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The Telephone Book (1971)

 -  Comedy  -  3 October 1971 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 249 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 34 critic

The story of a day in the life of a lonely, sensitive, exhuberent, attractive, young woman. Her exploits, encounters, and frustrations as she attempts to find a "special" someone, a caller ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alice
Norman Rose ...
Mr. Smith
James Harder ...
Obscene-Caller
...
Eyemask
Ondine ...
Narrator
Barry Morse ...
Har Poon
Ultra Violet ...
Whip Woman
Geri Miller ...
Dancer
...
Analyst
...
Man in Bed
Matthew Tobin ...
Mugger
Jan Farrand ...
Woman in the Park
David Dozer ...
Obscene-Caller
...
Obscene-Caller
Dolph Sweet ...
Obscene-Caller
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Storyline

The story of a day in the life of a lonely, sensitive, exhuberent, attractive, young woman. Her exploits, encounters, and frustrations as she attempts to find a "special" someone, a caller who has "class", as she puts it. Written by dharmabum <darmabum@li.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a girl who falls in love with the world's greatest obscene phone call.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1971 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Considered a source of inspiration for Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972). See more »

Connections

References The Magic Christian (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Something To Remember Me By
Written by Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I haven't seen anything quite like this before.
23 March 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This underground NYC film does seem intent on stimulating its characters and audience into a frenzied state, even though nobody ever gets around to actually *having* sex. This "story", if you can call it that, deals with various sorts of extremely kinky and twisted fetishes and how one particular person can only ever do his best work over the phone. Certainly the actors give it their all, and writer / director Nelson Lyon makes this a very odd duck of a film. It's often quite surreal, with some priceless dialogue and one monologue near the end that goes on for quite some time. The film is very well shot in black & white by Leon Perera, and is episodic in nature, as our main character meets a couple of quirky people and the basic story is frequently interrupted by "obscene callers" speaking into the camera and telling us what they do (or have done) to get off.

Adorable Sarah Kennedy stars as Alice, a sex-obsessed and air headed hippie chick who receives the obscene phone call of a lifetime. Impressed by the mans' talent, she embarks on a search for the guy throughout NYC. Among the characters we meet on this journey are an avant garde adult filmmaker (Barry Morse), an excitable analyst (Roger C. Carmel) who pays her in coins for details about her sex life, and a lesbian housewife. Finally, she meets the awe- inspiring "Mr. Smith" (Norman Rose), who prefers to keep some sense of mystery about himself and never takes off his pig face mask.

What's amusing is seeing a couple of very familiar faces turn up in this thing: Jill Clayburgh as "Eyemask", Ultra Violet as a woman with a whip, William Hickey as the guy in the bed, Lucy Lee Flippin and Dolph Sweet as two of our obscene phone callers, and "Captain" Arthur Haggerty as the district attorney. Kennedy is a reasonably good anchor in this tale, while Rose invests the nutty Mr. Smith with quite a lot of gravitas.

As you can see from what I've described here, this may not appeal to all devotees of adult entertainment, but the colour animated sequence late in the film sure is a marvel of cartoonish dirty imagery. However, people may still come away from this feeling dissatisfied. Judge for yourself.

Seven out of 10.


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