Bob Fosse played the snake in a 1974 adaptation of The Little Prince. Seeing his astonishing dance moves juxtaposed here with a “Billie Jean” soundtrack reminds me how freaked out and completely spellbound I was when I first encountered the movie, in reruns at a local theater, at four or five.
In hindsight, The Little Prince was a pretty avant-garde choice for my school’s summer camp. Usually we were limited to overtly evangelical offerings or to insipid Father Knows Best-era stories like Cheaper By the Dozen.
Maybe someone hoped Fosse’s writhing serpent would underscore Eve’s wickedness in the garden and cement our fears of hell. If so, it worked, at least on me.
All told, I figure the subconscious aftereffects of the All That Jazz! director’s performance extended my religious devotion by a good two years.