blowholes and prop men

Just south of Sydney is a charming little coastal town called Kiama. It’s famous for its blowhole and for being the birthplace of Oscar-winning Orry-Kelly.


Orry-Kelly designed the off the shoulder gown that Ava Gardner wore as Venus in the film version of Mannequin


image found here

“To help in the creation of a proper life-size statue to be used in the film, Ava was sent to pose for New York sculptor Joseph Nicolosi. At first clad in a two-piece bathing suit, she saw the sculptor repeatedly stop work to approach her and stare with concern at the swimming costume. “Would you like the bra off?” Ava asked.ava-gardner1-300x235

image by Tom Dunn

Nicolosi averred, and so Ava, after a steady stream of what she described as “hot drinks,” unhooked the swimsuit top and posed with breasts bared. Further sighs from Nicolosi eventually resulted in her rolling the bottom of the bathing suit to just below the pubic mound.

In February the sculptor proudly unveiled his finished work to producer Lester Cowan and was met with a torrent of invective.

“Are you crazy? Her tits are showing! How are we gonna put that in a movie?”


The sculptor was shattered. Another statue was made, this one wearing the belted-at-the-waist off-the-shoulder gown that Orry Kelly had designed for Venus, and America’s morals survived to fight another day.

Someone in the art department then created an eight-inch clay version of Venus, and before it was sent out for casting, publicist Bob Rains decided that as a courtesy they should show it to Ava first. “I took the clay model over to her dressing room and said, ‘Ava? What do you think?’ She looked it over an laughed ‘That’s not my figure.’ Then she pinched off some of the clay from the chest area and stuck it to the rear end. She smoothed it on with her finger and made the fanny bigger. She said, ‘That’s more like my ass.’

modern venus

(Many takes on the filming of One Touch of Venus had to be discarded due to the chiffon gown worn by Gardner on a chilly set; eventually prop man Roy Neal was assigned to follow the actress everywhere with a portable heater to avoid such horrors as visible erect female nipples)

ava nipples

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 8:04 am  Comments (33)  

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33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Visably erect female nipples are probably my favorite thing… closely followed by chocolate cake.

  2. You’re easy to please

    • Well simple things, simple minds…

  3. the Modern Venus is frighteningly modern in an idealized, twisted and ironically surreal sort of way….

    I should take a nap…

    Ava Gardner… mmmm

  4. American prudish is legendary and perennial. A wine merchant near our place showed us the label of a German bottle of white. It had a tiny little baby cherub with a small part of an even tinier penis showing. They had to change the label in order to allow it into the US market. Kiddie porn, I guess.

  5. Couldn’t they have put bandages on them.

  6. the real reason i wear suit jackets when giving presentations at work? the damn conference rooms are usually so freakin’ cold that i’d be blinding the first row with the ‘high beams’…

  7. Whatever became of the busty statue of Ava?

    • It’s probably a dildo in some Hollywood mogul’s cupboard

  8. Chasing Ava with the heater is the opposite of the ice cubes in ‘Showgirls’. How times do change.

    Daisyfae, I always wear a shawl/pashmina at work for ths purpose. Having never been a powerdresser or suit-girl, and the only jackets that fit are leather, I simply cannot walk into the workplace (a school) without the necessary protection.

    Now those little lavendar heatpacks could work a treat: warming and bra-stuffing, not that i’ve any need of the latter, heavens!

  9. Since my childhood, Ava has been a favorite of mine.

    Now I have you. 🙂

  10. Always learn fascinating things here. 🙂

  11. Great post!

    I love the high beams, the brights, the erasers, gimme more of them.

    I find old fashion prudishness in Hollywood and society to be erotic, I don’t know why.

    • Uniball do you have a blog?

  12. Following hot women with a portable heater to eliminate visible erect female nipples? Dream job!

  13. Ah America and its puritanical roots. Actually, there are people all over the country that would still put it back to those days if given the chance. The right-wing Christian conservatives would be first in line to smash a few statues in the name of decency. Maybe the world could just give those people their own island!!

  14. You may be aware that one of John Ashcroft’s first acts as Attorney General was to cover up the Terrible Tin Titty of Justice?
    Love the gay coloring book, which appears to have been current back before ZIP codes, and mailed from just downtown here! Where ever did you find that?

  15. Nipple Wrangler is a valid career option?

    Somehow, I don’t think my son’s going to want to be a fireman, anymore…

  16. or as Mr. YnB would call them….chapel hat pegs.

  17. I quite enjoy chilly days ……. just sayin’

  18. Female nipples have the power to bewitch men, sending their minds into a blabbering vortex of lust and lunacy, which is why I like ’em so much.

  19. I would still do Ava, and she’s dead

  20. nobody follows me around with a portable heater.

  21. p.s. of (500) days of summer was great!
    i liked it- it was def worth seeing.

  22. I feel like there’s magic between us.

    So let’s go watch One Touch of Venus.

    The film is much better

    When curled up together

    And I’ll let you suck my hard nipples.

  23. Ava Gardner was once married to vertically challenged actor Mickey Rooney. It lasted a year and ended with Gardner telling the world “Well, honey, he may have enjoyed the sex, but [goodness knows] I didn’t.”

    • I like Ava even more after that comment

  24. Visibly erect female nipples on screen make me very uncomfortable….especially when i’ve got my dad and bro seated next to me 😦

  25. Ava has the most glorious boobs .. [Ava envy lol]

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