May 6, 2013

Christopher Jones: Wild in the Streets

Wild in the Streets (1968), like many 1960s movies and tv shows, including That Cold Day in the Park (1969) and even The Bugaloos (1970-71), draws on establishment fear of the youth counterculture.  Based on a short story by Robert Thorn, "The Day It All Happened, Baby," it stars Christopher Jones as rock star/revolutionary Max Frost, who is elected President of the United States.

 Among his "horrifying" executive decisions: withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam, disbanding the FBI, shipping surplus grain to third-world countries...oh, and sending everyone over 35 to concentration camps, where they are kept high on LSD.

No explicit gay-content, but the hippie boys are quite affectionate with each other, reclining against each other's bodies, lying in each other's arms, and there is considerable beefcake, if you like lean and shaggy.



Born in 1941, Christopher Jones broke into show biz through his friend Frank Corsaro and through his wife, actress Susan Strasberg.  He was known chiefly for playing the titular role in The Legend of Jesse James (1965-66), which transformed the famous outlaw into an anti-establishment hero, a modern day Robin Hood who may have had a substantial buddy-bond with his brother Frank (Allen Case).

And for Chubasco (1967), about a young man sentenced to work on a fishing boat with the older movie hunk Richard Egan, while falling in love with Susan Strasberg.

His studio obviously thought that Christopher would strike an emotional chord with the hippie generation.  After Wild, they promoted him in the hippie sex comedy Three in the Attic (1968), about a boy with three girlfriends;  The Looking-Glass War (1969), about a Polish hippie working behind the Iron Curtain for the West; and Ryan's Daughter (1970), about an Irish boy in love with a girl.

Not a lot of gay-content, but sometimes beefcake is enough, and he gets naked a lot.

But Christopher was disillusioned with Hollywood, especially after the death of his friend/lover Sharon Tate, so he abandoned acting and became a painter.