Pete Walker is famous primarily for the superlative horror films he made during the 70's like "Frightmare" and "House of the Whipcord" and secondarily for the sex comedies he churned out in the late 60's like "I Like Birds" and "School for Sex". This film, made during the transition between the two periods, doesn't really fit either category. It is more of a serious, realistic drama with occasional comic elements. It tells the story of two naive but extremely amoral young people who leave their boring small town lives for swinging London. After many humiliating experiences--having to resort to pimping, prostitution, and performing in stag films--against all odds (and all plausibility), they achieve their dream of a success, but it proves to be less than what they hoped for.
For much of the running time this is pretty serious and believable movie, but it goes off the rails at the end. The female character, Carol (played by Janet Lynn), is apparently meant to be a homage to Christine Keeler (who the actress uncannily resembles), but while it was easy to see how a liberal-minded party girl like Keeler could find fame and fortune (or infamy and fortune) in the repressed Britain of the early 60's, it seems a lot less likely that this would happen ten years later when all the girls were pretty much giving it away for free. It also seems unlikely that these two shallow grasping characters would suffer all this humiliation only to grow a conscience AFTER they finally find wealth and success.
In some ways this film resembles "Midnight Cowboy", but the characters are much more amoral and insensitive, so the film doesn't really achieve the same tragic, emotional depths. Still the two leads are very charismatic. I always liked Robin Askwith (even if his bare butt often logged more screen time in his movies than his face). Janet Lynn was unbelievably sexy as a schoolgirl who gets felt up by a lecherous schoolmaster in a brief scene in "Assault", so you can imagine what she is like in a meatier role that requires her to shed her clothes every five minutes. Mostly though it is nice to see a British sex film that is not preachy and moralistic, on one hand, or given over to horrible sub-Benny Hill style "comedy" on the other. Pete Walker does it again.
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