Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Pleasure Girls

THE PLEASURE GIRLS, 1965, no not THE PLEASURE SEEKERS (they were Ann-Margret, Pamela Tiffin and Carol Lynley in Spain) – these are 4 English girls sharing an apartment in Kensington in 1965 London and this long-unseen black and white little film by Gerry O’Hara nicely captures that.

The blurb on the dvd reads: "Illicit love. Passion. Brutality. Riotous Parties and Sudden Heartbreak all play their part in this frank story of five bachelor girls who seek fame and fortune amid the bright lights of London.
Each girl has her own code, her own problems. Each is faced with the dilemma of how to pay the price demanded for a measure of happiness in the glitter and glamour of London's smart set.
Told with realism, compassion and compelling candour this is a story up to the minute as this morning's headlines. The pitfalls that await young girls drawn to the metropolis are unblushingly revealed in a film that combines gripping entertainment with an honest appraisal of today's morality".
Beat that!

It is more Sixties in aspic as I knew that area in the 60s and lots of apartments like the one here. Francesca Annis (after her stint as CLEOPATRA’s handmaiden) is the nice country girl new in London to study at model school as she joins three other girls and the guy who lives in the apartment downstairs. He Paddy (Tony Tanner) turns out to be a happy uncomplicated ordinary gay guy (this was 2 years before the law regarding homosexuality was changed in England) – and not even a photographer like Roland Curram in the same year’s DARLING! Francesca gets involved with lad about town Ian McShane, while Anneke Wills is the girl who cannot get a boyfriend; Rosemary Nichols is the one who gets pregnant by no-good Mark Eden, a compulsive gambler; and Suzanna Lee is Dee the nice upper-class girl who discovers she really loves her racketeer landlord boyfriend Klaus Kinski (relatively restrained here). It touches on slum landlords which was topical in London then, and nicely captures that era – and makes a nice contrast to DARLING which got all the awards and attention.

Annis [now one of our senior actresses, in series like CRANFORD] and Lee were going places then. O’Hara was on the fringes of the exploitation market [his MAROC 7 (already reviewed here, Cyd Charisse label) is quite lively too], this was produced by Compton Films who specialised in these kind of films and who also distributed Polanski’s British films REPULSION and CUL-DE-SAC as well as items like A STUDY IN TERROR and THE PENTHOUSE. In all, a nice addition to those London just about to swing 60s titles, like NOTHING BUT THE BEST and SMASHING TIME. It's best companion pieces would be Michael Winner's THE SYSTEM from 1964 and Clive Donner's HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH from 1967, both of which I will have to return to. These though are now interesting dvd releases.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly find rarities to tantalise us with! This is another lost movie I would like to discover, thanks for the advice that it is on dvd.