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546                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            DeDemented [DeLaurentis] movie, plantation mistress Susannah York
            summons slave Norton to her bedroom. Norton wears only white cotton
            trousers held up by a drawstring. The camera shoots Norton’s broad-
            shouldered, sweaty, and lickable back. York, standing in front of Norton,
            faces the camera, but looks straight at Norton’s face. Her hand reaches up
            and pulls slowly, sensually, and long on the symbolic drawstring holding
            his light trousers against his beautiful dark skin.
               Not one to be undone without being done, Norton stands stock still
            as his trousers slide slow down his naked buttocks. The camera tracks
            equally slow down his noble backside as the fair-skinned York sinks to her
            adoring knees down his frontside.
               This is acting? She gets paid for this?
               One Black moviegoer shouted out in the hypnotized theater silence:
            ‘HOLLEEE-WOOOOOOD!” And this perfect review was right on. Yet
            through it all Norton’s innate nobility and incredible body carried the
            scene with a dignity Ali long ago lost. Norton’s athletically disciplined
            body on exhibition, preserved for all time on film, is worth twice the
            admission price. Norton seems both to understand and be willing to share
            the vision of his naked body perfected by sports.
               Hollywood has always trafficked in athletic bodies: Brando, New-
            man, Douglas, Voight, and Stallone boxed in On the Waterfront, Some-
            body Up There  Likes Me,  The Champion, The  All-American Hero,  and
            Rocky long after the humpy young John Garfield broke jaws and hearts in
            movies of the 1940s. Currently, Ryan O’Neal boxes for real, owns a piece
            of a boxer, and wants a boxing script for himself.
               Wrestling was never better before or since it peaked in Ken Russell’s
            Women in Love, produced by Larry Kramer, when Alan Bates, who shows
            ass in nearly every movie he’s ever made, grapples sweaty and naked before
            a roaring fireplace with the very macho Oliver Reed.
               Robert Redford’s body, looking good as Natalie Wood’s gay husband
            in Inside Daisy Clover, has been through a litany of athletics: leathered
            and shirtless dirt-biking in Little Fauss and Big Halsey; skiing in Downhill
            Racer; hiking and rafting in Jeremiah Johnson; running in Three Days of
            the Condor; and sailing in The Way We Were, in which he also out-wrestled
            Streisand frame-by-frame for face space.
               Richard Harris, sailing in Mutiny on the Bounty, was stripped, tied
            to an iron grate, and flogged. That took care of his backside. The Native
            American athletics  of tribal life in  A Man Called Horse  took  care of
            his front side. The power warriors strung Harris up with wooden pegs
            through his pecs, hoisting him up for a test of his endurance. In the Sun
            Dance ritual, he becomes a “man” through his initiation in pain.



          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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