Saturday, January 8, 2011
PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW (1971)
Director: Roger Vadim
Written By: Gene Rodenberry
Based On The Novel By: Francis Pollini
Cinematography By: Charles Rosher Jr.
Editor: Bill Brame
CAST: Rock Hudson, Angie Dickinson, Telly Savalas, Kenneth Wynn, Roddy McDowell, James Doohan
This film is a sign of it’s swinging times where as it plays more like a sex farce then it’s intended murder mystery story which comes off as a afterthought to the rest of the film. It seems there only to get the story rolling. It stars Rock Hudson as a lecherous ladies man teacher who is sleeping with all his underage students and anything in a skirt. Who is the main suspect in the killings. A teacher played by Angie Dickinson is in love with him and keeps finding herself in compromising positions with him. He is also trying to counsel a nerd student in the way of women.
I can’t say the film is actually good it is excellently filmed. The cast of ladies are all unbelievably beautiful. Seeing Angie Dickinson in this film I can see why she was thought of as a sex symbol in her day. This film shows her at her peak and she is a godess in this film subjected to a lot pf physical comedy while being barely dressed. Rock Hudson is strange in this film as he doesn’t have his classic good looks he looks like a stoned hippie through most of the film.
It is a interesting artifact of a bygone era. A film that could never be made or even thought of today. Sure the film is misogynistic and sexist, but it is a male’s dream. I would consider this a sexploitation film with little actual sex in it. The film is more about titillation and seduction then anything else. The comedic scenes in the film are cute and more physical humor but the culture and times it satirizes are actually pretty weak and stupid.
The only way I got to see it is seeking it on a bootleg video which was actually a very good copy. I enjoyed the film as a reminder of a bygone era. Lime the classic Rock Hudson- Doris day films of the 50’s and 60’s only a lot more sexualized as the social taboos had disappeared so that you didn’t just have entendres you could behave in a manner on screen erotically and didn’t have to hide it as much.
As part of film history I would say it is worth owning as you will see nothing like it. For all of it’s faults it’s still interesting due to them. But it is truly only worth renting I would say look for it on cable but truthfully you would be lucky to catch it on as it would be a rare occurance.
It is probably also the only time you will see A Script that was written by Gene Rodenberry that isn’t in anyway Science Fiction related or influenced. He must have had faith in this project as he also produced the film.