Ass’s Milk

Happy heavenly birthday to Claudette Colbert!

Colbert is one of our favorite movie stars from the 1930s and 1940s, winning an Oscar for It Happened One Night and starring in such classics as Cleopatra, The Egg and I and Since You Went Away. But our favorite Colbert film is the infamous 1932 camp classic The Sign of the Cross, which features an outrageously wonderful performance by Charles Laughton as Nero and perhaps the sexiest character of 1930s cinema in the form of Colbert’s Empress Poppaea. She was immortalized in one of the most famous nude scenes of the era when Poppaea takes a milk bath attended by her gaggle of slaves, a sight so deeply planted in Hack’s psyche that he wrote this novel about it.