APRIL MOVIE THON 2: 10 (1979)

April 21: Gone Legitimate — A movie featuring an adult film actor in a mainstream role.

During his 42nd birthday party, composer George Webber (Dudley Moore) learns that he’s not aging well. Despite the love of his girlfriend Samantha Taylor (Julie Andrews), he’s more obsessed with youth and beauty, whether he sees it through a telescope or at the wedding he follows the whole way to the church.

The object of his affection is the impossibly beautiful — well, in his eyes — Jenny Hanley, played by Bo Derek. She’s just married David Hanley (Sam J. Jones) and they’ve gone on their honeymoon to Hawaii, where George follows. He beds an old friend Mary (Dee Wallace), but his heart isn’t into their fling. Again, all he can think of is the unobtainable perfection of Jenny, a woman who he doesn’t even know. Well, he does get to know her — near biblically — when he saves her husband from drowning and she rewards him with lovemaking. Yet in the middle of his fantasy reality, her husband calls and is casually fine with what’s happening. Their relationship, unlike the. one that George has with Samantha, means nothing.

Directed and written by Blake Edwards, 10 broke new ground and was quite a big deal when released in 1979. Bo Derek’s cornrow hairstyle was a major fashion happening and she turned this movie’s fame into, well, Bolero. The less said — pleasure! — the better.

It also led to Moore becoming a star as a solo act. But he almost wasn’t in this movie. George Segal was cast as George, but allegedly walked off the set shortly after filming began — he did shoot some scenes in Mexico — at the MGM Studios. Segal had learned that Blake Edwards had inserted a television musical commercial sequence for his wife Andrews so that she would have a chance to sing and dance. He was upset that Edwards was using his movie to revive her career. Moore would also replace Segal in Arthur, while Segal would replace him in The Mirror Has Two Faces.

As for the adult stars in this movie, during the orgy scene that George tries to be part of — and Samatha catches on the telescope — you can see Annette Haven, Serena, Jon Martin, David Morris, John Seeman, Phaedra Grant, Desiree West, Candida Royale, Constance Money, Bonnie Holiday, Jamie Gillis, Jesse Adams, Blair Harris, Milton Ingley and Dorothy LeMay amongst the party guests.

Of the scene, Julie Andrews told Ellen DeGeneres, “There was one party that was actually manufactured for the movie 10. I think my character in 10 had to look through a telescope and see that my boyfriend, the sweet Dudley Moore, was, in fact, invading a neighbor’s house where they were having an orgy. There was a day when Blake was shooting the orgy and he said, “Julie, you just got to come on over here. It is an unbelievable sight.” So I went dashing over, of course, I did. I walked in and everyone was stark naked and lying around, very happily and casually, treating it totally normally. And there was sweet Dudley in the middle of it all and he wasn’t very, very tall. Blake put him between two enormously statuesque ladies and so he was completely naked and these two ladies were naked, but their bums were up here and little Dudley‘s was down there. So sweet. It was more adorable than anything else because Dudley was so adorable.”

10 feels dated today — it was made in 1979 — and its gender politics are obviously skewed. Yet Brian Dennehy is great as the hotel bartender and it all ends well. I remember what a big deal this was when it was on HBO; even if I was only seven when it came out, it was still a naughty secret even in elementary school.

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