"Lady Chattlerly vs. Fanny Hill" vs. "Shameless Co-eds"
In this movie John Cleland's 18th century heroine "Fanny Hill" squares off against D.H. Lawrence's 19th century erotic heroine "Lady Chattlerly" (in the Roaring 1920's, no less). They are both prostitutes (never mind that only "Fanny Hill" was actually ever a prostitute) whose madams (and aunts) have wagered them against each other. They first have to each try to seduce the "un-seducable"--a drag queen and a priest (both of who presumably are as queer a three dollar bill). When that ends in a "draw", they then compete to seduce the same man, an elderly nebbish wine merchant. I won't give away the ending, but suffice it to say it ends very well for the wine merchant.
There are two ways to look at British sex films like this one. On one hand, you can see the Brits as censorship-happy and so uncomfortable with human sexuality that they always had to turn their sex flicks into silly "respectable" affairs full of painfully unfunny "comedy", and they therefore never achieved the more "sophisticated" eroticism of continental European films like "Emmanuelle" and "The Story of O". On the other hand, however, the fact that they were such a censorious society ironically also prevented British sex films from hitting the bottom nearly as quickly as they did in more liberal countries in terms of production values (i.e. acting, cinematography, plot, or anything else of interest besides the sex). Ironically, it was not censorship so much as competition from dirt-cheap hardcore shot-on-video smut that really did in the interesting sexploitation films of yore. The same night I saw this I watched ten minutes (that was more than enough)of one of those wall-to-wall shag-fests they show on late-night cable called "Shameless Coe-eds" (they were definitely shameless, but I'm not sure if people this stupid are really believable as "co-eds"). Anyway, there is NO DOUBT which was the far more entertaining flick (at least for someone who enjoys movies more than masturbation).
The leads in this are Joanna Lumley (as "Fanny Hill") and Penny Brahms as ("Lady Chatterly"). Brahms was a very pretty blonde actress who had bit parts in movies like "2001 a Space Odyssey", but this is easily her best LEADING role. Lumley, on the hand, later starred in Hammer films and a lot of stuff on BBC television stuff like "The Avengers" and "Absolutely Fabulous" and she is reportedly quite embarrassed by this early movie. She needn't be. Aside from showing off her incredible body, there is nothing particularly embarrassing here. It's not a great, but it's still a hell of a lot better the something like "Shameless Co-eds"!
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