Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rating Classic Spanking Scenes

My last entry was one in which I opined on modern spanking scenes. I lamented that Hollywood usually gets it wrong these days. But there was a time when Hollywood got it right, and in some cases, very right. Tonight's entry is all about those classic scenes. There was a time in Hollywood's Golden Age when spanking a woman was considered par for the course, no one got upset over it and you certainly didn't see women's' groups picketing outside the gates of the major Hollywood studios. Usually, the way it worked in these films was there was usually something about the girl that wasn't quite right (usually her attitude) that needed to be corrected. Sometimes, the spanking would turn the girl into a suitable mate, sometimes not. But they all shared one thing: both the spanker and spankee were always reasonably attractive. The man was usually macho to some extent and the woman was almost always extremely feminine (unless it was one of those tomboys that needed taming). Please note that I'm rating only the spanking scene and not the film as a whole. There are other sites for that. This is a spanking bog and that's what I'm concerning myself with. So, dear readers, it's time to enter the Way Back Machine and go back to a time in Hollywood when men were men and women were spanked.

I'll give the name of the film, the names of the people involved and then give a small description of the scene followed by a photo. I'll give the film the number of stars I think it merits (between one and four). Instead of dredging through the myriad pages of stills to find decent ones, I'm using screen captures from my Cinema Swats DVD collection. Apologies if the quality of the photos is lacking.

"The Naughty Flirt" (1931) ***

Paul Page, Alice White

Silent film comedienne Alice White plays Kay Elliot, a young woman who falls for a man (Paul Page) who works in her father's law firm. She's quite a flirt, as the title suggests and he wants nothing to do with her. In the scene that precedes the spanking, we see him standing in a roomful of men, all of them laughing at him because she has done something to embarrass him. He goes and finds her (actually, she's right outside the door) and without a word, puts her over his knee and spanks her. White, ever the comedienne, plays the scene for laughs. When Page stands her back up, he tells her "There you go. You're just man crazy!". He storms off, leaving her rubbing her bottom.

I gave this film three stars because the build up was very nice, with the long-suffering Paul Page finally getting tired of Kay and giving her her just desserts. Alice White is adorable as the spoiled Kay Elliot. The spanking isn't particularly hard but we see all of it and we see his hand actually hitting her bottom (something Hollywood rarely gives us these days).

"The Footloose Heiress" (1937) ****

Craig Reynolds, Anne Sheridan

The lovely Anne Sheridan plays a spoiled socialite who makes plans to elope with a man her ad executive father disapproves of. When the match is unwittingly thwarted by a penniless hobo, nicely played by Craig Reynolds, the girl's father is so grateful he gives him a place to stay. He also encourages the man to spend time with his daughter. She loathes him from the beginning and makes plans to expose him for what she thinks he is. In reality, he's a college educated man (who ultimately writes a winning ad campaign for her father's agency). But he has enough he-man in him that he doesn't put up with anything from her. Before she can put her plan into action (at an ultra-ritzy party) he takes her by the wrist and marches her outside for a spanking, with a pack of onlookers trailing.
This film gets four stars from me because it's about as close to a perfect spanking scene as you're ever going to get in a mainstream film. Both leads are extremely attractive (and he looks great in a tux) and the spanking was certainly deserved. The spanking itself isn't really that hard, but then it doesn't take much to teach a lesson to a girl this spoiled. She's presumably never had a hand laid on her in her life. As with "The Naughty Flirt", whole spanking is shown, with no annoying cutaway shots.

"Love, Honor and Behave" (1938) ***1/2

Wayne Morris, Priscilla Lane

The early days of a young couple's married life are examined in this film. Priscilla Lane plays the bored housewife whose husband refuses to assert himself. Even his father picks on him for preferring tennis to football. She decides to make plans to see another man but when hubby finds out, there's a knock-down drag-out fight, during which they both end up with a black eye. But she gets something extra--a spanking while her family and in-laws watch through a french door. When they bust in, she demands to know why a man can't have any privacy in his own home. Obviously, the spanking hurts but she's thrilled that her man is showing a side of himself that he hadn't previously.This one gets three and a half stars, mostly because of the violence that precedes the spanking (he punches her in the eye but we don't see it) and because of a couple of cutaways, where the various witnesses discuss this state of affairs. The two leads have good chemistry and the build up is pretty good. All in all, a very good scene.

"Look For The Silver Lining" (1949) ***

Gordon MacRae, June Haver

This musical is a biopic of singer and dancer Marilyn Miller. In the scene in question, the two leads are arguing over whether or not she should take a part in a play being put on by Jerome Kern. During the argument, she slaps his face because she thinks he's insulted her. Whereupon he does the manly thing and takes her over his knee and paddles her until she promises to come to her senses and do the show.
This movie gets three stars from me. It's a great scene and the two leads are lovely to look at. MacRae is certainly handsome and has a beautiful baritone. But it's hard to take a man seriously in pajamas. Also the scene is interrupted by the appearance of the maid, whose eyes are as big as silver dollars. Her cries of "Excuse me, Mr. Carter!" take away from the scene for me. Physically, the spanking seems half hearted to me, but the dialogue during the spanking, where he holds his hand over her bottom pending her answer to his questions, is very good. The scene is perfectly framed and shot, which is a plus.

"Stagecoach Kid" (1949) ****

Tim Holt, Jeff Donnell

Cowboy star Tim Holt had a rather interesting Hollywood career. He spent part of his career making B-westerns at Republic Pictures and part of it working with A-list directors in movies like "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre", "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "Stagecoach". He also made the very interesting cult film "Hitler's Children" (with screen brat Bonita Granville). In this film, he plays Dave Collins, a stagecoach driver with a load of gold to deliver. There's a young woman on board, Jesse, who father is taking her in the opposite direction from the man she loves and so she goes AWOL and disguises herself as a boy. It's a not-too-clever ruse and it doesn't fool Collins for long. In the spanking scene, she's walking off to find a stage to take her to her boyfriend. Holt is a fine rider and roper and we see both talents put to good use here. He ropes her like he would a stray calf, puts her over his knee and spanks the dust out of her jeans.
This spanking scene gets four stars from me for a number of reasons. First, I love Tim Holt. Second, almost never in the annals of Hollywood was a spanking more deserved than this. Jeff Donnell as Jesse has a voice that grates my nerves, she's annoying and whiny and there's just nothing endearing about her. The spanking takes place in the middle of the desert, where there are no people around for miles but, as Holt takes her over his knee, she cries "I'm gonna holler!" How lame is that? Physically, the spanking is pretty brisk, even though Holt keeps his gloves on. The locking down of her legs is something most of us bottoms can identify with. But it's beyond me how a man can look at that girl's bottom and not know it's a girl. We see the entire scene without cutaway shots.

"Captain Lightfoot" (1955) ****

Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush

Rock Hudson plays Michael Martin, an Irish rebel forced to turn highwayman in order to finance his rebellion. In the course of this, he is befriended by a man and taken under his wing. The man has a daughter, Aga, who hates him on sight. The lovely Barbara Rush plays a girl engaged in a rebellion of her own, one Martin is determined to put down himself. The girl's father is called away and puts him in charge. He becomes aware that Aga is spending time with a man of questionable character and he forbids her to see him. She laughs at him, calling him a "bogtrotter dressed as a gentleman". He doesn't take kindly to the insult and turns her over his knee for a hard spanking. When she says "You wouldn't dare!" he replies "A bogtrotter would dare!"

The spanking scene in "Captain Lightfoot" gets four stars from me because it's a perfect spanking scene. The buildup, beginning with Aga listening at the door to the conversation in which Martin says he will speak with her about her relationship with the unsuitable Captain Hood, to the argument, where she tells him it would be a pity to see him die so young (assuming that Captain Hood would challenge Our Hero to a duel) is priceless. Aga goes from haughty to humiliated in the time it takes Martin to get her over his knee. The spanking is surprisingly hard and Hudson looks like he's laying it on with gusto. I'm not a big fan of either of these actors, but I'm a huge fan of this scene. We see the whole thing, with only one or two cutaways, but the action is always close by and the cutaways don't really detract from the scene."

"Holiday For Lovers" (1961) **1/2

Gary Crosby, Carole Lynley

This movie centers on the romantic entanglements of two sisters, while the older one is working in South America. It's the relationship between the younger sister, played by the delightfully spankable Carole Lynley, and an American GI, played by Gary Crosby, that provides the spanking scene in question. Crosby plays Paul, a lonely Army private studying for the sergeant's exam who falls for the lovely Carole, even though she seems a bit young for him in my opinion. Somehow, he loses contact with her, but he's so smitten with her that he goes without food and sleep and blows the sergeancy to find her. When he does, he tells her that he wants to marry her, to which responds that she can't marry him because she has to have more education and doesn't want to give up water skiing, the only thing, admittedly, that she's really good at. On being rejected, he takes her over his knee and spanks her.

This is my least favorite spanking scene of the films I'm rating here. The delightfully spankable Carole Lynley deserved a much better scene than this. First, the positioning is a disaster. He puts her over his knee as though he's going to spank her left-handed, but spanks with his right hand anyway. This is terribly awkward, not to mention aesthetically displeasing. Second, the camera focuses on her facial reactions so we don't really see much of the spanking. Not that it's much of a spanking. The blows are obviously pulled and then, when it's over, he shakes his hand like her bottom hurt it. This is more along the lines of how most spanking scenes would go in films.

So there you have it. This is all I'm doing for tonight. I'll post another review some other time...when I have the patience for it.


Zelle said...

OMG! What a great blog CK! That took some doing to find all that info and those pics! Some flicks I'd completely forgotten about, and some I didn't even know about! What a fun read for me! BRAVO!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the spanking scenes they great