Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2021 October 06 • Wednesday

Here's another Tempo magazine, again from the venerable Bookstore Restaurant in Cape Cod. This one has a May 1958 cover date.

Of course my primary interests were in the censored movies and hot rod articles but there were some other interesting items as well.

For instance, even though it had been a few years since the death of James Dean, the back cover challenges us with the question, "After James Dean, What?".

It's not meant to be rhetorical and the answer was apparently Rock Hudson. While he did end up a big star he wasn't a James Dean type.

Perhaps the most startling thing in here is this proto-punk hairstyle that's apparently a reaction to Sputnik.

The 1950s were really weird.

What about the censored movies that American soldiers overseas are flocking to? Well, not much. The examples given are And God Created Woman, Baby Doll, Smiles of a Summer Night and Passionate Summer.

Passionate Summer is the only one not known to me but the others, well, their only crime seems to be that sex is a subject in the movie. It's talked about and strongly implied but never shown, It might turn out not to have occurred at all.

In Baby Doll, for example, banned by the Catholic Legion of Decency but also a freakin' Tennessee Williams movie, the only original screenplay he ever wrote, Eli Wallach felt that his character in the movie did not actually have sex with the title character. That wasn't the impression I had from watching it but of course there's no actual evidence to support either view.

Smiles of a Summer Night is a freakin' Ingmar Bergman movie. That probably tells you all you need to know about how much of a turn-on it is.

And God Created Woman does actually star Brigitte Bardot so maybe there's something there. But I saw this movie back in the '90s at the French Insitute in Manhattan and while it might have caused some shortness of breath in the 1950s, I think it would be pretty tame in comparison to what soldiers stationed overseas would be likely to experience in their actual lives.

One soldier is quoted as saying, when asked about Baby Doll, that "It wasn't as sexy as they said it would be". Another one said he didn't like it but found it to be dull, not dirty.

And a censor is also quoted as asking, presumably rhetorically, "How much morality must we give up for the sake of morale?" One suspects that the censor is so pleased with morality/morale there that it didn't occur to him that if the two are in such heated conflict then morality might need a new inspection sticker.

But enough about that. There were also hot rods, remember?

Good to know about these four types!