Straight to the toplessness.
This issue of the Swedish magazine FIB Aktuellt appeared today in 1973 and its cover star, Sophia Loren, is exposed inside in exklusivt! photos from her 1951 campfest Era lui... sì! sì, aka It’s Him!... Yes! Yes! You probably know the story by now. Loren described the decision that led to her toplessness this way: “The scene involved several girls like myself in harem costume and, for the Italian version it was all right to wear clothes. The director asked that we do one take topless for the French version. I did not want to, but I was hungry. The other girls obliged him and, after a moment’s hesitation, I did too.” Loren said later that in general she couldn’t bear to be naked. “I’m not exactly a tiny woman. When Sophia Loren is naked, this is a lot of nakedness.”
It’s interesting that the photos are labeled exclusive by FIB Aktuellt, considering images from Era lui... sì! sì! had been floating around for years. We shared a page from the low rent Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963 featuring the same topless shot you see above. But we suppose in the days before the global internet the images were a scoop each time a new magazine acquired them. Playboy made a big deal of printing them in 1966. Loren’s nudity remained mildly controversial for decades due to her superstar status, but time marches on, and in 2011 she appeared on prime time television on Italy’s RAI 1 with a humungous topless still from Era lui... si! sì! in the background. That’s progress.
The resurrection of Lazzaro.
So, last week we mentioned that we had found the best calendar of all time at the Denver Book Fair. Above is the first image we’re posting from it, a tinted shot of Sophia Loren’s famous nude scene in 1951’s Era lui... sì! sì!, in which she appeared as Sophia Lazzaro. By 1953 she had begun acting as Loren, leaving the Lazzaro screen name behind forever. Her nude scene was never a secret, exactly, but until the internet came along stills from Era lui appeared only in porn and scandal magazines—and, apparently, obscure calendars. So thank you world wide web for making formerly impossible-to-find nudity readily available via a mouseclick or two.
This calendar—The Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963, printed in the U.S. by Good Time Publishing—has a nude or pin-up image for every week of the year, and in addition, a joke, quote, or pithy saying for every day of each week. The sayings are illegibly small on our posted image, so we’ve transcribed them below. But don’t thank us until you read them. While a couple are mildly amusing, most aren’t, and one is simply incomprehensible (March 14). We hope they improve as the year continues, but if they don’t, think of them anthropologically—i.e., try to value them as artifacts of an older culture that we're going to study for whatever insights we can glean. And if that doesn’t interest you, well, you can just look at the pretty photos. We’ll post one calendar page per week, along with its text, until we run through all fifty-two.
March 10: “Sophia Loren has been awarded an Oscar for Two Women. By gosh, she certainly is.”—Bob Hope.
March 11: Figures don’t lie; that’s why an honest man believes in good sizes.
March 12: “A gossip always gives you the benefit of the dirty.”—Sam Cowling.
March 13: Anybody who still says the sky’s the limit is way behind the times.
March 14: “Tips from outer space: Tired of chimps and dogs and men—try us with a woman.”—He-who Who-he
March 15: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.—Henry Cooke.
March 16: “Beauty contests didn’t start in Atlantic City or any other city; they began when the second woman arrived on Earth.”—Mitch Miller.