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  Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood, The Californication
Year: 1980
Director: Alan Roberts
Stars: Martine Beswick, Chris Lemmon, Adam West, Richard Deacon, Phil Silvers, Charles Green, Lisa London, Alexandra Morgan, Tanya Boyd, Susan Kiger, Randi Brough, Candi Brough, Lindsay Bloom, Betty Jean Samuelson, Jack Perkins, Dick Miller, Edie Adams
Genre: Comedy, Sex, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Warkoff Film Studios of Hollywood, California are in a tizzy because the head, Mr Warkoff (Phil Silvers) is visiting today. His right hand men, including grandson Robby (Chris Lemmon) and top producer Lionel Lamely (Adam West) are anxious to find out what he has on his mind, which turns out to be an adaptation of the memoirs of the so-called "Happy Hooker", Xaviera Hollander (Martine Beswick). When she is contacted, she is flattered but sceptical about how well her life story will translate, so opts to travel to Hollywood to show them what's what...

A Cannon production just as their era was dawning, this was the third in the Happy Hooker series, of which each starred a different actress. The difference this time around was that the star actually took her clothes off, with Beswick that brave woman, apparently cast because they couldn't secure the services of Joan Collins. In fact, Beswick - who looks great here - seems far too classy for this downmarket enterprise, and it's a truism that in these productions you'd rather see the cast in something higher quality rather than slum it in the doldrums of their careers.

The script was by Devin Goldberg, and marked an improvement over the previous entry, although few but the keenest eyes would have detected it. Mainly this was an excuse for nudity (Beswick disrobes in a way that original series star Lynn Redgrave would not) and less than hilarious comedy, painting a fairy tale picture of prostitution as nothing but gaily coloured frolics as Xaviera sets up a new brothel in Hollywood to fund the movie. This is after she has tried her best to get along with Lamely, even to the extent of going to bed with him...

Yes, think on that. You get to see sex scenes featuring Adam West here, TV's Batman in simulated sequences that will most likely place your head in your hands with dismay. Almost as bad as that is his dancing, but let's not dwell on the embarrassment to Mr West there. Let's mention the bit where he has to dress up in drag instead, as what the plot settles into is a game of tit for tat between the Warkoff studio who were going to scam Xaviera and her gang of whores who team up with Robby (Lemmon is Jack Lemmon's son, incidentally) to produce their own version of events.

This means that Xaviera is filmed having sex with Lamely without her knowledge then walks off their movie in a fit of pique, and in revenge her own film is sabotaged by Warkoff and company. Silvers is obviously reading from cue cards and spends the whole film in a gold-plated wheelchair, yet another depressing aspect of this tawdry project: a different one is the fact that at the premiere of the film within a film, the real producers Cannon have the gall to plug another of their money losers of that year, namely The Apple. All this is patently aimed at men who didn't have the courage to watch genuine porn, as Lemmon apart the male characters are plainly overage while most of the females are in their twenties. So it's really a fantasy, and an impoverished one at that - little wonder Beswick was so disdainful of working on it. Music by Tom Perry.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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