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The Happy Hooker
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The Happy Hooker (1975) More at IMDbPro »

The Happy Hooker -- In the first of three films on the life of Xaviera Hollander, the famous hooker from Holland traces her career as madam of the biggest and most profitable bordellos in New York.


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Release Date:
14 January 1976 (France) See more »
You know about sex. Now learn about life. See more »
Having emigrated to New York and immediately got the kiss-off from her mother-besotted fiance, a Dutch... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
One of my all-time favorites See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Lynn Redgrave ... Xaviera Hollander

Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Yves St. Jacques
Lovelady Powell ... Madelaine

Tom Poston ... J. Arthur Conrad

Nicholas Pryor ... Carl Gordon

Elizabeth Wilson ... Mrs. Gordon

Conrad Janis ... Fred

Richard Lynch ... The Cop
Owen Hollander ... Lt. Taggert
Barton Heyman ... Dirty Harry

Matthew Cowles ... Albert Ruffleson

Denise Galik ... Cynthia
Trish Hawkins ... Chris
Pal Henry ... Aurora
Donna Mitchell ... Lucille
Darlene Parks ... April Jones

Anita Morris ... May Smith / Linda Jo
Sharon Laughlin ... Nadine
Rochelle Oliver ... Norma
Inga Bunsch ... Finch
Joan T. Scott ... Carla
Gretchen Shawn ... Reality Girl
Lauren Simon ... Finkle Bellis
Mary Olga ... Rosie

Mason Adams ... The Banker with Chris
Dan Resin ... The Senator with Chris
Shanton Granger ... Benson Girfield
Alek Primrose ... John Burden

John Getz ... Trout Fisherman
William Duell ... Meek Man
Andrew Smith ... Man in a hurry

Vincent Schiavelli ... Music Guru
Lee Wallace ... Henry Knowlton
Gwendolyn Saska-Brown ... Suzanne Knowlton (as Gwendolyn Saska-Brown)
Ben Hayes ... Singles Bar Salesman
Dorothi Fox ... Rosita the Maid (as Dorothy Fox)
Robert Dryden ... Mr. Gordon

George Dzundza ... Chet

Kenneth Tigar ... Steve
John Ramsey ... Alex the Lawyer
Murray Moston ... Customs Agent
Lenny Del Genio ... The Grocer
Philip Larson ... Deckhand
Jane Marie Scileppi ... Sonia
Guillermo Irizarry ... Carlos the Houseboy

Allan Rich ... Desk Sergeant
Frank Aldrich ... Ryan
Lou Bedford ... Wilkins
Larry Silvestri ... Arresting Officer
Florence Tarlow ... Petulia
Ellyne Liz Culver ... Matron
Susanna Singleton ... The Leader
Chip Fields ... Red Hat
Sandra Reaves-Phillips ... In the Pink (as Sandra Phillips)
Adrian James ... Cowgirl
Marilyn Thomas ... Blue Hair
Wilhelmina Ross ... Lo-La
Joaquin Reyes ... Tall One
Maureen Sadusk ... Girl on Crutches
Vito De Palo ... Neighborhood Boy
Frank Mastropasqua ... Neighborhood Boy
John Sbarro ... Neighborhood Boy
Mario Capparelli ... Neighborhood Boy
Michael Galardi ... Neighborhood Boy (as Michael Gelardi)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seamus O'Brien

Stefan Schnabel ... Elderly Gentleman

Directed by
Nicholas Sgarro 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Yvonne Dunleavy  book
Xaviera Hollander  book
Robin Moore  book
William Richert 

Produced by
Fred C. Caruso .... producer
Dennis Friedland .... executive producer
Marlene Hess .... executive producer
Original Music by
Don Elliott 
Cinematography by
Richard C. Kratina  (as Dick Kratina)
Film Editing by
Gerald B. Greenberg  (as Jerry Greenberg)
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Gene Callahan 
Set Decoration by
Hans Swanson 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
John Alese .... makeup artist
Bob Grimaldi .... hair stylist (as Robert Grimaldi)
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... production supervisor (as Fred Caruso)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter A. Runfolo .... second assistant director
Ted Zachary .... first assistant director
Art Department
John Hughes .... scenic chargeman
Mario Mazzola .... props
Thomas Saccio .... property master
Kenneth Weinberg .... props
Sound Department
Arthur Bloom .... boom operator
Peter C. Frank .... assistant sound editor (as Peter Frank)
Marc Laub .... sound editor
David Moshlak .... sound recordist
Emil Neroda .... sound re-recording mixer
Christopher Newman .... sound mixer (as Chris Newman)
Camera and Electrical Department
Louis Barilla .... camera operator
Don Biller .... assistant camera (as Donald Biller)
Joe Carroll .... set grip (as Joseph Carroll)
John de Blau Sr. .... generator operator
Jerry DeBlau .... electrician (as Jeffy De Blau)
John W. DeBlau .... best boy (as John De Blau Jr.)
Vinnie Gerardo .... camera focus (as Vincent Gerardo)
Kenny Gross .... key grip (as Ken Gross)
Charles Moore .... still photographer
Frank Schulz .... gaffer
Robert M. Volpe .... dolly grip (as Robert Volpe)
Casting Department
Vic Ramos .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert De Mora .... assistant costume designer
Florence Gabrielle .... wardrobe
Marilyn Putnam .... costumer
Max Soloman .... costumer (as Max Solomon)
Editorial Department
Jonathan Cohen .... apprentice editor
Cynthia Scheider .... assistant editor
Music Department
Don Elliott .... music arranger
Don Elliott .... music producer
Other crew
Peter Burrell .... d.g.a. trainee
Peter Diaferia .... titles (as Peter F. Diaferia)
Lou Fusaro .... unit coordinator (as Louis Fusaro)
Sidney Gecker .... script supervisor (as Sid Gecker)
James Giblin .... teamster captain
Susan B. Landau .... production assistant (as Susan Landau)
Shari Leibowitz .... production coordinator
Shari Leibowitz .... production office coordinator
Joan McWade .... production accountant
Tom Miller .... unit publicist
Donald Saddler .... choreographer
George Severini .... production assistant
John H. Starke .... location coordinator (as John Starke)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Lynn Redgrave does not play Xaviera Hollander (The Happy Hooker) in either of this movie's sequels, The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977) and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980).See more »
Movie Connections:
Put Yourself in my HandsSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
One of my all-time favorites, 1 December 2005
Author: TonyDood from United States

I loved this film from the first time I saw it, on cable, as a kid. It's the first movie I ever saw that was about sex from beginning to end but could've been rated G, or at least PG. No one is shown having sex, and it's discussed in such a clinical way it DOES become the "business of pleasure." Of course, a literal film adaptation of the book by Xaviera Hollander would have to be a porn film. I'm glad this movie isn't like that. I've never seen anything like it.

Lynne Redgrave, newly slim after "Georgy Girl," plays Xaviera, a young woman who has flown to New York to marry a man she met in South Africa. Once there she meets his bitchy old hag of a mom and the deal falls apart. She hits the 70's singles bar scene ("I've never been shy and I love sex, so why not?" Well yeah...why not?) and after that gets old meets up with a free-spirited Frenchman who pays her "for the pleasure of her company." At first she's insulted he's treated her like a whore, then she realizes if she's going to be sleeping around so much, why not get some fringe benefits too? Circumstances lead her to joining the brothel of a wonderfully obscene older madame and then branching out on her own before the movie ends on a surprisingly somber note, at Christmastime.

Lynne carries the movie, of course, and one of the main joys is just watching her work. It's clear she'd only do the film with limitations, as there's no nudity on her part (or much else, really), and only a few "daring" scenes (a spontaneous lesbian act is more like a carefully choreographed "sensual dance" than an act of sex). It's a "Julie Andrews" version of what it means to be a prostitute, Lynn never gets her hands, or anything else, sullied and I was captivated by that aspect of it all. Not to mention that her make-up, hair and Anne Roth costumes, and her stature, make her look like a drag queen, even among the other characters of the film.

There are so many weird and wonderful joys to the movie though. A bevy of second-rate/down on their luck stars--how did they get them all for THIS movie??--including Jean-Pierre Aumont, Tom Poston, Elizabeth Wilson, Conrad Janis, Richard Lynch, Anita Morris and a cameo by the wonderful Vincent Shiavelli as a stoned-out john. This was the first I learned about fetishes, "We have French, Greek, we can take you around the world!", a German dominatrix who "comes in for special assignments" and a pretty young woman who describes being sexually abused as a child...right before the john who has bought her takes her upstairs to re-enact those very "crimes." When the john asks her if it's OK if they can do this, the hooker responds with understanding and enthusiasm, "Of course...!" and later you realize it's just her "routine." In this way, most of the brothel scenes come off like musical numbers, and it's curious, captivating and often slyly funny.

All this is done with a happy-go-lucky t.v. sitcom mentality that suits the proceedings well. With a heavier hand it would be ugly and dreary. There are plenty of movies out there that discuss how awful prostitution really is and how ugly sex can get, or show endless shots glorifying women's bare breasts (the sequels took this route to dull effect). Here's a REAL movie about women who have almost complete control over their bodies and minds, and the men who pay them, and all these ladies are unashamed and strong in their convictions that what they are doing is right for them. The fact that the end isn't exactly a happy one doesn't take away from this, it only reinforces it. Xaviera tells her lawyer, who'd like her to entertain some of his friends, that when she "finds a bed," to have them call her. All the women will go on and the cycle will go on--Xaviera points it out when a group of little Italian boys harass them. "You're all little boys," she says with weary, but compassionate, understanding to the shopkeeper who apologizes on their behalf.

She also has the thematic line of the film, "I was able to bring something romantic to it {her "work"} simply because I loved it." There are worse things, and far worse movies. For it's flaws, which are many (sloppy editing, cheapness, lack of logic and yes, lack of realism) there are great lines ("We got a primadonna up there who thinks her ass is cast in platinum..." "Before I knew it I'd gone from office girl to working girl" "I...I think they're fagz! Ernie and Bert on Sesame Street!") and it's that rarity of a movie that reads differently if you're an adult than if you're a kid. I had no idea what it was about as a kid, but I enjoyed it all the same.

Oh, and not to forget Anita Morris in the only real nude scenes, being turned into "The Human Ice Cream Sundae" while she cackles hysterically. Weird and unforgettable, but not for those craving hot sex scenes, or a frank treatment of the world's oldest profession.

The fact that it ends with a Christmas party makes it must-see holiday viewing in my house, oddly enough, alongside "Christmas Evil."

**update** This was recently released on DVD which is great, but only in an old fashioned matted letterbox version, not a cleaned up anamorphic version for wide screen, which is a bummer!

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