Monday, October 4, 2010

Now We Know Where Austin Powers Learned It

The Austin Powers movies (part of my top 20 favorites) are obviously filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of movie references, some blatant and others subtle. However, to be honest, most of the movies referred to are so old (and so British) that I never was exposed to them in my youth... or later.

A lot of the references I thought were more of a characteristic nature... an effort to capture the "essence" of the swinging 60s and the "gentleman spy" as gilded by the British genre. But little did I know that one of the more memorable scenes (Austin Powers photographing models: "No! No! Yes! Yes! Work it! Work it Baby!") from Mike Myers' spy series was an almost-faithful ode to the movie "Blow Up."

A summary:
The movie was controversial as one of the first British films to feature full frontal female nudity. The MPAA Production Code in the United States banned the movie, but its wide distribution by MGM through a subsidiary in the US, and its grossing $20 million on a $1.8 million budget encouraged the studios, undermined the MPAA Production Codes, and greatly contributed to the Code’s demise. Blow-Up made Veruschka an international star, although her name was misspelt in the credits and she appeared on screen for five minutes. She would go on to earn as much as $10,000 a day.

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