The Immoral Mr. Teas [Mr. Teas and His Playthings]

Los Angeles: Pad-Ram Enterprises, 1959. A collection of 8 vintage still photographs from the 1959 film. Included are 4 stills from the US release, and 4 stills from the UK release under the title "Mr. Teas and His Playthings." From a cursory glance, one can immediately see the differences with regard to nudity paid by both US and UK publicists, the UK stills decidedly more liberal with regard to the "forbidden flesh."

The US stills were taken directly from scenes of the film, and the UK stills appear to be from either a deleted scene or a mock setup designed for foreign publicity, with Mr. Teas seen in a bathhouse with the "Buxom Bath House Beauties" (Baby Dahl, Chicky Fricase, Frenchie Tost, Teri Clawthe) that were not seen in the final cut. The UK stills purport "Monstrous Murder!" and "Sizzling Suspense!" taglines, however the final cut features neither murder nor suspense.

The story finds the shy Mr. Teas, played by William Ellis Teas, a door-to-door dental appliance salesman who has a chemical reaction with an anesthetic that allows him to have X-ray vision, as in "seeing through women's clothes." He also overcomes all of his inhibitions, leading to ribald encounters with his dental nurse, his therapist, his secretary, a girl in a bar, etc.

Russ Meyer's first feature, produced by Pad-Ram Enterprises (a monogram using the initials of director Russell Albion Meyer and producer Peter A. DeCenzie), and the film that basically launched the lighthearted "nudie" pictures of the early 1960s. The film was immediately touted as "ribald" and "Frenchy," with regard to the "genuinely sexy sequences with generous expanses of attractive flesh" that used to be seen strictly in foreign films. At a time when Hollywood moguls were losing audiences to the comfort of in-home cinema through television, Meyer and DeCenzie (who spent years on the burlesque and night club circuits) released an independent, naturally sexy endeavor in the tradition of the great Chaplin films. The bigger productions companies would never have made a film as far overboard on sex.

For his debut, Russ Meyer did even more of the crew work than usual, shooting in four days during the spring of 1958 with a budget of $24,000, ultimately making over $1.5 million worldwide. The film was marketed as a "nudist" film, with a "French" sensibility, but exhibited all the distinctive traits for which Meyer would soon become known, including large bosoms, insane plots, a somewhat feminist perspective, campy dialogue, and guerilla cinematography.

Shot on location in various California destinations, including Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Meyer even shot various scenes at his beach-front home in Los Angeles.

All stills 8 x 10 inches, some differ slightly in size. Two US stills Very Good plus, others Near Fine. UK stills Near Fine.

[Book #134256]

Price: $325.00