A Day at the Spa, Old Style

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Richard over at Proceed at Your Own Risk recently discovered a scan from an old October 1950 Hollywood magazine, Modern Screen, that shows Hugh O’Brien, Scott Brady, John Bromfield, Rock Hudson, and Tony Curtis spending a day at the Finlandia steam and sauna. “Considering that there are three known Mo’s in this spread (and I can’t use the word “spread” often enough), Doris and Liz must have been pissing themselves over these photos.” Very cool find.


  1. Stosine says

    I know about Rock Hudson, of course, but who are the other two “mo’s”? I’ve never heard of Scott Brady or John Bromfield. Hugh O’Brien has never married, according to imdb.com. And as for Tony Curtis, he’s always given off a gay vibe but also was a constant womanizer. So who are the other two mo’s?

  2. tagg says

    Strange somehow that, even though that period was a virtual strait jacket for non publicly out gay actors, the assortment then (add luscious Tab, certainly, almost as pretty Richard Chamberlain, mercurial, hung like a horse George Maharis, classic George Nader, inimitable James Dean, smoky, furry Montgomery Clift, dark and handsome Farley Granger, earlier but darker and more handsome still Tyrone Power, classy Dirk Bogarde, to name a few) seemed both larger and hotter. I’m not exactly suggesting that there ARE fewer, but just that 40 years later, in the age of the Internet and reporters far less willing to play along, we don’t know, for certain, about more. Not that have come out, but that have been revealed? Plenty of rumors–though, to my eyes and ears, no more proportionately than 25 years ago when so many insisted that Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck and John Travolta and Richard Gere are gay. The insistent claims about Tom’s Cruising came just a little later because his visibility did. New people. Newer rumors. But still no more certainty than when Rock rocked many a woman’s and man’s world when he got married and Tab’s lips alone on the cover of “Photoplay” or “Modern Screen” could make you want to lick the page right there in the middle of the drugstore. Or when watching 40-foot wide B&W impossibly close closeups of impossibly gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor murmuring to impossibly gorgeous Montgomery Clift, “Tell Mama. Tell Mama all.” or James Dean swaddle a dead Sal Mineo in “Rebel Without a Cause” could cause you to get a hard on. Today? Kevin Spacey? Rupert Everett another 20 years after “Another Country”? Alex Mapa? Any one have any theories?

  3. says

    These photos were published during a period in our history that is rarely examined. The US had just defeated the Axis. We were still in the post World War II party phase, gushing and reveling in our rightness, our victory and our exploding wealth. The Russians had been our allies in defeating Hitler. Communism was still an intellectual plaything on college campuses. The McCarthy hearings were still three years into the future and the Berlin Wall was more than a decade into the future. New democracies were booming: India, Israel, Germany. Korea was just beginning to pose a problem. And the boys were frolicking in the spa, care free.

  4. JOHN says

    In the 50s each studio had performers under exclusive contract. All these actors were “owned” by Universal and these photos were taken for publicity reasons…but some Universal publicity dude was obviously cool abt the actors when setting up the photo shoot.

  5. peter ferguson says

    If you’re wondering who the less famous faces are – John Bromfield has probably one film that comes up occasionally on tv or video, the MGM swim film ‘Easy To Love’. Otherwise, he was a minor movie actor of the 40s and 50’s who appeared in movies for different companies. He was at Paramount [‘Rope of Sand’ with Burt Lancaster ‘Paid In Full’, ‘The Furies’ with Barbara Stanwyck] then Universal[‘The Cimarron Kid with Audie Murphy)] and Monogram [‘Hold That Line’ with the Bowery Boys, ‘Flat Top’ with Sterling Hayden] until suddenly in 1953 he got 4th billing, stripped down to swim on a raft of flowers with Esther Williams in MGM’s ‘Easy To Love’ and have an argument with clothed Van Johnson. Then it was back down the ladder to Warners [‘Ring of Fear’ with Clyde Beatty, Pat O’Brien] and Columbia [‘The Black Dakotas’ with Gary Merrill] and strictly B-films at United Artists [3 Bad Sisters’ with Kathleen Hughes, ‘Manfish’ with Lon Chaney, ‘The Crime Against Joe’ with Julie London, ‘Hot Cars’ with Joi Lansing, ‘The Big Bluff’ with Martha Vickers], a jump to Associated Films for ‘Frontier Gambler’ with Coleen Gray and back to Universal for ‘Curucu,Beast of the Amazon’ with Beverley Garland and ‘Revenge of the Creature’ with John Agar. After that he had a couple of western TV series but, after they were casncelled in 1960, he seemed to disappear. Who knows if he’s still alive?
    Scott Brady was an ex-lumberjack and lightweight boxer who took up acting in 1945 on leaving the army. Having seen him mainly in his later career when he’d become a big-gut support actor, it was a nice surprise to come across – if you’ll pardon the expression – the films of his first 10 years when this young blond hunk frequently stripped down. Maybe, like Bromfield,it was the lack of a single-studio contract that stopped him getting the kind of backing that Curtis, Hudson, Hunter got – or maybe it was because they were hetero, Bromfield having been married to Corinne Calvet, Brady very hot for Dorothy Malone.

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