Saturday, 29 March 2014

British Films With Alternate Versions

The Ubiquitous Marianne Stone - An Unexpected Discovery
If, like me, you have watched a lot of British films from the 1960s and 1970s you may have noticed the name of Marianne Stone cropping up in the credits in a huge number of them, nearly always playing a small supporting role or bit-part.  A count of her IMDB credits shows she appeared in over 200 films.  Her earlier films were done before nudity became more common and by the time the seventies came around she was already into her late 40s/early 50s.  So even though she appeared in her share of the saucy ones from that later era, her roles never required any nudity.  Thus it seemed, despite her prolific appearance count, she had managed to miss becoming a member of the proverbial "nudity club".

But a recent discovery has changed that because it has emerged that she did in fact appear topless in a 1959 UK film called Jack The Ripper.  Or more specifically in the alternative scenes filmed for the foreign market version of that film.

Whilst British censorship rules didn't allow nudity to appear in mainstream films until well into the 1960s, other countries in Europe were more relaxed about it and so sometimes certain scenes would be shot twice, the second time with less clothes.  One such film is the aforementioned black and white horror movie Jack The Ripper (1959) starring Eddie Byrne as a London detective and Lee Patterson as a New York detective come to help him.  Alternative scenes were filmed featuring nudity and more violence for continental audiences.  In one such scene set in a music hall chorus girls' dressing room, a fight breaks out between two of the dancers.  One of them is Marianne Stone who is playing an alcoholic dancer asking around for gin and she is seen topless as she stands up after the music hall manager breaks up the fight.  A number of uncredited chorus girls are also seen topless as they get changed and later as they watch the fight.  In another scene actress Dorinda Stevens has her left breast briefly exposed when a licentious lord pulls down her top after pouring champagne on her, and in another scene unlucky new dancer Jane Taylor is seen with one breast exposed from a torn dress after meeting an untimely end when she runs into Jack the Ripper in a dark alley.

These alternative scenes exist with French dubbed dialogue, which in the version I have seen have been incorporated into the UK print to replace the original scenes (with subtitles used to translate them back to English).  So at various times in the film everyone suddenly starts talking in French whenever there is going to be nudity or additional violence involved.

Marianne Stone

This has inspired me to put together a list of the other films I know of with alternate scenes or versions that involve additional nudity.

In Chronological Order.

The Flesh and the Fiends (1959)
Starring Peter Cushing, June Laverick and Donald Pleasence
This film tells the Burke and Hare story and has two versions featuring a couple of alternate clothed and unclothed scenes.  One scene is set in a tavern with some inn girls and a barmaid seen topless; and another has some topless girls in a brothel scene.  All are uncredited.  The only credited actress seen topless in the continental version is June Powell.

An example of the version differences featuring uncredited extras

Beat Girl (1960)
Starring David Farrar, Noƫlle Adam, Gillian Hills, Christopher Lee
Two versions exist - the full 88-minute version and an edited 78-minute version.  In the full version a couple of topless striptease dancers appear.  The shorter version cuts out the nudity scenes and some racy dialogue rather than having alternate versions of scenes.

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
Starring Janet Munro and Leo McKern
There are two versions of this film.  In the UK version Janet Munro is seen fleetingly topless in a bathroom mirror reflection while drying her hair in her room.  In the version of the scene done for the USA she is covered up.

It is sometimes thought there is a version of the film in which she is seen much more openly topless while leaning over a washbasin washing her hair because there are apparent screenshots showing this.  However what these appear to be are on-set stills and I don't think there is a version of the film that actually includes those shots.

Janet Munro

During One Night (1961)
Starring Don Borisenko and Susan Hampshire
When this was shown on late night BBC2 in 2003 it quite surprisingly, for such an early 1960s film, had an openly topless scene in a bedroom featuring Joy Webster as a prostitute entertaining a shy WW2 American airman stationed in Britain, and later on a rear nude scene with Susan Hampshire.  Although I don't know for sure, it seems likely that there must have been clothed alternatives of these scenes filmed for a UK release version.  But if so then it seems, in this instance, it is the racier version that prevails.

Joy Webster

Susan Hampshire

Devil Doll (1964)
Starring Bryant Haliday, William Sylvester, Yvonne Romain and Sandra Dorne
The international version of this film has additional and alternate scenes with nudity.  Sandra Dorne is briefly seen topless in bed in an extended version of a scene in the UK version.  There is an alternate topless version of a scene involving Pamela Law who is wearing lingerie in the UK version of the same scene.  And there is an extra scene involving a woman (Trixie Dallas) whom a stage hypnotist mesmerises into doing a striptease.

Pamela Law

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967)
Starring Barry Evans and Judy Geeson
This film has a scene in which Judy Geeson is lying topless with Barry Evans as they kiss on a riverbank after going skinny-dipping and they are bothered by an inquisitive dog.  An alternate version of this film uses a different take of this same scene in which she is wearing a shirt when the dog bothers them.

Corruption (1967)
Starring Peter Cushing and Sue Lloyd
The UK version has no nudity.  There is a scene where Peter Cushing visits a Soho prostitute whom he kills for her glands which he needs to restore the looks of his wife.  The prostitute is played by Jan Waters and she remains clothed.  There is however another version of the film entitled "Laser Killer" in which the prostitute that Peter Cushing visits is played by a different actress called Marianne Collins, who appears topless.

Corruption vs Laser Killer

Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
Starring Mark Eden, Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff and Virginia Wetherell
It seems likely that there would have been a racier version of this film.  Some of the scenes at a raucous house party seem made for nudity and yet the girls unaccountably keep their bras on.  And earlier on a girl is wearing a strange body stocking suit while participating in an outdoor chase game with some men in the grounds of their house.  When Mark Eden arrives they explain what they are up to and she is referred to as being "naked" when clearly she isn’t - so probably another version was filmed but the dialogue wasn't adjusted to fit.

A photo still possibly shows that a racier version of the sacrifice scene was filmed - it shows three of the actresses topless whereas in the film they remain covered in some way.  The existing version retains a small bit of nudity but it seems likely there was much more filmed.  However, if a racier version was ever fully assembled then it seems to have been lost.

Curse of the Crimson Altar

This run down continues in the following post ...

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