Based on the best-selling novel by Irving Wallace that was inspired by the Kinsey Report on the sexual mores of suburban women, the film follows the personal (read sexual) lives of four ...
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John Phillip Law
Based on the best-selling novel by Irving Wallace that was inspired by the Kinsey Report on the sexual mores of suburban women, the film follows the personal (read sexual) lives of four women (Claire Bloom, Jane Fonda, Shelley Winters and Glynis Johns) with four separate sexual hangups, ranging from frigidity to nymphomania. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. plays a researcher who becomes entangled with Fonda, the young woman suffering from emotional frigidity. Written by
According to pre-production blurbs in the LA Times, Orson Welles was initial choice to play the title sex researcher (a role that ultimately went to Andrew Duggan), with Janet Leigh and Jayne Mansfield named as two of the female leads. See more »
On the beach when Glynis Johns is using a tape recorder while on an orange blanket, she gets very frustrated by Ty Hardin's beach football fellow rowdies that she gets up and moves. Next camera break she is using a yellow blanket. See more »
It took four (male) writers to adapt Irving Wallace's bestseller...and this is what they came up with?
The real-life Kinsey Report on modern-day sexual beliefs and behaviors is barely disguised here while being used as a facile backdrop, with the melodramatic film concentrating more on the hang-ups of four suburban women who have agreed to be surveyed for the project. Gene Allen, Wyatt Cooper, Don Mankiewicz, and Grant Stuart adapted the book by Irving Wallace, but tip their collective hand immediately when delineating the troubles of Claire Bloom's Naomi, a divorcée and man-magnet who is supposed to be a nymphomaniac; the way the character is rendered here, she's more of an alcoholic who (somehow unintentionally) ends up debasing herself with men, always with "no! no!" on her lips. The picture is about pinpointing where sexual repression and ideas of indecency ultimately come from, yet the screenwriters fall into their own trap with Naomi: judging her condescendingly, making her an unhappy lush, and failing to let us see what turns this woman on, what motivates her to meet strange men in seedy places (she isn't allowed to have any sexual fun--this is 'freedom' with an ultimate price). Jane Fonda is a frigid young widow who learns to loosen up with one of Dr. Chapman's own associates (!), while married Shelley Winters has convinced herself she's in love with her playboy and Glynis Johns is busy throwing herself at a beach bum. The sex survey is just an angle to get the movie going, and the professional question-and-answer sequences awkwardly turn into psychotherapy sessions for these frustrated ladies. What might have been an incisive glimpse into today's mores and morals has instead become a glossy, middle-brow soap opera, and everyone involved suffers from the slushy handling. ** from ****
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