|Index||4 reviews in total|
A tremendous film that is an excellent example of the Ocker films that
characterized Australian cinema in the early 70s. Alvin Purple is not a
good looking man, in fact you could say that he is pretty ugly. Nor is he
funny or a man of great character in any sense. But somehow, for reasons
unknown, he is irresistible to women. He attracts women wherever he goes:
on the bus, in the park, even just walking down the street.
The film contains a significant amount of sex and could be classified as a soft porn movie, but the sex is not for erotic purposes, but for comedic purpose as the audience cannot stop laughing as this awkward man who seems to know nothing about women has sex more times in a week than most people do in a lifetime.
But there is more to the movie than just comedic sex, the film is also a character piece as it shows the alienation that Alvin feels as he struggles to make his way through life. The multitude of sex that Alvin engages in contrasts his life of total isolation, as he tries to find someone that he can truly connect with.
This film is truly an original and a must for students of film. Australian Cinema has an amazing history and the Ocker Films and Alvin Purple are an instrumental part of it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING: PLOT SPOILERS! Alvin Purple uses the classic English sex comedy
model of a hapless, clumsy idiot who becomes an inadvertent sex symbol,
gigolo and porn star! For some bizarre reason his spindly frame and
inoffensive demeanor he's irresistible to women - all he really wants is
herald in the `Sexless Seventies', and instead he finds a naked Jacki
on his beanbag waiting for a `cup of sugar'. It's a case of `you've never
had it so good, mate' - an assortment of crackers, nymphos and `top sorts'
can't seem to get enough of Purple. His problem starts in high school,
persued by a flock of screaming teeny girls on bikes, when he's taken in
`comforted' by his teacher's wife. An absolute dill at everything he
he goes from one deadend job to another (in a classic nude bodypainting
scene, Alvin smears purple paint on his - erm - paintbrush.as a waterbed
salesman he ends up in bed with a customer and spears the bed with his
spikes). He goes to a psychiatrist to cure him of his rampant libido, who
recommends him to the mysterious Dr McBurney (George Whaley), a charlatan
who rents out Alvin as a bogus sex therapist to bored housewives and slips
them the old `Purple Method'. Naturally the whole sordid business is
exposed, and Alvin winds up in court in front of a crusty porn-obsessed
Judge (Noel Ferrier).
Love it (like I do) or hate it, Alvin Purple is a knowing satire on 70s sex and the Permissive Society - at one point Alvin stops outside a Melbourne cinema showing Bedroom Mazurka, a saucy sex comedy from Scandinavia which enjoyed its own series! Seventies sex symbol Abigail (Number 96 and countless Page Three cheesecake appearances) makes a brief appearance in the first scene on a tram; the super-suave Purple imagines a sophisticated dialogue with Abigail about the properties of her breasts, and instead blurts out `Gee you've got nice tits.' Slap, cue poor schmuck Alvin wanting to herald the `Sexless Seventies'. The film ends on a strangely but expected conservative streak: Alvin falls in love with the one girl who doesn't throw herself at him, she becomes a nun rather than face Alvin's reluctant libido, and he ends up a gardener in the convent's gardens surrounded by women who have no interest in him!
Alvin Purple was Australia's first real sex film, and despite (or because of) a phenomenal domestic box office and even a TV special on the making of the movie, it is usually written off by the cultural elite. In the Noughties the film is enjoying somewhat of a reappraisal, usually from the same cultural archaeologists who have just discovered the wonders of the Barry Mackenzie series. Despite its `sex film' tag it had and still has a legitimacy thanks to Burstall's quirky direction, Brian Cadd's hit film score, an assured supporting cast loaded with familiar TV and film faces, and the endearing acting by Blundell. Of course its timing - the `Permissive Society' and the R rating were in full swing - was perfect.
This is the first sex comedy I ever watched in my life. Sure I watched
a lot of films that considered themselves as sex comedies but there was
no sex in them, just some goofy romance. Sure there were some of those
teen sex movies that came close but this movie is about adults has a
lot of sex and it's very funny.
I also think this is very good Don Juan movie, I mean it's heck of a lot better then that "Don Juan" movie with Johny Depp. Besides what I also enjoy about Australian movies is that they are not pretentious. They are not burdened with the notion "Will it get an award on some movie festival or not." No! This movie doesn't care about that, it doesn't try to be something more than it is. I watched a lot of those "coming of age" movies when you see some fellow's sudden sexual awakening and then director gets to much worked up over it and tries to be a philosopher about how people change when they loose their virginity. But not this movie, which thankfully delivers more than those movies can hope to.
Opening with an act of sexual assault Alvin Purple chronicles the adventures of Greame Blundell's sexual addiction and the difficultly of finding an Australian actress with an attractive face. The film flashes back to Purple's high school years where the same problems exist along with every leading male in an Australian film or television show looking exactly the same for forty years. For a counter cultural sexploitation film it has no qualms with using Benny Hill material. We skip to Alvin's 21st birthday where we're introduced to the various middle aged homosexual relatives in Alvin Purple's life along with a montage of bogan disco and the viewer begins feeling frustrated and wondering when an attractive actress will appear in this film. Well after watching some very awkward, uncomfortable nudity and sex scenes akin to walking in on your parents naked there appears to be some solace about twenty three minutes in with a very satisfying homage to equestrian sports somewhat marred by indulgent psychedelic (lazy) coverage and editing. Anyway, we go through a number of pointless episodic sequences of Alvin as a waterbed salesman we're introduced to Purple's psychiatrist who works with the sex addict's obsession and lack of pleasure. This leads to more episodic sequences and Benny Hill sketches eventually leading to Purple being a sex therapist again letting the viewer wait until an attractive female appears on screen. In this case it's 50 minutes into the film. Of course, this brothel of one is uncovered, Purple goes to court and the film ends with a 70s car chase. It's all very uncreative, unsuspenful and uninteresting and most likely because of its budgetary limits and crappy screenplay so eagerly looking for respect or mainstream appeal when it should just accept its sexploitation leanings.
|Ratings||External reviews||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|