HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
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
Scandal
Buzzard
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
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
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
   
 
  Madame Claude Candid CameraBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Just Jaeckin
Stars: Françoise Fabian, Dayle Haddon, Murray Head, Klaus Kinski, Vibeke Knudsen, Maurice Ronet, Robert Webber, Jean Gaven, Andre Falcon, François Perrot, Marc Michel, Roland Bertin, Ed Bishop, Karl Held, Ylva Setterborg, Marie-Christine Deshayes, Max Amyl
Genre: Drama, Sex, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The President of the United States (Robert Webber) is having difficulty with international relations when it transpires that a Japanese order for Lockheed missiles from his country has been cancelled, leaving the China Seas open to domination by the Communists. He takes a break from the heated debate and retires to his office, where there is a surprise waiting for him: a call girl who he is so delighted to see that he immediately seduces her. What he does not know is that there has been someone snooping around outside, following the prostitute and taking photographs: he is David Evans (Murray Head), and he is involved with a blackmail ring...

If the presence of Murray Head in the cast leads you to hope for a show with everything but Yul Brynner in Madame Claude, then you'll be disappointed, although while we don't get Yul or everything but, we do get Klaus Kinski as a dodgy and wealthy businessman who always has attractive women hanging off his arms. Director Just Jaeckin was, and still is, best known for Emmanuelle, and it is in that vein that he continued foisting his glossy but vacuous sexual fantasies upon the world. This time he had ambitions to saying something about the double dealings of the men in power in this world, so although we never see the President after the first ten minutes, we do see the effects of his influence.

The Madame Claude of the title is played by that classy French actress Françoise Fabian, cornering the market in such alluring older woman roles during the seventies. It is Claude who is orchestrating the call girl network, providing ladies of the night for the rich and powerful, and offering David a nice line in exploiting the clients by snapping a few pics of them in flagrante delicto. That's not the whole story, however, as André G. Brunelin's script has the attention span of a goldfish, and frequently heads off in other directions, much of them concentrating on Elizabeth (Dayle Haddon), a ne'er-do'well who Claude is intent on taking under her wing.

Indeed, the only way you can recognise that this is all the one story is that the same faces keep turning up throughout, as one scene follows another without much connection to what has happened before. The overall impression is that Jaeckin was out of his depth with the political stuff, because he continually returns to the sexual sequences to reawaken the audience's flagging interest, and these too appear to have been dropped in without much reason other than this is what we expected of him. At one point even Madame Claude's dentist announces that she wants to be one of her prostitutes, completely out of the blue.

Mind you, that scene does illustrate that sex is strictly business for the title character, as she turns down the dentist because she thinks she would enjoy herself too much. Sex is not something to be enjoyed for what it is for her, it has to be a step on the way to getting what you want, so she has no interest in, say, allowing Elizabeth to fall in love with Kinski's son after the businessman hires Elizabeth for a weekend in the Caribbean: a harsh lesson for the novice. If you can follow the convolutions of the plot, you should be able to catch on that David is getting in over his (Murray) head with these shady figures looking for his negatives, just as Elizabeth is out of her depth when she cannot be as coldhearted as the sex trade demands. At a late stage, the film turns into a thriller, with a typically cynical seventies ending; although the most cult interest might stem from the Serge Gainsbourg soundtrack, which includes Jane Birkin singing too.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3938 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
2 Jul 2009
  Nowadays Dayle Haddon advertises anti-aging creams on TV. Wonder if anyone remembers she was in Spermula.
       
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
2 Jul 2009
  I do! I saw it in untranslated French, so don't ask me what it was about.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
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: