Saturday, 10 March 2018

Lead Log: Jessica Benton

Lead Log - Introduction
Here is the first of a possible new ongoing feature detailing currently stalled leads ...

The Drama Channel are currently showing the 1970s BBC seafaring drama The Onedin Line (1971-1980).  Out of interest I looked up the credits of one of its stars, Jessica Benton, to see what else she had appeared in.  The Onedin Line was her biggest role in which she played Elizabeth Onedin/Fraser/Fogarty in all 91 episodes.  She also made a number of one-off guest appearance in other TV series during the same decade.

She only appeared in two films.  One of these is an obscure 1974 Dutch film called De 5 van de 4 daagse, also known as De Vijf van de Vierdaagse.  The English title given for it is The Five Are Marching In.  Directed by René van Nie, it is a comedy about four inmates who are temporarily let out of prison to participate in a walking race.  Jessica Benton was playing an art dealer called Marcia Stroud.

The film's IMDB keywords include the vague term "nudity" but I have uncovered no information as to which actor or actress this may be referring.  And so it is not in itself much of a reason to make it seem especially propitious.

So the reason I am flagging this one up as having a higher degree of potential is due to a couple of items found listed on the film's trivia section.

The two pertinent pieces of trivia are:
  1.  Josine van Dalsum was contracted to play a part, but dropped out a few weeks before filming began because she objected when a nude scene was added to the script.
  2. Pleuni Touw, Leontien Ceulemans and Josine van Dalsum were all approached for the female lead, but all of them refused when the role was significantly reduced. English actress Jessica Benton finally took the part, on the condition that she would receive top billing. When first time director René van Nie did not comply, she tried to postpone the release date until contract was honored, but to no avail.
From these two trivia items one is able to infer that if Jessica Benton took on a role that Josine van Dalsum bailed out of because of a nude scene, then it's possible that Jessica Benton agreed to do it.

Now if those trivia items were clues in a logic puzzle it would be the ineluctable deduction to extract from it, but in reality circumstances might have changed for the actual filming or in the final edit.  It might well be that the reason nothing is known about a Jessica Benton nude/topless scene is because it never happened.  However it seems a suitably obscure film that the possibility of an undiscovered scene cannot be fully discounted without further information.

Has anyone seen this film or have any information that might resolve this?

IMDB Links
On the movie poster her name is listed fairly prominently even if she didn’t receive the top billing she asked for.  The top right image shows what her appearance must have been like in the film.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not necessarily buying this story, mainly because Josine van Dalsum is no stranger to nudity and I doubt she would have bailed out of a lead role just because of a nude scene. However, it is entirely possible that Jessica Benton could be nude in it.