Friday, February 15, 2013

“Make a Wish”

Last year at this time, I posted a fond tribute to actress Sherry Jackson on the occasion of her 70th birthday. Back then, I’d heard about Jackson’s performance in director Blake Edwards’ 1967 film, Gunn, a big-screen adaptation of his 1958-1961 TV series, Peter Gunn, in which the polished private eye of the title (played again by Craig Stevens) investigated the assassination of a crime boss. (Mystery*File says the picture’s plot line was expanded from “The Kill,” the TV series’ 1958 pilot, but “with some fine variations—at least one borrowed from Mickey Spillane’s Vengeance Is Mine.”) Having never watched Gunn, though, I had also never enjoyed the lovely Ms. Jackson’s appearance in it as “a beautiful and mysterious kook who shows up naked in Gunn’s bed.”

Well, 12 months later, I still haven’t seen Gunn; sadly, no DVD edition is yet to be had. But recently, I discovered on the Web the scene from that movie—now embedded at the top of this post—in which Jackson introduces her character, Samantha, to Stevens’ gumshoe from the comfort of his very own bedroom pillows, wrapped in barely concealing bedsheets (though she was also wearing pasties—something not obvious to filmgoers). It’s a sweet, lighthearted, and sexy interlude—and apparently not Jackson’s sole half-clad moment during this flick’s 94-minute run. At least part of one such episode was evidently cut from the version made available to prudish American viewers, leading to the story that a nude scene featuring Jackson was found only in foreign prints. In a 2011 interview, Jackson sought to set the record straight:
Doing the notorious foreign market nude scene—which is total nonsense—it doesn’t really exist ... I’m supposed to put my arms around Gunn and my towel drops ... So Blake [Edwards] comes up to me and, very fatherly, says, “I just want to pull the camera back a couple of feet when your towel comes down.” He was very gentle and thoughtful about it and made it easier for me ... I think he was more nervous than I was! That said, the most you saw—and briefly—was the side of my breast. That was it—the scandalous overseas graphic sequence! Another Hollywood urban legend.
It’s difficult to believe, watching the motion-picture clip above, that more than 45 years have passed since its shooting, and Sherry Jackson—who was in her mid-20s in Gunn—is 71 years old today. Please join me in wishing her the happiest of birthdays!

SEE IT NOW: Two more things you might enjoy watching—the opening title sequence from Gunn and a collection of scenes from that film, both of which can be found here.

READ MORE:Gunn (1967)—Blake Edwards,” by John Greco
(Twenty Four Frames); “A TV and Movie Review by David L. Vineyard: Peter Gunn” (Mystery*File).


Marty McKee said...

You can stream GUNN online through Netflix. It's a full-frame 1.33 print though.

Vince said...

GUNN in its entirety is available via streaming on Netflix.

Anonymous said...

How does Ms. Jackson explain the foreign version nude scenes from the film that were on display in the August 1967 issue of Playboy magazine?

Unknown said...

"Make a Wish" is an apt title...Geronimo!