thought old black and white movies never contained any nudity. But I was wrong. I learned how wrong I was while watching an old black and white movie called "Tarzan's Mate". Now you probably think I'm just talking brief loin cloths here. But I am not. No, I am talking full nudity.
Yes people, Jane is swimming buck naked in that movie. I am serious here. I'll admit you never got to see much more than her naked rear end. But still, where the hell were all those censors they were supposed to have back then? Not that I am for censorship, I hate it in any way shape or form. But, how in the blazes did they get away with showing Jane's naked butt? I was always under the impression that in those days a nude scene such as that would have would wound up on the cutting room floor. Yet there she was, naked butt flashing in the sun dappled water.
Another thing I noticed, even before the naked butt scene, was that Jane's little loin cloth only covered the front and back of her lower anatomy. Her thighs were like totally exposed. I was shocked. It wasn't the naked thighs themselves that shocked me. No it was that those naked thighs were in that old of a movie. But then the naked swimming scene came up, and I knew I was going to have to rethink my attitude towards old moves. Maybe even watch a few.
Once I got over the shock of Jane's being naked, I noticed that Tarzan wasn't naked with Jane in that scene. And that bothered me. How come Tarzan got to keep his loin cloth on? But Jane didn't? If Jane was naked, then by heaven's Tarzan should have been too. It is only fair and equal. Doesn't this smack of discrimination to you? I hate that when they show the women naked and not the men. It hacks me off. If you are going to make a film with scenes that appeal to the baser nature of men, then by Odin's eye patch, make scene that appeals to the baser nature of women as well. Or better still, why not just ditch all the gratuitous nudity and make a move with a better plot. I personally prefer a movie with a good plot, to a movie with a bunch of naked women, or men for that matter.
I'll tell you something else that bothered me, those gorillas weren't real gorillas. They were actually men in very very bad monkey suits. Most of the other animals appeared to be the real thing. But not the gorillas. Why was that? I mean they had real elephants, lions, rhinos, etc. But the damn gorillas were fake. And really bad fakes at that. If anyone reading this knows the answer to my question please e-mail at email@example.com and let me know. It bothers the hell out of me that just the gorillas seemed fake. I think that alligator, or crocodile, I'm not sure which, was real most of the time, though in some scenes I did wonder. But the gorillas were always obviously fake. Why?
I also couldn't help but think that at the rate Tarzan was killing off the wildlife in that movie, it isn't any wonder so many animals in Africa are becoming extinct. About the only kind of animals I didn't see him off were the elephants, the monkeys and the fake gorillas. I tell you, this movie was filled with violence. He even killed a young rhino. With nothing more than a knife. Of course the violence was not in such graphic detail as it would be now. But it was there none the less.
The violence itself isn't what bothered me though. As long as we have violence in our society we will have books and films made about violence. And you know, even if we had no violence in our society, who's to say some author or film maker wouldn't invent it? No what bothers me is a lot of folks hold these older movies up as examples of what is considered good family viewing. Yet there was Jane with her naked butt flashing in the sun dappled water, and Tarzan killing wildlife off left right and center. And if I were a young mother who was concerned about nudity and violence I would probably think it safe to let my child view that old movie. Well after this, my advice to young parents is this, better watch that old black and white once yourself if you are concerned about nudity and violence. What is in some of those old movies just might surprise you.