Saturday, April 09, 2011

Screen Gem Saturdays: Steve Reeves in Hollywood

Steve Reeves became “Mr. America” in 1947 and used that fame to make a name for himself in Hollywood. Although calling him an “actor” might be stretching it, he was definitely a celebrity and carved a niche for himself in Hollywood history as Hercules and other muscle-bound characters in a series of sword and sandal flicks. Note the picture of Charlie Weaver in the background of shot #1.

These photos of Reeves freaks me out a little; I would have a hard time believing that his waist was not a product of early photo retouching!

Hollywood artist and sculptor Kenneth Kendall was very good friends with Reeves in the early years, helping him along the way as Reeves attempted to get established in Hollywood. Kendall painted and sculpted Reeves; here is a portrait he did of Reeves as Morgan the Pirate:

And a sculpture of Reeves that he created:

Last one for today features Steve posing with MGM musical darling Jane Powell (before she needed Efferdent):

To see more Steve Reeves photos, visit my Steve Reeves web page.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Interesting post, what movie is that scene with Reeves tied to the bed from?

Dudes waist is impossibly small in those photos, its like 1/3 the width of his shoulders!

Davelandweb said...

Tim - I'm not sure of that one; perhaps “Hercules and The S&M Maidens”?

Mike, Studio city said...

Childhood memories of him in those gladiator movies. :)

Katella Gate said...

Well, when I saw this post I was kinda stumped.

I never knew who Steve Reeves was, I only knew Dr. Franknfurter (Tim Curry) of Rocky Horror fame was quite partial to him. Thanks for completing my, uh, education, in the matter.

The posting also helped me with the line "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"

Johnnybix38 said...

His waist isn't retouched in those pics. He is simply doing what's called a "vacuum" in bodybuilding poses. It look very unnatural and exagerated, but it can most definitely be done and many bodybuilders in the old days did that onstage and for pics.

Connie Moreno said...

Interesting...and your comments cracked me up! Sword and sandal movies? I'd never heard that term before!

Davelandweb said...

Johnnybix38: Thanks for the info! And yes - it does look unnatural!

Katella - Another interesting tidbit is that one of his first movies was for the legendary Ed Wood: "Jailbait." It's so bad it's good!

Brian said...

Wow, how did I miss this guy. Nice, very nice. Thanks for posting him Dave!