Jun 19, 2014

The Fabulous Bottoms Boys

The Last Picture Show (1971) starred Timothy Bottoms and Jeff Bridges as high school graduates trapped in a small-town hell, plus Sam Bottoms as a mentally-challenged street sweeper.  There were hugs, longing glances, and gay subtexts all around.

Born in Santa Barbara, California in 1951, Timothy made his acting debut in Johnny Got His Gun (1971), a dramatic tour de force about a soldier who loses his arms and legs.  He was very busy during the 1970s, but mostly in serious dramatic roles that I didn't see: Winesburg, Ohio (1973), based on the Sherwood Anderson stories; The Paper Chase (1973), about first-year law school students; A Small Town in Texas (1976), about a grifter in a small town in Texas.





During the 1980s and 1990s, he played mostly characters in small towns or the wilderness who hook up with women.  However, he made up for it by taking off his shirt a lot.  And by parodying President George W. Bush three times.




Sam, born in 1955, was only 16 when he starred in The Last Picture Show.  He was also known for taking his shirt off a lot during the 1970s.  In Savages (1974), the evil Andy Griffith steals his cloths and strands him in the desert, so he's naked through the whole movie.

Unlike his brother, he has appeared in some gay-subtext vehicles: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), opposite Clint Eastwood, Apocalypse Now (1979), opposite Marlon Brando, and Hunter's Blood (1986), a Deliverance clone about evil hillbillies threatening some city boys.

He died in 2008.

Timothy and Sam may be the most famous of the Bottoms Boys, but there are two more:

1. Joseph, born in 1954, appeared as a feral child in Stalk the Wild Child (1976), as a guy named Texas in the buddy-bonding comedy High Rolling in a Hot Corvette (1977), and in the buddy-bonding racing movie King of the Mountain (1981), opposite Harry Hamlin.

In 1975, he became the only one of the Bottoms boys to appear nude in the gay-themed After Dark.  

2. Ben, born in 1960, also appeared in Stalk the Wild Child, plus the anti-cult movie Blinded by the Light (1980), and a few more his brothers' vehicles.





Two or three often appeared in the same movies, but if you want to see all four together, the only place is the  tv pilot Island Sons (1987), about four brothers in Hawaii who display their chests and um...other things (this is an actual shot from the opening credits).

See also: The Fabulous Bridges Boys