Galley Ship, Hollywood, CA
Leather and metal haltered maillot cutout. Headdress. Boots. Bullwhip.
Raquel polices the aisle of a rowing gallery of men chained in their places (1). She struts (2) and raises her whip (3). She relaxes for an autographed pose (4).
This is the famous slave driver scene from the movie The Magic Christian, which also stars Peter Sellers and Ringo Star. While Raquel's costume is not exactly a swimsuit, it is certainly related by silhouette, style, and the context of Ms. Welch as one of America's chief pinups. As a costume, is it, in fact, more charged than a swimsuit; it is indeed fetishwear, worn with a touch of wit perhaps, and clearly in a scene in which Raquel demonstrates just once and for all just who is in charge. As always, Ms. Welch decides what her audience will see of her, and this time her omnipresent belly button is covered. She may tease the boys with her outfits, but they will look at her and not touch, secured in place and working.
In the early 1970s Raquel is on a run of unusual "bikini" costumes--this year (RW197005), and next year (RW197110).
Publicity stills from The Magic Christian, Commonwealth United Pictures, 1970. 4 pictures.