Reet, Petite, and Gone (1947)

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Reet, Petite and Gone
 

Released in 1947: A swing band leader must marry a girl with very specific measurements within thirty days to inherit his father's wealth, and the search is on for the perfect bikini-clad girl.

Produced by William Forest Crouch

Directed by William Forest Crouch

The Actors: Louis Jordan (Louis Jarvis), June Richmond (June), Milton Woods (Sam Adams), Bea Griffith (Honey Carter / Lovey Linn), David Bethea (Dolph the butler), Lorenzo Tucker (Henry Talbot), Vanita Smythe (Rusty), Mabel Lee (Mabel), Dots Johnson (Michaels), Pat Rainey (Pat Rains), Rudy Toombs (Hal), J. Louis Johnson (Schyler Jarvis Sr.), Joe Lillard (Lieutenant Jerome), Roxie Joynes (bikini model)

 

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The First Movie Bikini Girls

On July 5, 1946, Micheline Bernardini modeled the first two piece bikini bathing suit, created by French designer Louis RĂ©ard. I cannot prove it, but I believe that this is the very first motion picture to prominently feature bikini bathing suits . . . and plenty of them. Less than a year after the bikini was introduced, the bikini swimsuit was used as an intregal part of the story plot of this crime adventure. With the Catholic Church and most of society in an uproar over the scandalous outfit, it wasn't until Brigit Bardot wore a bikini on the beach during the 1953 Cannes Film Festival that the bikini started appearing around the world, and it wasn't until the swinging 1960's that the bikini became really popular on the beaches of the world. But here, in 1947, just a few months after the creation of the bikini, producer William Forest Crouch used them as a main element in a swing music crime adventure. Wealthy Broadway performer Schyler Jarvis Sr. is about to die, and he decrees that his son must marry a girl with very specific measurements if he is to inherit a million dollars. His son, swing musician Louis Jarvis, played by Louis Jordan, goes on the hunt for the perfect woman, who must audition in a bikini bathing suit and be measured by his assistant Sam Adams, played by Milton Woods. The dying man's corrupt lawyer changes the measurements in the will so that his secretary has the perfect measurements, and they try to get Louis to marry her so that she and the lawyer can grab the loot. Amid some great 1940's swinging music the search goes on for the perfect bikini-clad girl for Louis to marry . . . but instead of telling you the outcome of the search, let me direct your attention to one other actor in the movie that you might not know about. You will see Pat Rainey sitting on a piano as Louis Jordan sings a song about her, and you will watch her singing 'The Blues Ain't Nothin." Ms. Rainey was the daughter of a wealthy Boston lawyer and had a good New York City career as a supper club singer, dancer and Broadway actress. Unfortunately when she was between jobs she got hooked on drugs, and was even arrested once for prostitution. Because of the bad publicity she went to Europe where she was noticed by King Farouk, among others, and she once again enjoyed great success as an entertainer. When you watch her you will instantly discover why she was such a success . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Bea Griffith and June Richmond
Bea Griffith and June Richmond
David Bethea
David Bethea
David Bethea, Milton Woods and Louis Jordan
David Bethea, Milton Woods and Louis Jordan
David Bethea
David Bethea
J. Louis Johnson and Bea Griffith
J. Louis Johnson and Bea Griffith
J. Louis Johnson and David Bethea
J. Louis Johnson and David Bethea
June Richmond
June Richmond
June Richmond and Bea Griffith
June Richmond and Bea Griffith
June Richmond and Bea Griffith
June Richmond and Bea Griffith
Lorenzo Tucker and Vanita Smythe
Lorenzo Tucker and Vanita Smythe
Louis Jordan
Louis Jordan
Louis Jordan and Bea Griffith
Louis Jordan and Bea Griffith
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
Louis Jordan and Milton Woods
Louis Jordan and Milton Woods
Louis Jordan meets Bea Griffith
Louis Jordan meets Bea Griffith
Louis Jordan
Louis Jordan
Mabel Lee and Louis Jordan
Mabel Lee and Louis Jordan
Mabel Lee
Mabel Lee
Milton Woods
Milton Woods
Milton Woods meets Bea Griffith
Milton Woods meets Bea Griffith
Pat Rainey in 1947
Pat Rainey in 1947
Pat Rainey and Louis Jordan
Pat Rainey and Louis Jordan
Pat Rainey
Pat Rainey
Rudy Toombs
Rudy Toombs
Rudy Toombs and Milton Woods
Rudy Toombs and Milton Woods
Vanita Smythe
Vanita Smythe
Vanita Smythe and Lorenzo Tucker
Vanita Smythe and Lorenzo Tucker
Vanita Smythe, Lorenzo Tucker and Joe Lillard
Vanita Smythe, Lorenzo Tucker and Joe Lillard