Immoral Mr. Teas, The (1959)

“Sensitive men have been fretting over G-strings for years.”

Synopsis:
A door-to-door salesman (Bill Teas) develops the uncanny ability to see women without their clothes on.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that this one-note nudie comedy was “notorious when released”, but now seems “tame, even genteel”. Most importantly, it put director Russ Meyer on the map as the “King of the Nudies”; he went on to make much raunchier fare, including Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965) and Vixen! (1968). TIMT is pure male fantasy all the way, naturally, and becomes repetitive fairly quickly; fortunately, it’s only an hour-plus long, and has enough “curiosity appeal” to remain relatively amusing until the end.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Occasional moments of unexpected humor

Must See?
No, though it’s of mild historical interest simply for its status as “bosomania” director Russ Meyer’s first feature film.

Links:

3 Responses to “Immoral Mr. Teas, The (1959)”

  1. A once-must, for its place in cinema history.

    First viewing.

    Strange that it has taken me this long to track down this early Meyer flick. What may surprise FFs about it is not that it’s tame by today’s standards (whatever they are) re: ‘porn’ – but that it’s just not what one might expect from a younger Meyer. It’s not a sloppy, undisciplined attempt to cash in on sleaze (as may be thought of several of his later films). It actually comes off as the work of someone who genuinely does appreciate the female body in all its loveliness. I was genuinely shocked by how gracefully Meyer presents female nudity here!

    Bizarre as this may sound…’TIMT’ seems to have been influenced by films by Tati and Ozu. The simplicity is that apparent.

    Admittedly, I was slightly bored early on. But I was soon won over by Meyer’s tempo, the oddly charming and droll narration, and the careful artistry employed for something ultimately designed to help male audiences in the late ’50s get their jollies (as I’m sure they did). Apparently Meyer knew exactly what he was doing here, but was not going to merely present something salacious just because he could and because what he was doing hadn’t been done before. The film is genuine entertainment for the easily sexually aroused (esp. at the time).

    When I was in high school, I was a movie usher. For about a month, the theater changed its policy and showed nothing but porn. Really bad porn. Not well made and not. I would think, all that effective in arousing audiences. I mention that because Meyer would never have gone that route – serving up ‘meat’ for the masses.

    I’m nor sure how ‘seriously’ Meyer has been seen as a filmmaker over the years. I imagine he has many fierce fans even today. Certainly there is still a strong cult following for such titles as ‘Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!’ (how could there not be?) and one of my favorite guilty pleasures, ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’. It’s probably not necessary for film fanatics to be completely ‘versed’ in Meyer’s work. But he certainly has a unique place in cinema history, and genuine FFs will want to have seen enough to know why.

    Note: IMDb has the informative details of the long friendship between Meyer and his leading man, Bill Teas. And call me crazy, but I think Teas has an element in his persona which is simply adorable.

  2. Well, gosh – now you make me want to revisit this one! I’m actually overdue for rewatching ALL of Meyer’s films and posting about them here… Peary lists quite a few in GFTFF.

    How completely bizarre what happened in the movie theater you were ushering at. How in the world did THAT come about? Did you ever find out? And what brought it back to featuring “regular” cinema?

  3. Alas, I don’t recall why the policy was changed for just one month (approximately). It was very strange. But it showed, I think, that my parents paid no attention to the entertainment section of the newspaper – otherwise, it’s likely they would have said something to me about working there at that time. The ‘experiment’ must not have been successful because part of my job was to walk around the theater occasionally with a flashlight, to monitor, and the place was not well attended. One strange incident: I also took tickets. One older guy came to the theater with his mom (!!!). She had the tickets in her hand as they approached me. I recall him saying to her: “Give the gentleman the tickets, Mother.” Not exactly a Norman Bates situation but a little unsettling.

    After the month of porn, it was getting close to the Christmas holidays and the policy reverted to regular studio films. I remember the first one to play was a Disney film: ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’. If one had no idea it was a Disney film playing next, might one think the porn series was still going? 😉

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