We can't say for sure it's a "first" but it might well be -- a naked damsel is chained to a pillar in the Coliseum where she's molested by a gorilla for the amusement of the crowd. We don't get to see the molestation, but there's no mistaking the intent here. So we're talking sexual bondage AND bestiality, all in a film purported to be religious in nature. Tasty.
copyright 2005 by Pat Powers
Our great grandparents, it turns out, were a fairly kinky bunch. As you can see from the vidcap above from the Cecil B. Demille Biblical epic Sign of the Cross, they were watching scenes of naked women publicly chained up and being molested by gorillas in 1933 (the year SotC was released).
Interesting bit here. The woman from Sign of the Cross is chained to a pillar with a leering face over her shoulder, and in Call Girl a woman is tied naked to a pillar with a leering face over her shoulder. Coincidence? Or Conspiracy???
While we have since gone on to outdo them in terms of naked women publicly chained up, we've fallen far short in the gorilla molestation theme, almost certainly because we now regard bestiality as a lot worse than bondage.
Of course, a modern bestiality would be fairly explicit, and explicit is definitely what SotC was not. The cap at the top of the page shows the absolute height of the action for this scene. Immediately after this image appears, we go to reaction shots of the crowd, to wit:
There must have been some sort of gorilla-sex meme going around in the 1930s because this is far from an isolated instance. In the same year as SotC, King Kong was released. Prior to both, in 1931, we had Ingagi, which involved a young virgin sacrificed to a gorilla, and in 1937 we had -- I am not making this up -- Love Life of A Gorilla.
The "Bride of the Gorilla" scene (as I have heard it is described in some movie credits) is not the only bondage scene in this flick. There's another scene where the bondage is quite dramatic. A hot babe is chained in a suspended spreadeagle just above the ground for a group of alligators ... and this time, she's not on their dance card, she's on their menu.
Absoutely great bod on the gal in this scene. The garlands are just DeMille's way of getting around the strictures against nudity in American films, she's meant to be naked. Now, if only they'd spread her legs and arms wide apart here. Still, an incredible scene for the 1930s -- nude full suspension. Includes some very nice writhing.
You have to hand it to DeMille, the guy knew his cheese. Once again, you only see the alligators approaching the bondagette, you don't see any chomping action at all. I personally prefer it that way, so this scene really works for me.
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The film was so far beyond the pale after the notorious Hayes Code was instituted in 1933 that they had to make substantial cuts (all the good stuff, essentially) and graft in some footage of bombers over Italy to make up for it when the film was re-released in 1944. Kudoes to Turner Classic Movies for running the original rather than the butchered 1944 version.
I caught this film on television early in April 2004. With the successs of Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" the oldie channels, the networks and other cable providers may well be dusting off their old Christian epics.to see if they can piggyback on Gibson's success. As DeMille used this technique in other films, as did others to a lesser extent, might be some tasty stuff coming up soon.
"Izzat you, Sally?" It's been reported by several sources that burlesque stripper Sally Rand had an uncredited role as the gal being sacrificed to the alligators. It does look a lot like her... and that WOULD explain the killer bod on our sacrifice.