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Sex comedy

Las Nenas del mini-mini (1969) - Germán Lorente

Sex-shop (1972) - Claude Berri

Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle / Tarzoon, shame of the jungle (1975) - Boris Szulzinger, Picha

Mondo di notte oggi (1976) - Gianni Proia

Bedroom farce

A bedroom farce is a type of light drama, centered on the sexual pairings and recombinations of characters as they move through improbable plots. The bedroom farce is perhaps the most common form of farce.

The most famous bedroom farceur is probably Georges Feydeau, whose collections of coincidences, slamming doors, and ridiculous dialogue delighted Paris in the 1890s and are now considered forerunners to the Theater of the Absurd. The Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler took bedroom farce to its highest dramatic level in his La Ronde, which in ten bedroom scenes connects the highest and lowest of Vienna.

In modern times, Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982) and the television series Fawlty Towers both present aspects of the bedroom farce. David Ives' 1982 play Noises Off parodies the typical bedroom farce via its play-within-the-play, "Nothing On." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedroom_farce [Apr 2005]

X-rated comedies


Yes, we know we're dragging Creamguide's respectable name through the mud with this choice of subject, and we're very, very sorry. But, the fact that we can't think of anything else that starts with X aside, there's much worthy of exploration here, as these films provide not only a compendium of British comedy acting talent in its rent-paying dotage, but they also form part of the story of the British film industry's post-'60s decline as a whole. Oh, and it's the richest seam of film titles based around weak puns and ending in exclamation marks we know of, which must count for something, surely?

The story of the sexcom begins with former horror film cinematographer and exploitation entrepreneur extraordinaire Stanley A Long. Long made his name, in the law courts as much as the cinema, with 1961's WEST END JUNGLE ("The sex-film that London banned! Made in the actual places of vice!!") a breathless "exposé" of Soho's sex trade, made in a mock-documentary style that was to provide the blueprint for British sex films for a decade before comedy came into the equation. Various follow-ups appeared in short order, with titles like LONDON IN THE RAW and TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES AND LIVE! 1965's PRIMITIVE LONDON is a bizarre bit of salacious moralising indeed, with scenes of beatniks, kids and Billy J Kramer being interviewed about pop music and, of course, "free love", familiar enough from endless '60s documentaries, strangely intercut with gruesome footage of car crashes, operations and battery hens being slaughtered, and appearances from Barry Cryer and Mick MacManus.

This weird mix can be explained - sort of - by the still very strict censorship to which films in the UK were subject. Cheap exploitation fare had to show it was taking a moral stance, or at least paying lip-service to one, and hence films from this era are all "exposés" of the nefarious activities of wife-swappers, porn merchants and increasingly delinquent youth. Of course, it's all just an excuse to revel in the vicarious thrills these subjects provide, but the finger-wagging tone of the voice-over narration, coupled with the tabloidesque sleazing-up, ironically makes the films seem far dirtier than they actually are. They were extremely tame, and not only by today's standards. The following year's SECRETS OF A WINDMILL GIRL had Pauline Collins playing an ingénue showgirl at the celebrated eponymous theatre, agonising over whether or not to appear nude on stage, and finally deciding, er, not to bother. Martin Jarvis and Harry Fowler provide local colour from both ends of the spectrum.

Probably the first out-and-out sex comedy came from Long's Salon Productions stable in 1969, with former "naturist" film director and horror scriptwriter Derek Long at the helm. THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER! was a portmanteau comic trilogy (with stories called This, That and, er, The Other) every bit as effortlessly funny as that exclamation mark in the title might suggest. Genuine star names begin to appear - Dennis Waterman and Alexandra 'Champions' Bastedo among them. Probably the biggest at the time was Victor 'Not a drop of water touched me' Spinetti, as a suicidal depressive who hooks up with - hooray! - a saucy hippy girl. Elsewhere, cab-driving porn- hound John Bird crashes his carriage and suffers erotic hallucinations in what amounts to some very experimental film-making for the largely no-nonsense genre. The sub-Carry On quickfire style hadn't yet been purloined, but here already was the basic set-up that pretty much every sexcom would take - horny young bloke, lecherous middle-aged bloke, naive-yet-sexually-available nymphet and latently rampant older woman all find themselves thrown together in various perms and combs by unabashedly contrived circumstance, and Fanny's your aunt. --http://tv.cream.org/specialassignments/films/filmsx.htm [May 2005]

Carry On films

Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968) - Gerald Thomas
image sourced here.

Carry On films

The Carry On films were a long-running series of British popular low-budget comedy films, directed by Gerald Thomas and produced by Peter Rodgers. An energetic mix of parody, farce and double entendres, they are seen as a classic examples of British humour. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carry_On_films [May 2005]

see also: double entendre - farce - parody - sex comedy

Sex is Comedy (2002) - Catherine Breillat

    Sex is Comedy (2002) - Catherine Breillat
    Breillat has encapsulated her beliefs about filmmaking in her latest movie, Sex Is Comedy. It's almost self-parody, the story of a female director shooting an intimate film with a recalcitrant male lead, but it's a far cry from those loving recreations of the movie world such as François Truffaut's La Nuit américaine. --http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2003/07/19/bfmof19.xml

    "I detest Truffaut," she says uncompromisingly." "All that cinema of self-regard." --Catherine Breillat interviewed by The Telegraph.co.uk, June 2003

La Matriarca / The Libertine (1969) - Pasquale Festa Campanile

The Libertine (1969) - Pasquale Festa Campanile [Amazon.com]

The Libertine (1969) - Pasquale Festa Campanile [Amazon.com]

Starring European sex kitten Catherine Spaak and Jean-Louis Trintignant (A Man and a Woman), The Libertine is about a young woman named Mimi who discovers that her recently deceased husband had kept a secret apartment equipped to satisfy his unusual sexual desires. Upset that he had turned to others instead of herself, Mimi decides to use the apartment to explore the world of sex! --http://www.firstrunfeatures.com/libertine.html [Mar 2005]

The Libertine (La Matriarca) is a 1969 film (also known as The Matriarch) and stars Catherine Spaak. Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile.

European sex comedy. A young widow, Mimi, discovers her recently deceased husband kept a secret apartment for his kinky desires. She decides to use the apartment herself. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Libertine [Mar 2005]

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) - Paul Mazursky

Carnal Knowledge (1971) - Mike Nichols [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

While its particulars remain rooted in the sexual revolution of the late 1960s, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is remarkably timeless as a classic comedy of manners. Making an impressive, high-profile directorial debut after success as a screenwriter, Paul Mazursky took the pulse of California society better than anyone, especially with this well-cast, sharply observant comedy that begins when sophisticated couple Bob and Carol (Robert Culp, Natalie Wood) attend a weekend retreat that opens their eyes to the possibilities of open marriage and mutual acceptance of extramarital affairs.

When they reveal their newfound liberties to straightlaced couple Ted and Alice (Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon), the subtle, behavioral richness of the largely improvisational screenplay (by Mazursky and Larry Tucker) rises to the surface, conveyed through the kind of natural rhythms and pauses that were dramatically in vogue in the fast-changing Hollywood of 1969. The film hasn't lost any of its punch, perhaps because American sexual politics have returned to the conservatism that existed before Bob and Carol emerged as the signature comedy of the swinging sixties. The absence of the late Natalie Wood is the only drawback to the DVD's excellent commentary, which reunites Mazursky, Culp, Gould, and Cannon in a casual atmosphere of humorous reminiscence. --Jeff Shannon

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is a 1969 film with Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_&_Carol_&_Ted_&_Alice [May 2005]

Comedy of manners
The comedy of manners satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young. The plot of the comedy, often concerned with an illicit love affair or some other scandal, is generally less important than its witty and often bawdy dialogue. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy_of_manners

Cry Uncle (1971) - John G. Avildsen

image sourced here.

Madeleine Le Roux in
Cry Uncle (1971) - John G. Avildsen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

–Movie House Commentary
"...a near-perfect movie. The writing and directing are first-rate,"

–Andrew Hershberger, E-film Critic reviews
"...a jaw dropping, gut busting descent into decadence. This is a black comedy that delivers."

The director of Rocky and the writer of the Dark Crystal team up to bring you the 1970’s X-rated theatrical hit comedy Cry Uncle! See Troma President Lloyd Kaufman essay the role of a stoned hippie in Rocky director John G. Avildsen’s X-rated comedy. Drenched in 1970’s atmosphere and banned in Finland, Cry Uncle delves into the hilarious and mysterious tale of an eccentric millionaire, sex, the murdered mistress, sex, a part time country music man, more sex, and Jake, the suave debonair lover, poet, athlete and 262 lb. private detective from New Jersey who's been hired to find the real killer...and even more sex! Oscar winner John G. Avildson (ROCKY, THE KARATE KID) directs from a screenplay by David Odell (DARK CRYSTAL) in this outrageous cast including Allen Garfield and Paul Sorvino. --via Amazon.com

John Gilbert Avildsen (born December 21, 1935 in Oak Park, Illinois) is an American film director.

His movies include Joe (1970), Rocky (1976) and Rocky V (1990) with Sylvester Stallone, and The Karate Kid (1984), with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. He also directed the acclaimed, Save the Tiger starring Jack Lemmon and Lean On Me (1989), starring Morgan Freeman as the no-nonsense high school principal Joe Clark. A recurring theme in many of Avildsen's movies is the triumph of an underdog character over adversity.

Avildsen won the Academy Award for Directing Rocky. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Avildsen

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