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  World is Full of Married Men, The All Old Enough To Be Her Father, Too
Year: 1979
Director: Robert Young
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Carroll Baker, Sherrie Lee Cronn, Paul Nicholas, Gareth Hunt, Georgina Hale, Anthony Steel, Joan Nolan, Jean Gilpin, Moira Downie, Alison Elliott, Eva Louise, Joanne Ridley, Emma Ridley, Roy Scammell, Pat Astley, Nicola Austin
Genre: Drama, Trash, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A woman produces a gun and aims it at the man in the bed, then fires! But it's OK, apart from the seven years bad luck, as the shot was aimed into his reflection in a mirror and the woman is his funloving mistress who just loves to play around. He is David Cooper (Anthony Franciosa), a wealthy advertising executive, married with wife Linda (Carroll Baker) and two kids safely out of the way in his country house, and she is Claudia Parker (Sherrie Lee Cronn), his latest muse and conquest who is starring in a current ad campaign for soap. Surely nothing can happen to disrupt their illicit bliss - nothing except rock star Gem Gemini (Paul Nicholas), that is.

If you've ever seen Dawn French's spoof of Jackie Collins ("Lucky Bitches!" - Jennifer Saunders played Joan Collins) then it should be pretty difficult to take the screen adaptations of her blockbusting bonkbusters seriously. Then of course you actually watch one of them and realise that the spoof was so spot on it could have been drawn from the page, as the four films created from Collins' novels released in the late seventies can be fairly hilarious on their own. Of all of them, The World is Full of Married Men was the one which looked the cheapest, with every location appearing as though it was the same studio set redressed, and barely any scenes where the characters ventured outside of soft focus interiors.

What The Stud and The Bitch had in their favour was Jackie's big sister Joan swanning through them as if they were as high class as they aspired to be: she was perfect for this kind of thing and it revitalised her career, sending her back to Hollywood and soap stardom in Dynasty for the next decade. In this case, however, Carroll Baker might have had a nude scene but she came across as rather too frumpy to depict the sex siren as intended, or at least as she had earlier in her career, and the thought of erstwhile pop star Paul Nicholas getting overexcited by her as her inexplicable toy boy was somewhat difficult to accept. Even so, there were more heinous crimes against good taste here than that.

David is our real protagonist, as he cheats his way through the female cast and then acts affronted when his conquests do the same to him, so at least Collins was exposing a double standard. But then take a gander at his mistress, Sherrie Lee Cronn, who never appeared in another movie and sank without trace shortly after it came out, possibly because like the woman she was playing she was embarrassed to get into a situation where a lesbian sticks her tongue up her bottom and then gets into reluctant group sex shortly after, which onscreen resembles a rugby scrum. In the movie, it's one uncomfortable step on the ladder to success, but perhaps real life was not so forgiving.

Also showing up were stars of the calibre of instant coffee shill Gareth Hunt as David's business partner delivering explicit dialogue you'd rather not hear as he always seemed such a nice man, and Georgina Hale as his wife, who takes plain speaking to the point of insanity. Then there was former heartthrob Anthony Steel as a rich porn producer because here bags of money = sexual decadence, plus a selection of actresses willing to disrobe, and dance troupe Hot Gossip who were not. That brings us to the apparent purpose by stealth this was produced, which was the soundtrack album as not three nanoseconds go by without yet another chintzy disco record playing and occasionally danced to; as if that were not enough, Bonnie Tyler was there in the opening credits to trill the title song awkwardly, and Mick Jackson, the original Blame It On the Boogie chap, is at the end to belt out the same tune. Anyway, the intentional laughs were not as hearty as the unintentional ones when Anthony is using the word "bitch" like punctuation as he suffers a breakdown with ludicrous results. How the other half live, indeed...
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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