Robby (Movie Poster)
|MPAA Rating (USA):||NR|
|Director:||Ralph C. Bluemke|
Robby is a 1968 family film written and directed by Ralph C. Bluemke. It is a modern-day retelling of the Daniel Defoe novel Robinson Crusoe in which the main characters are portrayed as children. The film deals with many themes, including friendship, homesickness, racial blindness and naturism. It is unusual for a family film in that it contains extensive nudity.
A young boy of around 11 years of age shipwrecks on a tropical island and befriends a naked native youth of around the same age, the film contains lots of young nudity and explores social prejudices about race, religion and nudity.
The film opens with a lifeboat washing up onto shore of a tropical island. Inside the lifeboat is nine-year-old Robby. Robby explored the island but finds no signs of any other humans. He falls into a lagoon and almost drowns, but is rescued by a naked native boy, whom Robby befriends and names Friday. Robby questions Friday about his naked state and lack of shame, but it soon becomes quite clear that Friday does not understand English.
It is not long before Robby himself abandons his own clothes and the two friends scamper around the island naked and free without adult supervision. Robby teaches Friday how to speak English, and in turn Friday teaches Robby how to swim. Together, the two boys survive on the island, with only each other to rely on. They build a shelter and fish for sustenance. They are faced with threats of poisonous snakes and cannibals, of which they find evidence in the form of human remains, as well as a stranger who mysteriously appears on their island one night.
- Ralph C. Bluemke as Chauffeur
- John Woodbridge as Simmons
- Ryp Siani as Friday
- Warren Raum as Robby
- Rita Elliot as Janet Woodruff
Film Trivia (from IMDb)
- The film did not receive a wide distribution because prospective distributors were wary about the extensive nudity featured in the film.
- On the first day of filming his nude scenes, Warren Raum suffered severe sunburn on his buttocks, so much so that shooting had to be postponed while he recovered.
- Warren Raum and Ryp Siani were both director Ralph Bluemke's first choices for the two main roles. Luckily, both boys and their parents consented to the extensive nudity in the script.
- When cinematographer Al Mozell asked director Ralph Bluemke how far he wanted to go in showing actors Warren Raum and Ryp Siani's naked bodies, Bluemke told him to simply film the boys as if they were wearing clothes. Mozell reluctantly agreed, but warned, "Okay, but nudity is a no-no."
- The film was shot on location on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, the same island on which Lord of the Flies was filmed only five years earlier. Both films are about boys stranded on a desert island without adult supervision.
- Prior to filming, none of the cast and crew were nudists. However, since most of their scenes were filmed in the nude, Warren Raum and Ryp Siani soon became accustomed to not wearing clothes unless it was required for a particular scene, and often wandered amongst the crew stark naked even when not filming. Much of the crew also joined in skinny dipping with the boys during lunch breaks.
- For the 1988 reissue on VHS, the original music by John Randolph Eaton was replaced with new music by Christopher Young.