HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Synchronic
Capote Tapes, The
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Pretty Maids All in a Row Charm Offensive
Year: 1971
Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Rock Hudson, Angie Dickinson, Telly Savalas, John David Carson, Roddy McDowall, Keenan Wynn, James Doohan, William Campbell, Susan Tolsky, Barbara Leigh, Aimée Eccles, JoAnna Cameron, Margaret Markov, June Fairchild, Joy Bang, Brenda Sykes
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: High school student Ponce de Leon Harper (John David Carson) is suffering mightily this morning. He has never so much as kissed a girl, never mind touched one, not really, but the sight of all the female students walking by in their short skirts and tight tops is sending him into an agony of sexual frustration. When he gets to English class he is confronted with his new teacher, Miss Betty Smith (Angie Dickinson) and as she is attractive she proves just as much of a distraction so Ponce has to excuse himself to visit the toilet. But what he finds there dampens his ardour...

Captain Kirk never had this trouble, did he? Why mention him? Because the producer and indeed screenwriter of Pretty Maids All in a Row was Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, although aside from the preponderance of young actresses in miniskirts there were none too numerous similarities between the sci-fi favourite and the darkly comedic affair going on in this, Roddenberry's attempt to break into the movies. He was between failed TV pilots when he adapted Francis Pollini's novel, and in spite of the big names he secured it was not a hit - he had to wait until the Star Trek movie franchise took off for more success, some would say in spite of himself.

Another interesting name here was the director, Roger Vadim, making his first American movie, and his next after the international hit of Barbarella. His love of the female form might have been well-regarded in Europe, but translated to Hollywood and applied to a bunch of largely teenage performers the overall effect was rather creepy - there was certainly little doubt that if this material were made today the attitude would have been different, and the film would have looked more like a thriller and less like a sex romp. As if that were not strange enough, the chief womaniser here was not Ponce, he's hopeless, but one of his tutors, psychology professor and football coach Tiger McDrew.

Played by Rock Hudson, of whom it's safe to say that perhaps his heart wasn't entirely in this, though as ever he was the consummate professional, yet seeing him guide Miss Smith through his techniques which involve sticking his hands up her jumper as he academically describes what he's doing wasn't half bizarre. Not only that, but the trauma of what he saw in the lavatory has led Ponce to open up to Tiger, not realising there were far better people he could go to; one thing leads to another and Ponce, who must be suffering as much thanks to that name as he is his other stresses, starts spending a lot of time with Miss Smith. To put it bluntly, Tiger wants her to perform the same service as he does for the female students.

This was one of those movies where the more you described it the more difficult it became to comprehend as time moved on, and it must have seemed fairly strange back then, too. Take what Ponce found in the gents: a dead body of a schoolgirl with a note pinned to her underwear, that's right, in among all that betrayal of the teacher-student relationship we're in the middle of a murder mystery too. Which means one thing: call in Kojak! Well, Telly Savalas playing a police investigator anyway, stealing scenes in his air of cool bemusement and getting to partner up with Scotty himself, James Doohan (there was a pilot right there, Gene!). Roddy McDowall showed up too as the Principal, leading to supposedly humorous point-missing scenes, but really hardly anyone here acted like a normal person, and the amount of quirks may have been ironed out over the course of the plot to leave you with a slog through suffocating sexism and reactionary kneejerks to the newly permissive society (which it secretly loves), but there was still nothing quite like it, Osmonds theme song and all. Lalo Schifrin provided the music.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3606 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roger Vadim  (1928 - 2000)

French writer-director who had a habit of romancing his leading ladies. And God Created Woman, his debut, created a sensation and made a superstar of Brigitte Bardot. His other films include Blood and Roses, Barbarella (featuring then-wife Jane Fonda), the first part of Spirits of the Dead, the Hollywood excursion Pretty Maids All in a Row and Night Games.

 
Review Comments (0)


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: