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The widow Alexandra and her schoolgirl daughter Sandra live together in a luxurious villa in Spain. When Fernando, an old love of Alexandra's, appears in town the two rekindle their love affair until Alexandra finds that he is being paid to be the companion of a rich older woman. Written by
This was the first, and only other, film of Spanish director Claudio Guerin Hill who directed the principal photography of the Euro-cult favorite "A Bell from Hell" before tragically (and ironically) falling to his death from the bell tower on the final days of shooting. This movie is disappointing compared to the excellent "A Bell from Hell", but that's hardly surprising. It also has suffered, both then and now, from the inappropriate alternate title "The Violation of Laura", which makes it sound far sleazier than it is. There is no "violation" here except in the strictly emotional (and perhaps statutory) sense. This is really a coming-of-age story about a young girl (Ornela Muti) who has a sexual affair with the spurned gigolo lover of her beautiful mother (Lucia Bose) and eventually suffers a nervous breakdown. A much more appropriate title of for this film is the original Spanish title "House of the Doves", which comes from a strange dove-invested hotel/brothel where the girl and her lover rendezvous.
Lucia Bose and Ornella Muti are both very appealing, especially given their respective overripe and underripe ages (Muti was kind of Italian Brooke Shields at this time but with talent, while Bose had been Miss Italy way back in 1948!) This is not really an exploitative mother-daughter fantasy, however--it's arty and tame (the version I saw didn't even have any nudity), and the male at the center is completely unlikeable and unsympathetic. If you want to see a more exploitative version of this same plot I would recommend "La Seduccion" (which Muti was initially cast in several years later, but was replaced by Jenny Tamburi). I wouldn't really compare this to "Pretty Baby" (other than Muti's aforementioned resemblance to Brooke Shields) which is critically regarded but is also frankly kind of a creepy film. This movie is simply non-exploitative in any way, which isn't a bad thing, especially when it's a movie about the sexual coming-of-age of a fifteen-year-old girl (and one who was played by an actress of about the same age). I'd recommend this, but make sure you see it for the right reasons.
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