When You Get Really Close to a Movie Screen, Film Emulsion Looks like…
Boiling Sand
C’mon over to my house, Richard Carlson

THIS IS A TEST:  which one is Richard Carlson?

THIS IS A TEST: which one is Richard Carlson?

My friend Mark in Illinois wrote to tell me he saw Lee Van Cleef on a Twilight Zone episode last week.  I was happy for him, just the way he is happy for me whenever I see a movie with Richard Carlson.

Richard Carlson is the ultimate dreamboat.

For most people, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is about some amphibious goober swimming around and tormenting Julia Adams.  For me, it’s about a hairy-chested Richard Carlson in black, box-cut swimtrunks moving around the deck.  And when he’s not on screen, I finally succumb to the swoons that have been building during his screentime.

Carlson is one of the Lost Generation of actors who were gaining momentum until WW2 broke out.  When they returned from the war, they were thirty-ish and no longer a fresh face.  The only one of that league of gentlemen who managed to break out into true stardom was William Holden, for whom SUNSET BOULEVARD saved his butt (career-wise).

One cultural rhyzome which I find fascinating is that in 1954, Richard Carlson was the star of Lee Harvey Oswald’s favorite TV show:  I LED THREE LIVES about an ordinary Joe who was pretending to be a Commie but who actually worked for the CIA.  [Let the theories begin… I know I have one.]

But RC was a good actor:  just look at his modulated and earnest performance in Douglas Sirk’s ALL I DESIRE.  And lordy how he kept his masculine physique!  Even in the 1960 Bert I. Gordon cheapie TORMENTED, he still looked great in trunks while pushing fifty.

Too bad he wasn’t wearing Speedos…

Doug of PostModernJoan

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