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A Fish-Eye View Of Terry Moore & Robert Wagner

This is the story of one of the wackiest days I ever spent with a couple of actors. Wacky, but instructive, exciting and a lot of fun. I am a photographer, probably because I once wanted to be an actor. After 20th Century-Fox and UniversalInternational looked at the tests they’d made of me, they turned thumbs down. I had enough sense to pick up a camera to earn a living.

But I still like actors, which leads me to this day with Terry Moore and Bob Wagner. As you know, they appear together in a whale of a good picture called Beneath The Twelve-Mile Reef. When I ran into them in the studio commissary one day, I kidded them about not being able to play their scenes under water.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Terry said. “It’s just that the love scenes in the script were set above the ocean. We could do the same scenes under water if anybody wanted us to.”

So I took up her challenge. It was a lot of work, but I’m right proud of the results. First I had to send up to San Francisco for a French Aqua Lung. Then I had to find the exactly right swimming pool, because most pools are not clear enough for color photography. Finally I found it—an oval, forty-foot pool on the estate of author John Tucker Battle, who wrote The Frogmen and is now working on the Walt Disney epic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Then I called Terry and Bob, my wife packed a picnic lunch and we set off on our undersea adventure, deep in the heart of Encino.

Me, I never had it so easy. With all my equipment, including the watertight French Undiphot camera case, I just sank to the bottom of the pool, ready to take pictures. With Terry and Bob, it was different. First we had to find the right bathing suit for Terry—a special tank suit, designed by Jo Lathwood. It’s sort of like the suit that famous oldtime swimmer, Annette Kellerman, used to wear back in grandma’s day, except without the skirt. Bob was no problem, except that he put one toe in the water and yelled, “Wow!” I didn’t blame him; Mr. Battle’s pool is completely unheated, and no matter what they say about the famous California climate, the water in December out here is so frigid the fish sometimes come up to shore hoping to spot a bonfire.

At any rate, my two actor folk jumped into the ten feet of water and began to act. These two kids are terrific swimmers. I don’t have to say this; the pictures speak for themselves. My wife timed them as they went under water, and they stayed down as long as a minute, enabling me to shoot two color pictures at a time. We started at ten-thirty, then broke for our roast beef sandwich lunch and fifteen minutes later we were at it again. I know you’re supposed to wait for an hour before going back in after eating, but these kids had studio work to do and couldn’t play all day.

Fun? Bob and I turned blue, but that incredible Moore girl—while we climbed in and out to get warm, she stayed right in there, splashing merrily around between shots.

I just wish we could have had an audience down there with us, but the next best thing is to have these pictures reproduced in MODERN SCREEN’S terrific color. Any resemblance between these pictures and honest-to-pete love-making is real and not coincidental, but I promised both Bob and Terry after it was all over that I would make this announcement.

Once someone announced the engagement of Terry Moore and Bob Wagner. It wasn’t true. “Don’t,” they said in practically one voice, “let it happen again.”

I won’t. The editors of MODERN SCREEN won’t. But can we blame you for suspecting that it might really happen one of these days?




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