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Hollywood home movies, 1965
September 5, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

An unbelievable collection of Roddy McDowall’s never-before-seen silent home movies from the summer of 1965 were uploaded onto YouTube yesterday, featuring impossibly young, impossibly gorgeous stars like Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Hope Lange, and Rock Hudson frolicking on the beach. You simply MUST go to the website and watch them all. The takeaway for me, though, is Sal Mineo slinking out the back door with a guilty-looking blond who may or may not be Bobby Sherman. What were THEY up to? Also mesmerizing: The closeup of Natalie Wood’s freckles, Jane Fonda sticking out her tongue, and Paul Newman’s hunky son.
posted by BoringPostcards (46 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

 
This link has stills, which made it easier for me to identify people.

I love this.
posted by merelyglib at 2:34 PM on September 5, 2011


Actually you can see a lot of this footage in Making The Boys, a recent documentary about the controversial gay play (and later, movie) The Boys in the Band.
posted by hermitosis at 2:36 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Needs more Natalie Wood freckles. Like, Gawd. *Sigh*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:45 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The camera loved Natalie, and apparently, she loved it right back...
posted by victors at 2:50 PM on September 5, 2011


good god, paul newman was a beautiful man.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 2:52 PM on September 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


The star angle on this is interesting, but to me the real takeaway is it's 46 years ago and it really doesn't seem all that different from what my friends and I do on a summer weekend at the beach -- everyone's standing around drinking beer, eating hot dogs off paper plates, everyone's wearing Ray Bans, the girls all have floppy hats. A few kids toddle around, looking for mama and dada, someone needs help with the crossword. I mean yeah, no one's texting and some of the guys have briefs instead of trunks, and there's less plastic around, but otherwise? Totally familiar.
posted by incessant at 3:03 PM on September 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, following merelyglib's link leads to this Boy Culture post, which about 2/3 down has Mineo's lover Courtney Burr accusing an in-the-closet Roddy McDowell of some pretty horrendous behavior, with Roddy and Rock Hudson trying to block Burr from a role after Mineo's murder. If the accusations are true, McDowell comes across like a classic homophobic closet case.

Great home movies, though.
posted by mediareport at 3:07 PM on September 5, 2011


I realize these were Hollywood people to whom making movies was, like, their whole thing, but I cannot get over the incredible quality of this stuff, both amazing and amazingly preserved. Does anyone know more about what went into shooting these? I mean, the only thing off the top of my head I have to compare them to is the movie I saw of my parents' wedding, which was a few years after this and still looks like The Blair Witch Project to these movies' 2001: A Space Odyssey.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:18 PM on September 5, 2011


incessant -

I had a similar feeling. They all seem so relaxed and comfortable and... normal. Except that they're all terribly beautiful. It started to feel like a television ad from the sixties for beer or station wagons or something. Everyday people enjoying the beach and the sun and socializing with friends, except that these everyday people are all good looking, young, thin, and dressed in very nice, very clean clothes. And Julie Andrews holding her baby could have sold me anything.
posted by Max Udargo at 3:26 PM on September 5, 2011


I always thought Hope Lange was really beautiful. She was never as big a star as I would have liked her to be.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 3:31 PM on September 5, 2011


Well, if Bobby Sherman were a blonde in 1965, that would be news indeed.
posted by hippybear at 3:50 PM on September 5, 2011


They look so realistic!
posted by cmoj at 3:52 PM on September 5, 2011


Spotted Mike Nichols in there, too.
posted by dobbs at 4:01 PM on September 5, 2011


Incredible stuff. All so young and vivid and vibrant, not to mention how hot Jane Fonda was. Interesting also for the then up -and- coming stars like George Segal and David McCallum hanging out. I also spotted director Mike Nichols, and some lesser-knowns (then) like Jack Warden and Jack Gilford.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:04 PM on September 5, 2011


lesser-knowns (then) like Jack Warden and Jack Gilford.

SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

I mean yeah, no one's texting and some of the guys have briefs instead of trunks, and there's less plastic around, but otherwise? Totally familiar.

A lot more people smoked cigarettes back then, too... So you see a lot more ashtrays in the background.
posted by mikelieman at 4:16 PM on September 5, 2011


the real takeaway is it's 46 years ago and it really doesn't seem all that different from what my friends and I do on a summer weekend at the beach -- everyone's standing around drinking beer, eating hot dogs off paper plates, everyone's wearing Ray Bans, the girls all have floppy hats.

This struck me also. Even the ways everyone mugged for the camera seems weirdly familiar. Looking at some old family photographs from about the same period recently made me feel the same way. There's my dad, this kid in cords and a t-shirt and my mom in a skirt, top, and cardigan. Neither would've looked too out of place on a street in 2011 (in fact, my first thought when I looked at that picture was "Gap Ad.")

Anyway, this stuff is gold (or gold-plated, at least).
posted by octobersurprise at 4:19 PM on September 5, 2011


Roddy never came out, but he played a gay character in Compulsion--I don't think anyone who knew him thought he was a closet case. Most of his archive was left to the Academy Library, but these that Luke Sacher has are wonderful!
posted by Ideefixe at 4:23 PM on September 5, 2011


So, I slept with someone who slept with Rock Hudson, and apparently Rock was a lousey lay,

Also I win at very six degrees game ever.
posted by The Whelk at 5:00 PM on September 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


Stars! They're just like us!
posted by nathancaswell at 5:02 PM on September 5, 2011


Dude, were you even born when Rock Hudson died?

I don't have a problem with age differential in sex relations, but you're giving away way to much to the world with that comment.
posted by hippybear at 5:04 PM on September 5, 2011


I'm pretty sure he slept with him when he ( the not rock hudson guy) was sixteen, so...

And one of the best short term affairs I ever had was with a man in this early 60s, so ..there.
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM on September 5, 2011


Oh and Rock was pretty up there when it happened, if I recall corrected. Rock died a year after I was born, for reference.
posted by The Whelk at 5:08 PM on September 5, 2011


Where are the smartphones, the laptops and the iPads? Also the audio is terrible.
posted by humanfont at 5:14 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: Rock: Anne Helen Petersen's Rock Hudson, Hollywood's Most Eligible Bachelor is a really great read.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:21 PM on September 5, 2011


Julie Andrews drove a station wagon!

Also, she looks like she was a good mom.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:29 PM on September 5, 2011


she looks like she was a good mom

We've seen evidence of her being an excellent nanny.

Twice.
posted by hippybear at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Who is the blonde at 2:08 in the Sal Mineo one? Is is Juliet Mills?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:03 PM on September 5, 2011


Natalie Wood.

That is all.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:16 PM on September 5, 2011


Somewhat related, there's a neat bonus feature on the Chaplin DVD (the biopic with Robert Downey, Jr., which is not a great film but a fairly good one on a very difficult subject; his body type is all wrong but Downey's performance is uncanny). Anyway, one day in 1933 Chaplin and Mrs. Chaplin (Paulette Goddard at the time) sailed to Catalina along with a young Alastair Cooke, who filmed them using a portable camera. It all looks strikingly modern, although recreational boating like this was really an elite affectation at the time.
posted by dhartung at 6:30 PM on September 5, 2011


the biopic with Robert Downey, Jr., which is not a great film

OH NO YOU DIDN'T
posted by hippybear at 6:32 PM on September 5, 2011


1965? Needs more Jim Nabors.
posted by Yakuman at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2011


I have no idea whether Roddy was gay or not, but from those movies, you can pretty much tell he had a total crush on Natalie.
posted by crunchland at 6:48 PM on September 5, 2011


Who is the blonde at 2:08 in the Sal Mineo one? Is is Juliet Mills?

Yes, that's Juliet Mills. I believe the appropriate term is "mrowr".
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 7:06 PM on September 5, 2011


I could watch these all day. Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda are impossibly good looking, as is Paul Newman.
posted by griffey at 7:45 PM on September 5, 2011


Watching Hope Lange scratch the tar off her feet with charcoal starter reminded me of my childhood (and the tar I'd collect on my feet).

I don't live in SoCal anymore -- does the tar still wash up? That was awful.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:07 PM on September 5, 2011


Oh, awash in nostalgia at these stars of my youth.
David McCallum/Ilya Kuryakin!
Bobby Sherman ... was bi?
And yes, Natalie Wood was sooo pretty.

Paul Newman’s hunky son.
I'm not certain where he is in these vids but I remember he later tried his hand at acting and then died of a drug overdose in the late 70s. I assume that was the greatest tragedy in Newman's life.

As for Paul's looks, every time I catch one of his films from the 50s and 60s I am struck at how surreally beautiful he was.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:08 PM on September 5, 2011


Much of the area of Malibu where I think this was filmed burnt down in the 1970 Malibu fire. My college roommate lived near there, and his mother told stories of having 15 minutes to gather whatever was going to survive the fire before evacuating, coming back to ashes and nothing more. I've sent him a link to the movies; it's a blast from his past.

And yes, the people of Malibu are prettier than you or I.
posted by blob at 8:36 PM on September 5, 2011


Since these are silent, a soundtrack. Malibu people really know how to live.
posted by Scram at 12:24 AM on September 6, 2011


Ah, Mr. Whelk, we are degrees closer, it seems.
posted by sonascope at 2:54 AM on September 6, 2011


Ah, all that casual, enjoyable cigarette-having. [Pines...]
posted by honey-barbara at 3:57 AM on September 6, 2011


Not to get all PSA on you, but Paul Newman and Roddy McDowell both died from lung cancer.
posted by crunchland at 4:20 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


[stops pining]
posted by honey-barbara at 5:05 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Natalie Wood. wow.

Seeing her anywhere near water though....
posted by Senator at 5:46 AM on September 6, 2011


This is like a bowl of hot, fresh popcorn. Thanks, BoringPostcards.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:22 AM on September 6, 2011


Seeing her anywhere near water though....

It's the only wood that doesn't float!

I'll just show myself out.

posted by hippybear at 3:43 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fun facts:

1) Just checked The Whelk's profile, and he's made 11111 comments.

2) If you're going to threadjack, doing so by dishing on people that you've slept with who have celebrity sex stories is just about the best way.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2011


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