Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
  Inserts Body DoubleBuy this film here.
Year: 1974
Director: John Byrum
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Jessica Harper, Bob Hoskins, Veronica Cartwright, Stephen Davies
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Boy Wonder (Richard Dreyfuss) has fallen a long way from the heights of the big time and bright lights he used to enjoy. He was a hotshot film director in the silent era, but with the introduction of the talkies he is reduced to making stag films in a corner of his house, a home he refuses to leave if he can at all help it. Today, as he plays a tune on the piano his introspection is broken by the arrival of his leading lady, Harlene (Veronica Cartwright), and she is as chatty as he is reticent. She informs him that up and coming star Clark Gable thinks he's a genius and wishes to work with him - will this bring him out of his shell?

A strange film about how movies are better than real life, this could have taken the age old tack of presenting showbiz in its vampiric form, draining the life out of its participants, yet here it's only the promise of making films that keeps its characters going. Inserts received terrible reviews and not much business on its initial release - perhaps the critics and audiences were put off by the frank dialogue and explicit air of sexual decadence, but it has found fans willing to stick up for it as the years have gone on, and it does have an odd fascination.

It's the fascination of seeing people sink to new depths in their lives, but despite being about half an hour too long, it does sustain its hold over the viewer. It was written and directed by John Byrum, and his take on Hollywood is something akin to the old joke about the man at the circus who cleans up after the elephants; after complaining about it his friend suggests he get another job only to be asked incredulously, "What? And leave showbusiness?" All the Inserts characters are on the bottom rung of the ladder, but its gazing at the stars above that keeps them going.

However, it's Boy Wonder who has savoured the sweet smell of success, as opposed to the others who aspire to it. Gable is never seen, but we hear him ringing the doorbell even as Boy Wonder is reluctant to answer it, as if opportunity knocking once more is not something he wants to hear, preferring self-pity. Meanwhile the porn film shoot goes on, the director treating it with far more creativity than it deserves, with Harlene and another aspiring actor known only as Rex the Wonder Dog (Stephen Davies in performance that makes you wonder why we didn't hear of him more).

Unfortunately for Boy Wonder and his bootlegger-turned-producer Big Mac (Bob Hoskins in the first big role of his career), their opus looks to be sabotaged when after filming a few scenes Harlene wanders upstairs to the bathroom with a syringe of heroin and never comes down. So who can they find to do the inserts? It just so happens that Big Mac has brought along Miss Cake (Jessica Harper, very brave in her first feature) who is keen to break into movies, and a curious power game proceeds between her and Boy Wonder. In this, being on film is all that matters, it's what fuels the characters' dreams and they're willing to go to drastic lengths to make their lives like those of their idols. Yet in the introduction, the finished film is played to a group of men who make lewd comments and have no respect for those who made it, so it's unclear where Byrum's sympathies lie. Are they deluded by the promise Hollywood rarely delivers?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2587 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: