The Immoral Mr. Teas  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) is the first commercially successful film of American director Russ Meyer and an important film in the history of American erotica.

Tagline: A Frenchy Comedy for Unashamed Adults!


The name "Teas" is of course a homophone of the word tease, and one of the meanings of tease includes to sexually excite another person by subtle means, usually explicitly avoiding advancement to more potentially consequential erotic situations. The title character is played by Meyer's army buddy, Bill Teas, whose homophonic name Meyer happily exploits.


Before this film was released, the only moving pictures exhibiting extensive nudity were either underground (covertly produced and distributed) pornographic films, typically distributed "under the counter" in 16 mm black and white movies, or naturist pictures, openly displayed in specialized movie theaters, usually under the cover of exhibiting the fun and freedom of nudism in naturist reserves (nudist camps).

A breakthrough

The Immoral Mr. Teas was the first American "above ground" movie since the pre-Code early sound era to show female nudity without the pretext of naturism. It is considered to be the first commercially viable American "skin flick" and popularized the nudie cutie genre. This movie exhibited a wry humor and an admirable respect for and appreciation of the beauty of the female form—comparable to that of sculptors and painters throughout the ages.

The movie consists of a series of short scenes. In a sense, no one is actually naked; we only see the nudity through the viewpoint and vivid imagination of Mr. Teas. Mr. Teas' mental constructions extend beyond the nudity (always exclusively of female characters)—there is an underlying surrealism in Mr. Teas' imagination that results in a number of genuinely bizarre situations.

It is arguable that the nudity seen in The Immoral Mr. Teas is now considered completely unremarkable by modern Hollywood R-rated movie standards.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Immoral Mr. Teas" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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