Film Censorship Jan'60-Apr'70: C


 

 

 

 

Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

Directed by Anthony Newley / 1969 / UK / IMDb

Original theatrical release was censored for a 'Suitable only for Adults' rating.

Information provided by Shane Harrison
The film opened in Melbourne around Easter 1970, a year after its X-rated USA release. It was shown to the press on a chartered boat travelling around Sydney Harbour. There were topless waitresses on board and the projector blew up after 20 minutes so the press were treated to a lot of booze and live bare breasts. It created massive publicity for the film and it's "daring" scenes, even though everything was cut out. The broken projector meant that none of that was seen by the press and the reports were of the drunken topless press party as if it supported the film's supposed risqué content. This was very clever PR given the film was cut of all its "good bits".

16:43 - 00:23 cut: Scenes of soft-core sex taking place on fun fair rides (merry-go-round and bumper cars).

17:15 – 00:04 cut: Oral sex taking place on a roundabout ride.

23:41: 00:28 cut: Very softcore sex scene with main character (Anthony Newley) watching a puppet of himself in action before winding the key in his back to continue his endeavour.

24:12 – 00:03 cut: Newley (Heironymous Merkin) is screwing his wife Polyester Poontang (Joan Collins) and his mistress Mercy Humppe (playboy's Connie Kreskie). Images of him playing around with a topless Kreskie, reflected in a pair of sun glasses was cut.

51:56 - 00:08 cut: Sex scene between Newley and Kreskie in bushes. He removes her bra and kisses her breasts, which are half obscured by the foliage.

52:07 - 00:12 cut: More footage of Newley and Kreskie in bushes.

52:43 - 00:17 cut: Further footage of Newley and Kreskie in bushes.

63:03 - 00:02 cut: Bottom of four feet in bed in missionary position.

63:11 - 00:02 cut: Milton Berle winding up a merry go round to empower a sexually exhausted Merkin.

71:11 – 00:18 cut: A speeded up, Benny Hill style, chase where Merkin and Good Time Eddie Filth (Milton Berle) chase a group of scantily clad women, some of whom are topless.

72:39 - 00:17 cut: Topless "party girls" partying.

73:38 - 00:35: Merkin reminisces about his inability to want a woman after he has had sex. Cut to dialogue "I've really been committing a kind of sexual murder. The ritual homicide of the female sex, forever stabbing and reopening the divine wound." This is followed by the start of the black mass sequence where the killing of a chicken and the pouring of the blood over a naked woman on an alter was removed. The rest of the black Mass was retained.

90:29 - The singularly named Yolanda starred as Trampolina Whambang, and featured in an X-rated fairy tale sequence, which suffered numerous quick cuts. Trampolina escapes the castle at night for a secret assignation. When followed it is discovered that she is having relations with a donkey. It turns out three witches have put a spell on the man and turned him into a donkey. Ordered by her father, the king, the witches reverse the spell but Trampolina finds the guy so ugly she demands he's returned back to the animal she fell in love with. This was by far the most sensational incident in the film. Views of a naked Yolanda draped around the head and back of the donkey, while suggestively caressing its' ears, hit the cutting room floor.

The sequence plays on YouTube under the title THE PRINCESS AND THE DONKEY. Even though the dark YouTube print hides her nudity you can see the two parts that were cut. The first cut is to the views of Trampolina wrapped around the donkey when discovered by the king's men. The second set of cuts is to the ending views of her naked stroking the animal's ears. All that was left were quick flashes, which made it appear more explicit than it was.

The film is like Fellini's 8½ (1963) played out on a Greek beach with a lot of side-show alley thrown in. Very surrealistic, a little arty and heaps of sex, the box office gold of the late 1960s. Anthony Newley sings, dances and mimes out his 40-year biography to a captured audience of family, friends and filmmakers.

Interestingly in 1972 the film was taken out of circulation and edited for an American PG re-release, what was left would have made for a boring hour and three quarters.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969) - Daybill


 

 

 

 

Color Me Dead

Directed by Eddie Davis / 1969 / Australia / IMDb

Original theatrical release was censored for a 'Not Suitable for Children' rating.

Information provided by Shane Harrison
Filmed in Australia in September 1968 and released in USA in late 1969. K&C Video put a print of the Australian 1970 cinema cut out on VHS tape. Fortunately, it contained the Censorship Board cuts of the day. I have a DVD of the uncut USA release put out on the grey market so, comparing the two, answers what was cut here.

The film is a definite guilty pleasure of mine. Apart from the sixties iconography it also records great images of 1968 Sydney and Surfers Paradise, especially the iconic Pink Panther striptease club in Kings Cross.

The cuts take place when Tom Tyron visits The Pink Panther striptease club circa 1968.

27:47 - 00:09 cut:  Close up of a stripper moving around in pasties

28:20 - 00:48 cut: Two striptease dancers in "G String and pasties" dancing in the background as Tyron drinks at the bar.

44:36 - 00:14 cut:  Part of a flash back where the two strippers from before are dancing topless, in close up.

Image courtesy of moviemem.com

 

Color Me Dead (1969) - Daybill


 

 

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